Front Page Titles (by Subject) ĪŚĀ UPANISHAD 1 - The Thirteen Principal Upanishads
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ĪŚĀ UPANISHAD 1 - Misc (Upanishads), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads 
The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, translated from the Sanskrit with an outline of the philosophy of the Upanishads and an annotated bibliography, by Robert Ernest Hume (Oxford University Press, 1921).
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Recognition of the unity underlying the diversity of the world
Non-attachment of deeds on the person of a renouncer
The forbidding future for slayers of the Self
The all-surpassing, paradoxical world-being
4. Unmoving, the One (ekam) is swifter than the mind.
The sense-powers (deva) reached not It, speeding on before.
Past others running, This goes standing.
In It Mātariśvan places action.6
Characteristics of the world-ruler
8. He has environed. The bright, the bodiless, the scatheless,
The sinewless, the pure (śuddha), unpierced by evil (a-pāpa-viddha)!
Wise (kavi), intelligent (manīṣin), encompassing (paribhū), self-existent (svayambhū),
Appropriately he distributed objects (artha) through the eternal years.
Transcending, while involving, the antithesis of knowing
The inadequacy of any antithesis of being
Becoming and destruction a fundamental duality
A dying person’s prayer
16. O Nourisher (pūṣan), the sole Seer (ekarṣi), O Controller (yama), O Sun (sūrya), offspring of Prajāpati, spread forth thy rays! Gather thy brilliance (tejas)!5 What is thy fairest form—that of thee I see. He who is yonder, yonder Person (puruṣa)—I myself am he!
17. [My] breath (vāyu) to the immortal wind (anila)!1 This body then ends in ashes! Om!
General prayer of petition and adoration
18. O Agni, by a goodly path to prosperity (rai) lead us,
Thou god who knowest all the ways!
Keep far from us crooked-going sin (enas)!3
Most ample expression of adoration to thee would we render!4
[1 ]So called from its first word; or sometimes ‘Īśāvāsyam’ from its first two words; or sometimes the ‘Vājasaneyi-Saṁhitā Upanishad’ from the name of the recension of the White Yajur-Veda of which this Upanishad forms the final, the fortieth, chapter.
[2 ]Compare the persons called ‘devilish,’ āsura, at Chānd. 8. 8. 5. A variant reading here (accordant with a literalism interpreted in the following line) is a-sūrya, ‘sunless.’
[3 ]The word nāma here might mean ‘certainly’ instead of ‘called.’
[4 ]This idea is in sharp contrast with the doctrine of Kaṭha 2. 19 d (and BhG. 2. 19), where it is stated that ‘he [i.e. the Self] slays not, is not slain.’ The word ātma-han here, of course, is metaphorical, like ‘smother,’ ‘stifle,’ ‘completely suppress.’
[5 ]The whole stanza is a variation of Bṛih. 4. 4. 11.
[6 ]So Com. But apas may refer, cosmogonically, to ‘the [primeval] waters.’
[1 ]The very same ideas as in this stanza, though not all the same words, recur at BhG. 13. 15 a, b, d.
[2 ]This universal presence is claimed by Kṛishṇa for himself at BhG. 6. 30 a, b.
[3 ]The indefinite word tatas may mean ‘from these beings,’ or ‘from this Self,’ or ‘from this time on,’ or pregnantly all these.—The whole line recurs at Bṛih. 4. 4. 15 d; Kaṭha 4. 5 d, 4. 12 d.
[4 ]This stanza is identical with Bṛih. 4. 4. 10.
[5 ]The point here made is that both knowledge and lack of knowledge are inadequate for apprehending the Ultimate.
[6 ]A somewhat more concrete, and perhaps earlier, form of this stanza occurs as Kena 3 e-h.
[1 ]This stanza occurs again in Maitri 7. 9.
[2 ]The sun.
[3 ]For the petitioner (who calls himself ‘satya-dharma’) to see through; or ‘For Him whose law is Truth (or, true) to be seen,’ [as, e. g., for Savitṛi in RV. 10. 34. 8; 10. 139. 3; or the Unknown Creator, RV. 10. 121. 9; VS. 10. 103; or Agni, RV. 1. 12. 7]; or, ‘For that [neuter] which has the Real as its nature [or, essence; or, law] to be seen.’
[4 ]These lines occur with slight variations at Maitri 6. 35 and Bṛih. 5. 15. 1.
[5 ]According to this translation the idea is entirely honorific of the effulgence of the sun. Or, with a different grouping of words, the meaning might possibly be the petition: ‘Spread apart thy rays [that I may enter through the sun (as well as see through—according to the previous petition) into the Real; then] gather [thy rays together again, as normal]. The brilliance which is thy fairest form, . . .’ At best the passage is of obscure mystical significance.
[1 ]This formula recurs at Bṛih. 5. 15. The idea that at death the several parts of microcosmic man revert to the corresponding elements of the macrocosm is expressed several times in Sanskrit literature. With the specific mention here, compare ‘his spirit (ātman) to the wind (vāta)’ in the Cremation Hymn, RV. 10. 16. 3a; ‘with his breath (prāna) to wind (vāyu),’ Śat Br. 10. 3. 3. 8; ‘his breath (prāna) to wind (vāta), Bṛih. 3. 2. 13; and even of the sacrificial animal, ‘its breath (prāna) to wind (vāta), Ait. Br. 2. 6.
[2 ]Compare the statement in Chānd. 3. 14. 1, ‘Now, verily, a person consists of purpose (kratu-maya).’
[3 ]Other prayers for freedom from sin (enas, compare also āgas) are at RV. 1. 24. 9 d; 3. 7. 10 d; 7. 86. 3 a, 4 d; 7. 88. 6 c; 7. 89. 5 c, d; 7. 93. 7 c, d; 8. 67 (56). 17; 10. 35. 3 a, c; 10. 37. 12; AV. 6 97. 2 d; 6. 115. 1, 2, 3; 6. 116. 2, 3; 6. 117; 6. 118; 6. 119; 6. 120.
[4 ]This stanza is identical with RV. 1. 189. 1, and the second line also with AV. 4. 39. 10 b.