Sri Ishopanisad


(Continued from the last issue Vol. III/XXIV)

The living being first of all desires and the Lord supplies the desirable in proportion to the degree of qualification. If a man wants to be a High court judge he must have acquired the necessary qualification and not only that it depends also in the disposition of the authority concerned who can award upon the man to become a High court judge. Simple acquisition of the qualification of a High court judge is not sufficient to occupy the post. This must be awarded by the mercy of the superior authority. Similarly the Lord awards to the living being in proportion to the achievement one’s necessary qualification (Karma) and those qualifications are not sufficient if there is no mercy of the Lord. The living being however does not know what to ask from the Lord and for what post he shall qualify himself. When the living being knows his constitutional position, he asks from the Lord for being accepted in the transcendental association of the Lord in order to render transcendental loving service unto Him. But instead of asking this the living being, under the influence of material nature, asks for so many other things and this mentality is described in the Bhagwat Geeta as “Abyavasayeetmika” intelligence. The Byavasayeetmika intelligence is one but the opposite number is of many varieties. In the Bhagwat Puranam it is said that persons who are captivated by the temporary beauties of the external energy, forget his real aim of life which is going back to Godhead. And forgetting this he tries to adjust things by plans and programmes which is compared with the process of chewing the chewed refuge. But the Lord is so kind that He allows the forgetful living being to do so without interfering into the activities of the living being and thus the very appropriate word ‘just in pursuance of‘ is mentioned here. If a living being wants to go to the hell, the Lord allows him to do so without interruption and if he wants to go back to home and Back to Godhead, the Lord also helps him to do so.

He is described here as the Paribhu or the greatest of all. Nobody is greater than or equal to Him. Other living being are described herein as the beggars who ask from the Lord and the Lord supply such desirables. If other living entities would have been equal to the potency of the Lord or if they would have also been omnipotent or omniscient like the Lord there was no question of begging from the Lord even for the so-called liberation. Real liberation of the living beings is to go back to Godhead. Otherwise the liberation conceived by the impersonalist remains a myth and the begging business for sense gratification has to continue eternally unless the beggar comes to his senses in the matter of his constitutional position.

The Supreme Lord is self sufficient. When Lord Krishna appeared before the living beings He displayed full fledged manifestation of Godhead by His various activities. In His childhood he killed so many Asuras like Aghasura, Bakasura, Sakatasura and there was no question of acquiring such power by any extraneous endeavour. He lifted the Govardhan Hill without any practice of weight lifting. He danced with the Gopis without any social restriction and without any reproach. Although the Gopis approached Him in the feelings of paramorous love, still such mixing of the Gopis and Lord Krishna is worshipped even by Lord Chaitanya Who was a strict Sannyasi and rigid follower of the disciplinary regulations of a Sannyasi. And to confirm these the Ishopanisad says that He is antiseptic and prophylactic. He is antiseptic in the sense that even an impure thing in the estimation of the mundaners becomes purified in touch with Him. The prophylactic means of His association is mentioned in the Bhagwat Geeta. There it is said that a scrupulous devotee may appear in the beginning as Durachara or not well behaved, but he is still to be accepted as pure because he is on the right path. That is the prophylactic process of the Lord’s association. The Lord is Apapabidhdam that is nothing like sin can touch Him. Even if he may perform something which appears to be a sinful act still such actions are all good actions and there is no question of the Lord’s being affected with any sin or Papa. In all circumstances He is Suddham or the most purified like the Sun. The Sun exacts moisture from many untouchable places of the earth and still the sun is as pure as anything and on the contrary it transforms the obnoxious things into purified form by the process of his sterilising effect. If the sun is so powerful although a material object, we can just imagine the purity strength of the all powerful Lord.

Mantra No. 9

Andham tamah prabishanti ye avidyam upasate tato bhuya ibate vidyam ratah.

English Synonyms

Andham—gross ignorance, tamah—darkness, prabishanti—enter into, ye—those, avidyam—nescience, upasate—worship, tato—further, bhuya—considered, iva—like, te—those, vidyam—in the culture of knowledge, ratah—engaged in.


Those who are engaged in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. And further more than them are those who are engaged in the so-called culture of knowledge.


In this mantra there is a comparative study of Vidya and Avidya. Avidya or ignorance is undoubtedly dangerous but Vidya or knowledge which is misguided is still more dangerous. In the modern set of human civilization this explanation of the Ishopanishad is more applicable than in any other time in the past. The modern setup of civilization has advanced considerably in the matter of mass education but the result is that people are more unhappy than before on account of too much stress on the matter of material advancement of activities without any taste for the most important aspect of life namely the spiritual side. So far Vidya is concerned the first mantra of the Ishopanishad has explained the matter very clearly that the Supreme Lord is the Proprietor of everything that be and forgetfulness of this fact of life must be called defacto ignorance. The more a man forgets this fact of life the more he is in the darkness and on the basis of this truth of life, a Godless civilization directed on the so-called advancement of education is more dangerous than the civilization in which the mass of people is less advanced in the matter of material advancement of knowledge.

There are different classes of men who are called the Karmis, Jnanins and Yogis. The Karmis are those who are engaged in the activities of sense gratification. Almost 99.9 percent people of the modern civilization are engaged in the activities of sense gratification in the name of various group of activities such as industrialism, economic development, altruism, political consciousness, ideologies and so on. But all these activities are more or less based on the satisfaction of sense gratification without any reference to the sense of God consciousness as described in the first mantra of the Ishopanishad. In the language of the Bhagwat Geeta these people who are thus engaged in the matter of gross sense gratification are called Mudhas or those who are in the darkness of life like the ass. The ass is the symbol of stupidity and therefore persons who are simply engaged in the matter of sense gratificatory activities without any profit of life are in the estimation of the Ishopanishad, so to say, worshipping Avidya. And persons who are in the role of helping such type of civilization in the name of educational advancement of life are doing more harm than those who are in the sense gratificatory activities.

Advancement of learning by the Godless people is as much dangerous as the valuable jewel on the hood of the cobra. A cobra decorated with such valuable jewel is as much dangerous as the one which is not decorated like that. On the other hand advancement of educational activities by a Godless people is according to Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya a kind of decoration of the dead body. In India and perhaps in many other countries, some people follow the custom of leading a procession of decorated dead body for the pleasure of the lamenting relatives. In the same way the modern civilization is a patch up work of human activities to cover the perpetual miseries of material existence. Such activities are meant for sense gratification but above the senses there is the mind and above the mind there is the intelligence and above the intelligence there is the soul. Therefore the aim of educational activities must be targeted on the point of self realisation by such activities as may lead to the realisation of spiritual value of the soul proper. Any education which does not lead to such realisation of life must be considered as Avidya. And culture of Avidya means going down in the darkest region of ignorance.

Such mistaken educationists are in the Vedic language called (1) the Vedabada Rata (2) Mayaa Apritajnana, (3) Asuri Bhavam (4) Naradhama etc. The Vedabadarata people pose themselves as very much learned in the Vedic literatures but unfortunately they are completely diverted from the purpose of the Vedas. In the Bhagwat Geeta it is said that the purpose of the Vedas is to know the Personality of Godhead but these Vedabadarata men are not at all interested in the matter of the Personality of Godhead but they are on the contrary attached by the side issues fascinating result like attainment of heaven etc. As it is begun in the first mantra of the Ishopanishad that we should know it well that the Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of everything that be and we must be satisfied by our allotted portion of the necessities of life. So the purposes of the whole Vedic literature is to awake this God consciousness of the forgotten living being and the same thing is presented in various ways for the understanding of the foolish men. But the ultimate purpose is to bring one back to Godhead. But the Vedabadarata people instead of realising the purport of the Vedas namely to revive the lost relation of the forgotten soul with the Personality of Godhead they take it for granted that the side issues like attainment of heavenly pleasure for sense gratification, which is the very cause of their material bondage, is the ultimate end of the Vedas. As such people misguide other by misinterpreting the Vedic literatures and sometimes they condemn the Puranas which are but Vedic explanations for the laymen. They make their own explanation of the Vedas neglecting the authority of great Acharyas and create some unscrupulous person as the leader of Vedic knowledge. So these men are specially condemned by this mantra of the Ishopanishad by the very appropriate word namely Vidya Rata. Vidya means Veda because the Veda is the original source of all knowledge and rata means engaged. Vidya Rata means engaged in the studies of the Vedas. And as such the so-called Vidya Ratas are condemned here because they do not know what is the purpose of the Vedas on account of their disobeying the Vedic Acharyas and therefore such foolish men are appropriately named in the Bhagwat Geeta as the Vedabada Rata. Vedabada means misinterpretation of the Vedas. Such Vedabada Ratas are very badly accustomed to find out a meaning of every word of the Vedas to suit their own purpose without knowing that Vedic literatures are not ordinary books so that everyone can understand it without being trained up in the chain of disciplic succession. One must approach a bonafide spiritual master to understand the transcendental message of the Vedas and that is the direction of the Katha Upanishad. But these Vedabadarata people have their own Acharya who is not in the chain of transcendental disciplic succession. So these Vedabada Rata people will go progressively in the darkest region of ignorance by misinterpreting the Vedic literatures than those who have no knowledge in the Vedas.

The ‘Mayaa apahritajnana’ class of men are self made Gods. Such men think that they are themselves the God and there is no necessity of worshiping another God. They will agree to worship an ordinary man if he happens to be a rich man but will never worship actual God the Personality of Godhead. Such foolish men cannot discover their own foolishness as to how the God can be entrapped by Maya. If God is entrapped by Maya then Maya is more powerful than God. But they say also that God is all powerful. If God is all powerful then how he is overpowered by Maya. They cannot answer all these questions very clearly but they are satisfied with a false notion of becoming God themselves.

Mantra No. 10

Anyat eva ahur vidyaya anyat ahu avidyaya iti shushruma dheeranam ye nah tad vichchakshire.

English Synonyms

Anyat—different, eva—certainly, ahur—said, vidyaya—by culture of knowledge, anyat—different, thu—said, avidyaya—nescience, iti—thus, shushruma—heard, dheeranam—from the sober sect, ye—those, nah—to us, vichchakshire—explained.


The sober section (of the learned scholars) explained to us that a different result is derived from the culture of knowledge and it is said also that different result is obtained from the culture of nescience.


Culture of knowledge can be practically conducted in the following way as it is said in the Bhagwat Geeta [Bg. 13] It is said there that one should become a perfect gentleman himself and learn to give proper respect to the respectable persons than himself. 2. One should not pose himself to become a certain type of religionist simply for the matter of name and fame. 3. One should not become a source of pinprick for others by the actions of body, mind and words. 4. One should learn forbearance even there is provocation from the opposite section. 5. One should learn to avoid playing duplicity in his dealings with other. 6. One must have a bonafide spiritual master who can lead him gradually to the stage of spiritual realisation and to such Acharya or spiritual master he must submit himself with service and relevant questions. 7. One must follow the regulative principles as they are enjoined in the revealed scriptures in order to approach to the platform of self realisation. 8. One must be fixed up in the tenets of the revealed scriptures. 9. One should completely refrain from the practices which are detrimental to the interest of self realisation. 10. One should not accept more for the senses than what he requires for the maintenance of the body and the soul together. 11. One should not falsely identify himself with the material covering or the gross body and also consider as his own those who are related with his body. 12. One should always remember that so long one has to go with the material body he must have to face the miseries like repeated birth and death, old age and diseases. There is no use making plans to get rid of these miseries of the material body: the best plan would be to find out the means by which one may regain his spiritual identity. 13. One should not be attached to the necessities of life more than what is required by one for the progress of his spiritual advancement of life. 14. One should not be more attached to wife, children and home than what is ordained in the revealed scriptures. 15. One should not be happy or distressed in the matters of desirables and undesirables created by the mind. 16. One should become unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead (Sri Krishna) and thus serve Him with rapt attention. 17. To develop a sense for residing in a secluded place for calm and quiet atmosphere favourable for spiritual culture and thus avoid congested places where nondevotee class of men always traffic. 18. One should become a scientist or philosopher to make a research in the spiritual knowledge and not in material knowledge knowing it well that spiritual knowledge is permanent whereas material knowledge ends with the end of the body.

These eighteen items are gradual processes of developing real knowledge and except these eighteen items all other items whatsoever are grouped with the categories of nescience. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur a great Acharya said that all sorts of material knowledge are but external features of the illusory energy and by culturing them one becomes as good as an ass. Here in the Ishopanishad also the same thing is repeated. Material advancement of knowledge is actually converting the human being to the state of an ass. Some of the materialistic politicians under the cover of spiritual garments sometimes decry that the present system of civilization is a satanic type of civilization but unfortunately they do not care for the culture of real knowledge as it is described in the Bhagwat Geeta.

In the modern setup of things even a boy thinks himself self sufficient and pay no respect to the elderly men. And due to the wrong type of education imparted in the so-called universities the boys all over the world are now causes of headache to the elderly people. Therefore the Ishopanishad warns very cautiously that the culture of nescience is different. The universities are so to say centres of culturing nescience only and therefore the scientists are busy to discover lethal weapons for wiping out the existence of another country.

The university students are not given instructions on the regulative principles of Brahmacharya neither they have any faith in the respective scriptural injunctions. Religiosities are taught for the sake of name and fame only and not for the matter of practical actions. Therefore there is animosities not only in social political fields but also there is animosity in the religious fields also.

The so-called nationalism of different parts of the world have developed on account of this nescient education of the people. They have no information that this tiny earth is a lump of matter and is floating in the immeasurable material space along with other such material lumps. In comparison to the huge space these material lumps are like particles in the air. Because God has kindly made these lumps of matter perfect in themselves they are perfectly equipped with all necessary arrangements for its floating on in the space. The sputnik drivers are very much proud of their achievement but they do not look to the Supreme Driver of these great and gigantic sputniks called by the name of planets. These small planets are innumerable within the sun rays and there are innumerable suns also occupying greater space than this sun with greater arrangement of planetary system. We small creatures as the infinitesimal parts and parcel of the Supreme Lord are trying to lord it over these unlimited planets by repeated birth and deaths and disturbed in the meantime by old age and diseases. And this span of life is scheduled for 100 years only although it is gradually decreasing to the limit of 20 or 30 years of life. But thanks to the influence of the culture of nescient education that the befooled men have created their own nationalism within these planets for sense enjoyment of 20 or 30 years. These foolish people are making various plans to make these demarked portions of the earth as perfect as possible which is impossible to do at all and for this purpose each and every nation has become a source of pinpricks for the other. Fifty percent of the energy spoiled in the defense measures without caring for real culture of knowledge and they are falsely proud of becoming advanced in both material and spiritual knowledge. The Ishopanishad warns them for the faulty mode of education and the Bhagwat Geeta gives them instructions as to the development of real knowledge.

Here in this Mantra there is a hint that the instruction of Vidya must be taken from the Dheera. Dheera means undisturbed. Not disturbed by the material illusion. Nobody can be undisturbed unless and until one has perfectly the spiritual realisation. When one is perfectly spiritually realised he has no more hankering for anything required nor lamenting for anything lost. Such Dheera has realised that the material body and mind which he has acquired by chance of material association are also foreign elements and therefore they only make the best use of a bad bargain. The material body and mind are bad bargains for the spiritual spark the living entity. The living entity has different functions in the living world. This material world is the dead world or the Mrityuloka. So long the living sparks manipulate the dead lump of matter the dead world appears to be a living world. But actually it is the living sparks parts and parcel of the Supreme living Being which move the world. The Dheeras means those who have come to know all these facts by hearing from the superior authorities and have thus realised the same by following the regulative principles. To follow the regulative principles one must have gone under the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master. The transcendental message comes down from the spiritual master to the disciple in the regulative principles and not in the hazardous way of nescient education. One can become Dheera by such submissive hearing only. Arjuna became a Dheera by submissively hearing from the Authority of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore the disciple must be like Arjuna and the spiritual master must be as good as the Lord Himself. These are the processes to learn Vidya from the Dheera. Adheera or the one who had never gone under the training of a Dheera cannot be instructive leader. The modern politicians who pose to be so-called Dheera leaders are themselves Adheeras and how one can expect the perfect knowledge from them? They are busy with their own remuneration in L.S.P. and how they can lead the mass of people to the right path of self realisation. One must hear submissively from the Dheera to get actual education of life.

Mantra No. 11

Vidyam cha avidyam cha yas tad vedo ubhayam saha avidyayam mrityum tirtwa vidyayam amritam asnute.

English Synonyms

Vidyam—knowledge in fact, cha—and, avidyam—nescience, cha—and, yas—a person, tad—that, ubhayam—both, saha—simultaneously, avidyaya—by culture of nescience, mrityum—repeated death, tirtwa—transcending, vidyaya—by culture of knowledge, amritam—deathlessness, asnute—enjoys.


A person who has the opportunity of learning the process of Nescience and that of knowledge transcendental side by side can only transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of deathlessness.


In the history of the material world everyone has tried for a permanent life but the law of nature is so cruel that nobody has surpassed the cruel hands of death. Nobody wants to die that is a practical psychology; neither anybody wants to become old or diseased. But the law of nature does not allow anybody to be permanently immune from death, old age or diseases. The material advancement of knowledge has not solved this problems of life. The material science can discover the atomic bomb to accelerate the process of death which already exists but the material science cannot discover anything which can protect a man from the cruel hands of death, diseases and old age.

From the Puranas we can learn the activities of Hiranyakashipu. This King was materially very much advanced and by his material acquisition or by the strength of his nescience, he wanted to conquer over the cruel hands of death. He underwent a severe type of meditation so much so that the whole planetary system became disturbed by his meditative mystic powers. He forced the creator of the universe namely Brahmaji to come down to him and he asked him for the benediction of becoming an Amar or one who does not die. The creator Brahma refused to award this because the creator Brahma, who commands over all the planets, is not himself an Amar. He has a long duration of life as it is confirmed in the Bhagwat Geeta but that does not mean that he has not got to die. Therefore the cunning Hiranyakasipu (Hiranya means Gold and Kasipu means soft bed. This gentleman was interested with these two things namely money and women the target of the materialist) wanted to enjoy life by becoming artificially an Amar. He asked Brahmaji many things indirectly to fulfill his desire for becoming an Amar. He asked benediction from Brahmaji that he would not be killed by any man, animal, god, or any living being within the categories of 84 lacs of specie. He also asked that he would not die in the land, in the air, in the water or by any weapon whatsoever. And so on and so on which he thought foolishly that they would guarantee him not to die. But after all although Brahmaji granted him all the benedictions, he was killed by the Personality of Godhead in a form of half man-half lion and no weapon was used to kill him except the good nails of the Lord. He was killed on the lap of the wonderful living being beyond the conception of Hiranyakashipu. The whole thing is that even Hiranya Kasipu the most powerful materialist could not become a deathless man by his various plans. Then what will do the tiny Hiranyakasipus who make a plan to be throttled by the next moment.

The Ishopanishad therefore instructs us not to make one-sided attempt to win over the struggle for existence. Everyone is struggling hard for existence but the law of material nature is so hard and fast that it does not allow anybody to surpass her inexhaustible energy. In order to have permanent life one must be prepared to go Back to Godhead. This process of going back to Godhead is a different branch of knowledge and it has to be learnt from the revealed Vedic scriptures like the Upanishads, Vedanta, Bhagwat Geeta, Bhagwat etc. Therefore to become happy in this life and to get a permanent blissful life after leaving this material body one must take to these literatures for transcendental knowledge. The forgetful living being has forgotten his eternal relation with God and he has mistakenly accepted the temporary place of birth as all in all. The Lord has kindly made all the above mentioned scriptures in India and others in other country to remind the forgetful human being that his home is not here in this material world. The living being is a spiritual entity and he can only be happy by returning to his spiritual home back to Godhead. The Personality of Godhead from His kingdom sends His bonafide servants to propagate this mission of Back to Godhead and sometimes He comes Himself to do this work. All living being are His beloved sons parts and parcels and therefore the Personality of Godhead is more sorry than ourselves for the material sufferings which we are constantly undergoing in the material conditions. The miseries of the material world are also indirect reminders of our foreign inhabitation; and intelligent living entities generally take note of these reminders and side by side engage themselves in the culture of Vidya or transcendental knowledge. The human life is the best opportunity for this culture of spiritual knowledge for returning back to Godhead and the human being who does not take advantage of this opportunity of the human life is called a Naradhama or the lowest of the human being.

The path of Avidya or material advancement of knowledge for the matter of sense gratification is repetition of death and repetition of birth also. The living entity, as he is, has no birth and death but such birth and death are concerned with the outward covering of the spirit soul compared with putting on and off of the outward garments. Foolish human being who is grossly absorbed in the culture of Avidya does not mind this cruel hands of surgical operation of birth and death but being enamoured by the beauty of illusory energy does the same thing repeatedly without any lesson from the law of nature.

Therefore the culture of Vidya or transcendental knowledge is essential for the human being. Sense enjoyment in the diseased condition of the senses must be as much restricted as possible. Unrestricted sense enjoyment in the diseased condition is the path of Avidya or death. The living entities are not without senses. Every living entity in his original spiritual form has all the senses and they are materially manifested covered by the material body and mind. Activities of the material senses are perverted reflections of the original form. Engagement of the spirit soul by the material covering is the diseased condition of the spirit soul. Real sense enjoyment is possible when the covering of the disease is removed. In our pure spiritual form freed from all material contamination and pure enjoyment of the senses is possible. A diseased person must wait for the healthy state of recovery to enjoy the real perception of senses. The aim of human life should not therefore be perverted sense enjoyment but curing the material diseases. Aggravating the material disease is no sign of Vidya. It is the sign of culturing Avidya. The degree of fever must not be increased from 105 to 107 to meet ultimate death. The degrees are to be reduced to the normal state of 97. That should be the aim of human life. The modern trend of material civilization is to increase the degree of the feverish material condition and it has reached to the point of 107 degree in the form of atomic energy and the foolish politicians are crying that at any moment the world may go to hell. That is the result of advancement of material knowledge without any reference to the most important part of life namely culture of spiritual knowledge. Here is a warning by the Ishopanishad that we must not follow such dangerous path leading to death. On the contrary we must side by side develop the culture of spiritual knowledge so that we may completely be immune from the cruel hands of death.

This does not mean that all civic activities for the maintenance of the body and soul together should be stopped altogether. There is no question of stopping the activities as there is no question of wiping out the temperature altogether. We have already tried to explain the matter by our expression to make the best use of a bad bargain. Culture of spiritual knowledge has to be done with the help of this body and mind and therefore maintenance of the body and mind is required to reach our end. The normal temperature should be maintained at the point of 97/98 but it is not to be increased to the degree of 107 foolishly. The Great Sages and saint of India wanted to maintain the normal temperature by a balanced progress of material and spiritual knowledge. They never allowed to misuse the human intelligence for the matter of diseased sense gratification. Human activities diseased by a temperament of sense gratification have been regulated in the Vedic literatures under the name of Apavarga Bartma or to the way of salvation. They are called by the name (1) religiosities (2) economic development (3) sense gratification and (4) salvation. At the present moment the people have no interest either for religiosity or for salvation. They have only one aim of life sense gratification and in order to fulfill this end of life they have different plans of economic development.

Misguided man thinks that religiosity should be taken up for economic development and economic development is required for exchange of articles for sense gratification. And in order to guarantee a further process of sense gratification after death or in the heaven there is the same repetition of the cycle of religiosity etc. But that is not the purpose of Apavarga Bartma. The path of religiosity is for self realisation. Economic development is required just to maintain the body and soul together and in sound healthy condition. A man should live in healthy condition of life with a sound mind just to realise Vidya and that is the aim of human life. The life is not meant for working like an ass and that for the culture of Avidya or sense gratification. The path of Vidya is most perfectly directed in the Srimad Bhagwat. The Bhagwat directs that a human being should utilize his life in the matter of enquiring the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realised step by step as Brahma, Paramatma and at last Bhagwan the Personality of Godhead. This Absolute Truth is realised by the broader minded man who has attained knowledge and detachment by following the 18 principles of Bhagwat Geeta (described herein before Mantra 10) which is the essence of Vedanta. The central point in the 18 principles is the attainment of transcendental devotional service of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore it is recommended for all classes men to learn the art of devotional service of the Lord. Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu by Sri Rupa Goswami (and translated by us under the title of SCIENCE OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF THE LORD) is the guaranteed path to the aim of Vidya and the culture of Vidya is summarised by the Bhagwat in the following words v.i.z.

Tasmat ekena manasa bhagwan satwatam paith
Shrotavyah kecrtitavyas cha dheyah pujyas cha nityashah

(Bhag 1.2.14)

Religiosity, economic development, sense gratification without the aim attainment of devotional service of the Lord are all different forms of culturing Avidya, as it will be shown hereafter in the Ishopanishad, and thus the culture of Vidya specially for this age is always to hear, chant and worship with concentrated attention of the Personality of Godhead, Who is the Lord of the transcendentalists directly.

Mantra 12

Andham tamah prabishanti ye asambhutim upasate tato bhuya ivatetamo ya uoo sambhutyam rata.

English Synonyms

Andham—ignorance, tamah—darkness, prabishanti—do enter into, ve—those, asambhutim—demigods, upasate—do worship, tato—more than that, bhuya—again, iva—like that, tamoe—darkness, ya—those, te—who, uoo—also, sambhutyam—in the Absolute, rata—engaged.


Those who are engaged in the worship of the demigods to enter into the darkest region of ignorance and more than them the worshipers of the Absolute do the same.


Asambhuti are those who have no independant existence and Sambhuti is the Absolute Personality of Godhead Who is absolutely independant of everything. In the Bhagwat Geeta the Absolute Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna positively declares Himself in the following words (Bg. 10.2): “I am the Supreme cause of the powers delegated to the demigods or the great sages and mystics. And because they are endowed with limited powers it is very difficult for them to know as to how do I appear Myself by My own internal potency in the form of a man. All philosophers and great Rishis or Mystics try to eliminate the Absolute from the relative by their own brain power which can help them only to reach the negative conception of the relativities without any trace of the Absolute. Definition by negation of the Absolute is not complete conception of the positive Absolute. Such negative definition helps them to make a conception of their own imagination that the Absolute must be formless, qualityless which are simply opposite numbers of the relative forms and qualities. By such conception of the Absolute they can utmost reach to the impersonal effulgence of God known as Brahman and cannot make any more progress up to the stage of Bhagwan the Personality of Godhead. Such mental speculators do not know that I am the Absolute Personality of Godhead and impersonal Brahman is the glaring effulgence of My transcendental body and Paramatma is My PARTIAL AND PLENARY all pervading representation. They do not know that I have My eternal Form with transcendental qualities of eternal bliss and knowledge. The dependant demigods or great sages imperfectly realise Me as one of the powerful demigods but they consider that the Brahman effulgence is the ultimate Absolute Truth. But My devotees by dint of their unalloyed devotion and surrender unto Me can know that I am the Absolute Person and everything emanates from Me only and thus knowing devotees continuously render loving service unto Me the Fountainhead of everything.”

In the Bhagwat Geeta it is also said that bewildered persons only driven by a strong desire for sense gratification do worship the demigods for satisfaction of temporary problems. A temporary relief from a certain difficulty by the grace of the demigods is the demand of less intelligent persons. The living being is in the material entanglement and he has got to be relieved from the material bondage for permanent relief in the spiritual plane where eternal bliss, life and knowledge exist.

The Ishopanishad therefore directs us that we should not be busy for a temporary relief by worshipping the dependant demigods who can bestow upon us a temporary benefit. But we must worship the Absolute Personality of Godhead Krishna Who is all attractive and can bestow upon us complete relief from the material bondage by going back to home back to Godhead.

In the Bhagwat Geeta it is said that the worshippers of the demigods can go up to the planets of the respective demigods. The moon worshippers can go to the moon, the sun worshippers can go to the planet of the sun and so on. Modern scientist are try

(To be continued)

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