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Published by jataveda
A scholarly commentary on Ishavasyopanishad, critically analyzes all the previous commentaries, beautifully harmonized with excellent insight and originality!
A scholarly commentary on Ishavasyopanishad, critically analyzes all the previous commentaries, beautifully harmonized with excellent insight and originality!

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Published by: jataveda on May 28, 2011
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éçäväsya upaniñad
bySwami Tyagishanandaji Maharaj
Born in 1881 at Trichhur in the royal family of Cochinas V.K. Krishna Menon had his primary education in Trichhur, did I.A at MaharajaCollege,Ernakulam getting First in Sanskrit and the Gold Medal, under the MadrasUniversity and later did B.A and Law at the Presidency College at Madras During thesedays he came into contact with Swami Ramakrishnananda at the Ramakrishna Math,Mylapore which gave a definite form to his spirit of Tyaga and Service. He got
initiation from Swami Brahmananda and secured tremendous patience and life longself-effort. After graduation in Law he practiced for some time and later gave up it alltogether because of an incident of telling lies in a case. He became the Headmaster atthe Middle School of ‘Vivekodayam Sangha’ (Sri Ramakrishna Gurukula) at Trichur in1924 and got his L.T Degree. Teaching was his life-long habit. He undertook the KeralaFlood Relief of 1924. During this time he started living at the School premises in a smallhut. Along with the influence of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideas he was a greatadmirer of Mahatma Gandhi and used Khadi throughout. The teachers and thestudents of the school spun Khadi and wore it and it became famous for its nationalisticprinciples and teachings. Mahatma Gandhi visited the school and blessed. He started aHostel seperatly for Boys and Girls for Harijan children education in 1927 at SouthPuranattukara village, inspite of the social opposition. He begged from door to door tomaintain it and few young men influenced by him joined as his companaions and manyeven joined the Order. He was a strict disciplinarian observing Ekadashi Vrata. Oncehe wanted to test whether he was truly practicing Swami Vivekanada’s ‘Daridra DevoBhava’ and feeling the presence of Shiva in every Jiva. He took a vow to worship thefirst beggar he saw and worship him as Narayana and complete the DwadashiParayana. Next day what he encountered - meeting a Lepor
egger made him disturbfor a moment but regaining he brought him inside and worshipped him formally andserved him to his heart’s content. He continued to observe this vow on all Ekadashislife-long. He lived at Tiruvannamal
i with Ramana Maharshi for some time.He joined the Order in 1922 at Madras and got his San
yasa Deeksha fromSwami Shivananda in 1932. He was the first President of the Vilangana RamakrishnaAshrama. Years of hard struggle amidst adversity broke his health and was transferredfor rest to Bangalore and was appointed as its President in 1938 where he stayed till hislast. He attained Mahasamadhi away on August 6,1951. He was known for his eruditescholarship and sterling spiritual qualities in the Sangha. His discourses and talks onthe Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutra and Bhagavata, without any reference to notesand commentaries are a legend. His work on
‘Narada Bhaktisutras’
which is a masterpiece and the article for the Cultural Heritage of India ‘Message of Bhagavata’ arewitness to his deep scholarship. Besides these two works, Svetasvatra Upanishad andMandukya Karika are available to us. Efforts are being made to make available histalks on Isavasyopanishad, Bhagavad Gita, Avatara and varied allied spiritual topics.The Shlokas very dear to him were the following ones:-
zÉÉliÉÉ qÉWûÉliÉÉå ÌlÉuÉxÉÎliÉ xÉliÉÉåuÉxÉliÉuÉssÉÉåMüÌWûiÉÇ cÉUliÉÈ|iÉÏhÉÉïÈ xuÉrÉÇ pÉÏqÉpÉuÉÉhÉïuÉÇeÉlÉÉlÉWåûiÉÑlÉÉÅlrÉÉlÉÌmÉ iÉÉUrÉliÉÈ|| 1 ||AÉlÉÑprÉ¶É zÉÉx§ÉåprÉ¶É MÑüzÉsÉÉå lÉUÈ |xÉuÉïiÉÈ xÉÉUqÉÉS±ÉiÉç mÉÑwmÉåprÉ CuÉ wÉOèûmÉSÈ || 2 ||
All spiritual knowledge is revealed by the ancient Rishis on the basis of their own spiritualexperiences. They believe that they have come into direct, actual contact with the underlyingreality of themselves and the world in the depths of their Samadhi through spiritual practice.The truths they reveal are felt by them as having been revealed to themselves by thisunderlying reality or Atman or Brahman. Hence it is said in the Purusha Sukta that the realauthor of these Vedas is God himself. Hence they may be called the word of God or Gospel.So these ancient revelations may, therefore, be considered the Gospel of the rishis as they arethe teachings of God himself given to the world by the rishis to whom they were firstrevealed vide. Purushasukta:
iÉxqÉÉiÉç rÉ¥ÉÉiÉç xÉuÉïWÒûiÉÈ
etc., where yajnameans both God, the personification of self-sacrifice as well as the sacrifice itself. The rishisthemselves were embodiments of this sacrifice viz. the distinction of egoism and all its products. The essence of such a Gospel must necessarily be expected to be, the experience of God through the destruction of 
and realization of the identitywith God himself.Veda is one of names of God, according to vishnusahasranama
uÉåSÉå uÉåSÌuÉSlrÉ…¡ûÈ.
The Gita also says
uÉå¶É uÉæïUåuÉ uÉå±ÉåuÉåSÉliÉM×ü²åSÌuÉSåuÉ cÉÉWûqÉç |.
This Veda deals with God and is means for god-realization. God is the goal and Dharma is the means. The latter consist of all thoseactivities which lead to the destruction of egoism, which is the only obstacle to Godrealization. The topic of Brahman or God is the main subject matter of the Upanishads, whichgive the essence of the Vedas as Brahman or Atman. Though the Upanishads deal also withthe spiritual practices which are helpful to the realization of God, they give mainly only theessentials of spiritual practice. The main details of this practice have to be gathered from theritualistic portion of the Srutis (the mantras and brahmanas). Of these mantras and brahmanas, Yajurveda is the most important. It deals with, as its very name indicates, yajnaor Worship of God through self-sacrifice. It has come down to us in books or shakas,Krishna-yajurveda and Shukla-yajurveda. In the former the mantras and their meanings andapplications are all jumbled up together and hence the characterization of it as Krishna or  black. Perhaps because the rituals prescribed by it and the ideal placed by it before itsvotaries is of the attainment of worldly and sensual satisfaction. Such karma is called‘Krishna-karma’ or black karma as it leads only to further ignorance or darkness andcontinued entanglement in samsara as distinguished from Shukla-karma which leads to purityof mind and realization of God. Both these karmas are distinguished from one another byPatanjali as
where, Patanjali also notes that, the activity of a realized man is above both Shukla & KrishnaIV.7. In the Shuklayajurvedathe whole thing is more neatly arranged, the mantras beingseparated from the other passages. This was done by the great sage Yajnavalkya. So we mayconsider Yajnavalkya as the rishi of Shuklayajurveda and the Veda itself as the Gospel of Yajnavalkya. (It deals with nishkama karma which leads to purity of mind and realization of God. This gospel is called Shukla for these two reasons).

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