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Sri Isopanisad

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o pram ada pram ida
prt pram udacyate
prasya pram dya
pram evvaiyate
othe Complete Whole; pramperfectly complete; adathat; pram
perfectly complete; idamthis phenomenal world; prtfrom the all-perfect;
pramcomplete unit; udacyateis produced; prasyaof the Complete Whole;
pramcompletely, all; dyahaving been taken away; pramthe complete
balance; evaeven; avaiyateis remaining.
The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely
perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped
as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in
itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate
from Him, He remains the complete balance.
Mantra One
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vsyam idam sarva
yat kica jagaty jagat
tena tyaktena bhujth
m gdha kasya svid dhanam
aby the Lord; vsyamcontrolled; idamthis; sarvamall; yat kicawhatever;
jagatymwithin the universe; jagatall that is animate or inanimate; tenaby Him;
tyaktenaset-apart quota; bhujthyou should accept; mdo not; gdha
endeavor to gain; kasya svitof anyone else; dhanamthe wealth.
Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by
the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are
set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom
they belong.
Mantra Two
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kurvann eveha karmi
jijviec chata sam
eva tvayi nnyatheto 'sti
na karma lipyate nare
kurvandoing continuously; evathus; ihaduring this span of life; karmiwork;
jijvietone should desire to live; atamone hundred; samyears; evamso
living; tvayiunto you; nano; anyathalternative; itafrom this path; asti
there is; nanot; karmawork; lipyatecan be bound; nareunto a man.
One may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he continuously goes on working in that
way, for that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. There is no alternative
to this way for man.
Mantra Three
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taAMstae aetyaAiBagAcC$inta
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asury nma te lok
andhena tamasvt
ts te pretybhigacchanti
ye ke ctma-hano jan
asurymeant for the asuras; nmafamous by the name; tethose; lokplanets;
andhenaby ignorance; tamasby darkness; vtcovered; tnthose planets;
tethey; pretyaafter death; abhigacchantienter into; yeanyone; keeveryone;
caand; tmahanathe killers of the soul; janpersons.
The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known as the
worlds of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance.
Mantra Four
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anejad eka manaso javyo
nainad dev pnuvan prvam arat
tad dhvato 'nyn atyeti tihat
tasminn apo mtariv dadhti
anejatfixed; ekamone; manasathan the mind; javyamore swift; nanot;
enatthis Supreme Lord; devthe demigods like Indra, etc.; pnuvancan
approach; prvamin front; aratmoving quickly; tatHe; dhvatathose who are
running; anynothers; atyetisurpasses; tihatremaining in one place; tasminin
Him; aparain; mtarivthe gods who control the wind and rain; dadhtisupply.
Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and
can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him.
Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in

Mantra Five
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tad ejati tan naijati
tad dre tad v antike
tad antar asya sarvasya
tad u sarvasysya bhyata
tatthis Supreme Lord; ejatiwalks; tatHe; nanot; ejatiwalks; tatHe; dre
far away; tatHe; ualso; antikevery near; tatHe; antawithin; asyaof this;
sarvasyaof all; tatHe; ualso; sarvasyaof all; asyaof this; bhyataexternal
The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but He is very near as well.
He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything.
Mantra Six
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yas tu sarvi bhtny
tmany evnupayati
sarva-bhteu ctmna
tato na vijugupsate
yahe who; tubut; sarviall; bhtniliving entities; tmaniin relation to
the Supreme Lord; evaonly; anupayatiobserves in a systematic way; sarva-
bhteuin every living being; caand; tmnamthe Supersoul; tatathereafter;
nanot; vijugupsatehates anyone.
He who sees systematically everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all
living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within
everything never hates anything or any being.
Mantra Seven
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taa k(Ae maAeh": k(: zAAek(
yasmin sarvi bhtny
tmaivbhd vijnata
tatra ko moha ka oka
ekatvam anupayata
yasminin the situation; sarviall; bhtniliving entities; tmthe; citkaa,
or spiritual spark; evaonly; abhtexist as; vijnataof one who knows; tatra
therein; kawhat; mohaillusion; kawhat; okaanxiety; ekatvamoneness
in quality; anupayataof one who sees through authority, or one who sees constantly
like that.
One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord,
becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?
Mantra Eight
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sa paryagc chukram akyam avraam
asnviram uddham appa-viddham
kavir man paribh svayambhr
ythtathyato 'rthn vyadadhc chvatbhya sambhya
sathat person; paryagtmust know in fact; ukramthe omnipotent; akyam
unembodied; avraamwithout reproach; asnviramwithout veins; uddham
antiseptic; appa-viddhamprophylactic; kaviomniscient; manphilosopher;
paribhthe greatest of all; svayambhself-sufficient; ythtathyatajust in
pursuance of; arthndesirables; vyadadhtawards; vatbhyaimmemorial;
Such a person must factually know the greatest of all, the Personality of Godhead, who
is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated,
the self-sufficient philosopher who has been fulfilling everyone's desire since time
Mantra Nine
@nDaM tama: aivazAinta yae'ivaAmaupaAs$atae
tataAe BaUya wva tae tamaAe ya o ivaAyaAataA:
andha tama pravianti
ye 'vidym upsate
tato bhya iva te tamo
ya u vidyym rat
andhamgross ignorance; tamadarkness; praviantienter into; yethose who;
avidymnescience; upsateworship; tatathan that; bhyastill more; iva
like; tethey; tamadarkness; yethose who; ualso; vidyymin the culture of
knowledge; ratengaged.
Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region
of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge.
Mantra Ten
wita zAuauma DaIr"ANAAM
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anyad evhur vidyay-
nyad hur avidyay
iti uruma dhr
ye nas tad vicacakire
anyatdifferent; evacertainly; husaid; vidyayby culture of knowledge;
anyatdifferent; husaid; avidyayby culture of nescience; itithus; urumaI
heard; dhrmfrom the sober; yewho; nato us; tatthat; vicacakire
The wise have explained that one result is derived from the culture of knowledge and
that a different result is obtained from the culture of nescience.
As advised in Chapter Thirteen of the Bhagavad-gita (13.8-12), one should culture
knowledge in the following way:
(1) One should become a perfect gentleman and learn to give proper respect to others.
(2) One should not pose himself as a religionist simply for name and fame.
(3) One should not become a source of anxiety to others by the actions of his body, by
the thoughts of his mind, or by his words.
(4) One should learn forbearance even in the face of provocation from others.
(5) One should learn to avoid duplicity in his dealings with others.
(6) One should search out a bona fide spiritual master who can lead him gradually to the
stage of spiritual realization, and one must submit himself to such a spiritual master,
render him service and ask relevant questions.
(7) In order to approach the platform of self-realization, one must follow the regulative
principles enjoined in the revealed scriptures.
(8) One must be fixed in the tenets of the revealed scriptures.
(9) One should completely refrain from practices which are detrimental to the interest
of self-realization.
(10) One should not accept more than he requires for the maintenance of the body.
(11) One should not falsely identify himself with the gross material body, nor should one
consider those who are related to his body to be his own.
(12) One should always remember that as long as he has a material body he must face the
miseries of repeated birth, old age, disease and death. There is no use in making plans to
get rid of these miseries of the material body. The best course is to find out the means by
which one may regain his spiritual identity.
(13) One should not be attached to more than the necessities of life required for spiritual
(14) One should not be more attached to wife, children and home than the revealed
scriptures ordain.
(15) One should not be happy or distressed over desirables and undesirables, knowing
that such feelings are just created by the mind.
(16) One should become an unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna,
and serve Him with rapt attention.
(17) One should develop a liking for residence in a secluded place with a calm and quiet
atmosphere favorable for spiritual culture, and one should avoid congested places where
nondevotees congregate.
(18) One should become a scientist or philosopher and conduct research into spiritual
knowledge, recognizing that spiritual knowledge is permanent whereas material
knowledge ends with the death of the body.
These eighteen items combine to form a gradual process by which real knowledge can be
developed. Except for these, all other methods are considered to be in the category of
Mantra Eleven
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vidy cvidy ca yas
tad vedobhaya saha
avidyay mtyu trtv
vidyaymtam anute
vidymknowledge in fact; caand; avidymnescience; caand; yaa person
who; tatthat; vedaknows; ubhayamboth; sahasimultaneously; avidyayby
culture of nescience; mtyumrepeated death; trtvtranscending; vidyayby
culture of knowledge; amtamdeathlessness; anuteenjoys.
Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge
side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full
blessings of immortality.
Mantra Twelve
@nDaM tama: aivazAinta
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ya o s$amBaU tyaAataA:
andha tama pravianti
ye 'sambhtim upsate
tato bhya iva te tamo
ya u sambhtym rat
andhamignorance; tamadarkness; praviantienter into; yethose who;
asambhtimdemigods; upsateworship; tatathan that; bhyastill more;
ivalike that; tethose; tamadarkness; yewho; ualso; sambhtymin the
Absolute; ratengaged.
Those who are engaged in the worship of demigods enter into the darkest region of
ignorance, and still more so do the worshipers of the impersonal Absolute.
Mantra Thirteen
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itaita zAuauma DaIr"ANAAM
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anyad evhu sambhavd
anyad hur asambhavt
iti uruma dhr
ye nas tad vicacakire
anyatdifferent; evacertainly; huit is said; sambhavtby worshiping the
Supreme Lord, the cause of all causes; anyatdifferent; huit is said; asambhavt
by worshiping what is not the Supreme; itithus; urumaI heard it; dhrmfrom
the undisturbed authorities; yewho; naunto us; tatabout that subject matter;
vicacakireperfectly explained.
It is said that one result is obtained by worshiping the supreme cause of all causes and
that another result is obtained by worshiping what is not supreme. All this is heard from
the undisturbed authorities, who clearly explained it.
Mantra Fourteen
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sambhti ca vina ca
yas tad vedobhaya saha
vinena mtyu trtv
sambhtymtam anute
sambhtimthe eternal Personality of Godhead, His transcendental name, form,
pastimes, qualities and paraphernalia, the variegatedness of His abode, etc.; caand;
vinamthe temporary material manifestation of demigods, men, animals, etc., with
their false names, fame, etc.; caalso; yaone who; tatthat; vedaknows;
ubhayamboth; sahaalong with; vinenawith everything liable to be vanquished;
mtyumdeath; trtvsurpassing; sambhtyin the eternal kingdom of God;
amtamdeathlessness; anuteenjoys.
One should know perfectly the Personality of Godhead r Ka and His
transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes, as well as the temporary material
creation with its temporary demigods, men and animals. When one knows these, he
surpasses death and the ephemeral cosmic manifestation with it, and in the eternal
kingdom of God he enjoys his eternal life of bliss and knowledge.
Mantra Fifteen
ih"r"Nmayaena paAae NA
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hiramayena ptrea
satyasypihita mukham
tat tva pann apvu
satya-dharmya daye
hiramayenaby a golden effulgence; ptreaby a dazzling covering; satyasyaof
the Supreme Truth; apihitamcovered; mukhamthe face; tatthat covering;
tvamYourself; panO sustainer; apvukindly remove; satyapure;
dharmyaunto the devotee; dayefor exhibiting.
O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling
effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.
Mantra Sixteen
paUSaaek(SaeR yama s$aUyaR aAjaApatya
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pann ekare yama srya prjpatya
vyha ramn samha
tejo yat te rpa kalya-tama
tat te paymi yo 'sv asau purua so 'ham asmi
panO maintainer; eka-ethe primeval philosopher; yamathe regulating
principle; sryathe destination of the sris (great devotees); prjpatyathe well-
wisher of the prajpatis (progenitors of mankind); vyhakindly remove; ramnthe
rays; samhakindly withdraw; tejaeffulgence; yatso that; teYour; rpam
form; kalya-tamammost auspicious; tatthat; teYour; paymiI may see;
yaone who is; asaulike the sun; asauthat; puruaPersonality of Godhead;
samyself; ahamI; asmiam.
O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle,
destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please
remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss.
You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I.
Mantra Seventeen
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maAe"M (taAe smar" k{(taM smar"
(taAe smar" k{(taM smar"
vyur anilam amtam
atheda bhasmnta arram
o krato smara kta smara
krato smara kta smara
vyuair of life; anilamtotal reservoir of air; amtamindestructible; athanow;
idamthis; bhasmntamafter being turned to ashes; arrambody; oO Lord;
kratoO enjoyer of all sacrifices; smaraplease remember; ktamall that has been
done by me; smaraplease remember; kratoO supreme beneficiary; smaraplease
remember; ktamall that I have done for You; smaraplease remember.
Let this temporary body be burnt to ashes, and let the air of life be merged with the
totality of air. Now, O my Lord, please remember all my sacrifices, and because You are
the ultimate beneficiary, please remember all that I have done for You.
Mantra Eighteen
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agne naya supath rye asmn
vivni deva vayunni vidvn
yuyodhy asmaj juhuram eno
bhyih te nama-ukti vidhema
agneO my Lord, as powerful as fire; nayakindly lead; supathby the right path;
ryefor reaching You; asmnus; vivniall; devaO my Lord; vayunni
actions; vidvnthe knower; yuyodhikindly remove; asmatfrom us; juhuram
all hindrances on the path; enaall vices; bhyihmmost numerous; teunto
You; nama uktimwords of obeisance; vidhemaI do.
O my Lord, as powerful as fire, O omnipotent one, now I offer You all obeisances, falling
on the ground at Your feet. O my Lord, please lead me on the right path to reach You,
and since You know all that I have done in the past, please free me from the reactions to
my past sins so that there will be no hindrance to my progress.