Isavasya Upanishad
  • Isavasya Upanishad

Isavasya Upanishad


The greatness and the sublimity of the Upanishads are well known to all the students of philosophy. There have been attempts to approach the books through various standpoints. Much has been written over the knotty problems of interpretation, by the Eastern and Western scholars. And yet the lay reader has not understood the central teachings fully well. Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, in his comprehensive volume The Principal Upanishads has given exhaustive commentary on Nine Upanishads and stressed such points clearly and truly, explaining the abstruse ideas in his own inimitable style, thus laying bare the sacred doctrine not only before the eligible pupil but also the lay reader. For the convenience of the readers, we are bringing out each Upanishad in a separate book. The present volume contains the text, translation, notes and commentary on Isavasya Upanishad.

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Other Books in This Series:

  1. Aitareya Upanishad
  2. Isavasya Upanishad
  3. Kathopanishad
  4. Kenopanishad
  5. Mandukya Upanishad
  6. Mundaka Upanishad
  7. Prasna Upanishad
  8. Svetasvatara Upanishad
  9. Taittiriya Upanishad


The Isavasya Upanishad is a beautiful Upanishad. The very first line of the first Mantra, "Isavasyamidam sarvam—This whole world is covered by the Lord", induces a thrilling inspiration in the minds of the readers. Meditation on this idea alone will lead to the attainment of the Knowledge of the Self. He who contemplates on the significance of the first line will become a Seer of Oneness, a Knower of the Self. He will have a direct vision of the Reality and inner Illumination. The Upanishad, though apparently simple and intelligible, is in reality one of the most difficult to understand properly.

The aspirant should sit at the lotus-feet of an experienced teacher, a Shrotriyam, a Brahma-Nishtha, and study this Upanishad with one-pointed and pure mind. Then everything will become quite clear. The reader should try to grasp clearly the meanings of the terms Vidya, Avidya, Sambhuti, Asambhuti, Vinasha, Death, Immortality, Krato, etc. Immortality here means relative immortality, not absolute Immortality.

This Upanishad prescribes two paths, viz., the path of renunciation or Jnana Yoga for Sannyasins, and the path of action or Karma Yoga for those who cannot renounce the world. The desirability of combining Karma with the worship of deity (inferior knowledge of god), and of combining worship of Hiranyagarbha with the worship of Avyaktam or unborn Prakriti is mentioned in this Upanishad. Live in the spirit of this Upanishad. Realise the Self. Rejoice in Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. May the blessings of the seers of the Upanishad be upon you all!