Dear friends,

The Ishopanishad (Isa Upanishad) is considered to be the foundation stone of Upanishadic knowledge. There are only eighteen mantras (brief verses) in this short Upanishad. The study of these mantras reveals that this Upanishad is complete in itself, though other Upanishads similarly describe Vedanta philosophy in detail. The Ishopanishad forms the 40th chapter of the Kanva Shakha of the Yajurveda. After the initial invocation of peace we divide it into four portions, or padas, for the sake of explaining it to the sadhakas, meaning,the aspirants for the divine knowledge.
On to the summary of the Isa Upanishad


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The first pada of the Ishopanishad consists of the first three mantras. They throw light on Brahmavidya, the knowledge of Brahman, and the ways to obtain it. The first and the second mantras are so profound that the Gita seems only an elaboration of their message. This first pada gives the key to the art of living and the means of knowing the mysteries of life and death. Sincere and faithful observance of the instructions given in the first portion of this Upanishad gives one a glimpse of Brahmavidya.

The second pada of this Upanishad begins with the fourth mantra and ends with the eighth mantra. These five mantras have described those principles of Brahmavidya, the sacred knowledge which establishes the sadhaka (aspirant) in his own true self and makes him free from all evils and impurities.

The third pada of the Ishopanishad begins with the ninth mantra and ends with the sixteenth mantra. For those worthy of Upanishadic knowledge, it sets up methods to obtain knowledge of Brahman.

The fourth portion of this Upanishad consists of mantras seventeen and eighteen. These two mantras concern the art and science of death. They contain the secret of the prayers and petition of the sadhaka quitting this world, as we all must do.

This brief outline can only suggest the value of the important instructions and deep secrets contained in the Ishopanishad. The answer to all the important questions of life are to be found in this short Upanishad. It is an ideal book of Vedanta philosophy. Every sadhaka can succeed in obtaining his end by studying it and by following its ideals.

(This article is posted here only with the view to share this divine knowledge.)