Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Mantra 11 , Los Angeles , 1970-05-16


oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

[Īśo Invocation]

īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

[Īśo mantra 1]

kurvann eveha karmāṇi
jijīviṣec chataṁ samāḥ
evaṁ tvayi nānyatheto 'sti
na karma lipyate nare

[Īśo mantra 2]

asuryā nāma te lokā
andhena tamasāvṛtāḥ
tāṁs te pretyābhigacchanti
ye ke cātma-hano janāḥ

[Īśo mantra 3]

anejad ekaṁ manaso javīyo
nainad devā āpnuvan pūrvam arṣat
tad dhāvato 'nyān atyeti tiṣṭhat
tasminn apo mātariśvā dadhāti

[Īśo mantra 4]

tad ejati tan naijati
tad dūre tad v antike
tad antar asya sarvasya
tad u sarvasyāsya bāhyataḥ

[Īśo mantra 5]

yas tu sarvāṇi bhūtāny
ātmany evānupaśyati
sarva-bhūteṣu cātmānaṁ
tato na vijugupsate

[Īśo mantra 6]

yasmin sarvāṇi bhūtāny
ātmaivābhūd vijānataḥ
tatra ko mohaḥ kaḥ śoka
ekatvam anupaśyataḥ

[Īśo mantra 7]

sa paryagāc chukram akāyam avraṇam
asnāviram śuddham apāpa-viddham
kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr
yāthātathyato 'rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ

[Īśo mantra 8]

andhaṁ tamaḥ praviśanti
ye 'vidyām upāsate
tato bhūya iva te tamo
ya u vidyāyām ratāḥ

[Īśo mantra 9]

anyad evāhur vidyayā-
nyad āhur avidyayā
iti śuśruma dhīrāṇāṁ
ye nas tad vicacakṣire

[Īśo mantra 10]

vidyāṁ cāvidyāṁ ca yas
tad vedobhayaṁ saha
avidyayā mṛtyuṁ tīrtvā
vidyayāmṛtam aśnute

[Īśo mantra 11]

Avidyayā mṛtyuṁ.


"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."

So people do not understand what is immortality. They think that it is a vague idea, because no knowledge. So many things... We are very proud of our advancement of knowledge. So many things we do not know, and it is not possible to know, even by our modern experimental knowledge. It is not possible. Therefore, if you want real knowledge, then you go to knowledge. Vedas mean knowledge. These Vedas means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jñāne. Veda, Veda means knowledge.

So if you want real knowledge, then you have to take shelter of these Vedas, Vedic literature, just like Īśopaniṣad. There are 108 Upaniṣads, out of which nine are very important. Out of that nine, this Īśopaniṣad stands first; then Taittirīya Upaniṣad, Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad, Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad. So the Upaniṣad... Upa, upa means nearing. So this knowledge will take you nearer to Kṛṣṇa.

And amongst the learned society, ācāryas, the śruti-pramāṇa... Evidence is śruti. Śruti means these Vedas. They are not experimental knowledge. They are not knowledge established by the research work of contaminated, conditioned soul. Contaminated, conditioned soul, their senses are imperfect. They cannot see things as they are. Simply they theorize: "It may be like that." So much they can say. So "It may be like that," that is not knowledge. Knowledge, definite. There is no mistake.

Conditioned souls, they commit mistake, they are illusioned, they cheat... Cheating means one who does not understand what is Bhagavad-gītā but he is writing commentary on Bhagavad-gītā. This is cheating, cheating the public. Somebody has got some name, a scholar, and he takes advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gītā, and he writes some comment. And they claim that anyone can give his own opinion. But that is not the process. You cannot give any opinion.

Suppose I am a preacher of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How I can give opinion on medical science? That is ludicrous. I can give opinion in my jurisdiction—that's all right—but if somebody asks me opinion about some medical treatment or some legal implication, so what can I do? Similarly, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānam

Tattva-darśinaḥ means one who has seen, one who has realized the Absolute Truth. So you have to go there.

So avidyā mṛtyum. If you do not go, then you remain in darkness. It is... Vedic injunction is gacchet. This is a verb, form of verb, which says "must." It is not that "Oh, I may accept a spiritual master; I may not. There are books. I shall learn it." No. Therefore the injunction is gacchet. Gacchet means "must go," not that alternative, may go or may not go. No. "Must go." Tad-vijñānārtham: in order to understand that knowledge, that science, you must go. Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham [MU 1.2.12]. Otherwise you remain in avidyā.

Vidyām avidyām ca: two sides, darkness and light. So you must know two things: what is māyā and what is Kṛṣṇa. Then your knowledge is perfect. Of course, Kṛṣṇa is so nice that somehow or other, if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, then your all business finished. You automatically will learn what is māyā if you have got full surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will give you intelligence from within.

Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151], Caitanya-caritāmṛta. "By the mercy of spiritual master and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, one enters into this devotional service." How is that? The mercy is parallel line. If you have not found out a spiritual master, but if you are sincere, then Kṛṣṇa will take you to a bona fide spiritual master. And if you get a bona fide spiritual master, then he will take you to Kṛṣṇa. So both things parallel.

If you are sincere... Kṛṣṇa is always sitting within your heart, caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. That spiritual master within the heart manifests himself externally as spiritual master. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ **. Sākṣāt, directly, directly representative of Kṛṣṇa. This is the verdict of all śāstras. Samasta. Samasta means all śāstra. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva. And it is not only stated, but it is accepted as such by all great sadbhiḥ, devotees.

So vidyā and avidyā. We should learn what is vidyā and avidyā. Avidyā means this materialistic knowledge. That is avidyā. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, jaḍa vidyā sab māyāra vaibhava: "Advancement of material knowledge means advancement of māyā's jurisdiction." The more you become implicated in material knowledge, entangled, you..., less you can understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

People, those who are supposed to be very advanced in material knowledge, they think, "Eh, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement?" They have no attraction. Just like some of our Indian boys sometimes come. They have come here to learn technology. So sometimes they question. They are surprised that... They have rejected these things, and they have come here to learn technology. So when they see that Swāmījī introduced the things which they have rejected in India, so they are surprised.

So I also came for that purpose, because our modern India has rejected the spiritual knowledge. They are thinking that if they can imitate westernized technology, then they will be happy. This is māyā. They do not see that those who are advanced three hundred times more than us in technology, what they have got? They do not see that. India cannot advance in technology like America or Europe at least for three hundred years more, because in these Western countries they have taken this business since a very long time.

But Indian culture, beginning from the creation, is spiritual culture. Vyāsadeva... Just see Vyāsadeva. He is the original guru, spiritual master, of Vedic knowledge. How he was living? In a cottage in Badarikāśrama. But just see his knowledge. He has written so many Purāṇas, and Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of them. The Vedānta philosophy, Mahābhārata, each and every verse if you study, you can study for the whole life. Similarly, in some book he has written 100,000's of verses, not less than 20,000, 25,000 verses. And each verse is so full of meaning that one has to learn it throughout his whole life. This is Vedic culture.

There is no comparison of knowledge, not only in spiritual knowledge, in other department also—in astronomy, in mathematics. It is not that in the olden age there were no aeroplanes. We get so many information from Purāṇas. Their aeroplane was so strong and so, I mean to say, speedy, they could easily reach other planets. Arjuna went to the heavenly planet.

So material knowledge, advancement, is not that there was no advancement of material knowledge in the Vedic age. It was there, but they did not take much care of it. They were interested for spiritual knowledge. It is not that material knowledge was not there. It was there. The opulence... That opulence you cannot compare now. Gold, jewels, full—every city, every individual person, and what to speak of kings and rich men.

So avidyā and vidyā. So one should know side by side what is vidyā and what is avidyā. So avidyāya, if we advance in avidyā, or material science, then we have to repeat this birth and death, birth and... And there is no guarantee where I shall get my next birth. That is not in your hand. You cannot dictate. Now you are happy American, but after quitting this body you cannot dictate, "Please give me again an American body." No. That is not possible. You may get an American body, but you may get the American animal's body. Then you are meant for slaughterhouse.

So this material knowledge, this nationalism, this socialism, they are simply spoiling time. Real knowledge is the Vedic knowledge and the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. That is real knowledge. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante [Bg. 7.19]. Therefore one who is in real knowledge, after many, many births, he comes to Kṛṣṇa and surrenders unto Him, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti: "Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa, You are everything."

So that knowledge we are trying to distribute freely, without any charges. So our mission is very great. You should be conscious of this responsibility. We are giving this supermost thing to the human society. So you try yourself to understand thoroughly and distribute. That will make you very much, I mean to say, dear to Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ [Bg. 18.69]: "Anyone who is preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness knowledge, oh, nobody is dearer than him to Me." So if you want to be very dear to Kṛṣṇa quickly, so you preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement very nicely.

Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances] [end]

tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham

"To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth."

[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]

tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham

"To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth."

[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]