Ishavasya Upanishad with Shankara Bhashya (Sitarama)

by S. Sitarama Sastri | 1905 | 6,256 words

The Ishavasya Upanishad (or simply Isha) is one of the shortest of its kind, and basically represents a brief philosophical poem discussing the soul/self (Atman). This edition contains the Kanva recension, consisting of 18 verses. The words “Isha vasyam” literally translates to “enveloped by the Lord” and refers to the theory of soul (Atman); a co...

विद्यां चाविद्यां च यस्तद्वेदोभयं सह ।
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययामृतमश्नुते ॥ ११ ॥

vidyāṃ cāvidyāṃ ca yastadvedobhayaṃ saha |
avidyayā mṛtyuṃ tīrtvā vidyayāmṛtamaśnute || 11 ||

11. He who simultaneously knows both Vidya and Avidya gets over Death by Avidya and attains immortality by Vidya.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—This being so, the following results. Vidya is the knowledge of the deities; Avidya is Karma. Who knows that both these should simultaneously be followed by the same person, he alone, so combining the two, gradually secures the one desirable end. ‘By Vidya’ means ‘by Karma such as Agnihotra, etc.’ ‘Death’ means ‘action and knowledge induced by Prakriti (nature).’ ‘Tirtva’ means ‘having got over.’ ‘By Avidya’ means ‘by the knowledge of the deities.’ ‘Asnute’ means ‘attains.’ To become one with the deities is what is called immortality (Amritam.)

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