Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 403

As a part of our Super school program, in which we do not live merely in thinking, but we are also striving to arrive at experience, it is that exercise which we're going to do while studying it. The Upanishad starts by saying that everything in the world is in motion, whether it is small or big. Everything is a complex structure, such a complex structure that it is like dwelling house. Everything in the world has a complex structure and is in motion and yet capable of becoming a dwelling house, to become a habitation. Each of these statements is a drastic statement, it is true that we see many things in motion but everything we do not see in motion, for example this table is stable, this flowerpot is not moving, this chair is stable, we are all stable at this moment and are sitting quietly. And yet the Upanishad says that everything and even we are in motion. At one time it was thought that everything is in motion that there is one thing that is not in motion and that is atom. The atom, the smallest particle of matter, you cut this matter into small pieces and yet smaller pieces, right up to the end; you come to a smallest particle, which remains the same, it is not in motion. During the last hundred years or more, physicists have said even this particle is not stable. What the Upanishad said 5000 years ago, is now proved only 150 years ago that this atom is not stable, it is also in constant motion. It has been found that what we call atom is largely hollow, which seems to be so solid. In that hollowness there are sparks, these sparks are constantly in motion. They call it electricity; it is electricity which is in constant motion in a certain organised manner. As the Upanishad says that everything in the world has complex structure, therefore fit for habitation. Something can become fit for habitation only if there is some regular structure. In the atom you will find there is a regular structured. There is a centre, which is called nucleus and there are protons and electrons, the positive charges and the negative charges. Electrons are constantly rotating around the nucleus, this is the minimum and afterwards they found that there are hundreds of such particles not only one or two or three, and as you go deeper you find still further. So, imagine when the Upanishad said everything in the world, even the smallest, even the microcosm. Microcosm is that which is smaller than smallest, macrocosm is that which is higher than highest. Whether you take the whole world, the whole universe, the largest body or bodies, or you take the smallest, everything is in motion. This is the first statement to be understood from this Upanishad that it states that everything in the world is in motion.

Secondly that this thing that is in motion has a complex structure, such a complex structure that it can become a place for habitation; it can be a dwelling place, dwelling place for whom or for what? That is the first verse of this Upanishad; it says that it is the habitation of Isha. What is Isha? It's a Sanskrit word which we must learn. There are many things which you need not learn in Sanskrit but this is one word that you must learn because the whole Upanishads is named after this word, ‘Isha’. This Upanishads is called Isha Upanishad. What is the meaning of the word Isha? Isha comes from the word called ish, ish is to rule, therefore, Isha is the ruler. All this world whether it is small or big, is a structure, which is in motion and it is meant for the habitation by the Lord, by the ruler. You have the first concept here of the ruler, it is a word which corresponds to nothing that we see in the world that is which is in motion. We can to some extent see that this word ‘Isha’ refers to something which is not visible at all to our senses. Therefore, this is the one word on which we will contemplate and try to experience because there is nothing in our experience. No one can say that I have experienced the Lord or there is a ruler. In fact we do not find the ruler anywhere; we find the whole world is flat. The word ‘Isha’ is one of the most important word in the Upanishad. This is the first sentence: all that is in the world and the world itself whether small or big is in constant motion and it is meant for habitation by the Lord.

The second statement looks like a jump, a giant step: Ten Tyaktena bhunjitha, it's a Sanskrit expression, one of the most famous expressions in Sanskrit. It says all this is not only for the habitation by the Lord, it is also meant for enjoyment. All this is for enjoyment. I'm seeing a glass before me, it is not an object of enjoyment for me and I only see it. But if I'm very thirsty and this glass is full of water and it is by drinking the contents of this glass that my thirst is quenched, it's an object of enjoyment. So, there's a difference between an object of perception and an object of enjoyment. Many things in the world we only see and watch, and we watch in different states of consciousness. Supposing you are in a great hurry and you are running at that time and there is a beautiful sunrise. You're running and somebody says, ‘Look! What a beautiful sunrise’. You have no time to enjoy the sunrise because you are in a great hurry; the state of consciousness is different. Or supposing, you're extremely tired, you just want to sleep and somebody says, “Look, what a beautiful sunset’, you feel no interest in seeing the sunset because you want to sleep, as soon as possible. So that beautiful sunset has no meaning for you, it is not an object for your enjoyment.

This statement says that everything in the world, you should be in such a state of consciousness every moment that everything is meant for your enjoyment. You can enjoy sunrise all the time, even to write a good poem that much leisure you should have to watch the sun and to imagine and to make a beautiful painting on the canvas. If you want to enjoy anything properly, you should have a state of leisure, you should have such a state of consciousness that you are not pressed, compelled by anything. It is in that state of consciousness, the more quiet you are the greater is the capacity of enjoyment.

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