Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 405

In English the word ontology is a part of metaphysics. Metaphysics means, − ‘meta’ means after and ‘physics’ is the study of matter. After physics, what you study is called metaphysics. First of all you study physics, when you've finished physics totally then you go beyond it, then you come to metaphysics. Because physics only tells you how matters looks, how matter appears, but what is matter in itself? If matters looks to be living then what is behind living matter, matter looks to be thinking then what is behind thinking matter. Behind thinking, living matter, what is real? That is metaphysics and that is the statement of ontology. Ontology states what is ultimately Real. It may seem to be opposed to all that appears but that is the Real Reality. So, if you want to challenge a statement, you should be a metaphysician. You should have studied everything in the world and then gone beyond and then you can make the statement.The first statement of the Isha Upanishad is an ontological statement, it goes beyond all ordinary statements or studies.

But now the very second statement is not ontological, in normal books of philosophy you have statements of ontology, one after the other. The second statement is an axiological statement. What is axiology? When you speak of a language there are two words which you use, which you must have noticed, one is a word called ‘is’, this is a word which are used very often, table is smooth, table is in front of me − all the statements are confined to the word ‘is’. There is another word, which is called, ‘aught’. I ought to do, he ought to do, I ought to run, I ought to eat or I ought to eat less, or even in proportion otherwise I will become fat etc. This ‘aught’ is a different kind of a statement. You will not find anything in the world which is ‘aught’, you only find what ‘is’. So, this word ‘aught’ is a very special kind of word, it doesn't seem to be existing anywhere in the world. It is a word which expresses something that ‘ought’ to be. Not that which ‘is’ but which ‘ought’ to be. That statement which refers to that ‘ought’ to be, is called axiological statement. Axiology is a study of values. What is value? Value is that which is to be attained, which is not there. Why do I study, why should I study, why ought I to study because I value knowledge. If I don't value knowledge, I don't bother about studies, why should I go to school?  Because there is something through the study that to get which is not there in you now but which can come to you, which ought to come to you, which will come to you. So, there is this idea of a value.

Now let us try to understand these two words in a very different manner, by using two other words that which ‘exists’ is called positive that which ‘is’ this positive, − it is. But that which is not but which ‘ought’ to be is called normative. That which ‘is’, is positive that which ‘ought’ to be, is normative. The second statement says, you ought to enjoy, you must enjoy all, this world is for enjoyment. You ought to enjoy but in order that you can enjoy there is a difference in ‘ought’ and ‘can’. I ought, therefore I can but merely saying this aught is not can, ‘aught’ is the condition of ‘can’ because it ought to be enjoyed, therefore you can. You can enjoy, you ought to enjoy but when can you enjoy? In every axiological statement there are three steps, − what you ought to do, what you can do, and by what means can you do it. Every axiological statement is complete; when these three parts are present otherwise it is not complete. If I tell Betina, you should study but if I don't tell how she should study, my statement is not complete. Most of the teachers are incompetent because of this very reason. They simply say study, study, but they don't tell you how to study. What is the real means by which you can study; therefore these axiological statements are incomplete? You have to say you ought to study, you can study and this is how you can study. All these three statements if you make then the axiological statement is complete.

You look at every axiological statement, there are so many axiological statements; I ought not to hurt others, it is not a axiological statement. Is it possible for me not to hurt others, can I try; very few people answer this question. I ought not to hurt others but can I really be in a state where I can not hurt others? How is it possible for me to arrive at a state in which I cannot hurt others and therefore, I fulfil the idea that I ought not to hurt. If all the three statements are given together, you can say it is a complete axiological statement. Basically you have no right to tell anybody you ought to do this, unless you can give all the three aspects. You say ‘aught’, ‘can’ and this ‘is’ the means by which you can do it, then it is satisfying. Why many children obey you, some children do not obey you because when you make an axiological statement you do not tell the child that you can do it and then you do not show the way by which it can be done, therefore many children do not obey you because you have not explained properly. If you really explain properly, you can say that this ought to be done, can be done and this is the means by which you can do it, − so a complete statement.

 This particular statement it says you ought to enjoy, you can enjoy and a method of enjoyment is ‘ten tyakten’, by renouncing. If you really want to enjoy an object, you renounce it; it's one of the most difficult statements. As I said usually you enjoy by grabbing, grasping, possessing. This Upanishad says that is a wrong method, even if you think that you're enjoying, you will never be able to enjoy. To grasp something, consume it, after some time you will feel dissatisfied, it's gone. There is again a need to enjoy, again you grasp something, you try again, again you come to the same state, either of dissatisfaction or indifference or another desire to take something further, you really do not enjoy. True enjoyment is in which you really enjoy, there is only joy and nothing remains, you are really satisfied and nothing more remains to be done. That satisfaction, that enjoyment is possible and you ought to enjoy it but there is a condition how do you do it, − renounce it. Very hard saying, renounce it and yet enjoy it. It looks like an opposition, enjoy by renunciation. Now, if you ask the question, why these kinds of means have been discovered by the Rishis of the Upanishads?

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