The most important statement of this Upanishad is, it simply says we should be engaged in doing works here on this earth and continue to be doing so even for hundred years. And it adds one short sentence, works do not bind you, works do not cause bondage, works can be done in a state of freedom. So, I shall repeat this particular statement because it is so important, it says:
‘Doing verily works in this world one should wish to live a hundred years. Thus it is in thee and not otherwise than this; action cleaves not to a man’.
This is the literal translation of the beautiful verse in Sanskrit,
kurvann eveha karmāni jijivisec chatam samāh
evam tyayi nānyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare.
This is in Sanskrit, it has beautiful rhythm. You know Sanskrit is one of the best poetic expressions in Indian literature. Doing verily works in this world one should wish to live a hundred years, thus it is in thee, not otherwise than this; action cleaves not to a man.
What is the need of this particular injunction, you saw yesterday that the message of the Isha Upanishad is that there should be enjoyment, but the true enjoyment comes only by renunciation because normally we try to enjoy this thing or that thing, but the true enjoyment comes only when you possess all, not this or that. If you possess only this or that, it is only temporary or transitory and that traces of this pleasure always end in pain. Therefore, if you really want enjoyment you should possess all and for possession of all you should renounce this, that, everything, by renunciation you can possess all. And by possession of all, you enjoy all, and all is nothing but that which is ruled by the Supreme. There are three terms; Supreme, all, yourself. All this is nothing but motion but motion which creates structures, structures which are dwelling places and dwelling places are for habitation but habitation by the Lord. You somehow find yourself in this flux; you do not know who you are, how you are related to all the things around, how you are related to the Lord. Each one of us is therefore, a kind of a stranger looking hither and thither, and in this movement we are grasping at things, trying to enjoy and finding that everything slips away from your hands like water. We do not know, how rightly to possess everything, how rightly to enjoy everything. Therefore, Isha Upanishad is addressed to each one of us basically. It says to each one, you discover yourself.
In fact, we shall speak on the subject as to what you are, as to what I am, what each individual is. This is our supreme subject of enquiry, what am I and what is all that is around and how to deal with all that is around, − this is the supreme question of human life. Why Isha Upanishad is so important, it is because it deals with the supreme subject, the subject of the greatest interest to each one of us, so that if we do not know all the answers to these questions, which are raised here, you will constantly be in a world, moving about in a flux without stability and without satisfaction.