Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville - Isha Upanishad 205

Now this is one of the greatest but one of the smallest of the Upanishads. You can see, it is only two pages and it's not a great burden and yet it contains a tremendous amount of knowledge. And the first thing that you will find for yourself is words and very difficult to penetrate for you. You do not know how to read Sanskrit, I don't know how many of you can read Sanskrit. After my two years of company with you, I will now request you to take a little effort at least to learn the alphabet, so that you can read at least. Although the knowledge that you get is beyond the words but at least you know what are the words and then you break the veil of the words and then you enter into the ideas and then experience.

I know learning alphabet is a very difficult task, one of the most difficult tasks in the world is to learn alphabet. You learn a little, you forget about it, again you learn and practice again; you forget about it and learn a few letters and then you don't learn the others and then there is a mix-up and so on. I know it, it's very difficult. I am trying to learn the alphabet of Tamil, for example, I find it very difficult, it is a difficult language and a difficult alphabet even though this alphabet is very similar to the Sanskrit alphabet in many ways and yet I find it difficult. So, when I tell you learn this alphabet, I know how difficult it is. I don't want to pressurise you. When you find time, keep it in mind that by the end of this year, you will be able to read at least these words, which are here. The sound of these words is very, very nice, very beautiful. If you know the Sanskrit language, the enjoyment of chanting these words is so wonderful. There's another reason, why you should learn how to recite, how to enjoy the words and the power of the words. What I’ll do with you is atleast to give you some experience of the words, of the sound, even though you may not follow them, doesn't matter. You should be accustomed at least to the sound even if you don't follow, don't worry. I shall read out to you to the very first verse, which is written there, which you can't read because you don't know the alphabet.

īśāvāsyam idam sarvam yat kiñca jagatyām jagat

Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā grdhah kasya svid dhanam

You can see that there are four rhythms, īśāvāsyam idam sarvam, yat kiñca jagatyām jagat, second part, Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā, mā grdhah kasya svid dhanam.

So four parts of this verse, when you repeat it, again and again, you will find great music in this, it's a wonderful thing to hear it, again and again.

īśāvāsyam idam sarvam yat kiñca jagatyām jagat

Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā grdhah kasya svid dhanam

You can see the fall and the rise of the words and the combination of words and music of the words when they are combined together, like kasya svid dhanam, it is a very beautiful expression.

Or you hear, īśāvāsyam idam sarvam, repeat this and you'll find such a beautiful music in it, yat kiñca jagatyām jagat, you see the rise and fall of the words the combination, Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā grdhah kasya svid dhanam.

Sri Aurobindo has translated so beautifully, it almost captures the very sound and the music of these words and since you know how to read English, at least, you can participate in the beauty and these rhythms.

“All this is for the habitation by the Lord, whatsoever is individual world of movement in the universal motion, by that renounced thy shouldst enjoy, by that renounced you enjoy lust not after any man's possession.”

So there are four parts of the whole expression, it translates Sanskrit into English in a very beautiful manner. To translate the Upanishads is not an easy task at all, the poetry of it should be present in the translation, even though it is prose but it is poetic in its expression. The very sense of it is brought out, if you know both Sanskrit and English, you can appreciate both, how beautiful is the translation. Sri Aurobindo is the supreme translator, among many other supreme qualities that he possesses, he's a supreme translator. Now, let us enter into the words and their meanings and go beyond the words and then try to understand the ideas which are there.