When the mother feels that this child is mine, child is dhanam, anything that is considered to be a property, something that we possess, something that belongs to you is dhanam. These words are important to understand the first verse.
Sri Aurobindo says, in Isha Upanishad every word is packed, as you hear a word there are these ideas coming in, there are many, many, words and the ideas are all packed into words. Although the sentences are very short, they are full of words, which are packed with meaning. Therefore, to understand their nature, I'm taking your time to explain the richness of the expression. There are many ideas, which are all involved, to understand, not to make the understanding difficult, it is to make it easier, and maybe to make it easier is to make it more difficult and to make it more difficult is to make it more easy. In fact words are actually relative, if you want to make something easy, you make it difficult and it becomes easier. So, in a sense I'm making it more difficult, I could I give a translation very easily without bringing in so many words and their meanings and to make it more packed and that is why it seems that I'm making it more complicated. Then simply the words could have been understood that could be one method, I am putting another method, so that you can understand the depth of what I want you to understand.
The Upanishads although they are short, you can write volumes on them that is the reason why commentaries have been written. On these 18 versus Sri Aurobindo himself has written four commentaries, one of them is hundred pages; so 18 versus verses hundred pages. So you can see how much is in these hundred pages, these are the briefest; when I read it, I find that they are the briefest statements on this Upanishad.
You should remember that you are students of the super school and therefore, you should be ready to understand that the highest level you can explain this in many ways, I'm not teaching at the level of no school because then it will be more difficult then teaching you at the level of super school.
These are the very first important words in the Isha Upanishad then I'll give you some other words, which are also important, rapidly, karma means action, na lipayat, na means not, lipayate means bind. So there is the concept of that which does not bind, so there is the concept of bondage and there is an opposite concept of that which does not cause bondage that means freedom.
Isha Upanishad speaks of bondage and freedom, what do these words mean they are only words to start with. asurya is another word and that which is devoid of sun or sunlight or light, asurya means that which is dark, loka means the world, again just as jagat means world, loka also means world. Then there is a very important word devaha, gods, so it makes a distinction between isha and devaha, Lord, God and gods, there is a distinction here in the Upanishad. Isha on one hand and devaha, there is a difference between the two. Then there is a word ejati that which moves, na ejati that which does not move, both the words ejati and na-ejati that which moves and that which does not move. Then there is the word atman means the self, then there is another word mohah means delusion, shoka means sorrow, you heard the word ashoka? Ashoka was the name of a king, which means one who has no sorrow; shoka means sorrow, very often the word ‘a’ is indicated to show ‘not’. Shoka is sorrow, asoka means absence of sorrow, one who is devoid of sorrow, ‘a’ means absence in Sanskrit. Then there is a word vidya, vidya means knowledge then avidya, tell me if vidya means knowledge, what is the meaning of avidya?
Answer: Absence of sorrow
Good, now you enter into Sanskrit language. Vidya means knowledge and avidya means absence of knowledge, ignorance, avidya is ignorance, absence of knowledge. Mrityu means death, amrita, you apply the same roots to find out the meaning of amrita, mrita means death, amrita is immortality that which is immortal, absence of death.