For thousands of years, people on a spiritual quest have consulted the intensely philosophical Upanishads. As the name implies (upa-near; ni-down; shad-to sit), one is advised to sit near a spiritual teacher to learn. Upanishad means “the supreme controller. the knowledge that brings one nearer to the Supreme Person, Krsna” This translation and commentary are guided by scholarship, and devotion in spirituality, in the ligne of the greatest Gaudiya Vaishnavas such as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja, the spiritual master of the author, which is directly descending from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The translation and commentary of Srila Prabhupada strictly adheres to the book’s intention, assuring you of a legitimate understanding of the depths of Upanishadic knowledge.
Sri Isopanishad is one of the first books Srila Prabhupada published in the course of establishing the Hare Krishna movement in the Western world. Its eighteen mantras—Vedic hymns—are meant to focus the mind in meditation on the Supreme Person, Krishna. The 108 Upanishads are considered the essence of all the Vedas, and Ishopanishad is foremost among them. Discover the distilled essence of all knowledge in these eighteen enlightening verses.For thousands of years, people on a spiritual quest have consulted the mystical, intensely philosophical Upanishads. As the name implies (upa—near; ni—down; shad—to sit), one is advised to sit near a spiritual teacher to learn. To learn what? This Upanishad’s name gives the clue: Isha means “the supreme controller.” Let us sit near the spiritual guide to learn about the supreme controller: God. The process is simple, provided one learns from an authentic guide. The translation and commentary of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada strictly adheres to the book’s intention, assuring you of a legitimate understanding of the depths of Upanishadic knowledge.
Sri Isopanishad’s mantras direct our attention toward how the Supreme Person is the complete whole of existence, and that all manifestations emanating from Him—including our bodies and the world we inhabit—are also complete in and of themselves. The Isa—”supreme controller”—for whom Isopanishad is named, is poetically described as being simultaneously far away and near, walking and not walking, within and outside of everything.
In the book’s Introduction—adapted from a lecture Srila Prabhupada gave in London in 1968—he explains how the Vedas’ teachings are perfect; Vedic sound is not of this world, not created by man, and thus not subject to human frailty and imperfection. Isopanishad is one of the principal Upanishads in Vedic literature that present the ultimate philosophical conclusions of all scripture.
Srila Prabhupada composed Sri Isopanishad with the same scholarly standards as his Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam, providing the original Sanskrit verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. In his words, “This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident.”