Ishavasya Upanishad Webinar
Reflection Questions Day 2
Poll:
  1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result?

    • To have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam means dropping the individuality that "I am Body, Mind and Intellect" and seeing the one Self as all and in everything. So if one sees "oneself" in everything, that would cease all raga-dvesha, desires and any desire born actions for any of three "eshana" (vitteshana, putreshana and lokeshana). This would lead to the knwoeldge of self and remove the ignorance. So the phala of "īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam" is self-relaization and removal of ignorance.
  2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why?

    • One who is either not inclined or not able to abide in the teachings of shastras for self-knwoeldge, for them shastras prescribe performance of duty that is in accordance of shastras. Performance of duty within the realm of shastra will do following:
      • Reduce raga-dvesha
      • No new papa will be generated and only punya will be generated
      • Mental purity will lead to vichar
      • vichar will lead to Karma yoga where Selfless service (Nishkama Karma)
      • chit-suddhi
      • Remembering Lord (Upasana)
      • chit-ekagratha
      • Self Knowledge

So as above doing once's duty within the bound of shastra will lead to knowledge of the self.

  1. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma?
    • "kurvan eva" - indicates performing one's shastra prescribed duties while being alert. Being alert while performing duty will remove raga and dvesha which will and bring purity of mind which will lead to vichar and lead to karama yoga where one will perform niskama karma. so "kurvan eva" indicates niskama karma.

1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result? - To have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam means dropping the individuality that "I am Body, Mind and Intellect" and seeing the one Self as all and in everything. So if one sees "oneself" in everything, that would cease all raga-dvesha, desires and any desire born actions for any of three "eshana" (vitteshana, putreshana and lokeshana). This would lead to the knwoeldge of self and remove the ignorance. So the phala of "īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam" is self-relaization and removal of ignorance. 2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why? - One who is either not inclined or not able to abide in the teachings of shastras for self-knwoeldge, for them shastras prescribe performance of duty that is in accordance of shastras. Performance of duty within the realm of shastra will do following: - Reduce raga-dvesha - No new papa will be generated and only punya will be generated - Mental purity will lead to vichar - vichar will lead to Karma yoga where Selfless service (Nishkama Karma) - chit-suddhi - Remembering Lord (Upasana) - chit-ekagratha - Self Knowledge So as above doing once's duty within the bound of shastra will lead to knowledge of the self. 3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma? - "kurvan eva" - indicates performing one's shastra prescribed duties while being alert. Being alert while performing duty will remove raga and dvesha which will and bring purity of mind which will lead to vichar and lead to karama yoga where one will perform niskama karma. so "kurvan eva" indicates niskama karma.

short answers :


1) free from mental and intellectual questions / worries ... LIke a free bird is the result


2) those who have desire for actions


3) those who desire for actions, better to do karmayoga-chita sudhi - chita ekakradha and climb towards next stage .... but avoid doing any nishidha karma ....


Hari Om


short answers : 1) free from mental and intellectual questions / worries ... LIke a free bird is the result 2) those who have desire for actions 3) those who desire for actions, better to do karmayoga-chita sudhi - chita ekakradha and climb towards next stage .... but avoid doing any nishidha karma .... Hari Om

Hari Om,


  1. The notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam helps one to drop the wrong notion of individuality. The result is one starts to walk towards the path of desirelessness. Desirelessness = complete inner fulfillment.

  2. For those who are not inclined to the path of knowledge, who are firmly identified with the body-mind complex – dehābhimāni, for them upaniṣad prescribes duty to be performed. Because, the performance of duties with dedication results in purification of the mind. As purification of mind continues to take place sakāma karma transforms to niṣkāma karma awakening vicara and one progresses to īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam.

  3. kurvan eva - with alertness performing one duty – that is performing sakāma karma with keeping rāga dwesha at bay will purify the mind. This will progress to performing actions without any desire for the fruits of action, the attitude of karma yoga. It will lead to transforming the actions from sakāma karma to niṣkāma karma. Therefore, kurvan eva indicates niṣkāma-karma.


Hari Om, 1. The notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam helps one to drop the wrong notion of individuality. The result is one starts to walk towards the path of desirelessness. Desirelessness = complete inner fulfillment. 2. For those who are not inclined to the path of knowledge, who are firmly identified with the body-mind complex – dehābhimāni, for them upaniṣad prescribes duty to be performed. Because, the performance of duties with dedication results in purification of the mind. As purification of mind continues to take place sakāma karma transforms to niṣkāma karma awakening vicara and one progresses to īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam. 3. kurvan eva - with alertness performing one duty – that is performing sakāma karma with keeping rāga dwesha at bay will purify the mind. This will progress to performing actions without any desire for the fruits of action, the attitude of karma yoga. It will lead to transforming the actions from sakāma karma to niṣkāma karma. Therefore, kurvan eva indicates niṣkāma-karma.

If we ignore the self or don't go into self realisation to understand our true nature then we would have killed ourself.
Then we will be forever emerged in the dark world of ignorance.


If we ignore the self or don't go into self realisation to understand our true nature then we would have killed ourself. Then we will be forever emerged in the dark world of ignorance.

Need a little bit more clarity. This mantra still talks about a sadhaka only. He is not realized. He is working on gaining jnana yogyata by performing selfless action.


Need a little bit more clarity. This mantra still talks about a sadhaka only. He is not realized. He is working on gaining jnana yogyata by performing selfless action.
  1. For whom does the upanishad prescribe duty to be performed and why ?

Vedic teaching has prescribed two types of marg :One is 'nivritti marg' another is 'pravritti marg.'Nirvatti marg is solely based on ' renouncing all desires.'

Hence, it is not easy to be followed by every one who still has so many worldly desires and materialistic interests. Therefore, for the people having an array of desires, ' path of action ' - performing ones duties dedicatedly has been prescribed by upanishad.

Following are the reasons :

  1. Path of Action is the starting point for reaching the stage of 'Isha Vasyam' - realising the 'Self' which pervades everywhere. Because when a person performs his duties keeping ' raag-dwesh' at bay, it gives him ' chitta shuddhi ' and prasad buddhi and purifies his heart to some extent.

  2. When a person performs his duties pertaining to desires - that is to say sakam karma, it keeps his deeds within the boundaries of Shastras. Thus, the path of action makes him disciplined and focused .

  3. Performing duties saves a person from ' 'sin of omission ' and also, it generates 'punya.'

  4. It also keeps him away from doing 'nishiddha karma' which is prohibited by the shastras as the desires are still prevalent in his mind.


2. For whom does the upanishad prescribe duty to be performed and why ? Vedic teaching has prescribed two types of marg : One is 'nivritti marg' another is 'pravritti marg.' Nirvatti marg is solely based on ' renouncing all desires.' Hence, it is not easy to be followed by every one who still has so many worldly desires and materialistic interests. Therefore, for the people having an array of desires, ' path of action ' -  performing ones duties dedicatedly has been prescribed by upanishad. Following are the reasons : 1. Path of Action is the starting point for reaching the stage of 'Isha Vasyam' - realising the 'Self' which pervades everywhere. Because when a person performs his duties keeping ' raag-dwesh' at bay,  it gives him ' chitta shuddhi ' and prasad buddhi and purifies his heart to some extent. 2. When a person performs his duties pertaining to desires - that is to say sakam karma,  it keeps his deeds within the boundaries of Shastras. Thus, the path of action makes him disciplined and focused . 3. Performing duties saves a person from ' 'sin of omission ' and also, it generates 'punya.' 4. It also keeps him away from doing 'nishiddha karma' which is prohibited by the shastras as the desires are still prevalent in his mind.

Q1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result?


The goal of human life is to achieve liberation by attaining Self-knowledge. The notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam leads to the vision of Oneness of Jiva and Brahman, which is nothing but liberation. The upanishad says that with this notion, one is protected from sorrows and disturbances caused by samsara. There are no desires, since the entire world is me alone. With kāma and sankapla gone, there is not krodha etc. There being no second entity, there is no fear and insecurity. There is total peace and security.


Q2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why?
Human beings are at various stages of spiritual evolution. For someone who is not ready to give up desires which is essential to have the vision of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam, the upaniṣad prescribes duties. If duties are given up even before the person has developed sufficient four-fold qualifications for knowledge, the person may descend down to the tamasik lifestyle. For such people, it is essential that they continue in the प्रवृत्ति धर्म till they evolve from सकाम कर्म to निष्काम कर्म gaining eligibility for knowledge and finally leading to निवृत्ति धर्म.


Q3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma?


‘Eva’ in kurvan eva emphasises ‘only’. Any action has two aspects: the act of doing and the result of action. The person desires to live for hundred years by doing his duties only, not by desiring results of action. When duties are done as an offering to the Lord ईश्वरार्पण बुद्धि- raga-dvesha is reduced. When there is no insistence on a particular result - all results are accepted in प्रसाद बुद्धि - it brings equanimity. Thus Kurva eva indicates niṣkāma-karma.


Q1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result? The goal of human life is to achieve liberation by attaining Self-knowledge. The notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam leads to the vision of Oneness of Jiva and Brahman, which is nothing but liberation. The upanishad says that with this notion, one is protected from sorrows and disturbances caused by samsara. There are no desires, since the entire world is me alone. With kāma and sankapla gone, there is not krodha etc. There being no second entity, there is no fear and insecurity. There is total peace and security. Q2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why? Human beings are at various stages of spiritual evolution. For someone who is not ready to give up desires which is essential to have the vision of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam, the upaniṣad prescribes duties. If duties are given up even before the person has developed sufficient four-fold qualifications for knowledge, the person may descend down to the tamasik lifestyle. For such people, it is essential that they continue in the प्रवृत्ति धर्म till they evolve from सकाम कर्म to निष्काम कर्म gaining eligibility for knowledge and finally leading to निवृत्ति धर्म. Q3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma? ‘Eva’ in kurvan eva emphasises ‘only’. Any action has two aspects: the act of doing and the result of action. The person desires to live for hundred years by doing his duties only, not by desiring results of action. When duties are done as an offering to the Lord ईश्वरार्पण बुद्धि- raga-dvesha is reduced. When there is no insistence on a particular result - all results are accepted in प्रसाद बुद्धि - it brings equanimity. Thus Kurva eva indicates niṣkāma-karma.
  1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result?Ans: To realize our true Self. Result is no ignorance and hence no more birth
  2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why?Ans: Prescribed for one who are in ignorance. It is prescribed because it will prepare man from to transcend from Pravrti marga to Nivriti marga
  3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma?Ans: It indicates that the action is to be performed only for the purpose of doing action as an offering to the god and accepting whatever maybe the result. The emphasis is only on action with out any desire for specific result, hence it indicates niskaama-karma.

1. Why should one have the notion of īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam and what is its result? Ans: To realize our true Self. Result is no ignorance and hence no more birth 2. For whom does the upaniṣad prescribe duty to be performed and why? Ans: Prescribed for one who are in ignorance. It is prescribed because it will prepare man from to transcend from Pravrti marga to Nivriti marga 3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating niṣkāma-karma? Ans: It indicates that the action is to be performed only for the purpose of doing action as an offering to the god and accepting whatever maybe the result. The emphasis is only on action with out any desire for specific result, hence it indicates niskaama-karma.
  1. Why should one have the notion of isavasyam idam sarvam and what is its result? We should have the notion of isavasya idam sarvam to protect ourselves from sorrow which rises out of the notion of individuality. Instead of identifying oneself with the True self,which is the all pervading consciousness, one identifies with the body, mind and intellect and greatly suffers.
  2. For whom does the upanishad prescribe duty to be performed and why?The upanishad prescribes duty for one who has not realized one's own Self as the all pervading Reality. Duty when performed without being anxious for the results and as a worship of the Lord, purifies the mind and paves the way for Self Knowledge.
  3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating nishkama karma? The word Eva refers to alone - Kurvan eva means, by being focused on work alone and not on the results indicates nishkama karma. Without a desire, no action is possible, but, when i focus on the work alone, without being anxious about the results or any insistence on a particular result, and do the work as the worship of the Lord, this work becomes nishkama karma.

1. Why should one have the notion of isavasyam idam sarvam and what is its result? We should have the notion of isavasya idam sarvam to protect ourselves from sorrow which rises out of the notion of individuality. Instead of identifying oneself with the True self,which is the all pervading consciousness, one identifies with the body, mind and intellect and greatly suffers. 2. For whom does the upanishad prescribe duty to be performed and why? The upanishad prescribes duty for one who has not realized one's own Self as the all pervading Reality. Duty when performed without being anxious for the results and as a worship of the Lord, purifies the mind and paves the way for Self Knowledge. 3. How is kurvan eva (verse 2) indicating nishkama karma? The word Eva refers to alone - Kurvan eva means, by being focused on work alone and not on the results indicates nishkama karma. Without a desire, no action is possible, but, when i focus on the work alone, without being anxious about the results or any insistence on a particular result, and do the work as the worship of the Lord, this work becomes nishkama karma.
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