What are some of the best lines from Upanishads?


 

From Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad:

Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28:

asato ma sad gamah

tamasi ma jyotir gamah

mrito ma amrita gamah

“Do not stay in illusion; go to the eternal reality. Do not stay in darkness; go to the light. Do not keep taking material bodies; become immortal!”

Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 3.8.10

yo va etad aksharam gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa kripanah

Ya etad aksharam gargi lviditvasmal lokat praiti sa brahmanah

Synonyms:

yah—he who; va—either; etad—that; aksharam—spiritual life; gargi—O Gargi

(daughter of Gargacarya); aviditva—without knowing the solution to the problem of life; asmat—from this; lokat—material world; praiti—he quits (like cats and dogs); sah—he is; kripanah—a miserly man; yah—he who; etad—that; aksharam—spiritual life; gargi—O Gargi (daughter of Gargacarya); viditva—knowing the solution to the problem of life; asmat—from this; lokat—material world; praiti—he quits; sah—he is; brahmanah—a brahmana.

Translation:

“He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self realization. He is a wise brahmana who leaves this world knowing the solution to life’s problems.”

From Sri Ishopanishada (Isha Upanishad)

Iso mantra 1

īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

Synonyms:

īśa — by the Lord; āvāsyam — controlled; idam — this; sarvam — all; yat kiñca — whatever; jagatyām — within the universe; jagat — all that is animate or inanimate; tena — by Him; tyaktena — set-apart quota; bhuñjīthāḥ — you should accept; — do not; gṛdhaḥ — endeavor to gain; kasya svit — of anyone else; dhanam — the wealth.

Translation:

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

Iso mantra 18

agne naya supathā rāye asmān
viśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān
yuyodhy asmaj juhurāṇam eno
bhūyiṣṭhāṁ te nama-uktiṁ vidhema

Synonyms:

agne — O my Lord, as powerful as fire; naya — kindly lead; supathā — by the right path; rāye — for reaching You;asmān — us; viśvāni — all; deva — O my Lord; vayunāni — actions; vidvān — the knower; yuyodhi — kindly remove; asmat — from us; juhurāṇam — all hindrances on the path; enaḥ — all vices; bhūyiṣṭhām — most numerous;te — unto You; namaḥ uktim — words of obeisance; vidhema — I do.

Translation:

O my Lord, as powerful as fire, O omnipotent one, now I offer You all obeisances, falling on the ground at Your feet. O my Lord, please lead me on the right path to reach You, and since You know all that I have done in the past, please free me from the reactions to my past sins so that there will be no hindrance to my progress.

From the Katha Upanishad:

Katha Upanishad 1.2.23

nayam atma pravacanena labhyo

na medhaya na bahuna srutena

yam evaisha vrinute tena labhyas

tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum svam

Synonyms:

nayam—mundane knowledge; atma—knowledge of the self; pravacanena—by discussing; labhyah—comprehensible; na—not; medhaya—by mental power; na— not; bahuna—much; srutena—by hearing; yam—for such a person; eva—indeed; esha—this knowledge; vrinute—is concealed; tena—by Him; labhyah— comprehensible; tasya—His; esha—this; atma—the science of the self; vivrinute—He reveals; tanum—His own form; svam—by His own will.

Translation:

“The Supreme Lord is not attained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, nor even by much hearing. He is attained only by one who He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form.

Katha Upanishad 1.3.14

uttishtha jagrata

prapya varan nibodhat

kshurasya dhara nisita duratyaya

durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti

Synonyms:

uttishtha—get up; jagrata—awake; prapya—having obtained; varan—the advantages (of a human body); nibodhat—just understand; kshurasya—of a razor; dhara—the edge; nisita—regulations; duratyaya—very difficult; durgam—very difficult to traverse; pathah—path; tat—that; kavayah—learned scholars; vadanti—they say.

Translation:

Please wake up and try to understand the boon that you now have in this human form of life. The path of spiritual realization is very difficult; it is sharp like a razor’s edge.

Katha Upanishad 2.2.13

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam

eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

Synonyms:

nityah—the singular eternal; nityanam—of the plural eternals; cetanah—the singular conscious being; cetananam—of the plural conscious beings; ekah—that one; bahunam—of the many; yah—He who; vidadhati—supplies; kaman—all desired necessities of life.

Translation:

“The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.”

From the Mundaka Upanishad:

Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12

tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nishtham

Synonyms:

tat-vijnana-artham—to learn that transcendental subject matter; sah—one; gurum—a spiritual master; eva—certainly; abhigaccet—must approach; samit-panih—carrying firewood in his hand; srotriyam—expert in understanding the Vedic conclusion; brahma-nishtham—constantly engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Translation:

“To learn the transcendental subject matter, one must approach a spiritual master. In doing so, he should carry fuel to burn in sacrifice. The symptom of such a spiritual master is that he is expert in understanding the Vedic conclusion and therefore he constantly engages in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Mundaka Upanishad 1.3

yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati

Synonyms:

yasmin—to him; vijnate—by knowing; sarvam—every-thing; evam—certainly; vijnatum—to know; bhavati—becomes.

Translation:

“If one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of all controllers, one can understand everything else.”

Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1

dva suparna sayuja sakhayah

samanam vriksham parishasvajate

tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty

anasnann anyo ‘bhicakasiti

Synonyms:

dva—two; suparna—birds; sayuja—together; sakhayah—friends;sa-manam—along with love; vriksham—tree; parishasvajate—sitting; tayor—both; anyah—one; pippalam—enjoying the fruits; svadv—tasting; atty—eats; anasnann—while eating; anyah—another; abhicakasiti—is looking at.

Translation:

The Lord and the living entity are compared to two birds sitting in a tree. While the illusioned living entity eats the fruits of the material world, the Lord as Supersoul and best friend witnesses these activities.

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.3:

nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhasā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas
tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanuṁ svām

“The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form.”

From Svetashvatara Upanishad:

Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.19

apani-pado javano grahita

pasyaty acakshuh sa srinoty akarnah

sa vetti vedyam na ca tasyasti vetta

tam ahur agryam purusham mahantam

Synonyms:

apani—without material hands; pado—or feet; javanah—moving quickly; grahita—He accepts; pasyati—He sees; acakshuh—without material eyes; sah—He (the Supreme Person); srinoti—hears; akarnah—without material ears; sah—He (the Supreme Person); vetti—knows; vedyam—the Vedas; na—not; ca—and;tasya—of Him; asti—there is; vetta—knower; tam—Him; ahur—it is said; agryam—the best of all; purusham—person; mahantam—the greatest.

Translation:

“The Supreme Lord has no material hands and feet but accepts whatever is offered to Him and moves very quickly. The Supreme Person has no material ears and eyes but sees and hears everything. He is the knower of everything, and He is all that is to be known. It is said that He is the best and the greatest of all persons.”

Svetasvatara Upanishad 5.9

balagra-sata-bhagasya

satadha kalpitasya ca

bhago jivah sa vijneya

iti caha para srutih

Synonyms:

bala-agra—the tip of a hair; sata-bhagasya—of one hundredth; sata-dha—into one hundred parts; kalpitasya—divided; ca—and; bhagah—minute portion; jivah—the living entity; sah—that; vijneyah—to be understood; iti—thus; ca—and;aha—have said; para—chief; srutih—Vedic mantras.

Translation:

“If we divide the tip of a hair into one hundred parts and then take one part and divide this into another one hundred parts, that ten-thousandth part is the dimension of the living entity. This is the verdict of the chief Vedic mantras.”

Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.8

na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate

na tat-samas cabhyadikas ca drisyate

parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate

svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca

Synonyms:

na—not; tasya—of Him; karyam—any duty; karanam—cause; ca—and; vidyate—there is; na—nor; tat—Him; samah—equal to; ca—and; abhyadikah—superior (to Him); ca—and; drisyate—is seen; parasya—of the Supreme; saktih—potencies; vividha—various; eva—certainly; sruyate—is known; svabhaviki—His spiritual nature of eternity, knowledge, bliss, etc.; jnana—knowledge; bala—power; kriya— the action; ca—also.

Translation:

“The Supreme Lord has nothing to do. Nothing is equal to Him or greater than Him. He acts in different phases by manifesting His parts and parcels, which are all simultaneously differently situated by His unlimited, variegated potencies. Each potency acts quite naturally in sequences, providing Him full knowledge, power and pastimes.”

From the Taittiriya Upanishad:

Taittiriya Upanishad 2.7.1

raso vai sah

Synonyms:

rasah—(the reservoir of) transcendental mellows; vai—indeed; sah—He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead).

Translation:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of transcendental mellows.”

Taittiriya Upanishad 2.8.1

bhishasmad vatah pavate

bhishodeti suryah

bhishasmad agnis candras ca

mrityur dhavati pancamah

Synonyms:

bhishasmat—out of fear; vatah—the wind; pavate—he blows (and purifies); bhisha—out of intimidation; udeti—he distributes heat; suryah—the sun; bhishasmat—out of fear; agnih—fire (is burning); candrah—the moon (is shining); ca—and; mrituh—death; dhavati—he is chasing; pancamah—the five life airs (i.e. the life-span of the living entities).

Translation:

“It is out of fear of the Supreme Brahman that the wind is blowing, out of fear of Him that the sun regularly rises and sets, and out of fear of Him that fire acts. It is only due to fear of Him that death and Indra, the King of heaven, perform their respective duties.”

References: Vedabase.com/en/iso and Verses Most quoted by Srila Prabhupada

Hare Krishna!

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