— Relation between Srimad Bhagavatam and Ishopanishada (Isha Upanishad) —


  1. How the Vedic texts preserved and transferred from generation to generation?
  2. How the Vedic texts are named?
  3. Similarity of the Mantra of Srimad Bhagavatam and the Mantra of Ishopanishada
  4. The complete incident
  5. Acharyas view

How the Vedic texts preserved and transferred from generation to generation?

All the Vedic texts are eternal and appeared from the Supreme Lord:

Madhyandina-sruti, Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 2.4.10

asya mahato bhutasya nihsvasitam etad yad rg-vedo yajur-vedah sama
vedo’tharvangirasa itihasah puranam ityadina

“O Maitreya, the Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas as well as the Itihasas and the Puranas all manifest from the breathing of the Lord.”

Gopatha Brahmana, purva 2.10

evam ime sarva veda nirmitah sa-kalpah sa-rahasyah sa-brahmanah sopanisatkah setihasah sanvakhyatah sa-puranan

“In this way, all the Vedas were manifested along with the Kalpas, Rahasyas, Brahmanas, Upanisads, Itihasas, Anvakhyatas and thePuranas.” 

Puranas and Itihasa are fifth veda :

nama va rg-vedo yajur-vedah sama-veda atharvanas caturtha itihasa-puranah pancamo vedanam vedah

“Indeed, Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva are the names of the fourVedas.The Itihasas and Puranas are the fifth Veda.” (Kauthumiya Chandogya Upanisad 7.1.4)

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.12.39:

itihāsa-purāṇāni pañcamaṁ vedam īśvaraḥ

Itihasa and Puranas are Fifth Veda.

Mahabharata (Adi Parva 1.267) and Manu Samhita

itihasa puranabhyam vedam samupabrmhayet

“One must complement one’s study of the Vedas with the Itihasas and the Puranas.”

All these texts are eternal and transferred from generation to generation through disciplic successions in oral form.

How the Vedic texts are named?

When it is spoken by a great authority or it is about a Great object or Personality, it is named after it’s speaker/object/subject like the Aitereya Upanishada, Katha Upanishada (etc.) are named after Aitereya rishi and Katha Rishi respectively.

Similarly, the Puranas like Markandeya, Vishnu, Bhagavata are named after it’s speaker/ subject/object. But, for us, the Kaliyugi people who are very fallen and mostly doesn’t possess the great qualities like remembering the hymns as it is, Lord Krishna, out of his causeless mercy appeared as Vyasadeva and composed all the Vedic texts in the literary form.


The Ishopanishada like other Vedic texts is also named after it’s object i.e. “ISHA” Means Ishvar or Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is also transferred from generation to generation through the same way. In this eternal process, it was once chanted by Swayambhuva manu to praise the ISHA Yajnyamurti (Yajnypati), the incarnation of Supreme Lord.

Similarity between the mantra of Srimad Bhagavatam and the mantra of Ishopanishada

It is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam 8.1.10-17, Swayambhuva manu chanted the mantras of various Upanishads to praise the Supreme Lord. One such mantra of that hymns is almost identical to the mantra 1 of Ishopanishada:

Isha Upanishada verse 1:

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

In Srimad Bhagavatam 8.1.10, Swayambhuva Manu says:

ātmāvāsyam idaṁ viśvaṁ
yat kiñcit jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

If we see the Sanskrit verse of both Vedic texts, then we can understand that there is a minor difference of only the first and the third word of the first line and the second word of the second line. But, both verses has no different meaning in anyway as the words īśāvāsyam and ātmāvāsyam has same meaning in the specified context i.e. glory of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, the words kiñca and kiñcit has the same meaning in the same context.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the complete incident is described as follows:

Sri Shukadeva Goswami says:

SB 8.1.5 Svāyambhuva Manu had two daughters, named Ākūti and Devahūti. From their wombs, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as two sons named Yajñamūrti and Kapila respectively. These sons were entrusted with preaching about religion and knowledge.

SB 8.1.6 — O best of the Kurus, I have already described [in the Third Canto] the activities of Kapila, the son of Devahūti. Now I shall describe the activities of Yajñapati, the son of Ākūti.

SB 8.1.7 — Svāyambhuva Manu, the husband of Śatarūpā, was by nature not at all attached to enjoyment of the senses. Thus he gave up his kingdom of sense enjoyment and entered the forest with his wife to practice austerities.

SB 8.1.8O scion of Bharata, after Svāyambhuva Manu had thus entered the forest with his wife, he stood on one leg on the bank of the river Sunandā, and in this way, with only one leg touching the earth, he performed great austerities for one hundred years. While performing these austerities, he spoke as follows.

SB 8.1.9Lord Manu said: The supreme living being has created this material world of animation; it is not that He was created by this material world. When everything is silent, the Supreme Being stays awake as a witness. The living entity does not know Him, but He knows everything.

SB 8.1.10Within this universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Supersoul feature is present everywhere, wherever there are animate or inanimate beings. Therefore, one should accept only that which is allotted to him; one should not desire to infringe upon the property of others.

SB 8.1.11 — Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly watches the activities of the world, no one sees Him. However, one should not think that because no one sees Him, He does not see, for His power to see is never diminished. Therefore, everyone should worship the Supersoul, who always stays with the individual soul as a friend.

SB 8.1.12 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning, no end and no middle. Nor does He belong to a particular person or nation. He has no inside or outside. The dualities found within this material world, such as beginning and end, mine and theirs, are all absent from the personality of the Supreme Lord. The universe, which emanates from Him, is another feature of the Lord. Therefore the Supreme Lord is the ultimate truth, and He is complete in greatness.

SB 8.1.13 — The entire cosmic manifestation is the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, who has millions of names and unlimited potencies. He is self-effulgent, unborn and changeless. He is the beginning of everything, but He has no beginning. Because He has created this cosmic manifestation by His external energy, the universe appears to be created, maintained and annihilated by Him. Nonetheless, He remains inactive in His spiritual energy and is untouched by the activities of the material energy.

SB 8.1.14 — Therefore, to enable people to reach the stage of activities that are not tinged by fruitive results, great saints first engage people in fruitive activities, for unless one begins by performing activities as recommended in the śāstras, one cannot reach the stage of liberation, or activities that produce no reactions.

SB 8.1.15 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in opulence by His own gain, yet He acts as the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world. In spite of acting in that way, He is never entangled. Hence devotees who follow in His footsteps are also never entangled.

SB 8.1.16 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, works just like an ordinary human being, yet He does not desire to enjoy the fruits of work. He is full in knowledge, free from material desires and diversions, and completely independent. As the supreme teacher of human society, He teaches His own way of activities, and thus He inaugurates the real path of religion. I request everyone to follow Him.

SB 8.1.17Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Svāyambhuva Manu was thus in a trance, chanting the mantras of Vedic instruction known as the Upaniṣads. Upon seeing him, the Rākṣasas and asuras, being very hungry, wanted to devour him. Therefore they ran after him with great speed.

SB 8.1.18 The Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, who sits in everyone’s heart, appearing as Yajñapati, observed that the Rākṣasas and demons were going to devour Svāyambhuva Manu. Thus the Lord, accompanied by His sons named the Yāmas and by all the other demigods, killed the demons and Rākṣasas. He then took the post of Indra and began to rule the heavenly kingdom.

Thus, from the above verses, we can understand that the verses of Isha Upanishada are also once recited or spoken by ‘Swayambhuva Manu’.

Acharyas views

Srila Prabhupada (Acharya of Gaudiya Sampradaya) in one of his lectures said the same, i.e. The verses of Ishopanishada are recited by Swaymbhuva Manu and the deity of the Upanishada is Lord Yajnyamurti, the incarnation of the Lord. Also in the text ‘Teachings of Lord Chaitanya’, Srila Prabhupada Says:

There is a verse in the Īśopaniṣad similar to one found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (8.1.10), which states that whatever one sees in the cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Lord’s energy and is nondifferent from Him. Consequently He is the controller, friend and maintainer of all living entities. We should live by the mercy of God and take only those things which are allotted to us according to our particular living condition. In this way, by not encroaching on another’s property, one can enjoy life.

In other words, the purport of the Upaniṣads, Vedānta-sūtra and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is one and the same. If one studies Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam carefully, he will find that all the Upaniṣads and the Vedānta-sūtra are nicely explained therein.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam teaches us three subjects: how to reestablish our eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord, how to act in that relationship and, lastly, how to achieve the highest benefit from it.

Ref: CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

Sri Raghvendra Swami (Acharya of Madhva Sampradaya) also in his commentary on Isha Upanishada said the same, i.e. The sage or the speaker of Isha Upanishada is Swaymbhuva Manu and the prayers offered to the deity is Lord Yajnyamurti. It can also be seen in his commentary here.

Verses are used from Vedabase.com

Thank you for reading.

Hare Krishna !


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