Sri Isopanisad-the knowledge that brings one nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.
(Iso 18 End of the purports)
Isopanisad means "the knowledge that leads nearer to Krsna."
(69-10-15 Letter: Brahmananda)
2. Isopanisad is part of the Vedas:
There are four Vedas--Sama, Rg, Yajur and Atharva, and there are 108 Upanisads, including the Isopanisad, Katha Upanisad and Taittiriya Upanisad, as well as the Vedanta-sutra, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. These literatures are not meant for any particular class of men but for the totality of human society. All societies can take advantage of Vedic knowledge to perfect human life. As pointed out before, human life is not meant for sense gratification, but for understanding God, the universe and our own identity.
(EK 1 Choosing Human and Animal Lives)
This Isopanisad is part of the Yajur Veda, and consequently it contains information concerning the proprietorship of all things existing within the universe.
Prabhupada: (correcting pronunciation) Svetasvatara. There are many Upanisads, they are called Vedas. Upanisads are the headlines of the Vedas. Just like in a chapter there is a headline, similarly these Upanisads are the headlines of the Vedas. There are 108 Upanisads, principal. Out of that, nine Upanisads are very important. So out of those nine Upanisads, Svetasvatara Upanisad, Taittireya Upanisad, Aitareya Upanisad, Isopanisad, Isa Upanisad, Mundaka Upanisad, Mandukya Upanisad, Kathopanisad, these Upanisads are very important. And whenever there is argument on some point, one has to give reference from these Upanisads. If one can give reference from the Upanisads, then his argument is very strong.
3. Isopanisad and the other Upanishads:
Regarding the Upanisads, the following eleven Upanisads are considered to be the topmost: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, Brhad-aranyaka and Svetasvatara.
4. Other Upanishads and Isopanisad indicate that God is full in six opulences:
In the Upanisads it is said:
om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
This verse, which is mentioned in the Isopanisad, Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad and many other Upanisads, indicates that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in six opulences. His position is unique, for He possesses all riches, strength, influence, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. Brahman means the greatest, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is greater than the greatest, just as the sun globe is greater than the sunshine, which is all-pervading in the universe.
(Adi 7.140 Lord Caitanya in Five Features)
5. In each and every Upanisad the Supreme Brahman is first viewed as impersonal, at the end the personal form of the Supreme Lord is accepted:
There are many similar Vedic hymns which definitely establish that the Supreme Absolute Truth is a person who is not of this material world. For instance, in the Hayasirsa-pancaratra it is explained that although in each and every Upanisad the Supreme Brahman is first viewed as impersonal, at the end the personal form of the Supreme Lord is accepted. A similar verse occurs in Sri Isopanisad:
tat tvam pusann apavrnu
"O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Please remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee." (Isa. 15)
This verse indicates that everyone should engage in devotional service to the Supreme Lord, who is the maintainer of this whole universe. Everyone is sustained by His mercy; therefore devotional service unto Him constitutes the true religion. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the eternal form of sac-cid-ananda, and His effulgence is spread throughout the creation, just as sunshine is spread throughout the solar system.
(TLC 24 Talks with Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya)
6. The purpose of the Upanisads, Vedanta-sutra and Srimad-Bhagavatam is one and the same:
In writing Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva collected all the essence of the Upanisads, the purpose of which was also explained in Vedanta-sutra. Srimad-Bhagavatam is thus the essence of all Vedic knowledge. That which is stated in the Upanisads and restated in Vedanta-sutra is explained very nicely in Srimad-Bhagavatam.
There is a passage in Isopanisad similar to a verse found in Srimad-Bhagavatam (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. In this way, by not encroaching on another's property, one can enjoy life.
In other words, the purpose of the Upanisads, Vedanta-sutra and Srimad-Bhagavatam is one and the same. If one studies Srimad-Bhagavatam carefully, he will find that all the Upanisads and the Vedanta-sutra are nicely explained therein. Srimad-Bhagavatam teaches us 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.
(TLC 22 The Srimad Bhagavatam)
7. Relationship of Isopanisad with Bhagavad-Gita:
The instructions of Sri Isopanisad are more elaborately explained in the Bhagavad-gita, sometimes called the Gitopanisad, the cream of all the Upanisads.
8. Authorship of Isopanishad:
Regarding your first question, who is the speaker of Isopanisad? The speaker is the Vedas personified. In the Vedic age a disciple heard from the Spiritual Master messages which were coming down in disciplic succession, so a disciple, whatever he heard from his bonafide Spiritual Master, would recite. The Vedic mantras are known as Sruti, to hear from authoritative source and then repeat it, chanting. So there is no question of who wrote it, it is said that no human being has compiled them.Later on, before the beginning of Kali Yuga, all Vedic mantras were written in books, most of them were done by Srila Vyasadeva Mahamuni and his different disciples.
(70-04-28.Cit Letter: Citsukhananda)
9. Isopanisad should be understood according to its original statements:
Here Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that all Vedic literature, including the Upanisads, Brahma-sutra and others, whether sruti, smrti or nyaya, must be understood according to their original statements. To describe the direct meaning of the Vedic scriptures is glorious, but to describe them in one's own way, using imperfect senses and imperfect knowledge, is a disastrous blunder. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fully deprecated the attempt to describe the Vedas in this way.
10. The method of translation and commentary of Isopanisad by Srila Prabhupada makes the book authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self evident:
In all of my other books--Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Isopanisad, etc.--the system is that I give the original verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident.
11. The basic philosophy of Isopanisad:
Any sincere gentleman serious about knowing God-Consciousness must read this book. A little education will make every one aware what is meant by God. It is a challenge to the atheists, agnostic, skeptics and gross materialists.
(70-02-18.Kir Letter: Kirtanananda)
As mentioned above, the cosmic creation is the property of the Supreme Lord. This is the basic philosophy of Isopanisad: everything is the property of the Supreme Being. No one should encroach upon the property of the Supreme Lord. One should accept only what is kindly awarded by Him. Therefore, the earth or any other planet or universe is the absolute property of the Lord. The living beings are certainly His parts and parcels, or sons, and thus every one of them has a right to live at the mercy of the Lord to execute his prescribed work. No one, therefore, can encroach upon the right of another individual man or animal without being so sanctioned by the Lord.
(SB 1.10.25 P Departure of Lord Krsna for Dvaraka)
We have tried to discuss the nature of God's greatness and our relationship to Him as preliminary chapter of Krishna Consciousness. So this book is the cheapest of all our other books and they can easily be introduced for mass reading and they will be benefited undoubtedly.
(70-01-14.Hay Letter: Hayagriva)
I have tried to explain in this book the preliminary knowledge of God-consciousness so any laymanwho reads it will be able to understand our Krsna Consciousness movement to their great benefit.
(70-03-09.Rud Letter: Rudra)
When one is Krishna Conscious possessing everything in the world, he is perfect spiritualist, and one may have renounced everything in the world, but lacking in Krishna Consciousness he is a gross materialist. In my recent publication of Isopanisad I have tried to explain this fact on Vedic authorities, and I am sending by separate Air Parcel one copy of Isopanisad and I hope you will read this book conveniently with interest.
(70-04-23.Sri Letter: Sri Birlaji)
12. Main directions of Isopanisad summarized:
a. Lord is the proprietor of the entire Cosmic creation:
Maharaja Yudhisthira was the ideal monarchical representative on the earth because he was a constant follower of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. As stated in the Vedas (Isopanisad), the Lord is the proprietor of the entire manifested cosmic creation, which presents a chance for the conditioned souls to revive their eternal relationship with the Lord and thus go back to Godhead, back home. The whole system of the material world is arranged with that program and plan. Anyone who violates the plan is punished by the law of nature, which is acting by the direction of the Supreme Lord. Maharaja Yudhisthira was installed on the throne of the earth as a representative of the Lord.
(SB 3.3.18 P The Lord' s Pastimes Out of Vrndavana)
b. One should live by the direction of the Lord:
Thus the vegetarians are also living by eating other living beings. Therefore, the law is that one should live only by eating specific living beings, as ordained by the law of God. The Isopanisad directs that one should live by the direction of the Lord and not at one's sweet will. A man can subsist on varieties of grains, fruits and milk ordained by God, and there is no need of animal food, save and except in particular cases.
(SB 1.17.10-11 P Punishment and Reward of Kali)
c. God is present everywhere:
Not only is He in everyone's heart, but He is also present within the atom. No place is vacant or devoid of the presence of the Lord. That is the statement of Isopanisad. God is present everywhere, and His right of proprietorship applies to everything. The feature of the Lord by which He is present everywhere is called Paramatma.