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Mercury Day poetry: From the Isha Upanishad

May 16, 2012

As Bobbie noted a few days ago, we’re drowning ourselves in some heavy texts. Among them: The Upanishads.

I won’t bother trying to sum up the un-sum-upable. It is at once familiar and alien, simple and complex, wide open and impenetrable.

However you approach it, though, it is: Super. Good. Stuff.

Here’s just a few lines, from the opening of the Isha Upanishad. You might know it, but it never gets old, right?

This is the Upanishad that Gandhi held in such high regard, saying: “”If all the Upanishads and all the other scriptures happened all of a sudden to be reduced to ashes, and if only the first verse in the Ishopanishad were left in the memory of the Hindus, Hinduism would live for ever.”

One thing I will say is that it is my understanding that this Upanishad is one of the more “personal” or “devotional”. In general, the Upanishads are not especially focused on a person “God” — they are a bit more philosophical. This is a bit more Bhakti, in other words.

Enjoy:

Om
Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnamudachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya
Purnameva Vashishyate
Om shanti, shanti, shanti

From Swamij.com, we get all these various translations:

Om.
That is infinite, this is infinite;
From That infinite this infinite comes.
From That infinite, this infinite removed or added;
Infinite remains infinite.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
That is full; this is full.
This fullness has been projected from that fullness.
When this fullness merges in that fullness,
all that remains is fullness.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
Completeness is that, completeness is this,
from completeness, completeness comes forth.
Completeness from completeness taken away,
completeness to completeness added,
completeness alone remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
Brahman is limitless, infinite number
of universes come out
and go into the infinite Brahman,
Brahman remains unchanged.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
That is the whole, this is the whole;
from the whole, the whole becomes manifest;
taking away the whole from the whole,
the whole remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
That is the absolute, this is the absolute;
from the absolute, the absolute becomes manifest;
when the absolute is added to or taken away from the absolute,
the absolute remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
That is reality, this is reality;
from the reality, the reality becomes manifest;
adding or subtracting reality from reality,
only reality remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

Om.
That is perfect,
This is perfect.
When perfection is taken from the perfect,
Perfect alone remains.
Om, peace, peace, peace

***

Let me tell you, if you don’t know already: The 1% is pretty all-incompassing.

Posted by Steve

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