About Notes on & extracts from ‘Isha Upanishad’ of Sri Aurobindo 

The CONTENTS page of the published version (has 596 pages), shows mainly as ‘Part One’ & ‘Part Two’. The first 91 pages constitute the Part One containing a terse, profound & beautiful (but perhaps somewhat difficult to follow) interpretation of Isha Upanishad verse by verse. I have not included any part from this in this notes & extract. It is best read in the original.

Part Two contains chapters directly explaining the meaning of Isha as well as some insightful and descriptive information on Vedas & Vedanta. I have included some extracts relating to general but very useful information which helps understand Vedanta.

Next it contains three chapters called Life Divine [Draft A], Life Divine [Draft B], and Life Divine [Draft C]. Though in the original the contents are not listed with any further depth for these portions, they contain a wealth of information containing his insightful writings on Indian philosophy, Vedas, Upanishads, Scientific rationalism, metaphysics etc. The breadth & depth of these is amazing. I have taken up these portions for adding my notes. Draft B forms the central pillar of this notes-added extract and is interspersed with extracts from Draft A & Draft C and from other parts appropriately (In a different font to help the reader ‘manage’ the flow). Draft B contains a lucid and very detailed explanation of the first verse of Isha which Sri Aurobindo considers as the theme and that all following verses as supportive of this. This material can be of great help in understanding Isha’s theme as also the approach to the study of & the thought processes of the Upanishads in general. It also contains a delightful & scientific exposition of Bhrigu Valli of Taittiriya Upanishad. His chapter titled The Karmayogin is a treasure house of exciting, insightful & excellent expositions on many key topics such as Vedanthic theory of Creation & Evolution, Theory & Effects of Pranayam, logical ‘derivation’ of existence of Purusha, Triguna based Ethics & Evolution of Society, Stages of yoga & pranayama, Matter resolving ultimately into energy etc. I have extracted and added my notes extensively for many of these key topics with helpful formatting.

To help navigate the long sentences & long paragraphs, with better ease & comprehension, I have inserted topic & sub-topic titles, have highlighted important sentences in bold / underline, have individually listed some points, have added meanings of difficult/uncommon words in-line etc. These topic/sub-topic titles will help as points of stopping, pausing, ruminating, returning, referring, memorising etc.

Of course, reading the entire original work also is highly recommended.

G H Visweswara,

To receive a free copy of this document as a PDF for your study please send a request email to me. (184 A4 pages, 2.1 MB)

Leave a Reply