Below is a modernized, Lightning Path version of the Isha Upanishad. This modernized version of the ancient Upanishad takes English text provided by Katz and Egenes,2 and brings it forward to modern standards of English grammar and communication.

The text here is organized into two sections. The first section is the modernized version of the upanishad, and the second section contains this modernized version interpolated with the translation provided by Katch and Egenes. You can read through the interpolation to judge for yourself the veracity/accuracy of the modernization.

The Īsha Upanishad is fairly straight forward. It opens with a statement about proper orientation to the fruits of Creation (i.e. the physical universe). It makes a statement about the importance of paying attention to cause and effect, and then gives advice on the importance of achieving Connection, making some statements on the difference between Self and “mind” or spiritual ego and bodily ego. It also gives some advice on proper intellectual orientation. The Upanishad ends with an affirmation requesting assistance, authentic connection, persistent apprehension of truth, and union.

Īsha Upanishad

That is full; this is full.
From fullness, fullness comes out.
Taking fullness from fullness,
what remains is fullness.

1. Everything on the planet including all life is a manifestation of, and pervaded by, The Fabric of Consciousness. You do not own it. Creation is here for the enjoyment and benefit of all.

2. Remember, this is a material world and your experience of it is impacted by your actions at all times. If you want to live a hundred years, take actions that support this goal.

3. Disconnection leaves you blind and covered in darkness. It is important you make a connection to your Highest Self while alive. If you don’t have this realization, you will live in a world covered in darkness and your next birth will start in darkness as well.

4. Your Higher Self, your Spiritual Ego is eternal and far more intelligent then your Bodily Ego. It does not exist as a physical substance and therefore you cannot see, hear, or touch it. Nevertheless, it provides the breath from which all life emerges.

5. Your higher self, your Consciousness, pervades all things. It is constant and immovable, yet it moves all things. It is far away and eternal, but also present in the very atoms of this universe.

6. Once you realize that all this is Consciousness, that all this is Self, you will will have no reason to fear.

7. One you realize that all this is Consciousness, you will free yourself of delusion and sorrow.

8. Self is everywhere, shining in everything. Self is without body and hence undamaged. Self is pure and untouched by disjuncture and disconnection. Self is the endless source of all creative emanation.

9. Keep in mind, to make this work, to make a proper connection, to avoid being confined in blinding darkness, you have to understand Self and creation. If you don’t, if you cling to ignorance and misunderstanding, or if you delight in the sophistry of “knowledge” that is not grounded in Truth, you’ll only be drawn into darkness and disconnection.

10. All the wise people say this.

11. However, if you  move beyond ignorance and “knowledge,” you will make a stronger connection.

12. The same goes for your orientation to creation (the manifest), and also to the Fabric of Consciousness (the unmanifest)

13. Self is not equivalent to physical creation, nor is it equivalent to The Fabric. All the wise folk say this.

14. If you understand this, you’ll be able to attain stronger connection.

15-17 Now let us pray, “I ask that my spiritual ego, my Highest Self, the spark of divinity within me, reveal to me the truth. Make me steadfast in the truth. Help me to see. Let my life breath join with your immortal breath. Let myself be connected to my Self. Help me remember what I’ve learned. Help me understand all the teachings. Lead me on a good path to prosperity. Lead me away from disjuncture and sin and show me the way to alignment.

That is full; this is full.
From fullness, fullness comes out.
Taking fullness from fullness,
what remains is fullness.

Īsha Upanishad Interpolated with Original Translation

That is full; this is full.
From fullness, fullness comes out.
Taking fullness from fullness,
what remains is fullness.
Om shāntih shāntih shāntih.

1. Everything here, whatever moves in the moving world, is pervaded by the Lord. Enjoy it by way of relinquishing it; cease to take for yourself what to others are riches.

1. Everything on the planet including all life is a manifestation of, and pervaded by, The Fabric of Consciousness. You do not own it. Creation is here for the enjoyment and benefit of all.

2. Always performing actions here, one may aspire to live a hundred years. Thus for you there is no other way than this, whereby action will not cling to you.

2. Remember, this is a material world and your experience of it is impacted by your actions at all times. If you want to live a hundred years, take actions that support this goal.

3. Sunless are those worlds called, covered in blinding darkness; there, after departing, go those men who are slayers of the Self.

3. Disconnection leaves you blind and covered in darkness. It is important you make a connection to your Highest Self while alive. If you don’t have this realization, you will live in a world covered in darkness and your next birth will start in darkness as well.

4. It is one, unmoving, swifter than the mind. The senses cannot reach it. It darts ahead. Standing still, it outruns those who run. Within it the breath of life supports all that stirs.

4. Your Higher Self is eternal and far more intelligent then your Bodily Ego. It does not exist as a physical substance and therefore you cannot see, hear, or touch it. Nevertheless, it provides the breath from which all life emerges.

5. It moves and it moves not. It is far away and it is close by. It is within all this. It is outside all this.

5. Your higher self, your consciousness, pervades all things. It is constant and immovable, yet it moves all things. It is far away and eternal, but also in the very atoms of this universe.

6. He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings no longer hides in fear.

Once you realize that all this is Consciousness, that all this is Self, you’ll will have no reason to fear.

7. For the man of wisdom, in whom all beings have become his own Self, how can delusion, how can sorrow befall that seer of oneness?

7. One you realize that all this is Consciousness, you’ll free yourself of delusion and sorrow.

8. He is all-pervading, shining, bodiless, unscarred, without sinews, pure, untouched by sin. He is the seer, wise, encompassing all, self-existent. Through endless time he has ordained objects in due sucession.

8. Self is everywhere, shining in everything. Self is without body and hence undamaged. Self is pure and untouched by disjuncture and disconnection. Self is the endless source of all creative emanation.

9. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance. Into as if still greater darkness enter those who delight in knowledge.

9. Keep in mind here, to make this work, to make a proper connection, you have to understand Self and creation. If you don’t, if you cling to ignorance and misunderstanding, or if you delight in the sophistry of “knowledge,” you’ll only be drawn into darkness and disconnection.

10 “It is other than knowledge,” they say. “It is other than ignorance,” they say. Thus we have heard from the wise who have explained it to us.

10. All the wise people say this.

11. Knowledge and ignorance— he who knows both together, crosses beyond mortality through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.

11. If you understand this, you’ll be able to move beyond ignorance and make a stronger connection.

12. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship the unmanifest. Into as if still greater darkness enter those who delight in the manifest.

12. The same goes for your orientation to creation (the manifest), and also to the Fabric of Consciousness (the unmanifest)

13. “It is other than existence,” they say. “It is other than nonexistence,” they say. Thus have we heard from the wise who have explained it to us.

13. Self is not equivalent to physical creation, nor is it equivalent to the fabric.

14. Manifest and unmanifest— he who knows both together, crosses beyond death through the unmanifest and attains immortality through the manifest.

14. If you understand this, you’ll be able to attain stronger connection.

15. The face of truth is hidden by a disc of gold. Unveil it, O Pūshan,1 so that I, steadfast in truth, may see. 16. O Pūshan, the sole seer, O controller, O Sūrya,2 offspring of Prajāpati, disperse your rays and gather in your light, so that I may behold your most graceful form. He who is that person afar, I am he. 17. Let this life-breath join with the immortal breath. Then let this body end in ashes. Om. Remember, O my understanding, remember what has been done. Remember, O my understanding, what has been done, remember. 18. Agni, lead us by the good path to prosperity, O radiant one, who knows all our ways. Remove from us our crooked sins. May we offer you abundant words of praise.

15-17 Now let us pray, “I ask that my spiritual ego, my Highest Self, the spark of divinity within me, reveal to me the truth. Make me steadfast in the truth. Help me to see. Let my life breath join with your immortal breath. Let myself be connected to my Self. Help me remember what I’ve learned. Help me understand all the teachings. Lead me on a good path to prosperity. Lead me away from disjuncture and sin and show me the way to alignment.

That is full; this is full.
From fullness, fullness comes out.
Taking fullness from fullness,
what remains is fullness.

Endnotes

References

1Vernon Katz and Thomas Egenes, The Upanishads: A New Translation (New York: Penguin, 2015), https://amzn.to/2XAhN7M.

2Steven T. Katz, “Language, Epistemology and Mysticism,” in Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis, ed. Steven T. Katz (London: Sheldon Pess, 1978), 13, https://amzn.to/2TW0OpC.

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