Ishavasya Upanishad has many passages that perfectly suit my liberal thoughts and atheistic philosophies. Here are some of them I have interpreted.
The Verse for “Right To Property”
ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ।।IsAvAsyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyAm jagat |Tena tyaktena bhunjithA mA grdhah kasyasvid dhanam ||This everything that moves in this world is owned by Isa (God). Hence consume it sparingly and in a detached manner. Never ever covete for some one else’s possessions
This verse solves the confusion of right to property
(1) Only God owns everything that moves(Jagat) in this world(Jagatyam) . Since world itself is moving, everything on it also is moving. Hence no mortal can own anything that is on this earth. It asks us to consume it as if we are sharing, to be detached, and use it sparingly.
(2) What is the meaning of coveting somebody’s possessions when nobody but God owns things? My understanding is that the meaning of possession means sharing, as if you borrow a book from a circulating library. We cant say we own a fraction of a library book,because all of it is shared. We neither own it in a time multiplexed manner, or space multiplexed, we only borrow it to enjoy. Not only that whatever we consume is a loan from our future generation, so we must have consideration. If we don’t follow this, it is equivalent to coveting somebody else’s possession. And we should never do that.
(3) This is so simple but so profound.Perhaps this is the best use of the concept of God.
(4) Also it proves that we knew earth was not static, we always knew earth was moving, solar system was moving, the entire universe is moving 🙂 and hence we use the word Jagat for this universe.
Principle of Non Aggression
असुर्या नाम ते लोका अन्धेन तमसाऽऽवृताः ।ताँँस्ते प्रेत्याभिगच्छन्ति ये के चात्महनो जनाः ॥Asurya Naama Te Loka andhena Tamasaavritaaha |Taansthe pretyabhigachhanthi ye ke chaatmahano janaaha ||There is a world without a star and hence is filled with darkness. Those who kill the self would go to that world.
Observe that when Krishna tells one cannot kill the aatma, this verse tells those who kill the Aatma would go to the place where there is no Star, no Light and darkness everywhere. How is this possible, does it not conflict?
Upon reading the Bhashyas further, I found that killing the self means prohibiting somebody (including oneself) to express themselves. This is the classic argument for Non Aggression, the corner stone of libertarianism. Thats why dehatyaga is a virtue, many do that. But Atmahatya is a abominable. Dehatyaga is done in peace, for the welfare of others with full knowledge. Atmahatya is escapism, the reflection of failure.
Theory of Relativity
अनेजदेकं मनसो जवीयो नैनद्देवा आप्नुवन्पूर्वमर्षत् ।तद्धावतोऽन्यानत्येति तिष्ठत्तस्मिन्नपो मातरिश्वा दधाति ||Anejat ekam manasah javiyah na enat devAh apnuvan purvam arsat. |Tat dhAvatah anyAn atyeti. Tasmin Apah mAtarisvA dadhAti ||Though it appears not to move, it moves faster than mind. Even God’s cannot reach it, by the time Gods try to reach it, it would have gone farther (think of time travel)तदेजति तन्नैजति तद्दूरे तद्वन्तिके ।तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्य तदु सर्वस्य बाह्यतः ॥Tat ejati tat na ejati. Tat dure tat antike. |Tat antah asya sarvasya Tat u sarvasya asya bAhyatah ||It moves but is also static, it is farther but yet near, it is within us but everything is external to it
These two shlokas classically state the main principle of relativistic theory. The self is faster than mind, hence when the Gods of senses try to reach the self, self would have got somewhere else as if it is a time travel. Self moves faster than mind, hence if you know how to control the self you can control your mind and perhaps see the future 🙂
The second verse above tells that same object can be in motion and be static. It only depends on frame of reference.
Both Science and Philosophy should be studied.
अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते । ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्याया रताः ॥अन्यदेवाहुर्विद्ययाऽन्यदाहुरविद्यया । इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे ॥Andham Tamaha Pravishanthi Yo Avidhyaam Upaasathe |Tato Bhooya Iva te Tamo Ya u Vidhyayaa Rataaha ||Anyadeva Ahur-vidyaya anyadaahur-avidyayaa |Iti shushruma dheeranaam ye nastad vichachakshire ||Those who focus on Avidya alone will go to darkness. And those who study only Vidya will go to a place darker than the first. The result of Vidya is different and the result of Avidya is different, no need to say they conflict with one another, they are orthogonal.
Vidya is the study of Brahman, Avidya is the study of Prakriti which is ever changing and hence indeterministic. The above verse says that those who study only theology/philosophy will goto darkness (know nothing) and those who study only science also will goto darkness (know nothing). So both have to be studied.
Now people may know that Hinduism is the only religion that is comfortable with science and hence we don’t have problems with evolution 🙂
Saying there is no God (Asambhava) and there is God(Sambhava) deterministically is both wrong, we need to believe in both.
अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽसम्भूतिमुपासते । ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ सम्भूत्या रताः ॥अन्यदेवाहुः सम्भवादन्यदाहुरसम्भवात् । इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे ॥Andham Tamaha Pravishanthi Ye Sambhoothim Upaasathe |Tato Bhooya Iva te Tamo Ya u Vidhyayaa Rataaha ||Anyadeva Ahur-vidyaya anyadaahur-avidyayaa |Iti shushruma dheeranaam ye nastad vichachakshire ||Those who focus on non existence of God(Asambhooti) alone will go to darkness. And those who focus only on presence of God(Sambhoothi) will go to a place darker than the first. The God is for a different purpose and Godlessness serves a different purpose, no need to say they conflict with one another, they are orthogonal.
While most Bhashyakaaras have considered Sambhooti and Asambhooti as formfull/formless God (Saguna/Nirguna). I have taken liberty to translate it as presence or absence of God, hence theism/atheism.The reason is the usage of explicit words of “Sambhava” and “Asambhava” they don’t use Saguna/Nirguna here though they are available. They also don’t use Astika/Nastika which was interpreted as the presence/absence of belief in Vedas.