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The first hymn of Isha Upanishad says - whatever living beings inhabit the world here, God resides in all of them; enjoy what is given by Him and don't seek other's wealth.
All religious people believe in God, who resides in heaven. It is their common belief that God gives health, happiness and success in life. Only He can rescue them from all trouble. For this they worship God in temples, churches and mosques and pray for mercy.
To such religious people, Isha Upanishad tells that God resides only in living beings, who inhabit this world. Where their is life, their is God. Where there is no life, as in a dead body or a material object, there is no God. Both spiritualism and science tells that matter does not exist. According to science, matter is nothing but a form of energy. In the universe the sum total of all energies is zero. According to spiritualism, matter does not exist; if at all it exists, it exists in the consciousness of a being. In the universe only God or life exists. When it is said, God is omnipresent and all pervasive, it means, there is nothing but God exists.
The essence of a being is its soul(atman). Body is perishable and momentary; but soul is eternal and ever existent. Soul is the source of life and consciousness of a being. So long as soul resides in a being, a body is alive. The moment soul departs, a being is dead. No external or imaginary God can give life to a dead body. So this soul is God.
The hymn further describes that one should accept what is gifted by God residing in oneself and should not seek other's wealth. When one realises that God resides in him, one should accept what is given by Him only. Soul or God has given us life and consciousness. He has given senses to perceive the world; mind to think and decide and hands to work for earning. For this we are able to achieve everything in life. We can take the examples of successful men of the world. So there is no need to seek other's help or wealth. When we depend on others, even on external God, we fail to realise God within. God within is real and existent. The value of freedom and independence is fully realised when we fully depend on ourselves. We are liberated once we realise this fact.
This is the simple and logical meaning of the first hymn of Isha Upanishad. However, so far this hymn has not been interpreted this way. This is because, religious leaders always project an external God and create a fear psychosis. By this they rule over their followers and lead a comfortable life without working. Religious leaders have always worked in conievence with rulers in order to propagate their empty message. Rulers have also sought their help in order to subjugate their subjects and to fight with other states. Now religious fundamentalists instigate people to fight for God, so that they may enter into heaven after death. These are nothing but blindness and ignorance. Now time has come to accept the truth that God resides in all beings only.
Author Premansu Chand, 40, is an Indian and Govt. servent. He reads scriptures and practices Yoga. He has published a book "quest for truth: the spiritual and yogic way" recently. His aim is to spread true spiritualism and yoga.
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