Home >

daily-prayers-hindu-prayer-hub >


Knowledge or experience? Vidya or Avidya? From Ishavasya upanishad

Prayer of the Day

Prayer from Isha Upanishad

अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति यॆऽविद्यामुपासतॆ ।
ततॊ भूय इव तॆ तमॊ य उ विद्यायाó रताः ॥ ९ ॥

अन्यदॆवाहुर् विद्यया अन्यदाहुरविद्यया ।
इति शुश्रुम धीराणां यॆ नस्तद्विचचक्षिरॆ ॥ १० ॥

विद्यां चाविद्यां च यस्तद्वॆदॊभयó सह ।
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुतॆ ॥ ११ ॥

Hymn as Romanized text


andhaM tamaH pravishanti yE&vidyAmupAsatE |
tatO bhUya iva tE tamO ya u vidyAyAM ratAH || 9 ||

anyadEvAhur vidyayA anyadAhuravidyayA |
iti shushruma dhIrANAM yE nastad vichachakShirE || 10 ||

vidyAM chAvidyAM cha yastadvEdObhayaM saha |
avidyayA mRutyuM tIrtvA vidyayA&mRutamashnutE || 11 ||


(andhaM tamaH pravishanti yE avidyAm upAsatE |
tatO bhUya iva tE tamO ya u vidyAyAM ratAH || 9 ||

anyad EvAhur vidyayA anyad Ahur avidyayA |
iti shushruma dhIrANAM yE nas tad vichachakShirE || 10 ||

vidyAM cha avidyAM cha yasta dvEda ubhayaM saha |
avidyayA mRutyuM tIrtvA vidyayAm amRutam ashnutE || 11 || )


Meaning of the Prayer Hymn:

 Those who adore unknown, they enter into the darkness.
Those who enjoy the known get into ever greater darkness!

 Different is told about known and something else told of unknown,
so have we heard from the brave, who have elucidated to us.

 One who understands the known and unknown both thus,
crossing the death with unknown, enjoys the eternity with known!


1. pravish - to enter; avidya - unknown; vidya - known;
bhUya - becoming; ratAH - delight.
   Ahur - homage; shushru - carefully heard; 
vichachakShire - explained
   ubhayaM - both; azna - enjoy.
2. These three hymns are related and hence dealt together here.
3. vidya and avidya
The terms avidya and vidya need to be understood first to
properly derive the meaning of these three hymns.
Vidya is the "known" - can associate consciously learnt, explicit knowledge etc.
Avidya is the "unknown" - subtle, experience, intuition etc can be associated.

Those who value the subtle experience only, lose out the grosser truth
and they enter into darkness.
Those who value only the gross explicit things, lose out even bigger
by not recognizing the subtle things that cannot be not explicitly expressed.
An either or will not work!

The fruits of explicit learning is different and that of the 
subtle experience is different. This is recorded by our great ancestor seers.

When both the explicit learning and subtle experience is understood,
one can rely on the subtle experience to cross over the worldly life
and enjoy the Bliss or Eternity with the "learnt".

4. The foundation of the vedic dharma practice seem to be in
these hymns. Very often people come across the question of
subtle experience of divinity or the clear learning through scripture
and analysis; realizing God inside or seeking out; 
performing rituals or pursuit of knowledge; ........
Those who put blind faith on the divine experience can go insane.
Those who keep analyzing would get into analysis paralysis without the blissful experience!
So it is clear that following one and leaving out the other, would not help.
(There are religions in the world that either call for blind faith 
or that negate the experience and call for continuous self examination.
They are half baked and would lead to the darkness!)
That is why our brave seers have handed over to us the practice
that hold high the Divine experience that is well supported
by the knowledge. 
Let us thank God and those great seers for putting us on this
glorious path! Let us celebrate both experience and knowledge!!

Related Content

Three basic prescriptions to the seeker From Ishavasya upan

How to get out of Karmic cycle? - From Ishavasya upanishad

Don't be suicidal - From Ishavasya upanishad

God is the good purpose behind! - From Ishavasya upanishad

God is Immanent as well as Transcendent - From Ishavasya upa