You may like to read Part 14 here.
Verse 17 & Verse 18 :
वायुरनिलममृतमथेदं भस्मान्तं शरीरम् ।
ओं । क्रतो स्मर कृतं स्मर क्रतो स्मर कृतं स्मर ॥ १७ ॥
(Let my) Prana melt into the all-pervading Air, the eternal Sutratman; and let this body he burnt by fire to ashes; Om. O mind, remember, remember my deeds; O mind, remember, remember my deeds.
अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मान्विश्वानि देव वयुनानि विद्वान् ।
युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो भूयिष्ठां ते नम उक्तिं विधेम ॥ १८ ॥
O Agni, lead us by the good path to the enjoyment of the fruits of our deeds, knowing O God, all our deeds. Remove the sin of deceit from within us. We offer thee many prostrations by word of mouth.
My Personal Understanding :
These are the concluding verses of the Upanishad and verily provide us the clue how a person who is walking the spiritual path should leave at end of his life term.
The text says this body which is made up of matter is a borrowed part of this earth and rightfully goes back to the earth when we leave. That’s why the text instructs us to leave with the detachment towards this body. Knowing that this physical body is a part of physical nature, let it go back and merge in that.
We all are alive because of the life force that runs within us. We all inhale and exhale every moment. It goes and comes back. The moment it goes and does not come back, we call it death. The text says we should consciously offer it to the Prana, which pervades everywhere.
The word “ Krato” is being used. RigVeda says “agnim īḻe kavikratum” this word has been used for Agni, which is indicative of Divine Will. Agni is Divine Will. In Puranas, Kratu has been named as one of the mind-born sons of Lord Bramha. Kratu’s wife is Kriya. The esoteric meaning of this story gets revealed more when we delve a bit into Tantra Shastra. In Tantra, Divine Goddess, is characteristic of three powers, iccha shakti (Divine Will), Jnana Shakti (Knowledge), and Kriya Shakti (Action). These three powers of the Divine Goddess are also symbolised by Agni, Sun, and Moon respectively. The reason I am providing the context of Vedas, Puranas, and Tantras is to elucidate that they all speak the same Truth, the language stories, and deities used are different.
The Divine Will is present everywhere. However, in human beings, it emerges first in the mind. It uses the mental faculty of memory to link together and direct consciously the activities towards the goal of the individual. Knowing this great secret, the Text invokes the Divine Agni, to remember all his deeds.
The text in the first verse declares that all this is Isha and let go of all your desires. Here the seeker who has extinguished all the desires and lived his life in the attitude that Divine alone pervades everything and everywhere is asking Agni to merge his will with Divine Will and become one with the Supreme.
So, in Verse 17, one who is established either by Yoga or Jnana is willfully merging in the Self for he has learned the Art of being centered in his own Self.
The text in the second verse says that if one wishes to live, one should live a life performing selfless service towards mankind and doing righteous actions. This is the good path “supath” text has recommended in the beginning. Here, this kind of seeker is invoking Agni to remember all my deeds and provide me with the fruits of our deeds. What are the fruit of righteous actions and selfless service to mankind? The fruit is Liberation alone.
In the last verse, one who has taken a path of Karma Yoga or Bhakti Yoga is offering all his deeds to the Divine and asking the Divine to provide me him the fruits of Deeds with an intention of seeking Liberation.
Om Tat Sat !
- Commentary on Isha Upanishad – By Sri Aurobindo
- Commentary on Isha Upanishad – By Adi Shankaracharya
Note of Gratitude:
My First, and Foremost obeisance to my beloved master Om Swami whose grace alone inspired and guided me to assimilate these esoteric concepts and put them in an easy-to-understand language. Then, my salutations to the Divine who made me an instrument to do his works.
I would also like to thank my son and my husband, for supporting me and understanding my desire to spend time in solitude so that I can contemplate on the sacred texts.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank each one of you who took the time to read these posts and left valuable and encouraging comments to keep me going. I would like to apologize for all the mistakes I would have committed while providing my personal understanding. They are as imperfect as I am. However, the intention was to inspire seekers to not only read but to contemplate the text deeply so that they can come up with their own understanding.
All mistakes are mine, All Grace is Yours, my Swami.
🌼🌼🌼All Glories ot Swami ji alone 🌼🌼🌼