Isha Vs Taiitriya

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Mon Aug 25 10:21:38 CDT 1997

On Mon, 25 Aug 1997, Nanda Kumar wrote:

> I've this habit of calling home every weekend and my mother as a rule
> brings up the subject of marraige. So this time I mockingly ask her,
> "Amma, aren't we Brahmins? Don't we follow the Upanishads? The Isha
> Upanishad says those who desire progeny are doomed to a world of
> darkness". After a pause,  my mother cuts loose with a Sanskrit verse
> and says, "You don't know your Upanishads very well! Read the
> Taittriyopanishad". So I look it up and sure enough there's the guru who
> to a graduating student asks him to marry and perform his social duties!
> So can the learned members of the list clarify as to why there's a
> contradiction in the shruti?

There is no real contradiction. The ISa upanishad is quite difficult to
interpret, and does not say what you say above in an absolute sense.
According to Vedanta, nobody is doomed to an eternal darkness. Rather, it
is the other way round. If you desire immortality/liberation, having
progeny is not the way to it. If you desire progeny, it is best to do so
in accordance with social responsibilities. That is the purport.


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