MANTRA 1: TRANSLATION. Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.
PURPORT. Vedic knowledge is infallible because it comes down through the perfect disciplic succession of spiritual masters, beginning with the Lord Himself. Since He spoke the first word of Vedic knowledge, the source of this knowledge is transcendental. The words spoken by the Lord are called apaurusheya, which indicates that they are not delivered by any mundane person. A living being who lives in the mundane world has four defects: (1) he is certain to commit mistakes; (2) he is subject to illusion; (3) he has a propensity to cheat others; and (4) his senses are imperfect. No one with these four imperfections can deliver perfect knowledge. The Vedas are not produced by such an imperfect creature. Vedic knowledge was originally imparted by the Lord into the heart of Brahma, the first created living being, and Brahma in his turn disseminated this knowledge to his sons and disciples, who have handed it down through history.
Since the Lord is purnam, all-perfect, there is no possibility of His being subjected to the laws of material nature, which He controls. However, both the living entities and inanimate objects are controlled by the laws of nature and ultimately by the Lord’s potency. This Isopanishad is part of the Yajur Veda, and consequently it contains information concerning the proprietorship of all things existing within the universe.
The Lord’s proprietorship over everything within the universe is confirmed in the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5), where para and apara prakriti are discussed. The elements of nature—earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego—all belong to the Lord’s inferior, material energy (apara prakriti),whereas the living being, the organic energy, is His superior energy (para prakriti). Both of these prakritis, or energies, are emanations from the Lord, and ultimately He is the controller of everything that exists. There is nothing in the universe that does not belong to either the para or the apara prakriti; therefore everything is the property of the Supreme Being.
Because the Supreme Being, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is the complete person, He has complete and perfect intelligence to adjust everything by means of His different potencies. The Supreme Being is often compared to a fire, and everything organic and inorganic is compared to the heat and light of that fire. Just as fire distributes energy in the form of heat and light, the Lord displays His energy in different ways. He thus remains the ultimate controller, sustainer and dictator of everything. He is the possessor of all potencies, the knower of everything and the benefactor of everyone. He is full of inconceivable opulence, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation.
One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that except for the Lord no one is a proprietor of anything. One should accept only those things that are set aside by the Lord as his quota.
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Source: Sri Isopanishad. Translation and purports by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Copyright BBT International http://www.vedabase.com/en/iso