One more thing !

Some notes from Kathopanishad!!

Blind leading the Blind

and other notes from

Kathopanisha !

“ The senseless people go around and round just like the blind led by a blind “ ( Katha 1.2.5). The only result is certain ruin.

This is a classic case and it happens when we are led by self styled pundits with no knowledge.

And it happens so often.

It is so thought provoking that it entered the lexicon of a proverb in many religions and languages.

The context is that of Yama teaching Nachiketa.

Yama tells Nachiketa that those living in ignorance, they think themselves to be wise and learned. Deluded in many ways the leader and the led go round and round just like teh blind led by a blind . The result is a certain ruin !

Any amount of book knowledge cannot make one a real Vidwan or Pundit ,unless one lives in the “spirit of renunciation” and lives a life dedicated to “self purification” and “self knowledge”

Neither birth nor parentage can make one a Pundit unless he goes through the process..

When led by such half baked pundits , it is like the blind led by blind. The the only certain result is the ruin !!

There is one more thought presented by Yama to Nachiketa !

Man decays and dies like a corn and emerges again like a corn again..

This is part of a stanza that is directly addressed to his father by Nachiketa. It contains the wisdom of all Sruthis and reflects Sanatana Dharma.

The context is as follows:

Nachiketa's father was doing a yaga wherein he is to give away all he owns. He is pestered by Nachiketa asking him as to whom will he give Nachiketa away. Possibly out sheer irritation he blurts out saying “ to death” !

The father might never have thought of giving away Nachiketa. But pushed he said what occurred to him !!

Nachiketa realized that once his father said so, it has to happen. He has to go to Death!.

Then he wondered aloud . “ among many he was first at times and some times in the middle and never the last “ . Meaning there by that he is not like the cows which are beyond the useful life, which were being given away. He wondered what purpose will be achieved by his being given away to “Death”.

Then he decided that in any case he must proceed to 'death' .

Though the father said “to death I give you” in a fit of irritation, actually sending him to death is indeed a challenge.

So then there is the task of convincing his father that he must go as per the words of his father. Not doing so would be adharma !.

So he tells his father “remember how the forefathers acted . Consider how others now act . “ and act accordingly in letting Nachiketa go !!.

Then he adds - “ a mortal decays like a corn , and like corn born again” . When life is like that of a corn , there is no need to stop him from going to Lord of Death.

Here there is a significant worldly advice, which can also be seen.

At times of moral ethical challenges it is not always possible for all to keep cool and bring our sense of judgment and discrimination in to play ! We may not be able to do the SWOT analysis etc and arrive at clean solution !!

So in such a situation Nachiketa gives practical tip.

At such times of critical challenges , he says , consider how great masters or elders acted under similar circumstances.

Adding to that if it is a scenario where we may not have examples of masters etc – Nachiketa seems to say - “Consider how others act”

Consider these two and chart a your course of action !

om tat Sat