Athato Brahma jignyasaa ! ......

The Katho Upanishad 1.3 ( contd.,.)

In the tradition of conveying a complex subject through the use of a subtle parable the Kathopanishad starts with the story of a Rishi Vajasravas and his son Nachiketa.The dialog of Nachiketa with Lord Yama carries the message of the Upanishad.

Rishi Vajasravas performs 'Viswajit' sacrifice which involves giving away all his wealth. His son Nachiketa notices that his father is giving away gifts( cows) which are of no use. Very much concerned and trying to grab the attention of his father he asks his father to whom will he give 'Nachiketa'. Father being busy with the rituals and with without realizing says "to death". There upon to keep his fathers word Nachiketa moves to Yama's world. Yama was away when Nachiketa reaches the place. He waits for three nights till Yama returns. Alerted that a Brahman was waiting for him for three days without partaking anything as a guest , Yama offers him three boons for the three nights he waited. For the first boon Nachiketa wants to understand the Fire sacrifice and for the Second boon he wants that his Father be free of anxiety and be happy . Both the boons being granted Nachiketa asks for the third boon the knowledge about "hereafter". Nachiketa says that some say there is life after death some say not and he wants to know what happens after death. Yama tries to dissuade him with all sorts of worldly boons. Nachiketa could not be deterred. Yama tells him even Devas do not know, it is too difficult to understand . Nachiketa still insists on the knowledge then Yama relents.

Yama tells first about the word "om" as the vehicle for achieving his goal. Then he talks about self. This self cannot be known through study, nor through intellect, nor through hearing. It can be known through the self alone the aspirant prays to. The self of the seeker reveals its true nature to the seeker.

So the kathopanishad continues into valli three of First Adhyaya ..

Yama continues talking about self:

There are two dwelling in the heart of hearts who enjoy the fruits of good deeds in this world. They are like light and shade , the Jeevaatmaand paramaatma . May we acquire the knowledge of Brahman in his manifested form as Lord of Sacrifice and for those who follow the path of wisdom in his un manifested form as the eternal Supreme being.

Yama continues comparing Body to a chariot.

Know Body as the chariot and the Atman as the Lord of the Chariot.

Know the intellect as the driver and the mind as the reins.

The senses are called the horses and the sense objects as the Roads.

Yama continues the parable of the body as chariot and self as the Lord of the chariot.The intellect or the discriminating faculty as the driver who controlsthe wild horses which are the senses by firmly holding thereins of mind . The roads on which these horses travel are full of objects which attract or repel the senses( horses).The sense of smelling follows the path of sweet odors, the sense of sight follows the path of beautiful objects.Thus each sense ( horse) unless controlled by adiscriminatingMind seeks to towards its special objects.

When the self( Atman) is joined with the body mind and senses it is called intelligent enjoyer

Yama goes on;

He who does not possess discrimination, whose mind is uncontrolled and always impure he does not reach theGoal, but falls into the cycle of Samsara

But he who possess the right discrimination whose mind is under control and always pure he reaches the Goal fromwhich he is not born again .

The man who has a discriminative intellect for driver and a controlled mind for reins reaches the end of journey the highest placeof the Supreme being.

O Nachiketa , know that beyond senses are the objects, beyond objects is the mind and beyond mind is the intellect and beyond intellect is the Atman.

Beyond the Atman is the un manifestedsupreme being . beyond that there is nothing. That is the end and that is the final Goal

This Atman hidden in all beings does not shine forth , but it is seen by the seers with subtleunderstanding

A wise man should control speech by mind, mind by intellect , intellect by Atman.and that by Paramaatma.

Arise and awake, seek the Great ones ( gurus) , gain understanding .The path is difficult to travel declare the wise.

Knowing that which is soundless , touch less. formless , tasteless , odorless un decaying,beginning less, endless and immutable , knowing that man escapes death.

The intelligent man who has heard and repeated the story of Nachiketaas instructed by Yama is glorified in theworld of Brahman.

He who recites this highestsecret of immortality before an assembly of Brahmans or at the time of Shraddha( funeral ceremony) he gains everlasting reward.

om tat sat