Author Topic: Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad  (Read 2287 times)


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Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad
« on: November 21, 2010, 12:20:06 AM »
Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli

1-I-27. Man cannot be satisfied with wealth. If we need wealth, we shall get it if we only see thee. We shall live until such time as thou wilt rule. But the boon to be asked for (by me) is that alone.

1-II-2. The preferable and the pleasurable approach man. The intelligent one examines both and separates them. Yea, the intelligent one prefers the preferable to the pleasurable, (whereas) the ignorant one selects the pleasurable for the sake of yoga (attainment of that which is not already possessed) and kshema (the preservation of that which is already in possession).

1-II-5. Living in the midst of ignorance and deeming themselves intelligent and enlightened, the ignorant go round and round staggering in crooked paths, like the blind led by the blind.

1-II-16. This syllable (Om) indeed is the (lower) Brahman; this syllable indeed is the higher Brahman; whosoever knows this syllable, indeed, attains whatsoever he desires.

1-II-18. The intelligent Self is not born, nor does It die. It did not come from anywhere, nor did anything come from It. It is unborn, eternal, everlasting and ancient, and is not slain even when the body is slain.

1-II-22. The intelligent one having known the Self to be bodiless in (all) bodies, to be firmly seated in things that are perishable, and to be great and all-pervading, does not grieve.

1-II-23. The Self cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, not by intelligence nor by much hearing. Only by him who seeks to know the Self can It be attained. To him the Self reveals Its own nature.

1-II-24. None who has not refrained from bad conduct, whose senses are not under restraint, whose mind is not collected or who does not preserve a tranquil mind, can attain this Self through knowledge.

1-III-3. Know the Self to be the master of the chariot, and the body to be the chariot. Know the intellect to be the charioteer, and the mind to be the reins.

1-III-4. The senses they speak of as the horses; the objects within their view, the way. When the Self is yoked with the mind and the senses, the wise call It the enjoyer.

1-III-9. But the man who has a discriminating intellect as his driver, and a controlled-mind as the reins, reaches the end of the path – that supreme state of Vishnu.

1-III-10. The sensory objects are subtler than the senses, and subtler than the sensory objects is mind. But intellect is subtler than mind and subtler than intellect is Mahat (the Hiranyagarbha).

1-III-11. The unmanifested (avyakta) is subtler than Mahat (Hiranyagarbha) and subtler than the unmanifested is Purusha. There is nothing subtler than Purusha. That is the end, that is the supreme goal.

1-III-16. Narrating and hearing this eternal story of Nachiketas told by Death, the intelligent man attains glory in the world of Brahman.

2-I-4. Knowing that great and all-pervading Self by which one sees (the objects) both in the sleep and the waking states, the intelligent man grieves no more.

2-I-12. The Purusha, of the size of a thumb, dwells in the body. (Realizing Him as) the Lord of the past and the future, one does not (henceforward) want to protect oneself. This verily is that (thou seekest).

2-III-7. The mind is subtler than the senses; subtler than the mind is the intellect; Mahat (Hiranyagarbha) is subtler than the intellect; subtler than Mahat is Avyakta (Unmanifested).

2-III-8. But subtler than Avyakta is Purusha, all-pervading and without a linga (distinguishing mark) indeed, knowing whom a mortal becomes freed and attains immortality.



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Re: Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 08:40:29 AM »

Naciketa going to the abode of Yama is quite interesting.  He
adopted 'questioning method'.  He is the son of Vaajasrava
who was giving dhanam to brahmins.  This chap was giving away
cows that were decrepit and barren, which were devoid of the power of the organs and incapable of bearing calves.  The son became curious and asked his clever father:  "Father!  To whom will you offer me?"  He asked for three times.  The impatient father said:
"To death, I shall offer you!"

He was pondering before going to the abode of Yama:  "
Among many I rank as belonging to the highest.  Among
many, I rank as belonging to the middling.  What purpose
can there be of Death that my father, will get achieved today
through me? This sloka is the best, in chapter I.  [I.i.5]

What is the use of Death for me?  Or for my father?  I shall
go to abode of Yama and come back as a new birth.  Do I
really die?  How to conquer the death and attain deathlessness?


Yama carefully avoided Naciketas from asking about immortality
or deathlessness.  He told him, that he would given gold, treasures
and beautiful dancing girls!  He even taught him about fire worships, {all karmas that shall confer only heaven and not liberation}

Yama says in I.ii. 7-8:

Of That [Self] which is not available for the mere hearing to many, [and] which many do not understand even while hearing, the
expounder is wonderful and the receiver is wonderful.  Wonderful
is he who knows under the instruction of an adept.  The Self is not
certainly adequately known when spoken of by an inferior person;
for It is thought of variously.  When taught by one who has become identified with It, there is no further cogitation with regard to It.
For It is beyond argumentation, being subtler even than the
atomic quantity.  [Tr. Swami Gambhirananda].


As regards Kathopanishad, there are only two entries in Devarja
Mudaliar's Day by Day.  Entries dated 24th March 1946 and 25th
March 1946.   Bhagavan Ramana explained the Naciketagni mentioned in the Upanishad. 

Bhagavan says:

He will come gradually, step by step, to find out the sourceof
'I'.  First, adversity will make him feel that there is a power beyond his control, upsetting his plans.  Then, he will begin with rituals,
ceremonial worships, and through japa, kirtan, dhyana, go on to

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 07:38:42 PM »
thanks for this info Subramanian garu.


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Re: Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 06:39:58 AM »

Naciketas asks Yama:  The dancing girls that you may give
may become old and become useless.  I may get old and cannot
use these girls.  Similarly wealth may be lost, riches may be stolen.
What is the use of all these for me?  Sarvam parasparam mrutyu
mayam. So he wanted deathlessless, immortality.

Yadavalli Rama Sastri's came here the other day and asked Bhagavan: "Swami, people say that the Self is as luminous as a crore of suns. Is it true?"  Bhagavan said: "Certainly!  Granted that is lustre is equal to that of a crore of suns, how could it be determined?  We can't see with these eyes even the one sun that is visible.  How can we see a crore of suns?  That is a different eye
with a different type of vision.  When you can see with that eye,
you can give whatever name you like it, a crore of suns or moons,
or anything else you like."

Sometime back, another person asked a similar question:  "It is said that Aswathama, Vibheeshana and others are chiranjeevis
[eternally living beings] and that they are now living somewhere.
Is that true?"  "Yes, that is true," said Bhagavan.  "What is your]
idea of a chiranjeevi?  Those that know the state which is never destroyed, where is death for them, and where is birth?  They live
as chiranjeevi for all time and at all places. We are now talking
about them, and so they are present here.  When it is said that a person lives forever, it does not pertain to this body consisting of
five elements.  When Brahma Kalpas [Brahma's age] themselves come and go like dolls' houses, is it possible to attribute permanency for bodies that age?" said Bhagavan Ramana.

To be ever in the contemplation of the Self is immortality.
To forget the Self is death

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Important Couplets From Katha Upanishad
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 06:56:19 AM »

The anecdote mentioned is from Suri Nagamma's Letters, dated
21st Februrary 1946.  I forgot to mention the source.

Arunachala Siva.