SELECTIONS FROM KATHOPANISHAD – CHAPTER 2

                 Selections
from
             Kathopanishad (कठोपनिषद्)
The
Kathopanishad is a fairly long text in six parts called vallis, divided
into two Chapters, each chapter consisting of three vallis.  Here Death(Yama) discourses to a young
boy called Nachiketas upon the problem of “after death”.  The picture of this young boy facing Death
(yama) and compelling him to reveal the Secret adds a human touch to what may
otherwise be a dry philosophical discourse, and the situation then is full of
pathos.  Those who are familiar with the
Bhagavad Gita will note that many passages in the the Gita are reminiscent of
the text of this Upanishad.  The
Upanishad belongs to the Taittireeya School of the Yajur Veda.
सह नाववतु। सह नौ भुनक्तु। सह वीर्यं करवावहै। तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु। मा विद्विषावहै। ओं शान्तिः शन्तिः शन्तिः ॥
Let it
guard both of us; let it protect both of us; let us both work together; let our
study be well illumined; let us not dislike each other. Om peace, peace, peace
                   ||द्वितीयोऽध्यायः॥
                   CHAPTER
TWO
                 ॥   चतुर्थी वल्ली 
                     VALLI FOUR
      
               पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयंभू-
         स्तस्मात् परान् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन्
      कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-
         दावर्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥
The
self-born Lord forced the senses outward; hence one sees outward and not the
inner self. Some one who is wise, desiring immortality, sees the inner self, by
turning the eyes inward.
     पराचः कामाननुयन्ति बाला-
       स्ते मुत्योर्यन्ति विततस्य
पाशम् ।
     अथ धीरा अमृतत्वं विदित्वा
       ध्रुवमध्रुवेष्विह न प्रार्थयन्ते
The
immature pursue outward pleasures, they are caught in the far flung snare of
death.  But the wise, knowing
immortality, to be permanent, do not pray for anything here amidst what are
transitory.
        येन रूपं रसं गन्धं शब्दान्
स्पर्शांश्च मैथुनान्।
        एतेनैव विजानाति किमत्र परिशिष्यते॥
        एतद्वै तत् ॥
That by
which one perceives colours, taste, odour, sounds and conjugal contacts by that
alone does one perceive, What else remains here? This verily it is.
         स्वप्नान्तं जागरितान्तं चोभौ येनानुपश्यति।
         महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो
न शोचति॥

That by
which one perceives both what is within dreams and what is within the waking
state – having known that great, all-pervading self, the wise one does not
grieve.
       यः पूर्वं तपसो जातमद्भ्यः पुर्वमजायत।
       गुहां प्रविश्य तिष्ठन्तं यो
भूतेभिर्व्यपश्यत॥
       एतद्वै तत्॥
He who was
born first from penance- and he was born prior to the waters – one who sees him
well as dwelling along with the elements, having entered the cave of the heart.
 This verily it is (that he sees)
       
      अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा
         गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः।
      दिवे दिव ईड्यो जागृवद्भि-
        र्हविष्मद्भिर्मनुष्येभिरग्निः
      एतद्वै तत्॥
Agni, the
knower of all (jatavedas) concealed between the two firesticks, like the
embryo well borne by pregnant women, and deserving of worship day after day by
men awake, offering oblations.
This verily
it is .
      यतश्चोदेति सूर्यः अस्तं यत्र
च गच्छति।
      तं देवाः सर्वे अर्पितास्तदु
नात्येति कश्चन॥
      एतद्वै तत् ॥
That from
which the sun rises and that in which he sets, in that all the gods are
placed.  No one ever goes beyond that.
This verily
it is.
      यदेवेह तदमुत्र यदमुत्र तदन्विह।
      मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह
नानेव पश्यति॥
What is
here, the same is there.  What is there,
the same is similarly here.  From death
to death, he goes who sees here a manifold as it were.
       मनसैवेदमाप्तव्यं नेह नानास्ति
किञ्चन।
       मृत्योः स मृत्युं गच्छति य
इह नानेव पश्यति ॥
By the mind
alone is this to be reached.  There is no
plurality whatever here. From death to death, he goes who sees here a manifold
as it were.
       अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषो मध्य
आत्मनि तिष्ठति।
       ईशानं भूतभव्यस्य न  ततो विजुगुप्सते ॥
       एतद्वै तत् ॥
The Person
of the size of a thumb rests in the middle of the self.  He is the Lord of what has been and what will
be.  One is not repelled from Him.
This verily
it is.
     
        अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषो ज्योतिरिवाधूमकः।
        ईशानो भूतभव्यस्य स एवाद्य
स उ श्वः॥
        एतद्वै तत् ॥
The Person
of the size of a thumb is  like light
without smoke.  Lord of what has been and
what will be, he alone is today; and he alone is also tomorrow.
This verily
it is.
     
         यथोदकं दुर्गे वृष्टं पर्वतेषु
विधावति।
         एवं धर्मान् पृथक् पश्यंस्तानेवानुविधावति॥
As rain
water falling on a peak runs down the mountains, so he who sees the entities as
distinct, simply runs after them.
         यथोदकं शुद्धे शुद्धमासिक्तं
तादृगेव भवति।
         एवं मुनेर्विजानत आत्मा भवति
गौतम॥
As pure
water poured into pure (water) remains the same, so becomes the self of the
seer who understands, O Gautama. 
                     ॥  पञ्चमी वल्ली  ॥
                           VALLI
FIVE
      
                                      पुरमेकादशद्वारमजस्यावक्रचेतसः।
              अनुष्ठाय न शोचति विमुक्तश्च
विमुच्यते॥
              एतद्वै तत्॥
The city of
eleven gates belonging to the unborn of uncrooked intelligence – occupying it,
one does not grievve. And being released (therefrom) he is (finally) released.
This verily
it is.
           हंसः शुचिषद्वसुरन्तरिक्षस-  
                द्धोता वेदिषदतिथिर्दुरोणसत्।
           नृषद्वरसदृतसद्व्योमस-
                दब्जा गोजा ऋतजा अद्रिजा
ऋतं बृहत्॥
He
is the swan dwelling in the bright (heavens), the Vasu dwelling in the
interspace; he is the sacrificer dwelling in the altar, he is the guest
dwelling in the sacrificial vessel; he dwells in men, in gods, in sacrifices,
in the heavens; he is born in water; he is born in cows; he is born in truth;
he is born on the
mountains;
he is the true and the great.   
           ऊर्ध्वं प्राणमुन्नयत्यपानं
प्रत्यगस्यति।
              मध्ये वामनमासीनं विश्वे
देवा उपासते ॥
He raises
the prana upwards.  He throws the apana
downwards.  The dwarf seated in the
middle, all the gods worship.
           अस्य विस्रंसमानस्य शरीरस्थस्य
देहिनः।
              देहाद्विमुच्यमानस्य
किमत्र परिशिष्यते॥
           एतद्वै तत्॥
Of this
soul which resides in the body and which is about to slip away, what remains
here when it is released from the body?
This verily
it is.
           न प्राणेन नापानेन मर्त्यो
जीवति कश्चन।
           इतरेण तु जीवन्ति यस्मिन्नेतावुपाश्रितौ॥
 
No man
whatsoever lives either by the prana  or by the apana.
By the
other they live, on which these two are dependent.
           हन्त त इदं प्रवक्ष्यामि
गुह्यं ब्रह्म सनातनम्।
           यथा च मरणे प्राप्य आत्मा
भवति गौतम ॥
Well!
I will explain to thee this Brahman that is secret and eternal; and how the
self is, O Gautama, after it comes to death.     
          योनिमन्ये प्रपद्यन्ते शरीरत्वाय
देहिनः।
          स्थाणुमन्येऽनुसंयन्ति यथाकर्म
यथाश्रुतम् ॥
Some
souls enter a (new) womb to become embodied. 
Others enter what is stationary (trees etc.) according to their action,
according to their learning.  
         य एष सुप्तेषु जागर्ति
             कामं पुरुषो निर्मिमाणः।
         तदेवं शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेवामृतमुच्यते।
            तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः
सर्वे तदु नात्येति कश्चन॥
         एतद्वै तत्॥
This
Person who is awake in those that sleep, fashioning desire after desire – that
alone is the bright; that is Brahman; that alone is called the immortal.  Therein do all the worlds rest.  And nothing at all surpasses that.
  This verily it is.
         अग्निर्यथैको  भुवनं प्रविष्टो
              रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो
बभूव।
        एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
             रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च
As
Agni(Fire), which is one, entering this world becomes varied in form
according to the respective forms (of the objects it burns), so also the one
inner self of all beings becomes varied in form according to the respective
forms of beings it inhabits and also (exists) outside.     
      
       सूर्यो यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षु-
          र्न लिप्यते चाक्षुषैर्बाह्यदोषैः।
       एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
          न लिप्यते लोकदुःखेन बाह्यः॥
As
the Sun who is the eye of all beings is not stained by the external defects
pertaining to the eyes, so also the inner self of all beings is not stained by
the misery of beings (though) external.
       एको वशी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा
          एकं रूपं बहुधा यः करोति।
      तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीरा-
          स्तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम्
The
one controller, the inner self of all who makes his one form manifold; the wise
who perceived him as existing in themselves – for them there is eternal happiness;
not for others.
       नित्यो नित्यानां चेतनश्चेतनाना-
          मेको बहूनां यो विदधाति कामान्।
      तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीरा-
          स्तेषां शन्तिः शाश्वती नेतरेषाम्
The
eternal among the eternal, the intelligent among the intelligent beings, the
one among the many, who grants desires; the wise who perceive him as existing
in themselves – for them there is eternal peace, not for others.
          
       तदेतदिति मन्यन्तेऽनिर्देश्यं
परं सुखम् ।
       कथं नु तद्विजानीयां किमु भाति
विभाति वा ॥
“That
is this”- (thus) they think of the indescribable supreme happiness.  How then may I come to know of it, whether it
shines (simply), or whether it shines distinctly?          
     
        न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
           नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः।
        तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
           तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति
Not
there does the sun shine, nor the moon and the stars; nor do these lightnings
shine.  Whence then is this Agni (fire)?
Him alone, as he shines, does everything (else) shine after.  By this lustre, do all this shine distinctly.
                    ॥  षष्ठी वल्ली  ॥
                         VALLI SIX
      
ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाखः
एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः।
तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म
तदेवामृतमुच्यते ।
तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः
सर्वे तदु नात्येति कश्चन॥
एतद्वै तत्
With
roots upward, with branches downward (there stands) this ancient fig tree.  That alone is the bright; that is Brahman;
that alone is called the immortal. 
Therein do all the worlds rest. And nothing at all surpasses that. 
This
verily it is.
         यदिदं किञ्च जगत् सर्वं
            प्राण एजति निःसृतम्।
         महद्भयं वज्रमुद्यतं
            य एतद्विदुरमृतास्ते भवन्ति॥
Whatever
world there is moves in prana, coming out (of it). It is the great fear,
the thunder-bolt held aloft.  They who
know that become immortal.
        भयादस्याग्निस्तपति भयात्तपति
सूर्यः।
        भयादिन्द्रश्च वायुश्च मृत्युर्धावति
पञ्चमः ॥
Out
of fear for him, Agni (fire) burns; the sun burns out of fear
(for
him).  Out of fear (for him), Indra and
Vayu speed on; (and so does) Death as the fifth.
        यथादर्शे तथात्मनि
            यथा स्वप्ने तथा पितृलोके।
        यथाप्सु परीव ददृशे
            तथा गन्धर्वलोके
        छायातपयोरिव ब्रह्मलोके ॥
As in a mirror, so is it seen all round, as it
were, in the body; as in dream, so in the world of the departed Fathers; as in
waters, so in the world of the celestial nymphs; as in shade and sun , so in
the world of Brahman.
         इन्द्रियाणां पृथग्भावमुदयास्तमयौ
च तत्।
         पृथगुत्पद्यमानानां मत्वा धीरो न शोचति॥
The separate nature of the senses which originate
separately, and what forms their rising and setting – knowing these a wise man
does not grieve.
          यदा सर्वे प्रमुच्यन्ते कामा येऽस्य हृदि स्थिताः
          अथ मर्त्योऽमृतो भवत्यत्र ब्रह्म समश्नुते ॥
When all the desires which abide in his heart are
cast away, then the mortal becomes immortal. Here he attains Brahman.
          यदा सर्वे प्रभिद्यन्ते हृदयस्येह ग्रन्थयः।
          अथ मर्त्योऽमृतो भवत्येतावदनुशासनम् ॥
When all the bondages here of the heart break,
then the mortal becomes immortal; this much is the Instruction.
          शतं चैक च हृदयस्य नाड्य-
            
स्तासां मूर्धानमभिनिःसृतैका।
          तयोर्ध्वमायन्नमृतत्वमेति
             विष्वङ्ङन्या उत्क्रमणे भवन्ति॥
One hundred and one are the channels (nadis) of
the heart.  One among them rises up
towards the head.  Going up along that,
one attains immortality. the others are for getting out in various
directions.               
        अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषोऽन्तरात्मा
           सदा जनानां हृदये सन्निविष्टः
        तं स्वाच्छरीरात् प्रवृहेन्-
           मुञ्जादिवेषीकां धैर्येण।
        तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतं
           तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतम् – इति||
The person of the size of a thumb, the inner
self, resides always in the heart of men. 
Him let a man draw forth from his body with firmness, as one draws the
core from a reed.  Him let a man know as
the bright, the immortal; him let a man know 
as the bright, the immortal.
    मृत्युप्रोक्तां नचिकेतोऽथ लब्ध्वा
        विद्यामेतां योगविधिं च कृत्स्नम्।
    ब्रह्म प्राप्तो विरजोऽभूद्विमृत्यु-
        रन्योऽप्येवं यो विदध्यात्ममेव ॥
Then, having received this knowledge imparted by
Yama, as also the entire procedure of Yoga, Nachiketas attained Brahman and
became free from blemishes and deathless. 
So also will it be with any other who knows thus what verily relates to
the self.
 

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