Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 13- Swarg Lok (Kathopnishad)

Previously:
As his first boon, Nachiketa asked for pleasant relationship with his father and his family.
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"Sa Tvam Agnim Swargyam Adhyesi Mratyo
Prabuhi Tvam Shraddhnaay mahyam
Swargloka Amratatvm bhajantay
Aitad Dvitiyena Vranay Varain"
 स त्वम अग्निम स्वर्ग्यमध्येषि  मृत्यो प्रबूहि त्वम श्रद्धधानाय मह्यं 
 स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्ते - एतद द्वितीयेन वृणे रेण 

“O’ Lord of Death. You know the ‘Fire’ which leads to Swarga (Heaven). Please explain to me how to attain that ‘Amrit-Tatva’ -immortality. This is what I ask for as my second boon.”          (Kathopanisgad 1-13)
  
In the eastern Holy Scriptures, ‘Fire’ has been used as a symbol of Gyana or Knowledge. Numerous times - Bhagavad Gita, Ashtavakra Gita and Upanishads have mentioned the word ‘Gyan-Agni’ as a metaphor for Spiritual Knowledge.

As his second boon, instead of asking for power, kingdom or worldly pleasures, Nachiketa asked Dharm Raj to explain the ‘Fire’ - the secret knowledge that leads to ‘Swarga’ - the heavenly life which was described in the previous stanza.

The word Amrit-Tattva or ‘immortality’ does not mean ‘No physical death’. It is also used as a metaphor and should not be translated literally. The momentarily death of consciousness and peace, which is the true nature of the ‘Self’ - is what we face a number of times – perhaps every day - throughout the life.

Immortality is:
“Aatmanyaiv-Aatmnaa Tushtah”  आत्मन्यैव आत्मना तुष्टः 
“When the Spirit stays blissful in it’s true Spiritual state”        
                                                                        (Bhagavad Gita)
  
Nachiketa says: Tell me ‘what needs to be known… what needs to be done’ in order to attain Swarg-Lok - the free of fear, worry-free peaceful life and ‘Immortality’.

That is what everyone strives for.

       ‘Rajan Sachdeva’
          
                                            ‘To Be Continued’



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