Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Story of Nachiketa Part 13- Swarg Lok (Kathopnishad)

As his first boon, Nachiketa asked for pleasant relationship with his father and his family.

"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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