Nachiket (नचिकेत) also known as Nachiketa (नचिकेता) was the son of the Sage Vajashrava (वाजश्रवा) is the child protagonist in an ancient Indian story about the nature of the soul and Brahman.
Nachiketa is basically combination of three words :
- Na (न) Stand for negation
- Ci (चि) Stands for Chaitanya (चैतन्य ) which means unending Spritual Energy.
- Keta (केता) is derived from Ketu (केतु) which means continuous revolving action.
In General the one who is continuously looking for nothing but an unending spiritual energy is known as Nachiketa.
Katho-Upanishad: A Brillant Conversation of Nachiketa and Yama
Vajashrava, desiring a gift from the gods, started an offering to donate all his possessions. But Nachiketa noticed that he was donating only the cows that were old, barren, blind, or lame, and as he already noticed his father is voilating the Dharma and asked: “I too am yours, to which god will you offer me?“.
Vajashrava scolds him as a typical father does and said, “I give you to Death (Yama)” and being as obedient son he follow his father words and went to Yama (Lord of death) Place.
Yamraj was out of his palace, for this reason Nachiketa waited outside the palace of Yamraj for three days and three nights. Three days later when Yamraj came, he was pleased with this patient waiting and asked Nachiketa to demand three boons.
Yamraj-Nachiketa Conversation (यमराज-नचिकेता संवाद)
Nachiketa : As my first boon I would like to request you that let my father accept me back once you send me home after this discussion. His should not get angry as well and then he should treat me as his son again, noticing Nachiketa’s cleverness Yama Granted his first wish.
Yama : Granted. Pls go ahead with second boon.
Nachiketa : Thank you! , As my Second boon I am looking for the knowledge.
Yama : Yes Pls go ahead.
Nachiketa : I heard that in Heaven there is no fear of death and getting OLD age but in the materialistic worlds everyone is living in fears so can you please tell me is there any way we can overcome from that fear and go to Heaven permanently.
Yama : The method of sacrifice of bad habits and Fear in Agni (Fire). as I am impressed from your question i will called this procedure for that sacrifice he named after him as Nachiketagni (Nachiketa’s Fire) in honour of asking this question. Pls go ahead with your final Boon
After done with two boons Nachiketa is quite comfortable with Yama and told to Yama that I am lucky that I got oppurtunity to ask question from you and my next question is on the topic on which you are the SME (Subject matter expert).
Yama : Pls go ahead.
Nachiketa : I have question regarding your field of expertise Death. I have heard from my father and predecessors that After Death of this body, atman doesn’t Die but changes body and continue his journey. Some others think that death of this body is an end of everything as well. So you see there is a great confusion on what happens after death. I would like to listen from you what exactly happens after death and also how to conquer death without fear of death?”
Yama got stunned after this question and try to convince Nachiketa and said my Boy you are too young for this question where gods is also confused.
Yama : Pls ask for anything like Wealth, Kingdom, Music, Happiness etc. but pls don’t talk about death.
Nachiketa :Oh Lord Yama, even if you give me any or everything of that list, those offerings are ephemeral and will get over or forgotten sooner or later. I want knowledge of Death and way of giving up fear of death which will guide me to eternity and i can educate my future generations as well.”
Yama : Smiled and Impressed by the determination of Nachiketa Life is tied in with settling on choices and you will be what you pick. At whatever point we have numerous choices we generally get confounded in 2 of them, one which gives us happiness and one this is good. Trust me Nachiketa both of these path will come to you and just genuinely shrewd will pick the Road of Good finished joy. Keep in mind both of these streets take you to inverse goal. Path of Good Elevates your being and take you to truth while path of Pleasure takes you the brief satisfaction and not the unfading delight.
स पर्यागच्छुक्रकायमव्रणस्नाविरं शुद्धमपापविद्धम् ।
कविर्मनीषि परिभूः स्वयम्भूर्यथातथ्यतोऽर्थान्
व्यदधाच्छाश्वतीभ्यः समाभ्यः ॥
Atman as present in everything and everywhere, nothing in this world is hidden from Atman, this Atman keeps all the records you’re Sins and Good deeds are recorded by Atman.
Additionally Lord Yama said “Nachiketa, the unsafe of the all is the unmindful individual who even in the wake of living in information picks Ignorance and still has faith in his insight. He is visually impaired, dazzle towards Truth. He the Ignorant feels he know truth, he contemplates it or perusing about it will enlighten him concerning it, even Logical reasoning will at times misdirect you. The reason being the situation of reality, this atman (Soul) dwells profound inside you and a uninformed visually impaired will look for him in outside.”
Yama : Praised Nachiketa, as He is the one truly intelligent as he choose path of Good (Knowledge) over Pleasure. Lord Yama added “Nachiketa The true Intelligent with Knowledge is characterised by following attributes. First of them is Concentration of mind. Indifferent nature towards joy and grief, friend and enemy, praise and bad publicity. Having tasted Bliss, ephemeral Joy won’t make them happy or grief makes them sad.”
Nachiketa : Oh Lord if I am worthy tells me about it.”
मृत्युप्रोक्तां नचिकेतोऽथ लब्ध्वा
विद्यामेतां योगविधिं च कृत्स्नम् ।
रन्योऽप्येवं यो विदध्यात्ममेव ॥ १८॥
Nachiketa’s then having acquired this knowledge imparted by Yama, and also the whole teaching about yoga, attained Brahman, having become free from all impurities and death. Thus it will be with another also, who thus knows the nature of the Atman.
सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ॥ १९॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
इति काठकोपनिषदि द्वितीयाध्याये तृतीया वल्ली ॥
ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सहवीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु । मा विद्विषावहै ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
ॐ तत् सत् ॥
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