(Last Updated on : 09-10-2012)
is an interesting conversation between Lord Yama
who is the teacher and Nachiketa
who is his disciple. It has 120 verses. The Sixth Chapter of Katha Upanishad
has nineteen Verses.
1st - 5th Verse
The world is like an eternal holy Banyan tree, whose root is upwards, and whose branches go downwards. This is pure and is called Brahma; this is called immortal; upon this all the worlds are founded. Nothing is different from it. This whole universe exists within the life of the supreme Brahman. It moves around it and functions with discipline according to the rule of the Brahman
. One who understands this becomes immortal. Because of his fear the fire burns, the sun shines, Indra
sends the rains and the wind blows, Lord Yama accomplishes his duty of taking away the lives of people. One who is unable to understand the true Self before death he will be born again. As one can see oneself in the looking glass, the Atma
can also be seen, felt and understood like the reflection on a glass located within everyone's heart; in a dream, so in the world of the forefathers; as in water, so in the world of the Devas; as in a picture and in the sunshine, so in the world of Brahma.
6th- 10th Verse
The wise man, who understands the reason behind the presence of differences in nature of each of the sense organs from the Atma during its awakening and its absence during the state of sleep, remains unaffected by sorrows. The mind lies beyond the senses. The brain or intuition lies further beyond it and finally the great soul lies beyond it. Higher than the non-manifested is the soul i.e. Purusha
, that is all pervading. Upon knowing him the Jiva
is liberated and gains immortality. Purusha cannot be seen with the eyes but is visible only by a fully controlled mind and strong will power. The state in which the five organs of knowledge remain alone with the mind and the intellect does not strive or remains blank devoid of any thought, is called the highest aim or the supreme state of Bliss.
11th - 15th Verse
The state in which the sense organs do not function is known as the Yoga state. A wise person who has attained it remains free from the control of the sense organs and their desires. The soul cannot be gained by word, not by the mind, not by the eye. It can be gained from the wise sages who have experienced it. One who believes that it can be seen and tries to gain it with concrete will power will finally be able to realize the ultimate truth. As soon as he gains knowledge about the true Self all the hidden desires within the heart is destroyed and he transcends from mortality to immortality.
16th - 19th Verse
As soon as a person unties himself from the world, he transcends from mortality to immortality. There are hundred and one nerves attached unto the heart. One out of those goes upwards to the head. By climbing up through that nerve one can attain immortality. It is believed that the Jiva of sages and other wise men goes out of the body through the head, called as the kapaala moksha
. The Atma is always present within the heart of all beings. This Atma must be realised and be distinguished and segregated from the body by meditating upon it and also by using intelligence. One who is able to realise it would become immortal and the eternal one.
Nachiketa, having gained knowledge of the Self and the other rules of Yoga discipline from Yama, attained Brahman or salvation. These teachings helped him to overcome all emotions and desires and attain immortality.