Katha upanishhad verse I.2.23

Steven Barth Barrac9788 at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 27 19:47:49 CST 1997

why do I keep getting this fucking lame ass mail! FUCK!
>From gmurthy at morgan.ucs.mun.ca Sat Mar 29 19:02:50 1997
Message-Id: <SAT.29.MAR.1997.190250.0330.GMURTHY at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 19:02:50 -0330
Reply-To: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Subject: Re: Katha upanishhad verse I.2.23
Comments: To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
In-Reply-To: <970327201826_-1303393802 at emout11.mail.aol.com>
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I am grateful to Shri Vidyasankar, Shri egodust, Shri Nageswar Rao for
clarifying some points for me in the Katha upanishhad verse. I see it
slightly more clearly now. First I have to read Shri Shankara's full
commentary on this verse. Secondly, I see that non-duality is to be
recognized (well beyond bookish knowledge and reminding ourselves of
That, but also in terms of actual experience) and that Atman is not
something from the outside to be revealed but will reveal Itself from

Still, I see a slight difference in the meaning (even taking Shri
Vidyasankar's translation point) and the single sentence given in
Radhakrishnan's book on Shri Shankara's interpretation. I hope to get
my view clarified more by reading the full commentary by Shri Shankara
of this verse. This slight difference in emphasis seems consistent
with (what I think is) the generally proactive approach taken by
Shri Shankara and the more passive approach taken by sages like
Shri Ramana Maharshi. My thanks again for the clarifications.

On Thu, 27 Mar 1997, Chelluri Nageswar Rao wrote:

>                                       Matrenamah
> Namaste!
> I read Nachiketa's story by diffrent authors.   (interpretation is different)
> Could you please tell me Whether Yama ever answered the main question posed
> by Nachiketa.  What happens to the soul after death?
> I believe it is the most guarded secret.   No human will ever know!
> Regards                                                           Nageswar

My views on the above question are the following:

1. For us to understand Lord Yama's answer to Nachiketa's question # 3,
   we have to be in the same league as Nachiketa [... kusalo'sya labdha...
   very skillful and talented student (Lord Yama says in I.2.7) ].  We
   are not and hence we cannot understand Lord Yama's answer right away.

2. Further, as I wrote a few months ago on this List (in another thread),
   reading upanishhads is not like reading physics and chemistry and
   looking for a direct answer. Shri Vishwarupananda, our List member,
   has given beautiful reasoning later why reading physics and chemistry
   on one hand and reading and understanding vedanta on the other are
   distinctly different. Thus, we cannot look for a direct answer to a
   question in the upanishhads unless we experience and be the Self. Then
   only, we see the answer to the question.

3. Having said that, I still looked for answer to the question and I
   came up with the following:

   (i) Nachiketa, having understood Atmavidya from Lord Yama, recognizes
   there is no death to the Self. Thus, Nachiketa's third question will
   loose its meaning at the paramartha level which Nachiketa attained.

   (ii) For one who has not understood Atmavidya, verse II.2.7 shows
   what is the route the jeeva takes after "death".

   (iii) verse I.3.15 says how one is released from the clutches of

   But there is no need to think in that direction, because if one has
   understood Atmavidya, one is beyond death and is immortal.

Gummuluru Murthy
Sarvaagamaanaa maachaarah prathamam parikalpathe !
                                          Sage Vyasa in Maha Bharatha

For all (incoming) knowledge, discipline is the most fundamental.

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