Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon May 24 08:26:19 CDT 1999

On Mon, 24 May 1999, Giridhar wrote:

> namaste.
>                 This is not a question on advaita vedanta, but I hope this
> is appropriate for the list.
>                 In the discourse on Katha upanishad, Swami Vivekananda
> says the following:
> "And the story goes on to say that the boy went to Yama, the god of death.
> Yama was the first man who died. He went to heaven and became the governor
> of all the Pitris; all the good people who die, go, and live with him for a
> long time. He is a very pure and holy person, chaste and good, as his name
> (Yama) implies. "
> 1. Is it mentioned in some other scripture that Lord Yama was the first man
> who
> died ?

This is incorrect.  Manu and Yama were the sons of Vivasvan (Suryadeva).
There are different pauranic accounts but basically it is Manu who chooses
mortality and becomes the first man and Yama who beomes the immortal

> 2. I thought good people go to all sort of lokas, the highest being the
> Brahmaloka
> (from where there is no return).

Yes.  In fact it is only the lowest kind of good people who go to pitrloka
(those who did karma properly but with desire.)

Yama in Sanskrit means "restraint".

Vivekananda was not a scholar and has misunderstood the significance of
the Nachiketas story in other ways too.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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