--> Skip to main content

Teaching Of Yama To Nachiketa

A man of intelligence separates the preferable (the ultimate human goal of salvation) from the pleasurable (prosperity here and hereafter — a limited objective), just as a swan separates milk from water. The man of poor intelligence does not do so — he is preoccupied only with the protection of the body.

Nachiketas (according to Yama himself) has examined the highest state possible of attainment by man — (upto) the state of Hiranyagarbha — and renounced it (The state of Hiranyagarbha is the limit of worldly enjoyment). Instead he was desirous only of the Supreme One.

The Self is hard to see because of its subtle nature. Concentration of the mind on the Self — withdrawing it from the senses — is adhyatma yoga. The Self is eternal. If one looks upon the mere body as the Self and thinks 'I shall kill It', one is wrong. If the one who is killed thinks ‘I am killed' he too is wrong. Both of them do not know — their own Self. The Self is subtler than the subtle — for example, the syamaka grain.  It is greater than the great — the earth, for example. And it is located in the heart of all beings — beginning from Brahma up to (ending with) a blade of grass.

The unstriving man — the man who is free from desire for external objects, earthly or heavenly — sees. That is, he directly realises the Self as 'I am the Self.’ Thereby he is freed from sorrow.

He (Nachiketas) attained Brahman, that is, became free (Brahma-praptah abhut). How? By having already become virajah, free from virtue and vice (and) vimrtyuh, free from desire and ignorance, through the acquisition of knowledge.