Namaskaar. After a brief diversion in the previous post the author gets back to the commentary on the Kathopanishat in this Part 11; takes us deeper into the knowledge of the Vedas and suddenly we have Mantra 7 which is such a powerful verse. Just makes us think again and again about our foolishness and ignorance and takes us on the path of discrimination ……. between the ephemeral and the eternal. Lets read on.
दूरं एते विपरीते विषूची
अविद्या या च विद्या इति ज्ञाता ।
विद्याभीप्सिनं नचिकेतसं मन्ये
न त्वा कामा बहवोऽलोलुपन्त ॥
दूरं far एते these two विपरीते distinctly removed विषूची leading to divergent goals अविद्या ignorance या that च and विद्या knowledge इति ज्ञाता are known. विद्याभीप्सिनं aspirant of knowledge नचिकेतसं Nachiketa मन्ये I consider न never त्वा you कामा attractions बहवो many अलोलुपन्त tempt.
Wide apart and leading to different ends are these two: ignorance and what is known as Knowledge. I regard you, O Nachiketa, to be one who desires Knowledge; for even many pleasures could not tempt you away.
It is possible to classify the goals that attract man and the means thereof widely into two distinct ones that are pronouncedly contradictory being far removed from each other. They are like light and darkness as they are characterized by discrimination and non-discrimination. They are divergent destination-wise as well as means-wise. They result in continued worldly existence or complete emancipation, mokSha. yama names these as: that which is well known by the wise as ignorance, avidyA, which has for its goal the accumulation of the pleasurable things in life. The other one is equally determined by the wise as vidyA, knowledge, which is concerned with the preferable. Of these two goals yama considers nachiketa to be completely oriented to the latter, vidyA. How does yama conclude thus? It is by seeing nachiketa remaining unmoved by the various temptations that were offered. ‘It is the nature of the worldly objects and objectives to deflect the intellect’ Sri Krishna says in the bhagavad gItA (3). Continue reading