Namaskaar. Continuing with our Kathopanishat series commentary by Shri V. Subrahmanian. Part 2. More information at http://www.advaita-academy.org
Having been told that he will be gifted to Yama, the God of Death, Nachiketas went to a secluded place and thought :
बहूनामेमि प्रथमो बहूनामेमि मध्यमः ।
किँ स्विद्यमस्य कर्तव्यं यन्मयाऽद्य करिष्यति ॥ ५॥
बहूनामेमि Among many students I rank प्रथमो highest बहूनामेमि Among many मध्यमः I rank as belonging to the middling. किं what स्विद्यमस्य indeed Yama has ktRVy any purpose यन्मयाद्य करिष्यति that my father can achieve through me.
Among many I am the first; or among many I am the middlemost. But certainly I am never the last. What purpose of the King of Death will my father serve today by thus giving me away to him?
Nachiketas is a very positive-thinking boy. He has complete confidence in himself, his abilities. He cannot see himself as lagging behind. So he makes a self-assessment of himself as someone most of the time ranking highest among his classmates. At the most he allows himself a middling position but never the back-bencher. ‘Despite my being a front-ranker my father has decided to give me away to the Lord of death. What purpose indeed of Yama does my father intend to fulfill by giving me to him? Certainly, without expecting anything in return from Yama, just in a fit of anger has my Father uttered those words of sending me away to him.’ Nachiketas sees his father is now in a repentant mood for having uttered those harsh words. Deciding that even those words uttered by the Father should not become futile, Nachiketas addressed his Father, with a view to console him: Continue reading