Namaskaar. In this Part 8 of Kathopanishat commentary, we see how the young Nachiketas rejects ball of the temptations offered by Lord Yama to distract his attention away from the vital question that he is so seriously pursuing — what happens in the hereafter? Seeing Nachiketas’ determination and commitment, Lord Yama finally has to give in to the young spiritual aspirant and starts his teaching finally!
The Upanishad now in Section 2 starts with a profound statement about people like us not being able to discriminate between the ‘good’ and the ‘pleasant’; in other words likes and dislikes or immediate pleasures v/s long term benefits. Its a most useful teaching. Lets enter into it 🙂
In the previous section we saw how Nachiketa, the spiritual aspirant, spurned the allurements offered by Yama, the j~nAni-Guru. Nachiketa displays a very high degree of discrimination, viveka, and its natural effect, dispassion, vairAgyam. After having turned away from the sense objects offered, now Nachiketa refuses to be carried away by the offerings of wealth, adducing strong reasons therefore:
न वित्तेन तर्पणीयो मनुष्यः
लप्स्यामहे वित्तम् अद्राक्ष्म चेत् त्वा ।
जीविष्यामो यावत् ईशिष्यसि त्वं
वरस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ॥
न not वित्तेन by wealth तर्पणीयो satisfied मनुष्यः is man. लप्स्यामहे we shall acquire वित्तम् wealth अद्राक्ष्म having seen चेत् त्वा now You. जीविष्यामो We shall live long यावत् as (long) as ईशिष्यसि त्वं You will rule. वरस्तु But the boon मे worthy of my वरणीयः seeking is स that एव alone.