Yama Nachiketa - Veda Rahasyam (यम नचिकेत - वेद रहस्यम्)

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The dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa where Yama reveals the eternal secret of death to Nachiketa forms the essence of Kathopanishad belonging to the Taittriya Krishna Yaurveda shaka.

Though every living entity has an eternal association with Paramatma, why a Jiva falls into the cycle of birth and deaths living in the forms of different species of life, is a question that has been answered explored by the rishis of Sanatana Dharma. In Kathopanishad, Yama answers this question saying some people assume rebirth as the act of Karma or destiny (due to one's own actions) while others blame the Paramatma for pushing jiva into different forms of life (due to other's actions).

In this Upanishad, Yama discusses the role of Paramatma in Jiva as an indwelling Supreme Soul and its impact on Jiva’s rise and fall.[1]

Karma and Punarjanma

What is the fate of Jiva after death of the physical body? Not all Jivas follow the same course of journey. According to the Karma Siddhanta which is the foundation of Sanatana Dharma, this universe abounds with numerous people born in various environments, with various levels of thinking, intelligence and physical bodies primarily attributed to the karma and upasana ( kind of worship) that each individual Jiva has performed.

Every birth has some meaning, while some assume the body of sthavara or immovable body (rocks, trees), others assume the jangama or movable bodies (animals, insects). According to the ||karma siddhanta, all living entities have the current life based on their karma and through all these journeys Paramatma travels with the Jivatma[1].

Atmaswaroopam

After procuring two boons from Yama, Nachiketa asks Yama to impart the knowledge of Atma (Self) for his third boon. Setting aside Yama's offer of various worldly pleasures of sons, cattle and kingdoms, Nachiketa implores Yama to impart the secrets of death to him. Greatly pleased by Nachiketa's steadfastness, Yama starts with the explanation of Shreyas and Preyas. He extols the greatness of a student like Nachiketa and describes the gunas a sadhaka should have to seek such a difficult subject.

प्रोक्तः

  • न नरेणावरेण प्रोक्त एषसुविज्ञेयो बहुधा चिन्त्यमानः ।अनन्यप्रोक्ते गतिरत्र नास्तिअणीयान् ह्यतर्क्यमणुप्रमाणात् ॥ ८॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.8)

Meaning - Yama says "Knowledge of Atma (Brahman, Self) when explained by one who is covered by (possesses) worldly knowledge, who thinks of it (self) in diverse ways, it cannot be grasped. To those seeking Atmavidya, such a man is one with an inferior intellect. When explained by a preceptor who attains oneness with Brahman, there exists no scope of doubts, as subtler than the measure of atom, Atma is not sought by argument or tarka.[2][3] Here Yama explains the qualities of a preceptor of Atmavidya.

आत्मगुण

  • तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टंगुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् ।अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवंमत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १२॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.12)

Meaning : Contemplating on the "It", a wise person, leaves behind grief and sorrow, when he perceives it by a concentrated mind, weaned from all external objects. He then realizes "it" as the ancient, hard to be seen (seated amidst worldly miseries it is hard to be seen), unfathomable, concealed (as it is covered by modifications of consciousness caused by worldly objects) and hidden in the innermost recess of the cave of the heart. Here the physical nature and qualities of Atma are explained.[3][4]

आत्मज्ञानफलम्

  • एतच्छ्रुत्वा सम्परिगृह्य मर्त्यःप्रवृह्य धर्म्यमणुमेतमाप्य ।स मोदते मोदनीयँ हि लब्ध्वाविवृतँ सद्म नचिकेतसं मन्ये ॥ १३॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.13)

Meaning : Yama continues - Having heard and well-grasped, separating this righteous Self (from the body etc) and attaining the subtle thing, that mortal rejoices, for he has attained that which is the cause of (मोदनीयँ ) happiness. Here Yama explains that one who removes his mind from all the external worldly diversions and immerses himself into the Self, for such a wise person mokshadwara (gates to the abode of Brahman) are thrown open. [4][5][6]

ॐ ॥ ओङ्कारम्

  • सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्तितपाँ्सि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्तितत्ते पदँ् सङ्ग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १५ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.15)

Meaning: Yama speaks "The goal which all the Vedas unequivocally extol, which all acts of tapas (penances) speak of, desiring to achieve which one (sadhakas) leads a life of brahmacharya, that goal (word), I will comprehensively tell, is ॐ ॥ OM [4]

  • एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् । एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १६॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.16)

    etaddhyevākṣaraṁ brahma etaddhyevākṣaraṁ param । etaddhyevākṣaraṁ jñātvā yo yadicchati tasya tat ॥ 16॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.16)

Meaning : This letter ॐ ॥ OM is Brahman, this indeed stands for the supreme. Knowing which one letter, one obtains what he desires. The knowledge, untouched by the outer objects, reveals itself to the man of concentrated mind on the utterance of the word OM[5].

आत्मतत्त्वम्

Mantras 17 to 25 of Kathopanishad (1st Adhyaya 2nd Valli) reveal the आत्मतत्त्वम् ॥ Atmatattva elucidated by Yama. Some of the most discoursed mantras are given in this Upanishad.

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित् ।अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणोन हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.18)

Meaning : Atma is neither born nor dies, does not originate from any cause, nor does it give rise to anything, It is अजः ॥ birthless, नित्यः ॥ eternal, शाश्वतः॥ everlasting, पुराणः॥ ancient (time immemorial). It is not killed - nor injured even when the body is killed.[5]

नायँ हन्ति न हन्यते ॥ १९ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.19)

Meaning : Atma (It) does not kill nor gets killed.

अणोरणीयान्महतो महीया-नात्माऽस्य जन्तोर्निहितो गुहायाम् । तमक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोको धातुप्रसादान्महिमानमात्मनः ॥ २० (Kath. Upan. 1.2.20)

Meaning : Atma is subtler than the subtle forms (atoms), greater than the greater substances (such as earth), deeply seated in the heart of every living creature (from Brahma down to an insect). A desireless man (one whose consciousness has been diverted from all external objects, seen or unseen) sees (directly realizes), the glory of Atma, absolved from grief (becomes composed).[4][6] Thus, Atma is beyond measurement. This is a famous mantra that is widely quoted to explaining the subtle form of Atma.

आसीनो दूरं व्रजति शयानो याति सर्वतः ।कस्तं मदामदं देवं मदन्यो ज्ञातुमर्हति ॥ २१॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.21)

Meaning : Sitting (at one place), it can go far, lying down yet It can go everywhere. Who else but I can comprehend that joyful and joyless (mutually opposed qualities) Atma (here Devam represent the Supreme state). [5] It is only by persons of subtle intellect and learning that the Atman can be known. Thus, Atma is untouched by the experiences of bodily states which are of mutually opposing nature.[6]

अशरीरँ शरीरेष्वनवस्थेष्ववस्थितम् । महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति ॥ २२ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.22)

Meaning : The wise man, who knows the Atman, as bodiless Self amidst perishable bodies (of devatas, pitrs, humas), seated as permanent amidst impermanent, realizes the greatness and all-pervading nature (of the Self), and so does never have sorrow or grief.[2][5]

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्योन मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन ।यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यःतस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ् स्वाम् ॥ २३ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.23)

Meaning : Atma cannot be attained through study of many Vedas, nor the intellect, nor upon extensive listening (of texts). It's true nature can be revealed by Atma of that aspirant who seeks for and prays to it.[5]

नाविरतो दुश्चरितान्नाशान्तो नासमाहितः ।नाशान्तमानसो वाऽपि प्रज्ञानेनैनमाप्नुयात् ॥ २४ (Kath. Upan. 1.2.24)

Meaning : None who has not turned away from bad conduct, whose senses are not under control, whose mind is not collected, or whose mind is not at rest, can attain this Atma.[4]

अशब्दमस्पर्शमरूपमव्ययंतथाऽरसं नित्यमगन्धवच्च यत् ।अनाद्यनन्तं महतः परं ध्रुवंनिचाय्य तन्मृत्युमुखात् प्रमुच्यते ॥ १५ (Kath. Upan. 1.3.15)

Meaning : That (Atma) is without (attributes) sound, touch, form or shape, without decay, nitya (eternal), taste, and smell, which is without any beginning or an end, beyond Mahat (great). One who understands this (atmatattva) as eternal is freed from the jaws of death.[6]

Further, many mantras (3 to 10) from the Ist Valli of 2nd Adhyaya and mantras 1,2,4,8 from the 2nd Valli of 2nd Adhyaya directly refer to the Atma tattva. In the third Valli many aspects are described such as -

  • Atma (chaitanya - consciousness) aids in Sarvavyavahara sadhana (tool to achieve all things or activities of life)

Karmagnana phala vaiphalyam

Para Apara brahma sevaneeyaah

Vidya Avidya phala bhoktaha

Indriyavasam

Buddhihi Pravrtti nivrtti margadarsaka

It may be difficult to believe, that Paramatma resides in  every one’s heart, and how could he has so  many forms in so many jivas?  

Yama Deva answers the above questions with three analogies;

  1. Agni- The all-pervading Agni is ultimately is one in his foundational character.  Even though agni is  there in the different lokas and all multifarious form are manifestation of that same one agni. Agni is the symbol of Teja (grandeur). One can see only because of that teja. The specific form and shape of every ingredient is attributed to Agni. However, the form can change because of the interference of other elements. Similarly, Parmatma is all pervading but based on the destination of the living entity, their Karma, form and qualities, the different gradations or forms happen. But Paramatma is one.
  2. Air: Air is there in everything but differences arise depending on where & how it flows, similarly  jivas have different body  based on their Karma.
  3. Sun god: He is the eyes of entire cosmic world, yet appears differently to different people based on their limited vision. So also just like there is one sun, While Parmatma dwells in all living entities, he is not bound by the misery  of the person that He is residing in. Although everything is under His control, He is not controlled by them. Different forms are happening in nature  because of his ||Sankalpa (resolution). The only way to attain eternal happiness is to have the courage to see  him within.  Other than such vision no one else experiences happiness.   

He is the eternal amongst the eternal

The one who can see the unique supreme Paramatma in the heart of living entities, fulfilling all their desires according to their karma perennially, only they will achieve happiness  ( taittiriya 2.2.13).

The content of Yamaraja’s discourse with Nachiketa until now deals with the identity of the Paramatma and jivatma.  While narrating about their relationship Yamaraja says many times etaidvaitat, Yamarja is answering to question of Nachiketa about the destination of jiva after fall of the body.  Yamaraja ask nachiketa to hear attentively.  While listening to such discussion nachiketa raises important question to Yamaraja during the discussion  of  the eternal nature of happiness,

The upside down Banyan tree( Ashwatha vriksha)

The entire cosmos is likened to one Banyan tree( Ashwatha tree) Nashwopi, sthasyati, ithyashvathaha. The tree is described as the tree that is changing continuously and has no definite form.  The root of the tree is spread upwards and the branches and leaves grow downwards.  That means when the tree  grows( samsara tree) everything; the twig, branches, flowers and fruits  go away from the roots, similarly jiva becomes distanced from paramatma.

Another surprising thing about this tree is, just like the ahswatha tree’s roots takes away from the tree, similarly the JIva, thinks himself to be independent and himself and the samsara to be eternal and tries to settle in this world.  The foundation of this tree is eternal, which is represented by Paramatma.  This is described in Bhagavad gita 15th chapter 1st 3slokas.  Taittiriya aranyaka also describes this(1-11-5).

This tree is like a mesh of karmic reaction from which it is difficult to come out. The living entity is like an ant who gets stuck in this tree and does not even realize that the tree is upside down.  Therefore most of the time living entity does not understand whether he is going close to Paramatama(the root) or away from the tree.  What to speak that, just because they do not see the root of the tree they deny the existence of the root( paramatama) and jump from one branch to other branch.  Every loka have taken shelter of this tree( material cosmos) and there is no other place where creation is existing.  When one sees the root of the tree, then one can see Paramatama.  Who is is personification of light and brahman.  This is how the jnani see it.  Every one beginning from Brahma and insignificant ants are residing in this tree, and they have no other shelter.   

Because this tree looks upside down, there is a natural fear of it falling.  But it is misplaced.  The Shruti says that the tree is very strong and this is explained in the chandyogya upanishad (6.8.4)

"||Sanmulaha sadayatanaha sat pratishthitaha"

Yet there are still some who do not believe in the strength of the tree, and who are they? Those who do not have the trust.     

Those who do not believe in the tree, one who is trying to usurp the root of the tree and trying to water the tree( in other words complicate material life) will experience this  tree to be scary.  This is the subject matter of next mantra.  

Why do they fall?

""Those who do not understand the secret that the  living being are under the control of Ishvara, such person falls into the cycle of repeated birth and death in many planetary system, according to one’s  karma, this is for certain.  This is the path of coming to the upside down tree.  Therefore it is imperative that one attains brahma jnana." (Taittirya 2.3.4)."

It is difficult!  To see anything in dark moon night, similarly to see Paramatma, when one is shrouded in ignorance is also not possible. When one looks in the mirror, the right vision becomes the left vison and vice versa. Similarly, in ||samsara (material world) our position is inverted and incoherent, this is the subject of ||karmaloka (land of action). Those who do not have ||brahma gyan,  for them even if by some chance they go to ||Pitruloka (land of the ancestors), it is difficult to get brahmajnan there. This is because in the dream state, the experiences are dull and in the waking state, even though the experiences maybe clear it is not easy to get clarifications for one’s doubts, therefore the material world  it is not favorable place to acquire the knowledge.  At the same time, other than martya loka(material world)  no other loka can give the experience of Paramatma. The Gandharva loka is not the place for || lok sadhana (adhyatmik practices) as it is like seeing the reflection in the water, fleeting and unrealistic.  Similarly, in Brahmaloka (the land of Chatur bhuj Brahma) it is like  the distinction between the sun  and shadow.  Therefore only the land of of human beings is the most suitable place for acquiring knowledge, and what is that knowledge, that will be discussed now.

Iha and Para from here to there- the steps

From now on Yamaraja explains the vedanta as the part of journey of sadhana, in brief.   In the world the opposite exist in isolation rather in integration.  For eg;- birth and death appear to be contradictory.  This is how the senses perceive.

 Those  who see through the eyes of knowledge, see everything  in relationship with Paramatma. They know that life and death are not reality, such wise persons have no misery. The ||indriyas (senses) do not give knowledge automatically. Therefore the mind is superior to senses  and higher than the mind is ||buddhi (intelligence) and higher than the intelligence is the living entity itself. Higher than the human being is ||avyakta tatva ( elements ) the prkriti(nature), because it  can bind the living entity or help jiva to achieve liberation.  But there is some one higher than jiva and prikriti, that is Paramatma.  Those who take shelter of paramatama, the prikriti will not bind.  This is understanding one has to achieve.  

"Indriyabhya param mano manas sattvam uttamam"

"sattvadadhi mahanatma mahato avyaktam"

"uttamam avyaktatu parah purushah vyapakah alinga evaachah"

"yam jnatva muchyate jantu amrutattvam cha gacchati ( Taittiriya 1-3-7.8)"

Here the distinction between the indriyas, mind, intelligence and the jiva, the living entity is described as the word ‘param.   but there could be one doubt – Param means superior, does it mean that jivatma is inferior to nature( prakriti)? In this case Para doesn’t mean that it is superior.    Para here specifically means to influence or to dominate.

"||indriyebhyaha paraayahartha  purushanna param kinchita|| (1.3.10 and 1.3.11)."

In this mantra  para should be taken as the above definition.   In the Bhagavad Gita  (3.42) also Krishna speaks

"||indriyani paranyahur indriyebhyah param manah manasas tu para buddhir yobuddheh paratas tu sah||"

Here the word saha is used for buddhi. Who is this buddhi?  In this episode of the Bhagavad Gita sloka Arujna raises this question,

"..athahakeno… baladhikaha niyojitahs?"

What impels one to commit a papa (पापम्) even though he doesn’t want to, where is that desire situated in our heart? Krishna answered – kama yesha krodha yesha….  He says that the lust and greed for power is great. It is like the smoke that covers the fire or the dust that covers the reflection of the mirror or the embryo that covers the living entity.

"Indriyani mano buddhir asyadhisthanam ucyate etairvimohayaty esa jnanam avrtya dehinam (BG 3.40)."

The Senses, mind and buddhi are the dwelling place of  kama (desire) and krodha (anger).   Here param or para means resting, every element rests on the previous elements, therefore all different position in the body is the resting place for kama(lust), therefore they are the cause of living entity’s down fall.  One who is desirous of elevation of oneself should first conquer kama.

"Buddheh param shatru jahi mahabaho"

In the beginning and middle of this episode, the enemy kama is mentioned therefore it is pertinent that it is there everywhere in this episode.  

Instead of Kama, the Lord should reside in us, but unfortunately for many kama  is worshipable.  The instruction is that if one wants to have the darshan of ||Bhagawan, who is above everything, then kama has to be controlled, because  Bhagavan cannot be perceived by the gross senses.

This Paramapurusha is ||vyapak(all-pervasive). Earlier it was noted,

"drushyatetu agraya buddhaya…"

He can only be achieved by the purified intelligence, not by the senses, and such person achieves amritattva(immortality) One cannot see Ishwara from outside, he cannot be seen from external eyes.  Then how does one see Him? it is explained ||hrida , Manisha, manasa, adikrlapta (2.3.9)  He can only be understood or seen by heartfelt knowledge (preeti roopapanna jnana),

"Bhatyatu ananyaya sakyaya bhakta ca drityaca samahitatma ||"

This is the  explanation by Vyasadev.

What is  aastikya or Theism?

"Aastiti bhruvatah anyatra katham tat upalabhyate"

"Ashtitye  upalabdha vyastath bhavane cho bhayahoh"

"astiteyi o phalalabdhacha tattava bhavah praseedati||"

Exact translation : One who sees God can claim that he has seen God. However through Vedanta sravana (), indirectly one can experience that He is there. When the saadhaka sees Bhagawan by his own experience then the tattva (philosophy) turns into bhava. This makes the saadhaka very happy. Therefore one who can say with great conviction aasti (means that He is there) with his heart without distraction from such understanding he is actual aastika. Yamaraja used aasti three times, God exists, God exists, God exists. This displays tremendous conviction of Bhagawan’s existence. This is the root of all the Vedas – ||paramaastika bhava (with the emotion of conviction in Ishvara’s existence).  Nachiketa had  enquired whether Bhagawan exist in the perfection stage of jiva.  Yama had spoken about the eternal nature of jiva, now he concludes by saying that Isvara does exist.  In this way he answers the third question of Nachiketa.  As the yogis experience,

"tadekanubhava  tadeka priayah pari poornam bhagavantam vishadatamanubhavena nirantam anubhuya"

is it possible to measure music in meter and liter? Similarly, if someone asks, about the nature of experience Ishvara, then he has to be told, better you experience.  Only in such understanding the knowledge of shastra reaches its perfection.  Without such understanding the sastra knowledge is useless, when shastra and experience of Ishvara are harmonized that is called as Vaidhik yoga.

Archaradi marg gamana

There is a land which is beyond this world and to reach there there is also a path. As in the heart there are many veins, there is one ||naadi (vein) called the Sushumna that goes up to the neck. The living entity who goes through the yoga marga has to go through this naadi and then he becomes immortal. The other veins are the different ways of returning to the samsara. The ||the archaradi marga (higher path) is the path of achieving Vishnupada, that is moksha. And those who are desirous of this ||mumukshu (), the Lord Himself who is situated in the highest abode as well as in our hearts (antaratma), who is ||angustamatra (thumb size), is very close to situated to jiva.  Parmatma himself is the solution in attaining Moksha. One should experience Him through wisdom. The relationship between the Jivatma and Parmatma is explained through the knot in the grass and the root of that grass. The jivatma is like the grass and the root of that grass is the Parmatma. One has to discreetly separate them, with great conviction to understand their identity.   Parmatma Himself is the source for  all perfection.  ||tam vidhyata  shukram amritam tam vidyata shukram amrutamiti

The end of instruction

Nachiketa heard with deep concentration as Yamadeva concluded his instruction. He received it with great humility, the Brahmavidya that was integrated with the process of yoga. After transcending death, Nachiketa assimilated the knowledge and  he attained brahma prapti. Those who follow Nachiketa’s path are also assured of Brahma prapti.

Upa Samhara – conclusion

Nachiketa was a ||vidya  kama (seeker of knowledge). He was successful in quenching his thirst for knowledge. This is the conclusion of the Taittriya  Upanishad about this story.

Unfortunately, in modern researchers do not understand the profundity of the story of Nachiketa. They wish to know details of the story with ludicrous questions;

  • how many teeth were there in Nachiketa’s  the mouth or how many hairs were there on his head?
  • Where was his ashram?
  • When did he come back from the mrityuloka, the date?
  • What is the proof that he went there?
  • Is Yamadeva a fictional or factual character?
  • How do we know that all that is spoken in the Upanishad is actual truth, etc?

These are ordinary questions that stem from an ordinary and suspicious mind who is only interested in looking at things from the modern historical perspective, a legacy of the West. They neither understand the import of our Upanishads nor value it.

  • What is history?
  • Who decides what is history and what are the events that needs to be put down as history?
  • What is the barometer to decide what should be selected?
  • Who decides what is important and what is selected to be depicted will be based on that individual or group's perspective? The so called intelligent people considered such questions as relevant.  They believe that this will give rise to understanding of history in a sensitive manner and throws some light on the past.  

Whatever one is suppose to understand should be understood based the way the upanishada is explained here.  What doe mean by narratives? If one says whatever happened is history, then who will write everything?  Whatever has been selected as part of history then who decides what will go as history?  It all depends upon the attitude and the mentality of the compilers.  If the compiler is not narrow and small minded then he or she has to see from the broader perspective.  When seen with such perspective then one will understand what to learn from the story of Nachiketa.  

The main concept that comes through this narrative  is Nachiketa’s passionate desire of gaining ||Vidya (knowledge), his faith (shraddha), his tapas ( austerity), his Nishta (resolve), his realizations and adhyatmik wisdom.  This is the narratives one has to gain,  And anything that portrays Indian Itihasa (history) is irrelevant.   This is the understanding of Narratives from indian mind.

While real intellectuals accepted this, the nineteenth century saw the advent of self-styled historians who depicted inaccurately our history. They claimed that history is objective and beyond that it is  meaningless events or series of events. Is that really possible and  what is the point and utility of such history, that they call it as pure history? Such assumption is born in the brains of the brainless.   An example of deceit and perfidy is explained by Dr. A. N. Whitehead The notions of historians of history  devoid of aesthetics prejudice, of history devoid  of any reliance on metaphysical principles and cosmological generalization and is mostly a figment of the imagination (adventures of ideas, page 12).

It is mandatory that to understand the essential meaning of the Vedas, one must understand the language and the science of the Vedas, know its constructs along with and understanding of the historical concepts and aesthetic sense. Without this even people like Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhakar Mishra, though they were great scholars, purva mimasaka, but were caught in the superficialities, and what to speak of people like Max Muller who did not understand the essential meaning of vedas?   Even worse are  those who walked on the path of Max muller’s so called critical thinking?   

Recently Widginstin and other scholars who are linguists, following the concept of  logical positivism.   Following such methods, our own Indian scholars, in the name of reading the vedas were slandering it.  What Vedas will they understand?   Notably, even Ravana wrote commentary on the Vedas, fortunately it is not available. A glimpse of his writings can be perceived in the Western historians writings on India. As one English poet says little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Such treacherous people should choose other ways to fame and the author says should not touch and defile the sacred Vedas as this would be beneficial to all.

Unfortunately, due to takeover of our education system and writing our history by the British, the narrative available to our scholars was what the Indologists decided. Post-colonisation, due to Macaulay’s education systems our scholars have been denied access to the primary sources and have to rely on western interpretation. Consequently, they criticised the Vedic concepts as they did not understand the deeper meaning of our scriptures.

References

https://ia800301.us.archive.org/29/items/Shankara.Bhashya-Chandogya.Upanishad-Ganganath.Jha.1942.English/Shankara.Bhashya-Chandogya.Upanishad-Ganganath.Jha.1942.English.pdf

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Narayanacharya, K. S. (2011). Veda Sanskritiya Parichaya, Part I. Hubli:​Sahitya Prakashana​.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Saraswati, Sw. Sivananda, (1936). Dialogues from Upanishads.Amritsar: Em. Airi, Editor Ideal Home Magazine.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vasu, Siris Chandra. (1905). Kathopanishad. Allahabad: Allahabad Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Sastri, Sitarama (1928) The Katha and Prasna Upanishads And Sri Sankara's Commentary. Madras: The India Printing Works
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Swami Gambhiranand, (1957) Eight Upanishads, With the Commentary of Sankaracarya, Vol 1. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Rayaprolu, Lingana Somayaji (1992) Upanishad Chandrika, Vol 2 Tirupati: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam