Friday, November 16, 2007

Death Offers Three Boons to Nachiketas

By surrendering himself in the domains of body, mind and intellect Nachiketas earns the enlightenment in these domains.

Vaishvanarah pravishanti
Atithir braahmano grhaan
Tasyaitaam shaantim kurvanti
Hara vaivasvatodakam

Nachiketas looks at death as Vaivasvata, the son of Vivasvan. Vivasvan lights up the universe with his rays. Nachiketas realizes that the darkness of mystery surrounding death is the corollary to the brilliant sense of purpose emanating from an enlightened mind. So he acknowledges death as a qualified teacher who can provide him proper lessons on life.

An ideal is the object of one’s true love. Passion is the energy that draws one to an ideal. All legitimate movements in life are in fact the pursuits of true loves. The fire of passion consummates the objects offered to it.

The fire of passion is like a Brahmin entering a home as a guest. It is to be tended with respect and its appetite is to be appeased appropriately. Only then the household will enjoy prosperity. Total blissful dissolution of oneself happens when one uses all possessions to consummate his passions. The passions are extinguished only when he has totally given himself up in this process. Death, the son of Vivasvan fetches the water to quench the passions of mortal beings.

Ashaprateekshe samgatam soonrutam
Cheshtapoorte putra pashum shvasarvaan
Etatvrunkete purushasyalpamedhaso
Yasyaanashnan vasati brahmano gruhe

The fire of passion is important for a virile being in this universe. If a dumb man drowned in anxieties and fears ignores his passions it is like neglecting a Brahmin guest visiting his home without giving him proper hospitality. His life will be a compromise. Whatever he does will become meaningless. His aspirations will be without point. His hopes will be vague. His environment will be polluted. His perceptions will be skewed. His projects will cater only to fleeting fancies. The products emanating from him will be of doubtful usage. The processes and other things associated with him will not serve any useful purpose.

Tisroratriryadavatseer gruheme
Anashnan brahmannatithir namasyah
Namaste/stubrahman svastime/stu
Tasmaat prati treen varaan vruneeshva

Nachiketas had been contemplating about death for three nights. It was as if he had entered the domain of death as a guest and stayed there for three days. He had deprived himself of any kind of worldly food. He had fasted for three nights to distill his passions in the domains of body, mind and intellect to extract their essence. By this fasting he became eligible for three boons, in the domains of body, mind and intellect. The fasting had brought the passions in these domains to a crescendo. The intensity of the passions in these domains provided him the power to go after the objects of his desire.

The lord of death had granted him three boons as a reward for his fasting, which had spanned over three nights.


vickramthevar said...

can i ask u something? y did u decide to do a contemporary interpretation of the upanishads?
dont u think experience is the greatest teacher?

A.V.G.Warrier said...

We keep interpreting things every moment of our lives. The interpretations keeps changing with experience. Whether its quality goes up or down depends on the experience one go through and the meaning one gives for that term.

Experience is not a teacher. It is a modulator. Experience acts as a good teacher with all the right answers only when it is true.

How to find this truth in experience?!

My blog happened from a simple desire to share my studies with others having similar interests.