Kathopanishad by Swamini Svatmavidyananda

Video Recording – http://livestream.com/Swaminiji/events/5324372

Class on June 2nd 2016. This is a continuation from the earlier class. 2nd Adhyaaya’s 3rd Valli’s first shloka along with Shankara’s commentary has been completed in the earlier class.

Other references:


Chapter 2 — Canto 3Verse 1

ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः ।
तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेवामृतमुच्यते ।
तस्मिँल्लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तदुनात्येति कश्चन ।
एतद्वै तत् ॥ १ ॥
ऊर्ध्व-मूलः अवाक्-शाखः एषः अश्वत्थः सनातनः | तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेव अमृतम् उच्यते ।
तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तद्-उन अत्येति कश्चन । एतद्वै तत् ॥ १ ॥

This is the सनातन ancient Asvatha-Peepal tree whose ऊर्ध्व-मूलः roots are above and अवाक्-शाखः whose branches spread below. एतद्वै तत् – This verily is that!   This is the mahaa vaakya that is repeatedly mentioned. Here तत् – the pronoun “that” does not refer to the earlier noun which is the samsaara tree that is present upside-down. Rather, तद्ब्रह्म “that” refers to Brahman. तदेव शुक्रम् –That is verily purity. It is un-afflicted. तत् उ न अत्येति कश्चन – none can transcend it – It is not outside the scheme of things. Ignorance makes Jagat into Samsaara. Brahman is not outside this samsaara. Brahman is the truth of this samsaara. Ishwara is neither inside nor outside space. Space is Ishvara. उ is for emphasis. तदेव अमृतम् उच्यते – It is also called the immortal. Free from birth and death. तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे – All the worlds of this Samsaara are as-though realities that lean on Brahman.

Samsaara is very addictive. Samsaara causes affliction. We continuously seek the infinite in the finite due to our ignorance. In this verse, like the aversion therapy carried out for de-addiction, an aversion or distaste for the Samsaara, the very object of addiction, is being developed. Shabda Pramaana is an important therapy for the afflicted individual. Poorva Punya is required even to realize that one is caught up in Samsaara and to have the desire to get out of it. रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य – B.G. 2.59 (After the sense objects leave), the longings also leave the abstinent man (on seeing the Supreme). The Guru takes the person out of samsaara. But taking the samsaara out of the person is a slow process. The guru does it by truly enabling them to discover distaste for this samsaara. The guru shows how upside down the priorities are. This is Nitiddyaasanaa – overcoming the habitual orientation to Samsaara. The first part of the mantra creates this distaste for samsaara and the second part talks about what the person really wants – “Tat”. That is Brahma. That is called immortal. Yama always deals with mortality. So as though he does not have the right to talk about immortality he says this in passive form that it is said to be immortal. तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे – Samsaara is an incidental projection that leans on Brahman. Brahman is the refuge of Samsaara. Just like the shadow clings on to the light, the samsaara clings onto the Brahman. तत् उ न अत्येति कश्चन – No one can transgress it. The cause is unaffected by the effect.


यदिदं किं च जगत् सर्वं प्राण एजति निःसृतम् ।
महद्भयं वज्रमुद्यतं य एतद्विदुरमृतास्ते भवन्ति ॥ २ ॥
This mantra responds to a poorvapaksha that questions the existence of this Brahman. Shankara mentions this in the Sangathi or the connection to this verse :

सङ्गतिः — यद् विज्ञानात् अमृताः भवन्ति इति उच्यते तत् जगतः मूलं ब्रह्म नास्ति एव, (इदं जगत्) असतः एव निःसृतम् इति | तन्न |

यद् विज्ञानात् अमृताः भवन्ति – That knowing which one becomes immortal; जगतः मूलम् – that is also the root of Samsaara, that which is un-afflicted by everything, ब्रह्म नास्ति एव if that Brahma does not exist, then how is this Jagat created. This is not so. This vaada is called Tera vaada which denies the existence of anything. To them the whole universe has come out of nothing.

In Chandokyopanishad, in the sixth chapter, it is stated, तदेव सौम्य, इदमग्रे आसीत् – before all these came into manifestation, only Sat was there. स आत्मा त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो … That Atma is you, O Svetaketu ! Later on in the same chapter, असत्वा इदमग्रे आसीत् | तस्मात् सत् अजायत | All that was there was non-existence. From non-existence, existence came. This could be confusing. The non-existence here means it was free from name and form.

The creation of the jagat cannot happen in random. There is a नियति and hence a नियन्ता – the ruler who sets the rules. Questioning the existence of Brahman is to question one’s own existence. This existence does not require any proof as the knowledge that I exist can never be denied. Ishwara’s existence is not a matter of anumaana or inference. Shabda Pramaana is the proof for its existence. This verse answers why we should say that the Jagat has come from Brahman and not nothingness.

यत् किञ्च इदं जगत् सर्वं प्राणे (सति) निःसृतम् एजति । ये एतद् महद्भयं वज्रमुद्यतं विदुः ते अमृताः भवन्ति ।

यत् किञ्च इदं जगत् सर्वं What all is there in this whole jagat, प्राणे (सति) निःसृतम् एजति – Here प्राणे means परस्मिन्ब्रह्मणि – in the life force | एजति means कम्पते  moves | This whole universe evolved from the Brahman, moves or vibrates in the Prana i.e., the highest Brahman. The whole world is as-though exhaled निःसृतम् by Bhagavan. It does not happen in random. Shankara adds how it happens – क्रमेण – नियमेन  – in an orderly way. प्राण एजति – प्राणे एजति – the ए is elided. Praane is interpreted in two ways. प्राणे सति – Praana being present;  The other meaning indicates in the Praana or from the Praana.

यदेवं जगदुत्पत्त्यादिकारणं ब्रह्म तत् महद्भयम्, महच्च तत् भयं च बिभेति अस्मादिति महद्भयम्,

The orderly universe that has come out is an object of great fear. It is big and it is a cause of fear. We do not fear the creator. We fear our own karma phala. That is why we pray to Rudra – नमस्ते रुद्र मन्यवऽ उतोतऽ इषवे नम: ॥१॥ Salutations to your arrows. Please keep them to yourself. Sickness, disease, death – are all the result of Karma Phala. Hence we are helplessly trapped in this life cycle. What is to be done to overcome this fear?  (TO BE CONTINUED)



Selected verses from Kathopanishad – #6

Selected verses from Kathopanishad — Verses collated from the question papers for KSOU MA Sanskrit (2007 to 2014). Part 6 with notes from the classes conducted by Dr. Vanitha Ramaswamy (14-Oct-2015)


  • The Kathaka Upanishad with Shri Shankara’s Commentary, edited with notes by Sri Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya
Online References for Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

Upanishad is read as part of the 13th day events, when someone passes away. Shraddha is performed at the residence and also at Gaya. Other places for performing PitruKaarya are at Kashi, Allahabad, Matru Gaya and Nasik in the north and Kokarana in the south. The obstacles in the worldly affairs are removed, when the Shraddha is done at these places for receiving the blessings of the ancestors. There are some rituals that are done for the well-being of the family and there are others that are done for the sake of the departed soul. When the Upanishads are read, the soul gets the Brahma gnana and gets the opportunity to enter a family with good samskaaraas. 

1.     तस्मात्पराङ् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् । २०१०.०४

Therefore we see the external world and not the self.

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू-स्तस्मात्पराङ्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ २.१.१ ॥

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू: तस्मात् पराङ् पश्यति न अन्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चित् धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानम् ऐक्षत् आवृत्तचक्षु: अमृतत्वम् इच्छन् |

पराञ्चि – outgoing tendencies; खानि – senses (आकाश जन्याणि), व्यतृणत् – disturbed – mixed up things (हिंसितवान् हननं कृतवान्), स्वयम्भू: – the self-existent Brahma, तस्मात् – therefore, पराङ् – external world, पश्यति – see, न – not, अन्तरात्मन् – the self, कश्चित् – some, धीरः – wise man, प्रत्यगात्मानम् – atman within (प्रत्यक् च असौ आत्मा च) , ऐक्षत् – he wished (अपश्यत्), आवृत्तचक्षु: – one having eyes averted (with his senses turned away), अमृतत्वम् – immortality, इच्छन् – desiring.
2.1.1. The self existent self created the senses with outgoing tendencies. Therefore we see the external world and not the self. But the wise turn the senses away from the world and, seeking what is everlasting, realize the self within.

The Self-existent created the senses out-going; for this reason man sees the external, but not the inner Ātman (Self). Some wise man, however, desiring immortality, with eyes turned away (from the external) sees the Ātman within. Among the shlokas on काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध:, this one is पराग्दृष्टि: स्वभावो लोकस्य, प्रत्यग्दृष्टिस्तु कस्यचिदेव |

आत्माज्ञानस्य स्वरूप: क: इति वक्तव्यम् | तत् पूर्वम् आत्मज्ञानस्य विघ्ना: के इति वदति | काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध: |किमर्थं प्रबन्ध: ज्ञातव्यः ?

गूढ: आत्मा, सर्वेषुभूतेषु न प्रकाशते | केनापि न दृश्यते वा? अथवा कतिपयेषु दृष्टुं शक्यते वा? इति प्रश्न: अस्ति | स: वदति –अग्रया बुद्ध्यया दृष्टुं शक्यते | अग्रा बुद्धि: इत्युक्ते कुशाग्र मति: – the intellect that has the sharpness of the edge of the Kusha or Dharbha grass. Even these people have obstruction or obstacles – प्रतिबन्ध: | परंतुतस्य अपि काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध: |विघ्नस्य ज्ञानम् अस्ति चेत् तस्य निवारणं कर्तुं शक्नुम: | विघ्ननिवारणात् फलं कर्यप्राप्ति:, फलप्राप्ति: | अस्माकं दृष्टिस्तु आत्मज्ञाने अस्ति | विघ्नविचार: किमर्थम्? यदि विघ्ना: निवार्यते तर्हि फलप्राप्ति: सुखकरम् |

In this chapter, Yama is trying to tell Nachiketas about all the obstacles on the road of Atma gnana. There is a question there – We are interested in knowing about the Aatman and attaining the atma gnana. Why are just delaying by talking about these obstacles. For this Yama says, “It is very important because when you know the obstacles your mind will be prepared to watch out for and remove the obstacles. Once the obstacles are avoided, your path will be smooth and you will be able to reach the goal. There is Shreyas or prosperity and well-being only for you by knowing the obstacles. विघ्नस्य अपनयनाय यत्न आरब्धुं शक्यते – न अन्यथा | As long as you are attached to the desires, you will not be able to start getting into that path of Atma Gnana. Only after removing these obstacles, you can progress in your path.

शब्दगुणकमाकाशम् | The sound is the quality of space. The sound is captured by the ears. Sound can’t be heard in Vacuum. पराञ्चि = पराक् गच्छन्ति (अञ्चन्ति). वातावरणे ओंकारः सदा अस्ति | But the ears are not capable of hearing it. The creator has removed the power of hearing that sound from this sense organ. पराङ् = अनात्मभूतान् शब्दादीन् = the sounds in these worldly environment. लौकिकशब्दा: ये सन्ति ते व्यवाहारे एव दृश्यते | अत: व्यवहारे एव ये ते शब्दा: शोत्रुं साद्यम् अस्ति | परन्तु ज्ञानी ओंकारम् एव शृणोति | At the time of creation, the creator disturbed and destroyed the sense so that it cannot hear the omkara and it can hear only the other sounds in the environment. लोकस्य स्वाभाव: एवं सति अपि, कश्चित्, नद्या: प्रतिस्रोत: प्रवर्तनामिव धीर: इन्द्रिय-प्रत्याहरणं कृत्वा प्रत्यगात्मानं अपश्यत् | Even if the nature of the world is like this, there will be some person who will control his senses and he will be able to realize the true self. Every sense wants to experience the pleasure. But a true seeker does not go after such pleasures – अमृतत्वम् अमरन+धर्मत्वं नित्य+स्वभावताम् इच्छन्, महता प्रयासेन स्वभावप्रवृत्तिनिरोधं करोति |

2.    अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः ।२००७.०२

Like fire is hidden in the two tender sticks and like a fetus is well protected by pregnant women

अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः ।

दिवे दिव ईड्यो जागृवद्भिर्हविष्मद्भिर्मनुष्येभिरग्निः ।एतद्वै तत् ॥ २.१.८ ॥

अरण्यो: निहित: जातवेदा: गर्भ इव सुभृत: गर्भिणीभिः ।

दिवे दिव ईड्यो जागृवद्भि: हविष्मद्भि: मनुष्येभि: अग्निः । एतत् वै तत् ॥ २.१.८ ॥

अरण्यो: – pair of fire-sticks, निहित: – reside (स्थित:), जातवेदा: – fire, गर्भ – fetus इव – like सुभृत: – well-guarded (सुष्ठु भरित:) गर्भिणीभिः – by the pregnant woman । दिवे दिव – day after day ईड्य: – worshipped, जागृवद्भि: – by wakeful seekers, हविष्मद्भि: – by one who does sacrifice, मनुष्येभि: – by such people, अग्निः – Agni । एतत् वै तत् – Certainly this is that !

2.1.8. The all-seeing consciousness that, like fire, is hidden in wood and concealed like a fetus in the womb is worshipped by self inquirers and ritualists. This is what you wish to know.

Ritualists are also self worshippers although their worship is indirect i.e. through rituals. Even though they worship deities, they actually worship the self in so far as the self works through the deity to bolster their faith.

The all-seeing fire which exists hidden in the two sticks, as the fetus is well- guarded in the womb by the mother, (that fire) is to be worshipped day after day by wakeful seekers (after wisdom), as well as by sacrificers. This verily is That.

Context: Brahman (The supreme self) and aatman (the inner self) are identical.

Among the shlokas on प्रत्यगात्मब्रह्मण: सर्वात्मत्वम्, this one is हिरन्यगर्भस्य सर्वभूतात्मत्वम् |

There is some heat in the atmosphere. All the five elements are present. Agni is virat. Even that is Brahma only. In the Yogis, Agni is present in their heart. The mother eats food which is converted to energy that passes on to the fetus by means of the agni inside the body. Agni is there inside everyone. That is only Brahman and Aatman. अग्निः ऋत्विग्भि: योगिभिश्च सम्यक् भृत: | The Rutvig are the great rishis who conduct the yaga, namely Hotr, Adhvaryu, Udgatr, and Brahman. अध्वरे हृदये च – in the homa and in the hearts.

[Side note: The hotṛ is the reciter of invocations (representing Rig Veda). The adhvaryu is in charge of the physical details of the sacrifice (representing yajurveda). The udgātṛ is a chanter of hymns set to melodies (sāman) drawn from the sāmaveda. The brahman is the reciter of hymns from the atharvaveda who was largely silent and observes the procedures and uses Atharvaveda mantras to ‘heal’ it when mistakes have been made.

Side note: Isa Vasya Upanishad : Agni! Take me in the right path! अग्ने नय सुपथा |] 

Selected verses from Kathopanishad – #5

Selected verses from Kathopanishad — Verses collated from the question papers for KSOU MA Sanskrit (2007 to 2014). Part 5 with notes from the classes conducted by Dr. Vanitha Ramaswamy (7-Oct-2015)


  • The Kathaka Upanishad with Shri Shankara’s Commentary, edited with notes by Sri Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya
Online References for Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

1.  सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति

सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति — तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति । यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति — तत्ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १.२.१५ ॥

सर्वे वेदा all the veda-s यत्पदं आमनन्ति in one voice proclaim that goal तपांसि सर्वाणि all austerities च यद्वदन्ति speak of यत् इच्छन्तो desiring that which ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति aspirants practice brahmacharya तत् that ते to you पदं goal संग्रहेण briefly ब्रवीमि shall I state ओं इत्येतत् it is Om.

Yama said: The goal which all the vedas declare, which all austerities aim at and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is Om.

सर्वे वेदा: यत् पदम् आमनन्ति, तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यत् वदन्ति, यत्+इच्छन्त: ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति, तत् ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीमि ॐ इति एतत् |

एतेन श्लोकेन ब्रह्मोपदेश: प्रारब्यते | If there can be a word that can be given as a synonym to Brahman, that is OM.

2.     एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम्

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् । एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १.२.१६ ॥

This Word is indeed Brahman. This Word is indeed the Supreme. He who knows this Word obtains whatever he desires.

एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं is the (inferior) ब्रह्म brahman एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं परम् is the Supreme brahman. एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं the letter, symbol, ज्ञात्वा having meditated upon यः he यत् इच्छति desiring which तस्य तत् his is that ॥ १६ ॥

Among the shlokas on ओंकारद्वारेण ब्रह्मोपदेश:, this one is ओंकारस्य परब्रह्मालम्बनत्वम् |

नचिकेतसं प्रति यम: ॐ-कारस्य महत्वं वर्णयति | It is not sufficient just to know that Om and Brahman are the same. The seeker has to meditate controlling the senses. यो यदिच्छति परम् अपरं वा, तस्य तद् भवति | परं ज्ञातव्यम्, अपरं चेत् प्राप्तव्यम् | Param is to be understood. Aparam is to be obtained.

Do your tasks with Atma shakti. They will turn out well. Even if it does not result in the expected manner, accept it as something that has happened for a higher good.

Krishna says that he is the desires that are not against dharma — ‘धर्मोविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोस्मि भरकर्षर्भ’ (श्रीमद्भवद्गीता-7/11). Here Yama says that whatever be their desire, they will get it. The mother wishes to get a son with good character. Due to her good actions, it gets such a son. “सुशीलो पुत्र: मातु पुण्येन |” When Kunti blesses the pregnant Draupadi, she says “मा च सूरम् | मा च पण्डितम् | भाग्यवन्तं प्रसूयेत|” She blesses that Draupadi gets a son with good character as that will lead to all saubhagya – शीलवन्तं पुत्रं प्राप्नुयात् |

3.    न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥ २०१०.०३, २०१४.०३ It is not killed when the body is killed.

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित् । अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणोन हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चित् न अयं कुतश्चित् न बभूव कश्चित् । अज: नित्यः शाश्वत: अयं पुराण: न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ||

न जायते neither born म्रियते वा nor dies विपश्चित् this sentient Atman न अयं nor did It कुतश्चित् न बभूव originate from any cause कश्चित् nor did anything originate from It. अजः It is birthless नित्यः eternal शाश्वतः undecaying अयं पुराणः It is ancient न हन्यते It is not killed/injured हन्यमाने शरीरे when the body is killed. The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient. It is not killed when the body is killed.

Among the shlokas on आत्मन: साक्षात् स्वरूप-निर्धारणम्, this one is आत्मा सर्वविक्रियारहित: | |

अस्मिन् श्लोके आत्मन: साक्षात् स्वरूप-निर्धारणं करोति | The atma cannot be felt by the senses. विपश्चित् = मेधावी | Don’t consider aatman to be an intelligent person. And don’t consider aatman to have come from a specific place like heaven. Nothing has originated from it. आत्मन: = ब्रह्मण: | निर्धारणम् = इदं इत्तं इति definition. अजः नित्यः शाश्वतः पुराणः |

[Side note: Panchatantra 1 Mitrabheda Tantra by Vishnusharman ययोरेव समं वित्तं ययोरेव समं कुलम्। तयोर्मैत्री विवाहश्च न तु पुष्टविपुष्टयोः॥३०४॥ Those who are equal in wealth, and those who are equal in lineage. Between them does friendship and marriage occur, not between opposites.

अपात्रे कृतम् अकृतम् | Be it giving away the daughter in marriage or sharing some spiritual experiences with the spouse, only if the recipient is fit to receive, it has to be given.

मनस्चक्षुषोर्निबन्ध: – (मनस: and चक्षुषो:) bonding of the mind and the eyes are the matching that is required for marriage – says the Vedas.]

4.     तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥ २३ ॥ २००७.०१, २००९.०३

To him the Self reveals Its true nature.

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्योन मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन । यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यःतस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥ १.२.२३ ॥

न अयम् आत्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्य: न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन । यम् एव एष: वृणुते तेन लभ्यः तस्य एष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् |

न अयम् आत्मा This Atman is not प्रवचनेन लभ्यः attained through study न मेधया nor by intelligence न बहुना श्रुतेन or by much hearing of sacred literature. यम् he whom एव alone एष the Self वृणुते chooses तेन लभ्यः It is attained by such a person तस्य Its एष this आत्मा Atman विवृणुते reveals तनूं स्वाम् Its true nature.

This Self cannot be attained by study of the Scriptures, nor by intellectual perception, nor by frequent hearing (of It); He whom the Self chooses, by him alone is It attained. To him the Self reveals Its true nature.

Context: The Acharya Yama is continuing his delineation of the Self upon being asked for it by the wonderful aspirant Nachiketas.

Among the shlokas on आत्मज्ञानस्य शोकराहित्यं फलम्, this one is आत्मविज्ञानोपाय: |

वृणुते = “वृ वरणे” – whom the Brahma chooses ! ज्ञेय: = ज्ञातुं शक्य: | दुर्विज्ञेय: = ज्ञातुं न साध्यम् | तथापि उपायेन सुविज्ञेय: एव इति आह | प्रोत्साहं ददाति | (Gives encouragement). मेधया = ग्रन्थार्थधारणशक्त्या |

Krishna tells about 3 types of people who will come to hear the guru’s teachings. कुतूहली – Those who are curious. जिज्ञासुः – Those who are interested in knowing. मुमुक्षु: – One who comes with an open mind with an aim to gain the knowledge, will grasp and attain moksha. यं एव स्वमात्मानम् एष साधक: प्रार्थयते, तेन एव आत्मना वरित्रा (protect like an umbrella) स्वयं आत्मा लभ्य: | आत्मना एव आत्मा लभ्यते | स्व-याथात्म्यम् | तनूं = पारमार्थिक तनूम् |

5.    उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।२०१४.१२

Arise, awake!  Seek the great teachers and realize the self!  

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति ॥ १.३.१४ ॥ उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान् निबोधत । क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया | दुर्गं पथ: तत् कवय: वदन्ति |

उत्तिष्ठत – arise, जाग्रत – awake, प्राप्य – having received, वरान् – great teachers, निबोधत – get enlightened । क्षुरस्य – razor’s धारा – edge (अग्रम्), निशिता – sharp दुरत्यया – difficult to tread upon | दुर्गं – fortified (दु:संपाद्यम्). पथ: – road (मार्ग:), कवय: – those Brahma jnaanis – तत् – that वदन्ति – tell |

  1. Arise, awake!  Seek the great teachers and realize the self!  The wise say the path, difficult to navigate, is sharp and narrow like a razor’s edge.

The spiritual path is difficult because life is not what it seems and because as discrimination develops one discovers more and more subtle delusions. One needs to be eternally vigilant because it is easy to ‘fall off’ the path, identify with beliefs and opinions that prevent appreciation of one’s wholeness.

It may be possible to sort it out on your own but it is intelligent to realize your limitations and seek help. Associating with a teacher means that the non-dual perspective is constantly present. Additionally, your desire for liberation will grow quickly because a teacher will continually remind you of the limitations inherent in the pursuit of objects. Finally, you can present your doubts and have them cleared quickly and easily. It sometimes takes years to work though a problem that can be solved in a few minutes by a competent teacher.  

Among the shlokas on सूक्ष्मस्यात्मनो दर्शनार्थं योग:, this one is आत्म-दर्शन-यत्न-कर्तव्यता-उपदेश:

कर्तव्यं – a command that has to be abided. In the मिथ्याज्ञान, there are नाम, रूप, कर्म. ते विजृम्भितम् | हे जन्तव: आत्मज्ञान अभिमुखा भवत | निभोधत = अवगच्छत | वरान् = प्रकृष्तान् आचार्यान् तत्वविद: | अस्मिन् श्लोके शाङ्करभाष्ये “अहमस्मि” इति अद्वैतसिददान्तस्य प्रवेश: भवति | Shankara introduces the concept of Advaita as “Aham asmi” in this shloka. ज्ञेयस्य अति-सूक्ष्मत्वात् तत् विषयस्य ग्नानमार्गस्य दु:संपाद्यत्वं वदन्ति |

The power of Atmashakti – Rama Ravana Yuddha – Katopanishad shloka on Om

आत्मशक्ते: प्रणवस्य च प्रभाव: — अगस्त्यमहर्षिणा बोदित: राम:

रामरावनयोर्युद्धं प्राचलत् अस्ति | रावण: आगच्छति | रामेण किमपि कर्तुं न शक्यते | रावण: वरप्रभावात् बहुशक्त: अस्ति | तत्र बहूणि वराणि रावणेन प्राप्तानि | अथ: किमपि रामेण कर्तुं न शक्यते | एकवारं गच्छति | पुन: द्वितीयवारम् आगच्छति | तदापि किमपि न कर्तुं शक्यते | “तपस्वी अस्ति | वरप्रभावेन बलवानपि अस्ति | एतं रावणं कथं हन्तुं शक्तोऽहम् ? अहं न शक्त: अस्मि ” इति चिन्ताक्रान्त: अभवत् राम: | स: रावण: अधर्मे एव तिष्टतिचेत् राम: हन्तुं शक्नोति | परन्तु स: तु तपस्वी अपि अस्ति | राम: तं स्पर्ष्टुं अपि न शक्त: | कथं हनिष्यामि इति चिन्ताक्रान्त: अभवत् | रामरावनयोर्युद्धस्य रामरावणयोर्स्युद्ध: एव समम् | अन्य उपमा नास्ति एव | देवादिदेवा: स्वर्गलोके स्थित्वा पश्यन्त: आसन् | तदानीम् अगस्त्य: चिन्तयति रामस्य किञ्चित् ज्ञानम् अपेक्षितमिति | अगस्त्यमहर्षिः तत्र युद्धभूमौ अवतरति | राम: अगस्त्यं दृष्ट्वा नमस्करोति | अनुग्रहं कर्तुं प्रार्तयति | तदानीम् अगस्त्यमहर्षिणा रामं प्रति एवम् उक्तम् अस्ति – “हे राम | भवान् चिन्तयति – मम समीपे दिव्यास्त्रा: सन्ति | एतेषां दिव्यास्त्राणां शक्त्या रावणं हन्तुं शक्नोमि इति | नैव | तथा मा चिन्तयतु | यदि तत्र दैहिकशक्त्या रावणम् अहं हनिष्यामि इति चिन्त्यते भवता तत् न साद्यम् | तपसा बहु प्रबल: अस्ति रावण: | अत: किं करणीयम् इति सम्यक् जानातु | आत्मा शक्तिं वर्धनीयम् | यदा आत्मा प्रबल: भवति, सशक्त: भवति, तदा आत्माशक्ति: भवत: देहे प्रवहति | भवत: अस्त्रेषु अपि प्रवहति | तदा भवान् तं हन्तुं शक्नोति |” अगस्त्यमहर्षि: ब्रह्मोपदेशं कृत्वा आदित्य हृदयं पाठयति |

आत्मशक्ति वर्धनाय एष: कठोपनिषद: श्लोकः सर्वे प्रतिदिनं पठन्तु |

सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति — तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति — तत्ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १.२.१५ ॥

सर्वे वेदा: यत् पदम् आमनन्ति, तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यत् वदन्ति, यत्+इच्छन्त: ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति, तत् ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीमि ॐ इति एतत् |

एतस्मिन् कठोपनिषद: श्लोके प्रणवस्य प्रभावं उक्तम् अस्ति |

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् ।
एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १.२.१६ ॥

एतत् हि एव अक्षरं ब्रह्म | एतत् हि एव अक्षरं परम् । एतत् हि एव अक्षरं ज्ञात्वा, य: यत् इच्छति, तस्य तत् |

Selected verses from Kathopanishad – #4

Selected verses from Kathopanishad — Verses collated from the question papers for KSOU MA Sanskrit (2007 to 2014). Part 4 with notes from the classes conducted by Dr. Vanitha Ramaswamy (7-Oct-2015)


  • The Kathaka Upanishad with Shri Shankara’s Commentary, edited with notes by Sri Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya
Online References for Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

1.    हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते २०१४.०३
But the one who unthinkingly chooses the pleasant is verily a fool.

अन्यच्छ्रेयोऽन्यदुतैव प्रेय-        स्ते उभे नानार्थे पुरुषँ सिनीतः ।
तयोः श्रेय आददानस्य साधु    भवति हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते ॥ १.२.१ ॥

Yama said: The good is one thing and the pleasant another. These two, having different ends, bind a man. It is well with him who chooses the good. He who chooses the pleasant misses the true end.

अन्यत् different श्रेयः is the preferable अन्यत् different उत also एव indeed प्रेयः pleasurable. ते these उभे two नानार्थे being aimed at different ends पुरुषं man सिनीतः bind. तयोः among these two श्रेय preferable आददानस्य who chooses साधु good भवति comes about हीयते falls  अर्थात् from the noble goal य he  उ that प्रेयो pleasurable वृणीते chooses.

Among the shlokas on विद्याविद्ययोर्विद्याया एव श्रेयस्करत्वम्, this one is श्रेय: साधनमुपाददानस्यैव पुरुषार्थ: |

Nachiketa wants to understand relationship between the dualities –  Atma Vidyaa and Avidyaa ; Prevas and Shreyas. Man is bound by Vidyaa and Avidyaa in different forms. The path of Preya gives pleasure at the immediate instant. Shreya path gives pleasure in the end. श्रेय: आददानस्य – For the one who chooses the good, साधु भवति – good things will happen to him.  “वृ वरणे” – प्रेय: वृणीते – One who chooses Preya, हीयते – he will be deprived of the desired result. Yama had showed various pleasures that Nachiketas rejected. So Yama feels happy that his student passed in all the tests he conducted for checking the eligibility of the student to receive this highest knowledge. He tells Nachiketa that among Vidya and Avidya, Vidya is the only good option.

2.     श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते २०१२.०३, प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते २०१३.०३

It is the wise that selects the good in preference to the pleasant;
The simple-minded person selects the pleasant for the sake of their worldly well-being.

श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः            तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते    प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ १.२.२ ॥

The good and the pleasant approach man; the wise examines both and discriminates between them; the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the foolish man chooses the pleasant through love of bodily pleasure.

श्रेयः the preferable च and प्रेयः च the pleasurable मनुष्यं man एतः approach तौ these two संपरीत्य weighed विविनक्ति distinguishes/separates धीरः the intelligent man. श्रेयः the preferable, the beneficial हि indeed धीरः the intelligent one अभि by all means प्रेयसः comparable to the pleasurable वृणीते selects प्रेयः the pleasurable मन्दः the short-sighted one योग-क्षेमात् to satisfy his concern for security and growth वृणीते chooses.

Among the shlokas on विद्याविद्ययोर्विद्याया एव श्रेयस्करत्वम्, this one is विवेकिन एव श्रेय: साधनं वृणते |

In this shloka, Yama explains why people choose the path of Preyas even though Shreyas is far better, even when they have the freedom to choose (कर्तुं स्वायत्ते). Like a rat that unknowingly gets stuck in its trap, man gets entangled in the pleasures one after the other even without realizing that he is getting trapped in it.  इत: प्राप्नुत: श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च | Man can get both Preyas and Shreyas. अतो हंस इवाम्भस: पय: The Hamsa takes only the milk leaving the milk. Like that the wise person takes only the Shreyas separating out the Preyas. विविनक्ति = due to his discriminating power. धीरः = One with high mental strength. योगक्षेमात् वृणीते – chooses for the sake of his worldly comfort.

3.     अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ ५ ॥  २०१०.०२, २००९.०२, २०१४.०२

Like the blind that are led by blind man

अविद्यायामन्तरे वर्तमानाः           स्वयं धीराः पण्डितंमन्यमानाः ।
दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढा       अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ १.२.५ ॥
Fools dwelling in ignorance, yet imagining themselves wise and learned, go round and round in crooked ways, like the blind led by the blind.

अविद्यायां अन्तरे in the midst of ignorance वर्तमानाः existing स्वयं themselves धीराः intelligent पण्डितं enlightened मन्यमानाः considering दंद्रम्यमाणाः go round and round परियन्ति following crooked paths मूढाः senseless ones अन्धेन एव blind ones नीयमानाः being lead by यथा just as अन्धाः blind ones.

Among the shlokas on यमकृता नचिकेतस: प्रशंसा, this one is नचिकेतसो विवेक: |

अविद्यायाम् अन्तरे – inside the Avidyaa, वर्तमानाः  – staying in it, स्वयं धीराः पण्डितंमन्यमानाः – considers themselves to be a wise person and a most learned person – not realizing that he is entangled, he thinks that he has achieved something. दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढा  – The fool moves from hither to thither. i.e., he faces very difficult circumstances in life. He who is caught in the material pleasure suffers from disease, old age, etc.  यथा अन्धेन एव नीयमाना अन्धाः – like the blind people being lead by a blind person.

4.     आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः

Wonderful is the knower being taught by an adept.

श्रवणायापि बहुभिर्यो न लभ्यः         शृण्वन्तोऽपि बहवो यं न विद्युः ।
आश्चर्यो वक्ता कुशलोऽस्य लब्धा    आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः ॥ १.२.७ ॥

He about whom many are not even able to hear, whom many cannot comprehend even after hearing: wonderful is the teacher, wonderful is he who can receive when taught by an able teacher.

श्रवणायाः for the hearing अपि even बहुभिः for many यः that which न is not लभ्य: available. शृण्वन्तः अपि even while hearing/learning बहवः many यं which न do not विद्युः understand. आश्चर्यः wonderful वक्ता the expounder कुशलः proficient अस्य लब्धा who receives this teaching आश्चर्यः wonderful ज्ञाता is the knower कुशलानुशिष्टः being taught by an adept.

Among the shlokas on यमकृता नचिकेतस: प्रशंसा, this one is श्रेयोऽर्थी सुदुर्लभ: |

It is very rare to see a man who chooses this path of spiritual prosperity, Shreyas. Among numerous people, only a few take to the right path. Among the people who take to the path, there are only a few who get to reach the goal of spiritual enlightenment.

बहुभि: श्रवणाया अपि न लभ्यः Many people are there who do not even hear of Atman; Through the company of good people, man gets good thoughts. शृण्वन्त: अपि बहव: न विद्युः Though hearing of Him, many do not comprehend. आश्चर्य: वक्ता Wonderful is the expounder and कुशल: अस्य लब्धा   rare the hearer; आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता rare indeed is the experiencer of Atman, कुशलानुशिष्टः taught by an able preceptor.

Self-knowledge is hailed as the highest vidyA, Knowledge. The supreme status accorded to AtmavidyA is due to the fact that it is the most difficult to teach, learn and assimilate. This triad of challenges makes the expounding and receiving vidyA a unique one. That is the reason that the upaniShads specify very high standards for the AchArya, the preceptor and the shiShya, the aspirant.

5.     मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १२ ॥ २००८.०३, २०१३.०२

The wise realize and they leave joy and sorrow behind.

तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टं        गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् ।
अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवं   मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १.२.१२ ॥

The wise, who by means of the highest meditation on the Self knows the Ancient One, difficult to perceive, seated in the innermost recess, hidden in the cave of the heart, dwelling in the depth of inner being, (he who knows that One) as God, is liberated from the fetters of joy and sorrow

तं That दुर्दर्शं inscrutable गूढम् lodged inaccessibly अनुप्रविष्टं having entered गुहाहितं and located in the intellect गह्वरेष्ठं and seated in the midst of misery पुराणम् ancient One अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन by resorting to the spiritual disciple देवं मत्वा knowing this Deity, the Conscious One धीरो the intelligent man हर्षशोकौ जहाति gives up happiness and sorrow.

Among the shlokas on वक्ष्यमाणज्ञानस्तुति:, this one is आत्माज्ञानाद् द्वन्द्वात्यय: |

धीर: तं दुर्दर्शं गूढम् अनुप्रविष्टं गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् अध्यात्म+योग+अधिगमेन देवं मत्वा हर्षशोकौ जहाति | Yama glorifies the spiritual knowledge that has been asked as the third boon by Nachiketas. He explains the benefit of gaining this knowledge. धीर: हर्षशोकौ जहाति | धीर: – intelligent, smart person, one who can discriminate; An enlightened person gives up both  happiness and sorrow after gaining this knowledge. तं refers to that knowledge that Nachiketas wanted to obtain – यं ज्ञानं त्वम् इच्छसि तं ज्ञानं दुर्दर्शं | दुर्दर्शं – दु:खेन दर्शनम् अस्य इति दुर्दर्श: | This knowledge is difficult to be understood. The nature or properties of this knowledge are the following:

  1. दुर्दर्शं – hard to understand or perceive.
  2. गूढम् – it is secured in a secret place.
  3. अनुप्रविष्टं – a thing which is difficult to be entered into.
  4. गुहाहितं – हितम् = स्थितम् It is in the cave of intellect.
  5. गह्वरेष्ठं – It is in the midst of many troubles (गह्वरे विषमे अनर्थसंकटे तिष्ठति).
  6. पुराणम् – It has been existing for a very long time. It is not something new. It exists in all the 3 काला

[side note त्रिकालाभाद्यं ज्ञानम् = सत्यम् ; अभाद्य = that which is not affected].

This sacred secret spiritual knowledge अध्यात्मयोगं is the one where the mind is cut off from sensory objects like the family and possessions, and the conscious is kept on the Atma. देवम् = आत्मानम्. The intelligent person has the समभावा and does not feel excited during happiness or depressed during sorrow. This is the state of attained by the gnaani on gaining this knowledge.

Selected verses from Kathopanishad – #3

Selected verses from Kathopanishad — Verses collated from the question papers for KSOU MA Sanskrit (2007 to 2014). Part 3 with notes from the classes conducted by Dr. Vanitha Ramaswamy (30-Sep-2015)


  • The Kathaka Upanishad with Shri Shankara’s Commentary, edited with notes by Sri Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya
Online References for Sanskrit Verses and English Translation

1.      न वित्तेन तर्पणीयो मनुष्यो २०१४.०१, २०१४.१३, २०१०.०१, २०१२-०१

Man cannot be gratified by wealth.

न वित्तेन तर्पणीयो मनुष्यो                       लप्स्यामहे वित्तमद्राक्ष्म चेत्त्वा ।
जीविष्यामो यावदीशिष्यसि त्वं                     वरस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ॥ २७ ॥
Man cannot be satisfied by wealth. Shall we possess wealth when we see thee (Death)? Shall we continue to live as long as thou rulest? Therefore that boon alone is to be chosen by me.

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.

मनुष्य: वित्तेन न तर्पणीय: | त्वा अद्राक्ष्म चेत् वित्तम् लप्स्यामहे । यावत् त्वं इशिष्यसि (तावत् वयं) जीविष्याम: | मे वरणीयः वर: तु  स: एव (भवति) |

Among the shlokas on तृतीयो वर:, this one is नचिकेतसा सर्वकामोपभोगनिन्दा |

तर्पण means offering libations to ancestors to satisfy them. तर्पणीय: means meant to be satisfied. We have not seen anyone be happy, just because he possesses wealth. In the world, wealth cannot satisfy men. The person who has the thirst for wealth (वितृष्णा) will get the expected wealth, if he sees you. As long as you rule and protect, we live. ईशिष = lordship / rule.
[Side note:  A guru tells his disciple who is afraid of death – मूढ | भित: किं यम: न स्पृशति ? अजात: किं करिष्यसि यम: ? अत: अजन्मनि यत्नं कुरु | Stop the cycle of birth and death ]

Having met you, how can any person have dearth of wealth or lifespan (अल्पधनायु:)? I will become prosperous with अष्टऐश्वर्यम् (wealth in various forms not limited to money) and I will also have a long life. Since you yourself have approached me and blessed me, I do not want to belittle the boon that you are offering. कथं हि मर्त्य: त्वया समेत्य अल्पधनायुर्भवेत् ? वरस्तु मे वरनीय: स एव | आत्मविज्ञानम् |

2.      अतिदीर्घे जीविते को रमेत ॥ २०१२.०२
Who will delight in long life?

अजीर्यताममृतानामुपेत्य                जीर्यन्मर्त्यः क्वधःस्थः प्रजानन् ।
अभिध्यायन् वर्णरतिप्रमोदान्         अतिदीर्घे जीविते को रमेत ॥ २८ ॥
What man dwelling on the decaying mortal plane, having approached the un-decaying immortal one, and having reflected upon the nature of enjoyment through beauty and sense pleasure, would delight in long life?

अजीर्यतां un-decaying अमृतानां immortals उपेत्य having reached the proximity जीर्यन् decaying मर्त्यः mortal क्वधःस्थः a dweller of the lower world प्रजानन् but is aware of the higher goals of life अभिध्यायन् having discriminated/deliberated on वर्ण-रति-प्रमोदान् the joys of mingling with sense objects/organs अतिदीर्घे in long जीविते life  को रमेत who indeed will delight? (None indeed will delight)

Among the shlokas on तृतीयो वर:, this one is नचिकेतसा सर्वकामोपभोगनिन्दा |

जीर्यताम् = As days pass by, the remaining time in the life of men keeps reducing. अजीर्यताम् =  one who does not decay,  अमृतानां = one who is immortal, (सखाशम्) उपेत्य = having approached, जीर्यन्मर्त्यः = a man who decays,   अप्राप्नुवन्ताम् अमृतानाम् = those who have not gained. It is doubtful if we are going to live tomorrow or not. Hence today, this moment is precious.  One who is entangled in birth and death, how can he get the knowledge of immortality? He has to approach one who has crossed beyond the cycle of birth and death. Only a man who is ignorant will ask for pleasures. Which fool will ask for children and money having approached you? A person with discrimination will not go behind the pleasures and enjoyments. वर्ण रति प्रमोदान् variety of pleasures and enjoyments (provided by Apsaraas offered by Yama). अतिदीर्घे जीविते को रमेत – who will enjoy the long life? I am not tempted by these superficial temporary attractions because even if it a very long life, these enjoyments have to end at some point.

Kathopanishad – Class Notes – Part 2

कठोपनिषद् – श्रीमति वनिता रामस्वमि महोदया: कक्षा | निवेदिताया: टिप्पणी | 9-Sep-2015

१.१.९ श्लोक:

तिस्रो रात्रीर्यदवात्सीर्गृहे मेऽनश्नन् ब्रह्मन्नतिथिर्नमस्यः ।
नमस्तेऽस्तु ब्रह्मन् स्वस्ति मेऽस्तु — तस्मात्प्रति त्रीन्वरान्वृणीष्व ॥ ९ ॥

अनश्नन् = न अश्नाति = भोजनं विना | यम: जानाति नचिकेतस: स्थर: उन्नतम् अस्ति इति | अत: हे ब्रह्मन् इति आह्वयति |  यम: नचिकेतस्य समीपं गत्वा “ब्रह्मन् | भवान् मम नमस्कारार्ह: अतिथि: | नमस्ते अस्तु” इति वदति | “मम स्वस्ति: भवतु | भवत: आगमनेन मम शुभं, मङ्गलं, बद्रं भवेत् |  मम गृहे अनश्नन् तिस्रो रात्रि: अवात्सी: | अत: दोष: आगत: | तस्य उपशमनं इदानीं करणीयं |” अतिथे: मनसि संप्रसादनार्थम् अथवा अत्यन्त संतोषं जनयितुं कार्यं कृत्वा तेन प्रसादं स्विकरनीयम् इति यम: चिन्तयति | “अनशनेन उषितां एकैकां रात्रिं प्रति त्रीन् वरान् वृणीष्व” इति अवदत् | “यद् इच्छति तदेव प्रार्तयिस्व |”

१.१.१० श्लोक:

शान्तसंकल्पः सुमना यथा स्याद्  — वीतमन्युर्गौतमो माऽभि मृत्यो ।
त्वत्प्रसृष्टम् माऽभिवदेत्प्रतीत — एतत् त्रयाणां प्रथमं वरं वृणे ॥ १० ॥

नचिकेतसा प्रार्थित: प्रथमोवर: | पितु: बहु दुखित: भवति इति स: जानाति | अत: तस्य मनशान्ति: भवतु इति प्रथम वरेण तत्र प्रार्थयति | मम उपरि स: बहु कृद्द: आसीत् | इदानीं शान्तमानसः भवतु | “यमं प्राप्य मम पुत्र: किं करिष्यति” इति चिन्तयति | चिन्ताक्रान्त: अस्ति | अत: एव स: शान्तसंकल्प: भवतु | सुमना: = प्रसन्नचित्तश्च | यथा स्यात् तथा वरं ददातु | वीत (विगत) मन्यु: (क्रोद: ) – वीत रोष: च भवतु | पिता गौतम: इदानीं मूर्चावस्तायाम् अस्ति | “स: एव मम पुत्र:” इति चिन्तयतु | पितु: परितोशनार्थं प्रथमं वरम् आदत्त्वान् |

१.१.११ श्लोक:

यथा पुरस्ताद् भविता प्रतीत     औद्दालकिरारुणिर्मत्प्रसृष्टः ।
सुखँ रात्रीः शयिता वीतमन्युः    त्वां ददृशिवान्मृत्युमुखात् प्रमुक्तम् ॥ ११ ॥

मृत्युना प्रथमवरदानम् | नचिकेतस्य वचनं श्रुत्वा तस्य पिता कृद्दो जात: आसीत् | तत् पूर्वं बहु वात्सल्यं, प्रीति: आसीत् | तथैव भवति इति यम: उक्तवान् | त्वयि (त्वं प्रति) तस्य बुद्धिः यथा पूर्वं आसीत् इदानीम् अपि प्रीत्या एव भवति | त्वां तथैव तत्र पश्यति | औद्दालकि: = उद्दालक: | अरुणस्य अपत्यं आरुणि: |

मम अनुज्ञां स्वीकृत्य, नचिकेत, इदानीम् भवत: गृहं गच्छतु (मत् प्रसृष्ट: ) | मम पिता सुखेन रात्रौ शयानं करोतु इति नचिकेतस: इच्छा आसीत् | निद्रां विना दुःखं मा अनुभवतु | विगत: करोदश्च भवति | यदा मया आज्ञापित: भवान् तत्र गच्छति त्वां दृष्ट्वा बहु तुष्ट: भवेत् इति प्रथम वरं यम: दत्तवान् |

१.१.१२ श्लोक:

स्वर्गे लोके न भयं किंचनास्ति      न तत्र त्वं न जरया बिभेति ।
उभे तीर्त्वाऽशनायापिपासे           शोकातिगो मोदते स्वर्गलोके ॥ १२ ॥

द्वितीयो वर: १.१.१२, १.१.१३ | अग्निविद्या प्रार्थना | अस्मिन् जगति सर्वदा रोगबादा अस्ति | चिन्ता अस्ति | जरा अस्ति | इत्यादिकं अस्ति | परन्तु मया श्रुतं स्वर्गलोके रोगादि निमित्तं भयं किंचन अपि नास्ति | न तत्र त्वं मृत्यु: सहसा प्रभवसि | अत: मृत्यभयमपि नास्ति | वृद्दत्वम् अपि नास्ति | अशना पिपासा तीर्त्वा सर्वे शोकम् अतिगता: | मानसेन दु:खेन वर्जिता: |  य: स्वर्गलोकं गच्छति स: मोदते |

१.१.१३ श्लोक:

स त्वमग्निँ स्वर्ग्यमध्येषि मृत्यो      प्रब्रूहि त्वँ श्रद्दधानाय मह्यम् ।
स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्त         एतद् द्वितीयेन वृणे वरेण ॥ १३ ॥

हे मृत्यो | स्वर्गप्राप्त्यर्थं विशेष अग्निकार्यं यज्ञं करनीयम् | तदेव मां बोदय | अहं स्वर्गर्थि: | अहं श्रद्दधान: अस्मि | स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्त: | एतदेव मम द्वितीयो वर: | यत: तत् स्वर्ग्यम् अग्निं त्वम् एव जानासि, मह्यं त्वं कथ | ये स्वर्गाग्निं भजन्ते ते अमरत्वं च दैवत्वं च भजन्ते (प्राप्नुवन्ति) | एतत् अग्निविज्ञानं द्वितीयेन वरेण वृनीतवान् |

१.१.१४ श्लोक:

प्र ते ब्रवीमि तदु मे निबोध        स्वर्ग्यमग्निं नचिकेतः प्रजानन् ।
अनन्तलोकाप्तिमथो प्रतिष्ठां       विद्धि त्वमेतं निहितं गुहायाम् ॥ १४ ॥

मृत्यो: वरदान प्रतिज्ञा | त्वया प्रार्थितं तत् तुभ्यम् अहं प्रब्रवीमि | एकाग्रमनस्सन् शृणोतु | स्वर्ग्यमग्निं नचिकेत: ज्ञात्वा पुन: अनुवदत् | अदूना यम: यज्ञं स्तौति | स्वर्गलोकफलप्राप्तये साधनम् (उपायम्) एतत् | तस्य विराट् (विशाल) स्वरूपेण अयं अग्नि: सर्वत्र व्याप्त: अस्ति | त्वम् एतं ज्ञानं निहितं गुहायाम् (बुद्धौ) जानीहि |