🌷 Introduction 🌷
The whole world runs away from death , because death snatches everything , but the one who accepts it and willingly faces it , receives something from death itself. Ironically , knowledge of death gives you the gift of life. Katha Upanishad tells the story of young Nachiketa who goes to face the lord of death and the extraordinary dialogue that ensues between them. Upanishad means sitting close to the. master. Gurudev takes us through this beautiful story integrating its profoundness with real-life situations , turning abstract philosophy into existential reality.
*The Chapters include:*
*1. At the door of Death*
*2. Beyond Death*
*3. The Grace of the Divine*
*4. Beyond the layers of existence*
*5. Winning Immortality*
*🌷 Katha Upanishad by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 1)
*Chapter 1: At the Door of Death*
Upanishad means sitting close, sitting near the Master, not just physically, but also with attention, with the presence of mind in the space as that of the Master. Katha Upanishad – Katha – ‘tha’ means the final. What is the final thing about life? What is the end? What is the ultimate?
Every Upanishad begins with a Shanti Mantra and ends with a Shanti Mantra. Shanti means peace. Only when you have peace can you think of higher knowledge. Higher knowledge cannot be grasped by a disturbed mind. The mind needs to be calm, free from anguish, from hatred, from cravings, and then higher knowledge can be attained.
ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सहवीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु । मा विद्विषावहै ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
ॐ सह नाववतु । - Let us be together.
सह नौ भुनक्तु । - Enjoy this life together.
सहवीर्यं करवावहै । - Let us grow in strength together.
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु । - Let us become effulgent, glow together.
मा विद्विषावहै ॥ - Let us not hate each other.
Let us be together. Let us grow together, let us eat together, let us enjoy together. This shloka is the foundation of learning. This mantra is also chanted before having food.
भुनक्तु means eating, but in this shloka, it doesn’t mean just eating. It means to experience the whole world. When our sights don’t match, when our perceptions don’t match, then there is conflict. सह नौ भुनक्तु – let our perception match. Let us see things together, let us experience the same. One experiences one thing and the other experiences something else, then there is conflict. But if both experience the same thing together, then there is peace and tranquillity.
Suppose one person likes something and says , “Wow, this is so great!” But the other person says, “This is horrible!”, then they cannot enjoy. If you go to a picnic with your spouse and you are happy but your spouse is not, then both of you become miserable. When both of you enjoy together, then there is peace and harmony.
सह नाववतु – Let us be together. We are together anyway. If we are born during the same time on this planet, then we are meant to be together. When we are meant to be together, let us be together mentally also. Let us be together with the spirit. It is the mind, the intellect which creates barriers and you have to remove the barriers through the intellect. Hence the prayer – Let us be together, let us grow together, let us shine together.
When a very talented person is interviewed, the first thing asked is – Who is your teacher? This is tradition. A brilliant sitarist will be proud of his teacher. In soccer matches, they ask who the coach is. The coach gets the credit for victory. Students feel very proud of being students of a particular teacher.
सहवीर्यं करवावहै – Let us glow in effulgence together. Let us grow in strength together.
मा विद्विषावहै – Let us not hate each other.
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ - Let there be peace in our Soul, in our Mind and in our Environment. You can go deep into knowledge in a peaceful environment, but you can’t do so if the environment is disturbed. If your mind is disturbed, you have to do pranayama, yoga, meditation and kriya to calm it and only then you can talk about higher knowledge. The minute you sit close to the Master, the vibration is already getting transferred and by the vibration, the mind is already becoming calm.
To be continued....