Glimpses of Vedic Literature


WE may now turn to the Kathopanishad which contains secret knowledge of the soul and the self and which has been described in terms that evoke sense of authenticity and assured experience.

The Upanishad contains two cycles, each having three chapters. The first chapter of the first cycle narrates the story of the offering of Nachiketas by his father in a fit of anger to Yama, Lord of Death, and the bestowing of three boons to Nachiketas by Yama. It also covers the account of the boons asked by Nachiketas, and we are told that while the first two boons are granted readily, the third boon asked by Nachiketas is so very special that Yama tries his best to dissuade him from pressing for it. Nachiketas, however, remains firm and shows the courage of refusing to yield to the highest temptations of worldly pleasure. He repeats his boon in unequivocal terms.

In the second chapter, we find Yama granting him the

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