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NACIKETA. A sage of olden days. Son of Uddalaki, he lived for a long time in the asrama serving his father, who devoted his time to performing yajfias. Naciketa, who was once sent into the forest for flowers etc. did not find them anywhere there, and he returned to the asrama without them. Angry at this his father cursed him to be taken to Yamaloka. Accordingly he went to Yamaloka. He waited at the gates for a long time to see Yama, who appeared at last when he sang the praises of Yama. The advice then given by Yama to Naciketa forms the Kathopanisad. After studying the advice he returned to his father, who was pleased to find him a great scholar. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 71 ).


NACIKETAS. A famous hermit. Kathopanisad is the exhortation given by Yamadeva (God of death) to this hermit. There is a story to substantiate this statement. The father of Naciketas was the hermit Vajasravas. This hermit gave as alms, cows which had grown lean by old age and lack of food, at the time of sacrifices. Naciketas felt grieved at this action of his father. He went to his father and sadly asked him “Falher, to Abcm are you going to give xr e-? ‘ The father got angry at the question of the son, and replied; “You are to be given to Yama.”
On hearing these cruel words of his father, the boy went to the palace of Yama who had been away. For three days and nights the boy waited there without food and drank. When Yama returned the boy was happy and cheerful and Yama was pleased with him. Yama promised the boy three boons and asked him what boon he wanted. The first boon he asked for was, “Give me the boon that father will be pleased with me and not angry with me.” The second was, “Advise me how to attain heaven.” The third was, “Tell me the solution of the mystery, whether the soul remains after death.” Yama granted the first two boons and said to him, “Boy, this is a difficult question. So ask for another boon such as long life, power over the world, all the pleasures of the world and so on.”
The boy replied: “The things you have promised to give me are useless things because after a while the organs of sense will become fragile. The life also will end. So, please tell me. I want the answer to my question.” Being greatly pleased at the reply of the boy Dharmadeva expounded to him about the immortality of the soul and the essence of things regarding God Almighty. (Kathopanisad).



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