The Katha Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary
श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतस्तौ संपरीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभिप्रेयसो वृणीते प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्शेमाद्वृणीते ॥ २ ॥
śreyaśca preyaśca manuṣyametastau saṃparītya vivinakti dhīraḥ |
śreyo hi dhīro'bhipreyaso vṛṇīte preyo mando yogakśemādvṛṇīte || 2 ||
2. Both the good and the pleasant approach the mortal; the intelligent man examines and distinguishes them; for, the intelligent man prefers the good to the pleasant; the ignorant man chooses the pleasant for the sake of his body.
Com.—If both the sweet and the good can be pursued at will, why do the mankind, in general, pursue the sweet? This is explained; it is true that they can both be pursued; still, as they are not easily distinguishable by persons of poor intelligence, either in respect of the means to their attainment, or in respect of their fruits, both the sweet and the good become as it were mingled, and approach man. Therefore the intelligent man examines both the sweet and the good as a flamingo separates milk and water and having considered in his mind their relative weight, divides them both and follows the good alone, as preferable to the sweet; but the man of poor intelligence, incapable of such discernment, pursues the sweet, such as cattle, sons and the rest, for the purpose of fattening and preserving his body, etc.
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