Katha Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary

by S. Sitarama Sastri | 1928 | 24,483 words

The Katha Upanishad is a collection of philosophical poems representing a conversation between the sage Naciketas and Yama (god of death). They discuss the nature of Atman, Brahman and Moksha (liberation). The book is made up of six sections (Valli). This commentary by Shankara focuses on ‘Advaita Vedanta’, or non-dualism: one of the classical ort...

अनुपश्य यथा पूर्वे प्रतिपश्य तथापरे ।
सस्यमिव मर्त्यः पच्यते सस्यमिवाजायते पुनः ॥ ६ ॥

anupaśya yathā pūrve pratipaśya tathāpare ।
sasyamiva martyaḥ pacyate sasyamivājāyate punaḥ ॥ 6 ॥

6. Call to mind how our ancestors behaved and mark also how others now behave; like corn, decays the mortal and like corn is born again.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—Remember and reflect how your deceased ancestor's father, grandfather and the rest conducted themselves; seeing them, it behoves you to travel in their path; see also how others, good men, now behave. There never was or is any falsehood in them; falsifying one’s word is the manner of bad men and none who has broken his word can ever become undecaying and immortal. What is there gained by breaking one’s word, seeing that man decays and dies like corn and is again born like corn in this, transitory world of the Jîvas? The meaning is ‘protect your truth and send me to Death.’

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