The Katha Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary
ये ये कामा दुर्लभा मर्त्यलोके सर्वान्कामाँश्छन्दतः प्रार्थयस्व ।
इमा रामाः सरथाः सतूर्या नहीदृशा लम्भनीया मनुष्यैः ।
आभिर्मत्प्रत्ताभिः परिचारयस्व नचिकेतो मरणं मानुप्राक्शीः ॥ २५ ॥
ye ye kāmā durlabhā martyaloke sarvānkāmām̐śchandataḥ prārthayasva |
imā rāmāḥ sarathāḥ satūryā nahīdṛśā lambhanīyā manuṣyaiḥ |
ābhirmatprattābhiḥ paricārayasva naciketo maraṇaṃ mānuprākśīḥ || 25 ||
25. Whatever desires are difficult to realise in the land of mortals, ask, as thou likest, for all such desired objects. These nymphs have their chariots and lutes; and women like these are not enjoyable by mortals; with these, by me given, have thy services performed. Oh Nachikêtas, do not ask about death.
Com.—Ask, as you like, for all desired objects, which are covetable, but not easily attainable in the land of mortals. Again, here are these celestial nymphs (the term Râmâs meaning those who delight males) with their chariots and with their musical instruments; and women like these cannot be obtained by mortals without the grace of beings like us; with these female attendants given by me, have thy services performed, such as cleaning the feet with water, etc.; Oh Nachikêtas, it does not become you to put me the question connected with death, i.e., whether, when man is dead, there is or is not anything surviving—a question (as unprofitable as that) of examining the number of crow’s teeth.