The Katha Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary
श्वोभावा मर्त्यस्य यदन्तकैतत्सर्वेंद्रियाणां जरयंति तेजः ।
अपि सर्वं जीवितमल्पमेव तवैव वाहास्तव नृत्यगीते ॥ २६ ॥
śvobhāvā martyasya yadantakaitatsarveṃdriyāṇāṃ jarayaṃti tejaḥ |
api sarvaṃ jīvitamalpameva tavaiva vāhāstava nṛtyagīte || 26 ||
26. (Nachikêtas says) Ephemeral these; Oh Death, these tend to the decay of the fire (vigour) of all the senses in man. Even the longest life is, indeed, short. Thine alone be the chariots, the dance and music.
Com.—Though thus tempted, Nachikêtas unagitated like a large lake, said: svôbhâvah, enjoyments whose existence the next day is a matter of doubt; the enjoyments enumerated by you are ephemeral; again. Oh Death, they tend to the decline of the vigour of all the organs of man. These nymphs and other enjoyments only tend to harm, because they destroy virtue, strength, intellect, vigour, fame and the rest. As for the longevity that you will give me, hear me on that point. All life, even that of Brahma is, indeed, short. What need be said of our longevity. Therefore, keep the chariots, etc., for thyself alone, as also the dance and music.
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