The Katha Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary

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...

हन्ता चेन्मन्यते हन्तुँ हतश्चेन्मन्यते हतं ।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायँ हन्ति न हन्यते ॥ १९ ॥

hantā cenmanyate hantum̐ hataścenmanyate hataṃ ।
ubhau tau na vijānīto nāyam̐ hanti na hanyate ॥ 19 ॥

19. The slayer who thinks of slaying this and the slain who thinks this slain, both these do not know. This slays not, nor is slain.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—Even the âtman of such description, the slayer who sees the mere body as the âtman thinks of slaying and he who thinks that his âtman is slain, both these do not know their own âtman; for, he does not slay the âtman, being incapable of modification; nor is he slain being incapable of modification like the âkâs. Therefore, all samsâra, the fruit of virtue and vice is only in the case of those who do not know the âtman, and not in the case of one who knows the Brahman; for in his case, virtue and vice are inappropriate both from the authority of the srutis and from the cogency of reasoning.

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