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...

भयादस्याग्निस्तपति भयात्तपति सूर्यः ।
भयादिन्द्रश्च वायुश्च मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चमः ॥ ३ ॥

bhayādasyāgnistapati bhayāttapati sūryaḥ |
bhayādindraśca vāyuśca mṛtyurdhāvati pañcamaḥ || 3 ||

3. From fear of him, fire burns; from fear, the sun shines; from fear, Indra and Wind; and Death, the fifth, speeds.


Shankara’s Commentary:

Com.—How the world lives from fear, of him, is explained. The fire burns from fear of him, the lord of all; the sun shines from fear; from fear, Indra and Wind; and Death, the fifth, runs; for, if Brahman did not exist as controller of the competent protectors of the world, like one with the thunderbolt uplifted in his hand, their well-regulated activity, as that of the servants trembling from fear of the master would not be possible.

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