The Katha Upanishad or Kathopanisad (कठ उपनिषद्) is the most widely known amongst all the Upanishads, and is part of Krishna Yajurveda. It consists of two chapters, called adhyāyas, each divided into three sections, called vallis. The Katha Upanishad reflects dualistic or dvaita philosophy and shares some common thread with the Bhagavad Gita.

Interwoven in the Katha Upanishad is the story of Nachiketa, son of Uddalaka/Vajasravasa (famous for charities) and his encounter with Yama, God of death. Uddalaka, son of Aruna, performs a yajna in which he was required to give away all his worldly possessions. He offeres old, dilipated cows. Nachiketa, his son knew that such charity won't give any merit to his father so he commentes repeatedly. He also knew that his father need to give him to someone so he keep asking to whom was he given. His father got irritated and replied in anger, "I give you to Yama".

Thus, Nachiketa goes to Yama Loka. He waits patiently for three days and nights. When Yama returns, he apologize for the delay, and offers to grant him three wishes. Nachiketa asks for the following:
1) to be allowed to return to his father alive, and that his father not be angry with him.
2) to be instructed as to the proper performance of yajna in order to gain immortality; and
3) to be given knowledge about life after death.

Yama fulfill his first wish without hesitation. Yama also teach him how to perform a special fire-sacrifice,  thus grants his second wish. But before giving knowledge about life after death, Yama put Nachiketa to test. He offeres Nachiketa all sort of worldly pleasures but Nachiketa remain nonchalant. In the end, Yama teaches  immortality.

The most famous verse from Katha Upanishad is उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । which means Awake, Arise, and Stop not till the goal is reached. The Katha Upanishad became popular in the West due to authors like Max Müller, who translated it in 1879; Edwin Arnold, who rendered it in verse in "The Secret of Death"; and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who put a central story at the end of his essay, Immortality.

Here, we have put the Katha Upanishad with the help of two of Yogeshwarji's books 1. Upanishad nu Amrut (Articles)  and 2. Dus Upanishad (Poetic Translation) (Unpublished). We hope that you will like it.
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.