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Atmavidya (Knowledge of Self)

Now, only the third boon remained to be asked. Nachiketa became thoughtful. He recollected that one-day at the Gurukula Ashram, he was weeping over the death of a cow. He said aloud: "Lord! Every living being in the world is mortal. They go through a cycle of happiness and grief in accordance with their meritorious work or sin. It is said that even if the body dies, the soul remains eternal. So there are cycles of births and deaths. What is the secret of this? Are there no ways and means of overcoming this grief? Kindly let me know if there is one. This shall be my third request."

The Lord was wonderstruck at this question, because it is not easy for children to delve into such deep knowledge. Yama said: "Dear boy, for once I request you not to press for such a boon. I can shower on you wealth, money, emperorship or whatever you desire. The knowledge, which you are seeking, is known as Atmavidya (Knowledge of Self). It is a tough subject even for the elders. So, please drop this and ask for any other thing."

But Nachiketa was made up of a different mettle. It was not easy to persuade him to abandon his path. He was already in possession of the Knowledge of Fire, which offered him Godhood. Then why should he hanker after mundane things? Instead knowledge, if unraveled, could enrich the whole world. What wisdom is there in losing such an opportunity? He pressed his request thus : "Lord, there is your promise. Please do teach me
Atmavidya. Where else can I get a teacher like you if you refuse?"

Yama had no other choice but to teach the young sage. He taught the knowledge of yaga also along with that. Wishing good to the entire humanity, Lord Yama said: "0 greatsouled boy, one should be fortunate indeed to be born as a human being. He should cultivate good friends, he should learn good things and he should do well to others. These are the meritorious deeds. It will be a sin if instead one keeps bad company and one's actions are motivated by evil thoughts. None should suffer on account of us. Grief will' overtake us if we act sinfully.

"Learned people will never resort to sins, only an ignorant person does. The ignorant shall pay for their sins by taking rebirth. That is why it is said that it is only the body that dies and not the soul. Attaining salvation is the only path to avoid grief. And the path to salvation is through devotion to God. God is greater than the greatest. We worship Him as omnipotent and omniscient. He is visible to us through sun, moon, man and even animals. We should feel the presence of God every where. We should treat everybody equally. There is no such thing as highborn or lowborn. We should do well to all. In fact this is the real service to God. Such persons will attain salvation. Nachiketa, May you become a devotee of God and may you do good to one and all." Thus the Lord ended his advice.

Nachiketa was transformed into a different person. The shining on his face surpassed even that of Gods. Brimming with joy, he said, "May I take leave of you Lord? My grateful salutations to thee." There was rejoicing in Heaven and the Gods showered flower-petals on him.

Bidding him farewell, the Lord said, "Nachiketa, go and spread this knowledge in the world. Now you can join your father."

With a loud voice audible throughout the world the Lord exhorted thus: "Ye the people of Mankind! Arise! May you follow the Path of Virtue shown by the enlightened ones. Awake,"

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Nachiketa - A Brave Lad who sought knowledge at a very tender age..
About Nachiketa
Uddalaka - Vishwavara
Fruit Of A Sacrifice
The Chiild
'I Want only Knowledge'
Cynosure Of all
Desire To See Yama
Vishwajit yaga
Why did father act like this?
"Get Out I have Gifted you To Death"
Where Am I?
"Choose Three Boons"
Knowledge Of Fire
You are Here! Atmavidya (knowledge of Self)
Again With Parents
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