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Katha Upanishad

Despite the Hindu-Buddhist debate surrounding the Katha Upanishad, with the former claiming that it predates early Buddhist texts, this Upanishad focuses on concepts of Vedanta sub-schools such as the self, knowledge, and liberation:-

Look back to those who lived before and look to those who live now. Like grain the mortal decays and like grain again springs up (is reborn).

The good and the pleasant approach man; the wise examines both and discriminates between them; the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the foolish man chooses the pleasant through love of bodily pleasure.

Wide apart are these two, ignorance and what is known as wisdom, leading in opposite directions. I believe Nachiketas to be one who longs for wisdom, since many tempting objects have not turned thee aside.


Q1. What is the point of the Katha Upanishad?


The Katha Upanishad asserts that the essence of Veda is to make man liberated and free, look past what has happened and what has not happened, free from the past and the future, refocus his attention past Ignorance to Knowledge, to the means of blissful existence beyond joy and sorrow.


Q2. What is taken from Katha Upanishad?


The Katha Upanishad is embedded in the last 8 sections of the Krishna Yajurveda. It has two chapters divided into three Vallis each. It is a Mukhya upanishad and listed as third in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.


Q3. What pedagogical concept was discussed in the Katha Upanishad?


Embedded in the Yajur Veda, the Katha emphasizes the importance of living in the present without worrying about past or future and discusses the concept of moksha and how it is encouraged by the Vedas.


Q4. Who is the writer of Katha Upanishad?


The Katha Upanishad's compositions are roughly dated to the 5th century BCE, chronologically placing it after the first Buddhist Pali canons. Olivelle assigns the Katha Upanishad to the verse Upanishads, together with the Kena, Isha, Svetasvatara, and Mundaka, dating it to the first centuries BCE.


Q5. When the five senses and the mind are still Katha Upanishad?


When the five senses and the mind are still, and the reasoning intellect rests in silence, then begins the highest path. This calm steadiness of the senses is called yoga. Then one should become watchful, because yoga comes and goes.