Katha-Upanishad: Sixth Valli

Updated May 14, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Sixth Valli

1. “There is that ancient tree, whose roots grow upward and whose branches grow downward;—that indeed is called the Bright, that is called Brahman, that alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in it, and no one goes beyond. This is that.

2. “Whatever there is, the whole world, when gone forth (from the Brahman), trembles in its breath. That Brahman is a great terror, like a drawn sword. Those who know it become immortal.

3. “From terror of Brahman fire burns, from terror the sun burns, from terror Indra and Vayu, and Death, as the fifth, run away.

4. “If a man could not understand it before the falling asunder of his body, then he has to take body again in the worlds of creation.

5. “As in a mirror, so (Brahman may be seen clearly) here in this body; as in a dream, in the world of the Fathers; as in the water, he is seen about in the world of the Gandharvas; as in light and shade, in the world of Brahma.

6. “Having understood that the senses are distinct (from the Atman), and that their rising and setting (their waking and sleeping) belongs to them in their distinct existence (and not to the Atman), a wise man grieves no more.

7. “Beyond the senses is the mind, beyond the mind is the highest (created) Being, higher than that Being is the Great Self, higher than the Great, the highest Undeveloped.

8. “Beyond the Undeveloped is the Person, the all-pervading and entirely imperceptible. Every creature that knows him is liberated, and obtains immortality.

9. “His form is not to be seen, no one beholds him with the eye. He is imagined by the heart, by wisdom, by the mind. Those who know this, are immortal.

10. “When the five instruments of knowledge stand still together with the mind, and when the intellect does not move, that is called the highest state.

11. “This, the firm holding back of the senses, is what is called Yoga. He must be free from thoughtlessness then, for Yoga comes and goes.

12. “He (the Self) cannot be reached by speech, by mind, or by the eye. How can it be apprehended except by him who says: ‘He is?

13. “By the words ‘He is,’ is he to be apprehended, and by (admitting) the reality of both (the invisible Brahman and the visible world, as coming from Brahman). When he has been apprehended by the words ‘He is,’ then his reality reveals itself.

14. “When all desires that dwell in his heart cease, then the mortal becomes immortal, and obtains Brahman.

15. “When all the ties of the heart are severed here on earth, then the mortal becomes immortal here ends the teaching.

16. “There are a hundred and one arteries of the heart, one of them penetrates the crown of the head. Moving upwards by it, a man (at his death) reaches the Immortal; the other arteries serve for departing in different directions.

17. “The Person not larger than a thumb, the inner Self, is always settled in the heart of men. Let a man draw that Self forth from his body with steadiness, as one draws the pith from a reed. Let him know that Self as the Bright, as the Immortal; yes, as the Bright, as the Immortal.

18. Having received this knowledge taught by Death and the whole rule of Yoga (meditation), Nakiketa became free from passion and death, and obtained Brahman. Thus it will be with another also who knows thus what relates to the Self.

19. May He protect us both! May He enjoy us both! May we acquire strength together! May our knowledge become bright! May we never quarrel! Om! Peace! peace! peace! Harih, Om!

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