Faith

From Preyas to Sreyas

The gist of all spiritual literature is to show the means for liberation. Our life is meant to be led in such a way that we move towards this goal and scriptures reiterate that life is not for enjoyment alone, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a lecture.

The different stages in one’s lifetime from childhood through adulthood and old age are meant to prepare us towards the ultimate state of realisation. The Katopanishad speaks of the two-fold path available to mankind, namely, the worldly, Preyas and the spiritual, Sreyas. The path of worldly enjoyment is also known as the Pravritti marga. It is very easy to get hooked to this path for seeking material gains that are no doubt pleasurable. But our sense of discrimination will tell us that these gains are not only fleeting and unsubstantial, but also pull one into the cycle of birth.

So the other choice is to tread the path of realisation or the Nivritti marga. The focus now shifts to welfare of the Atma and not the body. Realisation is reached through renunciation and Nachiketas symbolises discrimination that chooses Sreyas — that which is good and the right. He rejects Preyas though this appears pleasurable and sweet. Actually, this two-fold path becomes the means to attain the end, salvation.

Preyas gradually leads to Sreyas when one learns to mentally renounce its attractions. The result of this choice made with determination is permanent. This inspires one to practise moral values which bring about chitta suddhi. It is shown that the Absolute Brahman is realised only when there is purity in one’s thought, word and deed. The success of the result depends on the extent of effort expended.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:27:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/from-preyas-to-sreyas/article6658842.ece

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