Faith

Two choices

Each one always has two choices, the good and the beneficial on the one hand and the pleasant and enjoyable on the other. The two are divergent and lead one into different paths. If good is chosen, one is blessed and will tread the path to God and attain salvation. This is how Yama begins to explain to Nachiketas, in the Katopanishad, the secret of immortality, pointed out Sri Ramanujam in a discourse.

Owing to a misunderstanding with his father, young Nachiketas goes to Yama Loka. Since Yama is away, the boy waits outside his house for three nights. When Yama returns he tries to make amends for having made a guest wait thus. He grants him three boons and as the third boon Nachiketas tells Yama that he wishes to know the answers for esoteric truths such as the atma, God and also about what happens after one’s life on earth. Knowing that this secret and sacred knowledge is hard to imbibe even by celestial beings, Yama asks Nachiketas to choose some other boon. But the boy is resolute and knows that there is no better teacher than Yama and no other boon equal to this. Now Yama tests the boy and offers him all the pleasures of the various worlds to dissuade him from seeking this boon. But Nachiketas does not budge and proves to be an ideal disciple.

Like Nachiketas all are endowed with the ability to discriminate between what is good and pleasant. But a majority of the people get drawn to the reality of the present world and its attractions and desire to enjoy these rather than even care to think about the higher plane of existence that has to be sought. They end up in the endless cycle of birth. Only a few have the inner motivation to choose the right as they know what is truly better, preferable and superior.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:46:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/two-choices/article30610832.ece

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