Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

04 – by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha – Bathing in Upanishadic Wisdom part 4

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This talk is the fourth in a series of talks given by Nutan Swamiji during the Enlightened Living Retreat at Jamshedpur on 21 Nov 2019.

In this talk, Swamiji emphasizes that religious codes are meant to guide people onto a virtuous, auspicious path. Religion stands on four pillars: God, heaven and hell, karma, and punarjanma (reincarnation). In Spirituality, one must transcend all religious models. In Spirituality, a seeker does Sadhana to understand the self (Atma), which is all-pervading, unchanging, non-moving and eternal.

Swamiji begins the discussion of Kathopanishad, which is a conversation between Lord Yama (the instructor) and Nachiketa (the seeker). When Nachiketa (a young boy) desired to know the secret of death, Lord Yama tried to deviate him from his quest by offering him many objects of enjoyment. He offered him the kingship of the earth, rare heavenly gifts and a long lifespan.

But Nachiketa remained steadfast in his quest to know the truth. He felt that sensory indulgences merely deplete the senses and are perishable. For one who is free of desires, a long lifespan is not important. He is already contented and has an inner abundance. Nachiketa, the seeker, serves as an example of someone who values spiritual knowledge over all worldly temptations.

Seeing Nachiketa’s determination and having found him ready to absorb the greatest Knowledge, Lord Yama begins to tell him how a seeker’s life should proceed. Life always brings two choices before everyone—Shreyas and Preyas. Shreyas, may not be immediately pleasant, but will take one towards the ultimate auspicious goal. Preyas, although immediately pleasant, takes one away from one’s goal of life. A wise person, carefully assessing the two choices before him (Shreyas and Preyas), will choose Shreyas.

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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.

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