Kireet Joshi
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Nachiketas

Story of Nachiketas

This is a great story, which tells us of a young student, who was very keen to know the truth. You might have heard this story earlier, but it is always good to hear this story again and again. This will always strengthen us in our aspiration to know the truth.

This story is to be found in one of the Upanishads called 'Katha Upanishad'.

The story begins with an event in the house of one whose name was Vajashravasa.

In those ancient days, there used to be important events when sacrifices were performed.

A sacrifice was an occasion when gifts were distributed to a number of learned people.

PART I

Vajashravasa had a son named Nachiketas. He saw that his father was distributing gifts consisting of cattle. He noticed that the cattle were old and had worn out their organs.

Nachiketas knew that one should not give gifts which do not have much value. He knew that the gifts should have consisted of cattle which were young, able and energetic, the cattle that could give a good deal of milk. What is the point of giving gifts, which would be a burden to those to whom gifts were being given? This question began to arise in his mind again and again.