Let me enter into Kathopanisad, the Shanti Mantra. Please recite the Shanti Mantra along with me.
auṁ saha nāvavatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha vīryam karvāvahai |
tejasvi nāvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai ||
Listen! The whole concept of Indian education system, how it was, how it should be – in future – how it was and how it should be in future. Please understand, whenever I am glorifying the past, I am not indulging in it, I am visualising it for the future. Listen! If the past makes you more and more powerless, you are indulging in it. If it makes you to decide to build your future again and again, it is vision. It is vision.
Understand, all you need to do in your life, all you need to do to make what you want as reality. Looking at the right past, that gives you courage, hope, to relive it, to recreate it, the real future. Here the word ‘past’ I use should be understood not from the context of your past, but from the context of collective past. Understand, whenever I am describing about Vedic tradition, I am describing the glory of the collective past created by enlightened masters. I am not talking about your past.
You have nothing to learn from your past other than nothing needs to be learnt from your past. The only thing you need to learn from your past is nothing needs to be learnt from your past. I’m not talking about your past when I am talking about the past; I am talking about the glorious Rishis’ past, the past created by the glorious civilization of Rishis.
How the Indian Education System was, and how it should be – the whole context is set in this one Shanti Mantra. Because the subject they’re going to work, the subject which is going to be taught in this Upanishad is the essence of Indian education system.
Please understand, Indian education system prepares you for death; using that same principles prepares you for life. Please understand, first it prepares you for death and then, using the same principles, prepares you for life. Because life is an option, death is not. Life is a possibility, but death is not. It is simple fact and truth and reality. Death is the only one thing which is fact, truth and reality. So the Hindu tradition educates you first, prepares you for death. From that context, prepares you for life.
Yama Dharma, the Master who read the Akashic Records about death in this Upanishad, and Nachiketa, one of the greatest disciple ever born on the planet Earth. Please understand, the power and authenticity of the disciple is such, Master serves him, gives him the boons, and gives this knowledge. Not a single reference, Naciketa served Yama Dharma, no. But there is enough of reference in this Upanishad, Naciketa was served by Yama Dharma and his staff. Yama has staff, it is recorded in this Upanishad.
Understand, the authenticity of the disciple is such, Master decides to serve the disciple and teach, and share the knowledge. When I try to introduce Yama Dharma’s teacher dimension which is explained in this Upanishad, Kathopanisad, which is expressed in this Upanishad, Kathopanisad, I just can only use one word: Intensity. Whether he tries to take the life in mass, or he tries to teach. He is a no-nonsense man, I am telling you.
By taking away so many lives, doing his responsibility so well, he lost all sensitivity to the stupidity of human beings. He lost all sensitivity towards tears, emotions, ability to accept or unable to accept. He’s not bothered about any of this, he lost all his concern about all this. I think that is one of the important requirement for a teacher, for a Master. He should see to it that the disciple becomes reality. Sometimes, out of pain disciple will scream, he may not be able to accept, he may not be able to realize.
There’s a beautiful story in Shiva Purana. When Vishnu took Varaha Avatar, means the big body get the Veda’s back. After the purpose was done, even after the purpose was done, he did not return to Vaikuntha to his original state of Vishnu. He just got married to another one female pig and started giving birth, and he’s happily enjoying the pig life, cozily, having all his kids, running around with them, playing, enjoying. And the Yuga is passing, this fellow is not returning to Vaikuntha.
All the Devatas are running to Kailasa, ‘Oh Mahadeva, what is this?’ Mahadeva says, ‘Just go and talk to him and remind him he’s Vishnu, he’s not pig.’ And the Devatas they say that no, no, we went and tried to talk to him, he just drives us out. Because, he may be in the pig body, because he’s a Vishnu he has all powers. He’s using all the powers and driving us out and asking us to keep away and he just wants to be in that body, enjoying the cozy life. Without realizing he is Vishnu. Understand, there are so many Varaha here.
Then finally Mahadeva sends Devi. Devi also could not do anything. She comes back and says ‘No, he’s not recognizing me. He’s not ready to even look into my eyes.’ Then Mahadeva decides no it is now too serious, he goes and straight, straight he goes and picks up the Varaha Avatar by neck and just kills him, straight. No talking, nothing. He just tears the body.
The moment that Consciousness came out, he realised I am a Vishnu [laughs]. I am Paramdhaam Vishnu, I have to go back to Vaikuntha. And He stood in front of Mahadeva and saying, “really sorry that you have to come down from Kailasa all the way to free me.”
Please understand, when he was tearing, seems the pig was crying, calling out every name. But if Mahadeva cares for the pain of the pig, will the Vishnu happen? At some time, you can’t, a Master has to make the disciple stand.
Here the whole subject is Death. Death himself is talking about Himself. He has already become insensitive to stupidity of human beings. He just stands tall to the truth of human beings. The possibility and reality of human beings. Because he’s already achieved insensitivity to stupidity of human beings, because of his intensity. Now, he’s so straight.
Please understand, no other book, no I’m not disrespecting Mahadeva – even Mahadeva’s description about Death in Shivagamas and Tantras cannot be compared to Yama Dharma’s description of Death in this Upanishad. No comparison; because that needs a kind of a personality. See a teacher needs a kind of a personality suited for the subject he is teaching.
You can’t expect a personality not being influenced by the subject he’s constantly handling. That is why, if you pick up all the maths teachers from all the college they will look almost same. For a maths teacher there’s a special mould, for a maths teacher there’s a special mould, for English teachers there’s a special mould, for Tamil teacher there’s a special mould. Almost in all schools. Because the subject you are constantly thinking and indulging affects your personality.
Here Death, whole day is indulging only in death. For Mahadeva it’s a part-time job. For Yama Dharma it’s a full-time job, whatever is said and done. See Yama Dharma may not be able to deliver many truths of different subjects, the Scale of Mahadeva. But in Death, no-one is able to match Yama Dharma. That one thing I should put it on record, I should make this available on record: Yama Dharma is uncomparable when it comes to his subject. He’s really the Master; Master of his subject.
Death – what a straight, uncompromising revelation on one of the most important reality of human beings, this Kathopanisad. Because of the authenticity of the disciple, Yama Dharma does not need to compromise; does not need to compromise.
See Devi is embodiment of Grace. So whenever Mahadeva reveals some powerful reality which is painful for human beings, or disciples to practice, Devi says ‘Don’t worry, Mahadeva, you should not be that strong. Through my Grace I will liberate them. It’s okay.’ So the intensity of the teaching takes the back-burner.
It is like when the Shivoham process started happening, the completion takes back-burner. When the Grace is flowing, you self-effort takes the back-burner.
But here, fortunately Yama Dharma’s wife is not interfering. And Nachiketa is so authentic, he’s all about truth. Just truth, truth, truth. He’s all about truth. And the authenticity of the disciple, ability of the disciple to face the truth gave courage to the Master. Yama Dharma, Yama Dharma even warns Nachiketa‘No don’t ask for that, ask for anything else’.
Nachiketa says ‘No’. Even accuses of Yama Dharma of cheating him. ‘No, I’m not interested in anything else, get me only that.’
I think that kind of a space, which got created by the authenticity of Nachiketa gave the courage to Yama Dharma to reveal the truth as it is. Authenticity of Yama Dharma, intensity of Yama Dharma, and the sincerity of Nachiketa – the kind of a space the created for the delivery of the reality. Delivery of Enlightenment.
I am just trying to describe – actually whenever that kind of a space is created, the Cosmos has to deliver enlightenment. And the best things has to happen. You can’t even verbalize it. Only by creating that kind of a space I can show, demonstrate it is possible.
So I invoke that space created by Nachiketa and Yama Dharma here. Let the Enlightenment happen.