Death said: 'The good is one thing, the pleasant another;
these two, having different objects, chain a man. It
is well with him who clings to the good; he who chooses
the pleasant, misses his end.'
'The good and the pleasant approach man: the wise goes
round about them and distinguishes them. Yea, the wise
prefers the good to the pleasant, but the fool chooses
the pleasant through greed and avarice.'
'Thou, O Nakiketas, after pondering all pleasures that
are or seem delightful, hast dismissed them all. Thou
hast not gone into the road' that leadeth to wealth,
in which many men perish.'
'Wide apart and leading to different points are these
two, ignorance, and what is known as wisdom. I believe
Nakiketas to be one who desires knowledge, for even
many pleasures did not tear thee away.'
'Fools dwelling in darkness, wise in their own conceit,
and puffed up with vain knowledge, go round and round,
staggering to and fro, like blind men led by the blind
'The Hereafter never rises before the eyes of the careless
child, deluded by the delusion of wealth. "This
is the world," he thinks," there is no other;
thus he falls again and again under my sway.'
'He (the Self) of whom many are not even able to hear,
whom many, even when they hear of him, do not comprehend;
wonderful is a man, when found, who is able to teach
him (the Self); wonderful is he who comprehends him,
when taught by an able teacher'.'
'That (Self), when taught by an inferior man, is not
easy to be known, even though often thought upon; unless
it be taught by another, there is no way to it, for
it is inconceivably smaller than what is small.'
'That doctrine is not to be obtained by argument, but
when it is declared by another, then, O dearest, it
is easy to understand. Thou hast obtained it now; thou
art truly a man of true resolve. May we have always
an inquirer like thee!'
Nakiketas said: 'I know that what is called a treasure
is transient, for that eternal is not obtained by things
which are not eternal. Hence the Nakiketa fire(-sacrifice)
has been laid by me (first); then, by means of transient
things, I have obtained what is not transient (the teaching
Yama said: 'Though thou hadst seen the fulfilment of
all desires, the foundation of the world, the endless
rewards of good deeds, the shore where there is no fear,
that which is magnified by praise, the wide abode, the
rest, yet being wise thou hast with firm resolve dismissed
'The wise who, by means of meditation on his Self, recognises
the Ancient, who is difficult to be seen, who has entered
into the dark, who is hidden in the cave, who dwells
in the abyss, as God, he indeed leaves joy and sorrow
'A mortal who has heard this and embraced it, who has
separated from it all qualities, and has thus reached
the subtle Being, rejoices, because he has obtained
what is a cause for rejoicing. The house (of Brahman)
is open, I believe, O Nakiketas.'
Nakiketas said: 'That which thou seest as neither this
nor that, as neither effect nor cause, as neither past
nor future, tell me that.'
Yama said: 'That word (or place) which all the Vedas
record, which all penances proclaim, which men desire
when they live as religious students, that word I tell
thee briefly, it is OM.'
'That (imperishable) syllable means Brahman, that syllable
means the highest (Brahman); he who knows that syllable,
whatever he desires, is his.'
'This is the best support, this is the highest support;
he who knows that support is magnified in the world
'The knowing (Selo is not born, it dies not; it sprang
from nothing, nothing sprang from it. The Ancient is
unborn, eternal, everlasting; he is not killed, though
the body is killed.'
'If the killer thinks that he kills, if the killed thinks
that he is killed, they do not understand; for this
one does not kill, nor is that one killed.'
'The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is
hidden in the heart of that creature. A man who is free
from desires and free from grief, sees the majesty of
the Self by the grace of the Creator .'
'Though sitting still, he walks far; though lying down,
he goes everywhere. Who, save myself, is able to know
that God who rejoices and rejoices not?'
'The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the
bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great
and omnipresent, does never grieve.'
'That Self, cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding,
nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him
the Self can be gained. The Self chooses him (his body)
as his own.'
'But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness,
who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not
at rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge.'
'Who then knows where He is, He to whom the Brahmans
and Kshatriyas are (as it were) but food , and death
itself a condiment?'