The Katha Upanishad is one of the ancient Upanishads, which contains the story of the young boy Nachikata and his conversation with Lord Yama.
Nachiketa was the son of the Rishi Vajashravas and he was a pious boy from his young age onwards. Once he asked his doubt to his father regarding the ways to attain salvation, and asked about the details of the supreme personality, the universal god, and about merging with him. His father had explained the details to him. But he didn’t get satisfied with his explanation, and due to that, his father gets angry with him, and asked him to go to the Yama Loka, in order to clarify his doubts with Lord Yama Dharma.
In the Yama Loka, he was properly treated by the attendants of Lord Yama, and since Yama went to some other divine world, the young boy patiently waited in the Yama Loka for three days. Lord Yama arrived to his abode after three days, and asked for the reason for his visit to his Loka. The young boy has asked his doubts about the ways to attain liberation. Lord Yama had given him a satisfactory reply and also granted various boons to him. After living a long life in the earth, the holy Nachiketa had attained salvation.
Lord Yama’s teachings
1. Chant the supreme OM Mantra, since it is one of the ways to attain the abode of the supreme Lord.
2. The Soul cannot be destroyed by anyone in the world.But only the body would be destroyed after death.
3. Chant the holy names of Lord Narayana, and control your desires.
4. Do lot of good things in your life like donating money to the poor and providing food to them, helping in the education of poor children, and providing clothes and shelters to the helpless people.
5. Simply reading the divine books without knowing about its meaning is of no use, and hence whenever you read any divine texts, understand it and then study.
6. By performing meditation on the almighty, you would be relieved from the cycle of rebirths.
7. Don’t cause harm to others.
8. Respect your parents and take care of them properly.
9. Show your love and affection on all the wonderful creations of the god.
It is believed that this ancient Katha Upanishad was written by Rishi Veda Vyasa. Among the various Hindu scriptures, this popular text throws us an idea about the proper understanding of the supreme god, and the ways to attain Moksha.