Katha Upanishad - An Introduction:

This Upanishad forms part of the Kata Shaaka (branch) of Krishna Yajur Veda. Hence, it is called as the Kato-Upanishad. The subject dealt in this Upanishad viz., the Naciketa Upaagyaana also finds place in the Taittriya Braahmana.

This Upanishad consists of two main parts divided further into six chapters. The division into two parts is rather assumed since at the end of the third chapter one finds the usual concluding notes of a Upanishad. It is thus felt that originally, this would have consisted of only one part and the other would have found its way in at a later time. However, Sri Sankara has written commentary for both the parts which gives us an idea that the second part (even if it were an addition) has been added much earlier to the life time of Sri Sankara.

This Upanishad also finds a place in the Atharvana Veda. There, the two parts of this Upanishad could be found to be two different Upanishads.

As mentioned earlier, there are two parts in this Upanishad with three chapters in each part. In the first chapter, one finds the story and history of Naciketas and the boons he requested from Yama, the Lord of Death; the second chapter mentions the characteristics required of a liberation aspirant and about the path to liberation; the third chapter contains the relation between the Jivatma and the Paramatma and the manner in which the Jiva can overcome death successfully; the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters reinstate the contents of the earlier chapters in a much authoritative way and also relate about re-birth, the way in which a Yogi should leave his body behind etc.,

Select one of the Chapters below to continue...

Chapter-I     Chapter-II     Chapter-III      Chapter-IV      Chapter-V      Chapter-VI

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