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Chapter 3: Worthy of Truth

Having tested Nachiketa, Yama was convinced of his determination, his desirelessness, fearlessness and worthiness to be taught the science of the soul.

Before he spoke on the science of the soul Yama elaborated on its significance. He said, “The way to shreya, all that moves one towards the ultimate goodness, is different from the way to preya, all that moves one towards the pleasures of the world. Both of these ways bring different fruits and both are entrapments, both are allurements. But the one that chooses the way to ultimate good is blessed and the one that accepts the ways to immediate pleasure will remain empty.”

“In life there are opportunities for both shreya and preya. The intelligent man discriminates between the two, and upon contemplating their nature, he understands the difference. He then chooses the way to ultimate good over the way to immediate pleasures. Concerned for his security, the unintelligent one follows the ways to immediate pleasures.”

“Nachiketa, you are free from desire. Having considered and understood, you have renounced the objectives of pleasure and sensuous enjoyment, both of this world and of the next. You have not fallen prey to the lure of riches by which most men are seduced.”

“What is known as vidya, right-learning and avidya, wrong-learning, each bring very opposite fruits. Nachiketa, I can see that you have the longing for vidya because no amount of temptation for the pleasures of the senses has deceived you.”

“The foolish continue to believe themselves to be intelligent and learned; they will continue to suffer and to pass through the life forms of many species in the same way that the blind man who is led by other blind people will always wander, will suffer, and will never reach to his destination.”

Man grows in two ways. One way is when his comforts, his wealth and his possessions grow but his consciousness does not grow. The other way is when his inner consciousness grows.

Whatsoever you gain in the world, you don’t grow through it. Your power may increase, your palaces may become bigger, your wealth may grow, you may accumulate much knowledge, your memory may increase, your degrees, honors and respect may become greater and greater, but the inner consciousness, the inner soul, your being, will remain as unevolved as it was at the time of your birth. This desire for things of the outer world takes possession of humanity, but the longing to go on the inner journey rarely takes hold of people. And there are many reasons for this.

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