12th Teaching – Death Speaks With Naciketas
Krishna: Father teach me the knowledge of how to avoid Death.
Father: So mote it be. I will tell you the story of the conversation between Lord Death and Naciketas.
Death: In a warrior’s quiver lay arrows sharp,
one arrow leads to Brahman, the others to death.
One arrow is named ‘Appropriate,’
the second the ‘Pleasant.’
Not coequal are arrows these,
for the arrows of desire pleasant are numerous,
whist, the arrow Appropriate is but one.
All compete so to bind a person.
Of the two, wise is it for him who takes the Appropriate.
Foolish, indeed, is he who chooses the Pleasant.
In every passing moment of time,
the arrows sing to the archer calling his attention.
Both the Appropriate and the Pleasant call to a man.
Amidst, the many voices, a man can choose only one.
The wise man chooses the Appropriate,
the stupid man, from delusion chooses the Pleasant.
Thou indeed, upon the pleasantly desires appearing,
meditating, hast let them go, my darling..
Thou art not one whose arrow hit the mark of wealth,
which sinks many a man down
and leads to annihilation or rebirth at best.
Widely opposite and asunder are these two,
ignorance and what is known as knowledge,
ignorance leads only to death, knowledge to Immortality.
Those abiding in the midst of ignorance,
self-wise, smug and thinking themselves learned,
running hither and thither, aimless and deluded,
as blind men led by one who is himself blind.
The passing from life onto death is hidden from the deluded,
heedless, ignorant with desires for wealth, sex, power, or fame.
Thinking this is the world; there is no other!
Again and again such men die as if they had never been.
So choose Liberation, my dear, and we shall be friends.
Krishna: Is it really so? Does Death speak truly?
Father: Death should be called ‘best friend’ and ‘advisor.’ For those who meet him whilst alive are not taken by him when they die to mortal life. For Eternity is the right eye of the Cosmic Man and Death is the left eye, the Sun and the Moon, permanence and rebirth.