ACK-003: Nachiketa and other tales from the Upanishads

The Upanishads are teachings from the four Vedas of Hinduism. The word in Sanskrit when translated into English means "to sit near". In the ancient times the teacher used to sit on a raised platform and the students used to sit on the ground. Originally it was passed on orally till writing Sanskrit took effect. There are major and minor Upanishads.

The three stories are from the Upanishads (or Vedanta or "the end of the Veda").

The first story is that of young Nachiketa, who struggles to comprehend the truth of life and death. He approaches Yama, the God of Death, and is tested by the Lord before found worthy of divine instruction.


The second story is about Satyakama's search for the ultimate reality or "Brahman". Here, nature is the best teacher as Satyakama experiences Brahman directly rather than through verbal instruction by his guru, Gautama.

the story of Satyakama

Long ago, in the Chandogya Upanisad, sage Gautama accepted Satyakama (a lad with lowly social status and son of a sudra prostitute) as his student for becoming a brahmin based on certain important qualities, which still remain valid today and can be used for selecting and training present-day non-brahmin priests and temple worshippers.

One day the boy Satyakama came to his mother and said, “Mother, I want to be a religious student. What is my family name?”

“My son,” replied his mother, “ I do not know. In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala.”

Thereupon the boy went to Gautama and asked to be accepted as a student. “Of what family are you, my lad?” inquired the sage.

Satyakama replied, “ I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered: ‘I do not know. In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala!’ I am therefore Satyakama Jabala, Sir.”

Then said the sage, “None but a true brahmin would have spoken thus. Go and fetch fuel, I will teach you. You have not swerved from the truth.”

Satyakama did not hide facts about his family, nor did he try to give any wrong or misleading information. This thing impressed Gautama a great deal. In addition, Gautama (a brahmin himself) was not judgmental towards Satyakama or his mother, and he showed a lot of compassion and consideration towards them by not discriminating against Satyakama.


In the third story, Prajapati (Sanskrit: “Lord of Creatures” or Brahma) - the father, the guru and the guide - utters a single syllable "DA" as instruction to the dissatisfied gods, humans and demons who are seeking contentment and peace. "DA" was understood and interpreted differently by the pupils in light of their own experiences.

These three stories are, in essence, about the guru and the pupil, where one who embarks on the path of true knowledge surely achieves it.

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK.

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15 comments:

Colonel Worobu May 26, 2008 at 6:47 PM  

Is Ajnaabi the same person who posted the excellent Enid Blyton Famous Five comics in the free comic blog site?

Anonymous May 26, 2008 at 11:27 PM  

Hi, Thnx for the comics U are doing a swell job in promoting Indian culture. Keep it up.

Prabhat's Books and Comics May 27, 2008 at 12:41 AM  

Colonel Worobu: I think, he is the same person.

Anonymous: Welcome friend. Keep visiting.

Colonel Worobu May 27, 2008 at 6:45 AM  

Dear Prabhat!

Thanks for the confirmation. I loved those Famous Five scans! I hope Ajnaabi comes in and posts a few comments for his fans :o)

Prabhat's Books and Comics May 27, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

Colonel Worobu: I also love "Famous Five". I will upload these in post in my blog for those who didn't have these. I have a personal request to you, pls write me through gmail.

Tina May 27, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

Prabhat Sir, one request.
Can't we have more then 1 ack in a week.Thank you, love this blog.

Prabhat's Books and Comics May 27, 2008 at 9:07 PM  

Dear Tina! You are welcome. I joint this blog few weeks ago. There are four friends are working on scans, soon I will have opportunity to participate in scanning phase too. There are total 439 titles of ACK, of which 242 are in print. My goal is all 439. If I was alone can provide 242 only, I’m going to buy all. But as I’m not alone, thanks to four friends who come forward to share the work. Obviously I’m not planning to provide in next 5 years, but max next 2 years only.
In this phase, I will post every Friday. As soon as we have some reserve ready I will increase number of post or number of comics in one post. We will face the major problem with non publishing ACK, so appeal to all visitors if you have any rare copies, please provide your scans.

Colonel Worobu May 28, 2008 at 4:18 AM  

Dear Prabhat,

I sent you an email. By the way, Ajnaabi was planning to post some India Book House James Bond stories in the free comic site. Does he still plan on doing this?

Prabhat's Books and Comics May 28, 2008 at 4:56 AM  

At present, I don't planned. If people want these, I can upload too.

masayo May 28, 2008 at 6:56 PM  

prabhat tell you what you really are doing a great job out and i do appericiate all your efforts and i am impressed by your dedication, weither you get comments or not you have been uploading the comics, and that shows the real interest and love you have for comics and this blog.
there is not much i can give to you apart from my best wishes and a big thank you.
i do wish this blog goes from strenght to strenght.
so thank you once more and hope to see new comics soon.
regards
masayo

ps : one more request for you, please try and post a varitey of subjects, keep it a mix bag... i hope you got my point.... and yes one more thing :P lol i love famous five, which blog was col. talking abt ??let me know.

Prabhat's Books and Comics May 28, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

Dear masayo! I will try my best, the answer of most part of your question is already above. Pls, write me at my email.

ghoshbaba June 3, 2008 at 3:19 AM  

I've spent wonderful hours with these comics - thanks for reminding me of those moments.

lakshminarayanan June 4, 2008 at 7:22 AM  

Great collections..Keep Posting ..Nachiketa & tales from Upanishad -Iam unable to download

Anonymous June 16, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

This is really a great effort and helps us narrate the stories and values with which we grew up, to our children.

In the days of DVDs, multiplexes and instant gratification, its so hard for you to enrich the values of your children. These ACK stories will sure help us imbibe some of the inherent virtues of our value system.

Kundan

Prabhat's Books and Comics July 3, 2008 at 3:36 AM  

ghoshbaba: Welcome.
lakshminarayanan: link is working, sometime mediafire is down. Pls try again.
kundan:Welcome.I also believe, it will help us and our children.

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