|Katha I, 15X18", mixed media on panel, copr 2011|
So it was with Nachiketa. He decided to drop in on Yama, The King Of Death, and get a few answers to all this. Wasn't home, so Nachiketa waited for three days until Yama arrived. Deeply embarrassed, Yama granted Nachiketa three wishes. The first was that his father love him when he returns home and be at peace that the son survived the jaws of death. The second was instruction in the fire sacrifice, a metaphor for the parts of meditation that deal with detaching from (getting rid of) the things of this world (not the least of which is the ego itself).
The third is where Nachiketa solicits Death's own instruction on immortality--the realization of the Self. Makes perfect sense to me. Who better than Death to show one how to defeat death. His wish being granted (Yama didn't give up his secrets easily), Nachiketa became Death's student, and won immortality in God, the Self, the Lord of Love, Brahman.
I started this piece months ago, and kept going back to it, being ever so careful not to mess it up. Most of the time it has been an object of contemplation. Nothing lofty, just contemplation on just what I wanted to accomplish with it. The actual working time is probably an hour or so. The Katha Upanishad had nothing to do with it until about an hour ago. Nothing except I read the Upanishads every summer, and just finished Katha last night.
Fits perfectly don't you think?
Here are some snaps of my hike the other day down by the river.