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Katha Upanishad.docx

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
David Penner

th Religious Studies 2M03E- November 4 , 2013 Dr. Penner Katha Upanishad The Character of Death In the katha Upanishad, death is a main character. It comes across and a strikingly friendly, even a needy character. - Death comes across not as a powerful force but as a high level employee of the Gods- an educated beurocrat - Death comes across as a personality, that is not necessarily deeply wise or malicious, but well trained in distributing the dead to where they are supposed to go. A conductor or mover of people, and he understands how his job works and why it needs to work this way. - If death is a person or personality, they understand the truth. It works with the truth; he’s not involved with the truth. - Death is not a central ingredient to life, but only a worker to the truth and what it needs to be. - Death is less than you - Death is respectful of the truth, and the person is both of and in that truth. Fear - Death isn't something to be afraid of, it’s not chasing after us, it isn't stalking us and waiting to pounce at us, it’s not a thief in the night: we are the only thieves in the night. – We should not be afraid of death, as we are the ones who are in charge of what is happening to us. - Death should not surprise us when it comes; we should know before we die in which direction we are headed. - The actuality of death in the katha Upanishad is like Hinduism death. The Self - The human self is not what we think it is - Its not an ego based entity defined by the boundaries of its skin and the ranges of its examination - The truth of ourselves and who we are not different from the earth in terms of our opinions. - The way things work in our world and the truths that we think this world convey to us are not real and true. They are illusions. - The mourning family: you see your family (spouse, family, kids, etc) and you see them crying for you. You should not be draw to this or moved by it. Don’t feel the desire to care, connect, and comfort them. - In your next life, you will be in a position where you don’t have to deal with all the baggage you had in this life. How Do You Think Of Religion? 3 responses to the question “how do you think of or perceive religion”.: 1.Athiest- religion is a scam designed by political/social authorities. People who feel this way feel that religion is a crutch for the weak. They think people who are religious are deluded into not actually living their lives. Religious people ignore the truths of human reason and science, and hold onto beliefs in magic and superstition. 2. The view of religion as something that improves human lives: gives people something to believe is and live for. Gives us meaning and something to feel. Comfort and security in God, who loves and protects us. Promises us a better place to go when we die. We take strength from scriptural messages and we will always be forgive. Religion empowers them. Most imp function of a religion is the sense of feeling of strength. Fulfillment of who I am, and religion gives the power to make you be the things you want to be. 3. Something that you give yourself to and don’t expect to get anything back: complete surrender of the self and ego. Door and door hinge. The world swings back and forth (door), always moving with events and you are the hinge (untouched and unmoved by all the movements in your life). You are not defined by the life that you are living. You are governed by the nature of your spiritual soul. - Temporal realities do not reflect on eternal truths. - The only real and truthful freedom is not through any earthly action, its through denial of the world as real. - Dharma: your social duty. Doing what you are supposed to be doing in your life. What you are to do socially. - Hinduism respects your lives and how they are performed. The World and the Nothing - Hinduism pays attention to the ways that lives are lived. It wants to make these lives perform the way they are supposed to, by performing their social duties properly. It doesn’t care about your life in an ete
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