Religious Studies 2M03E- November 4 , 2013
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
- 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
- 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
- Death is less than you
- Death is respectful of the truth, and the person is both of and in that truth.
- 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 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
- The truth of ourselves and who we are not different from the earth in terms of our
- 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