There are two concepts in Kathopanishad. They are 1) Shreyas (श्रेयस) and 2) Preyas (प्रेयस).
What are Shreyas and Preyas?
In Shreyas, there is an initial phase of toil and apparent trouble- later, there is ending bliss.
In Preyas, there is an initial phase of temporary excitement and shallow happiness- later there is unending distress and trouble.
Shreyas and Preyas- the only two paths
All humans without exception have to accept any one of these two paths- Shreyas or Preyas? This is because the mind can never stay idle even for a moment.
Without Shreyas, there can be no holiday for the mind. The mind then has to toil life after life without respite. We shall talk about Preyas and Shreyas in conclusion towards the end of the article.
The Chariot analogy in Kathopanishad
As per the Kathopanishad (कठोपनिषद), man has been awarded a chariot by the Lord.
The chariot represents the human body. There are 10 horses that pull the chariot, represented by the 5 Jnana Indriyas (Knowledge senses- ज्ञानेन्द्रिय) and 5 Karma Indriyas (Action-driven senses- कर्मेन्द्रिय).
The lively horses are meant to aid the chariot (body). The harnesses that tame the horses represent the mind. Thus harnessing of the mind should be to control and direct the horses (10 senses).
The charioteer represents the intellect. It holds the reins of the mind and gives commandments. The charioteer (intellect) operates by the will of the passenger, the jiva (जीव), or the living entity. Unless, the jiva surrenders unto its parent, Brahman, he cannot operate this chariot effectively.
Significance of Arjuna & Krishna Chariot
Keeping the Chariot representation of Arjuna and Krishna has great significance. Now, this was the time when Sri Krishna delivered the Gita to his dear friend Arjuna, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
The horses represent the various aspects of the mind, while Arjuna represents the Jiva. On the other hand, Lord Krishna, Himself is the Paramatma. He is the charioteer who takes the reins of the Jiva’s life.
The symbolic representation, sculpture attracts wisdom in one’s life. Brass is the most preferred metal for depicting Gita Upadesh, for its religious significance.
You must be aware that polished brass is one of the best metal to attract positivity, in one’s life. This depiction serves as a reminder for all those spiritual aspirants who intend to free themselves of all material problems.
Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita promises: “Those who surrender unto Me will be instantly relieved of all miseries. The driving factor, however, should be ‘sincerity of intention'”
This symbolic representation has believed to change the lives of many devotees as they heavily feel the presence of divinity.
How to subdue the chariot?
Jeev is not an experienced guide. So, the Jiva should consult its eternal parent, the Lord for the right guidance. Unless the Jeev accepts the subordination of its parent, the chariot shall run in all wrong directions.
The parent shall not instruct or direct the child unless the child surrenders and accepts the subordination.
The child may ask the parent, “Oh father, the Vedas talk about so many things. Still, you command me to simply surrender to you. I do not get the point.”
The father replies- “The Vedas give you detailed processes to attain insignificant, perishable objects of the world. These processes represent peculiar forms of spiritual disciplines that give some control over material situations.”
He continues: “However, these strenuous processes do not guarantee long-term benefits. But there are some tiny instructions sprinkled here and there in the scriptures. They reveal the real secret. However one may not even believe in its authenticity.”
Secret of god-realization
Committing to this process yields 100% results. By continuously remembering this secret, you can undoubtedly attain the imperishable and graduate to the zone of permanence. All other Vedic processes are equivalent to dividing or multiplying numbers by zero. Finally, The result shall always be zero. Now we shall know about the secret.
The crux is- Remembering the Lord always. However, one condition applies.
One should simply think of the Lord, with no worldly expectation whatsoever. Don’t expect anything from Him. Remember the Lord and His pastimes with love and truest of intentions. Know that Truth and God are one. When one is truly non-expectant, love shall bloom.
Direct this pure love is towards God only. This is the greatest secret that is enshrined in the Vedic scriptures. Mastering the Vedas so not bring about this realization. Only grace can bring about this realization. The best way to attain Grace is to desire Grace. As a result, all murkiness of the heart shall wash away.
Percentage of Materialistic and Spiritual men
As per the elevated sages- 99.9% of the world desires for material objects and worldly position.
Only 0.98% of the world whines for liberation.
The extremely fortunate ones desire neither for the world nor for liberation.
This is the secret that the Scriptures reveal and accepted by the full-blown enlightened ones.
Difference between Lust and Love
Even when someone visits temples and goes on pilgrimages, it is not out of love for the Lord. It is only to attain meager boons for one’s own and the extended self.
This is lust which people, unfortunately, label as “love.”
Lust is for this planet
Love is for something eternal, unassailable.
People please the Lord in temples only to receive worldly benediction in return. Indeed Stange! For buying the best shoes in town, we go to a clothes shop!
Intelligence has fallen to such an extent and that is really sad. Without touching books for the entire year, one cannot pass miraculously. If one has sincerely studied, attended classes, and poured his best towards passing the exam, one shall pass.
Can Bhagavan fulfill all desires?
There are other people who boast- “I prayed to the Lord and I got the promotion.” Yes, this can happen sometimes, no doubt. However one should ask deeper questions- “How can the Lord impart something without you owning a bank balance of good Karma, earned in this lifetime or previous lifetimes?” You receive material happiness in exchange for good Karma.
Currently, you may be earning bad Karma for the future. You must ask eternal things from the eternal being, the Lord. One should not repeat the mistake of asking temporary things of the world, which shall anyway dawn in the proportion of one’s accumulated Karma.
Here seeking material things is ‘Preyas’ while seeking the Lord is ‘Shreyas.’
Also visit our other website here