The Eternal Wisdom

Continuing Hari Prasad Shastri’s imaginative portrayal of the life and teachings of the sages of ancient India

Shri Yajnavalkya was about to retire for the night after his evening meal, and was sitting on a blanket slowly removing his flowing robe, when Katyayani softly entered his apartment with some almonds mixed with cream, for she thought that they were good for the brain of the holy man.

Bowing low, she said: ‘Have you any further orders for me, beloved one?’ The sage asked her to sit beside him and said: ‘Does anything worry you, my darling? Sometimes you look sad. Tell me if I am remiss in doing my duty of extreme love to you. In this transient world I live to teach the holy Truth and to make you and your sister Maitreyi reasonably comfortable.’ Katyayani replied: ‘Nothing worries me, only tell me what I should do.’

Shri Yajnavalkya was silent for a while. Then he said: ‘Tapas (austerity), a life in the exalted consciousness of Brahman, study of the holy scriptures and service of the Lord (Narayana) as reflected in His creatures—that is all that you have to do. I have known you for nearly forty years, my dearest Katyayani, and I well remember the day your saintly father brought you to me and I accepted you. You have never failed in your duty, nor once given precedence to your own needs and comforts. You have never slept until I had retired to rest. To my brahmacharis, my cows and calves, you have been the milk of kindness.

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This article is from the Winter 2016 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.