Rama Balasubramanian rama at HOMER.CTD.COMSAT.COM
Wed Feb 18 13:13:55 UTC 1998

Amos Nevo <amnev at HOTMAIL.COM> writes:

>Actually the MSS of the story of Naciketas, mostly variations of the
>name  "NAsiketopAkhyAnam", are recent versions of the ancient story from
>the VrAha PurANa.
>All the commentators that I know of - old and modern, Western and
>Eastern - do not mention the recent story at all. Belloni-Filippi
>translated the MSS found in the British Library and S. Krause, who
>translated a Rajastani version of the story, refers to Belloni-Filippi.
>So, as far as I know, in commentating on KaTHopaniSad, no one refers to
>the recent versions of the story.
>If anybody could enlighten me about the subject, I shall appreciate it.
>Thanks in advance.

I looked up "The Puranas", by Ludo Rocher and he hasn't mentioned any
story about Nachiketa in his section the skanda or the brahmANDa
purANa-s. He does mention a nachiketa story from the varAha
purANa. Apparently nachiketa describes his experience in yamaloka
after he gets back. However, as you might know, the varAha is
considered one of the later purANa-s, dates range from 10th - 12th
centuries. I have seen a quotation from the varAha in the
pa.nchadashI, by vidyAraNya (mid 14th century work). So the varAha
can't be later than that. Rocher also gives some work in the German
which refers to this story. So you may want to look that up to see if
you can get any leads from that. In any case this story would be much
later than the story from the kaTha. It's no surprise that most
commentators don't refer to this story, because the latest commentator
was AnandatIrtha, who founded the dvaita school, circa 12??. Maybe
vallabha who came much later, could have referred to it.


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