Amos Nevo amnev at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 19 08:57:33 UTC 1998

>>Actually the MSS of the story of Naciketas, mostly variations of the
>>name  "NAsiketopAkhyAnam", are recent versions of the ancient story
>>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
>>So, as far as I know, in commentating on KaTHopaniSad, no one refers
>>the recent versions of the story.
>>If anybody could enlighten me about the subject, I shall appreciate
>>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.
Thanks for the remarks.
The old stories of Naciketas - the variations in Taittiriya Brahmana,
Katha Upanishad, Mahabharata, Varaha purana - call him "Naciketas" and
speak only about his father as family, never mentioning his mother.
In the MSS that I have seen until now, which seem to be variations of
the story in Varaha Purana, there are two main differences:
1 - "Naciketas" is turned into "NAsiketa" (with some variations), and
the name is derived from "nAsa" - nose.
2 - The story gives an extended history of Nasiketa's mother -
Candravati - and of his conception and birth through the nose.
I believe that these differences have got a significance beyond the
literary interest. That is the reason why I would like to find the first
source in the scriptures where the changes took place.
As i have mentioned, most MSS claim their origin in Bramanda Purana, but
I have not come accross any text of this purana where the
NAsiketopAkhyAnam could be found.
I shall be grateful for any information in this matter.
Thanks in advance.

Amos Nevo
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