Out, I Have Gifted You to Death "
Nachiketa thought deeply. But time was running out. The gifting ceremony will be over in
no time.:.. At last he got a bright idea. He thought -"The rules of this ceremony lay
down that things dear to one's self must be gifted. Instead, father is retaining his dear
ones and giving away the unwanted things. Probably he is doing so for my sake). It means
that I am dearest to my father. So, if he gifts me away, everything will be
Welfare of his father was uppermost in his mind. He decided that his father must be
persuaded to make a gift of him also; only then could it be termed as a sacrifice.
He went to his father and in a subdued voice asked:
"Father, to whom are you going to give me as gift?"
Vajashravas looked at his son. But he did not think it fit to reply to such a silly
question. He was busy with the preparations for the gifting ceremony.
Nachiketa raised his voice and repeated - "Father, to whom are you going to gift
Vajashravas controlled his anger but remained silent. But Nachiketa was not the boy to
give up. Thinking that his father might not have heard his question, he asked in a loud
voice, which was audible to all -
father, tell me to whom you are going to gift me."
Vajashravas could 'no longer control himself. Raging with anger, and throwing all the
rules of the sacrifice to the winds, he shouted, " Get away from here. I will gift
you over to God of Death."
The elderly sages were taken aback by the conversation going on. They stopped chanting the
holy verses. They stood up and in a chorus asked, "What have you done, 0 Vajashravas?
You have thrown the rules to the winds. In a fit of anger you declared that you are giving
away your son to Death. Now you have to stand by your word. Otherwise, the proceeding will
stop. What are you going to do now?"
Vajashravas was really at a loss now. He realized his mistake but only too late. "Fie
upon my anger! I should never have uttered those words. What will befall me now?" He
bemoaned. Shedding tears, he retired to the inner chamber of the cottage. With a blank
head and a heavy heart he sat in a corner. As for Vishwavaradevi, no words could describe
her condition. She had be come speechless. Tears were flowing from her eyes unceasingly.
Nachiketa came in search of his father. The scene he saw inside the cottage was pathetic,
unbearable. He said to himself, "After all, why should father feel sorry for having
gifted me to Death? Death means nothing but meeting Lord Yama. Let me see what Yama will
say." Then he approached his father and said, "Father, whatever has happened has
happened. Do we not belong to the great family of Gautama and Arani? They never failed to
keep their words. So will be the case with us also."
"Oh, what a sin I have committed!" so saying, Vajashravas took the boy in his
arms and began to weep, "Son, if you can go a head, you are most welcome" was
all he could manage to say.