One who has lit the (meditative inner) fire (of knowledge) thrice (by studying about it, understanding its mystical essence and practicing it) by associating with three (mother, father and teacher) and who performs the three acts (study, meditative worship and charity) in life, crosses over the ocean of birth and death. After realizing the radiant and the adorable child of the omnipresent divinity one obtains everlasting peace in one’s life. (Krishna Yajur Veda, Katha Upanishad 1.1.17)

This mantra points out a few very important things in life.

  • We acquire knowledge and wisdom by associating with, which means respecting and serving, our mother, father and teacher.
  • Studying alone is not enough. It is equally important to understand completely what we have studied and the most important thing is to practice it, to live it, to relate it with our life.
  • One should always perform these three acts in one’s life: 1. studying to remove the darkness of ignorance; 2. meditative worship to generate a perpetual awareness of a transcendental existence, and 3. charity for the well-being of all beings. A person who incorporates these three things in their life will always be at peace with themselves and with everybody else.

ॐ त्रिणाचिकेतस्त्रिभिरेत्य सन्धिं त्रिकर्मकृत्तरति जन्ममृत्यू।
ब्रह्मजज्ञं देवमीड्यं विदित्वा निचाय्येमां शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति॥
(कृष्णयजुर्वेदीय कठोपनिषद् १.१.१७)

triṇāciketas tribhir etya sandhiṁ
tri-karma-kṛt tarati janma-mṛtyū
brahma-jajñaṁ devam īḍyaṁ viditvā
nicāyyemaṁ śāntim atyantam eti

The Upanishads are the quintessential sections of the Vedas and therefore form the very foundation of the Vedic path to acquire Dharma (universal righteousness) in our life.
Siddhartha Krishna, Rishikesh, India