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Nachiketa was the son of Vajashravas, a poor but very ambitious Brahmin. Wanting to be famous as a daani, Vajashravas performed a great yajna in which he planned to give away many cows in daana. Unfortunately, all the cows were completely useless and emaciated. Noticing that anything given in daana must be of use to the receiver, Nachiketa was upset and asked his father to whom he planned to give his son away in daana. In anger, the father said that he would gift him to Yama. Taking his father's words as gospel, Nachiketa left for Yama's abode immediately, something that was unheard of. The father repented his anger and felt helpless. Finding that Lord Yama wasn't there, he waited for him outside for three days without eating or drinking water. After Yama returned, he and his wife felt guilty for a brahmachari guest had been left unattended. In lieu of it, Yama asked the boy to ask for three boons. Nachiketa asked him to ensure that his father would not worry about him and would welcome him when he returned home. Next, Yama taught him Agnividya , which was the second boon. As the third boon, Nachiketa wanted to know about the Ultimate Truth – whether man exists after death. Yama was dumbfounded because this was a secret even the Devas were not aware of. How could a young boy be let into it? Yama tried to attract him with other gifts but the boy was very firm. Finally, Yama explained to him what Atma Vidya meant and was pleased to give him jnana deeksha. Nachiketa acquired Brahmavidya from the Lord of Death and then returned to his father who became his son's disciple. This is the story of Nachiketa as it appears in the Kathopanishad.