Nachiketa journeyed to the house of Death, and waited for three days to see him. Death greeted him as a Brahmin and offered him three wishes, or boons. Nachiketa’s first wish was that his father would release his anger and greet him as his son. This wish was granted. Nachiketa’s second wish was that he could learn the fire ritual, so that he could be guaranteed to enter heaven. This Death taught him. But then his third wish was to learn the secret of immortality, and Death was very reluctant to grant this boon. He begged Nachiketa to accept all manner of wealth and status instead, but the boy stood firm. Eventually, Death begins to share his knowledge of immortality:
“The good is one thing; the pleasant is another. These two, differing in their ends, both prompt to action. Blessed are they that choose the good; they that choose the pleasant miss the goal. Both the good and the pleasant present themselves to men. The wise, having examined both, distinguish one from the other. The wise prefer the good to the pleasant; the foolish, driven by fleshly desires, prefer the pleasant to the good.”
So it is that we learn from the teachings, in story form. Just as we enjoyed the stories of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or Cinderella, so yogis digest the teachings from the Upanishads..