Niśśreyas

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Nissreyas, NiZZreyas, Nishshreyas


niśśreyas (‘highest good’)

The Katha Upanisad (2.2) declares that every human being has the opportunity to choose between the preyas and the śreyas.

Preyas is what is pleasant, the apparently good, but which ultimately turns out to be bad, painful and ruinous.

Śreyas is that which is really good, though at first sight, it may not appear to be attractive.

A wise person always chooses the latter in preference to the former.

Śreyas, again, has two stages: the abhyudaya and the niśśreyas. The former is worldly well-being got through dharma or the righteous means. This, however, is not permanent.

Niśśreyas, on the other hand, is spiritual well-being, leading to mokṣa or liberation, the highest good. The word is used to indicate mokṣa also.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

niśśreyas (‘highest good’) The Katha Upanisad (2.2) declares that every human being has the opportu¬nity to choose between the preyas and the śreyas. Preyas is what is pleasant, the apparently good, but which ultimately turns out to be bad, painful and ruinous. Śreyas is that which is really good, though at first sight, it may not appear to be attractive. A wise person always chooses the latter in preference to the former. Śreyas, again, has two stages: the abhyudaya and the niśśreyas. The former is worldly well-being got through dharma or the righteous means. This, however, is not permanent. Niśśreyas, on the other hand, is spiritual well-being, leading to mokṣa or liberation, the highest good. The word is used to indicate mokṣa also.