[Advaita-l] About Yajnavalkya of BAU

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Aug 5 00:09:51 CDT 2004

On Sat, 24 Jul 2004, Shrisha Rao wrote:

> That is not likely, because he could not be the teacher of Janaka (who, by
> tradition, lived in the Treta Yuga, and figures in the Ramayana), and be
> the pupil of Vaishampayana (who, by tradition, lived in the Dvapara, and
> figures in the Mahabharata).  Even if one assumes for him a very long life
> spanning entire Yugas, one still would have to grant that he would be a
> pupil first and a teacher second.

As Ranjeet mentioned, there were multiple kings named Janaka.  This is
from Vishnu or Matsya purana I think.

> > > - Apart from Janaka and Maitreyi, did he had others known disciples?
> >
> > Yes, the entire lineage of the shuklayajurveda descends from him.  This is
> > described in the vamshabrahmana.
> The Vamsha Brahmana and such sources need to be interpreted with some
> care.  You are aware that names repeat, and sometimes they don't refer to
> whom one might casually suppose they do.

Yes.  This is true, the editor of the shatapathabrahmana copy I have
explains is by suggesting there are two lines of succession, a brahmAmnAya
and a suryAmnAya both of which were joined by Yajnavalkya

> > > - Is the Uddalaka Aruni defeated in the Brihad Aranyaka Up by Yajnavalkya
> > > the same person than the Uddalaka Aruni of the Chandogya Up ?
> >
> > By tradition, yes.
>> Again, I am not aware that *tradition* (any) has explicitly identified the
> two as one and the same.

A contemporary exponent of shuklayajurvedic tradition (our mandirs' priest
who studied at H.H. Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Dwarkas' pathashala.)
seems to think so.  Most of the ancient commentators haven't really
bothered saying much about the vamshabrahmanas.

  (Not to say they're not, but just that there is
> no explicit tradition to the effect that they are.)  Names like
> Yajnavalkya, Uddalaka, Ajatashatru, Gautama, etc., occur repeatedly and
> sometimes with conflicting details or narrations.  The explanation given
> is that these refer to different individuals with the same name (in
> different cycles of Creation).

In the course of a modest amount of research into the subject, I've not
come up with a source that suggests there was more than one Yajnavalkya.
Janaka on the other hand...

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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