[Advaita-l] Etymology of names of upanishad-s
janaswamy2001 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 22 22:18:32 CDT 2008
One Mahatma said that
"Before leaping forward, a frog draws itself backwards a little bit, then leaps forward.
Mandukya Upanishad is similar in nature, the Upanishad draws backward a little bit, then jumps to the next topic."
> Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 17:27:35 -0700
> From: shyam_md at yahoo.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> CC: advaitin at yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Etymology of names of upanishad-s
> Interesting topic - would like to add the following
> (as per notes from Swami Chinmayananada):
> Mandukya Upanishad derives its name from its Seer Rshi
> Manduka and belongs to the Atherva Veda.
> There is a interesting theory about how the Mandukya
> Mandukya lit means "frog" Frog is one animal that
> remains in hibernation for nine to ten months a year
> in the mud - in seclusion and quietude - they come out
> in the rainy season and croak their message.
> A true Sannyasin also lives for most of the year in
> quiet seclusion in the HimalayAs and during the
> ChaturMAsyA rainy season they come down to the plains
> and preach the message of VedAnta to the world - and
> their message is too is not that of a soft sentimental
> dvaita, but a harsh uncut one of advaita.
> Aitreya Up derives its name from the a seer mahidAsA -
> son of a Brahmin born to his mother ItAra (meaning the
> An interesting story in connection with this Up is of
> this boy MahidAsa (servant of the soil) when he was
> just 5 and his Brahmin father was conducting a Homa.
> The boy wanted to go sit in the lap of his father -
> but being the son of the "other" woman was denied this
> privilege. The dejected child came sobbing to his
> mother who gre enraged at this and fell to the ground
> embracing her Ishta Devata - BhUmi-Devi.
> At this point BhUmi Devi manifested herself and
> initiated MahidAsA into BrahmavidyA.
> Katha Up derives its name from Rshi Kathaka.
> Also Upanishads can be classified into either Mantra
> Upanshads and Brahmana Upanishads - the former (e.g.
> Isha Up) are terse and more authorative than the
> latter which are more in the nature of a discursive
> thesis (e.g. Brihad Up) - the Prashnopanishad is a
> thus a Brahmana Upanishad - an explanatory secondary
> scripture commenting upon the Mantra Up - the Mundaka
> Up. -as has been already stated by Jaldhar-ji.
> Pranams to all advaitins and Greetings on the festive
> occasion of Holi.
> Hari OM
> Shri Gurubhyoh namah
> --- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" wrote:
>> On Fri, 21 Mar 2008, Ananta Bhagwat wrote:
>>> I was trying to trace etymology of names of
>> pramANa upanishad-s:
>> Interesting topic.
>>> (1) bRhadAraNyaka (bRhat = great upanishad)
>> The last kanda of the Shatapatha Brahmana of the
>> Shuklayajurveda is called
>> Brhadaranyaka. Some sections of this are called
>> Upanishad while the rest
>> are Aranyaka.
>>> (2) chAndogya (chAndoga is the singer of sAma)
>> Right, because this upanishad belongs to the
>> kauthuma shakha of
>> the samaveda.
>>> (3) taittirIya (sage tittira, the disciple of sage
>> Tittira means a kind of bird (I have seen sparrow or
>> partridge as English
>> translations.) When Yajnavalkya quarreled with
>> Vaishampayana who
>> originally learned Yajurveda from Vedavyasa, he
>> vommited up the mantras he
>> had learned and went away. The other shishyas took
>> the form of Tittiras
>> and took it up again founding the taittirIya shakha
>> of krshnayajurveda.
>>> (4) aitareya (sage aitareya mahidAsa)
>> Yes. It is part of the aitereya brahmana of the
>> bashkala shakha of the
>>> (5) kaTha (or kaThaka, etymology could not be
>> Katha is a shakha of krshnayajurveda that this
>> upanishad belongs to.
>>> (6) ISa (ISAvAsya the first word of the upanishad)
>> Yes. It is the last chapter of the Vajasaneyi
>> samhita of the
>>> (7) kena (kena, the first word, by whom)
>> Yes. This upanishad is also called talavakara
>> upanishad after the shakha
>> of samaveda it belongs to.
>>> (8) muNDaka (root muND = to shave of (Ignorance))
>> The upanishad of the shaven ones. This upanishad
>> belongs to
>> atharvaveda. According to Shankaracharya, the
>> atharvavedis had a vrata
>> which involved shaving their heads.
>>> (9) praSna (questions)
>> Yes. Six questions are asked to Pippalada the
>> shishya of Vedavyas who was
>> taught atharvaveda. According to Shankaracharya,
>> this upanishad is also a
>> sort of commentary on the mundaka which also belongs
>> to atharvaveda as we
>> have noted.
>>> (10) mANDUkya (maNDUka = toad, no further
>> This upanishad belongs to mandukya shakha of the
>>> (11) SvetASvetara (sage of the same name)
>> And the shakha of krshnayajurveda he founded.
>>> (12) kaushitaki (saMsArikam sukham yasya kushitaH
>> eva kushitakaH...)
>> It is part of the kaushitaki the kaushitaki brahmana
>> of the sakala shakha
>> of rgveda.
>> Jaldhar H. Vyas
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