[Advaita-l] Etymology of names of upanishad-s
ananta14 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 23 03:07:38 CDT 2008
All very interesting; but there is a point about authority and antiquity (i believe both are related issues and they are also related to etymology because it goes to the roots): ISa is part of SYV saMhitA but probably bRhadaraNyaka is much older due to its language and style. Both BrU and ChU are said to be the oldest, the favorites of Sri Sankara and the back-bone of advaita.
----- Original Message ----
From: durga prasad <janaswamy2001 at hotmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 8:48:32 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Etymology of names of upanishad-s
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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