[Advaita-l] The term 'mahavakya' in the Aitareya Bhashya

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 06:52:55 EDT 2021


In another discussion thread there was an aside discussion of whether the
Acharya had used the term mahavakya in the popular Vedantic sense or not.

Long ago, a search was made and it was found that the Aitareya Upanishad
Bhashya 1.3.13  where the highlighted word
*वेदान्तमहाभेर्यां* तत्कर्णमूले ताड्यमानायाम् ,    is being read by some
editors as '*वेदान्तमहावाक्यभेर्यां*

In the Mahesh research Institute Upanishad Bhashyam Vol.3 (containing 8
Upanishads), edited by Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal, the reading is with the
term mahavakya...while in the Advaita sharada edition the 'vakya' word is
not there. Mahabheri is a huge kettle drum. Here the simile is to convey
the idea that the mahabheri is 'mahavakya bheri.'  While the Ashtekar
edition does not have the 'vakya' term, the Swami Gambhirananda translation
says: ...of the great sayings of the Upanishads... (great sayings =
mahavakya) While just the vedanta maha bheri is read in some versions, some
have the extra 'vakya' just after the word maha.

Sri SSS in his translation too has not taken the vakya addition. Normally
he gives a footnote for variations in editions but here he does not say

Just thought of sharing this as this might be interesting to many.  I was
prompted by the search upon reading a Madhva pontiff's preface to some book
several years ago that 'while Shankara has not used the term mahavakya
anywhere...' Such a search resulted in this find.

warm regards

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