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

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 09:12:21 EDT 2021

Namaskaram Sri Subbu ji,

Thank you for sharing this. While a quote from Vivekachudamani was given in
the other thread where the word “mahavakya” was used in the popular
Vedantic sense, some (like Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi) question
whether the author of the work was actually Shankara Bhagavadpada. It is
therefore worth noting that there is another (possible) occurrence in
Aitareya Upanishad bhashya.

Would you be able to give a brief explanation of the context in which this
occurs in Aitareya Upanishad bhashya and how the popular Vedantic meaning
might fit in this context?

On Mon 25. Oct 2021 at 16:23, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> Namaste
> 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  आचार्येणात्मज्ञानप्रबोधकृच्छब्दिकायां
> *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
> anything.
> 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
> subbu
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