16 Facts About Mundaka Upanishad


Mundaka Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit Vedic text, embedded inside Atharva Veda.

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In some historic Indian literature and commentaries, the Mundaka Upanishad is included in the canon of several verse-structured Upanishads that are together called as Mantra Upanishad and Mantropanishad.

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Mundaka Upanishad literally means "shaved, shorn, lopped trunk of a tree".

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Eduard Roer suggests that this root is unclear, and the word as title of the Mundaka Upanishad possibly refers to "knowledge that shaves, or liberates, one of errors and ignorance".

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The chapters of the Mundaka Upanishad are sequentially referred to as "Mundakam" in ancient and medieval texts, for unclear etymological reasons.

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Paul Deussen considers Mundaka Upanishad to be composed in a period where poetic expression of ideas became a feature of ancient Indian literary works.

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Some ideas and allegories in Mundaka Upanishad have chronological roots in more ancient Vedic literature such as Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya and Katha Upanishads.

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Mundaka Upanishad opens with declaring Brahma as the first of gods, the creator of the universe, and the knowledge of Brahman to be the foundation of all knowledge.

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Lower knowledge, states the Mundaka Upanishad, includes knowledge of Vedas, phonetics, grammar, etymology, meter, astronomy and the knowledge of sacrifices and rituals.

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Some manuscripts of Manduka Mundaka Upanishad expand the list of lower knowledge to include logic, history, Puranas and Dharma.

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In verse 12 and 13, the Mundaka Upanishad suggests that "perishable acts cannot lead to eternal knowledge", instead those who seek freedom must respectfully approach a competent, peace-filled, wise Guru to gain knowledge.

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Mundaka Upanishad is beyond sorrow, he is beyond sin, he is in tranquil union with the Self of all.

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Mundaka Upanishad has been widely translated, as well as commented upon in Bhasya by ancient and medieval era Indian scholars such as Shankara and Anandagiri.

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Johnston states that the ancient message in Mundaka Upanishad is relevant to the modern age where "search for and application of Truth" alone often predominates the fields of science.

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Mundaka Upanishad reminds the central importance of Truth in its third Mundakam, yet it emphasizes the need for "beauty and goodness", because "truth, beauty and goodness" together, states Johnston, create arts, music, poetry, painting, meaning and spiritual answers.

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Mundaka Upanishad is the source of the phrase Satyameva Jayate, which is the national motto of India.

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