10 Facts About Yajnavalkya


Yajnavalkya proposes and debates metaphysical questions about the nature of existence, consciousness and impermanence, and expounds the epistemic doctrine of neti neti to discover the universal Self and Atman.


Staal notes that though the name Yajnavalkya is derived from yajna, which connotes ritual, Yajnavalkya is referred to as "a thinker, not a ritualist".


Yajnavalkya was the pupil of Uddalaka Aruni, whom he defeated in debate.


The figure of Yajnavalkya is considered by Scharfstein as one of the earliest philosophers in recorded history.


Yajnavalkya is credited by Witzel for coining the term Advaita.


Yajnavalkya is mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Puranas, as well as in ancient Jainism texts such as the Isibhasiyaim.


Yajnavalkya is beyond good and evil, and neither what he has done, nor what he has omitted to do, affects him.


Yajnavalkya describes the self by a series of negations and says it is not, not - not graspable, not destructible, not attached, not disturbed by anything good or bad done by himself.


The Maitreyi-Yajnavalkya dialogue has survived in two manuscript recensions from the Madhyamdina and Kanva Vedic schools; although they have significant literary differences, they share the same philosophical theme.


Yajnavalkya adds, that the pursuit of self-knowledge is considered important in the Sruti because the Maitreyi dialogue is repeated in chapter 4.5 as a "logical finale" to the discussion of Brahman in the Upanishad.