|Brihadaaranyak - 3-8 (1)|
Yaagyavalkya and Maitreyee-1 Part 2, Ch 4; and Yaagyavalkya and Maitreyee-2, Part 4, Ch 5 - both are the same. Why?
3-8-Dialog Between Yaagyavalkya and Gaargee-1
This is the dialog between Muni Yaagyavalkya and the great philosopher Gaargee. Gaargee was the daughter of sage Vaachaknu and was born in the family of Garg. She has been mentioned in the 6th and 8th Braahman of Brihadaaranyak Upanishad where the mention is made of Raajaa Janak's Yagya and her challenge to sage Yaagyavalkya with some perturbing questions about Aatmaa (soul). Yaagyavalkya Sanhitaa is about the dialog between Gaargee and Yaagyavalkya. She was one of the Nava Ratn of Janak's court.
The importance of the discussion in the 6th and the 8th Braahman of the Brihadaaranyak Upanishad lies in the fact, that women capable of discussing religious topics were admitted into these assemblies. When Yaagyavalkya was in the court of Janak, Gaargee came to him and questioned him about the nature of Brahm. She came there merely to know from Yaagyavalkya about the Supreme Reality and not to vanquish him or to examine his knowledge.
Gaargee, the daughter
of Vaachaknu said - "I shall ask thee two questions. Will you answer me, O
Gaargee said - "In what is the Ether woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof?"
That Brahman, O Gaargee, although unseen, but He sees; although unheard, but He hears; although unthought, but He thinks; although unknown, but He knows. There is none that sees but He, there is none that hears but He, there is none that thinks but He, there is none that knows but He. In that A-Kshar, then, O Gaargee, the Ether is woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof."
On hearing these words of wisdom from the mouth of Yaagyavalkya, Gaargee became silent.
From some other source - 6th Braahman --
After that Gaargee became silent.
From 8th Braahman --
Then Gaargee, daughter of Vaachaknu said - "Venerable Braahman, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers them, then indeed none of you can ever defeat him in any argument concerning Brahm."
Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee,"
Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee,"
Yaagyavalkya replied: "That of which they say that it is above the
Heavens, beneath the Earth, embracing Heaven and Earth, past, present and
future, that is woven, like warp and woof, is the Ether (Aakaash)."
Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee!"
Yaagyavalkya replied: "What is above the Heavens, O Gaargee, and what is
beneath the Earth, what is between, and what is these two, Heaven and Earth, and
what is called past, present and future, is woven and rewoven on the Ether like
warp and woof."
Yaagyavalkya replied: "O Gaargee, the Braahman call this the A-Kshar (the Imperishable). It is neither coarse nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor white; it is not shadow, not darkness, not air, not ether, without adhesion, without smell, without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind, without light, without breath, without a mouth or door, without measure, having no within and no without. It does not consume anything, nor does anyone consume it.
"By the command of this indestructible Being, O Gaargee, Sun and Moon stand apart. By the command of this A-Kshar, O Gaargee, Heaven and Earth stand upheld in their places. By the command of that A-Kshar, O Gaargee, minutes, hours, days and nights, half-months, months, seasons, years, all stand apart. By the command of that A-Kshar, O Gaargee, some rivers flow to the East from the snowy mountains, others to the West and others to the quarters (ordained for them). By the command of that A-Kshar (indestructible Being), O Gaargee, men praise those who give, the gods follow the sacrifices, and forefathers the oblations.
"Whosoever, O Gaargee, ignorant of this indestructible Being, offers oblations in this world, sacrifices, adores the gods and practices austerities even for a thousand years, his work will have an end. Whosoever, O Gaargee, without knowing this A-Kshar, departs from this world, becomes a miser. But he, O Gaargee, who departs from this world, knowing this indestructible Being, is a true Braahman.
"That Braahman, O Gaargee, although unseen but sees, unheard but hears, unthought but thinks, unknown but knows. There is none that sees but He, there is none that hears but He, there is none that thinks but He, there is none that knows but He. In that A-Kshar, then, O Gaargee, the Ether is woven and rewoven like warp and woof."
Then said Gaargee - "O Venerable Braahman, highly respect my word and acquaint yourself towards Yaagyavalkya by bowing before him. None among you can defeat him in any argument concerning Brahm." After that the daughter of Vaachaknu became silent.
From Some Other Source
Gaargee asks Yaagyavalkya: "O Yaagyavalkya, if everything is Otaprot
(warp and woof) with water, with what is water Otaprot?"
At this Yaagyavalkya gets angry. This discussion may not have satisfied Gaargee, but it gives some clues to the knowledge of Space Technology. Most part of the earth is covered with water, and water is the source of life and air is called the friend of water (Aapam Sakhaa). This is the Praan Shakti of life. And that is why the Lok of vaayu (air) comes after Jal (water). After Vaayu comes Antariksh, but Antariksh not in its modern sense. Antariksh is the source of the relations with other planets. That is why Gandharv Lok comes after Antariksh. The rays of the Sun are called Gandharv, so Gandharv is where the sun's rays cross. After that comes Aaditya, in whose light the other planets shine. After this comes Chandra Lok, scientifically and psychologically related to us. Then comes Dev Lok. The word Dev comes from the "Div" Dhaatu, which means 'to shine.' Actually, what is called "Antariksh" in modern space science is like the Dyau of the Upanishad. Soorya is called Indra, so in place of Soorya, it is called Indra Lok. The sun is the center of the universe. Gayatri mantra also worships the sun. Now, the universe, including the sun, is the Virat Roop, which is Prajapati, and the controller of everything is Brahma. Brahm Lok comes at last. So this is the formula:
There is a doubt whether they thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. If it were so, it would be a big mistake. The doubt concerns about the meaning of "Otaprot". Does it mean 'covered with' or 'filled with'? or warp and woof. Languages change with the times. Another thing is that Vaidik philosophers were looking at the universe from the Earth. That is why their imagination starts with the Earth. Certainly, it was not a correct formula. That is why Yaagyavalkya got angry. But Gaargee was not defeated. She came up with another set of questions--
She aaked - "What is above the Dyau and under the Earth, between the Earth
and the Dyau? What is called Bhoot, Bhavishya or Vartamaan? With what is it
The second question is: "With what is Aakaash Otaprot?"
The word Aakash is made up of a+kashate (verb), which means what shines completely. This means, what makes others shine. In Latin, space means 'spatium,' which means 'to lie upon.' In Chinese Buddhism, 'agha' which comes from Sanskrit, means both visible matter and invisible emptiness. (cf. Y. Raguin, Terminologie). In Chinese stories also, there is discussion about Jal, Vaayu and Aakaash.
Apart from these two sets of questions, there is another set, for Yajnavalkya says that Brahm is the one who is inside Aakaash, but Aakaash does not know Him. His body is Aakaash, but he can control Aakaash.
Yah Aakaashe tishthnnakashadntaro yamakasho na ved yasyakashmantaro yamatyesh ta aatmachnttaryaamrith. --9
In ether or Aakaash, light can cross and soundlessness grows into a situation which may be called Nir-Gun. That may be the reason that Brahm is imagined as Nir-Gun. In another sense, Brahm is opposed to Brahmaand. This Virodh creates Santulan (equilibrium).
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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 10/05/13