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Sakayanya, also known as Jata Sakayanya, a descendent of Saka, was a ritual authority and contemporary of Sankha in the Kathaka Samhita (xxii.70) [1] also known as Charaka Samhita belonging to Krishna Yajurveda, and which was compiled by Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana. [2]

Yajurveda One of four Vedas of Hinduism

The Yajurveda is the Veda primarily of prose mantras for worship rituals. An ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, it is a compilation of ritual offering formulas that were said by a priest while an individual performed ritual actions such as those before the yajna fire. Yajurveda is one of the four Vedas, and one of the scriptures of Hinduism. The exact century of Yajurveda's composition is unknown, and estimated by scholars to be around 1200 to 1000 BCE, contemporaneous with Samaveda and Atharvaveda.

Vaishampayana was the traditional narrator of the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India from Takshashila, modern-day Taxila, Pakistan, where he narrated the epic poem for the first time. He was an ancient Indian sage who was the original teacher of the Krishna Yajur-Veda. The Ashvalayana Grihya Sutra mentions him as Mahabharatacharya. He is also mentioned in the Taittiriya Aranayaka and the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini.

Sakayanya was a disciple of Rishi Maitri. And, Shubhra Sharma in his treatise titled - 'Life in the Upanishads' writes that Sakayanya "burns with all the splendor and the grandeur of an incarnation of the Puranic literature, who appears out of the blue and even has the capacity of granting boons". The ideas which Sakayanya expresses were already formed and developed in the earlier Upanishads. [3]

Rishi inspired poet of Ṛgvedic hymns

Rishi is a Vedic term for an inspired poet of hymns from the Vedas. Post-Vedic tradition of Hinduism regards the rishis as "seers", "great sadhus" or "sages" who after intense meditation (tapas) realized the supreme truth and eternal knowledge, which they composed into hymns.

The Upanishads, a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, some of which are shared with religious traditions like Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are widely known, and their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hindus.

Sakayanya speaks about the 'pure noumenal Self' who arising from the body shines in his own splendour, and of the 'phenomenal Self' called the Bhutatman who is subject to the influence of actions and therefore undergoes transmigration as was taught to him by Rishi Maitri. [4] In the Maitri Upanishad Sakayanya deals with various questions as to form, manifestation, division, existence, and infinity of time. With regard to the question - Whether time is the original cause of everything or not?, he says that Time (Kala), Death (Yama) and Life (Prana) are identical, Time is one of chief manifestation of Brahman, there are two forms of Brahman – 1) Time and 2) Non-time (that existed before the sun came into existence and is indivisible); from the former that is divisible, all creatures are born, [5] and explains that Time ripens and dissolves all beings in the great self, but he who knows into what Time itself dissolved is the knower of the Veda (Maitri or Maitrayani Upanishad VI.14-16). [6]

Brahman metaphysical concept, unchanging Ultimate Reality in Hinduism

In Hindu philosophy, Brahman(ब्रह्म) is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists and the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. These schools of thought also consider Brahman to be the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.

He even offers Samkhya metaphysics to explain the Yoga processes. [7]

Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, and it was influential on other schools of Indian philosophy. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas (proofs) as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These include pratyakṣa (perception), anumāṇa (inference) and śabda. Sometimes described as one of the rationalist schools of Indian philosophy, this ancient school's reliance on reason was exclusive but strong.

Yoga physical and meditative spiritual practices from ancient India typically practiced on a yoga mat

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term "yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga, which includes the physical practice of postures called asanas.

He finally removes the pessimism of Brihadratha Ikshvaku who saw the whole universe decaying around him and who had requested Sakayanya to lift him out of the mire of existence like a frog from a waterless well (Maitri I.7) by teaching him the six-faceted yoga involving pranayama ('breath-control'), pratyahara ('withdrawal of the senses'), dhyana ('meditation'), dharana ('concentration'), tarka ('inquiry') and samadhi ('absorption') which yoga was centuries later systemised by Patanjali. [8]

Brihadratha Ikshvaku king of the Vedic era

Brihadratha, belonging to the Ikshvaku race, was a king of the Vedic era. This name Brihadratha of a warrior king who was a Maharatha is found in the Rig Veda. The word, Brihadratha, means the Mighty Warrior. He appears at the beginning of the Maitri Upanishad after he had renounced his kingdom in favour of his son, seeking for himself relief from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. No other information about him or his period is available in this text or in any other text. Maitri Upanishad belongs to the Maitrayaniya branch of Krishna Yajur Veda, which upanishad was taught to Sakayana by Maitri or Maitreya, the son of Mitra. Brihadratha chose the knowledge of the Self when he was offered a boon. He gave up his home and possessions and thereafter assisted by Sakayanya even renounced the “I-ness” of his body.

Patañjali is the name of one or more authors of a number of Sanskrit works. A great deal of scholarship has been devoted over the last century or so to the issue of the historicity or identity of this author or these authors.

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<i>Moksha</i> spiritual liberation, soteriological goal in Hinduism

Moksha, also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, is a term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which refers to various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release. In its soteriological and eschatological senses, it refers to freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In its epistemological and psychological senses, moksha refers to freedom from ignorance: self-realization, self-actualization and self-knowledge.

Advaita Vedanta Nondualism, Monism, a school of Vedanta Hindu Philosophy

Advaita Vedanta, originally known as Puruṣavāda, is a school of Hindu philosophy, and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality (Brahman). The followers of this school are known as Advaita Vedantins, or just Advaitins, and they seek spiritual liberation through acquiring vidyā, meaning knowledge, of one's true identity as Atman, and the identity of Atman and Brahman.

<i>Maitrayaniya Upanishad</i> One of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism

The Maitrayaniya Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit text that is embedded inside the Yajurveda. It is also known as the Maitri Upanishad, and is listed as number 24 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.

Madhvacharya Hindu philosopher who founded Dvaita Vedanta school

Madhvacharya, sometimes anglicised as Madhva Acharya, and also known as Pūrna Prajña and Ānanda Tīrtha, was a Hindu philosopher and the chief proponent of the Dvaita (dualism) school of Vedanta. Madhva called his philosophy Tatvavāda meaning "arguments from a realist viewpoint".

Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman, or supreme Self, in various philosophies such as the Vedanta and Yoga schools in Hindu theology, as well as other Indian religions like Sikhism. The Paramatman is the “Primordial Self” or the “Self Beyond” who is spiritually practically identical with the Absolute, identical with the Brahman. Selflessness is the attribute of Paramatman, where all personality/individuality vanishes.

<i>Isha Upanishad</i> One of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism

The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads, embedded as the final chapter (adhyāya) of the Shukla Yajurveda. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, and is known in two recensions, called Kanva (VSK) and Madhyandina (VSM). The Upanishad is a brief poem, consisting of 17 or 18 verses, depending on the recension.

<i>Shvetashvatara Upanishad</i> One of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit text embedded in the Yajurveda. It is listed as number 14 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. The Upanishad contains 113 mantras or verses in six chapters.

<i>Katha Upanishad</i> One of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism

The Katha Upanishad is one of the mukhya (primary) Upanishads, embedded in the last short eight sections of the Kaṭha school of the Krishna Yajurveda. It is also known as Kāṭhaka Upanishad, and is listed as number 3 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.

Gargi Vachaknavi was an ancient Indian philosopher. In Vedic literature, she is honored as a great natural philosopher, renowned expounder of the Vedas, and known as Brahmavadini, a person with knowledge of Brahma Vidya. In the Sixth and the eighth Brahmana of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, her name is prominent as she participates in the brahmayajna, a philosophic debate organized by King Janaka of Videha and challenges the sage Yajnavalkya with perplexing questions on the issue of atman (soul). She is also said to have written many hymns in the Rigveda. She remained a celibate all her life and was held in veneration by the conventional Hindus.

Non-difference (Abheda)

Non-difference, this word not to be found in the English Dictionary is the nearest English translation of the Sanskrit word, Abheda. The word, Abheda, means non-existence of difference. In Vedanta philosophy this word plays a vital role in explaining the indicatory mark in respect of the unity of the individual self with the Infinite or Brahman.

Shabda Brahman

Shabda Brahman or Sabda-brahman or Nada brahmin means transcendental sound or sound vibration or the transcendental sound of the Vedas or of Vedic scriptures.

The Samkhya system, which follows Prakrti – parinama-vada, describes origination and evolution through its theory of Satkaryavada which is the theory of causation. According to this theory the effect is existent in the cause; the original cause of everything that is perceived is Prakrti.

<i>Tejobindu Upanishad</i> Hindu text on Yoga

The Tejobindu Upanishad is a minor Upanishad in the corpus of Upanishadic texts of Hinduism. It is one of the five Bindu Upanishads, all attached to the Atharvaveda, and one of twenty Yoga Upanishads in the four Vedas.

<i>Brahmavidya Upanishad</i> Hindu text on Yoga

The Brahmavidya Upanishad is a Sanskrit text and one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism. It is one of twenty Yoga Upanishads in the four Vedas.

<i>Mantrika Upanishad</i>

The Mantrika Upanishad is a minor Upanishad of Hinduism. The Sanskrit text is one of the 22 Samanya Upanishads, is part of the Vedanta and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy literature, and is one of 19 Upanishads attached to the Shukla Yajurveda. In the Muktika canon, narrated by Rama to Hanuman, it is listed at number 32 in the anthology of 108 Upanishads.


  1. Kathaka Samhita.
  2. Vedic Index of Names and Subjects Vol.1. A1 Books Co. p. 281.
  3. Shubhra Sharma. Life in the Upanishads. Abhinav Publications. p. 209.
  4. R.D.Ranade. A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 23.
  5. Benimadhab Barua. A History of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy. A1 Books Co. p. 206.
  6. Shrinivas Tilak. Religion and Aging in Indian Tradition. Suny Press. p. 83.
  7. Surendranath Dasgupta. Yoga Philosophy: In Relation to Other Systems of Indian Thought. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 48.
  8. Gavin D. Flood. An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. p. 95.