Sakayanya

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Sakayanya

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

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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

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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.

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Shabda Brahman

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<i>Mantrika Upanishad</i>

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References

  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.