Prashnopanishad, aka: Prashna Upanishad, Praśnopaniṣad, Prashna-upanishad; 3 Definition(s)
Prashnopanishad means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
The Sanskrit term Praśnopaniṣad can be transliterated into English as Prasnopanisad or Prashnopanishad, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
General definition (in Hinduism)
The Prashna Upanishad is one of the earlier, "primary" Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Atharvaveda. It figures as number 4 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.
Content: This text consists of six questions and their answers, hence the name. It is in the form of questions and answers. Except the first and the last questions, all other questions are actually a group of smaller sub-questions.
As narrated in the beginning of this Upanishad, Six pupils interested in knowing divinity or Brahman come to sage Pippalada and request him to clarify their spiritual doubts. Instead of answering immediately, Pippalada asks them to take up penance and Brahmacharya for one year at his place. Upon completion of one year, pupils ask the sage, then the sage answers their questions.
The pupils who asked the questions were:
- The son of Bharadwaja, Sukesha
- The son of Shibi, Satyakama
- The descendant of Garga, Sauryayanee
- The son of Ashwala, Kausalya
- Bhargava of the country of Vidarbha belonging to Bhrigu Gotra
- The son of Katya, Kabandhi
Each of them asks one question to Pippalada and answer(s) to it forms a chapter in the Upanishad.
etymology: The Prashna Upanishad (Sanskrit: प्रश्न उपनिषद्, Praśna Upaniṣad) or the Prashnopanishad (Sanskrit: प्रश्नोपनिषद्, Praśnopaniṣad). In Sanskrit, "Prashna" means question.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
Prashna Upanishad is in ब्राह्मण Brahman part of Atharva Veda (Shaunak branch) while Mundaka Upanishad is in मन्त्र Mantra part of the same Veda. Prashnopanishad is the elaboration of verses in Mundakopanishad but traditionally it is studied before Mundakopanishad; it starts with the anecdote of six ऋषि rishis (seers) - all well versed in Vedas but interested in Absolute Self-Realization - going to Rishi Pippalad who they thought would guide them correctly. Rishi Pippalad asks them to remain in his ashrama for a year observing spiritual disciples such as ब्रह्मचर्य brahmacharya (celibacy), तपस्या tapasya (austerities) etc. After a year they are allowed to ask questions; each rishi asks a question and gets appropriate reply from Pippalad. These six प्रश्न prashna (questions) and their answers form the content of the Upanishad.(Source): Google Sites: All about Vedanta
Languages of India and abroad
Praśnopaniṣad (प्रश्नोपनिषद्).—f. Name of an Upaniṣad consisting of six questions and six answers.
Praśnopaniṣad is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms praśna and upaniṣad (उपनिषद्).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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