Yajnavalkya, aka: Yājñavalkya; 9 Definition(s)

Introduction

Yajnavalkya 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.

In Hinduism

Purana

Yajnavalkya in Purana glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य).—An ancient sage who was a profound scholar. General. Purāṇas say that this sage spent the major part of his life at the court of King Janaka. He was also King Janaka’s priest. In Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 16, it is mentioned that Kalki was Yājñavalkya’s priest. Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 51, mentions that Yājñavalkya was a "Brahmavādī son" of Viśvāmitra. (See full article at Story of Yājñavalkya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य).—A pupil of Vaiśampāyana and son of Devarāta (Brahmarāta Viṣṇu-purāṇa) quarrelled with his guru and vomited the yaju (s.v.) he learnt; propitiated the Sun god to get chandas unknown to his guru. Pleased with him the Sun god instructed him in Vājasenyastas (Yajus ayātayāma, Viṣṇu-purāṇa); in the form of a horse;1 a Śrutaṛṣi; one of the madhyamādhvaryus; in charge of a śākhā in the Ṛg Veda; recipient of Janaka's present in a contest for great learning;2 an Ekārṣeya.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 6. 62-74; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 9-30; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. Ch. 5 whole; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 17-19, 21.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 3 and 16, 34. 27, 45-68.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 198. 4; 200. 6.

1b) (Kauśalya) learnt yoga from Hiraṇyanābha; siddha; disciple of Pauṣyañji.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 12. 4; VI. 15. 13; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 208; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 107.

1c) A sage who came to see Kṛṣṇa at Syamantapañcaka.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 84. 5.

1d) As a contemporary of Kalki;1 will precede Kalki.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 73. 105.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 47. 249; 192. 10.

1e) A son of Brahmavāha, who won the prize for learning in Janaka's (s.v). hall of sacrifice.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 60. 41.

1f) Disqualified;1 learnt the yoga of Vasiṣṭha;2 purohita of Kalki.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 1, 6.
  • 2) Ib. 88. 208.
  • 3) Ib. 98. 104.

1g) The portion of the Samhita composed by Yājñavalkya.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 77; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 68.

1h) Belong to Kauśika gotra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 70; Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 98.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Yajnavalkya in Shilpashastra glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य) is depicted as a sculpture on the fourth pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—The most noteworthy point in this image is the image of a sage, with folded hands, running after the chariot. He is Yājñavalkya and Sūrya (the sun god) is disclosing the secrets of Yajurveda to him.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Yajnavalkya in Itihasa glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIII.4.50, XIII.4) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Yājñavalkya) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
context information

Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

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Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य) or Yājñavalkyasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a tāmasa type of the Muniprokta group of Pāñcarātra Āgamas. The vaiṣṇavāgamas represent one of the three classes of āgamas (traditionally communicated wisdom).—Texts of the Pāñcara Āgamas are divided in to two sects. It is believed that Lord Vāsudeva revealed the first group of texts which are called Divya and the next group is called Muniprokta which are further divided in to three viz. a. Sāttvika. b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa (eg., Yājñavalkya-saṃhitā).

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Katha (narrative stories)

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Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य) is the name of a Ṛṣi (hermit) that knew the magic science of bewildering (mohinī), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 46. The story of Yājñavalkya was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Yājñavalkya, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Yajnavalkya in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

Yājñavalkya of Videha (fl. c. 7th century BCE) was a sage and philosopher of Vedic India. He was one of the first philosophers in recorded history, alongside Uddalaka Aruni. In the court of King Janaka of Mithila, he was renowned for his expertise in Vedic ritual and his unrivaled talent in theological debate. He expounded a doctrine of neti neti to describe the universal Self or Ātman. He later became a wandering ascetic. His teachings are recorded in the Shatapatha Brahmana and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

He is traditionally credited with the authorship of the Shatapatha Brahmana (including the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad), besides the Yoga Yajnavalkya and the Yājñavalkya Smṛti. He is also a major figure in the Upanishads.

According to traditional accounts, Yājñavalkya was the son of Devarāta and was the pupil of sage Vaisampayana .

Yājñavalkya married two wives. One was Maitreyi and the other Katyaayanee. Of the two, Maitreyi was a Brahmavadini (one who is interested in the knowledge of Brahman). Wisdom of Yājñavalkya is shown in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad where he gives his teachings to his wife Maitreyi and King Janaka. He also participates in a competition arranged by King Janaka about the selecting great Brhama Jnani (knower of Brahman). His intellectual dialogues with Gargi (a learned scholar of the times) form a beautiful chapter filled with lot of philosophical and mystical question-answers in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. He was then praised as the greatest Brahmajnyani by all the sages at the function organised by king Janaka. In the end, Yājñavalkya took Vidvat Sanyasa (renunciation after the attainment of the knowledge of Brahman) and retired to the forest.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Yājñavalkya was the incarnation of Brahma. Cursed by Shiva, Brahma incarnated himself as Yājñavalkya. He was the son of Brahmabahu, who was born of the limbs of Brahma. The Yājñavalkya Samhita—a well-known book of religious law compiled by Yājñavalkya—mentions that Yājñavalkya’s father’s name was Yajñavalkya. His mother was the sister of of Mahamuni Vaishampayana, the Vedacharya of the Taittiriya shaka of the Yajurveda.

Yājñavalkya learnt the yoga scriptures from Vasishtha, son of Hiranyanabha Kaushalya. He performed penance at Mithila. He learnt the science of the Self from Hiranyanabha, a king of the Raghu Dynasty and a teacher of yoga. The rituals pertaining to dana or charity, shraddha or post-funerary rites, and purification of ritual objects; duties of the householder, caste duties, duties of the ascetic, and the like, included in the Garuda Purana, were codified by Yājñavalkya.

Mahadeva, Yājñavalkya composed the Yoga Samhita afer observing penance in the hermitage of the great sage Upamanyu. Yājñavalkya used to attend the royal court of Yudhishthira and was the presiding priest at the Rajasuya sacrifce performed when Yudhishthira was crowned emperor.

Yājñavalkya had two wives. One was Maitreyi and the other Katyayani. Of the two, Maitreyi was a Brahmavadini.

Source: Hindupedia: Yajnavalkya

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Yajnavalkya in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [Y] · next »

Yājñavalkya (याज्ञवल्क्य).—Name of a celebrated ancient sage, the first reputed teacher of वाजसनेयी संहिता (vājasaneyī saṃhitā) (śukla yajurveda) and the author of a well-known code of laws only next in importance to that of Manu.

Derivable forms: yājñavalkyaḥ (याज्ञवल्क्यः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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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Relevant definitions

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