The Mahavakyas (sing.: mahāvākya, महावाक्य; plural: mahāvākyāni, महावाक्यानि) are "The Great Sayings" of the Upanishads, the foundational texts of Vedanta. Though there are many Mahavakyas, four of them, one from each of the four Vedas, are often mentioned as "the Mahavakyas".[1] The subject matter and the essence of all Upanishads being the same, all the Upanishadic Mahavakyas express this one universal message in the form of terse and concise statements. In later Sanskrit usage, however, the term mahāvākya came to mean "discourse," and specifically, discourse on a philosophically lofty topic.[2]

The four Upanishadic statements indicate the ultimate unity of the individual (Atman) with God (Brahman).

The Mahavakyas are:

  1. prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
  2. ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)
  3. tat tvam asi - "Thou art That" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
  4. aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman" (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)

The Kanchi Paramacharya, in referencing these four Mahavakyas, says in his book Hindu Dharma[3]:

It is to attain this highest of states in which the individual self dissolves inseparably in Brahman that a man becomes a sannyasin after forsaking the very karma that gives him inward maturity. When he is initiated into sannyasa he is taught four mantras, the four [principal] mahavakyas.

See also


  1. ^ See page 4 of: Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, Bhavan's Book University, 1995: Hindu Dharma: The Universal Way of Life ISBN 81-7276-055-8
  2. ^ See the essay on Sanskrit Structure at
  3. ^ " "Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994)." [1]

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mahavakyas —    The mahavakyas (maha, great; vakya, sayings) are usually a series of brief statements extracted from the UPANISHADS that are said to sum up their philosophy. Occasionally, they are from commen taries on the Upanishads or other sources that… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Tat Tvam Asi — (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि), a Sanskrit sentence, translating variously to Thou art that, That thou art, or You are that, is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Hinduism. It originally occurs in the Chandogya… …   Wikipedia

  • Mahavakya — Ein Mahavakya (Sanskrit: महावाक्य mahāvākya n. Leitsatz ) ist ein großer Ausspruch in der vedischen Literatur oder eines Sehers. Darunter werden besonders vier Mahavakyas hervorgehoben, die das Einsein des Selbst mit dem Einen (brahman) betonen.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vishishtadvaita — Vedanta (IAST IAST|Viśishṭādvaita Vedanta ;Sanskrit: विशिष्टाद्वैत)) is a sub school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of Knowledge , Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy, the other major sub schools of Vedānta being Advaita and Dvaita …   Wikipedia

  • Махавакья — Махавакьи (санскр. महावाक्य; Mahāvākya IAST) четыре «великих изречения» Упанишад священных текстов, являющихся основой веданты. Каждая махакавья ассоциируется с одной из четырёх Вед. Говорится, что в каждом из изречений ведантический мистицизм… …   Википедия

  • Pantheism — is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical.[1] Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek (pan) meaning all and the Greek (theos) meaning God . As… …   Wikipedia

  • I am that I am — (Hebrew: אהיה אשר אהיה, pronounced Ehyeh asher ehyeh ) is a common English translation (King James Bible and others) of the response God used in the Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of people who have been considered deities — This a list of those notable human beings who were considered deities by themselves or others. The list distinguishes people who claimed divinity or were worshiped as deities during their lifetimes, and examples of individuals who were deified… …   Wikipedia

  • Aitareya Upanishad — The Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older, primary Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It figures as number 8 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.The Aitareya Upanishad is a short… …   Wikipedia

  • Atma Bodha — Atma Bodha(Self Knowledge)By Adi Shankaracharya, 788 820 CE,Translated by Swami ChinmayanandaPublished by Chinmaya Mission, Mumbai1. I am composing the ATMA BODHA, this treatise of the Knowledge of the Self, for those who have purified themselves …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”