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Interpretations of Maitreyī-brāhmana from Brhadāranyaka-upanishad in Early vedānta


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Andrijanić, Ivan. (2008). Interpretations of Maitreyī-brāhmana from Brhadāranyaka-upanishad in Early vedānta. Filozofska istraživanja, 28(3). pp. 697-714. ISSN 1848-2309

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This article presents some traces of early vedāntic interpretations of Maitreyī-brāhmana, one of the most famous parts of Brhadāranyaka-upanishad, in the Brahma-sūtras, the fundamental work of the philosophical school vedānta. Topic under discussion conveys the exegesis of Maitreyī-brāhmana according to three ancient commentators, Āśmarathya, Audulomi and Kāśakrtsna. The purpose of this article is to show the methods of interpretation of upanishadic passages in different vedāntic schools. Also, we can see some techniques of interpretation taken from pūrva-mīmāmsa, the school of vedic interpretation, and adapted for upanishadic interpretation. The article shows how the main philosophical standpoint on the relation of the self and the absolute serves the exegetical purposes. So the standpoint of the BS and the ancient commentators is bhedābhedavāda, teaching of both the difference and non-difference between the self and the absolute, like sparks and fire. Śankara interprets the sūtras as teaching monistic illusionism. He also differentiates between the two levels of truth and accordingly the lower brahman (actually the absolute seen through the eyes of the lower truth) and the highest brahman. In this way he was able to reconcile all upanishadic passages, whether they inclined to theism or monism. There is also an important hermeneutical discussion of Śankara with bhedābhedavādin Bhartrprapañca on the nature of knowledge and action and priority of the upanishads, part of sacred canon dealing with knowledge of brahman over the brāhmanas, which are dealing with ritual action.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brhadāranyaka-upanishad; vedānta; commentary; exegesis
Subjects: Philosophy
Indology and Indoiranistics
Departments: Department of Indology
Date Deposited: 06 May 2019 10:47
Last Modified: 06 May 2019 10:49

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