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Avyakta upanishad

The meaning of «avyakta upanishad»

The Avyakta Upanishad (Sanskrit: अव्यक्त उपनिषत्, IAST: Avyakta Upaniṣad) is a Sanskrit text and a minor Upanishad of Hinduism. It is one of 16 Upanishads attached to the Samaveda,[2] and classified under the 17 Vaishnava Upanishad.[3][4]

This Upanishad exists in multiple versions; it discusses cosmology, how the universe evolved after creation, asserting the premise of Rigveda's Nasadiya Sukta that no one is knowledgeable about its origin or whether even the Supreme Being had any role in creating it.[5] The Man-Lion avatar of Vishnu presents ideas on Brahman in many chapters, but its verses also mention and revere Shiva, Indra, Prajapati and other deities. The text asserts a syncretic synthesis of ideas from Samkhya, yoga and other Hindu philosophies.[6]

The text is also known as Avyaktopanishad (Sanskrit:अव्यक्तोपनिषत्), and is listed at 68 in the Telugu language anthology of 108 Upanishads in Muktika canon.[2]

Avyakta means that which is "the unevolved, not manifest, undeveloped, imperceptible, invisible, universal Spirit".[7][8] Gerald Larson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies, at the Indiana University, translates Avyakta as "primordial nature", conceptually synonymous with Prakriti of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.[9]

Formerly there was nothing here, neither the sky, nor the atmosphere, nor the earth. There was only an appearance of light, having no beginning and no end. Neither small nor large, formless yet having a form. Indistinguishable yet imbued with knowledge, consisting of bliss.

— Avyakta Upanishad 1.1, Translator: PE Dumont[10]

The date and author of the text's composition is unknown, but likely a medieval text expanded over time. The Avyakta Upanishad was mentioned by Gaudapada, states P.E. Dumont, Professor at the Johs Hopkins University, and therefore a version of the text likely existed before 7th-century CE.[11]

The text exists in several versions, and the first manuscript of Avyakta Upanishad was published in 1895 by Tattva-Vivecaka Press (Poona edition), by Nirnaya Sagara Press in 1917 (Bombay edition), and A Mahadeva Sastri, Director at the Adyar Library, in 1923 (Madras edition).[1]

The first translation of the text was published by Dumont, Professor, in 1940 in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, followed by another by TRS Ayyangar of the Adyar Library in 1945, in his collection of Vaishnavopanishads.[12] The manuscript was translated again by P Lal of the University of Calcutta, in 1969, to mixed reviews.[13] The Lal translation, states Arvind Sharma, is readable at the expense of accuracy, more a trans creation rather than translation.[13]

In the anthology of 108 Upanishads of the Muktika canon, narrated by Rama to Hanuman, the Avyakta Upanishad is listed at number 68 but does not find mention in the Colebrooke's version of 52 Upanishads or under the collection of Upanishads under the title "Oupanekhat.[14]

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