[Advaita-l] Usage of the term 'Mahavakya' by Shankara

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jan 27 06:12:22 EST 2022

We do not see much of the usage of the term 'Mahavakya' in Shankara's
bhashya works. Here is one, rare, usage:

न हि महावाक्येऽर्थप्रत्यायकेऽवान्तरवाक्यस्य

This is from the BSB 1.3.33. But this is not in the sense of the Vedantic

There is one other usage, in the Aitareya Bhashya, in the Vedantic sense,
but it is disputed; all versions do not have this word.

Of course, in the Vivekachudamani and Saravedanta Siddhanta Sara Sangraha
of Shankara, we do find this term.

Bhamati too uses this term but in the same context as shown in the first
instance above.

Others, close to Shankara, who have used this are Anandagiri, and later.
One author, of the Vaktavya Kashika, a commentary on the Pancha padika of
Padmapada, of the same period, uses this term in the Vedantic sense.

I am not aware of Sarvajnatman using it.  Nor have I seen the
Brihadaranyaka Vartika of Sureshwaracharya. Later authors have indeed used
this term.

Inputs related to this are welcome.


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