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The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad

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Chapter Summary

The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣads (MU) is a verse Upaniṣad, traditionally ascribed to the Atharvaveda. Puruṣa is divine, invisible, and unborn, the inner ātman of all beings, creator of the universe, and the ultimate cause of brahman. The Vedic canon and the Vedic branches of learning are all regarded as inferior and contrasted with the higher learning of the Upaniṣads themselves, concentrated in the one syllable oṃ. The most striking metrical feature of the MU is the large number of pādas composed in hypermetric triṣṭubh. The MU contains grammatical forms not permitted in classical Sanskrit. Bhattacharya regards the language of this Upaniṣad as “much influenced by Prakritism and the Buddhist or the mixed Sanskrit as found in such Buddhist works as the Mahāvastu”.

Keywords: ātman; brahman; Muṇḍaka Upaniṣads; Puruṣa



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