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The Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad

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Chapter Summary

The Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (MNU) is rarely included among the classical Upaniṣads, in large part probably because neither Śaṅkara nor Ramānuja composed a commentary to the text. The main focus of this Upaniṣad is on the personal deity. This deity takes the form of the ātman inside each person. Brahman is described as a personal being, rather than an abstract principle in the MNU. Brahman as the highest being is said to be the foundation of all the gods. There is very little scholarly consensus concerning the age of the MNU. Linguistic archaisms are more likely to be genuine if they occur in conjunction with pre-classical sandhi and older metrical forms.

Keywords: ātman; Brahman; Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (MNU); sandhi

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