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9-Gaargee and Yaagyavalkya

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9-Dialog Between Gaargee and Yaagyavalkya

The following story is taken from Brihadaaranyak Upanishad. It is the dialog between the great philosopher Gaargee (Gaargee) and Muni Yaagyavalkya. Gaargee was the daughter of sage Vaachaknu and was born in the family of Garg. She has been mentioned in the 6th and 8th Braahman of Brihadaaranyak Upanishad where the mention is made of Raajaa Janak's Yagya and her challenge sage Yaagyavalkya with some perturbing questions about Aatmaa (soul). Yaagyavalkya Sanhitaa is about the dialog between Gaargee and Yaagyavalkya. She was one of the Nav Ratn of Janak's court.

Gaargee, the daughter of Vachuknu said - "I shall ask thee two questions. Will you answer me, O venerable sage?"
Yaagyavalkya said - "Ask, O Gaargee."
Gaargee said - "O Yaagyavalkya, that of which they say that is above the heavens, beneath the earth, embracing heaven and earth, past, present and future, tell me in what is it woven, like the warp and the woof?"
Yaagyavalkya replied - "In Ether or Aakaash."
Gaargee said - "I bow to thee, O Yaagyavalkya. Be prepared for the second question."
Yaagyavalkya said - "Ask, O Gaargee."

Gaargee said - "In what is the ether woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof?"
Yaagyavalkya replied - "O Gaargee, In Brahm is the Ether woven and rewoven like the warp
and the woof. Sages call this the A-Kshar (the imperishable). It is neither coarse, nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor white. It is neither shadow nor darkness. It is without ears, eyes, or mind, or breath, without speech, without smell, without mouth. It has no within and no without. By the command of this Indestructible Being, O Gaargee, Sun and Moon, Heaven and Earth, stand upheld in their places. By the command of this A-Kshar, O Gaargee, minutes, hours, days, nights, weeks, months, seasons and years stand apart. Whosoever, O Gaargee, without knowing the A-Kshar, departs from this world, becomes a miser. But he, O Gaargee, who departs from this world, knowing this Indestructible Being, is a true Braahman or liberated sage.

That Brahman, O Gaargee, although unseen, but He sees; although unheard, but He hears;
although unthought, but He thinks; although unknown, but He knows. There is none that sees but He, there is none that hears but He, there is none that thinks but He, there is none that knows but He. In that A-Kshar, then, O Gaargee, the Ether is woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof."

On hearing these words of wisdom from the mouth of Yaagyavalkya, Gaargee became silent.

From some other source --
"In what then, are the worlds of the sky woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Aaditya (Sun), O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Aaditya woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Chandra (Moon), O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Chandra woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Nakshatra (stars), O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Nakshatra woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of gods, O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of gods woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Indra, O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Indra woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Prajapati, O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Prajaapati woven, like warp and woof?"
"In the worlds of Brahmaa, O Gaargee," he replied.
"In what then, are the worlds of Brahmaa woven, like warp and woof?"
Yaagyavalkya said: "O Gaargee, do not ask too much (improper questions) lest thy head should fall off. Thou askest the Deity about which we are not to ask too much. Do not ask too much, O Gaargee."

After that Gaargee became silent.

From 8th Braahman --
Then Gaargee, daughter of Vaachaknu said - "Venerable Braahman, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers them, then indeed none of you can ever defeat him in any argument concerning Brahm."

Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee,"
She said: "Yaagyavalkya, As the son of a warrior from Kaashee or Videh might string his loosened bow, take two pointed foe-piercing arrows in his hand and rise to do battle, so I will rise before thee with two questions. Will you answer me these questions?"

Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee,"
She said: "O Yaagyavalkya, That of which they say that it is above the Heavens, beneath the Earth, embracing Heaven and Earth, past, present and future, tell me in what is it, woven like warp and woof?"

Yaagyavalkya replied: "That of which they say that it is above the Heavens, beneath the Earth, embracing Heaven and Earth, past, present and future, that is woven, like warp and woof, is the Ether (Aakaash)."
She said: "I bow to thee, O Yaagyavalkya, who hast explained this question to me. Be prepared for the other."

Yaagyavalkya said: "Ask, O Gaargee!"
She said: "O Yaagyavalkya, What is above the Heavens, what is beneath the Earth, what is between, and what is these two, Heaven and Earth, and what is called past, present and future, upon what is all this woven and rewoven like warp and woof?"

Yaagyavalkya replied: "What is above the Heavens, O Gaargee, and what is beneath the Earth, what is between, and what is these two, Heaven and Earth, and what is called past, present and future, is woven and rewoven on the Ether like warp and woof."
Gaargee said: "In what then is the Ether woven, like warp and woof?"

Yaagyavalkya replied: "O Gaargee, the Braahman call this the A-Kshar (the Imperishable). It is neither coarse nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor white; it is not shadow, not darkness, not air, not ether, without adhesion, without smell, without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind, without light, without breath, without a mouth or door, without measure, having no within and no without. It does not consume anything, nor does anyone consume it.

"By the command of this indestructible Being, O Gaargee, Sun and Moon stand apart. By the command of this A-Kshar, O Gaargee, Heaven and Earth stand upheld in their places. By the command of that A-Kshar, O Gaargee, minutes, hours, days and nights, half-months, months, seasons, years, all stand apart. By the command of that A-Kshar, O Gaargee, some rivers flow to the East from the snowy mountains, others to the West and others to the quarters (ordained for them). By the command of that A-Kshar (indestructible Being), O Gaargee, men praise those who give, the gods follow the sacrifices, and forefathers the oblations.

"Whosoever, O Gaargee, ignorant of this indestructible Being, offers oblations in this world, sacrifices, adores the gods and practices austerities even for a thousand years, his work will have an end. Whosoever, O Gaargee, without knowing this A-Kshar, departs from this world, becomes a miser. But he, O Gaargee, who departs from this world, knowing this indestructible Being, is a true Braahman.

"That Braahman, O Gaargee, although unseen but sees, unheard but hears, unthought but thinks, unknown but knows. There is none that sees but He, there is none that hears but He, there is none that thinks but He, there is none that knows but He. In that A-Kshar, then, O Gaargee, the Ether is woven and rewoven like warp and woof."

Then said Gaargee - "O Venerable Braahman, highly respect my word and acquaint yourself towards Yaagyavalkya by bowing before him. None among you can defeat him in any argument concerning Brahm." After that the daughter of Vachaknu became silent.

 

 

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Created on 3/15/2005, and Updated on 06/07/2009
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