Gargi and Yagnavalkya

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King Janak was enlightened. He had learnt from Ashtavakra. Ashtavakra Gita describes the steps he used to take Janak rajah to the highest. Of course the level of Janak Rajah when he met Ashtavakra was like God level already.

So King Janak had arranged a philosophical debate and Rajsuya Yagna for all the scholars. Everyone attended. Yagnavalkya attended too. He told his disciple Samshrava to take all the 1000 cows back to his hermitage. (even before the debate started). Each cow had 10 gm of gold on their horns.

Now Yagnavalkya was a master in Yoga. He had reached all levels. One by one, he defeated everyone who came across. The final debate was between him and Gargi Vachaknavi (Vachaknavi was her fathers name).

So politely asked Yagnvalkya, may I ask you a question sir?

He said, Ask Gargi

She said , what is above the sky and below the earth, and also present between the sky and earth and present in the heavens andwhich is in past, present and future

Without hesitation, he answered

Akash tattva. (now for those you are not yogis, they have no knowledge what Akash is. Generally people call is sky, and in the translation they call it ether. However, it is not ether either, since ether is still space). There is something more subtle than space and space depends on Akash tattva for its existence. In my opinions the translators not being yogis, cannot grasp this.

The next question (and the final question was )

What does Akash tattva depend on?

Now this question remains very difficult to answer. Anything beyond Akash tattva – cannot be understood, seen, touched, or even imagined. So, if Yagnavalkya answers it, there is a problem, because it is beyond any comprehension. If he does not answer it then, he failed the question.

At this point, in his elegant style, he went on to say, what it is

It is Akshar. It is something that is not gross and is not subtle, it is not long not is it short, it is not within and not outside, it is not light not is it darkness, it has no eyes but sees everything, it has no ears but hears everything, it is not darkness, not is it shadow, it holds time in its place, it holds the sun, moon and all planets in its place, etc

Now, with this answer – we realize he described something we can never imagine or grasp and described it perfectly.

Now, although this part is not described. I know this to be true. He took Gargi into a quiet corner and took her to that place. After that, Gargi came out and told everyone present, it is best that all of you bow down to Yagnavalkya and leave in silence. There is no one higher than him.

Now this part is present in Bruhad aranyaka Upanishad, in chapter 3. There are more details, but I gave you the gist.

I am sure you may have more questions about it. I can be reached on twitter @GastroDr if need me

Hope this helps

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