Avadhutaka Upanishad

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Avadhutaka Upanishad (also known as the Bṛhad Avadhūta Upaniṣa or the Avadhutopanishad) is numbered 79 of the 108 Upanishads of the Muktikā Upanishad. The Avadhuta Upanishad is also associated with the Krishna Yajurveda.

Olivelle (1992) rendered a translation. Olivelle (1992: p. 5) affirms that the classification of this Upanishad as a 'Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣad' was first done by Paul Deussen (1845–1919) and is not a classification native to the tradition:

The Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads, however, do not constitute an indigenous classification of the Upaniṣads; no Indian list or collection of Upaniṣads groups these texts together. Paul Deussen was the first to use the category Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads.[1]

The following quotation is verse five of this Upanishad with an English rendering by Ramanathan (1978: unpaginated):

evaṁ catuṣpathaṁ kṛtvā te yānti paramāṁ gatim

na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanena tyāgenaike amṛtatvamānaśuḥ

" One should identify Brahman neither with the head nor with the middle part nor with the bottom but with (what remains in the shape of) the tail, since it is said that Brahman is ‘the Tail’ and substratum. Thus, those who contemplate this fourfold division attain the supreme Goal."[3]

'Svecchācāra' (IAST; Sanskrit: स्वेच्छाचार) as Mahendranath states closes this upanishad:

"Sveccha means one's own wish or free will. Svecchachara means a way of life where one acts as one wishes and does what is right in one's own eyes. Doing one's own Will. The concluding Sanskrit expression in the Avadhoota Upanishad is "Svecchachara Paro."
The term "Paro" means a mysterious or secret pattern to that action done by one's own Will. In other words, we do our Will but with discretion, not making it too obvious, nor to harm or hurt other people. Yet this is also a typical Nathism; a complete reversal of Vedic morals and philosophy."[4]


  1. ^ Olivelle, Patrick (1992). Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads: Hindu scriptures on asceticism and renunciation. USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507045-3, ISBN 978-0-19-507045-3. Source: [1] (accessed: Thursday March 11, 2010)
  2. ^ Wikisource. 'अवधूत_उपनिषद'. Source: [2] (accessed: Thursday March 11, 2010)
  3. ^ Ramanathan, A. A. (1978). Avadhuta Upanishad. Source: [3] (accessed: Thursday March 11, 2010)
  4. ^ International Nath Order Wiki (August 2009). Svecchachara. Source: [4] (accessed: Thursday March 11, 2010)

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