Maitrayaniya Upanishad

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The Maitrayaniya Upanishad (Sanskrit: मैत्रायणीय उपनिषद्, Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad) or the Maitri Upanishad (Sanskrit: मैत्री उपनिषद्, Maitrī Upaniṣad) belongs to the Maitri or Maitrayaniya shakha (branch) of the Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda, though some texts assign it to the Sāmaveda. It figures as number 24 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads under the name of the Maitrāyaṇi Upanishad, which is included there as a Sāmānya Upanishad, associated with the Samaveda. The Dīpikā, a notable commentary on this text was written by Rāmatirtha.

Rhys Davis (n.d.: unpaginated) holds that within the manuscripts of this text is the earliest documented Sanskrit literary usage of the term 'samadhi' (Sanskrit). It was first found in the Tipitaka in Pali.[1]

The Upanishad is post-Ashokan, and shows signs of Buddhist influence.[2][3][4]


The extant recension of the text consists seven Prapāṭhakas (lessons), the last two are known as khila (appendices). But originally it consisted the first four Prapāṭhakas only. The text begins as a dialogue between the king Brihadratha and the sage Śākāyana which continues till vi.30. Through this dialogue, the sage Śākāyana teaches the king the philosophy of the Brahman as it was taught by the sage Maitri. As a part of his teaching, he narrates an ancient dialogue between a group of sages known as the Vālakhilyas and Prajāpati Kratu.

The primal sound is often referred to as Shabda Brahman or "word as The Absolute" in the Upanishad. Maitri Upanishad states:[5]

He who is well versed in the Word-Brahman, attains to the Supreme Brahman. (VI.22)

Primary resources[edit]


  1. ^ T.W.Rhys Davis (n.d.). 'Introduction to the Subha Sutta'. Source: [1] (accessed: Thursday December 24, 2009)
  2. ^ A.L. Basham in Paul Williams, ed., Buddhism: Buddhist origins and the early history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. Taylor & Francis, 2005, page 61.
  3. ^ Florin Giripescu Sutton, Existence and enlightenment in the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra: a study in the ontology and epistemology of the Yogācāra school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. SUNY Press, 1991, page 58.
  4. ^ Hajime Nakamura, Trevor Leggett. A History of Early Vedānta Philosophy, Part 2. Reprint by Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2004 page 284-6
  5. ^ *Cowell, E.B.; Gough, A.E. (1882). Sarva-Darsana Sangraha of Madhava Acharya: Review of Different Systems of Hindu Philosophy. New Delhi: Indian Books Centre/Sri Satguru Publications. p. 220. ISBN 81-703-0875-5. 


  • Cowell, E.B. (re-issue 1935). (tr.) The Maitri or Maitrāṇīya Upanishad, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society of Bengal

External links[edit]