Brahma Vidya

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A Brahma Vidya is a path of contemplative meditation taught in the Upanishads. The passage of time has largely obscured the nature and culture of these meditations, and subsequent discussions of them are largely academic, drawing on the texts and their subsequent treatment in the Brahma Sutras. Scholars eventually identified the extant meditations as 32, though there is debate over the exact Upanishadic text serving as the basis for some of them.

One such enumeration is given below:

  1. Sad Vidya — the Universal Cause
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, VI
  2. Antaraaditya Vidya — the Person within the Sun
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, I.vi.6
  3. Akasa Vidya — the Cosmic Ether
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, I.ix.1
  4. Prana Vidya — the Vital Breath
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, I.xi.5
  5. Paramjyoti Vidya — the Supreme Light
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, III.xiii.7
  6. Sandilya Vidya — Sandilya’s Teaching
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, III.xiv.7
  7. Upakosala Vidya — Meditation as taught to Upakosala
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, IV.x
  8. Vaisvaanara Vidya — the Universal Being
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, V.xi
  9. Bhuma Vidya — the Great One
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, VII
  10. Satyakaama Vidya — Meditation as taught to Satyakaama Jaabaala
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, IV.iv
  11. Dahara Vidya — the Imperceptible Ether within the Heart
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, VIII
  12. Madhu Vidya — Honey
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, III.i
  13. Samvarga Vidya
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, IV.iii
  14. Gayatri Vidya — the Gayatri Mantra
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, III.xii
  15. Panca Agni Vidya — Meditation on the Five Fires
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, V.iii to x.
  16. Akshi Vidya — Within the Eye
    • Chhandogya Upanishad, IV.xv.1
  17. Antaryaami Vidya — the Inner Controller
    • Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, III.vii
  18. Akshara Vidya — the Imperishable
    • Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, III.viii.8
  19. Jyotishaam jyotir Vidya — the Light of Lights
    • Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, IV.iv.16
  20. Maitreyi Vidya — Yajnavalkya’s Teaching to his wife Maitreyi
    • Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, II.iv
  21. Sarvaantaraatmaa Vidya — the Inner Self of All
    • Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, III.iv
  22. Anandamaya Vidya — the Self consisting of Bliss
    • Taittiriya Upanishad, Anandavalli
  23. Vaaruni Vidya — Meditation as taught by Varuna
    • Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhriguvalli
  24. Nyaasa Vidya — Self-surrender
    • Taittiriya Narayanam, 49–52
  25. Paramapurusha Vidya — the Supreme Person
    • Katha Upanishad, I.iii
  26. Naciketa Vidya — Meditation with the Naciketa fire
    • Katha Upanishad, I.ii
  27. Angushta-pramita Vidya — Brahman as resident within the Heart, of the size of the Thumb
    • Katha Upanishad, II.iv.12
  28. Paryanka Vidya — Brahman as the highest God in the Supreme Abode
    • Kaushitaki Upanishad, I
  29. Pratardana Vidya — Meditation as taught to Pratardana by Indra
    • Kaushitaki Upanishad, III
  30. Baalaaki Vidya — Meditation as taught to Baalaaki
    • Kaushitaki Upanishad, IV
  31. Aksharapara Vidya — Meditation on the Imperishable
    • Mundaka Upanishad, I
  32. Isavasya Vidya — Meditation as taught in the Isavasya Upanishad
    • Isavasya Upanishad