By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Yajnavalky a, YAjJavalky a, Yaajyavalky a
Yājñavalkya was one of the wisest and the most illustrious among the Vedic sages. He was the son of the sage Brahmarāta and a nephew and a disciple of Vaiśampāyana. Once he incurred the wrath of his guru and was expelled by him. After surrendering the 'Yajurveda to his guru, he was pleased. Later he pleased Surya and got a new Veda which came to be known as the Śukla Yajurveda or Vājasaneyī Samhitā.
In the scholarly debates on Brahman arranged by the king Janaka Vaideha, he emerged as the best and the most brilliant of all the scholarly ṛṣis. He taught spiritual wisdom to his first wife Maitreyī who was a seeker of the truth. His second wife Kātyāyanī was not interested in it. Two more works are attributed to him:
- Yājñavalkya Smrti
- Surya is the Sun-god.
- Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad 3rd Chapter
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore