From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

The Bṛhad-yogi-yājñavalkya is a large work in Sanskrit comprising of 930 verses spread over 12 chapters. The subject matter is a combination of some topics of dharmaśāstras and of others dealt with in works on yoga and mantras. The work begins with the questions posed by some sages to Yogiśvara of Mithilā. The following is a brief summary of the twelve chapters:

  1. Essence of the Vedas, the smṛtis and the fourteen vidyas; ātma-jñāna; mantrajapa
  2. Praṇava or Oṅkāra
  3. The Vyāhṛtis
  4. The Gāyatrī
  5. Some nyāsas (purification of limbs)
  6. Sandhyā ritual
  7. Snāna (bath), tarpaṇa (offering of water to the manes) and japa (muttering of mantras)
  8. Prāṇāyāma (breath control) and pratyāhāra (withdrawal of mind from sense-objects)
  9. Dhyāna or meditation
  10. Suryopasthāna (worship of the Sun with the mantras and Gāyatrī)
  11. Yogadharma or the practice of yoga
  12. Origination of the śāstras from the Vedas and allied topics

The work quotes a large number of verses from the Manusmṛti and contains many verses of the Bhagavadgitā also. Several passages from the Upaniṣads too are found in it. One interesting statement that this book makes is that Gārgī was the wife of Yājñavalkya. This however is not correct as we find from the more authoritative scriptures, viz., the Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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