Yajnavalkya (Sanskrit. याज्ञवल्क्य, Yajnavalkya m) was a Vedic Rishi under the legendary King Janak. He is known as author of several Vedic scriptures. His highly respected and much-quoted teachings illuminate the knowledge of the Atman and Brahman, clarify about karma and reincarnation.


The Brahmin Yajnavalkya was a student of Aruni, according to other sources of Bhaskali. In the list of teachers who have passed the White Yajur Veda, the name is listed in 13th place.

Before the start of the victim at the court of Janaka a great defense ( brahmodyam ) was held under the present Brahmins. To find out who the most learned among them, the king put a prize of a thousand cows. On the horns of each per ten quarters gold weights were tied. Yajnavalkya was found superior to all other participants in spiritual knowledge and accepted the award in itself.

He became a priest and adviser of King Janaka, father of Sita and married two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. When the already aged Yajnavalkya decided to retire to the forest to meditate in solitude, he divided his property between his two wives. Katyayani was satisfied. Maitreyi asked him whether they could achieve immortality because of such assets. Yajnavalkya understand the question, and led her into his sacred knowledge.


The Yajnavalkya are several writings attributed, the Yajnavalkyasmriti, and the Shatapatha Brahmana. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad he is in the first part (I, 2,4 ) the person who explained the nature of Atman his wife Maitreyi. This call is almost identical repeats, with some extra embellishments, in the second part (II, 4.5 ). The entire second part of this Upanishad is called Yajnavalkyam Kandam.

One by one he proves in a speech contest ( 3.1-9 ) at the court of King Janaka its superiority nine sub speakers. In the second call ( 4:1-2 ) with Janaka he rejects the definitions of Brahman by other teachers and explained in the third week ( 4,3,1-4,4,25 ) the nature of the Atman in waking, in sleep and in dying.


According to Yajnavalkya is a yoga book from the 12th/13th. Named century, the Yogayajnavalkya. The unknown author can explain the yoga in his work the Yajnavalkya.