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Maitreyi-brahmana with Shankara bhashya
The Highest Wisdom of Vedanta

The Maitreyi-brahmana is a section of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad and is in the form of a dialogue between Sage Yajnavalkya and his wife Maitreyi and embodies the highest wisdom of Vedanta.

Beginner Course Medium: English

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More about the Course

The Maitreyi-brahmana is a section of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad and is in the form of a dialogue between Sage Yajnavalkya and his wife Maitreyi and embodies the highest wisdom of Vedanta.

The Svadhyaya Series offers the option of pursuing this text at 2 levels depending on the competency of the student.

  1. The present course of the advanced level is for the benefit of earnest students who would like to delve into the Maitreyi-brahmana section of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad with the commentary (bhashya) of Sri Adi Shankaracharya.

  2. The basic level of Maitreyi-brahmana does not include the discourses on the Shankara bhashya and contains the exposition of the Upanishad text of the Maitreyi-brahmana alone.

The section begins with Sage Yajnavalkya seeking concurrence from Maitreyi to take to renunciation after distributing his wealth to his two wives. Maitreyi asks a pertinent question as to whether wealth can bestow her Immortality (amritatva), seeking which alone Yajnavalkya is renouncing. Yajnavalkya replies that one can never attain Immortality through wealth.

This forms the seed for the rest of the section, and Sage Yajnavalkya explains that all desirable objects as wealth are sought because of the love one has for the Self. He then details the nature of the Self and the threefold means of shravana, manana and nididhyasana for the direct experience of the Self.

Sage Yajnavalkya further explains through a series of examples that everything is nothing but the Self, and everything has come from the Self, remains in It and ultimately dissolves back into the Self.

Division is duality and is the cause of sorrow, and by knowledge one must end the apparent sense of individuality in the Self, just as a lump of salt loses its separateness when dissolved in water. There is no duality whatsoever, for everything is but the Self. When one has become the Self, there is no individualised Consciousness. This is the goal that must be sought and gained. This alone is the ultimate goal of life, the summum bonum.

A total of 15 video sessions by Swami Advayananda, divided into 8 lessons, are made available to the registered students.

What You will Learn

  • The means to know the Self
  • How the Self is source of all happiness
  • The nature of the Self as the substratum of the whole world, and how in spite of differences the Self permeates all
  • The goal and the nature of the dissolution of the individuality

  • The detailed exposition of the text by Sri Adi Shankaracharya

Why should I do this Course?

This course is for seekers who want to do a detailed and in-depth study of the Maitreyi-brahmana section of the Brihadaranyaka-upanishad through the Shankara bhashya.

Students will also get to understand how to study, comprehend and appreciate the various nuances revealed by Sri Shankaracharya in his bhashya. It is a sure delight to revel in the timeless exposition of Sri Adi Shankaracharya.

For those who want to study without the bhashya and just need an overview of the Maitreyi-brahmana can register for the basic level


  • Basic knowledge of Sanskrit
  • Keen interest in Vedanta and the purpose of life
  • Good internet connection

Course Details and Duration

  • The course comprises 8 lessons covering 8 audio/video sessions and 8 objective type questionnaires.
  • The recommended duration for completion of the Maitreyi-brahmana (with Shankara bhashya) course is 2 months. The suggested maximum duration is 3 months.

Course Access, Query Resolution Process, Grading and Certification

  • Students can access the course following the User Guideline document that is also sent to registered students to their email address.
  • Students have to attempt the lessons sequentially. For each lesson the student should watch the audio or video file and then attempt the questionnaire.
  • All questionnaires are objective based and on completion of each Lesson/ questionnaire the marks and grade for that lesson will be displayed to the student on the dashboard.
  • Students can download the answer key on completion of a questionnaire.
  • In case of queries or doubts on the subject matter students are encouraged to use the discussion forum. Details of the same will be sent to students on registration. A detailed query resolution process guideline will also be provided.
  • The Course is deemed complete on completion of all lessons /questionnaires, and a final grade will be awarded.
  • Grading system for certification.
    • 80% and above 'O' Grade
    • 60% and above 'A+' Grade
    • 50% and above 'A' Grade
    • Below 50% 'B' Grade
  • Those who successfully complete the course will be given a ‘Course Completion Certificate’ of merit signed by Pujya Swami Swaroopananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide. The digital copy of the same will be sent to your registered email ID.

How do I purchase the Text?

We suggest either of the below editions of the text that are available for purchase online:

  1. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad published by Ramakrishna Mission. This book contains original text with word-by-word meaning, running translation, notes and introduction. This book has been translated by Swami Jagadiswarananda.

  2. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, commentary of Shankaracharya, translated by Swami Madhavananda, published by Ramakrishna Mission (this is a translation of the bhashya but does not contain the original Sanskrit bhashya).

  3. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Hindi) published by Gita-press with the complete bhashya

  4. Prasthanathraya Volume-V Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (with Shankaracharya's Commentary) by V. Panoli

        - 3 and 4 above come along with the Sanskrit bhashya.

Course Content

The course on Brihadaranyaka UpanishadMaitreyi-brahmana (with Shankara-bhashya) comprises 8 lessons covering the following portions:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction
  • Lesson 2: Introductory Bhashya to Maitreyi Brahmana
  • Lesson 3: Kandikhas 1 – 4
  • Lesson 4: Kandikhas 5

Click here for a detailed Course Content

Course Contributors

Swami Aparokshananda

Arvind Kannan

Sumedha Kulkarni

Home Study Course Scholarship Initiative

Envisioned to be a platform to impart knowledge, CIF has always made it a point to make the courses accessible to all the sincere seekers. Students, who are keen to pursue a particular course but have difficulty affording the course fee, can send an email to the homestudycourses@chinfo.org stating the same. They will be given financial assistance to enrol for the course based on the genuineness of request, keenness to study and eligibility.

One can also be a part of this noble venture by contributing to the Home Study Course Scholarship Fund. To know more, send an email to homestudycourses@chinfo.org.

For Queries

The Administrator - Home Study Courses

Chinmaya International Foundation, Adi Sankara Nilayam

Veliyanad, Ernakulam District, Pin - 682313, Kerala, India

Mob: +91 9207711140

Landline: +91 484 2749676

(Mon–Sat, 9 AM to 5 PM IST)

E-mail: svadhyaya@chinfo.org

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