Posted by on Jan 17, 2014

Aruni was a famous Rishi of the Panchala. He was the great grandson of Rishi Upabeshi and the son of Rishi Aruna. He was a disciple of Rishi Ayodha Dhaumya and the teacher (guru) of Maharshi Yagnabalkya. His sons, Svetaketu and  Nachiketa, are famous in the Upanishads. Aruni’s philosophic views can be found in the Sixth Chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad. He established the theory of Atmadvaita while explaining the famous Upanishadic phrase ‘Tat Tvam Asi’.


Aruni is also well-known for the respect and regard he had for his teacher. While constructing a dyke made of cane around an agricultural land on his teacher’s instructions, Aruni failed to restrict the flow of water. Then, he placed his own body to create a barrier at the mouth of the dyke and thus restrained water from overflowing. Obeying his teacher’s call, when he finally came up breaking the dyke, he found his teacher very pleased with the dedication and devotion of his disciple and Aruni was thus rechristened as Uddalaka by his guru. With his teacher’s blessings he achieved scholarship of all the Vedas and religious texts.

[Translated from Bharat Kosh, Bangiya Sahitya Parishad]

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