Manas. Studies into Asia and Africa.

Electronic Journal of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

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Manas 2 (2015), 2.

Published on 12.12.2015

ISSN: 2367-6256

Bratoeva, Milena. The Linguistic Model of the Universe in Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad. – In: Manas: Senses and Sensitivity, Vol. 2, 2, 2015.

2015 / Volume 2 / Issue number 2 : Senses and Sensitivity

The Linguistic Model of the Universe in Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad

Milena Bratoeva


Introducing the teaching of “Māṇḍukya upaniṣad” concerning the code sound OM/AUM, understood as a primordial, metaphysical foundation and model of the Universe and of the individual consciousness, the present article is aimed at interpreting it, the one hand, as a crossroads of ideas about sound, speech and language, evolved over a period of many centuries in Vedic culture and encoded in the texts of Vedic canon preceding the Upanishads, and on the other – as a starting point of remarkable philosophy of language, whose most significant achievements are associated with the linguistic theories of Bhartrihari (V?) and Abhinavagupta (X -XI c.). The proposed analysis is focused on the definition of Ātmán as catuṣpāt (“fourfold”, "consisting of four parts"), which is crucial for understanding the relation of Ātmán with the syllable OM. It functions, according to my view, as a kind of intertext through which we could trace the different associative chains of “Māṇḍukya’s ideas with insights into the nature of the speech and language encoded in some emblematic hymns of the Rigveda, especially with the rigvedic concept of the fourfold Speech (catvāri vāk).

The main text of the article is in Bulgarian