Brahman Granths are offshoots of Vedas. Each Ved had several Brahman granths but only a few are now available. With the passage of time most of them have disappeared. Two Brahmans of Rigved viz., Shankhayan and Etreya are available. Shankhayan is also known as Koupeetki.
Similarly, there are three Brahman granths of Yajurved also, i.e. Shatpath, Kanva and Tettareeya; eleven Brahman of Samved viz., Aarsheya, Jaiminiarsheya, Sanhitopnishad, Mantra, Vansh, Samvidhan, Shadvinsha, Devat, Tandya, Jaiminiya, Jaiminiya Upnishad Brahman; and only one of Atharva-Ved which is known as Gopath-Brahman.
Paras 31 to38 of Gopath-Brahman are known as Gayatri Upnishad in which the important secret of Gayatri has been explained in the episode of discussion between Maitreya and Moudgalya. According to its literal meaning Gayatri is a prayer for illumination and uplifting of the intellect. But, in this Upnishad several secrets relating to Brahma-vidya (divine knowledge
) and Padarth vidya (material knowledge)
have been revealed.
Gayatri Upnishad starts with a narration in which Maitreya, who was a great scholar and delivered discourses on the three Vedas, had ridiculed Moudgalya by saying that he did not teach anything substantial to his disciples. When Moudgalya came to know about this through one of his disciples he enquired from Maitreya what he knew about the secret of Gayatri. Maitreya could not give any reply.
Maitreya had very well understood the intention of Moudgalya. When he pondered over the matter deeply he realised that he had not understood that secret of Gayatri by which the Mantra has assumed its pre-eminence. Unless the fundamental basis was known it was no use knowing exterior symbols. He realised that it was no use delivering discourses on Vedas so long as their origin was not known. He, therefore, resolved that he would first understand the secret behind Gayatri and only then do any other work. He sent away his students and approached Moudgalya with humility and devotion befitting a true seeker and student who approached a master for initiation into sacred knowledge. Contrary to this, in modern times the students are most impertinent and disrespectful and all their education goes waste for want of proper discipline and blessings of the teachers.
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