On day 6, we invoke Devi Katyayini. The brahmavadini Maitreyi of the Vedic era, who is the wife of the sage Yajnavalkya and a profound Vedic philosopher herself, is the embodiment of the Devi Katyayni.
By Sreejit Datta, Assistant Professor, Director of Civilisational Studies Practice & Resident Mentor at Rashtram.
The brahmavadini Maitreyi of the Vedic ages, she who is the wife of the sage Yajnavalkya and a profound Vedic philosopher herself, is the embodiment of the Devi Katyayni.
The Mother Goddesses’s sixth form, Devi Katyayni resides in the Ajna Chakra or the Third eye chakra in Yoga and Tantra – one that is associated with the awakening of consciousness and subtle body energy. On the worship of the goddess, we come to attain brahmagyan or Supreme Knowledge which is the knowledge of the existence of brahman.
The Maitreyi-Yajnavalkya dialogue – a renowned discourse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is a contemplative discourse on the nature of Atman and its relationship to Brahman – the Supreme Consciousness, partaken by the brahmavadini Maitreyi and the sage and seer Yajnavalka. The keen inquiries of philosophical depth put forth by Maitreyi to Yajnavalka as recorded in this ancient text, make resplendent forays into the core of Advaita philosophy.
Maitreyi’s razor-sharp intellectual faculty and ascetic disposition are iconic of the cerebral strength of Indian women. The Maitreyi-Yajnavalka dialogue also happens to bust the myth of gender inequality in Indian traditions, as it is burning proof of women’s access to intellectual disciplines and vocations.