What are Mahavakyas?


The Mahavakyas are "Grand Pronouncements" or "Great Sayings" usually taken from Upanishads. They have profound significance in Hinduism.

The four Mahavakyas (महावाक्यानि) are as follows:

1. Prajñānaṃ Brahma (प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म)

  • From Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda.
  • Also called लक्षणा वाक्य. It is about (pure) consciousness of Brahman

2. Tat Tvam Asi (तत्त्वमसि)

  • From Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda
  • Also called उपदेश वाक्य. It is about to preach that "You are that (Brahman)".

3. Ahaṃ Brahmāsmi (अहं ब्रह्मास्मि)

  • From Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda
  • Also called अनुभव वाक्य. It is about to realize that I am Brahman.

4. Ayaṃ Ātmā Brahma (अयं आत्माब्रह्म)

  • From Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda
  • Also called अनुसंधान वाक्य. It is about to research or make understand that The self (Atman) is Brahman.

Though there are also other Mahavakyas besides these but these four are considered most important.

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