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While reading about great Rushi Shree Yajnavalkya , I have came across a story about him Read here

This is the short story -

Once King Janaka of Videha wanted to know from which real Brahmanishtha (one who is well-versed in the scriptures and established in Brahma Jnana. to receive Brahma Vidya.) In order to find out who was the real Brahma-nishtha, Janaka performed a huge Bahu-dakshina sacrifice to which all the Rishis from far and wide were invited. And he offered one thousand cows with their calves, all their horns being decked with enormous gold. Then he proclaimed to the assembled ones, "Whosoever is the best Brahmana amongst you may drive these cows home". None dared to get up and take away the cows as they were afraid of censure by the others. But Yajnavalkya stood up and asked his disciple Samasravas to drive the cows home.

The other Brahmanas got angry at this and said to one another, "How can he declare himself to be the best among us?". Thereupon several Rishis challenged Yajnavalkya with many questions on transcendental matters to all of which Yajnavalkya gave prompt reply. There was a great debate in which Yajnavalkya won over all the others. Janaka was convinced that Yajnavalkya was the best Brahma-nishtha and received Brahma Vidya from him thereafter.

Many Rushies asked so many questions to him about various subjects during this question answer session including "Asvala" -King Jankas priest , Rishi "Artabhaga" of the family of Jaratkaru , Rishi "Bhujyu" of the Lahya family ,Ushasti Chakrayana , Kahola Kaushitakeya. And Gargi,(a female rushi) the daughter of Vachaknu. Read here

Similarly, he also debated with another of his teachers, Uddalaka, thus overcoming him during this. Read Here

My question is -

What is the debate that was took place between Shree Yajnavalkya and his Guru (Teacher) Shree Uddalaka during the King Janakas sacrifice.?

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The debate of Yajnavalkya with Gargi and his teacher Uddalaka is in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Here is with Gargi:

iii-vi-1: Then Gargi, the daughter of Vacaknu, asked him, ‘Yajnavalkya’, she said, ‘if all this is pervaded by water, by what is water pervaded ?’ ‘By air, O Gargi’. ‘By what is air pervaded?’ ‘By the sky, O Gargi’. ‘By what is the sky pervaded ?’ ‘By the world of the Gandharvas, O Gargi’. ‘By what is the world of the Gandharvas pervaded ?’ ‘By the sun, O Gargi.’ ‘By what is the sun pervaded ?’ ‘By the moon, O Gargi.’ ‘By what is the moon pervaded ?’ ‘By the stars, O Gargi’. ‘By what are the stars pervaded ?’ ‘By the world of the gods, O Gargi’. ‘By what is the world of the gods pervaded ?’ ‘By the world of Indra, O Gargi’. By what is the world of Indra pervaded?’ ‘By the world of Viraj, O Gargi’. ‘By what is the world of Viraj pervaded?’ ‘ By the world of Hiranyagarbha, O Gargi’. ‘By what is the world of Hiranyagarbha pervaded ?’ He said, ‘Do not, O Gargi, push your inquiry too far, lest your head should fall off. You are questioning about a deity that should not be reasoned about. Do not, O Gargi, push your inquiry too far.’ Thereupon Gargi, the daughter of Vacaknu, kept silent.

Then after this debate with Uddalaka starts as:

III-vii-1: Then Uddalaka, the son of Aruna, asked him. ‘Yajnavalkya’, said, ‘in Madra we lived in the house of Patanchala Kapya (descendant of Kapi), studying the scriptures on sacrifices. His wife was possessed by a Gandharva. We asked him who he was. He said, "Kabandha, the son of Atharvan". He said to Patanchala Kapya and those who studied the scriptures on sacrifices, "Kapya, do you know that Sutra by which this life, the next life and all beings are held together ?" Patanchala Kapya said, "I do not know it, sir". The Gandharva said to him and the students, "Kapya, do you know that Internal Ruler who controls this and the next life and all beings from within ?" Patanchala Kapya said, "I do not know Him, sir". The Gandharva said to him and the students, "He who knows that Sutra and that Internal Ruler as above indeed knows Brahman, knows the worlds, knows the gods, knows the Vedas, knows beings, knows the self, and knows everything". He explained it all to them. I know it. If you, Yajnavalkya, do not know that Sutra and that Internal Ruler, and still take away the cows that belong only to the knowers of Brahman, your head shall fall off’. ‘I know, O Gautama, that Sutra and that Internal Ruler’. ‘Any one can say, "I know, I know". Tell us what you know.’

III-vii-2: He said, ‘Vayu, O Gautama, is that Sutra. Through this Sutra or Vayu this and the next life and all beings are held together. Therefore, O Gautama, when a man dies, they say that his limbs have been loosened, for they are held together, O Gautama, by the Sutra or Vayu.’ ‘Quite so, Yajnavalkya. Now describe the Internal Ruler.’

III-vii-3: He who inhabits the earth, but is within it, whom the earth does not know, whose body is the earth, and who controls the earth from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-4: He who inhabits water, but is within it, whom water does not know, whose body is water, and who controls water from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-5: He who inhabits fire, but is within it, whom fire does not know, whose body is fire, and who controls fire from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-6: He who inhabits the sky, but is within it, whom the sky does not know, whose body is the sky, and who controls the sky from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-7: He who inhabits air, but is within it, whom air does not know, whose body is air, and who controls air from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-8: He who inhabits heaven, but is within it, whom heaven does not know, whose body is heaven, and who controls heaven from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-9: He who inhabits the sun, but is within it, whom the sun does not know, whose body is the sun, and who controls the sun from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-10: He who inhabits the quarters, but is within it, whom the quarters does not know, whose body is the quarters, and who controls the quarters from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-11: He who inhabits the moon and stars, but is within it, whom the moon and stars does not know, whose body is the moon and stars, and who controls the moon and stars from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-12: He who inhabits the ether, but is within it, whom the ether does not know, whose body is the ether, and who controls the ether from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-13: He who inhabits darkness, but is within it, whom darkness does not know, whose body is darkness, and who controls darkness from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. III-vii-14: He who inhabits light, but is within it, whom light does not know, whose body is light, and who controls light from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. This much with reference to the gods. Now with reference to the beings.

III-vii-15: He who inhabits all beings, but is within it, whom no being knows, whose body is all beings, and who controls all beings from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. This much with reference to the beings. Now with reference to the body.

III-vii-16: He who inhabits the nose, but is within it, whom the nose does not know, whose body is the nose, and who controls the nose from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-17: He who inhabits the organ of speech, but is within it, whom the organ of speech does not know, whose body is the organ of speech, and who controls the organ of speech from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-18: He who inhabits the eye, but is within it, whom the eye does not know, whose body is the eye, and who controls the eye from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-19: He who inhabits the ear, but is within it, whom the ear does not know, whose body is the ear, and who controls the ear from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-20: He who inhabits the mind (Manas), but is within it, whom the mind does not know, whose body is the mind, and who controls the mind from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-21: He who inhabits the skin, but is within it, whom the skin does not know, whose body is the skin, and who controls the skin from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-22: He who inhabits the intellect, but is within it, whom the intellect does not know, whose body is the intellect, and who controls the intellect from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self.

III-vii-23: He who inhabits the organ of generation, but is within it, whom the organ of generation does not know, whose body is the organ of generation, and who controls the organ of generation from within, is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. He is never seen, but is the Witness; He is never heard, but is the Hearer; He is never thought, but is the Thinker; He is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other witness but Him, no other hearer but Him, no other thinker but Him, no other knower but Him. He is the Internal Ruler, your own immortal self. Everything else but Him is mortal.’ Thereupon Uddalaka, the son of Aruna, kept silent.

Brief about the topics on which the debate took place -

After brief Question Answer session between Gargi and Shree Yajnavalkya Rushi , Shree Uddalaka Aruni , Yajnavalkya's own teacher came forward to question him. Uddalaka Aruni begins by asking Yajnavalkya about the Inner controller (Anteryamin ,अंतरयामी ).He made it quite clear to Yajnavalkya that he knows the answer to his question.Thereupon Yajnavalkya gives a grand speech about Atman as the inner controller , and Uddalka Aruni eventually is silent.

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    How are we to interpret Yajnavalkya's answers to Gargi? They do not make sense. – Surya Aug 13 '16 at 5:09
  • @Surya haha... I do not have so much idea regarding this... I think we should look Adi Shankara Bhasya to understand this... – Tejaswee Aug 13 '16 at 14:45

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