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The Pradhana Satakam is a work by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Vedanta Desikan describing 100 important things. In verse 7 of the Pradhana Satakam, Vedanta Desikan says that the Pranava is the most important word in the Ashtakshari Mantra, an important Mantra for Sri Vaishnavas:

immantrattin pataṅkaḷ mūṉṟil 'girāmasmi ekam akṣaram', 'praṇavō hyakṣaram param' eṉkiṟa mūlamākiya oṟṟai eḻuttu pradhanam

Among the three words of the Ashtakshari Mantra, the single-lettered Pranava, which is described by the statements “among words I am the the one-lettered word” and “the Pranava is the highest letter”, and which is the root of all things, is the most important.

I’m interested in the scriptural quotes provided. The first one is from Bhagavad Gita verse 10.25:

maharṣīṇāṁ bhṛgur ahaṁ girāmasmi ekam akṣaram| yajñānāṁ japa-yajño’smi sthāvarāṇāṁ himālayaḥ ||

But my question is, what scripture is the second verse quoted, “praṇavō hyakṣaram param”, from? A Google search doesn’t turn up anything.

Do any commentaries on the Pradhana Satakam shed light on this? Note that I want this specific verse, not other verses that talk about the greatness of the Pranava.

  • @UdayKrishna That’s not the verse I’m looking for. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 17 at 15:24
  • are you missing a leading 'h' in the second word of the quote? I suspect it is 'praṇavō hyakṣaram param' – hashable Apr 18 at 7:20
  • i.vgy.me/JPST9B.png – Shashwat Apr 29 at 9:32
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I couldn't find the exact phrase you cited but in the Kathopanishad 1.2.16 Yama says to Nachiketa "etaddhyevākṣaraṃ param" (etad hi eva akṣaraṃ param). "etad" means "this" referring to the Pranava. This is likely the source for Desika's quote as it is virtually identical (just replace etad with praNavaH).

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    There are dozens of such lines in different scriptures.But I found none to be identical with what exactly is mentioned in the question. – user17294 Apr 18 at 8:09
  • @commonman i.vgy.me/JPST9B.png This verse is from Shiva Gita chapter 6. Are there any quotes saying Om is the highest letter? Because that would mean the same thing. – Shashwat Apr 29 at 9:35
  • @ShashwatAsthana In Bhagavad-Gita also, Sri Krishna says the same thing.But the OP here wants the sloka containing the exact words he mentions. – user17294 Apr 29 at 10:25

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