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Madhu Vidya In Hinduism – A Path Of God Realization In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Madhu Vidya is one of the paths of Brahman or God realization in Hinduism and is found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. It is mentioned in the Madhu Brahmana in the second chapter of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Madhu, literally, means honey. Here is refers to a product or output, which is the result of the cooperative effort of a number of entities (for example, honey produced by a number of bees working together).

The central principles highlighted in the vidya are:
  • Things that have a mutually supporting relationship share a common origin or cause;
  • Since all things in the universe are engaged in mutually supportive behavior, they must be rooted in one common cause, namely, Brahman.

What Is Vidya As Per Upanishads?

There are several vidyas described in Upanishads.

Some of the important vidyas are vaishvanara vidya, bhuma vidya, panchagni vidya, dhara vidya and prana vidya.

Broadly vidyas in Upanishads can be described as different paths to or models of self-Brahman, involving different upasanas (meditative practices) and knowledge formulations, which guide the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) and elevate him to new levels of consciousness.

What is Madhu Vidhya?

In Madhu Vidhya, initially, the earth is described as the madhu of all beings, because the earth is the result of various actions rendered by the beings, which inhabit it. Likewise, beings, too, are latter supports the beings in the form of a substratum being mutually supportive, share the same cause of origination as well as destruction.

Similarly, other elements such as water, fire, air and space as also the sun, moon, etc.’ are described as madhu in relation to the beings.

Thus, the entire physical universe, on one hand, and all beings, on the other, have a mutually supportive interaction, sharing a common origin called Brahman (God In Sanatana Dharma).

Story of Madhu Vishya Reaching Humans - Rishi Dadhyan and Ashwini Devatas

This sacred vidya was learnt by Ashwini Devatas from Rishi Dadhyan. The story is narrated in the Satapatha Brahmana, and the actual vidya is described in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

As per the story, Indra, the king of Devas (demigods), commands Dadhyan not to reveal this vidya to anyone or else he would be beheaded.

Then the rishi conveys this to the Ashwins, desirous of learning the vidya. T

hey suggest an ingenious way out of this.

With the consent of the Dadhyan Rishi, they first replace his human head with that of a horse. He communicates the vidya or knowledge through the horse head, which Indra cuts off.

Later Ashwini Devatas restore Dadhyans original head to him.