Crown of Sarvajna
There were many eminent persons of astounding scholarship present at the great seminar.
There was a heavy downpour of questions on Yajnavalkya. Pat came his answer, with
confidence and competence to every question. What is it that enables one to become free
from death? What is a soul? What pervades this perceptible world and the sky? Such and a
wide variety of questions were put by the scholars one after another. The lady philosopher
Gargi also put several questions. "Mind alone is the means of obtaining salvation.
Mind is Brahman. He who is present in all beings and is within every being, whom all
creatures cannot comprehend and to whom the body is
all beings; He who dwelling withinregulates all beings, is the in-dweller, the immortal
Soul. This entire perceptible world, the sky and everything are filled with the immutable,
that is to say, the indestructible Supreme Soul. Until one realizes this one cannot escape
from the misery and suffering of birth and death. When one is aware of the imperishable,
the Soul Supreme, one is called Brahma-jnani or Brahmanishta (one established in the
Brahman) and he is liberated from the painful chains of birth and death," said
Yajnavalkya speaking from his own realisation of Vedic truths. His replies flowed into the
hearts and minds of all the listeners like sacred Jnana-Ganga (the
holy stream of supreme wisdom). The persons who----had put the questions would sit down
satisfied with the answers saying, "We bow down -to the Brahmarshi."
All the participants of the Jnanayaga praised Yajnavalkya as
Sarvajna, the Brahmanishta, and honored him. Loud cheers were heard in the assembly. Then
king Janaka stood up and sought the permission of the august body to declare Yajnavalkya
elected to the chair of Sarvajna. The assembly readily acclaimed it. Maharaja Janaka
ceremoniously offered the crown of Sarvajna to Brahmarshi Yajnavalkya and bowed to his
King Janaka used to meet Yajnavalkya now and then to listen to his divine sermons. After
some time one day he requested Yajnavalkya, "Revered Sir, would you please take me as
your disciple and accept the offering of all that is mine, my kingdom, and my
wealth?" Yajnavalkya, the embodiment of renunciation, said smilingly, "I want
none of them." All the same, he gave initiation to Janaka and made him his disciple.
Yajnavalkya led a divine life. He was loved and respected by everybody from all quarters.
He imparted Vedic knowledge to many students. He preached them some
maxims helpful in everyday life so that their mode of living conformed to the norms of
Dharma. In course of time a collection of these practical hints for religious life
became famous as "Yajnavalkya Smriti" (The Code of Yajnavalkya).