Talk:Pravāhana Jaivali

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By Swami Harshananda

Pravāhana Jaivali

Pravāhana, the son of Jaivala—hence called Pravāhana Jaivali—was the king of Pāñcāla. He was once holding a big

meeting of scholars. Śvetaketu, the son of Gautama Aruṇi, arrived there with a view to taking part in the philosophical disputations and earn some wealth and fame. However, he was unable to answer even one of the five questions put to him by the king. Feeling disgraced, he returned home and took his father to task for not having taught this science that could have helped him to answer these questions. Since Gautama too did not know it, he went in all humility to the king Pravāhaṇa Jaivali and learnt it from him.

This story appears in both the Chāndogya (5.3) and the Brhadāranyaka (6.2) Upaniṣads.

In the first chapter of the Chāndogya Upanisad (1.8.1-8) also there appears one Pravāhaṇa Jaivali, one of the three who had assembled to discuss about the udgītha (a part of sāman or Sāmaveda mantra). He proves his superiority over the others.

In the Jaiminīya Upanisad Brāhmana (1.38.4) also there is the mention of one Jaivali. He too could be the same person.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore