Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(4,919 words)

Gārgī Vācaknavī is a woman philosopher from the early upanishadic era who participated in a tournament held at the court of King Janaka of Videha. Her story is known from an account in the Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣad, which is one of very few to highlight the lives of gifted women thinkers in ancient India. These stories undermine a traditional vision of women as silent and invisible bystanders to male dominance o…

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Findly, Ellison B., “Gārgī”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 23 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2018

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