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164
[VEDIC PERIOD
SANSKRIT


no longer required but had been so used at one time or other. The verses of the Pūrvārchika are arranged on much the same plan as the family-books of the Ṛik-saṃhitā, viz. in three sections containing the verses addressed to Agni, Indra and Soma (pavamāna) respectively—each section (consisting of one, three, and one adhyāyas respectively) being again arranged according to the metres. Hence this part is also called Chhandas- (metre) ārchika. Over and above this natural arrangement of the two ārchikas, there is a purely formal division of the texts into six and nine prapāṭhakas respectively, each of which, in the first part, consists of ten decades (daśat) of verses. We have two recensions of the Saṃhitā, belonging to the Rāṇāyanīya and Kauthuma schools, the latter of which is but imperfectly known, but seems to have differed but slightly from the other. Besides the six prapāṭhakas (or five adhyāyas) of the Pūrvārchika, some schools have an additional “forest” chapter, called the Āraṇyaka-saṃhitā, the tunes of which—along with others apparently intended for being chanted by anchorites—are partly contained in the Araṇya-gāna. Besides the two tune-books belonging to the Pūrvārchika, there are two others, the Ūha-gāna (“modification-songs”) and Uhya-gāna, which follow the order of the Uttarārchika, giving the several sāman-hymns chanted at the Soma sacrifice, with the modifications the tunes undergo when applied to texts other than those for which they were originally composed. The Sāman hymnal, as it has come down to us, has evidently passed through a long course of development. The practice of chanting probably goes back to very early times; but the question whether any of the tunes, as given in the Gānas, and which of them, can lay claim to an exceptionally high antiquity will perhaps never receive a satisfactory answer.

The title of Brāhmaṇa is bestowed by the Chhandogas, or followers of the Sāmaveda, on a considerable number of treatises. In accordance Sāmaveda-brāhmaṇas. with the statements of some later writers, their number was usually fixed at eight; but within the last few years one new Brāhmaṇa has been recovered, while at least two others which are found quoted may yet be brought to light in India. The majority of the Sāmaveda-brāhmaṇas present, however, none of the characteristic features of other works of that class; but they are rather of the nature of sūtras and kindred treatises, with which they probably belong to the same period of literature. Moreover, the contents of these works—as might indeed be expected from the nature of the duties of the priests for whom they were intended—are of an extremely arid and technical character, though they all are doubtless of some importance, either for the textual criticism of the Saṃhitā or on account of the legendary and other information they supply. These works are as follows: (1) the Tāṇḍya-mahā- (or Prauḍha-) brāhmaṇa,[1] or “great” Brāhmaṇa—usually called Panchaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa from its “consisting of twenty-five” adhyāyas—which treats of the duties of the udgātars generally, and especially of the various kinds of chants; (2) the Shaḍviṃśa,[2] or “twenty-sixth,” being a supplement to the preceding work—its last chapter, which also bears the title of Adbhuta-brāhmaṇa,[3] or “book of marvels,” is rather interesting, as it treats of all manner of portents and evil influences, which it teaches how to avert by certain rites and charms; (3) the Sāmavidhāna,[4] analogous to the Ṛigvidhāna, descanting on the magic effects of the various sāmans; (4) the Ārsheya-brāhmaṇa, a mere catalogue of the technical names of the sāmans in the order of the Pūrvārchika, known in two different recensions; (5) the Devatādhyāya, which treats of the deities of the sāmans; (6) the Chhāndogya-brāhmaṇa, the last eight adhyāyas (3-10) of which constitute the important Chhāndogyopanishad;[5] (7) the Saṃhitopanishad-brāhmaṇa, treating of various subjects connected with chants; (8) the Vaṃśa-brāhmaṇa, a mere list of the Sāmaveda teachers. To these works has to be added the Jaiminīya- or Talavakāra-brāhmaṇa, which, though as yet only known by extracts,[6] seems to stand much on a level with the Brāhmaṇas of the Ṛik and Yajurveda. A portion of it is the well-known Kena- (or Talavakāra-) upanishad,[7] on the nature of Brahma, as the supreme of deities.

If the Sāmaveda has thus its ample share of Brāhmaṇa-literature, though in part of a somewhat questionable character, it is not less Sāmaveda-sūtras. richly supplied with sūtra-treatises, some of which probably belong to the oldest works of that class. There are three Śrauta-sūtras, which attach themselves more or less closely to the Panchaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa: Maśaka's Ārsheya-kalpa, which gives the beginnings of the sāmans in their sacrificial order, thus supplementing the Ārsheya-brāhmaṇa, which enumerates their technical names; and the Śrauta-sūtras of Lāṭyāyana[8] and Drāhyāyaṇa, of the Kauthuma and Rāṇāyanīya schools respectively, which differ but little from each other, and form complete manuals of the duties of the udgātars. Another sūtra, of an exegetic character, the Anupada-sūtra, likewise follows the Panchaviṃśa, the difficult passages of which it explains. Besides these, there are a considerable number of sūtras and kindred technical treatises bearing on the prosody and phonetics of the sāma-texts. The more important of them are—the Ṛiktantra,[9] apparently intended to serve as a Prātiśākhya of the Sāmaveda; the Nidāna-sūtra,[10] a treatise on prosody; the Pushpa- or Phulla-sūtra, ascribed either to Gobhila or to Vararuchi, and treating of the phonetic modifications of the rich in the sāmans; and the Sāmatantra, a treatise on chants of a very technical nature. Further, two Gṛihya-sūtras, belonging to the Sāmaveda, are hitherto known, viz. the Drāhyāyaṇa-gṛihya, ascribed to Khrādira, and that of Gobhila[11] (who is also said to have composed a śrauta-sūtra), with a supplement, entitled Karmapradīpa, by Kātyāyana. To the Sāmaveda seems further to belong the Gautama-dharmaśāstra,[12] composed in sūtras, and apparently the oldest existing compendium of Hindu law.

C. Yajur-veda.—This, the sacrificial Veda of the Adhvaryu priests, divides itself into an older and a younger branch, or, as they are Saṃhitās of Black Yajurveda. usually called, the Black (kṛishṇa) and the White (śukla) Yajurveda. Tradition ascribes the foundation of the Yajurveda to the sage Vaiśampāyana. Of his disciples three are specially named, viz. Kaṭha, Kalāpin and Yāska Paingi, the last of whom again is stated to have communicated the sacrificial science to Tittiri. How far this genealogy of teachers may be authentic cannot now be determined; but certain it is that in accordance therewith we have three old collections of Yajus-texts, viz. the Kāṭhaka,[13] the Kālāpaka or Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā,[14] and the Taittirīya-saṃhitā.[15] The Kāṭhaka and Kālāpaka are frequently mentioned together; and the author of the “great commentary” on Pāṇini once remarks that these works were taught in every village. The Kaṭhas and Kālāpas are often referred to under the collective name of Charakas, which apparently means “wayfarers” or itinerant scholars; but according to a later writer (Hemachandra) Charaka is no other than Vaiśampāyana himself, after whom his followers would have been thus called. From the Kaṭhas proper two or three schools seem early to have branched off, the Prāchya- (eastern) Kaṭhas and the Kapishṭhala-Kaṭhas, the text-recension of the latter of whom has recently been discovered in the Kapishṭhala-kaṭha-saṃhitā, and probably also the Chārāyaṇīya-Kaṭhas. The Kālāpas also soon became subdivided into numerous different schools. Thus from one of Kalāpin's immediate disciples, Haridru, the Hāridravīyas took their origin, whose text-recension, the Hāridravika, is quoted together with the Kāṭhaka as early as in Yāska's Nirukta; but we do not know whether it differed much from the original Kālāpa texts. As regards the Taittirīya-saṃhitā, that collection, too, in course of time gave rise to a number of different schools, the text handed down being that of the Āpastambas; while the contents of another recension, that of the Ātreyas, are known from their Anukramaṇi, which has been preserved.

The four collections of old Yajus texts, so far known to us, while differing more or less considerably in arrangement and verbal points, have the main mass of their textual matter in common. This common matter consists of both sacrificial prayers (yajus) in verse and prose, and exegetic or illustrative prose portions (brāhmaṇa). A prominent feature of the old Yajus texts, as compared with the other Vedas, is the constant intermixture of textual and exegetic portions. The Charakas and Taittirīyas thus do not recognize the distinction between Saṃhitā and Brāhmaṇa in the sense of two separate collections of texts, but they have only a Saṃhitā, or collection, which includes likewise the exegetic or Brāhmaṇa portions. The Taittirīyas seem at last to have been impressed with their want of a separate Brāhmaṇa and to have set about supplying the deficiency in rather an awkward fashion: instead of separating from each other the textual and exegetic portions of their Saṃhitā, they merely added to the latter a supplement (in three books), which shows the same mixed condition, and applied to it the title of Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa.[16] But, though the main body of


  1. Edited, with Sāyaṇa's commentary by Ānandachandra Vedāntavāgīśa, in the Bibl. Ind. (1869-1874).
  2. Ed. J. Vidyāsāgara (1881); also, with German translation, K. Klemm (1894).
  3. A. Weber, “Omina et Portenta,” Abhandlungen of Berlin Royal Academy of Sciences (1858).
  4. The works enumerated under (3), (4), (5), (7), (8) have been edited by A. Burnell; (8) also previously by A. Weber, Ind. St. vol. iv.; whilst 7 was translated by Sten Konow (Halle, 1893).
  5. Edited and translated by Dr Röer, Bibl. Ind.; also translated by M. Müller, S.B.E. vol. i., text, with German translation, by O. v. Böhtlingk (1889).
  6. Given by Burnell (1878), and (with translation) by H. Oertel, J. Am. Or. S. vol. xvi. See also Whitney's account of the work, Proceedings of Am. Or. Soc. (May 1883).
  7. Transl. by F. M. Müller. S.B.E. vol. i.
  8. Ārsheyakalpa, ed. W. Caland (1908); Lāṭyāyana-sūtra, with Agnisvamin's commentary and the vv. ll. of the Drāhyāyaṇa-sūtra, by Ānandachandra Vedāntavāgīśa, Bibl. Ind. (1872).
  9. Ed. and trans., A. Burnell (Mangalore, 1879).
  10. Two chapters published by A. Weber, Ind. St. vol. viii.
  11. Edited, with a commentary, by Chandrakānta Tarkālankāra, Bibl. Ind. (1880); also ed. and trans. by F. Knauer (1884-1887); Eng. trans. by H. Oldenberg, S.B.E. vol. xxx.
  12. Edited by A. Stenzler; translated by G. Bühler, S.B.E. vol. ii.
  13. Books I., II., ed. by L. v. Schröder (Leipzig, 1900, 1909).
  14. Ed. by L. v. Schröder (Leipzig, 1881-1886).
  15. With Sāyaṇa's commentary, by E. Röer, E. B. Cowell, &c., in Bibl. Ind.; also, in Roman character, by A. Weber, Ind. Stud. xi., xii.
  16. Edited, with Sāyaṇa's commentary, by Rājendralāla Mitra, Bibl. Ind.; N. Godabole, Ānand. Ser. (1898).