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INTRODUCTION TO YAJURVEDA

The word Yajuh means ‘to worship as well as a sacrifice’. The compiled form of all the mantras required to perform various sacrifices is Yajurveda Samhita. It deals with various incantations and the procedure of the rituals.

Conducting various sacrifices not only pleased the Devas and resulted in timely and adequate rainfall, thus

procuring food in abundance, but also led to the discovery and study of different sciences such as Jyotisha Saastra, Daiva Vidya, Brahma Vidya and Grammar. The rules enjoined in the Kalpasutraas, describing the construction of the sacrificial altar, lines, etc., are the basis of the modern geometry.


Yajurveda Murthy

According to Skaanda Purana, Sootasamhitaa and Brahmaanda Purana, there were 107 branches of Yajurveda. Muktikopanishad states 109, the Mahaabhaashya of Patanjali quotes 100 and Sounaka in his Charanavyooha refers to the existence of 86 branches. It is our great misfortune that only five branches are available to us today.

The Yajurveda is classified in two parts

  1. Krishna Yajurveda
  2. Sukla Yajurveda

Krishnayajurveda’s 12 branches are found cited in many puranas. They are Taittiriya, Maitraayani, Katha, Charaka, Aharaka, Praachyakatha, Kapishtalakatha, Oupamanyava, Vaartaantaveya, Shwetashwatara, Chaaraayaneeya and Vaaraayaneeya.

Maharshi Patanjali in his Mahaabhaaysya states that Charaka Samhita was in vogue two hundred years before Vikrama. Today, however, it is not available. Two of the Shrenees belonging to Charaka Samhita are found in written form-Oukshya and Khaandikeya. Aapastambi, Boudhaayani, Satyaashaadi, Hiranyakesi and Saatyaayani were the five sub-divisions of the sub-branch Khaandikeya. There were 6 sub-branches of the Maitraayani branch namely: Maanava, Vaaraaha, Dundubha, Chaagaleya, Haaridraveeya and Shyaamaayaneeya.

17 branches of Shukla Yajurveda are found quoted in various puranas. They are-Maadhyandina, Kanva, Gaalava, Jaabaala, Kaapaala, Oudheya, Vaidheya, Vaineya Vaireya,Vaijava, Poundravatsa, Jnaapeeya, Paaraasareeya, Taapyaayaneeya, Kaatyaayaneya, Aavatika and Paramaavatika. But only Maadhyandina or Vaajasaneya and Kanva of these 17 are found today.

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