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Just as only one branch of Rigveda from among its 21 is available, five branches or sub-branches of Yajurveda are available today. Of these five, three - Taittireeya, Maitraayinee and Kata belong to the Krishna Yajurveda; two - Vaajasaneyee and Kanva samhitaa belong to Shukla Yajurveda.

The Krishna Yajurveda Samhitaa contains both prose and poetry. In the available three samhitaas the mantra and braahmana parts are found combined together. The Taittireeya samhitaa is classified into seven cantoes (Kaanda), 44 Prapaatakaas or chapters, 651 anuvaakas and 2198 kaandikas (mantras). Generally, each kaandika contains about 50 words. The commentaries written on this by Saayanaachaarya, Balakrishna Deekshita and Bhatta Bhaskara are available.

Yajurveda Murthy

No elucidatory work on Krishna Yajurveda like the Kaatyaayaneeya "Sarvaanukramane" of Rigveda is found; and therefore, it is difficult to form a clear picture of the rishies etc. There are certainly a few references to the Kaanda rishies being worshipped. Perhaps, the names of 6 Kaandas are named after them. They are as follows: Praajaapatya, Soumya, Aagneya, Vaishvadeva, Svaayambhuva and Aaruna. A majority of devas of the Taittireeya are the Rigvedic devas.

Rudra is its principal deity. A complete chapter "Rudraadhyaaya" is devoted to Rudra. Shaakalya and Gaalava are the authors of the Kramapaata and Padapaata respectively. The 7th canto of this samhitaa contains the account of Maharshi Vasishta and Sudaasa, the solar dynasty monarch.

Tailanga and Draavida brahmanas call this Taittireeya Samhitaa as Aapastamba branch. There is remarkable similarity between the mantras of Rigveda and Taittireeya samhitaa. The Maitraayinee samhitaa of the Krishna Yajurveda contains 4 cantoes, 54 prapaatakas and 634 mantras.

The Charanavyooha claims this as the chief branch. It is also known as Kalaapashaakha. 6 classes of Maitraayinee branch are cited in the Charanavyooha. One was Maanava shaakha, the source of maanava dharma sutras that formed the basis for Manusmriti. The Kataka Samhitaa - Katashaakha is classified in 18 prapaatakas on the basic of the various sacrificial rituals.

The prapaatakas are named Sthaanaka in this samhitaa. There is not much difference between Maitraayinee and Kata branches. The Kataka branch brahmanas are found in Kashmir and those of Maitraayinee are found in Gujarat and the south.

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