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Satapatha Brahmana – Introduzione

Satapatha Brahmana


THE translator of the Satapatha-brâhmana can be under no illusion as to the reception his production is likely to meet with at the hand of the general reader. In the whole range of literature few works are probably less calculated to excite the interest of any outside the very limited number of specialists, than the ancient theological writings of the Hindus, known by the name of Brâhmanas. For wearisome prolixity of exposition, characterised by dogmatic assertion and a flimsy symbolism rather than by serious reasoning, these works are perhaps not equalled anywhere; unless, indeed, it be by the speculative vapourings of the Gnostics, than which, in the opinion of the learned translators of Irenæus, ‘nothing more absurd has probably ever been imagined by rational beings[1].’ If I have, nevertheless, undertaken, at the request of the Editor of the present Series, what would seem to be a rather thankless task, the reason will be readily understood by those who have taken even the most cursory view of the history of the Hindu mind and institutions.
The Brâhmanas, it is well known, form our chief, if not our only, source of information regarding one of the most important periods in the social and mental development of India. They represent the intellectual activity of a sacerdotal caste which, by turning to account the religious instincts of a gifted and naturally devout race, had succeeded in transforming a primitive worship of the powers of nature into a highly artificial system of sacrificial ceremonies, and was ever intent on deepening and extending its hold on the minds of the people, by surrounding its own vocation with the halo of sanctity and divine inspiration. A complicated ceremonial, requiring for its proper observance and consequent efficacy the ministrations of a highly trained priestly class, has ever been one of the most effective means of promoting hierarchical aspirations. Even practical Rome did not entirely succeed in steering clear of the rock of priestly ascendancy attained by such-like means. There, as elsewhere, ‘the neglect or faulty performance of the worship of each god revenged itself in the corresponding occurrence; and as it was a laborious and difficult task to gain even a knowledge of one’s religious obligations, the priests who were skilled in the law of divine things and pointed out its requirements–the pontifices–could not fail to attain an extraordinary influence[2].’ The catalogue of the duties and privileges of the priest of Jupiter might well find a place in the Talmud. ‘The rule that no religious service can be acceptable to the gods, unless it be performed without a flaw was pushed to such an extent, that a single sacrifice had to be repeated thirty times in succession on account of mistakes again and again committed; and the games, which formed part of the divine service, were regarded as undone, if the presiding magistrate had committed any slip in word or deed, or if the music even had paused at a wrong time, and so had to be begun afresh, frequently for several, even as many as seven, times in succession[3].’ Great, however, as was the influence acquired by the priestly colleges of Rome, ‘it was never forgotten least of all in the case of those who held the highest position that their duty was not to command, but to tender skilled advice[4].’ The Roman statesmen submitted to these transparent tricks rather from considerations of political expediency than from religious scruples; and the Greek Polybius might well say that the strange and ponderous ceremonial of Roman religion was invented solely on account of the multitude which, as reason had no power over it, required to be ruled by signs and wonders[5].’
The devout belief in the efficacy of invocation and sacrificial offering which pervades most of the hymns of the Rig-veda, and which may be assumed to reflect pretty faithfully the religious sentiments of those amongst whom they were composed, could not but ensure to the priest, endowed with the gift of sacred utterance, a considerable amount of respect and reverence on the part of the people. His superior culture and habitual communion with the divine rulers of the destinies of man would naturally entitle him to a place of honour by the side of the chiefs of clans, or the rulers of kingdoms, who would not fail to avail themselves of his spiritual services, in order to secure the favour of the gods for their warlike expeditions or political undertakings. Nor did the Vedic bard fail to urge his claims on the consideration and generosity of those in the enjoyment of power and wealth. He often dwells on the supernatural virtues of his compositions and their mysterious efficacy in drawing down divine blessings on the pious worshipper. In urging the necessity of frequent and liberal offerings to the gods, and invoking worldly blessings on the offerer, the priestly bard may often be detected pleading his own cause along with that of his employer, as Kanva does when he sings (Rig-veda VIII, 2, 13), ‘Let him be rich, let him be foremost, the bard of the rich, of so illustrious a Maghavan[6] as thou, O lord of the bay steeds!’ Though the Dânastutis, or verses extolling, often in highly exaggerated terms, the munificence of princely patrons, and generally occurring at the end of hymns, are doubtless, as a rule, later additions, they at least show that the sacerdotal office must have been, or must gradually have become during this period, a very lucrative one.
Although there is no reason to suppose that the sacrificial ceremonial was in early times so fully developed as some scholars would have us believe, the religious service would seem to have been already of a sufficiently advanced nature to require some kind of training for the priestly office. In course of time, while the collection of hymns were faithfully handed down as precious heirlooms in the several families, and were gradually enriched by the poetical genius of succeeding generations, the ceremonial became more and more complicated, so as at last to necessitate the distribution of the sacerdotal functions among several distinct classes of priests. Such a distribution of sacrificial duties must have taken place before the close of the period of the hymns, and there can be little doubt that at that time the position of the priesthood in the community was that of a regular profession, and even, to some extent, a hereditary one[7]. A post of peculiar importance, which seems to go back to a very early time, was that of the Purohita (literally ‘praepositus’), or family priest to chiefs and kings. From the comparatively modest position of a private chaplain, who had to attend to the sacrificial obligations of his master, he appears to have gradually raised himself to the dignity of, so to say, a minister of public worship and confidential adviser of the king. It is obvious that such a post was singularly favourable to the designs of a crafty and ambitious priest and must have offered him exceptional opportunities for promoting the hierarchical aspirations of the priesthood[8].
In the Rig-veda there is, with the single exception of the Purusha-sûkta, no clear indication of the existence of caste in the proper, Brâhmanical sense of the word. That institution, we may assume, was only introduced after the Brahmans had finally established their claims to the highest rank in the body politic; when they sought to perpetuate their social ascendancy by strictly defining the privileges and duties of the several classes, and assigning to them their respective places in the gradated scale of the Brâhmanical community. The period during which the main body of the Vedic hymns was composed, in the land of the seven rivers, seems to have been followed by a time of wars and conquests. From the literary products of the succeeding period we can see that the centre of the Âryan civilisation had in the meantime shifted from the region of the Sindhu (Indus) to that of the Yamunâ (Jumna) and Gaṅgâ. As the conquered districts were no doubt mainly occupied by aboriginal tribes, which had either to retire before their Âryan conquerors, or else to submit to them as Sûdras, or serfs, it seems not unnatural to suppose that it was from a sense of the danger with which the purity of the Brâhmanical faith was threatened from the idolatrous practices of the aboriginal subjects, that the necessity of raising an insurmountable barrier between the Âryan freeman and the man of the servile class first suggested itself to the Brahmans. As religious interests would be largely involved in this kind of class legislation, it would naturally call into play the ingenuity of the priestly order; and would create among them that tendency towards regulating the mutual relations of all classes of the community which ultimately found its legal expression, towards the close of this period, in the Dharma-sûtras, the prototypes of the Hindu codes of law.
The struggle for social ascendancy between the priesthood and the ruling military class must, in the nature of things, have been of long duration. In the chief literary documents of this period which have come down to us, viz. the Yagur-veda, the Brâhmanas, and the hymns of the Atharva-veda some of which perhaps go back to the time of the later hymns of the Rik, we meet with numerous passages in which the ambitious claims of the Brahmans are put forward with singular frankness. The powerful personal influence exercised by the Purohitas, as has already been indicated, seems to have largely contributed to the final success of the sacerdotal order. Thus we read in the Aitareya-brâhmana VIII, 24-25, ‘Verily, the gods do not eat the food offered by the king who is without a Purohita: wherefore let the king, who wishes to sacrifice, place a Brâhman at the head (puro adhîta). . . .’ ‘Now Agni Vaisvânara, who is possessed of five destructive weapons, is the same as the Purohita. With them he constantly surrounds (protects) the king, even as the ocean surrounds the earth: the kingdom of such a ruler is undisturbed. His vital breath deserts him not before the (full term of) life, but he lives to old age, and attains to the full measure of life: he dies not (and is not born) again, whosoever possesses such a wise Brahman for his Purohita, for the guardian of his realm.’ And again, in the Atharva-veda III, 19, ‘May this prayer of mine be accomplished; may perfect vigour and strength, may perfect, unceasing, and victorious power accrue to those whose Purohita I am. I perfect their kingdom, their might, their vigour, their strength. With this oblation I cut off the arms of their enemies… Go forth, ye men, and conquer; may your arms be terrible! ye sharp-shafted, smite the weak-bowed; ye of terrible weapons and terrible arms, (smite) the feeble! when discharged, fly forth, O arrow, sped by prayer; vanquish the enemies; rush forward and slay all the best of them; let not one of them escape[9].’
The question as to how the Brâhmans ultimately succeeded in overcoming the resistance of the ruling class receives but little light from the contemporaneous records. Later legendary accounts of sanguinary struggles between the two classes, and the final overthrow, and even annihilation, of the Kshatriyas can hardly deserve much credence. At best they seem to contain some small kernel of historical fact. Perseverance and tenacity of purpose were probably the chief means by which the Brahmans gained their ends. Not unfrequently, too, kings may have lent their countenance to the aspirations of the priesthood, as calculated to counteract the unruly spirit and ambitious designs of the military order. We certainly meet with not a few instances of kings figuring as the patrons of learned Brâhmans. As the old hymns were gradually assuming the character of divinely inspired utterances, additional matter might occasionally find its way into them, almost unconsciously, which more adequately expressed the actual scope of the aspirations of their priestly depositaries. That many such additions must have been made to the old hymns, prior to the age of diaskeuasts and exegetes, cannot be doubted.
Another, even more important, source of strength to the sacerdotal order was the sacrifice. The more complicated the ceremonial, the greater the dependence of the lay worshipper on the professional skill of the priests; and the greater the number of priests required for the proper performance of these ceremonies, the larger the gains derived by the priesthood generally from this kind of occupation. What more natural, therefore, than that the highest importance should have been ascribed to these performances, and an ever-increasing attention bestowed on the elaboration of the ceremonial. From clear indications in not a few hymns of the Rig-veda it appears, as has already been remarked, that a distribution of the sacrificial functions among different classes of priests had taken place before the final redaction of that collection. As to the time when such a step may have become necessary for the due performance of sacrifices, this is a question which will probably never be decided. The sacrifice is an old Indo-Iranian, if not Indo-Germanic, institution. Some of the chief Indian sacrifices undoubtedly go back, in some form or other, to the common Indo-Iranian period, notably the Soma-sacrifice, and, if we may judge from the coincidence of name between the âprî-hymns[10] and the âfrî-gân of the Pârsî ritual, the animal sacrifice.
As regards the third great division of Indian sacrifices, the haviryagñas (or offerings of milk, butter, grain-food, and similar materials), of which the present volume treats, we have hardly any evidence to fall back upon. It is, however, highly probable that these sacrifices also reach at all events far back into the Vedic antiquity. Perhaps the careful preservation of the pravara-lists[11], or lists of ancestors required at the ishti, the normal form of offering which underlies the haviryagñas, might be adduced in favour of the antiquity of the latter. This, however, is a point which requires further investigation. Neither has the last word been spoken regarding the traditional arrangements of the hymns. It is well known that the majority of the single collections of which the first seven Mandalas (and to some extent those of the tenth) are made up, begin with hymns addressed to Agni, which, as a rule, are followed by hymns addressed to Indra. These, again, are in many cases followed by hymns to the Visve Devâh (and Maruts)[12]. Now, in the later dogmatic literature we find the three Âryan castes, the Brahman, the Kshatra, and the Vis, identified with Agni, Indra, and the Visve Devâh (all the gods, or, as a special class, the All-Gods)[13] respectively. This identification is a very natural one. Agni, the sacrificial fire, the bearer of oblations and caller of the gods, is, like the priest, the legitimate mediator between God and man. Penetrating brilliance (tegas) and holy lustre (varkas) are the common attributes of the Brahman. Again, Indra, the valiant hero, for ever battling with the dark powers of the sky, is a not less appropriate representative of the knightly order. According to Professor Roth, this truly national deity of the Vedic Âryans would seem to have superseded the older Indo-Iranian god Trita[14], and to have gradually encroached on the province of Varuna, who perhaps was originally one of the highest deities of the Âryan (Indo-Germanic) pantheon. The warlike chiefs and clansmen evidently saw in Indra a more congenial object of their adoration. It can scarcely be without significance that of all the Vedic Rishis, Vasishtha, the priest par excellence, has ascribed to him by far the greatest number of hymns addressed to Varuna (and Mitra-Varuna), while there is not a single hymn to Varuna in the family collection of the royal Rishi Visvâmitra, whose religious enthusiasm is divided almost exclusively between Agni, Indra, and the Visve Devâh. Lastly, the identification of the common people with a whole class of comparatively inferior deities would naturally suggest itself. Hence we also find the Maruts[15], the constant companions and helpmates of Indra, the divine ruler, employed in a similar sense. The identification of the Vis with the Visve Devâh, which ultimately obtained, was probably determined chiefly by etymological considerations.
The same triad of divinities, as representative of the mutual relations of the social grades of the Âryan community, is repeatedly met with in the sacrificial ritual, and especially in its dogmatic exposition. This identification finds its most complete expression in the well-known passages of the Taittirîya-samhitâ (VII, 1, 1, 4-5) and the Tândya-brâhmana (VI, 1, 6-11)[16]. According to these authorities, Pragâpati, the lord of creatures, created from his mouth the Brâhmana, together with Agni, the trivrit stoma, the gâyatrî metre (and the rathantara sâman and he-goat, according to the first source; or the spring, according to the other). From his breast and arms he created the Râganya, together with Indra, the pañkadasa stoma, the trishtubh metre (and the brihat sâman, and the ram; or the summer respectively). From the middle part of his body he created the Vaisya, together with the Visve Devâh, the saptadasa stoma, the gagatî metre (and the vairûpa sâman, and the kine; or the rainy season respectively). Finally, from his feet he created the Sûdra, together with the ekavimsa stoma and the anushtubh metre (and the vairâga sâman and the horse, according to the Taitt. S.), but no deity, and no season. In accordance with these speculations, single objects of those here enumerated are frequently found elsewhere identified with their respective deities and castes. On the same principle, the three savanas, or morning, mid-day, and evening libations[17] at the Soma-sacrifice, as well as the first three days of the Dvâdasâha[18], are generally assigned to Agni, Indra, and the Visve Devâh respectively. If in the ekâdasinî, or traditional order of eleven victims that have to be immolated at the Soma-sacrifice, the victim sacred to Agni is placed first, while those to the Visve Devâh and to Indra only come sixth and seventh respectively, we have probably to assume that this order was too firmly established (just as the so-called âprî-hymns are) by long usage to have been easily altered; the more so as the privileged position of the sacerdotal class was not thereby affected.
At the haviryagñas not less prominent a place is assigned to the divine representatives of the two leading classes. The first oblation at every ishti belongs to Agni. The second oblation at the new-moon sacrifice is offered either to Indra, or to Indra[19] and Agni; at the full-moon sacrifice, to Agni and Soma, the latter of whom constitutes Indra’s chief source of strength. Indra also plays an important part at the Seasonal offerings which indeed, according to the dogmatic, and by no means improbable, explanation of the Brâhmanas, are performed with special reference to Indra’s struggle with Vritra, the demon of drought. At the Agny-upasthâna, or worship of the fires, which succeeds the Agnihotra, the first prayer is addressed to Agni, the second to Indra and Agni[20]. Indeed, while Agni appears everywhere as the Purohita, the ‘yagñasya deva ritvik,’ or divine priest of the sacrifice, Indra is the god of sacrifice[21], the Maghavan, or munificent patron of the priest.
From these indications it would appear far from improbable that the arrangement of the hymns in which the collections of the Rig-veda were finally handed down, was intended, as far as the leading deities are concerned, to exhibit a social gradation of the Hindu community which was either already firmly established or was steadily kept in view by the sacerdotal class as ‘a consummation devoutly to be wished.’ In either case the claims of the priests could not fail to be materially strengthened by the pre-eminent position assigned to their divine prototype in the inspired utterances of the Rishis. The question, whether the present arrangement is entirely the result of the final redaction, or whether it was already a feature of the earlier redactions, will perhaps never receive a quite satisfactory answer. It cannot, however, be denied that there is some force in Professor Ludwig’s[22] argument, that, if the arrangement of the several collections had lain with the authors of the final redaction, the result would probably have been a far greater uniformity than they now present.
The idea of bringing together the different family collections would seem first to have suggested itself to the priests at a time when the hitherto divided Âryan tribes had moved from the Panjab to the eastern plains and became consolidated into larger communities, and the want of a more uniform system of worship would naturally make itself felt. To the same period, then, we may refer the first attempts at a systematic arrangement of the entire ceremonial of worship, and the definite distribution of the sacrificial duties among four classes of priests, viz. the Adhvaryu, or performer of the material part of the sacrifice; the Udgâtri, or chanter of hymns; the Hotri, or reciter of solemn sacrificial prayers; and the Brahman, or superintendent of the entire performance. Though some of these offices had no doubt existed for a long time, we possess no definite information as to the exact extent of the duties entrusted to them[23]. The institution of the office of Brahman, doubtless the latest of all, marks a new era in the development of the sacrificial system. While the other priests were only required to possess an accurate knowledge of their own special departments, the Brahman was to be the very embodiment of the sacrificial art and Vedic lore in general, so as to be able to advise the other priests on doubtful points and to rectify any mistakes that might be committed during the performance of sacrifices. Neither had the Hotri priest any special manual of his formulas assigned to him. He was rather expected to have acquired a thorough knowledge of the whole of the Rik-samhitâ, from which the sacrificial prayers recited by him were exclusively selected. It was probably out of this class or the Bahvrikas, as the followers of the Rig-veda came to be called more than from any other, that individual priests would fit themselves for the office of Brahman.
As regards the two remaining classes of priests the Udgâtris and Adhvaryus we have no means of determining in what form and to what extent the stock of chants and sacrificial formulas used by them may have existed from the time of the institution of their offices down to the formation of the collections that have been handed down, viz. the Sâma-veda-samhitâ and the Yagur-veda. From the close connection that exists between the Sâman and the eighth and ninth mandalas of the Rik, as well as from the fact that most of the hymns of these two mandalas are ascribed to authors whose family collections (including, in several instances, hymns of their own) are contained in earlier mandalas, we may perhaps assume that already at the time when the first nine mandalas were collected the then existing hymns of the eighth and ninth mandalas were set apart for the purpose of being chanted at the Soma-sacrifice. In course of time hand in hand with the fuller development of the Soma ritual and the gradual influx of new hymn material which was either incorporated with the old collections or formed into a new mandala additional chants (or more suitable ones in the place of those hitherto used) might be required and selected from the hymns of other mandalas. In its original connected form, the material of these chants would naturally remain all along an essential part of the Rik-samhitâ, for the use of the Hotri and Brahman priests; and thus each of these two collections would henceforth have a history of its own, and discrepancies in the texts common to both would gradually become more and more numerous.
The sacrificial texts used by the Adhvaryu priest are contained in the Yagur-veda, of which several recensions have come down to us. These texts consist, in about equal parts, of verses (rik) and prose formulas (yagus). The majority of the former are likewise found in the Rik-samhitâ, though not unfrequently with considerable variations, which may be explained partly from a difference of recension, and partly as the result of the adaptation of these verses to their special sacrificial purpose[24]. With the prose formulas, on the other hand, save a few isolated sacrificial calls alluded to in the Rik[25], we meet for the first time in this collection. In the older recensions of the Yagur-veda the texts are, as a rule, followed immediately by their dogmatic explanation. Now, these theological treatises, composed chiefly with the view of elucidating the sacrificial texts and explaining the origin and hidden meaning of the various rites, form one of the most important departments of the literature of the period which succeeded the systematic arrangement of the sacrificial ceremonial, and in which we must place the gradual consolidation of the Brâhmanical hierarchy. Such as they lie before us, they contain the accumulated wisdom and speculations of generations of Indian divines. They are essentially digests of a floating mass of single discourses or dicta on various points of the ceremonial of worship, ascribed to individual teachers, and handed down orally in the theological schools. Single discourses of this kind were called brâhmana, probably either because they were intended for the instruction and guidance of priests (brahman) generally; or because they were, for the most part, the authoritative utterances of such as were thoroughly versed in Vedic and sacrificial lore and competent to act as Brahmans or superintending priests[26]. In later times a collection or digest of such detached pieces came to be likewise called a Brâhmana. Works of this kind have come down to us in connection with all the Vedic Samhitâs, generally in more than one version which, though on the whole betraying a common stock of material, often vary considerably, both in their arrangement and their treatment of these materials. Nay, owing as they do their origin to different schools of the same Veda, these recensions not unfrequently take the very opposite view of single points of ceremonial. Originally the number of such recensions, more or less differing from each other, must have been much larger; but the practical tendencies of a later age, which led to the production of concise manuals of ceremonial rules the Kalpa-sûtras adapted to the sacrificial practices of more than one school, were not favourable to the perpetuation of these bulky cyclopædias of theological school-wisdom: thus only the Brâhmanas of the schools which had the greatest number of followers survived; while others were probably never committed to writing, or at best had a precarious existence down to more recent times.
While the Brâhmanas are thus our oldest sources from which a comprehensive view of the sacrificial ceremonial can be obtained, they also throw a great deal of light on the earliest metaphysical and linguistic speculations of the Hindus. Another, even more interesting feature of these works, consists in the numerous legends scattered through them. From the archaic style in which these mythological tales are generally composed, as well as from the fact that not a few of them are found in Brâhmanas of different schools and Vedas, though often with considerable variations, it is pretty evident that the ground-work of many of them goes back to times preceding the composition of the Brâhmanas. From a mythological, and to some extent from a linguistic, point of view these legends thus form a connecting link between the latter and the Vedic hymns. In the case of some of these legends as those of Sunahsepha[27] and the fetching of the Soma from heaven[28] we can even see how they have grown out of germs contained in the Vedic hymns; their relation to the latter being thus not unlike that of the Sagas of the younger Edda to the songs of the older Edda. The Kaushîtaki Brâhmana[29], at the end of a story of this kind about Soma, remarks that it is thus told by those versed in legend (âkhyânavidah). We may perhaps infer from this passage that there was a class of people who took a special interest in such legends and made it their business to collect and repeat them. Indeed, many of the elaborate mythical stories with which we meet in the later epical and Purânic literature doubtless owe their origin to simple popular legends of this kind[30].
Besides the genuine myths which we find in the Brâhmanas, there is also a large number of stories which were evidently invented by the authors of these treatises for the purpose of supplying some kind of traditional support for particular points of ceremonial[31]. However small the intrinsic merit of such passages, they, too, are not entirely devoid of interest, especially from a linguistic point of view, since the style of narrative and the archaic mode of diction which they affect, readily lend themselves to syntactic turns of expression rarely indulged in by the authors in the purely explanatory and exegetic parts of their works. And, indeed, whatever opinion the general reader may form of the Brâhmanas, as purely literary corn-positions and, assuredly, it cannot be a very high one to the Sanskrit student these works (together with their supplements, the Âranyakas; and their metaphysical appendages, the Upanishads) are of the highest importance as the only genuine prose works which the Sanskrit, as a popular language, has produced. For the comparative study of syntax, which has been taken up with such signal success by Professor Delbrück and other scholars, the Brâhmanas offer a rich field of enquiry. Nor is the style of these compositions with its compact grammatical forms and expressive particles, and its habitual employment of the oratio directa instead of dependent clauses without a certain rough beauty of its own, which, however, almost entirely evaporates in a rendering into modern analytical speech. And notwithstanding the general emptiness of the speculations of the Indian theologians, ‘there are,’ as Professor Max Müller observes[32], ‘passages in the Brâhmanas full of genuine thought and feeling, and most valuable as pictures of life, and as records of early struggles, which have left no trace in the literature of other nations.’
Although the Adhvaryus, who had to perform all the manual work connected with the sacrifice, were originally looked upon as a subordinate class of priests, their office seems to have risen in the general estimation with the increasing importance that was attributed to the endless details of the ceremonial. In a passage of the Taittirîya Upanishad (2, 3). the Yagus is said to be the head, the Rik the right side, the Sâman the left side, the Âdesa[33] the soul, and the Atharvâṅgiras (Atharva-veda) the tail. With better reason the Yagur-veda might be called the body of the sacrifice, since it contains almost the entire apparatus of sacrificial formulas, while the other ritualistic works are concerned, either chiefly or entirely, with the Soma-sacrifice. As a matter of fact, no other Veda has given rise to so large a number of schools as the Yagur-veda[34]. The numerous subdivisions of the Adhvaryus trace their origin to either of two principal schools, an older and a younger one, the latter of which is itself an offshoot of the former. The oral transmission of the large body of exegetic and legendary matter attached to the sacrificial formulas could hardly fail, in course of time, to produce considerable variations, in different localities, both as regards the wording and the arrangement of these works. Different schools would naturally arise, each with its own approved recension of the traditional texts, which in their turn would sooner or later become liable to the same process of disintegration. Such, indeed, has been the case, more or less, with all the Vedic texts, until mechanical means were devised to arrest this process of change. The names of many such subdivisions of the older Yagur-veda are recorded; but hitherto the recensions of only three of them have come to light, viz. the Kâthaka, the Maitrâyanî-samhitâ, and the Taittirîya-samhitâ. The two former texts belong to subdivisions of the Kathas and Maitrâyanîyas, two branches of the old school of the Karakas or Karakâdhvaryus. The Taittirîyas, on the other hand, seem to have been an independent branch of the old Yagus[35], the origin of which is ascribed to a teacher named Tittiri. Their text has come down to us in the recension of one of its subdivisions[36], the Âpastambins.
The chief characteristic of the old Yagus texts consists, as has already been indicated, in the constant intermingling of the sacrificial formulas and the explanatory or Brâhmana portions. It was with the view of remedying this want of arrangement, by entirely separating the exegetic matter from the formulas, that the new school of Adhvaryus was founded. The name given to this school is Vâgasaneyins, its origin being ascribed to Yâgñavalkya Vâgasaneya. The result of this new redaction of the Yagus texts was the formation of a Samhitâ, or collection of mantras, and a Brâhmana. This re-arrangement was doubtless undertaken in imitation of the texts of the Hotri priests, who had a Brâhmana[37] of their own, while their sacrificial prayers formed part of the Rik-samhitâ. Indeed, the Taittirîyas themselves became impressed with the desirability of having a Brâhmana of their own, and attained their object by the simple, if rather awkward, expedient of applying that designation to an appendage to their Samhitâ, which exhibits the same mixture of mantra and brâhmana as the older work. They also incorporated a portion of the Kâthaka text into their Brâhmana and its supplement, the Taittirîyâranyaka. Of all the schools of the old Yagus those of the Taittirîyas seem to have attracted by far the greatest number of adherents; and in southern India their texts have continued pre-eminently the subject of study till the present day. In northern India, on the other hand, they have been largely superseded by their later rivals. On account of the lucid arrangement of their sacred texts, the Vâgasaneyins called them the White (sukla) Yagur-veda; the term of Black or Dark (krishna) Yagur-veda being, for the opposite reason, applied to the texts of the older schools. In later times, an absurd story was invented (doubtless by followers of the White Yagus), in which the origin of the name Taittirîya is connected with the word tittiri[38], in the sense of ‘partridge.’
The Brâhmana of the Vâgasaneyins bears the name of Satapatha, that is, the Brâhmana ‘of a hundred paths,’ because it consists of a hundred lectures (adhyâyas). Both the Vâgasaneyi-samhitâ and the Satapatha-brâhmana have come down to us in two different recensions, those of the Mâdhyandina and the Kânva schools. Of the latter recension of the Brâhmana, however, three books out of seventeen are wanting in the European libraries and have, as far as I know, not yet been discovered in India. The Mâdhyandina text both of the Samhitâ and the Brâhmana has been edited by Professor Weber; the former with the various readings of the Kânva recension. To the same scholar we owe a German translation of the first adhyâya of the first kânda[39]; and he has, moreover, subjected the entire accessible literature of the White Yagur-veda with the exception of the Kânva text of the Brâhmana to a careful examination, and has extracted from it all that seems calculated to throw light on its history, so that in this respect little remains to those who come after him but to state the results of his enquiries. Professor Max Müller, in his History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, has also fully discussed the questions regarding the date and authorship of these texts, and has done much to clear up what was obscure in their relations to the older Yagus texts and to Vedic literature generally. Many points, however, still remain doubtful; and, above all, opinions are as divided as ever regarding the approximate date of the teacher with whose name tradition connects the origin of the modern school of the Adhvaryus.
The schools of the Vâgasaneyins are stated to have been either fifteen or seventeen; and their names are given, though with considerable variations, in different works. No distinct traces, however, have as yet been discovered of any recensions besides the two already referred to. As regards the names of these two, the Mâdhyandina and Kânva, the latter is the name of one of the chief families of Rishis of the Rik-samhitâ; and certain orthoepic peculiarities of the Yagus texts of the Kânvas would seem to favour the assumption of a connection of this school with the redaction of the Rik. The name of the Mâdhyandinas, literally ‘meridional,’ on the other hand, does not occur in the older literature. Nor can we draw any definite conclusions, as to the probable date of their recension, from Lassen’s identification of this name with the Μανδιαδινοί, mentioned by Megasthenes (as quoted by Arrian) as a people on the banks of a tributary of the Ganges; or from Professor Weber’s conjecture that the Mâdhyandina school may have taken its origin among that people.
The Mâdhyandina text of the Satapatha is divided into fourteen books (kânda). For several reasons, however, some of these books have to be assigned to a later period than the others. In the first place, the twelfth kânda is called madhyama, ‘the middle one;’ a fact which in itself would suggest the idea that, at the time when this nomenclature was adopted, the last five books (or perhaps books 11-13) were regarded as a separate portion of the work[40]. Besides, Patañgali, in a kârikâ or memorial couplet to Pân. IV, 2, 60, mentions the words shashtipatha (‘consisting of sixty paths’) and satapatha, with the view of forming derivative nouns from them, in the sense of one who studies such works. Now, as the first nine books of the Satapatha, in the Mâdhyandina text, consist of sixty adhyâyas, it was suggested by Professor Weber that it was probably this very portion of the work to which Patañgali applied the term ‘shashtipatha,’ and that consequently the first nine books were at that time considered as, in some sense, a distinct work and were studied as such. This conjecture has been generally accepted. There is indeed a possibility that Patañgali may have been acquainted with some other recension of the Brâhmana of the Vâgasaneyins which consisted of only forty adhyâyas; but even in that case the latter would in all probability correspond to the first nine books of the Mâdhyandina text. As regards the Kânva recension, we are unfortunately not yet able, owing to the want of some of its kândas, to determine its exact extent; and have to rely on a list added by a scribe on the front’ page of one of the kândas in the Oxford MS.[41], according to which that text consists of 104 adhyâyas. Still further evidence regarding the mutual relations of the several portions of our Brâhmana is contained in a passage of the Mahâbhârata (XII, 11739), where Yâgñavalkya relates that, at the inspiration of the Sun, he composed (kakre) the Satapatha, including[42] the Rahasya (mystery), the Samgraha (epitome), and the Parisishta (supplement). Now the tenth book is really called Agni-rahasya; while the eleventh contains a kind of summary of the preceding ritual; and kândas 12-14 treat of various other subjects. This relation between the first nine and the remaining five books is also fully borne out by internal evidence, as well as by a comparison with the Vâgasaneyi-samhitâ. The latter consists of forty adhyâyas, the first eighteen of which contain the formulas of the ordinary sacrifices the Haviryagñas and Soma-sacrifice and correspond to the first nine books of the Satapatha-brâhmana. The succeeding adhyâyas have been clearly shown by Professor Weber[43] to be later additions. As a rule only those formulas which are contained in the first eighteen adhyâyas are found in the Taittirîya-samhitâ; while those of the later adhyâyas are given in the Taittirîya-brâhmana.
At the end of the Satapatha the White Yagus is said to have been promulgated (â-khyâ) by Yâgñavalkya Vâgasaneya. Now the name of this teacher is indeed more frequently met with in the Brâhmana than that of any other; especially in some of the later books where his professional connection with Ganaka, king of Videha, and his skill in theological disputations are favourite topics. As regards the earlier portion of the work, however, it is a remarkable fact that, while in the first five books Yâgñavalkya’s opinion is frequently recorded as authoritative[44], he is not once mentioned in the four succeeding kândas (6-9). The teacher whose opinion is most frequently referred to in these books, is Sândilya. This disagreement in respect of doctrinal authorities, coupled with unmistakable differences[45], stylistic as well as geographical and mythological, can scarcely be accounted for otherwise than by the assumption of a difference of authorship or original redaction. Now the subject with which these four kândas are chiefly concerned, is the agnikayana, or construction of the sacred fire-altar. For reasons urged by Professor Weber, it would appear not improbable that this part of the ceremonial was specially cultivated in the north-western districts; and since the geographical allusions in these four kândas chiefly point to that part of India, while those of the other books refer almost exclusively to the regions along the Ganges and Jumna, we may infer from this that the fire-ritual, adopted by the Vâgasaneyins at the time of the first redaction of their texts that is, of the first nine kândas, as far as the Brâhmana is concerned had been settled in the north-west of India.
Here, however, we meet with another difficulty. The tenth book, or Agnirahasya, deals with the same subject as the preceding four kândas; and here also Sândilya figures as the chief authority, while no mention is made of Yâgñavalkya. Moreover, at the end of that kânda, a list of teachers is given in which the transmission of the sacrificial science (either in its entirety, or only as regards the fire-ritual) is traced from a teacher Tura Kâvasheya who is said to have received it from the god Pragâpati downwards, through two intermediate teachers, to Sândilya; and from thence, through six intermediate teachers, to Sâmgîvî-putra. Tura Kâvasheya is referred to in another passage of the tenth kânda (X, 6, 5, 9) as having built a fire-altar[46] to the gods at Kârotî; and in the Aitareya-brâhmana he is mentioned as the high-priest who officiated at the inauguration-ceremony of king Ganamegaya Pârikshita, renowned in epic legend. From these indications we may, it seems to me, take it for certain that Tura Kâvasheya and Sândilya (the latter of whom is also held in high repute by the Khandogas or Sâman-priests) were regarded by the Vâgasaneyins as the chief arrangers, if not the originators, of the fire-ritual such as it was finally adopted by that school. On the other hand, we saw that the first nine books of the Satapatha, if their identification with Patañgali’s ‘shashtipatha.’ be correct, must have been regarded as, in some particular sense, a complete work. Now this combination of the fire-ritual in kândas 6-9 with the complete exposition of the Haviryagña and Soma-sacrifice, contained in the first five books, would seem to presuppose some kind of compromise between the two schools recognising Yâgñavalkya and Sândilya respectively as their chief authority. What, then, are we to understand to be the exact relations between the later kândas, especially the tenth, and the earlier portion of the work? We do not, and could not, meet with such a term as ‘katvârimsat-patha,’ or work of forty paths, as applying to the last five kândas of the Satapatha; their nature was too well understood for that, as we see from the passage of the Mahâbhârata, above referred to. The list of teachers at the end of the tenth kânda shows no sign of any amalgamation of the two schools up to the time of Sâmgîvî-putra, the last teacher mentioned in it: with one exception, it belongs exclusively to the Sândilya school. It contains, however, an additional remark to the effect that from Sâmgîvî-putra downward the list is ‘identical,’ viz. with some other list. Now this remark can only refer to the vamsa given at the end of the last kânda. In this list the transmission of the science of the Adhvaryus is traced as far as human agency is concerned from Kasyapa Naidhruvi, through nine teachers, to Yâgñavalkya, and thence, through four other teachers, to Sâmgîvî-putra[47]. The only name which this list has in common with the former one, previous to Sâmgîvî-putra, is that of Kusri. According to the former list, he was the teacher of Sândilya, who, in his turn, taught Vâtsya[48]. But since in the same book (X, 5, 5, 1) he is referred to as Vâgasravasa, and in the list at the end of the Satapatha he is set down as the pupil of Vâgasravas, the same teacher is evidently referred to in both lists; and if we can at all rely on the authenticity of these vamsas, we should have to infer from this coincidence, that there was already some connection between the two schools prior to both Yâgñavalkya and Sândilya.
The two lines of teachers meet once more in the name of Sâmgîvî-putra. In the later list the succession of teachers is then continued by forty-nine more names all of them formed by the addition of ‘putra’ (son) to the mother’s name which, it appears, we are to supply in the former list. According to Professor Max Müller[49], ‘Sâmgîvî-putra seems to have united two lines of teachers.’ That this must have been the case, cannot be doubted, provided, of course, that the vamsas are trustworthy[50]. Nay, I should even be inclined to assign to the time of Sâmgîvî-putra the final adjustment of the ritual and its dogmatic exposition such as we find them in the Shashtipatha (and the first eighteen adhyâyas of the Vâgasaneyi-samhitâ), and consequently the first redaction of that part of the Satapatha. Not that all the matter contained in the latter part of the work must necessarily be more modern. There can, on the contrary, be little doubt that much of it is quite as old as anything in the earlier books; and of the Madhukânda, which forms part of the Brihad-âranyaka in the last book, we know at any rate, from a reference to the Madhu-brâhmana in the fourth kânda, that some such tract existed at that time. But such matter as, for some reason or other, was not included in the systematic exposition of the ceremonial, would naturally be in a less settled condition and more liable to modifications and additions.
According to the two lists, Sâmgîvî-putra is removed from Sândilya by six intermediate teachers, the three older[51] of whom are referred to in kândas 6-9; and from Yâgñavalkya by four intermediate teachers, the first of whom (Âsuri)[52] is repeatedly quoted in the second (and once each in the first, fourth, and fourteenth) kândas. Although these indications do not, of course, supply more than a terminus a quo for the final settlement of this part of the work, they would nevertheless seem to favour the supposition that the combination of the fire-ritual with the sacrificial system cannot have taken place at a time far removed from that of Sâmgîvî-putra. The custom of forming metronymics by means of ‘putra’ is of some interest. It first shows itself in the predecessor of Sâmgîvî-putra’s teacher in the Yâgñavalkya line and continues from thence down to the very end of the vamsa. Unfortunately, however, we have no means of ascertaining whether this custom had already been commonly practised, in certain localities, before that time, or whether, as seems to me more probable, it was a fashion of recent date. If the latter alternative could be proved, it might help to settle the chronological relations between Yâgñavalkya and Pânini, since it would appear from Pân. IV, 1, 159[53] (and VI, 1, 13), that the great grammarian was well acquainted, not only with the practice of forming metronymics of this kind, but also with that of forming patronymics from such metronymics.
The relative date of Pânini and Yâgñavalkya has been discussed more than once by Sanskrit scholars[54]; but no agreement has as yet been come to on what Goldstücker justly called ‘one of the most important problems of Sanskrit literature.’ The chief difficulty of this problem lies in the ambiguity of Kâtyâyana’s well-known vârttika to Pân. IV, 3, 105. According to Pânini’s rule the names of Brâhmanas and Kalpas proclaimed by old (sages) are formed by the addition of the affix in (to the sages’ names). As instances of Brâhmanas, the names of which are formed in this way, the Kâsikâ Vritti gives Bhâllavinah (proclaimed by Bhallu), Sâtyayaninah, Aitareyinah. In accordance with this rule the texts of the White Yagus are called Vâgasaneyinah. This name does not; however, occur in any of Pânini’s rules, but follows only from the word ‘vâgasaneya’ being included in the gana ‘saunakâdi’ to Pân. IV, 3, 106; and since we have no evidence as to whether any of the words in a gana except the first really belong to Pânini, it must remain doubtful whether or not he knew of the existence of the school known by that name. Kâtyâyana’s vârttika runs thus: Among the Brâhmanas and Kalpas proclaimed by the old, there is an exception in regard to Yâgñavalkya and others, on account of contemporaneousness: hence (Yâgñavalkya’s Brâhmanas are called, not Yâgñavalkinah, but) Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni; Saulabhâni B.’ The question, then, is, Does Kâtyâyana mean to say that the Brâhmanas proclaimed by Yâgñavalkya do not fall under this rule, because he was contemporary with Pânini, and therefore not an old sage in the sense of the rule, or, that those works should have been excepted by Pânini from his rule, because they are of the same age as those (old) Brâhmanas to which the rule applies? The former alternative was the one generally accepted, until the late Professor Goldstücker made known the text of Patañgali’s and Kaiyata’s comments[55] on this vârttika. He showed that Kaiyata, at least, clearly interprets it in the sense that Pânini should have excepted works like the Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni, since they, too (api), are of the same age as the Sâtyâyaninah and others. The Mahâbhâshya, on the other hand, is not quite so explicit. It merely says that the Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni &c. ought to have been excepted, because they, too (api), are of the same age. Goldstücker naturally took this explanation to convey the same meaning as that of Kaiyata. This view was, however, controverted by Professor Weber in his review of Goldstücker’s ‘Pânini.’ The interpretation of the vârttika adopted in the Kâsikâ Vritti according to which Pânini’s rule does not apply to those works, because Yâgñavalkya and others are not old authorities in the sense of Pânini’s rule is likewise rejected by him, since in that case Kâtyâyana’s exception would be no exception at all. On the other hand, Professor Weber thinks that, if we accept Kaiyata’s interpretation, Kâtyâyana’s additional remark ‘on account of contemporaneousness’ would be entirely superfluous. He, therefore, proposes, in the passage of the Mahâbhâshya, to take ‘api’ in the sense of ‘even,’ and to interpret the passage thus[56]: ‘Among the Brâhmanas and Kalpas proclaimed by the ancients, Pânini ought to have made an exception in regard to Yâgñavalkya &c., because the Brâhmanas and Kalpas proclaimed by them, though indeed going back to ancient (sages), are nevertheless contemporaneous (with Pânini himself).’ This rather paradoxical argumentation, on the part of Patañgali, would have to be understood to mean, that the Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni and similar works, though ascribed to old authorities, are in reality modern productions; or if we may venture to express it in somewhat different words Pânini ought to have made an exception in regard to works which, in point of fact, are no exception at all. Now, if this be the correct interpretation, I can only say this that, had Patañgali been anxious to conceal his real meaning, he could scarcely have done so more effectually than by choosing words which, at first sight, look as clear as day.
Professor Bühler[57], who has recently touched upon this controversy, sides with Kaiyata and Goldstücker; and I, too, can take no other view. But, like him, I see no necessity for accepting the inferences which Goldstücker has drawn from this vârttika, viz. that we have to assume so long an interval between Pânini and Kâtyâyana, that authors, whom Kâtyâyana considered as far older than Pânini, were in reality his contemporaries. This assumption, surely, would involve a degree of ignorance, on the part of Kâtyâyana, regarding the age of Pânini, such as would seem altogether unaccountable. The weakness of Goldstücker’s argument lies in his identification of the Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni with the Brâhmana of the Vâgasaneyins. With Professor Weber I believe that Pânini was perfectly well acquainted with the term ‘Vâgasaneyinah,’ but saw no occasion for specially mentioning it in his rules. Surely, if his silence could possibly have been construed into an act of negligence, Kâtyâyana, who was so intimately connected with the White Yagus that, on Goldstücker’s own showing, he composed the Vâgasaneyi-prâtisâkhya before he wrote his vârttikas, would have been the first to notice it. The Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni, in their relation to the sacred canon of the school, seem to me to stand somewhat on a par with the ‘Tittirinâ proktâh slokâh[58],’ which, in Patañgali’s time, were excluded from the term ‘Taittirîyâh’ as uncanonical, and which Professor Weber would identify, perhaps rightly, with some portions of the Taittirîyâranyaka. Both kinds of tracts probably belong to the last floating materials of Adhvaryu tradition, which had not yet been incorporated with the canon. Whether or not the Yâgñavalkâni Brâhmanâni form part of the text of the Satapatha which has come down to us, and what exact portions of that text we have to understand by this designation, must remain uncertain for the present. Most probably, however, we have to look for them to certain portions of the last book (or books) in which Yâgñavalkya figures so prominently. If we had a complete copy of the Kânva recension, we might perhaps be in a better position for forming an opinion on this subject; for if that version should really turn out to consist of 104 adhyâyas, four of these adhyâyas may have to be considered as a later interpolation; and the fact might have become obscured in the Mâdhyandina recension by a different division of the text[59]. But, however this may be, it appears to me quite intelligible why such portions should have been considered as of equal age to the body of the work; in fact they would probably go back to about the same time as some of the earlier portions; only that, owing to a longer state of uncertain transmission, they may have been more liable to changes and additions. If these tracts are not mentioned by Pânini, it may be an accidental omission on his part, or he may not have been aware of their existence, for geographical or other reasons: we can hardly expect Pânini to have been so intimately acquainted with the Yagus texts as Kâtyâyana. As regards the dates of Kâtyâyana and Patañgali, I accept with Professor Bühler and others, as by far the most probable, the fourth and the middle of the second century B.C. respectively.
Under the title of Vâgasaneyaka, the Satapatha-brâhmana is quoted once in Lâtyâyana’s Srauta-sûtra IV, 12, 12; but I have not been able to find the passage either in the Mâdhyandina text or in that part of the Kânva text which I have hitherto had at my disposal, viz. kândas I, II, IV-VII (Kânva). Far more frequently the work is quoted, either as Vâgasaneyaka or as Vâgasaneyi-brâhmana, by Âpastamba, both in his Srauta and his Dharma-sûtras. On comparing one of these quotations in the Dharma-sûtras (I, 4, 12, 3) with the corresponding passage in the Mâdhyandina recension, Professor Bühler found that its wording possessed just sufficient resemblance to allow us to identify the passage which Âpastamba meant, but differed from the Satapatha-brâhmana in many details[60].’ From this he naturally inferred that Âpastamba probably took his quotations from the Kânva recension. Now, although I have not been able to compare this particular passage with the Kânva text[61], I have done so regarding a number of other passages quoted from Âpastamba in Karka’s commentary on the Kâtîya-Srauta-sûtra. The result was that in no single case did Âpastamba’s quotations agree with the corresponding passages in the Kânva, any more than they did with those of the Mâdhyandina text[62]. In some cases they came nearer to the one text, in others to the other. To several quotations, again, I could find nothing corresponding in either text. Now, supposing the quotations, as given by Karka, to be on the whole correct, there seem to be only two ways of accounting for these discrepancies, viz. either Âpastamba did not mean to quote the passages literally, but only to give the substance of there; or he had a third recension of the Satapatha before him. While some passages would seem to be in favour of the former alternative, others would scarcely admit of this explanation. This question, however, requires further investigation, before it can be definitely settled. In connection with this question the fact will also have to be taken into account, that Kâtyâyana, in composing his Vâgasaneyi-prâtisâkhya, seems to have had before him a different recension of the Samhitâ, from those of the Kânva and Mâdhyandina schools[63].
Professor Bühler appears to be inclined to place Âpastamba somewhere about the fifth century B.C.; and though probably he himself does not consider the reasons he adduces as conclusive, they seem at any rate to show that that writer cannot have lived later than the third century B. C. From the fact that Svetaketu, the son of Uddâlaka Âruni, the reputed teacher (and rival[64]) of Yâgñavalkya, is counted by Âpastamba among the Avaras or moderns, Dr. Bühler infers that the promulgator of the White Yagus cannot have preceded Âpastamba ‘by a longer interval than, at the utmost, two or three hundred years.’ That the two authors may not have been separated from each other by a longer interval seems likely enough; hut, on the other hand, Âpastamba, by his remark, pays no very great compliment to the inspired texts of his own school, since Aruna Aupavesi, the grandfather of Svetaketu Âruneya, is twice referred to in the Taittirîya-samhitâ[65].
The geographical and ethnical allusions contained in the Satapatha-brâhmana have been carefully collected by Professor Weber[66]. With the exception of those in kândas 6-10, as I have already remarked, they point almost exclusively to the regions along the Ganges and Jumna. In the legend about Videgha Mâthava[67], and his Purohita Gotama Râhûgana, tradition seems to have preserved a reminiscence of the eastward spread of Brâhmanical civilisation. Among the peoples that occupied those regions, a prominent position is assigned in the Satapatha to the closely-allied Kuru-Pañkâlas. The Kurus occupied the districts between the Jumna and Ganges the so-called Madhyadesa or middle country and the Pañkâlas bordered on them towards the south-east. According to Sat. Br. XIII, 5, 4, 7, the Pañkâlas were in olden times called Krivi; and a tribe of this name is evidently referred to in Rig-veda VIII; 20, 24; (22, 12)[68], in connection with the rivers Sindhu and Asiknî. The Kurus, on the other hand, are not directly referred to in the Rik; but a king Kurusravana, ‘glory of the Kurus,’ and a patron with the epithet Kaurayâna are mentioned in the hymns. In Aitar. Br. VIII, 14, the Uttara (northern) Kurus, together with the Uttara-Madras, are said to dwell beyond the Himâlaya. From these indications Professor Zimmer infers that, in the times of the hymns, the Kurus and Krivis whose names evidently are merely variations of the same word may have lived together in the valleys of Kâsmîr, on the upper Indus; and he also offers the ingenious conjecture, that we may have to look for the Kuru-Krivis in the twin-people of the Vaikarnau, mentioned in Rig-Veda VII, 18, 11. The names of the principal teachers of the Satapatha mark them as belonging to the land of the Kuru-Pañkâlas; and as in I, 7, 2, 8, preference is given to a certain sacrificial practice on the ground that it is the one obtaining among these peoples, it seems highly probable that the redaction of the work, or at least of the older portion of it, took place among the Kuru-Pañkâlas[69]. A prince[70] of Pañkâla, Pravâhana Gaivali, is mentioned XIV, 9, 1, 1, in connection with Yâgñavalkya’s teacher, Uddâlaka Âruni.
East of the Madhyadesa, we meet with another confederacy of kindred peoples, of hardly less importance than the Kuru-Pañkâlas, at the time of the redaction of the Brâhmana, viz. the Kosala-Videhas. In the legend above referred to they are said to be the descendants of Videgha Mâthava, and to be separated from each other by the river Sadânîrâ (either the modern Gandakî or Karatoyâ). The country of the Videhas, the eastern branch of this allied people, corresponding to the modern Tirhut or Puraniya, formed in those days the extreme east of the land of the Âryas. In the later books of the Satapatha, king Ganaka of Videha appears as one of the principal promoters of the Brâhmanical religion, and especially as the patron of Yâgñavalkya. In XI, 6, 2, 1, Ganaka is represented as meeting, apparently for the first time, with Svetaketu Âruneya, Somasushma Sâtyayagñi, and Yâgñavalkya, while they were travelling (dhâvayadbhih). Probably we are to understand by this that these divines had then come from the west to visit the Videha country. A considerable portion of the Brihadâranyaka deals with learned disputations which Yâgñavalkya was supposed to have held at Ganaka’s court with divers sages and with the king himself. In Brih. Âr. II, 1, 1 (and Kaush. Up. IV, 1) Ganaka’s fame as the patron of Brâhmanical sages is said to have aroused the jealousy of his contemporary, Agâtasatru, king of the Kâsis[71]. The name Ganaka is also interesting on account of its being borne likewise by the father of Sîtâ, the wife of Râma. Unfortunately, however, there is not sufficient evidence to show that the two kings are identical. With the legend of the other great epic, the Satapatha offers more points of contact; but on this subject also no definite results have as yet been obtained, it being still doubtful whether the internecine strife between the royal houses of the Kurus and Pañkâlas which, according to the late Professor Lassen, forms the central fact of the legend of the Mahâbhârata, had not yet taken place at the time of the Satapatha-brâhmana, or whether it was already a thing of the past[72]. In the Mahâbhârata, I, 4723, Pându, in speaking to his wife Kuntî, mentions Svetaketu, the son of the Maharshi Uddâlaka, as having lived ‘not long ago[73].’
As regards the two recensions of the Satapatha-brâhmana, this is hardly the place to enter into any detailed discussion of their mutual relations. Nor is my acquaintance with the Kânva text as yet sufficiently extensive to do justice to this important question. I intend, however, to publish before long a number of extracts from several kândas of this recension, including the text of all the legends as well as other portions which seemed to me of special interest, from which Sanskrit scholars will be able to form an opinion regarding the exact nature of the variations between the two versions. In my notes to the present translation of the first two kândas, I have considered it desirable occasionally to notice some of the variae lectiones of the Kânva school; it should, however, be understood that these readings have been given solely on the authority of the Oxford MS., for the loan of which I am deeply indebted to the liberality of the Curators of the Bodleian Library. With the aid of the Paris MS., the use of which has also just been kindly granted to me, I hope soon to be able to verify these extracts. For most of the kândas, from the fourth[74] onwards, our materials have been lately enriched by a copy which Mr. Whitley Stokes has had made for Professor Weber from a Benares MS.
The various readings of the Kânva recension of the Vâgasaneyi-samhitâ have been given in Professor Weber’s edition, at the end of each kânda. They may be said to consist either of mere verbal variations or of additional mantras. In regard to these readings the Brâhmana of the same school exhibits a feature which may have an important bearing on the textual criticism of the Samhitâ. While the Brâhmana generally shows the same verbal variations in the sacrificial texts as the Samhitâ, it, as a rule, takes no notice whatever of the additional mantras, but agrees in this respect pretty closely with the Mâdhyandina text. Indeed, so far as I am able to judge, the two relations seem to coincide almost entirely, as far as the subject-matter is concerned; the differences, considerable as they sometimes are, being rather of a grammatical and stylistic nature. Occasional omissions, which I have hitherto noticed[75], may perhaps turn out to be due to the carelessness of scribes. As regards the additional mantras referred to, they may have found their way into the Samhitâ at the time when the Sûtras were composed; though, it is true, they do not as a rule appear in the Kâtîya-sûtra, and no other sûtra of the White Yagus, as far as I know, has hitherto come to light[76]. On the other hand, as there are also not a few mantras in the Mâdhyandina Samhitâ[77], which are not noticed in the Brâhmana of that school, this question must be left for future investigation.
I have already referred to the connection which seems to have existed between the Kânva school of the White Yagus and the redactors of the Rik-samhitâ. One of the chief points of contact between our existing recension of the Rik and the Kânva, text of the Yagur-veda is the use of the letters h and lh instead of d and dh used by the Mâdhyandinas. Besides, the riks of the Kânva text generally approach mare nearly to the readings of the Rig-veda than those of the other school. Another, even more interesting, feature which the Kânva recension has in common with the Rik, is the constant[78] employment of the ordinary genitive and ablative of feminine bases, where the other Samhitâs and Brâhmanas generally use the dative; thus the Kânvas read ‘tasyâh’ instead of ‘tasyai’ (M. I, 1, 4, 16); ‘gâyatryâh’ instead of ‘gâyatryai’ (I, 7, 1, 1); ‘prithivyâh’ instead of ‘prithivyai’ (I, 2, 5, 18); ‘kumbhyâ bhastrâyâh’ instead of ‘kumbhyai bhastrâyai’ (I, 1, 2, 7); ‘stîrnâyâ vedeh’ instead of ‘stîrnâyai vedeh’ (IV, 2, 5, 3); ‘dhenoh’ instead of ‘dhenvai’ (III, 1, 2, 21), &c. Thus the Kânva text is in this respect more in accordance with the Rik-samhitâ than even the Aitareya-Brâhmana[79]. Again, the Kânvas seem to form the dative of feminine i-bases in accordance with the usual and older practice of the Rik; at least I find everywhere ‘âhutaye’ and ‘guptaye’ (as also in the Atharvan) instead of ‘âhutyai’ and ‘guptyai’ as the Mâdhyandinas (and Taittirîyas) read[80]. Of minor points of grammatical differences may be mentioned the form ‘nililye,’ which occurs once in the Mâdhyandina text (I, 2, 3, 1), and is otherwise only found in the Mahâbhârata; while the Kânva recension has the periphrastic form (nilayâm kakre), which the Mâdhyandina text also offers in the other two cases (I, 6, 4, 1; IV, 1, 3, 1) in which the word occurs. On the other hand, the Kânvas seem to read invariably ‘âtmani (dhâ or kri),’ where the Mâdhyandinas have ‘âtman,’ which is also (doubtless on metrical grounds) the more usual formation in the Rig-veda[81]. Of cases of material differences I can only at present adduce the passage I, 1, 4, 12 (M.), where the Mâdhyandina text is guilty of a transposition of the second and third castes, while that of the Kânvas gives them in the proper order. Though most of these points of difference between the two schools would seem to tell in favour of the higher antiquity of the Kânva text, there will always be great difficulty in deciding this question, as it is by no means impossible that these variations are entirely due to different local or family traditions. In favour of the latter alternative one or two other points may be mentioned. The Mâdhyandina text, as has already been remarked, offers not a few grammatical and other differences between the first five and the succeeding four kândas, or, as we may say, between the Yâgñavalkya and the Sândilya books of the Shashtipatha. Though I cannot speak with confidence on this point, as I have not yet examined the Kânva text of the Sândilya kândas, I may refer here to at least two points, in which the Kânvas, in the Yâgñavalkya portion, agree with the Sândilya portion of the Mâdhyandina text, viz. the use of the imperfect (aspardhanta) instead of the perfect (paspridhire) in the opening clause of legends; and the frequent employment of the particle ‘vâva’ in the place of ‘vai.’
As regards the present translation of the first two kândas, I need hardly say that I am fully aware of its shortcomings. My chief endeavour has been to translate as literally as seemed at all compatible with the English idiom. If, in consequence of this, many passages should be found to read somewhat awkwardly, I hope at least that the wish to follow the original as closely as possible, has not rendered them unintelligible. Those who have given any attention to the Brâhmanas and the sacrificial system of the Hindus, know how difficult the task is, and how easy it is to commit mistakes regarding the intricate minutiae of the ceremonial. The Brâhmanas presuppose a full knowledge of the course of sacrificial performance, and notice only such points as afford an opportunity for dogmatic and symbolic explanations, or seem to call for some authoritative decision to guard them against what were considered as heretical practices. In order to enable the reader to follow the course of the performance with something like completeness, I have supplied in my notes the chief details from Kâtyâyana’s Kalpa-sûtras. That not a few of these details did not belong to the sacrificial ceremonial of the Satapatha, but were the result of later development, or of an adaptation of sacrificial practices of other schools, can scarcely be doubted. Dr. Hillebrandt[82] is of opinion that sacrificial manuals, somewhat similar to the later Prayogas, must have existed as early as the time of the composition of the Brâhmanas. In the absence of any direct evidence, speculation on this point can scarcely lead to any definite results. I may say, however, that it seems to me quite sufficient to assume that the performance of sacrifices was taught as a practical art, and that the theoretic instruction, supplied by the Brâhmanas, was conveyed orally in connection with such practical performances. That the latter was the case, is sufficiently evident from the constant occurrence in the Brâhmanas of demonstrative pronouns and particles of a ‘deictic’ force[83].
I have occasionally referred to corresponding passages of the Taittirîyas: an exhaustive comparison of the two branches of the Yagur-veda, however interesting this might be, lay outside the scope of my notes. A general view of the sacrificial system might be considered desirable in this place; but I have found it necessary to defer this part of my duty as translator to some future opportunity. Those who desire further information on this point, I may refer to Professor Weber’s general survey of Hindu sacrifices, in vols. x and xiii of his Indische Studien. No other scholar has contributed so much to our knowledge of the sacrificial. ceremonial of the Hindus. I need hardly say that I have also obtained much useful information from the late Professor Haug’s notes to his translation of the Aitareya-brâhmana, although on many points the practices of modern Srotriyas, on which he chiefly relied, are manifestly at variance with those enjoined by the old ritualistic authorities. For the first kânda, I have also been able to avail myself of Dr. Hillebrandt’s careful exposition of the new and full-moon sacrifice; and though I had already worked myself through that part of the ritual before the appearance of his treatise, his constant references to the Sûtras of the Black Yagur-veda have been of great assistance to me.
The Brâhmanas and Kalpa-sûtras treat of the so-called Srauta or Vaidik sacrifices, requiring for their performance three sacrificial fires; while the Pâka-yagñas, or simple oblations of cooked food prepared on the domestic fire, are dealt with in the Grihya-sûtras. The present volume contains that portion of the Brâhmana which deals with the Haviryagñas or offerings of milk, butter, rice, barley, and similar materials as distinguished from the animal and Soma sacrifices. The new and full-moon offering being considered as the normal type of an ishti, or simplest form of a complete sacrificial performance, the place of honour is assigned to it in most texts of the Yagus; only points of difference being generally noted regarding the performance of ishtis, as parts of subsequent sacrifices. In point of time, the Darsapûrnamâsau ought to be preceded as indeed they are in the Kânva text of the Brâhmana by the Agnyâdhâna, or establishment of a sacred fire on the part of a young householder; and by the Agnihotra, or morning and evening libations.


[1] A. Roberts and W. A. Rambaut, The Writings of Irenæus, vol. i. p. xv.
[2] Mommsen, History of Rome, translated by W. P. Dickson, vol. i. p. 181.
[3] Ibid. vol. ii. p. 400.
[4] Ibid. vol. i. p. 179.
[5] Ibid. vol. iii. p. 455.
[6] Maghavan, the mighty or bountiful, is a designation both of Indra and the wealthy patron of priests. Here it is evidently intended to refer to both.
[7] See J. Muir, Original Texts, I, p. 239 seq.
[8] See Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 485 seq.; A. Weber, Indische Studien, X, 31 seq. In Rig-veda IV, 50, 8, Vâmadeva is made to say, ‘That king alone, with whom the Brahman walks in front (pûrva eti), lives well-established in his house; for him there is. ever abundance of food; before him the people how of their own accord.’ If Grassmann was right in excluding verses 7-11 as a later addition, as I have no doubt he was (at least with regard to verses 7-9), these verses would furnish a good illustration of the gradually increasing importance of the office of Purohita. Professor Ludwig seems to take the verses 7-11 as forming a separate hymn; but I doubt not that he, too, must consider them on linguistic grounds, if on no other, as considerably later than the first six verses. The fact that the last pâda of the sixth verse occurs again as the closing formula of the hymns V, 55; VIII, 40; and X, 121 (though also in VIII, 48, 53, where it is followed by two more verses) seems to favour this view.
[9] Cf. J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, I, p. 283.
[10] See Hang’s Essays, p. 241; Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 463 seq.
[11] See the present volume, p. 115 note.
[12] See Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 461 seq.
[13] See especially Taitt. S. VII, 1, 1, 4. 5; Weber, Ind. Stud. X, pp. 8, 26. III Sat. Br. II, 4, 3, 6. 7, Indra and Agni are identified with the Kshatra (? power in general) and the Visve Devâh with the Vis. Sometimes Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, the lord of prayer or worship, takes the place of Agni, as the representative of the priestly dignity (especially Taitt. S. IV, 3, 10, 1-3; Vâg. S. 14, 28-30); and in several passages of the Rik this god appears to be identical with, or at least kindred to, Agni, the purohita and priest (see Max Müller, Translation of Rig-veda, I, 77; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, V, p. 272 seq.) In Rig-veda X, 68, 9, where Brihaspati is said to have found (avindat) the dawn, the sky, and the fire (agni), and to have chased away darkness with his light (arka, sun), he seems rather to represent the element of light and fire generally (das Ur-licht, cf. Vâg. S. IX, 10-12). In the second p. xvii Mandala the hymns to Brihaspati are placed immediately after those to Agni and Indra. Though the abstract conception represented by this deity may seem a comparatively modern one, it will by no means be easy to prove from the text of the hymns addressed to him, that these are modern. It would almost seem as if two different tendencies of adoration had existed side by side from olden times; the one, a more popular and sensuous one, which, in Vedic times, found its chief expression in Indra and his circle of deities; and the other, a more spiritual one, represented originally by Varuna (Mitra, &c.; cf., however, Sat. Br. IV, 1, 4, 1-4), and in Vedic times, when the sacerdotal element more and more asserted itself, by Brihaspati, and especially by Agni. The identification of this god with the priestly office was as happy as it was natural; for Agni, the genial inmate of every household, is indeed vaisvanara, the friend of all men. Shadowy conceptions, such as Brihaspati and Brahman, on the other hand, could evoke no feelings of sympathy in the hearts of the people generally. Of peculiar interest, in this respect, are the hymns in which Agni is associated with Indra (see Max Müller’s Science of Language, Second Series, p. 495 J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, V, pp. 219, 220), and the passages in which Agni has ascribed to him functions which legitimately belong to Indra; viz. the slaying of Vritra and destruction of the enemies’ cities. The mutual relation of Indra and Varuna has been well discussed in Dr. Hillebrandt’s treatise ‘Varuna and Mitra,’ p. 97 seq. It is most concisely expressed by Vasishtha, Rig-veda VII, 83, 9, ‘The one (Indra) slays the enemies in battles; the other (Varuna) ever defends the ordinances.’
[14] See the present volume, p. 48 note; R. Roth. Zeitsch. der D. M. G., VI, p. 73 seq.
[15] The Maruts are identified with the visah, or clans, in Sat. Br. II, 5, 1, 12; 2, 24; 27; 35, etc. In Sâṅkh. 16, 17, 2-4 the heaven of the Maruts is assigned to the Vaisya (Ind. Stud. X, p. 26).
[16] See Weber, Ind. Stud. X, p. 8.
[17] In Ath.-veda IX, 1, 11, the three savanas are assigned to the Asvins, Indra-Agni, and the Ribhus (cf. Ait. Br. VI, 12) respectively; and in another passage of the same collection, VI, 47, 1, to a. Agni; b. the Visve Devâh, Maruts and Indra; and c. the Bards (kavi). In Vâg. S. XIX, 26, also, the morning libation is assigned to the Asvins (? as the two Adhvaryus of the gods, cf. Sat. I, 1, 2, 17; IV, 1, 5, 15; Ait. Br. I, 18); but in Taitt. S. II, 2, 3, 1; Ait. Br. III, 13; Sat. Br. II. 4, 4, 12; IV, 2, 4, 4-5 they are referred to Agni, Indra, and the Visve Devâh respectively. See, also, Sat. Br. IV, 3, 5, 1, where the Vasus (related to Agni III, 4, 2, 1; VI, 1, 2, 10), Rudras, and Âdityas (cf. VI, 1, 2, 10, and Ait. Br. III, 13) are connected with the three libations.
[18] See, for instance, Ait. Br. IV, 29; 31; V, I.
[19] The special oblations of the offering of first-fruits consist of a rice-cake to Indra and Agni, and a pap of rice-grains to the Visve Devâh.
[20] See Vâg. S. III, 12-13; Sat. Br. II, 3, 4, 11-I 2. ‘Indra-Agni are everything, Brahman, Kshatra, and Vis,’ Sat. Br. IV, 2, 2, 14.
[21] See, for instance, Sat. Br. I, 4, 5, 4; II, 3, 1, 38; 3, 4, 38; and especially IV, 1, 2, 15, ‘for Indra, indeed, is the Maghavan the ruler (netri) of the sacrifice.’ He is, as it were, the divine representative of the human sacrificer or patron, who is the yagñapati or lord of sacrifice.
[22] Der Rig-veda, vol. iii. p. 45.
[23] Compare the following remarks of M. Haug, who believed in the identity of the Vedic Adhvaryu and the Zota and Rathwi of the Zend-Avesta: ‘At the most ancient times it appears that all the sacrificial formulas were spoken by the Hotar alone; the Adhvaryu was only his assistant, who arranged the sacrificial compound, provided the implements, and performed all manual labour. It was only at the time when regular metrical verses and hymns were introduced into the ritual, that a part of the duties of the Hotar devolved on the Adhvaryu. p. xxi There are in the present ritual traces to be found, that the Hotar actually must have performed part of the duties of the Adhvaryu.’ Ait. Br. I, p. 31.
[24] See A. Weber, History of Indian Literature, pp. 9, 115.
[25] See M. Haug, Ait. Br. I, p. 34.
[26] See Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 172; Rig-veda-samhitâ IV, p. vi. Professors Weber (History of Sanskrit Literature, p. II), Whitney, Westergaard, and other scholars derive brâhmana from bráhman, ‘prayer, worship.’
[27] See R. Roth in Weber’s Ind. Stud. I, 475 seq.; II, 111 seq.; Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 408 seq.
[28] See the present volume, p. 183. Compare also Professor Aufrecht’s remarks on the myth of Apâlâ, Ind. Stud. IV, p. 8.
[29] K. B. III, 25; cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. II, 353.
[30] Cf. Max Müller, Upanishads, I, p. 39 note.
[31] See, for instance, Sat. Br. II, 4, 3, 1, where a legend of this kind seems to be directly ascribed to Yâgñavalkya.
[32] History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 408.
[33] That is, the Brâhmana, according to Saṅkara. In Sat. Br. IV, 6, 7, 6, the Rik and Sâman are identified with Speech, and the Yagus with the Mind.
[34] Except, perhaps, the Sâma-veda, which, in the Karanavyûha, is said to have counted a thousand schools; though that work itself enumerates only seven schools, one of them with five subdivisions. The number of teachers mentioned in connection with this Veda is, however, very considerable.
[35] As such, at least, the Taittirîyas are mentioned in the Karanavyûha. The term Karaka, however, is also (eg. in the Pratigñâ-sûtra) applied to the schools of the Black Yagus generally. If the Berlin MS. of the Kâthaka professes, in the colophon, to contain the Karaka text of the work (which Professor Weber takes to refer to the Kârâyaniyâh), the Karaka-sâkhâ of the Kâthaka has perhaps to be understood in contradistinction to those portions of the Kâthaka which have been adopted by the Taittirîyas and incorporated into their Brâhmana.
[36] The Taittirîyas divide themselves into two schools, the Aukhîyas and the Khândikîyas; the Âpastambins are a subdivision of the latter branch. We have also the list of the contents (anakramanî) of the Âtreyas, a subdivision of the Aukhîyas.
[37] It has come down to us in two different recensions, the Aitareya and the Kaushîtaki (or Sâṅkhâyana) Brâhmana.
[38] Professor Weber, however, thinks there may be some reason for this derivation; the name of Taittirîya having perhaps been applied to this school on account of the motley (partridge-like) character of its texts. According to the story alluded to, Yâgñavalkya, having been taught the old Yagus texts by Vaisampâyana, incurred the displeasure of his teacher, and was forced by him to disgorge the sacred science which, on falling to the ground, became soiled p. xxviii (hence Black Yagus), and was picked up by Yâgñavalkya’s condisciples, who had assumed the form of partridges. This story seems first to occur in the Purânas; see Wilson’s translation of the Vishnu Purâna (ed. Hall), III, p. 54. Pânini (IV, 3, 102) and Patañgali only know of the Taittirîya texts as ‘promulgated by Tittiri.’
[39] Zeitsch. der D. M. G., IV, p. 289 seq.; reprinted in Indische Streifen I, p. 31 seq.
[40] The Kânva text is divided into seventeen books. Kândas 12-15 correspond to Mâdhyandina 10-13; and kânda 16, which treats of the Pravargya ceremony, corresponds to the first three adhyâyas of the last kânda of the Mâdhyandinas. Thus, in the Kânva recension the fourteenth kânda, called ‘madhyama,’ is the middle one of kândas 12-16; the seventeenth kânda, or Brihadâranyaka, being apparently considered as a supplement. Perhaps this division is more original than that of the Mâdhyandinas.
[41] The accuracy of this list cannot he relied upon, as several mistakes occur in the number of kandikâs there given. It is, however, unlikely that the scribe should have committed any mistake regarding the number of adhyâyas.
[42] Literally ‘together with the rahasya (sarahasyam),’ &c.
[43] History of Indian Literature, p. 507 seq.
[44] See, however, Sat. Br. II, 5, 1, 2-3, where Yâgñavalkya’s opinion is referred to as being contrary to the Rig-veda.
[45] See Weber, Ind. Stud. XIII, p. 266 seq.
[46] The author of this passage would seem to imply, though he does not exactly express it, that this was the first fire-altar built in the proper way.
[47] I here give, side by side, the lists, in inverted order, from Sâmgîvî-putra upwards. For the complete lists, see Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 438 seq.
[48] In the Brihad-âranyaka (Kânva) VI, 5,4 the order is Kusri, Vâtsya, Sândilya.
[49] History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 437.
[50] Professor Weber, Ind. Stud. II, 201 note, expresses his conviction that ‘the vamsas are, on the whole, quite authentic; though they do not of course belong to the text, but are later additions; judging from the great number of names, some vamsas must have been added at a very late time.’ It seems to me, however, that if the vamsas are at all authentic and I see no reason for doubt as far as the two lists above referred to are concerned we have rather to assume that the lists were kept from early times and gradually added to. On the other hand, little can be made of the two vamsas at the end of the Madhu and Yâgñavalkîya kândas. They look rather like attempts and very unsuccessful ones at throwing several independent lists into one.
[51] Viz., Vâtsya IX, 5, 1, 62; Vâmakakshâyana VII, 1, 2, 11; Mâhitthi VI, 2, 2, 10; VIII, 6, 1, 16 seq.; IX, 5, 1, 57. Not mentioned are Kautsa, Mândavya, and Mândûkâyani. A Mândavya occurs in the twelfth book of the Mahâbhârata, as a contemporary of Ganaka and Yâgñavalkya.
[52] He is also the Rishi of Vâg. S. III, 37.
[53] This rule, which applies to the people of the north, is not explained in the Mahâbhâshya. The Kâsikâ Vritti gives the patronymics of Gârgîputra and Vâtsîputra, both of whom occur in our vamsa. It is worthy of remark that Kavasha Ailûsha, who is mentioned in Ait. Br. II, 19, and to whom the hymns Rig-veda X, 30-34 are ascribed, is called Kavasha Ailûshîputra in the Kâthaka 25, 7. Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. III, pp. 459, 157, 485.
[54] See especially Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 360 seq; Goldstücker, Pânini, p. 132 seq.; Weber, Ind. Stud. V, 65 seq.; XIII, 443; Bühler, Sacred Laws of the Âryas, I, p. xxxix note.
[55] Pânini, p. 138.
[56] Ind. Stud. V, 68 sec.; XIII, 443.
[57] Sacred Laws of the Âryas, I, p. xxxix note.
[58] Mahâbhâshya on Pân. IV, 2, 66; 3, 104.
[59] Possibly, however, this redundancy may have been caused by the insertion of the third or uddhârî-kânda, consisting of 124 kandikâs, to which there seems to be nothing corresponding in the Mâdhyandina text. We have no MS. of this particular kânda. I may also mention that, while in the first kânda (or second Kânva), the Mâdhyandinas count 9, and the Kânvas 8 adhyâyas, in the fourth kânda (or fifth Kânva), on the other hand, the Kânvas have 8, instead of 6 adhyâyas; and in the fifth kânda (or sixth and seventh Kânvas) they have together 7, instead of 5 adhyâyas.
[60] Bühler, loc. cit. p. xxv.
[61] The passage occurs in Mâdhyandina XI, 5, 6, 3.
[62] I select a few passages:
[63] See Weber, Ind. Stud. IV, p. 69.
[64] See Brih. Âr. 3, 5, where he is defeated by Yâgñavalkya in disputation.
[65] Taitt. S. VI, 1, 9, 2; 4, 5, 1.
[66] Ind. Stud. I, 187 seq.
[67] See the present volume, p. 204, with note. It would have been safer to give the name as Videgha Mâthava, instead of Mâthava the Videgha.
[68] See Ludwig, Rig-veda III, p. 205; Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 103.
[69] The passage III, 2, 3, 15, where the Kuru-Pañkâlas are apparently placed in the north in direct contradiction to XI, 4, 1, 1, where they are placed in opposition to the Northerners (udîkyah) seems to go against this supposition. Professor Weber, Ind. Stud. I, 191, tries to get over this difficulty by translating Kurupañkâlatrâ by ‘as among the Kuru-Pañkâlas,’ instead of among the Kuru-Pañkâlas;’ so that the meaning of the passage would be that ‘the same language is spoken in the northern region, as among the Kuru-Pañkâlas.’ Unfortunately, however, the Kânva text of the passage is not favourable to this interpretation. It runs as follows (K. IV. a, 3, 10): udîkîm pathyayâ svastyâ vâg vai pathyâ svastis tasmâd atrottarâhai vâg vadatîtyâhuh kurupañkâleshu kurumahâvisheshv ity etâm hi tayâ disam prâgânann eshâ hi tasyâ dik pragñâtâ.
[70] He is styled râganyabandhu in Khândogyop. V, 3, 5.
[71] They occupied the country about the modern Benares (Kâsî).
[72] Dhritarâshtra Vaikitravîrya, whose sons and nephews form the chief parties of this great feud, is mentioned in the Kâthaka 10, 6. From this passage which, unfortunately, is not in a very good condition in the Berlin MS. it would appear that animosities had then existed between the Kurus and Pañkâlas. It is doubtful, however, whether this part of the Kâthaka is older than the bulk of the Satapatha. See Weber, Ind. Stud. III, 469 seq.
[73] See Weber, Ind. Stud. I, 176.
[74] Viz. kândas 4-7, 9, 10, 12, 14-17.
[75] For instance, the brâhmanas Mâdhy. I, 4, 3; II, 3, 2 and 3; IV, 5, 10; 6, 8 are wanting in the Oxford MS.; see p. 338, note 3. In the fourth (fifth Kânva) kânda, the Kânvas, on the other hand, have two brâhmanas (V, 7, 5; 8, 2, the latter of which treats of the adâbhya graha, Vâg. S. VIII, 99-50) which are not found in the Mâdhyandina text.
[76] Professor Weber thinks that the sûtra of Vaigavâpa, of which mention is occasionally made in the commentaries on the Kâtîya-sûtra, may belong to the White Yagus. See History of Indian Literature, p. 142. Professor Bühler, Sacred Laws, I, p. xxvi, remarks that ‘Kânva is considered the author of the still existing Kalpa-sûtras of the Kânva school;’ but I have found no notice of these sûtras anywhere.
[77] That is, in those adhyâyas to which the Brâhmana forms a running commentary.
[78] I have not met with any exception in the kândas hitherto examined.
[79] See Aufrecht, Ait. Br. p. 418.
[80] See also the form ‘dhenoh’ mentioned above.
[81] Another curious feature of the Kânva text is the frequent insertion of an ‘ity uvâka’ in the middle of speeches, much like the colloquial ‘says he.’ As an instance I may adduce K. IV, 2, 3, 3 (M. III, 2, 3, 5): Sâ hovâkâ ‘ham eva vo yagñam amûmuham iti hovâka yad eva mayi tanvânâ iti mâm yagñâd antaragâta tenaiva vo yagñam amûmuham iti to mahyam nu bhâgam kalpayatety atha vo yagñah prarokishyata hi tatheti hokus, &c. The Kânvas also invert much more frequently an ‘iti’ in the middle of speeches.
[82] Das Altindische Neu- and Vollmondsopfer, p. xv.
[83] See, for instance, Sat. Br. I, 3, 1, 7; 8, 1, 14.


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