Yajurveda (यजुर्वेदः)

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The Yajurveda (Samskrit: यजुर्वेदः)

The Krshna Yajurveda has survived in four recensions, while two recensions of Shukla Yajurveda have survived into the modern times.[1]

Talk on Yajurveda

व्युत्पत्तिः ॥ Etymology

शाखाः ॥ Recensions

The Yajurveda text includes Shukla Yajurveda of which about 16 recensions are known, while the Krishna Yajurveda may have had as many as 86 recensions.[1] Only two recensions of the Shukla Yajurveda have survived, Madhyandina and Kanva, and others are known by name only because they are mentioned in other texts. These two recensions are nearly the same, except for few differences.[1] In contrast to Shukla Yajurveda, the four surviving recensions of Krishna Yajurveda are very different versions.[1]

Shukla Yajurveda

The samhita in the Shukla Yajurveda is called the Vajasaneyi Samhita. The name Vajasaneyi is derived from Vajasaneya, patronymic of sage Yajnavalkya, and the founder of the Vajasaneyi branch. There are two (nearly identical) surviving recensions of the Vajasaneyi Samhita (VS): Vajasaneyi Madhyandina and Vajasaneyi Kanva.[1] The lost recensions of White Yajurveda, mentioned in other texts of ancient India, include Jabala, Baudhya, Sapeyi, Tapaniya, Kapola, Paundravatsa, Avati, Paramavatika, Parasara, Vaineya, Vaidheya, Katyayana and Vaijayavapa.[2]

Adhyayas Anuvakas No. of Verses Regional presence Reference
40 303 1975 Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, North India [4]
40 328 2086 Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu [5]

Krishna Yajurveda

A total of eighty six recensions are mentioned to exist in Vayu Purana, however vast majority of them are believed to be lost.[6] The Katha school is referred to as a sub-school of Carakas (wanderers) in some ancient texts of India, because they did their scholarship as they wandered from place to place.[7]

No. of Sub-recensions[8] Kanda Prapathaka No. of Mantras Regional presence Reference
2 7 42 South India
6 4 54 Western India [9]
12 5 40 3093 Kashmir, North India, East India [8][10]
5 6 48 Haryana, Rajasthan [10][11]

The Maitrayani saṃhita is the oldest Yajurveda Samhita that has survived, and it differs largely in content from the Taittiriyas, as well as in some different arrangement of chapters, but is much more detailed.[12]

The Kāṭhaka saṃhitā or the Caraka-Kaṭha saṃhitā, according to tradition was compiled by Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana.[12] Like the Maitrayani Samhita, it offers much more detailed discussion of some rituals than the younger Taittiriya samhita that frequently summarizes such accounts.[12] The Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā or the Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha saṃhitā, named after the sage Kapisthala is extant only in some large fragments and edited without accent marks.[12] This text is practically a variant of the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā.


Each regional edition (recension) of Yajurveda had Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyakas, Upanishads as part of the text, with Shrautasutras, Grhyasutras and Pratishakhya attached to the text. In Shukla Yajurveda, the text organization is same for both Madhayndina and Kanva shakhas.[1][2]

In Krishna Yajurveda, each of the recensions has or had their Brahmana text mixed into the Samhita text, thus creating a motley of the prose and verses, and making it unclear, disorganized.[12]



Structure of the mantras

The various ritual mantras in the Yajurveda Samhitas are typically set in a meter, and call on Vedic deities such as the Savita (Sun), Indra, Agni, Prajapati, Rudra and others. The Taittiriya Samhita in Book 4, for example, includes the following verses for the Agnicayana ritual recitation (abridged)

Satapatha Brahmana


Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

It is key scripture of Hinduism that has influenced all schools of Hindu philosophy. The text is a treatise on Ātman (Soul, Self), with passages on metaphysics, ethics and a yearning for knowledge that influenced various Indian religions, ancient and medieval scholars.[13][14]

Isha Upanishad

The Isha Upanishad discusses the Atman (Soul, Self) theory of Hinduism, and is referenced by both Dvaita (dualism) and Advaita (non-dualism) sub-schools of Vedanta.[15][16]

Taittiriya Upanishad

It is the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of Taittiriya Aranyaka, which are also called, respectively, the Siksha Valli, the Ananda Valli and the Bhrigu Valli.[17]

Katha Upanishad

The detailed teachings of Katha Upanishad have been variously interpreted as Advaita (non-dualistic).[18]

Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Maitrayaniya Upanishad


Manuscripts and translations

Devi Chand published a re-interpreted translation of Yajurveda in 1965, reprinted as 3rd edition in 1980, wherein the translation incorporated Dayananda Saraswati's monotheistic interpretations of the Vedic text, and the translation liberally adds "O Lord" and "the Creator" to various verses, unlike other translators.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 CL Prabhakar (1972), The Recensions of the Sukla Yajurveda, Archív Orientální, Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 347-353
  2. 2.0 2.1 GS Rai, Sakhas of the Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 1, pages 11-16
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rgriffithwycontents
  4. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 1, page 13
  5. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 1, page 14
  6. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, page 235
  7. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, pages 236-238
  8. 8.0 8.1 GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, pages 238-241
  9. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, pages 244
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gonda, Jan (1975). A History of Indian Literature: Veda and Upanishads. Vol.I. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. pp. 326–327. ISBN 3-447-01603-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, pages 241-242
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 GS Rai, Sakhas of the Krsna Yajurveda in the Puranas, Purana, Vol 7, No. 2, pages 235-253
  13. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with Adi Shankara's commentary S. Madhavananada (Translator)
  14. Brihadaranyaka Upanisad with the commentary of Madhvacharya, Translated by Rai Bahadur Sriśa Chandra Vasu (1933),
    1. redirect Template:OCLC
  15. AK Bhattacharyya, Hindu Dharma: Introduction to Scriptures and Theology, ISBN 978-0595384556, pages 25-46
  16. Madhava Acharya, The Commentary of Sri Madhva on Isha and Kena Upanishad,
    1. redirect Template:OCLC; also Isavasyopanisad bhasya sangraha, ISBN 978-8187177210,
    2. redirect Template:OCLC
  17. Taittiriya Upanishad SS Sastri (Translator), The Aitereya and Taittiriya Upanishad, pages 57-192
  18. Kathopanishad, in The Katha and Prasna Upanishads with Sri Shankara's Commentary, Translated by SS Sastri, Harvard College Archives, pages 1-3
  19. Devi Chand (1980), The Yajurveda, 3rd Edition, Munshiram Manoharlal, ISBN 978-8121502948