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Re: Shukla and KrishNa YV

VAgarwalV_at_cs.com
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 12:50:14 PDT

tatachar@aol.com wrote:
>
> Dear Bhagavathaas,
> 
> The info on the KrishnA and Shukla YV  shared by many bhagavathaas 
> has been interesting and illuminating. I just have few comments on 
> Sri Sudarshanan's posting. His narration as to the origin of
> name Taittiriya (Shishyas in the form of Taittiri birds absorbed the
> KYV vomitted by yagnavalkya) is interesting, because, the only 
> available version of KYV is Taittiriya branch (shaaka). Thus, it 
> would appear that the Taittiri word is applicable to the whole
> body of KYV and not just to the small portion called
> Taittiriya Upanishad. 

Vishal: Namaste! I apologize for the delay in the response, which I intend to post in multiple parts. Here is the first one. The above statement, in my opinion, is true and also not ture. There is a distinction between Krishna Yajurveda and Taittiriya Yajurveda. The latter is a type of the former.  
As many members have elaborated, the text that Sri Yajnavalkya vomitted became the Taittiriya Yajurveda. In my opinion, this story, though mentioned in some Puranas, is false and a latter concoction because Tittiri is mentioned as the name of a Sage who was also the disciple of Maharshi Vaishampayana (aka Charaka) in the Panini Ganapatha. Apparently, since the Taittiriya Amnaya (Samhita + Brahmana + Aranyaka)  is haphazardly arranged with the corresponding mantra and Brahmana portions occuring in a disjointed manner (for instance the mantra portion of the Pravargya occurs in Prpathaka X etc. of the Taittiriya Aranyaka whereas the Pravargya Brahmana is in Prapathaka IV), the story seemed to explain the nature of the text very well. The Taittiriya Shakha, as it exists, is called the 'Sarasvata' pAtha and in the Kalpasutras (like that of Baudhayana) is also described the 'Arsheya ' Patha of the Taittiriya Shakha which is more systematic (and has been published as the 'Mula Yajurv!
eda' by Maharshi Daivarata).

The Taittiriya Shakha represents only that particular Shakha of Krishna Yajurveda which was returned by Maharshi Yajnavalkya to Maharshi Vaishampayana. Before Yajnvavalkya, Maharshi Vaishampayana had taught the Krishna Yajurveda also to his other disciples and this gave rise to other Shakhas like the Kathaka, Maitrayaniya and so on (More details will follow).

The Bhagavatas have already listed several reasons on the nomenclature of Shukla and Krishna. One additional reason I have seen (maybe someone already mentioned it) is that since Krishna Dvaipayana Veda Vyasa taught the Yajurveda to Vaishampayana and he in turn taught it to his disciples, it came to be known as 'Krishna Yajurveda' And since Vaishampayana was also known as Charaka, the Krishna Yajurvedins also began to be called collectively as the 'Charakas'.

Another story that I have heard regarding the word Charaka is the following: In Magadha/Eastern UP to this day, the word Charaka is used as a synonymn for a particular variety of leprosy that is marked by white spots. According to tradition and the Ayurveda texts, this form of leprosy is a result of Brahmahatya, a sin of which Vaishampayana was accused of. Therefore, according to the story I have heardm Vaishampayana died of this leprosy and got the name of the disease as his nick name (or vice versa) and his disciples also acquired this name as a result. (As an example, the words 'Dushkrityaya charakacharyam' occur in the Madhyandina Shukla Yajurveda Samhita). 

For the last 15 centuries or so, the Taittiriyas have been the most prominent of the Krishna Yajurvedins all over India and therefore the word KYV has almost become synonymous with Taittiriya YV, just as the Baudhyana and Apastamba sutras of the Taittiriya Shakha are considered Kalpasutra par excellence by even non KYV schools to some extent (whereas earlier, the Kathaka texts occupied this place of honor in North India at least).

> 
> Just as the other Vedas, KYV is also divided into four parts
> as indicated below. I have also indicated the length of the  texts
> as measured by length of audio tapes that cover them.
> In standard Reader's digest size Kannada texts with swaras,
> the KYV is covered in roughly 2000 pages.
> 
> 1. Samhita (Taittiriya Samhita)- TS (14 tapes , 78 minutes each)
> Starts with Ishetvorjetva....
> 
> 2. BrahmaNa (Taittiriya BrahmaNa)-TB (10 tapes, 78 minutes each)
> Ends with Ahwamedha Prashna
> 
> 3. Aranyaka (Taittiriya Aranyaka)-TA (5 tapes, 78 minutes each)
> This contains Purusha Suktam etc.,. This tape 
> also contains Taittiriya Upanishad and Maha Narayana Upanishad.
> 
> 4. Upanishads (Three Upanishads: Taittiriya, Katha and Maitreye)

VA: The Maitreyi Upanishad actually belongs to the Maitrayani Shakha of Krishna Yajurveda which is still extant in some villages of Nasik, Dhule, Nandurbar in Maharashtra. Proficient Vaidiks can recite this Aranyaka/Upanishad according to Vedic tradition, with accents, and the accented text has actually been published by Satavalekara from Gujarat. The Katha and Svetashvatara Upanishads have lost their accents as the Kathaka Shakha (found earlier in Punjab and Kashmir) has lost its oral traditions. The following texts survive of this Shakha
1. KATHAKA sAMHITA: Only 1/3 is accented
2. Kathaka Brahmana: Several long fragments as 'Kathaka Sankalana' published by Suryakanta
3. Kathaka Aranyaka: Published from Nepa by Dr. Witzel of Harvard
4. KathaKA Upanishad Mantrasamhita: It had 15 chapters of which only 1-4 and 113-15 survive. The last two chapters are actually the Kathavalli Upanishad and there is another Upanishad called the Kathasruti Upanishad emedded in the initial portin of the Mantrasamhita.

> Of these, only Taittirya Upanishad is chanted like Vedic mantra, while  the
> other Upanishads are recited like  Bhagavadgita. In fact, Katha Upanishad
> in parts can easily be mistaken for Gita verses). As noted above Taittiriya
> Upanishad is covered under Taittiriya Aranyaka in teh audio tapes.
> 
> In comparison to this Shukla YajurVeda is just 9 tapes- including
> Ishavaasya and Brihadaaranyaka Upanishads.
 Vishal: Does the recitation of the SYV include the Brahmana also? In my opinion, of the Samhita and Brahmana are both recited, they are much more than 1/3 the length of the Taittiriya Amnaya. In north India (especially in Varanasi) there are Vaidiks who can recite the entire Madhyandina Shatapatha Brahmana with the Bhashika Vedic Accent and the accented text has also been published although it is somewhat corrupt.


> 
> 
> I just had the pleasure of completely listening to the 29 tapes of KYV as
> produced by Sri Krishnan of Veda Prasara Samiti. Sriman Sadagopan
> has previously enlightened us about the work undertaken by Mr. Krishnan
> for preservation of all the Vedas in the traditional Ghoshti style chanting
> by Shrotreeyas. I have previously listened to the entire Rig, Shukla YV,
> AtharvaNa and Sama Vedas produced by Mr. Krishnan. KYV just became 
> available (again thanks to Sriman Sadagopan who informed us about it
> on this net), for which I was eagerly awaiting (as I belong to  KYV), I 
> promtly
> got it in July 2000, and have been enjoying it ever since.
ViSHAL: We are really grateful to Sri Krishnan for recording the Vedic Samhitas. However, if you know him, could you request him to record the Maitrayaniya chantings as well? My Uncle recorded the recitations of several 100 recitors at a Vedic sammelan in 27 video tapes (3 hours duration each or so )at Prayaga in 1992 and donated them to the office of Vishva Hindu Parishad at Delhi.

The reason why KrishnaYV and AV recitations are similar to each other is because they are both similar to the RV and because in South India, the Taittiriyas have strongly influence the chanting of all the Vedas because of their large numbers. The AV recitations of Pancholi Brahmins of Gujarat (authentic style) are said to be different but I have not heard them and moreover, Shri Krishnan also says that his AV recordings are also those of some students of a Gujarati Pancholi Brahmin. Actually, some traditions say that the AV tradition almost became extinct 300 years ago and the Peshwas, to revive this Veda, offered incentives to Rigvedin Brahmins to learn the Shaunaka Shakha of AV. This is why the AV is recited to a great extent as the RV (I will check the details though).

> 
> I have been told that most North Indians are Shukla Yajurvedis,
> as most north Indians including Maharashtra follow SYV.
> The swara markings are quite different for SYV as compared to KYV,
> even for those portions, where the text is identical to KYV.
Vishal: North Indian Vaidkiks are Madhyandina Yajurvedins whereas Maharashtrians are both Madhyandinas (minority) and Kanvas (majority). The oral accents of Kanvas are the same as marked on their written texts but the Madhyandina recitations are, contrary to ALL the other Shakhas of ALL the Vedas, independent of the svaras marked on the manuscripts. Obviously then, the Madhyandina recitations are different not only from those of KYV but also from those of Kanva Shukla Yajurveda.

> 
> After listening to the entire Vedas (Rig, Sama, KYV, SYV and Atharva)
> in my opinion, Atharva comes closest to KYV in the chanting style.
> I liked KYV chanting style the most.
Vishal: It is indeed the most melodious to ears.

Sincerely,

Vishal

(More will follow in a systematic manner)


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