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Samhita Brahmana Aranyaka Upanishads

Upanishads Rig vedic

Aitareya Kaushitaki

Sama vedic

Chandogya Kena

Yajur vedic

Brihadaranyaka Isha Taittiriya Katha Shvetashvatara Maitri

Atharva vedic

Mundaka Mandukya Prashna

Other scriptures

Bhagavad Gita Agamas

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Shiksha Chandas Vyakarana Nirukta Kalpa Jyotisha

Puranas Brahma puranas

Brahma Brahmānda Brahmavaivarta Markandeya Bhavishya

Vaishnava puranas

Vishnu Bhagavata Naradiya Garuda Padma Vamana Kurma Matsya

Shaiva puranas

Shiva Linga Skanda Vayu Agni

Itihasa

Ramayana Mahabharata

Shastras and sutras

Dharma Shastra Artha
Artha
Śastra Kamasutra Brahma Sutras Samkhya Sutras Mimamsa Sutras Nyāya Sūtras Vaiśeṣika Sūtra Yoga Sutras Pramana
Pramana
Sutras Charaka Samhita Sushruta Samhita Natya Shastra Panchatantra Divya Prabandha Tirumurai Ramcharitmanas Yoga Vasistha Swara yoga Shiva Samhita Gheranda Samhita Panchadasi Vedantasara Stotra

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The Brahmanas (/ˈbrɑːmənə/; Sanskrit: ब्राह्मणम्, Brāhmaṇa) are a collection of ancient Indian texts with commentaries on the hymns of the four Vedas. They are a layer or category of Vedic Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts embedded within each Veda, and form a part of the Hindu śruti literature.[1][2] They are primarily a digest incorporating myths, legends, the explanation of Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon[3] or philosophy.[4][5] The Brahmanas are particularly noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the original symbolic meanings- translated to words and ritual actions in the main text.[4] Brahmanas lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing chapters that constitute Aranyakas
Aranyakas
or Upanishads
Upanishads
in their own right.[6] Each Vedic shakha (school) has its own Brahmana. Numerous Brahmana texts existed in ancient India, many of which have been lost.[7] A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety. The dating of the final codification of the Brahmanas and associated Vedic texts is controversial, which occurred after centuries of verbal transmission.[8] The oldest is dated to about 900 BCE, while the youngest Brahmanas (such as the Shatapatha Brahmana), were complete by about 700 BCE.[4][9][10] According to Jan Gonda, the final codification of the four Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas
Aranyakas
and early Upanishads
Upanishads
took place in pre-Buddhist times (ca. 600 BCE).[11]

Contents

1 Discussion

1.1 Mythology and rituals 1.2 Speculations about nature and philosophy 1.3 Language and chronology

2 List of Brahmanas

2.1 Rigveda 2.2 Samaveda 2.3 Yajurveda

2.3.1 Krishna Yajurveda 2.3.2 Shukla Yajurveda

2.4 Atharvaveda

3 Notes 4 References 5 External links

Discussion[edit] The Brahmana
Brahmana
are a layer of texts in Vedic Sanskrit
Sanskrit
embedded within each Veda, and form a part of the śruti literature of Hinduism.[12] They are primarily a digest incorporating mythology and Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon[3] or philosophy.[4][5] Mythology and rituals[edit] The Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature contain the exposition of the Vedic rites and rituals.[4][5] For example, the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana, one of the oldest Brahmanas, includes eight suktas (hymns) for the ceremony of marriage and rituals at the birth of a child.[13][14] The first hymn is a recitation that accompanies offering a Yajna
Yajna
oblation to deity Agni
Agni
(fire) on the occasion of a marriage, and the hymn prays for prosperity of the couple getting married.[14] The second hymn wishes for their long life, kind relatives, and a numerous progeny.[13] The third hymn is a mutual marriage pledge, between the bride and groom, by which the two bind themselves to each other, as follows (excerpt),

यदेतद्धृदयं तव तदस्तु हृदयं मम । यदिदं हृदयं मम तदस्तु हृदयं तव ॥

That heart of thine shall be mine, and this heart of mine shall be thine.

— Chāndogya Brāhmaṇa, Chaper 1, Translated by Max Muller[13][15]

The next two hymns of the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana invoke deities Agni, Vayu, Kandramas, and Surya to bless the couple and ensure healthful progeny.[13] The sixth through last hymn of the first chapter in Chandogya Brahmana
Brahmana
are not marriage-related, but related to hymns that go with ritual celebrations on the birth of a child, and wishes for health, wealth and prosperity with a profusion of milch-cows and artha.[13] The Brahmanas are particularly noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the symbolic importance of sacred words and ritual actions in the main text.[4] These instructions insist on exact pronunciation (accent),[16] chhandas (छन्दः, meters), precise pitch, with coordinated movement of hand and fingers – that is, perfect delivery.[5][17] Satapatha Brahamana, for example, states that verbal perfection made a mantra infallible, while one mistake made it powerless.[5] Scholars suggest that this orthological perfection preserved Vedas
Vedas
in an age when writing technology was not in vogue, and the voluminous collection of Vedic knowledge were taught to and memorized by dedicated students through Svādhyāya, then remembered and verbally transmitted from one generation to the next.[5][18] Speculations about nature and philosophy[edit] The Brahmanas are a complex layer of texts within the Vedas. Some embed speculations about natural phenomenon such as sunrise and sunset. For example, section 3.44 of the Aitareya Brahmana speculates whether sun really rises or sets.[3][19]

The sun does never rise nor set. When people think the sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other side. When they believe it rises in the morning this supposed rising is thus to be accounted for. Having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side. —  Aitareya Brahmana 3.44, Translator: J.S. Speyer[3][20]

The Panchavimsha Brahmana
Panchavimsha Brahmana
speculates on rivers starting in mountains, fed by snow and rain, flowing over the ground and underground, both emptying into the sea.[21] These speculations, however, are in the context of rituals.[3][20] Each Vedic shakha (school) has its own Brahmana, many of which have been lost.[7] A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety: two associated with the Rigveda, six with the Yajurveda, ten with the Samaveda
Samaveda
and one with the Atharvaveda. Additionally, there are a handful of fragmentarily preserved texts. They vary greatly in length; the edition of the Shatapatha Brahmana
Shatapatha Brahmana
fills five volumes of the Sacred Books of the East. The Brahmanas were seminal in the development of later Indian thought and scholarship, including Hindu philosophy, predecessors of Vedanta, law, astronomy, geometry, linguistics (Pāṇini), the concept of Karma, or the stages in life such as brahmacarya, grihastha, vanaprastha and eventually, sannyasa. Brahmanas also lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing sections that are Aranyakas
Aranyakas
or Upanishads in their own right.[6] The Shathapatha Brahmana
Brahmana
discusses ontological and soteriological questions.[22] Language and chronology[edit] The language of the Brahmanas is a separate stage of Vedic Sanskrit, younger than the text of the samhitas (the mantra texts of the Vedas proper), ca. 1000 BCE, but for the most part are older than the text of the Sutras. The dating of the Brahmanas is controversial, with oldest being dated to about 900 BCE, while the youngest Brahmanas (such as the Shatapatha Brahmana), were complete by about 700 BCE.[4][9][10] According to Jan Gonda, the final codification of the four Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas
Aranyakas
and early Upanishads
Upanishads
took place in pre-Buddhist times (ca. 600 BCE).[11] Erdosy suggests that the later Brahmanas were composed during a period of urbanisation and considerable social change.[23] This period also saw significant developments in mathematics, geometry, biology and grammar.[24] List of Brahmanas[edit] Each Brahmana
Brahmana
is associated with one of the four Vedas, and within the tradition of that Veda with a particular shakha or school: Rigveda[edit]

Shakala shakha

Aitareya Brahmana, rarely also known as Ashvalayana Brahmana
Brahmana
(AB).[25] It consists of 40 adhyayas (lessons, chapters), dealing with Soma sacrifice, and in particular the fire sacrifice ritual.[26] Parts of the Aitareya Brahmana reads like an Aranyaka.[27]

Bashkala or Iksvakus shakha (unclear)[28][29]

Kaushitaki Brahmana
Kaushitaki Brahmana
(also called Śāṅkhāyana Brahmana) (KB, ŚānkhB).[30] It consistes of 30 chapters, the first six of which are dedicated to food sacrifice, and the remaining to Soma sacrifice in a manner matching the Aitareya Brahmana.[26]

Keith has published his translation of Aitereya Brahmana,[31] and the Kaushitaki Brahmana.[32] Samaveda[edit]

Kauthuma and Ranayaniya shakhas

Tandya Mahabrahmana or Panchavimsha Brahmana
Panchavimsha Brahmana
(Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa) (PB) is the principal Brahmana
Brahmana
of both the Kauthuma and Ranayaniya shakhas. This is one of the oldest Brahmanas and includes twenty five books. It is notable for its important ancient legends and Vratyastomas.[26] Sadvimsha Brahmana
Sadvimsha Brahmana
(Ṣaḍviṃṡa Brāhmaṇa) (ṢadvB) is considered as an appendix to the Panchavimsha Brahmana
Panchavimsha Brahmana
and its twenty-sixth prapathaka.[26] Samavidhana Brahmana, and the following Samaveda
Samaveda
"Brahmanas" are in Sutra
Sutra
style; it comprises 3 prapathakas. Arsheya Brahmana
Brahmana
is an index to the hymns of Samaveda. Devatadhyaya or Daivata Brahmana
Brahmana
comprises 3 khandas, having 26, 11 and 25 kandikas respectively. Chandogya Brahmana
Brahmana
is divided into ten prapathakas (chapters). Its first two prapathakas (chapters) form the Mantra
Mantra
Brahmana
Brahmana
(MB) and each of them is divided into eight khandas (sections). Prapathakas 3–10 form the Chandogya Upanishad. Samhitopanishad Brahmana
Brahmana
has a single prapathaka (chapter) divided into five khandas (sections). Vamsa Brahmana
Brahmana
consists of one short chapter, detailing successions of teachers and disciples.[33]

Jaiminiya shakha

Jaiminiya Brahmana
Brahmana
(JB) is the principal Brahmana
Brahmana
of the Jaiminiya shakha, divided into three kandas (sections). One of the oldest Brahmanas, older than Tandya Mahabrahmana, but only fragments of manuscript have survived.[6] Jaiminiya Arsheya Brahmana
Brahmana
is also an index to the hymns of Samaveda, belonging to the Jaiminiya shakha. Jaiminiya Upanishad
Upanishad
Brahmana
Brahmana
(JUB) also known as Talavakara Upanishad Brahmana, is to some extent parallel to the Chandogya Upanisad, but older.

Yajurveda[edit] Krishna Yajurveda[edit]

In the Krishna Yajurveda, Brahmana
Brahmana
style texts are integrated in the Samhitas; they are older than the Brahmanas proper.

Maitrayani Samhita
Samhita
(MS) and an Aranyaka
Aranyaka
(= accented Maitrayaniya Upanishad) (Caraka) Katha Samhita
Samhita
(KS); the Katha school has an additional fragmentary Brahmana
Brahmana
(KathB) and Aranyaka
Aranyaka
(KathA) Kapisthalakatha Samhita
Samhita
(KpS), and a few small fragments of its Brahmana Taittiriya Samhita
Samhita
(TS). In addition to the Brahmana
Brahmana
style portions of the Samhita, the Taittiriya school has an additional Taittiriya Brahmana
Brahmana
(TB) and Aranyaka
Aranyaka
(TA) as well as the late Vedic Vadhula Anvakhyana (Br.).[citation needed] It includes a description of symbolic sacrifices, where meditation substitutes an actual sacrifice.[6]

Shukla Yajurveda[edit]

Madhyandina Shakha

Shatapatha Brahmana, Madhyandina recension (SBM)

Kanva Shakha

Shatapatha Brahmana, Kanva recension (SBK)

The Satapatha Brahmana
Brahmana
consists of a hundred adhyayas (chapters), and is the most cited and famous among the Brahmanas canon of texts.[6] Much of the text is commentaries on Vedic rituals, such as the preparation of the fire altar. It also includes Upanayana, a ceremony that marked the start of Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
(student) stage of life, as well as the Vedic era recitation practice of Svadhyaya.[6] The text describes procedures for other important Hindu rituals such as a funeral ceremony. The old and famous Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
Upanishad
form the closing chapters of Śatapatha Brahmana.[6]

Atharvaveda[edit]

Shaunaka and Paippalada Shakhas

The very late Gopatha Brahmana
Gopatha Brahmana
probably was the Aranyaka
Aranyaka
of the Paippaladins whose Brahmana
Brahmana
is lost.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

^ "Brahmana". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary ^ Gavin D. Flood (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35–37. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0.  ^ a b c d e Speyer, J. S. (1906). "A remarkable Vedic Theory about Sunrise and Sunset". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Cambridge University Press. 38 (03): 723–727. doi:10.1017/s0035869x00035000.  ^ a b c d e f g Brahmana
Brahmana
Encyclopædia Britannica (2013) ^ a b c d e f Klaus Klostermaier (1994), A Survey of Hinduism, Second Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791421093, pages 67-69 ^ a b c d e f g Moriz Winternitz (2010), A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120802643, pages 178-180 ^ a b Moriz Winternitz (2010), A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120802643, pages 175-176 ^ Klaus Klostermaier (2007), A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791470824, page 47 ^ a b Michael Witzel, "Tracing the Vedic dialects" in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, 1989, 97–265. ^ a b Biswas et al (1989), Cosmic Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521343541, pages 42-43 ^ a b Klaus Klostermaier (1994), A Survey of Hinduism, Second Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791421093, page 67 ^ Gavin D. Flood (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35–37. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0.  ^ a b c d e Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad, The Upanishads, Part I, Oxford University Press, page LXXXVII with footnote 2 ^ a b Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads
Upanishads
of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, page 63 ^ The Development of the Female Mind in India, p. 27, at Google Books, The Calcutta Review, Volume 60, page 27 ^ The pronunciation challenge arises from the change in meaning, in some cases, if something is pronounced incorrectly; for example hrA, hrada, hradA, hradya, hrag, hrAm and hrAsa, each has different meanings; see Harvey P. Alper (2012), Understanding Mantras, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120807464, pages 104-105 ^ Max Muller, A History of Ancient Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Literature at Google Books, page 147 ^ Gavin Flood (Ed) (2003), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ISBN 1-4051-3251-5, pages 67-69 ^ Lionel D. Barnett (1994). Antiquities of India. Asian Educational Services. pp. 203 footnote 1. ISBN 978-81-206-0530-5.  ^ a b Rigveda
Rigveda
Brahmanas: The Aitareya and Kausitaki Brahmanas of the Rigveda. Translated by AB Keith. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 1998. p. 193. ISBN 978-81-208-1359-5.  ^ Catherine Ludvík (2007). Sarasvatī, Riverine Goddess of Knowledge: From the Manuscript-carrying Vīṇā-player to the Weapon-wielding Defender of the Dharma. BRILL Academic. pp. 271–272. ISBN 90-04-15814-6.  ^ Ian Philip McGreal (1996). Great Literature of the Eastern World. HarperCollins. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-06-270104-6.  ^ Erdosy, George, ed, The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1995 ^ Doniger, Wendy, The Hindus, An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-959334-7, pbk ^ Theodor Aufrecht, Das Aitareya Braahmana. Mit Auszügen aus dem Commentare von Sayanacarya und anderen Beilagen, Bonn 1879; TITUS etext ^ a b c d Moriz Winternitz (2010), A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120802643, pages 176-178 ^ Paul Deussen, The Philosophy
Philosophy
of the Upanishads
Upanishads
at Google Books, pages 4-6 ^ Michael Witzel, Gour brahmana are now known RishiswarThe Vedic Canon and its Political Milieu, Harvard University Press, pages 320-321 ^ KB Keith, Rigveda
Rigveda
Brahmanas, Harvard Oriental Series, pages 22-45 ^ ed. E. R. Sreekrishna Sarma, Wiesbaden 1968. ^ KB Keith, Rigveda
Rigveda
Brahmanas: Aitereya, Harvard Oriental Series, pages 105-344 ^ KB Keith, Rigveda
Rigveda
Brahmanas: Kaushitaki, Harvard Oriental Series, pages 345-540 ^ "Vedic Samhitas and Brahmanas – A popular, brief introduction". 

Arthur Anthony Macdonell
Arthur Anthony Macdonell
(1900). "Brāhmaṇas". A History of Sanskrit Literature. New York: D. Appleton and company.  Arthur Berriedale Keith, Rigveda
Rigveda
Brahmanas (1920); reprint: Motilal Banarsidass (1998) ISBN 978-81-208-1359-5. A. C. Banerjea, Studies in the Brāhmaṇas, Motilal Banarsidass (1963) E. R. Sreekrishna Sarma, Kauṣītaki-Brāhmaṇa, Wiesbaden (1968, comm. 1976). Dumont, P. E. [translations of sections of TB 3 ]. PAPS 92 (1948), 95 (1951), 98 (1954), 101 (1957), 103 (1959), 104 (1960), 105 (1961), 106 (1962), 107 (1963), 108 (1964), 109 (1965), 113 (1969). Caland, W. Über das Vadhulasutra; Eine zweite / dritte / vierte Mitteilung über das Vadhulasutra. [= Vadhula Sutra
Sutra
and Brahmana fragments (Anvakhyana)]. Acta Orientalia 1, 3–11; AO II, 142–167; AO IV, 1–41, 161–213; AO VI, 97–241.1922. 1924. 1926. 1928. [= Kleine Schriften, ed. M. WItzel. Stuttgart 1990, pp. 268–541] Caland. W. Pancavimsa-Brahmana. The Brahmana
Brahmana
of twenty five chapters. (Bibliotheca Indica 255.) Calcutta 1931. Repr. Delhi 1982. Bollée, W. B. Sadvinsa-Brahmana. Introd., transl., extracts from the commentaries and notes. Utrecht 1956. Bodewitz, H. W. Jaiminiya Brahmana
Brahmana
I, 1–65. Translation and commentary with a study of the Agnihotra and Pranagnihotra. Leiden 1973. Bodewitz, H. W. The Jyotistoma Ritual. Jaiminiya Brahmana
Brahmana
I,66-364. Introduction, translation and commentary. Leiden 1990. Gaastra, D. Das Gopatha Brahmana, Leiden 1919 Bloomfield, M. The Atharvaveda
Atharvaveda
and the Gopatha- Brahmana
Brahmana
(Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde II.1.b) Strassburg 1899

External links[edit]

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