Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/224

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

Brāhmaṇa or Āraṇyaka does not indicate a difference of content as compared with the Saṃhitā, but is due to late and artificial imitation of the other Vedas.

The last three sections of Book III. of the Brāhmaṇa, as well as the first two books of the Āraṇyaka, originally belonged to the school of the Kaṭhas, though they have not been preserved as part of the tradition of that school. The different origin of these parts is indicated by the absence of the change of y and v to iy and uv respectively, which otherwise prevails in the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa and Āraṇyaka. In one of these Kāṭhaka sections (Taitt. Br. iii. 11), by way of illustrating the significance of the particular fire called nāchiketa, the story is told of a boy, Nachiketas, who, on visiting the House of Death, was granted the fulfilment of three wishes by the god of the dead. On this story is based the Kāṭhaka Upanishad.

Though the Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā has no independent Brāhmaṇa, its fourth book, as consisting of explanations and supplements to the first three, is a kind of special Brāhmaṇa. Connected with this Saṃhitā, and in the manuscripts sometimes forming its second or its fifth book, is the Maitrāyaṇa (also called Maitrāyaṇīya and Maitri) Upanishad.

The ritual explanation of the White Yajurveda is to be found in extraordinary fulness in the Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa, the "Brāhmaṇa of the Hundred Paths," so called because it consists of one hundred lectures (adhyāya). This work is, next to the Rigveda, the most important production in the whole range of Vedic literature. Its text has come down in two recensions, those of the Mādhyaṃdina school, edited by Professor Weber, and of the Kāṇva school, which is in process of being edited by Professor Eggeling. The Mādhyaṃdina recension con-