Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/226

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the Brahmanical system had by this time spread to the countries to the east of Madhyadeça, to Kosala, with its capital, Ayodhyā (Oudh), and Videha (Tirhut or Northern Behar), with its capital, Mithilā. The court of King Janaka of Videha was thronged with Brahmans from the Kuru-Panchāla country. The tournaments of argument which were here held form a prominent feature in the later books of the Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa. The hero of these is Yājnavalkya, who, himself a pupil of Āruṇi, is regarded as the chief spiritual authority in the Brāhmaṇa (excepting Books VI.-X.). Certain passages of the Brāhmaṇa render it highly probable that Yājnavalkya was a native of Videha. The fact that its leading authority, who thus appears to have belonged to this Eastern country, is represented as vanquishing the most distinguished teachers of the West in argument, points to the redaction of the White Yajurveda having taken place in this eastern region.

The Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa contains reminiscences of the days when the country of Videha was not as yet Brahmanised. Thus Book I. relates a legend in which three stages in the eastward migration of the Aryans can be clearly distinguished. Māṭhava, the king of Videgha (the older form of Videha), whose family priest was Gotama Rāhūgaṇa, was at one time on the Sarasvatī. Agni Vaiçvānara (here typical of Brahmanical culture) thence went burning along this earth towards the east, followed by Māṭhava and his priest, till he came to the river Sadānīra (probably the modern Gandak, a tributary running into the Ganges near Patna), which flows from the northern mountain, and which he did not burn over. This river Brahmans did not cross in former times, thinking "it has not been burnt over by Agni Vaiçvā-