Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/61

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of the latter must have been essentially fixed in their time, and that too in quite a special manner, more, for instance, than the prose formulas of the Yajurveda. For the Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa, while speaking of the possibility of varying some of these formulas, rejects the notion of changing the text of a certain Rigvedic verse, proposed by some teachers, as something not to be thought of. The Brāhmaṇas further often mention the fact that such and such a hymn or liturgical group contains a particular number of verses. All such numerical statements appear to agree with the extant text of the Rigveda. On the other hand, transpositions and omissions of Rigvedic verses are to be found in the Brāhmaṇas. These, however, are only connected with the ritual form of those verses, and in no way show that the text from which they were taken was different from ours.

The Sūtras also contain altered forms of Rigvedic verses, but these are, as in the case of the Brāhmaṇas, to be explained not from an older recension of the text, but from the necessity of adapting them to new ritual technicalities. On the other hand, they contain many statements which confirm our present text. Thus all that the Sūtra of Çānkhāyana says about the position occupied by verses in a hymn, or the total number of verses contained in groups of hymns, appears invariably to agree with our text.

We have yet to answer the question as to when the Saṃhitā text, which finally fixed the canonical form of the Rigveda, was constituted. Now the Brāhmaṇas contain a number of direct statements as to the number of syllables in a word or a group of words, which are at variance with the Saṃhitā text owing to the vowel con-