��^/gveda, ya^urveda, samaveda, vakovakyam, itihasapura- wam, and finally sarvan vedan (cf. the same grouping, Sat. Br. XI, 5, 7, 6 ff.). But in 5ahkh. I, i6, 3 (brahmaveda) ; Hir. II, 3, 9 (atharvangirasa//) ; II, 18, 3; 20, 9 (atharva- veda) ; Par. II, 10, 7 (atharvavcda) ; II, 10, 21 (atharva;/am) there is a distinct advance along the line of later develop- ment in the familiar mention of the fourth Veda ; this is not balanced altogether by the restriction to the trayi, ^ahkh. I, 22, 15 ; 24, 2 ; Hir. I, 5, 13; II, 13, i, or the restriction to two Vedas, Gobh. I, 6, 19 ; III, 2, 48 ; Aj-v. I, 7, 6= Par. I, 6, 3 = 5ahkh. I, 13, 4, because these passages are to a considerable extent quotations, or modifications of mantras derived from the j-ruti. The true value of this testimony is chronological, not sentimental : the G;-/hya- sutras, as much as their subject-matter is akin to the Atharvan, are not imbued with a sense of its especial value and importance, any more than the j-rauta-texts. They handle their materials in a self-centred fashion, without acknowledging any dependence upon the literary collections of the Alharvans ; their more frequent reference to the fourth Veda is formulaic in every single instance, and the greater frequency with which it is mentioned marks the later chronology of the Grzhya-sutras (cf. Oldenberg, Sacred Books, vol. XXX, pp. i and xvii ff.).
The construction of the Vedic literature in general is, as we have seen, such as to forbid any genuine discrimi-
„, .„ nation there against the Atharvan. In so
Ihe AV. °
in the law- far as this Veda offers the means of defence books. against the ills of life (disease and posses- sion by demons); in so far as it presents the auspicious blessings pronounced at the sacramental points in the life of the individual, from conception to death, it is holy by its very terms. Even witchcraft is part of the religion ; it has penetrated and has become intimately blended with the holiest Vedic rites ; the broad current of popular religion and superstition has infiltrated itself through numberless channels into the higher religion that is presented by the Brahman priests, and it may be pre- sumed that the priests were neither able to cleanse their