Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 42.djvu/66

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Ixli HYMNS OF THE ATHARVA-VEDA.

��2, 2-5) ^ The Paippaladas, vSaunakins, G'aladas, and Maudas are alike representatives of Atharvan schools (see Kavuika, Introduction, p. xxxiii ff.): the passage shows how eager the scramble for the office of purohita had become. That the Atharvans finally succeeded in making heard their clamorous demand for this office (see below, p. Ixvii) is probably due, as we shall see, to their superior, if not exclusive knowledge of witchcraft, which was doubtless regarded in the long run as the most prac- tical and trenchant instrument for the defence of king and people.

In order to estimate at its correct value the claims of

the Atharvanists that their own Veda is entitled to the

name Brahma-veda, and that the so-called

leading^npto Brahman-priests and the Purohitas must be

the exaltation adherents of the AV., we need to premise

of the AY. . -J .. r ^ ^

certam considerations of a more general nature.

In the Vedic religious system, or we might say more cautiously religious evolution, three literary forms and correspondingly three liturgical methods of application of these forms to the sacrifice were evolved at a time prior to the recorded history of Hindu religious thought and action. They are the 7ika./i, samani. and ya^u;;/shi, known also by a variety of other designations, and characterised to a con- siderable extent by special verbs expressing the act of reciting or chanting them -. Correspondingly the priests who had learned one of these varieties of religious expres- sion and its mode of application to the sacrifice appear, again for aught we know from prehistoric times as indi- vidual actors (hotar, udgatar, adhvaiyu), in no wise qualified each by himself to shoulder the burden of literary know- ledge or liturgic technique. The Hindus were at all times well aware that these religious forms are fragmentary and parts of a whole. The Rig-veda contains countless expres- sions indicating the insufficiency of the 7-ika./i to fulfil alone

��1 Cf. Weber, Ind. Stud. I, 296 ; the author, Joum. Amer. Or. Soc. XI, 378, note.

^ See Max Miiller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 489 ff. ; Ludwig, Der Rigvcda, HI, p. 25 ff.

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