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Veda.(J.bronkhorst)(ABORI, LXX, 1989)

Veda.(J.bronkhorst)(ABORI, LXX, 1989)

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Vot.LXX]
f
PARTS
t-ÏV
Annals of theBhandarkar OrientalResearch Institute1989
EDITED BY
N
f
S- D, LadduPOONAPrinted and Published by R. N. Dandekar, at theBhandarkar Institute Press, Bhandarkar OrientalResearch Institute, Poona 411,004I99Q
 
VEDA*
BY
JOHANNES BRONKHORST
s
Veda
>
in the VedaThe terms ' Rgveda \ ' Yajurveda ' and ' Sâmaveda ' do not occuithe oldest parts of Vedic literature. They occur nowhere in the Samhiünor in the earliest parts of the Brhämanas. This can be seen as follows.The Aitareya Brâhamana can be divided into an earlier and a lapartW the basis of the fact " that in the first twenty-four Adhyâyas ( i-v.2the only tense of narration is the imperfect, and that perfects are extremrare in any narrative sense. On the contrary, from v. 26 to the endproportion of perfects grows steadily ..." ( Keith. 1920 : 34). From tand other
3
evidence Keith concludes that" the last sixteen Adhyäyas cansafely ascribed to a later period than the first twenty-four " ( id. ). The tei' Rgveda
\
' Yajurveda ' and
«
Sâmaveda ' occur in only one section ofAitareya Brâhamana.
viz.
, 5. 32 ( 25. 7 ), i. e., in the younger part ofBrahman a.Also the Satapatha Bràhmana is known to consist of parts that delfrom different times. Books 11-14 are younger than the books preceding th*and indeed our three Vedas are mentioned by name only there, viz. at
ll.i3-6;
12.3.4.9; 14.4.3.12. [= BAU 1.5.5]; 14.5.4.10 [ = BAU4.10] ; 14. 6.10. 6 [ = BAU 4. 1. 2 ] and 14.7. 3.11 [ = BAU 4. 5.11 ].The Pancavinisa Brähmana and Sadvinisa Bràhmana of the Sâmav*belong together, as their names indicate, and the latter is, not surprisingyounger than the former (Eelsingh, 1908 : xxx f. ). Rgveda, Yajurveda
z
Samaveda are mentioned by name in the Sadvinisa Bràhmana ( 1. 5. 8 ; 42 ), not in the Pancavinisa Brähmana.* I thank Dr. Harry Falle for critical comments. After this paper had been writt«found that similar conclusions regarding the meaning of
veda
have been reachecYudhisthira Mîmâmsaka in the introduction to his edition, translation and expiation of the Sabarabhägya ( Mimämsaka, 1987 : 80-81 ).
1
*
Rgveda
*
occurs in the Khilas of thej^gveda, at
4*
2. 6.
2
See Keith, 1920: 28-36.
 
126
Annals BORl, LXX ( 1989
jThe above three Vedas are also mentioned by name in a number ofother relatively young Vedic texts. We find them, e. g., included in the follow-ing enumeration of literary compositions in the Brhadäranyaka Upanisad( 2.4.10, 4.1. 2, 4. 5.11, [ = ÖB 14. 5.4.10, 14. 6.10. 6, 14. 7. 3.11] ) andMaiträyani Upanisad (6. 32 ) :
rgvedo yajurvedah sämavedo 'tharvängirasaitihàsah puränam vidyä
upanisadah
slokah süträny
anuvyâkhyânâni
vyakhyâ-näni,
GB
1.1.17-21
enumerates our three Vedas also with the Atharvaveda,
itihasapuräna, väkoväkya, gâthâ, näräsamsi, upanisad
and
anusäsana.
It seems that the youngest Vedic texts use the terms
*
Rgveda ', ' Yajur-veda ' and ' Sämaveda ' which are used in the singular, as in the abovequotations — more or less in the same way as we use them, i. e., to denotewhat is nowadays also known by the names ' Rgveda-Sanihitä ',
<
Yajurveda-Sarrihitâ" ' and ' Sämaveda-Sarnhitä \
3
And even if this is not the case, it seemsclear that these terms refer to bodies of literature that include the Samhitäs.ChU. 3.1-3 contains a simile which seems to support the interpretation thatthe Rgveda is a collection of Rces, and similarly for the other two Vedas. TheRces are here compared to bees, the Rgveda to a flower : similarly for theYajuses and the Sämans vis-a-vis the Yajurveda and Sämaveda respectively.The Rgveda clearly appears at the place where all the Rces meet, and there-fore seems to be their collection ; so for the Yajurveda and Sämaveda. ( ChU3.4 relates in a similar manner the atharvängirasas and itihasapuräna, as ifthere were no Atharvaveda. The significance of this peculiarity is discussedelsewhere.
4
And GB
1.1.29
mentions the four Vedas (i. e., our three plusthe Atharvaveda ) and gives their beginnings as we know them.
5
It is clear that the word ' Veda', alone or in compounds, cannot beexpected to give rise to difficulties in the younger Vedic texts. But how is theword used in the older texts, especially in those which do not know, or use,the terms
*
Rgveda ',
<
Yajurveda ' and
«
Sämaveda ' ?These texts do indeed use the word ' Veda ', be it not very frequently.A number of the occurrences of this word in the old texts support the view»that ' Veda ' is here more or less synonymous with
mantra,
and does notdesignate collections of mantras and the like.Note that these expressions are to tally unknown to the Vedic texts.See Bronkhorst, forthcoming : section 4.4.They are the same as those quoted in Patanjali's Mahäbhäsya ( ed. Kielhorn 1, p. 11,lines 4-5 ), but the order is different. It is particularly remarkable that Patanjali putsAV ( P )
sain no devtr
abhtsjave
 first,
 while GB puts it last.

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