STORY ABOUT A.BRAHMANA (Post No.4383)


Written by London Swaminathan
 

 

Date: 10 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 13-35

 

 

Post No. 4383

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

This is a story about the origin of Aitareya Brahmana.

The Brahmanas are the prose works in the Vedic literature. They deal with the fire sacrifices of the Vedic Hindus. Each Veda has separate Brahmanas. In fact each ‘Shaka’ of the Veda has one Brahmana. One of the oldest Brahmanas is Aitareya Brahmana of Rig Veda.

 

There is a curious story about the origin of this book. Sayana, the Vedic commentator said this story. There was a sage who had many wives, and one of them was called Itara. She had a son whose name was Mahidasa. The father neglected him and loved the other sons more than Mahidasa, and at a certain sacrifice, he allowed all the other sons to sit on his lap, but refused the honour to Mahidasa.

Thereupon Itara prayed to Goddess of Earth who appeared at once and offered a divine thrown to Mahidasa and seated him on it. The goddess then made him a great scholar. To Mahidasa Aitareya, enlightened by the boon of Earth,there appeared or was revealed. One Brahmana of the Rig  Veda  (of Sakala Saka was called after his name. Itara——-A/Itareya. The aranyaka is also called Aitareya Aranyaka.

 

(The legend says that Aitareya was the son of Itara; itara means the other woman, probably the woman was not the legal wife of the King and so her son was neglected.)

Aitareya Brahmana is divided into eitght Panchikas (pentads), each of which has five adhyayas and so it contains forty chapters; it deals with the duties of the priests, explanations of Soma, Uktya, Shodasa, Atiratra and other sacrifices including 12 minor sacrifices

 

How many Brahmana Books are there?

 

There is one more Brahmana of Rig Veda: Kaushitaki Brahmana.

Satapata Brahmana

Of all the Brahmana books, Satapata Brahmana is the most important one. It belongs to Sukla Yajur Veda. It deals with important fire sacrifices in addition to etymology, grammar and meanings of several other things. The name itself shows that it has hundred (sata) chapters. The Krishna Yajur Veda has Taittiriya Brahmana.  Atharva Veda has Gopata Brahmana.

 

The Brahmanas shows the oldest stage in the development of Sanskrit prose. It is a most interesting phase in the history of Indian thought. Some of the things are said in a symbolic language and so they appear as silly stories. The seers themselves often say the gods love mysterious language. The astronomical remarks in the Brahmanas show they belong to a period between 2000 BCE and 3000 BCE. Foreigners date them around 1000 BCE. This is wrong because Max Muler gave a rough date believing that a anguage changes every 200 years. This theory is not applied to any other language and proved More over, apart from language, there is huge difference between the Upanishadic stage and Brahmana stage.

 

–subham —

 

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