One of the four Ved. Ved are most ancient scriptures of Hindu religion.
Each Ved consists of a Sanhitaa which is the main book and attached to
it are several ancillary books classified as Braahman, Aaranyak, and
Upanishad. Yajur Ved Sanhitaa consists of hymns to be used for Yagya.
Unfortunately, unlike Rig Ved, its text has differed from priest-family
Each different text is called a Rescension. However these rescensions
can be classified into two groups, called Shukla Yajur Ved and Krishn
Yajur Ved. Shukla Yajur Ved is also known as Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa. Its
Madhyaandini Rescension is more popular among the North Indian priests;
while its Tattireeya Sanhitaa of Krishn Yajur Ved is more popular with
South Indian priests.
worshippers of Shiv, the Rudra Prashn, as given in Taittireeya Sanhitaa
is very popular throughout India. Many Hindu people have memorized it.
It is especially chanted on Shiv Raatri day.
[Aangiras, p 297]
About Yajur Ved
The word Yaju of Yajur Ved has the root in Yajuh. Yajur Ved is the Karm
Ved. It is in the form of prose. It dwells upon the scientific aspects
of the Karm, so it contains Richaa which deal with worship of gods. charity
and music. It was created by a Rishi named Vaayu. As the wind geberall
blows or moves and requires speed and movement, in the same way this Ved
is about the knowledge of action. Among the four Ved, this Ved ranks second.
But according to Matsya and Koorm Puraan, Vaidik knowledge was only one (one
Ved) and it was in the form of Yagya of the Yajur Ved, but when Rishi Ved
Vyaas Jee divided that one Ved into four Ved, he put this Ved as second in
where the Havishya is offered is called Yagya. The ceremonies which
encompass the personal or social activities which are performed for the
good for an individual or a society in extensive form are called Yagya.
For example imparting knowledge, imparting sight, giving charities, food
grains, right directions, helping a helpless, relieving a sufferer from
his suffering, serving a diseased person. That is why in action-oriented
Yajur Ved, while on one side there is a description of Yagya and ways to
perform them; on the other side there is a mention of social practices
and process of the creation of the world, what is Dharm and what is not
Dharm; duty and non-duty etc etc. Characteristics of knowledge and
science and science are described in the Rig Ved; how to make use of
those qualities of different things is described in Yajur Ved so that we
can derive the best and maximum benefits of those things.
of Yajuh is Yagya and worship also. A Purohit named Adhwaryu is the
leader of the Yagya. He has an important role to play in the Yagya. In
Braahman Granth he is called Yajush. Yajush means who has speed and is
forceful, thus he reflects the dynamism. This Ved talks about not only
speed (and nature) of sense of knowledge and senses of action (all 10
Indriyaan), but also the speed of Man (mind). In this way the Yajur Ved
is called the Ved of movement, dynamism of life.
Branches of Yajur Ved
Legends Behind the Two Branches
Patanjali talks of 101 branches of Yajur Ved, but today only 6 branches are available.
Two Branches of Yajur Ved
There are two main texts of Yajur Ved: (1) Krishn Yajur Ved (or black Yajur Ved), and
(2) Shukla Yajur Ved (or white Yajur Ved). The terms black and white have nothing to
with their colors. The Mantra which do not have any rules related to stages, rhythmic
sounds and end effects are called prose Mantra, the Yajur Ved. Its Mantra are in prose
to facilitate in the performance of Yagya or Yaag.
(1) Taittireeya Yajur Ved or Krishn Yajur Ved,
This is the most popular Rescension (version) of Krishn Yajur Ved is called
(1) Taittireeya Sanhitaa and is the original one. Its other branches are
(2) Maitreyaani, (3) Kathak, and (4) Kapishthalakath./font>
Krishn Yajur Ved is both in prose and poetry and hence considered "not pure".
Being the older one, it is also considered as more difficult to understand
Shukla Yajur Ved (being a later version) is in poetic form.
Krishn Yajur Ved which had 85 Shaakhaa before, now has only four available.
These are Taittireeya, Maitraayaneeya, Katha and Kapisthal.
The Taittireeya Sanhitaa is the one generally available in South India.
This has 7 Kaand, 44 Prapaatak and 651 Mantra.
It deals mainly with Yaag like Paurodaash, Yajamaan, Vaajapeya, Daarsh
Poorn Maas and Som Yaag.
Taittireeya Braahman, Taittireeya Aaranyak and Taittireeya Upanishad,
Kathopanishad are all associated with the Taittireeya Sanhitaa.
(2) Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa or Yaagyavalkya Sanhitaa or Shukla Yajur Ved.
The Shukla Yajur Ved is also called Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa and its most popular
Rescension is (1) Madhyaandin. Its another branch is (2) Kanv.
Krishn Yajur Ved is older and along with the text, it contains the explanation
of Mantra with a view to their use in performing the Yagya. Since the two items
are mixed it is called Krishn. The Shukla Yajur Ved is a new text and it was
prepared by including only the text.
Only two Shaakhaa are now available for Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa - The Kaanv and
Kaanv is more prevalent in the Southern India and the Madhyaandin is more used
in the North India.
Difference in Shukla and Krishn Yajur Ved
Upon a comparison of the two texts, it is clear that only minor differences permeate
the entire texts of the two Sanhitaa.
(1) Shukla Yajur Ved is connected with Aaditya sect, whereas the Krishn Yajur
Ved is connected to Brahm Sampradaaya.
(2) Shukla Yajur Ved dilates upon the Mantra connected to Anushthaan performed
on Agnihotra, Poornimaa and Amaavasyaa. While the Mantra of Krishn Yajur Ved are
mixed and are related to procedures and legends.
(3) Shukla Yajur Ved is popular in Southern India, while Krishn Yajur Ved is
popular in Northern India.
(4) There is a Shukla Varn (white) in Shukla Yajur ved, while krishn Varn
(black) in Krishn Yajur Ved. Here Shukla or Shwet means Shuddha or pure and
Krishn or black means A-Shuddha or impure. Here A-Shuddha means not wrong or
incorrect, but that some of these Mantra are mixed with Braahman (Granth). From
the point of view of subject matter, a reader can understand the Shukla Yajur
Ved without difficulty, but since in krishn Yajur Ved prose, poetry and Braahman
are mixed, it is difficult to understand.
Contents of Both Branches
Contents of Shukla Yajur Ved (Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa)
Yajur Ved contains 40 chapters. In its first 3 chapters there are Mantra
related to Amaavasyaa, Poornimaa, evening Agnihotra and Chaaturmaasya. The
total number of these Mantra are 128 - 31 in 1st chapter, 34 in 2nd chapter,
and 63 in the 3rd one.
Its one Shlok from chapter 1 says -
"Sa Vishwaayuh Sa Vishwakarmaa Sa Vishwadyaayuh, Indrasya Twa Bhag Somen
Tanachami Vishno Havishyaam Raksham"
Means - "O God, I want to adopt three kinds of instructions (voices) of
the Ved, that imparts knowledge - one that inspires various activities,
and one that gives happiness to body and soul."
Its 4th to 10th chapters contain Mantra related to Raajsooya and Vaajpeya Yagya.
Its 8th chapter contains 63 Mantra related to Brahmcharya and Grihasth Aashram.
Its 9th chapter contains 40 Mantra. Some of them describe 27 Padaarth (Gandharv,
elements) - 10 Praan, 2 Man (mind and heart), 10 senses, and 5 Sookshm Bhoot (subtle
Its 13th chapter, comprising 58 Mantra tells about the right conduct of men and women.
The 16th chapter has Shat Rudreeya, 66 Mantra.
The 17th chapter, 99 Mantra, describes arithmetic and matter etc
The 19th to 21st chapters describe Santraamani Yagya which Ashwinee Kumaar
did to cure Indra from the illness of access drinking of Som Ras.
The 24th chapter, 40 Mantra, describe in detail the characteristics of animals match
the characteristics of the god he is related with - swan for Som, frog is for
Parajanya, hippopotamus is related to Vishwe Dev etc.
The 27th chapter, 35 Mantra, remedies to avert death in early age, growth in wealth etc.
The 29th chapter, 60 Mantra, ways to relieve sufferings
The 3oth the chapter, 22 Mantra, includes Gayatri Mantra,
The 33rd chapter, 90 Mantra, Vaishwaanav Vidyaa
The 34th chapter, 50 Mantra, deals with the attainment of Riddhi Siddhi
The 35th chapter, 22 Mantra, death and salvation
The 39th chapter, 13 mantra, cremation and funeral rites
Its 40th chapter contains 18 Mantra and is Eeshaavaasyopanishad and is
considered the first mini Upanishad.
These 40 chapters show a bias towards action - Karm Kaand
Contents of Krishn Yajur Ved (Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa)
Krishn Yajur Ved has four branches - Taitteerya, Maitraayanee, Kathak, and
Kapishthakath. Taittireeya is the most famous among them. It contains 7
Kaand, divided into 44 Prapathak and 631 Anuvaak. This Branch is Karm
Kaand only, and all the karm are to be performed by the help of Mantra
Part 1 - Mantra are related to Amaavasyaa (Darsh), Poornmaas, Raajsooya, Vaajpeya and Agnishtom Yagya
Part 2 - about animals, Yagya and how to conquer your enemy
Part 3 - Som Yagya
Part 4 - sacrificial altar, Ashwamedh Yagya, selection of fire
Part 5 - selection of soil for Vedee, elaborate procedure for Ashwamedh Yagya
Part 6 - Deekshaa, Yagya Bhoomi
Part 7 - Jyotishtom Yagya
Yagya is the most important activity of the Vaidik religion, Yajur Ved
gives all the details of Yagya activity - about its Mantra, Vedee,
Samidhaa cloth for seat, Havishya etc etc. Ashwamedh Yagya is for the
welfare of horses, Naramedh Ygya is for the welfare of human beings, and
Pashumedh Yagya is for the welfare of the animals.
Yajur Ved has
several one-syllable prayers - Om, Shreem, Hreem, Bhoo, Bhuvah etc. Words
such as "Aagneya Swaahaa", "Indraaya Swaahaa" are used
in Yajur Ved.
The Yajur Ved ("Wisdom of the Sacrifices") is a liturgical
collection that was made to meet the demands of a ceremonial religion.
They contain sacred formulas, invocations and spells used by the Hindu
priests who performed the sacrificial rites. The Yajur Ved serves as a
guidebook for the priests who execute sacrificial acts muttering simultaneously
the prose prayers and the sacrificial formulae ('yajus').
The Yajur Ved consists of two recessions, both of them are written partly
in prose and partly in verse and both contain roughly the same material but
differently arranged. They contain sacrificial formulas (in Sanskrit it is
called "Yagya", means "sacrifices"). This Ved was used
by the Adhwaryu, priests who recited appropriate formulas from the Yajur Ved
while actually performing the sacrificial rites.
There are six complete recessions of Yajur Ved - Madhyaandin, Kanva, Taittireeya,
Maitreyanee and Kapishthalaa. Yajur Ved consists of two schools or traditions
making a Sanhitaa each: Krishn Yajur Ved and Shukla Yajur Ved. Krishn Yajur Ved
follows the Brahm Sampradaaya (the school of Brahm) and is said to be famous in
the Southern parts of India. It was supposed to be having 82 Shaakhaa (branches)
out of which only 4 are available now. While Shukla Yajur Ved follows the Aaditya
Aampradaaya (the school called Aaditya) and is prevalent in the Northern India. Out
of the 17 Shaakhaa in this school, only 2 are available to the mankind now.
Yajur Ved is more concerned with the actual methods of rituals. It involves
invocations to the sacrificial instruments themselves which were believed to
symbolize aspects of Brahm.
Gods in Yajur Ved
There is a difference between the gods of Rig Ved and Yajur Ved. The gods
such as Vishnu, Prajaapati, Rudra are not considered very important in Rig
ved, but they are very important in Yajur Ved. Names synonyms to them are
used in Yajur Ved, such as Shankar and Mahaadev, synonyms to Rudra, are
used in Yajur Ved, because Shankar is called the god of a pond of water,
while Shiv is a god of welfare, Mahaadev is the god of gods. Yajur Ved
says that Havishya is offered to Vishnu. There are some gods who are not
found in Rig Ved, but are found in Yajur Ved, there is no mention of snake
worship in the Rig Ved, while in Yajur Ved, they are regarded as gods.
Thousands of names for Vishnu and Shiv are mentioned in Yajur Ved. Rig Ved
talks of Truth as one God, while Yajur Ved talks of God with various names.
Prominent gods in Yajur Ved are Agni, Indraagni, Mitraavarun, Varun, Rudra,
Aaditya, Vasu, Marud Gan, Aryamaa, Nirriti, Savitaa, Ashwinee Kumaar, Saraswatee,
At times, not in Karm Kaand
but at other places, their meanings are different. For example Agni is not
only Fire but also is Paramaatmaa, Indra is used for Indra Devtaa, Paramaatmaa
and lightening too, Soorya is for the Sun also for Brahm in Soorya form. Ashwa
has been used to Fire, scholars and Yagya also. Isht is used for Yagya Saamagree
which is used to attain Isht result or bricks of Vedee. In its 24th chapter,
animals are connected to gods.