The literature of the Veda consisting of
Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and even
the Srauta Sutras is the real source of
information about it's origin and
development. The Samhitas namely Rgveda
(RV) , Samaveda (SV), Yajurveda (YV) and
Atharvaveda (AV) happen to be the
compilation of the mantras meant to be
employed during the performance of various
The Jaiminiya Brahmana (JB) belongs to the
Jaimini Sakha of the Samaveda. The
manuscript of the Jaiminiya Brahmana was
first traced by A. C. Burnell in 1883 from
Tinnevelli (Tamil Nadu) in fragmentary form.
It contains the description of the yajnas
with elaborate application of Samans at times
with the comparisons of the Tandya
JB Kanda I describes Agnihotra evening,
morning libations of milk respectively to
Agni, the fire god and the Sun which is a nitya
(constant) rite. Further It also deals with the
Aginstoma one day Soma yajna.
JB Kanda II mainly deals with the
Gavamayana, the year long Yajna which is
regarded as the norm for sattra of yearly
session Yajna; various one-day Soma Yajna
enumerated with different important Sarnans;
describe the Soma Yajnas with more than one
Soma-extraction-day up to twelve (called)
Ahina enumerated as "Dviratra' two night,
Triratra Dasaratra etc. Gava sattra,
Utsrjys and Anutstjys, element of dropping
and other-wise has been taken up.
JB Kanda III forms the last part of Jaiminiya
Brahmana and is mostly devoted to the
Dvadasaha (12 day) Soma Yajna prescribing a
number of Sa mans (melodies).
The present 3 volume set of JB contains the
critical edition of the text along-with
translation and notes.
Prof. Dr. H.G. Ranade (5th March 1938 - 23rd October 2009), was the Coordinator and Editor of the Sanskrit-English Encyclopedic Dictionary on Historical Principles at the Deccan College, Pune. He completed his education with first class throughout and did his Ph.D. on 'The Study of Satapatha Brahmarja as a Commentary on the Vajasaneya Sarphita' from the University of Bombay in 1970. Being in the profession of teaching and research he developed a special liking for Vedic ritual, the tradition of which is found dwindling now-a-days. After completing his first English translations of the Katyayana and Asvalayana-Srauta-Sutras (published in 1978, 1983-86) he got inclined to prepare critical edition of Latyayana-Srauta-Sutras with English translation for the Kalamulagastra series published in 1988 under the auspices of the IGNCA. Enriching his acquaintance with the Vedic ritualistic terminology with these editions and translations he further proposed to work on the "Illustrated Dictionary of Vedic Rituals". This was also published by IGNCA in 2006. He had the opportunity to attend the performance of the important Soma yajna in India and later deliver lectures on the Vedic rituals abroad holding thereby discussions on problems therein with the scholars at the global level. He prepared the critical edition along with translation of the Jaiminiya Brahmana for IGNCA which is published here in three volumes. It is hoped that his great contributions in the field of Vedic rituals will definitely benefit the readers.
India has a huge textual treasure, most of which is still unexplored and under researched. It is the prime responsibility of the Cultural Academic Institutions like IGNCA to make this treasure available to the scholars and researchers. In the overall framework of IGNCA, its Kalakoga Division concentrates mainly on the textual traditions of India. Through its activities the division aims to comprehend the arts, within the context of the Indian world view, notions of space and time and interconnections between diverse disciplines of knowledge at the level of theory and practice. Emerging out of this perception is the publication series of the fundamental texts known as the Kalamulasastra. The series includes the texts which are basic to the Indian artistic traditions and also the primary texts which are specific to particular arts. The series thus concentrates on the textual tradition in relation to the traditions of oral transmission and also contemporary practices. The foundations of the Indian arts lie in the articulation of a world view in the Vedas, the speculative thought of the Upanisads and the elaborate system of rites and rituals enumerated in the Brahmanas. Vedic mantras have remained immutable because they are considered as revelations, come down through intuitive insight. However, the Vedas have been interpreted at many levels. While in the Upanisads is found speculation at the intellectual level on the nature of the universe, the immanent and transcendental; the Brahmanas make concrete the world view and the concepts through a highly developed system of ritual known as yajna. Through various rituals performed during the yajnas a system of correspondences is established between specific and universal, the finite and infinite, the physical and the metaphysical. In these various types of performances are laid the seeds of later temple architecture, musical forms, dance and drama etc. A statement from the Natyagastra is very significant
in this context where it states that the theatrical performance is a yajna. Hence, the Brahmana texts serve as the foundation of artistic practices besides being the texts of theology and liturgy.
Keeping above observations in view regarding the significance of the Brahmana literature, IGNCA has already brought out the Satapathabrahmana (SB) in seven volumes of the series, as the Satapatha is considered the earliest Brahmana. The Jaiminiya Brahmana GB) considered equally an important Brahmana text on rituals is now presented in three volumes of the Kalamulasastra series. This Brahmana belongs to the Jaiminya school of the Samaveda and it holds significance regarding the recitation of the Samans. The recitals of the Samans are considered effective in the same way as the offering of oblations. Different types of Samans are prescribed for various rituals during the performance of yajna as, reflecting on the ancient musical traditions. Here this is for the first time that the complete edited text of JB is made available along with English translation. This ardours task was accomplished for IGNCA by the well known specialist of the Vedic Studies from Pune Prof H G Ranade. Unfortunately Prof Ranade is not with us to see his work in the published form. But certainly he remains alive through his great contribution towards this highly technical source material by making it available for future research. An in depth study of such materials remains a prerequisite for grasping the development of knowledge particularly the development of the arts. I am sure the scholars and our young researchers will make right use of it. This is an important publication in making these source materials available for bringing to light new findings.
Dr Advaitavadini Kaul, HoD and Dr N D Sharma an accomplished scholar in Kalakoga Division, ensured the completion of the project with the composer in Pune and also pursued its timely publication. I appreciate their diligence. Another scholar of the Division Pt V P Mishra looked after the co ordination. I sincerely congratulate the Kalakoga team for bringing to light yet another important text through our Kalamulasastra series.
Indian artistic traditions are not isolated, but form an integral part of a unified vision and world view that has been visualized in Vedas, Agamas and Purarias. Publication of the texts under IGNCA's Kalamulasastra series brought out through its Kalakosa Division include the texts from these branches of knowledge along with the texts on specific arts. The texts which have been brought out so far make it amply clear that the theory and technique of the particular arts is but the flowering of a single unified vision. Vedas are the fountainhead of knowledge and they present the origin and evolution of human consciousness through sacred mantras which are considered as revelations. Initially the mantras came down orally hence Vedas are also known as Sruti. To whom the mantras were revealed, they are called mantra drsta- (seers of the mantras). Of the four Vedas, the first three viz., RK, Yajus and Sama are indispensable for the performance of yajna. The 12ks of the Rgveda are used for the chanting of invocatory prayers to deities like Indra, Agni, Varuna and so on. Technically called Sastras these 12ks are also uttered at the time of actual offerings like Pratah Savana, Madhyandina Savana, etc. The Yajus consist of the formulae in prose, which refer to the details of the performances of various istis and yagas. The 12k mantras set to music are Samans (Sama Veda). The Saman chants are known as stotras and are chanted while collecting Soma in various types of grahas meant for different deities. The priests who handle the three Vedas and perform the rituals connected with these are known as Hotr (Rk), Adhvaryu (Yajus) and Udgatr(Sama) respectively. There is also the Brahma (priest) to monitor the entire process of rituals. The Brahma thus must be well-versed in the functioning of the other three categories of the priests. Then, each of the four priests having three assistants, form the four ganas (groups). Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, the conceiver of the KMS series in her Foreword to the Latyayana-Srauta-Sutra (KMS series nos. 27, 28 & 29, p. viii : Vol. I) rightly states : "Deployment of different groups of priests to perform specific duties and to chant particular mantras, at particular junctures of a performance, has a complex and sophisticated dramatic structure. The Vedic rituals as described and prescribed in these sutras thus contain the seeds of Indian dramatic theory and practice". She further observes : " In this connection it is pertinent to recall the first chapter of the Natyasastra of Bharata which states that the dramatic performance is a yajna.
Besides the Vedas (Samhita) which have remained immutable, the Vedic literature constitutes an integrated corpus comprising the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanisads and the Sutra literature. While the Brahmanas enumerate the elaborate system of rites and rituals in great detail, the Sutras are the manuals of Vedic rituals. The Brahmanas are the earliest texts giving the details of the Vedic ritual practices/performances which is an enactment or re-enactment of a cosmic phenomenon. The speculative thought of the Upanisads and the method of rituals enumerated in the Brahmanas are basically parts of a whole. The Vedas are the perennial source from which several inter-related streams flow with distinctive emphasis on method and process. Together they provide the foundation of Indian arts. Recently there has been a new focus on the study of art as ritual and ritual as artistic practice. In this context IGNCA has already brought out the re-edited publication of the fundamental text on ritual, the Kanva Satapathabrahmana belonging to the Kanva sakha of the Sukla Yajurveda edited and translated by the great Vedic scholar Late Dr C R Swaminathan. This text of a large magnitude covering the kandas first to sixteen has been brought out along with English translation and notes in seven volumes of the KMS series. The last volume containing the seventeenth kanda, an illustrated glossary and an index to the complete text is at the final stage of preparation for publication. The contents of this important text are useful for those who are interested in tracing the foundations of artistic traditions and also for those interested in theory and practice.
The tradition of yajna is very old and typically Indian in origin. The literature of the Veda consisting of Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and even the Srauta Sutras is the real source of information about it's origin and development' . The Satphitas namely Rgveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda happen to be the compilation of the mantras (sacred verses foumulae) meant to be employed during the performance of various yajnas. The Brahmana texts attached separately to each of these Samhitas refer to the general application of the mantras in different yajnas, their origin and detailed explanation, some times with lengthy illustrations in the shape of legends and stories etc. The Aitareya and the Kausitaki belong to Rgveda; the Pancavimsa or T4clya Mahabrahmana(PB) to the Samaveda of the Kauthuma school. Our present text of the Jaiminiya Brahmaria(JB)pertains to the Jaiminiya school of the Samaveda. The Taittiriya Brahmana(TB) to the Krsna Yajurveda, the Satapatha Brahmana(SB) to the Sukla or white Yajurveda and lastly the Gopatha Brahmana(GB) belongs to the Atharvaveda. The manuscript of the Jaiminiya Brahmana was first traced by A. C. Burnell in 1883 from Tinnevelli(Tamil Nadu) in fragmentary form. A number of articles were published on it by Oertle. Caland published its German translation in 1919 on 212 different sections. But no scholar could publish the entire Brahmarta until Raghuvir and his son Lokesh Chandra did so in 1954. There have been several observations and notes on this text from time to time and the scholar publisher also promised to bring out the second volume of Jaiminiya Brahmana (JB) in 1954. But despite it's second edition in 1986 the promise could not be kept. It speaks of the description of several MSS used in the first edition, the interrelationship of the text with other Vedic texts and so on. But the matter still remained a dessideratum.
The JB contains the following description of the yajtias with elaborate application of Srimans at times with the comparision of the Trindya Mahabrahmana (PB).
The Kanda I - 1-65 describe Agnihotra evening, morning libations of milk respectively to Agni, the fire god and the Sun which is a nitya (constant) rite. The performer offers the milk first to the fire god before the sun-set with agnir jyotir jyotir agnis svaha loudly where as the second oblation he offers chanting silently in mind to Prajapati (I. 4.).
The morning libation he offers after the sun-rise, first to the Sun-god with suryo jyotir jyotis suryah svaha' chanting loudly and the second silently to Prajapati. JB 1. 26 to 37 speak the significance of the Agnihotra libations daily twice for one day to twelve days. JB 1. 38 lays down that he should offer them with milk on first three days, then with curds on next three days, then with clarified butter on next three days, then with water on the next three in order to obtain particular results. The taking of milk with `sruva' ladling spoon is described in JB I. 40. The same Kandika describes the laying of the fire-stick on the ladle. Bodewitz and many others have taken this laying of the fire-stick as offering in fine.
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