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The Khila-Suktas of the Rgveda: A Study (Rare Book)

The Khila-Suktas of the Rgveda: A Study (Rare Book)
Item Code: NAD261
Author: Usha R. Bhise
Publisher: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Insitute, Pune
Edition: 1995
Pages: 237
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.5 inch x 6.0 inch
weight of the book: 294 gms


I have often privately admired Dr. Usha Bhise for the work which she has been devotedly and consistently doing in the field of Vedic studies. I now heartily welcome this opportunity for giving public expression to my admiration.

Dr. Bhise seems to have adequately realized that teaching• and research must be regarded as mutually complementary. So, apart from her teaching assignments at the Universities of Bombay and Poona, she has made significant contribution to Vedic research. Her interest is fairly varied. In some of her papers, for instance, she has dealt with such diverse topics as the Rgvedic concepts of sakhya, nman, and worship, the evidence for earthquakes in the Rgveda, the Indian musical scale, ancient and modern metres, and the Paninian view of Jopa. As regards the Vedic religion and mythology, she has discussed the hymns relating to Yama—Yam, Aranyan, and Sri, the legends of Cyavana and Suparl) a, Vedic Sorna, and the theory of henotheism. Her editorial activity became evident from her edition of the Baskalamantropaniad and more particularly from that of Naradiya—ika with Bhaa Sobhãkara’s Commentary.

And now Dr. Bhise presents to the students of Veda her meritorious edition of the Khilasüktasof the I3gveda comprising a detailed introduction and critically edited text with English translation and exegetical notes. Verily, this edition can claim to contain almost everything that one would like to know about the KhilasQktas. We have every reason to be thankful to Dr. Bhise for this laudable contribution, which, we hope, will be followed by several others.



The Khila—suktas are appendages to the gveda—sarnhita. Several editions of the J3gveda have appeared so far along with the khilas since the last Century, a detailed survey of which has been done in the Introduction. The number of Khilas varied from edition to edition. A German Scholar, Phil J. Scheftelowitz edited the text from a ms. acquired from Kashmir, which appeared to have the maximum number of Khilas as compared to the earlier editions. This ms. has been deposited at Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) Pune. When the edition of the lgveda with the Commentary of Säyaza was undertaken by the Vaidika Samshodhana Mandala, Pune, Dr. C.G.Kashikar re—edited the text on the basis of the same ms. but improved upon the Scheftelowitz’s edition by making use of cross—references from other Vedic texts. This edition is the fullest and the best one, running into approximately 500 verses and some prose passages. I have based my studies on this very edition as no additional ms. material was availa’ble to me when this project was undertaken.

As early as 1970 my attention was first drawn to the ‘risukta, a popular hymn occurring in the Khila collection. After making a fresh study of it and publishing it in the Annals BORI, I became aware that although attempts were made at critically editing the text, its translation and interpretation had not been undertaken by any scholar. Only piecemeal study of the collection was made. A translation based on modern linguistic studies and a comprehensive study of the collection as a whole was still a desideratum. I have fully translated the text in English adding explanatory notes based on Mythology, ritual literature, parallel passages in other Vedic texts, grammar and modern studies in Indo—European Linguistics. While doing so, I have suggested some emendations in the text and have also tried to justify them. A list of them has been presented in the Introduction.

The accent marks of the text as appearing in the Kashmir ms. are not in conformity with the traditional system followed by the Igveda. I have restored them to the normal I3gvedic system. The anomaes in the accenting of some words have been noted under the respective verses.

The method of marking accents in the Kashmir ms. is peculiar and the same has been adopted in the Khilas published in the l3gveda Sarphitã Vol.IV of the Vaidik Samshodhan Mandal, Pune. According to this method the Udätta is marked with a vertical stroke above the syllable whereas the Jatya Svarita has been denoted by a curved line only twice (Kh. 1.11.4; 12.7). This method is a queer combination of methods used in 1) Mait. and Käth.Sarh. of the. Black YV. and 2) the S’at. Br. The Black YV. Sarnhitãs mark the Udãtta with a vertical stroke above the syllable as in the present Khilas. They, however, mark the Anudãtta as well as the dependent and the Independent Svaritas also. The St.Br. marks only the Udatta with a horizontal stroke below the syllable. The Kashmir ms. has borrowed the vertical stroke for Udatta from the Black YV. Samhitas and the peculiarity of marking the Udatta syllables only from the S’at.Br. Although the Jatya Svarita has been marked in two places with a curved line, this is not done consistently in the case of all the Játya Svaritas; e.g. 3.19.1. The Kampa has been indicated by fig. 3 with a horizontal stroke below irrespective of its being short or long.

In the text that is printed in the present work, the method of marking accents is exactly like the normal 13V. Sarphitã method in that the Udätta and the Pracaya are not marked at all, the Anudãtta appears with a horizontal stroke below the syllable and the Svaritas — Jãtya as well as dependent — with a vertical stroke above the syllable. The short Kampa is shown by fig. 1 and the long one with fig. 3; both the figures are marked with a vertical stroke above and a horizontal stroke below them. The unaccented portions of the text have been left without any markings e.g. the Nivids, Praisas. The unaccented fragments of the text as they occur among portions which are marked e.g. Kh.5.2@ have also been left without markings.

As only the Udatta syllables are marked, the Jatya—svaritas are kept unmarked in the Kashmir ms., giving an impression that they are unaccented. e.g. yatudhanyah in Kh. 4.5.5. The corresponding occurance of this form at BY. 1. 191.8; 18.118.8 have got Jatya—svarita on the last syllable (yatudhany’alG. Similar is the case of tanvah in Kh.3.11.2 and ahyam in Kh.3.22.2. Another case which deserves attention is the long Kampa represented by Fig.3 that is kept unmarked in accordance with the system which marks only the Udãtta. The unmarked Fig.3 gives an impression that it is a case of Pluti. Such considerations necessitated the conversion of the accent—marks of the Kashmir ms. into the regular gvedic system.

As the work was nearing completion in 1991, my pupil and friend Dr. A. Sadanandan of the Bharati Samskrta Vidya Niketanam suggested that the publication be done through the modern device of Computer (DTP). The package that was selected for the purpose was the “GIST’, a Technology developed by C—DAC, Pune, since that was a Software having Roman Font necessary for transliterating Devanagari matter. As it was not possible to have accent signs for the Roman Font and as I had referred to the accentual peculiarities in the exegetical notes quite often, it became necessary to give the respective verse in Devanagari (with accent marks) at the top of its annotated translation for ready reference. In the text portion appearing on page 40 ff. the emendations have been carried out while the text appearing in the Translation portion is given in the form it appears in the V.S.M. Ed. Because of some Software problems the publication got delayed.



The Khila hymns are appended to the Sakala recension of the Rgveda and have been treated as apocryphal hymns. They have been published several times along with the RV.-samhita. To mention a few:

Max Muller has published 32 Khilas, T.Aufrecht has published 25 out of which some are different from those published by Max Muller. Bodas and Gore in their ed. of the RV., popularly known as the Bombay ed. have published good many Khilas including Nivids, Praisas.Puroruc and Kuntapa hymns. The Nirnayasagar ed. of 1891 has also given some Khilas. Satavalekar has published 36 Khilas, some of which are not found in the above-mentioned editions. The most extensive collection of Khilas is preserved in the ms.of RV. discovered in Kashmir. Scheftelowitz edited them critically under the title Apocryphen des Rgveda. This shows that there has been uncertainty about the corpus of the Khilas. After Scheftelowitz, Dr. Kashikar edited them with some additional material that was available and, what is important, made use of cross-references in other texts for critically editing them. As no additional material is forthcoming, this ed. published in vol.IV of the RV.-samhita (Vaidik Samshodhan Mandal, Pune) may be reqarded as the fullest ed. Both Scheftelowitz and Kashikar have based their editions on the Kashmir ms. written on Birch-leaf. At the end of this ms. a mention of the year is made. However, it is not possible to determine the century as that portion of the folio is broken. Keith thinks that it is 1575. A reference to this ms. is made and its description is given in "Detailed Report of a tour in search of Sanskrit mss. ", Bombay, 1879. pp.35-36. It was acquired for the Deccan College of Pune, and has now been transferred to the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Inst., Pune. Wenzel had made a copy of it which was scrutinized by scholars like Max Muller, Macdonell and others. After the scrutiny, Macdonell expressed the view that it will be possible to prepare a satisfactory ed. of the Khila -auktas from the Kashmir ms. (Vide Brhaddevata Intro. p.XXIII Harward Or. Series, 1904.)

Scheftelowitz has published his critical ed. based on the Kashmir ms. under the title "Apocryphen des Rgveda" in Roman script. In the Introduction he has given the relative places etc. of the different Khilas. Under each verse he has given the variants available in the other mss. He has also included the variants from other texts where the Khila verses are quoted.

In the ed. of the RV.-samhita ( with Sayana's cornm.) published by the Vaidik Samshodhan Mandal, Pune, the Khila -sauktas which have been published, are ed. by Dr.C.G.Kashikar. They are mainly based on the Kashmir ms. which seems to be the most perfect among the available mss. Some additional material has also been utilised. Among them 'are two mss. secured from Navanagar an' Junagadh resp. which deserve mention. Both belong to the Sankhayan recension. The Alwar ms was not available at the time of editing. Hence, the. description of it provided by Peter Peterson in .. A Second Report of operation in search of Sanskrit Mss. in the Bombay circle 1883-84. (Extra no.JBBRAS 1884) was made use of. He has also made use of the Asvalayanamantrasamhita +described in detail by V.M.Apte (ABORI vol.XX Parts III-IV pp.249-61). In this work the RV-mantras quoted in the Srauta and Grhya sutras by pratias , have been fully produced.A peculiarity of this work is that the text of the mantra-s as found in it differs considerably from that given by Max Muller, Aufrecht and Scheftelowitz. It may be noted that the Kashmir ms. is broken in many places. Scheftelowitz has tried to fill up some lacunae with the help of parallel Vedic pasages. Even then there were places where the gaps could not be filled up. For this purpose the edition of the RV. published from Aundh has proved quite helpful.



take this opportunity to express my deep sense gratitude to Dr. P. N. Dandekar who has always been a source of inspiration for my research activities. Dr. C. G. Kashikar who has produced such excellent critical edition of the Khilasükta—s, has always been helpful to me whenever approached him with some problem. I express my sincerest thanks to him. Dr. M.A. Mehendale, a scholar o Vedic literature as well as of undo—European linguistics, has made some valuable suggestions while the work was in progress. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to him. Dr. S.D. Joshi who has been highly appreciative of my work, created a congenial atmosphere for me in the CASS (Centre for Advanced Studies in Sanskrit, Poona University) during his tenure as its Director, without which the completion of the present work would not have been possible. I do not have words to express my encomiums to him in the appropriate way. Dr. Saroja Bhate of the Pooria University, who is a deep scholar of Paninian studies, spared time through her busy schedule to discuss some grammatical points with me. I shall be failing in my duties if I do not express my thankfulness to her. Dr. S.D. Laddu, the present Director of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, has been encouraging roe in my academic pursuits. I am greatly obliged to him for recommending the present work for publication by his Intitute. Dr. A.M.Ghatage, the Hon. Secretary of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, advised me on certain crucial points regarding Accents when the script of the present work was shown to him. J shall ever remain grateful to him for that and for accepting the work for publication.

Dr. A. Sadanandan of the Bharati Samskrta Vidya Niketanam, Bombay, has helped me in various ways in computerising the work and spared no efforts in getting Computer experts when some problem regarding the Software was hampering its progress. Although it may appear too formal to thank a close associate like him, I may be committing an unpardonable omission if I do not acknowledge the help so cordially extended by him.

I have made use of the following Libraries for my studies 1) The Bombay University Library, 2) The BORI Library and 3) The CASS (Poon.a University) Library. I am thankful to the Staff Members of these Libraries, Shri W.L. Manjul, the Ubrarian of the BORI in particular, for giving me excellent co—operation.


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