By Jan Gonda
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Extra info for A History of Indian Literature - Vol. I: Veda and Upanishads - Fasc. 1: Vedic Literature (Samhitas and Brahmanas)
VI, p. 28. C, p. 220; LUDWIG, Rigveda, I I I , p . 32; V. S. 30 J» Gonda • Vedic Literature They were in all probability the men who possessed or knew many re verses (bahvrca) mentioned in brdhmanasi5. Many particulars regarding the origin of these 'schools' and the development of Vedism in its entirety will escape us for ever because the texts are silent on many points which we would like to know. What seems certain or may reasonably be conjectured is that in that space of time in which the Vedic ritual was taking the form which is known to us specialists in the mythico-ritual speculation and ceremonial practices and observances must have collected their, largely non-Rgvedic, formulas; that the mantras of these groups were distinctive; that to the activity of these promulgators—after whom the schools were called—and their descendants and followers46 we owe the large collections of the Taittiriyas, Kathas, Maitrayaniyas, followed by the Vajasaneyins, which they needed with a view to ritual practice and instruction; that the later texts followed this scission mainly with a view to utilizing the respective mantras; that this fourfold Yajurveda seems to have become the model for the constitution of schools of other Vedas which not infrequently differed only in minor details; that divergences in textual or— no doubt in most cases—ritual particulars as well as the spread of Vedism over larger regions led to further divisions which often differ from each other only in insignificant details47; that in this way also the followers of the isolated Rgveda came to be equipped with the different ritual works attributed to Asvalayana and fSankhayana48; that the increasing authority and influence of the Rgveda Samhita, the arrangement of the mantras and the dosage of Rgvedic and foreign elements led to the compilation of new sutras, that is to new caranas.
48 The sole distinction between these was that the former recognized the Valakhilyas (see p. 37) integrally as canonical, the latter rejected a few verses of these hymns. 49 Cf. VISHVA BANDHXJ, at VIJ 2, p. 1. 50 See below, p. 49. C, p. 219. 52 J. BROXJGH, The early brahmanical system of gotra and pravara, Cambridge Introduction to the Veda in general and the Rgveda in particular 31 through family tradition or initiation, but a learned man may also study texts belonging to different caranas. Although authorities strongly dissuaded from adopting customs of those who followed other sdkhds, there is a rule that "what is not stated in one's own sdkhd may be taken from others, if it is not found contradictory"53.
18; R. NAGASWAMY, Vedic scholars in the ancient Tamil country, VIJ 3, p. 192. 61 See p. 368ff. 62 S. K. GUPTA, Ancient schools of Vedic interpretation, JGJRI 16, p. 143. 63 The Nighantu and the Nirukta, edited by L. SARTJP, Univ. of the Panjab 1927; the analysis in R. ROTH, Jaska's Nirukta, Gottingen 1847-1852 is still worth consulting; translation and introduction: L. SARTJP, The Nighantu and the Nirukta, Oxford 1920 (Delhi 1962). Cf. g. also H. SKOLD, The Nirukta, Lund 1926; SIEG, Sagenstoffe, p.
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