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Scripture, Veda

brāhmaṇa – The rituals explained

brahmana

The brāhmaa, forming part of śruti, are voluminous writings that deal with explanations of sacrifices and the symbolism of the priests’ actions, much like the yajur veda, they are practical and ritualistic in nature.

Although the brāhmaa are commentaries on the vedas, they constitute the oldest historical source for Vedic rituals. They assist in detailing the proper performance of numerous ceremonies whilst considering seasons, equinoxes, occasions and various other factors. Strictly speaking excluding the sahitā portion of the vedas, all other fragments and rituals had been developed by the seers. However, this being so, they are still given the rightful position of being classed as śruti.

Each veda is constituted of a brāhmaa portion, however depending on the veda and the specific Vedic recension followed, there exists a particular brāhmaa.

Important brāhmaas are the aitareya (gveda), kauītaki (gveda), they deal with daily sacrifices, the sacrificial fire, new and full moon rites and procedural rites for the installation of kings.  The śukla yajur veda śatapatha brāhmaa deals with preparation of altars, ceremonial objects, ritual recitations, and the Soma libation. kṛṣṇa yajur veda taittirīya brāhmaa is slightly more complex as the brāhmaa is interwoven into the sahitā portion of the veda. It is however important to note that along with the ritualistic procedures mentioned, the brāhmaas attribute a symbolic meaning to each ritual practice.


The copyright of the article brāhmaṇa – The rituals explained is owned by the Jigyasa Team. Permission to republish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

About Makwana

A student of Sanatan Vedic Dharma

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