The Yajur Veda contains hymns for ceremonial purposes which also deal with the art of living a successful and wholesome life. It was used by the adhvaryu, priests who recited the appropriate formulas from the Yajur-Veda while actually performing the sacrificial actions. There are six complete recessions of Yajur Veda – Madyandina, Kanva, Taittiriya, Kathaka, Maitrayani and Kapishthala.Yajur Veda
There are two versions of the Yajur Veda. Veda Vyasa composed the Krishna Yajur Veda and the Pandits of South India follow this.
As for the Shukla Yajur Veda – according to legend Rishi Yagnavalkya was a student of Rishi Jaimini. During a teaching session attended by the disciples , a messenger came from the King’s court. It was customary of the King to get the blessing of the Brahmanas before commencing the day’s work. So this time Guru asked the young Yagnavalkya to go to the court to bless the king.
Yagnavalkya went to the court , but the king was still taking the bath and he have to wait. Being a young turk he told the messenger the king should have called him when he is ready and he is missing the lessons, the messenger informed this to the king. The king told the messenger to ask for the “Akshatai” and asked the brahmana to leave. So the rishi left the “Akshatai” in the nearby pipal tree trunk , where the tree is cut at stump level and left to the Gurukulam.
The king came out after taking the bath and was very surprised to see a fully grown pipal tree, in the place where it used to be a half cut stump. The astonished King inquired the messenger on what happened , the messenger narrated. The King understood the power of the Rishi and rushed to Gurukulam.
There he narrated the whole thing to Guru Jaimini. But the Guru wants to admonish the student for his impatience. So he called the Rishi Yagyavalkya and asked why can’t he wait till the king finished his bath and so on. As punishment he asked the Rishi Yagyavalkya to spit (kakku) whatever he learned from him. The student obeyed the guru, he took the form of Ostrich (nerruppu kozhi) called “Thithri” in Sanskrit and emitted 3 chunks of black Those were called Krishna Yajur Veda, – The famous “Taithirya Samhita” in the Krishna yajur veda was so called because of this. (ie from “thithri”) .
Then he did much penance on the Sun God and received the “Shukla Yajur Veda “ from Sun god. The Shukla Yajurveda is is more popular in Northern India.
Shukla yajurveda (vaajasaaniiya) consists of 40 chapters in metrical form. Sukla Yajurveda follows the Aditya sampradaya or the schoolof Aditya – Sun God, and is more popular in the North India. Out of the 17 sakas in this school, only 2 are available now.
Krishna yajurveda (Taittiriiya) has some portions which are in metrical form and some portion in prose forms and some portions contains a mixture of both. Krishna Yajurveda follows the Brahma sampradaya (the school of Brahma) and is more popular in the South India. It was supposed to be having 82 branches or sakas out of which only 4 are available now.
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