The Prelude Part 0.2
Paila divided Rgveda into two samhitas and gave one each to Indra Pramati and Baskala.
Indra Pramati is son/grandson of Ruru, step-grandson/great grandson of Veda Vyasa and is grandfather to Indrota Pramati who was the Asvamedha priest for Janamejaya. If the throne had passed to Devapi instead of Shantanu, Indra would be the king of Hastinapur instead of Yudhishthara and Parikshita. Yudhishthara the junior branch would have ruled in Bhadrasavadwipa and Bhima in Sarvaubhadradwipa as per Kak Bhushundi. (He saw all possible universes!) Dharmaraja ruling in Bhadrasava is also mentioned by Sanjaya in Udyoga Parva.
Sage Baskala divided his Samhita again into four and taught it to four of his disciples, Bodhi, AniMandavya, Yajnavalkya and Parasara. Baskala is son of daughter of Parasara. He is thus nephew to Vyas and grandson to Satyavati.
- Bodhi is descendent of Bodhya the philosopher Guru of Nahusha and Yayati. Bodhya created created Bodhya Gita and his message is
Before I advise others, I do it myself first. I am the teacher of none. I take the world as my teacher. I learned the lessons of harmlessness from snakes, disappointment from Pingalaa, self-sacrifice from animals, concentration from the archer, and loneliness from a maid, who is a spinster. (Bodhya Gita was quoted by Mahatma Gandhi extensively in his editorials in Young India.)
- Animandavya was from the family who cursed Dharma to take birth as Vidura. He is also son of daughter of Drona or one of his brothers.
- Yajnavalkya is also from Bharadwaja family and is son of lady of Gautam family and related to Kurus as well. He and Animandavya are close cousins and look upto Uncle Vaishampayana.
- Parasara was grand-nephew to Vyas, descendent of Panchashikha Parasarya. One text has this Parasara as son/descendent of Vidura. Both texts may be correct.
Other than his Rgveda Samhita, Baskala also taught the Balkhilya Samhita to Rishi Balayani.
Indrapramati without splitting his samhita taught it to his renowned son, Mandukeya. Mandukeya is one of the greatest brains, a great philosopher and thinker in our history. He also was grandson of Nakula and inherited his horse riding and training skills. We will discuss his work in Mandukeya Upanishada later. Descendent of Mandukeya will be the chap standing on right side of the Kalkin avatar when he starts his endeavors.
The branch of Indrapramati thus went down into circulation through the disciples of Mandukeya and the disciples of the disciples and so on.
Vedamitra of Sakalya gotra, one sage in the line of the disciples of Mandukeya, split the Indrapramti Samhita into five, and taught it to Mudgala, Gomukha, Vatsya, Saliya and Sarnra. (These five were in Janajmjeya Sarpasatra).
Sakapurna a colleague of Vedamitra divided it into three and added a division to it by composing a Nirukta (etymological interpretation) of his own. He taught them to Vaitalika, Balaka and Kraunca. This was how the Indrapramati Samhita produced branches and sub-branches. Yaska the grammarian is supposed to be father of Grammarians and he also quotes among others Sakapurna as an inspiration.
Mudgala among these was one of priests at the Sarpasatra. His ancestor was blessed by Durvasas and is associated with the Durvasa stories. For those interested, his kula appears in association with ancient Chola legends.
Saliya was descendent of a Guru of Vyas himself, Salihotra. Actually, it was at Salihotra ashrama Vyas met Pandavas after the Hidimba adventure.
Baskala II divided his samhita into another set of three and taught it to Kalayani, Gargya, and Kathajava. The sages mentioned above are the ones who spread Rgveda in the world.
Thus Rgveda has following Samhitas: Animandavya Rk, Yajnavalkya Rk, Parasara Rk, Bodhi Rk, Mudgala Rk, Gomukha Rk, Vatsya Rk, Saliya rk, Sarana rk, Vaitalika Rk, Balaka Rk, Kraunca Rk, Kalayani rk, Gargya Rk and Kathajava Rk Samhitas. Not all are extant.
Then there are Kalpas which are customary proceedings of Yagna in form of Sutras. The Sutras determine how Brahmanas and Mantras are to be used. There are separate Srauta Sutras for each Veda. The Rigveda samhitas has three Srauta Sutras, Asvalyana (who we have met), Samkhayana and Saunaka (descendent of Indrota Pramati).
Paila’s lineage is interesting and deserves separate discussion.
Vaishampayana was the main disciple for the Yajurveda and he divided the Yajurveda into twenty seven divisions for his twenty seven main disciples. Among them were the sons of his sister including Yajnavalkya Vajasena. Yajnavalkya Vajasena left Vaisampayana’s guruship after a quarrel with his uncle and left behind his portion called Taittirya Samhita which was established by the Taittirya priests.
Vajasena Yajnavalkya then established two shishya paramaparas. Rather three. One was Vajseniya branch which composed of his fifteen disciples and their samhitas. Yajnavalkya put into operation a brand new set of Yajus called Ayatayama. After Veda Vyas, Yajnavalkya is the next person to literally create Sukta and Sutras and Yajus.
These Yajus were taught to Yajnavalkya by Sun God. The Study of these is called Vajis and fifteen top disciples of Yajnavalkya looked after Vajseniya branches. Vajasena, the grandfather/ancestor of Yajnavalkya is son of Sun God. NO he is not Karna as I am sure, we would soon see article in some circles claiming that. His mother was Gautami, sister to Vaisampayana, his father was Brahmarata and his grandmother was a Bharadwaja, daughter to either Bharadwaja or one of his sons.
The Jayakhya Samhita of Panchratra is derived from Kanva branch of Vajaseniya samhitas, one of fifteen branches of Vajaseniyas.
Second set of disciples of Yajnvalkya handled the Baskala Rg Smhita branch. These included Arthabhaga, Kahola, Gargi, Aruni, Sakalya. He defeated them in shastartha (debate) and they became his followers. Some scholars treat these to be a descendent of Yajnavalkya and these shastrasrtha(debate) is later than Ugrashravas’s narration and after the downfall of Parikshitas and take over by another branch of family.
Yajnavalkya’s most famous disciple is his second wife Maitreyi, daughter of Rishi Maiterya. Maitreyi herself is a celebrated thinker and famous philosopher in Puranas. She and Yajnavalkya basically wrote the Brihadaranyaka Upanishada together.
Yajnavalkya’s Mitraksa, commentary of law was the Law book which was used especially in South India, late into the historical period. The three sons of Yajnavalkya that became famous were sons of his wife Katyayani and hence his works are also called Katyayani branch. The Kalpas and Srauta sutras for Yajurveda are the Katyayana Srauta Sutra.
Other than Yajurveda, Vaishampayana narrated a nice story to Janamajaya!!
He is the Mahabharatacharya. Drauni are listed with Yajnavalkya among his disciples. Vaishampayana is son of Kuru family and a Gautami, that would make him technically Suta by birth but he is Brahmin by deed and does not lose his status in Brahmin samaj even after killing one of his nephews viz doing brahmahatya. The story of that is couched in terms of Brahmin meeting but indications of slokas of Vaishampayana (which are given same terms as terms for arrows) indicate Vaishampayana fought in the Great War. Sanjaya too fought in the Great War, Mahabharata. That leaks through the narrative as do Vaishampayana at times stating “we” and where Sanjaya uses himself in third person as part of the events in Mahabharata before, during and after War.
As Vaishampayana is disciple of Vyas “whose century had passed on earth” so is some 40-50 years younger than Yudhishthara (or more or less). Vaishampayana is too young to be given status at Rajasuya yagna. Jaimini sort of sees himself as senior student in narrative. One interesting point mentioned by the Atharvaveda and Panchvimansa Brahman is that Vaishampayana, Lomharshana, Lohitaksha and Astika are all related (by birth not just Guru Shishya parampara) and are all related to Sringi and Janamejaya as well and are technically by birth all Sutas! They are “made” Brahmins or Karma Brahmins. Yajnavalkya leaves the brahminhood he acquires also.
Then there is Krishna Yajurveda. Separate explanation for that. So, Vyas’s Yajurveda is called Shukla Yajurveda.
The stories of the Shishyas weave themselves into the narrative of the Vedas, Brahamanas, Aranyakas and Upanishadas are affected by each other.
Samaveda is same as Rigveda. Each sloka of Rigveda is repeated in Samaveda but arrange differently. This was Vyas’s backup plan. All slokas of Rigveda are doubly preserved in two different Shishya paramparas. In two different Vedas.
By reusing the sutras from Rigveda in different way in Samaveda, Vyas also opened the mind of his disciples to look at the slokas in different ways. To rearrange them themselves and determine new meanings and develop new paradigms from them.
He taught Samaveda primarily to Jaimini. His son was Sumantu who was also a disciple of Veda Vyasa. Sumantu’s son was Sutva and his son was Sukarma.
Jaimini was on council of Yudhishthara. Jaimini’s son and grandson are also shishya of Vyas at times and that is reflected by treating Jaimini as the senior disciple.
He was also assigned by Veda Vyas to look after a portion of Mahabharata. He is again one of the brightest stars on the firmament of Indian philosophy and Itihaasa. Like Vaisampayana, there is a Jaimini MahaBharata too. Jaimini couched his Mahabharata in the Parva form as well as in Purana form as Markandeya And Brahmand Puranas. His Asvamedhaparva is three times larger than that of Vaishampayana.
Unfortunately, the Sanskrit texts of Jaimini are corrupted by the Bengali texts in lat ninth century onwards. There are lots of issues with Jaimini Bharata and only Asvamedhaparva is extant in Sanskrit. Though Bengali Mahbharatas are supposed to be derived from Jaimini Mahabharata, they contradict themselves and add in lot of local legends. The Jaimini Bharata is peculiar with a very reduced role of Karna for example and that is modified by local Bengali versions. In Vaishampayana Mahabharata, all sons of Karna die in the battle field. But in Jaimini Bharata, one son Vrishaketu or Vrishadhwaja is alive and is warrior under Arjuna during Ashwamedha Yagna. That is the Bengali addition. The Sanskrit text makes it clear Vrishadhwaja is grandson of Bhima and one of five brothers. But because where the Bengali text begins and where Sankrit text resumes, Jaimini Bharata is riddled with these inconsistencies.
Vrishasena which means the same as Vrishadhwaja or Vrishaketu, was son of Karna who died in Mahabharata.
Other than his own Mahabharata and the resultant Puranas, Jaimini wrote the commentary to Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra and then expanded into his own work Jaimini sutras which are founding stones of Indian system of astrology. His 26 chapter genealogy list is supposed to be rahasya vanshavali of the Epic characters.
Other than his work on Samaveda for Vyas, he also composed a 3000 sutra Purva Mimansa thus laying foundation stone for Mimansa school of philosophy. Actually, Jaimini Purva Mimansa is the main school now, but when Jaimini wrote his work, he was the counter-reformer, the rebel to the mystical vedantist trait of the Mimansa philosophy of the day. Krishna argued for the atma to accept no consequences and merge into Parmatma. Jaimini saw the Karma yoga as a perpetual cycle instead. Moksha was not a concept in his philosophy.
Sumantu and Sutva, the son and grandson of Jaimini focused on Atharva Veda and Sama veda respectively. Sutva had a son Sukarma.. Sukarma had a thousand students. He divided Samaveda into a thousand samhitas.
Vyas showed how we can rearrange the slokas to create a new veda Samaveda. Now go forth and multiply. Look at all possible combinations and meanings.
Sukarma’s top two disciples were Hiranyanabha Kausala and Pauspinji Kuru. They were from North and East. The Five hundred disciples of Hiranyanabha ‘s five hundred samhitas are called Udichya Saamagas (North Samagas) and the Five hundred disciples of Pauspinji are called the Pracya Saamagas.
Pauspinji is grandson of Paushya the king at the beginning of Mahabharata and son of Chandrasekhara. He is also thus a Kuru. He had four disciples, Logakshi, Kauthumi, Kaaskhivana, Laangli, sons of Logaksha, Kauthum, Kakshiavan family and Langli.
These four outside of 500 disciples of Pauspinji also created their Samaveda samhitas. They also extend the Mahabharata generations to three beyond Janamejaya.
Hrinyanabha other than 500 disciples had a disciple Kriti, from Mithila royal family. He also created his version of Samaveda Samhita and then taught it to his twenty four disciples (which like the twenty seven of Vaisampayana is a long list with interesting names.) These twenty four created twenty four more samhitas on Samaveda.
Their disciples range even more, Samaveda has thousands of Samhitas. Very few are extant.
Vyas taught Atharvaveda to Sumantu. Atharva Veda was the veda under control of Atharva and Angirasa families. Vyas took the control from them and taught it to Sumantu, son of Jaimini.
Sumantu taught it to his favorite disciple Kabandha. (Kabandha is an avatar). Kabandha then took the Samhita divided into two for his two disciples, Devadarsa and Pathya.
Deva gave his samhita to Medha, Brahmabali, Santakyani and Pippalada. Pipplada was disciple in third generation from Sumantu, he clashed with Sumantu’s son Sutva’s grandson and lost in shastraarrtha. This is indication of Atharva samhita subsuming inside one of Sutva Samaveda samhitas.
Pipplada Kasyapa also called Kanada was also a Brahma (not Brahmin, he was a worshipper of Brahma) scholar very well versed and educated. He is also Guru to Sukesha, Shaivya, Satyakam Kasyapa, Hiranyanabha Kausalya, Kabandha II and Bhargava. He also became a disciple of Sukarma the Samaveda exponent and his Atharvaveda samhitas were influenced by the Samans. Kanada is the founder of the atomic school of philosophy. His theory included that we are all composed of small particles which were named after him, we now call them atoms.
Pathya had three main disciples: Jabali (of Gautam family), Kumuda, Saunaka (son/ descendent of Indrota Pramati, grandson to Mandukeya). All three are very celebrated and famous Rishis in Puranas.
Saunaka split his samhitas into two and taught it to Badru and Saindhava (this Saindhava is great grandson of Nakula). Saindhava taught his to Munjakesa, another ksatriya in the guru shishya parampara, his ancestor fought in Mahabharata.
Munjakesa split it into two. Later he split it into three thus creating five samhitas and thus created Five Kalpa Samhitas: Nakshatrakalpa, Vedakalpa, Samhitakalpa, Angirasakalpa and Santikalpa.
- Naskstrakalpa: method of worshipping Nakshatras.
- Vedakalpa focused on Ritvik of Yajna and his duties et all.
- Smahitakalpa on the care of horses and elephants and bulls. Munjakesa was descendent shishya from Nakula.
- Angirasakalpa is supposed to be Agnikula descriptions but Munjakesa Angirasakalpa is lost, We have Pippladi Angirasakalpa. We also have related Angirasakalpas dealing with magic and Vidhana!
- The Santikalpa was used by Sumantu branch to collate and create the two teaching Parvas. Most of Santikalpa is lost.
There is supposed to be Kausikisutra kalpa also which is lost, There are others even Asurikalpa. Asuri was student of Kapila and Samkhya Yoga founder.
These were supposed to be also written in paisachi or non sankrit language originally. Later Brahamnical scholars ignored them and mass of this literature was lost over time. This also indicates that in the days of Mahabharata, Sanskrit was not the only language used.
Vyas compiled a huge Purana samhita using speeches, appendices, poems and Kalpanirnayas and taught it to Suta Romaharsana.
Romharshana had six students: Sumati, Agnivarchas, Mitrayus, Samsapayana Kasyapa (nephew to Samshaptakas!!), Akrtavarna Kasyapa, Savarni Kasyapa.
The Kasyapa family made Purna samhitas. They also were the ones who lost to Janamajaya heavily in the Brahamanical wars and lost right to do and conduct Asvamedhas. They were exiled. They wrote the Puranas which deal extensively with the family that won the Kurukshetra and took their rights away. They all belonged to Trigarta royal family and were on the losing side of the War.
THEY Wrote the PURANAS! Again and again, we find people claiming that the winners write the story. NOPE! No sireee, the samhitas of Sumati, Agnivarcas and Mitrayus are available in sections. We have the ones written by the side that lost the war.
Romaharshana made a commentary Samhita on the three Kasyapa samhitas though!
Visnu Purana for example is based from that commentary and three Kasyapa samhitas as an example.
These Puranas and prose sections of Atharava veda are very important and also cryptic. The rustless iron pillar of Delhi at Mehrauli tells us that Sarpasatra was not a war between Nagas and Humans but between Kurus and Bahalika, the final part of Kurukshetra, the fifth War.
The Takashakas are Bahalikas, Takshaka himself is Takshaka Vaiselya son of Viraj in Atharvaveda chapter 10, sloka 29, in panchavimansa Brahmana he becomes Brahmanashin priest, Airavatas are from across Ravi, Kauravyas are Kurus who fled west and Dhritrashtras are last of the descendents of Dhritrashtra. Nataparvan, Anataparvan, Samnataparva the arrows of mahabharata are the veda mantras of sarapsatras!
The whole system of Mahabharata understanding also gets convulated where Khandava Vana is the first Mahabharata battle defeating the Indra and others allied Asuras, Nagas, to bring about the independence of Manavas. The second that follows is destruction of decaying ksatriya order while third is the Prabhasa War which is couched as Yadava civil war but War to destroy the next overbearing order. The fourth one is the destruction of old Brahamanical order with the Asvamedhas started by Yudhishthara and finished by Janamajaya using lower caste priests like Tura Kavasheya and exile of the Kasyapas and victory of Yudhishthara’s Janama JAYI brahamins, the Brahmins of Karma, Brahmins who conquer BIRTH Janama JAYI.
The fifth and final one becomes the Sarpasatra with the eventual final conflict of the Kuru family, uniting India again.
Again, the five Pandavas being the five Sangarams. The tribes of yaudheyas, Malavas (Bhimas) and Arjunayanas couch themselves as Samvagri tribes. (The United tribes of Sangrams!)
That is the reason Romharshana wrote the commentary on his three Kasyapa sishyas!
More on the Vedas and their contents in next part.
by Pranshu B. Saxena