The Padma Purana is one of the eighteen major Puranas, a genre of texts in Dharmic religions. It is an encyclopedic text, named after the lotus in which creator god Brahma appeared, includes large sections dedicated to Vishnu, as well as significant sections on Shiva and Shakti; the manuscripts of Padma Purana have survived into the modern era in numerous versions, of which two are major and different, one traced to eastern and the other to western regions of India. It is one of the voluminous text, claiming to have 55,000 verses, with the actual surviving manuscripts showing about 50,000; the style of composition and textual arrangement suggest that it is a compilation of different parts written in different era by different authors. The text includes sections on cosmology, genealogy, geography and seasons, temples and pilgrimage to numerous sites in India – notably to the Brahma temple in Pushkar Rajasthan, versions of story of Rama and Sita different from one found in Valmiki's Ramayana, glorification of Vishnu but in parts of Shiva and their worship, discussions on ethics and guest hospitality, theosophical discussion on Atman, Advaita and other topics.
There is Purana-style, but different Jainism text, known as Padma Purana and includes a Jain version of the Ramayana. The Padma Purana, like other Puranas, exists in numerous versions. One major recension, traced to Bengal region, has five khandas and an appendix, but has neither been published nor translated; the second major different recension, traced to western region of India, has six khandas, is the adopted and oft-studied version since the colonial British India era. The Bengal edition is older; the Bengal edition is notable in that the 39 chapters on Dharma-sastra are missing from the Sristikhanda book, in all versions of its manuscripts. The composition date of Padma Purana is unknown. Estimated vary between the 4th and 15th century CE; some parts of the text may be from the 750 to 1000 CE period. The extant manuscripts and ones studied, states Wilson, is likely to have been written or revised well after the 14th century in the 15th or 16th century, because it describes era major temple sites of south India and sites in the Vijayanagara Empire.
No portion of the versions of the Padma Purana available in the 19th century, wrote Wilson, is "probably older than the 12th-century". Asoke Chatterjee, in 1963, suggested that the text may have existed between the 3rd and 4th century CE, but the text was rewritten and expanded over the centuries and through the second half of the 17th century. Rocher states. Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas manuscripts is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature; each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition, it is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The Padma Purana categorizes itself as a Sattva Purana; this text exists in the Bengal and the west Indian. The Bengal recension consists of five khandas: Shrishti Khanda, Bhumi Khanda, Svarga Khanda, Patala Khanda and Uttara Khanda.
The latter recension consists of six khandas: Adi Khanda, Bhumi Khanda, Brahma Khanda, Patala Khanda, Srishti Khanda and Uttara Khanda. The Bhumi Khanda of the Bengal recension contains additional thirteen chapters, while the Patala Khanda of this recension contains thirty-one additional chapters; the Srishti Khanda can be divided into two parts and the second part is not found in the Bengal recension. The first eighteen chapters of the first part of the text is notable for its description of lake Pushkar, near Ajmer in Rajasthan as a Brahma pilgrimage site, followed by chapters with Vishnu-oriented presentation; the second part of the text is called Bhumikhanda, is a book of legends woven into a pilgrimage guide. The third part of the text, called Svargakhanda, presents cosmology, geography of India, its rivers and description of places; the fourth part of the text, called Brahmakhanda, glorifies Vishnu, discusses seasons, festivals such as one dedicated to goddess Radha and Tulasi plant. The fifth part of the text, called Patalakhanda, presents Rama as an avatar of Vishnu, Sita as an avatar of Lakshmi, presents a version of their story, different from one found in the Valmiki's Ramayana.
The fifth part includes chapters where Shiva and Parvati discuss the character of Krishna, as well as significant collection of chapters which glorify Shiva. The last part, called Uttarakhanda, contains legends and mythology associated with Indian festivals, eighteen chapters called as Gita Mahatmya, followed by chapters of Bhagavata Mahatmya and Shiva Gita, discussion of soul and liberation, quotes from the Upanishads and the Advaita Vedanta doctrines; the text, in some versions of the manuscripts, ends with Kriya-yogasara, a discussion of ethics and hospitality to guests. Several purana-like texts of other Indian religions such as Jainism and Buddhism are known as Padma Purana; these include the Padma-purana by the 7th century Ravisena of the Digambara tradition of Jainism, written in Sanskrit. Other texts with same name include those by or Raidhu, the Padma-purana of Somadeva
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas; the text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana existed by the 8th century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions, it is considered by scholars, in a historic sense, as among the "shiftiest, living" texts, edited, over many centuries, creating numerous variants. The common elements in the variant editions encyclopedically cover cosmogony, genealogy, festivals, temples, discussion of virtues and evil, of theology and of the nature and qualities of Shiva as the Absolute and the source of true knowledge.
The editions of Skandapurana text provide an encyclopedic travel handbook with meticulous Tirtha Mahatmya, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India and Tibet, with related legends, parables and stories. This Mahāpurāṇa, like others, is attributed to the sage Vyasa. Haraprasad Shastri and Cecil Bendall, in about 1898, discovered an old palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in a Kathmandu library in Nepal, written in Gupta script, they dated the manuscript to 8th century CE, on paleographic grounds. This suggests. R. Adriaensen, H. Bakker, H. Isaacson dated the oldest surviving palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana to 810 CE, but Richard Mann adds that earlier versions of the text existed in the 8th century CE. Hans Bakker states that the text specifies holy places and details about the 4th and 5th-century Citraratha of Andhra Pradesh, thus may have an earlier origin; the oldest versions of the Skandapurana texts have been discovered in the Himalayan region of South Asia such as Nepal, the northeastern states of India such as Assam.
The critical editions of the text, for scholarly studies, rely on the Nepalese manuscripts. Additional texts style themselves as khandas of Skandapurana, but these came into existence after the 12th century, it is unclear if their root texts did belong to the Skandapurana, in some cases replaced the corresponding chapters of the original. Some recensions and sections of the Skandapurana manuscripts, states Judit Torzsok, have been traced to be from the 17th century or but the first 162 chapters in many versions are the same as the older Nepalese editions except for occasional omissions and insertions. There are a number of manuscripts that bear the title Skanda Purana; some of these texts, except for the title, have little in common with the well-known Skandapurana traced to the 1st millennium CE. The original text has accrued several additions, it is, therefore difficult to establish an exact date of composition for the Skanda Purana. Stylistically, the Skanda Purana is related to the Mahabharata, it appears that its composers borrowed from the Mahabharata.
The two texts employ similar stock compounds that are not found in the Ramayana. Some of the mythology mentioned in the present version of the Skanda Purana is undoubtedly post-Gupta period, consistent with that of medieval South India; this indicates. The Kashi Khanda, for example, acquired its present form around the mid-13th century CE; the latest part of the text might have been composed in as late as the 15th century CE. The whole corpus of texts which are considered as part of the Skanda Purana is grouped in two ways. According to one tradition, these are grouped in six saṁhitās, each of which consists of several khaṇḍas. According to another tradition, these are grouped in seven khaṇḍas, each named after a major pilgrimage region or site; the chapters are travel guides for pilgrimage tourists. The Maheśvara Khaṇḍa consists of 3 sections: the Kedāra Khaṇḍa the Kaumārikā Khaṇḍa or Kumārikā Khaṇḍa and the Arunācala Khaṇḍa or Arunācala Māhātmya, further divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa or Vaiṣṇava Khaṇḍa consists of nine sections: Veṅkaṭācalamāhātmya Puruṣottamakṣetramāhātmya Badarikāśramamāhātmya Kārttikamāsamāhātmya Mārgaśirṣamāsamāhātmya 17 chapters, Mathura Tirtha region) Bhāgavatamāhātmya Vaiśākhamāsamāhātmya Ayodhyāmāhātmya and Vāsudevamāhātmya The Brahma Khaṇḍa has three sections: Setumāhātmya Dharmāraṇya Khaṇḍa and Uttara Khaṇḍa or Brahmottara Khaṇḍa The Kāśī Khaṇḍa is divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Āvantya Khaṇḍa consists of: Avantikṣetramāhātmya Caturaśītiliṅgamāhātmya and Revā Khaṇḍa The Nāgara Khaṇḍa consists of Tirtha-māhātmya.
The Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa
The Samaveda, is the Veda of melodies and chants. It is an ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, part of the scriptures of Hinduism. One of the four Vedas, it is a liturgical text. All but 75 verses have been taken from the Rigveda. Three recensions of the Samaveda have survived, variant manuscripts of the Veda have been found in various parts of India. While its earliest parts are believed to date from as early as the Rigvedic period, the existing compilation dates from the post-Rigvedic Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit, c. 1200 or 1000 BCE contemporary with the Atharvaveda and the Yajurveda. Embedded inside the Samaveda is the studied Chandogya Upanishad and Kena Upanishad, considered as primary Upanishads and as influential on the six schools of Hindu philosophy the Vedanta school; the classical Indian music and dance tradition considers the chants and melodies in Samaveda as one of its roots. It is referred to as Sama Veda; the Samaveda is the Veda of Chants, or "storehouse of knowledge of chants". According to Frits Staal, it is "the Rigveda set to music".
It is a fusion of the Rig verses. It has far fewer verses than Rigveda, but Samaveda is textually larger because it lists all the chant- and rituals-related score modifications of the verses; the Samaveda text contains notated melodies, these are the world's oldest surviving ones. The musical notation is written immediately above, sometimes within, the line of Samaveda text, either in syllabic or a numerical form depending on the Samavedic Sakha. R. T. H. Griffith says that there are three recensions of the text of the Samaveda Samhita: the Kauthuma recension is current in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and since a few decades in Darbhanga, the Rāṇāyanīya in the Maharashtra, Gokarna, few parts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and the Jaiminiya in the Carnatic, Tamil Nadu and Kerala The Samaveda comprises two major parts; the first part include four melody collections and the second part three verse "books". A melody in the song books corresponds to a verse in the arcika books; the Gana collection is subdivided into Gramageya and Aranyageya, while the Arcika portion is subdivided into Purvarcika and Uttararcika portions.
The Purvarcika portion of the text has 585 single stanza verses and is organized in order of deities, while Uttararcika text is ordered by rituals. The Gramageya melodies are those for public recitations, while Aranyageya melodies are for personal meditative use such as in the solitude of a forest; the Purvarcika collection were sung to melodies described in the Gramageya-Gānas index, the rules of how the verses mapped to verses is described in the Sanskrit texts such as the Puspasutra. Just like Rigveda, the early sections of Samaveda begin with Agni and Indra hymns but shift to abstract speculations and philosophy, their meters too shifts in a descending order; the sections of the Samaveda, states Witzel, have least deviation from substance of hymns they derive from Rigveda into songs. The purpose of Samaveda was liturgical, they were the repertoire of the udgātṛ or "singer" priests; the Samaveda, like other Vedas, contains several layers of text, with Samhita being the oldest and the Upanishads the youngest layer.
The Samaveda consists of 1,549 unique verses, taken entirely from Rigveda, except for 75 verses. The largest number of verse come from Books 8 of the Rig Veda; some of the Rigvedic verses are repeated more than once. Including these repetitions, there are a total of 1,875 verses numbered in the Samaveda recension translated by Griffith. Samaveda samhita is not meant to be read as a text, it is like a musical score sheet that must be heard. Staal states that the melodies existed before the verses in ancient India, the words of the Rigveda verses were mapped into those pre-existing melodies, because some early words fit and flow, while words do not quite fit the melody in the same verse; the text uses creative structures, called Stobha, to help embellish, transform or play with the words so that they better fit into a desired musical harmony. Some verses add in meaningless sounds of a lullaby, for the same reason, remarks Staal, thus the contents of the Samaveda represent a tradition and a creative synthesis of music, sounds and spirituality, the text was not a sudden inspiration.
The portion of the first song of Samaveda illustrates the link and mapping of Rigvedic verses into a melodic chant: Two primary Upanishads of Hinduism are embedded inside the Samaveda – the Chandogya Upanishad and the Kena Upanishad. Both are notable for the lifting metric melodic structure, but it is Chandogya which has played a historic role in the evolution of various schools of Hindu philosophy; the embedded philosophical premises in Chandogya Upanishad have, for example, served as foundation for Vedanta school of Hinduism. It is one of the most cited texts in Bhasyas by scholars from the diverse schools of Hinduism. Adi Shankara, for example, cited Chandogya Upanishad 810 times in his Vedanta Sutra Bhasya, more than any other ancient text; the Chandogya Upanishad belongs to the Tandya school of the Samaveda. Like Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, the Chandogya Upanishad is an anthology of texts that must have pre-existed as separate texts, were edited into a larger text by one or more ancient Indian scholars.
The precise chronology of Chandogya Upanishad is uncertain, but it is the youngest layer of text in the Samaveda, it is variously dated to have been composed by 8th to 6th century BCE in India. The Chandogya text combines a metric, melodic structure with a wide range of specu
The Katha Upanishad is one of the mukhya Upanishads, embedded in the last short eight sections of the Kaṭha school of the Krishna Yajurveda. It is known as Kāṭhaka Upanishad, is listed as number 3 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads; the Katha Upanishad consists of each divided into three sections. The first Adhyaya is considered to be of older origin than the second; the Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge and moksha; the chronology of Katha Upanishad is unclear and contested, with Buddhism scholars stating it was composed after the early Buddhist texts, Hinduism scholars stating it was composed before the early Buddhist texts in 1st part of 1st millennium BCE. The Kathaka Upanishad is an important ancient Sanskrit corpus of the Vedanta sub-schools, an influential Śruti to the diverse schools of Hinduism, it asserts that "Atman exists", teaches the precept "seek Self-knowledge, Highest Bliss", expounds on this premise like the other primary Upanishads of Hinduism.
The Upanishad presents ideas that contrast Hinduism with Buddhism's assertion that "Soul, Self does not exist", Buddhism's precept that one should seek "Emptiness, Highest Bliss". The detailed teachings of Katha Upanishad have been variously interpreted, as Advaita, it is among the most studied Upanishads. Katha Upanishad was translated into Persian in 17th century, copies of which were translated into Latin and distributed in Europe. Max Müller and many others have translated it. Other philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer praised it, Edwin Arnold rendered it in verse as "The Secret of Death", Ralph Waldo Emerson credited Katha Upanishad for the central story at the end of his essay Immortality, as well as his poem "Brahma". Katha means "distress". Katha is the name of a sage, credited as the founder of a branch of the Krishna Yajur-veda, as well as the term for a female pupil or follower of Kathas school of Yajurveda. Paul Deussen notes that the Katha Upanishad uses words that symbolically embed and creatively have multiple meanings.
For example, a pronounced word Katha means "story, conversation, tale". All of these related meanings are relevant to the Katha Upanishad. Nachiketa, the boy and a central character in the Katha Upanishad legend has related words with roots and meanings relevant to the text. Paul Deussen suggests Na kṣiti and Na aksiyete, which are word plays of and pronounced similar to Nachiketa, means "non-decay, or what does not decay", a meaning, relevant to second boon portion of the Nachiketa story. Na jiti is another word play and means "that which cannot be vanquished", contextually relevant to the Nachiketa's third boon. Both Whitney and Deussen independently suggest yet another variation to Nachiketa, with etymological roots, relevant to Katha Upanishad: the word Na-ciketa means "I do not know, or he does not know"; some of these Sanskrit word plays are incorporated within the Upanishad's text. Like Taittiriya Upanishad of Yajurveda, each section of the Katha Upanishad is called a Valli, which means a medicinal vine-like climbing plant that grows independently yet is attached to a main tree.
Paul Deussen states that this symbolic terminology is apt and reflects the root and nature of the Upanishads in Black Yajur veda, which too is independent of the liturgical Yajur Veda, is attached to the main text. The chronology of Katha Upanishad contested by scholars. All opinions rest on scanty evidence, an analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Buddhism scholars such as Richard King date Katha Upanishad's composition to the 5th century BCE, chronologically placing it after the first Buddhist Pali canons. Hinduism scholars such as Stephen Phillips note the disagreement between modern scholars. Phillips dates Katha Upanishad as having been composed after Brihadaranyaka, Isha, Taittiriya and Kena, but before Mundaka, Mandukya and Maitri Upanishads, as well as before the earliest Buddhist Pali and Jaina canons. Ranade posits a view similar to Phillips, with different ordering, placing Katha's chronological composition in the fourth group of ancient Upanishads along with Mundaka and Svetasvatara.
Paul Deussen too considers Katha Upanishad to be a post-prose, yet earlier stage Upanishad composed about the time Kena and Isha Upanishads were, because of the poetic, mathematical metric structure of its hymns. Winternitz considers the Kathaka Upanishad as pre-Jaina literature; the Katha Upanishad has each with three sections, thus a total of six sections. The first section has 29 verses, the second section 25 verses, the third presents 17; the second chapter opens with the fourth section of the Katha Upanishad and has 15 verses, while the fifth valli has 15 verses. The final section has 17 verses; the first chapter with the first three vallis is considered older, because the third section ends with a structure in Sanskrit, found at closing of other Upanishads, because the central ideas are repeated though expanded in the last three sections, the second chapter. This, does
The Brahmic scripts are a family of abugida or alphasyllabary writing systems. They are used throughout the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and parts of East Asia, including Japan in the form of Siddhaṃ, they are descended from the Brahmi script of ancient India, are used by languages of several language families: Indo-European, Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic and Tai. They were the source of the dictionary order of Japanese kana. Brahmic scripts descended from the Brahmi script. Brahmi is attested from the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ashoka, who used the script for imperial edicts, but there are some claims of earlier epigraphy found on pottery in South India and Sri Lanka; the most reliable of these were short Brahmi inscriptions dated to the 4th century BC and published by Coningham et al.. Northern Brahmi gave rise to the Gupta script during the Gupta period, which in turn diversified into a number of cursives during the medieval period. Notable examples of such medieval scripts, developed by the 7th or 8th century, include Nagari and Sharada.
The Siddhaṃ script was important in Buddhism, as many sutras were written in it. The art of Siddham calligraphy survives today in Japan; the syllabic nature and dictionary order of the modern kana system of Japanese writing is believed to be descended from the Indic scripts, most through the spread of Buddhism. Southern Brahmi evolved into Old-Kannada and Vatteluttu scripts, which in turn diversified into other scripts of South India and Southeast Asia. Bhattiprolu was a great centre of Buddhism during 3rd century BCE and from where Buddhism spread to east Asia; the present Telugu script is derived from Bhattiprolu Script or "Kannada-Telugu script" or Kadamba script known as "Old Telugu script", owing to its similarity to the same. Minor changes were made, now called Tamil Brahmi, which has far fewer letters than some of the other Indic scripts as it has no separate aspirated or voiced consonants; some characteristics, which are present in most but not all the scripts, are: Each consonant has an inherent vowel, a short'a'.
Other vowels are written by adding to the character. A mark, known in Sanskrit as a virama/halant, can be used to indicate the absence of an inherent vowel; each vowel has two forms, an independent form when not part of a consonant, a dependent form, when attached to a consonant. Depending on the script, the dependent forms can be either placed to the left of, to the right of, below, or on both the left and the right sides of the base consonant. Consonants can be combined in ligatures. Special marks are added to denote the combination of'r' with another consonant. Nasalization and aspiration of a consonant's dependent vowel is noted by separate signs; the alphabetical order is: vowels, velar consonants, palatal consonants, retroflex consonants, dental consonants, bilabial consonants, approximants and other consonants. Each consonant grouping had four stops, a nasal consonant. Below are comparison charts of several of the major Indic scripts, organised on the principle that glyphs in the same column all derive from the same Brahmi glyph.
Accordingly: The charts are not comprehensive. Glyphs may be unrepresented if they don't derive from any Brahmi character, but are inventions; the pronunciations of glyphs in the same column may not be identical. The pronunciation row is only representative; the transliteration is indicated in ISO 15919. Notes Vowels are presented in their independent form on the left of each column, in their corresponding dependent form combined with the consonant k on the right. A glyph for ka is an independent consonant letter itself without any vowel sign, where the vowel a is inherent. Notes The Brahmi script was divided into regional variants at the time of the earliest surviving epigraphy around the 3rd century BC. Cursives of the Brahmi script began to diversify further from around the 5th century AD and continued to give rise to new scripts throughout the Middle Ages; the main division in antiquity was between southern Brahmi. In the northern group, the Gupta script was influential, in the southern group the Vatteluttu and Old-Kannada/Pallava scripts with the spread of Buddhism sent Brahmic scripts throughout Southeast Asia.
Gupta script, 5th century Sharada, 8th century Gurmukhi, 14th century Landa, 10th century Khojki, 16th century Khudabadi, 1550s Mahajani Multani Takri Siddham, 7th century Anga Lipi, 720 Assamese script, 13th century Bengali script Tirhuta/Mithilakshar, 15th century Tibetan script, 7th century Lepcha alphabet Limbu alphabet'Phags-pa, 13th century Nagari, 8th century Devanagari, 13th century Gujarati, 16th century Modi, 17th century Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, 19th century Kaithi, 16th century Nandinagari, 8th century Sylheti Nagari, 16th century Bhaiksuki Nepal script Bhujimol, 6th century Ranjana, 12th century Soyombo, 17th century Prachalit Tocharian script, 7th century Meeitei Mayek Odia, 10th century Tamil-Brahmi Tamil script Vatteluttu Saurashtra alphabet Kolezhuthu Malayanma Pallava script Grantha alphabet Goykanadi Cham alphabet Tigalari alphabet Malayalam script Sinhala script Dhives akuru Thaana Kawi script Balinese script Batak script Baybayin Kulitan alphabet Buhid alphabet Hanunó'o alphabet Javanese script Lontara script Sundanese script Rencong script Rejang script Tagbanwa script Khmer alphabet Thai alphabet Lao alphabet Old Mon script Ahom
The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the Mahābhārata is an epic legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes. It contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or puruṣārtha. Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, the story of Ṛṣyasringa considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyāsa. There have been many attempts to unravel compositional layers; the oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text reached its final form by the early Gupta period. According to the Mahābhārata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called Bhārata; the Mahābhārata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as "the longest poem written". Its longest version consists of over 100,000 śloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines, long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahābhārata in the context of world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of William Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Quran. Within the Indian tradition it is sometimes called the Fifth Veda; the epic is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, a major character in the epic. Vyāsa described it as being itihāsa, he describes the Guru-shishya parampara, which traces all great teachers and their students of the Vedic times.
The first section of the Mahābhārata states that it was Gaṇeśa who wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and non-religious works, it is first recited at Takshashila by the sage Vaiśampāyana, a disciple of Vyāsa, to the King Janamejaya, the great-grandson of the Pāṇḍava prince Arjuna. The story is recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugraśrava Sauti, many years to an assemblage of sages performing the 12-year sacrifice for the king Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimiśa Forest; the text was described by some early 20th-century western Indologists as chaotic. Hermann Oldenberg supposed that the original poem must once have carried an immense "tragic force" but dismissed the full text as a "horrible chaos." Moritz Winternitz considered that "only unpoetical theologists and clumsy scribes" could have lumped the parts of disparate origin into an unordered whole. Research on the Mahābhārata has put an enormous effort into recognizing and dating layers within the text.
Some elements of the present Mahābhārata can be traced back to Vedic times. The background to the Mahābhārata suggests the origin of the epic occurs "after the early Vedic period" and before "the first Indian'empire' was to rise in the third century B. C." That this is "a date not too far removed from the 8th or 9th century B. C." is likely. Mahābhārata started as an orally-transmitted tale of the charioteer bards, it is agreed that "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the epic was a popular work whose reciters would conform to changes in language and style," so the earliest'surviving' components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest'external' references we have to the epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's 4th century BCE grammar Aṣṭādhyāyī 4:2:56. It is estimated that the Sanskrit text reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period. Vishnu Sukthankar, editor of the first great critical edition of the Mahābhārata, commented: "It is useless to think of reconstructing a fluid text in a original shape, on the basis of an archetype and a stemma codicum.
What is possible? Our objective can only be to reconstruct the oldest form of the text which it is possible to reach on the basis of the manuscript material available." That manuscript evidence is somewhat late, given its material composition and the climate of India, but it is extensive. The Mahābhārata itself distinguishes a core portion of 24,000 verses: the Bhārata proper, as opposed to additional secondary material, while the Aśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra makes a similar distinction. At least three redactions of the text are recognized: Jaya with 8,800 verses attributed to Vyāsa, Bhārata with 24,000 verses as recited by Vaiśampāyana, the Mahābhārata as recited by Ugraśrava Sauti with over 100,000 verses. However, some scholars, such as John Brockington, argue that Jaya and Bharata refer to the same text, ascribe the theory of Jaya with 8,800 verses to a misreading of a verse in Ādiparvan; the redaction of this large body of text was carried out after formal principles, emphasizing the numbers 18 and 12.
The addition of the latest parts may be dated by the absence of the Anuśāsana-parva and the Virāta parva from the "Spitzer manuscript". The oldest surviving
The Yajurveda is the Veda of prose mantras for worship rituals. An ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, it is a compilation of ritual offering formulas that were said by a priest while an individual performed ritual actions such as those before the yajna fire. Yajurveda is one of the four Vedas, one of the scriptures of Hinduism; the exact century of Yajurveda's composition is unknown, estimated by scholars to be around 1200 to 1000 BCE, contemporaneous with Samaveda and Atharvaveda. The Yajurveda is broadly grouped into two – the "black" or "dark" Yajurveda and the "white" or "bright" Yajurveda; the term "black" implies "the un-arranged, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" which implies the "well arranged, clear" Yajurveda. The black Yajurveda has survived in four recensions, while two recensions of white Yajurveda have survived into the modern times; the earliest and most ancient layer of Yajurveda samhita includes about 1,875 verses, that are distinct yet borrow and build upon the foundation of verses in Rigveda.
The middle layer includes the Satapatha Brahmana, one of the largest Brahmana texts in the Vedic collection. The youngest layer of Yajurveda text includes the largest collection of primary Upanishads, influential to various schools of Hindu philosophy; these include the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the Isha Upanishad, the Taittiriya Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad, the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and the Maitri Upanishad. Yajurveda is a compound Sanskrit word, composed of yajus and veda. Monier-Williams translates yajus as "religious reverence, worship, sacrifice, a sacrificial prayer, formula mantras muttered in a peculiar manner at a sacrifice". Veda means "knowledge". Johnson states yajus means " prose formulae or mantras, contained in the Yajur Veda, which are muttered". Michael Witzel interprets Yajurveda to mean a "knowledge text of prose mantras" used in Vedic rituals. Ralph Griffith interprets the name to mean "knowledge of sacrifice or sacrificial texts and formulas". Carl Olson states that Yajurveda is a text of "mantras that are repeated and used in rituals".
The Yajurveda text includes Shukla Yajurveda of which about 16 recensions are known, while the Krishna Yajurveda may have had as many as 86 recensions. Only two recensions of the Shukla Yajurveda have survived and Kanva, others are known by name only because they are mentioned in other texts; these two recensions are nearly the same, except for a few differences. In contrast to Shukla Yajurveda, the four surviving recensions of Krishna Yajurveda are different versions; the samhita in the Shukla Yajurveda is called the Vajasaneyi Samhita. The name Vajasaneyi is derived from Vajasaneya, patronymic of sage Yajnavalkya, the founder of the Vajasaneyi branch. There are two surviving recensions of the Vajasaneyi Samhita: Vajasaneyi Madhyandina and Vajasaneyi Kanva; the lost recensions of White Yajurveda, mentioned in other texts of ancient India, include Jabala, Sapeyi, Kapola, Avati, Parasara, Vaidheya and Vaijayavapa. There are four surviving recensions of the Krishna Yajurveda – Taittirīya saṃhitā, Maitrayani saṃhitā, Kaṭha saṃhitā and Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā.
A total of eighty six recensions are mentioned to exist in Vayu Purana, however vast majority of them are believed to be lost. The Katha school is referred to as a sub-school of Carakas in some ancient texts of India, because they did their scholarship as they wandered from place to place; the best known and best preserved of these recensions is the Taittirīya saṃhitā. Some mentioned by Panini; the text is associated with the Taittiriya school of the Yajurveda, attributed to the pupils of sage Tittiri. The Maitrayani saṃhitā is the oldest Yajurveda Samhita that has survived, it differs in content from the Taittiriyas, as well as in some different arrangement of chapters, but is much more detailed; the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā or the Caraka-Kaṭha saṃhitā, according to tradition was compiled by Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana. Like the Maitrayani Samhita, it offers much more detailed discussion of some rituals than the younger Taittiriya samhita that summarizes such accounts; the Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā or the Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha saṃhitā, named after the sage Kapisthala is extant only in some large fragments and edited without accent marks.
This text is a variant of the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā. Each regional edition of Yajurveda had Samhita, Aranyakas, Upanishads as part of the text, with Shrautasutras and Pratishakhya attached to the text. In Shukla Yajurveda, the text organization is same for both Kanva shakhas; the texts attached to Shukla Yajurveda include the Katyayana Shrautasutra, Paraskara Grhyasutra and Shukla Yajurveda Pratishakhya. In Krishna Yajurveda, each of the recensions has or had their Brahmana text mixed into the Samhita text, thus creating a motley of the prose and verses, making it unclear, disorganized; the core text of the Yajurveda falls within the classical Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE - younger than the Rigveda, contemporary with the Atharvaveda, the Rigvedic Khilani, the Sāmaveda. The scholarly consensus dates the bulk of the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda hymns to the early Indian Iron Age, c. 1200 or 1000 BC, corresponding to the early Kuru Kingdom. The Vedas are notoriously hard to date as they are compilations and were traditionally preserved through oral tradition leaving no archaeolo