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An Interesting Legend About Yajur Veda.

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[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Thus I Heard.......[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Rishi Yangyavalkya was a student of Rishi Jaimini, when there was a teching session attended by the disciples , a messenger came from the King's court. It was customory 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. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Yangyavalkya 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.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]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 enquired the messenger on what happened , the messenger narrated. The King understood the power of the Rishi and rushed to Gurukulam.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]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”) . [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Then he did much penance on the Sun God and received the “Shukla Yajur Veda “ from Sun god.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Courtesy – My Father-in-Law [/FONT]
Taking this opportunity to bring forth the deeper meaning behind this legend: Almost every one who are in the study of Vedas would know the legend of ‘Tittri’ (Thanks for bringing this up Mr/Mrs malgova.mango (interesting identity!)
A name in the Vedic tradition is not merely an identifier; it reveals the contents and power of the object or entity it denotes. This statement is especially true for names of Vedās and Upanishads. There is an understandable curiosity about the meaning of the word taittirīya which indicates something connected with tittiri. Clearly there was a rişhi with the name Tittiri who was a disciple of Vaishampāyana. But what is tittiri? Rendering sacred words in Veda such as hamsa as a goose, paramahamsa as the supreme goose and tittiri as a partridge may satisfy the belligerent pedantry of some scholars. Persons who revere the Veda must seek the deeper (parokşha) meaning of the words while studying the texts.

To understand the meaning of the words in Veda, we have to seek the Veda itself, not secondary sources like purāņa. The word tittiri is mentioned along with a legend in TS (2.5.1), whose text and translation appear in the Part III of this book. The word also occurs in RV (1.36.7). A paraphrase of the legend in TS (2.5.1) is as follows: Tvaşhtŗ is the divine architect who creates a variety of forms both according to RV and TS (2.6.10). His son or creation, Vishwarūpa, the All-form had three heads; with one head he imbibed Soma, the delight of existence; with the second he drank sura, the liquor; and with the third head he ate food (anna). Indra realising the dangers of Vishwarūpa becoming all-powerful separated the three heads. The head, which imbibed Soma, became kapiňjala; that which drank sura became kalavingka; and that which ate food became tittiri. The text mentions only these names and does not specify that they are birds means rays of spiritual Sun, (ka: who, pin: drinks, jala: waters); it is synonym of the chātaka bird which drinks the waters coming directly from the sky before it touches the earth. Kalavingka means one who destroys (la) the knowings (vingka). To understand tittiri, note that it occurs in RV (1.36.7) as titir-vāmsa. Sri Kapāli Sāstry in his Rig Veda Bhāşhya translates it as “that which overcomes the foes (such as ignorance).'' He gives the Pāņinian derivation:

tarate tiratervā liţi kvasuĥ, anyat sarvam chāndasam.

The symbolism behind the legend is easy to understand. The three heads correspond to the three types of beings namely gods or devaĥ, demons like Vŗtraand finally humans. The Gods made of Light enjoy the Delight or Soma; the demons like liquor; humans depend on food. Indra the lord of Divine Mind foresees that if this All-form (vishwarūpa) should become all-powerful, the demonic head would become all powerful. Hence he separates the three heads even in their formative stages. The form which came from the gods merged or became the rays of spiritual Sun (kapiňjala); the demonic form rejoined the forces of ignorance which hide the knowledge and energies from the humans.

Recall that tittiri is said to come from the head which eats anna, i.e., it represents human beings. Thus tittiri symbolises the forces or beings which help human beings in getting the knowledge which overcomes the psychological foes such as ignorance and falsehood. This title gives an excellent clue to the contents of TS.

Another important contribution of the legend quoted above is that it makes a clear distinction between the intoxicating liquid (sura) and the non-physical delight of existence (soma). Even if we interpret Soma as a creeper, there is no mention of the intoxication properties of all the 24 varieties of Soma creeper according to classical Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita. RV (10.85.3) states clearly that no one can drink that which the wise call Soma.

Let us understand the titles of the other recensions of Yajur Veda. Kapişhţhala means that whose source is in the Spiritual Sun. Maitrāyaņi is the vehicle (āyani) for attaining harmony and friendship. Vājasaneya (VS), a recension of Shukla Yajur Veda, means the conquering (sana) of the opulence or plenitude (vāja).

The brāhmaņa, āraņyaka and Upanishad of the Rig Veda, Aitareya, is derived from itara which means progressing from here (ita means here) to the superior psychological planes (ra means movement).

Courtesy: http://www.vedah.com/org/literature/yajurVeda/ (To know more about KYV/SYV/RV/AV this is a good site).

R Venkatraman
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