About the Book
The Yajur Veda is one of the four Vedas. It contains liturgical texts used during various important Hindu rituals. There are two major samhitas, or collections, the Black and White. The White Yajurveda, translated here, focuses on the liturgy, whereas the Black Yajurveda includes more explanatory material about the rituals. The Yajurveda-derived from the roots yej to sacrifice or worship, and vid to know, is the Knowledge of Sacrifice or Sacrificial Texts and Formulas as distinguished from the Bigveda, or Knowledge of Recited Praise, the Samaveda or Knowledge of Chanted Hymns, and the Atharva or Brahmaveda which is the Knowledge of Prayer, Charm, and Spells. The Samhita of the White Yajurveda consists of forty Adhyayas or Books containing, with frequent repetitions of the same text, about two thousand Tersest A large portion of these are richas or Strophes borrowed-frequently with variations- from the Rigveda, and sometimes from the Atharva: these, of course, are metrical.
About the Author
Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith (1826-1906) was an English Indologist, a member of the Indian education service and among the first Europeans to translate the Vedas into English. He lived in the UK (Oxford) and in India (Benares and Nilgiris). He translated the Vedic scriptures into English. He also produced translations of other Sanskrit literature, including a verse version of the Ramayana and the Kumara Sambhava of Kalidasa. He held the position of principal at the Benares College in India and later lived in Kotagiri, Nilgiri. He was more interested in translating Vedic books into English, and did most of his translations while living, teaching and researching in Kotagiri in the Nilgiris. His translation of the Rigveda follows the text of Max Müller's six-volume Sanskrit edition. His readings generally follow the work of the great scholar Sayana, who was Prime Minister at the court of the King of Vijaynagar in what is now the District of Bellary in the Indian state of Karnataka during the fourteenth century.
THE YAJURVEDA-derived from the roots yaj, to sacrifice or worship, and vid, to know, is the Knowledge of Saorifics or Sacriscial Texts and Formulas a distinguished from the Rig veda or Knowledge of Recited Praise, the Samaveda or Know- ledge of Chanted Hymns, and the Atharva or Brahmavoda which is the Knowledge of Prayer, Charm, and Spells. Though ranking second in the Indian enumeration of the Vedas and containing much that is of very ancient origin, its compilation in its present form, exhibiting as it does the almost complete development of castes and mixt castes and considerable advance in arts and sciences, trades, handicrafts and occupations, in evidently of later date than that even of the Atharva. The Sarphits or Collection of its hymns, texts, and formulas, con- atituting the hymn-book and prayer-book of the Adhvaryu priests as distinguished from the Hotar, the Udgåtar, and the Brahman, the special priests, respectively, of the three other Vedas, owes its origin to the increasing multiformity and com- plication of the Indian ritual and the recognized insufficiency of the simple and unsystematically arranged Collection of Big- veda Hymns to meet the requirements of the performers of Tarious essentially important rites and ceremonies.
The Yajurveda, owing to a schism among its earliest tea- chers and their followers, was divided into two distinct Samp- bitas or Collections called-probably from the names of the Rishis or inspired Seers who are respectively their reputed compilers-the Taittiriya and the Vajasaneya or Vajasaneyi; the former and older being known also by the title Krishna or Black-probably from its dark or obscure appearance, the col- lection of sacrificial texts and formulas being perplexingly.
**Contents and Sample Pages**