[Advaita-l] Trayee vidyaa

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 3 00:46:56 CDT 2009

sarvebhyo namah!

I used to wonder about the usage ''trayee vidyaa" (knowledge of the three, if at all this phrase requires a translation on this forum) which refers to Vedas, while the Vedas are well known to be four in number. Where this term is not used, others like ''rigyajussaamapaaragah'' (master of the rik, yajus and saaman, used in the 13th sloka of Aditya Hridayam, itself a part of the Yuddha Kanda, Ramayana to described the Sun god) seem to convey a similar meaning. All this seemed to make the fourth veda, the Atharvan, slightly inferior, or like an appendage. (*Foortnote 1*)

Yesterday, I attended a sabha on the topic "Vedagangatarnaginee" at The Sanskrit Academy, Hyderabad, where Br. Sri. Kuppa Srinivasa Sastryavadhani (a kramaantasvaadhyaayin and teacher at the Keesara Veda Pathashala), speaking on the influence of Vedas on literature dropped a hint suggesting that Veda mantras are of three types - rik, saaman, yajus; and that each of the three vedas Rigveda, Samaveda and Yajurveda are a mixture of all the three types of mantras but with a preponderance of a particular type. The Atharvanaveda cannot be characterised by a preponderance of any such types of mantras. 

By rights, such an explanation should close the matter, but the Atharvanaveda does have a preponderance of riks, or rik-like hymns, that is songs of praise. I wonder if the learned members of this forum could throw more light on the subject.


Footnote 1: Two Upanishads from the Atharvanaveda - Mundaka and Prasna - are included in the list of Ten Upanishads commentated by Sri Sankaracharya. So, in the tradition of Advaita, the Atharvanaveda is on the same footing as the other three.


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