New member introduction: shrI Subhanu Saxena

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Wed Aug 12 15:43:29 CDT 1998

On Wed, 12 Aug 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:

>  As an aside, I found from my teacher that there are some Shukla Yajur
>  vedins belonging to the kANva shAkhA in Tamil Nadu. So it seems that
>  the characterization of shukla/krishna Yajur Veda as being restricted
>  to North/South India may not be entirely correct.

There are kANva SAkhA Sukla yajurvedins in southern Karnataka and some
mAdhyandinas in Maharashtra too. In general, they are known as
pratham-SAkhI, to distinguish from Krishna Yajurvedins, while in Tamil
Nadu/Karnataka, they are also known as madhyAhna paRaiyan/madhyAhnada
hoLeyaru. This last name is due to a legend about the very origin of the
Suklayajus, which is traced to Yajnavalkya. It is said that Vaishampayana
cursed Yajnavalkya to become an outcaste, but the Sun God intervened on
Yajnavalkya's behalf, and reduced the curse to be operative for an hour
only, at noon each day. Hence the name.

According to Prof. Madhav Deshpande (U. Michigan, Ann Arbor), there are a
few Rgvedin families, originally from Maharashtra, and now settled in
Varanasi, who have seriously taken up studying the Atharvaveda. It is also
known that there was a handful of Nambudiri families in Kerala belonging
to Atharvaveda, at the turn of this century, but I'm not sure if they
continue the tradition.


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