Note on Vedic shAkhAs

Vaidya Sundaram Vaidya_Sundaram at I2.COM
Wed Aug 25 11:26:08 CDT 1999

Ashish CHandra wrote:

>I have read in one of David Frawley's books that Yajnavalkya vommitted the
>Yajurveda and it came out black in colour, a colour  resembling the Tittri
>(spelling???) bird, and hence was called the Taittiriya (not sure which book
>of the Vedas). Since it was black, it was called Krishna Yajurveda.
>Can someone please post the incident between Vaishampayan and Yajnavalkya.

the story goes something like this:
 Indra decided to have a debate and invited all the brahmanas for it.
Unfortunately, he not just invited, he also ordered it to be so. He also decried
that the punishment for that was that the sin of brahmahathi (killing of a
brahmana) would attach itself for those absent. Yajnavalkyar and his Guru
VaishampAyanar were in the middle of a soma sacrifice and could not abandon it.
Hence the brahmahathi dosham attached to Vaishampayanar. The guru instructed his
students to find out about sacrifices to get rid of this dosham. Yajnavalyar was
said to have been a little proud and remarked that he alone would be able to do
it. Hence VaishampAyanar was angry that the other students were put down. He
ordered Yajnavalkyar to give all the vedas he had learnt back to the Guru.
Yajnavalkyar agreed and "vomitted" it all out (which is no mean feat - to
unlearn all that was learnt! - that Yajnavalykya was the only one capable of
finding out his guru's command was evident. however, the guru wanted to instruct
Yajnavalykar in humility, at the same time showing the others Yajnavalkyar
greatness) . THis "vomit" was eaten by a set of birds (tittiri) and they later
started chanting all the mantras of the vedas; the only problem was, nothing was
in order and it was all a big confusion. Hence the name taittiriya AranyakA
(aranyakA = impenetrable forest?) I do not know if there are many meanings to
the word "krishna" but I have been told that since the knowledge is there but
hidden, it is called krishna - hence Krishna Yajurr veda  ...

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