Note on Vedic shAkhAs

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Aug 27 21:36:54 CDT 1999

On Wed, 25 Aug 1999, Vaidya Sundaram wrote:

> Jaldhar wrote:
> >> 2. One of my friends is from Karnataka and knows his Veda to be RgVeda. But
> >> he says his shikshan has been in Yajur Veda. Is this fairly common ?
> >
> >We discussed this on the list once before.  Because it is the duty of
> >every Brahmana to learn the Vedas, you should learn what you can, even if
> >it is the "wrong" shakha but it is preferable to learn your own and you
> >should make the best possible effort to do so.
>  namaskAram.
>   I would like to know if this is our understanding or is there some scriptural
> basis for this conclusion. I ask this question because right after the earlier
> discussion in this list on the topic of learning vedic shakas, I requested
> information from the priests at kanchi. The answer was that - your own shaka
> MUST be learned before any others. The only exceptions are when some sacrificial
> yajnas/sacrifices are to be done (there is a apparently a set of such sacrifices
> whose performance takes precedence - hence the mantras for that have to be
> learned before the entire shaka is complete.)

I bow to the superior knowledge of the Pandits of Kanchi.  No doubt they
have gone into this much more thoroughly than I have, but it seems to me
there is an obligation to study the Vedas.  (Svadhyayam na pramaditavyam
as T.U. says)  Perhaps the person in this unfortunate position should just
learn the Gayatri, purusha sukta etc. which occur in all shakhas?  This
still leaves the question of learning the correct pronounciation.

If you get a chance to ask them again in more detail, I'd be interested to
know the answer.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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