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World Sanskrit Conference (WSC) (17th : 2018)

A Non-Śrauta Ritual in the Oldest Yajurveda Text : Maitrāyaṇī Saṁhitā IV 2 (Gonāmika Chapter) Amano, Kyoko


The Maitrāyaṇī Saṁhitā [MS] IV.2, gonāmika chapter, contains descriptions of esoteric rites that don’t look like the orthodox śrauta ritual. They are, on one hand, the rites of serving a cow that are concerned with the gopitṛyajña (MS I.6) and the śūlagava ritual belonging to the gṛhya rites, and on the other hand, the worship of Rudra that is again concerned with the śūlagava ritual. Underlying them is an ancient popular rite of serving a cow to people of the community at the end of the year. The examination of these descriptions gives a clue to the answer to the question whether the Vedic Brāhmaṇa texts were composed in order to describe śrauta rituals. The contents of this paper are following: 0. Were the Brāhmaṇa texts composed in order to describe śrauta rituals? 1. Historic layers of language in the Maitrāyaṇī Saṁ hitā. 2. Common features in I.9 (caturhotṛ chapter) and IV.2 (gonāmika chapter). 3. Contents of IV.2 (gonāmika chapter). 4. Ritual of serving a cow at ekāṣṭakā. 5. Serving a cow described in IV.2 (and I.6) and Atharvaveda 8.10. 6. Serving a cow described in IV.2 (and I.6) and the gopitṛyajña. 7. Serving a cow described in IV.2 and the śūlagava in the Gṛhyasūtras. 8. Conclusions. 9. Reconsidering the ritual and texts in the Yajurveda Saṁ hitā period.

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