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Shatapatha Brahmana

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Part of a series on
Hindu scriptures

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Rigveda · Yajurveda · Samaveda · Atharvaveda
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Samhita · Brahmana · Aranyaka · Upanishad

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Yoga Vasistha


The Shatapatha Brahmana (शतपथ ब्राह्मण śatapatha brāhmaṇa, "Brahmana of one hundred paths", abbreviated ŚB) is one of the prose texts describing the Vedic ritual, associated with the Shukla Yajurveda. It survives in two recensions, Madhyandina (ŚBM, of the vājasaneyi madhyandina śākhā) and Kanva (ŚBK, of the kāṇva śākhā), with the former having the eponymous 100 adhyayas,7624 kandikas in 14 books, and the latter 104 adhyayas,6806 kandikas in 17 books. Linguistically, it belongs to the latest part of the Brahmana period of Vedic Sanskrit (i.e. roughly the 8th to 6th centuries BCE, Iron Age India).[1]

Among the points of interest are the mythological sections embedded in it, including myths of creation and the Deluge of Manu.[2][3] The text describes in great detail the preparation of altars, ceremonial objects, ritual recitations, and the Soma libation, along with the symbolic attributes of every aspect of the rituals.

The 14 books of the Madhyandina recension can be divided into two major parts. The first 9 books have close textual commentaries, often line by line, of the first 18 books of the corresponding samhita of the Yajurveda. The following 5 books cover supplementary and ritualistically newer material, besides including the celebrated Brhadaranyaka Upanishad as most of the 14th and last book.

The Shatapatha Brahmana of Madhyandina School was translated into English by Julius Eggeling, in the late 19th century, in 5 volumes published as part of the Sacred Books of the East series.Whereas the English translation of Kanva School is done by W.E.Caland in 3 parts.

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