VaitAna Srauta SutrA – A introduction

The srauta sutra belonging to Atharvanic  tradition is Vaitana Srauta sutra .
It is only available srauta sutra to Atharva veda.
Yet a single manuscript of Kaushika Srauta Sutra is in possession of Maharshi Mahesha yogi institution.

Vaitana srauta sutra is single granta which throws  light on Atharvanic srauta tradition.
It consists of 8 chapters and 43 kandika ( AnuvAka )
The subject of Vaitana srauta sutra is arranged in the same order of  that pAraskar Srauta Sutra but with originality of atharvanic  tradition. A text with notes and indices is published by sir Richard Grabe unde the title ” vaitāna sūtra : the ritual of Atharvaveda “.
There is single  known commentary ” AkshEpa ” on vaitana sutra by  Sri SomAditya.
The name Vaitana sutra  is coined  due to pravachan-kartA rishi ” VaitAyan Maharshi “.
According to some indologists the term is coined due to the first sutra it self.
atha vitānasya | brahmā karmāni brahmavedavid dakshinato vidhivad upaviśati vāgyataḥ ||1||

( I personally don’t support there view that vaitAna term is coined due to first sutra .
I suppose this name vaitAna is due to pravachan-kartA rishi , even same is true in case of KatyAyan, ApastambA , BhAradwaja , HiranyakEshin, Vadhula  and other Sutras. )
There are 6 chapters  supplement to vaitAna sutra they are known as Yajna-Prayachhita AdhyayA or alternatively ShEsha sutrA.
With every manuscript of vaitAna sutra we have this ShEsha sutras attached with them.
A brief description( Chapter wise ) of vaitAna sutra is given below.

1) pratham adhyAya ( 1st chapter)

First chapter describes darshapUrnamAsa step by step starting from bramhAvaraN  to VishnU krama and dakshInadanaM.

2) dwitIya adhyAya ( 2nd chapter )

It describes agnayAdhAna with several rules to be followed. After this it instructs daily agnihOtrA  and chAturmAsya yaga with its 4 parva namely vaishvadEva , varunpraghAsa , sAkamEdha, shUnasIrIya .A description of Trayambakeshti is also included.

3) tritIya adhyAya  (3rd chapter )

Third chapter starts with a general description of somayAga and instructs a prayachhita to a person who who’s forefathers has not performed somayAga and that person want to perform it.
After this it describes agnistOma in very expanded form starting from dikhshA to Avabhrata.

4) catUrtha adhyAya ( 4 th chapter )

This chapter continue the description.
After this it instructs stotras and shastra to be recited during different somayagas.
Next kandikas ( anUvAkas ) are completely devoted to atIratrA and vAjapEya yagA .

5) panchaM adhyAya ( 5 th chapter )

It describes agnichayana with special reference to Kurma chitI .It may be possible that only Kurma chitI is prevalent in Atharvanic tradition.
( our tradition holds this information )

6) shashtha adhyAya (  6 th chapter )

It continues the description of somayAgas starting from Ekah to SattrA.
It also describes samagAnas to be sung during somayAga.

7) saptam adhyAya (  7 th chapter )

It contains the description of RajasUya yaga .The whole chapter is dedicated to it in very expanded manner.

8) ashtamo adhyAya (  8 th chapter )

It contains the description of stotras and shastrAs .Then vrAtya-stOma is described in 4-5 sutra,  in very compact manner. Then a list of yajnas is given with there respective fruits.
A phalashrutI is also given about studying the Vaitana sutra.

YajnaprAyachhita adhyayA:

  These are 6 chapters dealing with prayachhita  (atonement ) for the the undesirable things and situations that may occur during the srauta yAgas .
It also contains prayachhita for the undesirable conditions that may occur to Three Agnis while keeping them till death.
More about this shesha sutra I will describe them in an independent post.

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