Two versions of kAthaka grihya sutra and description of kAthaka mantra pAtha

The kAthaka grihyasutra, also known as laugAkshi grihyasutra  is the household ( grihya ) manual of those who follow any of kAthaka shAkhA of krishna yajur veda. Actually vaishampAyan imparted this yajurveda to katha Acharya , then he imparted his knowledge of yajurveda to 12 shishyAs namely
1) charaka
2) Avhraka
3)bhrAjishthal katha
4) prAchya katha
5) kapishthala katha
6) vArAyanIya
7) chArAyanIya
8) shveta
9) shvetAshavatar
10) Aupamanyava
11) pAtandineya
12) maitrAyana
Then they imparted this to their shishyAs so this formed 12 shAkhAs of katha yajurveda . Hence  every shAkhA  among 12 shAkhAs is known as kAthaka .kAthak is not name of independent shAkhA but a term used  by group of 12 shAkhAs in remembrance of katha Achary. Even in printed text of kAthak samhitA we observe

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Colophon from printed text of kAthak samhita

According to the brahmins of kashmir who have held the rules given in this manual in esteem for a long time ,the author  is laugAkshikashmirians studied it intensively .

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It have two distinct versions for two different branches of krishna yajurveda ( namely caraka shAkhA and cArAnIya ).
1) sa-mantraka kAthakE laugAkshi sutrE caraka grihya sutra
2)  sa-mantraka kAthakE laugAkshi sutrE cArAnIya  grihya sutra

Among three commentaries ( one bhAshya , two paddhati) two are of sa-mantraka caraka grihyasutra , and one of sa-mantraka-cArAnIya  grihyasutra .
The earliest explanatory work is a brief vivararan by  Adityadarsana ,in which each sutra is explained separately. brahmanabala wrote a pancika, a detailed treatise of the paddhati style, containing ritual rules and regulations and supplementing the sutra text with additional instructions. Quoting for each chapter first the complete sutra text and subjoining the mantras to his own observations.( these two belongs to sa-mantraka caraka grihyasutra ,)

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Colophon from commentary

There is, in the third place, a commentary bhAshya on the sutras and  indicated as well as full mantras ( mantrapratika ,sakal pAtha )by devapAla,he commented on a different version i.e.  “sa-mantraka-cArAnIya  grihyasutrain which the sutra text is often preserved but elsewhere replaced by the commentary. Moreover, there are very useful so-called richakas .

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Colophon from devapAla's commentary

kAthak mantra pAtha

kAthak mantra pAtha is collection of mantra which are indicated as mantrapratika  in grihya sutra and aren’t found in kAthaka samhitA .These some times also known as kAthaka mantrAdhyaya is additional section found  only in commented version by devapAla  of this grihya sutra. i.e. in sa-mantraka- cArAnIya grihyasutra .
The major possibility is that, this mantras are either from  cArAnIya shAkhA or kalapajA richaks ( mantras of ritualistic origin ) . Some of this mantras are accented ( only with uddAta which is only svara marked  in kAthak samhitA , marked as a bar on top of akshara ) and other are not .There are 8 parts of this
kAthaka mantrAdhyaya .

1st part contains a single
mantra without accent , this mantra is not traced in any vedic samhita .

2nd Part consist of jayAdi mantra , it is clear that this mantras are not found in kAthak samhita so they are collected  in this section .

3rd Part consists of Adhipatya mantra  commonly known as AbhyAtan mantra in yajur vedic tradition.

4th part consist of sarasvatyanuvAka consisting of 21 accented mantras.( they are also not traced anywhere ) devapAla applies this mantras in vivAha samsakAra .

5th Part consists of 5 mantras related to  agnimukham.
Last mantra’s half part is traced in kAthak samhita.

6th Part consists of 8 mantras known as kapota sukta in kAthak tradition .

7th Part is longest part consisting of two anuvAka related to srAddha ceremony .
Some mantras in this section are from kAthak samhita.

8th Part consists of 8 mantras known as adabhuda shAnti sukta.

This mantraprashna has collection of mantras which aren’t connected to each other( prakrana pathita mantrA ), so it is also a possibility that this is a small fragment of kAthaka mantra pAtha preserved in devapAla’s commentary . Possibly the original one was quite brief than that of our text. Few accented mantras show that this treaties  like that of Apastamba was accented and possess important place in kAthak grihya tradition.
Even till the date Kashmiri brAmhans followes this sutra and perform rituals on behalf of the kAkhaka grihya sutra .

Animesh’s blog

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svara marking of paippalAda samhitA

It is commonly misunderstood that paippalAda shAkhA of atharvan veda lacks vedic savars. In  actuality about 70 percent of paippalAda samhitA had lost it’s svara yet 30  percent part preserves   orignal svara .{ I am not including the part which is either found in saunaka samhitA or in any other vedic samhitA , if we accounts this we can restore about 40- 45 percent part with svara of  paippalAda samhitA .Orissan version ( utkala pAtha ) of paippalAda samhita lacks svaras about completely, it’s kashmira version( kashmira pAtha ) where we get orignal svaras of paippalAda shAkhA. }
Svara marking of paippalAda samhitA is unique in it’s way .
paippalAda samhitA possesses 4 svaras.
1) udAtta
2) anudAtta
3) svarita
4) jAtya svarita

1) udAtta:-
This is the natural or inherent accent in a word. Traditionally it is rendered as middle pitch. udAtta may be signaled especially in atharvan traditions by raising the hand.  In paippalAda samhitA it is marked as line above the letter.( upper vertical bar )

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2) anudAtta :-
It is rendered in low pitch. In paippalAda samhitA it is indicated by line below the letter. ( lower vertical bar )

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3) svarita :-
It is rendered in high pitch on short vowel. In atharvan tradition long vowel svarita-s are rendered as an elongation or duplication in an elevated pitch. In paippalAda samhitA
it is marked as a dot below the letter.

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4) jAtya svarita
It is denoted by a symbol of right below the letter. It is recited like any other svarita  depending on whether a short or long generated by the sandhi.

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A mantra with orignal svaras from paippalAda samhita ( PS  1.22.1 ) is given below.

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mantra from paippalAda shAkhA

The same mantra in saunaka samhitA  ( AV 1.31.1) is

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Since orissan version of paippalAda samhita lacks the svaras so the reciters from orissA chant the paipalAda samhitA in ekashrutI svara i.e. in single pitch mode of recital.Vedic lineage of Kashmir got distorted ,so not a single reciter is there in Kashmir of paippalAda shAkhA
but a portion with savars is available in Kashmir version of it. The Vedic texts studied in Kashmir at the time are known from the quotations contained in jayanta Bhatta’s Nyåyamañjari They include texts from all the four Vedas.  The atharvan veda was very well known at the time, not in shaunak form but in the paippalAda form ,apparently it still was recited with svaras at that time. Some of its later texts were also studied, and the atharvavedins were proud to have a special initiation; only someone having undergone it, was allowed to study their texts.

Animesh’s blog

Thoughts of Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati ji on Atharvan veda

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Atharvan” means a purohita, a priest. There was a sage with this name. That which was revealed by the seer Athrvan is the Atharvaveda. It contains mantras with which one wards off misfortunes and disasters and brings about the destruction of one’s enemies. The Atharvaveda is a mixture of prose and poetry. The mantras of other Vedas also serve the same purpose as those of the Atharvaveda. But what is special about the latter is that it has references to deities not mentioned in the others and has mantras addressed to fierce spirits. What has come to be known as “mantrikam” (magical rites) has its source in this Veda.  But it is to be noted that the Atharvaveda also contains mantras that speak of lofty truths. It has the Prithvi-sukta, the hymn to earth, which glorifies this planet with all its creatures.  The Atharvaveda is noteworthy for the fact that the brahma, the supervisor of sacrifices, is its representative. The Atharvaveda, that is its Samhita, is rarely chanted in the North and is not heard at all in the South. But we must remember that of the ten important Upanishads three belong to this Veda – Prasna, Mundaka and Mandukya. It is believed that those who seek liberation need nothing to realise their goal other than Madukya Upanishad.  We learn from stone inscriptions that the Atharvaveda had a following until some centuries ago. Information about Vedic schools is provided by such inscriptions found near Perani, not far from Tindivanam, at Ennayiram and a place near Walajabad, in the neighbourhood of Kancipuram. Even during the reign of the later Colas the Atharvaveda was learned in the Tamil country.  There are eighteen divisions among the Brahmins of Orissa. One of them is made up of “Atharvanikas“, that is Atharvavedins. Evev today
Atharvavedins are to be met, though their number is small, in parts of Gujarat like Saurashtra and in Kosala( in U. P). 
( This fragment is taken from the famous book of Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati ji ” The Hindu Dharma ” )

Animesh’s blog

bhairavs of dasha mahAvidya

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महाकाली-  महाकाल भैरवः

शृणु चार्वङ्गि सुभगे कालिकायाश्च भैरवम् |
महाकालं दक्षिणाया दक्षभागे प्रपूजयेत् |
महाकालेन वै सार्धं दक्षिणा रमते सदा ||

तारा- (तार)अक्षोभ्य  भैरवः

ताराया दक्षिणे भागे अक्षोभ्यं परिपूजयेत् |
समुद्रमथने देवि कालकूटं समुत्थितम् ||
सर्वे देवाः सदाराश्च महाक्षोभमवाप्नुयुः |
क्षोभादिरहितं यस्मात्पीतं हालाहलं विषम् ||
अत एव महेशानि अक्षोभ्यः परिकीर्तितः |
तेन सार्धं महामाया तारिणी रमते सदा ||

महात्रिपुरसुन्दरी- पञ्चवक्त्र भैरवः

महात्रिपुरसुन्दर्या दक्षिणे पूजयेच्छिवम् |
पञ्चवक्त्रं त्रिनेत्रं च प्रतिवक्त्रे सुरेश्वरि ||
तेन सार्धं महादेवी सदा कामकुतूहला |
अत एव महेशानी पञ्चमीति प्रकीर्तिता ||

भुवनेश्वरी- त्र्यम्बक भैरवः

श्रीमद् भुवनसुन्दर्या दक्षिणे त्र्यम्बकं यजेत् |
स्वर्गे मर्त्ये च पाताले या चाद्या भुवनेश्वरी ||
एतास्तु रमते येन त्र्यम्बकस्तेन कथ्यते |
सशक्तिश्च समाख्यातः सर्वतन्त्रप्रपूजितः ||

त्रिपुरभैरवी-दक्षिणामूर्ति भैरवः

भैरव्या दक्षिणे भागे दक्षिणामूर्तिसंज्ञकम् |
पूजयेत् परयत्नेन पञ्चवक्त्रं तमेव हि ||

छिन्नमस्ता- कबन्ध भैरवः

छिन्नमस्ता दक्षिणांशे कबन्धं पूजयेच्छिवम् |
कबन्धपूजनाद्देवि सर्वसिद्धीश्वरो भवेत् ||

धूमावती * ( some times kalabhaira / aghor bhairava )

धूमावती महाविद्या विधवारूपधारिणी ||

बगलामुखी- एकवक्त्र भैरवः

बगलाया दक्षभागे एकवक्त्रं प्रपूजयेत् |
महारुद्रेति विख्यातं जगत्संहारकारकम् ||

मातङ्गी-मतङ्ग भैरवः

मातङ्गी दक्षिणांशे च मतङ्गं पूजयेच्छिवम् |
तमेव दक्षिणामूर्तिं जगदानन्दरूपकम् ||

कमलात्मिका-सदाशिव भैरवः

कमलाया दक्षिणांशे विष्णुरूपं सदाशिवम् |
पूजयेत् परमेशानि स सिद्धो नात्र संशयः ||

Animesh’s blog

atharva veda agnimukham vidhI ( paippalAda shAkhIya )

agni mukham ( agnikArya ) is one of primary fire ritual among vedic tradition. Each shAkhA and sutra have it’s own procedure of agni mukham . The agni mukham procedure of apastamba , baudhAyan , hiranyakeshI, ashwAlayan , agniveshya, vAdhUla , gobhila are quite famous in southern india and procedure of pAraskar ( most famous ) and mAnav, vArah ,( only among mOdhA bramhins of gujrAt) are  well famed in northern india.
paippalAda and shaunak shAkhA of atharva veda have there independent procedure of agni mukhampaippalAda shAkhAdhyayIs  performs agni mukham on the outline described by “angirasa kalp”
( one among five kalpAs of atharvan veda ).
atharvan agnimukham ( paippalAda shAkhA )have following steps :-
( paddhati with mantras is given in final section.
Mantras are from paippalAda samhita ( Orissan version / utkala pAtha ) , some of them are kalpajA mantras. Few mantras are not found in  kashmir pAtha of paippalAda samhita )

pUrva tantra

1) purUsha samskara 
This portion is performed by kartA ( yajmAna ) himself. It includes shuddhi panchaka i.e. mantra snAna , AchmanaM, wearing vastrA , applying gandha ( bhasma ),dhupa dAna .
Then kartA performs samkalpam, ritvika varan , punyAhvAchan ( shuddhi punyAham ).
2) bramhAnjalikaran
3) vedI / shtandila nirmAna ( marking of lines also included )
4) agniprathisthA
5) samidhA- adhanaM
A bundle of five samidhA is used.
6) bramhA sthapan
Person or symbolic bramhA ( made of kusha grass , kamandala full of water ) is given seat near the southern part .
7) shurva grahana and shurva tApan
Taking of sacrificial spoon and heating it.
8) Ajya bhAga
In Ajya bhAga AhutIs are offered in southern part, 2 AhutIs are offered in eastern part , 2 AhutIs are offered in middle part.Again 4 AhutIs are offered in middle part.Then again ( touching yajmAna ) samidhAs are offered by using 2 mantra .
9) pradhAn homam
Now the main oblations are offered.

uttara tantra

1) svishtakrita homa
2) shAnti vAchanam
shAnti mantras from paippalAda samhita are recited.
3) dakshinA dAna
Partial sacrificial fees is given to Acharya and bramhA .
Now the following Ahutis are given by kArta and Acharya .
Actually kartA offers Ahutis and only Acharya recites mantra , other priests keeps silence ( tushnIm ). In case of minimum  number of priests they are bramhA ( known as khAtAcharya/ pustakAchArya in orissan  paippalAda tradition) and Acharya  ( actual reciter of mantrA ) and maximum 5 ( four ritiviks and one sadasya )  in case of grihya karma.
4) shesha homa
4 Ahutis are offered  in eastern part ,9 Ahutis  in southern part and 13 Ahutis are offered in middle part .
5) samichhesha homa
Remaining samidhAs ( sacrificial wood sticks )are offered .
6) Ajyashesha homa
Remaining ghee / butter /  oil / milk ( sacrificial fluids )are offered .
7) vasodhAra homa
A unbroken stream of sacrificial fluid is offered to agni , either by sruka or  or by vasodhAra havnI filled with sacrificial fluid stored  before of  Ajyashesha homa .
8) dhuma grahan
9) gAtra- sparsha
10) bhasma dhAran ( rakshA dhAran )
11) anga- sparsha
12) shruva sthApan
13) bramhA-uttApan
14) hridayanumantran
15 ) samarpanam
Now officiating priests performs abhisheka of yajmAna and his wife. Then words of blessing are offered to yajmAna .( AshirvAdaM ).Then  priests ( ritviks ) are offered dakshinA ( sacrificial fees ) and ( brAmhan bhojan ) food is offered to them .This completes agnimukham vidhi of paippalAda shAkhA.

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Animesh’s blog

agniveshya yagnopavIta dhAran VidhI

agniveshya sutra is one of lesser practiced sutra of  krishna yajurveda .It belongs to one of four upashAkhA of  vAdhUla shakha i.e. agniveshya shAkhA.

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The following passage from agniveshya grihya sutra describes the yagnopavitham dharan  vidhi.
Those who are well versed  with taitarIya samhItA  will able to  trace the mantras. Most of mantras are from  taitarIya shAkhA .The mantra for yagnopavitha dharan is quite different from other sutra ( shAkhA ).
Temple priests of ” adIkElAsha Ksetra ”, an old and reputed
place of pilgrimage, some 70 miles to the south of the
town of Tanjore follows this sutra. Only those
belonging to this Sutra are  permitted to enter the garbha-
griha or officiate as priests in that temple. The tradition
being that, at the beginning of kaliyuga Siva appeared at
the place before his devotees and ordained that only agniveshya sutra followers should officiate as priests in  this temple
and appointed the fore-fathers of the present priests as
hereditary archakas there. There are about only eleven
families following this Sutra and they are all, in one way
or other, related to each other, as may naturally be expected
in the case of a small group marooned in the midst of aliengroups.

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( for sake of preservation of lesser practiced veda shakhas and respectively there rituals I have posted this post. Other sutra followers i.e. Apastamba , boudhAyan ,vAdhula  posses there own vidhi.  I’m not aware about any variation in actual practise from grihya sutra  , by this sutra followers. )

Animesh’s blog

atharva veda prAtaH sandhyA prayoga

The foundation of Braahman, the essence of being a Braahman, is Sandhyaavandanam. All Braahmanans not only must need to wear the sacred thread (yagnopavitam) but also observe the appropriate rites of SandhyAvandanaM . Sandhya prayoga for atharva veda is based on sandhyA parishisthA. Yet there are slight variations in actual practice. In the end I have given the prayoga , first instructions are described.( I have marked numbers in prayoga and  instruction.)
In the general topic of atharva
Sandhyaavandanam the following are included:
1) AchamanaM
2) mArjanaM
3) prAnAyAm
4) jala prAshanaM
5) arghya dAnaM
6) surya upasthAnaM
7) gAyatri japaM
8) prArthana
9) sAvithrI visarjanaM
10) sAvithrI upasthAnaM

Some genral codes to be followed:

1) The hair must be styled into a lock (Sikha) . Those without long hair must ensure that a few strands of hair must be twisted together to replicate a lock of hair.
2) Clothing should either be a loin cloth or the “dhothi” trussed up in traditional braahminical fashion.
3) Hands and feet should be duly washed.
4) One must face the east or north or optionally any body of (fresh) water.
5) When at a body of water like a pool or lake, observe the following posture: Squat with one foot in the water and the other ashore; bring your arms between the two knees; dip your left hand in the water (if at a faucet, hold the left hand under it) and perform the AchamanaM with the right hand.

1) AachamanaM

By Aachamanam it is intended the cleansing of the indriyams, loosely translatable as “sense organs”. Sit in squatting position ( if you are doing it on land rather than in water body )take few drops of water in your right palm and ingest it three times.  Finally, touch the heart by reciting following mantra.
This makes one AchamanaM. To complete the ritual, repeat the whole process all over again. Wherever it says “wash your feet and do AchamanaM” remember that the ritual is complete only with the duplication.

2) mArjanaM

Aachamanam is followed by mArjanaM which is internal cleansing with Manthrams and dedication. there are three Manthrams to be recited, Take water in your hand and after reciting each Manthram, sprinkle the water on your head .With pada yasya kshayaaya jinwattha sprinkle water on  Big Toes .

3) prAnAyAm

Close the left nostril with ring finger of right hand and exhale from right nostril slowly.  Close the right nostril with thumb of right hand . Now, open the left nostril and inhale slowly. a. While inhaling, recite mentally the following Mantra:  Afterwards, close the left nostril also as before, so that air is held inside the body. Holding breath, recite mentally the  Mantra,  Close the left nostril with ring finger of right hand and exhale from right nostril slowly. While exhaling, recite mentally the mantra.  The thumb and first finger of the left hand should be in contact with the left hand palm facing skywards.Do the above thrice.

4) jala prAshanaM

jala prAshanaM   is recommended after  performance of AachamanaM  and mArjanaM . It is ordained as a penitence ritual for any sinful acts one may have committed, in thought or deed, knowingly or unknowingly. While in our tradition we perform it routinely, it does not appear in vidhi described by sandhyA parishishthA. It may be a later addition in mula vidhi due to yajurvedic influences .
Sit down in squatting position. Take water in the right hand crooked to hold it, recite the Manthram and ingest the water as one would a Brahma thIrtham. It is important to keep the thumb turned away from the palm not touching the index finger.

5) arghya dAnaM

arghyadaanaM is propitiation of the Sun God.  Perform arghyadAnaM four  times with the sun ahead of you.( 4 times arghyadana is peculiar to atharvan tradition)  Face east at dawn and midday, and west at dusk.
Stand erect holding tumbler in the left hand between thumb and first finger.  Hold both palms together, separating the thumb of the right hand from rest of fingers. Take water in both palms – holding palms at the level of the face. Recite mantra verbally with sound waves emanating from the mouth; throw the water up in the air, looking at the sun, while doing so the heels of both legs should be raised.( in morning ). That is arghyam is offered standing on toes.
In case of prayachhita arghya offer another arghya i.e. 5 th one by the same mantra for atonement due to any delay.

6) surya upasthAnaM

Stand facing the sun with anjali mudra (Namaste posture). Recite the  mantrams.

7) gAyatri japaM

Before commencing gayatri japam some preliminaries such  gayatri aavahanam should be completed. For pratah and madhyanika it is done standing, while for sayam it is done sitting.  The japam is done 8,10, 28, 32, 108 or 1008 times. The counting is done in fingers, with thumb moving to different positions to indicate the number. By using right hand for units and left hand for tens we can count upto 100. The hands for counting should be covered by the upper garment. The hands are held at neck level for pratah, chest level for madhyanika and navel level for sayam.

8) prArthana

Recite the mantras in namaskaram mudra.

9) sAvithrI visarjanaM

Perform the udvaasana mudra with the palms stand up and hold the palms in praNaama/namaste posture and recite the mantras.

10) sAvithrI upasthAnaM

Recite the mantras in standing position with namaskara mudra.
With last mantra do samarpan to bramhan the all mighty.

AbhivAdan :

It is also not mentioned in the parishishtA but it is in tradition to perform it. The palms of the hands are kept near ears, the body is bent at waist level and Abhivadanam is recited.
abhivAdaye  (..your pravara rishi’s name…{e.g. svayambhu}……){+optionally ( ……..) (………) thrayarsheya or pancharsheya pravarAnvita}  (..gothra… {e.g. vaitAyana}…..)  (..suthra … {e.g. kaushika-vaitAna suthra}….)  (..your veda’s name …… {e.g.atharvan veda saunaka }……) shaakhaa adhyaayI shrI (…..{e.g. animesh }………) sharmAnAmAhaM asmibhoH ||

After completing the recitation, the right forehand crosses above the left forehand, and touch the feet of elders.  By this  an individual expresses his descent namely dynastic rishis, gotra, sutra, veda, shAkha and name.  

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Animesh’s blog