Two versions (pAthas) of paippalAda samhitA

paippalAda shAkhA is one of two surviving atharvan shAkhAs. Until relatively recently the paippalAda material was believed by the scholarly world( I’m speaking about westerners as well as  Indian scholars who works in western way ) to have survived only in  corrupted kashmiri version( which I call kashmir pAtha of paippalAda samhitA rather than corrupt due to local pronunciation ) ,  During the 1960’s, however, a vastly superior Orissa manuscript tradition as well as living tradition was brought to the attention of the academic community by D. Bhattacharyya, who later published orissan paippalAda samhitA.( which I call utkala pAtha of paippalAda samhitA)
I personally believe that ,this two are two distinct versions( two samhitA ) of paippalAda shAkhA rather than two incomplete,peculiar and corrupt version of same samhitA .Even same is true about kAnva samhitA of shukla yajur veda which has a orissan version with 41 chapters and a Arsha version with 40 chapters ,which is more famous. Tradition holds the information that even taittarIya samhitA had two versions namely sAraswata pAtha and Arsha pAtha .
Even kAndAnukramAnI mentions of sAraswata pAtha .Yet the pAtha in both versions are  same , but the textual arrangement is different.
Verses in sAraswata pAtha  (सारस्वतपाठः)  are numbered as [A.B.C.D.E] standing for [भागः].[काण्डः]. [विषयः].[अनुवाकः].[पञ्चादि ]
A sequence no. of TS[] refers to [भागः = सम्हिता]. [काण्डः = 1].[प्रश्नः = 2].[अनुवाकः = 3].[पञ्चादि = 4]
Verses in Arsheya pAtha (आर्षेयपाठः) are numbered as [A.B.C.D] standing for [काण्डः]. [विषयः].[अनुवाकः].[पञ्चादि ]
A sequence no. of  TS[] refers to [काण्डः = प्राजापत्य-काण्डम्]. [विषयः = याजमानम्].[अनुवाकः = 3].[पञ्चादि = 4]

Some proofs in support of my view of two pAthas of  paippalAda shAkhA are

1) For instance in kashmiri pronunciation  –v– cannot be pronounced at the beginning of a word, thus we find rAtUm  as kashmiri pAtha and  vrataM as Orissan pAtha. One example may suffice to show the pervasive influence of local pronunciation has had on the transmission of the paippalAda shAkhA.

2)  Another example is Kashmir pAtha : yixe torze taa…..; atha kuxmaanDe zoyaat yo opotyau manyeta.. = orissan pAtha : ishe tvorje tvaa…; atha kushmaNDair juhuyaat yo ‘puta iva manyeta.
Some typical peculiarities of Kashmiri pronunciation are easily seen from the above example: x~sh, Cva~Cu, z~j, o~u, etc. The above example does not fail to stress that the written manuscript  itself rest on recitation, whether directly or indirectly.

3) karmapanjikA which quotes mantrAs from orissan pAtha of  paippalAda samhita have different rishi / chhanda / devtA for mantras  than that of kashmira pAtha .

4) There are various pAtha bheda  ( difference in shabda / pada/ ,half richAs, ) in two versions.

5) Total no of suktas as well as mantras varies in two versions.

6) Some mantras found in utkala pAtha are not in  kashmira pAtha and vice versa is also true.

7) The internal arrangement within kAnda  in the orissan version is quite peculiar. Each kAnda  is composed of hymns which in kashmira version are found in their entirety but in orissan version are divided into two hymns of 10 +x.
To clarify,  kashmira version PS 13.12 =  orissan version PS 13.1 (10 verses) +  kashmira 13.2 (6 verses). What emerges from a no so close examination of kAndas is that the text arrangement of the two traditions seems to be different at the most basic level, the sukta level.

8) Kashmira version have partial  svara ( you may refer to my previous post  “svara marking of paippalAda samhitA “  )
and orissan version had lost it’s  svara .
The accents of  orissan version were lost already in srIdhara’s time ( author of karmapanjikA). In chapter 3   ( tritIya adhyAya ) of the karmapanjikA he himself admits this fact with the words “idAnIṃ tadavyavahArAt asya mantrasya svarA na nirnIyante.”
“The accents of this mantra cannot be ascertained because of their having gone out of practice.”

9) Orissan paippalAda always have –ch-, on the same place kashmira paippalAda have
śch– in the mantras.

10) Another difference between the Orissa and Kashmir paippalAda lies in the fact that the Orissa pAtha use only visarga before velar and labial voiceless stops in external sandhi, while the Kashmir pAtha  follows the typically Kashmiri habit of using jihvAmUlIya  and upadhmAnIya .

11) A sign for avagraha (’) is frequently but not reliably  used in the orissan pAtha and  never in the kashmir pAtha.

12) Oriya script does not distinguish between -b- and  -v- ( When quoting readings from Orissan pAtha, one may thus choose the appropriate phoneme. The Orissa pAtha cannot be used as evidence for establishing the spelling, with -b- orv-, of rare words with uncertain etymology .

13) the Oriya vowel sign -ri- is pronounced /ru/. Hence, the sound /ru/ is mostly written either with the initial - sign in words like va-//ri//-n (= –varuna-), or with the postconsonantal sign in cak-//ri //-r  (= cakrur).

14) There are additional differences of sandhi-treatment between the Kashmir and Orissa transmissions but they need not be detailed in the present discussion of peculiarities.

15) Especially this last point is important: while e.g. at PS 19.1.10 a the Kashmir pAtha, indeed writes Ile agniṃ (and thus seems to preserve a possibly old Vedic allophony,)  the Orissa pAtha read IrE agniṃ (not IlE or IdE ! ), thus introducing the allophony of the Oriya language (intervocalic voiced retroflex stop becomes f lap) into the orthography for Vedic language. There is no letter in kashmiri  [language or script?] possessing the sound of the  -rre- or -R-. Since the sign was probably used only in writing Vedic texts, to render the sign that Vedic scholars are accustomed to transliterate as -l-,prefer to retain this interpretation rather than -d-.

This all evidences are sufficient to prove that orissan paippalAda samhitA and kashmira paippalAda samhitA are two different versions ( better to call upa-shAkhA )of paippalAda shAkhA.

Even some scholars are trying to reconstruct  paippalAda samhitA in archetype on the basis of these two version , two tradition and two way of transmission , but they  don’t know about the entity shAkhA-bedha “.Better to end with following “shloka “:-

” yasya rAgyo janpade atharvA shAnti pAragaH  | nivasatyapi tadrAshtraM vardhate nirupadravaM || “

The king in whose state resides a atharvavedin “the knower of shAnti ” grows without difficulties.

Animesh’s blog

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