praaciim hotre dadau raajaa disham svakula vardhanaH adhvaryave pratiiciim tu brahmaNe dakSiNaam disham || 1-14-43 udgaatre ca tathaa udiiciim dakSiNaieSaa vinirmitaa | ashvamedhe mahaayaj~ne svaya.mbhu vihite puraa || 1-14-44

As the promoter of his own dynasty that king Dasharatha donated eastern side to hota, western to adhvaryu, and southern to brahma. And to udgaatanorthern side is given in donation. These were the donations stipulated in that great ritual, ashwamedha, by the Self-Created Brahma from earlier times. [1-14-44,43]

iSTim te.aham kariSyaami putriiyaam putra kaaraNaat | atharva sirasi prok{}taiH mantraiH siddhaam vidhaanataH || 1-15-2

"I will procedurally conduct the ritual contained in the preamble of adharva-veda with procedural hymns, called putra kaameSTi i.e., the ritual that bestows sons, for your benefit." [1-15-2]


At all the other places in bala kanda and uttara kanda and other middle kandas, ramayana only mentions 3 vedas with 3 preists, but in the mantra above it mentions fourth vedas? Given the fact that atharva veda mentions parikshita its clear it was compiled after mahabharata, so 3 vedas in ramayana makes sense.

Brahma priest post only came after vyasa how can ramayana mention it?

On the other hand wikipedia mentions that the preist who conducted putrakameshti was Rishishringa well versed in yajurveda, atharva is not mentioned-


  • 2
    It makes no sense to say that some Veda was composed later since the Vedas are eternal. Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 21:50
  • Ramayana is after atharva veda Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 21:51
  • There is a scope for interpolation too in mbh and VR Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 21:54
  • 3 Vedas at other places mean 3 kinds of Mantras of Vedas, Rig, Yajur and Sama.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 4:25
  • @brahmajijnasa the brahma preist position was only made after treta yuga hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/6802/…
    – Anisha
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Your query is very interesting and is about how Atharva-Veda is not mentioned in another kandas of Valmiki Ramayana and only in Bala-Kanda where Rishishringa is telling King Dasharatha about conducting Putrakameshti sacrifice.

इष्टिम् तेऽहम् करिष्यामि पुत्रीयाम् पुत्र कारणात् |
अथर्व सिरसि प्रोक्तैः मन्त्रैः सिद्धाम् विधानतः || VR. 1.15.2||

"I will procedurally conduct the ritual contained in the preamble of adharva-veda with procedural hymns, called <>putra kaameSTi i.e., the ritual that bestows sons, for your benefit."

We get the hint of the answer from a book called The Society of the Ramayana By Ananda W. P. Guruge - Page no.307.The reason is mentioned there.

So, coming back to the point of the answer rest of the Ramayana only mentioning names of three Vedas i.e. Rig-Yajus-Sama. According to author that is because at the period of Ramayana, Atharva-Veda was not established or was not known as Veda although the Hymns were already known at that time and were known only as collection of Hymns belonging "Atharvans (Mantra Atharvanah)" And the older name of the Samhita was "Atharvaangirasa" (अथर्वअंगीरसा).

Below is citation from the passage of the book explaining this.

The Ramayana dose not tell us the number of Vedas which were generally studied ; a verse in the BE belonging to the late Kaccit section refers in an enigmatic verse to Vidyas tisrah which the commentary explains as the three vedas. And in different contexts the Rig-Veda , the Sama Veda And the Yajur Veda are mentioned. But the Atharva-Veda is not referred to as Veda although the the Hymns of the Atharvans (mantra atharvanah) are known.

This context is very useful in assessing the position of Atharva-Veda during the period reflected by Ramayana. It mentions together with the three Vedas along with the Angas and the hymns of the Atharvans ; the distinction between the vedas and these Hymns indicate firstly that the Atharva veda was not reckoned as a Veda at that time secondly that it was known only as collection of Hymns belonging to the Atharvans - a title which is reminiscent of the older name of this samhita namely Atharvangirasah. On this evidence we may consider that Ramayana like Buddhist texts knew only three vedas as such.

We may note also that a later verse in the Balakanda of the BE attributes to Rsyasrnga the performance of rite according to the mantras expounded for the Atharvashirsha , which according to the Brahmanas is the name of a brick used in building the sacrificial alter.

So, in conclusion according to this theory the Hymns of Atharva Veda were already present there but they were not known as Vedas at that time of ramayana and the name Atharvashirsha is also name of the brick used in building altar and not Atharva Veda.

Special Note - :

It's possible that the name of the veda mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana verse is अध्वर्युवेद - Ardvayur veda i.e. Yajurveda and not Atharva Veda. Its a translation problem. So the Ramayana isn't mentioning the Atharva veda but actually Yajurveda.

  • What about the brahma priest getting western side, that preist only came during the era of ved vyasa.
    – Anisha
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 10:44
  • I think Brahma priest is mentioned in Rig-Veda i remember seeing this somewhere , and i think the work of brahma priest is to correct others during recitation so almost a silent post.Its possible that it was assigned to Atharva Veda priest later on ,but the Post was already there in some form. Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 10:49
  • 1
    Rig-Veda 2.2.1 is mentioning seven hotars and the word Brahma is also there among rest.- तवाग्ने होत्रं तव पोत्रमृत्वियं तव नेष्ट्रं त्वमग्निदृतायतः । तव प्रशास्त्रं त्वमध्वरीयसि ब्रह्मा चासि गृहपतिश्च नो दमे - This could be earliest cule of your anove comment. Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 11:04
  • do you kniw which veda brahmana contains the ritual of putrakameshti
    – Anisha
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Anisha If we look carefully at that translation of that verse the actual word is - "Adhvaradhishnya" i.e. अधर्व and not Atharva . The translator has given the spelling adharva shirasi but in hindi he wrote Atharva Veda. Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 13:18

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