As I discuss in this answer, each of the four Vedas consists of four portions: Samhitas, the core part of the Vedas which consist of verses heard from the gods; Brahmanas, commentaries on the Samhitas which provide instructions for important rituals; Aranyakas, which provide a guide to rituals meant for forest-dwellers and hermits; and Upanishads, which consist of conversations between teachers and students which clarify the philosophical message of the Vedas. But the Yajur Veda has seem peculiarities in its organization.

First of all, the Yajur Veda comes in two versions, the Shukla or "white" version, and the Krishna or "dark" version. As I discuss in this question, the Shukla Yajur Veda consists of two texts: a Samhita, called the Vajasaneyi Samhita, and a Brahmana commenting on it, the Shatapatha Brahmana. The Krishna Yajur Veda, on the other hand, does not have a separate Samhita and separate Brahmana. Instead, it has a text called the Taittirya Samhita which is a combination of both a Samhita and a Brahmana. In other words, some parts of the Taittirya Samhita were actually heard from the gods, while other parts are just commentaries on verses heard from the gods. (In contrast, Samhitas of other Vedas are entirely of divine origin.)

So my question is, is there any listing of exactly what parts of Taittirya Samhita were heard from the gods? In some cases, it's obvious when a verse is of divine origin, because it occurs in the Samhita of another Veda. For instance, the Rudram, which occurs in the Fifth Prapathaka of the Fourth Kanda of the Taittirya Samhita, also occurs in the Sixteenth Adhyaya of the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Shukla Yajur Veda, so we know that it's of divine origin. But what about verses that occur only in the Taittirya Samhita? How do we tell the nature of those?

This is the sort of information that can be found in the Anukramanis, a set of systematic indices for the Samhitas of the Vedas which document the sage who heard each verse from the gods, and the deity that each verse is addressed to. In this answer, I compiled the sage and deity information for most of the hymns from the Anukramani of the Rig Veda Samhita. And in this question, I tried to get the Anukramani of the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Shukla Yajur Veda. Now I want the Anukramani for the Taittirya Samhita, because if it tells you the sage who heard each verse from the gods, it would presumably also tell you if a given verse wasn't heard from the gods at all. Now Wikipedia says that there's an Anukramani "belonging to the Atreyi shakha of the Taittiriyasamhita". Does anyone know whether that Anukramani is available anywhere, preferably online in English?

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    According to Swami Vivekananda, the Vedas are split into primarily 2 portions, the Karma-kanda and and the Jnana-kanda. The Karma-kanda consists of the Samhitas and the Brahmanas. The Jnana-kanda consists of the Upanishads. The Arnayakas are the Upanishads. One should accept those parts of the Vedas that make sense. What difference does it make which verses were said or not said by a god in a particular Samhita? Sep 30, 2014 at 15:26
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    @SwamiVishwananda I disagree with Vivekananda's attitude; I think you should accept all parts of the Vedas, even those parts that don't "make sense" to a human's puny mind. And to answer your question, I just want to know which parts are of divine origin out of intellectual curiosity, not because it affects what parts of the Vedas I believe in. Oct 1, 2014 at 8:51
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    @SwamiVishwananda Do you have a specific citation from the Manu Smriti for that? Oct 1, 2014 at 8:56
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    @SwamiVishwananda All those verses are about what Brahmins to trust and not to trust. None of those verses say that you should distrust any part of the Vedas. In fact verse 96 says "All those (doctrines), differing from the (Veda), which spring up and (soon) perish, are worthless and false, because they are of modern date." Oct 2, 2014 at 15:41
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    @RakeshJoshi This question was written in the early days of the site's existence, when I didn't know as much about Hinduism. In reality the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads are all Shruti. The Brahmanas are not actually commentaries on the Samhitas. The different parts of the Vedas differ in function, not origin. Jul 6, 2017 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


This question was written in the early days of the site, back when I didn't know as much about Hinduism, as my misconceptions post will attest. As a matter of fact, all parts of the Vedas, including Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads, are Apaurusheya or authorless. In particular, the injunctions concerning Yagnas, which are primarily found in the Brahmanas of the Vedas but in the case of the Krishna Yajur Veda are also found in the Samhitas, are Apaurusheya. This is demonstrated in Adhyaya 1 Pada 1 of the Purva Mimamsa Sutras; see this excerpt from Shabara Swami's Bhashya.

So all portions of the Taittiriya Samhita, both Mantras and injunctions, are Shruti.

  • Link which is supposed to go to shabara swami's bhashya excerpt actually goes to your answer to your meta misconceptions question.
    – Aks
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:09
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    @Aks Thanks, I fixed it. By the way, I've created the shortened URL tinyurl.com/hinduismproof for it, because it's the traditional proof that Hinduism is true used by the Purva Mimamsa and Vedanta schools. Jan 14, 2018 at 17:12
  • Thanks for link to excerpts. I went through it but couldn't find where shabara defines Vedas as mantras + brahmanas. There is lot of proof of why Vedas are pramana but I couldn't find or missed the part which described what is Vedas. Can you tell page number where smami shabara says both mantras and brahmanas(which would include aranyakas and Upanishadas) are shruti or Vedas?
    – Aks
    Jan 15, 2018 at 6:40
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    @Aks I was just linking to the Apaurusheyatva proof. The classification of Mantras and Brahmanas comes later, in Adhyaya 2 Pada 1: archive.org/details/ShabaraBhasyaTrByGanganathJha Jan 15, 2018 at 8:00
  • So, are all the Brahmanas associated with all of 4 Vedas Apaurusheya or this is only applicable to Taittariya Samhita?
    – Pandya
    May 12, 2019 at 17:14

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