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Are both Śukla and Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda saṃhitas derived from the same parent source or are they totally independent from each other?

Are there any mantras common to both?

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Are both Śukla and Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda saṃhitas derived from the same parent source or are they totally independent from each other?

They are totally independent of each other, but like all Vedas, there are some mantras common between both.

The Taittiriya Shakkha of the Krishna Yajur Veda was disseminated by Yajnavalkya:

Texts 64-65: Yājñavalkya, the son of Devarāta, then vomited the mantras of the Yajur Veda and went away from there. The assembled disciples, looking greedily upon these yajur hymns, assumed the form of partridges and picked them all up. These divisions of the Yajur Veda therefore became known as the most beautiful Taittirīya-saṁhitā, the hymns collected by partridges [tittirāḥ].

The Shukla Yajur Veda was revealed by rishi Yajnavalkya:

Text 66: My dear brāhmaṇa Śaunaka, Yājñavalkya then desired to find out new yajur-mantras unknown to even his spiritual master. With this in mind he offered attentive worship to the powerful lord of the sun.

...

Text 73: Sūta Gosvāmī said: Satisfied by such glorification, the powerful sun-god assumed the form of a horse and presented to the sage Yājñavalkya yajur-mantras previously unknown in human society.

Text 74: From these countless hundreds of mantras of the Yajur Veda, the powerful sage compiled fifteen new branches of Vedic literature. These became known as the Vājasaneyi-saṁhitā because they were produced from the hairs of the horse’s mane, and they were accepted in disciplic succession by the followers of Kāṇva, Mādhyandina and other ṛṣis.

The Kanva and Madhyandina shakhas are recensions of the Shukla Yajur Veda that are preserved even today.

  • 'Yājñavalkya...vomited the mantras of the Yajur Veda and went away from there. The assembled disciples...assumed the form of partridges and picked them all up.' - seems like a fantastic story, do you actually believe this? Anyway, I'm looking for an answer from historical perspective, that's why the 'history' tag. – sv. Sep 12 at 17:13
  • @sv. The vomiting and turning into birds is probably metaphorical. And I just gave you a historical answer, the puranic passage is describing what happened in the past. – Ikshvaku Sep 12 at 20:34
  • If it's metaphorical, 'Taittirīya or tittirāḥ' should probably have a different/historical significance? Also, if Yajurveda is just like the other Vedas, it could have simply had a different śākhā (recension), but why a separate division in the name of the Veda itself - Śukla and Kṛṣṇa? Are the mantras so different that they had to give it a new name? Does that make the total # of Vedas 5 instead of 4? – sv. Sep 12 at 20:45
  • @sv. It means that they picked up those verses of the yajur veda like partridges (tittiri birds), meaning they picked up the verses like birds, one by one. Why the krishna veda is called krishna and the other shukla is described on wikipedia: "The term "black" implies "the un-arranged, unclear, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" which implies the "well arranged, clear" Yajurveda." But I don't know if this is a western indologist interpretation or an orthodox one. – Ikshvaku Sep 12 at 21:21
  • Also, "Yājñavalkya then desired to find out new yajur-mantras unknown to even his spiritual master" - does this mean Yājñavalkya is the author/seer of all those mantras? – sv. Sep 12 at 23:36

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