During the last hundred and fifty years the essential and most portent Vedic works were critically edited, translated and interfered so as to build a firm foundation for Vedic philosophy in its widest scope. But all along the secondary Vedic works consisting mostly of a supplementary nature and generally called Parasites me Anukramanis etc. were not given due attention, because most cf them were written long after the Vedic period and continued to e written right upto the end. of the medieval period. Most of tem are in the form of small tracts dealing with various aspects o Vedic works like the language, meters, details of ritual arid mstoms, and the performance of various rites as they were practiced at various times. As such they do supply information about the changes which have occurred during the long Post-Vedic period and as supply some information which may be old but not recorded eerier but presumed for the Vedic period. They contain welcome ixilczmation about plants, animals, construction of altars, implements to be used and a host of other things pertaining to the life of the people which are not otherwise known. Hence their study is essential in filling up the lacunas in our knowledge of religious and cultural matters pertaining to the ancient and medieval period’s o Indian Society.
Dr. KASHIKAR has done lot of work in this field and is now an accepted authority on such texts. After completing his massive send on the important Vedic ritualistic texts, he has now given his attention to these minor works called the Parasites, in his three lectures in memory of Pundit Shripadshastri Deodar, which were delivered at the BORI on January 18, 19 and 20, 1993, and which are now printed in a book form for a wider circulation. To method which Dr. KASHIKAR has used is the same as is found his work on the rauta and Grhya Sütras, but which must have zed him more because of the lack of good editions, indifferent language in which they are written, their uncertain date and authorship, and the wide range of information they contain. He has accomplished this difficult task very well. The exposition is row compact and full of facts that the reader has to go through them slowly and carefully to assimilate the information given there. To facilitate the task of the reader, the author has supplied a detailed index. This work will be a kind of a constant guide for those who want to work in this field.
I thank the authorities of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research
Institute for having invited me to deliver lectures in the “Sbripad-
shastri Deodhar Lectures Series” this year. Ideem it a great
honour to be called upon by a prestigious academic body like
the Bhandarkar Institute, the more so to deliver lectures in the
lectures series instituted in memory of the late Shripadshastri
Deodhar who spent his entire life in selfless service to the cause
of the Sanskrit language and learning. Sbripadshastri was the
teacher of my Guru - Acharya Vishn u Prabhakar Limaye. So,
Shripadshastri was my Paraguru. In order to keep alive the
sacred memory of his teacher, Acharya Limaye arranged to
institute the Lectureship at the Bhandarkar Institute. Therefore,
my appointment as the lecturer serves the double purpose of
plying homage to my Guru and also to Paraguru, I remember to
have seen him once at the residence of Acharya Limaye. It seems
Acharya Limaye was his most beloved pupil. Shripadshastri
used to write from Sangli to Acharya Limaye in reply to his letters.
I remember to have seen one such letter which he had concluded by
writing Visnutaramohanebhyah asirvacamsi. thus. giving his
blessings to Acharya Limaye, his wife Mrs. Tarabal and son
Balamohan (the daughter of Acharya Limaye, Mira, was not
born at that time). The instituting of this lectureship indicates
Acharya Limaye's attachment to his Guru.
The subject of my lectures is A Survey of the Sukla
Yaiurveda Parisistas '. I have taken up this subject not because
I have discovered something substantial about it. However, I intend
to take stock of all available information about the Sukla Yajur-
veda Parisistas scattered here and there and add some more
details When it may become possible for me to do so.
Among the Vedic Texts which reached Europe in the
ninteenth century A. D. the Rgveda was the first. Hence, it was
made the subject of study by European scholars of Sanskrit who
were attracted towards the Vedic literature. The Rgveda
commanded particular attention probably because Max Muller
published, for the first time, the extensive commentary on the
Rgveda Samhita by Sayana. The Kauthuma Samaveda which
comprised the verses providing basis for the Samaganas was also
published. So far as the Yajurveda is concerned, the Sukla
Yajurveda was taken up probably because of its clear division as
collection of mantras and the Brahmana. It was Albrecht Weber
who paid particular attention. in spite of his varied interest in
Sanskrit literature, towards the Sukla Yajurveda. He published
the Vajasaneya Madhyamdina Samhita, Satapatha Brahmana,
Katyayana Srautasutra together with the commentaries, the
Vajasaneya Pratisakhya and many other texts. Side by side with
the study of literature, he also studied the rituals presented by
them. His lectures on Indian literature indicate how deep he had
dived into the ocean of Sanskrit literature. As an indication of'
his keen interest in Sukla Yajurveda, it may be pointed out that•
he had a look on the Sukla Yajurveda Parisistas. Thus, he has ..
mentioned (P. 142) the contribution made by the Nigama - one
of the Sukla Yajurveda Parisistas, towards the Vedic Vocabulary .
Before dealing with the Sukla Yajurveda Parisistas, it would
be proper to have a look at the Parisista literature in general and
also such parts of Vedic texts which, even though forming part of
such tevts, bear a rather distinct character. But, before proceeding
towards that, it would be feasible to define the meaning of the term
Parisista, together with allied words.
The word parisista, ppp. of vsis with pari does not have
a specific sense in the tradition. Literally it means, “ that which
has remained ", “a supplement”, The words like parisesa or
sista have sometimes been used in the same sense. Even the word
paribhasa has been deemed to be a synonym. A supplement may
be of different natures. Sometimes it may denote a portion bearing
the same character as that of the original, and may have somehow
remained outside. Sometimes, it may bear a rather different
character, but may have been taken to be a part of the original,
in the tradition. So far as the ritual is concerned, the so-called
supplement may reflect the details which formed a part of the
original but somehow were left out. At other times, and this is
more probable, it may denote the development of ritual which took
place in course of time by reasons of changed circumstances-
cultural, social and economic. Sometimes a Parisista may represent
a topic which may not be directly related to the original. Thus,
the character of a Parisista is not uniform. All the same, a
detailed study of the Parisistas is helpful for understanding the
original to which it relates and also for the assessment of the
subject in general to which it belongs.
The first and the last Mandalas of the Rgveda, even though
they cannot be said to be supplementary, consist of hymns which
are generally believed to have been composed at a comparatively
later date. The Khilas which characterise certain recensions of the
Egveda are really the supplements to the Siikala recension.
Certain Khllas themselves were supplemented with some verse even
of classical nature, in courses of time, The concluding portions
of the Madbyamdina and Kanva Samhitas of the Sukla Yajurveda
have the appearance of a supplement. To the Gramegeya and
Aranyaganas of the Samaveda are added uha and Uhya which
filled a lacuna. The Saunakiya Atharvaveda has seventytwo
Parisistas, mostly in Karikii form, relating to magical incantations
and Grhya rites.
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