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Yajur Veda

The Yajur Veda mantras deal with the rituals of worship or the ceremonial aspect of Hinduism. There are about 1,975 mantras known as yajus that explain the significance of the performance of sacrificial rites. Many of the Yajur Veda mantras are found in the Rig Veda. The two branches of Yajur Veda are Krishna Yajur Veda and Shukla Yajur Veda. The former has both prose and poetry while the latter has only poetry. The language of the Yajur Veda and its descriptions of devas and societies are very similar to that of the Rig Veda. There are a large number of mantras connected with yajnas like Ashvamedha, Vajapeya and Rajsuya. There are also mantras related to devotion in the Yajur Veda.

The special priest of the Yajur Veda is known as adhvaryu. He is an expert in reciting mantras for specific rituals in yajnas.

The Taittiriya and Shatapatha Brahmanas and Brihadaranyaka and Ishavasya


Q1. What does Yajur Veda tell you about?


Yajurveda is mainly in prose form. “Yajus” means worship, and “Veda” means knowledge, so Yajur Veda is devoted to the worship of the Gods. It tells about the techniques of sacred rituals & ceremonies. So, Yajur Veda is a prayer book for the Adhvaryu priest. It also details the principles of Pranayama and asana practice. The Yoga teachings that are found in the Yajurveda are referred to as Vedic Yoga. Yajurveda seeks to create consciousness among people. It sets forth a yogic practice to purify both the body as well as the mind. So, Yajurveda seeks to awaken your inner consciousness to open up new avenues of learning and understanding life and existence. The Veda brings together the cosmic energies within oneself.

Q2. What does Yajur Veda deal with?

Yajurveda contains rules and mantras to be uttered during a sacrificial fire, Yajnas, and Havanas. Offerings are typically ghee (clarified butter), grains, aromatic seeds, and cow milk. Yajurveda is ritual-centric scripture. This scripture provides information about the agriculture, social, economical, and religious life of the Aryans. The most popular content is the sacred hymn from Yajur Veda- Gayatri Mantra, used in various auspicious ceremonies and occasions. It is recited to address the sun god who gives life to everyone and everything on earth and it is mostly recited during sunrise or sunset.

Q3. Why Yajur Veda is called the book of rituals?

The Yajurveda is more pronouncedly a ritual Veda for it is essentially a guidebook for the Adhvaryu priest who had to do practically all ritualistic works in a sacrifice. His works vary from the selection of a plot of land for the sacrificial altar down to offering oblations to the sacred fires.

The Yajur Veda, also known as "Worship Knowledge" or "Ritual Knowledge" is a collection of recitations, ritual worship formulas, mantras, and chants used in worship ceremonies. Yajur Veda Samhita gives a detailed description of sacrifices. There are vivid descriptions of many important sacrifices like Agnihotra, Darsapurnamasa, Vajapeya, Pitrimedha, Ashvamedh, Somayaga, Sarva-Medha, Sautramani, and so on.

Q4. How long does the Yajurveda period last?

Yajurveda, a compound of yajus "sacrificial formula" and veda "knowledge", is one of the four Vedas, and one of the scriptures of Hinduism. Yajurveda, a compound of yajus "sacrificial formula" and Veda "knowledge", is one of the four Vedas, and one of the scriptures of Hinduism. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between c. 1400–1000 BCE, the Yajurveda ' Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy(mantras) needed to perform the sacrifices of the Veda, and the added Brahmana and Shrautasutra add information on the interpretation and the details of their performance. The exact century of Yajurveda's composition is unknown and estimated by Witzel to be between 1200 and 800 BCE, contemporaneous with Samaveda and Atharvaveda.

Q5. Who created Yajur Veda?


In the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma. The Vedic hymns were skillfully created by Rishis (sages). Adhvaryu recited the Yajur Veda. It is said to have emerged from the southern face of Brahm (the creator). The Yajurveda is mostly a Veda of religious mantras written in prose. Sage Ved Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas (Collections). This Veda was taught to Vaishampayana. Later on, there was a quarrel between Vaishampayana and his great prodigious disciple Yajnavalkya, who spat out all that he had learned. The other disciples of Vaishampayana took up this knowledge and are now known as Krishna Yajur Veda, or, Taittiriya Samhita.

Q6. What is the priest of Yajur Veda called?

The class of priests was called hotar, or hotri, whose main function was to invoke the gods. The hotri is the chief priest. Yajur Veda is a guidebook for the Adhvaryu or Yajurveda priest for doing all ritualistic works in a sacrifice. The adhvaryu is the assistant priest. The adhvaryu was in charge of the physical details of the sacrifice, e.g; they "had to measure the ground, to build the altar, to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and immolate it," among other duties. Over time, the role of the adhvaryu grew in importance, and many verses of the igveda were incorporated, either intact or adapted, into the texts of the Yajurveda.