Paramparaa – The Tradition Continues…

Vedas and Upanishads

The Hindu tradition has many specialities like the Vedas, the Puranas and the Upanishads. They contain a sea of information about the worship, the God, His qualities, His greatness and His benevolence.

Upanishad : The word ‘upanishad’ can be split as upa (near), ni (down) and s(h)ad (to sit). This means Gurukulavaasam. In olden Indian teaching system, groups of students sit near the Guru to learn from him the secret doctrine. In the Upanishads the spiritual meanings of the Vedic texts are brought out and emphasized in their own right. The Upanishads contain the Vedanta (Veda-anta), the end of the Vedas, not merely because they constitute the last part of them. Upanishad means brahma-knowledge by which our ignorance is destroyed.

RIG VEDA: Rig Veda has 21 sakhas as on date. Its Upanishads are Aiteraya and Kaushitaki. And its Soothradhars are Aswalayanar and Kowshidhahar.

YAJUR VEDA: Two types. They are Sukla Yajur and Krishna Yajur Veda. In Sukla Yajur there were 15 Sakhas. But now only two are in practice. They are Kansagai and Madhiyaniga Sagai. Its Upanishads are Ishavasyo and Brihadaranyak. And its Soothradhar is Kathyayana. In Krishna Yajur Veda, there were 94 sakhas. But today only “THAITHREYA SAkha” is in practice. Some portions of “KADAGA SAKHA” are also in existence. Upanishads of Krishna Yajur are Kath, Taittariya and Shwetashvatar. Its Soothradhars are Bodhayana, Abasthamba, Bharathwaja, Sathyasada and Vikhanas.

SAMA VEDA: Sama Veda had 1000 Sakhas. Today only three sakhas, Jaimaneeya, Ranaya Neeya, and Gowdhuma sakha are in practice. Upanishads of Sama Veda are Ken and Chhandogya. Its Soothradhars are Thahrayayanam and Jaiminiye.

ADHARVANA VEDA: Adharvana Veda had 50 Sakhas and today only Sowna Sakha is in practice. It is very rare and very few people follow it. Adharvana Veda Upanishads are Mandukya, Prashna and Mundak. Kowsigar is the soothradhar of this Veda.

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