Rg Vidhana of Saunaka
Note : We all know of Saunaka as the chief of the rshis of Naimisaranya who was engaged in a long (12 years or 1000 years) satra (yajna), to ward off the evil effects of Kaliyuga. We also know him as the recipient of all the Puranas as well as the Mahabharatam. It would appear that Saunaka’s work was in a sense a continuation of Vyasa’s work. Vyasa classified the Vedas, Saunaka created the Anukramanis, Brhaddevata and Rg Vidhana. Vyasa collected, collated and edited the Puranas and taught them to Romaharashana and Ugrasarava who later told (taught?) them to Saunaka and his team. Saunaka also heard the Bhagavatham and Mahabharatam from these two custodians of history. The versions of the puranas and bharatam that we hear to day are the versions told to Saunaka. The longer versions recited to the devatas themselves are lost to us today. It is Saunaka, one of the early rishis of the Kaliyuga who is the connecting link between all the knowledge of the previous yugas and us.
- Ugrasrava (Sauti), Romaharshana (Suta), Saunaka and Naimisaranya
- How many kinds of Yugas are there?
- Puranas and Itihasas
- Veda Vyasa वेद व्यास
- Saunaka’s ancestry : Divodasa and Vitahavya (Haihaya), Ruru – Pramadvara
A seeker sent me a link to this Reference from which I noted a few data points below. It further follows the Muller/sAyana scheme of translation for the rg veda and labels the Phalas’ruti as a charm… you can read it if it interests you…, it is not for me. If I get the original sanskrit text and have the opportunity to study it, I will let you know.
- The Vidhanas were written to simplify the ceremonies of the Srauta and Gruhya Sastras.
- Saunaka and Katyayana are the authors of the Vidhanas for the Rg and the Yajur Vedas.
- They also worked on the Anukramanis and the pratisakhyas. (Anukramanis tell us about the devatas, rshis, chandas, anuvakas and sukthas). Saunaka also composed the Brhaddevata which tells the legends of the Vedic devatas.
- The manuscripts of the Rg Vidhana are available in India.
- There is available a commentary on the Rg Vidhana by Matrusunu called RgvidhAna padapancikA.
- Variations of the rg vidhanam are available in the Vishnudharmottara and the Agni Purana
- The Vedanga literature ahas beginnings in the Brahmanas.
- The grammar of the rg vidhana is earlier to Panini.
- The Brahmanas are commentaries on the samhitas, that explain the rites which accompany the mantras. The satapatha brahmana may be considered a commentary on the Vajasneyi Samhita.
- The Brahmanas also contain legends as well as discussions on the etymyology, metrics, grammar etc.
- The Pratisakhyas “truly” represent the Vedic Siksha.
- The Aitreyaranyaka discusses 3 ways of chanting the Vedas, the Pada Patha, Samhita and Krama Patha.
- The Pratisakhyas discuss sandhis, metrics etc and how to convert one of the above pathas to the other. They are important to the study of Vedas.
- Yaska’s Nirukta : is a Vedic commentary on the Nighantus (including Kasyapa’s). A Nighantu is a glossary of difficult and rare Rg Vedic terms. The Naighantuka kanda of the Nighantus consists of 3 lists of synonyms. The Naigama (Aikapadika) kanda consists of a list of isolated and difficult words. The Daivata kanda contains a classification of devatas.
- Chandas : The RgvEda prAtis’AKyA and s’AnKayanas’rauta s’Astra are devoted to metres. The pingala sUtrAs, Candah sUtrAs and the nidhAna sUtras deal with metres.
- Kalpa : Kalpasutras have 3 parts, the srauta for large yagnyas, the gruhya for domestic purposes, the dharma for law etc. Pitrmedhasutras, karikas, prayogas, sraddha kalpa and other such additional texts exists.
- The AtharvaNa jyotiSA gives divisions of time, nakshatra names, auspicious time for conception etc.
- There are 2 rg vidhanas, kanishta and jyestha.
- The kaniSTa vidhAna has 4 adhyayas. Like this RcAm vidhAnam, we also have sAmnAm vidhAnam.
- The Rvidh is aware of amRtA, pitryA, vAsavI, raudrA, and vaisvadEvI samhitAs.
- kAtyAyana the author of YVidh, is the grand disciple of Saunaka as per the SaDgurusiSyA.
- kaus’ikasUtra (vis’wAmitra) explains the Vidhana for the atharva veda.
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