Glimpses of Vedic Literature

Brahmanas

THE four Vedas constitute the basic texts of the Vedic knowledge. But in ancient times, several works were composed to elucidate or explain this difficult and secret knowledge. Of these, Brahmanas are most important. It has been said that Vedas consist of the mantras of the Vedas and the texts of the Brahmanas. The word Brahmana is to be distinguished from the word Brahmin. Whereas Brahmanas are literary compositions. Brahmins are members of the varna called Brahmana. The literary works known as Brahmanas are so called because they are commentaries on the mantras of the Veda.

The total corpus of the basic Vedic literature is divided into four parts:

1. Samhitas—Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda;

2. Brahmanas;

3. Aranyakas;

4. Upanishads.

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