The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes The different recensions of the Vedas (shakha) which is chapter 271 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 271 - The different recensions of the Vedas (śākha)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Puṣkara said:

1. The number of hymns of the Ṛg (veda), Yajur (veda), Sāma (veda) and Atharva (veda) that yield all (the desires) and confer the four ends of the human life[1] is one lakh.

2. (The Ṛgveda) is divided into two branches, Sāṅkhyāyana and Āśvalāyana. The brāhmaṇas (of this Veda) (contain) two thousand one hundred and ten hymns.

3. The Ṛgveda is considered as the authority by the Dvaipāyanas and others. The hymns of the Yajurveda number one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine.

4-5. Their branches [i.e., śākha] are one thousand eighty-six. The branches of the Yajur (veda) are (known as) Kāṇvī, Mādhyandinī, Kaṭhī, Mādhyakaṭhī, Maitrāyaṇī, Taittirīya and Vaiśampāyana.

6-Sa. The first (branch) of the Sāmaveda is known as Kauthuma and the second as Atharvaṇāyanī. The songs of this Veda consist of āraṇyaka, uktha and ūha. The extent of the (Sāmaveda) is said to be a collection of nine thousand four hundred and twenty-five.

8b-9a. Sumantu, Jājali, Ślokāyani, Śaunaka, Pippalāda, Muñjakeśa and others (are those who represent the branches) of Atharva (veda).

9b-10. The Lord (Viṣṇu) in the form of (sage) Vyāsa divided the ten thousand and six hundred hymns and one hundred Upaniṣads into different recensions. (Lord) Viṣṇu also made the divisions of the Epics and Purāṇas.

11-12. The bard Lomaharṣaṇa got it from Vyāsa. Sumati, Agnivarcas, Mitrayu, Śiṃśapāyana (Śāṃśapāyana?), Kṛtavrata and Sāvarṇi were his disciples. Śāṃśapāyana and others were the makers of the collection of Purāṇic texts.

13. The Brahma (purāṇa) and other Purāṇas are eighteen. (They are known to be) learning relating to (Lord) Hari (Viṣṇu). (Lord) Hari remains in the form of learning in the great Purāṇa (called) Agni.

14. One would get enjoyment and emancipation by worshipping and praising Him, who is immanent, transcendent and bears the gross and subtle forms.

15. (That) all-pervasive, triumphant (lord) wishing for prosperity is of the forms of Fire, Sun etc. (Lord) Viṣṇu, that is the mouth of the gods in the form of the Fire (god), is the supreme state.

16. The embodiment of sacrifices is praised in the Vedas and Purāṇas. The Āgneya-purāṇa is the greatest of the forms of Viṣṇu.

17-22. The composer and listener of the Āgneya-purāṇa is (Lord) Janārdana (Viṣṇu). Hence the Āgneya-purāṇa is great as that made up of all the Vedas. It is of the form of all learning, meritorious, of the form of all knowledge and excellent. It is of the form of all the beings and of (Lord) Hari (Viṣṇu). (It is meritorious) for the men who read and listen to (its narration). It gives knowledge to those who seek knowledge. It yields material prosperity to those who seek material prosperity. It confers kingdom on those who desire to have kingdom. It yields righteousness to those who seek righteousness. It confers heaven on those who seek heaven. It blesses those who seek progeny with progeny. It gives cows to those who seek cows. Those who seek a village would be blessed with a village. Those who desire pleasures would be getting pleasures. It gives all good fortune. It gives good qualities and fame to men. Those who seek victory would get victory. It gives all things to those who seek everything. Those who desire emancipation would be blessed with emancipation. The Agnipurāṇa destroys the sins of sinners.

Footnotes and references:


Righteousness, material prosperity, pleasures and beatitude.

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