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Title: Taittiriya  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Shiva, Apophatic theology, Upanishads, Om, Aranyaka, William Dwight Whitney, Baudhayana, Shri Rudram Chamakam, Sacred Books of the East, Panchala
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Taittiriya Shakha is a notable shakha ("rescension") of the Black Yajurveda. The Vishnu Purana attributes it to a pupil of Yaska named Tittiri. It is most prevalent in south India. The shakha consists of:

  • The Taittiriya Samhita— (TS) which consists of 8 books or kaandas, subdivided in chapters or prapathakas, further subdivided into individual hymns. Some individual hymns in this Samhita have gained particular importance in Hinduism; e.g. TS 4.5 and TS 4.7 constitute the Shri Rudram Chamakam, while 1.8.6.i is the Shaivaite Tryambakam mantra.
  • The Taittiriya Brahmana (having three kaandas). Part of kathaka shakha brahmana is also included in this shakha.
  • the Taittiriya Aranyaka (having seven prashnas)
    • The Taittiriya Upanishad (having three prashnas or vallis - Sheeksha valli, Ananda valli and Bhrigu valli)
    • The Mahanarayana Upanishad
    • The Nakṣatra Sūktam comes from kāṇḍa 3, prapāṭhakaḥ 5, Anuvākaḥ 1 of the Taittirīya Saṃhitāḥ
  • The Apastamba Shrautasutra/The Bodhayana Shrautasutra/The Vaikhanasa Shrautasutra/The Hiranyakeshi Shrautasutra

The Taittiriya Upanishad and Mahanarayana Upanishad are considered to be the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth prashnas of the Taittiriya Aaranyaka. The words prapaathaka and kaanda (meaning sections) are interchangeably used in the Vedic literature. Prashna and valli refer to sections of the Aaranyaka.


  • Albrecht Weber, Die Taittirîya-Saṃhitâ, Leipzig, Indische Studien 11-12, Brockhaus (1871, 1872) etext
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