A History of Indian Literature - Vol. I: Veda and Upanishads by Jan Gonda

By Jan Gonda

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Extra info for A History of Indian Literature - Vol. I: Veda and Upanishads - Fasc. 2: The Ritual Sutras

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The hypothesis would also imply that all quotations in the sutras are completely accurate and reliable. One glance at Bloomfield's Vedic Concordance and the Vedic Variants37 suffices to show that neither supposition can be absolutely true. I t is not even easy to detect unmistakable tendencies. But, while there can be no doubt that the sutrakdras held the tradition of their own school in respect and had a high opinion of the competence of their predecessors,38 they accepted—and often had to accept—a number of deviations and variations which were either already characteristic of their secondary sources or the product of their own editorial activity.

In order to illustrate the procedure prescribed by some ritual authorities in the case of silence or brevity on the part of the basic brdhmanaZ2 attention may for a moment be focussed on the presentation of the first-fruit sacrifices. That the dgrayana was known to the redactors of the Taittiriya corpus appears from the occurrences of its name (TS. 5, 7, 2, 4; TB. 1, 4, 1, 5; 1, 5, 4, 2; 1, 6, 1, 9). As is often the case Baudhayana occupies an intermediate position between the brdhmana and the later sutras treating (B&S.

217). 99 Evidence is on the other hand not wanting which seems to support the assumption that a given brdhmana passage presupposes a statement found in a sutra of the same school: for instance KB. 26, 6 presupposes a whole verse which is quoted in full at £$S. 1, 15, 1726 but not in the Brahmana. It is in itself not surprising that the srautasutras which belong to the same recension differ on points on which there are no clear injunctions in their basic texts;27 however, difficulties will very likely crop up if we wish to trace the origins of the different views.

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