E.) Brahmana, the Sanskrit term applied to a body of prose writings appended to the collections (samhita) of Vedic texts, the meaning and ritual application of which they are intended to elucidate, and like them regarded as divinely revealed.
Whilst the two last priests have assigned to them special liturgical collections of the texts to be used by them, the Samaveda-samhita and Yajurveda-samhita respectively, the Hotri has to deal entirely with hymns and verses taken from the Rigveda-samhita, of which they would, however, form only a comparatively small portion.
The Udgatri's duties being mainly confined to the chanting of hymns made up of detached groups of verses of the Rigveda, as collected in the Samaveda-samhita, the more important Brahmanas of this sacerdotal class deal chiefly with the various modes of chanting, and the modifications which the verses have to undergo in their musical setting.
For while the younger school, the Vajasaneyins, have made a clear severance between the sacred texts or mantras and the exegetic discussions thereon - as collected in the Vajasaneyi-samhita and the Satapatha-Brahmana (trans.
Thus the most prominent subdivision of the older school, the Taittiriyas, in their Samhita, have treated the main portion of the ceremonial in this promiscuous fashion, and to add to the confusion they have, by way of supplement, put forth a so-called Taittiriya-brahmana, which, so far from being a real Brahmana, merely deals with some additional rites in the same confused mixture of sacrificial formulae and dogmatic explanations.
7 Rig-Veda Samhita, vol.
Like the other Vedas it is divided into Samhita, Brahmanas and Upanishads, representing the spiritual element and its magical and nationalistic development.
The mantras or sayings composing the Samhita of the Atharva Veda differ from those of the other Vedas by being in the form of spells rather than prayers or hymns, and seem to indicate a stage of religion lower than that of the Rig Veda.