[INDOLOGY] Two additional recensions of the Ṛgveda available

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at gmail.com
Tue Aug 11 13:35:14 EDT 2015

The first thing that was noticed by the editor of the the Āśvalāyana-Saṃhitā,
B. B. Chaubey, is that the khilas, long known and often published as an
appendix to editions of the Ṛgveda, are almost all found incorporated in
the hymns of the Āśvalāyana recension. They are apocrypha only for the Śākala
recension. They are genuine Ṛgveda mantras, as shown by their presence
within the Āśvalāyana-Saṃhitā.

Both of the newly published recensions include their own pada-pāṭha. In his
extensive introduction, Chaubey stated that the 212 additional mantras not
found in Śākala recension are not given in Āśvalāyana pada-pāṭha
manuscripts. He therefore, after learning its different method of showing
the avagraha, supplied them himself (p. 57).

Here is my question, that perhaps someone in India with access either to
the manuscripts or to the editors can answer. In hymn 10.121 addressed to
hiraṇya-garbha, the last verse, verse 10, brings in Prajāpati. Vedic
scholars such as Jan Gonda have questioned the authenticity of this verse
because its words are not separated in the pada-pāṭha (WZKS 27, 1983, p.
31). In both of the newly published recensions, this verse has a full pada-p
āṭha. So, was the pada-pāṭha for this verse prepared and added by Chaubey
to his edition of the Āśvalāyana recension? And perhaps then copied by Amal
Dhari Singh Gautam for his edition of the Śāṃkhāyana recension? Or is it in
fact found in manuscripts of the pada-pāṭha of the Āśvalāyana and/or the Śā
ṃkhāyana recension?

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.

On Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 3:07 PM, David and Nancy Reigle <dnreigle at gmail.com>

> As most of you know, two recensions of the Ṛgveda in addition to the long
> standard Śākala/Śākalya recension have become available in the last
> several years. They are:
> Āśvalāyana-Saṃhitā of the Ṛgveda, ed. B. B. Chaubey, 2 vols., New Delhi:
> Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 2009.
> The Ṛgveda Saṃhitā of Śāṃkhāyana-Śākhā, ed. Amal Dhari Singh Gautam, 4
> vols., Ujjain: Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan,
> 2012-2013.
> I would be very interested in comments from the Vedic scholars here about
> the significance of having two additional recensions of the Ṛgveda. In
> particular, I was earlier informed that an 1897 book in Danish by Hans
> Vodskov, Rig-veda og Edda, has a chapter attempting to demonstrate that the
> Ṛgveda we have shows a very late style. My informant noted that Vodskov's
> views about the late style of the Śākala recension have not been adopted
> by Vedic scholars. Now that we have two additional recensions, almost
> identical to the Śākala recension, I assume that this would be
> significant evidence for an early, unchanged style.
> As for linguistic peculiarities, as opposed to stylistic ones, Madhav
> Deshpande had noted in his 1993 book, Sanskrit & Prakrit: Sociolinguistic
> Issues, p. 134: "In most recent discussions, a historical fact of utmost
> importance is often overlooked, namely that the text of the Ṛgveda that
> we have today is not necessarily the original Ṛgveda. What we have is
> only one recension (saṃhitā) of the Ṛgveda compiled several centuries
> after the hymns were composed by the Ṛgvedic sages."
> Now we have three recensions, together presumably bringing us closer to
> the original Ṛgveda.
> Best regards,
> David Reigle
> Colorado, U.S.A.
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