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Story of the origin of Krishna Yajurveda or Taittiriya Samhita

Yajurveda is one among the four Vedas and is the only Veda with two different versions – Krishna (black) Yajurveda and Shukla (white) Yajurveda. The traditional story associated with the origin of the both the versions are associated with Sage Yajnavalkya.

Sage Yajnavalkya was the disciple of Sage Vaishampayana. The Sage once committed a sin and he wanted to perform a yajna to purify himself. He asked his disciples to make preparations for the fire sacrifice. Yajnavalkya wanted to make sure that there was no mistake in yajna preparation so he asked his Guru to allow him to do all the preparations as his other disciples might make some mistakes.

Sage Vaishampayana thought that Yajnavalkya was being arrogant and asked him to leave the ashram immediately and return all that he had learned.

It is said that the Sage Yajnavalkya had reached such heights in his learning that he vomited in flesh all that he learned in front of Sage Vaishampayana and he walked away.

The Sage then asked his other disciples to consume all the knowledge that was lying before him. The disciples took the form of birds – tittiri or partridge – and consumed the knowledge in the form of flesh. This knowledge came to be known as Krishna Yajurveda or Taittiriya Samhita.

Sage Yajnavalkya then propitiated the Sun god Surya, the master of Vedas, to learn those lessons that were not yet taught to anyone. Surya was happy to teach Yajnavalkya and this teaching came to be known as Shukla Yajurveda.