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Tandya Brahmana In Hinduism – What Is It About?

 In Hinduism, Tandya Brahmana is a section of Sama Veda that contains songs to be sung at Soma Yajna, a Vedic Yajna. It is also known as Pancavimsa Brahmana, Praudha Brahmana or Maha Brahmana. Tandya Brahmana belongs to Sama Veda Kauthuma recension. It is in twenty five sections, mainly lays down stomas (praise songs).

The text interprets acts relating to a srauta ritual dealt with in Sama Veda and executed by an udgatr priest and his assistants, and hence it particularly defines saman shlokas. It discusses the different modes of forming out a triplet and the number of verses required for the chant. Soma rites form a group of seven rites, such as Agnistoma, Atyagnistoma, Ukthya, Sodasin, Vajapeya, Atiratra and Aptoryama. Agnistoma (Jyotistoma) is the archetype of all soma rites.

These rites may be classified as those lasting for ekaha (a day) or for ahina (twelve days) or for more than barah (twelve days). Vajapeya rites performed for social promotion require the practice of religious diksha (initiation0 for thirteen days or more, at least three days of ritual, followed by one day of a soma rite. We find here stories as towho were these samans, on what occasion the ritual is performed, and what was the result of the performance of the rites.

The text mentions the names of several sages, such as Bhrigu, Vishwamitra, Atri and Shakti (son of Vasishta). The gotra system seems to have been firmly established. This text prescribes the free to be given at each yajna, usually in the form of cows, but a black horse to a Brahmin and a soma spoon to a Brahmin of the same gotra. We have reference to three classes of men who were all entitled to the performance of the rites. Vrtyas are mentioned for the first time in this Brahmana. Vratyastoma shloka lays down the procedure governing the admission of vratyas into the Vedic Aryan fold, they being referred to as hina (inferior) since they neither practice a brahman’s life, nor undertake ploughing or trading. They are further described as wearing red turbans. The text refers to Dristadvati and Sarasvati rivers and to the holy city of Kurukshetra also. Tandya Brahmana was popularly read in the Guajrat region, north of the Narmada River.