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Madhyandina – One Branch Of Shukla Yajur Veda

 Madhyandina is one among the two branches of the Shukla Yajur Veda. Sukla Yajurveda is represented in Vajasaneyi Samhita. The name is derived from Vajasaneya, the patronym for Yajnavalkya. The corpus is called Shukla (white) as it consists entirely of versified mantras and does not have any prose portion like Krishna Yajur Veda texts. The samhita is preserved in two recensions, viz., Madhyandina and Kanva. Maadhyandina was a descendant of Madhyandina. We also have the form Madhyandinayana, a patronym of a teacher mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Vajasaneyi Madhyandina Samhita comprises 40 adhyayas, 303 anuvakas and 1975 mantras. The last chapter 940) is called Isha Upanishad or Isavasya Upanishad. It does not deal with ritualistic details; it rather reflects an advanced stage of speculative thought. The recension of the Madhyandinas is more complete and very systematic in arrangement than that of Kanvas. We have commentaries of Uvata and Mahidhara on Madhyandina recension.

Satapatha Brahmana (Madhyandina) consists of 100 adhyayas which are divided into 14 kandas and are subdivided into Brahmans and khandikas. Satapatha Brahmana is more systematic and elaborate in its treatment of the rituals. This Brahmana text might be placed in the period around 600 BCE. The last kanda (14th) of Satapatha Brahmana is known as Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and it contains the optional and somewhat recondite pravargya ceremony.

Madhyandina recension has been very popular throughout India. There are adherents of this school in many parts of the country, whereas Kanva recension is mainly confined to the southern part of India. Vajasaneyisiksha also belongs to this Madhyandina recension. This Katyayana Srautasutra is the common property of both these recensions.