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Maitrayani Samhita Part of Krishna Yajur Veda

Maitrayani Samhita is one of the recensions of Krishna Yajur Veda. As per Hindu scholarly studies, Yajur Veda is the oldest literature designed to be used by the Adhvaryu priest in the performance of rituals. Its two main recensions are Krishna and Shukla. Of the Krishna recension, only Taittiriya is found in its entirety and preserved in the oral tradition. Maitrayani, Kathaka and Kapisthala of the Krishna school are extant only in manuscripts and printed editions.

According to Caranavyuha, Maitrayani, Kathaka, and Kapisthala form the off shoots of Caraka. They are so closely related to each other that they form a group different from Taittiriya, on the one hand, and from Madhyandina and Kanva of the Shukla recension, on the other.

Maitrayani Samhita was originally collected in three kandas – Prathama, Madhyama and Upari. The fourth, khila, was a later appendix. Maitrayani Samhita consists of four kandas, fifty four divisions (prapathakas) and six hundred and fifty four subdivisions (anuvakas).

Like the other schools of Krishna Yajur Veda, Maitrayani Samhita also consists of both mantra and brahmana portions. The mantras are in prose (yajus) as well as in verse (rk). The rks contain about one thousand and seven hundred verses of Rig Veda.