What is / are the differences between the White Yajurveda and the Black Yajurveda?
1. While the White yajurveda comprises has a clear distinction between Samhita and Brahamana, the Black Yajurveda comprises both mixed up
2. While the White Yajurveda is more prevalent in northern India, Black Yajurveda is more prevalent in South India
3. While the White Yajurveda is otherwise called Vajasaneyi Samhita, Black Yajurveda is otherwise called Taittriya Samhita
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Each Veda can be divided into two parts – Mantras and Brahmanas. A collection of Mantras is typically called a Samhita. Currently, and often in ancient Hindu tradition as well, it is often the Samhita portion alone which is referred to as the Veda. For instance, the word ‘Rigveda’ would typically mean the Rigveda Samhita.
The Brahmanas have their own names and are more like theological treatises of the Vedas. The end portions of many Brahmanas have an esoteric content, called the ‘Aranyakas’. Embedded in these Aranyakas, or at their very end, are deeply spiritual treatises called the ‘Upanishads’. For several centuries now, Upanishads are the mainstay of Hindu spiritual traditions, and are held in the highest esteem.
In the case of the Rigveda, Samaveda and the Atharvaveda, there is a clear-cut separation of the Mantra collection from the Brahmana portions. In contrast, the Yajurveda is of two types: Shukla (or white) Yajurveda and Krishna (or black) Yajurveda. In the former, the Mantra and Brahmana collections occur separate from each other. In the latter, the Mantra and the Brahmana portions are intermixed. Thus, the Taittiriya ‘Samhita’ belonging to the Krishna Yajurveda has Mantras interspersed with Brahmana portions. Even the Taittiriya ‘Brahmana’ has both Mantras and Brahmana passages mixed with each other.
Shukla yajur veda (more prevalent amongst Brahmanas in the North parts of India) and Krshna yajur veda (more prevalent amongst Brahmanas of the South.) Krishna Yajur Veda the Samhita and Brahmana are not separate entities.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module