Shatapatha Brahmana
The Shatapatha Brahmana ( , "Brahmana
The Brāhmaṇas are part of the Hindu śruti literature. They are commentaries on the four Vedas, detailing the proper performance of rituals....

 of one hundred paths", abbreviated ) is one of the prose texts describing the Vedic
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

 ritual, associated with the Shukla Yajurveda. It survives in two recensions, Madhyandina (ŚBM, of the ) and Kanva (ŚBK, of the ), with the former having the eponymous 100 adhyayas,7624 kandikas in 14 books, and the latter 104 adhyayas,6806 kandikas in 17 books. Linguistically, it belongs to the latest part of the Brahmana period of Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language. It is an archaic form of Sanskrit, an early descendant of Proto-Indo-Iranian. It is closely related to Avestan, the oldest preserved Iranian language...

 (i.e. roughly the 8th to 6th centuries BCE, Iron Age India
Iron Age India
Iron Age India, the Iron Age in the Indian subcontinent, succeeds the Late Harappan culture, also known as the last phase of the Indus Valley Tradition...


Among the points of interest are the mythological sections embedded in it, including myths of creation and the Deluge of Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

. The creation myth described has several similarities to other creation myths, including the use of primordial water (similarly to the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

), the explanation of light and darkness, the separation of good and evil, and the explanation of time. The text describes in great detail the preparation of altars, ceremonial objects, ritual recitations, and the Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

 libation, along with the symbolic attributes of every aspect of the rituals.

The 14 books of the Madhyandina recension can be divided into two major parts. The first 9 books have close textual commentaries, often line by line, of the first 18 books of the corresponding samhita of the Yajurveda
The Yajurveda, a tatpurusha compound of "sacrificial formula', + ) is the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between 1400 and 1000 BC, the Yajurveda 'Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy needed to perform the...

. The following 5 books cover supplementary and ritualistically newer material, besides including the celebrated Brhadaranyaka Upanishad as most of the 14th and last book.

The Shatapatha Brahmana of Madhyandina School was translated into English by Julius Eggeling
Julius Eggeling
Hans Julius Eggeling was Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Edinburgh from 1875 to 1914, second holder of its Regius Chair of Sanskrit, and Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, London....

, in the late 19th century, in 5 volumes published as part of the Sacred Books of the East
Sacred Books of the East
The Sacred Books of the East is a monumental 50-volume set of English translations of Asian religious writings, edited by Max Müller and published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910...

series.Whereas the English translation of Kanva School is done by W.E.Caland in 3 parts.

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