By Swami Harshananda
Origin of Kāthaka Samhitā
The Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda has four śākhās or recensions. The Kāthaka Samhitā or Katha Samhitā is the third in that series. There are very few followers of this Samhita, even in South India which is the home of Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda.
Sections of Kāthaka Samhitā
Kāthaka samhitā work has five kāṇdas or sections. It is further divided into subsections known as ‘sthānakas’. The five kāṇdas with forty sthānakas contain total of 3091 mantras. A brief description of the same may be given as follows:
- Ithimikākāṇḍa - It describes 18 purodāśa or rice-cakes. It also details the duties of adhvara and describes some yāgas like Vājapeya and Rājasuya.
- Madhyamikakānda - It details the tales of Sāvitrī, svarga (heaven), dīkṣita (consecrated sacri- ficer), āyusyahoma and so on. It gives the information regarding Sattra, Cāturmāsya, Oramikākāṇḍa sava, Sautrāyaṇī etc.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore