brāhmaṇa ब्राह्मण

Definition: n. the brāhmaṇa- portion of the veda- (as distinct from its mantra- and upaniṣad- portion) and consisting of a class of works called brāhmaṇa-s (they contain rules for the employment of the mantra-s or hymns at various sacrifices, with detailed explanations of their origin and meaning and numerous old legends;they are said by sāyaṇa- to contain two parts: 1. vidhi-,rules or directions for rites;2. artha-vāda-,explanatory remarks;each veda- has its own brāhmaṇa-, that of the is preserved in 2 works, viz. the aitareya-, sometimes called āśvalāyana-, and the kauṣītaki- or śāṅkhāyana-- brāhmaṇa-;the white yajur-veda- has the śata-patha-brāhmaṇa-;the black yajur-veda- has the brāhmaṇa- which differs little from the text of its saṃhitā-;the has 8 brāhmaṇa-s, the best known of which are the prauḍha- or pañca-viṃśa- and the ṣaḍviṃśa-;the has one brāhmaṇa- called go-patha-) etc.

Dictionary: Monier-Williams
Literary Sources: RV., SV., AV., Nir., Gr2S3rS.
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