A ‘Yajuh’ is that which is in prose form’. Another definition – ‘Yajur Yajateh’ talks about its relation with the sacrifice (Yajna) because both the terms are derived from the root. ‘Yaj ‘.

The Yajurveda is more pronouncedly a ritual Veda for it is essentially a guide-book for the Adhvaryu priest who had to do practically all ritualistic works in a sacrifice. His works vary from the selection of a plot of land for the sacrificial altar down to offering oblations to the sacred fires. Just as the Samaveda-Samhita is the song-book of the Udgata priest, so the Yajurveda-Samhitas are the prayer-books for the Adhvaryu priest. It is solely meant for the purposes of sacrificial rituals.

The Yajurveda is also important for its presentation of philosophical doctrines. It preaches the concept of Prana and Manas also. Many times, it is quoted for depicting religious and social life of the Vedic people. It is also known for giving certain geographical data.

Vedas Categories

Prapathaka I

i. 1. 1.

For food thee, for strength thee!

Ye are winds, ye are approachers.

Let the god Savitr impel you to the most excellent offering.

O invincible ones, swell with the share for the gods,

Full of strength, of milk, rich in offspring, free from sickness, from disease.

Let no thief, no evil worker, have control over you.

Let Rudra’s dart avoid you.

Abide ye, numerous, with this lord of cattle.

Do thou protect the cattle of the sacrificer.

Prapathaka II

iii. 2. 1.

By Agni may one win wealth

And abundance day by day,

Glory, full of heroes.

Rich in cattle, in sheep, O Agni, in horses is the sacrifice;

With manly companions, ever unalterable;

Rich in food is this, O Asura, in offspring,

Enduring, wealth, deep based and rich in houses.

Swell up.

Together for thee.

Here Tvastr the first,

Of all forms, I call.

May he be ours only.

That procreant strength for us do thou,

O God Tvastr, graciously lot loose,

Whence is born a hero [1] of great deeds, of skill,

Who wieldeth the pressing-stone and loveth the gods.

Come hither, O Tvastr, propitious,

Pervasive for abundance, and of thy own will,

Aid us in every sacrifice.,

The hero is born, loving the gods,

Of brilliant hue, strong, and full of vigour;

Tvastr accord us offspring and descendants;

May he go to the place of the gods.

Forth for us, O goddess.

From the sky.

May we milk offspring and food

From Sarasvant’s breast,

Swelling for all to see [2].1

May we enjoy the favour

Of thy waves, O Sarasvant,

Which are full of honey and drip ghee.

Let us call for aid on this Sarasvant,

Whose ordinance all cattle follow,

Whose ordinance the waters obey,

And in whose ordinance the lord of increase doth rest.

The divine, well-feathered bird, the great one,

Germ of the waters, male of the plants,

Who delighteth with rain from near,

This Sarasvant let us call on for aid.

O Sinivali, with broad braids,

Who art the sister of the gods,

Accept the offering [3] which is made;

Reveal, O goddess, offspring unto us.

To her that hath fair hands, fair fingers,

Prolific, and mother of many,

To her the queen Sinivali,

Pour the offering.

Indra from all sides.

Indra men.

The dark-coloured steeds with fair feathers,

Clad in the mist, spring up to the sky;

They turn hitherward having established their abodes;

Then the earth is wet with ghee.

He hath golden tresses in the expanse of the air,

A raging serpent like the rushing wind,

With pure radiance [4], knowing the dawn,

Like true, glorious and toiling (women).

Thy winged (steeds) have charged them as they are wont;

The dark bull hath roared when this was;

He hath come hither with (lightnings) that smile like kindly (women);

The rains fall, the clouds thunder.

Like a cow the lightning loweth;

It tendeth its young like a mother,

When their rain hath been let loose.

The mountain that hath waxed great is afraid

Even the ridge of heaven trembleth at your roaring;

When ye sport, O Maruts [5], with your spears,

Ye speed along together like the waters.

Roar and thunder, deposit a germ,

Fly around with thy chariot water-laden;

Draw downward thy opened water-skin,

And let the heights and the depths be level.

Even these immovable things (dost thou eat),

O Agni, like a beast at grass;

What time, O immortal, the hosts of thee,

The strong, rend the woods.

O Agni, many are the hosts of the immortal all-knower,

O God, powerful; and (many) the [6] wiles of the wily

Which of yore they deposited in thee,

O thou that impellest all, O seeker of friends.

From the sky grant us rain, O ye Maruts;

Make ye to swell the streams of the strong steed

Come hither with this thunder,

Pouring the waters, the Asura our father.

The bounteous Maruts make to swell the waters

Which yield milk with ghee for the sacrifices;

The strong steer they lead about as it were for rain;

They milk the thundering and never-failing spring.

O ye Maruts, swimming in water, send forth

The rain [7], which all the Maruts strengthen;

May it call aloud like a maiden,

Like a wife with her husband in union.

With ghee anoint sky and earth, with honey;

Make the plants rich in milk, the waters;

Make to swell strength and goodwill,

When, O hero Maruts, ye pour the honey,

Upwards that.

The radiant.

Like Aurva, like Bhrgu, like Apnavana,

I summon the pure

Agni who is clothed with the sea.

As the impulse of Savitr,

The favour of Bhaga, I call

Agni who is clothed with the sea.

I call the wise one, who soundeth like the wind,

The might that roareth like Parjanya,

Agni who is clothed with the sea.

Prapathaka III

i. 3. 1.

On the impulse of the god Savity, with the arms of the Açvins, with the hands of Pusan, I take thee; thou art the spade, thou art the woman.

The Raksas is encompassed, the evil spirits are encompassed, here do I cut off the neck of the Raksas.

He who hates us and whom we hate, here do I cut off his neck.

To sky thee, to atmosphere thee, to earth thee!

Pure be the world where the Pitrs sit.

Thou art barley (yava); bar (yavaya) from us foes, bar evil spirits.

Thou art the seat of the Pitrs.

Support the sky, fill the atmosphere, make firm the earth.

May Dyutana Maruta set thee up according to the established law of Mitra and Varuna.

Thee that art winner of Brahmans, winner of nobles, winner of fair offspring, winner of increase of wealth, I close in.

Strengthen the Brahmans, strengthen the nobles, strengthen offspring, strengthen increase of wealth.

With ghee, O sky and earth, be filled.

Thou art the seat of Indra, the shade of all folk.

May these our songs, O lover of song,

Encompass thee on all sides,

Strengthening thee whose life is strong;

May they be dear delights.

Thou art the string of Indra; thou art the fixed point of Indra.

Thou art of Indra.

To Indra thee!

Prapathaka IV

i. 4. 1.

I take thee. Thou art the stone which maketh the sacrifice for the gods; make this sacrifice deep, with thy highest edge, (make) the Soma well pressed for Indra, rich in sweetness, in milk, bringing rain.

To Indra, slayer of Vrtra, thee! To Indra, conqueror of Vrtra, thee! To Indra, slayer of foes, thee! To Indra with the Adityas, thee! To Indra with the all-gods, thee!

Ye are savoury, conquerors of Vrtra, delightful through your gifts, spouses of immortality,

Do ye, O goddesses, place this sacrifice among the gods
Do ye, invoked, drink the Soma;

Invoked by you [1] let Soma drink.
d With thy light which is in the sky, on the earth, in the broad atmosphere, do thou for this sacrificer spread wealth broadly; be favour able to the giver.

Ye Dhisanas, that are strong, be strengthened; gather strength, and give me strength; let me not harm you, harm me not.
f Forward, backward, upward, downward, let these quarters speed to you; O mother, come forth.

Thy unerring, watchful name, O Soma, to that of thee, O Soma, to Soma, hail!

Prapathaka V

i. 5. 1.

The gods and the Asuras were in conflict; the gods, in anticipation of the contest, deposited in Agni their desirable riches (thinking),’This will still be ours, if they defeat us. Agni desired it and went away with it. The gods having defeated (the Asuras) pursued (Agni) desirous of recovering it. They sought violently to take it from him. He wept; in that he wept (arodit), that is why Rudra has his name. The tear that [1] was shed became silver; therefore silver is not a suitable gift, for it is born of tears. He who gives on the strew, in his house before the year is out they weep; therefore one should not give on the strew. Agni said, ‘Let me have a share; then this will be yours.’ They replied, ‘The re-establishing shall be thine alone.’ ‘He shall prosper’, he said, who shall establish the fire with me as its divinity.’ Pusan established it; therefore [2] did Pusan prosper; therefore cattle are said to be Pusan’s. Tvastr established it; therefore did Tvastr prosper; therefore cattle are said to be Tvastr’s. Manu established it; therefore did Manu prosper; therefore offspring are said to be Manu’s. Dhatr established it; therefore Dhatr prospered; Dhatr is the year; therefore offspring and cattle are born in the course of the year. He who knows thus the prosperity of the re-establishing [3] prospers. He who knows his connexions becomes possessed of connexions himself. Agni desiring a share after being established assailed the offspring and cattle of the sacrifice. Having removed it, one should re-establish it; thus he unites him with his own portion; verily he is appeased. He should establish under Punarvasu; Punarvasu is the Naksatra for the re-establishing; verily by establishing it under its own deity he becomes resplendent. He establishes with Darbha grass, for variety. He establishes with Darbha; verily winning it from the waters and the plants he establishes it. The sacrificial cake is offered on five potsherds; the seasons are five; verily he wins it from the seasons and establishes it.

Vedas Categories