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There are two primary versions of the Yajurveda: Shukla (white) and Krishna (black). The White Yajurveda consists of vedic hymns, while the Black Yajurveda includes all the text also in the White Yajurveda, and has additional prose commentary.
There are two, almost identical, recensions of the White Yajurveda:
- vaajasaneyi madhyandina (VS)
There are four recensions of the Black Yajurveda:
- taittiriiya samhita (TS)
- maitrayani samhita (MS)
- caraka-katha samhita (KS)
- kapisthala-katha samhita (KapS)
The best known of these is TS. It consists of 8 books or kandas, subdivided in chapters or prapathakas, further subdivided into individual hymns.
Some individual hymns have gained importance in Hinduism, e. g. TS 4.5 and 4.7 correspond to the Shri Rudram Chamakam, and 1.8.6.i to the Shaivaite Tryambakam mantra. The formula bhūr bhuvaḥ suvaḥ prefixed to the (rigvedic) Gayatri mantra is also from the Yajurveda, appearing four times.
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