Division of the Veda, in the last Dwapara age, by the Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana. Paila made reader of the Rich; Vaisampayana of the Yajush; Jaimini of the Shun; and Sumantu of the Atharvan. Suta appointed to teach the historical poems. Origin of the four parts of the Veda. Sanhitas of the Rig veda.
Parasara. The original Veda, in four parts, consisted of one hundred thousand stanzas; and from it sacrifice of ten kinds 1, the accomplisher of all desires, proceeded. In the twenty eighth Dwapara age my son Vyasa separated the four portions of the Veda into four Vedas. In the same manner as the Vedas were arranged by him, as Vedavyasa, so were they divided in former periods by all the preceding Vyasas, and by myself: and the branches into which they were subdivided by him were the same into which they had been distributed in every aggregate of the four ages. Know, Maitreya, the Vyasa called Krishna Dwaipayana to be the deity Narayana; for who else on this earth could have composed the Mahabharata 2? Into what portions the Vedas were arranged by my magnanimous son, in the Dwapara age, you shall hear.
When Vyasa was enjoined by Brahma to arrange the Vedas in different books, he took four persons, well read in those works, as his disciples. He appointed Paila reader of the Rich 3; Vaisampayana of
the Yajush; and Jaimini of the Soma veda: and Sumantu, who was conversant with the Atharva veda, was also the disciple of the learned Vyasa. He also took Suta, who was named Lomaharshana, as his pupil in historical and legendary traditions 4.
There was but one Yajur veda; but dividing this into four parts, Vyasa instituted the sacrificial rite that is administered by four kinds of priests: in which it was the duty of the Adhwaryu to recite the prayers Yajush() (or direct the ceremony); of the Hotri, to repeat the hymns Richas(); of the Udgatri, to chaunt other hymns Sama(); and of the Brahman, to pronounce the formulæ called Atharva. Then the Muni, having collected together the hymns called Richas, compiled the Rigveda; with the prayers and directions termed Yajushas he formed the Yajur veda; with those called Sama, Sama veda; and with the Atharvas he composed the rules of all the ceremonies suited to kings, and the function of the Brahman agreeably to practice 5.
This vast original tree of the Vedas, having been divided by him into four principal stems, soon branched out into an extensive forest. In the first place, Paila divided the Rig veda, and gave the two Sanhitas (or collections of hymns) to Indrapramati and to Bashkali. Bashkali 6 subdivided his Sanhita into four, which he gave to his disciples Baudhya, Agnimathara, Yajnawalkya, and Parasara; and they taught these secondary shoots from the primitive branch. Indrapramati imparted his Sanhita to his son Mandukeya, and it thence descended through successive generations, as well as disciples 7. Vedamitra, called also sakalya, studied the same Sanhita, but he divided it into five Sanhitas, which he distributed amongst as many disciples, named severally Mudgala, Goswalu, Vatsya, saliya, and sisira 8. Sakapurni made a different division of the original Sanhita into three portions, and added a glossary Nirukta(), constituting a fourth 9. The three Sanhitas were given to his three pupils, Krauncha,
[paragraph continues] Vaitalaki, and Valaka; and a fourth, (thence named) Niruktakrit, had the glossary 10. In this way branch sprang from branch. Another Bashkali 11 composed three other Sanhitas, which he taught to his disciples Kalayani, Gargya, and Kathajava 12. These are they by whom the principal divisions of the Rich have been promulgated 13.