By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Maitrayaniya Samhita, MaitrAyaNiya SamhitA, Maitraayaniya Samhitaa
Maitrāyaṇiya Samhitā is the part of the Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda. It is said to have 85 śākhās or recensions. However, only four are available till now. Out of which the Maitrāyanīya Samhitā is the second. It is a mixture of prose and verses. It has 2144 mantras out of which 1701 have been borrowed from the Ṛgveda itself.
Some of its mantras find a place in the Kāthaka and Taittiriya Samhitās also. This Samhitā has four kāṇḍas or books each divided into prapāṭhakas or subsections. The following are the contents:
- Prathama or Ādima Kānda: It has eleven prapāṭhakas. Some Vedic sacrifices like Darśapurṇamāsa, Cāturmāsya and Vājapeya are described here.
- Dvitīya or Madhyama Kānda: This contains thirteen prapāṭhakas dealing with some kāmyeṣṭis (desire-motivated sacrifices), Rājasuya and Agniciti (rite of piling the fire-altar).
- Tṛtīya or Upari Kānda: This com¬prises sixteen prapāṭhakas. Sacrifices like the Aśvamedha and Sautrāmaṇi are described here.
- Caturtha or Khila Kānda: Con¬taining fourteen prapāṭhakas, this section deals with many important and necessary accessories and rites connected with the sacrifices described in the other three sections.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore