Revival of shankhayana shakha

Maharshi patanjali in his vyakarana mahabhashya says ‘एकविंशतिधा बाहवृच्यम्  एकशतम् अध्वर्युशाखा: सहस्रवर्त्मा सामवेद: नवधाऽथर्वणोवेद:’, which means, there are 21 shakha-s of rgveda, 101 of yajurveda, 1000 of samaveda and 9 of the atharvaveda. Of these total 1131 shakha- s, barely 10 have survived the last thousand or so years of foreign rule. Of the 21 shakha-s of the rgveda, only 2 have survived, the shakala/ashvalayana and the shankhayana. The shankhayana shakha is practiced amongst the nagara brahmana community of south rajasthan and Gujarat. The samhita reciters of this shakha are found only in banswada, rajasthan. There are only two Acharya-s here who, even though about 80 years of age, are physically fit to teach, vedamurti shri indrashankara jha and vedamurti shri harashad nagar. But due to the advent of modern ideas, these two Acharya-s did not find a single student who would study at least the rgveda samhita, all through their lives.

The vaidika bharata trust has ensured that this shakha lives on by assigning a vaidika scholar, shri abhijit dinkar savale from tryambakeshvar, to study this shakha from these Acharya-s. Shri Abhijit has completed his samhita and a full parayanam was held from 23 rd june to 30 th june in banswada, rajasthan, under the watchful eyes of the acharya-s. Shri Abhijit has now moved on to study shrauta and grhya karma of the shankhayana shakha. We pray he may become the torch bearer of this most important vaidika tradition and ensures a full-fledged revival of the shakha.

We have also digitised no less than 43,000 pages of rare and important manuscripts in the possession of these Acharya-s, we hope these will provide the scriptural guidance towards the resurrection of the shankhayana shakha. The most venerable, brahmaswam madham of thrissur, kerala, recognised our efforts in this direction in its monthly magazine, vedadhwani (you can read the article in the 'in news' section of this website).

All this has been possible because of the generous help we have always received from dharmika sajjana-s all over bharata and beyond. May parameshvara keep his benevolent eye on us all.

To read more about our efforts in this direction, please see the links below.