We all know of Saunaka as the chief of the rshis of Naimisaranya who was engaged in a long (12 years or 1000 years) satra (yajna), to ward off the evil effects of Kaliyuga. We also know him as the recipient of all the Puranas as well as the Mahabharatam. It would appear that Saunaka’s work was in a sense a continuation of Vyasa’s work. Vyasa classified the Vedas, Saunaka created the Anukramanis, Brhaddevata and Rg Vidhana. Vyasa collected, collated and edited the Puranas and taught them to Romaharashana and Ugrasarava who later told (taught?) them to Saunaka and his team. Saunaka also heard the Bhagavatham and Mahabharatam from these two custodians of history. The versions of the puranas and bharatam that we hear today are the versions told to Saunaka. The longer versions recited to the devatas themselves are lost to us today.
It is Saunaka, one of the early rishis of the Kaliyuga who is the connecting link between all the knowledge of the previous yugas and us. Was his Yajna a gnyana yagnya? Was he trying to gather and preserve all the information consolidated by Vyasa, from before the Mahabharata War for us, his succeeding generations?
- Ugrasrava (Sauti), Romaharshana (Suta), Saunaka and Naimisaranya
- How many kinds of Yugas are there?
- Puranas and Itihasas
- Veda Vyasa वेद व्यास
- Saunaka’s ancestry : Divodasa and Vitahavya (Haihaya), Ruru – Pramadvara
- Rg Vidhana – by Saunaka Maharshi
Reference for points below.
- The Vidhanas were written to simplify the ceremonies of the Srauta and Gruhya Sastras.
- Saunaka and Katyayana are the authors of the Vidhanas for the Rg and the Yajur Vedas.
- They also worked on the Anukramanis and the pratisakhyas. (Anukramanis tell us about the devatas, rshis, chandas, anuvakas and sukthas of the Vedas). Saunaka also composed the Brhaddevata which tells the legends of the Vedic devatas.
- The manuscripts of the Rg Vidhana are available in India.
- There is available a commentary on the Rg Vidhana by Matrusunu.
- Variations of the rg vidhanam are available in the Vishnudharmottara and the Agni Purana
This excerpt is from my post Rg Vidhana of Saunaka : Some Notes. which is in progress and of interest to students of the Veda.
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