I have great pleasure in Presenting a monumental work Pancavimsa-Brahmana, The Brahmana of Twenty Five Chapters, translated from original Sanskrit into English by Dr. W. Caland, Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Utrecht, which was published by the Asiatic Society in the Bibhotheca Indica Series in 1931. The present volume is a reprint of that edition. This valuable work was out of print for a long time. As there is a great demand for this important source material on Ancient India’s socio-religious life, the Council of the Asiatic Society decides to reprint it for the benefit of the scholars. With great patience and meticulous care Dr. Caland had done his job and acquainted the English knowing people with a horizon of India’s past heritage which was almost unknown to them before.
Dr. Caland pointed out ‘the historic development of the older Samvedic texts’ and explained ‘many a passage in the Brahmana and the kindred texts’. He also formulated his ‘hypothesis’ to throw light on some difficult questions. Referring to the relations between the Pancavimsabrahmana and the Jaiminiyabrahmana, he said that the contents of these two works are on the whole similar. They differ only with regard to their style or language. The Jaiminiyabrahmana is too long and wordy, whilst “the Pancavimsa gives only what is strictly necessary and often so sketchily that the myths or legends found in it are sometimes hardly comprehensible.” In this context Dr. Ca land critically examined the linguistic, ritualistic, phonologic and morphological peculiarities of the Pancavimsabrahmana, The conclusion at which he arrived was this that the Jaiminiyabrahmana was older than the Pancavimsabrahmana, The author of the Pancavimsabrahmana was acquainted with the Brahmana of the Jaiminiyas. Tandya, a sage, was considered as the author of the Pancavimsabrahmana. Some passages of the Pancavimsabrahmana reveal that the author of this work had acquaintance with the Kathaka and the Maitrayanisamhita.
Dr. Caland stated that in two instances “the Brahmana deviates from the Samhita to which it is said to attach itself.” Moreover, he drew the attention of the scholars to the fact that “all the chants, all the samans, mentioned in the Pancavimsabrahmana occur in the two oldest ganas,” But it is a diffi.cuit task to identify them. ID course of his investigation Dr. Caland had referred to certain points related to this subject which he could not explain satisfactorily. I hope some scholars would come forward to solve them taking the cue from Caland’s masterly analysis.
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