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Online Edition of the Paippalāda Recension of the Atharvaveda

State of affairs in Paippalāda research

The Paippalāda-Saṃhitā (PS) of the Atharvaveda occupies a special place within the corpus of Vedic texts, because it has become known to scientific research at a relatively recent time only. This due to a forgotten branch of transmission, which came to light after Durgamohan Bhattacharyya discovered palm leaf manuscripts with the text of this Saṃhitā in rural Orissa in 1959.

Prior to this landmark event the Paippalāda was only available in a single manuscript – the famous Kashmirian birch bark manuscript (K), that became known in the West in 1873. The text of this codex unicus, however, is almost entirely in such a pitiful state that it is virtually incomprehensible – at least for passages that aren’t supported by parallels from other Saṃhitās.

The discovery of the Orissa tradition results in a significant enlargement of the text corpus that is of utmost importance for the knowledge of the Vedic language and culture. This is of great significance for a whole range of scientific disciplines, especially Indology, but also Indo-European studies among others.

Meanwhile a text of the complete PS has been edited by Dipak Bhattacharya (Bhattacharya 1997, 2008, 2011, 2016). On this basis, the tremendous enterprise of understanding and evaluating the text can now be tackled. Indeed, important progress has already been made in this respect. In particular, the work of Arlo Griffiths (2009) represents a milestone here. The following table gives a overview of the size of the twenty books (‘kāṇḍas’) and the most important contributions published so far.

PS Overview

Book Stanzas (total) Published In preparation

Kāṇḍa 1

483 Current project  

Kāṇḍa 2

484 Zehnder 1999  

Kāṇḍa 3

278 Spiers 2020


Kāṇḍa 4

302 Current project  

Kāṇḍa 5

354 Lubotsky 2002  

Kāṇḍa 6


Griffiths 2009, 1–255

Kāṇḍa 7 211 Griffiths 2009, 257-452  
Kāṇḍa 8 230

Kim 2014, 1–192

Kāṇḍa 9 304

Kim 2014, 194-452

Kāṇḍa 10 165   Current project
Kāṇḍa 11 148  


Kāṇḍa 12 198 Current project  
Kāṇḍa 13 65

Lopez 2010, 51–122

Kāṇḍa 14 84 Lopez 2010, 123-206  
Kāṇḍa 15 227  Lelli 2020  
Kāṇḍa 16 1363    
Kāṇḍa 17 496

Selva 2019

PS 17.12–17.15;

PS 17.21–17.43


Kāṇḍa 18 664  

Kristen de Joseph (Leiden;

PS 18.1-18.14)

Kāṇḍa 19 911  

Current project

Kāṇḍa 20 634

Kubisch 2012,

PS 20.1-20.30

Total 7838