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Aranyakas

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Between the Brahmanas and Upanishads are a few secondary texts. These are called Aranyakas or Forest texts to be used by those who left society to reside in the forest to gain spiritual knowledge (Vanaprasthas). The Aranyakas do not give us rules for the performance of sacrifices and explanations of the ceremonies, but provide us with mystic teaching of the sacrificial religion.

It is possible that certain sacred rites were performed in the seclusion of the forests where teachers and pupils meditated on the significance of these rites. The distinction between Brahmana and Aranyaka is not an absolute one. The Aranyakas combine ritual passages with philosophical texts and some of the oldest Upanishads are contained within them or appendices to them.

An important Aranyaka is the Taittiriya.

 
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