The Yajur Veda (veda of yajus or formulae) consists of various mantras
(hymns) for the purpose of recitation and rules to be observed at the time of
sacrifice. It is primarily a guide for the use of the adhvaryu priest who
performed the manual part of the ritual. The two royal ceremonies of
rajasuya and vajapeya are mentioned for the first time in this veda. In
contrast to the first two which are in verse entirely, this one is in both verse
and prose. It is divided into two parts, Krishna Yajur Veda and Sukla Yajur
Veda. The former (Black) is the older of the two, and contains not only the
hymns but also prose commentaries. The latter (White) contain: only the
hymns. The former consists of four samhitas (the Kathaka. Kapishthala-
Katha. Maitrayan and Taittiriya Samhitas), but the latter has only the
Vajasaneyi Samhita.
    The Atharva Veda (veda of the atharvans or the knowledge of magic
formulas) contains charms and spells in verse to ward off evils and diseases.
It was closely connected with the warrior class and two of its hymns are
dedicated to the war drum. Believed to be the work of non-Aryans, its
contents throw light on the beliefs and practices of the non-Aryans. It is
divided into two parts: Paippalada and Saunaka The former is not fully
known, while the latter consists of 731 (or 760) hymns divided into 20 books.
Brahmanas
Belonging to the second great class of the Vedas, they are treatises relating to
prayer and sacrificial ceremony. Their subject matter is ritual and language is
prose. In short, they deal with the science of sacrifice. The important
Brahmanas are: (1) Aitareya, (2) Kausitaki, (3) Tandyamaha, (4) Jaimin iya,
(5) Taittiriya, (6) Satapatha and (7) Gopatha Brahmanas. Aitareya and
Kausitaki are related to the Rig Veda, Tandyamaha and Jaiminiya to the
Sama Veda, Taittiriya and Satapatha to the Yajur Veda and Gopatha to the
Atharva Veda. The third one, the Tandyamaha Brahmana, is one of the oldest
and contains many legends, and includes the vratyastoma, a ceremony
through which people of non-Aryan stock could be admitted into the Aryan
fold. But the most important as well as the most voluminous of all the
Brahmanas is the sixth one, the Satapatha Brahmana. It provides us
information about not only sacrifices and ceremonies but also theology,