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Pariśiṣṭa (Devanagari: परिशिष्ट, "supplement, appendix, remainder")[1] are Sanskrit supplementary texts appended to another fixed, more ancient text – typically the Vedic literature – that aim to "tell what remains to be told".[2] These have style of sutras, but less concise. According to Max Mueller, the parisista of the Vedas, "may be considered the very last outskirts of Vedic literature, but they are Vedic in character, and it would be difficult to account for their origin at any time except the expiring moments of the Vedic age."[3]

Within the early Sanskrit texts, 18 parisishtas are mentioned, but numerous more have survived into the modern era, likely composed later.[4] Parisista exists for each of the four Vedas. However, only the literature associated with the Atharvaveda is extensive and 74 parisishtas are known, some in the form of dialogues. The Vedic parisistas generally present rituals, ceremonies, nature of hymns, and opinions of other scholars about certain aspects of the primary text.[4] The Atharvaveda parisishtas include omens in addition, and sections of it have survived in very corrupted form that is difficult to elucidate or interpret.[5]


The Āśvalāyana Gṛhya Pariśiṣṭa is a very late text associated with the Rigveda canon. It is a short text of three chapters expanding on domestic rites such as the daily sandhyopāsana and rites of passage such as marriage and śrāddha.[6]

The Bahvricha parisishta and Sankayana parisishta are also attached to the Rigveda.[4]


The Gobhila Gṛhya Pariśiṣṭa,[7] ascribed to Gobhilaputra, is a concise metrical text of two chapters, with 113 and 95 verses respectively. Its subjects are covered in a manner clear to those who understand Vedic Sanskrit. The first chapter deals with physical aspects of sacred cosmic rituals e.g. names of the 37 types of sacred fires, the rules and measurements for the firewood, preparation of the holy site and the timings of each cosmic activity. The second chapter deals mainly with major domestic rites such as matrimony or Shrāddha (communication with ancestral beings). Noteworthy are injunctions such as that a girl should be given away in marriage before she attains puberty.[8]

A second short text, the Chāndogya Pariśiṣṭa[9] has roughly similar coverage.[10]


Śukla (White)

The Kātiya Pariśiṣṭas, ascribed to Kātyāyana, consist of 18 works enumerated self-referentially in the fifth of the series (the Caraṇavyūha):[11] Six other works of parisista character are also traditionally ascribed to Kātyāyana, including a work of identical name (Pratijña) but different contents. How many of these 24 are actually due to Kātyāyana is dubious; in all probability, they were composed by different authors at different times, with the Pratijña and the Caraṇavyūha being among the latest as they mention the others.[12]

Scope[13] Books
Form and language of the Saṃhitā Pratijña I(3), Anuvākasaṃkhya(4), Caraṇavyūha(5), Ṛgyajuṣa(8), Pārṣada(9), Pratijña II, Sarvānukrama, Yājñavalkyaśikṣā
Śrauta rituals Yūpalakṣaṇa(1), Chāgalakṣaṇa(2), Śulba(7), Iṣṭakāpūraṇa(10), Pravarādhyāya(11), Mūlyādhyāya(12), Hautrika(16), Kūrmalakṣaṇa(18), Kratusaṁkhyā
Śrauta and Gṛhya Nigama(14), Yajñapārśva(15), Mantrabhrāntihara Sūtra
Gṛhya rituals Śrāddhasūtra(6), Uñchaśāstra{13), Śuklayajurvidhāna
Dharmaśāstra Prasavotthāna(17)

Kṛṣṇa (Black)

The Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda has 3 parisistas:[8]

  • The Āpastamba Hautra Pariśiṣṭa, which is also found as the second praśna of the Satyasāḍha Śrauta Sūtra, specifies the duties of the Hotṛ priest in haviryajñas other than the darśapūrṇmāsa (New and Full Moon sacrifice).
  • The Vārāha Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣṭa.
  • The Kātyāyana Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣṭa.


For the Atharvaveda, there are 79 works, collected as 72 distinctly named parisistas.[14]

Book Coverage
1 Lore of the constellations
2-19 Royal ceremonies
20-33 Ritual
34-36 Magic
37-40 Ritual
41-44 Religious observances
45-46 Ritual
47-48 Phonetics and Lexicography
49 Vedic conspectus (the Caraṇavyūha)
50-72 Omens


  1. ^ Monier Monier-Williams (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 549.
  2. ^ Chakrabarti 2004, p. 92.
  3. ^ Friedrich Max Müller (1859). A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Williams and Norgate. p. 251.
  4. ^ a b c Friedrich Max Müller (1859). A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Williams and Norgate. pp. 252–254.
  5. ^ Maejima Miki and Yano Michio (2010), A Study on the Athervaveda Parisista 50-57 with Special Reference to the Kurmavibhaga, Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 58, No. 3, pages 1126-1129
  6. ^ Modak 1993, p.189
  7. ^ Also known as the Gṛhyasaṃgraha
  8. ^ a b Modak 1993, p.190
  9. ^ also known as the Karmapradīpika
  10. ^ Modak 1993, p.201
  11. ^ (II.4): Kashikar 1994, p.6; Modak 1993, p.190
  12. ^ Kashikar 1994, p.8; Chakrabarti(2004), pp.92-94
  13. ^ Kashikar 1994,p.7-8
  14. ^ Modak 1993, p.191


  • BR Modak, The Ancillary Literature of the Atharva-Veda, New Delhi, Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan, 1993, ISBN 81-215-0607-7
  • CG Kashikar, A Survey of the Śukla Yajurveda Pariśiṣṭas, Poona, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (Post-Graduate and Research Dept. Series #38), 1994
  • SC Chakrabarti, "A Survey of the Śuklayajurveda Pariśiṣṭas by C.G. Kashikar", Journal of the Asiatic Society, Vol.XLVI, no.3, Kolkata, 2004, ISSN 0368-3303