Most of us are aware of the fact that Janamejaya was Arjuna’s Grandson and the Grandson of Abhimanyu.
He conducted the Sarpa Yaga, sacrifice of the Snakes to avenge his father Parishits’ deat at the hands of a Snake.
What makes him great is that he was the king who consolidated the Kuru Dynasty and stabilised the Bharatavarsha.
He had the Karma Kanda portion of the Vedas systematized and had them as Srauta.
These actions to be performed by an individual during the course of his life in various stages,
It is a different matter that these practices were carried to the extreme and they were followed more by rote than by conviction and understanding of the Gnana Kanda of the Vedas.
The message of the Vedas is that , the Ultimate Aim being the Realization of Brahman, The Reality, the performance of actions are to be a tool in the path Realization as Brahman is identified with Knowledge.
Unfortunately, the spirit was lost and the practice of performing Srauta Karmas reached a peak with the advent of Mimamsa.
And innumerable Deities were worshiped, causing confusion.
This caused a revulsion and result was the emergence of Buddha, a Brahmin of Gautama Gotra to question the existence and authenticity of the Vedas.
Buddhism ran rampantly till Shankaracharya stopped the tide and reorganised Hinduism by establishing Shan Mathas , Six Modes of Worship and streamlining the procedures.
Srauta Karmas generally relate to the Yagnyas, which are around 400.
Read my Post on this.
Śrauta (Devanagari श्रौत) traditions are conservative ritualistic traditions of the historical Vedic religion in Hinduism, based on the body of Śruti literature. They are still practiced in India today although constituting a small minority within Hinduism…
- Rig veda: Ashvalayana (Shakala) and Sankhayana (Kausitaki)
- Sama veda: Drahyayana (Kauthuma), Latyayana (Ranayaniya), Jaiminiya
- Krishna Yajurveda: Baudhayana, Vadhoola, Bharadvaja, Apastamba, Hiranyakesin, Vaikhanasa (for Taittiriya) and Manava, Varaha (for Maitrayani)
- Shukla Yajurveda: Katyayana (for Kanva and Madhyandina both)
- Atharva Veda: Vaitana (Shaunaka and Paippalada)
The Shrauta tradition places more emphasis on the performance of rituals rather than having a set of beliefs. The practices of the Shrauta tradition mainly consist of yajnas. Theyajnas are divided into two categories, nitya-karma and kaamya karma. Nitya-karma refers to those yajnas that have to be performed daily or as per occasion. Kaamya-karmarefers to those yajnas performed with a particular purpose, such as wishing for rain, cattle, overlordship or for a son (e.g. Putrakameshti).
It may be noted that since the Srata is from Sruti, it has more authority than Smritis.
But following Sratha is to be tempered with the total understanding of the Vedas, mainly the Gnana Kanda which states that Knowledge and attainment of Liberation is the goal of Life , not mere performance of Karmas.
However Karma Yoga states that performance of actions is a tool by itself.
But as Krishna puts it performance of Karma is the renunciation of the fruits of action in the Mind, more a Sankalpa.
Contrary views welcome.
Janmejay (Sanskrit: जनमेजय) was a Kuru king who reigned during the Middle Vedic period (12th or 11th century BCE). Along with his predecessor Parikshit, he played a decisive role in the consolidation of the Kuru state, the arrangement of Vedic hymns into collections and the development of the orthodox srauta ritual, transforming the Kuru realm into the dominant political and cultural center of northern Iron Age India. He also appears as an important figure in many later legends and traditions, such as theMahabharata, where he appears as the listener of the first narration of the great epic