Sage Yajnavalkya of Mithila is a legendary sage of the Vedic tradition and is credited with many important contributions to the Vedic culture. These include the Satapatha Brahmana, which includes the gigantic Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, and also the Yoga Yajnavalkya and the Yajnavalkya Smrti. He is also featured in some of the major Upanisads as a key personality.
Yajnavalkya was the son of Devavrata and the student of the renowned sage Vaisampayana. Once Vaisampayana got angry with Yajnavalkya as the latter argued too much about the inclusion of some texts into the Yajurveda. Vaisampayana accused his student of having Jnana Garva (intellectual arrogance) and requested Yajnavalkya to give back all the knowledge of the Yajurveda that he had taught him
As per the order of the Guru, Yajnavalkya immediately proceed to purge all of the knowledge he had acquired from his teacher, and vomited it in the form of digested food.
He then proceeded to seek out knowledge once again through a new teacher who would initiate him. His new teacher turned out to be the Sun God, Surya, who appeared to him in the form of a horse and taught him. Through the lord Surya, Yajavalkya gained deep insights into the nature of the highest reality among other topics. These learnings formed the part of Yajurveda known as the Sukla Yajurveda, which includes the famous section The Satapatha Brahmana.
In the meantime, the other students of Vaisampayana did not want to loose the intellectual prowess and learning of Yajnavalkya's learning from their teacher. Yajnvalkya was the most brilliant among them and they concluded that his understanding of their teacher's teaching would be too precious to loose.
However, these were now in the form of vomit. Hence they took form of Tittiri birds (a kind of partridge) and consumed this vomit and restored the teachings. This is the reason why this section of the Vedas are called the Taittiriya Yajurveda. It is also known as the Krsna Yajurveda.
Despite being the vomit of the great sage, The Taittiriya Yajurveda is one of the most important sections of the Yajurveda teachings and is consisting of important sections such as the Taittirya Samhita, Taittiriya Brahmana, Taittiriya Aranyaka and most notable the Taittiriya Upanisad. These contain many profound teachings which cover a wide range of topics including the nature of the divine.
Starting in September, The online seminar study group series on Upanisads will discuss in-depth the teachings of the Taittiriya Upanisad. Interested participants can visit here for more information on how to participate.
In subsequent months other Upanisad-s will also be covered.