This is the collective name of the Atharvaveda in several passages of the later Brāhmanas. It occurs once in the Atharvaveda itself, while the term Atharvaveda is not found before the Sūtra period. The compound seems, according to Bloomfield, to denote the two elements which make up the Atharvaveda. The former part refers to the auspicious practices of the Veda (bhesajāni) ; the latter to its hostile witchcraft, theyātu or abhi-cāra. This theory is supported by the names of the two mythic personages Ghora Añgirasa and Bhisaj Atharvana, as well as by the connection of Atharvānah and Atharvanāni with healing (bhesaja) in the Pañcavimśa Brāhmana. Moreover, the term bhesajā (‘remedies’) designates in the Atharvaveda that Veda itself, while in the śatapatha Brāhmana yātu (‘ sorcery ’) conveys the same meaning. The evidence, however, being by no means convincing, it remains probable that there existed no clear differentiation between the two sages as responsible for the Atharvaveda as a whole.
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