Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 12: Chapter 6: Verses 46-63
Received from generation to generation in the course of the four Yugas by the pupils of the various sages-pupils who observed the vow of (lifelong) celibacy (in order to retain them in their memory)-the aforesaid Vedas were later on divided by great seers (into Samhitas, Brahmanas and so on) at the end of the Dwapara age (lit., the period preceded by the Dwapara age). Perceiving the men to be shortlived, deficient in energy and dull-witted due to the action of Time (in the form of unrighteousness prevailing in it), the Brahmana seers rearranged the Vedas as directed by the immortal Lord residing in their heart. Descended from (the loins of) the sage Parasara through Satyavati in the form of Vedavyasa (representing a ray of Sattva, forming part of Maya, the divine potency) as prayed to by Brahma, Sankara and other guardians of the spheres, for the vindication of righteousness, 0 Brahmana sage, in the current Manvantara too, The almighty Lord, the Life-giver of the universe, divided the Veda, 0 highly blessed one ! into four parts. Picking out and classifying in four (distinct) groups the multitudes of Mantras belonging to the categories of Rk, Atharva, Yajus and Sama, (even) as various kinds of gems are assorted into so many groups, the said Maharsi compiled four Samhitas or collections out of those Mantras. Summoning in his presence four (of his foremost) pupils (Paila and others), the powerful Vyasa of mighty intellect imparted one of those collections to each, 0 Saunaka ! He taught, they say, the very first Samhita under the name of Bahvrca-Samhita (because consisting of a collection of Elks or psalms) to Paila and the body of sacred texts in prose, recited during sacrifices and bearing the name of Nigada (prose), to another named Vaisampayana. (Even) so he taught the body of Samas or songs, going by the name of Chandoga-Samhita (because sung in various metres) to Jaimini and (the fourth called) Atharvangirasi, to his (fourth) pupil Sumantu. The sage Paila taught his own (Bahvrcha-) Samhita (in two parts) one each to Indrapramiti and Baskala; the latter too divided his branch into four parts and taught (one each), 0 scion of Bhrgu, to the disciples Bodhya, Yajnavalkya, Parasara and Agnimitra. Indrapramiti, a man of selfcontrol, taught his collection to the learned sage Mandukeya; and his pupil was Devamitra, who (in his turn) imparted its knowledge to the sages Saubhari and others. Mandukeya's son was Sakalya, who for his part divided his collection into five branches and taught them to (his pupils) Vatsya, Mudgala, Saliya, Gokhalya and Sisira. The sage Jatukarnya, another pupil of Sakalya, imparted the knowledge of his own collection (in three parts), as well as of its Nirukta (explanation of obscure words), to his (four) pupils, Balaka, Paija, Vaitala and Viraja. Baskala's son, Baskali, made out of all the (aforesaid) branches the collection bearing the name of Valakhilya-Samhita. (His pupils) Balayani, Bhajya and Kasara (learnt and) memorized it. By these Brahmana sages were (learnt and) preserved the Samhitas forming part of Rgveda. Hearing of the calssification of these Mantras of the Veda one is completely absolved from all sins. As is well-known, some pupils of Vaisampayana were known as Carakadhwaryus because they went through on behalf of their teacher a course of penance to expiate the sin of Brahmanicide. (Thereupon) Yajnavalkya, another disciple of Vaisampayana, submitted (to his preceptor), "Oh, of what account, venerable sir, will be the reward obtained through the penance of these pupils (of yours) of poor strength ! I shall undergo a course of penance very difficult to practise." Offended, when addressed thus, the preceptor retorted, "Get away (from here). I have nothing more to do with you, a pupil contemning Brahmanas. Give up at once all that you have learnt from me."