The oldest of the Brahmanas is thought to date back to around 900 B.C.E., and the youngest to around 700 B.C.E. There is a Brahmana for each Vedic school (shakha
) and they are all written in Vedic Sanskrit.
Together, the Brahmanas form a rich collection of teachings on ritual and the hidden meanings of the Vedic texts. The details given in the Brahmanas are often precise instructions as to how the rituals described in the Vedas should be properly performed. This may include details about the proper pronounciation, meter, intonation and hand movement for the chanting of mantras.
One of the oldest Brahmanas, the "Chandogya Brahmana," contains hymns for marriage ceremonies and rituals for the birth of a child.