There are ten chapters, of which, one to six form the Aranyaka proper.
The first two chapters are part of the aṣṭau kāṭhakāni (the "8 Kathaka
sections"), which were not native to the tradition of the Taittiriya
shakha. They were adopted from the Kāṭhaka shakha, and mostly deal with
varieties of the Agnicayana ritual.
Chapter 1, is a very late Vedic chapter, which even has some Puranic
names; it is usually called the Āruṇa praśna for the particular style of
fire-brick piling dealt with in the text. It is also referred to as the
"Surya namaskara chapter" by South Indian Brahmins who have created a
ritual of reciting it with surya namaskara exercises after each of its
132 anuvakas. Parts of the Kaṭha version of this section has been
published by L. v. Schroeder in 1898.
Chapter 2, discusses the five Mahā-yaj˝as that every brahmin has to do
daily, most importantly the daily recitation of the Veda (svādhyāya).
Further, the sacred thread, the yaj˝opavīta, sāndhyā worship, that of
the ancestors (pitṛ), the brahma-yaj˝a, and the cleansing homa-sacrifice
('kūṣmāṇḍa-homa') are all treated in detail. -- In this chapter the word
'shramana' is used (2-7-1) in the meaning of an ascetic (tapasvin); this
word was later used also for the Buddhist and Jain ascetics. --
Discussed and translated by Ch. Malamoud (in French, 1972); the Kaṭha
version of this section has been published by L. v. Schroeder in 1898.
Chapter 3, treats technicalities of several other homas and yajnas.
Chapter 4, provides the mantras used in the pravargya Shrauta ritual
that is considered to be dangerous as it involves heating a specially
prepared clay vessel full of milk until it is glowing red.
Chapter 5, treats the Pravargya-yaj˝a in prose discussion (brāhmaṇa
Chapter 6, records the ‘pitṛmedha’ mantras, recited during the rituals
for the disposal of the dead body.
Chapters 7, 8 and 9, are the three vallis of the well-known Taittiriya
Chapter 10, is also known as "Mahanarayana Upanishad". It has several
important mantras culled from the three Samhitas. TA
10.41-44 is known as the "Medha sukta".