04 Jun 2017, Manish Padhi
The Vedas consider to beapauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless".
Vedas are also calledśruti ("what is heard") literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are calledsmṛti ("what is remembered").
The creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma.
There are four Vedas: the
Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types:
Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas (worship).
Various Hindu traditions dwell on, express and teach similar ideas such as karma (retributive action) and moksha (liberation) in the fourth layer of the Vedas – the Upanishads.
The text is a collection of 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses, organized into ten books (Mandalas). The hymns (a song of praise or worship) are dedicated to Rigvedic deities.
Rigveda was composed in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, most likely between c. 1500–1200 BC.
The text is organized in 10 books, known as Mandalas, of varying age and length.
Rishis in the Rigveda
Tradition associates a rishi (the composer) with each ṛc of the Rigveda. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95% of the ṛcs; for each of them the Rigveda includes a lineage-specificāprī hymn (a special sūkta of rigidly formulaic structure, used for rituals.
|Angiras||3619 (especially Mandala 6)|
|Kanva||1315 (especially Mandala 8)|
|Vasishtha||1276 (Mandala 7)|
|Vishvamitra||983 (Mandala 3)|
|Atri||885 (Mandala 5)|
|Kashyapa||415 (part of Mandala 9)|
|Grtsamada||401 (Mandala 2)|
The 30 manuscripts of Rigveda preserved at theBhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune were added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2007.
The 10 Mandalas
Rivers, such as the Sapta Sindhu ("seven rivers") play a prominent part in the hymns of theRigveda, and consequently in early Vedic religion.
|Present Day Name||Alternate Name|
|Indus||Sindhu (Ancient name); Singi Khamban (Tibetan name)|
|Jhelum||Vitasta (Ancient name); Hydaspes(Greek name)|
|Chenab||Asikini (Ancient name); Chandrabhagha|
|Ravi||Parusni (Ancient name); Airavati|
|Beas||Vipasa (Ancient name); Hyphasis(Greek name)|
|Sutlej||Sutudri (Ancient name); Zarodros (Greek name); Langechen Khambab (Tibetan name)|
|Brahmaputra||Dihang; Tsangpo(Tibetan name)|
|Krishna||Krsnavena, Krsnaveni, Kanhapenna (Ancient names)|
The Samaveda is the Veda of melodies and chants. It is a liturgical text whose 1,875 verses are primary derived from the Rigveda. Three recensions of the Samaveda have survived, and variant manuscripts of the Veda have been found in various parts of India.
Origin: While its earliest parts are believed to date from as early as the Rigvedic period, the existing compilation dates from the post-Rigvedic Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit, c. 1200 or 1000 BCE.
The classical Indian music and dance tradition considers the chants and melodies in Samaveda as one of its roots.
It is a fusion of older melodies (sāman) and the Rig verses.
It has far fewer verses than Rigveda, but Samaveda is textually larger because it lists all the chant- and rituals-related score modifications of the verses.
The Samaveda comprises two major parts.
A melody in the song books corresponds to a verse in the arcika books.
The purpose of Samaveda was liturgical, and they were the repertoire of the udgātṛ or "singer" priests.
The Samaveda, like other Vedas, contains several layers of text, with Samhita being the oldest and the Upanishads the youngest layer.
|Jaiminiya or Talavakara||Jaiminiya|
|Chandogya Upanishad||Latyayana Drahyayana|
Two primary Upanishads of Hinduism are embedded inside the Samaveda.
The ChandogyaUpanishad belongs to the Tandya school of the Samaveda. Like Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, the Chandogya Upanishad is an anthology of texts that must have pre-existed as separate texts, and were edited into a larger text by one or more ancient Indian scholars
The Kena Upanishad is embedded inside the last section of theTalavakara Brahmanamrecension of the Samaveda. It is much shorter, but it too delves into philosophical and spiritual questions like the Chandogya Upanishad.