Vedas – History of India :-
The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization. It is the most sacred scriptures of India. They were meant to be mantras in praise of various Aryan gods, it being the age when the Aryans were finding their feet in India.
There are four Vedas. The oldest Vedic texts are those of the Rig Veda, dating from about the 1300’s B.C. These are mostly mythical poems to the great Vedic gods Indra the Warrior, Agni the god of fire, Surya the sun god, and Varuna the upholder of heaven and earth. The later books of the Vedas are the Yajur Veda it mainly has formulas for sacrifice , Sama Veda , it contains poetry from the Rig Veda adapted to melodies as priestly chants, and Atharva Veda (verses dealing with peace and prosperity and the daily life of human society). The Vedas are also called Samhitas.
The Rig Veda
The Hymns of the Rigveda is a sacred Indo-Aryan collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns still being used in India. The Rigveda contains several mythological and poetical accounts of the origin of the world, hymns praising the gods, and ancient prayers for life, prosperity, etc.
The Yajur Veda
The Yajurveda, a tatpurusa compound of yajus “sacrificial formula” and veda “knowledge” is one of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. There are two primary versions or Samhitas of the Yajurveda: Shukla (White) and Krishna(Black). The Veda of the black Yajur School is the Krishna Yajurveda.
Hymns of The Atharva Veda
The Hymns of the Atharva-Veda meaning “knowledge” is a sacred text of Hinduism and one of the four Vedas, often called the “fourth Veda”. The Atharvaveda was mainly composed by two groups of rishis known as the Atharvanas and the Angirasa, hence its oldest name is Atharvangirasa.
Hymns of The Samaveda
The Hymns of the Sama Veda is the third of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. The Samaveda, or Veda of Holy Songs, third in the usual order of enumeration of the three Vedas, ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda or Veda of Recited praise.
- Each of the four Vedas has the following three parts;
Samhitas – The Samhitas are in verse form and they constitute the hymn part of the Vedas.
Brahmanas – These are commentaries on the Vedic mantras. They are written in prose and deal mainly with rituals connected with sacrifices. They are written in easy prose for the benefit of common people. The difficult concepts of the Vedic text have been illustrated through stories to make them easy to understand. The Rig Vedas has two Brahmanas.
Aranyakas – Are the concluding parts of the Brahmanas . Aranyakas mean ‘forest books’. They do not deal with rituals but are concerned with mysticism and philosophy. They lay more stress on knowledge of God, soul, world and man.