, The Yajurveda Samhita consists of prose mantras. , The Aranyakas layer of the Vedas include rituals, discussion of symbolic meta-rituals, as well as philosophical speculations. Become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.  The White Yajurveda separates the Samhita from its Brahmana (the Shatapatha Brahmana), the Black Yajurveda intersperses the Samhita with Brahmana commentary. (eds. The oldest part of the Rig Veda Samhita was orally composed in north-western India (Punjab) between c. 1500 and 1200 BC,[note 1] while book 10 of the Rig Veda, and the other Samhitas were composed between 1200-900 BCE more eastward, between the Yamuna and the Ganges, the heartland of Aryavarta and the Kuru Kingdom (c. 1200 – c. 900 BCE). Multiple recensions are known for each of the Vedas. — Cornelia Dimmitt and J.A.B. The Rig veda. There are 18 Maha Puranas (Great Puranas) and 18 Upa Puranas (Minor Puranas), with over 400,000 verses. , The books were composed by poets from different priestly groups over a period of several centuries between c. 1500 and 1200 BC,[note 1] (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the northwest Indian subcontinent. see: For 1875 total verses, see the numbering given in Ralph T. H. Griffith. Thus, from all the Vedas, Brahma framed the Nātya Veda.  According to Deshpande, "the tradition of the Sanskrit grammarians also contributed significantly to the preservation and interpretation of Vedic texts.  According to Staal, as referenced by Holdrege, though the mantras may have a discursive meaning, when the mantras are recited in the Vedic rituals "they are disengaged from their original context and are employed in ways that have little or nothing to do with their meaning. , Holdrege notes that in Vedic learning "priority has been given to recitation over interpretation" of the Samhitas.  Witzel suggests that attempts to write down the Vedic texts towards the end of 1st millennium BCE were unsuccessful, resulting in smriti rules explicitly forbidding the writing down of the Vedas.  Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas (worship).  Already at the end of the Vedic period their original meaning had become obscure for "ordinary people,"[note 13] and niruktas, etymological compendia, were developed to preserve and clarify the original meaning of many Sanskrit words. Of the Black Yajurveda, texts from four major schools have survived (Maitrayani, Katha, Kapisthala-Katha, Taittiriya), while of the White Yajurveda, two (Kanva and Madhyandina). Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanisads, Oxford University Press. The Veda begins with a small book addressed to Agni, Indra, Soma and other gods, all arranged according to decreasing total number of hymns in each deity collection; for each deity series, the hymns progress from longer to shorter ones, but the number of hymns per book increases. There are four Vedas called Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva). Hinduism is the only major religion of the world that can neither be traced to a specific founder nor has a holy book as the one and only scriptural authority. [note 8] As Leela Prasad states, "According to Shankara, the "correct tradition" (sampradaya) has as much authority as the written Shastra," explaining that the tradition "bears the authority to clarify and provide direction in the application of knowledge. There are 10552 mantras in Rigveda, 1975 in Yajurveda, 1875 in Samveda, and 5977 in Atharvaveda with a total of 20379 mantras in all the Vedas. had their origins in the work of Lomaharshana (a disciple of Ved Vyasa) and his three students – the, NCERT Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC, NCERT Medieval Indian History Notes for UPSC, NCERT Modern Indian History Notes for UPSC, Difference Between the Early Vedic Period and Later Vedic Period, Become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS Exam by visiting the.  Overview of Hinduism : Vedas, Upanishads, Purana, Ithihasa explained.  In some parts of South India (e.g. " Yāska (4th c. BCE) wrote the Nirukta, which reflects the concerns about the loss of meaning of the mantras,[note 13] while Pāṇinis (4th c. BCE) Aṣṭādhyāyī is the most important surviving text of the Vyākaraṇa traditions. this hymn for thee have fashioned. "[note 12] Mookerji explains that the Vedic knowledge was first perceived by the rishis and munis. "[note 19] The pūrva-kāņda (or karma-kanda), the part of the Veda dealing with ritual, gives knowledge of dharma, "which brings us satisfaction."  The Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot. a) (i)Vedas: It is derived from ‘Vid’, to know, means knowledge par … " The concepts of Brahman, the Ultimate Reality from which everything arises, and Ātman, the essence of the individual, are central ideas in the Upanishads, and knowing the correspondence between Ātman and Brahman as "the fundamental principle which shapes the world" permits the creation of an integrative vision of the whole.  It was compiled last, probably around 900 BCE, although some of its material may go back to the time of the Rigveda, or earlier.  For Sayana, whether the mantras had meaning depended on the context of their practical usage. How many Vedas are there? In other parts, they show evolution of ideas, such as from actual sacrifice to symbolic sacrifice, and of spirituality in the Upanishads. Bhagavatam. Vedas and Puranas are important texts that define Indian culture at its finest. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition. Patrick Olivelle (1998), Upaniṣhads, Oxford University Press. The.  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, between c. 1200 and 1000 BCE or "slightly later," roughly contemporary with the Atharvaveda and the Yajurveda. , Though many religious Hindus implicitly acknowledge the authority of the Vedas, this acknowledgment is often "no more than a declaration that someone considers himself [or herself] a Hindu,"[note 24] and "most Indians today pay lip service to the Veda and have no regard for the contents of the text. Vedas: Puranas. The first part includes four melody collections (gāna, गान) and the second part three verse “books” (ārcika, आर्चिक). , There are two major groups of texts in this Veda: the "Black" (Krishna) and the "White" (Shukla). [note 5] In an alternate classification, the early part of Vedas are called Samhitas and the commentary are called the Brahmanas which together are identified as the ceremonial karma-kanda, while Aranyakas and Upanishads are referred to as the jnana-kanda. ", Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless. According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas (Collections).  In the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma.  The "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c. 1000–500 BCE. Strassburg 1899; Gonda, J. Jan Gonda (1975), Vedic Literature: (Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas), Otto Harrassowitz Verlag.  The Kalpa Vedanga studies, for example, gave rise to the Dharma-sutras, which later expanded into Dharma-shastras..  Mookerji concludes that in the Rigvedic education of the mantras "the contemplation and comprehension of their meaning was considered as more important and vital to education than their mere mechanical repetition and correct pronunciation. Ambedkar.. , Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies such as newborn baby's rites of passage, coming of age, marriages, retirement and cremation, sacrifices and symbolic sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (text discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge). , The Puranas have been influential in the Hindu culture. " The Upanishads intend to create a hierarchy of connected and dependent realities, evoking a sense of unity of "the separate elements of the world and of human experience [compressing] them into a single form. For example, the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana, one of the oldest Brahmanas, includes eight ritual suktas (hymns) for the ceremony of marriage and rituals at the birth of a child.  The mantras, the oldest part of the Vedas, are recited in the modern age for their phonology rather than the semantics, and are considered to be "primordial rhythms of creation", preceding the forms to which they refer.  Thus, states Witzel as well as Renou, in the 2nd millennium BCE, there was likely no canon of one broadly accepted Vedic texts, no Vedic “Scripture”, but only a canon of various texts accepted by each school. They are commonly referred to as Vedānta, variously interpreted to mean either the "last chapters, parts of the Vedas" or "the object, the highest purpose of the Veda". For the Atharvaveda, there are 79 works, collected as 72 distinctly named parisistas. We find no single authoritative hindu holy book but many. Yet there are certain fundamental differences between them. , The Samaveda Samhita consists of 1549 stanzas, taken almost entirely (except for 75 mantras) from the Rigveda.  The youngest layer of Yajurveda text is not related to rituals nor sacrifice, it includes the largest collection of primary Upanishads, influential to various schools of Hindu philosophy. Whence, whence this creation sprang? Vasudha Narayanan (1994), The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual, University of South Carolina Press. There are many Puranas and there are even new ones being created to this day. For 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses and division into ten mandalas, see: For characterization of content and mentions of deities including Agni, Indra, Varuna, Soma, Surya, etc. English translations of the Samhitas were published in the later 19th century, in the Sacred Books of the East series edited by Müller between 1879 and 1910. Forms of recitation included the jaṭā-pāṭha (literally "mesh recitation") in which every two adjacent words in the text were first recited in their original order, then repeated in the reverse order, and finally repeated in the original order. The term "black" implies "the un-arranged, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" (well arranged) Yajurveda. There are twenty two + Avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu in the Bhagavatha Purana. These auxiliary fields of Vedic studies emerged because the language of the Vedas, composed centuries earlier, became too archaic to the people of that time. ", Laurie Patton (2004), Veda and Upanishad, in.  Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material (birch bark or palm leaves), surviving manuscripts rarely surpass an age of a few hundred years. Hinduism beyond Vedas; You are in an offline mode. ... We are told that there was a Harappan period 4,000 years ago, ... but in Puranas Indra has … Witzel notes that the rituals, rites and ceremonies described in these ancient texts reconstruct to a large degree the Indo-European marriage rituals observed in a region spanning the Indian subcontinent, Persia and the European area, and some greater details are found in the Vedic era texts such as the Grhya Sūtras. Alex Wayman (1997), Untying the Knots in Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass, "The latest of the four Vedas, the Atharva-Veda, is, as we have seen, largely composed of magical texts and charms, but here and there we find cosmological hymns which anticipate the Upanishads, – hymns to Skambha, the 'Support', who is seen as the first principle which is both the material and efficient cause of the universe, to Prāna, the 'Breath of Life', to Vāc, the 'Word', and so on.  Each regional Vedic shakha (school) has its own operating manual-like Brahmana text, most of which have been lost. Barbara A. Holdrege (1995), Veda and Torah: Transcending the Textuality of Scripture, State University of New York Press, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMonier-Williams2006 (. These auxiliary fields of Vedic studies emerged because the language of the Vedas, composed centuries earlier, became too archaic to the people of that time. Wiman Dissanayake (1993), Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (Editors: Thomas P. Kasulis et al. The Bhakti movement, and Gaudiya Vaishnavism in particular extended the term veda to include the Sanskrit Epics and Vaishnavite devotional texts such as the Pancaratra. However, there are about 19 main ones about to the main Hindu deities like Agni, Vayu, Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. Vyasa Maharshi (Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa) is considered an Avatar of Lord Vishnu and he is credited with compiling all the 18 major puranas. If thou, O Agni, God, accept it gladly, may we obtain thereby the heavenly Waters". The Brahmanas which are commentaries on rituals and ceremonies. Gods came later, after the creation of this universe. [note 22], There are similarities between the mythology, rituals and linguistics in Rigveda and those found in ancient central Asia, Iranian and Hindukush (Afghanistan) regions. For other uses, see, Manuscripts of the Vedas are in the Sanskrit language, but in many regional scripts in addition to the, Chronology, transmission and interpretation, It is certain that the hymns of the Rig Veda post-date, For a table of all Vedic texts see Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and, The Vedic Sanskrit corpus is incorporated in, "As a skilled craftsman makes a car, a singer I, Mighty One! Vishva Bandhu, Bhim Dev, S. Bhaskaran Nair (eds.). The … Dominic Goodall (1996), Hindu Scriptures, University of California Press.  The bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in the northwestern region (Punjab) of the Indian subcontinent, most likely between c. 1500 and 1200 BC, although a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BC has also been given.  A total of 19 Brahmana texts have survived into modern times: two associated with the Rigveda, six with the Yajurveda, ten with the Samaveda and one with the Atharvaveda. The early Buddhist texts are also generally believed to be of oral tradition, with the first Pali Canon written many centuries after the death of the Buddha. PT Raju (1985), Structural Depths of Indian Thought, State University of New York Press. Moriz Winternitz (2010), A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass. , Vedas are called Maṛai or Vaymoli in parts of South India. ", A literary tradition is traceable in post-Vedic times, after the rise of Buddhism in the Maurya period,[note 17] perhaps earliest in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE; however oral tradition of transmission remained active. Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows, The Rigveda Samhita is the oldest extant Indic text. How many mantras are there in Veda? However, only the literature associated with the Atharvaveda is extensive. For more exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below: Your email address will not be published.