The books

 

 

 

The Veda is the original seed from which the huge banyan tree of Hinduism has evolved. Hence it is the primary scripture of Hinduism. Vedas are also called Sruti or the Revealed Word. It means Vedas were not created by a human being. It was revealed to the Rishis.

 

Originally these Vedas were not written down but memorized and transmitted orally from teacher to disciple. It was the sage Krishna-Dwaipayana (Vedavyasa) who collected the mantras, grouped them into four, and taught his four disciples. These mantras came to be known as the four Vedas - Rgveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Each Veda is again divided into four sections:

 

  • Samhita (collection on mantras),
  • Brahmana (liturgical instruction, generally in prose)
  • Aranyaka (symbolical contemplation of vedic rituals)
  • Upanishad (metaphysical reflections).

 

Rgveda

If Vedanta is the pinnacle of all the Hindu philosophical systems, the Rgveda is its mother-foot. Almost all the ideas found later, in the Upanishads and allied scriptures, are already there in the Rgveda in a seed form, though not in one place.

 

Philosophy of the Rgveda:

  1. God alone existed before creation and that He is the creator, protector and ruler of this world.
  2. The aim of life is to attain God.
  3. What keeps the human beings away from God is sin, evil ways of living. Hence one should pray to Him for forgiveness, for being freed from sins and be guided on the path of righteousness.

 

Yajurveda

The Yajurveda Samhita is in two major forms: the Krishna (Black) and the Sukla (White). Its main use is in the performance of the Vedic sacrificed.

 

Samaveda

It comprises mostly of the Rgvedic mantras set to the Saptasvara system (the seven basic notes of Indian music), to be sung at appropriate places in a sacrifice (Yajna). Hence is said it is the origin of Indian classical music. Another specialty of this Veda is the high kind of Bhakti sentiments and prayers. 

 

Atharvaveda

It deals more with the things here and now, than the hereafter. A major part of this Veda deals with diseases and their cure, rites for prolonging life, rites for fulfilling one’s desires, building construction, trade, commerce, statecraft, penances, and also black magic.