Vedas have influenced ancient Indian society greatly and have become a crucial part in the forming of the Hindu dharma. Although the knowledge the Vedas held was always there, Rishi Vyasa compiled the divine knowledge into four writings and passed them orally for thousands of years. These were composed in Sanskrit around 1500 and 1000 BCE. It is around 300 BCE that these religious writings took the current form.
The four main Vedas in Hindu Dharma are composed by Rishi Vyasa are Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda. Below are some of the most interesting facts about the same.
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Vedas in Hindu Dharma
- Consisting of 1028 mantras, the Rig Veda offers prayers to Gods and the ‘Pancha Bhutani’ i.e. to the five forces of earth, water, air, fire, and sky.
- Rig Veda is made up and organized in 10 books called the mandalas or circles.
- According to scholars and sages, Rig Veda of Hindu Dharma is one of the oldest and puzzling pieces of literature ever written.
- It explains the origin of the world, the power of the gods, and the art of living.
- The mantras are chanted to God to praise their power and asking to share their power to us so that we can battle the evil, both inside and outside of us.
- Sama Veda is very Similar to Rig Veda however it is written in the form of music and therefore it is called the Veda of chants and melodies.
- Sama Veda is said to have been written around 1000 BC and some parts in the Sama Veda are said to be dated during 1700 BC.
- Sama Veda is the shortest. There are a total of 1875 verses in Sama, 1771 of them are from Rig Veda. The other 99 are it’s own.
- As the Veda of Melodies, it is considered to be the oldest music institution in the world that contains all types of music, meter, mantra, chhanda, and linguistics.
- The Sama Veda was compiled so that it could sing the ceremonies of “soma-sacrifices”, which is a ritual where chopped vegetables or animals are sacrificed and offered to Gods. Udgatar priests used to sing them and it reflected their worldview.
- Yajur Veda informs about the religion and rituals. It is can be explained as a guide to explain the right way of performing religious ceremonies and rituals. However, some claim that it never talks about the right way, but instead guides people to think about the rituals.
- Thus, when one digs deeper into the Yajur Veda, one can find a deeper meaning than just the rituals.
- Compared to the oldest, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda is much simpler in language.
- The ancient priest uses Yajur Veda the most.
- Yajur Veda attempts to develop the level of consciousness among people and is linked to the yogi practice of purifying the mind, body, and soul. It can help people to awaken the consciousness within and open to the study of life in a better manner.
- As the Atharva Veda is the most diverse among the Vedas it stands out among the other Vedas.
- Classical Atharva Veda provides knowledge related to religion and socio-cultural aspects of society.
- Atharva Veda is related to the cult of occult science and the opposite side of science – the ones related to death, spirits, and the afterlife.
- Scholars often tend to disregard Atharva Veda as part of the Vedas.
- A common belief among the people is that if a pregnant woman attends a ritual where the Atharva Veda is chanted, then due to the power of Atharva Veda the fetus inside the lady could be born dead.