Sanskrit the word Ved means Knowledge or Truth.
Ved contain hymns, rituals, and mantras. There are 4 Ved's namely Rig
Ved, Sam Ved, Yajur Ved and Atharv Ved.
original text of the Ved is known as the Samhita. However the Samhitas
are supplemented by many commentaries and explanations, forming the
'Shruti' as a whole.
The most developed of these commentaries, the Upanishads, engage in
philosophical speculation about the implications of the ancient invocations
and rituals recorded in the Samhitas. Thus the Veds are structured rather
like a venerated work of classic literature supported by elaborate footnotes
and introductory essays explaining its hidden complexities.
veds carry not only spiritual revelation but more topically, scientific
insights that we are just discovering with sophisticated gadgetry. The
veds talk about the sun and the moon and the waters of the earth, about
evaporation and rain. It talks about many things at an age, when language
was said to be almost non-existent. So, the point is that, the sheer
depth and vividness of the veds with a vocabulary of over 35,000 words,
suggest that there was a language prevalent at that time which could
not have had an ordinary origin.
same cosmic revelation which made ancient Indians understand the mysteries
of space and this lonely planet, should have given birth to the language
of the veds. So, it is not a mere man-made assembly phonetics but a
medium of much higher reason. The most interesting aspect of the veds
is that it understood its audience.
is one aspect of the veds which gives it the name para-vidya or mundane
knowledge. In this the content is fragmented into many branches like
we have now. Physics apparently is a different subject from botany.
The truth is otherwise. More advanced minds can perceive that forms
of knowledge could be integrated into one and attributed to one Supreme
Being who comes with many names. This school of thought is called apara
vidya or the medium of the supreme.
of the Veds :-
reason why the veds are relevant even today is that they are not mere
volumes of arm-chair philosophy. They are more than mere literature.
The veds contain a way of life. They contain a message a path to better
living culled by great sages who passed on their immense knowledge to
mankind. The veds contain everything that would make life better on
this planet. They explain the compatibility between man earth and the
elements. They also contain answers to all human questions. There is
perhaps no subject that the veds have ignored - general science, geography,
medicine, astronomy, light, sound, particle, magnets, and geometry.
A total constitution explains the intricacies of animal and plant life
too. So it takes immensely narrow perception to regard the veds as ancient
are some reasons why the veds should mean a lot to us today :-
There is no religion in the veds. It merely reminds one of a supreme
state of mind that few chosen men can achieve, and others through. This
supreme state of mind is also referred as the Supreme Being. It is clear
that the many deities that are worshipped today were originally manifestations
The Veds prescribe a life of high moral values that is today recognized
as the best way a civilized human society can live. It asks man to live
life with faith, austerity, piety, selflessness, fearlessness, dedication,
generosity and peace.
Veds tell us that a man is not an individual. In the spiritual scheme
of things he is an integral part of the universe. The universe doesn't
exist without him as much as he doesn't exist without the universe.
From a social point of view, he is a unit of the society.
scientific insights of the veds are astounding. Apart from explaining
climatology, the veds contain data that astrophysics discovered only
recently for the example the big-bang.
revelation from the rig ved :-
the beginning, there was neither naught nor aught,
there was neither sky nor atmosphere above,
then enshrouded this entire universe?
the receptacle of what was it contained?
was there neither death nor immortality,
was neither day nor night nor light nor darkness,
the Existent One breathed calmly, self-contained.
of the most remarkable insights of the veds is its estimate of the big
bang. The veds put it at approximately 15 billion years. Modern science
had initially put the figure at 10 billion years but following the discovery
of heavenly bodies that were older than 10 billion, calculations were
remarked and the figure of 15 billion years forced the scientists to
revise the age of the universe.
sound of the mother bang which created the universe, scientists say,
could be reproduced using various attributes of physics and astronomy.
This is called the gong. But this record is not very different from
something that is already documented in the veds through the pronouncement
of om omkara which is the voice of the creator. From this mother bang
came sargam and there came music all known vibrations which include
sound and light.
big-bang theorists point out that today it is believed that all energy
and matter was densely packed in condensed space. One day it exploded
and all matter known today as the universe was formed. It is s also
believed that the universe will contract and life will end. This too
is mentioned in the veds. It has also predicted the end of the Sun,
which scientists have confirmed. The veds have predicted this cycle
of life will end 2,333,227,018 years from now, when the Sun disintegrated
and dies. According to scientists this is the estimated time left for
the Sun before it dies and becomes a black hole.
we have to understand is that since the veds where formulated without
the help of any equipment, we have to take one of its advices very seriously
all knowledge is there in the human mind, one has to just realize it.
More modern we become, more relevant the ved's will seem to be.
History of the Veds :-
lot of people have heard the word Veds. Why is it so vital to the Indian
soul? How has it survived the onslaught of time? The answer lies in
the veds themselves. If you read the veds as a guide to conduct life,
you will not question it, no matter where you are or in which time warp.
Ved literally means Knowledge. Ved means To Know. There are four veds
the Rig Ved, the Yajur Ved, the Sam Ved and the Atharv Ved. Centuries
ago the veds were referred to as trayi meaning three. It is believed
that originally there were only three veds.
Atharv Ved, apparently, has been added later in time. Each of the veds
is divided into two parts the Samhita and the Brahmans. Samhita is the
incantation and Brahmans is the explanation of the incantation. It's
not clear who actually composed the Veds and when. Some say that it
was composed sometime during 6000 BC but no matter when it was composed,
rest assured the veds are timeless today.
will be fascinated to know that there were four layers of priest who
uttered the veds during a sacrifice of yagna. The first class where
the officiating priests or hotris who chanted the Rig Ved. The second
class was called ugadtri who changed the Sam Ved. Then third class of
priests were recites who were called adhvaryu who recited the Yajur
Ved. The fourth class was overseeing priests who were called Brahmans.
They chanted the Atharv Ved, which is actually addition to the original
The word trayi which is used to referred to the Rig, Yajur and Sam veds,
has a special significance in that it also means that there are three
paths to salvation knowledge, karma (action) and devotion. The Rig ved
is the path of knowledge, the Yajur Ved is that path of karma and the
Sam Ved is the path of devotion. Learned gurus tell us that it's not
always in our hands to choose the path. The path, the say, chooses us.
Rig Ved :-
Rig Ved derives its name from the word rig which means mantra. This
beautiful collection of unimaginable cosmic wisdom has 10,589 verses.
There are further divided into ten mandalas or books. Each mandala is
further divided into anuvakas and suktas. Anuvakas mean lessons and
suktas mean hymns. On the whole there are 85 lessons and 1080 hymns.
Quite an exhaustive work, isn't it, for a genius or a group of team
or geniuses who chose to be anonymous. The verses in the ved are rendered
to the Gods.
importance given to the Sun in the veds is significant. Those days when
most of the world believed that the Sun was a huge orange ball, the
sages of India seemed to have learnt somehow that it was the Sun that
the source of life. They also seem to know that light was energy. More
interesting, the veds understood the connection between the Sun and
the rains, and the rest of the weather pattern.
Yajur Ved :-
Veda seeks to create a deeper level of consciousness among people. It
sets forth a yogic practice that purifies not just the body, but also
the mind. This helps in awakening the inner consciousness, which opens
up new avenues of learning and understanding of life and existence.
The Vedic scriptures are full of mantras that help in religious rituals.
Yajur Veda also emphasizes on the same deities as the Rig Veda but in
a different way. The main aim of reciting the sacred hymns is to awake
the inner consciousness and bring together the cosmic energies within
oneself. This opens up avenues for recreating a universal energy within
the human psyche. This cosmic level of consciousness is very necessary
in order to lead a life that is both meaningful and satisfying. Once
ego and other vices are surrendered to the Divine force, a person can
attain higher forms of happiness.
ved has 101 branches. Like the Rig Ved, the Yajur Ved too has two divisions.
Samhita which is incantation and adhvaryu which is the explanation of
the same. Interestingly most of the poetic component of the Yajur Ved
derives a lot from the hymns of the Rig Ved. The remaining is in prose.
Yajur Ved gets its name from the word yaj which means sacrifice. While
we may never find out who composed the veds, it's said that sage Ved
Vyas taught the four veds to four of his disciples. Paila was taught
the Rig Ved. Sam Ved to Jaimini and the Atharv Ved to Sumantu.
Yajur Ved was taught to Vaishampayana. He in turn taught the Yajur Ved
to twenty seven pupils and over the years the ved branched off into
Three schools Taittiriya, Krishna Yajur Ved, and Shukla (white) Yajur
Ved. The Gods who feature in the Veds are many. The three major Gods
are Agni, Indra and Surya. But there are many other gods who are manifestations
of the various aspects of nature but, if you have a modern mindset,
you may identify what some sages believed. They said that the supreme
force was broken into various cosmic fragments for human understanding.
Yajur Ved reminds you that if you are not destined to rule their own
lives through knowledge, karma is another way that will lead you to
the goal. The trick is to accept that there is a scheme of things at
play. This scheme of things is also called life. Everything, every event
has been planned before and every event has a bearing on the other.
Sam Ved :-
the other veds the Sam Ved too has two portions incantation and explanation.
The incantation portion in the Sam Ved is about half as long as the
Rig Ved. Like the Yajur Ved, the Sam Ved too borrows heavily from the
Rig Ved. You may begin to feel that the Rig Ved is the mother of all
Veds. It's almost true but the fact is that the other Veds capture simpler
moods of existence. Sam Ved is the path to salvation through devotion,
perhaps the most popular approach of Man at any given point in time.
Sam Ved derives its name from the word Sam or hymn. This ved is full
of hymns naturally the best tool of blind devotion. What's interesting
to note is that in all religions, across the globe, devotion is best
expressed through songs. There is a school of thought that suggests
that a vast majority of people cannot comprehend the Supreme Being through
knowledge or a fervent sense of destiny. The world is materialistic
it always was Music some how unites the material world with a higher
plane. That is why hymns like in Sam Ved are so significant. For the
overwhelming majority who are limited by intellect, hymns bring them
closer to the maker. Having learnt that, we should know that Sam Ved
is not purely songs. It has its share of monotonous chants.
there is a theory that suggests that the Sam Ved, over the centuries,
was divided into thousand different branches, records show only thirteen
branches. Of the thirteen, the physical evidence of only three branches
is now available. We should understand that while some people documented
the veds, it was originally transferred from mouth to ear.
it should be surprising that a huge chunk of the veds are actually lost
today. The three branches that have survived to grace us today are Ranayana,
Kuthuma and Jaimini. Sadly only these three branches pass off as Sam
Ved today. They contain between them 1875 mantras nearly by 184 seers
which is set to tune of music by 285 seers. About 4000 hymns are based
around these mantras.
These are further divided into two categories purvarchika which contains
650 mantras and uttarachika which contains 1225 mantras. In purvarchika,
each mantra is divided into chapters but in uttarchika the mantras are
not divided into chapters. But the entire collection of 1225 mantras
are categorized as chapters. The reason of this is not known but some
say there may be a hidden significance that is lost on us.
What's interesting to note is that while most of the verses in the Rig
Ved and the Yajur Ved run deep in philosophical content, the mantras
in the Sam Ved are mere prayers. They presume that God is a physical
entity who has to be believed in and prayed to.
The veds remind one of the most unique natures of what is called Hinduism.
While most religions are one-dimensional in the sense that they teach
devotion, the veds addresses different kinds of people on basis of their
Atharv Ved :-
widely believed that the originally there were only three veds and that
the Atharv Ved was added later. The Atharv Ved is distinctly different
from the other three. While the Rig, Yajur and Sam veds derive their
names from the nature of their contents, the Atharv ved gets its name
from a man called Atharvn.
the Rig Ved there are references to Atharvn. He is said to be the first
man to have found Agni or fire when he rubbed two sticks together. Meanwhile,
there were two ancient families called Angiras and Bhrigu. It's said
that the Atharv Ved was first revealed by the gods to Atharvn, Angiras
and Bhrigu. This ved's role during a sacrifice or a yagna is to chant
mantras to invoke fire to drive away evil forces. The Atharv Ved is
also called the Brahma Ved. This is because was chanted by the fourth
layer of priests who were called Brahmans.
the other three veds are chiefly fervent chants, the Atharv Ved seemed
too interactive. It contains charms and spells which could make an immediate
difference in the physical world.
Atharv ved contains some 750 hymns and 6000 verses. There are twenty
books in this ved. The first thirteen contain a haphazard mixture of
prayers, charms, spells and invocations. The fourteenth book is about
marriages. The fifteenth is about wandering beggars. The sixteenth and
the seventeenth are about magic and conjuring. The eighteenth is about
funeral rites. The nineteenth is a mixture of songs with no perceivable
categorization. The twentieth book contains chants to lord Indira, taken
almost entirely from the Rig Ved.
is a typical hymn from the Atharv Ved. It's a spell and invokes the
spiritual forces to bring about destruction to the enemies.
the enemies who try to pierce us with their weapons not be able to reach
us. May the enemies who try to attack us from the four directions not
be able to reach us. O Indra, may the shower of arrows not be able to
reach us. May arrows which have already been shot not be able to reach
us. May arrows which have not yet been shot but will be, not be able
to reach us. These are the divine words which will destroy our enemies.
can be said that, to a great extend, the Atharv Ved is man's own device.
He uses his spiritual knowledge to make his own world a better place