What is Veda?
Veda is a peculiar scripture written in ancient India during the second millennial period BCE. Many people consider Veda to be a part of Hindu manuscripts while Vedas were written even before Hinduism was established in India. The texts, principles, mantras, and rituals written in the Vedas inspired day to day lives and cultures of people and established bedrock of Hinduism.
The Vedas are prominently formed and shaped based on the history and pantheons of gods and goddesses along with verbal preaching of the gurukuls. The word Veda means knowledge, wisdom, or vision. Centuries after Vedas were written in the form of scripts known as the Vedic Texts.
The Vedas are termed as the art of living in day to day lives of the people in ancient India. It is considered as the spine of not only the Hindu religion but many other religions of the west. Veda is the physical transcription of mythological preaching. These scriptures are written in the form of poetries or hymns recited by the gurus to their disciples.
While Vedas were established in the second millennial period, it was written many centuries later. So the question arises that how Vedas were secured over a century? The wisdom of Vedas was taught for ages by rishis (Sages or saints) as the words of supreme one Param Atman. The sages interpreted and written Vedas but they did not compose it.
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The Veda is described in the form of four Vedic texts. These are:
Rig Veda (The book of Mantras)Sama Veda (The book of Songs)
Yajur Veda (The book of Rituals)
Atharva Veda (The book of the spell)
These four Vedas are often combined as one known as the ‘Chathurveda Samhita’ where chathur means four, Veda means knowledge and Samhita means collection.
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Rig Veda: The book of Mantras
Rig Veda is the oldest and most important Veda among the four. It holds all the Vedic history and teachings. Approximately, Rig Veda contains 1028 hymns. These hymns are dedicated to gods and other deities managed over 10 prominent books.
Among 10 books, older ones (2-9) are concerned with the praises of gods and goddesses while the younger ones (1&10) focus on questioning realities and later providing their answers. The motive behind this was to free the people from their queries and doubts.
They also focus on social morals and humanity to eradicate social evils from the society.
Sama Veda: The Book of Songs
Sama Veda is considered as the second most important Veda after the Rig Veda. It holds songs and melodies. These melodies are a more defining version of informative preaching of the Rig Veda.
For a better word of understanding, Rig Veda is a word with Sama Veda as its colorful meaning.
Yajur Veda: The book of Rituals
Yajur Veda serves as a book to guide priests and other people who practice holding sacrificial rituals. It is often compared to the famous book of the death of Egypt. Yajur Veda is further categorized into two books,
Black Yajur Veda (Krishna)
White Yajur Veda (Shukla)
The Black Yajur Veda holds unclear and unorganized verses while the white Yajur Veda holds clear and organized verses for a better understanding of rites.
Atharva Veda: The book of Spell
Atharva Veda is considered as the most recent Veda among the four Vedas. It is more comprehensible and understandable than the other three Vedas. it holds data and information about the ancient Vedic sociology and history. But for most, it is revered for its incarnations and magic spells. These magic spells define everything from attracting lovers to calling up elements to cure diseases.
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Is Mahabharata a part of the Vedas?
Mahabharata is considered as the fifth Veda but for instance, it isn’t a part of the Vedas. It is taken as post Vedic text for its significant teachings. In a sense, Mahabharat is not a part of the Vedic manuscripts.
Initially, you can learn Vedas through listening and reading. For gaining complete knowledge of Veda you should acquire teachings from priests and saints. The Vedas contain truths of the universe that can help you to form and gain divine connections through study and practices. Studies reveal that it helps you to implement powerful truths of spirituality that can transform your life.
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