The very word, Veda comes from the word Vid, which in the Indian meaning, is related to Vidya or knowledge. Vidya is the knowledge which enables an individual to have a broader perspective which leads to the concept of self-realization. The Vedas of India, all four of the, are associated with the knowledge of Changeless Reality. The four Vedas of India is written Literature of the Shruti. Shruti is the experience of something which is heard for the spiritual revelation. The realized souls, also known as the Rishis are said to be able to respond to the divine vibrations in the environment around them, and within them, they experienced the ecstasies. These ecstasies were then converted into hymns, which in turn were written as Vedas, to glorify the nature and the Almighty and their control on everything under the Sun. The Vedas are all related to personal and eternal aspects of the human kind with nature. The very knowledge of the Self that the people acquire after reading the Vedas is the eternal knowledge stored in the books, to be undiscovered. As mentioned earlier, the Vedas are classified in four different books, and each of the books has their subdivisions. Below are the divided details of these four books of knowledge composed in ancient India:
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images
- The Rig Veda is considered to be the earliest and also the most important book of the Shruti Literature. This book is said to be consisting of 1-028 different hymns of praises. The hymns of this book have many different ideas, one of which is the Rta. Rta is considered to be a sacred or cosmic order which is also the ultimate harmonic structure of the integrated reality. The words right as well as rite has been extracted from Rta. The book of Rig Veda was not at all composed during any historically significant period. In fact, Rig Veda is said to have been composed out of the collective output of the visionaries as well as the sages or the Rishis. The hymns were later added with Mantras or chants glorifying the Mother Nature, and also the religious figures over hundreds of centuries. Many hymns of the book provide the insight to the eternal truths of the universe as well as nature.
- The Atharva Veda book deals with the ethical principles of the human kind. This book also comes across the aspects of science like Ayurveda, which is the ancient medical science of India, dealing with the health as well as the longevity. Atharva Veda also comprises of the knowledge of the Tantras or the literal threads and other such knowledge of ritualistic esotery.
- The Sama Veda book is dedicated to the music of the hymns of Rig Veda. These musical chants are prepared to be sung or performed in appropriate occasions with proper intonations as well as modulations. The Indian Classical music is based on this Sama Veda.
- The Yajur Veda provides directions for performing the Hindu rituals as well as ceremonies.
A brief introduction to the Vedic Literature of India
The Sanskrit language was considered to be the driving force behind the composition of the Vedic Literature. During the Later Vedic Age period, Sanskrit became the language of communication of the upper class. This language also served as a great unifying force of the sub-continent of India. As mentioned earlier, Vedas were not written before, but they were passed down to the future generations as Shrutis. Later on, when they were composed, it was done after scriptures were invented. A majority of the religious, literary works of the period were all divided among the four Vedas and their sub divisions, called the Upanishads. The works are still considered as the pivotal aspect of the religious and spiritual spheres of the country and Hinduism. The very principles, as well as the ideals of Karma and Moksha, are believed to be belonging to the ideology of the Hindu religion.
Very next to the four Vedas, there are several commentaries or the Vedanta. The Samhitas therefore, deal with thousands of chants and mantras; where the Brahmanas deal with ritualistic sacrifices, whereas the Aranyaks deal with the doctrines of philosophy. The Upanishads on the other hand deal with the high and deep problems of philosophy. In fact, the Upanishads discuss the problems of Atman and Brahmanas. In fact, the books are considered to be the very best creations of the Aryans, as the books comprise of the best cream of the Aryan thoughts. The third part of the Vedic Literature of the Ancient India is the Vedangas. In this composition, one can come across the Indian concepts of medicine, art, archery, phonetics, grammar, phonetics, etc.
Photo by sybarite48
Vedas in the eyes of the Western World
A majority of the materials, as well as the statements that had been presented during the time of the Vedic Literatures, is seen to be agreeing with the modern scientific findings. In fact, the people hailing from the Western world have credited some of their notable works being inspired by the Vedic concepts. Vedic Literature had a great knowledge of the science. In fact, the facts have been proved with the help of
- Thermoluminiscence Dating as well as the Carbon dating of the Archaeological findings
- Satellite imageries of the river system of Indus and Sarasvati
- Debris of the Marine Archaeological findings
- Linguistic Analysis of the scripts
- Scientific verifications of the scriptures
- Study of the cultural continuity
Vedic culture is indigenous, and this can be proved with the help of archaeology, genetic research and also the linguistic analysis. For instance, the symbolism of language can also be found on the Harappan seals of the contemporary period. One can witness the Om symbol, the very leaf of the asstva plant or a banyan tree, and also the swastika sign which are associated with the auspiciousness that is mentioned in the Vedas. In fact, the seals got from the Harappan excavations also refer to the river Sarasvati which was described in the Rig Veda.
Featured Photo by JoVivek