The Rig Veda is the oldest book in Sanskrit or any other Indo-European languages. Know more about Rig Veda.
Of all Vedic scriptures, Rigveda is the oldest existing script. Classical Rigveda is the basis of all other Vedas and it contains of a vast variety of hymns, some of which date back to almost 2000 B.C. The Rig Veda is the oldest book in Sanskrit or any other Indo-European languages. Different spiritual leaders have contributed their thoughts and sayings in the form of hymns. These hymns make up the vast collection that has assimilated together in the Rig Veda. The hymns are composed in Vedic Sanskrit. Many great scholars and Yogis who possessed a high level of understanding about the deeper aspects of life have composed these hymns. To know more about Rigveda, continue to read this insightful article on it.
History Of Rigveda
Most of these hymns have been composed in the praise of God. Each hymn has around 10 lines on an average, written in Sanskrit. These sacred hymns are the oldest form of Sanskrit mantras and have been in use since ancient times. Each letter is pronounced in a way that the full meaning and power of the letter is clear. These hymns have been composed on the science of sound so that the pronunciation of each letter hits hard and sounds powerful.
The Rig Veda is a plethora of knowledge that is relevant in day-to-day life. The fine aspects of leading a satisfying life with the help of yoga, meditation, etc. have been mentioned in much detail in Rigveda. People are slowly realizing the importance of meditation and yoga as the stress of their day-to-day life gets the better of them. Rig Veda also mentions the ancient form of medication of Ayurveda and highlights its significance in our lives. This natural form of curing illness and fatigue is slowly regaining its importance in the era of laser surgery and other medical advancements.
It is believed that many different versions of revised and critically analyzed forms of Rig Veda have existed. But, only one form of Rig Veda is found to exist in the contemporary world. This version has been restructured in different ways so that through time, it is preserved and its authenticity is not questioned. Ralph T. H. Griffith translated the Rig Veda in English in the year 1896. The entire Rig Veda is divided into a series of 10 books. Of these, book number 2 and 7 are considered to be the oldest while the others are much more recent.
Contents Of Rigveda
- Book 1: Contains 191 hymns, majority of them dedicated to Agni or the fire God.
- Book 2: Contains 43 hymns, dedicated to Lord Indra and Agni.
- Book 3: Contains 62 hymns, including the famous Gayathri Mantra.
- Book 4: Contains 58 hymns, dedicated to Lord Indra and Agni.
- Book 5: Contains 87 hymns, dedicated to Viswadevas, Maruts, Mitra-Varuna, Usha (dawn) and Savita.
- Book 6: Contains 75 hymns, dedicated to Lord Indra and Agni.
- Book 7: Contains 104 hymns, dedicated to Agni, Lord Indra, Visvadevas, Maruts, Mitra-Varuna, Aswins, Ushas, Indra-Varuna, Varuna, Vayu and two each to Saraswati and Vishnu.
- Book 8: Contains 103 hymns, dedicated to many Gods.
- Book 9: Contains 114 hymns, dedicated to the Sacred Potion of the Vedic religion, known as Soma Pavamana.
- Book 10: Contains 191 hymns, dedicated to Agni.
It has been a topic of much controversy, deciding the true age of Rigveda. Scholars have found it difficult to come up with a definite time period as to when was Rigveda composed and compiled. It has been found out that there is a lot of similarity, culturally and linguistically, between Rigveda and early Iranian Avesta, linking it with the early Andronovo culture of 2000 B.C. Max Muller, on the other hand, was of the point of view that Rigveda’s text was composed between 1200 B.C. to 1000 B.C. The consensus thinks that Rigveda was composed in 1500 B.C. in the Punjab region, which is still a disputable fact.
The most important gods of the Rigveda are Indra, Mitra, Lord Varuna, Ushas, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspati, Brahmanaspati, Prithvi, Lord Surya, Vayu, Apas, Parjanya, Saraswati river, Vishvadevas, etc. Out of the 10 books of Rigveda, the seventh book or the Mandala contains one hundred and four hymns dedicated to gods like Agni (fire), Varuna (rain), Vayu (wind), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge), etc. The ninth Mandala or book contains of total one hundred and fourteen hymns describing the Kanva clan as well as Angirasa poets. The tenth Mandala contains one hundred and ninety one hymns, all in the praise of fire god mostly. It also comprises of a special part called the Nadistuti Sukta, which are the kind of hymns specially dedicated to praising of the holy rivers. These hymns admire the characteristic quality of the rivers in general, the quality to create and sustain life form as against its ability to destroy what it creates.