Essays on the Vedas

Overview of Veda

Indian tradition, however, has held the Vedas all along in the highest reverence, it has invested them with the authority of a revealed scripture, Books of Wisdom. Notwithstanding all the centuries-old efforts at such debunking, the Vedas stand firm as a rock towering like the snow-capped peaks of Kailas overtopping and overlooking […]

Veda Books

Names and Groups of books Names and Groups of Books The core of this collection is the set of four types of books, namely Rigveda mantra Samhita, Yajurveda mantra Samhita, Sāmaveda mantra Samhita and the Atharvaveda mantra Samhita; each type having one or more recensions. These are all poems, some metrical and […]

Mantras of Rig Veda

Verbal Form and Meaning The word-rhythm of the mantra, which we hear with our physical ears, is only a part of what we hear. It carries with it the subtle musical sound-image. This most helps to fill in, stabilize and deepen the thought impression or the emotional or vital impression […]

Gods: More Details

Agni, brief view Devās in the Veda form a hierarchy with Sūrya, the spiritual Sun at the head. However the number of hymns in RV dedicated to Sūrya is small. But Agni has about 200 hymns and Indra, 250 out of about one thousand. The reason for the prominence of Agni […]

Yajňa Rite & Inner Yajňa

Let us understand yajňa by studying the epithets ascribed to it in more than one thousand verses. It is a fundamental mistake to regard yajňa merely as a ritual or rite. Veda describes yajňa as journey, as climbing a hill, as a battle and also as worship or rite. The […]

Deeper Meanings of Mantras

Symbolism in Rig Veda If we read an English translation of the RV such as the one by Wilson or Griffith, we see that, by and large, it consists either of pedestrian sentences such as, “O Indra, drink the Soma and kill Vŗtra” or enigmatic sentences such as, “The sages […]

Prayers

Prayer for Energy Verse SYV (19.9) is a prayer for developing energy, manliness, vigour, conquering power etc. Thou art energy, give me energy; thou art manliness, give me manliness; thou art strength, give me strength; thou art vigour, give me vigour; […]

Shukla Yajur Veda

Overview of Shukla Yajur Veda We have mentioned earlier that Yajur Veda Samhitā has two major recensions, the Krişhņa Yajur Veda (KYV) and the Shukla Yajur Veda (SYV). KYV is the older one. Traditionally the SYV is called Shukla (pure or unmixed) because it is not mixed up with the brāhmaņa […]