Hinduism/The Vedas

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The Vedas are a collection of religious texts that form the foundation of Hindu theology. The word Veda is Sanskrit (वेद) for "knowledge". Hindus believe that the Vedas texts are of divine origin and the term śruti ("what is heard") refers to this. The Hindu belief that the cosmos is eternal; was not created and will always exist, also applies to the Hindu view of the Vedas. The Vedas is the eternal divine knowledge that is "heard" by humans and are apauruṣeya, "not of human agency". The Vedas is integrated into the life of Hindus, though many Hindus have never read it. Vedic mantras are recited at Hindu prayers, religious functions and other auspicious occasions.

The various Indian religious sects differ in their ideas about the Vedas. Hindus cite the Vedas as scriptural authority and they class themselves as "orthodox" (āstika). Buddhism and Jainism, two religious sects with a close affinity to Hinduism, do not regard the Vedas as scriptual authority and Hindus refer to them as "heterodox" or "non-orthodox" (nāstika). Hinduism places very little importance on criticism of other religions because Hindus believe that the path to God transcends all human thought. In this respect, a Hindu would not consider Buddhism or Catholicism to be wrong, only different. As you familiarise yourself with the works given below; it would be wise to remember the time scale that these works occupy. The literature of the Vedas shares many similarities with the analysis and commentary on Christian literature. When Saint Augustine wrote Confessions; he did so in the context of a changing Roman empire in 4 CE and over a thousand years later Luther founded the Protestant movement in a Europe dominated by the Vatican. In the Twentieth century the Jehovah Witnesses cite the Book Of Daniel. Hindu analysis and commentary on the Vedas has been shaped by the same forces: society and relevance.

Chronology[edit | edit source]

Map of North India in the Iron Age Vedic period

The origins of the Vedas has its roots in Northern India during the second millennium. The Samhitas are the earliest Vedas texts and date roughly from 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE. The circum-Vedic texts and the redaction of the Samhitas, date from 1000 BCE to 500 BCE. This is named the Vedic period; starting in the second millennium BCE (Late Bronze Age) and ending in the first millennium BCE (Iron Age). Gavin Flood, an eminent Professor of Hindu studies at Oxford University, has proposed these dates for the composition of the Vedas : the Rigveda was compiled from as early as 1500 BCE over a period of several centuries. The Vedic period then reaches its peak after the composition of the mantra texts and with the establishment of the various shakhas (Hindu theological schools) all over Northern India which annotated the mantra samhitas with Brahmana discussions of their meaning. Gavin Flood further proposes that classical Vedic literature ends in the age of Gautama Buddha and Pāṇini (Ancient Indian Sanskrit grammarian, circa. 4th century BC); which is around the period of the rise of the Mahajanapadas Kingdoms (archaeological period of Northern Black Polished Ware). Michael Witzel, Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, makes a special reference to the Syrian "Mitanni" civilization c. 1400 BCE, whose archaeological records are the only epigraphic finds of an Indo-Aryan society that is contemporary to the Indian Rigvedic period though it is still debated whether the Mitanni civilization are the original Aryan invaders. Witzel proposes 150 BCE (Patañjali) as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature and 1200 BCE (the early Iron Age India) as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda. The general accepted historical chronology of the Samhita ranks the Rig Veda as the first, followed by the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and finally the Atharva Veda.

The Vedic texts were passed down to each successive generation orally. This oral tradition was essential for the preservation of texts in the Ancient World. Homer's Illiad was passed down in the same way and it wasn't until the discovery of Troy in Turkey by Heinrich Schliemann and the work of Arthur Evans at Knossos that the events described by Homer took on a new historical meaning outside of its original religious context. The method used by Hindus priests to accurately preserve the Vedic texts using elaborate and precise patha (mnemonic techniques), has lead to the same archaeological interest in Aryan India as Homer inspired in those European adventurers who sought the evidence of their cultural origins in Ancient Greece. The literary recording of the Vedic texts started after the rise of Buddhism, during the Maurya period (Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BCE) and perhaps, at the earliest, in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE. Kanva is a renowned rishi and author of several hymns of the Rigveda. The literary tradition ran parallel with an oral tradition that was still being used up until 1000 CE.

Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material (birch bark or palm leaves), manuscripts rarely surpass an age of a few hundred years. The Benares Sanskrit University has a Rigveda manuscript of the mid-14th century and there are a number of older Veda manuscripts in Nepal belonging to the Vajasaneyi tradition that are dated from the 11th century onwards.

Categories of Vedic texts[edit | edit source]

The term "Vedic texts" is used in two distinct meanings:

  1. texts composed in Vedic Sanskrit during the Vedic period (Iron Age India)
  2. any text considered as "connected to the Vedas" or a "corollary of the Vedas"[1]

Vedic Sanskrit corpus[edit | edit source]

The corpus of Vedic Sanskrit texts includes:

  • The Samhita (Sanskrit saṃhitā, "collection"), are collections of metric texts ("mantras"). There are four "Vedic" Samhitas: the Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and Atharva-Veda, most of which are available in several recensions (śākhā). In some contexts, the term Veda is used to refer to these Samhitas. This is the oldest layer of Vedic texts, which apart from the Rigvedic hymns, were essentially complete by 1200 BC. The complete corpus of Vedic mantras as collected in Bloomfield's Vedic Concordance (1907) consists of some 89,000 padas (foot (poetry)), of which 72,000 occur in the four Samhitas.
  1. the Ṛigveda: containing hymns to be recited by the hotṛ (chief priest).
  2. the Yajurveda: containing formulas to be recited by the adhvaryu (officiating priest).
  3. the Sāmaveda: containing formulas to be chanted by the udgātṛ (A priest who sings hymns from the Sāmaveda during a ritual). The word udgātṛ is derived from the Sanskrit root ud-gai ("to sing" or "to chant").
  4. the Atharvaveda: a collection of spells and incantations, stories, predictions, apotropaic charms and some speculative hymns.
  • The Brahmanas are prose texts that discuss, in technical terms, the solemn sacrificial rituals with a commentary on their meaning and themes. Each of the Brahmanas is associated with one of the Samhitas or its recensions. The Brahmanas may either form separate texts or can be partly integrated into the text of the Samhitas. They may also include the Aranyakas and Upanishads.
  • The Aranyakas , "wilderness texts" or "forest treaties", were composed by rishis who followed the ascetic path of meditating as recluses. They form the third part of the Vedas and contain discussions and interpretations of dangerous rituals. They are classed as secondary literature in relation to the Samhitas.
  • some of the older Mukhya Upanishads (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad {Bṛhadāraṇyaka}, Chandogya Upanishad, Katha Upanishad {Kaṭha)).[2][3]
  • certain Sutra literature, i.e. the Shrautasutras and the Grhyasutras.

The Shrauta Sutras (regarded as smriti) are late Vedic period in language and content; therefore they are considered part of the Vedic Sanskrit corpus.[4][5] The composition of the Shrauta and Grhya Sutras (c. 6th century BCE) marks the end of the Vedic period. This is also the beginning of the "circum-Vedic" scholarship of Vedanga, the earliest flowering of classical Sanskrit literature in the Mauryan and Gupta periods.

The Brahmanas and Aranyakas texts reach their final form at the end of the Vedic period. There were a large number of Upanishads composed after the end of the Vedic period but the ten mukhya Upanishads date from the Vedic or Mahajanapada period. Most of the 108 Upanishads of the full Muktika canon were composed in the Common Era.

The Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads often interpret the polytheistic and ritualistic Samhitas in philosophical and metaphorical ways to explore abstract concepts such as the Absolute (Brahman) and the soul or the self (Atman). The Upanishads also encapsulate the Vedanta philosophy; which is the practices and methods of self-realisation by which one may understand the ultimate nature of reality (Brahman). Vedanta is one of the major trends of post-Vedic Hinduism.

The Vedic Sanskrit corpus were collected together under the title A Vedic Word Concordance (Vaidika-Padānukrama-Koṣa). Prepared in the 1930s under Vishva Bandhu and published in 1935-1965; it contains all the Vedic texts in Sanskrit and certain "sub-Vedic" texts.

Volume I: Samhitas
Volume II: Brahmanas and Aranyakas
Volume III: Upanishads
Volume IV: Vedangas

A revised edition, extending to about 1800 pages, was published in 1973-1976.

Shruti literature[edit | edit source]

The texts considered "Vedic" , in the sense of "corollaries of the Vedas", are less clearly defined and may include numerous post-Vedic texts such as the Upanishads or Sutra literature.

The latter group of texts is called shruti (Sanskrit: śruti; "the heard"). Since post-Vedic times they have been regarded as "revealed wisdom", as distinct from other texts, collectively known as smriti (Sanskrit: smṛti; "the remembered"); texts that are considered to be of human origin. This indigenous system of categorization was adopted by Max Müller, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies. While it is subject to some debate, it is still widely used. As Axel Michaels explains:

These classifications are often not tenable for linguistic and formal reasons: There is not only one collection at any one time, but rather several handed down in separate Vedic schools; Upanişads ... are sometimes not to be distinguished from Āraṇyakas...; Brāhmaṇas contain older strata of language attributed to the Saṃhitās; there are various dialects and locally prominent traditions of the Vedic schools. Nevertheless, it is advisable to stick to the division adopted by Max Müller because it follows the Indian tradition, conveys the historical sequence fairly accurately, and underlies the current editions, translations, and monographs on Vedic literature."[6]

The Upanishads are largely philosophical works in dialog form. They discuss questions of nature philosophy and the fate of the soul. They also contain some mystical and spiritual interpretations of the Vedas. They are known as Vedānta ("the end of the Vedas") and taken together, form the basis of the Vedanta school.

Other texts such as the Bhagavad Gita or the Vedanta Sutras are considered shruti or "Vedic" by some Hindu denominations but not universally within Hinduism. The Bhakti movement (religious path that emphasises devotion above ritual) and Gaudiya Vaishnavism (religious movement founded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 16th century) extended the term to include the Sanskrit Epics and Vaishnavite devotional texts such as the Pancaratra.[7]

Vedic schools or recensions[edit | edit source]

Study of the extensive body of Vedic texts has been organized into a number of different schools or branches (Sanskrit śākhā, literally "branch" or "limb") each of which specialized in learning certain texts.[8] Multiple recensions are known for each of the Vedas and each Vedic text may have a number of schools associated with it.

Ancient Indian culture ensured that these texts were transmitted from generation to generation with inordinate fidelity.[9] For example, memorization of the sacred Vedas included up to eleven patha (forms of recitation) of the same text. The texts were subsequently "proof-read" by comparing the different recited versions. Forms of recitation included the jaṭā-pāṭha (literally "mesh recitation") in which every two adjacent words in the text were first recited in their original order, then repeated in the reverse order, and finally repeated again in the original order.[10]

The effectiveness of this method is to be seen in the preservation of the most ancient Indian religious text, the Ṛgveda. Redacted into a single text during the Brahmana period, without any variant readings.[10]

The Four Vedas[edit | edit source]

Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century

The canonical division of the Vedas is fourfold (turīya) viz.,[11]

  1. Rig-Veda (RV)
  2. Yajur-Veda (YV, with the main division Taittiriya Shakha (TS) vs. Vajasaneyi (VS]
  3. Sama-Veda (SV)
  4. Atharva-Veda (AV)

The first three were the original division, called trayī vidyā - "the triple sacred science" of reciting hymns (RV), performing sacrifices (YV), and chanting (SV).[12][13] This triplicity is stated in the Brahmanas (Shatapatha Brahmana, Aitareya Brahmana and others). The Rigveda is the older work of the three from which the other two borrow material though they do have their own independent Yajus of sorcery and speculative mantras.

Thus, the Mantras are properly of three forms:

  1. Ric, which are verses of praise in metre for loud recitation.
  2. Yajus, which are prose for recitation at sacrifices.
  3. Sāman, which are verses in metre for singing at Soma ceremonies.

The Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda are independent collections of mantras and hymns intended as manuals for the Adhvaryu, Udgatr and Brahman priests respectively.

The Atharvaveda is the fourth Veda. Its status is ambiguous due to its use in sorcery and healing. It contains very old material and uses an early form of the Vedic language. The Manusmrti, a discourse given by the sage Manu to a group of rishis, often speaks of the three Vedas, calling them trayam-brahma-sanātanam, "the triple eternal Veda". The Atharvaveda like the Rigveda, is a collection of incantations and other material and borrows relatively little from the Rigveda. It has no direct relation to the solemn Shrauta sacrifices, except for the fact that the Brahmán priest observes the procedures and uses Atharvaveda mantras to 'heal'. Its recitation is believed to produce long life, cure diseases or ruin enemies.

Each of the four Vedas consists of the metrical Mantra or Samhita and the prose Brahmana. The Brahmana consists of detailed discussions and directions for the ceremonies at which the Mantras are to be used and explanations of the legends connected to the Mantras and rituals. Both these portions are shruti. Each of the four Vedas have passed through numerous Shakhas, giving rise to various recensions of the text. They each have an Index or Anukramani, the principal work of this kind being the general Index or Sarvānukramaṇī.

Rigveda[edit | edit source]

The Rigveda Samhita is a collection of 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses in all, organized into ten books (Sanskrit: mandalas).[14] The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities.[15] The books were composed by poets from different priestly groups over a period of several centuries and are commonly dated to the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE (the early Vedic period).

There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities between the Rigveda and the early Iranian Avesta. The Avesta are a collection of the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism and they are often associated with the Andronovo culture. The earliest horse-drawn chariots found at Andronovo sites in the Sintashta-Petrovka area near the Ural mountains, date to c. 2000 BCE.[16]

Yajurveda[edit | edit source]

The Yajurveda Samhita consists of archaic prose mantras and some verses borrowed and adapted from the Rigveda. Its purpose was practical; in that each mantra must accompany an action in sacrifice but unlike the Samaveda, it was compiled to apply to all sacrificial rites, not merely the Somayajna. There are two major groups of shakha (recensions) of this Veda, known as the "Black" (Krishna) and "White" (Shukla) Yajurveda. The White Yajurveda separates the Samhita from its Brahmana (the Shatapatha Brahmana) and the Black Yajurveda intersperses the Samhita with Brahmana commentary. Of the Black Yajurveda four major recensions survive (Maitrayani, Katha, Kapisthala-Katha, Taittiriya).

Samaveda[edit | edit source]

The Samaveda Samhita (from sāman, the term for a melody applied to metrical hymn or song of praise[17]) consists of 1549 stanzas, taken almost entirely (except for 78 stanzas) from the Rigveda.[18] Like the Rigvedic stanzas in the Yajurveda, the Samans have been changed and adapted for use in singing. Some of the Rigvedic verses are repeated more than once. Including repetitions, there are a total of 1875 verses numbered in the Samaveda recension as translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith (1826-1906), scholar of Indology at Queens College.[19] Two major recensions remain today, the Kauthuma/Ranayaniya and the Jaiminiya. Its purpose is liturgical and it provides the udgātṛ with a repertoire of songs to accompany the sacrifice.

Atharvaveda[edit | edit source]

The Artharvaveda Samhita is a text belonging to the period of the Atharvan and Angirasa poets. It consists of 760 hymns of which 160 are repetitions from the Rigveda.[20] The majority of the verses in the Artharvaveda are metrical with a small section in prose.[21] It was compiled around 900 BCE. Although some of its material is dated to the time of the Rigveda,[22] other parts of the Atharva-Veda are older than the Rig-Veda.[23] The Atharvanaveda is preserved in two recensions, the Paippalāda and Śaunaka.[24] According to Apte it had nine schools (shakhas).[25] The Paippalada text, which exists in a Kashmir and an Orissa version, is longer than the Saunaka recension; it is only partially printed in its two versions and remains largely untranslated.

Unlike the other three Vedas, the Atharvaveda has less material connected with the rituals of sacrifice.[26][27] Its first part consists of spells and incantations concerned with protection against demons and disaster, spells for the healing of diseases, and spells for a long life and for various desires or aims in life.[28][29] The second part of the text contains speculative and philosophical hymns.[30]

The Atharvaveda is a comparatively late addition to the Vedas. This may be because of an extension of the sacrificial rite which involved the inclusion of the Brahman overseeing the ritual.[31]

Vedanta[edit | edit source]

Vedanta is an orthodox approach to Hinduism that reduces the emphasis on ritualism and radically re-interprets the notion of "Veda". It forms the basis of modern Hinduism with its ideas on the nature of Atman (soul) and Brahman (absolute). It is the study of the Upanishads and the subsequent commentary on the correct way to interpret them. Its association with three of the Vedic texts is expressed in the bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ mantra which is found in the Aitareya Aranyaka: "Bhūḥ is the Rigveda, bhuvaḥ is the Yajurveda, svaḥ is the Samaveda" (1.3.2). The Upanishads reduce the "essence of the Vedas" further, to the syllable Aum (). Thus, the Katha Upanishad has:

"The goal, which all Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which humans desire when they live a life of continence, I will tell you briefly it is Aum" (1.2.15)

Post-Vedic literature[edit | edit source]

Vedanga[edit | edit source]

Six technical subjects related to the Vedas are traditionally known as vedāṅga "limbs of the Veda". V. S. Apte defines this group of works as:

"N. of a certain class of works regarded as auxiliary to the Vedas and designed to aid in the correct pronunciation and interpretation of the text and the right employment of the Mantras in ceremonials."[32]

These subjects are treated in Sutra literature dating from the end of the Vedic period to Mauryan times, seeing the transition from late Vedic Sanskrit to Classical Sanskrit.

The six subjects of Vedanga are:

  • Phonetics (Śikṣā)
  • Meter (Chandas)
  • Grammar (Vyākaraṇa)
  • Etymology (Nirukta)
  • Astrology (Jyotiṣa)
  • Ritual (Kalpa)

Parisista[edit | edit source]

Pariśiṣṭa (Devanagari: परिशिष्ट), which translates as "supplement" or "appendix", is the term applied to various ancillary works of Vedic literature. These works elaborate on the details of ritual that were given in earlier Vedic texts : the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Sutras. Parisista works exist for each of the four texts of the Vedas. However, only the literature associated with the Atharvaveda is extensive.

  • The Āśvalāyana Gṛhya Pariśiṣṭa is a very late text associated with the Rigveda canon.
  • The Gobhila Gṛhya Pariśiṣṭa is a short metrical text of two chapters, with 113 and 95 verses respectively.
  • The Kātiya Pariśiṣṭas, ascribed to Kātyāyana (c. 3rd century BC Sanskrit grammarian and Vedic priest), consist of 18 works enumerated self-referentially in the fifth of the series (the Caraṇavyūha).
  • The Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda has three parisistas. The Āpastamba Hautra Pariśiṣṭa, which is also found as the second praśna of the Satyasāḍha Śrauta Sūtra, the Vārāha Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣṭa and the Kātyāyana Śrauta Sūtra Pariśiṣṭa.
  • For the Atharvaveda, there are 79 works, collected as 72 distinctly named parisistas.[33]

Puranas[edit | edit source]

A traditional view given in the Vishnu Purana (likely dating to the Gupta period[34]) attributes the current arrangement of four Vedas to the mythical sage Vedavyasa.[35]. Puranic tradition also postulates a single original Veda that, in varying accounts, was divided into three or four parts. According to the Vishnu Purana (3.2.18, 3.3.4 etc) the original Veda was divided into four parts, and further fragmented into numerous shakhas, by Lord Vishnu in the form of Vyasa, in the Dvapara Yuga; the Vayu Purana (section 60) recounts a similar division by Vyasa, at the urging of Brahma. The Bhagavata Purana (12.6.37) traces the origin of the primeval Veda to the syllable aum, and says that it was divided into four at the start of Dvapara Yuga, because men had declined in age, virtue and understanding. In a differing account Bhagavata Purana (9.14.43) attributes the division of the primeval veda (aum) into three parts to the monarch Pururavas at the beginning of Treta Yuga. The Mahabharata (santiparva 13,088) also mentions the division of the Veda into three in Treta Yuga.[36]

Upaveda[edit | edit source]

The term upaveda ("applied knowledge") is used to designate the subjects of certain technical works associated with a text of the Vedas.[37][38] Lists of what subjects are included in this class differ among sources. The Charanavyuha mentions four Upavedas:

  • Prosperity (Arthashastra), associated with the Rigveda
  • Archery (Dhanurveda), associated with the Yajurveda
  • Music and classical Indian dance (Gāndharvaveda), associated with the Samaveda
  • Medicine (Āyurveda), associated with the Atharvaveda
  • Military science (Sthapatyashastra), associated with the Atharvaveda

But Sushruta and Bhavaprakasha mention Ayurveda as an upaveda of the Atharvaveda. Sthapatyaveda (architecture), Shilpa Shastras (arts and crafts) are mentioned as fourth upaveda according to later sources. Vedas cover complete knowledge for all subjects living being requires

"Fifth Veda"[edit | edit source]

Some post-Vedic texts, including the Mahabharata, the Natyasastra and certain Puranas, refer to themselves as the "fifth Veda".[39] The earliest reference to such a "fifth Veda" is found in the Chandogya Upanishad. "Dravida Veda" is a term for canonical Tamil Bhakti texts.[citation needed]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. according to ISKCON, Hindu Sacred Texts, "Hindus themselves often use the term to describe anything connected to the Vedas and their corollaries (e.g. Vedic culture)".
  2. Michaels 2004, p. 51.
  3. Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 69.
  4. Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 69.
  5. For a table of all Vedic texts see Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 100–101.
  6. Michaels 2004, p. 51.
  7. Goswami, S.D. (1976), Readings in Vedic Literature: The Tradition Speaks for Itself, S.l.: Assoc Publishing Group, pp. 240 pages, ISBN 0912776889
  8. Flood 1996, p. 39.
  9. (Staal 1986)
  10. a b (Filliozat 2004, p. 139)
  11. Radhakrishnan & Moore 1957, p. 3; Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 68
  12. MacDonell 2004, p. 29-39
  13. Witzel, M., "The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools : The Social and Political Milieu" in Witzel 1997, p. 257-348
  14. For 1,028 hymns and 10,600 verses and division into ten mandalas, see: Avari 2007, p. 77.
  15. For characterization of content and mentions of deities including Agni, Indra, Varuna, Soma, Surya, etc. see: Avari 2007, p. 77.
  16. Drews, Robert (2004). Early Riders: The beginnings of mounted warfare in Asia and Europe. New York: Routledge. p. 50.
  17. Apte 1965, p. 981.
  18. Michaels 2004, p. 51.
  19. For 1875 total verses, see numbering given in Ralph T. H. Griffith. Griffith's introduction mentions the recension history for his text. Repetitions may be found by consulting the cross-index in Griffith pp. 491-99.
  20. Michaels 2004, p. 56.
  21. Michaels 2004, p. 56.
  22. Flood 1996, p. 37.
  23. Michaels 2004, p. 56.
  24. Michaels 2004, p. 56.
  25. Apte 1965, p. 37.
  26. Flood 1996, p. 36.
  27. Witzel, Michael, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 76.
  28. Radhakrishnan & Moore 1957, p. 3.
  29. Michaels 2004, p. 56.
  30. "The latest of the four Vedas, the Atharva-Veda, is, as we have seen, largely composed of magical texts and charms, but here and there we find cosmological hymns which anticipate the Upanishads, -- hymns to Skambha, the 'Support', who is seen as the first principle which is both the material and efficient cause of the universe, to Prāna, the 'Breath of Life', to Vāc, the 'Word', and so on." Zaehner 1966, p. vii.
  31. "There were originally only three priests associated with the first three Saṃhitās, for the Brahman as overseer of the rites does not appear in the Ṛg Veda and is only incorporated later, thereby showing the acceptance of the Atharva Veda, which had been somewhat distinct from the other Saṃhitās and identified with the lower social strata, as being of equal standing with the other texts."Flood 1996, p. 42.
  32. Apte 1965, p. 387.
  33. BR Modak, The Ancillary Literature of the Atharva-Veda, New Delhi, Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan, 1993, ISBN 81-215-0607-7
  34. Flood 1996, p. 111 dates it to the 4th century CE.
  35. Vishnu Purana, translation by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840, Ch IV, http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp078.htm
  36. Muir 1861, pp. 20–31
  37. Monier-Williams 2006, p. 207. [1] Accessed 5 April 2007.
  38. Apte 1965, p. 293.
  39. Sullivan 1994, p. 385

References[edit | edit source]

  • Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965), The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary (4th revised & enlarged ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0567-4 {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help).
  • Avari, Burjor (2007), India: The Ancient Past, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-35616-9 {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Flood, Gavin (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-43878-0 {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Flood, Gavin, ed. (2003), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Malden, MA: Blackwell, ISBN 1-4051-3251-5 {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Holdrege, Barbara A. (1995), Veda and Torah, SUNY Press, ISBN 0791416399
  • MacDonell, Arthur Anthony (2004), A History of Sanskrit Literature , Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1417906197
  • Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism: Past and Present, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-08953-1
  • Monier-Williams, Monier, ed. (2006), Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary, Nataraj Books, ISBN 18-81338-58-4.
  • Muir, John (1861), Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and Progress of the Religion and Institutions of India (PDF), Williams and Norgate
  • Muller, Max (1891), Chips from a German Workshop, New York: C. Scribner's sons.
  • Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli; Moore, Charles A., eds. (1957), A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy (12th Princeton Paperback ed.), Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-01958-4.
  • Smith, Brian K., Canonical Authority and Social Classification: Veda and "Varṇa" in Ancient Indian Texts-, History of Religions, The University of Chicago Press (1992), 103-125.
  • Sullivan, B. M. (1994). "The Religious Authority of the Mahabharata: Vyasa and Brahma in the Hindu Scriptural Tradition". Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 62 (1): 377–401. doi:10.1093/jaarel/LXII.2.377. {{cite journal}}: Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Witzel, Michael (ed.) (1997), Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts. New Approaches to the Study of the Vedas, Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora vol. 2, Cambridge: Harvard University Press {{citation}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  • Zaehner, R. C. (1966), Hindu Scriptures, London: Everyman's Library {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)

Literature[edit | edit source]

  • J. Gonda, Vedic Literature: Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas, A History of Indian literature. Vol. 1, Veda and Upanishads (1975), ISBN 9783447016032.
  • J. A. Santucci, An Outline of Vedic Literature (1976).
  • S. Shrava, A Comprehensive History of Vedic Literature — Brahmana and Aranyaka Works, Pranava Prakashan (1977).
  • M. Bloomfield, A Vedic Concordance (1907)
  • Vishva Bandhu, Bhim Dev, S. Bhaskaran Nair (eds.), Vaidika-Padānukrama-Koṣa: A Vedic Word-Concordance, Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, Hoshiarpur, 1963-1965, revised edition 1973-1976.
Conference proceedings
  • Griffiths, Arlo and Houben, Jan E. M. (eds.), The Vedas : texts, language & ritual: proceedings of the Third International Vedic Workshop, Leiden 2002, Groningen Oriental Studies 20, Groningen : Forsten, (2004), ISBN 90-6980-149-3.