The Secrets of the Vedas: Rig-Veda

31st July 2019 // By Dhyan Praveshika Team // HomeArticles

The Vedas originally were in a very ancient language full of ancient forms and words. In the course of several thousands of years there have been at least three considerable attempts, entirely differing from each other in their methods and results, to fix the sense of these ancient litanies. In the fixed tradition of thousands of years they have been revered as the origin and standard of all that can be held as true in the doctrines of great philosophical schools and in the teachings of famous saints and sages. In the previous article we covered the origins and the philosophy of the Vedas, now we will go through the Rig Veda, first set of texts in the Vedas, in detail and what the sacred texts are dedicated to.

A lot of scriptures in the history of Hindu mythology and Indian mysticism derivatives from the Rig Veda; The oldest book known to all mankind, which inspired the birth of Hinduism. The Rig Veda a body of sacrificial hymns, is divided into 10 mandalas which consist of 1028 hymns supposed to be used in rituals. Till date some of its verses are still recited at Hindu religious occasions, making it one of the oldest texts that’s still in use.

Mandala 1 consists of 191 hymns: Hymn 1.1 is addressed to Agni with his name being the first word of the Rigveda.

Mandala 2 comprises 43 hymns: Chiefly attributed to the Rishi gṛtsamada śaunahotra.

Mandala 3 comprises 62 hymns: Attributed to Agni and Indra and the Visvedevas. The verse 3.62.10 has great importance in Hinduism as the Gayatri Mantra.

Mandala 4 comprises 58 hymns: Attributed mainly to Agni and Indra as well as the Rbhus, Ashvins, Brhaspati, Vayu, Usas, etc. Most hymns in this book are attributed to vāmadeva gautama.

Mandala 5 comprises 87 hymns: Dedicated to Agni and Indra, the Viswadevas ("all the gods'), the Marutus, the twin-deity Mitra- Varuna and the Asvins.

Mandala 6 comprises 75 hymns: Primarily to all the gods, Pusan, Ashvin, Usas, etc. Most hymns in this book are attributed to the bārhaspatya family of Angirasas.

Mandala 7 comprises 104 hymns: To Agni, Indra, the Viswadevas, the Marutus, Mitra-Varuna, theAsvins, Ushas, Indra-Varuna, Varuna, Vayu (the wind), two each to Saraswathi (ancient river/goddess of learning) and Vishnu.

Mandala 8 comprises 103 hymns: Dedicated to various gods. Hymns 8.49 to 8.59 are the apocryphal vālakhilya. Hymns 1-48 and 60-66 are attributed to the kāṇva clan, the rest to other (Angirasa) poets.

Mandala 9 comprises 114 hymns: Entirely devoted to Soma Pavamana, the cleansing of the sacred potion of the Vedic religion.

Mandala 10 comprises additional 191 hymns: Frequently in later language, addressed to Agni, Indra and various other deities. It contains the Nadistuthi Sukta which is in praise of rivers and is important for the reconstruction of the geography of the Vedic civilization and the Purusha Sukta which has great significance in Hindu social tradition. It also contains the Nasadiya Sukta (10.129), probably the most celebrated hymn in the west, which deals with creation. The marriage hymns (10.85) and the death hymns (10.10-18) still are of great importance in the performance of the corresponding Grhya rituals.

Dhyan Praveshika Team