December 3, 2022

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RIGVEDA- The Oldest Hindu Scripture

The Rigveda illustrate the earliest sacred book of India. It is the oldest and biggest amongst all the four Vedas. All the features of Classical Sanskrit poetry can be traced to Rigveda.

In it, we find the seeds of India’s religious, philosophical, and logical development. It is the oldest compilation of human wisdom. It is the precedence of all the religious text that was written in the centuries to come. This Samhita (Collection) is unique in its nature.  It is not a book, but a compilation composed of several books which can be differentiated from each other.

The present form of this Samhita clearly indicates that the collection is not a single word, but consists of older and later elements. This is a collection of over a thousand hymns known as Suktas and well above ten thousand verses which have been created into ten mandalas.

The whole of the Rigveda-Samhita is in form of verses, known as Rik. “Rik” is the title given to those Mantras which are meant to worship and commend the deities. Hence, the collection (Samhita) of Riks is known as Rigveda-Samhita.

The composition of the Veda is accredited to families or lineage of ten rishis who accelerated to the curation of the major part of the lineage. These comprehend the hymns from each and every family or dynasty, Moreover, other religious texts for rituals and traditions. There are primarily two known schools of the text called the Sakalya and the Baskala that involve the Brahmanas and Upanishads.

The Samhitas are the texts including the hymns to the gods and goddesses and comprise the oldest segment of the Rig Veda. The Brahmanas are the segment relating to the commentaries for the hymns. This section is specifically associated with the Rigveda Brahmana while the popular reference to Rig Veda, in general, is to the Samhitas. The Aryankas is popularly referred to as the forest books and the Upanishads include other verses of religious text.

The Veda comprises ten Mandalas each of which serves significant purposes and goals. The main aim is seen as hymns in the praise and magnification of the Hindu deities. There are primarily five schools or shakhas of the Rig Veda out of which only two have survived in recent times. The interactions of the sounds and the phonetics were crucial towards preserving its truest form

There is a testament to the stories of various Hindu gods and goddesses involving Surya, Indra, Rudra, Vayu, Agni, and other Hindu deities. These are the oldest forms of documentation that form a foundation for Hindu beliefs. The stories in the Rig Veda are popularly called the Suktas were a reflection of the Hindu philosophy and belief system. They were used for ritualistic purposes in marriages and other religious ceremonies. There are other interesting iterations of the Suktas which were purposed to drive away illness and other forms of negativity and gloominess from one‘s life.

The Veda also tells us regarding the issues of uprightness and shows us the path of decency and virtue. It tackles important issues of the time like gambling and the right measures for good governance. It served both as a religious source as well as a moral guide in the Vedic and post-Vedic times.

There is an appreciable adverted the geographical beauty of the subcontinent with some Mandalas. The hymns pertain to the various seasons and speaking about each of the significant rivers and rivulets flowing through the Indus Valley. It is a very important provenance of evidence for the geographical structure of the subcontinent in the Vedic era. There are several other purposes like cures to different diseases, knowledge of weapons and shields, mentions of the rains and other seasons, etc. that the Veda carries forward through the centuries

The instructions of the Veda influenced life in the subcontinent for the years to come. It presents the rightful duties of the different classes which were followed and deep-rooted in the society for centuries. The importance of religion and goodwill are the basic highlights of the collection.

The Veda and its scriptures are so deep-rooted that some other verses and texts are memorized and recited even today at auspicious and felitious occasions. These prayers and verses thus,are the world’s oldest and ancient religious scriptures that are continued to be used in the present day.The oldest manuscript of the Veda is in Brahmi script which was the popularly used dialect when the language was preserved as text.

Thus, the centrally crucial religious anchor in the form of the Rig Veda took shape in the Vedic period. The Veda then went on to hold supreme importance with its abundance of knowledge, as it does in the Hindu religion today.

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