Rig-Veda





One of the earliest and most important religious texts of ancient India, the Rig-Veda is the oldest of the four collections of hymns and other sacred texts known as the Vedas. These works are considered the "sacred knowledge" of the Aryans, a people who invaded India in about 1600 B.C. AS the Aryans settled in India, their beliefs developed into the Hindu religion, and the Rig-Veda and the other Vedas became the most sacred Hindu texts.

The Vedas were composed between 1500 and 1000 B.C. in Vedic Sanskrit, an ancient Indo-European language. Transmitted orally for hundreds of years, they were eventually written down. By about 300 B.C. , the Vedas had taken on their current form.

The Rig-Veda contains 1,028 mantras, or hymns, directed to the gods and natural forces. The mantras are organized into ten books called mandalas, or circles. According to ancient Hindu tradition, the mantras were based on divine revelations received by members of a particular family. Several families put the mantras together to form the different mandalas. Within each mandala, the mantras are organized according to the deities with whom they are associated.

Many of the mantras in the Rig-Veda are hymns to the gods, praising them for their help in battle and asking for such benefits as wealth, good health, long life, protection, and victory in battle. Besides hymns of praise, the mantras contain blessings and curses. Originally, the mantras were meant to be chanted as part of religious rites, and this was the primary way in which the people communicated with the gods.

revelation communication of divine truth or divine will

deity god or goddess

rite ceremony or formal procedure

caste division of people in Hindu society into classes based on birth

The Rig-Veda and other Vedas express various Hindu beliefs about such matters as the worship of the gods, marriage and funeral rites, and animal sacrifice. The Rig-Veda also contains ideas that served as the basis for India's system of castes. The text describes how pieces of the god Purusha developed into different classes of society, from the upper-class Brahmans, or priests, through the merchant and farmer classes, down to the Sudra, who were slaves and servants.

Considered one of the foundations of the Hindu religion, the Rig-Veda is also an important source of mythology about Hindu gods and the Aryan deities that came before them. Among the gods to whom its hymns are directed are the supreme god Indra; the fire god Agni; the sky god Varuna; the sun god Surya; and Rudra, a god associated with mountains and storms who later developed into the god Shiva. The god Vishnu, who plays only a minor role in the Rig-Veda, later became one of the most important and popular Hindu deities.

See also Brahma ; Hinduism and Mythology ; Indra ; Shiva ; Upanishads ; Varuna ; Vedas ; Vishnu .



User Contributions:

S Shastry
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Apr 20, 2006 @ 4:16 pm
I really don't know from where you got this false information about Vedas. First of all, there was no Aryan Invasion. India was as diverse as it is today even 10,000 years ago.

Recently, the remains of a Civilization 50,000 to 60,000 years old was found in MP State. The carbon dating that most Christians use to determine everything.

It is proved that the earliest dates that can be ascribed to the Vedas are atleast 6000-10000 years in their current form. Based on the eclipse & star positioning, Mahabharata War took place in 3102 BC. There is a Man-made bridge connecting India & Sri Lanka (NASA has mapped it) and it is called Adam's bridge by the Christians. This wa the bridge constructed by Shri Ram. The age of the bridge corresponds to the Ramayana period (treta yuga).

So, the people of India were much more advanced and their knowledge was unparalled, thanks to the vedic Rishis and righteous kings.

If all vedic things are Aryan (supposed to have invaded India), and even if you imagine Aryans were Indo European, why dont the Europeans chant Vedas, or have any temple / structure / architecture resembling the ones found in India? The answer is simple: there was no Aryan Invasion. Secondly, the Europeans were living in caves & swinging on trees, couldn't distinguish between droppings & Food...... while Hindus in India were into deep spirituality and founded the Lofty ideals and truth and had long before built the richest empire on Earth.

It is an established fact that India never invaded any country to occupy territory. The Europeans did. Hence they were no Aryans. The Europeans invaded all continents out of their wild animal nature (not an Aryan feature). They swindled wealth to the tune of US$10 trillion and caused immense harm to Hindus, the original religion of the world, the Sanatana Dharms. The were just like the Muslims in terms of their animal nature. So, they can't be Aryans, as Aryans were civilized and noble.

After invading India, the British felt so inferior compared to the richness of Hindu civilization and vedic culture, the they wanted to re-write the whole history of humanity and attribute fradulently all the Vedic greatness to Europe or white people.

That continues even today. The white Christians have purchased some second-hand fraudsters of Indian History, such as Romila Thapar and are working in collusion with Professor John Witzel. If you need to know about Hindus, why do you not ask Hindus, instead of these idiots? Romila Thapar is, for all practical purposes, a Christian, with her upbringing and loyalty to anti-hindu Christians, has Christian company throughout nights in her bedroom. The sperms she has collected in herself all these years, is all Christian (50% of it belongs to John Witzel).
P. Joseph
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Apr 29, 2006 @ 1:13 pm
This is contrived story of Rig-Veda and has no evidance for any of these claims. The negative information about Vedas has begun almost 2 centuries ago to malign the greatness of Hindu civilization. Recent genetic studies proved that the civilization in India had developed nearly 70,000-90,000 years back. Astronomical references in Vedas refer to events as early as 4000-5000 BC. Various Mythological texts refer to migration of ancient hindus to west. According to the work of Kenneth Kennedy of Cornell University
there is no evidence of demographic discontinuity in archaeological
remains during the period 4500 to 800 BC. In other words, there was no significant influx of people into India during this period. Formation of Kashmir lakes were reported in ancient sanskrit texts and it was conformed by the modern geophysicists that the formation of lakes happened 40,000 years ago. The absurd theory of Aryan invasion was even rejected by very British recently.


Dr. P. Joseph, UK.
Djet
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Apr 20, 2007 @ 12:12 pm
So many things to address. First of all, you are correct that the "Aryan Invasion" was a Eurocentric notion contrived by Europeans. Although the purpose was valid-- Sanskrit being an Indo-European language, the intentions were obviously biased and a way for Europeans to say that civilization began in India because of them!

Genetic evidence does show or rather there is no genetic evidence to speak of an "invasion" in India. While there is evidence of a few incursions all dating to the historical period. The vast majority of Indians are native. In fact there is nothing genetics that can be linked to the original Indo-European speakers which suggests that Indo-European culture and languages spread through mere adoption and not forced assimilation--invasion etc. Oh, and there is no genetic evidence that proves Indian civilization was "90,000 years old" or other. Genetics only shows lineages of populations. As for Europeans not having any temples of their own in ancient times, that is kind of a lie since the ancient Greeks and Romans built temples and the vast majority of temples weren't man-made but sacred places in nature like tree-groves. Ironically we have no real evidence of temples in India in ancient times until the Classical period. Also, the Vedas make no reference to actual temples to my knowledge. There is no need to attack Europeans or their heritage. Only Eurocentrism needs to be attacked!!

As for the presence of Vedic-like customs in ancient Europe there are several-- all of which are historically recorded: Horse sacrifices similar to the Vedic Ashva-medha was practiced by the Romans and Celts; Even the Yaj├▒a or fire ritual was practiced in some form by the Greeks, Romans, and Celts. The last people in Europe who practice it today are the Baltic peoples who light fires in their churches and during public festivities and events. There are even a few Baltic peoples who sing chants that are strikingly similar to mantras and certain very old Slavic songs are reminicent of mantras. Baltic peoples also use yantra symbols as part of their pagan religions.
Guru
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May 14, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
Quite interesting! Any other views? It can be noted that Carbon dating of Earth was taken recently and this coincides with what is said in Vishnu Purana about origin of Earth etc. One can note that there are 10 avataras of Vishnu. It begins with Matsya avatara (half human half fish -water); then kurma (tortoise - amphibian), varaha (half human and pig - a land animal); narashimha (half human and half lion); Vamana avatara (pigmies); Parasurama, Rama, Krishna & Kalki. This is actually evolution of life on earth from water, amphibians, land reptile, semi-humans, pigmies and human (of various natures). Hinduism is a history and not just a religion. Everything is logically associated and calls for reasoning. Even we have many things in Sanskrit literature where experts are unable to translate because of the quality of language used. Temples are from time immemorial, every vedas have the disclosures and they have been reconstructed from time to time. For example even in Ramayana period reference is made to sacred hills of Tirumala where the current kaliyuga God Lord Venkateswara is on abode. One has to experience these things, try to logically interpret and then analyse. Nobody can jump at conclusions. Hindus themselves take this by criticising and analysing dharmas.. There is no hard and fast rule of forceful acceptance of facts / truths. IQ levels will help and if we indifference shall not.
Vinay
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May 26, 2007 @ 7:07 am
In RigVeda , there is no mention of any people coming from west to east. In fact, there is opposite movement from south of Saraswati basin to main saraswati region to western indus river & beyond. But, western `scholars' fabricated some invasion story from it and imposed on western world & then newly formed education system. Now, invasion of Indus Valley towns is ruled out , but still this article tells about invasion of some Aryan people. There is no proof of outside people invading / migrating to India so as to change it's language, culture & religion.
Even Saraswati river's findings are refuted by Witzel gang. This is still debated because western world has only one way of thinking & seeing facts. Giving importance to horse issue is like believing in Invasion which is refuted now.

Why central asian BMAC small planned villages were burnt during 1700 BC , where as IVC planned towns were just vacated. This behaviour is similar to celtic people of Harvatia burning their own village as they don't intend to return there again. ( harvatia = Switzerland's old name - still appearing on it's stamps ) Note that Harvatia is similar to Afghan Harahvati and Indian Saraswati.
Vinay
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May 26, 2007 @ 7:07 am
Swtizerland's old name is Helvetica. Harvatia or Hrvatska or Harvati is name of Croatia. Note similarity of both names i.e. Harvati & Helvetica. Switzerland is long acknoledged as celtic area. Celtic druids are finding parallel with Indian brahmins.

Why only Indians preserved `some so called foreign language' named Sanskrit much better than any other branch of IE languages ?
Why there is no non-IE names of rivers & mountains ( unlike in Europe which retains many previous non-IE such names ) ? Why Sanskrit scriptures tell of many incidences which are very ancient than supposed aryan arrival around 1500 BC like king Manu & deluge or inciedence of formation of lakes in Kashmir with demon killing by Parvati, but forget their any arrival in totally vast & diverse land. And, this vast , diverse land had amazed all visitors but failed to do so for `aryans'.
Jatinder
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Aug 6, 2007 @ 5:17 pm
First of all I would like to say that Hindu religion is not based on any myth. it is a reality which occurs and the problem with American and British people is they don't want to consider anything above them. I don't want to comment on any particular religion. But do we say christian mythology when we speak about lord Jesus. However there is no strong evidence of even the teachings of jesus i.e, Bible. Apart from that if anyone want to know about the religion and god than one should visit Himalayas.
faezeh
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Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:11 am
HEY S Shastry
You are right. india has old old history. I think even current science,can not read it well.
rahul
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Sep 22, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
I was searching for the answer that "birth of earth coincides with hindu mythology" and some how came to this page.
The Aryan invasion theory is completely wrong.
and well said S Shastry

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