The Vedas are the oldest and the most authoritative scriptures of the Hindu sacred texts. They are indeed the products of divine revelation and are known to have a vast influence on different religions and cultures practiced in the modern day. The Vedas consist of several kinds of texts, all of which date back to ancient times. The core is formed by the Mantras which represent hymns, prayers, incantations, magic and ritual formulas, charms etc.
The Vedas are divided into four groups, Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Each group has an original text (Mantra) and a commentary portion (Brahmana). The Rigveda is the oldest, largest and most important of the Vedas, and contains ten thousand verses forming 1017 poems in 20 groups. It is indeed a detailed interpretation of the social, religious, political and economic background.
The Samaveda is typically a reorganization of the Rigveda for musical interpretation but have no unique lessons of their own. In fact, Samaveda ranks next in sacredness and liturgical importance to the Rigveda.
The Yajurveda is also a liturgical collection and was compiled to meet the demands of traditional religious practices. In fact, it was made for the priests for executing sacrificial prayers and acts and contains the sacrificial formulas.
The last of the Vedas, Atharvaveda is completely different from the rest three Vedas. Its hymns and chants are simpler in language and more diverse in character than the Rig Veda. It contains 6 thousand verses forming 731 poems and about one seventh of its text is similar to the Rigveda.
The Vedas form the bedrock of the universal religion or “Sanatana Dharma” followed by the Hindus. Vedas have been our religious guide for ages and will continue to be for eternities to come. Besides their spiritual value, Vedas give a distinctive view of our day to day life.
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