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सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु

सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर



Rugvedasamhita is considered as the oldest text that is available as on date, among all Indo-European Languages. It is protected from the changes in language practices over centuries and is same with other three vedas too. Though the present historians fixed the time of rugveda as around 10000BC, traditional sanaatanadharma texts and experts do not concur with that and express that they are available from the time of creation of this universe {सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः(भ​.गी..१०)} and was perceived by rushis when srushti started on this earth. Research is still on…

rugveda is composed of 1017 sooktas adding 11 vaalikhilya sooktas available in 8th mandalam, the total would become 1028 sooktas; and the mantras total accounting to 10600. The mantra is termed as ‘ruk’. These ruks are composed in 2, 3 and 4 padas(lines). The chandas used are gaayatri, jagati, bruhati, trishtup, pankti, anushtup etc. These mantras are caterogorised as ‘8 ashtakas’ and also as ’10 mandalas’. ashtakas division is mechanical and represent the nature of samhita ie the total mantra portion of vedas. Whereas the mandala division is more logical as they have been categorized based on mantra drashta, vishaya(subject) and devata. It is considered by the researchers that the mandalas 2 to 9 are considered as relatively older than other two mandalas.  Each mandala termed after the mantra drashta (including associate rushi) of that mandala as follows:

shaakala, baashkala, aashvalaayana, shaankhaayana and maandookaayana.

shaakala and shaankhaayana (also known as kausheetakee) only are more popularly studied shaakhaas now.

shaakala has 1017 sooktas.

baashkala, aashvalaayana and maandookaayana are not available now in vedapaathashaalas.

It is understood that baashkala has 1025 sooktas. ashvalaayana was available up to 17th century, but later it went out of practice in bhaarata desha as per the known sources.

veda kaala female rushis are called brahmaavaadins. They were romashaa, vaagdevee, oorvashee, apaalaa, atithee, indraanee, lopaamudra etc. Also, in all discussions the persons involved are the drashta of those discussions such as yamah and yamee in yama-yamee samvaadam(discussion) (10.10); and purooruva and oorvashee in purooruva-oorvashee samvaadam (10.85) etc. Similarly, saramaa-pani samvaadam (10-30). Story of atrimaharshi’s daughter apaalaa connected with soma rasa and indra’s boons to her is also famous story in this veda.

Famous sooktas are: naasadeeya, hiranyaagarbha and purusha sooktas. vaamana avataara talked vishnusooktaa is also famous.

devatas in rugveda are agni, indra, varuna, ushas, savitru, poosha, mitra, vishnu, rudra, marut, parjanya etc.

pruthvee, agni, somah etc are 11 pruthvee sthaana devatas.

indra, apaamnapaat, rudra, marut etc are 11 antariksha devatas.

dyau, varuna, mitra, soorya, savitru, pooshan, ashvins, ushas, raatri etc 11 dyusthaana devatas.

Total 33 devatas.

There are some dual devatas in some sooktas. Thay are: agneesthomas, agneendras, agniparjanyas, agnivishnus, indrabruhaspatis, mitraavarunas etc.

Out of female devatas aditi is supreme and she is deva maataa.

Connection to Iran:

Jand-avesta is the book from Iran. In that literature also the mention of vedadevatas is there such as about: yama, mitra, varuna, agni, indra, vrutra, soma etc. soma creeper used in yaaga grows on mountains and those mountains are considered equal to svarga. soma rasa mixed with milk is to be offered in homas and will be taken as prasaada by all. As this practice was available in olden days in Iran too, researchers concluded that bhaarateeyas and Iranians lived together in olden days or have close ties between them.

 Geographically the rugveda life was around rivers sindhu and sarasvatee. At the present time this area is known as Punjab. pancha means five. ab/ap means water or river. The place which grew at the banks of these five rivers. The present rivers of sub sindhu rivers jeelam, chenaab, raavi, biyaas and satluj are of rugveda kaala rivers: vitasta, aasikni, parushni, aarjeekeeya, shutudri. sapta sindhoo mentioned at R.V:1-32-12; 4-28-1 are seven including sindhu and sarasvatee.

पञ्चनद्यस्सरस्वतीमपि यान्ति सस्रोतसः।

               सरस्वती तु पञ्चधा सो देशोऽभवत् सरित्।।(य​.वे.३४११)

panchanadyassarasvateemapi yaanti sasrotasah |

sarasvatee tu panchadhaa so desobhavat sarit ||(ya-ve-34-11)

After observing the archeological findings at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, it was concluded the people left these places due to heavy floods of these rivers and reached ganga banks for safe living.

The history needs further research as over period of 200 years from 19th century the History books of bhaarat has deviated away from that is there in our itihaasas and puraanas. Hence needs thorough research again and correct history of bhaarat needs to be rewritten.

In vedic times there was no caste. It was only varna, based on their occupation. Based on the occupation only braahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and soodra varnas were there. This was mentioned in purusha sooktam, from tenth mandala of rugveda.

ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखमासीद्बाहूराजन्यः कृतः।

ऊरू तदस्य यद्वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रोऽजायत।।(ऋ-वे-10-90-12)

braahmanosya mukhamaaseedbaahooraajanyah krutah |

ooroo tadasya yadvaisyah padbhyaam soodrojaayata || ( 10-90-12)

Different sects formed over period in the name of yadu, turvasha, anu, druhya, pooru etc. pancha jana meaning as deva, manushya, pitru, aushadhis etc and pakshi jaatis. Also, they are sectionalized as braahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, shoodra and nishaadas. There were   aarya and anaarya such as asura, daasa, danyu, yaatudhaana, kravyaada, mooradeva, rakshasa.

In those days ladies had taken important roles while protecting cows. Once mudgala maharshi’s cows were stollen. Then along with mudgala his wife also accompanied him to fight with thieves and brought back the cows. (10-102)

In those days farming was a major occupation.

Till the land/ krushim it krushasva/कृषिम् इत् कृषस्व

In vedic days female have taken the role of charioteer also and capable of taking part in battlefield.

People know how to handle wild animals and are very knowledgeable in manufacturing suitable arms for such purposes.

They used to drink madhu and with that cow milk, ghee etc. yava grains were popularly used in daily food. somarasa was very important drink to improve health and longevity. Now a days the availability of soma creepers is rare.

At the end rugveda closes with hymns on the need for developing unity among the people.

समानीव आकूतिः सामना ह्रुदयानि वः ।

               समानमस्तु  वो मनो यथा वः सुसहासती ॥(रु.वे.१०.१९१.)

amaaneeva aakootih samanaa hrudayaani vah |

samaanamastu vo mano yathaa vah susahaasatee ||(

How you all unite, let that will unite your sankalpa and will unite your hearts along with your antahkaranas too.


सा च आमश्चेति तत्साम्नःसामत्वम्” । “saa cha aamashcheti tatsaamnah saamatvam”

This is the definition given to saama veda in bruhad-aaranyaka-upanishat. saa means ruk. aama means gaandhaara etc svaras. saama means song based on ruk svara. Also, saama means “sundara-sukha-kara-vachanam” ie., beautiful and soft melodious. Hence the music that is generated from this veda is beautiful and melodious. This is mother of sangeeta shaastra. This is veda of songs. Methods of singing are called gaana. While reciting, there are different types of maatras/level of pronunciations -Namely maatras, hrasva, deergha and pluta. Methods of recitation and rules are given here. While reciting saama veda-mantras, termed as saamagaana, there is practice of using musical instruments like dundhubhi, venu and veenaa. upaveda -gaandharva veda is generated from this saama veda. gaandharva vidyaa is part of it.

There are1875 mantras in saama veda. Out of that only 75 mantras are original for saamaveda. The remaining ones are taken from rugveda. That is why it is also considered as an annexure to rugveda but has an independent status due to its special usage in yajna for praising the devatas. Hence it is also considered as second in the order of vedas, though it occupies the third place, in the sequence of four vedas.

As rugveda is divided into two types i.e ashtakas and mandalas, saamaveda is also, divided into two ways. They are – poorvaarchikas and uttaraarchikas. The group of rushis are called as archikas.

In poorvaarchikas, there are 6 prapaathakas. Each prapaathaka is divided into two adhyaayas.

Thus, in poorvaarchika, total 12 adhyaayas.

In first 5 prapaathakas, each prapaathaka has ten dashatis. Each dashati contains 10 mantras.

In 6th prapaathaka, there 9 dashatis.

Thus, in poorvaarchika, there are 6 prapathakas, 12 adhyaayas, 59dashatis i.e 590 mantras.

In uttaraarchika, there are 9 prapaathakas.

In each prapaathaka, there are two or three vibhaagas called as adhyaayas.

In first five prapaathakas, there are two adhyaayas in each and in last 4 prapaathakas, there are three adhyaayas in each prapaathaka.

Thus in 9 prapaathakas there are 22 adhyaayas. Total mantras 1220.

In between there are two archikas, there are ten mantras by name – mahaanaamnyaarchika.

These mantras donot have rushi, devata and chandas, as other mantras.

In this saamaveda samhita, there are 590 mantras in six prapaathakas of poorvaarchika. In 9 prapaathakas of uttaraarchika there are 1220 mantras. Besides these, certain critics say that in aaranyaka there are 55 mantras and the mantras of mahaanaamnyaarchika also to be counted and thus the total mantras are 1875.

In vedas there are mantras which are named as ruk, yajas and saama. These ruks are of two types geya and ageya. Meaning that can be sung and cannot be sung. geya are in saamaveda and are also called aarchikas used in saama veda. ageya are not suitable for singing. and are called ‘shloka’ used in yajurveda.

The names of these geya saamas are derived based on mantra drashta, geya svarakartaa, vishaya. The names are naudhasam, vaasudevyam, kaaleyam, aagna aayaahi (svara karta is bharadhwaaja), gautamasya parka, named after him, the svara-kartaa, raurava (considered drashta is kashyapa).

By mahaabhaashya vaaakya “sahasravartmaa saama veda” it is understood that there were 1000 shaakhaas in saamaveda. But now we know only 13 names. They are: raanaayana, satyamugra, vyaasa, bhaaguri, jelundi, gaulmulavi, bhaanu, maanopamanyava, kaaraati, mashaka, gaarhya, vaarshaganya, kauthuma, shaavihotra, jaimini. Out of these only three are now available. They are 1. kauthumeeya, –available in gujarat with naagara braahmins, 2. raanaayaneeya-available in Mahaaraashtraa, and 3. jaimini available in Tamilnaadu. For jaimini shaakhaa only, samhitaa, braahmana, shrauta and gruhya sootras are available at present.


While ruk is mantra, the yajus is vachana roopa. The mantra in yajurveda is known as yajus. As per aapastamba paribhaashaa, vedas could be not only in the form of mantras but also could be in sentence as in the case of aayurveda.

मन्त्रब्राह्मणयोः वेदनामध्येयम्, मन्त्र-ब्राह्मणात्मको हि वेदः”

mantrabraahmanayoh vedanaamadhyeyam, mantra braahmanaatmako hi vedah ||

Every vedamantra is associated with concerned actions to be performed which also need to be explained. yajurveda speciality is, that every veda mantra is associated its procedure of action in braahmana, in prose form. yajurveda elaborates the procedures for performing yajna yaaga kratavas. Since the language was understood to have developed with religious actions and since these actions that are associated with mantras of rugveda and saamaveda ie yajna, yaaga procedures are given in braahmanas of yajurveda, it can be concluded that the time of yajurveda could be that of ruk and saama vedas.

Based on jyotisha shaastra the taittareeya shaakha of yajurveda was relatively very old and is available from the time of rugveda or 200 years later to that.

Two types of yajurveda are available 1. taittireeya samhitaa or krishna yajurveda 2, shukla yajurveda.

  1. krishna yajurveda/taittireeya samhita: It is veda of 7 kaandas; 44-prashnas; 975- anuvaakas; 2198- panchaashattus. 50 padas are called one panchaashattu. panchaashattu is also called panasa in telugu land. Total padas are 19290. Unlike rugveda, here the mantra is associated with braahmana in prose form. In the same way in taittireeya braahmana and taittireeya aaranyaka also contain some mantra portion associated with some prose form.

Types of yaagas. They are a. ekaaham b. aheenam c. satram.

  1. a. ekaaham -these will be completed in a day. Also called jyotishtomam: They are agnishtomam, atyagni, ukthyam, shodashi, atiraatram, vaajapeyam, aaptoryaamam. These are also called prakruti yaagas.
  2. aheenam or paundareekam: this is done from 2 days to 12 days.
  3. c. satram or satrayaagam: this is done from 12 days, to go to many years. In these three types of maantras are being used. They are darshapoorna maaseshti mantras in three types: aadvaryavas, yaajamaanas, ahauraatras.

adhvaryava mantras are recited by adhvarya, yaajamaaana mantras recited by yajamaana and hrautra mantras are recited by hotaa. hrauta mantraah are taken from rugveda.

In krishna yajurveda there are 86 shaakhaas. But we have only 4 shaakhaas now. They are, taittireeya, maitraayini, katha, and kapishtalakatha. These are mixed with prose and poetry.

katha is recited by katha sect people who used to live in madhya desha of bhaarat. patanjali mentioned in his mahaabhaashya that the recitation of these people is pure and accurate. katha and kapishthalakatha are different from others. It is divided like rugveda in the form of ashtakaa.

taittireeya shaakhaa is more in practice in mahaaraashtra, aandhra and dravida states.

vedabaashyakaara saayana is from taittireeya shaakhaas. Hence, he did bhaashyam first for taittireeya shaakhaa.

The last chapter of it is eeshopanishat.

The chandas used in this are gaayatri, trishtup, anushtup, etc. For prose portion no chandas.

Just as in rugveda here too bhoomyantarikshadyuti devatas: indra, varuna, aaditya, vaayu, nakshtra, vishnu, rudra are in praise.

  1. shukla yajurveda samhita: Also known as vaajasaneya samhita. It is also called prathama shaakha. Hence followers of this shaakha are named as prathama shaakheeyas. yaagnavalkya maharshi has learnt this, from soorya deva in daytime only, hence it is named as shukla yajurveda.

There are 15 shaakhaas in total but only two, maadhyandina and kanva shaakhaas are available at present. kanva shaakhaa has 111 mantras more than maadhyandina shaakha.

chaaturmaasya mantras and procedures and mantras of vaajapeya, raajasooya, pitrumedha, purusha medha, ashvamedha yaagas are here in these shaakhaas. 40eth chapter is eshaavaasya upanishat.

Social Issues:

Though there is shruti vachanam “maa himsyaat sarva bhootaani” there was practice of jantubali in vedic times which was modified in later periods. By aitareya braahmana time this animal sacrifice was totally stopped.

In this veda also the importance to farming is very much given in detail including various stages of farming works. Many medicinal plants and other trees and plants are mentioned here. All types of metals are mentioned here. rudra mantras elaborate the various arts that were available in those days. The knowledge of social life is very much explained in this veda.


atharvavedasamhitaa has alternate names as: atharvaangiras samhitaa, bhrugvaangiras samhitaa and brahmaveda. Except for brahmaa veda other names have come based on the rushis associated with it. Since in yaagas this veda is being recited by the brahmaa sthaana purohit, the name brahmaveda has become popular. In general, the name of sooktas comes after the name of rushi and his followers. Since major sooktas are from these rushis these names have come. In atharvaveda there are 1200 sooktas taken from rugveda. Out of that, 800 are in 20th kaanda without any change. Remaining 400 are in other kaandas with some changes. Hence the drashta of these sooktas are rushis of rugveda only. As is in rugveda in this veda too, indra, agni, varuna, aaditya, rudra are the devatas that were praised in these atharvaveda sooktas too.

The chandas used here along with chandas used in rugveda-viraat gaayatree, prasaara pankti, bhaarhata, garbha, trishtup, viraadati jagati, ashtaara pankti, vipareeta prasaara pankti, purastaad bhruhati, baarhata vairaaja garbha jagati etc are used. As such chandas shaastra is widely expanded during this period.

atharveda samhitaa is also divided as shaunaka and paippalaada samhitas.

  1. shaunaka samhitaa: This samhitaa is divided into 20 kaandas.

34 prapaathakas, 111 anuvaakas, 731 sooktas,5934 mantras.

This is also seen in 4 parts. 1st part-1 to7 kaandas; 2nd part-8 to 12 kaandas. 3rd

Part -13 to 18 kaandas. 4th part-19 and 20 kaandas.

In 20th kaanda totally there are saama matras.

16th and 17th kaandas mantras are not in systematic order.

14th to 18th kaandas is based on subjects, that are known.

14th kaanda –vivaaha Mantras.

15th kaandavraatya naama paramaatmaa stuti.

16th 17th kaandas vasheekarana mantras.

18th kaanda – antya samskaaras.

19th kaanda – kshudra samskaaras.

All these 19 kaandas are not useable for yajnas.

Hence in 20th kaanda is generated adding some saamaveda sooktas. Since then, this samhita is used in yajnas and known to be brahmaaveda.

  1. pippalaada samhita: It starts with mantra: “sham no deveerabhishtaya aapo bhavantu peetaye sham yorabhisravastunah” which was also told in patanjali mahaabhaashya. Hence maharshi patanjali is considered as from pippalaada shaakha.

By the grace of bhagavaan this shaakha could be discovered though it was missing in between times. In this effort the works done by German scholar Raath and American scholar Vitnee are to be mentioned. In 1876 British Governament collected this prati from Kashmir and sent to Rath mahodaya in Germany. Rath copied it and sent to Vitnee in America. Later this kashmiri vraata pati/ manuscript reached the library of Tubingto Univ. Germeny (1884). In 1901 it was made as a photo offset prati. Duplicate prati which is same as kashmiri prati was publicized in Baltimore city.

atharva samhitas mostly concentrates on the marga/way for the pleasure in the mundane world. “Let my enemies be subdued and we shall be benefited with pleasures” is normally seen in this veda. Solution to be relieved from human problems and diseases are appearing here in atharva veda. Solutions to come out of problems due to isolated thinking in society and natural calamities are seen here. These mantras advocate solutions for the problems arising out of fever etc diseases, problems due to grahas, pishaachas, brahmaraakshasas are appearing here. Solutions for body cuts and other serious health problems are given here. Reducing the life cycle of enemies and vasheekarana vidyaa, promoting farming culture, building of houses and aaraamas etc are seen here. Solution for treatment of poisonous snakes etc. are also seen here.

It also advocates good conduct, devotion towards parents-maataapitaru bhakti, unity among brothers, between wife and husband, cow protection, praayaschitta dosha parihaara maantras and importance of saatvika nature.

vraatya kaanda mainly reflects social wellbeing. Though upanayanam is not done, a person is eligible for getting brahma gnaana   and a person can attain the position of mahatma, devaadhideva and well respected in the society by his conduct and behavior. It advocated good conduct and behavior is superior to learning shaastras and emphasized in putting them in practice in letter and spirit. Hence this veda has been recognized as brahmaveda.