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ṚGVEDA - ऋग्वेद

See also:  ऋग्वेद
The [Ṛgveda] is the oldest recorded work of the human race. The Egyptians claim that another book entitled “Book of the Dead” was also written during the period of the Ṛgveda. The Babylonians have an ancient work called ‘Gilgamish’, which according to scholars, is not as old as the Ṛgveda. Ṛgveda is the work that forms the basis of Hindu religion. Of the four Vedas, Yajurveda, Sāmaveda and Atharvaveda were composed after Ṛgveda.” The Ṛgveda sūktas were interpreted for the first time in Yāska's “Nirukta” and Sāyaṇa's “Vedārthaprakāśa”. The most important of the four Vedas is Ṛgveda. It is divided into ten “Maṇḍalas”. There are 1017 sūktas and 10472 Ṛks in it. Although there are 11 more Sūktas called “khilas,” they are not usually included in the Ṛgveda. Maṇḍalas two to seven of the Ṛgveda were composed in different Ṛṣikulas. The second Maṇḍala was of Bhārgava Kula, the third of Viśvāmitrakula, the fourth of Vāmadeva, the fifth of Atri, the sixth of Bharadvāja and the seventh of Vasiṣṭha. The eighth Maṇḍala and the first 50 Sūktas of the first Maṇḍala were composed by Kaṇvakula. The general view is that the tenth Maṇḍala was written by someone at a later period. Most of the Ṛgveda sūktas are praises. But some of the Sūktas in the tenth Maṇḍala are of a different type. We can see in many sūktas the joy and wonder experienced by the Āryas when they entered the beautiful land of India for the first time. Most scholars believe that the Ṛgveda was composed during the period between 2,500 and 2,000 B.C. Ancient Belief about Ṛgveda. The four Vedas--Ṛgveda, Yajurveda, Sāmaveda and Atharvaveda emerged from the four faces of Brahmā. In Kṛtayuga, Brahmā gave these Vedas to his sons. In Dvāparayuga, the Ṛṣis got these Vedas. Mahāviṣṇu incarnated on earth for the preservation of Dharma, in the person of Veda Vyāsa. Vyāsa distributed the Vedas among his son Śākalya and his disciples. Śākalya received Ṛgveda. He communicated it to his disciples. [Bhāgavata, 12th Skandha]. See under the word Veda.

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