oldest manuscript of vedas

Rigveda manuscripts in paper, palm leaves and birch bark form, either in full or in portions, have been discovered in the following Indic scripts: The various Rigveda manuscripts discovered so far show some differences. He gives 150 BCE (Patañjali) as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, and 1200 BCE (the early Iron Age) as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda. Partial translation (30 hymns). The Atharva Veda (Sanskrit: अथर्ववेदः, Atharvavedaḥ from atharvāṇas and veda, meaning "knowledge") is the "knowledge storehouse of atharvāṇas, the procedures for everyday life". The Bāṣakala text also has an appendix of 98 hymns, called the Khilani, bringing the total to 1,123 hymns. [128] According to Mookerji, while these truths are imparted to the student by the memorized texts,[129] "the realization of Truth" and the knowledge of paramatman as revealed to the rishis is the real aim of Vedic learning, and not the mere recitation of texts. This interplay with sounds gave rise to a scholarly tradition of morphology and phonetics. [194], The Upanishads reflect the last composed layer of texts in the Vedas. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, Ashvins, Maruts, Rbhus, and the Vishvadevas ("all-gods") as well as the "thirty-three gods" are the groups of deities mentioned. [note 3] The Rigveda Samhita is the core text, and is a collection of 10 books (maṇḍalas) with 1,028 hymns (sūktas) in about 10,600 verses (called ṛc, eponymous of the name Rigveda). 1972) in 5 volumes. [188] A total of 19 Brahmana texts have survived into modern times: two associated with the Rigveda, six with the Yajurveda, ten with the Samaveda and one with the Atharvaveda. The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri (3 verses of 8 syllables), anushtubh (4×8), trishtubh (4×11) and jagati (4×12). PT Raju (1985), Structural Depths of Indian Thought, State University of New York Press. [106] The text introduced the prized concepts such as Rta (active realization of truth, cosmic harmony) which inspired the later Hindu concept of Dharma. Māṇḍukāyana: Perhaps the oldest of the Rigvedic shakhas. Diamond Sūtra. [124], Mookerji notes that the Rigveda, and Sayana's commentary, contain passages criticizing as fruitless mere recitation of the Ŗik (words) without understanding their inner meaning or essence, the knowledge of dharma and Parabrahman. Rgveda-Samhitā Srimat-sāyanāchārya virachita-. There are, for example, 30 manuscripts of Rigveda at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, collected in the 19th century by Georg Bühler, Franz Kielhorn and others, originating from different parts of India, including Kashmir, Gujarat, the then Rajaputana, Central Provinces etc. Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not; Accorording to Aurobindo, if Sayana's interepretation were to be accepted, it would seem as if the Rig Veda belongs to an unquestioning tradition of faith, starting from an original error. All the features of Classical Sanskrit poetry can be traced to the Rigveda. [153], The books were composed by poets from different priestly groups over a period of several centuries between c. 1500 and 1200 BC,[note 1] (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the northwest Indian subcontinent. "[24] Instead, as Klostermaier notes, in their application in Vedic rituals they become magical sounds, "means to an end. The circum-Vedic texts and the redaction of the Samhitas, date from 1000 BCE to 500 BCE. Frits Staal (2009), Discovering the Vedas: Origins, Mantras, Rituals, Insights, Penguin. "[90][note 12] Mookerji explains that the Vedic knowledge was first perceived by the rishis and munis. [41] They are a medley of instructions and ideas, and some include chapters of Upanishads within them. [142][143] According to Staal, "The Rigveda is the earliest, the most venerable, obscure, distant and difficult for moderns to understand – hence is often misinterpreted or worse: used as a peg on which to hang an idea or a theory. This collection was an effort to reconcile various factions in the clans which were united in the Kuru kingdom under a Bharata king. [190][192] The second hymn wishes for their long life, kind relatives, and a numerous progeny. [61][62] The second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format. [28] The term in some contexts, such as hymn 10.93.11 of the Rigveda, means "obtaining or finding wealth, property",[29] while in some others it means "a bunch of grass together" as in a broom or for ritual fire. The oldest manuscript was dated back to 1464 A … In the 1877 edition of Aufrecht, the 1028 hymns of the Rigveda contain a total of 10,552 ṛcs, or 39,831 padas. [183], The Atharva veda has been a primary source for information about Vedic culture, the customs and beliefs, the aspirations and frustrations of everyday Vedic life, as well as those associated with kings and governance. [134][135] Musicians and dance groups celebrate the text as a mark of Hindu heritage, through incorporating Rigvedic hymns in their compositions, such as in Hamsadhvani and Subhapantuvarali of Carnatic music, and these have remained popular among the Hindus for decades. The others in the list of 300 – such as mleccha and nir – have Dravidian roots found in the southern region of India, or are of Tibeto-Burman origins. In side-by-side facsimiles, Witzel and Wu present the two oldest known Veda manuscripts, recently found in western Tibet: the Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā of the White Yajurveda and its contemporaneous sister text, a Vājasaneyi Padapāṭha. Book 10 contributes the largest number of the 1350 verses of Rigveda found in Atharvaveda, or about one fifth of the 5987 verses in the Atharvaveda text. According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas (Collections). Pandurangi accessible. [91][92][71] Already at the end of the Vedic period their original meaning had become obscure for "ordinary people,"[92][note 13] and niruktas, etymological compendia, were developed to preserve and clarify the original meaning of many Sanskrit words. [104] The Sampurnanand Sanskrit University has a Rigveda manuscript from the 14th century;[105] however, there are a number of older Veda manuscripts in Nepal that are dated from the 11th century onwards. The Shatapatha Brahmana gives the number of syllables to be 432,000,[81] while the metrical text of van Nooten and Holland (1994) has a total of 395,563 syllables (or an average of 9.93 syllables per pada); counting the number of syllables is not straightforward because of issues with sandhi and the post-Rigvedic pronunciation of syllables like súvar as svàr. "[115][116][note 19] The pūrva-kāņda (or karma-kanda), the part of the Veda dealing with ritual, gives knowledge of dharma, "which brings us satisfaction." The oldest of the Pune collection is dated to 1464. Rigveda that survives in modern times, for example, is in only one extremely well preserved school of Śåkalya, from a region called Videha, in modern north Bihar, south of Nepal. Any manuscripts that exist are just copies of texts that existed long before then in oral form, so there's no sense in which any manuscript can be called original. 1200 BCE, by members of the early Kuru tribe, when the center of Vedic culture east from the Punjab into what is now Uttar Pradesh. The last of these books, composed in sutra form, is, however, doubtless of later origin, and is, indeed, ascribed by Hindu authorities either to Shaunaka or to Ashvalayana. However, only the literature associated with the Atharvaveda is extensive. [211][212] Lists of what subjects are included in this class differ among sources. [187], The Brahmanas are commentaries, explanation of proper methods and meaning of Vedic Samhita rituals in the four Vedas. Jan Westerhoff (2009), Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction, Oxford University Press. The Vedas (/ˈveɪdəz, ˈviː-/;[4] Sanskrit: वेदः vedaḥ, "knowledge") are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. [22][23], According to Jamison and Brereton, in their 2014 translation of the Rigveda, the dating of this text "has been and is likely to remain a matter of contention and reconsideration". Edited, with an English translation, by M. Haug (2 vols., Bombay, 1863). Technically speaking, however, "the Rigveda" refers to the entire body of texts transmitted along with the Samhita portion. [126], According to the Puranic tradition, Ved Vyasa compiled all the four Vedas, along with the Mahabharata and the Puranas. [120] and the Nasadiya Sukta (10.129), one of the most widely cited Rigvedic hymns in popular western presentations. They identified elements that appeared to them as inappropriate combinations and obscuring the meaning of the text. [141], The Vedas were orally transmitted by memorization for many generations and was written down for the first time around 1200 BCE. Let drama and dance (Nātya, नाट्य) be the fifth vedic scripture. [31][32] In some parts of South India (e.g. [193], The Aranyakas layer of the Vedas include rituals, discussion of symbolic meta-rituals, as well as philosophical speculations. [169] The Yajur Veda has been the primary source of information about sacrifices during Vedic times and associated rituals. [176] Most of the verses are metrical, but some sections are in prose. [68][21][69] The authoritative transmission[70] of the Vedas is by an oral tradition in a sampradaya from father to son or from teacher (guru) to student (shishya),[69][71][22][72][21] believed to be initiated by the Vedic rishis who heard the primordial sounds. According to Robson, Dayananda believed "there were no errors in the Vedas (including the Rigveda), and if anyone showed him an error, he would maintain that it was a corruption added later". [36] The term áyas (metal) occurs in the Rigveda, but it is unclear which metal it was. The remaining portions (9–15) of the Aranyaka treat of the vital airs, the internal Agnihotra, etc., ending with the vamsha, or succession of teachers. At least five manuscripts (MS. no. It has about 760 hymns, and about 160 of the hymns are in common with the Rigveda. [118], Holdrege notes that in Vedic learning "priority has been given to recitation over interpretation" of the Samhitas. On magic spells and charms, such as those to gain better health: Kenneth Zysk (1993), Religious Medicine: The History and Evolution of Indian Medicine, Routledge. [148] Translations of shorter cherrypicked anthologies have been published by Wendy Doniger in 1981, and by Walter Maurer in 1986. The Samhitas are the earliest Vedas texts and date roughly from 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE. [citation needed]. Also invoked are Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, as well as deified natural phenomena such as Dyaus Pita (the shining sky, Father Heaven), Prithivi (the earth, Mother Earth), Surya (the sun god), Vayu or Vata (the wind), Apas (the waters), Parjanya (the thunder and rain), Vac (the word), many rivers (notably the Sapta Sindhu, and the Sarasvati River). [note 9] This book was translated from Sanskrit to English by Max Muller in the year 1856. They were memorized and verbally transmitted with "unparalleled fidelity" across generations for many centuries. They also help to preserve the religious dimensions of family and society. As long as the purity of the sounds is preserved, the recitation of the mantras will be efficacious, irrespective of whether their discursive meaning is understood by human beings. Witzel: "The original collection must have been the result of a strong political effort aiming at the re-alignment of the various factions in the tribes and poets' clans under a post-Sudås Bharata hegemony which included (at least sections of) their former Pūru enemies and some other tribes. The late (15th or 16th century) Shri Guru Charitra even claims the existence of twelve Rigvedic shakhas. Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows, The Rigveda Samhita is the oldest extant Indic text. This is named the Vedic period; starting in the second millennium BCE (Late Bronze Age) and ending in the first millennium BCE (Iron Age). Gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. The 2,000-year-old scroll has been in the hands of archaeologists for decades. Nevertheless, it is advisable to stick to the division adopted by Max Müller because it follows the Indian tradition, conveys the historical sequence fairly accurately, and underlies the current editions, translations, and monographs on Vedic literature. The term "black" implies "the un-arranged, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" (well arranged) Yajurveda. As with the other Vedas, the redacted text has been handed down in several versions, including the Padapatha, in which each word is isolated in pausa form and is used for just one way of memorization; and the Samhitapatha, which combines words according to the rules of sandhi (the process being described in the Pratisakhya) and is the memorized text used for recitation. "[91][note 14] The words of the mantras are "themselves sacred,"[95] and "do not constitute linguistic utterances. The oldest of the four Vedas is the Rig Veda , which means ‘Knowledge of the Hymns of Praise’. The following information is known about the shakhas other than Śākala and Bāṣkala:[82]. Müller published the most studied edition of the Rig Veda Samhita and Padapatha in 6 volumes Muller, Max, ed. [130] Aurobindo states that the Vedic hymns were a quest after a higher truth, define the Rta (basis of Dharma), conceive life in terms of a struggle between the forces of light and darkness, and sought the ultimate reality. The Rigveda records an early stage of Vedic religion. [144], The canonical division of the Vedas is fourfold (turīya) viz.,[145], Of these, the first three were the principal original division, also called "trayī vidyā"; that is, "the triple science" of reciting hymns (Rigveda), performing sacrifices (Yajurveda), and chanting songs (Samaveda). "; 1/A1879-80, 1/A1881-82, 331/1883-84 and 5/Viś I) have preserved the complete text of the Rigveda. [189], The substance of the Brahmana text varies with each Veda. For this reason, it was in the center of attention of western scholarship from the times of Max Müller and Rudolf Roth onwards. [28][29], The Rigveda's core is accepted to date to the late Bronze Age, making it one of the few examples with an unbroken tradition. [7][9][10] Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas (worship). (Common Era). [85] Houben and Rath note that a strong "memory culture" existed in ancient India when texts were transmitted orally, before the advent of writing in the early first millennium CE. 275–289; Edwin Bryant (2004), The Quest for the Origins of the Vedic Culture, Oxford University Press. It consists of 30 chapters (adhyaya); while the Aitareya has 40, divided into eight books (or pentads, pancaka), of five chapters each. Rigveda manuscripts were selected for inscription in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2007. Madhvacharya a Hindu philosopher of the 13th century provided a commentary of the first 40 hymns of Rigveda in his book Rig Bhashyam. [134], The Rig Veda plays a role in the modern construction of a Hindu identity, portraying Hindus as the original inhabitants of India. The term Vedanta means in Sanskrit the “conclusion” (anta) of the Vedas, the earliest sacred literature of India. Madrid Codex. [98] The content of the 10th Book also suggest that the authors knew and relied on the contents of the first nine books. [134] Each school followed its own canon. [168] Unlike the Samaveda which is almost entirely based on Rigveda mantras and structured as songs, the Yajurveda samhitas are in prose and linguistically, they are different from earlier Vedic texts. ṛcas), which are further analysed into units of verse called pada ("foot" or step). It is also regarded as the most important Veda, and has contributed greatly to the other three sets of texts. The Rig Veda consists of 1028 hymns divided into 10 books called mandalas, and is used for recitation. Thus, from all the Vedas, Brahma framed the Nātya Veda. [26] The oral tradition continued as a means of transmission until modern times. [30], Vedas are called Maṛai or Vaymoli in parts of South India. Multiple recensions are known for each of the Vedas. [131] Aurobindo attempted to interpret hymns to Agni in the Rigveda as mystical. [43] Of these 300, many – such as kapardin, kumara, kumari, kikata – come from Munda or proto-Munda languages found in the eastern and northeastern (Assamese) region of India, with roots in Austroasiatic languages. Greg Bailey (2001), Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy (Editor: Oliver Leaman), Routledge. [52], The Vedangas developed towards the end of the vedic period, around or after the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. Karl Friedrick Geldner completed the earliest scholarly translation of Rigveda in 1920s, in German. [16][17] The more recent books (Books 1 and 10) in part also deal with philosophical or speculative questions,[17] virtues such as dāna (charity) in society,[18] questions about the origin of the universe and the nature of the divine,[19][20] and other metaphysical issues in their hymns. Re-printed in Paris, 1948–51 (. [58][59], The hymns are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, and so on. The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the "ahnihotravimana" with two engines, the "elephant-vimana" with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals. 2020 C.E given in Ralph T. H. Griffith versions of the Vedas also. Earliest texts of the six systems ( darshans ) of Yajurveda: Māṇḍukāyana, Aśvalāyana and Śaṅkhāyana,! Text is ascribed to Śākala [ 27 ], According to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Georgian... 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