The Vedas

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Rig Vedas and Upanishads


  • THE VEDAS Baltazar, Shane Marie M. Basa, Kirsty
  • VEDA Wisdom Knowledge Vision
  • The Vedas are a collection of hymns and other religious texts composed in India between about 1500 and 1000 BCE. It includes elements such as liturgical material as well as mythological accounts, poems, prayers, and formulas considered to be sacred by the Vedic religion.
  • VEDIC RELIGION? Vedism is the oldest stratum of religious activity in India for which there exist written materials. It was one of the major traditions that shaped Hinduism
  • The basic Vedic texts are the Samhita Collections of the four Vedas: 1. Rig-Veda Knowledge of the Hymns of Praise 2. Sama-Veda Knowledge of the Melodies 3. Yajur-Veda Knowledge of the Sacrificial formulas 4. Atharva-Veda Knowledge of the Magic formulas
  • The RIG-VEDA Wisdom of the Verses Rig Veda consists of 10,552 verses (collected into 10 books) of hymns and mantras used by the hotri priests. The hymns of the Rig Veda focus on pleasing the principal gods Indra (war, wind and rain), Agni (the sacrificial fire), Surga (the sun) and Varuna (the cosmic order) through ritual sacrifices. the Vedic gods also forgive wrongdoing and mete out justice in the afterlife.
  • The SAMA-VEDA "Wisdom of the Chants liturgical works consisting primarily of selections from the Rig Veda. Sama Veda was chanted in fixed melodies by the adhvaryu priests. Each contain about 2,000 verses.
  • The YAJUR-VEDA Wisdom of the Sacrifical Formulas" liturgical works consisting primarily of selections from the Rig Veda. The Yajur Veda was used by udgatri priests and contains brief prose to accompany ritual acts, many of which are addressed to the ritual instruments and offerings.
  • The ATHARVA-VEDA Wisdom of the Sacrifical Formulas" Was added significantly later than the first three Samhitas, perhaps as late as 500 BC. It consists of 20 books of hymns and prose, many of which reflect the religious concerns of everyday life. This sets the Arharva Veda apart from the other Vedas, which focus on adoring the gods and performing the liturgy of sacrifice, and makes it an important source of information on the practical religion and magic of the time.
  • The term Upanishad means literally "those who sit near". Upa- near, ni- down, sad- to sit: Sitting near the teacher
  • Collected by several seers and elders between 800-500 BCE, the Upanishads are a conclusion and accomplishment of an previous form of Hindu sacred texts called the Vedas. Upanishads are Vedanta: End of the Vedas
  • Most Important Upanishads Isa Kena Katha Prasna Mundaka Mandukya Taittiriya Aitareya Chandogya Brhadaranyaka Svetasvatara Kausitaki Mahanarayana Maitri
  • Human intellect is not an adequate tool to understand the immense complexity of reality. The Upanishads do not claim that our brain is entirely useless; it certainly has its use. The highest understanding, according to this view, comes from direct perception and intuition.
  • SAMSARA The concept of Samsara is reincarnation, the idea that after we die our soul will be reborn again in another body.
  • Karma Karma, which literally means action, the idea that all actions have consequences, good or bad. Karma determines the conditions of the next life, just like our life is conditioned by our previous karma. There is no judgment or forgiveness, simply an impersonal, natural and eternal law operating in the universe.
  • Dharma Dharma means right behavior or duty, the idea that we all have a social obligation. Each member of a specific caste has a particular set of responsibilities, a dharma. For example, among the Kshatriyas (the warrior caste), it was considered a sin to die in bed; dying in the battlefield was the highest honor they could aim for.
  • Moksha Moksha means liberation or release. The eternal cycle of deaths and resurrection can be seen as a pointless repetition with no ultimate goal attached to it. Seeking permanent peace or freedom from suffering seems impossible, for sooner or later we will be reborn in worse circumstances.
  • The Upanishads tell us that the core of our own self is not the body, or the mind, but atman or Self.
  • Brahman is the one underlying substance of the universe, the unchanging Absolute Being, the intangible essence of the entire existence.
  • References Beck, S. (1998-2004). India and Southeast Asia to 1800. Vedas and Upanishads. Retrieved from Das, S. and Sadasivan, M. (2014). The Vedas: An Introduction. What are Vedas? Retrieved from El Despertar Sai (2010, March 8). Vedas, Sastras, Poojas and Homas. Retrieved from Violatti, C. (2014, May 4). Ancient History Encyclopedia. Upanishads. Retrieved from Violatti, C. (2014, May 4). Ancient History Encyclopedia. The Vedas. Retrieved from