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Composition of “The VEDAS”

There are various theories regarding this and it’s still controversial. I am mentioning the two accounts of how vedas are written and when.

The first one is a very common and most of you know about it but the second one is interesting .

I know after reading this you guys have a lot of questions and also I assume there is a little bit of controversy but fact is fact.

(I’m not sharing the Story of Ravana- How he wrote the vedas in hymns as Shiva was narrating the vedas. I guess you all knew that story).

( Also I’m not going to explain about how Manu had given the vedas to “The Saptrishis(The great seven sages)” to preach to the humankind).

So let’s Start……..

The First Account( Most commonly Adapted)

The four Vedas -Rig ,Sama,Yajur, and Atharva are not the work of any single author. In ancient India, there were many rishis(sages) living simple,contemplative lives in hermitages high in the Himalayas and along the banks of sacred rivers. The rishis had names like Angiras,Bhrigu, Yajnavalkya, and Gargi(Gargi was a woman). They sought to understand the fundamental truths of life- Why are we born? How did the world world come into existence? How can we live good life? Because of their intense inquiry and deep meditation, they received God’s blessings and were able to discover the answers to their profound questions.

God revealed these sacred truths to the ancient sages, and the sages composed hymns and texts in the Sanskrit language to express these truths. Their hymns and texts were then passed on from generation to generation,from teacher to student,by chanting them aloud; they were not yet written down. Eventually the great rishi Vyasa, compiled all of their hymns and texts into four collections which are known as vedas.

The Second Account( Most underestimated but true facts)

The vedas were first composed sometime around 1500–1000 BCE in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent — present day Pakistan and northwest India- and they were transmitted orally over many generations before eventually being committed to writing.The oldest of these texts is the Rig-Veda,but it is not possible to establish precise dates for its composition. It is believed that the entire collection was completely by the end of the 2nd millennium BCE.

The origin of vedas can be traced back as far as 1500 BCE,when a large group of nomads called the Aryans,coming from Central Asia,crossed the Hindu Kush Mountains,migrating into the Indian subcontinent. This was a large migration and used to be seen as invasion. This invasion hypothesis, however, is not unanimously accepted by scholars today. All we know for certain,mainly through linguistic studies, is that the Aryan language gained ascendency over the local languages in the Indian sub-continent. The language of the vedas is Sanskrit, an ancestor of most of the modern languages spoken today in South Asia.

The vedas present the multitude of Gods, the most of them related to the natural forces such as storms, fire, and wind. As part of its mythology, Vedic texts contain multiple creation stories,most of them inconsistent with each other. Sometimes the vedas refer to a particular God as the greatest God of all, and later another God will be regarded as the greatest God of all.

Some elements of the religion practised by the religion practised by the natives of India before the Vedic times still persist in the vedas. The pre-Vedic religion , the oldest known religion of India, which was found in India before the Aryan migrations,was apparently an animistic and totemic worship of many spirits dwelling in stones,animals,trees,rivers,mountains and stars. Some of these spirits were good,others are evil, and great magic skill was the only way to control them. Traces of this old religion are still present in the vedas. In the Atharva-Veda ,for example , there are spells to obtain children,to avoid abortion,to prolong life,to ward off evil,to woo sleep, and to harm or destroy enemies.

Later Vedic Period

During Vedic times, it was widely believed that rituals were critical to maintain the order of the cosmos and that sacredceremonies helped the universe to keep working smoothly. In a sense, ceremonies were seen as a part of a deal between humans and the Gods: Humans performed sacrifices and rituals, and the gods would return their favour under the for of protection and prosperity.

Nature,however ,remains indifferent to religious rituals, so when events went awry, society blamed the priests’ incompetence. Priests were not willing to admit their helplessness in trying to master nature and would say that the Gods ignored poor quality offers. The solution, the priests said, required more royal support. Rahman priests refused to have their privileges cut, so they developed a new literature which specified, sometimes in a very detailed wa, how rituals gad to be performed, the precise quantity and quality of materials to be used,and the exact pronunciation of sacred formulas. This is the new serif texts, known as the Brahmanas, was attached to the Vedic collection around the 6th century BCE.

The priests claimed that if sacrifices were performed exactly as they said, then the Gods would be compelled to respond, when these new rituals also proved to be useless, many sectors of Indian society believed that this whole business of ritual and sacrifice had been taken too far.

During the later Vedic period(from c.800 to c.500 BCE), the priestly class was seriously questioned. The rituals, the sacrifices, the detailed rule books on ceremonies and sacrifices, all of these religious elements were being gradually rejected. Some of those who were against the traditional Vedic order decided to engage in the pursuit of spiritual progress, living an ascetic hermits,rejecting ordinary material concerns and giving up family life. Some of their philosophy were compiled into texts called The Upanishads. A number of practices were linked to this new spiritual approach: meditation,celibacy and fasting, among others.

Around the 7th century BCE, India saw the growth of a culture of the world-renunciation, which was a reaction against the Vedic tradition. This culture is the common origin of many Indian religions considered to be “heretical” by the Indian priestly class.

Charvaka,Jainism, and Buddhism, among other movements, originated around this time, encouraged by the gradual decay of the priestly orthodoxy. This would result in the end of the Vedic hegemony, shifting the focus of religious life from external rites and sacrifices to internal spiritual quests in the search for answers.

At the end the authority of the vedas eventually diminished to give way to a new religious synthesis in India that would dominate Indian Society for the centuries to come.



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