The "Rigveda " (
Sanskrit_sa. ऋग्वेद "IAST|ṛgveda", a compound of "IAST|ṛc" "praise, verse" [derived from the root "IAST|ṛc "to praise", cf. Dhātupātha 28.19. Monier-Williamstranslates "a Veda of Praise or Hymn-Veda"] and "IAST|veda" "knowledge") is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymnsdedicated to the gods (devas). It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts (" śruti") of Hinduismknown as the Vedas. [There is some confusion with the term "Veda", which is traditionally applied to the texts associated with the samhita proper, such as Brahmanas or Upanishads. In English usage, the term Rigveda is usually used to refer to the Rigveda samhita alone, and texts like the Aitareya-Brahmanaare not considered "part of the Rigveda" but rather "associated with the Rigveda" in the tradition of a certain shakha.] Some of its verses are still recited as Hindu prayers, at religious functions and other occasions, putting it among the world's oldest religious texts in continued use. [cite book | last = Brodd | first = Jefferey | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = World Religions | publisher = Saint Mary's Press | date = 2003 | location = Winona, MN | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 978-0-88489-725-5 ]
It is one of the oldest texts of any
Indo-European language. Philological and linguisticevidence indicate that the Rigveda was composed in the Sapta Sindhu(the Punjab), corresponding to the North-Western region of the Indian subcontinent, roughly between 1500–1000 BCE (the early Vedic period). There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities with the early Iranian Avesta, deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iraniantimes, often associated with the early Andronovo cultureof ca. 2000 BCE (Sintastha, Arkhaim, etc.).
The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age (c. 10th c. BCE) collection that established the core 'family books' (mandalas 2-7, ordered by author, deity and meter [H. Oldenberg, Prolegomena,1888, Engl. transl. New Delhi: Motilal 2004 ] ) and a later redaction, co-eval with the redaction of the other
Vedas, dating several centuries after the hymns were composed. This redaction also included some additions (contradicting the strict ordering scheme) and orthoepicchanges to the Vedic Sanskritsuch as the regularization of sandhi(termed "orthoepische Diaskeuase" by Oldenberg, 1888).
As with the other Vedas, the redacted text has been handed down in several versions, most importantly the "
Padapatha" that has each word isolated in pausaform and is used for just one way of memorization; and the " Samhitapatha" that combines words according to the rules of sandhi (the process being described in the " Pratisakhya") and is the memorized text used for recitation.
The "Padapatha" and the "Pratisakhya" anchor the text's fidelity and meaning [cite book | title = Indian Linguistic Studies: Festschrift in Honor of George Cardona |editors = George Cardona, Madhav Deshpande , Peter Edwin Hook| author = K. Meenakshi | contribution = Making of Panini | publisher = Motilal Banarsidass | year = 2002 | isbn = 8120818857 | pages = 235 ] and the fixed text was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than a millennium by
oral traditionalone. In order to achieve this the oral tradition prescribed very structured enunciation, involving breaking down the Sanskrit compounds into stems and inflections, as well as certain permutations. This interplay with sounds gave rise to a scholarly tradition of morphology and phonetics. The Rigveda was probably not written down until the Gupta period(4th to 6th century CE), by which time the Brahmi scripthad become widespread (the oldest surviving manuscripts date to the 11th century). The oral tradition still continued into recent times. The original text ("original" in the sense that it aims to recover the hymns as composed by the Rishis) is close to "Samhitapatha", but metrical and other observations allow to reconstruct an earlier form, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50 (1994) [ B. van Nooten and G. Holland, Rig Veda. A metrically restored text. Cambridge: Harvard Oriental Series 1994] .
The text is organized in 10 books, known as Mandalas, of varying age and length. The "family books": mandalas 2-7, are the oldest part of the Rigveda and the shortest books; they are arranged by length and account for 38% of the text. The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 15% and 9%, respectively. The f first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest; they are also the longest books, of 191 suktas each, accounting for 37% of the text.
Each mandala consists of hymns called "IAST|sūkta" ("IAST|
su- ukta", literally, "well recited, ") intended for various sacrificial rituals. The IAST|sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called "IAST|ṛc" ("praise", "pl." "IAST|ṛcas"), which are further analysed into units of verse called "IAST| pada" ("foot"). The meters most used in the IAST|ṛcas are the jagati(a pada consists of 12 syllables), trishtubh(11), viraj(10) and gayatrior anushtubh(8).
For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is synthetically divided into roughly equal sections of several sūktas, called "IAST|anuvāka" ("recitation"), which modern publishers often omit. Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into "IAST|aṣṭaka" ("eighth"), "IAST|adhyāya" ("chapter") and "IAST|varga" ("class"). Some publishers give both classifications in a single edition.
The most common numbering scheme is by book, hymn and stanza (and pada "a", "b", "c" ..., if required). E.g., the first pada is
*1.1.1a "IAST|agním īḷe puróhitaṃ" "Agni I invoke, the housepriest"and the final pada is
*10.191.4d "IAST|yáthā vaḥ súsahā́sati"
The major Rigvedic
shakha("branch", i. e. recension) that has survived is "IAST|Śākala". Another shakha reportedly surviving is "IAST|Bāṣkala", although this is uncertainhuh; if genuine, it is practically identical to the "IAST|Śākala" text.
The IAST|Śākala recension has 1,017 regular hymns, and an appendix of 11 "IAST|vālakhilya" hymns [Mantras of "khila" hymns were called "khailika" and not IAST|ṛcas ("Khila" meant distinct "part" of Rgveda separate from regular hymns; all regular hymns make up the "akhila" or "the whole" recognised in a śākhā, although khila hymns have sanctified roles in rituals from ancient times).] which are now customarily included in the 8th mandala (as 8.49–8.59), for a total of 1028 hymns. [
Hermann Grassmannhad numbered the hymns 1 through to 1028, putting the IAST|vālakhilya at the end. Griffith's translation has these 11 at the end of the 8th mandala, after 8.92 in the regular series.] The IAST|Bāṣkala recension includes 8 of these IAST|vālakhilya hymns among its regular hymns, making a total of 1025 regular hymns for this śākhā. [cf. Preface to Khila section by C.G.Kāshikar in Volume-5 of Pune Edition of RV (in references).] In addition, the IAST|Bāṣkala recension has its own appendix of 98 hymns, the Khilani. [These Khilani hymns have also been found in a manuscript of the IAST|Śākala recension of the Kashmir Rigveda (and are included in the Poone edition).]
In the 1877 edition of Aufrecht, the 1028 hymns of the Rigveda contain a total of 10,552 IAST|ṛcs, or 39,831 padas. The
Shatapatha Brahmanagives the number of syllables to be 432,000, [equalling 40 times 10,800, the number of bricks used for the " uttaravedi": the number is motivated numerologically rather than based on an actual syllable count.] 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.
Tradition associates a
rishi(the composer) with each IAST|ṛc of the Rigveda. [In a few cases, more than one rishi is given, signifying lack of certainty.] Most sūktas are attributed to single composers. The "family books" (2-7) are so-called because they have hymns by members of the same clan in each book; but other clans are also represented in the Rigveda. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95% of the IAST|ṛcs; for them the Rigveda includes a lineage-specific "IAST|āprī" hymn (a special sūkta of rigidly formulaic structure, used for animal sacrifice in the somaritual).
Rigvedic deities"The Rigvedic hymns are dedicated to various deities, chief of whom are Indra, a heroic god praised for having slain his enemy Vrtra; Agni, the sacrificial fire; and Soma, the sacred potion or the plant it is made from. Equally prominent gods are the Adityasor Asura gods Mitra- Varunaand Ushas(the dawn). Also invoked are Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspatior 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), Vayuor Vata (the wind), Apas (the waters), Parjanya(the thunder and rain), Vac(the word), many rivers (notably the Sapta Sindhu, and the Sarasvati River). 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.
The hymns mention various further minor gods, persons, concepts, phenomena and items, and contain fragmentary references to possible historical events, notably the struggle between the early Vedic people (known as
Vedic Aryans, a subgroup of the Indo-Aryans) and their enemies, the Dasaor Dasyu and their mythical prototypes, the Paṇi (the Bactrian Parna).
Mandala 1comprises 191 hymns. Hymn 1.1 is addressed to Agni, and his name is the first word of the "Rigveda". The remaining hymns are mainly addressed to Agni and Indra, as well as Varuna, Mitra, the Ashvins, the Maruts, Usas, Surya, Rbhus, Rudra, Vayu, Brhaspati, Visnu, Heaven and Earth, and all the Gods.
Mandala 2comprises 43 hymns, mainly to Agniand Indra. It is chiefly attributed to the Rishi "IAST|gṛtsamada śaunahotra".
Mandala 3comprises 62 hymns, mainly to Agniand Indraand the Vishvedevas. The verse 3.62.10 has great importance in Hinduismas the Gayatri Mantra. Most hymns in this book are attributed to "IAST|viśvāmitra gāthinaḥ".
Mandala 4comprises 58 hymns, mainly to Agniand Indraas well as the Rbhus, Ashvins, Brhaspati, Vayu, Usas, etc. Most hymns in this book are attributed to "IAST|vāmadeva gautama".
Mandala 5comprises 87 hymns, mainly to Agniand Indra, the Visvedevas("all the gods'), the Maruts, the twin-deity Mitra-Varunaand the Asvins. Two hymns each are dedicated to Ushas(the dawn) and to Savitr. Most hymns in this book are attributed to the "IAST|atri" clan.
Mandala 6comprises 75 hymns, mainly to Agniand Indra, all the gods, Pusan, Ashvin, Usas, etc. Most hymns in this book are attributed to the "IAST|bārhaspatya" family of Angirasas.
Mandala 7comprises 104 hymns, to Agni, Indra, the Visvadevas, the Maruts, Mitra-Varuna, the Asvins, Ushas, Indra-Varuna, Varuna, Vayu(the wind), two each to Sarasvati(ancient river/goddess of learning) and Vishnu, and to others. Most hymns in this book are attributed to "IAST|vasiṣṭha maitravaruṇi".
Mandala 8comprises 103 hymns to various gods. Hymns 8.49 to 8.59 are the apocryphal "IAST|vālakhilya". Hymns 1-48 and 60-66 are attributed to the "IAST|kāṇva" clan, the rest to other (Angirasa) poets.
Mandala 9comprises 114 hymns, entirely devoted to " SomaPavamana", the cleansing of the sacred potion of the Vedic religion.
Mandala 10comprises additional 191 hymns, frequently in later language, addressed to Agni, Indraand various other deities. It contains the Nadistuti suktawhich is in praise of rivers and is important for the reconstruction of the geography of the Vedic civilization and the Purusha suktawhich has great significance in Hindu social tradition. It also contains the Nasadiya sukta(10.129), probably the most celebrated hymn in the west, which deals with creation. The marriage hymns (10.85) and the death hymns (10.10-18) still are of great importance in the performance of the corresponding Grhyarituals.
Dating and historical context
The "Rigveda" is far more archaic than any other Indo-Aryan text. For this reason, it was in the center of attention of western scholarship from the times of Max Müller and Rudolf
Rothonwards. The "Rigveda" records an early stage of Vedic religion. There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities with the early Iranian Avesta, [Harvcolnb|Oldenberg|1894 (tr. Shrotri), p.14 "The Vedic diction has a great number of favourite expressions which are common with the Avestic, though not with later Indian diction. In addition, there is a close resemblance between them in metrical form, in fact, in their overall poetic character. If it is noticed that whole Avesta verses can be easily translated into the Vedic alone by virtue of comparative phonetics, then this may often give, not only correct Vedic words and phrases, but also the verses, out of which the soul of Vedic poetry appears to speak."] deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times, [Harvcolnb|Mallory|1989 p.36 "Probably the least-contested observation concerning the various Indo-European dialects is that those languages grouped together as Indic and Iranian show such remarkable similarities with one another that we can confidently posit a period of Indo-Iranian unity..."] [Harvcolnb|Bryant|2001|pp=130-131 "The oldest part of the Avesta... is linguistically and culturally very close to the material preserved in the Rgveda... There seems to be economic and religious interaction and perhaps rivalry operating here, which justifies scholars in placing the Vedic and Avestan worlds in close chronological, geographical and cultural proximity to each other not far removed from a joint Indo-Iranian period."] often associated with the early Andronovo cultureof ca. 2000 BCE. [Harvcolnb|Mallory|1989 "The identification of the Andronovo culure as Indo-Iranian is commonly accepted by scholars."] The Rigveda's core is accepted to date to the late Bronze Age, making it one of the few examples with an unbroken tradition. Its composition is usually dated to roughly between 1700–1100 BC. [Oberlies (1998:155) gives an estimate of 1100 BC for the youngest hymns in book 10. Estimates for a "terminus post quem" of the earliest hymns are far more uncertain. Oberlies (p. 158) based on 'cumulative evidence' sets wide range of 1700–1100. The EIEC(s.v. Indo-Iranian languages, p. 306) gives 1500–1000. It is certain that the hymns post-date Indo-Iranian separation of ca. 2000 BC and probably that of the Indo-Aryan Mitanni documents of c. 1400 BCE. Philological estimates tend to date the bulk of the text to the second half of the second millennium. Compare Max Müller's statement "the hymns of the Rig-Veda are said to date from 1500 B.C." ('Veda and Vedanta', 7th lecture in "India: What Can It Teach Us: A Course of Lectures Delivered Before the University of Cambridge", World Treasures of the Library of Congress Beginnings by Irene U. Chambers, Michael S. Roth. some writers out of the mainstream claim to trace astronomical references in the Rigveda, dating it to as early as 4000 BC, a date corresponding to the Neolithic late Mehrgarh culture; summarized by Klaus Klostermaierin a [http://www.iskcon.com/icj/6_1/6_1klostermaier.html 1998 presentation] ] The text in the following centuries underwent pronunciation revisions and standardization ( samhitapatha, padapatha). This redaction would have been completed around the 6th century BC. [Oldenberg (p. 379) places it near the end of the Brahmana period, seeing that the older Brahmanas still contain pre-normalized Rigvedic citations. The Brahmana period is later than the composition of the samhitas of the other Vedas, stretching for about the 10th to 6th centuries. This would mean that the redaction of the texts as preserved was completed in roughly the 6th century BC. The EIEC(p. 306) gives a 7th century date.] Exact dates are not established, but they fall within the pre-Buddhist period (500, or rather 400 BCE).
Writing appears in India around the 3rd century BC in the form of the Brahmi script, but texts of the length of the Rigveda were likely not written down until much later, the oldest surviving manuscript dating to the 11th century Fact|date=March 2008, while some Rigveda commentaries may date from the second half of the first millennium CE. While written manuscripts were used for teaching in medieval times, they were written on birch bark or palm leaves, which decompose fairly quickly in the tropical climate, until the advent of the
printing pressfrom the 16th century. The hymns were thus preserved by oral traditionfor up to a millennium from the time of their composition until the redaction of the Rigveda, and the entire Rigveda was preserved in shakhas for another 2,500 years from the time of its redaction until the "editio princeps" by Rosen, Aufrecht and Max Müller.
After their composition, the texts were preserved and codified by an extensive body of
Vedic priesthoodas the central philosophy of the Iron Age Vedic civilization. The Brahma Puranaand the Vayu Purananame one "Vidagdha" as the author of the Padapatha. [page number. The Shatapatha Brahmanarefers to a "Vidagdha Shakalya" without discussing anything related to the Padapatha.] The Rk-pratishakhyanames "Sthavira Shakalya" of the Aitareya Aranyakaas its author. [ Jha 1992 page number]
The "Rigveda" describes a mobile, semi-
nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons. The geography described is consistent with that of the Greater Punjab: Rivers flow north to south, the mountains are relatively remote but still visible and reachable ( Somais a plant found in the high mountains, and it has to be purchased from tribal people). Nevertheless, the hymns were certainly composed over a long period, with the oldest (not preserved) elements possibly reaching back to times close to the split of Proto-Indo-Iranian(around 2000 BC) [minority opinions name dates as early as the 4th millennium BC; " [http://www.voiceofdharma.com/books/ait/ch63.htm The Aryan Non-Invasionist Model] " by Koenraad Elst] Thus there was some debate over whether the boasts of the destruction of stone forts by the Vedic Aryans and particularly by Indra refer to cities of the Indus Valley civilizationor whether they rather hark back to clashes between the early Indo-Aryanswith the BMACin what is now northern Afghanistanand southern Turkmenistan(separated from the upper Indus by the Hindu Kushmountain range, and some 400 km distant). While it is highly likely that the bulk of the Rigvedic hymns were composed in the Punjab, even if based on earlier poetic traditions, there is no mention of either tigers or rice[There is however mention of "ApUpa", "Puro-das" and "Odana" in the Rigveda, terms that, at least in later texts, refer to rice dishes, see Talageri (2000)] in the "Rigveda" (as opposed to the later Vedas), suggesting that Vedic culture only penetrated into the plains of India after its completion. Similarly, there is no mention of ironas the term ayas occurring in the Rig Veda refers to useful metal in general. [The term "ayas" (=metal) occurs in the Rigveda, usually translated as " bronze", although Chakrabarti, D.K. The Early Use of Iron in India (1992) Oxford University Press argues that it may refer to any metal. If ayas refers to iron, the Rigveda must date to the late 2nd millennium at the earliest.] The "black metal" (kṛṣṇa ayas) is first mentioned in the post-Rigvedic texts (Atharvaveda etc.). The Iron Age in northern India begins in the 10th century in the Greater Panjab and at the 12th century BC with the " Black and Red Ware" (BRW) culture. There is a widely accepted timeframe for the beginning codification of the "Rigveda" by compiling the hymns very late in the Rigvedic or rather in the early post-Rigvedic period, including the arrangement of the individual hymns in ten books, coeval with and the composition of the younger Veda Samhitas. This time coincides with the early Kuru kingdom, shifting the center of Vedic culture east from the Punjab into what is now Uttar Pradesh. The fixing of the samhitapatha (by keeping Sandhi) intact and of the padapatha (by dissolving Sandhi out of the earlier metrical text), occurred during the later Brahmana period.
Some of the names of gods and goddesses found in the "Rigveda" are found amongst other belief systems based on
Proto-Indo-European religion, while words used share common roots with words from other Indo-European languages.
An author, N. Kazanas [N. Kazanas, " [http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/english/documents/rie.pdf A new date for the Rgveda] " Philosophy and Chronology, (2000) ed. G C Pande & D Krishna, special issue of Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (June, 2001)] in an argument against the so-called "
Aryan Invasion Theory" suggests a date as early as 3100 BC, based on an identification of the early Rigvedic Sarasvati Riveras the Ghaggar-Hakraand on glottochronological arguments. This is in diametrical opposition to views in western academic historical linguistics, and supports the mainstream theory of Indian vedic scholars Out of India theory, which assumes a date as late as 3000 BC for the age of late Proto-Indo-European itself.Some writers based on astronomical calculations even claim dates as early as 4000 BC, [summarized by Klaus Klostermaierin a [http://www.iskcon.com/icj/6_1/6_1klostermaier.html 1998 presentation] ] a date well within the Indian Neolithic. [e.g. Michael Witzel, "The Pleiades and the Bears viewed from inside the Vedic texts", EVJS Vol. 5 (1999), issue 2 (December) [http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/ejvs0502/ejvs0502.txt] ; cite book | first=Koenraad | last=Elst | authorlink=Koenraad Elst|title= Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate| publisher=Aditya Prakashan | year=1999 | id=ISBN 81-86471-77-4; Bryant, Edwin and Laurie L. Patton (2005) The Indo-Aryan Controversy, Routledge/Curzon.] .
horse( ashva), cattle, sheep and goat play an important role in the Rigveda. There are also references to the elephant( Hastin, Varana), camel(Ustra, especially in Mandala 8), ass (khara, rasabha), buffalo (Mahisa), wolf, hyena, lion(Simha), mountain goat (sarabha) and to the gaurin the Rigveda. [among others, Macdonell and Keith, and Talageri 2000, Lal 2005] The peafowl(mayura), the goose (hamsa) and the chakravaka (Anas casarca) are some birds mentioned in the Rigveda.
According to Hindu tradition, the Rigvedic hymns were collected by
Pailaunder the guidance of IAST|Vyāsa, who formed the Rigveda Samhita as we know it. According to the IAST|Śatapatha Brāhmana, the number of syllables in the "Rigveda" is 432,000, equalling the number of muhurtas (1 day = 30 muhurtas) in forty years. This statement stresses the underlying philosophy of the Vedic books that there is a connection (bandhu) between the astronomical, the physiological, and the spiritual.
The authors of the IAST|Brāhmana literature discussed and interpreted the Vedic ritual.
Yaskawas an early commentator of the "Rigveda" by discussing the meanings of difficult words. In the 14th century, IAST|Sāyana wrote an exhaustive commentary on it. Other "IAST|Bhāṣyas" (commentaries) that have been preserved up to present times are those by IAST|Mādhava, IAST|Skandasvāmin and IAST|Veńkatamādhava.
Vedantic and Hindu reformist views
Since the 19th and 20th centuries, some reformers like
Swami Dayananda, founder of the " Arya Samaj" and Sri Aurobindohave attempted to re-interpret the Vedas to conform to modern and established moral and spiritual norms. They moved the Vedanticperception of the "Rigveda" from the original ritualistic content to a more symbolic or mystical interpretation. For example, instances of animal sacrificewere not seen by them as literal slaughtering, but as transcendental processes.
The Sarasvati river, lauded in RV 7.95 as the greatest river flowing from the mountain to the sea is sometimes equated with the Ghaggar-Hakra river, which went dry perhaps before 2600 BC or certainly before 1900 BC. Others argue that the Sarasvati was originally the Helmand in
Afghanistan. These questions are tied to the debate about the Indo-Aryan migration(termed " Aryan Invasion Theory") vs. the claim that Vedic culture together with Vedic Sanskrit originated in the Indus Valley Civilisation(termed " Out of India theory"), a topic of great significance in Hindu nationalism, addressed for example by Amal Kiranand Shrikant G. Talageri. Subhash Kakhas claimed that there is an astronomical code in the organization of the hymns. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also based on astronomical alignments in the Rigveda, in his "The Orion" (1893) claimed presence of the Rigvedic culture in India in the 4th millennium BC, and in his "Arctic Home in the Vedas" (1903) even argued that the Aryans originated near the North Pole and came south during the Ice Age.
Of the Brahmanas that were handed down in the schools of the "IAST|Bahvṛcas" (i.e. "possessed of many verses"), as the followers of the Rigveda are called, two have come down to us, viz. those of the Aitareyins and the Kaushitakins. The "
Aitareya-brahmana" [Edited, with an English translation, by M. Haug (2 vols., Bombay, 1863). An edition in Roman transliteration, with extracts from the commentary, has been published by Th. Aufrecht (Bonn, 1879).] and the "Kaushitaki-" (or "Sankhayana-") "brahmana" evidently have for their groundwork the same stock of traditional exegetic matter. They differ, however, considerably as regards both the arrangement of this matter and their stylistic handling of it, with the exception of the numerous legends common to both, in which the discrepancy is comparatively slight. There is also a certain amount of material peculiar to each of them. The Kaushitaka is, upon the whole, far more concise in its style and more systematic in its arrangement features which would lead one to infer that it is probably the more modern work of the two. It consists of thirty chapters ("adhyaya"); while the Aitareya has forty, divided into eight books (or pentads, "pancaka"), of five chapters each. The last ten adhyayas of the latter work are, however, clearly a later addition though they must have already formed part of it at the time of Panini(ca. 5th c. BC), if, as seems probable, one of his grammatical sutras, regulating the formation of the names of Brahmanas, consisting of thirty and forty adhyayas, refers to these two works. In this last portion occurs the well-known legend (also found in the Shankhayana-sutra, but not in the Kaushitaki-brahmana) of Shunahshepa, whom his father Ajigarta sells and offers to slay, the recital of which formed part of the inauguration of kings. While the Aitareya deals almost exclusively with the Soma sacrifice, the Kaushitaka, in its first six chapters, treats of the several kinds of "haviryajna", or offerings of rice, milk, ghee, &c., whereupon follows the Soma sacrifice in this way, that chapters 7-10 contain the practical ceremonial and 11-30 the recitations ("shastra") of the hotar. Sayana, in the introduction to his commentary on the work, ascribes the Aitareya to the sage Mahidasa Aitareya (i.e. son of Itara), also mentioned elsewhere as a philosopher; and it seems likely enough that this person arranged the Brahmana and founded the schcol of the Aitareyins. Regarding the authorship of the sister work we have no information, except that the opinion of the sage Kaushitaki is frequently referred to in it as authoritative, and generally in opposition to the Paingya — the Brahmana, it would seem, of a rival school, the Paingins. Probably, therefore, it is just what one of the manuscripts calls it — the Brahmana of Sankhayana (composed) in accordance with the views of Kaushitaki.
Each of these two Brahmanas is supplemented by a "forest book", or
Aranyaka. The "Aitareyaranyaka" is not a uniform production. It consists of five books ("aranyaka"), three of which, the first and the last two, are of a liturgical nature, treating of the ceremony called "mahavrata", or great vow. 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. The second and third books, on the other hand, are purely speculative, and are also styled the "Bahvrca-brahmana-upanishad". Again, the last four chapters of the second book are usually singled out as the "Aitareyopanishad", ascribed, like its Brahmana (and the first book), to Mahidasa Aitareya; and the third book is also referred to as the "Samhita-upanishad". As regards the "Kaushitaki-aranyaka", this work consists of 15 adhyayas, the first two (treating of the mahavrata ceremony) and the 7th and 8th of which correspond to the 1st, 5th, and 3rd books of the Aitareyaranyaka, respectively, whilst the four adhyayas usually inserted between them constitute the highly interesting "Kaushitaki (brahmana-) upanishad", of which we possess two different recensions. 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.
There are 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 Provincesetc. They were transferred to Deccan College, Pune, in the late 19th century. They are in the Sharada and Devanagariscripts, written on birch bark and paper. The oldest of them is dated to 1464.
Of these 30 manuscripts, 9 contain the samhita text, 5 have the
padapathain addition. 13 contain Sayana's commentary. At least 5 manuscripts (MS. no. 1/A1879-80, 1/A1881-82, 331/1883-84 and 5/Viś I) have preserved the complete text of the Rigveda. MS no. 5/1875-76, written on birch bark in bold Sharada, was used by Max Müllerfor his edition of the Rigveda with Sayana’s commentary. Max Müllerused 24 manuscripts, while the Pune Edition used over five dozen manuscripts, but the editors of Pune Edition could not procure many manuscripts used by Max Müllerand by Bombay Edition, as well as from some other sources ; hence the total number of extant manuscripts must surpass perhaps eighty at least [cf. Editorial notes in various volumes of Pune Edition, see references.]
Friedrich Max Müller, "The Hymns of the Rigveda, with Sayana's commentary", London, 1849-75, 6 vols., 2nd ed. 4 vols., Oxford, 1890-92.
Theodor Aufrecht, 2nd ed., Bonn, 1877.
first =Sāyanachārya (commentary)
editor-first =N. S.
year =1933-46,Reprint 1972-1983.
title =IAST|Rgveda-Samhitā: Śrimat-Sāyanāchārya virachita-bhāṣya-sametā
publisher =IAST|Vaidika Samśodhana Maṇḍala
accessdate =. The Editorial Board for the First Edition included N. S. Sontakke (Managing Editor), V. K. IAST|Rājvade, M. M. IAST|Vāsudevaśāstri, and T. S. IAST|Varadarājaśarmā.
*B. van Nooten und G. Holland, "Rig Veda, a metrically restored text", Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1994.
The first published translation of any portion of the Rigveda in any Western language was into Latin, by
Friedrich August Rosen("Rigvedae specimen", London 1830). Predating Müller's "editio princeps" of the text, Rosen was working from manuscripts brought back from India by Colebrooke.
H. H. Wilson was the first to make a complete translation of the Rig Veda into English, published in six volumes during the period 1850-88. [Wilson, H. H. "IAST|Ṛig-Veda-Sanhitā: A Collection of Ancient Hindu Hymns". 6 vols. (London, 1850-88); repring: Cosmo Publications (1977)] Wilson's version was based on the commentary of IAST|Sāyaṇa. In 1977, Wilson's edition was enlarged by Nag Sharan Singh (Nag Publishers, Delhi, 2nd ed. 1990).
Ralph T.H. Griffithpublished his translation as "The Hymns of the Rig Veda", published in London (1889). [reprinted Delhi 1973, reprinted by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers: 1999. Complete revised and enlarged edition. 2-volume set. ISBN 8121500419 ]
A German translation was published by
Karl Friedrich Geldner, "Der Rig-Veda: aus dem Sanskrit ins Deutsche Übersetzt", Harvard Oriental Studies, vols. 33–37 (Cambridge, Mass.: 1951-7). [reprint: Harvard Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies Harvard (University Press) (2003) ISBN 0-674-01226-7]
Geldner's tranlsation was the philologically best-informed to date, and a Russian translation based on Geldner's by Tatyana Yakovlena Elizarenkova was published by
Nauka1989-1999 [extended from a partial translation "Rigveda: Izbrannye Gimny", published in 1972.]
A 2001 revised edition of Wilson's translation was published by Ravi Prakash Arya and K. L. Joshi. [Ravi Prakash Arya and K. L. Joshi. "IAST|Ṛgveda Saṃhitā: Sanskrit Text, English Translation, Notes & Index of Verses". (Parimal Publications: Delhi, 2001) ISBN 81-7110-138-7 (Set of four volumes). Parimal Sanskrit Series No. 45; 2003 reprint: 81-7020-070-9] The revised edition updates Wilson's translation by replacing obsolete English forms with more modern equivalents, giving the English translation along with the original Sanskrit text in
Devanagariscript, along with a critical apparatus.
In 2004 the United States' National Endowment for the Humanities funded Joel Brereton and Stephanie W. Jamison as project directors for a new original translation to be issued by Oxford University Press. [http://www.neh.gov/news/awards/collaborative2004.html retrieved 22 March, 2007.] [Joel Brereton and Stephanie W. Jamison. "The Rig Veda: Translation and Explanatory Notes". (Oxford University Press) ISBN 0195179188]
Numerous partial translations exist into various languages. Notable examples include:
* A. A. Macdonell. "Hymns from the Rigveda" (Calcutta, London, 1922); "A Vedic Reader for Students" (Oxford, 1917).
* French: A. Langlois, "Rig-véda, ou livre des hymnes", Paris 1948-51 ISBN 2-7200-1029-4
* Hungarian: Laszlo Forizs, "Rigvéda - Teremtéshimnuszok (Creation Hymns of the Rig-Veda)", Budapest, 1995 ISBN 963-85349-1-5 [http://forizslaszlo.com/irodalom/ind/irodalom_rigveda_himnuszok_en.html Hymns of the Rig-Veda]
Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty issued a modern selection with a translation of 108 hymns, along with critical apparatus. A bibliography of translations of the Rig Veda appears as an Appendix that work. [See Appendix 3, O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. "The Rig Veda". (Penguin Books: 1981) ISBN 0-140-44989-2]
A new German translations of books 1 and 2 was presented in 2007 by
Michael Witzeland Toshifumi Goto(ISBN 978-3-458-70001-2 / ISBN 978-3-458-70001-3).
A partial Hindi translation by
Govind Chandra Pandewas published in 2008 (by Lokbharti Booksellers and Distributors, Allahabad, covering books 3-5).
**ed. Müller 1849-75 (German translation);
**ed. Müller (original commentary of Sāyana in Sanskrit based on 24 manuscripts).
**ed. Sontakke et al, published by Vaidika Samsodhana Mandala, Pune (2nd ed. 1972) in 5 volumes.
*Rgveda-Samhitā Srimat-sāyanāchārya virachita-IAST|bhāṣya-sametā, ed. by Sontakke et al, published by Vaidika Samśodhana Mandala,Pune-9,1972 ,in 5 volumes (It is original commentary of Sāyana in Sanskrit based on over 60 manuscripts).
Sri Aurobindo: Hymns of the Mystic Fire (Commentary on the Rig Veda), Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-914955-22-5 [http://www.mountainman.com.au/rghmf_00.html]
*Rgveda-Samhita, Text in Devanagari, English translation Notes and indices by H. H. Wilson, Ed. W.F. Webster, originally in 1888, Published Nag Publishers 1990, 11A/U.A. Jawaharnagar,Delhi-7.Philology
*Vashishtha Narayan Jha, "A Linguistic Analysis of the Rgveda-Padapatha" Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi (1992).
*Thomas Oberlies, "Die Religion des Rgveda", Wien 1998.
*Oldenberg, Hermann: "Hymnen des Rigveda. 1. Teil: Metrische und textgeschichtliche Prolegomena." Berlin 1888; Wiesbaden 1982.
* — "Die Religion des Veda". Berlin 1894; Stuttgart 1917; Stuttgart 1927; Darmstadt 1977
* — "Vedic Hymns", The Sacred Books of the East vo, l. 46 ed.
Friedrich Max Müller, Oxford 1897
*Bjorn Merker, [http://www.positiveatheism.org/india/s1990c12.htm Rig Veda Riddles In Nomad Perspective] , Mongolian Studies, Journal of the Mongolian Society XI, 1988.
*citation|last=Bryant|first=Edwin|author-link=Edwin Bryant|title=The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate|publisher=Oxford University Press|place=Oxford|year=2001|isbn=0195137779
* Lal, B.B. 2005. The Homeland of the Aryans. Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology, New Delhi, Aryan Books International.
*Talageri, Shrikant: , 2000. ISBN 81-7742-010-0
*Tilak, Bal Gangadhar: The Orion, 1893.
* [http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=22245&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html Rigveda - Nominations submitted by India in 2006-2007 for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register.] ( [http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/files/22246/1148911056158_India_Rigveda.doc/58+India+Rigveda.doc .doc format] )
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/index.htm in Devanagari and IAST] (sacred-texts.com)
* [http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/RV/index.html metrically restored] (Linguistics Research Center, U. Texas) [Romanized, in Unicode]
* [http://www.gatewayforindia.com/vedas/rigveda.html mp3 audio download] (gatewayforindia.com) [North Indian style, i.e., without meter or same meter, yeha swara] ;Translation
Ralph Griffith, [http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/index.htm "The Rig Veda"] 1895, full text, (online at sacred-texts.com)
* [http://www.srivaishnava.org/scripts/veda/rv/rvtop.htm English translation based on Sayana and Wilson, full text online]
* [http://keithbriggs.info/documents/rv.pdf pdf ascii, with diacritics - by Keith Briggs]
* [http://www.vedah.com/org2/literature/rig_veda/toc.html Rig Veda] (Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute)
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