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The Four Vedas

arya-samaj-australia Rig Veda - Knowledge of the Hymns of Praise. The Rig-Veda - The most important and, according to scholars, oldest of the Vedas.

It is divided into ten books (called mandalas) and has 1028 hymns in praise of various deities. The Rigveda is structured based on clear principles, these include Indra, Agni, Vishnu, Rudra, Varuna, and other early or “Vedic gods.” It also contains the famous Gayatri mantra and the prayer called the Purusha Shukta.
The Rig Veda was likely composed between roughly 1700–1100 BCE, making it one of the oldest texts and composed in Vedic Sanskrit, many of which are intended for various sacrificial rituals.

arya-samaj-australia Sama Veda - Knowledge of the Melodies. This consists of chants and melodies to be sung during worship and the performance of yajna.

Sama Veda is divided into two sections, the earlier “black” and the more recent “white.
The first part includes four melody collections and the second part three verse. A melody in the song books corresponds to a verse in the arcika books.
Samaveda typically begin with hymns to Agni and Indra. In the Samaveda, some of the Rigvedic verses are repeated. Including repetitions, there are a total of 1875 verses numbered in the Samaveda recension translated by Griffith. Two major recensions have survived, the Kauthuma/Ranayaniya and the Jaiminiya.

arya-samaj-australia-atharva-veda Atharva Veda - Knowledge of the Magic formulas. Contains hymns, mantras and incantations, largely outside the scope of yajna.

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.
The text also includes hymns dealing with the two major rituals of passage – marriage and cremation. The Atharva Veda also dedicates significant portion of the text asking the meaning of a ritual.

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