• Ashu Bisht

THE VEDAS | Who Wrote Vedas and How Old are The Vedas?

The foundational Shastra for all astika Hindus are The Vedas. A practicing Hindu is generally defined to be one who believes in the authority and sanctity of the Vedas. There are many questions people ask regarding Vedas Like Who wrote Vedas and How old are the Vedas? Let's find out the answers of these questions.

The name Veda comes from the Sanskrit root word 'Vid', which means 'to know'. Thus, the Vedas mean knowledge. They contain both spiritual and worldly knowledge. The Vedas are considered by Hindus to be the oldest sacred texts in the world which continue to be recited and studied to this day.

Who wrote Vedas and How old are the Vedas?

Hindus consider the Vedas to be apaurusheya, i.e., not man made, but revealed by God. It is difficult to assign a time frame for the Vedas.

The dates given by different scholars range from 25000 BCE to 1000 BCE. Hindus regard the Vedas to be eternal.

Who classified The Vedas into four section?

The single large Veda was later classified by Veda Vyasa into four section or four texts, namely, the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.

Who were the four disciples of Veda Vyasa?

Veda Vyasa taught one of them to each of his four disciples - Rig Veda to Paila, the Yujur Veda to Vaishampayana, the Sama Veda to Jaimini and the Atharva Veda to Sumantu." For millennia (सदियों से), the Vedas have been handed down to posterity by word of mouth. The Shruti texts or the Vedas, as traditionally defined, include the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads.

Conventionally, it is the Samhita (collection of mantras or hymns) that is indicated by the word Veda. There are four Samhitas, namely, Rik Samhita or Rig Veda, Saman Samhita or Sama Veda, Yajus Samhita or Yajur Veda and Atharvan Samhita or Atharva Veda. The Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads of each of the four Vedic Samhitas have different names.

How each of four Vedas are classified?

Each Samhita has its own associated texts in prose called the Brahmanas (which are ceremonial handbooks), Aranyakas (deal with profound interpretations of rituals) and the Upanishads (give metaphysical explanations).

The Brahmanas deal mainly with rules and regulations laid down for the performance of rites and rituals of various yagnas (fire rituals, also known as sacrifices) as well as application of hymns in them. It also has interesting dialogues, myths and stories, but very little philosophy. The Samhita and Brahmanas texts form the karma or ritual part (karma-kanda) of Vedic literature.

The Brahmanas were followed by the Aranyaka texts, which were the result of contemplation(चिंतन) of yogis and rishis in the forest. They mark the transition from ritualism to spiritualism, ie., they discuss the spiritual significance of Vedic yagnas and devas. Finally, the Upanishads contain the very core of Indian philosophy (gyana-kanda) and focus on the nature and relation between jagat (world), Atman, ParBrahman (God) and Mukti (liberation). They are the creative part of Indian Philosophy.

They are also known as Vedanta because chronologically(कालक्रम के अनुसार) they form the "end" or "concluding part of the Vedas, and philosophically(दर्शनानुसार) they reach the highest spiritual knowledge. As their authority is unquestioned the Upanishads form the first of the three basic treatises of Vedanta called "Prasthanatrayi."

Since the Upanishads are part of the Vedas they are also called Shrutiprasthana. The Aranyaka and the Upanishads texts together form the gyana-kanda or the knowledge section of the Vedas. This is not the end of the topic, In next article we will describe the four Samhitas or four Vedas.

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