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How many Vedas are there? Name them
At the time when they first came out there were an endless number of Vedas but now after the lapse of centuries there are only four different Vedas-

1) Rig Veda
2) Yajur Veda
3) Sama Veda &
4) Atharvana Veda.


What is Rig Veda?
Rig Veda contains small stanzas or Mantras and hence the name Rig. In additon Rig Veda gives important statements like "Sathyam Vada" -(Speak the Truth). "Dharmam Chara" -(act in a righteous manner). It also contains various rituals and procedures which are intended to help in keeping the society intact.

 

What is Yajur Veda?
This Veda helps to fulfil our duties and tells how to conduct ourselves in addition to looking after the society.
 
 
What is Sama Veda?
The work of Sama Veda are set to music while the text gives the essence of Rig and Yajur Vedas.
 

What is Atharvana Veda?
This Veda tells us how man should take care of his children, family, elders and live
happily. it also teaches special disciplines and curative techniques.

What are "Mahavakyas"?
Mahavakyas are the grand utterances of the Upanishads.
They contain the essence of the Vedanta and the ultimate truth.

Write the Mahavakya of Rig Veda? and its meaning.
The Mahavakya of Rig Veda is "Prajnanam Brahma". It
means Divine consciousness is the Supreme Reality or Para Brahman.

What is the Mahavakya of "Yajur Veda"?
The Mahavakya of Yajur Veda is " Aham Brahmasmi". The meaning
of this is "I am Brahma". That is, that 'I'in everybody is Brahma.

What is the Mahavakya of Sama Veda?
The Mahavakya of Sama Veda says "Tatvamasi". Its meaning is
"Thou art that".

What is the Mahavakya of "Atharvana Veda" and its meaning?
"Ayam Atma Brahma" is the Mahavakya of Atharvana Veda and its
meaning is "Atma is Brahma". 


 What is Moksha?
"Moha Kshaya" is Moksha i.e. full detachment from worldly desires
and considerations.

What is Dharma?
Dharma
is the way of higher life directed by the ideals one
holds dear, by the level of attainment one has reached,
by the status of the individual in society and by the
individual's own awareness of himself and his status.

The Vedas


The Essence of Vedas

'Whence this creation has come into existence,
whether He established it or did not;
He who is its overseer in the higher firmament,
He verily knows or knows not…'
– The Rig-Veda (hymns to Prajapati, the creator)

Typical mind game from the subtlest and most profound of all ancient Indian, and indeed world, scriptures. This spirit of questioning is, in many ways, the essence of the Vedas, as also the age when the Aryans were finding their feet in
India.

The story goes back a long time. It starts in 1200BC, when the first Aryan immigrants in
India started composing the various hymns that are part of the books. They were meant to be mantras (incantations) in praise of various Aryan gods. What they also reflect is a startlingly vivid picture of life, as was being led by the Aryans who came to India
. Things move along as they trace the settling down of the Aryans in their new habitat and the various changes that invariably happened in their society.

There are four Vedas:

The Rig-Veda:- The date for the Rig-Veda was in controversy for a long time. The traditional date goes back to 3000BC, something which the German scholar Max Mueller accepted. However, modern historians have now reached a consensus that its oldest parts were written around a more cautious 1200BC.

As a body of writing, the Rig-Veda (the wisdom of verses) is nothing short of remarkable. It contains 1028 hymns dedicated to thirty-three different gods; these gods were, quite expectedly, nature gods. The most often addressed gods are Indra (rain god; king of heavens), Agni (fire god) and Rudra (storm god; the 'howler'). A sizeable chunk of the verses are also dedicated to Soma (the draught of immortality), which was a cool alcoholic brew made from the leaves of the soma plant and was drunk during sacrifices. The identity of the plant itself is subject of furious debate. In nature, however, it was somewhat similar to the brews that the American Indians used to consume before conducting sacrifices – to numb both the sacrificer and the sacrificee although human sacrifice was never a part of Aryan worship.

This oldest religious text in the world has10,589 verses which are divided into ten mandalas or book-sections. The oldest portions of the Rig-Veda are from books two to seven; the others were added later. The book-sections are arranged according to the number of hymns they possess.

 
The Yajur-Veda:- The Yajur-Veda or the wisdom of sacrifices lays down various sacred invocations (yajurs) which were chanted by a particular sect of priests called adhvaryu. They performed the sacrificial rites. This is very much a ritual based Veda for although there are a few hymns to various Gods the main stress is on the theory of the ritual. The Veda also outlines various chants which should be sung to pray and pay respects to the various instruments which are involved in the sacrifice.

 

The Sama-Veda:- The Sama-Veda or the wisdom of chants is basically a collection of samans or chants, derived from the eighth and ninth books of the 'original Veda', the Rig-Veda. These were meant for the priests who officiated at the rituals of the soma ceremonies – in full sway there could have as many as seventeen full rituals. As time went along rituals and ceremonies of worship became increasingly intricate and the simplicity of the original Rig-Vedic age was slowly forgotten. Thus a need arose to compile all the rituals and their chants in a book, as a sort of reference point for the priests whose functions this Veda clearly puts down.

It is not surprising that the Sama-Veda is better known for the precise meter of its poetry than for its literary content. There are also painstaking instructions in Sama-Veda about how particular hymns must be sung; this is perhaps because great emphasis was put upon sounds of the words of the mantras and the effect they could have on the environment and the person who pronounced them.


The Atharva-Veda:- The Atharva-Veda (the wisdom of the Atharvans) is called so because the families of the atharvan sect of the Brahmins have traditionally been credited with the composition of the Vedas. It is a compilation of hymns but lacks the awesome grandeur which makes the Rig-Veda such a breathtaking spiritual experience. It is roughly equivalent to the western magic spells and has incantations for everything – from success in love to the realization of otherworldly ambitions.