Vedas

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Related to Vedic text: Rig-Veda, Samhitas
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vedas

 

the most ancient memorials of Indian literature, created in the period from the end of the second millennium to the first half of the first millennium B.C. in the ancient Indian language of Vedic.

The Vedas, or Vedic literature, include several categories of memorials, chronologically succeeding each other: the Vedas proper, or samhitas, which are four compilations of hymns, songs, and sacrificial formulas (the Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and Atharva-Veda); brahmanas, which are theological tracts explaining the priestly ritual; and Aranyakas and Upanishads, which are philosophical writings in verse and prose, among which the 12 to 14 early Upanishads stand apart for their significance and literary merits. Serving as the sacred texts of Brahmanism. adepts consider the Vedas to be divine revelation-shruii literaly, “that which was heard”); in religious functions the Vedas were transmitted orally, by memory. In content, the Vedas are syncretic: they combine ritual instructions with an exposition of philosophic, moral, and social theories; elements of magic are combined with the rudiments of scientific conceptions; based on primitive folklore and mythology, they include the elements of literary genres. As a whole, the Vedas reflect the transitional stage of the Indian tribes from a primitive-communal social structure to class society; they are very valuable sources, frequently the only ones, for the social-economic and cultural history of ancient India. The Vedanga (literally, parts of the Vedas) tracts are connected to the Vedas but are not part of divine revelation. Instead, these tracts on phonetics, grammar, etymology, metrics, astronomy, and ritual are auxiliary disciplines essential for the correct interpretation of Vedic texts.

REFERENCES

Ovsianiko-Kulikovskii, D. N. “Religiia indusov v epokhu ved.” In the collection Izbr. Moscow, 1962.
The History and Culture of the Indian People. Vol. 1: The Vedic Age, London [1957].
Winternitz, M. A History of Indian Literature, vol. 1, part 1. [Calcutta] 1959. (Translated from German.)
Dandekar, R. N. Vedic Bibliography, vols. 1-2. Bombay-Poona, 1946-61.

P. A. GRINTSER and A. M. OSIPOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Vedas

(dreams)

One of the traditional criteria for being considered an orthodox Hindu is that one must acknowledge the authority of the four Vedas. These ancient religious texts (three thousand to four thousand years old, although Hindus regard them as being much older) often express ideas and values at odds with later Hinduism, much as the first five books of the Old Testament express a religious ideology at variance from that of current Christianity. Because of the authority and sacredness of the Vedas, many subsequent religious movements claimed to be Vedic, and certain texts of later Hinduism—texts closer to the worldview of contemporaneous Hindus—were referred to as Vedas. The strand of Indian spirituality represented by the Hare Krishna movement, for example, refers to certain Puranic texts—which are sacred texts dated later than the Vedas—as Vedas.

Among the original four Vedas, the Artharva Veda contains a fair amount of material on dreams. Various dream omens are discussed (e.g., riding on an elephant in a dream is considered auspicious, whereas riding on a donkey is inauspicious). The effects of inauspicious dreams can be counteracted by certain purificatory rites. The Artharva Veda also contains the unique assertion that the impact from an omen dream will take place sooner or later depending on whether it occurred at the beginning of the evening (later) or just prior to awakening (sooner).

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

Vedas,

the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. [Hinduism: NCE, 2870]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Instances of 'svayamvara' or self choice found in the Vedic texts illustrates another aspect of women's freedom in the Vedic era.
Here Apararka argues that principle B)--specific rules override general ones--is of greater force than principle A)--sruti overrides smrti--because of a particular form of inference that is characteristic of Brahmanical hermeneutics, namely, the inference of Vedic texts. Classical Brahmanical thinking holds that there are basically three sources of knowledge about dharma: Vedic scripture (sruti), non-Vedic scripture (smrti), and the customs of cultured people (sadacara).
It does not entail the relative dating of the complete Vedic text and the linguistic system as a whole.
Even admitting that the young boy may have learned Sanskrit "by the direct method, i.e., listening to his parents and older members of the family," I do not think that much understanding of a Vedic text is involved at the time when the students were and still are "taught and recite the RV with the proper pitch accents which the teacher indicates also with a movement of his right hand (up, down, and sideways for udatta, anudatta, and svarita) and the students with a movement of their head (up, down, sideways)" (p.
In contrast, Karmamimarhsa, which accepts Vedic texts as authorless (apauruseya) and is principally concerned with the injunctions to perform ritual acts, considers the creative force (bhavana) denoted by injunctive affixes in verbal forms to be principal in verbal cognition.
However, in the Vedic texts the word was not mentioned and, gradually, the connotation evolved in the background of non-Vedic religious practices and propitiatory rites.
If anything, Vedic texts were guarded jealously by the priests.
He combines insights from ethnographic and textual analysis to explore how the recitation of the Vedic texts and the Vedic traditions, as well as the identity of the traditional brahmana in general, are transmitted from one generation to the next in traditional Vedic schools of contemporary India.
She likewise visited Mana, on the Tibetan border, where Vishnu received the first yogic teachings and Rishi Ved Vyasa transmitted the entire Vedic texts from his memory.
The Minister read a detailed note of leading exponent of the country on Hindu religion and vedic texts, Prof.
"While performing namkarm and jatkarm, Vedic mantras are not to be recited by women, because women are lacking in strength and knowledge of Vedic texts. Women are impure and represent falsehood." (Manusmriti 9/18)
Claiming a success rate of 80 per cent, he uses various mantras from ancient Vedic texts to cure people of mental disorders.