(redirected from Vedic texts)
Also found in: Dictionary.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


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.


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



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.


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 ?
'Parinahya' was the term used to denote them, and Vedic text declared that wife was to be their owner (Altekar: 1956).
This is because the goal of reading vedic texts, as Clooney insists in Theology after Vedanta, is liberation, not mere intellectual mastery.
Two years later, he completed a commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, one of the principle Vedic texts.He will be succeeded by Maharaja Nader Raam, a Lebanese doctor who has studied with the Maharishi for 25 years.The Maharishi's body will be returned to India after a memorial ceremony in Vlodrop.
The Vedic texts discern five sheaths--physical or material (annamaya), vital (pra'amaya), psychic (manomaya), conscious (vijnanarnaya) and beatitutdinal (anandamaya), one inside the other in the reversal order, the fifth one being the abode of the ultimate reality called atman that is characterized by this very abode, i.e., absolute beatitude.
You won't find crosses here, or Stars of David, or lines from the Bible or the Koran or from ancient Vedic texts. There are few definite visual references at all, though you catch glimpses of human figures, suggestions of buildings that might be temples, and odd glimmers of landscapes that you can't quite place.
The healing properties of bee products are mentioned in the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedic texts.
Examination of early Vedic texts indicates that the herbalists, or healers were a rural type of Hindu priesthood that combined their knowledge of herbalism with the rituals and beliefs of the orthodox Hindu priests.
Another term, gahapati, for example, which is applied to the head of household in the Vedic texts, is used to designate a powerful and wealthy head of the household in the Buddhist period; it is the term setthi gahapati in the Buddhist texts that refers to a banker or merchant prince.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years - the discipline is mentioned in the 3,000-year-old Vedic texts, the most ancient written record of Indian culture.
The ancient Harappan civilisation is regarded as part of a great Vedic Age, and the dates of the Vedic texts set so far back in time (up to 9000 BCE) as to confirm that India must have been the first centre of human civilisation (and even of human origins), with subsequent migration of Aryan peoples into Iran.
Vedic texts presented by Chandrabhal Tripathi provide a model of a later life devoted to study, books, travel, and the cultivation of the life of the mind and the spirit.