The Markandeya Purana is a Sanskrit text of Hinduism, one of the eighteen major Puranas. The text's title Markandeya refers to a sage in Hindu mythology, the central character in two legends, one linked to Shiva and other to Vishnu; the Markandeya text is one of the Puranas that lacks a sectarian presentation of ideas in favor of any particular god, it is rare to read any deity being invoked or deity prayers in the entire text. The Markandeya Purana is one of the oldest in Purana genre of Hindu literature, among the most interesting and important, states Ludo Rocher, it is famous for including the Devi Mahatmya within it, the oldest known treatise on Devi as the Supreme Truth and creator of the universe. The text is considered as a central text of the Hindu Goddess-related Shaktism tradition, with an extraordinary expression of reverence for the feminine; the Markandeya Purana's Devi Mahatmya is ranked in some Hindu traditions to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita. The extant manuscripts of this Purana have 137 chapters, of which chapters 81 through 93 is the Devi Mahatmya.
Tradition and some medieval era texts assert that the Markandeya Purana has 9,000 verses, but surviving manuscripts have about 6,900 verses. The text presents a diverse range of topics, with socio-cultural information and symbolism for Vedic ideas and metaphysical thought; the Markandeya text is one of the oldest Puranas in Hinduism. The text's literary style and content, wherein the early chapters read like a supplement to the Hindu epic Mahabharata has led scholars to suggest it is an early composition that followed the epic; the Markandeya Purana, states Wendy Doniger, is from c. 250 CE, with the exception of the Devi Mahatmya, which she dates to c. 550 CE. Other scholars have suggested that parts of this Purana existed by the third century. In contrast, Nileshvari Desai suggests that the oldest of extant manuscripts is from the 7th-century CE; the text has been dated with the help of epigraphical evidence. The Dadhimati Mata inscription, for example has been dated to be from 608 CE, this inscription is a quote from chapter 10 of the Devi Mahatmya.
This suggests that this part of the text existed by the 6th century CE. A complete Palm-leaf manuscript of the text was discovered in Nepal, has been dated to 998 CE; the early 8th-century text Malatimadhava of Bhavabhuti references Devi Mahatmya, which implies the text was established and in circulation by then. Other scholars have placed it between 4th- to 6th-century CE; the idea of Goddess as the supreme, states John Lochtefeld existed before the 6th-century than the composition date of Devi Mahatmya, because it appears in so developed form in the text. Like all the Puranas, the Markandeya Purana, has a complicated chronology. Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature; each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition.
It is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The earliest version of the Makandeya Purana, with Devi Mahatmya, was composed near the Narmada river, in Western India; this Purana has 137 chapters. The text opens with the Mimamsa founder Jaimini asking sage Markandeya for answers to some questions raised by the Mahabharata, but never addressed in it. Markandeya asserts that he needs to go and perform some Vedic rituals, suggests Jaimini to meet up with four wise birds who live in the Vindhya range. Jaimini meets the birds; the birds answer his questions. This discussion weaves in moral instructions with mythology, the theory of Karma, Samsara and Shraddha verses from texts such as the Mahabharata and the Gautama Dharmasutras; the text presents its Yoga philosophy in chapters 39 to 43, asserts that it is the path to gain self-knowledge and liberation, thereby overcoming past Karma. The Yoga discussions, Dattatreya's portrayal and his yoga-teachings within the Markandeya Purana, states Rigopoulos, are those of Jnana yoga, this emphasis on Jnana within a nondual framework characterizes Dattatreya throughout the text.
More the Markandeya Purana, along with Vishnu, Vayu and Kurma Puranas, states Sahasrabudhe, have "unmistakingly the Advaita" premises, which reflect the Advaita tradition before the times of Adi Shankara. The chapters present a conversation between the birds and sage Markandeya, but the sage is the primary speaker in chapters 45-80 and 94-137; this switch in style, state scholars, is because this part is the older core of the Purana. This part consists of genealogy, manvantaras and chapters glorifying god Surya; the Devi Mahatmya "glorification or praises of the Goddess", constitutes chapters 81 to 93 of the Markandeya Purana. It is the primary bhakti text of those who revere Chandi as the Shakti; this text is studied on its own, sometimes titled as Saptasati or Chandi-mahatmya or Chandipatha. It is popular in eastern states of India, such as West Bengal and Odisha; the Devi Mahatmya opens with the legend of two men, from different backgrounds who meet in the forest, driven out by their associates and family exiled.
Asserts the text
Bhagavata Purana known as Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata, is one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas. Composed in Sanskrit and available in all major Indian languages, it promotes bhakti to Krishna integrating themes from the Advaita philosophy and from the Dvaita philosophy; the origin of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam can be traced back to God Brahma who initiated Narada Rishi summarised in four verse called Chatur Sloki Bhagavatam. Narada Rishi submitted the same to Lord Veda Vyasa who elaborated to the presently available twelve skandhas and initiated to Sri Shukacharya. Lord Veda Vyasa has recorded the following narrations of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in seven days or in Saphaha format in the Puranas being worthy: Sri Shukacharya narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days to Parakshit Raja on the banks of Ganga and present Haridwar. Gokarna narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Narada Rishi organized Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days at Ananda on the banks of Ganga wherein Sanatkumara narrated.
Sri Sutacharya, present during the first narration of Sri Shukacharya to Parakshit Raja narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to Sri Saunaka Rishi in Naimisaranya in an elaborate way and for a long period of time. The Bhagavata Purana discusses a wide range of topics including Cosmology, Geography, Legend, Dance and Culture; as it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas and evil asuras and now rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as Krishna, – first makes peace with the demons, understands them and creatively defeats them, bringing back hope, justice and happiness – a cyclic theme that appears in many legends; the Bhagavata Purana is a revered text in a Hindu tradition that reveres Vishnu. The text presents a form of religion that competes with that of the Vedas, wherein bhakti leads to self-knowledge and bliss; however the Bhagavata Purana asserts that the inner nature and outer form of Krishna is identical to the Vedas and that this is what rescues the world from the forces of evil.
An oft-quoted verse is used by some Krishna sects to assert that the text itself is Krishna in literary form. The date of composition is between the eighth and the tenth century AD, but may be as early as the 6th century AD. Manuscripts survive in numerous inconsistent versions revised through the 18th century creating various recensions both in the same languages and across different Indian languages; the text consists of twelve books totalling 332 chapters and between 16,000 and 18,000 verses depending on the recension. The tenth book, with about 4,000 verses, has been the most popular and studied, it was the first Purana, translated into a European language, when a French translation of a Tamil version appeared in 1788 and introduced many Europeans to Hinduism and 18th-century Hindu culture during the colonial era. "Purana" means "ancient, old". Bhagavata means "devoted to, follower of Bhagavat – the "sacred, divine". An alternative interpretation of Bhagavata is "devotees of the Adorable One".
Bhagavata Purana therefore means "Ancient Tales of Followers of the Lord". The composer of this work, Lord Veda Vyasa, in his second verse has described the Subject and the Fruit of studying and named it as Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri is used for abundance or richness; such Sri hence called Srimad. Bhagavata means Sacred or Divine or Holy; the holy or divine verses brings an abundance of happiness, Knowledge, in Vedas and Vedanta, Vairagya to the reader or listener and hence is called Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavata is recognized as the best-known and most influential of the Puranas and, along with the Itihasa and other puranas, is sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Veda", it is important in Indian religious literature for its emphasis on the practice of devotion as compared to the more theoretical approach of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the source of many popular stories of Krishna's childhood told for centuries on the Indian subcontinent and of legends explaining Hindu festivals such as Holi and Diwali.
The Bhagavata declares itself the essence of derivative Smritis. Here Vedas are like seeds, Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Sahasaranama is like trunk, leaves, flowers; the fruit and its Juice being Srimad Bhagavata. As Srimad Bhagavata has the substance of Vedas and Mahabarata, it has high significance; the Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all the Vedanta literature. One who has enjoyed the nectar of its rasa never has any desire for anything else; the text has played a significant role in Chaitanya's Krishna-bhakti in Bengal, in the 15th–16th century Ekasarana Dharma in Assam, a panentheistic tradition whose proponents and Madhavdeva, acknowledge that their theological positions are rooted in the Bhagavata Purana, purged of doctrines that find no place in Assamese Vaishnavism and adding a monist commentary instead. In northern and western India the Bhagavata Purana has influenced the Hari Bhakti Vilasa and Haveli-style Krishna temples found in Braj region near Mathura-Vrindavan; the text complements the Pancharatra Agama texts of Vaishnavism.
While the text focu
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
The Aitareya Upanishad is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It comprises the fourth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka, one of the four layers of Rig vedic text. Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes: first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman. According to a 1998 review by Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, the Aitareya Upanishad was composed in a pre-Buddhist period 6th to 5th century BCE. Aitareya Upanishad is a primary ancient Upanishad, is listed as number 8 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. Considered one of the middle Upanishads, the date of composition is not known but has been estimated by scholars to be sometime around 6th or 5th century BCE; the Aitareya Upanishad is a short prose text, containing 33 verses. In the first chapter of the Aitareya Upanishad, Atman is asserted to have existed alone prior to the creation of the universe, it is this Atman, the Soul or the Inner Self, portrayed as the creator of everything from itself and nothing, through heat.
The text states. First came four entities: space, maram and apas. After these came into existence, came the cosmic self and eight psyches and principles. Atman created eight guardians corresponding to these psyches and principles. Asserts Aitareya Upanishad, came the connective principles of hunger and thirst, where everything became interdependent on everything else through the principle of apana. Thereafter came man, who could not exist without a sense of Self and Soul, but this sense began cogitating on itself, saying that "I am more than my sensory organs, I am more than my mind, I am more than my reproductive ability", asked, कोऽहमिति Who am I? Paul Deussen summarizes the first chapter of Aitareya Upanishad as follows, The world as a creation, the Man as the highest manifestation of the Atman, named as the Brahman - this is the basic idea of this section. In the second chapter, Aitareya Upanishad asserts that the Atman in any man is born thrice: first, when a child is born; the overall idea of chapter 2 of Aitareya Upanishad is that it is procreation and nurturing of children that makes a man immortal, the theory of rebirth, which are the means by which Atman sustainably persists in this universe.
The third chapter of Aitareya Upanishad discusses the nature of Atman. It declares that consciousness is what defines man, the source of all intellectual and moral theories, all gods, all living beings, all that there is; the Upanishad asserts that the key to the riddle of the Universe is one's own inner self. To know the universe, know thyself. Become suggests the Aitareya Upanishad, by being you. Max Muller translates parts of the chapter as follows, Who is he whom we meditate on as the Self? Which is the Self? Everything are various names only of Knowledge Everything, it rests on Knowledge. The world is led by Knowledge. Knowledge is its cause. Knowledge is Brahman. Aitareya Upanishad, like other Upanishads of Hinduism, asserts the existence of Consciousness as Atman, the Self or Brahman, it contains one of the most famous expressions of the Vedanta, "Prajnanam Brahma", one of the Mahāvākyas. Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older Upanishads reviewed and commented upon in their respective Bhasyas by various ancient scholars such as Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya.
Adi Shankara, for example, commented on Aitereya Upanishad, clarifying that some of his peer scholars have interpreted the hymns in a way that must be refuted. The first meaning, as follows, is incomplete and incorrect, states Shankara This is the true Brahman called Prana, this is the only God. All the Devas are only the various manifestations of this Prana, he who attains Oneness with this Prana attains the Devas. Adi Shankara reminds the reader that the Aitereya Upanishad must be studied in its context, which starts with and states Atma va idam in hymn 1, it doesn't start with, nor does the text's context, mean that "I am alive, thus God". Rather, states Shankara, the context is abundantly clear that one must know, "Atman exists, I am consciousness, that self-realization of one's Atman, its Oneness with Universal Soul is the path to liberation and freedom. Know yourself. Worship yourself." Adi Shankara explains that rituals, merit-karma does not lead to liberation, the wise do not perform these and rituals such as Agnihotra, they seek Atman and understanding of their own Being and their own Inner Self, when one has achieved "Self-knowledge, full awareness of one's consciousness" does one achieve moksha.
The first English translation was published in 1805 by Colebrooke. Other translators include Max Muller, Paul Deussen, Charles Johnston, Nikhilānanda, Gambhirananda and Patrick Olivelle; the author of the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Aitareya Upanishad has been credited to rishi Aitareya Mahidasa. Aitareya Upanisad Tamil Book==External links== Multiple translations Aitareya Aranyaka with Aitareya Upanishad embedded inside Max Muller; the Sacred Books of the E
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas; the text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana existed by the 8th century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions, it is considered by scholars, in a historic sense, as among the "shiftiest, living" texts, edited, over many centuries, creating numerous variants. The common elements in the variant editions encyclopedically cover cosmogony, genealogy, festivals, temples, discussion of virtues and evil, of theology and of the nature and qualities of Shiva as the Absolute and the source of true knowledge.
The editions of Skandapurana text provide an encyclopedic travel handbook with meticulous Tirtha Mahatmya, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India and Tibet, with related legends, parables and stories. This Mahāpurāṇa, like others, is attributed to the sage Vyasa. Haraprasad Shastri and Cecil Bendall, in about 1898, discovered an old palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in a Kathmandu library in Nepal, written in Gupta script, they dated the manuscript to 8th century CE, on paleographic grounds. This suggests. R. Adriaensen, H. Bakker, H. Isaacson dated the oldest surviving palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana to 810 CE, but Richard Mann adds that earlier versions of the text existed in the 8th century CE. Hans Bakker states that the text specifies holy places and details about the 4th and 5th-century Citraratha of Andhra Pradesh, thus may have an earlier origin; the oldest versions of the Skandapurana texts have been discovered in the Himalayan region of South Asia such as Nepal, the northeastern states of India such as Assam.
The critical editions of the text, for scholarly studies, rely on the Nepalese manuscripts. Additional texts style themselves as khandas of Skandapurana, but these came into existence after the 12th century, it is unclear if their root texts did belong to the Skandapurana, in some cases replaced the corresponding chapters of the original. Some recensions and sections of the Skandapurana manuscripts, states Judit Torzsok, have been traced to be from the 17th century or but the first 162 chapters in many versions are the same as the older Nepalese editions except for occasional omissions and insertions. There are a number of manuscripts that bear the title Skanda Purana; some of these texts, except for the title, have little in common with the well-known Skandapurana traced to the 1st millennium CE. The original text has accrued several additions, it is, therefore difficult to establish an exact date of composition for the Skanda Purana. Stylistically, the Skanda Purana is related to the Mahabharata, it appears that its composers borrowed from the Mahabharata.
The two texts employ similar stock compounds that are not found in the Ramayana. Some of the mythology mentioned in the present version of the Skanda Purana is undoubtedly post-Gupta period, consistent with that of medieval South India; this indicates. The Kashi Khanda, for example, acquired its present form around the mid-13th century CE; the latest part of the text might have been composed in as late as the 15th century CE. The whole corpus of texts which are considered as part of the Skanda Purana is grouped in two ways. According to one tradition, these are grouped in six saṁhitās, each of which consists of several khaṇḍas. According to another tradition, these are grouped in seven khaṇḍas, each named after a major pilgrimage region or site; the chapters are travel guides for pilgrimage tourists. The Maheśvara Khaṇḍa consists of 3 sections: the Kedāra Khaṇḍa the Kaumārikā Khaṇḍa or Kumārikā Khaṇḍa and the Arunācala Khaṇḍa or Arunācala Māhātmya, further divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa or Vaiṣṇava Khaṇḍa consists of nine sections: Veṅkaṭācalamāhātmya Puruṣottamakṣetramāhātmya Badarikāśramamāhātmya Kārttikamāsamāhātmya Mārgaśirṣamāsamāhātmya 17 chapters, Mathura Tirtha region) Bhāgavatamāhātmya Vaiśākhamāsamāhātmya Ayodhyāmāhātmya and Vāsudevamāhātmya The Brahma Khaṇḍa has three sections: Setumāhātmya Dharmāraṇya Khaṇḍa and Uttara Khaṇḍa or Brahmottara Khaṇḍa The Kāśī Khaṇḍa is divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Āvantya Khaṇḍa consists of: Avantikṣetramāhātmya Caturaśītiliṅgamāhātmya and Revā Khaṇḍa The Nāgara Khaṇḍa consists of Tirtha-māhātmya.
The Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns along with associated commentaries on liturgy and mystical exegesis. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas; the core text, known as the Rigveda Samhita, is a collection of 1,028 hymns in about 10,600 verses, organized into ten books. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns are praise of specific deities; the younger books in part deal with philosophical or speculative questions, with the virtue of dāna in society and with other metaphysical issues in their hymns. The oldest layers of the Rigveda Samhita are among the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language of similar age as certain Hittite texts. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, most between c. 1500 and 1200 BC, although a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BC has been given. The initial codification of the Rigveda took place during the early Kuru kingdom.
Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations and prayers, making it the world's oldest religious text in continued use. The associated material has been preserved from two shakhas or "schools", known as Śākalya and Bāṣkala; the school-specific commentaries are known as Brahmanas Aranyakas, Upanishads. The text maṇḍalas, of varying age and length; the text originates as oral literature, "books" may be a misleading term, the individual mandalas are, much rather, standalone collections of hymns that were intended to be memorized by the members of various groups of priests. This is true of the "family books", mandalas 2–7, which form the oldest part of the Rigveda and account for 38 per cent of the entire text, they are called "family books" because each of them is attributed to an individual rishi, was transmitted within the lineage of this rishi's family, or of his students. The hymns within each of the family books are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, so on.
They are arranged by decreasing number of hymns within each section. Within each such collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn. If two hymns in the same collection have equal numbers of stanzas they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order; the second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format. The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 9 %, respectively; the ninth mandala is dedicated to Soma and the Soma ritual. The hymns in the ninth mandala are arranged by their length; the first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest. Some of the hymns in mandalas 8, 1 and 10 may still belong to an earlier period and may be as old as the material in the family books; the first mandala has a unique arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas. The first 84 hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it; each mandala consists of sūktas intended for various rituals.
The sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc, which are further analysed into units of verse called pada. The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri, anushtubh and jagati; the trishtubh meter and gayatri meter dominate in the Rigveda. For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is divided into equal sections of several sūktas, called anuvāka, which modern publishers omit. Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into adhyāya and varga; some publishers give both classifications in a single edition. The most common numbering scheme is by book and stanza. E.g. the first verse is in three times eight syllables: 1.1.1a agním ī́ḷe puróhitaṃ 1b yajñásya deváṃ ṛtvíjam 1c hótāraṃ ratna-dhā́tamam "Agni I invoke, the house-priest / the god, minister of sacrifice / the presiding priest, bestower of wealth." Tradition associates a rishi with each ṛc of the Rigveda. Most sūktas are attributed to single composers; the "family books" are so-called. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95 per cent of the ṛcs.
The original text is close to but not identical to the extant Samhitapatha, but metrical and other observations allow reconstruction of the original text from the extant one, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50. The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age collection that established the core'family books' and a redaction, co
The Brahmanas are a collection of ancient Indian texts with commentaries on the hymns of the four Vedas. They are a layer or category of Vedic Sanskrit texts embedded within each Veda, form a part of the Hindu śruti literature, they are a digest incorporating myths, the explanation of Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon or philosophy. The Brahmanas are noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the original symbolic meanings- translated to words and ritual actions in the main text. Brahmanas lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing chapters that constitute Aranyakas or Upanishads in their own right; each Vedic shakha has its own Brahmana. Numerous Brahmana texts existed in ancient India. A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety; the dating of the final codification of the Brahmanas and associated Vedic texts is controversial, which occurred after centuries of verbal transmission.
The oldest is dated to about 900 BCE, while the youngest Brahmanas, were complete by about 700 BCE. According to Jan Gonda, the final codification of the four Vedas, Brahmanas and early Upanishads took place in pre-Buddhist times; the Brahmana are a layer of texts in Vedic Sanskrit embedded within each Veda, form a part of the śruti literature of Hinduism. They are a digest incorporating mythology and Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon or philosophy; the Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature contain the exposition of the Vedic rituals. For example, the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana, one of the oldest Brahmanas, includes eight suktas for the ceremony of marriage and rituals at the birth of a child; the first hymn is a recitation that accompanies offering a Yajna oblation to deity Agni on the occasion of a marriage, the hymn prays for prosperity of the couple getting married. The second hymn wishes for their long life, kind relatives, a numerous progeny.
The third hymn is a mutual marriage pledge, between the bride and groom, by which the two bind themselves to each other, as follows, The next two hymns of the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana invoke deities Agni, Vayu and Surya to bless the couple and ensure healthful progeny. The sixth through last hymn of the first chapter in Chandogya Brahmana are not marriage-related, but related to hymns that go with ritual celebrations on the birth of a child, wishes for health and prosperity with a profusion of milch-cows and artha; the Brahmanas are noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the symbolic importance of sacred words and ritual actions in the main text. These instructions insist on exact pronunciation, precise pitch, with coordinated movement of hand and fingers – that is, perfect delivery. Satapatha Brahamana, for example, states that verbal perfection made a mantra infallible, while one mistake made it powerless. Scholars suggest that this orthological perfection preserved Vedas in an age when writing technology was not in vogue, the voluminous collection of Vedic knowledge were taught to and memorized by dedicated students through Svādhyāya remembered and verbally transmitted from one generation to the next.
The Brahmanas are a complex layer of texts within the Vedas. Some embed speculations about natural phenomenon such as sunset. For example, section 3.44 of the Aitareya Brahmana speculates whether sun rises or sets. The sun set; when people think the sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other side; when they believe it rises in the morning this supposed. Having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side; the Panchavimsha Brahmana speculates on rivers starting in mountains, fed by snow and rain, flowing over the ground and underground, both emptying into the sea. These speculations, are in the context of rituals; each Vedic shakha has its own Brahmana. A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety: two associated with the Rigveda, six with the Yajurveda, ten with the Samaveda and one with the Atharvaveda.
Additionally, there are a handful of fragmentarily preserved texts. They vary in length; the Brahmanas were seminal in the development of Indian thought and scholarship, including Hindu philosophy, predecessors of Vedanta, astronomy, linguistics, the concept of Karma, or the stages in life such as brahmacarya, grihastha and sannyasa. Brahmanas lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing sections that are Aranyakas or Upanishads in their own right; the Shathapatha Brahmana discusses soteriological questions. The language of the Brahmanas is a separate stage of Vedic Sanskrit, younger than the text of the samhitas, ca. 1000 BCE, but for the most part are older than the text of the Sutras. As with the whole of Vedic literature, no dating more precise than within a few centuries is possible; the Brahmanas as a whole are placed in the first half of the 1st millennium BCE, with the oldest parts dat