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Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Vedas

The Vedas consist of four scriptures: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. There are two components woven into these four scriptures: Work and Knowledge. Work has to do with various hymns, rites, ceremonies and rules of conduct. Knowledge is concerned with knowing God and all of the aspects of truth. The second part (knowledge) is known as the Upanishads.

The Rig Veda contains ten books of hymns that have to do with prayers, sacrifices and the worshiping of Indra (God). Each book contains hundreds of hymns that make very little sense to people today in the Western World. These hymns were probably sung by groups of people who gathered in meeting places much like mondern day churches.

Sama Veda contains holy songs that were used by priests while offering juice from the Soma plant to the various deities they worshipped during that period.

Yajur Veda is a very lengthy detailed manual on sacrificial rites (including mantras) that go along with the sacrificies mentioned the Sama Veda.

Athava Veda contains all kinds of incantations and metaphysical sayings to charm away just about and kind of disease or sickness. There are also many chants for living a long life, charms to keep enemies at bay, to secure harmony among neighboring tribes, to avert evil and just about anything else in life.

On the next post I will talk about the Upanishads in more detail and start off with one of the most famous Upanishads - Katha Upanishad.

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