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20 Dec

Important Trivia about Vedic Shruti Literature for UPSC Examinations
Rather than dealing the topics in details, here are some of the notable facts and observations which you must note for your examinations:
On Rig-Veda
Rig-Veda is oldest literature of the world and is known as “First testament” of mankind
The famous Gayatri Mantra comes from third Mandala of Rig-Veda
The first hymn (11) of Rig-Veda is dedicated to Vedic God Agni
One entire Mandala (ninth) is dedicated to the Vedic beverage Soma
The Nadistuti sukta is hymn dedicated to 10 rivers of contemporary India
The Nasadiya Sukta talks about the origin of the Universe and is part of 10th Mandala This Sukta states a paradox “not the non-existent existed, nor did the existent exist then” This particular statement has attracted a lots of commentaries in both Indian and western theology
There are two branches of Rig-Veda viz Shakala Shakha and Vatkal or Bhashkala Shakha Two Brahmans of Rig-Veda are Aitreya and Kaushitaki
On Yajurveda
It contains rituals for yajnas and is ascribed to Advaryus who prepared ground for Yajnas
It is world’s oldest prose literature
Two branches Shukla and Shyama Shyama is older than Shukla and has no separate Brahman Shukla is newer and has three Brahmanas attached to it viz Kathaka, Taittiriya and Shatapatha Brahmana
Dhanurveda is Upaveda of Yajurveda
On Sam Veda
Samaveda contains the rhythmic compilation of Hymns for Rig-Veda The 1549 hymns are there to be sung at the Soma Sacrifice by a special class of Brahamins called Udgatris
Gandharveveda is Upaveda of Samveda
Panchavisha, Shadvisha and Jaiminiya Brahmanas are attached to Samaveda
On Atharvaveda
Atharvaveda is chronologically the latest Veda It describes the popular beliefs and superstitions of the humble folk
It contains the magic spells, incorporates much of early traditions of healing and magic that are paralleled in other Indo-European literatures
It is ascribed to Atharvans and Angiras
Gopatha Brahman is linked to Atharvaveda
Atharvaveda has no Aranyakas appended to it
The following graphics shows list of Brahmans of four Vedas for quick reference

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