The Upanishads treat high and deep philosophical problems. That literature, whether Vedic or post-Vedic, would be Utterly useless to the student, whether for religious or historical or literary purposes, if he did not bring to his study a critical spirit, and if in his veneration for what is undoubtedly ancient, he forgot to distinguish between the genuine and the adulterated article, to separate the wheat from the chaff. The word seen here is intelligible only in the sense of mental vision—for unwritten words could have no corporeal existence such as alone could be the subject of physical vision. The enumeration and registration of words and letters may serve to prevent interpolations, but not variations. The Muktika gives a list of ten Upanishads which are considered as superior to the rest, or as the best of the hundred and eight already referred to. Bharat’s Natyashashtra is based upon Gandharvaveda. There are 108 Upanishads. European scholars surmise that the monotheistic Suktas are the productions of a later age. It served as a great unifying force in the Indian sub-continent. I hasten to offer a few observations on the Devatas of the Suktas. Others again, like the celebrated 129th Sukta of the tenth Mandala, are merely lofty philosophical speculations, not hymns. They discuss the problems of Brahman and Atman. The sooner we dissever ourselves with that great past in which the Brahmans arc the most prominent figure, the better for us all. There is, however, some authority in the Shastras for the opinion that they had a divine origin—but the general current of orthodox opinion is that they are un-born, self-existing, eternal and without a beginning. We can gather valuable information about the political, social, economic life of the Vedic Aryans from the literature of Rig Veda and the other three Vedas. These are the difficulties in your way, but let us not forget that although a knowledge of Sanskrit is more general in this country than in Europe, there are probably more Vedic scholars in Europe than in this country. Take, for instance, Byron's great Apostrophe to the Ocean, or Shelley's Ode to the Skylark, or some of Collins's Odes. [2] The Adharyus were the officiating priests who performed the sacrifice according to the Yajur-Mantras. . Some are not hymns at all.

Vedangas are six auxiliary disciplines associated with the study and understanding of the Vedas. This is the main feature which distinguishes it from the Rik and the Sama. The Brahamanas deal with rituals and sacrifices. We must begin to take a serious interest in Vedic studies. It is organized in 10 books which are called Mandalas. The Upanishads represent the final portion of the Vedic Literature, and is therefore often called the Vedanta.

European scholars do not appear to have attached any weight to the circumstance that it was the requirements of Vedic sacrifices which guided the arrangements of the Vedic compilations, whence questions of priority or posteriority have been allowed to rise. They are the productions of human authors, composed during various stages of social progress, and on any subject, lay or theological, religious or secular, among a people gifted with a strong religious instinct. Such portions of the Brahmanas as used to be recited in the forests went by the name of Aranyaka. I use the word group because none of the four groups consists of a single collection or of a treatise or a number of treatises of a homogeneous character. The one most prominently recognized in modern History is the Buddhistic movement.

Introduction: In the Vedic Literature of Ancient India, Sanskrit became the vehicle of expression of thought. I wish to draw your attention to another matter, which I consider to be a misconception of some serious importance, and which, I am afraid, I must be irreverent enough to style the heliomania of European scholars. It means “knowledge“. Each Veda consists of a Mantra portion, a number of treatises known as the Brahmanas, and another set of treatises or discourses known as the Upanishads. Such Suktas are of the nature of ballads or lyrical poems, which in the course of time, lost their original signification and their secular character, and placed side by side with Suktas avowedly theological, acquired the same sanctity as the latter.

The Aranyakas deal with philosophical doctrines. Thus, we find that the requirements of the Vedic Yajnas furnished the principle which apparently guided the classification of the Vedas into four groups. I want to draw your attention now to the Rishi. May that shadow never grow less! which mak'st our earthEndurable, and temperest the huesAnd hearts of all who walk within thy rays!Sire of the seasons! Take the case of the work which next to the Vedas, exercises the greatest influence on the Hindus, and is regarded by them with the greatest reverence,—I mean the Mahabharata. I have spoken of a Sukta addressed to two carts; the carts are the Devata there.

The idea and principles of Karma (action) and Moksha (spiritual liberation) are widely accepted by the people belonging to Hindu faith. The 51st hymn of the tenth Mandala is, again, a dialogue between Agni and the other gods, and not a hymn. I mean the question of their authorship. It served as a great unifying force in the Indian sub-continent. Yajnavalkya was the Reformer. The final classification and arrangement is attributed to Krishna Dwaipayana, surnamed Vyasa, but there is good reason to believe that he worked on the basis of previously existing compilations. Vedic literature is also placed on the Sarasvati River, the most revered of all the Vedic rivers and the great mother of the Vedic people. If you remember this, you will find no difficulty in agreeing with me that these productions have as much right to be called Suktas as the opening hymn to the Fire in the Rig-Veda Samhita, and many others that follow.[3]. . Yet it is beyond question that the age of the Upanishads is later than that of the ritualistic portions of Brahmanas. But in the case of Vedic sacrifices of ancient India, sixteen priests were absolutely necessary. It was composed around 1700 BC. Separated as we are by countless ages from the times during which they were composed, it is only by a loving study and patient thoughtfulness that we can catch glimpses of the profound signification of these grand utterances of our glorious forefathers. This was called Black Yajurveda. Shruti and Smriti. You can well conceive that in the course of time the meaning of the Suktas of the Vedic Samhitas should come to be less intelligible to the Vedic student than they used to be to those who were nearer in point of time to the ages in which they were composed. Classification of schools. If a great Pandit should tell you that the Vedas are eternal, do not believe him unless you can find reasonable evidence in the Vedas themselves of their eternal existence; and if Professor Max Müller should tell you that the Vedic mythology is nothing but a series of Solar myths, never believe him unless you find, according to your own lights, that that is the only rational explanation which it admits of. Not less than two hundred Upanishads belong, or belonged, to the Atharva Veda alone. A single illustration may suffice to convince you. The sooner the other Hindus cast off the Brahman's yoke—for still Brahmanical ordinances rule India—the better for them. I prefer to devote the little time left us this evening to a brief survey of the vast field of Vedic Literature. It ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda. To begin with the Vedas were recited and not written. That the Aranis were meant is clearly shown by Urvasi's words. Even in the case of a comparatively modern Sanskrit poem like the Meghaduta—a short poem of about a hundred slokas, it is difficult to say at the present day how many slokas it originally consisted of. But all compositions must be either verse or prose; prose cannot be sung; hence Sama Mantras are also metrical. Modern science understands that solar heat causes water to vaporise, that the aqueous vapour is accumulated and kept suspended in the atmosphere, till by cooling of the aerial temperature condensation takes place, clouds are formed, and under proper conditions, the aqueous vapour is returned to the earth in torrents of rain. Chadogya Aranyaka has Chadogya Upnishad and Jaiminiya Aranyaka has Jaiminiya Upnishad. European scholars call them hymns.

They knew only that He who had made all things, also gave us the rain—as is certainly the case, and they sung the praises of God the Rain-giver.

The Kauthumi, followed in Upper India, and the Ranayani, followed in the South, alone survive. Another school of native Vedic scholars hold that the Suktas admit of three different interpretations, viz., one on the side of Nature-worship; a second on the Yajna or sacrificial side; and the third on the side of pure monotheism. Atharva Veda: The Atharva Veda contains information on politics, social sciences, medicine and also magic. Ravi, I may state here, is indeed considered to be derived from the root, It is also said that Yajnavalkya was surnamed Vajasaneya, whence the Samhita is called,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. In my last address I said that I had more to say about the Rig-Veda Samhita than I had time to say, or you to hear, on that occasion. The question arises, if so many of the hymns were originally secular in their character, cannot the same be predicted of those Suktas which present the appearance of true hymns? The Vedic Rishis appear to me to have fully grapsed the idea that there was an Omnipotent and Omnipresent Author of the Universe, and that He was One and Undivided. That literature, whether Vedic or post-Vedic, would be Utterly useless to the student, whether for religious or historical or literary purposes, if he did not bring to his study a critical spirit, and if in his veneration for what is undoubtedly ancient, he forgot to distinguish between the genuine and the adulterated article, to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Rig Veda is written in the form of hymns. it has no Brahman) while the Shukla Yajurveda has separately a Brahmana text, the Shatapatha Brahmana. Aida—earth-born, is a name which may well be given to a bit of wood, or to terrestrial fire, but cannot, by any stretch of philological legerdemain, be made to apply to the sun. As a Brahman, as an humble member of the caste, thus vituperated, as a descendant however unworthy, of that great priesthood who formed the noblest intellectual aristocracy that the world has ever seen, I may be pardoned if I venture to call on the great German scholar to count up the victims of the Inquisition, add to them the slaughtered thousands of St. Bartholomew's day and the Sicilian Vespers, and then add again the untold millions who fell in the crusades; and then lay his hand upon his heart and say, if he cannot recollect instances of priestly unscrupulousness more flagrant than he can lay at the door of the Brahmans of India. Now, authors, poets as well as others, often put the words they wish to say into the mouths of other persons real or fictitious. The Mantra portion of each of the Veda is known as its Samhita. Unwritten literatures have probably existed in other countries also, but in point of vastness and importance the unwritten literature of no other country can bear any comparison with that of India. There is not a particle of evidence in support of such an assertion. 3.1 Early Vedic literature (Stuti) According to Hindu belief, Stuti literature of Vedic literature was not composed by any living being. A list of six systems or ṣaḍdarśanas (also spelled Sad Darshan) consider Vedas as a reliable source of knowledge and an authoritative source.