This Rigveda is considered to be one of the four sacred Veda texts in Hindu religion. The depth of the texts in the canonical is called the Rigveda Samhita. This is a collection of over a thousand hymns known as suktas and well above ten thousand verses which have been created into ten mandalas or books. The hymns and verses circulate around the praise and worship of deities and have other thought-provoking and philosophical context. These issues are addressed in the hymns that tackle societal questions of the time. The compilation is considered to be sacred and pious to this day and holds extreme importance in the Hindu culture. It is the precedence of all the religious text that was written in the centuries to come.
The ideas and notions of the Rig Veda can be seen to be based on the following summarization:
- The composition of the Veda is attributed to families of ten rishis that have contributed to the curation of the majority of the lineage. These include the hymns from each clan as well as other religious text for rituals and customs. There are primarily two known schools of the text called as the Sakalya and the Baskala which include the Brahmanas and Upanishads.
- The Rig Veda is an amalgamation of four major components. This includes the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aryankas and the Upanishads.
- The Samhitas are the texts involving the hymns to the deities and constitute the oldest section of the Rig Veda. The Brahmanas are the section pertaining to the commentaries for the hymns. This section is particularly referred to as the Rigveda Brahmana while the popular reference to Rig Veda, in general, is to the Samhitas. The Aryankas are also known as the forest books and the Upanishads include other verses of religious text.
- The Veda is composed of ten Mandalas each of which serves significant purposes. The primary purpose is seen as hymns in the praise of the Hindu deities. There is a documentation of the stories of different Hindu gods and goddesses including Surya, Indra, Rudra, Vayu, Agni, Vishnu, and other Hindu deities. These are the oldest forms of documentation that form a foundation for the Hindu beliefs.
- The stories within the Rig Veda called the Suktas were a reflection of the Hindu philosophy and belief system. They were used for ritualistic purposes in marriages and other religious ceremonies. There are other interesting iterations of the Suktas which were purposed to drive away illness and other forms of negativity from one‘s life.
- The Veda also speaks about issues of morality and the right societal behaviour. It tackles important issues of the time like gambling and the right measures for good governance. It served both as a religious source as well as a moral guide in the Vedic and post Vedic times.
- There is a significant mention of the geographical beauty of the subcontinent with some Mandalas. The hymns pertain to the different seasons and talk about each of the significant rivers flowing through the Indus Valley. It is a very important source of evidence for the geographical structure of the subcontinent in the Vedic era. There are several other purposes like cures to different diseases, knowledge of weapons and shields, mentions of the rains and other seasons, etc. that the Veda carries forward through the centuries.
- The instructions of the Veda influenced life in the subcontinent for the years to come. It presents the rightful duties of the different classes which were followed and deep-rooted in the society for centuries. The importance of religion and goodwill are the fundamental highlights of the compilation. It has several mentions on the significance of worship, sacrifices and religious rituals.
The Veda and its scriptures are so deep-rooted that some other verses and texts are memorized and recited even today at auspicious occasions. These prayers and verses are therefore the world’s oldest religious scriptures that are continued to be used in the present day scenario.
There are primarily five schools or shakhas of the Rig Veda out of which only two have survived to the recent times. The interactions of the sounds and the phonetics were crucial towards preserving its truest form. It is interesting to learn that the Rig Veda wasn’t written down right until the 4th century AD and yet it was possible to preserve it within the walls of the Hindu culture. The oldest manuscript of the Veda is in Brahmi script which was the popularly used dialect when the language was preserved as text.
Thus, the centrally crucial religious anchor in the form of the Rig Veda took shape in the Vedic period. The Veda then went on to hold supreme importance with its abundance of knowledge, as it does in the Hindu religion today.