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Atharava Veda Part I

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saidevo

Well-known member
Highlights of the Atharva veda

Here is a small compilation of some of the highlights of Atharva veda.

01. Out of the four Rtvijas, the principal Rtvija BrahmA is directly related to this very Veda (i.e., Atharva veda). The place of BrahmA among the Rtvijas of Council of offering is at the top; i.e. he is chairperson. The responsibility assigned to BrahmA is to supervise the methods of offerings and rectify the errors. He can only handle such particular liability when all Vedas are well learnt to him. He should also possess a strong will power too.
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02. It has been stated in the Gopatha brAhmaNa 1.3.2 of the Atharva veda that

"Only a part of offering is processed by application of the three Vedas. The second part of it, is processed by BrahmA through the application of mind or mental power."

(GBr_1,3.2a) prajapatir yajñam atanuta
(GBr_1,3.2b) sa ?caiva hautram akarod yaju?adhvaryava? samnaudgatram atharva?girobhir brahmatvam_
(GBr_1,3.2c) ta? va eta? mahavadya? kurute yad ?caiva hautram akarod yaju?adhvaryava? samnaudgatram atharva?girobhir brahmatvam_
(GBr_1,3.2d) sa va e?a tribhir vedair yajñasyanyatara? pak?a? sa?skriyate
(GBr_1,3.2e) manasaiva brahma yajñasyanyatra? pak?a? sa?skaroti_
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03. Aitareya brAhmaNa 5.33 of the Rig Veda states:

In the sacrifice there are both, speech and mind, required. By means of speech the three priests of the three-fold science perform one part (assigned to vAk); but the BrahmA priest performs his duty by the mind only...

Just as a man who walks with one foot only, or a carriage which has one wheel only, falls to the ground, in the same manner the sacrifice falls to the ground (bhreshan nyeti), and if the sacrifice has fallen, the sacrificer falls after it too (if the BrahmA priest talks during the time they ought to be silent).
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04. Actually, Atharva veda describes the application of both types of ceremonies viz. Peaceful affirmation and the witchcraft (AbichArikA) ceremonies... The king requires performing the shAntika-pauShTika deeds and talApuruSha mahAdAna etc. (purohitaM yathA atharva-mantra-brAhmaNaM pAragam--mantra puShpam).

The priest should be expert in application of Atharva hymns and BrAhmaNa. It has been mentioned in the Atharva-parishiShTa (4.6, bhAShya of SAyaNa) that the nation where resides the priest, expert in ShAntikarma and well learned in Atharva veda, attains accession to without any fear of invasions and disturbances. "Hence, it is necessary for a king that he should honour daily with pray, donation and respect to the priest well learned to Atharva veda and commander of his memory organs.
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05. A certain number of AchAryas have accepted it as the first veda on the premise of this very significance that Atharva veda holds. Jayanta BhaTTa in his nyAya manjarI (page 237-238) has accepted it as the first veda among the total four vedas.
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06. nAgara khaNDa too submits while accepting it as the first veda: "As Atharva is mainly used for the accomplishments of all worldly sects, it is called the first veda."
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07. AchArya SAyaNa observes in the introduction of this veda that the three earlier vedas are for spiritual ends while the fourth and last Atharva veda is for both worldly and higher purpose. *02

ऐहिकामुष्मिक फलम् चतुर्थम् व्यासि कीर्शति

aihikAmuShmika phalam chaturtham vyAsi kIrshati

"The various sukha-samRtti phalas relating to this and the other worlds are spoken only in the fourth veda which is the AtharvaNa Veda."
*****

08. In the same way, in the descriptions and details of yajnas too, this remains in competition with the other Vedas. In the Rg Veda itself from the mantras such as: *02

ते हि प्रजाया अभरन्त वि श्रवो बृहस्पतिर् वृषभः सोमजामयः ।
यज्ञैरथर्वा प्रथमो वि धारयद् देवा दक्षैर् भृगवः सं चिकित्रिरे ॥ १०.०९२.१० ॥

te hi prajAyA abharanta vi shravo bRuhaspatir vRuShabhaH somajAmayaH |
yaj~jairatharvA prathamo vi dhArayad devA dakShair bhRugavaH saM chikitrire || 10.092.10 ||

10.092.10 Inasmuch as Br.haspati, the showerer (of benefits) and the kindred of Soma (the Visvedeva_s), bestow food (for the support) of people, Atharvan was the first to invigorate (the gods) with sacrifices; with strength the gods and Bhr.gus discovered (the cattle). [With strength: i.e., with the strength acquired from the sacrifice which they had eaten; having gone to the sacrifice made by Atharvan, they discovered the cattle; cf. RV 1.83.5].--Tr.H.H.Wilson
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09. and the following, it is mentioned that the yajna-karma relates to the atharvan (who practises this veda). *02

त्वाम् अग्ने पुष्कराद् अध्य् अथर्वा निर् अमन्थत ।
मूर्ध्नो विश्वस्य वाघतः ॥ ६.०१६.१३ ॥

tvAm agne puShkarAd adhy atharvA nir amanthata |
mUrdhno vishvasya vAghataH || 6.016.13 ||

6.016.13 The sage, Atharvan, extracted you from upon the lotus-leaf, the head, the support of the universe. [tvam pus.kara_d adhi atharvo nirmanthata, murdhno vis.vasya va_ghatah: pus.kara_dadhi = pus.karaparn.e, lotus-leaf; pus.kara parn.e praja_patir bhu_mim aparthayat = upon the lotus-leaf praja_pati made manifest the earth, a probable acount of the creation in Manu; since it supported the earth, it may be termed the head, mu_rdhan, or the bearer, va_ghata for va_haka, of all things; atharvan means pra_n.a, vital air extracted fire or animal heat from the water, pra_n.a udakasaka_s'a_d Agnim nis'es.an.a mathitava_n; va_ghata = r.tvij, the ministrant priest; so the sentence is explained: all the priests churned you out of the head or top of the wood of attrition].--Tr.H.H.Wilson
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10. In vedic literature, Atharva veda has other names: AmRta veda, Atma veda, Amgiro veda, AtharvAngirasa, BrgvAngirasa, kSAtra, BhaiShajya, and Chando-veda, etc. The Atharva veda presents its own name as AtharvAngirasaH.
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11. While interpreting the term 'atharva', nirukta of Yaska 11.2.18 states: "tharva root is applied in the meaning of rudeness, curvy, dynamically, violence etc. Hence the term atharva is meant by attainment of the stability of mind with exercising modesty and non-violence."
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12. Atharva veda is also addressed as Brahma veda after BrahmA, the chairperson of the yajna-samsada--Offering Council. BrahmA should be well learned with four vedas, with *****
outstanding knowledge in Atharva veda. (gopatha brAhmaNa 1.5:15)
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13. ChAndogya upaniShad 3.1.1 to 3.4.2 has this simile about the four vedas:

• Aum, the onder sun is indeed the honey of the gods. Of this honey, heaven is the cross-beam, the sky is the honeycomb, and (the water particles in) the rays are the eggs.

• The eastern rays of that sun are its eastern honey-cells; the Rks are the bees (te ritual of) the Rgveda is the flower and those waters are the nectar.

• And its souther rays are its souther honey-cells. The Yajus verses are the bees. The Yajurveda is the flower and those waters are the nectar.

• And its western rays are its western honey-cells. The SAman verses are the bees. The SAmaveda is the flower; and those waters are the nectar.

• And the northern rays are its northern honey-cells. The mantras of the Atharvaveda are the bees. The ItihAss and the PurANa are the flower; and those waters are the nectar.
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14. One more thing is to be noted that the hymns of Atharvan are with the deeds of peace and confirmation, and the hymns of Angiras are witchcraft (AbhichArikA). Since they take this order, the veda is known as AtharvAngirasa veda.
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15. The name BRgu in the name BRghvAngirasa veda stands for BRgu RShi, a disciple of Angirasa, who popularised the Atharva Veda (go.brAh.1.3.4)
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16. Some other names of the Atharva Veda, which are not much known are:

• In ChandAmsi-Atharva 11.7.24, it is addressed as Chandoveda and RchAH sAmAa yajurmahI--AV 10.7.14, as mahIveda.

• In shatapatha brAhmaNa 14.8.14, it is kSAtra veda and in AV 11.6.14, it is addressed as bhaiShajya veda.
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17. With all such names, why only the name Atharva veda came into vogue?

Here Dr.Karmabelkar gives the scholarly statement that "This title is abbreviated term of the oldest and original title AtharvAngirasaH which with probability, not only includes the names of the two ancient mythical sages but also represents their very characteristic representations and contributions. In the later period, BRgu replaced the name Atharvan and the title was shortened to the convenient and handy title Atharva veda."
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18. Of course, the name Atharvan, Angiras and BhRgu also occur in the Rg Veda many times but there they designate only some mythic personages, nowhere do they refer to any kind of literary composition.
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19. In the period of the BrAhmaNa literature, the position of the Atharva appears to have swung in a bewidering manner, for sometimes it is referred to while at other times it is neglected. At one place shatapatha brAhmaNa 1.1.3.2.3, omits the name of this veda, but at some other places this text speaks for this veda by its very name--11.5.6.4-8. Besides this, some of the shrauta sUtras also mention a name of this veda: shAngkhAyana 16.2.2 and AshvalAyanIyaM 10.7.1.
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20. taittirIya samhitA 7.3.1.4 says:

parimitA vA RchaH parimitAni sAmAni
parimitAni yajumShi atha etasyaiva
anto nAsti tat brahma

The Rks are limited (parimita), the sAmans are limited, and the yajuShes are limited, but for the topics dealt with in the Atharva veda, there is no limit.

Here, the term 'brahma' indicates the Atharva veda *02, as known from the following AtharvaNa mantra:

(AVS_15,6.3[6.8]b)
tam Rchas cha sAmAni cha yajumShi cha
brahma chAnuvyacalan | [8]
*****

Ref:
01. 'Atharva veda samhitA' Tr. by W.D.Whitney and SAyaNa bhAShya, ed. K.L.Joshi

02. Dr.V.Gopalan, retired professor of Sanskrit, who researched the kaushika gRhya sUtram of the atharva veda for his doctrate, in a brief introductory Tamizh book on this veda published by the famous KaDalangguDi Publications, Chennai says this among other things about the importance of the Atharva Veda.

*****

More learned members may discuss the pros and cons on the individual points above.
 
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happyhindu

Well-known member
04. Actually, Atharva veda describes the application of both types of ceremonies viz. Peaceful affirmation and the witchcraft (AbichArikA) ceremonies... The king requires performing the shAntika-pauShTika deeds and talApuruSha mahAdAna etc. (purohitaM yathA atharva-mantra-brAhmaNaM pAragam--mantra puShpam).

[..]
14. One more thing is to be noted that the hymns of Atharvan are with the deeds of peace and confirmation, and the hymns of Angiras are witchcraft (AbhichArikA). Since they take this order, the veda is known as AtharvAngirasa veda.
Dear Shri Saidevo,

I request you to refrain from using the word 'witchcraft' for the atharva abhicharika. Its the Englishman's translation and is inappropriate. Usually the word आभिचारिक (abhicharika) is translated as enchantment, spell, or magic. Of these 'magic' is more commonly used. Me too use the word "magical rituals" for abhichara rituals.

06. nAgara khaNDa too submits while accepting it as the first veda: "As Atharva is mainly used for the accomplishments of all worldly sects, it is called the first veda."

07. AchArya SAyaNa observes in the introduction of this veda that the three earlier vedas are for spiritual ends while the fourth and last Atharva veda is for both worldly and higher purpose. *02
Is it the Nagara Khanda of the Skanda Purana? If yes, then it may be of interest for the readers to note that Banavasi and its surrounding regions were designated as Nagara-Khanda and this region was closely associated with Puranic stories. However, there is no conclusive proof that the Banavasi Nagara-Khanda people wrote the Skanda-Purana.

We know that the Atharva-Veda had several recensions and Kalpas because they are listed in the Nagara-Khanda of the Skanda Purana (it is possibly the only source that provides the list). Today only two recensions have survived, that is the Pippalada and Shaunaka. Historically it is of note that the Shaunakas claimed to be Brahmins of Kshatriya descent as Kshatropeta Brahmanas.

The Nagara-Khanda were also a class of nobles from the Nagara-Khanda (Banavasi) region. They are associated with the early-Pallavas and Sathavahanas and are said to have patronized Jainism (for a time period). Some notes on them can be found here: The Rise Of The Pallavas. Part 2

The early Pallavas produced some rock-cut temples (Mahabalipuram of them being the most popular i suppose) and were in the habit of depicting their deities in relief. The art of dhulichitra (rangoli or kolam) is also claimed by some to come from early-Pallava practices.

Of note is a strange abhichara (spell) associated with the dhulichitra art described in the Bhavishyottara purana. In this ritual-art, the king draws out a figure of Maha-Bali with a crown and ornaments at night in the middle of his palace. He also draws out Mahabali's queen Vindhyavali. Mahabali's figure is surrounded by other asuras like Bana, Kushmanda, Mura, etc.

Then the King with his brothers and ministers offer worship to Mahabali lauding him as the future Indra with several kinds of lotuses. The naivedya of food included meat and wine. After this, they would stay awake the whole night watching drama presented by actors on the stories of kshatriyas. [More details available in "Kaladarshana" by Joanna Williams, p.70].

Commentators mention that this was the period of struggle / fights between the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas. Points pending research are
1) Were the kshatriyas represented by the atharva-vedis ? and;
2) Did they claim to be kshatropeta brahmanas during this struggle-period or after the post-fight merger period (and did they possibly get themselves the pre-eminent position as the presiding brahmana of all sacrifices in the post-fight merger period) ?

But anyways, it should not be a surprise that Nagara-Khanda calls Atharva the first veda while others call it the last veda.

It may also be of interest to note the links between the Nagaras who were historically noted to be Nagas. And dhulichitra (continued to be preserved ? and ) was used in ritualism of "spells" in the households of the Namboodiris and the Samanta families [Refer: P.257 of this book: Maṇḍalas and Yantras in the Hindu ... - Google Books ]

18. Of course, the name Atharvan, Angiras and BhRgu also occur in the Rg Veda many times but there they designate only some mythic personages, nowhere do they refer to any kind of literary composition.
Shri Saidevo, Please could you provide the reference for this?

Regards.
 
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saidevo

Well-known member
namaste smt.HH.

Book no.01 that I have mentioned under 'Ref:' in my compilation is the source for both the interpretation of the word AbichArikA as witchcraft, point no.18 and the other points except those marked with '*2', which are from Dr.Gopalan's book. I think you mentioned in another thread that the Rg veda has fifteen or so references to the term Atharvan with no indication that they relate to the Atharva veda text.

It may be noted from point no.07 that while Dr.V.Gopalan (author of book no.02 under Ref.) finds clear references to Atharva vedic text and yajnas in the Rig Veda, W.D.Whitney does not, but then we should also remember that while Whitney is a linguist of the colonial era, Gopalan is an accomplished, contemporary native Sanskrit Scholar who has specialized in the Atharva Veda.

I agree with you on the interpretation of the term 'AbichArikA'. As for the details of the nAgara khaNDa of the Skanda PurANa, they are interesting, but my objective was to present some evidences showing that Atharva veda was practised along with the other three vedas and was not looked upon/down as a later text, despite the absence of such references in some later texts.
 
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happyhindu

Well-known member
namaste smt.HH.

Book no.01 that I have mentioned under 'Ref:' in my compilation is the source for both the interpretation of the word AbichArikA as witchcraft, point no.18 and the other points except those marked with '*2', which are from Dr.Gopalan's book. I think you mentioned in another thread that the Rg veda has fifteen or so references to the term Atharvan with no indication that they relate to the Atharva veda text.

It may be noted from point no.07 that while Dr.V.Gopalan (author of book no.02 under Ref.) finds clear references to Atharva vedic text and yajnas in the Rig Veda, W.D.Whitney does not, but then we should also remember that while Whitney is a linguist of the colonial era, Gopalan is an accomplished, contemporary native Sanskrit Scholar who has specialized in the Atharva Veda.
Dear Shri Saidevo,

Am reproducing point no.07 below. From the below I understand that Sayana commented upon the atharva-veda thus. And the same was reported by V.Gopalan in his book.

However, from point.07, I fail to see how Gopalan or Sayana found "clear references to Atharva vedic text and yajnas in the Rig Veda". Could you please elaborate where in the Rigveda are the atharvavedic texts / yajnas mentioned?

07. AchArya SAyaNa observes in the introduction of this veda that the three earlier vedas are for spiritual ends while the fourth and last Atharva veda is for both worldly and higher purpose. *02

ऐहिकामुष्मिक फलम् चतुर्थम् व्यासि कीर्शति

aihikAmuShmika phalam chaturtham vyAsi kIrshati

"The various sukha-samRtti phalas relating to this and the other worlds are spoken only in the fourth veda which is the AtharvaNa Veda."

This regards your point.18 in blue:
18. Of course, the name Atharvan, Angiras and BhRgu also occur in the Rg Veda many times but there they designate only some mythic personages, nowhere do they refer to any kind of literary composition.

I wanted to know the source because i thot it was original research on my part :( Did not know Whitney had written about it.

Regards.
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste smt.HH.

If you meant in your post no.5, to point out my mistake in my statement in post no.4--"It may be noted from point no.07"--that this point hardly has any references to the Rg veda, you are right and I am wrong.

But then I have mentioned Dr.Gopalan's references to the Rg veda in points no.08 and 09. I have now edited the compilation, marking the point numbers in bold and separating them with a line of asterisks, for easier reference.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
This is something I wrote about Atharva Veda. thought I may as well post it.

The Atharvaveda is concerned with the material world or world of man and in this respect differs from the other three Vedas. Atharvaveda also sanctions the use of force, in particular circumstances and similarly this point is a departure from the three other Vedas

Unlike the other three Vedas, the Atharvanaveda has less connection with sacrifice. Its first part consists chiefly of spells and incantations, concerned with protection against non human forces and disaster, spells for the healing of diseases, for long life and for various desires or aims in life.

Atharva Veda is different from other Vedas in that it contains non-religious material like Ayur Veda. Some of its Mantras are repetitions of the mantras in other Vedas with slight modifications. For example Devya Atharvaseersham contains portions of Vak Sooktham or Devi Suktham from Rig Veda. But this is considered more effective and it is recited before Devi Mahatmyam. Ganapathy Atharvasheersham is another important text. Two Sakhas of Atharva Veda paippalāda and śaunakīya still exist.

Because it contains non-religious texts the rules governing the other Vedas were relaxed. This was to enable the medical people to earn the relevant portions. Of course it is true that it contains non-religious mantras which could be used for Abhichara.

It is also possible that this Veda was open to castes other than Brahmins. The Vaidyas or the people who practice Ayur Veda are not always Brahmins.

May be Brahmins who wrote the Smiritis did not want to be associated with these mantra rituals.

These are the reasons for Atharva Veda being considered by some as not part of the Vedas.

The Atharvaveda is the fourth Veda. Its status has occasionally been ambiguous, probably due to its use in sorcery and healing. However, it contains very old materials in early Vedic language. Manusmrti, which often speaks of the three Vedas, calling them trayam-brahma-sanātanam, "the triple eternal Veda". The Atharvaveda like the Rigveda, is a collection of original incantations, and other materials borrowing relatively little from the Rigveda. It has no direct relation to the solemn Śrauta sacrifices, except for the fact that the mostly silent Brahmán priest observes the procedures and uses Atharvaveda mantras to 'heal' it when mistakes have been made. Its recitation also produces long life, cures diseases, or effects the ruin of enemies.
Atharva Veda contains Mundaka Upanishad one of the earliest principal Upanishad. Adi Sankara wrote a commentary on that.

The Mundaka Upanishad is the source of the phrase Satyameva jayate , the national motto of India.

About the Abhichara mantra prayoga some people believe that the mantric Prayoga of Kerala follows the Atharva Veda. But my interaction with Mantrics there have not confirmed this.

Talking about Vedas, the Vedas were evolved over a period of more than a thousand years. It stretches from late Bronze age to the Iron age. The society would have undergone a lot of changes in these thousand years. Lot of new ideas would have come about. Dynasties would have arisen and died.

See the change from 1000 A.D to 2011 A.D. A man who is from 1000 A.D would not have even imagined what we are today. So how do we expect the Vedas which were evolved over a period of 1000 years to be uniform. Vyasa was the name for a compiler. There have been many Vyasas. It is a profession. We can understand the exact reasons for many of these mysteries only if we understand the basis of the classification/division into four Vedas. Many theories have been put forth. None of them satisfactory.

Vedic Science is a subject of specialization in some of the universities of Bengal. I do not know whether it is taught in Tamil Nadu.

Again in this regard we tend to talk about tribes and their assimilation. But in the thousand years of the evolution of the Vedas many of the local tribes or indegenous people would have been absorbed into the Vaidic dharma. Their ideas and thoughts would have also had an effect. Then India has had its own share of rationalists from ancient times. They also played a role in the development of religion. The Rishis who wrote the early Vedas were different from the Rishis who wrote Aranyakas. Early Rishis were grahasthas. Later rishis included renunciates, naked sadhus, jadathari etc. etc. Their ideas were assimilated into the Vedas.

There have some early Indologists who argued that the Upanishads represented a revolt aginst karma kanda. These theories did not find much favour. The story of Satyakama Jabala found in the Chandogya Upanishad shows how a son of a common woman, who does not even know his father's name, could be admitted to the highest teachings. This shows that there were Rishis who were opposed to the rigidity of the caste system. The very fact that this story was not edited out of the Upanishads shows that such ideas was allowed. They did not excommunicate Rishi Gowthama nor did they they expunge his name from all records like what has been done to dissenters in some other religions. The story of Adi Sankara and the Chandala was to illustrate this point. Of course some of the conformists give their own interpretation of these stories. So the disent against the rigidity of the caste system started with the Vedic period. Upanishads have been quoted extensively by the later social reformers.

Again we keep on harping about indigenous people and tribes. We are talking about a period of 3000 years. Most of the indigenous people have been absorbed into the main stream India. The present tribes have escaped the assimilation mostly because they reside in inaccessible places. Take the history of any country. Please read about the tribes of Britain.

BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Native Tribes of Britain

Where are they now? They have been assimilated or absorbed.

But unlike in Britain Hinduism has taken a number of deities, ideas and practices from the indigenous people.

Talking about indigenous religions/tribes only in relation to India is not correct to say the least. Because most Western countries have a history of masscre of the indigenous people, they tend to think of India also that way. This is wrong.
 
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happyhindu

Well-known member
namaste smt.HH.

If you meant in your post no.5, to point out my mistake in my statement in post no.4--"It may be noted from point no.07"--that this point hardly has any references to the Rg veda, you are right and I am wrong.
Dear Shri Saidevo,

Yes, point.07 does not indicate or mention about the 'presence of Atharvaveda text / yajnas in the Rig Veda'.

But then I have mentioned Dr.Gopalan's references to the Rg veda in points no.08 and 09. I have now edited the compilation, marking the point numbers in bold and separating them with a line of asterisks, for easier reference.
Dr.Gopalan's work that you have mentioned as points 08 and 09, also do not mention the existance of atharvaveda texts / yajnas in the Rigveda.

In this point 08 and point 09,
08. In the same way, in the descriptions and details of yajnas too, this remains in competition with the other Vedas. In the Rg Veda itself from the mantras such as: *02

ते हि प्रजाया अभरन्त वि श्रवो बृहस्पतिर् वृषभः सोमजामयः ।
यज्ञैरथर्वा प्रथमो वि धारयद् देवा दक्षैर् भृगवः सं चिकित्रिरे ॥ १०.०९२.१० ॥

te hi prajAyA abharanta vi shravo bRuhaspatir vRuShabhaH somajAmayaH |
yaj~jairatharvA prathamo vi dhArayad devA dakShair bhRugavaH saM chikitrire || 10.092.10 ||

10.092.10 Inasmuch as Br.haspati, the showerer (of benefits) and the kindred of Soma (the Visvedeva_s), bestow food (for the support) of people, Atharvan was the first to invigorate (the gods) with sacrifices; with strength the gods and Bhr.gus discovered (the cattle). [With strength: i.e., with the strength acquired from the sacrifice which they had eaten; having gone to the sacrifice made by Atharvan, they discovered the cattle; cf. RV 1.83.5].--Tr.H.H.Wilson

09. and the following, it is mentioned that the yajna-karma relates to the atharvan (who practises this veda). *02

त्वाम् अग्ने पुष्कराद् अध्य् अथर्वा निर् अमन्थत ।
मूर्ध्नो विश्वस्य वाघतः ॥ ६.०१६.१३ ॥

tvAm agne puShkarAd adhy atharvA nir amanthata |
mUrdhno vishvasya vAghataH || 6.016.13 ||

6.016.13 The sage, Atharvan, extracted you from upon the lotus-leaf, the head, the support of the universe. [tvam pus.kara_d adhi atharvo nirmanthata, murdhno vis.vasya va_ghatah: pus.kara_dadhi = pus.karaparn.e, lotus-leaf; pus.kara parn.e praja_patir bhu_mim aparthayat = upon the lotus-leaf praja_pati made manifest the earth, a probable acount of the creation in Manu; since it supported the earth, it may be termed the head, mu_rdhan, or the bearer, va_ghata for va_haka, of all things; atharvan means pra_n.a, vital air extracted fire or animal heat from the water, pra_n.a udakasaka_s'a_d Agnim nis'es.an.a mathitava_n; va_ghata = r.tvij, the ministrant priest; so the sentence is explained: all the priests churned you out of the head or top of the wood of attrition].--Tr.H.H.Wilson
there are no "clear references to Atharva vedic text and yajnas in the Rig Veda". The above verses are only talking about what the sage Atharvan did. These are not the only verses which mention the sage Atharvan.

As i had already mentioned earlier, the sage atharvan and the atharvans (as people) have been mentioned about 16 times in the Rigveda, but each time they designate only the person (that is, sage atharvan or the people atharvans ) doing something, and not to the literary composition of the atharvans. The literary composition of the atharvans (their hymns) are found in the Atharvaveda. Hence Whitney was correct.

I would be interested in knowing if the literary compositions of the atharvans are found in the Rigveda.

Regards.
 
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sangom

Well-known member
Smt. HH,

I do not know the aim of this thread. But the following may be of interest, I feel.

"THE OBLATIONS OFFERED AT THE SOMAYAGA

The following particulars relative to the Somayaga may be gathered from this Veda and its Commentary. When any one has determined to perform the moon-plant sacrifice, he invites Brahmans of the three principal classes,— Rig Vedi, Sama Vedi and Yajurvedi Brahmans. The Atharva Vedi are not admissible, because, it is said, their profession being to destroy enemies, their presence would be inauspicious.

—Translation of the Sanhita of The Sama Veda, The Rev. J. Stevenson, D.D., 1842"
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
The Atharvaveda is concerned with the material world or world of man and in this respect differs from the other three Vedas. Atharvaveda also sanctions the use of force, in particular circumstances and similarly this point is a departure from the three other Vedas
Dear Sir,

From what i understand so far, the other 3 vedas also mention the use of force. Particularly they glorify the war exploits of Indra.

However, the atharva has mantras for destruction of the enemy. Vishnu Smrithi includes the atharva-vedis who chant deadly incantations for destruction of the enemy as one of the seven deadly assasins [Vishnu Smrithi 5.191].

Unlike the other three Vedas, the Atharvanaveda has less connection with sacrifice. Its first part consists chiefly of spells and incantations, concerned with protection against non human forces and disaster, spells for the healing of diseases, for long life and for various desires or aims in life.
But sir, the atharvavedi brahmanas were the presiding brahmanas of sacrifices (or came to become that way). It is different from the other vedas in the sense of having "visible objects" such as energising tailsman stuff with mantras, etc.

Atharva Veda is different from other Vedas in that it contains non-religious material like Ayur Veda. Some of its Mantras are repetitions of the mantras in other Vedas with slight modifications. For example Devya Atharvaseersham contains portions of Vak Sooktham or Devi Suktham from Rig Veda. But this is considered more effective and it is recited before Devi Mahatmyam. Ganapathy Atharvasheersham is another important text. Two Sakhas of Atharva Veda paippalāda and śaunakīya still exist.

Because it contains non-religious texts the rules governing the other Vedas were relaxed. This was to enable the medical people to earn the relevant portions. Of course it is true that it contains non-religious mantras which could be used for Abhichara.

It is also possible that this Veda was open to castes other than Brahmins. The Vaidyas or the people who practice Ayur Veda are not always Brahmins.
Sir, it still remains a contentious issue if the atharva split from the rig or did commonality of worshipping vedic-deities in rig and tharva came about as a later merger. Have mentioned something on it in post 588 in an other thread. It is also of note that some dieties of the atharva are supposedly exclusive to it and not found in other vedas.

There is no indication that any form of rule was relaxed to allow medical people to learn the relevant portions. Atharva is often considered "non-vedic" which came to be included in the vedas as the fourth veda.

May be Brahmins who wrote the Smiritis did not want to be associated with these mantra rituals.
Yagnavalkya associated himself with the atharva in the sense of mentioning the atharvaangirasa in his Smrithi. Yagnavalkya presribes that the king should employ a raj purohit who is well versed in the atharva-angirasa ritualism so that the purohita can perform various shanti rituals, etc for the king. I have mentioned it here: http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/genera...impses-south-indian-history-60.html#post73998

These are the reasons for Atharva Veda being considered by some as not part of the Vedas.
Well, quite apparently it was a "veda" (in the sense of being a knowledge body esp because it was associated with sacrifices). But it was not recognized as a veda by the trayee-veda group, for reasons that are not conclusively known yet.

Atharva Veda contains Mundaka Upanishad one of the earliest principal Upanishad. Adi Sankara wrote a commentary on that.

[...]

See the change from 1000 A.D to 2011 A.D. A man who is from 1000 A.D would not have even imagined what we are today. So how do we expect the Vedas which were evolved over a period of 1000 years to be uniform. Vyasa was the name for a compiler. There have been many Vyasas. It is a profession. We can understand the exact reasons for many of these mysteries only if we understand the basis of the classification/division into four Vedas. Many theories have been put forth. None of them satisfactory.
The earliest treaty of advaitha considered to be the Gaudapada Karikas (GK aka Mandukya Karika) was written by Gaudapada (the parama guru of Sri Adi Shankara). However, GK is based on the Mandukya Upanishad which itself was supposedly influenced by Buddhism (Vijnanavada and Madhyamika). Shankara himself mentioned that Gaudapada used Buddhist metaphors and terminology: The Advaita Vedânta Home Page - Gaudapada

It is really interesting that the Mandukya Upanishad is attached to the Atharva-Veda. And Gaudapada-Karikas are also known as "Agama Shastra".

Sometimes am intrigued by the guru-shisya parampara of Gaudapada derived from Narayana going to Vyasa. From Vyasa to Shukha. Then from Shukha to Gaudapada. Am still trying to find clues if Sukha muni was really Gaudapada's teacher (the yuga explanation not withstanding).

Sometimes i feel that either the personage of Narayana or Vyasa mentioned in this guru-shishya parampara was Badrayana, the writer of Brahmasutra.

Sometimes i even wonder if Narayana with whom the guru-shishya vamsavali begins was actually Buddha? And was this “Buddhism-Vedism” merger the reason why Buddha was incorporated into Vedism by making him out to be an avatara of Vishnu?

Well, one never knows what one may come across in these explorations. The upanishads may hold the key...



Again in this regard we tend to talk about tribes and their assimilation. But in the thousand years of the evolution of the Vedas many of the local tribes or indegenous people would have been absorbed into the Vaidic dharma. Their ideas and thoughts would have also had an effect.

Then India has had its own share of rationalists from ancient times. They also played a role in the development of religion. The Rishis who wrote the early Vedas were different from the Rishis who wrote Aranyakas. Early Rishis were grahasthas. Later rishis included renunciates, naked sadhus, jadathari etc. etc. Their ideas were assimilated into the Vedas.
Sir considering the use of dravidian, munda, austro-asiatic loan words even in Rigveda, some indologists (including frits staal) suggest that the vedas were composed after various tribes from different linguistic groups had already mingled. Also, it is very probable that this mingling took place in several layers over several periods of time. We are still tribalistic cultures today, just that we are urban tribals now. Who knows, it may even be possible that each 'sub-caste' represents a certain admixture group. Just a muse.

Regards.
 
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KRS

Well-known member
Folks,

I am cautioning that this Forum is not for questioning the practices. Discussions above is blurring the lines. If you want discussions about the merits of the practices, please start a new thread in the counterpart, where discussions are allowed. Thanks.

Regards,
KRS
 

sangom

Well-known member
Folks,

I am cautioning that this Forum is not for questioning the practices. Discussions above is blurring the lines. If you want discussions about the merits of the practices, please start a new thread in the counterpart, where discussions are allowed. Thanks.

Regards,
KRS

Dear Shri KRS,

It will be a great help if the thread name is made in "red" so that we are cautioned at the very look itself that criticism is forbidden. Normally, I get "Today's posts" and in the search results it is difficult to get the location, find out if criticism is allowed or not, etc. Especially when I find some previous post with some query, comments, it is taken naturally that further comments, criticisms, are allowed.

The red colour will immediately alert. Will you kindly put this suggestion in respect of those categories where criticism of any type is not allowed.

In this thread also, if you will kindly go through the posts, Shri saidevo called the atharvaveda "aabhichaarika" to which Happy Hindu objected. The interchange continued till post #10 by Happy Hindu, when, all of a sudden, Saidevo gets into a belligerent mood. I would therefore request you to go through all the posts and edit whatever not in favour of Atharvaveda is stated here, including my post #9, if you so feel.
 

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI KRS.

Inasmuch as you have shifted this thread to the alternate Philosophy forum for further discussion, my post no.11 above becomes incongruent, meaningless and even ridiculous. I have therefore deleted the contents of the post. Thank you.
 
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