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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:25 PM   #1

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The Vedas


This thread will be a place to discuss stuff about Vedas, their origins, time of origin, 'decipher'ability..... etc etc

The Rig Veda -
Quote:
The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age (c. 10th c. BC) collection that established the core 'family books' (mandalas 2–7, ordered by author, deity and meter [5]) and a later redaction, co-eval with the redaction of the other Vedas, dating several centuries after the hymns were composed. This redaction also included some additions (contradicting the strict ordering scheme) and orthoepic changes to the Vedic Sanskrit such as the regularization of sandhi (termed orthoepische Diaskeuase by Oldenberg, 1888).
As with the other Vedas, the redacted text has been handed down in several versions, most importantly the Padapatha that has each word isolated in pausa form and is used for just one way of memorization; and the Samhitapatha that combines words according to the rules of sandhi (the process being described in the Pratisakhya) and is the memorized text used for recitation.
The Padapatha and the Pratisakhya anchor the text's fidelity and meaning[6] and the fixed text was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than a millennium by oral tradition alone. In order to achieve this the oral tradition prescribed very structured enunciation, involving breaking down the Sanskrit compounds into stems and inflections, as well as certain permutations. This interplay with sounds gave rise to a scholarly tradition of morphology and phonetics. The Rigveda was probably not written down until the Gupta period (4th to 6th century AD), by which time the Brahmi script had become widespread (the oldest surviving manuscripts date to the Late Middle Ages).[7] The oral tradition still continued into recent times.
The original text (as authored by the Rishis) is close to but not identical to the extant Samhitapatha, but metrical and other observations allow to reconstruct (in part at least) the original text from the extant one, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50 (1994).[8]
Quote:
The Rigveda's core is accepted to date to the late Bronze Age, making it one of the few examples with an unbroken tradition. Its composition is usually dated to roughly between 1700–1100 BC.[23] The EIEC (s.v. Indo-Iranian languages, p. 306) gives 1500–1000.[24] Being composed in an early Indo-Aryan language, the hymns must post-date the Indo-Iranian separation, dated to roughly 2000 BC.[25] A reasonable date close to that of the composition of the core of the Rigveda is that of the Indo-Aryan Mitanni documents of c. 1400 BC.[26] Other evidence also points to a composition close to 1400 BC[27][28]
Quote:
The Rigveda is far more archaic than any other Indo-Aryan text. For this reason, it was in the center of attention of western scholarship from the times of Max Müller and Rudolf Roth onwards. The Rigveda records an early stage of Vedic religion. There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities with the early Iranian Avesta,[29] deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times,[30][31] often associated with the early Andronovo culture of ca. 2000 BC.[32]
Quote:
While it is highly likely that the bulk of the Rigvedic hymns were composed in the Punjab, even if based on earlier poetic traditions, there is no mention of either tigers or rice[37] in the Rigveda (as opposed to the later Vedas), suggesting that Vedic culture only penetrated into the plains of India after its completion.
Quote:
The Rigveda describes a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons. The geography described is consistent with that of the Greater Punjab: Rivers flow north to south, the mountains are relatively remote but still visible and reachable (Soma is a plant found in the high mountains, and it has to be purchased from tribal people). Nevertheless, the hymns were certainly composed over a long period, with the oldest (not preserved) elements possibly reaching back to times close to the split of Proto-Indo-Iranian (around 2000 BC)[36] Thus there was some debate over whether the boasts of the destruction of stone forts by the Vedic Aryans and particularly by Indra refer to cities of the Indus Valley civilization or whether they rather hark back to clashes between the early Indo-Aryans with the BMAC in what is now northern Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan (separated from the upper Indus by the Hindu Kush mountain range, and some 400 km distant).
So this shows that the Rig Vedas are very old, dating back to 1400 BC and had remained unchanged even after a millennium of oral passing, till being written down in the Gupta period.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #2

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Great idea for a thread, Imperialmen!
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #3

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Great idea for a thread, Imperialmen!
Thanks Anna.

Thess and me are to discuss the changes in the Vedas from their original form into their written form.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #4
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The Rigveda describes a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons.....

Therefore, when the Vedas were orally composed by those people back in 1500 BC or so, they were enriched with more knowledge over the period of time. It's impossible that someone composed them back in 1500 BC and then remain unchanged until 300 BC, when they were finally written down. Oral traditions never remain the same because as they pass down to the next generation, because when you have 1000 hymns or so, you can't remember everything by heart and cannot control how much one is going to alter!
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #5
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"There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Traditionally the text of the Vedas was coeval with the universe. Scholars have determined that the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C. It is unknown when it was finally committed to writing, but this probably was at some point after 300 B.C."

Sacred-Texts: Hinduism



"Rigveda, (Sanskrit: “The Knowledge of Verses”) also spelled Ṛgveda , the oldest of the sacred books of Hinduism, composed in an ancient form of Sanskrit about 1500 bce, in what is now the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. It consists of a collection of 1,028 poems grouped into 10 “circles” (mandalas). It is generally agreed that the first and last books were created later than the middle books. The Rigveda was preserved orally before it was written down about 300 BCE."

Rigveda (Hindu literature) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

"Rig Veda itself came to be written down only by the 2nd century BC. To the
Rishi Rishi
, the hymns of the
Rigveda Rigveda
and other Vedic hymns were divinely revealed, and they were considered "hearers" (
Shruti Shruti
means "what is heard"), rather than "authors". Hence any attempt on the part of the scientific community is thwarted by the Hindu religious men."


http://www.oration.com/~mm9n/articles/dev/02%20Date%20of%20Vedas.htm


"The Rig-Veda is a collection of over 1,000 hymns, which contain the mythology of the Hindu gods, and is considered to be one of the foundations of the Hindu religion. While the Rig is the oldest of the Vedas, there are three other Vedas. There is the Sama Veda, which is the "knowledge of chants" or a number of basic hymns recited at sacrifices. There is also the Yajur Veda or "knowledge of rites" which serve basically as a "how to make sacrifices" book. The final Veda is the Athara Veda, this Veda represents the knowledge given by Athara who was a sage. These Vedas were passed on orally for many generations. When they were written down, they were first written in Vedic, an early form of Sanskrit. Then around 300 B.C. the Vedas were written down in the form we have them today."

Rig Veda: 1200-900 BC


Brāhmī is the modern name given to the oldest members of the
Brahmic_family_of_scripts Brahmic_family_of_scripts
.[
Wikipedia:Citation_needed Wikipedia:Citation_needed
] The best-known Brāhmī inscriptions are the rock-cut
Edicts_of_Ashoka Edicts_of_Ashoka
in north-central India, dated to the 3rd century BCE.

Br?hm? script - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


However, Brahmi was not the script to write down Sanskrit (the language of the Vedas). The earliest script that was used for Sanskrit was this one:

The Kharoṣṭhī script, is an ancient
Abugida Abugida
(or "alphasyllabary") used by the
Gandhara_culture Gandhara_culture
of
Pakistan Pakistan
, nestled in the historic northwest
South_Asia South_Asia
to write the Gāndhārī and
Sanskrit Sanskrit
languages. It was in use from the middle of the 3rd century BCE until it died out in its homeland around the 3rd century CE.



Kharosthi Kharosthi
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:50 AM   #6

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Darn it i thought you ment Vaders

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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #7
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It is important that Sanskrit is considered a divine language by Indians. It gives a sense of hyperbolic patriotism... I don't consider this a positive thing though.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:10 AM   #8
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It's also impossible for oral traditions of 1500 BC or even 2000 BC to remain the same, for 1000 or 1500 years. It's like saying I compose 1000 hymns now, and in 3500 AD, they are finally written down, and they are EXACTLY the same. Eeerr, no.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:40 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thessalonian View Post
The Rigveda describes a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons.....

Therefore, when the Vedas were orally composed by those people back in 1500 BC or so, they were enriched with more knowledge over the period of time. It's impossible that someone composed them back in 1500 BC and then remain unchanged until 300 BC, when they were finally written down. Oral traditions never remain the same because as they pass down to the next generation, because when you have 1000 hymns or so, you can't remember everything by heart and cannot control how much one is going to alter!
The Rig Vedas are not a singular text like the Bible etc It is a collection of works by different rishis brought under a umbrella. The Rig Vedas was not composed by any one man. It was composed by different Rishis over a long period of time.... say 500 years....

Dont you think that, if the Rig Vedas were changed, it would not be mentioning "a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons....." right

The answer lies here-
-the Rig Vedas were composed in 1400 BC
as time advanced and new knowledge gained, the Rig Vedas were not changed, instead it was left untouched while(strict care taken to see to that the Rig Vedas remained unfidled while passing down generations), a new Veda collection was created-
-Yajur Veda which was composed in b/w 1400 BC and 1000 BC
yet again the same cycle follows- the original Yajur Veda was left untouched and a new collection of Vedas composed to fit in the new knowledge gained and ideas.
-Sama Veda (now this was not a new composition, but a select of important and relevant verses from the Rig Veda).

These Vedas were passed down from only reputed gurus, who were under strict guidance of senior priests, and care was taken that none of the hymns were unchanged. Remember that a WHOLE caste in India was assigned to protecting these Veda's fidelity.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:48 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thessalonian View Post
It is important that Sanskrit is considered a divine language by Indians. It gives a sense of hyperbolic patriotism... I don't consider this a positive thing though.
I dont understand the problem.

Actually, I feel its a good thing- Sanskrit was considered a pure language and was protected from any external influences (kinda why the ancient Brahmins thought of Greeks, Persians and Chinese of impure, cause of their languages having external influences and susceptible to change).

Explains why India has different languages all daughters of Sanskrit..... The original mother language was left untouched but the corrupted versions of it were termed as new languages- Hindi is Sanskrit at base, influenced by Persian and Pastu, Marathi is Sanskrit at base, but influenced by Tamil a little.


So, in the end, uncorrupted Sanskrit stood out and survived without much change since thousands of years.....


Even the word 'barbarian' is derived from Sanskrit [all non-Indians were considered mlecchas / barbarians, but the Yavanas, Cinas(Chinese) and Pahlavas(Persians) were respected,unlike Bhalikas(Bactrians) and Hunas(White Huns) who were dispised]
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