The Vedas

THE VEDAS Baltazar, Shane Marie M. Basa, Kirsty


Rig Vedas and Upanishads

Transcript of The Vedas

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THE VEDASBaltazar, Shane Marie M.

Basa, Kirsty

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Wisdom Knowledge Vision

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The Vedas are a collection of hymns and other religious texts composed in India between about 1500 and 1000 BCE. It includes elements such as liturgical

material as well as mythological accounts, poems, prayers, and formulas

considered to be sacred by the Vedic religion.

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Vedism is the oldest stratum of religious activity in India for which there exist

written materials. It was one of the major traditions that shaped Hinduism

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The basic Vedic texts are the Samhita “Collections” of the four Vedas:

1. Rig-Veda “Knowledge of the Hymns of Praise”2. Sama-Veda “Knowledge of the Melodies”3. Yajur-Veda “Knowledge of the Sacrificial formulas”4. Atharva-Veda “Knowledge of the Magic formulas”

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“Wisdom of the Verses”

Rig Veda consists of 10,552 verses (collected into 10 books) of hymns and mantras used by the hotri priests.

The hymns of the Rig Veda focus on pleasing the principal gods Indra (war, wind and rain), Agni (the sacrificial fire), Surga (the

sun) and Varuna (the cosmic order) through ritual sacrifices. the Vedic gods also forgive wrongdoing and mete out justice in the

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The SAMA-VEDA "Wisdom of the Chants”

liturgical works consisting primarily of selections from the Rig Veda. Sama Veda was chanted in

fixed melodies by the adhvaryu priests. Each contain about 2,000 verses.

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The YAJUR-VEDA “Wisdom of the Sacrifical Formulas"

liturgical works consisting primarily of selections from the Rig Veda. The Yajur Veda was used by udgatri priests and contains brief prose to accompany ritual acts, many of which are

addressed to the ritual instruments and

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The ATHARVA-VEDA “Wisdom of the Sacrifical Formulas"

Was added significantly later than the first three Samhitas, perhaps as late as 500 BC. It consists of 20 books of hymns and prose, many of which reflect the

religious concerns of everyday life. This sets the Arharva Veda apart from the other Vedas, which

focus on adoring the gods and performing the liturgy of sacrifice, and makes it an important source of

information on the practical religion and magic of the time.

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The term Upanishad means literally "those who sit near".Upa- near, ni- down, sad- to sit:

Sitting near the teacher

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• Collected by several seers and elders between 800-500 BCE, the Upanishads are a conclusion and accomplishment of an previous form of Hindu sacred texts called the Vedas.

• Upanishads are Vedanta: End of the Vedas

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Most Important Upanishads• Isa• Kena• Katha• Prasna•Mundaka• Mandukya• Taittiriya

• Aitareya• Chandogya• Brhadaranyaka• Svetasvatara• Kausitaki•Mahanarayana •Maitri

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•Human intellect is not an adequate tool to understand the immense complexity of reality.

•The Upanishads do not claim that our brain is entirely useless; it certainly has its use. 

•The highest understanding, according to this view, comes from direct perception and intuition.

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The concept of Samsara is

reincarnation, the idea that after we

die our soul will be reborn again in

another body.

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Karma• Karma, which literally means “action”, the idea that all

actions have consequences, good or bad. • Karma determines the conditions of the next life, just

like our life is conditioned by our previous karma. • There is no judgment or forgiveness, simply an

impersonal, natural and eternal law operating in the universe. 

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•Dharma means “right behavior” or “duty”, the idea that we all have a social obligation. •Each member of a specific caste has a particular set of responsibilities, a dharma. •For example, among the Kshatriyas (the warrior caste), it was considered a sin to die in bed; dying in the battlefield was the highest honor they could aim for.

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Moksha•Moksha means “liberation” or release.•The eternal cycle of deaths and resurrection can be seen as a pointless repetition with no ultimate goal attached to it. •Seeking permanent peace or freedom from suffering seems impossible, for sooner or later we will be reborn in worse circumstances.

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The Upanishads tell us that the core of our own

self is not the body, or the mind, but atman or


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Brahman is the one underlying substance of the universe, the

unchanging “Absolute Being”, the intangible essence of the entire


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ReferencesBeck, S. (1998-2004). India and Southeast Asia to 1800. Vedas and Upanishads. Retrieved from

Das, S. and Sadasivan, M. (2014). The Vedas: An Introduction. What are Vedas? Retrieved from

El Despertar Sai (2010, March 8). Vedas, Sastras, Poojas and Homas. Retrieved from

Violatti, C. (2014, May 4). Ancient History Encyclopedia. Upanishads. Retrieved from

Violatti, C. (2014, May 4). Ancient History Encyclopedia. The Vedas. Retrieved from