A Cultural Study of The Atharvaveda (An Old and Rare Book)

Item Code: NAK104
Author: Dr. K.D. Dvivedi
Publisher: Vishvabharati Research Institute, Gyanpur
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8185246394
Pages: 581
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 750 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

The Present work relates to a cultural study of the Atharvaveda. This Veda is an ocean of practical wisdom and it contains vivid description of social customs, cultural traditions medical science, astronomy, philosophy of the Vedic era. The book is an analytical and critical study of this Veda. It has been divided into 10 chapters wherein subjects like geography, social life, economic conditions, education along with various branches of learning, and polity etc. Have been dealt with succinctly.

The entire Indian Philosophy has its origin in the Atharvaveda. Likewise, our ancient medical system, which is still in vogue as Ayurvedic system, originated and developed from Atharvaveda. Many other facets of life and culture, educations and learning, economy and polity, custom and tradition have their roots in the Atharvaveda.

Dr. Dvivedi is a renowned scholar of the Vedas. He has taken care to ensure that nothing significant in the Atharvaveda is omitted. It is hoped that the work will prove a boon to the Vedic scholars.



The Vedas have been universally recognised as the treasure of knowledge and wisdom beneficial to mankind. They contain a large variety of material dealing with spiritual, religious, social, cultural and scientific subjects.

The present work relates to a cultural study of Atharvaveda. This Veda is regarded as an ocean of Practical wisdom and it contains vivid description of social customs, cultural traditions, medical science, astronomy, philosophy etc. of the Vedic era. I have attempted in this book to present an analytical and critical study of the entire text of the Atharvaveda and to show that a great deal of its contents are still relevant to modern times. The book has been divided into 10 Chapters wherein subjects like geography, Social life, economic conditions, education along with various branches of learning, social beliefs, religion and Philosophy, politics and polity etc. have been dealt with succinctly.

It is true that in the Atharvaveda topics like black – magic and sorcery have also been covered and they do provide interesting reading. But some of the Western scholars, in their exuberance to describe witchcraft and sorcery prevalent in ancient times, have given the impression that Atharvaveda deals with magic formulae in a big way and nothing much about other matters. That such conclusion is utterly misconceived will be evident after reading the present book. The entire Indian philosophy, which is rated universally as superlative, has its origin in the Atharvaveda. Likewise, our ancient medical system, which is still in vogue as ayurvedic system, originated and developed from Atharvaveda. Many other facets of life and culture, education and learning, economy and polity as well as custom and tradition have roots in the Atharvaveda.

I have taken care to ensure that nothing significant in the Atharvaveda is committed. At places comparative text from other Vedas have also been studied for better comprehension. It may be clarified here that many vedic names of gods and deities are indicative of some qualities and are not confined their meaning as proper nouns. For example, name like Indra, Soma, Agni etc. may, according to given context, denote the proper noun or may mean Supreme Being, or Individual Soul, or kind or Scholar or Commander. For scholars aiming at in Depth study of certain texts of the Atharvaveda, I am confident that the Notes the Bibliography and the Index would be helpful.

Dr. Uttam Kumar Singh, Principal of Government Degree College gave me invaluable assistance in rendering English translation of my book Atharvaveda Ka Sanskritik Adhyayan. Professor Bal Chand Srivastava extended whole – hearted cooperation to me in this venture. I am grateful to them. I would be grateful to learned readers if they indicate any inaccuracies or omission to enable me to correct them in subsequent editions.




  Introduction 1-39
1 Importance of the Vedas 5
2 Importance of the Atharvaveda 6
3 The Atharvaveda and Its Various Names 1
4 Branches of the Atharvaveda 14
5 A Survey of the Atharvaveda 16
6 The Atharvaveda and Its Related Literature 24
7 Are Vedas three or four? 29
8 The Atharvavedic Vocabulary 33
9 Importance of the Vedic Knowledge 35
10 Atharvan and Angiras Sages 36
Chapter 2 Geographical Facts 41-55
1 Country and Nation 43
2 Islands and Lokas (the World) 43
3 Certain Names of Places 45
4 Forests and Hills 47
5 The Sea and Rivers 79
6 The Earth and Its Importance 51
7 Importance of Climate 53
Chapter 3 Social Life 57-136
1 Varnas (Classes) and Jatl (Castes) 59
2 The Aryas (Theists) and The Dasyus (Atheists) 66
3 Asrama System 67
4 Man and His Duties 76
5 Society and Family 77
6 Status of Women in Society 79
7 Husband and Wife 81
8 The Marriage Ceremony 84
9 Father and Son 89
10 Food and Drinks 90
11 Health and Diseases 97
12 Clothes and Costumes 102
13 Ornaments 105
14 Residence 108
15 Cities and Villages 110
16 Means of Transport 112
17 Beasts of Burden 114
18 Sport and Recreation 115
19 Music and Dance 116
20 Furniture, Utensils and Armaments 121
21 Festivals and Functions 125
Chapter 4 Economy 137-208
1 Agriculture 139
2 Foodgrain 147
3 Medicines and Herbs 151
4 Trees and Creepers 154
5 Flowers and Fruits 157
6 Cattle and Other Animals 157
7 Birds 165
8 Crafts 167
9 Trade and Commerce 184
10 Metals 189
11 Wealth and Money 192
12 Weights and Measures 193
13 Currency 195
14 Loan 196
Chapter 5 Various Branches of Education and Learning 209-299
1 Education and Its Aims 211
2 Mode of Education 213
3 Qualities and Duties of a Teacher 215
4 Qualities and Duties of a Student 216
5 The Teacher and the Disciple 217
6 Subjects Taught (Curriculum) 218
7 Various Branches of Learning 219
8 Astronomy 225
9 Science 234
10 Medical Science 240
Chapter 6 Religion


1 The Gods 303
2 The Yajna 306
3 The Samskaras (Ceremonies) 316
4 Religious Functions 322
5 Religious Beliefs 324
6 The Code of Conduct 326
7 Ethical Teachings 329
8 Various Deities 334
9 Various Sages 360
10 The Demons 363
Chapter 7 Witchcraft and Common Beliefs 381-424
1 The Atharvaveda and Witchcraft 383
2 Practical use of Black Magic 384
3 Methods of Black Magic and their Aims 389
4 Various Mal)is and Their Effects 393
5 Black Magic and Witchcraft 404
6 Exorcism 408
7 Treatment of Diseases and Pharmacology 411
8 Mesmerism and Hypnotism 413
9 Attainment of the Desired Objects 414
10 Ruining of Enemies 416
11 Killing Yatudhanas and Demons 416
12 Avoidance of the Evil and the Inauspicious 417
13 Deliverance from Sins and Bondage 418
14 Consideration of Omen 418
Chapter 8 Philosophy 425-498
1 Virat (the Supreme), Brahman and lsvara (God) 427
2 Traitavada (The Doctrine of Trinity) 452
3 The Individual Soul (Jivatman) 454
4 Nature (Prakrti) 459
5 The Creation (Srsti) 460
6 The Vratya 461
7 This World and the Other World 465
8 Spiritual References 466
9 Spiritual Learning 469
10 Philosophical Doctrines 477
11 Philosophical Thoughts 481
12 Psychology 485
Chapter 9 Politics And Polity 499-540
1 Form of Nation 501
2 King and Subjects 503
3 Polity 55
4 Election of King and His Coronation 512
5 Rights and Duties of a King 516
6 Sabha and Samiti (Assembly and Sovereign Assembly) 518
7 Sources of Income 527
8 Justice and the Penal Code 528
9 Army and the Chief of the Army 529
10 Soldiers 530
11 Weapons and Arms 530
12 War Operations 533
13 Killing of Enemies 534
14 Killing of Yatudhanas and Devils 535
Chapter 10 Conclusion 541-558
1 Time of the Atharvaveda 543
2 Importance of the Atharvaveda 548
3 Impact of the Atharvaveda on Indian Culture and Literature 549
4 Present Relevance of the Atharvaveda 551
  Bibliography 559-562
  Index 563-569

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