The Atharva Veda was not included as the Fourth Veda up to the time of the Bhagavad Gita', because its mantras had
little to do with the main yajna rituals as in the other three
Vedas. It has information on aspects that are not found in the
other three Vedas. The Atharva Veda contains 736 hymns or
suktas with a total of 6,077 mantras. They deal with health,
medicine, victory, friendship, progeny, black magic, and
charms and chants used for offensive and defensive purposes.
The Atharva Veda also contains mantras that deal with building construction, trade and commerce, statecraft, penances,
long life, harmony in life and mantras to ward off evil spirits.
This Veda also refers to swarga (heaven) and naraka (hell),
virtue and sin, and qualities like satya (truth) and tapas (austerity), and ceremony like diksha (initiation) that help a person
attain perfection. The Atharva Veda is also called Brahma Veda because
the priests who specialise in its recitation are called the
Brahma priests. Furthermore it is also called Bhaishajya
Veda (the Veda of medicines and treatment of diseases) and
Kshattra Veda (the Veda of the warrior class). So, unlike
the other Vedas, the Atharva Veda touches a wider scope of
worldly subjects. The Gopatha Brahmana and three important Upanishads, Prashna, Mundaka and Mandukya, developed from it.
Q1. What is special about Atharva
Atharvaveda is a collection of 20 books, with a total of 730 hymns of about
6,000 stanzas. The text is stated Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, a
historical collection of beliefs and rituals addressing practical issues of the
daily life of the Vedic society. The Atharva Veda stands apart from the other
because it does not treat śrauta (sacred) rituals as its
main topic but represents in part the popular side of Vedic culture and
religion. Among the ten major Upanishads of the four Vedas,
three very important Upanishads -
Prasna, Mundaka, and Mandukya Upanisads belong to Atharva Veda. The Atharva
Veda is a great mine of Indian wisdom guiding to a happy and fruitful life.
Q2. What does Atharva Veda talk
"Atharva Veda" is dedicated to prolonging life and healing illnesses,
seeking cures from herbs, dealing more with diseases and their remedies,
gaining a lover or partner, or world peace and the nature of good and evil. The
Vedas are the oldest Hindu sacred texts.
The Atharva Veda is deemed to be an encyclopedia for medicine "Inter
Alia". Ayurveda is an Upaveda or Upanga (supplementary subject) of Atharva
according to some schools or is a Panchama Veda, i.e. it is not imposed or
added from the exterior but is a part and parcel of the main body of the Vedas.
A few glimpses of Medical Science as prevalent in ancient India have been
Q3. How many branches are there in
Veda is divided into 20 Kandas, which are divided into 36 Prapathakas. These
Prapathakas have 730 Suktas (hymns), of which there are 5,987 mantras. The Caraṇavyuha, a later era Sanskrit
text, states that the Atharvaveda had nine shakhas, or schools: paippalāda,
stauda, mauda, śaunakīya,
jājala, jalada, Brahma Veda,
devadarśa and cāraṇavaidyā.
Of these, only the Shaunakiya recension, and the more recently discovered
manuscripts of Paippalāda recension have survived. The
Paippalāda edition is more ancient.
Q4. Where is original Atharva Veda
oldest copies of any of the Vedas are copies of the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda.
They are currently on display in the Bhandarkar Oriental Institute in Pune, Maharashtra,
India. About a sixth of the Atharvaveda texts adapts verses from the Rigveda,
and except for Books 15 and 16, the text is mainly in verse deploying a
diversity of Vedic meters. Two different revised editions of the text – the
Paippalāda and the Śaunakīya
– have survived into modern times. Reliable manuscripts of the Paippalada
edition were believed to have been lost, but a well-preserved version was
discovered among a collection of palm-leaf manuscripts in Odisha in 1957.
Q5. What is the original name of
oldest name of the text, according to its own verse 10.7.20, was
Atharvangirasah, a compound of "Atharvan" and "Angiras",
both Vedic scholars. The "Atharvan" and "Angiras" names,
imply ‘auspicious’ and ‘hostile’ sorcery practices respectively. Over time, the
name Atharva Veda became widespread. The latter name Angiras which is linked to
Agni and priests in the Vedas, states George Brown, may also be related to
Atharvaveda is also occasionally referred to as Bhrgvangirasah and Brahmaveda,
after Bhrigu and Brahma respectively. This is so because the priests who attain
specialization in its recitation are called Brahma priests. It is also known as
Bhaishajya Veda and Kshattra Veda. This Veda is the storehouse of the
procedures of everyday life.
Q6. How old is Atharva Veda?
Atharvaveda was likely compiled simultaneously with Samaveda and Yajurveda, or
about 1200 BCE – 1000 BCE. Along with the Samhita text, the Atharvaveda
includes a Brahmana text and a final layer of the text that covers
philosophical speculations. The Atharvaveda was accepted as a Veda in the late
1st millennium BCE. It was compiled last, probably around 900 BCE, although
some of its material may go back to the time of the Rigveda, or earlier. Olson
states that the ultimate acceptance of Atharvaveda as the fourth Veda probably
came in the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BCE. However, notes Max Muller, the
hymns of Atharva Veda existed by the time Chandogya Upanishad was completed
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