Nasadiya Sukta Hymn of non-Eternity, origin of universe: There was neither non-existence nor existence then; Neither the realm of space, nor the sky which is beyond; What stirred? There was neither death nor immortality then; No distinguishing sign of night nor of day; That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse; Other than that there was nothing beyond.
Darkness there was at first, by darkness hidden; Without distinctive marks, this all was water; That which, becoming, by the void was covered; That One by force of heat came into being; Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? Gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen? Whether God's will created it, or whether He was mute; Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not; Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows, Only He knows, or perhaps He does not know. The Adityas , Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, Ashvins , Maruts , Rbhus , and the Vishvadevas "all-gods" as well as the "thirty-three gods" are the groups of deities mentioned. Mandala 1 comprises hymns. This Mandala is dated to have been added to Rigveda after Mandala 2 through 9, and includes the philosophical Riddle Hymn 1.
Mandala 3 comprises 62 hymns, mainly to Agni and Indra and the Vishvedevas. Mandala 5 comprises 87 hymns, mainly to Agni and Indra , the Visvedevas "all the gods' , the Maruts , the twin-deity Mitra-Varuna and the Asvins. Two hymns each are dedicated to Ushas the dawn and to Savitr. Most hymns in this book are attributed to the atri clan. Mandala 8 comprises hymns to various gods. Mandala 9 comprises hymns, entirely devoted to Soma Pavamana, the cleansing of the sacred potion of the Vedic religion.
Mandala 10 comprises additional hymns, frequently in later language, addressed to Agni , Indra and various other deities. It contains the Nadistuti sukta which is in praise of rivers and is important for the reconstruction of the geography of the Vedic civilization and the Purusha sukta which has been important in studies of Vedic sociology.
Rigveda Brahmanas See also: The Aitareya-brahmana  and the Kaushitaki- or Sankhayana- brahmana evidently have for their groundwork the same stock of traditional exegetic matter. They differ, however, considerably as regards both the arrangement of this matter and their stylistic handling of it, with the exception of the numerous legends common to both, in which the discrepancy is comparatively slight.
There is also a certain amount of material peculiar to each of them. The Kaushitaka is, upon the whole, far more concise in its style and more systematic in its arrangement features which would lead one to infer that it is probably the more modern work of the two.
It consists of thirty chapters adhyaya ; while the Aitareya has forty, divided into eight books or pentads, pancaka , of five chapters each.
In this last portion occurs the well-known legend also found in the Shankhayana-sutra, but not in the Kaushitaki-brahmana of Shunahshepa , whom his father Ajigarta sells and offers to slay, the recital of which formed part of the inauguration of kings. While the Aitareya deals almost exclusively with the Soma sacrifice, the Kaushitaka, in its first six chapters, treats of the several kinds of haviryajna, or offerings of rice, milk, ghee, etc. Sayana, in the introduction to his commentary on the work, ascribes the Aitareya to the sage Mahidasa Aitareya i.
Regarding the authorship of the sister work we have no information, except that the opinion of the sage Kaushitaki is frequently referred to in it as authoritative, and generally in opposition to the Paingya—the Brahmana, it would seem, of a rival school, the Paingins. Probably, therefore, it is just what one of the manuscripts calls it—the Brahmana of Sankhayana composed in accordance with the views of Kaushitaki.
Rigveda Aranyakas and Upanishads See also: Aranyaka and Upanishads Each of these two Brahmanas is supplemented by a "forest book", or Aranyaka.
The Aitareyaranyaka is not a uniform production. It consists of five books aranyaka , three of which, the first and the last two, are of a liturgical nature, treating of the ceremony called mahavrata, or great vow.
The last of these books, composed in sutra form, is, however, doubtless of later origin, and is, indeed, ascribed by Hindu authorities either to Shaunaka or to Ashvalayana.
The second and third books, on the other hand, are purely speculative, and are also styled the Bahvrca-brahmana-upanishad. Again, the last four chapters of the second book are usually singled out as the Aitareya Upanishad ,  ascribed, like its Brahmana and the first book , to Mahidasa Aitareya; and the third book is also referred to as the Samhita-upanishad. As regards the Kaushitaki-aranyaka, this work consists of 15 adhyayas, the first two treating of the mahavrata ceremony and the 7th and 8th of which correspond to the 1st, 5th, and 3rd books of the Aitareyaranyaka, respectively, whilst the four adhyayas usually inserted between them constitute the highly interesting Kaushitaki Brahmana- Upanishad ,  of which we possess two different recensions.
The remaining portions 9—15 of the Aranyaka treat of the vital airs, the internal Agnihotra, etc. Dating and historical context Geographical distribution of the Vedic era texts. Each of major regions had their own recension of Rig Veda Sakhas , and the versions varied. The Kuru versions were more orthodox, but evidence suggests Vedic era people of other parts of Northern India had challenged the Kuru orthodoxy. Its composition is usually dated to roughly between c.
The fixing of the samhitapatha by keeping Sandhi intact and of the padapatha by dissolving Sandhi out of the earlier metrical text , occurred during the later Brahmana period. Some Rigveda commentaries may date from the second half of the first millennium AD. Historical context The Rigveda is far more archaic than any other Indo-Aryan text.
The Rigveda records an early stage of Vedic religion. There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities with the early Iranian Avesta ,   deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times,  often associated with the early Andronovo culture or rather, the Sintashta culture within the early Andronovo horizon of c.
There is no evidence, state Jamison and Brereton, of any elaborate, pervasive or structured caste system. The women of Rigveda are quite outspoken and appear more sexually confident than men, in the text. There are also references to the elephant Hastin , Varana , camel Ustra, especially in Mandala 8 , ass khara, rasabha , buffalo Mahisa , wolf , hyena , lion Simha , mountain goat sarabha and to the gaur in the Rigveda. Atheism, Monotheism, Monism, Polytheism debate The Rigveda along with other Vedic texts, states Michael Ruse,  contains a "strong traditional streak that by Western standards would undoubtedly be thought atheistic".
He states that hymn The initial impression one gets, states Jeaneane Fowler, is that the text is polytheistic because it praises many gods. To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan. This statement stresses the underlying philosophy of the Vedic books that there is a connection bandhu between the astronomical, the physiological , and the spiritual.
Yaska was an early commentator of the Rigveda by discussing the meanings of difficult words. Dayananda, stated Reverend John Robson, was an iconoclast and willing to join with Christians to destroy all idols in India.