The Vedas are the ancient scriptures of the Hindus and form the foundation of the Hindu religion. They consist of hymns written in an old form of Sanskrit and their is no direct evidence of their age. The word Veda means 'divine knowledge.'

It is believed that the Vedas were revealed orally to the rishis or sages. The whole body of the Veda is known as Sruti. The Vedas are four in number: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda is comparatively of modern origin.

Each Veda is divided into two parts, the Samhitas and Brahmanas. The Samhitas or Mantras consists of prayer and praise of God embodied in metrical hymns. The Brahmanas are written in prose and contains ritualistic glosses, explanations and applications of the hymns illustrated by numerous legends. The Brahmanas also consists of the Aranyakas and Upanishads.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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