Vedic Literature : Ancient Indian History


List of Vedic Literature

Here we are providing information related to Vedas which is also known as ‘Knowledge’. Here in this article you will get all the detailed Vedic Literature which is considered very important for UPSC, State PSCs, SSC and other Government Exams. The Vedic Literature is considered as a very important source of knowledge about Vedic Period as well as Aaryans.

Vedic Literature is basically divided into two literature:-

  1. Shruti Literature:- Shruti means something “which has been heard”. It consists of revelation and facts or truth which is not unquestionable. Shruti Literature is further divided into following:-
    1. Vedas (Rig-Veda, Yajurveda, Sam Veda , Atharva Veda)
    2. Brahmanas 
    3. Aranyakas 
    4. Upanishads
  2. Smriti Literature: -Smiriti literally means something “which is remembered, supplementary and may change over time”. So it basically remembered from one generation to an another and the content is supplemented over time and can change from one generation from an another.
    1. Vedangas 
    2. Epics (Ramayana, Mahabharta)
    3. Puranas 
    4. Upaveda

List of Vedic Literature

  1. Rigveda:- Rig-Veda is also known as the oldest religious text in the world also known as “First testament” of mankind. It was compiled at around 1700 BC. It is basically a collection of hymns. The meaning of ‘rig’ is ‘to praise’. There were rishis who were experts in Rigveda, those were known as hotri.
  2. Samaveda:- “Saman” basically means melody and it contains the Rhythmic compilation of Hymns of Rigveda. Samaveda contains 1549 hymns and collection of songs and most of the songs were taken from the hymns of Rigveda. The compilation of Samaveda also laid the foundation of Indian Music
  3. Yajurveda:- Yajus” means “sacrificial formula” and Yajurveda is a book which contains sacrificial prayers. Yajurveda also contains the rituals of the Yajnas. Yajurveda is estimated to have been compiled between 1,400 and 1000 BC. It contains both prose and poetry. Adhvaryu was the experts of the knowledge of Yajurveda.
  4.  Atharvaveda:- Atharvaveda contains a lot of magic spells, which incorporates much of early traditions of healing and magic. Atharvan’ was a legendary Rishi and is considered to have sung the Atharvaveda. Indian medicinal science which is known as Ayurveda has has also got its origin from Atharvaveda.
  5. The Brahamanas:- The Brahmanas are the praising texts which explain the hymns in the Vedas, give explanation and applications and related stories of their origin.
  6. The Aranyakas:- The Aranyakas were written in Forests for the hermits and students of the Vedas and are concluding parts of the Brahmans. They are like a bridge between Vedas cum Brahamanas and Upanishads.
  7.  The Upanishads:- are the last phase of Vedic literature. Upanishads mainly deals with metaphysics i.e. Philosophy and also contain subject about soul, brahamana, rebirth and theory of karma. Few of he important Upanishads are Chhandogya Upanishads, Brahadaranyaka Upanishads, Katha Upanishads, Isha Upanishads, Prasna Upanishads, Mundaka Upanishads. As per the records Satyameva Jayate in the National Emblem is taken from Mundaka Upanishad.
  8. Vedangas:- Vedangas is also Known as limbs of Vedas. Vedangas were compiled during Sutra period therefore, these are also known as Sutra literature.
    There are six types of vedangas which are as below:-
    1. Shiksha- Phonetics of Science of Pronunciation
    2. Kalpa- Rituals and ceremonies
    3. Vyakarana - Grammar
    4. Nirukta – Etymology (Origin of words)
    5. Chhanda – Metrics, rules of poetic composition
    6. Jyotisha- Astronomy

Here you can also go through details of other periods of Ancient Indian History which would be very helpful for various Government Exams:-

  1. Stone Age in India
  2. Indus Valley Civilization
  3. Vedic Period: Ancient History
  4. Janapadas and Mahajanapadas
  5. Mauryan Empire : Ancient History
  6. Gupta Dynasty : Ancient History
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