The Vedas

Vedic Religion. 

Circa 1500bce

Veda = Knowledge. 

Oldest sanskrit scriptures.

4 primary veda





Primarily oral transmissions. Chanted aloud. 

Hymns to vedic gods & deities. and filled with ritual practice for daily life.

Often very elaborate. 

Written down only later on. 

Early vedas = Brahmanical tradition. 

Formed the bedrock for later Hinduism (a name adopted much later)

Hindus understand the vedas as the foundation of their religion. 

Vedic scriptures are mostly naturalistic deities. Surya, the sun god. Prthvi, god of the earth. Agni, god fire etc…

Yajna = fire sacrifice.  

Most important = Indra. God of the skies and storms and battles. God mostly invoked.

Mentions of Soma - a sacred and deified herb. Pressed juice for ritual psychotropic behaviour. 

In the Rig Veda, we see the definition of the word yoking, to describe the bringing together of two things.

In particular a word and its meaning. 

Hithcing an animal to a chariot (an analagy that was later developed)

Does not yet suggest any meditational or soteriological discipline. 

But renunciate figures on the fringes of vedic culture hinted at - the long haired one. “said to be light itself”