All true seekers of God will desire for truth and welcome truth that leads them to the Living, Loving, Almighty and the All-powerful Creator. It is not just about religions, or sects, or faiths, nor is it a mere collection of some facts, but it is the driving force behind all sincere seekers to the ultimate hope of experiencing God.
It is in this pursuit that men for ages have been looking towards nature, ancestors, heroes and even to unknown spirits for help. In the course of time, they started worshiping them as well. It is this longing that resulted in the birth of Vedas.
Veda means, sacred spiritual knowledge. This knowledge was obtained through dedication, devotion and meditation, by several hundred Sages for years. It was orally handed down from generation to generation and compiled to book form over a period of time.
These scriptures are divided into two parts. One is Shruti (which is revealed) and the other one isSmruti (which is believed). Shruti contains Vedas (which gives light or knowledge); Smruti containsIthihasas (parables like Maha Bharat, Ramayan and Bhagavat Gita) and Puranas (fairy tales like stories which were written to help the common people to understand the Vedas).
There are four classes of Vedas. 1. The Samhitaas or Mantras. These are collection of hymns, prayers, charms, litanies and sacrificial formulas. 2. The Aagamas- commandments. 3. The Bhramanas. These are massive prose of text which contains the meanings of the hymns. It gives precepts for their application, relates stories of their origin in connection with that of social rites, and explains the secret meanings of the later. 4. The Aranyakas and Upanishads. They embody philosophical meditations of the hermits and ascetics on soul, god, world and man.
Again the Samhitaas are of four different types. The first one is the Rig Veda Samhitaa (which is a collection of Hymns). The second one is the Yazur Veda Samhitaa (The white Yazur Veda contains hymns of prayer and sacrificial formulas. The Black Yazur Veda consists of texts that were to be recited by the Atharva priests in connection with the more important sacrifices). The third one is the Sama Veda Samhitaa (These are mostly melodies and are responsible for the development of Indian music). The fourth one is theAtharva Veda Samhitaa (It deals mostly with charms, magics and spells which are believed to be used to overcome enemies, win over friends and gain worldly success).
There are many other holy writings such as Vedangas, and Upa Vedas. These are necessary for reading and understanding the Vedas for the purpose of offering sacrifices. There are six subjects in Vedanga Sutras: They are namely Siksha (pronunciation), Chandas (metier), Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta(explanation of words), Jyothisha (astronomy) and Kalpa (ceremonial).
The first two are for reading and the second two, for understanding and the last two, for employing it during sacrifices. Upa Vedas are equivalent to Vedangas. It deals with Yazur Veda (medical science),Dhanur Veda (military science), Gandharva Veda (Music and art), architecture and various other subjects.
Written by The word of Truth