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The Vedic or Vedas that create the Vedism religion is an ancient language used by Indo-European. The people settled in India around 1500 BC after migrating from Iran. Vedic is the oldest recorded religion in India, which acted to shape currently dominant ones such as the Hindu. Information on the Vedic originates from few surviving texts and several rituals as well as ceremonies adopted by Hinduism. Vedism slowly gave away to classical Hinduism around 500BC a point where the first Hinduism texts started to appear. It also marks the emergence of modern Indian cultures and religious beliefs such as sacrifices. The Vedic, therefore, is an important religious civilization in India, which noted the emergence of Hinduism dominance.
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Vedic religion was originally introduced to India by the Aryans. The Indo-European ethnic group practiced the worship. The Aryans first landed in India as semi-nomadic pastoralists. They conquered Dravidian populations and built Kingdoms, making Vedas the chief religion. Vedism comprises a collection of oral poetry such as hymns, prayers, spells, chants, and commentaries. Few texts, with most data preserved in its original form, exist in Vedic to explain the culture and beliefs of the religion. The Aryans worshiped several gods including Agni and Indra, the highest one. The ceremonies mainly comprise of burning rituals. Vedism and Hinduism beliefs also support cremation, believing that it prevents the spirit of the dead from resting among the living. Vedas believe that after cremation the god Agni takes the soul away from the world of the living, hence the fire is sacrificed to him. The hymns of Rig Veda focus on the numerous animals sacrifice drinking of “Soma” an alcoholic one. The Vedas believed the war god Indra to be the highest one. He is supposed to be the conqueror of all enemies of both human and demon alike. The Vedas also believed in Varuna, the god of moral and cosmic laws. Sacrifices were performed on behalf of an individual “Yajamana” and heor she paid the monetary cost (Staal, 2008).
The word Veda means wisdom or knowledge. The Hindu believes that the holy texts were not written with the help of human knowledge but rather by god’s revelation through the “mantadrasta” or seers (Buswell, 2013). The Vedic is recorded into several texts; however, there are four main ones that are the Rig, Sama, Yajur and the Atharva Vedas. Scholars have doubt regarding the accuracy of the text dates because they were passed down from one generation to another orally until 500-300BC. Recent and well dated Vedas include the Brahmanas recordings that guided the Vedas during the process of praying and rituals. Aranyakas is also known as the forest texts and include religious permissions as well as the Upanishads records that explain mystical meaning. The Upanishads or the text of knowledge lay the foundation for the activity of Indian philosophers (Staal, 2008).
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The Rig Veda contains songs and hymns and explores Rig Vedic civilization. It is the oldest Veda dating back to the period between 1500 to 1000BC. The book comprises of ten texts “Mandalas” and 1028 hymns praising the gods and goddesses. They include Agni, Rudra, and Vishnu. Texts in the Rig Veda books mainly praise the gods for Aryans victory against enemies using Chariots and iron weapons. In conclusion, the books of Rig Veda extol the gods for the conquests and ask them for wealth, protection, male children and long life (Mackenzie, 2009).
The Sama Veda comprises chants and melodies, which are directed to the gods. Rig Veda, in its turn, is related to the praise of the gods and goddesses of Indra and Agni and the sacrifice of Soma liquor. Indian music originates from Soma Veda poetic work. The Sama chants were used in sacrifices involving agricultural products but excluded animal oblation.
The Yajur Veda explores Vedic rituals. The test of the Yajur Veda is delivered from ritual formulas peerformed by the priests in favor of gods. However, the Yajur Veda is similar to the Rig Veda and significantly mentions Indra and Agni gods. The text explores ritual formula such as construction alteration during the new and half moon. The book also contains two collections identified as “white” and “black.” Rituals performed and recorded in the Yajur Veda include the horse sacrifice by the King as a show of power to adversaries and the Soma plant sacrifice. According to Yajur Veda records, the Soma plant was the most important agricultural oblation (Buswell, 2013).
Atharva Veda is the fourth and distinctive text of the four Vedas, which comprises spells. Its content is clear and contains magical spells, incantations, and Charms used by the Aryan people. The Aryans relied on traditional medicine because their enslaved population had got success in the given field. The magical spells were used to heal diseases such as leprosy, fever and satiations as well as childbirth and romance. The book also highlights the use of magic spells in order to punish evil members of the society (Staal, 2008).
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The Brahmanas gives information on mythical customs and sacrifices performed by the priests. Upanishad book contains 200 texts that highlight religious actions such as meditation, fasting, and celibacy. Upanishad is an Indian word meaning “resting closer to”. It implies that in order to understand the content of the text one must listen to teachings by the wise priests “Guru”. The Upanishad marked the last great text by the Vedas. The latter began to lose social royalty around 7BCE and gave birth to modern Indian religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Charvaka (Staal, 2008).
In conclusion, the Vedas or Vedic marks the oldest form of religion in India arising from the settlement of the Aryans, an Indo-European semi-nomadic group. Vedism laid the background for the development of modern and classic Indian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
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