If we speak about Yoga, we can’t ignore the scriptures where it has been mentioned. If you see my Origination of Yoga post, you will know that according to some people Yoga was first mentioned in Rig Veda as Yogic Veda.
A quick glance on Vedas
Veda comes from the Sanskrit word Ved which means knowledge. They are large text written in Sanskrit (basically songs, mantras) and are believed to be the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.
There are four Vedas which are as follows:
- Rig Veda (Oldest one)
- Yajur Veda
RigVeda is considered to be the oldest Vedas with 10,600 verses in Sanskrit, organized into ten books (Sanskrit: mandalas). The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities.
Another name for Vedas is Sruti (“what is heard”). It is said that other religious texts are for what is to be remembered. This is how Vedas are different from religious texts.
Some facts about Rig Veda
- Oldest of all the Vedas
- Likely to be composed during 1700–1100 BCE
- One of the world’s oldest religious text
Rig Veda is in form of ‘beautiful statements’ or hymns which are also called as Suktis. Sukta(Singular) is collection of incantations or chants (Rik). Rik are those incantations that contains praises.
Rig Veda contains incantations in praise of God. You will also find the thoughts of Sages evolved from minute observation especially of nature. Sages have spoken about universe and mysteries covering them.
During Rig Veda times, our sages used to worship the force of nature (Wind, Earth, Sun ,Sky, Water). Their observations were inspired by the natural forces.
One hymn also known as Hymn of Creation is listed below. This hymn provides us a hint that the question of creation was also there in Sages’ mind and they understood that in the beginning there was nothing.
It is one of my favorite hymns which questions about formation of life. The main thing is that it links love as the cause that unites the existence and non-existence.
In the beginning there was neither existence nor non-existence.
There was no atmosphere, no sky and no realm beyond the sky
What power was there? Where was that power?
Who was that power? Was it finite or infinite?
There was neither death nor immortality.
There was nothing to distinguish night from day.
There was no wind or breath, god alone breathed by his own energy.
In the beginning darkness was swathed in darkness, god was clothed in emptiness
Then fire arose within god; and in the fire arose love.
This was the seed of the soul.
Sages have found this seed within their hearts;
They have discovered that it is the bond between existence and non-existence.
Who really knows what happened? Who can describe it?
How were things produced? Where was creation born?
When the universe was created, the one became many.
Who knows how this occurred?
Did creation happen at God’s command, or did it happen without his command.
He looks down upon the creation from the highest heaven.
Only he knows the answer – or perhaps he does not know.
This hymn is so calming and beautiful.
Those great sages didn’t claim to give the answer or know from where human have come. Those knowledgeable sages left the question open and even wondering if God knows the answers or not!!