The Rigveda, the oldest of the Hindu scriptures, date back to the early Aryan invasions of northern India (ca. 1500-1200 B.C.) The Sanskrit word veda is the remote ancestor of the English word wit and the German word wissen. It is most readily translated today as "knowledge." Specifically, veda refers to the sort of knowledge that will help a man win the favor of the gods. The verses are replete with examples of virtue and charity and define the responsibilities of the wealthy and powerful to the poor. There are also verses of a more earthly orientation that extol spirits of nature and their deeds. These verses tend to follow the pattern of the pantheistic mythologies of other Indo-European peoples. One particular verse, however, shows remarkable philosophic depth in its depiction of the creation of the world, which is very much like that in Genesis. Altogether there are more than a thousand verses in the Rigveda.
The biographical material about the author originally appeared on The Goodrich Room: Interactive Tour website.
Last modified April 13, 2016