Ashirvachana/H.H. Sri Rangapriya Sripada Sri Srih
I. Some Popular Suktas and Mantras :
1. Mantras for Peace and Well-being
2. Mantras for Specific - Benefits
3. General Information
4. Mantras in Navagraha Puja
5. Mantras in Tantra (Dasha Maha Vidya)
6. Mantras in Sandhya Worship
II. Introductory Essays on Rig Veda :
1. Overview of Rig Veda
3. Mantra, Metre and Accent Marks
4. Vedic Gods
5. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra-shiva
7. Secret of the Veda in Aphorisms
III. Names of Rishis
IV. Text of Rig Veda Mantra Samhita (1,028 Suktas, 10,552 Mantras)
V. Text of the Rig Veda Khila Suktas
VI. A Hundred Mantras : Text in Devanagari & Roman with Meaning
Rig Veda Samhita is not only the oldest text of the Hindus, but also perhaps the oldest available religious or secular work in the entire world according to many scholars. In the Indian spiritual tradition spanning over several millennia, the roots of all knowledge and wisdom are traced to the four Veda Samhitas, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. The books like the Upanishads, Brahmanas, that came long after the Veda Samhitas declare that all knowledge like grammar, philosophies, the different methods of yoga, rituals, mathematics etc., are the flowerings of the seeds in the Samhita books.
Rig Veda is the earliest book which develops the idea of the all-encompassing spirit which it calls as the One or the One Existent which cuts across all the barriers of birth, learning, occupation, sex and family status and which docs not conflict with the idea of the many. This spirit, the One, can be realized by all persons.
As Sri Aurobindo observes, “.... they [the Vedic sages] may not have yoked the lightning to their chariots, nor weighed sun and star, nor materialised all the destructive forces in Nature to aid them in massacre and domination, but they had measured and fathomed all the heavens and earths within us, they had cast their plummet into the inconscient and the subconscient and the super conscient; they had read the riddle of death and found the secret of immortality; they had sought and discovered the One and known and worshipped Him in the glories of His light and purity and wisdom and power....."
We have tried to bring out an aesthetically pleasing and user friendly edition aimed at three classes of readers namely the beginners who have only heard the mantras like the Gayatri of sage Vishwamitra, the Ganapati mantra etc., and want to know more, those familiar with the Rig Veda needing a delightful edition for chanting and study, and finally those with inquisitive minds who, having read in translations or heard in discourses that Rig Veda is nothing but a book of rituals devoid of wisdom, want to find the Truth for themselves directly from the original text.
The book is divided into seven parts. The first part gives a list of well-known Suktas and mantras in the Rig Veda. We may recall that Rig Veda has 10,552 mantras. Not everyone has the time or interest to study all of them. Some of the readers may be surprised to know that many of the popular mantras they have heard in rituals like Sandhya or Navagraha Puja are actually in Rig Veda Samhita. As per some requests, we have included mantras with specific benefits such as freedom from disease and fear, child birth etc.
Part II carries seven introductory essays answering commonly encountered questions regarding the Rishi, the dcvata, the yajna and the essence of the Rig Veda. We stress that Rig Veda docs not have the details of even a single ritual. The names of rituals arc symbolic.
The seventh essay in Part II with the title, "The Secret of the Veda in Aphorisms", is authored by Shastra Chudamani, Veda Kamala Professor S.K. Ramachandra Rao. These aphorisms arc based on the famous commentary elucidating the secrets in the Rig Veda entitled, "Siddhanjana", by Sri T.V. Kapali Sastry. The aphorisms use the excerpts from the book by TVK. We give both the original Sanskrit work and its English translation.
Since many Hindus trace their lineage to a Rishi, many persons have wanted to know the Rig Veda mantras associated with the Rishis of their lineage. In part III, we give the names of major contributors like Atri, Vishvamitra, Kanva, Vasishtha etc. In the appendix we give an alphabetical list of all the Rishis numbering about 400 and their associated suktas. We have included a list of women Rishis of the Rig Veda. It is not out of place to note that some women had the status of Rishi, they had the revelation of the mantras and could chant all the mantras.
Part IV contains the complete text of one shakha or branch of Rig Veda entitled Shakala. The text has 1028 hymns or suktas (including the Valakhilya suktas) or 10552 mantras or verses divided into 10 Mandalas. The Mandalas two through seven are associated with the families of the Rishis Grtsamada, Vishvamitra, Vamadcva, Atri, Bharadvaja and Vasishta. The ninth Mandala is dedicated to the deity Soma, the Lord of Delight, Ananda. The remaining three Mandalas, one, eight and ten have multiple authors and arc dedicated to several deities. The suktas of Rig Veda are grouped into 8 Ashtakas also. The concordance between the numbering in the Ashtaka and Mandala systems is given in the beginning of Part IV.
The text is in the Devanagari script with modern (Hindu) numerals. The Rishi, Chhandas and Devata information of each Sukta is in a block. The number on the top of the left-hand side of the block is the number of mantras in that Sukta. The number of the Sukta is given in boldface and bigger font above the middle part of the block.
Dr. R.L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his Master's degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and obtained Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the recipient of many International awards. Recently he has received 'Vedanga Vidvan' award instituted by Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan (ujjain), an autonomous body of HRD, Govt. of India and 'Jnana Keerti' award instituted by Harsha Kriya Foundation, Bangalore.
He has authored more than 350 research articles of which 220 are published in scholarly journals and the rest were presented at conferences. He has guided above 50 doctoral students.
He has written extensively on Veda. He has to his credit seven major books on the Veda. 'Why Read Rig Veda', 'Secrets of the Rig Veda', 'Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita' (3 Volumes), 'Exploring the Mystery of Gods', 'Work Enjoyment & Progress' are some of his major books.
He is the Honorary Director of Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore.