Hymns to Earth, Education, Skambha, wedding, family concord, body Structure, Healthy Longevity and Epigrams.
Atharva Veda (AV) Samhita is a collection of 5,989 mantras or verses. Most of them are in metres such as Gayatri, Anushtubh etc. AV is divided into 20 Kandas (or books). Each Kanda contains several suktas or hymns, each sukta contains several mantras or verses. There are in total 730 suktas or hymns.
Several introductory books purportedly dealing with Vedic age make several derogatory comments on the Atharva Veda. It is clear that the authors of books have no first hand knowledge on the AV book itself.
The present book has 12 chapters; titles given to them indicate their subject matter. Chapter 3 gives 4 suktas and several mantras dealing with the idea of recognising the bliss in life. Chapter 4 deals with the concord among the members of family and concord among the members of the community. Chapter 5 contains 2 suktas explaining how to live and face the problems in life which may appear very challenging. Chapter 6 contains mantras dealing with several aspects of marriage. They are taken mainly from the 2 marriage suktas (14.1) and (14.2) and others. Chapters 7 and 8 deals with the ideas of nation, the relation of the king, and the council and the concord among strangers and nations. Chapter 9 deals with the important aspect of the nature of gods. Note that these gods are not mere nature powers; they are the powers associated with the governance of universe and governance of individuals. They deal with the forces dealing with all aspects of work such as will-power, clarity of mind, the happiness derived from work, the foundations of the universe etc.
Chapter 10 contains the hymns dealing with philosophical topics such as the gross and subtle structure of man, the Supreme Brahman, and the Support of the universe denoted by the word skambha. Chapter 11 contains the sukta AV (11.5) dealing with the ideas of integral education in Vedic age. It is usually titled as 'Brahmacharya'; the word is translated as 'celibacy' in classical Sanskrit. But in the Veda, it signifies a way of life. The last chapter is the Ode to Earth, a hymn of 63 mantras. It goes far beyond the ideas of modern ecology.
Indian Literature has a large number of maxims, or proverbs known as 'Subhashita' or 'good saying'. The source of many of them is Atharva Veda. Chapter 2 has about 100 such precepts of wisdom. Each item is a part of a mantra of AV. The book gives the English translation of the phrase and the original text of the part of the AV mantra.
Table of Contents:
- Words of Wisdom (Subhashita)
- Blissful Life
- Concord in Family and Community
- Heroic Attitude and Fearlessness
- Gods, the Cosmic Powers
- Philosophical Topics
- Education and Brahmacharya
- Hymn to the Earth
About the Author:
Dr. R.L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his masters degree form Indian Institute of science, Bangalore and obtained Ph.D. form Harvard University. He is the recipient of many international awards. He has authored more than 350 research papers. He has guided more than 50 Ph.D. Scholars. He has written extensively on Veda. He has given the word-meaning of all the verses from the first 121 suktas of Rig Veda. He has to his credit six major books on the Veda. He is the Honorary Director of Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic culture, Bangalore.