Rig Veda

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 24 Apr 2011 17:53 and updated at 25 Dec 2011 08:16

Rig Veda is the oldest among the Ancient Indian texts. It is the foremost among the four Vedas, viz. Rik, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Yajur Veda and Sama Veda contains hymns and verses originally contained in the Rig Veda. Rig Veda, along with the three other Vedas is among the ancient foundations upon which the ancient way of life, viz. the Sanatana Dharma, now popularly known as Hinduism is firmly established.

Rig Veda contains hymns addressing gods like Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Indra, Vayu, Aswins, Maruts, Savitr, Surya, Pusan, Rudra and Vishnu. It contains several accounts describing the speculations of the ancient people about the origins of the World and the Universe. It contains historical information about the kings and sages who lived during the composition of this text. It contains prayers for having a prosperous and better life and to enlighten human-mind and intellect to receive the higher truths thus expanding its intellectual horizons ever further.

It is one of the oldest record of human mind's quest for understanding the TRUTH. It marks the emergence of the thinking human-mind which finally culminated in the realization of the absolute truth by the formulation of Vedanta, the subsequent texts of the Vedas, viz. the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. It also faithfully records the emergence of sage-hood, and the traditions of ancient Indian sages which is preserved even to this day after the passage of several thousands of years.

Structure of Rig Veda

Rig Veda contains 10 Mandalas or books, much like the 18 books or Parvas of Mahabharata. It is however much smaller than Mahabharata. The total number of verses in Rig Veda comes to arround 10552 as against the 85,000 plus verses in Mahabharata. The verses are arranged as part of hymns, which are themselves arranged within Mandalas. Each hymn has a seer or a composer-Rsi (a sage who composed the hymn or in whose mind the hymn arose). Each hymn has a designated devata or god like Agni, Indra or Varuna.

The 10 Mandalas

The table shown below summarizes the ten Mandalas of Rig Veda.


The Hymns

The image below shows the size of the Mandalas in terms of the number of hymns contained in each Mandala.


The Verses

The image below shows the size of the Mandalas in terms of the number of verses contained in each Mandala.


Research Tools for Rig Veda Researchers

Rig Veda Search Engine

Provided below is a custom search-tool to search keywords and phrases in Rig Veda. Currently it searches into Ralph T.H. Griffith's English translation of Rig Veda at Sacred-Texts. This will be useful for beginners to get familiarized with Rig Veda.

Unique Nouns, Indices, Vocabulary, Keywords, Search Strings:-

Gods, Agni, Vayu, Indra, Mitra, Priest, Vāyu, Aśvins, Viśvedevas, Ṛtu, Varuna, Maruts, Brahmaṇaspati, Ṛbhus, Savitar, Pūṣan, Rudra, Dawn, Uṣas, Sūrya, Soma, Bhāvayavya, Viṣṇu, Heaven, Earth, Rati, Āprīs, Food, Bṛhaspati, Water, Grass, Sun, Ādityas, Kapiñjala, Sacrificial Post, Parvta, Falcon, Dadhikris, Dadhikrās, Dadhikrāvan, Ksetrapati, Ghṛta, Atri, Parjanya, Prthivi, Cows, Sarasvatī, Weapons of War, Vasiṣṭha, Bhaga, Vastospati, Frogs, Vāk, Praskaṇva, Praskaṇva's Gift, Pavamana, Yama, Yami, Havirdhanas, Fathers, Vasukra, Deities, Dice, Vaikuntha, Saucika, Mānas or Spirit, Nirrti and Others, Asamati, Jnanam, Rivers, Press-stones, Visvakarman, Manyu, Sūrya's Bridal, Puruṣa, Urvasi, Purūravas, Praise of Herbs, Dakṣiṇā, Saramā. Paṇis, Liberality, Ka, Vena, Night, Creation, Kesins, Sapatnibadhanam, Aranyani, Faith, New Life, Various, Saci, Paulomi, Dream-charm, Sapatnanāśanam, The King, Māyābheda, Tārkṣya, The Sacrificer, Aditi, ……

For Alphabetical Uncategorized List of Nouns of Rig Veda check the link below:-

For Uncategorized List of Nouns of Rig Veda with frequencies check the link below:-

Copy-paste the keywords from above or type your keyword and click "Search".

Known Limitations:- In some browsers only one page of search results are displayed, even if there were multiple pages of search results. Extended characters denoting the pronunciation of Rig Vedic words may not be automatically recognized by the engine.

Acknowledgement:- I thank the Google-Code Development Team and the whole Google Inc to help develop this engine in this form.

Search into "The Rig-Veda, a Historical Analysis"


The Rig-Veda, a Historical Analysis is an influential book by Srikant G Talageri. He was born in 1958, educated in Mumbai, India where he lives and works. Talageri has revolutionized the research into Rig Veda. He had successfully identified several historical information from Rig Veda, which he used to chronologically arrange the ten Mandalas of Rig Veda (6, 3, 7,, 4, 2, 5 and 8,9,10) . He explored the history of the kings and the sages (Vedic-Aryans) who composed the Rigvedic hymns. He utilized for his analysis, the Anukramanis in Rigveda, which are often neglected by scholars. He also studied the geographical basis of Rig Veda. As a corollary of his analysis, he establishes that Rig Veda was composed by sages living in Saraswati river valley between Saraswati and Ganga rivers (Hariyana) who were patrons of the kings who ruled in this area. These patron kings were especially the Puru and particularly the Bharata branch of the Purus. He also analyzed the probable location of origin (Punjab) of the Indo-Iranians and the Indo-Europeans. Talageri equates the Vedic-Aryans to the Purus and the Iranians to the Anus a sibling branch of the Purus. Other sibling branches includes the Drahyus, the Yadus and the Turvasus.

These tribes, especially the Purus and Bharatas are mentioned extensively in Mahabharata as well which will allow me to do a combined analysis of Rigveda and Mahabharata. Talageri also sheds light on the misconceptions that a scholar may entertain during the analysis of Rigveda and provides a critique to Prof. Michael Witzel and to the Western scholarship on Rigveda. Some RigVedic myths like the one related to Sarama and the Panis too were analyzed. Sarama is described in Rigveda as a female dog who acted as a messenger of Indra to the Panis who allegedly stole and hid cattle.

I am analyzing Talageri's book for comparing the chronologies and lineages of kings and sages mentioned in Rig Veda with that mentioned in Mahabharata. Several kings and sages mentioned in Rig Veda are also mentioned in Mahabharata. By a combined analysis of Rig Veda and Mahabharata on these kings and sages, much about them can be learned.

Provided below is a custom search-tool to search keywords and phrases in Srikant G Talageri's book The Rig-Veda, a Historical Analysis.

Unique Nouns, Indices, Vocabulary, Keywords, Search Strings:-

AnukramaNIs, RSi, DevatA, Chhanda, MaNDala, Hymns, verses, ViSvAmitras, ANgirases, KaNvas, Rigvedic, Rigveda, SarvAnukramaNI, GAthina, VasiSTha MaitrAvaruNI, Greek, AprI-sUktas, Parucchepa, SudAs, Kutsa, Madhucchandas, JetA, MedhAtithi KANva, SunahSepa AjIgarti, DevarAta VaiSvAmitra, HiraNyastUpa ANgiras, KaNva Ghaura, PraskaNva, Savya, NodhAs Gautama, ParASara sAktya, Gotama RAhUgaNa, Kutsa, KaSyapa MArIca, RjrASva VArSAgira, KakSIvAn Dairghatamas, DaivodAsI, Divodasa, Pratarddana, Aucathya, Agastya, GRtsamada Saunahotra, Saunaka, ….

For Uncategorized List of Nounse check the link below (This is work is complete):-

For Categorized List of Nounse check the link below (This is work in Progress):-

For Section wise and Chapter wise Nouns check the links below (This is work in Progress):-

  1. rigveda-talageri-nouns-AnukramaNIs
  2. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Composers
  3. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Chronology
  4. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Geography
  5. rigveda-talageri-nouns-History
  6. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Iranians
  7. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Europeans
  8. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Misinterpretations
  9. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Michael Witzel
  10. rigveda-talageri-nouns-SaramA and the PaNis

Copy-paste the keywords from above or type your keyword and click "Search".

Rig Veda and Mahabharata

Comparative History

By analyzing Rig Veda and Mahabharata together, especially in the light of Talageri's analysis, one common thread is revealed which connects Rig Veda and Mahabharata is that Mahabharata too is a Puru-Bharata book. The historical context of Mahabharata is that its formative periods succeeds the formative periods of Rig Veda with some overlap as well. Vasistha, his son Sakthi and his son Parasara is mentioned among the composers of Rig Veda. Parasara's son Vyasa is the composer of Mahabharata. We also see that in this period the Bharatas had diversified into the Kurus and the Panchalas.

Bharata-Puru conflicts

In Rig Veda we sees some rare occurrences of a conflict of the Bharatas with other Purus (a strange Arya-Arya conflict) which puzzles other scholars except Talageri who gives a clear explanation for this strangeness. In Mahabharata, we see many such conflicts. One such incident is Arjuna's encounter with the Purus living in Punjab at that time (see:- Arjuna in Punjab) as part of his northern military campaign. From this we have a clear historical context post-Rig Veda where the Purus occupies the vacant territories in Punjab after causing their enemies viz. Anavas (Iranians) to migrate westward from there.

Bharata-Bharata conflicts

In Mahabharata we also get to see Bharata-Bharata conflicts, unknown to Rig Veda, like the Kurukshetra war and several other wars like the Matsya-Pandava vs. Kaurava-Trigarta war and the Kuru-Panchala wars. The Kurukshetra war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas forms the core of Mahabharata

Thus we see in Mahabharata, that the Bharatas who earned the patronage of sages like Vasistha, Bharadwaja and Gautama in Rig Veda has now diversified with some of the descendant sages like Vyasa (descendant of Vasistha), Drona (descendant of Bharadwaja) and Kripa (descendant of Gautama) siding with one party or the other party.

The Yadus as per Rig Veda sometimes supported the Puru-Bharatas and sometimes opposed them. In Mahabharata they split to support the warring factions of the Bharatas with Krishna, Satyaki and Chekitana supporting the Pandavas and Kritavarma supporting the Kauravas.

Gritsamada in Mahabharata

Another interesting fact is that Mahabharata considers Gritsamada (a prominent composer of Rig Veda) a son of Vitahavya, the enemy of Divodasa. Vitahavya was supported by Bhrigu while Divodasa and his son Pratarddana was supported by Bharadwaja. Talageri considers Gritsamadas as kevala-Bhrigus (not original Bhrigus but affiliated to the Bhrigus). Probably its reason is thus found in Mahabharata. Mahabharata also mentions sage Saunaka as a descendant of Gritsamada.

For more details see:- ikshwaku-kings-in-mahabharata-part2.

Ancestry of Divodasa and Pratarddana

There is some confusion about the lineage of Divodasa and Pratarddana. Rig Veda and Mahabharata, both is unanimous in describing them as kings of Kasi. But in Mahabharata we some references that makes them part of the lineage of Ikshwakus (Kuvalaswa > Sudeva > Divodasa > Pratarddana) while Rig Veda asserts that they were Bharatas. These references are however in Book 13 (Anusasana Parva, Mbh.13.30). This book is chronologically a later book among the books of Mahabharata. Hence this could be a later modification. In an earlier Book of Mahabharata (Book 5 : Udyoga Parva, Mbh.5.115) we have Vasumanas as the son of Haryaswa.

For more details see:-

  1. ikshwaku-kings-in-mahabharata.
  2. thousand-year-long-chatur-yuga - A Combined analysis of Kings and Sages mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata

Sudasa and Saudasa

The king Sudasa who is mentioned extensively in Rig Veda, is mentioned very briefly in Mahabharata. However his son Saudasa popularly known as Kalmashapada is mentioned extensively in Mahabharata. Rig Veda describes Vasistha competing with Viswamitra as the priests of Sudasa. In Mahabharata we get to see the continuation of the competition between Vasistha and Viswamitra to become the priest of Saudasa. Due to the patronage of Viswamitra, Saudasa was also known as Mitrasaha. Mahabharata reveals that as a consequence of this rivalry, Vasistha's son Sakti is slain by Saudasa due to the influence of Viswamitra. Later we see Vasistha as becoming the priest of Saudasa.

For more details see ikshwaku-kings-in-mahabharata-part2

Rig Veda and Ramayana

Locating Rama's History in Rig Vedic History

Tradition puts Ramayana before Mahabharata. This make it close to the formative periods of the later parts of Rig Veda. A combined analysis of Ramayana and Mahabharata by analyzing the cross references between them like the repetition of Rama's history several times in Mahabharata and the mention of the city of Hastinapura as well as that of the Kuru tribe, in Ramayana too reveals that Rama lived before Krishna and the Pandavas. If we take the lineage of Rama mentioned in Ramayana and the Puranas (Visnu Purana, Bhagavata as well as the one found in Harivamsa, the appendix of Mahabharata) by face-value, we end up locating Rama as subsequent to Krishna! This is especially true if we consider the fact that both lineages originated from Manu-Vaivaswata. Fortunately, close analysis shows these lineages to be erroneous and containing several additions from the Aila-Puru-Bharata lineage and from the sibling branches of the Ikshwaku lineage. It also contains some parallel branches of Ikshwaku lineages arranged sequentially.

If we remove these anomalies we get a more or less correct picture, placing Rama a few generations earlier than Krishna and the Pandavas. My (ongoing) analysis (see thousand-year-long-chatur-yuga) makes Rama as an elder contemporary of Vasistha's son Sakthi.

Near Absence of Rama in Rig Veda

But when we take Rig Veda into account we again face a problem. There is no explicit mention of Rama in Rig Veda as far as I know except if we consider re-interpretation of some verses by commentators as referring to Rama and Ravana which are actually references of Indra and Vritra and and not of Rama and Ravana.

There is however one possible reference to Rama (along with another king Vena) in the 10th Mandala (chronologically the youngest and the final mandala) in a hymn addressing Viswadevas:-

RV.10.93.14:- This to Duḥśīma Pṛthavāna have I sung, to Vena, Rama, to the nobles, and the King (pra tad duḥśīme pṛthavāne vene pra rāme vocamasuremaghavatsu). Since the patronymic 'Dasarathi' or 'Raghava' is absent there is no cent percent certainty that it is Rama of Ramayana who is mentioned here.

One possibility for this near absence is that the lineage of Rama starting with Raghu (Raghu > Aja > Dasaratha > Rama) may not be a very famous Ikswaku branch during the composition of Rig Veda. Its fame probably started since Rama. Another possibility is based on the southern origin of Rama's Ikshwaku branch. See:- Migration from coastal Andhra. (Andhra > Southern Kosala (Chattisgad) > Ayodhya and Northern Kosala (Uttar Pradesh).

Rig Veda and the Civilization of Mohanjodaro-Harappa

Rig Vedic Evidence

The civilization (2600 BCE to 1500 BCE) of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, became popular as the Indus Valley civilization. This was because the first excavated city (Mohanjodaro) belonging to this civilization happened to be on the banks of Sindhu (Indus). Based on the fact that most of the excavated sites are found along the dried up Saraswati river it is now aptly described as Indus-Saraswati civilization. From the literary evidence found in Rig Veda and from the recent archeo-astronomical findings (using planetarium software) scholars including Srikant Talageri and Narahari Achar has concluded that Rig Vedic period predates (with some slight overlap at the end) this civilization. They differ only in the dates (Talageri: 4000 BCE-2200 BCE; Achar: since 7000 BCE).

Evidence from Mahabharata

Comparative analysis of Rig Veda and Mahabharata strengthens this result. After the Kurukshetra war and the submergence of Dwaraka, there was a shift in the center of power. Mahabharata attests that during this period the [Sudras (Suras) and Abhiras became powerful. From the Book 14 (Musala Parva) of Mahabharata it is clear that the remnant Yadavas who escaped from the carnage in Dwaraka were attacked and assimilated by the Abhiras. The Sudras and Abhiras at that time were located in the territories of Sindhu-Sauvira-Sivi tribes (modern day Sindh province in Pakistan). Mohanjodaro too is located in this region.

A Composite Culture

Among these tribes the Sivis need special attention. The Chola kings in southern-India claims they are descended from the Sivis. The Sivis, as their name indicates are well known for Siva worship. Siva in the form of Pasupati is found as a well known artifact in Mohanjodaro. Nakula during his military campaign to the west as part of Yudhisthira's Rajasuya has encountered this Sudras and Abhiras along with the Mlechcha tribes in the western sea-shore. The deciphering of Indus seals has revealed that it contains the elements of Mlechcha language as well as the elements of Vedic symbolism.

Thus there is plenty of reason to suspect that the civilization that existed in Mohanjodaro is the product of a composite society and culture consisting of the Mlechchas, the Sudras (Suras), the Abhiras, the remnant Yadavas (who migrated from the submerged Dwaraka to the northern regions), the Sindhus, the Sauviras and the Sivis. This composite culture arose soon after the Kurukshetra war and after the submergence and decline of Dwaraka. This was also after the Kurus at Hastinapura (ruled by Pandava's descendants viz. Parikshit and Janamejaya) declined due to the constant attacks from the Gandharas / Gandharvas like Kali and their allies like the Kambojas, Yavanas and other western tribes having an Indo-Iranian affiliation. These invasions of the Kuru-Panchala territory by the Kambojas and Yavanas (much like the Aryan Invasion proposed by AIT/AMT theorist, but contrary to these theories, a post-Vedic, post-Kurukshetra war situation) too is well attested in Mahabharata as a futuristic prediction of sage Markandeya addressing Yudhisthira.

A Trade Oriented Culture

The artifacts unearthed from Mohanjodaro and nearby cities reveal that they were less war-like and more a trade oriented culture focusing on trade through land and sea. I consider that this aversion to warfare and focus on the trade could be the consequence of the socio-economic depression that resulted due to the colossal loss of life and property in Kurukshetra war. After the two disastrous events triggered by war and violence (Kurukshetra war and the war at Dwaraka) the society seems to be averse to war but focused on constructive activities like trade and commerce. Thus finally the dream of Krishna who envisaged a society focused on progress and well being seems to have come true in and around Mohanjodaro!

For more details see from-sindhu-to-hindu.

Mohanjodaro - A city constructed by the Viswakarmas

From Mahabharata we learn that the city of Dwaraka was constructed majestically by Viswakarma. Analyzing this further we can understand that Viswakarma is not just a person (not merely the individual who was the architect of the Devas), but a tribe of carpenters, masons and other construction workers. They were the city builders. There is reason to speculate that the Viswakarmas among the Yadavas who built the great city at Dwaraka joined the composite culture that arose in and around Mohanjodaro. They built this cities with well paved roads, rectangular buildings with bath areas and drainage systems. They used the same knowldge used to construct Vedic altars as detailed in Yajur Veda. Most of the vocabulary of the deciphered Indus script deals with symbols needed for inter-communication among these architects and city builders.

Thus Indus-Saraswati civilization and the Indus-scripts are the artifacts of this progressive post Rig Vedic, post-Kurukshetra war composite society and culture. This composite culture also served as the pre-cursor of the modern pluralistic culture of the Republic of India.

Further Reading

Internal Articles

Rig Veda Analysis

  1. Rig Veda Wiki
  2. rig-veda
  3. rig-veda-frequency-wise-uncategorized-nouns
  4. rig-veda-alphabetical-uncategorized-nouns
  5. rig-veda-alphabetical-uncategorized-verbs
  6. rig-veda-alphabetical-uncategorized-keywords

Analysis of Other Three Vedas

  1. sama-veda
  2. atharva-veda
  3. yajur-veda

Supporting Articles

  1. arjuna-in-trigarta - Describes Arjuna's encounter with the Purus
  2. ikshwaku-kings-in-mahabharata - Describes Ikshwaku migration
  3. ikshwaku-kings-in-mahabharata-part2 - Describes about Divodasa, Pratarddana, Sudasa and Saudasa
  4. thousand-year-long-chatur-yuga - Describes events in Ramayana and Mahabharata
  5. from-sindhu-to-hindu - Describes the trading culture of Sindhu (Hindu), Sauvira (Sophir) and Abhira (Ophir)
  6. Historical Krishna - Describes the vision of Krishna
  7. Ramayana - Comparison of Ramayana with Mahabharata
  8. Comparison of Ancient Indian Texts - Size comparison of Vedas, Epics and Puranas

Articles on Talageri's Analysis

  1. rigveda-talageri-nouns-AnukramaNIs
  2. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Composers
  3. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Chronology
  4. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Geography
  5. rigveda-talageri-nouns-History
  6. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Iranian
  7. rigveda-talageri-nouns-European
  8. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Misinterpretations
  9. rigveda-talageri-nouns-Michael Witzel
  10. rigveda-talageri-nouns-SaramA and the PaNis

External Sources

  1. Rigveda Mandala 01 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  2. Rigveda Mandala 02 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  3. Rigveda Mandala 03 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  4. Rigveda Mandala 04 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  5. Rigveda Mandala 05 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  6. Rigveda Mandala 06 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  7. Rigveda Mandala 07 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  8. Rigveda Mandala 08 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  9. Rigveda Mandala 09 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  10. Rigveda Mandala 10 - Sanskrit Text Rendered in Unicode (UTF-8) at GRETIL
  11. Rig Veda MP3 Audio - Astrojyoti - Best Quality, Complete
  12. Rig Veda MP3 Audio- Gatewayforindia - Moderate Quality, Complete
  13. Rig Veda - Sanskrit Devanagari Script at Sacred Text
  14. Rig Veda - English Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith, at Sacred Text
  15. The Rig Veda - A Historical Analysis - by Srikant G Talageri, Voice of India
  16. Rigveda and the Avesta: The Final Evidence - by Srikant G Talageri
  17. A Review of Talageri's book RV & Avesta: The Final Evidence - Dr. Koenraad Elst
  18. Rig Vedic Chronology - Narahari Achar
  19. Rig Veda - Wikipedia
  20. Alleged Reference of Rama in Rig Veda (Actually References to Indra)
  21. Examination of the Chronology of Rigveda - Jayasree Saranathan

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