Veda

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Veda (Skt., ‘knowledge’). The body of sacred knowledge held to be the basis of true belief and practice among Hindus. Through it the knower contacts the divinities, or discovers the universal foundation of things, thereby attaining to his desires and overcoming all that is undesirable. The Veda is śruti, and is thus authoritative, in that it is held to be eternal (sanātana) and of non-human origin (apauruṣeya). In ancient times, it is held, the Veda was ‘heard’ (śruti) or ‘seen’ by priestly seers (ṛṣis), and it is the families descended from these seers who have preserved it through oral transmission. Originally the Veda consisted of two parts: mantras (verses of invocation and praise) and Brāhmaṇas (discussions of the proper use of mantras in ritual settings, and explanation of the mythic background of the verses). Later the Veda was extended to include two further groups: Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads. The mantra portions were organized into collections (samhitās) associated with particular aspects of the Vedic sacrifice and with particular priests. Of these, three were at first recognized as Veda: the Ṛg Veda, Sāma Veda, and Yajur Veda. Later a fourth was included, the Atharva Veda. To each of these four collections Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇyakas, and Upaniṣads were appended. In addition to these strictly Vedic compositions a number of other texts became associated with the Veda, including the Vedāṅga, the Upavedas, and the ritual sūtras. Finally the sanctity of the Veda was extended by some to include the Itihāsa and the Purāṇas as the ‘fifth veda’.

Veda

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Ve·da / ˈvādə; ˈvēdə/ • n. [treated as sing. or pl.] the most ancient Hindu scriptures, written in early Sanskrit and containing hymns, philosophy, and guidance on ritual for the priests of Vedic religion. Believed to have been directly revealed to seers among the early Aryans in India, and preserved by oral tradition, the four chief collections are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.

Veda

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Veda the most ancient Hindu scriptures, written in early Sanskrit and containing hymns, philosophy, and guidance on ritual for the priests of Vedic religion. Believed to have been directly revealed to seers among the early Aryans in India, and preserved by oral tradition, the four chief collections are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. In its wider sense, the term also includes the Brahmanas and the mystical Aranyakas and Upanishads.

Veda

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Veda any of the four ancient sacred books of the Hindus. XVIII. — Skr. veda knowledge, sacred knowledge, sacred book, f. *wid- know (see WIT2).
Hence Vedic pert. to the Vedas; sb. the language of these, an early form of Sanskrit. XIX. — F. védique or G. vedisch.