Atharva Ved (August 2013)
For last several months, we have been on an enlightening journey of learning about the Vedas, one of the most ancient, authentic sources of knowledge on the planet earth. After covering Saam Ved, Rig Ved, and Yajur Ved, this month, we will cover the Atharva Ved.
Despite being considered the last Ved, the Atharva Ved is as sacred as others. The Atharva Ved is divided into 20 chapters (called kandas) with a total of 5987 mantras.
The Athrava Ved covers many topics that are so relevant – and modern – that they continue to guide us in our day-to-day life. Fact that the text written thousands of years ago covers topics like how to run meetings, role and qualities of leader to build consensus in group discussions (chapter 7, section 12) is extremely amazing and humbling. Here is an outline of the topics covered in the Atharva Ved:
- Spiritual and psychological
- Devas like Sun, Earth, Indra, Agni and their psychological powers
- Code of conduct as one goes through different stages of life: education, marriage, hospitality, austerity
- Health, Physiology
- Professions, governance, nation and community welfare
A number of mantras we chant on regular basis are taken from the Atharva Ved. Kids are expected to do research and share their findings along with at least one mantra from the Atharva Ved.
For adults: Unfortunately, some theorist have criticized the mantras for health and healing. Because of lack of understanding and/or disparaging viewpoints, they have portrayed the Atharva Ved as a book of simple, naïve folks who believed in magic spells. This view couldn’t be further from the truth. Rather than frantically opposing such viewpoints, it is crucial to comprehend on one’s own. Here is great link on Atharva Ved: http://www.aryasamajjamnagar.org/athrvaveda/atharvaveda.htm