The Rig Veda is the earliest of the four Vedas and one of the most important texts of the Hindu tradition. It is a large collection of hymns in praise of the gods chanted in various rituals. They were composed in an archaic language named Vedic that gradually evolved into classical Sanskrit.
The Rig Veda consists of 1028 hymns, organized into 10 books known as maṇḍalas.
Each mandala has sūktas (hymns) formed by individual strophes called ṛc (ric) from which the name Rig Veda arises. The philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rig Veda is one of the oldest existing texts in any Indo-European language and probably originated from the region of present day Pakistan between 1500 and 1200 BC.
This manuscript from our Sanskrit Collections is a Padapātha
, meaning a word by word version of the hymns. The accentuation marks in red are used to signal three main accents: udātta
, acute; anudātta
, unmarked low; and svarita
, a grave accent.