(Last Updated on : 20-05-2014)
Hymns of Rig Veda are one thousand and twenty eight in number. These are also known as Suktas or Vedic Sanskrit Hymns. These Vedic Hymns of the Rig Veda written in Sanskrit are in praise of several deities and are chiefly meant to serve the purpose of the families of the priestly class who were considered to be the hymns addressed to various deities, and mostly arranged to serve the needs of the priestly families who were the guardians of the sacred text in Hinduism.
Rig Veda hymns are believed to be the oldest and most vital of all the Vedas
, being penned between the period from 1500 BC and the period of the famous Bharata war which was during 900 BC. There are one thousand and twenty eight Hymns which are coordinated into 10 Mandalas or chapters or circles. The second and the seventh Mandalas are considered to be the oldest while the tenth Mandala is regarded as the most recent. Since it is the only available writing in India dating back to the ancient period, the Rig Veda is well-known as the most prominent source of knowledge, while the ethical doctrines appear to have bettered from the old hymns to the mystic Upanishad
The Rig Veda is mainly dominated by hymns which are composed in the praise of the Aryan gods for providing them with wealth and victories from the local Dasas by warfare. The Aryans
generally utilised their advancement in skill and weaponry in fighting to seize the tribal and agricultural peoples of the withering Harappan culture. Several hymns are composed which give reference to the use of horses and chariots having spokes which must surely have given the then warriors a suitable advantage. Spears, arrows, bows and iron weapons find a place in these hymns. Like a pastoral and nomadic culture praising war they founded a fresh structure in society based on the patriarchal families commanded by warriors and, finally with the aid of the Vedas themselves, by priests also. Usually, the Rig Veda hymns shower praise over the gods and request them for material benefits like health, wealth, long life, victory and protection over the Dasa peoples.