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Many Paths to One God

The Atharva Veda
The Book of Spell

The last of the Vedas, the Atharva Veda ("Wisdom of the Atharvan Priests") is completely different from the other three Vedas and is next in importance to Rig-Veda with regard to history and sociology. A different spirit pervades this Veda.

Atharva means the stationary. The atharva is Prajapati, the god who has given the fire to the mankind. The Atharvaveda  takes its name from one of the brahmin families traditionally believed to have composed the Vedas.

Like the Rigveda, it is a collection of entire hymns. The hymns of The Atharva Veda, however, are of a more diverse character than the Rig Veda and are also simpler in language.

Atharva veda is the action (krya) part of the vedas. Mostly meant for the worldly Knowledge, it is an essential part of education for those who aspire to be the preceptors, also called Angirasa, Atharvangirasa, Bhrg Angirasa,Kshatra ( one who acts) or Bhaishajya . The verses of Atharva are called siddha mantras.

They include almost exclusively of a wide variety of hymns, magical incantations, and magical spells. It contains spells for everything from success in love to the realization of other worldly ambitions prevalent at its time. Largely for personal, domestic use, it was not originally accepted as authoritative because of the deviant nature of its contents. Scholars believe that it dates from a later time .Eventually it was acknowledged as one of the Vedas, especially after its adoption as a ritual handbook by the Brahmans.

Source: Kishore Mohan

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