Glimpses of Vedic Literature

Atharva Veda

THE Atharvaveda has been looked upon as the Veda of secret and occult knowledge. It contains numerous mantras, which are common to the Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda. The Atharvaveda has 20 Kandas, which have 34 prapathakas, 111 anuvakas, 739 suktas and 54,849 mantras. About 1200 mantras are common with those of the Rigveda. The one-sixth of the Atharvaveda is in prose, while the rest is poetic.

There is a legend in Gopatha Brahmana about Atharvan and Angiras, after whom the fourth Veda has been named. According to this legend. Brahman undertook intense tapas for the creation of the universe. Consequently, two streams of sweat began to flow on his body. From one of the streams emerged Bhrigu Rishi, who came to be known as Atharvan; from the other emerged Angiras Rishi. The collection of niantras in the Atharvaveda is also known as Atharvangirasa.

The Atharvaveda has two kinds of mantras:

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