Glimpses of Vedic Literature


MANTRAS of the Rigveda are all in poetic form. But Yajurveda is principally in prose form. The word "Yajus" is derived from the root "Yaj," which means to consecrate, to offer, to sacrifice. The mantras of Yajurveda are, therefore, devoted to acts of sacrifice.

Sacrifice is understood primarily in its ritualistic sense, and Yajurveda itself speaks of various kinds of ritualistic sacrifices. Rituals of various sacrifices were laid down in detail and they are expected to be performed with meticulous care. There is a belief among ritualists that the rites, if properly performed, are effective and produce desired results. The important rites are related to sacrifices called "Chaturmasya", "Vajapeya", "Ashwamedha" and "Rajasuya".

But apart from the ritualistic meaning, sacrifice has also an inner meaning. It is this inner meaning which is extremely important. Every action is inwardly a sacrifice, if

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