The Mystic Fire
Veda is fundamentally a record of experiences of intuition and revelation. These experiences are varied, and they belong to various stages of development and exploration. The Veda records not only the experiences of the poets who have composed the hymns of the Veda, but also the experiences of the ancestors (pitarah, poorvajanah). Veda thus describes the knowledge contained in the pre-Vedic tradition as also the Vedic tradition proper.
Among the four Vedas (Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda), the Rig Veda is pre-eminent. According to one tradition, Atharva Veda was a later addition. The Rig Veda consists of 10 Mandalas (parts) and each Mandala consists of a number of Suktas, and each one of the Suktas consists of a group of verses.
The largest number of hymns are addressed and related to Agni, the mystic fire. This fact is