WHAT IS IN THE ATHARVA VEDA?- Part 2 (Post No.3977)

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 6 June 2017


Time uploaded in London- 20-31


Post No. 3977


Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.


contact: swami_48@yahoo.com



In the first part of this article we learnt about the first ten Kandas (cantos) of the Atharvana Veda. Now let us look at the contents of the last ten Kandas i.e 11 to 20.


Book 11


This book contains 10 hymns, averaging 31 verses. Hymn 3 is all in prose excepts four lines; it is in praise of offering of rice in boiled milk. Hymn 8 treat the origin of several gods and the creation of man. The last two hymns are incantations for the destruction of enemies.

There is a long hymn addressed to Rudra.

A hymn praises the virtues of Brahmacarya (celibacy)


Book 12



This book contains only 5 hymns, averaging 60 verses. The second is a funeral hymn, taken partly from the Rig Veda 10-18. Hymn 4 and 5, partly in prose, show the sin and danger of robbing Brahmin of his cow.


Book 13



This book contains 4 hymns, averaging 47 verses. It is almost entirely devoted to the glorification of Rohita, the Red, a form of fire and of the sun, but distinguished both from these deities.

Book 14



This book contains only 2 hymns, including 139 verses. It treats of nuptial ceremonies and formulas. The greater part of Hymn 1 is taken, with many changes, from Rig Veda 10-85.


Book 15



This book contains 18 hymns, averaging 10 verses; they are all in prose and foreign authors described them as obscure. The aim seems to be the glorification of the Vratyas or wandering nonconformists.


Book of Charms and Talismans


Book 16


This book contains 9 hymns, averaging10 verses. Some f them are entirely in prose, others partly in prose and partly in poetry. The book consists almost entirely of charms and conjurations for various purposes.

Book 17


This book contains only one hymn, including 30 verses. It is a prayer to Indra, identified with Vishnu and the Sun, for the love of gods, men and beasts, general protection and prosperity, with all earthly and heavenly blessings.


Book 18


This book contains 4 hymns, averaging 70 verses. The subjects are funeral rites and sacrificial offerings to the Fathers, the manes or spirits of the dead. The hymns are composed wholly or in part from the verses in the Rig Veda.

The first hymn begins with a dialogue between Yama and Yamil.


Book 19


This book contains 72 hymns, averaging 8 verses

Some of them are considered later additions to the original collection. They are not easily understood. The hymns are chiefly prayers and charms for protection and prosperity.

hymn 6, on the mystical sacrifice of Purusha, is taken from Rig Veda 10-90. Hymn 13 is a prayer for victory in battle, is taken from the RV 10-103.

Some hymns are non metrical; Hymn 211 gives in a single line the names of the chief Vedic metres.

Hymn 23, all in prose except one verse, is an address of homage to various portions of the Atharva Veda, classed according to the number of verses.


Book 20

This book contains 143 hymns of various lengths. Except for the Kuntapa section (127-136), the hymns are addressed almost exclusively to Indra and generally taken from the Rig Veda.

Kuntapa is said to be the name of 20 organs or glands supposed to be situated in the belly. The section is a strange collection of incantations riddles etc, without any religious character.  With some of them, the gods bewildered the Asuras by their, and so defeated them.



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