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The Vedas

There are four Vedas, which are the primary texts of Hinduism.  The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals.  They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

The 4 Vedas are:

  1. Rig Veda
  2. Sama Veda
  3. Yajur Veda
  4. Atharva Veda

Along with the Book of the Dead , the Enuma Elish , the I Ching , and the Avesta , they are among the most ancient religious texts still in existence.

You can read and search the collections below, by clicking the titles, and it will open into a new tab.

Rig Veda

(Oldest of the 4, was composed approx. around 1500 B.C. - codified approx. around 600 B.C. – committed to writing approx. around 300 B.C.)

The Rig-Veda

Complete English Translation by Ralph Griffith (1896).

Rig-Veda (Sanskrit)
Complete Rig Veda in Sanskrit, Unicode  Devanagari Script and Standard Romanization.

Vedic Hymns, Part I (SBE 32)
Vedic Hymns to the Maruts, Rudra, Vayu and Vata. Translated by F. Max Muller (1891)

Translation and analysis of the Vedic Hymns to the Storm Gods.

Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE 46)

Vedic Hymns to Agni. Translated by Hermann Oldenberg (1897)

A Vedic Reader for Students

(Excerpts) Introduction to the Dramatis Personae of the Rig Veda, by A.A. Macdonell (1917)

Sama Veda

The Sama-Veda

Collection of Hymns used by the priests during the Soma sacrifice.  Many of them are duplicated in part or whole from the Rig Veda.  Complete translation by Ralph Griffith (1895).

Yajur Veda

The Black Yajur Veda (Taittiriya Sanhita)

Complete translation of the Black Yajur Veda, which is a detailed manual of the Vedic sacrificial rites. Translated by Arthur Berriedale Keith (1914).

The White Yajur Veda
Complete translation of the White Yajur Veda, translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith (1899).

Atharva Veda

While containing some materials from the Rig Veda, it also contains numerous incantations and metaphysical texts, which this anthology (Sacred books of the East) collects and categorizes.  It was written around 200 B.C., but may have been composed around 1,000 B.C.

The Hymns of the Atharvaveda

The unabridged translation by Ralph Griffith (1895-1896).

The Atharva-Veda
Sacred Books of the East (Vol 42) translation with selected hymns, translated by Maurice Bloomfield (1897).

Related Recommended Reading:

The Hindu Epics




Other Primary Hindu Texts

Later Hindu Texts

Modern Hindu Books

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