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Rigveda

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The Rig-veda is one of the core Hindu sacred texts. The Rig-veda is the oldest of the four Vedas, consisting of over 1000 hymns in the Sanskrit language to Hindu deities such as Agni, Indra and the storm gods, the Maruts. It is divided into 10 books, also known as Mandalas.

The Rig-veda is of interest because it describes a very early stage in the evolution of Hinduism and describes a pastoral, possibly nomadic culture based on cattle. It was composed orally about 1500 B.C. and written down about 600 B.C.

Some of the hymns are cosmological in nature. For instance, Hymn 1:185:

1. WHETHER of these is elder, whether later? How were they born? Who knoweth it, ye sages? These of themselves support all things existing: as on a car the Day and Night roll onward. 2 The Twain uphold, though motionless and footless, a widespread offspring having feet and moving. Like your own fon upon his parents' bosom, protect us, Heaven and earth, from fearful danger.

The Rig-veda has numerous passages devoted to Soma, an intoxicating beverage. The nature of Soma is a mystery even though its preparation and appearance are described very precisely in several hymns. The drink, which Aldous Huxley used as the name of an Ecstasy-like drug in his Utopian novel Brave New World, was apparently Psychoactive. It is presumed to be identical with the pre-Zoroastrian Persian drink Haoma. Some theories are that Soma was derived from lotus flowers, psychoactive mushrooms, or Marijuana. Soma is not used in modern Hindu rituals; however, Bhang[?], a fermented marijuana tea is used in some cases as a offering.

For instance, Hymn 9:25:

1. GREEN-HUED! as one who giveth strength flow on for Gods to drink, a draught For Vayu and the Marut host. 2 O Pavamana, sent by song, roaring about thy dwelling-place, Pass into Vayu as Law bids. 3 The Steer shines with the Deities, dear Sage in his appointed home, Foe-Slayer, most beloved by Gods. 4 Taking each beauteous form, he goes, desirable, while purified, Thither where- the Immortals sit. 5 To Indra Soma flows, the Red, engendering song, exceeding wise, The visitor of living men. 6 Flow, best exhilarator, Sage, flow to the filter in a stream To seat thee in the place of song.

Refer to the Rig-veda at sacred-texts.com (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/index.htm)



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