Geography of Religion Wk 3

Hinduism’s Holy Books

The Vedas–Ancient Holy books of the Hindus–reveal eternal truths and wisdom, and are believed to have existed eternally. (They date back to 1200 B.C.) Altogether there are 4 Vedas. 2 are collections of laudatory hymns ( Rig Veda and Sama Veda) while one is a manual for performing rituals (Yajur Veda) and one is filled with prayers and charms for health and fortune (Atharva Veda.) Several deities are recognized, such as Varuna, Indra, Rudra, Vishnu, and Agni. The gods and goddesses of the Vedic universe are associated with specific aspects of the natural world, such as the rivers of India, which are all represented by a different goddess. Offerings to these gods and goddesses of things such as plants and sacrificed animals, are burned by Vedic priests according to precise instructions in the Yajur Veda in return for “peacetime harvests and wartime victories.”


Geography of Religion//Susan T. Hitchcock & John L. Esposito

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