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The Rigveda Samhita

The sounds and texts of the Rigveda have been orally transmitted since the 2nd millennium BCE

The Rigveda is one of the oldest known religious texts and a foundational scripture of Hinduism. It is the first of the four Vedas, which are revered texts in Hindu tradition. Composed in ancient Sanskrit, the Rigveda is a collection of hymns or “suktas” dedicated to various deities and natural phenomena. It is believed to have been orally composed and transmitted between 1500 and 1200 BCE, although these dates are subject to scholarly debate.

The Rigveda consists of 1,028 hymns and about 10,600 verses divided into ten books called “mandalas.” The hymns praise a pantheon of gods and goddesses, including Indra, Agni, Varuna, and others, reflecting the religious, social, and philosophical ideas of early Vedic civilization. The text is not only spiritual but also contains insights into the Vedic culture, including its rituals and daily life.

Women in the Rigveda

Women in the Rigveda
Women in the Rigveda

Women in the Rigveda appear disproportionately as speakers in dialogue hymns, both as mythical or divine Indrani, Apsaras Urvasi, or Yami, as well as Apāla Ātreyī (RV 8.91), Godhā (RV 10.134.6), Ghoṣā Kākṣīvatī (RV 10.39.40), Romaśā (RV 1.126.7), Lopāmudrā (RV 1.179.1–2), Viśvavārā Ātreyī (RV 5.28), Śacī Paulomī (RV 10.159), Śaśvatī Āṅgirasī (RV 8.1.34).

The women of the Rigveda are quite outspoken and appear more sexually confident than men, in the text. Elaborate and aesthetic hymns on wedding suggest rites of passage had developed during the Rigvedic period.


Hymn 5.63 mentions “metal cloaked in gold”

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