Rig Veda is one of the ancient literary works in the world. Rig Veda ( also known as RG Veda) consists of 1,028 hymns arranged in ten mandalas (books). The first mandala contains hymns of different vedic figures. The next seven mandalas- from second to the eighth- consist of groups of hymns, each ascribed to one Rishi (sage) or to the members of his family. The ninth mandala is almost entirely devoted to Soma and the tenth mandala forms several unique concepts of vedic time. Many of Indian traditions, rituals and practices can be attributed to the hymns of tenth mandala; many of these rituals are still followed in the sub-continent, and in many cases exactly the same way they were followed in Vedic times . In my opinion most of the writings since Rig Vedic time are an attempt to expand upon or explain the concepts and rituals of Rig Veda.
The source and age of Rig Veda has long been in contention. Early European scholars theorized that the Rig Vedic hymns were created around 1500 BCE (before current era) by Aryans, who migrated from central Asia and brought Rig Veda with them. Since then, there has been considerable evidence and discoveries suggesting Rig Veda is much older and was created by settlers indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. However, early theories still persist; even today, they are taught in many schools and institutions as though they are proven facts. I do not plan on discussing the age and source of Rig Veda here, but refer you to the work of Professor Nicholas Kazanas, who has published many documents on this topic. I used to be neutral to this controversy, however, at this point, I have come to accept Dr. Kazanas’ views on the age and source of Rig Veda as conclusive. Dr. Kazanas may get rebellious (his own words!) against those who support AIT (Aryan Immigration/Invasion Theory) or those who claim that Rig Veda was created outside the subcontinent; but he has effectively presented the facts to back up his conclusions.
Please note that I am neither a vedic scholar and nor an expert in Sanskrit – the language of Rig Veda. I was drawn to Rig Veda because of my interest in history, specifically ancient history. I have read all ten mandalas of Rig Veda and I have read various other books, articles and studies on this subject. While I have read Rig Veda, I do not claim to understand or comprehend it. Even though the poetic and historical nature of the hymns of Rig Veda are truly fascinating, they are not easy read.
Please feel free to post your comments and questions and I will try my best to respond to them.