The Vedas are considered the earliest written literature records of Indo-Aryan civilization. It is the most sacred and worshipped scriptures of India. They were meant to be mantras (incantations) in praise of various Aryan gods, it being the age when the Aryans were finding their feet in India. What they also reflect is a startlingly vivid picture of life. Vedas are the treasure troves containing spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Vedic literature with its philosophical maxims has stood the test of time and is the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus in particular and for mankind in general.
The word Veda means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it is revered as the language of the gods in human speech. The essence of the Vedas is to regulate the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of the Hindus which is meticulously pursued to the present day. All the rituals of Hindus conducted upon birth, marriage, death etc. are based upon Vedic doctrines and they are being followed from time immemorial.
PERIOD OF THE VEDAS
The Vedas are probably the earliest documents of the human mind. As the ancient Hindus seldom kept any historical record of their religious, literary and political realization it is indeed difficult to precisely say when the
earliest portions of the Vedas came into existence and what their period is. Historians provide us many guesses but none of them is free from ambiguity. However it is believed that it is in 1200 B.C., when the first Aryan immigrants in India started composing the various hymns that are part of the books.
The Rig Veda is said to be date back to 1500 B.C. – 1000 B.C. Some scholars date the Rig Veda as early as 12000 B.C. – 4000 B.C. The traditional date goes back to 3000BC, something which the German scholar Max Mueller accepted. Inspite of the controversy over the period of Rig Veda going on for long time, modern historians have now reached a consensus that its oldest parts were written around a 1200 B.C. The Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda were compiled after the age of the Rig Veda and are ascribed to the Vedic period.