What is the Rig Veda definition of God

Lexicon of Religions:

The basis of the Hindu religions

The oldest texts of Hinduism and the basis of all religious currents are the "Vedas" (literally: knowledge). They are considered "eternal truth", as revelations that were "heard" by various seers from time immemorial BC and were further developed until around 500 BC. Originally passed down word for word only orally over many generations, they were probably not written down until around AD 500. Even today, however, individual Hindu families can be found who specific Passing on parts of the Vedas orally.

The Vedas have their origins with the Aryans, the nomadic tribal groups who probably immigrated to the Indian continent and passed on their religion in this way. Although today's religion is fundamentally different from the Vedic, each of the various Hindu teachings must still today be in accordance with the essence of the Vedas. To reject it would mean putting yourself outside of Hinduism.

Four Vedas

The Vedas are divided into four parts, each of which consists of different books: The “Rigveda” consists of hymns to various deities that priests quoted during the rituals. Similar songs as well as practical instructions are in "Samaveda", verses and short ritual instructions in "Yayurveda". The hymns and sayings of the "Atharvaveda" are mainly about warding off illness and evil.

These four parts are considered to be Vedas in the narrower sense. The "Upanishads", philosophically esoteric treatises, form the conclusion of the four Vedas. They are a series of their own. Many believers include other scriptures as part of the Vedas, such as some followers of the god Vishnu refer to their "Holy Scriptures", the "Bhagavata-Purana", as Veda; for others the great epic “Mahabharata” is the “fifth Veda”.

Significance for the present

Many gods appear in the Vedas, some of which are no longer worshiped in today's Hinduism. Their functions were later transferred to others.

Those who are knowledgeable often name what is only one thing. They call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan.
Rigveda 1.164.46

The most important include Indra, Varuna, Agni and Mitra. No one was above everyone else. Despite the polytheistic image of God, a transition is recognizable: As a well-known saying emerges, the thought of a single supreme being slowly developed.

Many hymns are still part of church services today. Nevertheless, the religion handed down in the Vedas differs significantly from today's religious practice. She knows no temples and no statues of gods. There were no divine services, so-called pujas, in today's sense, but sacrificial fires were common. Also ideas of reincarnation and karma, according to which every action inevitably has consequences in future life, were still strange and vegetarianism was not yet ideal.

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