Author: A C Bose
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Vedas contain the earliest recorded poetry and prose literature of the human race. This anthology is limited to verses in the Vedas as have caused no serious difference of opinion in respect of interpretation.
The Vedas are four in number - the Rig Veda, consisting of 10,522 mantras, the Sama Veda of 1,875, the Yajur Veda of 1,975 and the Atharva veda of 5,987. The first thing to be noted about the Vedas is that they are in the form of poetry, except for some prose passages, which, again, are what is called rhythmic prose.
The religion and culture of the Hindus are rooted in the Vedas which no specialist, either eastern or western, has placed much later than 1500 BC. Some of them placed them very much earlier.
It is usual to describe Vedic poetry as primitive. If, by 'primitive poetry' is meant tribal song or folk ballad, then nothing could be farther from the fact. No primitive poet ever sang:
'Thought was the pillow of her couch Sight was the unguent of her eyes.' (R. X. 85.7) 1