Rig Veda: Who Wrote Rig Veda? 10 Mandals, Composition and Synopsis of Rigveda

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Rigveda or Rig Veda is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns (Sktas) from ancient India. It is one of the four revered Vedic books (Ruti) that constitute the canonical Hindu religion. The earliest known Vedic Sanskrit text is the Rigveda. Since the second millennium BCE, Rigveda’s sounds and texts have been passed orally. The text’s layers include the Samhita, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads.

The Rigveda is one of the rare texts with an uninterrupted history because its core is generally regarded to belong to the late Bronze Age. Typically, its composition dates to somewhere between c. 1500 and 1000 BCE. This article covers all the significant aspects of the Rig Veda, such as its nature and importance, who wrote Rig Veda, its divisions including the 10 Mandals, important hymns, and more.

Rig Veda

The Rigveda-Samhita, the entire text, is composed entirely of poems. The Mantras intended to praise the gods are referred to as ‘Rik.’ As a result, the Rigveda-Samhita is a collection of Riks (Samhita). Only the Shaakala cycle or school (Shakha) of the Rigveda is now available. About 10552 Mantras, divided into ten volumes called Mandalas, are found in the Rigveda Samhita. Anuvakas, several sections, make up each Mandala.

Rigveda UPSC Notes

Each Anuvaka is composed of various hymns known as Suktas, and each Sukta is composed of various verses known as risk. A Sukta consists of several Mantras. A Sukta can have any number of Mantras. There are certain Suktas with a few mantras, while others with many.

  • It’s crucial to remember that each Sukta contains a Rishi (a seer), a Devata (a god), and a Chandas (a metre).
  • The Rigveda’s Samhita has 10552 Mantras, 10 Mandalas, 85 Anuvakas, and 1028 Suktas.
  • Typically, Anuvaka is not stated when referencing a Rigvedic mantra.

Synopsis of Rigveda

Ten books referred to as Mandalas make up the Rigveda. 10,600 verses and 1,028 hymns make up this collection. 35% of the hymns and 25% of the Rigveda were written by the Angiras (a family of rishis).

Along with the ancient Aryan deities, the Rigveda also contained other significant primary deities. These included the sky God Varuna, the fire god Agni, and the sun god Surya.

  • The Rigveda attributes Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity, to the mountain and storm god Rudra.
  • According to the Rigveda, Lord Vishnu, one of the Trimurti of Hindu gods, was once a lesser deity.
  • The Rigveda also contains the eminently well-known Gayatri mantra.

Rig Veda Important Points

A few important points regarding Rig Veda are the name ‘Aghanya’ mentioned in many Rig Veda passages refers to cows, it provides facts about yoga and other spiritual domains, the earliest occurrence of Gayatri Mantra is found in Rigveda text, etc. Some other relevant particulars regarding Rig Veda are illustrated below:

Facts Description
Rigveda Written by Ved Vyasa
Gods in Rigveda 33 devas
Rigveda was written in between 1500 and 1200 BCE.
Chief Deity in Rigveda Indra

Who Wrote Rigveda?

The Vedas were compiled by Vyasa, who is credited with organizing the four types of mantras into four Samhitas. One of Vedavyasa’s four disciples, Jaimini, Pila, Vaisampayana, and Sumantha, received the Rigveda from him. Nobody penned Vedas. It was only split in two. The Great Maharshis observed them there with their devoted Thapas.

Pila Maharshi spread the Rigveda. Indrapramithi and Bhashkala were taught the two Ruksamhithas he divided the Rigveda into. Again dividing his portion into four portions, Bhashkala delivered the pieces to Baudhya, Agnimadhara, Yaagnavalkya, and Parashara. A large number of disciples spread these Samhitas.

Importance of Rig Veda

The earliest collection of human knowledge is the Rigveda. The oldest sacred text in India is the Rigveda. Of the four Vedas, it is the oldest and largest. The nature of this Samhita is distinctive. It is a compilation of multiple works that can be read independently of one another rather than a single book.

The current form of this Samhita makes it very evident that the collection is made up of earlier and later components rather than one cohesive piece. This is demonstrated by a number of examples of language, style, and concepts.

  • This Samhita’s various hymns were written before they were formally organized.
  • Rigveda is far more organic in form and character than other Samhitas.
  • The Rigveda is the source of all the characteristics of classical Sanskrit poetry. It contains the first indications of Indian philosophy and religion.
  • The Rigveda should therefore be studied by someone who wishes to comprehend Indian literature and spiritual culture because of both its poetry and its importance in religion and philosophy.
  • The importance of the Rigveda today is not limited to India because its carefully preserved language and mythology have aided in a better understanding of literature, languages, and cultures from throughout the globe.

10 Mandals of Rigveda

Despite being a composite of many phases, the Rigveda nonetheless bears some distinctive characteristics. The graphical representation below reveals the split of the 10 Mandals of Rigveda and portrays the amount of Suktas in each Mandala, Mantras, and the names of some of its Rishis.


Rigveda: Important Hymns

Suktas are offered to various gods, including Indra, Maruta, Varuna, Usha, Surya, Bhumi, Soma, Agni, etc. So, in a nutshell, we may say that Rigveda has a variety of issues that are explained in poetic, philosophical, or religious terms by Vedic seers.

Some of the 1028 Suktas in the Rigveda Samhita are quite well-known and frequently cited by Vedic readers. The important hymns of Rigveda are:

  • Nasadiya Sukta;
  • Purusha Sukta;
  • Aksha Sukta;
  • Dhana-anna-dana Sukta;
  • Hiranya-garbha Sukta;
  • Yama-yami-samvada Sukta;
  • Duhsvapna-nashna Sukta.

Rigveda UPSC

Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedas. It is a holy text, penned in Sanskrit, that was developed in ancient India (1800-1100 BCE.). The Rigveda comprises more than a thousand hymns, called Sukta or “well-said”, which are in praise of various gods and goddesses.

Rig Veda UPSC topic is covered under the Art and Culture section of the UPSC syllabus. One should refer to Art & Culture Books for UPSC to prepare for this topic well. The topic holds great importance in Prelims as direct questions can be asked.

Rigveda Sample Questions

Question: Purusha Sukta is a part of which among the following Vedas? (1) Sam Veda, (2) Rig Veda, (3) Atharva Veda, (4) Yajur Veda
Answer: Rig Veda

Question: Which among the following is considered to be the oldest Veda? (1) Sam Veda, (2) Yajur Veda, (3) Rig Veda, (4) Atharva Veda
Answer: Rig Veda

Question: Which of the statements is incorrect? (1) Some of the hymns in the Rigveda are in the form of dialogues, (2) The Rigveda was read rather than recited and heard, (3) ‘Matr’ is a Sanskrit term, (4) The oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago, (5) Not attempted
Answer: The Rigveda was read rather than recited and heard

Question: Which was not a feature of the Rigvedic period in India? (1) The Rigvedic women were outspoken as well as highly respected, (2) The Rigvedic society was mainly pastoral with evidence of agriculture, (3) The Rigvedic people worshipped nature, (4) The Rigvedic family comprised husband and wife, parents and other kith and kin, (5) The Rigvedic Aryans were by and large urban people
Answer: The Rigvedic Aryans were by and large urban people

Question: Near which river was most of the Rigveda Civilizations were situated? (1) Godavari, (2) Ganga, (3) Saraswati, (4) Narmada
Answer: Saraswati

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