Atharva Veda

Last Updated: July 11, 2018

Definition - What does Atharva Veda mean?

The "Atharva Veda" is an ancient Hindu scripture and is one of the four Vedas commonly known as the fourth Veda. Sometimes it is called the "Veda of Magical Formulas," although this name is not approved by scholars. It is a collection of 20 books containing hymns, chants, spells and prayers; and involves issues such as healing of illnesses, prolonging life, black magic and rituals for removing maladies and anxieties. Unlike the other three Vedas, the "Atharva Veda" is not as concerned with sacred rituals, but addresses the daily problems of Vedic people.

Yogapedia explains Atharva Veda

The hymns in the "Atharva Veda" are dedicated to prolonging life and healing illnesses, seeking cures from herbs, gaining a lover or partner, or world peace and the nature of good and evil.

Originally, only the first three Vedas were recognized and accepted, with the "Atharva Veda" eventually being accepted later on. Some sources state that this Veda is the origin of medicine, Tantra and yoga, containing one of the earliest references to breathing techniques and the practice of yoga.

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