For the rishis and ascetics who renounced the life of householders to
live in the forest, studying the Aranyakas was one way for them to
obtain mental purity through their constant focus, study and discipline.
The Aranyakas represent some of the earliest sections of the Vedas. Other parts of the Vedas include the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. They form the basis of the Rashaya, or the secrets which are mentioned in the Upanishads. Thus, another term for the Aranyakas is Rashaya.
Although the Aranyakas primarily describe rituals from different perspectives, they do include some philosophical speculations. As such, they outline the symbolism of some ritualistic actions. They also discuss concepts such as the creation of the universe, the power of Om and the cycle of death and rebirth. Some consider the Aranyakas to bridge the gap between the ritualistic Brahmanas and the more philosophical Upanishads.