The Rig Veda
The Rig Veda is composed of many documents that were recovered by archeologists and are believed to be the oldest written texts to date. These documents give us insight into what the culture was like for these ancient Aryans of India. The texts that we look over, Victory over Vritra, Who is Indra, and To Purusha help give us some look into their beliefs and traditions. The Aryans seem to have a polytheistic belief system and attribute many natural events as being influenced by their gods. These people also seemed to follow some laws or code of conduct to keep order in their society.These people also have a caste system that is discussed in the last section of reading, To Purusha. These people tell stories of how their deities helped the people with their problems and these songs are dedications to their greatness.
This first selection talks about their deity Indra who eats Soma to hallucinate and gain victory over the dragon. This dragon that they talk of is the dragon of drought that is a plague for the people. They are a farming group of people, and the need for water is very high. Indra “slew the dragon, then disclosed the waters” , which tell us that the clouds that were described as the dragon opened up and poured on the land. After the defeat of the dragon, at the end of the passage it is said, “Over all living men he rules as sovereign, containing all as spokes within a rim” . This tells us that Indra was considered the ruling god over all in the Aryan nation.
This next selection is some evidence that some people were starting to lose faith in Indra and that he needed to be reinforced as the supreme ruling god. Many events that happened to the Aryan people were said to be because of his intervention in the world. This passage tells us that there was some unrest about if Indra really was doing good for the people. Some people are discontent with their deity and are losing the faith, but this passage tells all Indra’s powers and his...
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