The ancient Indian wisdom shines brightest in the four Vedas, considered huge reservoirs of truth and spiritual knowledge. Of all the four Vedas, which are the chief pillars of the sublime (Indian) human wisdom, the name and entity of Atharva Ved shine sharp & bright. It is said that the Atharvaveda is the “knowledge storehouse of atharvāṇas”. And atharvāṇas are the procedures for everyday life. The fourth Veda, Atharva Ved, has been a late addition to the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism. Well, Atharvaveda is also referred to as Brahma Ved.
Atharva Veda contains the praises & eulogizations of the gods & goddesses and the mantras about medicine, science and philosophy. It is said that first & foremost, God had given the knowledge of Atharva Ved to Maharishi Angira. After that, Maharishi Angira gave this wisdom to Lord Brahma.
Information About Atharva Veda
In Atharva Veda, there is not much mention about yajnas & karmakand (religious rituals). Thus this Veda was not given much importance in earlier times. However, gradually people understood the utility of this scripture. Atharva Ved is also known by other names. In Gopath Brahman, it has been called Atharvagiras Ved. It is also referred to as Brahma Ved or Bhaishajya Ved because it contains information about medical science, etc. The most important part of this Veda is the Prithvi Sookt. Therefore, this Veda is also known as Mahi Ved.
The Content And Significance Of The Atharva Veda
Several important points have been mentioned in Atharva Veda. The contents of Atharva Veda have various things covered include botany, the knowledge of roots & herbs as medicines, Ayurveda (the Indian medicine system), the treatment of even the most severe illnesses, and the fundamental principles of Economics. Besides, other areas that find mention in this holy scripture are – the importance of motherland & mother tongue, surgery, diseases originating due to worms, the means & methods to avoid death, moksha (salvation), the study surrounding pregnancy, among others. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the original Atharva Ved is essential. The importance of Atharva Ved also becomes more as it talks about the various styles and modes of living life.
As per the scripture Charan Vyooh, there are nine branches of Atharva Samhita. These include Papal, Dant, Pradant, Snat, Saul, Brahmadabal, Shaunak, Devdarshat and CharanVidya. However, presently only two branches are available. Ordinarily, as per the information, it is stated that there are 6,000 mantras in Atharvaveda. However, at some places, there is a mention of 5,987 or 5,977 mantras.
The Facts Related To The Atharva Veda
It is believed that Atharva Ved was composed at last among the four Vedas. Its language (grammatical structure) & format point to this.
The assets of Atharva Ved are as under:
- Atharva Ved brought about Ayurveda.
- Atharva Ved has strengthened various medicinal techniques.
- Atharva Ved also contains information about the duties & responsibilities of husband & wife, the rules of marriage and the correct method of respecting & revering each other.
The Special Points Of Atharva Veda
- Atharva Ved also contains the mantras of Sam Ved along with mantras of Rig Veda.
- There is mention of malevolent energies along with tantra-mantra (the occultist energies).
- Atharva Veda contains mantras about ghosts, evil-spirit, magic & charms.
- Although earlier, Atharva Ved may not have received much attention. However, in the history of religion, Rig Veda and Atharva Ved have held their importance.
- It also comes out from Atharva Ved that over time Aryans had started believing in the occultism & evil spirits rather than worshipping the nature gods.
Atharvaveda And Medicine
Various ailments have been mentioned in Atharva Veda, along with their treatment & cure. Thus, the importance of this scripture increases very much. There is a mention of various body parts in Atharva Veda. Some people draw the facts of Ayurveda from Atharva Ved.
Illnesses Mentioned In Atharva Veda
The diseases and illnesses we talk about in today’s modern world are also mentioned in the Atharva Veda. Then, these diseases were known by somewhat different names, but they meant the same disease. Let us know about them:
Sheershakti (शिरोवात), Sheershmay (सिरदर्द – Headache), Karnashool (Kaan dard – Pain in the year), Vilahit (Peeliya – Jaundice), Pandu Rog, Sheershanya (mental illnesses), Harima (Peelia or Jaundice), Kaas (Khansi – Coughing), Sheershlok (Head related ailments), Sadandi (Illnesses in the Daily Life), Haayn (illnesses that continue for a year), Aasharik (breaking of the bone), Balas (Khaasi – Coughing), Backache and the illnesses caused by cold. Besides, other conditions mentioned are – Aasrav (Pechis), Visalp (Peena), Vidradh (Foda), Vatikar (Vaat Rog), Unmattata, Kusht (Leprosy), Garbhdosh, Jwar (Fever).
The Parts of Medicine as per Atharv Veda
Medical science has been divided into four parts, as per Atharva Veda. The four parts are – manushya, daiviee, aangirsi and aatharvani.
The treatment given by a physician.
The treatment given in accordance with the panch-tatva.
The treatment given by mental affirmations and strengthening willpower.
Other Medicinal Methods
Surya Kiran Chikitsaa
In Atharva Ved, there is a highly detailed description of treatment through the rays of the Sun.
In Atharva Ved, a lot of importance is given to medical treatment using water.
Atharva Ved mentions various natural medical techniques like Pranayam, Naturotherapy, Sun & Moon treatment.
Atharva Ved gives a lot of emphasis to mental strength.
It is said in the Atharva Ved that whoever performs yagyas as per the rules, diseases get destroyed there.
There is also the mention of surgery in Atharv Veda.
Atharva Ved talks about 18 types of snake bites. Herein, Tabuv medicine is considered the eliminator of all snake poisons.
Worms have been divided into two categories, as in Atharva Veda. The first is hostile, and the other is non-hostile. It is said that they live in the intestines, head and rib cage. At certain places, the Sun is also called the destroyer of worms.
Atharva Ved also mentions the hair’s ailments and the means & methods to grow hair.
Atharva Ved also mentions the treatment of anger. There is a mention of Darbh and Bhurimal medicines.
Unmad Rog Chikitsa
Atharva Ved also has the remedy to ward away mental ailments. It is described in detail in Atharva Veda.
There is also an explanation for treating the ailments of the eyes.
Kasrog (Coughing) Chikitsa
Atharva Ved mentions the treatment of coughing. Besides, there is also a description of curing cough using one’s strong will.
Atharva Ved also describes the diseases of Gandmala. These diseases may be in the neck, sides and private parts of the females.
Anuvanshik Rog Chikitsa
Athartva Ved talks about the reasons for the genetic inheritance of diseases from one’s parents.
There is an explicit mention of treating fever in Atharva Veda.
Agnimadya (Kabj) Rog
In Atharva Ved, there is a description of Ajeern (Kabj or constipation), vaman and other such ailments.
Atharva Ved also describes the ailments of private parts of men and women.
Atharva Ved does describe the illnesses in women and mentions the Rishibhak Aushadhi as a remedy for these diseases.
Indeed, Atharva Ved is not just the last Veda. It is also quite different from the other three Vedas. Unlike the other three Vedas, it contains elements of knowledge that have a lot of practical utility. Indeed, it is more than just the last Veda.