Construction of the Vedas

How many mantras are there in the Vedas?

There are 10552 mantras in Rigveda, 1975 in Yajurveda, 1875 in Samveda, and 5977 in Atharvaveda with a total of 20379 mantras in all the Vedas.


How are these mantras classified in the Vedas?

The mantras are clssified differently in different Vedas.

- In Rigveda, they are classified simultaneously in 10 Mandalas, 8 Ashtakas, 64 Adhyayas, 2006 Vargas, 1028 Suktas. But the more common way of referencing is in Mandala, Sukta and Mantra Number.

- All mantras in Yajurveda are classified in forty Adhyayas.

- In Samveda, the mantras are divided in three main sections are Purvarchika, Khand and Dashati. Purvarchika has four Kaands, viz. Aagneye, Aindra, Pavamana and Aranyaka with six Prapathakas and six Adhyayas.

- Ahtharvavedic mantras are classified in twenty Kaands with 111 Anuvakas, and seven hundred thirty one Suktas. But the more common way of referencing is in Kaands, Sukta and Mantra Number.


Q. What is the significance of adopting different classifications of Vedic Mantra?

Ans:- Its primary objective is to maintain the single identity of each mantra of each Veda. Different classifications help in distinguishing and quoting the correct reference of a Mantra from different Vedas. This procedure also helps in judging the main theme of the Mantra even if it is repeated in another Veda. But in such repeatations, the Devta or Rishi of the mantra may be different.


Q. What is the significance of associating Rishi, Devta, Chanda (metre) and Swara (notation) with each Mantra?

Ans:- Each of these four indices refer to some of the main characteristics of the mantra, and each one of these characteristics contributes significantly in exploring the secret and true spirit of the Mantra.


Q. Who is a Rishi?






What is the significance of adopting different classifications of Vedic Mantras?

What is the significance of associating Rishi, Devta, Chanda, Svara with each Mantra?

Who is Rishi?

What is the significance and relationship of the Rishi's name quoted along with the Mantra?

Is that Rishi the author of that Mantra?

Why does rishi called Mantra Kratah, if he is not the author of the Mantra?

What is the opinion of the Vedas, Brahmanas and other Vedic Literarture about it?

Is there a repetition of a Mantra in the Vedas?

Why is Devta's name associated with the Mantra?

How does Devta mean the subject matter of Mantra/ help in revealing the secret sense of the Veda?

Why are the words like Agni, Vayu, Indra, etc mentioned as frequently in the Mantras?

What is Chhanda or Metre? How many types? Whats the utility?

What do the horizontal and vertical lines or numbers on the words of the Mantra indicate?

How many types of notations are there? What is there significance?

Is there no alterations in the Vedas since their revelation millions of years ago? What is the science of preserving the literature (that too without print)?

Not one syllable can be altered from Vedas. The way the oldest knowledge of humankind has been preserved is such that even an alteration of one syllable, leave mantra or chapter, can be tracked. Please read for more details.


In which language are the Vedas?

Vedas are in Vedic Sanskrit (not conventional Sanskrit) which is mother of all languages of the world. Please refer the link - xxxx



 Vedas are also called Shruti, means a book that is read and and listened. Such is read with various tones and accents, which is difficult to be produced in words and language scripts. However, various such script marks can be found on the vedic literature. Some of these can be noted in the given below attachments on svara and anusvars and some can be found on this link:





The Vedas are laid in verses called Mantras, Riks, etc. The words (pada) of the verses may or may not appear as it is. Many a times the words are joined (sandhi) to form larger words. Sometimes the full sentence within a verse is one single large word formed after joining many smaller words. This was important for better singing of the mantras and hence its preservation. The Samhitas (collection of all verses of a given veda) were preserved in many ways, most commonly being in these verses with conjoined words. The other ways included the Pada Samhita (a word by word and verse by verse Samhita). Then there were other rule books on various ways of reading Vedas (Veda Patha) which were based on these Pada Samhita. The Katyayan Samhita on RigVeda, the Asvalayana Samhita on Atharva Veda, etc are some of the Pada Samhitas that can be traced (incomplete form) even now. Maurice Bloomfield has done a mammoth task of making "Vedic word Concordance" containing a list of all vedic words that could be traced till this book was written in 18xx.

The most important piece of work that was done in compiling the Vedic Padas took almost 62 years of research. In 1903 A.D., two Sannyasins Swami Vishveshvaranand (on whose name the Institute got its nomenclature) and Swami Nityanand launched a project of preparing Word Indices to the four principal Vedic Samhita and ultimately a lexicon of the same texts at Simla. By 1910 A.D. they were able to publish the Word Indices of the Rigveda Samhita (Sakala recession), the Yajurveda Samhita (Madhyandina recension), the Samaveda Samhita (Kauthuma recension), and the Atharvaveda Samhita (Saunaka recension). A great set back to the project was Svami Nityanand's passing away in 1914 A.D. After his demise, Svami Vishveshvaranand, anyhow, persued the project till 1918 A.D at Simla and thereafter till 1923 A.D. at Indore. In the year 1923 he shifted from Indore to Lahore, the main centre of Sanskrit and Indological Studies in those days, where he placed the great work upon the young erudite Acharya Vishwa Bandhu.In the sacred memory of Swami Vishveshvaranand Ji, Acharya Vishva Bandhu established an institution, named as Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, at Lahore on 1.1.1924. The scholars like Pt. Bhagavaddatta, Shri Hans Raj and many others came to assist Acharya Ji in successfully carrying the research projects undertaken by the Institute. Due to the efficient guidance of Acharya Vishva Bandhu Ji and devoted labour of the team of his associates, like Pt. Bhim Dev Shastri, Pt. Amar Nath Shastri, Pt. Pitamber Datt Shastri, Pt. Surya Narain Shastri, and so on, the Institute was able to carry forward its several research projects including the preparation of an exhaustive Vedic Word Concordance.

In August, 1947, on the occasion of India.s position the Institute faced a terrible crisis. The Pakistan Government imposed a strict ban on the transfer of the reference Library, manuscripts, publications and academic records of the Institute to India. At this critical juncture putting their life in great danger, Acharya Ji and his associates managed to bring the entire academic and administrative record, as well as the huge reference-cum-manuscript library of the Institute to India, in extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances. By the end of June 1965, the Institute was able to complete and publish its magnum-opus, viz., the 16-volumes Vedic Word Concordance  (1935-65) (Sanskrit: Vaidika-Padānukrama-Koṣa), which was the result of several years' labour on a universal vocabulary register, with complete references and critical notes bearing on Vedic phonology, accent, etymology, morphology, grammar, metre and text criticism, in respect of over 1,25,000 vocables, in about 11,000 pages. The institiute now flourishes in the name of "Vishveshvaranand Vishva-Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies" (VVBIS&IS) in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, under the Panjab University. Read more on

This book is available on the following links: