The Rigveda

ISBN : 9780199370184

Stephanie W Jamison; Joel P Brereton
1728 Pages
181 x 255 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
South Asia Research
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  • First complete English translation of the Rigveda in over a century
  • Focuses on the poetic techniques and structures of the hymns
  • Draws on over a century of investigations of both linguistic and religious features to give a dramatically different view of the text

The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first monument of specifically Indian religiousity and literature, the Rigveda is crucial to the understanding both of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian intellectual and aesthetic prehistory and of the rich flowering of Indic religious expression and Indic high literature that were to follow.
This new translation represents the first complete scholarly translation into English in over a century and utilizes the results of the intense research of the last century on the language and the ritual system of the text. The focus of this translation is on the poetic techniques and structures utilized by the bards and on the ways that the poetry intersects with and dynamically expresses the ritual underpinnings of the text.


Mandala I
Mandala II
Mandala III
Mandala IV

Mandala V
Mandala VI
Mandala VII
Mandala VIII

Mandala IX
Mandala X
Index of Hymns by Deity and Poet

About the author: 

Edited and translated by Stephanie W. Jamison, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Indo-European Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, and Joel P. Brereton, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin
Stephanie W. Jamison is Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures and of Indo-European Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published widely in Indo-European and Indo-Iranian linguistics, poetics, and mythology and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Oriental Society.

Joel P. Brereton is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He has taught in both Religious Studies and Asian Studies programs and has written on the literature and religion of the Veda, especially the Rigveda and the early Upanishads, and on Vedic ritual.

"To translate the Rig Veda into English requires great patience and great scholarship. Stephanie W. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton have successfully achieved this mammoth task." - Swami Narasimhananda, Reading Religion

"One might be expected to characterize in these pages a new, complete translation of the Rig Veda as 'precise,' 'careful,' 'philologically sound,' perhaps even 'illuminating' ... Brereton and Jamison's English RV is all of the above, as we would expect from these two scholars, but the adjectives that come first to mind are of a different order entirely: elegant, charming, surprising, generous, readable, accessible, and engaging. An elegant RV is almost an oxymoron; thus the achievement, in this case, is remarkable." - David Shulman, Indo-Iranian Journal

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