ATHARVAVEDA

The Essence of Atharvaveda

The fourth veda is the Atharvaveda. The word 'Tharva' means fickle or unsteady. Therefore, the word "Atharva" means that which is unwavering, unchanging or steady. This is beautifully said in sanskrit as follows THARVA GATI KARMAA NA THARVA ITI ATHARVA |
The philosophy of Yoga says:

YOGASH CHITTA VRITTI NIRODHAH | i.e. controlling the fickle impulses of the mind and consequently the senses is 'yoga'. The Gita reiterates that when the mind is free from impure thoughts,it becomes steady and the person becomes resolute or 'Sthita-Pragya'. The term "Atharva" therefore refers to the positive moulding of  one’s personality by controlling our senses and steadying the thought processes. The 'Atharvaveda' speaks comprehensively on a wide ranging subjects Social structure, Yoga, the human anatomy and different ailments it suffers from, spirituality and of course religion apart from many other important subjects. This knowledge is of immense value to humanity and is hence worth bringing into practice.

The Atharvaveda is a fusion of prose and poetry. Valuable information related to Ayurveda finds mention here, and for this reason Ayurveda is also considered to be the Upaveda (Sub-Veda) of Atharvaveda.

Brahmanas come second only to Vedas in importance. Brahmanas are categorised into 3 types i.e. Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishads. Scholars are of the view that they symbolizes the three ashrams-Grihastha, Vaanprashtha and Sanyas . Gopath- the only Brahmana text of Atharvaveda is very famous.

Gopath is classified into 2 sections
(1) Purvardha {first half}
(2) Uttarardha {second half}.

The Purvardha comprises a number of discourses while the Uttarardha comprises critical analysis of rituals, etc. One does not come across any Aranyaka text of the Atharvaveda but there are a number of Upanishads.

The prominent upanishads of Atharvaveda are Mundak, Mandukya, Prashna and Nrisinhapini. The Muktikopanishad speaks of 93 Upanishads of Atharvaveda.