The Rigveda is a collection of 1,028 hymns divided into 10 mandalas. They are the earliest compositions and hence depict the life of the early Vedic people in India. The Samaveda is a collection of verses mostly taken from the Rigveda but arranged in a poetic form to facilitate singing. The Yajurveda is found in two recensions, Black and White, and are full of rituals to be performed publicly or individually. The Atharvaveda is a collection of magic spells and charms to ward off the evil spirits and diseases. Careful studies have shown that the Vedic texts reflect two stages of development in terms of literature as well as social and cultural evolution. The Rigveda which is the oldest Vedic text reflects one stage of social and cultural development whereas the other three Vedas reflect another stage. The first stage is known as the Rigvedic period or Early Vedic period and the later stage is known as the Later Vedic period. The age of the Early Vedic period corresponds with the date of the composition of the Rigvedic hymns. This date has been fixed between 1500 BC and 1000 BC. The later Vedic period is placed between 1000 BC and 600 BC. Recently, the Rigveda has been included by the UNESCO in the list of literature signifying World Human Heritage.
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