When were the Vedas first written down?

The Vedas

The word Veda comes from Sanskrit and means knowledge. The Vedas are not a single literary work, but a collection of writings that were initially only transmitted orally. The Veda is one of the holy scriptures of Hinduism. It consists of several layers, differentiated by form, content and time of writing. The oldest are collections (Samhitas) of religious hymns and sayings, which are divided into the four Vedic sections Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda consisting of spells, which orthodoxy recognized only late. Elaborate meters are used in these texts. The most common meter measures are Gayatri (three times eight syllables), Anushtabh (four times eight syllables), Trishtubh (four times eleven syllables) and Jagati (four times twelve syllables). The Samhitas are followed by extensive prose texts, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. Each of the four Vedas is transmitted in several schools (Shakhas) or reviews, which in the Samhitas often differ only slightly, but in some cases considerably in the Brahmanas. Most Hindu currents do not question the basic authority of the Vedas.

Rigveda in Sanskrit (19th century manuscript)
Sun temple in Konarak, Orissa, India (13th century BC). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Sun temple in Konarak, Orissa, India (13th century BC). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Temple district of Hampi, the former capital of the last great Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar in India
Temple district of Hampi, the former capital of the last great Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar in India

All of this literature is considered to be "seen" or "heard" revelation (Shruti) by poets of the Vedic period, the Rishis. For the traditional explanation of the Vedas, the more recent six Vedangasals, based not on revelation but on tradition (Smriti), are used as an aid.

The oldest parts of the Veda (parts of the Rig Veda) date from before the 1st millennium BC. BC (Northwest India, Punjab) and back to the time of the Aryan immigrants.

The four Vedas:

The Rigveda includes like each of the four Vedas Samhitas, Brahmanas, Upanishads and Sutras. In the only surviving review of Shakalya, it contains 1,018, with additions 1,028 hymns (10,462 verses) to individual gods (Indra, Agni, Varuna, Asura, etc.), but also to demons, ancestors and kings. These hymns, divided into ten mandalas (circles), are recited by the sacrificial priest, the Hotar, with which he worships the gods and invites them to make sacrifices. The Samhita was initially an association of the hymn possession of individual priestly families (shown in Mandalas 2 to 7), to which addenda followed over time. The final text was then passed on orally for at least 2,000 years without deviations. The Rigveda is the oldest monument of Indian literature handed down in India to this day and a very valuable source for the history of the language, religion and culture in early India (the four castes, division of labor, relationship between the sexes, etc.).
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from the Wissen.de editorial team; Source: Brockhaus