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The Atharva Veda (
The Atharvaveda is composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and it is a collection of 730
The Atharvaveda is sometimes called the "Veda of magical formulas", an epithet declared to be incorrect by other scholars. In contrast to the 'hieratic religion' of the other three Vedas, the Atharvaveda is said to represent a 'popular religion', incorporating not only formulas for magic, but also the daily rituals for initiation into learning (upanayana), marriage and funerals. Royal rituals and the duties of the court priests are also included in the Atharvaveda.
The Atharvaveda was likely compiled as a Veda contemporaneously with
The Veda may be named, states Monier Williams, after the mythical priest named Atharvan who was first to develop prayers to fire, offer Soma, and who composed "formulas and spells intended to counteract diseases and calamities". Monier Williams notes that the now obsolete term for fire used to be Athar. The name Atharvaveda, states Laurie Patton, is for the text being "Veda of the Atharvāṇas".
The oldest name of the text, according to its own verse 10.7.20, was Atharvangirasah, a compound of "
The Atharvaveda is also occasionally referred to as Bhrgvangirasah and Brahmaveda, after Bhrigu and Brahma respectively.