THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ATHARVA VEDA, the fourth book of the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of the Brahman religion. Like the other Vedas it is divided into Samhita, Brahmanas and Upanishads, representing the spiritual element and its magical and nationalistic development. The mantras or sayings composing the Samhita of the Atharva Veda differ from those of the other Vedas by being in the form of spells rather than prayers or hymns, and seem to indicate a stage of religion lower than that of the Rig Veda.
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