The Rigveda is the oldest Sanskrit text, consisting of over one thousand hymns dedicated to various divinities of the Vedic tradition. Orally composed and orally transmitted for several millennia, the hymns display remarkable poetic complexity and religious sophistication. As the culmination of the long tradition of Indo-Iranian oral-formulaic praise poetry and the first monument of specifically Indian religiosity and literature, the Rigveda is crucial to the understanding both of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian cultural prehistory and of later Indian religious history and high literature.
This new translation represents the first complete scholarly translation into English in over a century and utilizes the results of the intense research of the last century on the language and the ritual system of the text. The focus of this translation is on the poetic techniques and structures utilized by the bards and on the ways that the poetry intersects with and dynamically expresses the ritual underpinnings of the text.