Are All Veda samhitas pan-geographic? That is, do veda samhitas pertain only to Bharatavarsha or to the entire world of creation.

This doubt arises because of two things I find contradictory. Many saints and scholars are of the opinion that all veda samhitas are the breath of brahman and as such contain universal principles. But, the mantras in several veda samhitas deal with practices and identities peculiar to the indian subcontinent. Why is this? Or are there different veda samhitas corresponding to different geographical regions, which we do not know much.

I think that the later versions of the shruthis, like brahmanas, aranyakas and upanishads were largely man-made, hence not pan-geographic. But, for samhitas, it seems not clear. Any light on this? Thanks beforehand.

1 Answer 1


The Vedas are set in the framework of the geography of the Indian subcontinent. This is clearly obvious through the innumerable references to geographical features.

For example, the River Hymn (Nadi Suktam) RV 10.75 lists all the major rivers of northern India in precise order from east to west.

RV 10.75.5:

इमं मे गङ्गे यमुने सरस्वति शुतुद्रि स्तोमं सचता परुष्ण्या । असिक्न्या मरुद्वृधे वितस्तयार्जीकीये शृणुह्या सुषोमया ॥

O Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri, Parushni, Asikni, Marudvrdha, Vitasta, Arjikiya, Sushoma - please grace this yajna.

The river Sarasvati was also personified as a goddess and she is still with us spiritually although her physical form has dried up. The Sarasvati was the center of Vedic civilization. She is mentioned more than 70 times in the Rig Veda, whereas Ganga is mentioned 2 times.

The land between the Sarasvati and Drshadvati rivers (i.e. Kurukshetra) was considered the most sacred spot on earth, created specially by the devas themselves.

For example, RV 3.23.4:

नि त्वा दधे वर आ पृथिव्या इळायास्पदे सुदिनत्वे अह्नाम् । दृषद्वत्यां मानुष आपयायां सरस्वत्यां रेवदग्ने दीदिहि ॥

You, O Agni, I place on the best spot on earth, Ilāyāspada, the land on banks of the Drshadvati, Sarasvati and Āpayā.

(By the way, this itself is incontrovertible evidence of the completely indigenous origin of the Vedas and the Vedic people. There is not a single shred of evidence for a migration of the so-called Indio-European of Indo-Iranian or whatever linguistic or ethnic group from outside the Indian subcontinent.)

And, of course, they describe the rituals that are specific to the ancient historical Indian culture, also known as Vedic culture by association.

But they also contain universal truths that transcend space and time.

For example, the realization of the ultimate non-difference between the individual being and the universal existence is a universal truth that is applicable to any person living anywhere. Like the mantra RV 3.26.7:

अग्निरस्मि जन्मना जातवेदा... - "I am Agni by birth omniscient..."

which is again echoed in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10:

अहं ब्रह्मास्मि - "I am Brahman"

And another example is the mantra RV 1.164.46:

एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति... - "The one reality or existence the wise describe in various ways..."

So there is an immense wealth of spiritual knowledge and experience which is universal because it can be actualized and realized by anyone anywhere. Hence, being universal implies repeatability. Just as the results of scientific laws are repeatable by anyone anywhere.

However, as we can only approach the universal through the local, the Vedas are framed in the Bharatiya Vaidika milieu.

  • 1
    Very nicely explained
    – Adiyarkku
    Nov 25, 2020 at 3:57
  • thanks! so you mean to say that the vedas are the inspirations of the seers, which is clothed in the garb of indian-ness when it is expressed to the public, right?
    – vidyarthi
    Nov 25, 2020 at 6:31
  • I wonder if other civilizations also have an equivalent to the Veda.
    – Ikshvaku
    Dec 9, 2020 at 4:05
  • @vidyarthi yes, correct.
    – RamAbloh
    Dec 16, 2020 at 1:36
  • @Ikshvaku most of the major so-called pagan civilizations (i.e. pre-Abrahamic) have similar universal concepts.
    – RamAbloh
    Dec 16, 2020 at 1:38

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