My assumption was Vedas contain only Srutis or eternal truths(an enshrined in the Mantras) and that stories and Dharma bhodhanas are a subject of Vedanta and Puranas. But the following verse(if not a later interpolation) casts doubts on that assumption. Are there any other stories of a similar nature in the rest of the Vedas?

Lopamudra's plea to her husband, Agastya
"For many long years in the past, both by day and by night,
And in the mornings, have I wearied myself serving you;
Now decay impairs the beauty of my limbs;
What then?—Let husbands approach their wives.
The ancient sages who attained truth,
And talked of truth with the very gods,
They did beget children, but did not break their penance
Therefore should the wives be approached by their husbands." (Rg Veda i, 179, 1-2)
  • First of all, let's be clear about terminology. Each of the four Vedas consists of four parts: Samhitas, which consist of mantras heard from the gods; Brahmanas, commentaries on the Samhitas which provide instructions for common Yagnas as well as stories; Aranyakas, which are also commentaries on the Samhitas except they focus on Yagnas performed by forest dwells and hermits; and Upanishads, dialogues between gurus and students concerning philosophical teachings. So you're presumably asking whether there are stories in the Vedic Samhitas, not the Vedas as a whole. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:40
  • The Vedic Samhitas consist of mantras praising various gods. But in the course of praising the gods, they certainly allude to various stories. Like a hymn to Indra might praise him as the one who killed Vritrasuta. Also, the mantras often allude to biographical details of the person who heard them from the gods, because that person was destined to hear them. By the way, I've compiled the index of who heard mantra of the Rig Veda Samhita from the gods in my question and answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2430/36. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:48
  • As far as the Agastya and Lopamudra hymn goes, that's a series of atmastutis. An atmastuti occurs when a sage engages in Tapasya, and then hears a mantra from the gods that is addressed to the sage himself. Now most sages aren't worthy of having a Vedic mantra addresses to them, so atmastutis usually only occur in the case of gods; for instance, if Indra engages in Tapasya, then he may hear a verse addressed to himself. But the Agastya and Lopamudra hymn is a case where humans are hearing mantras addressed to themselves. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


As Keshav points out in his comment the Samhitas are the mantras portion of the Vedas. The Upanishads, which are Sruti and part of the Vedas, do contain stories; albeit the stories are not as rich or detailed as the stories in the Puranas. Some of the more famous stories in the Upanishads include the Brihadaranyaka with stories of Yajnavalkya, the Chhandogya with stories of Satyakama, and the Katha with the story of Nachiketa. These stories are meant as instructions.

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