Translation by Wendy Doniger
Version: Penguin Classics
Year: 1500 BC
Date Started: April 24, 2023
Date Finished: May 13, 2023
I had a hard time with the Rig Veda and this Penguin Classics version didn’t help much in my understanding. I actually stopped reading this a few pages in and moved over to “The Hindus” by Wendy Doniger (the translator of this Rig Veda) in order to obtain a background and try to figure out what was happening. For example, what was the purpose of the Rig Veda, how was it compiled, who are the gods, etc.
Once I got my bearings, it became a little more understandable. The Vedas are a set of hymns/verses. There are 1,028 total and Wendy Doniger includes 108 in this translation and they are arranged by topic (creation, death, soma, women, etc.). I really enjoyed the ones dealing with myths and epics. Wendy Doniger included a good number of notes per hymn, so that was helpful.
In all, this is a hard one to grasp if you are coming in cold. I recommend reading another book like The Hindus (the first third of the book) to get a background about the Rig Veda before diving in.