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Rigveda and Chronology based on Linguistics

In my earlier article, linguistic analysis of the Rigveda suggests that its oldest portions can be found in the family books (Mandalas) 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. These Mandalas are generally considered to be linguistically and stylistically archaic compared to the later Mandalas.

The language and poetic style in these Mandalas exhibit certain archaic features, such as unique grammatical forms, vocabulary, and metrical patterns. These linguistic characteristics are often used by scholars to identify the oldest layers of the Rigveda.

However, it is important to note that the dating and linguistic categorization of the Rigveda’s Mandalas is a subject of ongoing scholarly debate. Different scholars may have varying opinions regarding the linguistic chronology of the Rigvedic hymns. Nevertheless, Mandalas 2 to 6 are generally regarded as some of the oldest sections of the Rigveda from a linguistic perspective.

Mandala 2, known as the “Griffith Mandala” (named after the translator Ralph T.H. Griffith), is often regarded as linguistically archaic. It exhibits certain linguistic features and poetic styles that are closer to the Indo-European linguistic roots and show fewer developments compared to the later Mandalas.

Mandala 6 is also considered to have linguistic characteristics that align with the archaic nature of the Rigveda. It is known for its complex metrical patterns and archaic vocabulary, which indicate an earlier linguistic stage.

Determining the exact age or relative chronology of individual hymns within Mandalas 2 and 6 of the Rigveda can be challenging due to the complex nature of their composition and the absence of precise historical records. However, certain hymns within these Mandalas exhibit linguistic and stylistic characteristics that suggest a potentially older origin.

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