Rig Veda Samhita e-text overview

All materials are copyrighted. You may use this resource for academic, non-profit purposes, citing it in good faith.

It was a great innovation in Indology--and in academia in general--as electronic texts and internet access to them arose in such early text-encoding efforts as the one here of Dr. H. S. Ananthanarayana under the direction of Dr. W. P. Lehmann, partly funded by the NEH back in 1971. The Rig Veda they created was done in 7-bit ASCII and still preserved both the original accent as well as maNDala/hymn and aSTaka/varga numbering. I made the text freely available, and detailed notes on its provenance and to whom credit should be given can (still!!) be found here.

In short, I was tracking 15 words related to 'the self' in vedic and wanted to follow them in the chronological (rather than compositional) order they occured in the RV. I made anchors, by hand, of some 13,000 links to track the changing contexts in which the various terms for the self were used after rebuilding and prepping the text.

I had found this e-text in the old RLIN (Research Libraries International Network) at Oxford, and reworked it - stripping out accent and such to keep the files as small as possible. It was still dial-up modem days, and a 35k file was considered big. As noted above, you can learn in detail about this text and the many helping hands that made it possible here.

Subsequently, the standard was set by an outstanding critical edition of the RV, with electronic versions for DOS (convertible, see tech pages) and usable (with some minor fussing back in those early days) on Mac has been made by Barend Van Nooten and Gary Holland as Harvard Oriental Series #50. You can see an example of my own early Mac conversion, "photographed" on my powerbook 5300 (yep, I built most of this site originally on one of those temperamental but reliable critters) with PICTify and a host of other old-school early internet shareware.

There are many standards for doing digital texts, the most commonly-known and accepted onces include the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standards which have withstood the test of time. For this rebuild of vedavid.org, I have chosen a generic XML-based XHTML format so that the text can still be viewed in lower-end browsers/slower connectivity as well as be usable in the widening host of XML-based text-nologies. Here is the early examples of what I used these texts to do when encoded, click here to see the terminology work I used this text to do as part of the dissertation research.