“The Secret of the Veda” is a volume of book by Sri Aurobindo, his writings and its translation of Rig Veda, first published in the monthly philosophical review Arya in 1914. Although Aurobindo considered to revise the translation as he thought it had errors, imperfection and incomplete, he never found enough time for necessary revision. Later in 1956, it was published by Sri Aurobindo International University Center under the title On the Veda along with Selected Hymns, Hymns of the Atris, and Other Hymns with an appendix of Aurobindo’s, “The Origins of Aryan Speech.” Aurobindo denied to publish it in a book form as it needed a necessary revision. He said:

“The publication of the Secret of the Veda as it is, does not enter into my intention. It was published in a great hurry and at a time when I had not studied the Rig Veda as a whole as well as I have since done. Whole chapters will have to be rewritten or written otherwise and a considerable labour gone through; moreover it was never finished and considerable additions in order to make it complete are indispensable.”

Rid Veda is in old language and a translation is necessary to understand the hymns of the Veda. When Aurobindo translated it, he didn’t go through the book fully and had not enough knowledge to translate with all details. ‘The Secret of the Veda with Selected Hymns’ is a volume which comprises three parts and an appendix:

  • Part 1 – The Secret of the Veda
    • The Problem and Its Solution
    • A Retrospect of Vedic Theory
    • Modern Theories
    • The Foundations of the Psychological Theory
    • The Philological Method of the Veda
    • Agni and the Truth
    • Varuna-Mitra and the Truth
    • The Ashwins — Indra — the Vishwadevas
    • Saraswati and Her Consorts
    • The Image of the Oceans and the Rivers
    • The Seven Rivers
    • The Herds of the Dawn
    • Dawn and the Truth
    • The Cow and the Angiras Legend
    • The Lost Sun and the Lost Cows
    • The Angiras Rishis
    • The Seven-Headed Thought, Swar and the Dashagwas
    • The Human Fathers
    • The Victory of the Fathers
    • The Hound of Heaven
    • The Sons of Darkness
    • The Conquest over the Dasyus
    • Summary of Conclusions
  • Part 2 – Selected Hymns
    • The Colloquy of Indra and Agastya
    • Indra, Giver of Light
    • Indra and the Thought-Forces
    • Agni, the Illumined Will
    • Surya Savitri, Creator and Increaser
    • The Divine Dawn
    • To Bhaga Savitri, the Enjoyer
    • Vayu, the Master of the Life Energies
    • Brihaspati, Power of the Soul
    • The Ashwins, Lords of Bliss
    • The Ribhus, Artisans of Immortality
    • Vishnu, the All-Pervading Godhead
    • Soma, Lord of Delight and Immortality
  • Part 3 – Hymns of the Atris
    • Foreword
    • The Doctrine of the Mystics
    • Hymns to Agni
    • Agni, the Divine Will-Force
    • Hymns to Agni
    • Hymns to the Lords of Light
    • The Guardians of the Light
    • Hymns to Mitra-Varuna
    • Hymn to Varuna
    • Hymns to the Dawn
    • A Hymn to Savitri
    • Part Four. Other Hymns
    • A Vedic Hymn
    • A Hymn of the Thought-Gods
    • The God of the Mystic Wine
    • The Vedic Fire
    • A Vedic Hymn to the Fire
    • Parashara’s Hymns to the Lord of the Flame
  • Appendix
    • Interpretation of the Veda

In response to the criticisms of the first chapter of The Secret of the Veda appeared in the Hindu of Madras on 24 August 1914, Aurobindo wrote a letter that appeared in the Hindu on 27 August 1914. This letter forms the appendix of The Secret of the Veda.


Sri Aurobindo was born as Aravinda Akroyd Ghose on 15th August 1872 in a Bengali family in Calcutta, India. He was a poet, activist, philosopher and yogi. He was part of the Indian independence movement and Indian National Congress and involved in various revolutions for Independence of the country. When he was seven, he pursued his schooling at St.Paul’s School, London. After studying Indian Civil Service in King’s College, Cambridge, he returned to India and joined in the service of Maharaja of the Princely state of Baroda and worked as a professor in Baroda College. Simultaneously, he also took up various civil services and joined a revolutionary society to work to remove the British Government in India.

Sri Aurobindo was born in Bengal Presidency, India. His parents were Krishna Dhun Ghose and Swarnalata Devi. Krishna Dhun Ghose was serving as an assistant surgeon of Rangpur and then as a civil surgeon of Khulna. Formerly, he was a member of the Brahmo Samaj, a religious reform movement. Sri Aurobindo was the third child among the five born to his parents. Benoybhusan and Manmohan were his elder brothers. Sarojini and Barindra Kumar were his younger siblings. Aurobindo’s father thought the English language and culture were superior. So he was very conscious to bring up Aurobindo and other children well-versed in English.

Bande Mataram was his newspaper in which he first brought up the idea of complete freedom for India from the British. He was arrested in connection with bomb outrages and conspiracy against the British rule. Soon he was released when unable to produce enough evidences against him. He became a prominent leader of the Nationalist movement soon after the Bengal Partition.

In 1905, he started practicing Yoga. He withdrew from all his political activities in 1910 and went to Pondicherry to devote himself to spiritualism. He founded Sri Aurobindo Ashram there in 1926 with the help of Mirra Alfassa (The Mother), his collaborator. During these years there, he evolved a new method of spiritual practice called Integral Yoga. Aurobindo died on 5 December 1950.


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