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Veda (吠陀). Sacred knowledge, the general name of the Hindu canonical sacred texts. The four Vedas are the Ṛg-veda, Sāma-veda, Yajur-veda, and Athara-veda. They include mantras, prayers, hymns, and rituals. The Ṛg-veda is the only original work of the first three Vedas. Its texts are assigned to a period between 1400 and 1000 BCE. The fourth Veda, Athara-veda, emerged later.