| While originally several different versions
or rescensions of the Rig Veda were said to exist, only one remains.
Its form has been structured in several different ways to guarantee
its authenticity and proper preservation through time.
The Rig Veda consists of the hymns to
various aspects of the Divine as seen by various seers, called the
"rishis". There are seven primary seers, identified not
only in India but also in Persia and China with the seven stars of
the Big Dipper. Their names are Atri, Kanwa, Vasishta, Vishwamitra,
Jamadagni, Gotama and Bharadvaja, but they appear even in the hymns
of these sages and may refer to an earlier group. They relate to the
guiding lights of the seven chakras.
The main family of the seers was
called the Angirasas (a term related to the Greek Angelos and our
English word angel). The seven seers are all Angirasas and their
families or lineages are a diversification of this one original
line. The foremost of the Angirasas was Brihaspati, identified with
the planet Jupiter.