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The initial codification of the Rigveda took place during the early Kuru kingdom (c. length of hymns per book) and account for 38% of the text. Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations such as weddings and religious prayers, making it probably the world's oldest religious text in continued use.Within each book, the hymns are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, and so on.They are attributed and dedicated to a rishi (sage) and his family of students.Within each collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn.If two hymns in the same collection have equal numbers of stanzas then they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order.The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 15% and 9%, respectively.

The first mandala has a unique arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas.The ninth mandala is arranged by both its prosody (chanda) structure and hymn length, while the first eighty four hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it.Each mandala consists of hymns called sūkta (su-ukta, literally, "well recited, eulogy") intended for various rituals.The sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc ("praise", pl.ṛcas), which are further analysed into units of verse called pada ("foot" or step).The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri (3 verses of 8 syllables), anushtubh (4x8), trishtubh (4x11) and jagati (4x12).The trishtubh meter (40%) and gayatri meter (25%) dominate in the Rigveda.For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is synthetically divided into roughly equal sections of several sūktas, called anuvāka ("recitation"), which modern publishers often omit.Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into aṣṭaka ("eighth"), adhyāya ("chapter") and varga ("class").Some publishers give both classifications in a single edition.The most common numbering scheme is by book, hymn and stanza (and pada a, b, c ..., if required).

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