What Is The Sacred Text Of Hinduism? (Perfect answer)

Though less studied than later texts, the Veda is the central scripture of Hinduism. The remembered texts consist of post-Vedic texts.

What texts do Hindus regard as sacred?

  • The Agamas are sacred texts that describe how to perform rituals and ceremonies when undertaking certain events, eg the construction of a mandir. They are mainly used by priests. Some Hindus use the Mahabharata to justify having social divisions.


What does sacred mean in Hinduism?

sacred, the power, being, or realm understood by religious persons to be at the core of existence and to have a transformative effect on their lives and destinies.

What is the oldest Hindu text?

The Vedas (/ˈveɪdəz/, IAST: veda, Sanskrit: वेदः, lit. ‘knowledge’) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

What are the sacred texts of Hinduism Diwali?

Hindus do not follow one particular holy book, but very old sacred texts called the Vedas and the Upanishads. Among these sacred books are two epic poems that tell the stories of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

What makes a sacred text?

scripture, also called sacred scripture, the revered texts, or Holy Writ, of the world’s religions. Scriptures comprise a large part of the literature of the world. They vary greatly in form, volume, age, and degree of sacredness, but their common attribute is that their words are regarded by the devout as sacred.

What makes sacred?

Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among believers.

Who wrote Bhagavad Gita?

The Vedas. These are the most ancient religious texts which define truth for Hindus. They got their present form between 1200-200 BCE and were introduced to India by the Aryans. Vedic texts are sometimes called shruti, which means hearing. For hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, the texts were passed on orally.

How many Hindu texts are there?

There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda.

What is Smriti Sahitya?

Smriti, (Sanskrit: “Recollection”) that class of Hindu sacred literature based on human memory, as distinct from the Vedas, which are considered to be Shruti (literally “What Is Heard”), or the product of divine revelation.

What does the Diwali festival celebrate?

Some celebrate Diwali as a commemoration of the marriage of Lakshmi and Vishnu, while others observe it as the birthday of Lakshmi. Billions of people worldwide celebrate Diwali, a multi-day festival that marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and much more—but many still harbour misconceptions about the holiday.

Why is the goddess Lakshmi celebrated at Diwali?

In India. Lakshmi is believed to roam the earth on the night of Lakshmi Pooja. Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead. On this day, the mothers, who work hard all year, are recognized by the family.

Why is sacred text important?

They are significant as these texts convey spiritual truth, establish a connection with the divine, foster communal identity, and provide the promotion of mystical experiences and spiritual practices.

What functions do sacred texts perform?

Religious texts also serve a ceremonial and liturgical role, particularly in relation to sacred time, the liturgical year, the divine efficacy and subsequent holy service; in a more general sense, its performance.

Sacred-Texts: Hinduism

homeJournal Articles: Hinduism: Sacred Texts Hinduism is a religion that is practiced in the United States. Purchase a CD-ROM. Purchase some books on Hinduism. VedasUpanishads Other Primary Texts besides the Puranas Epics Mahabharata Ramayana Vedanta (Bhagavad Gita) is a Hindu religious text. Texts published later Books from today’s era

The Vedas

The Vedas are divided into four sections: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda. The Vedas are considered to be the foundational writings of Hinduism. They also had a significant impact on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, among other religions. Traditionally, the Vedic literature was considered to be the same age as the cosmos. As a result of these findings, scholars believe that the Rig Veda was created about 1500 B.C. and codified around 600 B.C., making it the earliest of the four Vedas.

The Vedas are a collection of hymns, incantations, and rites that date back to ancient India.

Aside from their spiritual significance, they also provide a unique perspective on ordinary life in India four thousand years ago.

Rig Veda

Ralph Griffith has translated the Rig-Veda into English. The Rig Veda has been translated into its entirety in English. Rig-Veda is a type of rig (Sanskrit) The whole Rig Veda in Sanskrit, in Unicode Devanagari script, and in standard romanization is available here. Part I of the Vedic Hymns (SBE 32) Translation of the hymns to the Maruts, Rudra, Vâyu, and Vâta by F. Max Müller Translations and in-depth research of the Vedic Hymns to the Storm Gods, which are considered a masterwork of linguistics and comparative mythology.

By A.A.

This article provides an introduction to the Rig Veda’s Dramatis Persona.

Sama Veda

The Sama-Veda, as translated by Ralph Griffith, is a collection of hymns sung by priests during the Soma sacrifice, and it is a collection of hymns that have been translated into English. Many of these are recitations of hymns from the Rig Veda, either in part or in whole. This is an accurate and complete translation.

Yajur Veda

Arthur Berriedale Keith’s translation of the Yajur Veda (Taittiriya Sanhita) is available online.

The whole text of the Black Yajur Veda in English translation. The Yajur Veda is a comprehensive treatise of Vedic sacrificial rites that dates back thousands of years. This is a full translation of the White Yajur Veda, as translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith.

Atharva Veda

The Atharva Veda incorporates material from the Rig Veda as well, but what makes this anthology (part of the Sacred Books of the East series) stand out are the various incantations and philosophical passages that have been collected and organized. Atharva Veda was authored around 1000 years before the other Vedas were written down. It was written down approximately 200 years after the other Vedas. Ralph T.H. Griffith has translated The Hymns of the Atharvaveda, which is a collection of ancient Hindu hymns.

Maurice Bloomfield’s translation of the Atharva-Veda is available online (Sacred Books of the East, Vol.

The Atharva-veda has a selection of hymns.


In the Vedic tradition, the Upanishads represent a continuation of the philosophy that was written between 800 and 400 B.C. Through contemplation and mediation, they explain how the soul (Atman) might be joined with the ultimate truth (Brahman). They also discuss the idea of Karma, which describes the cumulative results of a person’s deeds. The Upanishads (Sacred Books of the East, volumes. 1 and 15) are comprised of the following texts: Part I of the Upanishads is available online (SBE 1) Max Müller worked as a translator.

  • Part II of the Upanishads is titled (SBE 15) Max Müller worked as a translator.
  • K.
  • Thirty shorter Upanishads, which are primarily concerned with Yogic philosophy and practice.
  • Upanishads from the Katha, Prasna, and Chhandogya schools of thought are translated.


Typically, the Puranas provide a full narrative of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, lineages of monarchs, heroes, and demigods as well as explanations of Hindu cosmology and geography. In all, there are 17 or 18 canonical Puranas, which are classified into three groups, each of which is named after one of the gods: Brahma, Vishnu, or Shiva. There are also numerous additional books that are classified as Puranas, which are referred to as ‘Upapuranas.’ H.H. Wilson’s translation of the Vishnu Purana A key classic of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, as well as one of the canonical Puranas of the Vishnu category, the Bhagavad-Gita is considered to be the most important religious literature in the world.

  • His name was H.H.
  • His writing style and commentaries are superb, and his work is extremely readable.
  • Subrahmanyam collaborated on the translation of the Garuda Purana.
  • It was Swami Vijnananda who translated the S’rimad Devî Bhâgawatam into English (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) One of the Upapuranas, which is dedicated to the Devi, is called (Goddess).
  • An extract from the S’rimad Devî Bhâgawatam (Srimad Devî’s Bhagavatam) (above) The Prem Sagur (Prem Sagar), written by Lallu Lal and translated by W.
  • The tenth volume of the Bhagavata Purana is the basis for this popular Hindi version of the Krishna cycle, which has been translated into English.
  • a passage from the Harivamsa, a Puranic scripture, which has been translated by the American transcendentalist philosopher By Rishi Singh Gherwal, author of Kundalini: The Mother of the Universe.

Includes an English translation of the Lalita Sahasranama, often known as the ‘Thousand Names of the Goddess,’ which appears in the Brahmanda Purana (Book of the Brahmanda).

Other Primary Texts

In accordance with the laws of Manu George Bühler worked as a translator (Sacred Books of the East, vol. 25) Manu was the mythological first man, the Adam of the Hindus, who lived thousands of years ago. This is a compilation of laws credited to Manu, and it is available online. Part I of The Sacred Laws of the ryas is available online (SBE 2) Translation by George Bühler (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 2) In the first millennium B.C., the sages Pastamba and Gautama wrote Hindu law texts that are still in use today.

  1. 14) In the first millennium B.C., the sages Vasishtha and Baudhyana wrote Hindu law texts, which are still in use today.
  2. 7) It contains explanations of yoga practices as well as a beautiful song to the Goddess Prajapati, which is included in this Hindu law book.
  3. 33).
  4. A fundamental source for mythology, philosophy, and magical activities from the Vedic period.
  5. The Grihya Sutras, Volume Two (SBE 30) Oldenberg, Hermann (translator).

The Epics

The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are considered to be India’s national epics. They are, without a doubt, the longest poetry ever written in any language. In the period between 540 and 300 B.C., the epic poem Mahabharata was written down, with credit given to the sage Vyasa. The Mahabharata is a collection of tales about the Bharatas, a tribe of Vedic Aryans. In spite of the fact that it is based on oral traditions that date back six or seven centuries, the Ramayana was written down during the first century A.D.

The Ramayana is a heartwarming love story with moral and spiritual elements that continues to have a strong following in India to this very day.


Kirari Mohan Ganguli’s translation of the Mahabharata is available online.

It took a collaborative effort between sacred-texts.org and Project Gutenberg to digitize this entire version of the Mahabharata epic. The Mahabharata is written in Sanskrit. The text of the Mahabharata in Devanagari and Romanization Unicode, both in parallel.

The Ramayana

Translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith of the Ramayana of Válmiki. The Ramayana has been translated into English for the first time in its entirety and made available online. The Ramayana is written in Sanskrit. Ramayana text in Unicode Devanagari and Romanization, as well as a translation into English.

Abridged Versions

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are two ancient Indian epics. R. Dutt was the translator. This is a condensed and fairly readable rendition of these epics. Sir, Idylls of India Edwin Arnold worked as a translator. Another collection of stories from the Mahabharata, this time in verse. Sri Aurobindo’s novel, Love and Death, is set in India. Ruru and Priyumvada are two characters from the Mahabharata who are well-known.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, traditionally considered to be a part of the sixth book of the Mahabharata (dating from approximately 400 or 300 B.C. ), is a central text of Hinduism, consisting of a philosophical dialogue between the god Krishna and the warrior Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita is considered to be the most important text in the world. This is one of the most popular and easily understandable of all Hindu texts, and it should be essential reading for everyone who is interested in Hinduism in any capacity.

  1. The Bhagavadgîtâ (SBE 8) with the Sanatsugâtîya and the Anugîtâ, both translated by Kâshinâth Trimbak Telang, is the eighth chapter of the Bhagavadgîtâ (Sacred Books of the East, Vol.
  2. The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred text written in Sanskrit.
  3. Swami Swarupananda’s Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita is a classic work of Hindu literature.
  4. In accordance with the International Gita Society’s guidelines, a modern prose translation of the Gita has been published.
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A commentary by Ramânuja on the Vedânta-Sûtras (SBE 48), which has been translated by George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 48) The Vedânta-Sûtras Part I (SBE 34), with commentary bySa n karâ k ârya and translation byGeorge Thibaut; The Vedânta-Sûtras Part II (SBE 35), with commentary bySa n karâ k ârya and translation byGeorge Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 34) The Vedânta-Sûtras, Part II (SBE 38), with commentary by Sa n karâ k ârya and translation by George Thibaut; The Vedânta-Sûtras, Part II (SBE 38), with commentary by Sa n karâ k ârya and translation by George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol.

L.D. Barnett’s Brahma-Knowledge is a work of fiction. A succinct explanation of the Hindu Vedanta philosophical system. Selections from the Writings of Sri Sankaracharya, translated by S. Venkataramanan Selections from the non-dualist Vedanta philosopher’s body of work are presented.

Later Texts

Charles Johnston’s translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali This brief text discusses an early stage in the concept and practice of Yoga. It is written in a straightforward style. The painting, which dates back to around 150 B.C., demonstrates dualist and Buddhist influences. The following readings are required if you are interested in Yoga or meditation. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are a collection of instructions for practicing yoga. This is another another translation of the old Yoga text. Pancham Sinh has translated the Hatha Yoga Pradipika into English.

  • Alladi Mahadeva Sastri’s translation of the Dakshinamurti Stotra.
  • James R.
  • Translated from the Pali by Arthur W.
  • by Arthur W.
  • The Little Clay Cart, written by Shudrakatr and illustrated by Arthur W.
  • Revised versions of Vemana’s poems by Vemana (c.
  • Cuarapacik (Black Marigold) by Bilhana, tr.

A free verse translation of Bilhana, a Kashmiri poet who lived in the 11th century.

Tales of a Vampire Scheherazade is a collection of short stories.

Phillips The god Shiva is the subject of popular Tamil Hindu devotional poetry written by devotees of the god.

Throughout history, individuals of many different religions have found Kabir’s mystical and religious poetry to be inspirational.

Yoga Vashisht, also known as Heaven Rishi Singh Gherwal was the one who discovered it.

Modern Books

Yoga by Arthur Liebers is a great way to unwind. This article provides an overview of current Raja Yoga, including photographs of the asanas. Ernest Wood’s Great Systems of Yoga are a collection of his teachings. A review of the Yogic systems is presented. Mary Frere’s Old Deccan Days is a work of fiction. F. Max Müller’s Ramakrishna, His Life and Sayings is a biography of the spiritual leader Ramakrishna. The thoughts of a Hindu guru from a modest background who transcended artificial religious borders are compiled in this volume.

  1. First-person stories of the Bengali holy man who preached religious unity in the face of opposition.
  2. Wilkins’s Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic is available online.
  3. Swami Abhedânanda’s book, How to Be a Yogi, is a must-read.
  4. Arthur W.
  5. Joseph Jacobs’s Indian Fairy Tales is a collection of stories about Indians.
  6. Mackenzie’s Indian Myth and Legend is a work of fiction.
  7. Swami Vivekananda’s Karma-Yoga is a form of self-improvement.
  8. S.N.
  9. Sister Nivedita’s writings can be found here (Margaret E.
  10. Noble) Sacred works dedicated to the Mother Goddess Kali, written by Sister Nivedita.
  11. Noble) Sister Nivedita’s observations from her home in the East (Margaret E.

Noble) Rabindranath Tagore’s writings can be found here. Gitanjali Saddhana, or the Realisation of One’s Existence The Fruit-Gathering Moon (Crescent Moon) Birds in Distress The Home and the Rest of the World Relics of Thought Kabîr’s sung songs F.W. Bain’s Indian Stories are available online.

Also of Interest

Hinduism is the subject of several journal publications. Sacred Sexuality is a term used to describe a sexuality that is sacred to a person. There’s also the Kama Sutra, Ananga Ranga, and more. Dictionary of Sanskrit Also see WordGumbo.com’s Sanskrit resources for further information.


Paramhansa Yogananda’s autobiography is titled Autobiography of a Yogi.

BBC – Religions – Hinduism: Scripture

For Hindus, these are the most ancient religious books that describe what constitutes truth. These plants developed into their current form about 1200-200 BCE and were brought to India by the Aryans. Hindus believe that the scriptures were sent to academics directly from God and that they were passed down to subsequent generations through oral tradition. Shruti, which literally translates as hearing, is a term used to refer to Vedic literature. Throughout hundreds, even thousands of years, the scriptures were passed down orally from generation to generation.

Contents of the Vedas

The Vedas are composed of four compositions, and each composition is divided into four sections, which are organized in chronological order.

  • The Samhitas, which are songs of praise to God, are the most oldest section of the Vedas and are the most ancient part of the Vedas. The Brahmanas are rites and prayers that serve to instruct the priests in the performance of their responsibilities. Worship and meditation are the focus of the Aranyakas. The Upanishads are Hindu religious texts that contain mystical and intellectual lessons.

The Samhitas

  • There are 1028 hymns praising the gods in the Rig-Veda Samhita (about 1200 BCE), the oldest of the four Vedas and the oldest of the four vedas. When executing vedic sacrifices, priests refer to the Yajur-VedaSamhita as a guidebook. The Sama-VedaSamhita is a collection of chants and melodies that are sung during sacrifices. The Atharva-VedaSamhita (c. 900 BCE) has many traditions that predate the Aryan invasion and is comprised of spells, charms, and magical formulas
  • It also contains many traditions that predate the Aryan invasion.

The Upanishads

The Upanishads were given this name because they were taught to individuals who sat by their professors as they learned. (upa means close, ni means down, and shad means sit.) These works sprang from the Vedic tradition, but they had a significant impact on Hinduism since they provided followers with philosophical understanding. It is estimated that the primary Upanishads were written between 800 and 200 BCE, and that they are constructed in part in prose and part in verse. It was not until the 16th century that the Upanishads were completed in their entirety.

Several of the earliest Upanishads are focused with comprehending the sacrificial ceremonies of the Hindu religion.

While the priests (brahmins) had previously been the only ones who could get access to the divine via ritual and sacrifice, the knowledge of the cosmos was now available to people of the upper and middle castes who were prepared to learn from a teacher.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, often known as the “Song of the Lord,” is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, which is the world’s longest poetry and contains the most famous verse in all of Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred text in Hinduism. The Mahabharata is a Hindu epic that was written between 500 BCE and 100 CE and is a chronicle of the battles of the family of Bharata. It is considered to be one of the most popular Hindu writings, and is classified as a smriti work (the remembered tradition). Several people believe that this is of lesser significance than shruti (the heard text, such as the Vedas).

The Bhagavad Gita is a debate between the royal Arjuna and Krishna, his charioteer, that is told in the form of a story.

While Arjuna wishes to retire from the conflict, Krishna reminds him that he, Arjuna, must carry out his responsibilities in line with his social status, and Krishna explains that death does not destroy the soul.

Krishna emphasizes that education, effort, and devotion are all routes to salvation, and that allegiance to God is the most important virtue in life.

The Ramayana

The Ramayana, which was written during the same time period, is one of India’s most well-known stories. Prince Rama, together with his wife Sita and brother Lakshamana, were forced into exile in the jungle, and the account of their journey is told in this film. In the story of Sita, she was kidnapped by the terrible demon Ravana, but she was eventually saved by Prince Rama with the assistance of the Monkey God, Hanuman. The narrative is written in 24,000 couplets, which is an impressive feat.

It has been suggested by many that it is a narrative about dharma or responsibility.

What Are the Sacred Texts of the Hindus?

“The collected storehouse of spiritual laws found by different men at different eras,” according to Swami Vivekananda, is what makes up the ancient Hindu literature. There are two forms of sacred texts in the Hindu scriptures, which are together referred to as the Shastras: Shruti (heard) and Smriti (written) (memorized). This literary genre describes the practice of ancient Hindu saints who spent their lives in solitude in the forests, where they developed an awareness that enabled them to ‘hear’ or recognize the realities of the world.

The Vedas and the Upanishads are the two main branches of Sruti literature.

  • The Rig Veda is known as “Royal Knowledge,” while the Sama Veda is known as “Knowledge of Chants,” and the Yajur Veda is known as “Knowledge of Sacrificial Rituals.” The Atharva Veda, which means “Knowledge of Incarnations,” is a Hindu scripture.

Ten of the Upanishads are the most significant, with Isa, Kena, Katha, Prashna and Mundaka being the others. The other Upanishads include Mandukya, Taitiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, and Brihadaranyaka being the other. Poetry and epics that have been’memorized’ or’remembered’ are referred to as Smriti Literature. Because they are simple to grasp, they convey universal truths via symbolism and mythology, and they contain some of the most beautiful and fascinating stories in the history of religion and global literature, they are more popular among Hindus.

  • The Bhagavad Gita is the most well-known of the Hindu scriptures, also known as the “Song of the Adorable One,” and it was composed about the 2nd century BC. It is the sixth portion of the Mahabharata, and it is the most popular of the Hindu scriptures. Among its many excellent theological teachings regarding God’s and life’s essence, it contains some of the most brilliant theological lectures ever written. Mahabharata- The Mahabharata is the world’s longest epic poem, composed about the 9th century BC, and it is concerned with the power struggle between the Pandava and the Kaurava families, as well as the intertwining of countless stories that make up life. It is believed that Valmiki penned the Ramayana about the 4th or 2nd centuries BC, with subsequent additions up to roughly 300 CE. The Ramayana is the most popular of Hindu epics. It tells the narrative of the royal couple of Ayodhya – Ram and Sita – as well as the adventures of a slew of other characters.

More information may be found at:

  • ScripturesEpics
  • The Itihasas or Histories: Ancient Hindu Scriptures

Hindu Sacred Books – Heart Of Hinduism

Indian religion as a single monolithic religion is a very modern notion, having emerged in the nineteenth century at the earliest. Many researchers have compared Hinduism to a family of faiths, with all of its associated members sharing a common ancestry and a same set of beliefs. As a result, any definition of Hinduism is largely arbitrary and must be qualified accordingly. One such description is “followers of Vaidika Dharma,” which refers to individuals who adhere to the religious teachings presented in the Vedas and their corollaries, among other things.

  1. Shruti is defined as “something which has been heard.” Smriti is defined as “something which has been recalled.”

Key Points

  • Hinduism does not have a single scripture, but rather a number of them
  • They include the Vedas and its corollaries, which are sometimes referred to as “the Vedic scriptures.” The following are the two primary divisions:
  • Shruti is that which is heard (the revealed truth)
  • Smriti is that which is remembered (the realized truth)
  • And smriti is that which is remembered (the revealed truth).
  • Though the majority of the canonical books are written in the Sanskrit language, many of the secondary works are written in the vernacular.

Shrit is regarded to be canonical, full of revelation and irrefutable truth, and is thought to be an everlasting book. It is mostly concerned with the Vedas themselves. Smriti is a supplemental supplement that may alter over time. It is only authoritative to the degree that it adheres to the fundamental principles of shruti. There are differing viewpoints on the relative validity and relevance of each of these factors. Some Hindus emphasize the significance of shruti as a foundational text, whilst others argue that smriti is more relevant now since it is more effective at making facts accessible.

It is critical to remember the following:

  1. Shrit is regarded to be canonical, consisting of revelation and irrefutable truth, and is thought to be an everlasting text. Vedas themselves are the primary focus of the term “Veda.” There are no guarantees that Smriti will remain constant throughout time. According to Shruti, it is only authoritative to the degree that it is consistent with the fundamental principles of the religion. There are differing viewpoints on the relative validity and relevance of each of the factors discussed below. The relevance of shruti is emphasized by certain Hindus, while others believe that smriti is more significant now since it facilitates the accessibility of truths. Some Hindu philosophers believe that the belief in universal truth leads them to believe that any instruction that conforms to true knowledge can be recognized as “Veda,” or sacred knowledge. Because of this, there are a large number of literature that are deemed to be “Vedic,” including many works in the vernacular. Consider the following points:
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The vast majority of important works are written in classical Sanskrit, which is regarded to be the holy language of the gods. The script itself is referred to as “devanagari” – which means “from the cities of the gods” in English. (For further information about Sanskrit, please see Sanskrit and Sanskriti, which are both available online.) Many auxiliary writings, notably those written by medieval bhakti writers, are written in local vernaculars like as Tamil, Brajbasi, Gujarati, and Bengali, among other languages.

  • Karma-kanda – primarily concerned with ceremonial sacrifice for the purpose of pleasure (acceptance by the world)
  • Jivana-kanda — teachings aimed at knowing through renunciation (i.e., denial of the world) that are found in Buddhist scriptures. Upasana kanda – scriptures that are concerned with God’s adoration and service to him (which are both world-accommodating and transcendent)

Karma-kanda — a branch of Hinduism that is primarily concerned with ceremonial sacrifice for the purpose of pleasure (or world acceptance). Knowledge via renunciation (world-denying) is the goal of the Jnana-kanda school of philosophy. scriptures concentrating on God’s worship and service to him (world-accommodating/transcending); upasana kanda (worship of God and service to him);

Ten Principal Texts

  • In addition to the Itihasas (histories or epics), there is also the Bhagavad-gita (philosophy). The Puranas (a collection of tales and history)
  • The Dharma Shastra (a collection of legal texts)
  • In Hinduism, the Vedangas (limbs of the Vedas) and the Upavedas (vedic books that follow the Vedas) are considered to be the most important texts. Literature in the vernacular


  • The epics are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, respectively. Assmriti are the “other texts” that are often labeled assmriti. Some believe that the Vedangas are beshruti
  • Others disagree. It is primarily the Vaishnava Pancharatra, as well as the Shaiva Agmas and Tantras, and the Shakta Devi Shastra and Tantra that are concerned with ceremonial practices
  • These books are referred to as sectarian scriptures.

Sacred texts are sources of:

  1. Philosophic notions
  2. Information on personal values
  3. Practical advice
  4. Stories and myths
  5. And Prayers and mantras are chanted
  6. Specifics of the worship/liturgy
  7. Various arts and sciences are involved

Related Practices

  • Respect is shown to sacred books
  • They are never laid directly on the floor, nor are they touched by filthy feet or hands. Prayers are frequently performed prior to the use or consultation of these documents. Texts are frequently wrapped in silk fabric for protection. Occasionally, they are put in a shrine and offered up as a form of worship. Texts from antiquity were engraved onto leaves, such as palm leaves. The use of books for recitation, personal study, theological training, pravachan (seeOther Forms of Worship), and consultation on problems of spiritual and secular legislation are also common practices.

Related Values and Issues

  • The distinctions between belief, opinion, and truth
  • The necessity of authority
  • And more.

Personal Reflection

  • Are there any parallels between the need to accept the opinion, counsel, or judgment of others and the need to accept the opinion, advice, or judgment of others found in secular literature, for example, as a source of knowledge
  • What needs be done to make it acceptable
  • To what extent is it necessary for a teacher to make any topic accessible to pupils (which is what Assmritiattempts to accomplish)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so
  • What are the potential dangers

Glossary Terms

  • Veda – knowledge, derived from the rootvit, which means “to know”
  • The term Vedic is frequently used to refer to the time period during which theRig Veda was compiled (i.e. the Vedic period). In fact, Hindus themselves frequently use the phrase to refer to everything that is linked to the Vedas and their corollaries (for example, Vedic culture)

Meaning and Purpose

  • How do we choose the meaning and purpose of our lives
  • Does written authority have a role in this decision-making process

What Are Hinduism’s Holy Texts?

The Vedas are the oldest ancient holy scriptures of the Hindu faith, and they are written in the Sanskrit language. Hinduism does not have a single sacred book, but rather a collection of sacred texts known as scriptures. Hindus follow the teachings of the Vedas as they go about their everyday lives. They also contribute to the preservation of religious components in the family and in society. Hindus have drawn inspiration from the texts to construct their system of worship and beliefs. Generally speaking, the Hindu texts may be divided into two categories: The scriptures known as Shruti, which means “that which is heard,” are comprised of the four Vedas and the Upanishads.

According to Hindu tradition, the Hindu Holy Scriptures consist primarily of the following works, all of which were composed in the Sanskrit language:

  1. There are four Vedas: the Reg-Veda (Rigveda), the Yajur Veda, the Sama-Veda, and the Atharva-Veda
  2. And the Upanisadas, which examine the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the nature of the global soul (Atman) (Brahman.) One of the Upanishads has the oldest reference to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies of the soul
  3. Another Upanishad contains the earliest reference to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies of the soul. The Smrutis – the Laws of Manu (250 BC) are considered to be the beginning of tradition. The Ramayana is a Hindu epic that tells the narrative of Rama and his faithful wife, Sita. Ravana kidnaps her, but Rama, with the assistance of the monkey deity Hanuman, rescues her and returns her to her family in the forest. There is a message in the poem about how good will always win over evil. The Mahabharata is an epic poem that tells the narrative of a family feud between two branches of the same lineage. The Bhagavad-Gita, which literally translates as “The Song of God,” is a portion of this. The Puranas are a collection of ancient legends concerning the various incarnations of gods and saints, as well as their lives.

What are the Vedas, exactly? The Vedas are the most ancient holy books in Hinduism, dating back thousands of years. Veda is a Sanskrit term that signifies “knowledge.” It is thought that Brahma revealed the Vedas verbally to specific sages, who then heard them and passed them on to future generations through an oral tradition. They were not recorded in any way; in fact, this was strictly forbidden. In recognition of the fact that this early oral tradition is still alive and well today, even though the Vedas are now available in written form, the Vedas are still referred to as Sruti or shruti – “that which is heard.” It is mostly hymns or mantras in the Sanskrit language that form much of the Vedas’ content and meaning.

  • Because the books are so valuable, they are frequently displayed in glass cases.
  • Yajur-Veda Sama-VedaAtharva-Veda Generally speaking, each Veda is broken into four sections: The mantras and hymns are found in the Samhitas, which is the earliest component of the text.
  • The Aranyakas are the segment dedicated to meditation.
  • They take into account the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the nature of the global soul (Brahman.) One of the Upanishads has the first reference to the reincarnation of the soul in other bodies (transmigration) of the soul, which is believed to have occurred thousands of years ago.

The Vedas are considered to be the law. The Vedas include material that is the basis for the majority of ideas, thoughts, and rites. Which books have you read thus far?

The Vedas: Hinduism’s Sacred Texts – Video & Lesson Transcript

Jessica Whittemore is the instructor. Include a biography Jessica has experience as a history teacher in both junior high and collegiate settings. She holds a Master’s degree in instructional education. The Vedas are a collection of religious texts that are considered to be the foundation of Hinduism. The Vedas will be explored in depth in this course, with an emphasis on the historical context as well as a deeper dive into the book itself. The most recent update was on September 30, 2021.

The Four Vedas

For thousands of years, people of religion have elevated particular scriptures to places of inspired authority and awe in their hearts. Jews adhere to the Torah, but Muslims place a high value on the teachings of the Quran, as we perceive it. Hinduism, like these other religions, has its own holy scriptures, which are collectively referred to as the Vedas. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at these ancient Hindu writings. As we go through this process, some of us who are more Western in outlook may find some of the names and different subtleties of the texts a little perplexing at first.

It will be your responsibility to keep these two primary points in mind.

Second, theRig-Veda is often regarded as the most important of the four Vedic compilations, with the Mahabharata being the most important.

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Historical Background

Let’s take a look back in time to see what we can learn. For openers, many scholars think that the Vedas are the first literary works produced by the civilisation of the Indus River Valley. Some even go so far as to claim that they are the world’s oldest sacred books, dating back thousands of years. However, because the ancients were not particularly renowned for their meticulous record-keeping, substantiating this claim will be difficult. For the sake of this research, we’ll go with the accepted chronology of more than 1000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

This is analogous to the Christian idea that the Bible was written solely by God’s inspiration.

Because these texts are considered sacred, they are not permitted to be translated into any other form. This stands in stark contrast to the Bible, which has been translated and distributed in hundreds of languages around the world.


With this background in mind, let’s have a look at the four Vedic collections that have been assembled. We’ll start with theRig-Vedabecause it’s generally considered to be the most essential of the four systems. Among the four collections, the Rig-Veda is thought to be the most ancient. Again, many people believe it to be one of the world’s earliest scriptures or sacred books. Shortly said, it’s a collection of religious poems and songs that represent the dedication of early Hindu adherents and are still in use today.

We’ll use some alliteration to help us recall the significance of this type of monarch of the Vedas, and we’ll refer to it as the ‘royal Rig-Veda!’ to remind us of its importance.

Lesser Vedas

TheYajur-Veda and theSama-Veda are the next two Vedas that we will discuss. Because they are not accorded the same level of importance as the royal Rig-Veda, some scholars see them more as appendices to the Rig-Veda than as independent writings.

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Sacred Texts

Textual tradition in Hinduism contains an almost unfathomable array of oral and written texts that include mythology, rites, philosophical speculation, devotional hymns and songs, local histories, and a plethora of other topics. Within this large collection of religious literature, there are two major kinds of religious texts: Shruti (revealed) and Smrti (hidden) (remembered). Shruti is a term that refers to the Vedas, the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads; however, some Hindus consider the Bhagavad Gita to be shruti as well.

Shruti (revealed) Smrti (remembered)
*the Vedas *vast collection of myths, epic texts, and traditions
*the Brahmanas
*the Upanishads (=Vedanta)

The Vedas serve as the cornerstone of Hinduism, serving as the bedrock upon which the whole tradition is formed, and are therefore considered sacred. Indeed, despite the fact that Hindus of various schools and sects often affiliate themselves with diverse scriptures, practically all Hindus acknowledge the legitimacy of the Vedas as the supreme authority. Four primary Vedas—the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva Veda—contain over 1,000 hymns of praise to the gods, as well as detailed instructions on how to offer sacrifices to these divine beings and a vast collection of myths.

Each Veda, in turn, is divided into four sections. The Samhita is the primary division, and it is the text of the Vedas in its original form. The Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads are all comments and elaborations on the core vedic text, whereas the Upanishads constitute a separate entity.

  1. The Rigveda has hymns (which are spoken by the head priest)
  2. The Yajurveda has formulae (which the priest recites)
  3. The Samaveda contains formulas (which the priest chants)
  4. And the Vedas include formulas (which the priest recites). In the Atharvaveda, there are tales, spells, and charms collected together.
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The Upanishads are considered to be part of the Vedas, however they are really considered to be non-vedic writings. The primary Upanishads, of which there are typically thirteen, were most likely authored between 800 and 100 B.C.E., according to conventional counting methods. The Upanishads are often seen as an extension of the Vedas in the Hindu tradition; they are sometimes referred to collectively as Vedanta, which means “complete” of the Vedas in the Hindu faith. The Upanishads, on the other hand, are adamant in their rejection of many of the Vedic concepts and practices.

In addition to this, the sages who created the Upanishads were looking for something greater—ultimate, eternal redemption.

List of “principal” Upanishads(there are over 100 others)

The name “Upanishad” comes from a Sanskrit phrase that literally translates as “to sit close.” In particular, it refers to a student who sits close to a teacher and learns directly from the teacher through questions and replies. As a result, the majority of the Upanishads contain records of such conversations, and the single most often asked question by pupils to their professors is: “What is the essence of Brahman?” This appears to be a deceptively straightforward question. On a fundamental level, the answer is also straightforward: “Everything is Brahman.” However, there is a great deal of theological intricacy hidden beneath this seemingly straightforward response.

  1. Ignorance of this essential fact is what separates the individual from the ultimate Brahman and, thus, from redemption, ormoksha (liberation).
  2. According to the Upanishad, these are nothing more than complex illusions.
  3. As a result, the Upanishads advocate for the austere path.
  4. After that, one must devote one’s time to contemplating the truth of Brahman, which begins with meditation on one’s own self, or theatman, which is fundamentally the same as Brahman.

Sacred Text

There are around 1500 to 1000 BCE when the Vedas were produced in India, and there are many hymns and other religious books in them. It contains aspects such as liturgical material, as well as mythical stories, poetry, prayers, and formulae that the Vedic religion considers to be sacred, as well as other sacred texts. (7) According to historical records, the Vedas were created around 1500 BCE when a huge group of nomads known as the Aryans, originally from central Asia, traversed the Hindu Kush Mountains on their way to settle on the Indian subcontinent.

  • Due to its religious origins, Vedic literature tends to reflect the worldview, spiritual preoccupations, and social attitudes of the Brahmans, or priestly class, of ancient India.
  • Parts of the Vedas were authored at different times throughout history, much like the Homeric epics.
  • It is thought that the entire collection was finished around the end of the second millennium BCE.
  • In the Vedic collection, theRig-Vedais the longest and most significant literature; it contains 1028 hymns and is split into ten books, which are collectively referred to asmandalas.
  • This collection of poems, which is nearly completely drawn from the Rig-Veda, is organized differently since it is intended to be read aloud as chanting.
  • The White Yajur-Veda offers explanatory commentaries on how to perform religious rituals and sacrifices.
  • The Vedas have a plethora of deities, the most of them are associated with natural phenomena like as storms, fire, and wind.
  • Some gods are referred to as the greatest god of all in the Vedas, and then another deity will be considered as the greatest god of all in the Vedas again and again.
  • This animistic and totemic worship of various spirits who lived in stones, animals, trees, rivers, mountains, and stars is believed to be the earliest known religion in India and was discovered in India before the Aryan migrations.
  • Some of these spirits were benign, while others were wicked, and the only way to control them was to have exceptional magical ability.

The Vedas include remnants of this ancient religion that have survived to this day. According to the Atharva-Veda, there are spells to get children, avert abortion, lengthen life, fend off evil, induce sleep, and damage or kill adversaries, among other things (7)

Sacred Text: The Upanishads

The Upanishads are a collection of works of religious and philosophical character that were written in India, most likely between 800 BCE and 500 BCE, during a period when Indian culture was beginning to challenge the established Vedic religious order. The Upanishads are divided into three sections: During this historical period, some people made the decision to devote their lives to the pursuit of spiritual advancement, choosing to live as austere hermits, eschewing common worldly concerns, and foregoing family life.

  • It appears that these books are making an attempt to move the emphasis of religious life away from exterior ceremonies and sacrifices and toward interior spiritual pursuits in the search for answers.
  • So the books are collections of the views and insights of prominent spiritual people from India’s past.
  • Each is a full unit in and of itself.
  • (4)

Sacred Text: Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gitais an ancient Indian scripture that has evolved into a significant work of Hindu tradition in terms of both literature and philosophy. It is considered to be the most important work of Hindu tradition. Sir Charles Wilkins published the first English translation of this text from Sanskrit in 1795 CE, which was the first time it was done. According to the Bhagavad Gita, “the song of the Lord” is the name of the book. It is written in the form of a poem, and it covers a wide range of important issues relating to Indian intellectual and spiritual culture.

  • The Bhagavad Gita is a segment of this lengthy literature that is divided into 18 small chapters and around 700 verses.
  • It is also referred to as theGita, which is an abbreviation.
  • Ascetics from all sects, as well as Jains and Buddhists, all agreed that abandoning everything behind (family, property, vocations, and so on) was the most effective way to live a meaningful life in the present.
  • Was there anything a person who did not wish to give up family and societal commitments could do to live a more ethical life?

The Gita contradicts the conventional opinion that only ascetics and monks may live a perfect spiritual life via renunciation and highlights the need of living a spiritual life that is both active and contemplative in nature.

The Plot of the Gita

According to the Gita, the story revolves on two sets of relatives who are fighting for the throne: ThePandavas and theKauravas. Due to the failure of diplomacy, the soldiers of these two clans must meet on the battlefield in order to settle the war and determine which side will ascend to the throne. This is a significant fight that takes place in Kurukshetra, often known as “the field of the Kurus,” in what is now the Indian state of Haryana. Arjuna, the famous archer and commander of the Pandavas, is a member of the Kshatriya caste, which means “the warriors of the sky” (the warrior rulers caste).

Arjuna is overcome with emotion and falls to the ground, casting aside his bow and arrows, and declaring his intention to surrender.

Krishna’s chariot driver is none other than the divinity Vishnu, who has assumed the form of the Hindu god.

This text is portrayed as a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna, who are both human and divine, a seeker and a knower, in which they discuss the nature of reality.

Hinduism – Sacred Texts And Sects

The Vedas are considered to be the earliest religious books in Hinduism. Written in Sanskrit and only orally transmitted for millennia, the oldest component of the Veda—the Rig Veda, created around 1200 B.C.E. or earlier—is also one of the first known manuscripts in the Indo-European world. It is the oldest known document in the Indo-European world. It is fully based on the execution of and hypotheses about the ancient religion of the Aryans in India, the ritual of fire sacrifice, which is the subject of the Vedas in their entirety.

  • Each of the four Vedas has a Samhita that corresponds to one of the four principal priests of the Vedic sacrifice, and each of these priests created and maintained the Samhita for ceremonial purpose.
  • Some of these recensions have survived, either in their whole or in fragments, while others have perished.
  • Ancient sages are claimed to have heard it (or a portion of it) and subsequently recounted it to other people in their time.
  • However, despite the fact that ancient India possessed a writing system by the middle of the first millennium BCE, it was only in comparatively recent times that the oral Veda was recorded in writing.
  • Whatever the reverence with which its devotees hold the other sacred writings of Hinduism, they are not officially regarded as revelations, but simply as customary or remembered scriptures, according to Hindu tradition (smriti).
  • The Vedangas, or limbs of the Veda, are the earliest of the traditional writings, and they are a collection of them.

In the Vedangas are the six sciences that are necessary to ensure the correct and exact performance of Vedic rituals: vyakarana (the study of grammar, linguistics, and philology); nirukta (etymology); chanda (the explanation and practice of verse meters); shiksha (the study of faultless pronunciation); and jyotisha (the study of astrology) (the science of astronomy and astrology).

  1. The Shrauta Sutras outline the procedures for carrying out the most complicated of these sacrifices, while the Grhya Sutras outline the procedures for carrying out the more straightforward rituals of the domestic ceremonial, which are carried out by the householder himself.
  2. Lastly, the Dharma Sutra is the final component of the Kalpa Sutra (and once again, multiple versions of these texts have been created and maintained by a number of distinct ceremonial schools) (also known as the Dharma Shastra, or Teaching, or the Dharma Smriti).
  3. Thesutraform was also chosen by the authors of numerous other great writings, including the Bible and the Koran.
  4. Approximately 200–300 C.E., Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, which are the earliest systematic description of the practice and philosophy of yoga, also known as psycho-physical discipline.
  5. early ninth century C.E.
  6. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are two of the most renowned and well-known of the Hindu texts, and they are both considered epics.
  7. and approximately 400C.E.

The Mahabharata asserts that it is divinely inspired and all-encompassing in its scope.

A number of twists and turns later, the warring forces finally meet on the battlefield for the last battle of the novel.

It is known as the Bhagavad Gita, or the Song of the Lord, and it is a dialogue of duty and faith between two soldiers, Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna—who is revealed to the reader throughout the text to be God manifested in the shape of a man.

Both of the great Hindu epics were historically performed by bards in the royal courts of monarchs, but they were also often recited or dramatically staged for the general public as religious performances and popular entertainment in ancient India.

It was in the early middle centuries of the Common Era that Sanskrit writings were created that formalized the worldviews, beliefs, and practices of the many Hindu theistic sects, and it was during this time that Sanskrit texts were composed.

These texts, which are traditionally said to cover five topics: the creation of the world, the dissolution of the world, the ages of the world, genealogies, and the history of dynasties—all of which are centered on one or more of the principal deities of sectarian Hinduism—Vishnu, Shiva, or the Goddess.

According to scholarship from the early twenty-first century, the majority, if not all, of the Puranas were composed under the auspices of one or more rulers of particular Hindu kingdoms by priests associated with the dominant sect of the region under the supervision of one or more rulers of particular Hindu kingdoms.

In addition to the Pancaratras, which consist of 108 sacred texts, there are also Samhitas (collection of hymns, verses, and chants) and Agamas; sects worshipping the god Shiva have also produced texts known as Agamas; and sects worshipping one or another form of the goddess have composed Tantras—sectarian treatises that are similar in content and purpose to the Puranas but tend to be more theological in orientation and to prescribe Unlike the literature discussed above, which was all written in Sanskrit, the sacred texts of what might be called popular Hinduism were written in one or more of the vernacular languages of South Asia, which are now extinct.

The Tamil works of the poet-saints who served as figureheads for the devotional, and often ecstatic and emotional, movements that began in South India as early as the seventh century C.E.

The devotional movement, led by the Alvars, who are devotees of Vishnu, and the Nayanmars, who are devotees of Shiva, gained popularity and spread throughout India under the leadership of both groups.

Further north Indian saints, such as Kabir (1485–1533), Caitanya (1485–1533), Surdas (1485–1563), Mirabai (sixteenth century), and others, have written poetry and songs that express the hunger for God and the ecstasy of oneness with the holy in simple yet poignant lines.

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