Hindu texts are manuscripts and historical literature related to any of the diverse traditions The Śruti refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts, believed to be eternal knowledge authored neither by human nor divine agent. List of Holy Books in Hinduism - The galaxy of Hindu literature is very vast and voluminous. Hindu sacred literature is the most ancient of the. We don't have ONE Book; we have Library. I shall for the sake of brevity just give a small sampling of the catalogue just to give you an idea of.
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Hindu religious literature is divided into two main categories: Sanskrit is the language of most canonical texts, but many subsidiary texts are written in the. Hinduism does not just have one sacred book but several scriptures. The Vedas scriptures guide Hindus in their daily life. They also help to preserve the. There are a number of scriptures and holy books in Hinduism. There is no single scripture as it is in other religions like Christianity and Islam. Vedas and.
Many scholars liken Hinduism to a family of religions, with all affiliated members bearing a family resemblance. Thus any definition of Hinduism is somewhat arbitrary and requires qualification. Shruti is canonical, consisting of revelation and unquestionable truth, and is considered eternal.
It refers mainly to the Vedas themselves. Smriti is supplementary and may change over time. It is authoritative only to the extent that it conforms to the bedrock of s hruti.
There are different opinions about the relative validity and importance of each. Some Hindus stress the foundational importance of shruti , whereas others say that in making truths accessible, smriti is more important today.
It is important to note that:. Most key texts are written in classical Sanskrit, considered the sacred language of the gods. Many subsidiary texts, particularly by medieval bhakti writers, are in local vernaculars, such as Tamil, Brajbasi, Gujarati, and Bengali.
The content of Vedic scripture is divided into three main sections, though the third one, upasana-kanda , is sometimes omitted:.
The most important books in the shruti and smriti are listed below. They are here grouped into ten categories to aid memorisation. The main texts within both shruti and smriti are explored in this section. It tells the story of Prince Rama who was sent into exile in the forest with his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshamana.
Sita was abducted by the evil demon Ravana but ultimately rescued by Prince Rama with the help of the Monkey God, Hanuman. The story is written in 24, couplets. The symbolism of the story has been widely interpreted but basically is the story of good overcoming evil. Many people have said that it is a story about dharma or duty. Believed to have been written between B. Amid the adventure of Hindu gods and heroes are found laws and regulation regarding caste, eating, idolatry, sacred places, festivals and superstitions.
There are also long didactic passages offering guidance on politics, morality, ethics and religion. Although the Ramayana and Mahabharata were written millennia ago they remain very much alive today. When a serial drama version of the Ramayana was shown on television in the late s and early s the whole country was quiet on Sunday morning as people tuned in.
The sale of television sets soared. Those that could not afford new sets gathered around windows to watch episodes.
In some places the buses stopped running so the drivers could tune in. The shows was also very popular in Pakistan. One of the most devastating bombing attacks in Karachi took place outside a television shop where people had gathered to watch the series. The work is attributed to the poet Valmiki although it was probably written by several authors and embellished over the centuries by others. The Ramayana is a cornerstone of religion and literature not only in India but in other South Asian and Southeast Asian nations as well.
It was originally written in Sanskrit but has been translated into numerous other languages. There are many variations.
The Ramayana is somewhat reminiscent of the Odyssey in its organization and plot. The stories may be based on a real life king named Rama who helped spread Hindu and Aryan ideas throughout India. Simply reading or hearing the Ramayana is said to bring about good things. All sin is washed away from those who read or hear it read. He who recites the Ramayana should have rich gifts of cows and gold.
Long shall he live who reads the Ramayana, and shall be honored, with sons and grandsons in this world and in Heaven. Sita is the heroine and the wife of Rama. She is held up as a paragon of virtue, chastity and devotion. Until Rama comes along no one is able to pull the bow which Rama is able to do with ease. Ravana is the demon king of Lanka and the chief of the raksasas demons.
He is a grotesque figure with 10 heads and 20 arms. He carries a variety of weapons in his 20 hands. Each time a head is lopped off in a battle another quickly grows to replace it. It has been said that he symbolizes lust and greed and uses his powers to disrupt the cosmic order and sanctity of women and the family.
The good guys in the Ramayana include 1 King of Ayodhya stepfather of Rama ; 2 Laksmana half-brother of Rama ; and 3 Sugriva king of the monkeys. He is considered tricky and doesn't hesitate to lie or change his appearance to get what he wants. Often time what he wants most is the approval and adoration of mankind. Early Story of the Ramayana Rama in the forest Ramayana is essentially a story of love and banishment.
It begins with the gods awakening Vishnu from a deep cosmic sleep and urging him to go to earth to rid the world of Ravana, who through a promise by Brahma can not be defeated by gods and must be defeated by a man. Vishnu descends to earth as the man Rama and woes and wins Sita, daughter of the King of Ayodhya.
He is accompanied by his brother Laksmana and the uncomplaining Sita. While in the forest the two men live like ascetics, with no complaints from Sita, and have many adventures. In one episode a raksasa kidnaps Sita. Just as it is about to devour her Rama and Laksama rescue her and slay the demon. Ravana conspires to abduct Sita with the help of Marica, who disguises himself as a golden deer to lure Rama and Laksmana away from Sita.
The demon threatens Sita with torture unless she marries him. In the meantime Rama and Laksmana go through a series of adventures and battles trying to rescue Sita. They are helped by Hanuman, who discovers where Sita is kept. Later Story of the Ramayana When Rama can not get to the island of Lanka he seeks the help of Hanuman, who summons his army of monkeys to form a bridge from India to Lanka.
The battlepitting Rama, and the armies of Hanuman and Surgriva against Ravana and the demonsis the central event of the Ramayana.
All looks doomed when Indrajit kills Rama and Laksmana and the armies of Sugriva are on the verge of defeat.
At this point Hanuman travels off to the Himalayas and brings back some magic herbs that bring Rama and Laksama back to life and revive the armies of Sugriva. In a pair of duels Laksmana manages to kill Indrajit and Rama kills Ravana king with an arrow. Rama then returns to India and is reunited with Sita after 14 years but suspects her of infidelity. Sita undergoes a trial, offers to throw herself on a funeral pyre to prove her fidelity.
The epic ends with Rama banishing innocent Sita to appease his subjects. By the time Rama realizes that she has been faithful it is too late: she has been swallowed up by the earth. The self-sacrificing Sita is regarded as model for the dutiful wife.
Written mostly at the beginning of the Christian era when Hinduism was popularized for the masses, it is composed of , couplets and is divided into 18 books. It is 15 times longer than the Bible and eight times longer than the Iliad and Odyssey combined. The Mahabharta is filled with stories of love, honor, betrayal, good deeds, evil acts, victory and defeat.
Hundreds of television program have been made from its episodes.
The conclusions of the episodes are much more morally ambiguous than in the Ramayana. There are great heros and battlefield but victories often evoke more of a sense of tragedy than celebration. The Mahabharta is somewhat reminiscent of the Iliad , with much of the action and plot related to battles and warfare.
The great war featured in the Mahabharata may be based on a real battle that took place sometime around the 13th or 14th century B. The verses were originally written in Sanskrit. Some of the richness of the poetry and resonating sounds of the original have been lost in translation.
Story in the Mahabharta The Mahabharta describes a conflict between the Pandavas and Kauravas, two related clans in the Kuri tribe in the Delhi area, in Vedic times. The 4th Veda is the Atharva Veda, which is of a later date. Rigveda is mainly composed of songs of praise. Yajurveda deals sacrificial formula. Samveda refers to melody. Atharva Veda has a large number of magic formulas. According to Swami Dayanand, who was the founder of the Arya Samaj, the Vedas were revealed millions of years ago and according to other scholars they are not more than years old.
In spite of these differences, the Vedas are considered the most authentic of the Hindu Scriptures and the real foundations of the Hindu Dharma. Therefore Upanishads means sitting down near.
Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him the sacred doctrines. The number of Upanishads exceeds though the Indian tradition puts it at There are 10 principal Upanishads however some consider them to be more than 10, while others state that there are Literally, Vedanta means the end of the Veda, Vedasya-antah, the conclusion as well as the goal of Vedas.
The Upanishads are the concluding portions of the Vedas and chronologically they come at the end of the Vedic period.