List of Hindu scriptures
Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Agamas, Bhagavata Purana and Yajnavalkya Smriti
Sanskrit is the language of original Hindu scriptures and centuries back people used Sanskrit as language of every one and over period of time its derivatives have come and they became popular like Hindi, Telugu and other languages. All Indian languages are mostly derivative of Sanskrit and it is practiced by few scholars only now.
All the Hindu scriptures are translated in to various Indian and world languages for ease of understanding and following.
There are two historic classifications of Hindu texts:
- Shruti – that which is heard includes 4 Vedas which are not authored: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. Each Veda has been sub-classified into four major text types – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic-sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (text discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge).
- Smriti – that which is remembered tets that are attributed to an author – Vedangas, Hindu Epics, Sutras and Shastras, Ithihasas, Epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata etc., Darshanas Hindu philosophies, Puranas, Kavyas, Bhashyas, Nibandhas (digests) covering politics, ethics, culture, arts and society
Many texts were composed in Sanskrit and some in regional Indian languages.
The Hindu texts were composed orally, then memorized and transmitted orally, from one generation to next, for more than millennia before they were written down into manuscripts. This verbal tradition of preserving and transmitting Hindu texts, from one generation to next, continued into the modern era.
Vedas to be apauruṣheya, which means “not of a man, superhuman” and ” impersonal, authorless”. The Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations, some way or other the work of the Deity. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma.
The Upanishads also referred as ‘Vedanta’ are a collection of Hindu texts which contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism.
Upanishads interpreted “the object, the highest purpose of the Veda”. The concepts of Brahman (Ultimate Reality) and Ātman (Soul, Self) are central ideas in all the Upanishads, and “Know your Ātman” their thematic focus. The Upanishads are the foundation of Hindu philosophical thought and its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishads have had a lasting influence on Hindu philosophy.
- More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first 12 are the oldest and important
The Bhagavad Gita
- 700–verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata.
- This scripture contains a conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Krishna on a variety of philosophical issues.
- The Puranas covers myths, legends and other traditional lore.
- 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas with over 400,000 verses.
- The Puranas do not enjoy the authority of a scripture in Hinduism,
The Tevaram – Shaivite hymns
- The Tevaram is a body of hymns by three Shaivite composers.
Divya Prabandha – Vaishnavite hymns
- The Nalayira Divya Prabandha is a divine collection of 4,000 verses composed by the 12 Alvars, and was compiled in its present form by Nathamuni. The Alvars sung these songs at various sacred shrines known as the Divya Desams.
- Divya Prabhandha is considered as equal to the Vedas, hence the epithet Dravida Veda.
Sanaskrit is also called as language of Gods and Learn Sanskrit to understand the original texts on your own.