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HINDU
SCRIPTURES
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Categorization
Hindu scriptures can be broadly categorized into
two
Śruti - revealed – applies to Vedas and related
literature
Smṛti - remembered – applies to all non-vedic
religious literature
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Śruti: From śru
V e d a – F r o m r o o t v i d t o k n o w – C o m p o s e d i n a n c i e n t a r c h a i c S a n s k r i t - A p a u r u ṣ e y a
– F o u r C a t e g o r i e s – b a s e d o n t h e m e t e r i t i s c h a n t e d
– Ṛ k : - Ṛ c a s m e t e r
– O l d e s t w i t h 1 0 , 6 0 0 v e r s e s d i v i d e d i n t o 1 , 0 2 8 h y m s
– S ā m a : C h a n t i n g S o n g s – S ā m a n m e t e r
– 1 5 4 9 s t a n za s
– Y a j u ḥ - f o r p e r f o r m i n g s a c r i f i c e s - Y a j u ṣ m e t e r
– W h i t e : A r r a n g e d
– B l a c k : U n a r r a n g e d
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA.
"Hindu Scriptures - an
overvie w " by Rajendrak um ar dABEE, Mahatm a
Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Atharva – Atharva and Aṅgirasa
– Atharva – Atharva and Aṅgirasa
– 760 hymns
– Later accepted
– Contains magic rituals
– Last three trace much of their material to the Ṛg Veda
– Sometimes the denotation 5th Veda is used for some texts
– Four Sections
– Based on Content
– Mantra – verses or Saṁhitā – collection of mantras and sūktas
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Sections of the Vedas
– Brāhmaṇa – Ritualistic liturgy
– Āraṅyaka – – Symbolism behind Rituals
– Upaniṣad – – Philosophy and Spirituality
– Later classified as
– Work/Ritual portion or Karma Kāṅḍa
– Knowledge portion or Jñāna Kāṇḍa
– Upaveda: applied knowledge/Secondary Vedas
– Āyurveda - medicine
– Dhanurveda - archery
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-ND.
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Upavedas
– Gandharvaveda – music and sacred dance
– Sthāpatyaveda – architecture
– Arthaśāstra
Vedāṅga : Literally “Limbs of the Vedas”
– Sikṣā: phonetics/phonology – science of correct articulation of Vedic
recitations taking into consideration the letters, accent, stress, melody,
intonations and rules of euphonic combination of words
– Vyākaraṇa: grammar to understand the exact meaning of the words
– Chanda: Prosody – study of poetic meter based on number of syllables
per verse and morae per verse
– Nirukta: Etymology – explanation of words that are old
– Jyotiṣa: Science that studies movement of heavenly bodies
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
" H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r
d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d
u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
Ritualistic texts
– Kalpa Ritualistic methodology
– Śrauta: From Śruti – For rituals
– Śulba – Mathematics and geometrics
– Smārta: From Smṛti
– Gṛhya – Household Rituals – Saṁskāras
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
" H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i
I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
Smṛti – from smar – to remember
Manu – Laws of Manu
Yajñavalkya
Parāśara
Itihāsa - History
– Rāmāyaṇa – Kāvya or poetry
– Mahābhārata – History and Genealogy
– Bhagavadgītā – The Lord’s Song
Purāṇa – ancient/old – myths, legends, other traditional lore –
named after major Hindu deities – deals with cosmogony,
cosmology, genealogies of gods, goddesses, kings, heroes,
sages, and demigods, folk tales, pilgrimages, temples,
medicine, astronomy, grammar, mineralogy, humor, love
stories, as well as theology and philosophy – 400,000 verses
– Five Characteristics
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
" H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s
l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
Purāṇa
Smṛti – from smar – to remember
– Sarga: cosmogony
– Pratisarga: cosmogony and cosmology
– Vamśa: genealogy of the gods, sages
and kings
– Manvañtara: cosmic cycles, history of
the world during the time of one patriarch
– Vaṁśānucaritam: legends during the
times of various kings
– A few Purāṇas, such as the most
popular Bhāgavata Purāṇa, add five more
characteristics to expand this list to ten
– Utaya: karmic links between the
deities, sages, kings and the various
living beings
– Īśānukatha: tales about a god
– Nirodha: finale, cessation
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA.
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Purāṇa
– Mukti: moksha, spiritual liberation
– Āśraya: refuge
– Mahāpurāṇa – 18:Agni, Bhāgavata, Brahma, Brahmānda,
Brahmvaivarta, Garuḍa, Kūrma, Liṅga, Mākandeya, Matsya,
Nārada, Padma, Śiva, Skanda, Vāmana, Varāha, Vāyu and
Viṣṇu
– Skanda: largest: 81000 verses
– Variously classified
– according to deity
– according to Guṅas – sattva, Rajas and Tamas
– Upapurāṇa: also 18
– Other Upapurāṇas
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
" H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n
o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r
d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i
I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d
u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
Darśana
Smṛti – from smar – to remember
– Sthula-Tamil Śiva Temples
Darśana
– Nyāya - Gautama
– Vaiśeṣika - Kaṇāda
– Sāṅkhya - Kapila
– Yoga - Patañjali
– Mīmāṁsā
– Purva Mīmāṁsā - Jaimini
– Uttara Mīmāṁsā or Vedānta - Bādarāyaṇa
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC.
" H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s
l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
Śāstra
Smṛti – from smar – to remember
– Dvaita - Madhva
– Advaita - Śaṅkara
– Viśiṣṭādvaita - Rāmānuja
Śāstra: Science - based on the four goals of life
– Dharma – religious, social, personal ethics - includes smṛti
– Artha – economics, politics and law – Chanakya’s Arthaśāstra,
Kamandakiya Nitisāra, Vidura niti, etc
– Kāma – Vātsyāyana Kāma-sūtra, Ratirahasya, Jayamangala,
Ananga Ranga, etc
– Mokṣa – nature and process of liberation or release form
Saṁsāra - later Upaniṣads, Philsophical texts, Bhagavadgītā
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA.
Āgamas
Āgama - devotional texts – ‘that
which has come down’ as
Tradition – not necessarily Vedic
or Smṛti
Vaiśnava – 277 Āgamas
Śaiva – 28 Āgamas
Śākta – aka Tantras – 64 Āgamas
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.
"Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar
dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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An overview of the various scriptures in Hinduism

  • 1. HINDU SCRIPTURES "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 2. Categorization Hindu scriptures can be broadly categorized into two Śruti - revealed – applies to Vedas and related literature Smṛti - remembered – applies to all non-vedic religious literature "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 3. Śruti: From śru V e d a – F r o m r o o t v i d t o k n o w – C o m p o s e d i n a n c i e n t a r c h a i c S a n s k r i t - A p a u r u ṣ e y a – F o u r C a t e g o r i e s – b a s e d o n t h e m e t e r i t i s c h a n t e d – Ṛ k : - Ṛ c a s m e t e r – O l d e s t w i t h 1 0 , 6 0 0 v e r s e s d i v i d e d i n t o 1 , 0 2 8 h y m s – S ā m a : C h a n t i n g S o n g s – S ā m a n m e t e r – 1 5 4 9 s t a n za s – Y a j u ḥ - f o r p e r f o r m i n g s a c r i f i c e s - Y a j u ṣ m e t e r – W h i t e : A r r a n g e d – B l a c k : U n a r r a n g e d This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA. "Hindu Scriptures - an overvie w " by Rajendrak um ar dABEE, Mahatm a Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 4. Atharva – Atharva and Aṅgirasa – Atharva – Atharva and Aṅgirasa – 760 hymns – Later accepted – Contains magic rituals – Last three trace much of their material to the Ṛg Veda – Sometimes the denotation 5th Veda is used for some texts – Four Sections – Based on Content – Mantra – verses or Saṁhitā – collection of mantras and sūktas This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 5. Sections of the Vedas – Brāhmaṇa – Ritualistic liturgy – Āraṅyaka – – Symbolism behind Rituals – Upaniṣad – – Philosophy and Spirituality – Later classified as – Work/Ritual portion or Karma Kāṅḍa – Knowledge portion or Jñāna Kāṇḍa – Upaveda: applied knowledge/Secondary Vedas – Āyurveda - medicine – Dhanurveda - archery This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-ND. "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 6. Upavedas – Gandharvaveda – music and sacred dance – Sthāpatyaveda – architecture – Arthaśāstra Vedāṅga : Literally “Limbs of the Vedas” – Sikṣā: phonetics/phonology – science of correct articulation of Vedic recitations taking into consideration the letters, accent, stress, melody, intonations and rules of euphonic combination of words – Vyākaraṇa: grammar to understand the exact meaning of the words – Chanda: Prosody – study of poetic meter based on number of syllables per verse and morae per verse – Nirukta: Etymology – explanation of words that are old – Jyotiṣa: Science that studies movement of heavenly bodies This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. " H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
  • 7. Ritualistic texts – Kalpa Ritualistic methodology – Śrauta: From Śruti – For rituals – Śulba – Mathematics and geometrics – Smārta: From Smṛti – Gṛhya – Household Rituals – Saṁskāras This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. " H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
  • 8. Smṛti – from smar – to remember Manu – Laws of Manu Yajñavalkya Parāśara Itihāsa - History – Rāmāyaṇa – Kāvya or poetry – Mahābhārata – History and Genealogy – Bhagavadgītā – The Lord’s Song Purāṇa – ancient/old – myths, legends, other traditional lore – named after major Hindu deities – deals with cosmogony, cosmology, genealogies of gods, goddesses, kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, folk tales, pilgrimages, temples, medicine, astronomy, grammar, mineralogy, humor, love stories, as well as theology and philosophy – 400,000 verses – Five Characteristics This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. " H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
  • 9. Purāṇa Smṛti – from smar – to remember – Sarga: cosmogony – Pratisarga: cosmogony and cosmology – Vamśa: genealogy of the gods, sages and kings – Manvañtara: cosmic cycles, history of the world during the time of one patriarch – Vaṁśānucaritam: legends during the times of various kings – A few Purāṇas, such as the most popular Bhāgavata Purāṇa, add five more characteristics to expand this list to ten – Utaya: karmic links between the deities, sages, kings and the various living beings – Īśānukatha: tales about a god – Nirodha: finale, cessation This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA. "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • 10. Purāṇa – Mukti: moksha, spiritual liberation – Āśraya: refuge – Mahāpurāṇa – 18:Agni, Bhāgavata, Brahma, Brahmānda, Brahmvaivarta, Garuḍa, Kūrma, Liṅga, Mākandeya, Matsya, Nārada, Padma, Śiva, Skanda, Vāmana, Varāha, Vāyu and Viṣṇu – Skanda: largest: 81000 verses – Variously classified – according to deity – according to Guṅas – sattva, Rajas and Tamas – Upapurāṇa: also 18 – Other Upapurāṇas This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. " H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
  • 11. Darśana Smṛti – from smar – to remember – Sthula-Tamil Śiva Temples Darśana – Nyāya - Gautama – Vaiśeṣika - Kaṇāda – Sāṅkhya - Kapila – Yoga - Patañjali – Mīmāṁsā – Purva Mīmāṁsā - Jaimini – Uttara Mīmāṁsā or Vedānta - Bādarāyaṇa This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC. " H i n d u S c r i p t u r e s - a n o v e r v i e w " b y R a j e n d r a k u m a r d A B E E , M a h a t m a G a n d h i I n s t i t u t e i s l i c e n s e d u n d e r C C B Y - S A 4 . 0
  • 12. Śāstra Smṛti – from smar – to remember – Dvaita - Madhva – Advaita - Śaṅkara – Viśiṣṭādvaita - Rāmānuja Śāstra: Science - based on the four goals of life – Dharma – religious, social, personal ethics - includes smṛti – Artha – economics, politics and law – Chanakya’s Arthaśāstra, Kamandakiya Nitisāra, Vidura niti, etc – Kāma – Vātsyāyana Kāma-sūtra, Ratirahasya, Jayamangala, Ananga Ranga, etc – Mokṣa – nature and process of liberation or release form Saṁsāra - later Upaniṣads, Philsophical texts, Bhagavadgītā This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA.
  • 13. Āgamas Āgama - devotional texts – ‘that which has come down’ as Tradition – not necessarily Vedic or Smṛti Vaiśnava – 277 Āgamas Śaiva – 28 Āgamas Śākta – aka Tantras – 64 Āgamas This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. This Photo by Unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. "Hindu Scriptures - an overview" by Rajendrakumar dABEE, Mahatma Gandhi Institute is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0