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Hindu Scriptures




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Hindu Books > Introduction And References > Essence of Hinduism > Hindu Scriptures

Essence Of Hinduism Introduction



The authoritative sources of Hinduism are divided into two classes: -

  1. The Sruti
  2. The Smrti.


The Sruti is the primary authority and the Smrti is the secondary authority. Sruti literally means what is heard. Great Rsis are said to have heard the eternal truths of religion and to have left a record of them for the benefit of others. These records are called the Vedas. We have four Vedas :
  1. The Rig - Veda
  2. The Yajur Veda
  3. The Sama Veda
  4. The Atharvana Veda.


Each Veda consists mainly of three parts: -
  1. The Mantras or hymns
  2. The Brahmanas or explanations of mantras and rituals and
  3. The Upanishads or mystical utterances revealing profound spiritual truths.


Of these the Upanishads are the most important. They form the foundations of Hinduism. The most important upanisads are Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Chandogya and Brhadaranyaka. These are supremely authoritative. And, as they come at the end of the Veda, the teaching that is based on them is called Vedanta.

Author : S.D.Sarma




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