List of historic Indian texts
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Each collection represents a set of books that are collectively known by the collection's name. In the list of books (shown below the table of collections), each book also refers to the collection it belongs to (if it does).
|Vedas||Sacred hymns, which are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. There are four Vedas, and these constitute the Hindu canon.||Samhita||1500-500 BCE|
|Shakhas||Vedic school. Each school taught a Veda in a specific way, over time evolving specific styles and emphasis, based on how / by whom / where it was taught.|
|Brahmanas||Commentary and elaboration on vedas and description of religious procedures.||1000-800 BCE|
|Upanishads||Philosophy in response to Vedas and Brahmanas.||800-600 BCE|
|Vedanta||Later commentary on the Vedas, Brahmanas and Upanishads.|
|Itihasas||Ramayana and Mahabharata are known as the itihasas (‘once upon a time’).|
|Pali Canon||Essential collections of teachings of Buddha, as written by his followers, three centuries later.||Tipitaka|
|Puranas||Historic texts (usually about a royal lineage) - written by court-appointed historians. Usually contrasted with historical descriptions in vedas, brahmanas, etc., that are written by priests.|
|Dharmasastra||Collection and description of laws (man-made and natural).|
- Subject Area - subject area of the book
- Topic - topic (within the subject area).
- Collection - belongs to a collection listed in the table above
- Date - date (year) book was written
- Reign of - king/ruler in whose reign this book was written (occasionally a book could span reigns).
- Reign Age - extent of the reign
- Geographic Region - as it was known at the time of writing