are manuscripts and historical literature related to any of the diverse traditions within Hinduism
. A few texts are shared resources across these traditions and broadly considered as Hindu scriptures. These include the Vedas
and the Upanishads
. Scholars hesitate in defining the term "Hindu scripture" given the diverse nature of Hinduism
, many include Bhagavad Gita
as Hindu scriptures, while Dominic Goodall includes Bhagavata Purana
and Yajnavalkya Smriti
to the list of Hindu scriptures.
There are hundreds of thousands of scripture, literature, plays, dramas, musical and various other scientific and artistic book before 1000 C.E. That's why it is considered that before the invention of Printing press in Germany, Hindu texts were more abundant than any other civilization for millennia.
There are two historic classifications of Hindu
– that which is heard, and Smriti
– that which is remembered. The Shruti
refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts
, believed to be eternal knowledge authored neither by human nor divine agent but transmitted by sages (rishis
). These comprise the central canon of Hinduism
. It includes the four Vedas
including its four types of embedded texts - the Samhitas
, the Brahmanas
, the Aranyakas
and the early Upanishads
. Of the Shrutis
(Vedic corpus), the Upanishads alone are widely influential among Hindus, considered scriptures par excellence of Hinduism, and their central ideas have continued to influence its thoughts and traditions.
texts are a specific body of Hindu
texts attributed to an author, as a derivative work they are considered less authoritative than Shruti
in Hinduism. The Smriti literature is a vast corpus of diverse texts, and includes but is not limited to Vedāngas
, the Hindu epics, the Sutras and Shastras
, the texts of Hindu philosophies
, the Puranas
, the Kāvya or poetical literature, the Bhasyas
, and numerous Nibandhas
(digests) covering politics, ethics, culture, arts and society.
Many ancient and medieval Hindu texts were composed in Sanskrit
, many others in regional Indian languages. In modern times, most ancient texts have been translated into other Indian languages
and some in Western languages. Prior to the start of the common era, the Hindu texts were composed orally, then memorized and transmitted orally, from one generation to next, for more than a 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. Read more...