Oct.22, '99 ęCopyright V. Krishnamurthy

Beach 2:á First Steps in the Ascent to the Divine
Wave 5:á Ancient Scriptures of Hinduism

SRUTI (= The vedas)
Rg-veda -ááá
Branches: sAkala; sAnkhAyana
yajur-veda -
Branches: taittirIya; maitrAyaNIya; kaNva; mAdhyandina
sama-veda -
Branches: rANAyaNIya; jaiminIya; kauthuma
atharva-veda -
Branches: saunaka; pippalAda

Upanishad portion of
Sruti

AraNyaka portion of Sruti

Mantra portion of Sruti

The ten major Upanishads:
Isa
Kena
Katha
Prasna
Mundaka
Mandukya
Aitareya
Taittiriya
Chandogya
Brihadaranyaka
Otherá Important Upanishads
Svetasvatara
Maitri
Kausitiki
Nrisimha-purva-tapini
Kaivalya
Amrita-bindu


There areá 108 Upanishads known

SmRti
(Yajnavalkya smRti;
Parasara smrti;
Manu smRti;
etc.)

SmRtiáá Itihasaáááá Puranaááááá Agamaááááá Darsana
(All these derive their authority from the Sruti)
See separate boxes for each

Purana
There are 18 major puranas. There are also 18 subsidiary puranas.

Agama
(
Vaishnava agama;
Pancaratra agama;
Saiva agama;
Sakta agama;
etc.)

Itihasa
Ramayana of Valmiki
and
Mahabharata of Vyasa

These three constitute what may be called the bedrock of Popular Hinduism. They provide such a secure foundationá to the lay Hindu that millions of people live and die as convinced Hindus without ever having had even a passing acquaintance with the vedas or Upanishads, or the smRti, or the intellectual excursions of the darSanas.

Darsana
(School of Thought)

nyAyaá as originally propounded ináá Gautama sUtras
vaiSeshika asá in Kanadaá sUtras
sAnkhya asá ináá Kapila sUtras
yoga as in -- Patanjali sUtras
pUrva mImAmsa as iná Jaimini sUtras
vedAnta as in brahma-sUtras of Badarayana Vyasa

In addition to all the above, there are six vedAngas (limbs of the vedas):
sIkshA ;ááá vyAkaraNaM;áááá chandas;ááááá niruktam;ááááááááá jyotishaM ;áááááááááá kalpaMá
(Phonetics)ááááááá (Grammar)ááááááá (Meter)ááááááááá (Etymology)ááá (Astronomy & Astrology)ááá (Ceremonials)

Then there are the four upavedas ( subsidiary vedas):
Ayur-vedaááááááááááááááááááá artha-SAstraáááááááááááááááááááááá dhanur-vedaáááááááááá gAndharva-veda
(Science of Medicine)ááááá (Science of Politics & Finance)ááááá (Science of Warfare)ááá (Science of Music)

On this page we have been talking everywhereá only of scriptures in the Sanskrit language. Besides the translations of these scriptures, several Indian languages have their own original works in the respective languages, with definite authorships and dates. Some of these also have the status of scriptures, in the sense they are recited just for the sake of religious merit. Examples are: nAlAyira prabandham;
tevAraM; tiruvAchagaM
; all in Tamil
jnAneSvari (in Marathi); and
rAmcarit-mAnas (in Awadhi) .

HOMEááá áááá CONTENTSá ááááá