- List of Hindu scriptures
The following is a bibliography of Hindu scriptures and texts.
Hinduismis based on "the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times." [ Complete Works of Swami VivekanandaVol III. 118-120; Vol. I. 6-7.] The scriptures were transmitted orally, in verse form to aid memorization, for many centuries before they were written down. [Sargeant, Winthrop, Introduction to "The Bhagavad Gita" at 3 (New York, 1984) ISBN 0-87395-831-4] Swami Nikhilananda, "The Upanishads: A New Translation" Vol. I, at 3 (5th Ed. 1990) ISBN 0-911206-15-9] While many of these texts are in Sanskrit, several others have been composed in, or translated into other Indian languages.
The main purpose of this list is to give a very brief description of Hindu scriptures or related concepts and guide the reader to the relevant article on wikipedia. The article also lists religious scholars who have translated or written commentaries on Hindu scriptures.
*Agama - important "
smriti" scriptures. Different denominations understand this term in different ways.
Atharva Veda: one of the four Vedas; the last one
*IAST|Bhagavad Gītā ( _sa. भगवद् गीता) : The national gospel contained in Mahābhārata, Part of the
epic poem Mahabharata, located in the " Bhishma- Parva" chapters 23–40. A core sacred text of Hinduismand philosophy.
Brahmana- one of the parts into which the Vedasare divided
Brahma Sutras- important texts in Advaita Vedanta
Devi Mahatmyaalso known as Durgā Saptashatī - 700 verses from Mārkandeya Puranagiving an account of the Glory of Devi, the Goddess, the most important text of Shaktism– sometimes referred to as the "Shakta Bible"
Devi Bhagavata- One of the Puranaswhich is one of the most important writings in Shaktism.
Divya Prabandha- Collection of 4000 verses in Tamil; sung by Alvarssaints on Vishnu. Considered as DravidaVeda.
Gheranda Samhita( _sa. धेरंड संहिता): One of the three classic texts of Hatha Yoga(see also: Hatha Yoga Pradipikaand the Shiva Samhita) written in the late 17th century CE.
*IAST|Gītā ( _sa. गीता): See
Hatha Yoga Pradipika: is one of the fundamental text of Hatha Yogaincluding information about asanas, pranayama, chakras, kundalini, bandhas, kriyas, shakti, nadis and mudras. It was written by Swami Swatmarama in the 15th century CE.
Hindu scripture: Sacred texts of Hinduism mostly written in Sanskrit. Hindu scripture is divided into two categories: "Śruti" – that which is heard (i.e. revelation) and " Smriti" – that which is remembered (i.e. tradition, not revelation).
Itihasas- in Hindu religious context this term refers to the " Mahabharata" and the " Ramayana" but may also be used in reference to all kinds of Indian epic poetry
*IAST|Jātaka ( _sa. जातक): The Jataka is a voluminous body of folklore and mythic literature, primarily associated with the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as written in the Pali language (from about the 3rd century, C.E.); The story of Rama is told in one of Jātakas.
*IAST|Mahābhārata ( _sa. महाभारत): One of the two major ancient
Sanskritepics of India, the other being the " Ramayana". The "Mahabharata" is of religious and philosophical importance in India; in particular, the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of its chapters ("Bhishmaparva") and a sacred text of Hinduism.
Manu Smriti( _sa. मनुस्मृति) : The Manusmriti translated Laws of Manu is regarded as an important work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society. Manu was the forefather of all humans and author of Manu Smriti. Certain historians believe it to have been written down around 200 C.E. under the reign of Pushymitra Sunga of Sangha clan, who is alleged to have persecuted many Buddhists, to regulate a code of conduct consolidating Hinduism.
*IAST|Purāṇa ( _sa. पुराण): Purana meaning "ancient" or "old" is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as distinct from oral literature). Its general themes are history, tradition and religion. It is usually written in the form of stories related by one person to another.
*IAST|Rāmāyaṇa ( _sa. रामायण): Part of the Hindu
smriti, written by Valmiki. This epic of 24,000 verses in seven "kandas" (chapters or books) tells of a Raghuvamsaprince, Ramaof Ayodhya, whose wife Sitais abducted by the rakshasa Ravana.
*IAST|Ṝgveda ( _sa. ऋग्वेद): The Rigveda is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted as the holiest of the four religious texts of Hindus, known as the
Sahasranama- a book containing a list of names of deities
Sama Veda- one of the four Vedas
Shiva Samhita: is one of the three classical treatises on Hatha Yoga(see also: Gheranda Samhitaand Hatha Yoga Pradipika) written by an unknown author. The text is addressed by the Hindu god Shivato his consort Parvati.
Smriti- Hindu scriptures other than the Vedas(e.g. the Itihasas, the Puranas)
*IAST|Sūtra ( _sa. सूत्र): Sūtra refers to an aphorism or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a book or text. 'Sutras' form a school of Vedic study, related to and somewhat later than the
Shikshapatri- Written by Lord Swaminarayan.
Tantras( _sa. तंत्र): The esoteric Hindu traditions of rituals and yoga. Tantra can be summarised as a family of voluntary rituals modeled on those of the Vedas, together with their attendant texts and lineages.
Tevaram- an important Saivite scripture
Divya Prabandha- an important Vaishnavite scripture
Tirukkural- an important " smriti" scripture in South India
Upanishad( _sa. उपनिषद्): Part of the Hindu "Śruti" scriptures which primarily discuss meditationand philosophy, seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism.
Veda( _sa. वेद): Collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are considered by adherents of Hinduismto be "revealed" knowledge. Many Hindus believe the Vedas existed since the beginning of creation.
*IAST|Yajurveda ( _sa. यजुर्वेदः): One of the four
Vedas, focusing on liturgy, rituals and sacrifices.
Yoga Sutra( _sa. योग सूत्र): One of the six darshanas of Hindu or Vedic schools and, alongside the Bhagavad Gitaand Hatha Yoga Pradipika, are a milestone in the history of Yoga.
Commentators and scholars
Madhvacharya( Kannada: _ka. ಶ್ರೀ ಮಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯರು): The chief proponent of Tattvavāda (True Philosophy), popularly known as Dvaitaor dualistic school of Hindu philosophy. He wrote several commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita.
Vallabhacarya: A non-dualist devotional philosopher.
* IAST|Rāmānuja ( _sa. रामानुज): A Tamil
theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete, Ramanuja was a leading expounder of expounder of Viśiṣṭādvaita (one of the classical interpretations of the Vedantaschool of Hindu philosophy), in his writings.
Valmiki: author of the Ramayana
Veda Vyasa( _sa. वेद व्यास): author of the Mahabharata.
Pathanjali: author of the Yoga Sutrasand the Mahabhashya
Madhva- a south Indian theologian philosopher, founder of Dvaita Vedantaphilosophical school
Badarayana- author of the Brahma Sutras(Vedanta Sutras), founder of Vedantaphilosophy
Gaudapada- early Vedanta philosopher
To Know about Hinduism and its scriptures please log on to
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.