List of Hindu scriptures

List of Hindu scriptures

The following is a bibliography of Hindu scriptures and texts. Hinduism is based on "the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times." [ Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Vol 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.

*IAST|Āraṇyaka ( _sa. आरण्यक) : Part of the Hindu Śruti that discuss philosophy, sacrifice and the New Year holiday.

*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 Hinduism and philosophy.
*Brahmana - one of the parts into which the Vedas are divided
*Brahma Sutras - important texts in Advaita Vedanta



*Devi Mahatmya also known as Durgā Saptashatī - 700 verses from Mārkandeya Purana giving 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 Puranas which is one of the most important writings in Shaktism.
*Divya Prabandha - Collection of 4000 verses in Tamil; sung by Alvars saints on Vishnu. Considered as Dravida Veda.




*Gheranda Samhita ( _sa. धेरंड संहिता): One of the three classic texts of Hatha Yoga (see also: Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita) written in the late 17th century CE.
*IAST|Gītā ( _sa. गीता): See Bhagwad Gita


*Hatha Yoga Pradipika: is one of the fundamental text of Hatha Yoga including 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 Sanskrit epics 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 Raghuvamsa prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita is 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 Vedas.

*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 Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika) written by an unknown author. The text is addressed by the Hindu god Shiva to his consort Parvati.

*Smriti - Hindu scriptures other than the Vedas (e.g. the Itihasas, the Puranas)

*IAST|Śruti ( _sa. श्रुति): A canon of Hindu scriptures. Shruti is believed to have no author; rather a divine recording of the "cosmic sounds of truth", heard by rishis.

*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 Upanishads.

*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 meditation and 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 Hinduism to 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 Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika, are a milestone in the history of Yoga.


Commentators and scholars

*Adi Shankara ( _sa. आदि शङ्कर) : The first Hindu philosopher who consolidated the principles of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy in his writings.

*Madhvacharya (Kannada: _ka. ಶ್ರೀ ಮಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯರು): The chief proponent of Tattvavāda (True Philosophy), popularly known as Dvaita or 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 Vedanta school 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 Sutras and the Mahabhashya

*Madhva - a south Indian theologian philosopher, founder of Dvaita Vedanta philosophical school

*Badarayana - author of the Brahma Sutras (Vedanta Sutras), founder of Vedanta philosophy

*Gaudapada - early Vedanta philosopher


Further reading

See also

External links

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