How many Hinduism holy books are there ?

Discussion in 'Hindu Holy Books' started by ajay rana, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. ajay rana

    ajay rana New Member

    There are innumerable number of religious books in Hinduism as it is incredibly vast faith with great diversity However the beauty of Hinduism can be seen in Vedanta.
    keeping aside my thought we have 4 Vedas, 108 Upanishads apart form this the epic of Mahabaratha and Ramayana.
    other holy books include Puranas, Itihasas, Agamas and Darshanas.Bhagavad Gita is one of the main holy book of Hindu philosophy.
    There are many more holy books written by enlightened souls(saints or rishi's) in Hinduism.
  2. ajay

    ajay New Member

    here is complete list in graphical form

    the list. some are still to be added. its a 1000s of year old culture. not an easy task to collect them all at one place.

    Agama – important smriti scriptures. Different denominations understand this term in different ways.
    • Āraṇyaka (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
    • Akilathirattu Ammanai: A 19th century Tamil Vaishnavite text and the primary scripture of Ayyavazhi sect.

    • Bhagavad Gītā (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.[4]
    • Bhagavata Purana – one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, and is Sanskrit for "The Book of God".
    • Brahmana – one of the parts into which the Vedas are divided
    • Brahma Sutras – important texts in Advaita Vedanta

    • Chandas – (छंदः), the study of Vedic meter, is one of the six Vedanga disciplines, or "organs of the vedas.
    • Chandogya Upanishad – is associated with the Samaveda. It figures as number 9 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. It is part of the Chandogya Brahmana, which has ten chapters.
    • "'Code of Manu"' – is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism

    • 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 (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.
    • Gītā (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

    • Kamba Ramayanam (கம்ப இராமாயணம்): 12th century Tamil version of Ramayana.

    • Mahābhārata (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 (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.

    The Nalayira Divya Prabandham (Tamil: நாலாயிர திவ்ய பிரபந்தம்) is a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses (Naalayira in Tamil means 'four thousand') composed before 8th century AD,[1] by the 12 Alvars, and was compiled in its present form by Nathamuni during the 9th – 10th centuries. The work is the beginning of the canonization of the 12 Vaishnava poet saints, and these hymns are still sung extensively even today. The works were lost before they were collected and organized in the form of an anthology by Nathamuni.

    • Purāṇa (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.

    • Rāmāyaṇa (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.
    • Ṝgveda (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.
    • Rudrayamala Tantra

    • 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.
    • Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta – a collection of seventy seven aphorisms that form the foundation of Kashmir Shaivism.
    • Smriti – Hindu scriptures other than the Vedas (e.g. the Itihasas, the Puranas)
    • Śruti (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.
    • Sūtra (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.
    • Swara yoga: An ancient science of pranic body rhythms. It explores how prana can be controlled through the breath.

    • Tantras (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 Tamil Saivite scripture
    • Tirukkural – an important smriti scripture in South India
    • Tirumantiram – an important Tamil Saivite work of religious poerty.

    • Upanishad (उपनिषद्): Part of the Hindu Śruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy, seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism.

    • Veda (वेद): Collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be Śruti or revealed knowledge.
    • Vijnana Bhairava Tantra – a teaching where Bhairavi (Parvati) asks Bhairava (Lord Shiva) to reveal the essence of the way one has to tread on the path to the realization of the highest reality – the state of Bhairava.

    • Yajurveda (यजुर्वेदः): One of the four Vedas, focusing on liturgy, rituals and sacrifices.
    • Yoga Sutra (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.
    • Yoga Vasistha, the discourse of sage Vasistha to prince Rama. It is an important text of Yoga as well as Advaita Vedanta. The book consists of around thirty thousand slokas as well as numerous short stories and anecdotes.

    Commentators and scholars
    • Adi Shankara (आदि शङ्कर) : A Hindu philosopher who consolidated the principles of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy in his writings.
    • Madhvacharya (Kannada: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.
    • Rāmānuja (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 (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: an early Vedanta philosopher
    • Swami Vivekananda: A Philosopher well known for the dissemination of Vedanta and Yoga. This works have been published as The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.
    • Kumārila Bhaṭṭa: (कुमारिल भट्ट): Philosopher and Mimamsa scholar. He is famous for many of his seminal theses on Mimamsa, such as Mimamsaslokavarttika. Bhatta was an staunch believer in the supreme validity of Vedic injunction, a great champion of Purva-Mimamsa and a confirmed ritualist.
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  3. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    That has to be one of the most complete lists of texts I have ever seen. As you say, different sects put varying importance on them. It would be nice to see a breakdown of that too. Most likely it exists somewhere.
  4. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    This thread reminds me of our vastness. Very often we encounter others from outside Hinduism who think it's fairly simple ... all Hindus basically believe the same way, etc. Yes there are some key components common to all, like moksha, dharma, and reincarnation.

    But there are many varied sectarian differences too - so much that sometimes it's barely recognisable as the same religion. Here are a few examples:

    Temples - they come in all shapes, sizes, architectural designs, from massive 40 acres large, to simple roadside shrines, probably about 20 deities worshiped a lot.
    Languages - some 20 languages with over a million people, each with their own cultural attributes like food, dance, and clothing.
    God - we have polytheists, monotheists, atheists, soft monotheists, henothists, and more.
    Nature of reality - Dualism , monism, pluralism ...
    Scripture - see the list in post 1

    But even from within Hinduism, many don't recognise this, and when outside of the version that they themselves were born with and practice, feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar. No Hindu can accurately speak for all Hindus. But this is also one of our strengths - the ability to encompass so much.

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