The Holy Books Of Hinduism

Faith Mysticism

oi-Anwesha

| Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 22:30 [IST]

Hinduism is not really a religion. It is more like a way of life. Hinduism is neither monotheistic nor restricted to one religious scripture. That is why there are many holy books in Hinduism. Unlike Christianity or Islam, it is a not a religion that is governed by the book. The Holy books in Hinduism are there only for guidance. The religious scriptures are not followed word to word.

However, the holy books in Hinduism are the basis on which we have evolved our culture and way of living. The following are the most sacred holy books in Hinduism.

Holy Books

Vedas

The Vedas are the oldest religious scriptures available to us. There are four vedas namely Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Vedic literature was composed by the knowledgeable ‘pandits’ or Brahmins of that era.

Puranas

The Puranas are holy books of Hinduism that date back to Gupta Empire in ancient India. However, the Puranas are supposed to be complied by Muni Vyasa. These texts are glorious tales of the Hindu trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Shiva).

Unpanishads

The Upanishads are also called as Vedantas or the end of the Vedas. They are a wide range of philosophical texts that are written as epilogues to the vedas. The 200 or more Upanishads tell us how to attain Nirvana and the ultimate truth hidden in the Universe.

Ramayana

Technically, the Ramayana is a Hindu epic, not really a scripture. But due to centuries of re-telling, the Ramayana has acquired a demi-religious status. Moreover Lord Rama is an avatar of Vishnu and Ramayana the glorious story Ram’s journey in the mortal world.

Mahabharata

Just like the Ramayana, Mahabharata is also a Hindu epic. But the ancient epics had a lot of divine intervention of Lord Krishna (also an avatar of Vishnu) who plays a key role in this story. The Mahabharata is also the epic battle during which the Bhagwad Gita was inscribed.

Bhagwad Gita

For many Hindus, whatever is written in the Bhagwad Gita is an eternal truth. It comprises of the advice and teaching that Krishna gave to his friend Arjun just before the battle of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata. The Gita is kept in every Hindu household and has shlokas that tell you how to live your life fruitfully.

Devi Mahatmya

Hinduism is considered a pagan religion because it worships God in the female form. The Devi in Hinduism is single entity who was created with cumulative power of the Gods. That is why Devi who is known by different names like Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and so on is the most powerful divine being. The Devi Mahatmya sings the glories of Devi Durga and her victory over Mahishasura. It is usually sung as verses on Mahalaya, the first day of the Navratri.

These are the holy books of Hinduism that govern the tenets of life and religion.

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