How many Hindu holy books are there

Holy Scriptures Hinduism

Holy Scriptures Hinduism Hinduism is one of the great world religions. Hinduism has many hundreds of millions of followers. However, it is not a monolithic religion in which all people believe the same thing.

Sacred Scriptures Hinduism - Explained from a Yoga Point of View

The 4 most important holy scriptures

There are many scriptures in Hinduism. While it cannot be said that Hinduism is the same for everyone, it can be said that there are four important scriptures for most Hindus. These are:

  • The Vedas, which are also called Shruti are designated
  • The Smritis, the legal texts, the rules for everyday life
  • The Puranaswho have favourited stories of God in his various incarnations
  • And the so-called Itihasas, the great epics.

The Vedas

The Vedas are the oldest scriptures in Hinduism. You are especially adored. In the Vedas, the most important thing is sound vibration. Very few Indians have read the Vedas. The Vedas contain fewer everyday recommendations, but rather listen to their recitations. Brahmin learning how to recite the Vedas. When listening to the recitation of the Vedas, one is deeply touched spiritually. Some parts of the Vedas are nowadays also often viewed as an aid for everyday life. There is, for example, the Upanishads as the last part of the Vedas, which is particularly important in the Yoga Vedanta direction. But there are also other parts of the Vedas that are used to promise help in everyday life.

The smritis

The second group of scriptures in Hinduism are the Smritis. The Smritis contain practical rules for everyday life. They give recommendations on how to get up, when to get up, what to do after getting up, how to behave, how to talk to each other, how to pursue a profession, who to marry, how to get married, how to perform rituals and much more. The smritis are very diverse. The best known are the Manu Smritis and the Yajnavalkya Smriti, which describe how to live a religious life in everyday life. Ethical, but also practical and spiritual recommendations are given. The Smritis have a relatively old age. Many modern yoga masters say that you have to transfer the Smritis to our times and complement them from today's point of view.

The Puranas

Sacred Scriptures Hinduism - Explained from a Yoga Point of View

The Puranas are seen as the most extensive sacred scriptures in Hinduism. The Puranas are the stories of God and his incarnations. The Puranas have certain similarities with the Bible, which also contains a story about God, Jesus and his disciples. So describe the Puranas divine incarnation in this world and what God taught in it. There are many Puranas. It is often said that there are 18 major puranas and then there are minor puranas. Different subgroups of Hinduism find different Puranas to be of different importance. For the Vaishnavas, the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavata Purana are particularly important, the stories about Vishnu and his incarnations. For the Shaivas, of course, the Shiva Puranas are particularly important. There are various other Puranas and depending on the subgrouping, different Puranas are particularly relevant as holy scriptures. So the Puranas are stories that go to the heart, stories that make the work of God particularly clear to one and then give instructions that are spiritually inspiring.

The Itihasas, or epics

Itihasas are often referred to as epics. In particular, Ramayana and Mahabharata are known as Itihasas. It is about heroic stories of heroes who tried to live an ethical life, got into ethical conflicts. There is a lot of drama, struggle and love involved. One also likes to say about the Mahabharata: What is not in the Mahabharata does not exist. In particular, all human and interpersonal situations, conflicts and challenges are all described in the Mahabharata epic. The epics not only contain fascinating dramas, but also lectures. The essence of spirituality then lies in these discourses. In the Mahabharata, for example, there is the Bhagavad Gita - perhaps the most important scripture in Hinduism, especially among the Vaishnavas. Thus, in the Mahabharata, Vishnu's discourse to Vistara and many other things are told.

More writings from other traditions

In this sense, these are the most important scriptures and each sub-group in Hinduism has its own scriptures. For example, Brahma Sutra and the discourses of Shankaracharya are also holy scriptures in the Vedanta direction. In the Hatha Yoga direction, the four Hatha Yoga scriptures are particularly important. The Vaishnavas also have certain agamas (revelation texts), as do the Shaivas and Shaktas. Probably Hinduism is the religious tradition with the most extensive holy scriptures there is. But it is said that for most Hindus the four scriptures, the Shrutis (the Vedas), Smriti, Purana and Itihasa, are sacred.

Video Holy Scriptures Hinduism

You can find a lecture video on the topic here Holy Scriptures Hinduism :

Author / speaker: Sukadev Bretz, founder of Yoga Vidya, seminar leader on the topics of yoga and meditation.

Holy Scriptures Hinduism Audio Lecture

Here is the audio track of the video above Holy Scriptures Hinduism:

See also

Other interesting lectures and articles on the topic

If you are interested in holy scriptures Hinduism, then you might also be interested in articles and lectures on the subjects of holy scripture, sacred sounds, healing silence, holy place, sanctuary, healing meditation.

Hindu ritual seminars

07/14/2021 - 07/14/2021 - Maha-Samadhi Swami Sivananda
Maha-Samadhi by Swami Sivananda - festive ceremony with puja, mantra chanting and meditation. Everything is free. Donation welcome.
07/14/2021 - 07/14/2021 - Maha-Samadhi Swami Sivananda
Maha-Samadhi by Swami Sivananda - festive ceremony with puja, mantra chanting and meditation. Everything is free. Donation welcome.
07/14/2021 - 07/14/2021 - Maha-Samadhi Swami Sivananda
Maha-Samadhi by Swami Sivananda - festive ceremony with puja, mantra chanting and meditation. Everything is free. Donation welcome.
07/14/2021 - 07/14/2021 - Maha-Samadhi Swami Sivananda
Maha-Samadhi by Swami Sivananda - festive ceremony with puja, mantra chanting and meditation. Everything is free. Donation welcome.
07/23/2021 - 07/25/2021 - Rituals for the deceased
Give strength to our ancestors with rituals so that they can ascend into the next higher worlds full of light. We ourselves experience consolation and acceptance through it. We can also use it to our ...
08/01/2021 - 08/06/2021 - Yoga holiday week - Bhakti, Homa and Puja with Swami Nivedanananda
This week we have Swami Nivedanananda as our guest. During this week he will perform touching Indian rituals and recite powerful classical Veda mantras. You get deep insight ...