Welcome to Sacred Texts of Hinduism
Read all Sacred Texts of Hinduism in one place WITHOUT any clutter or AD or any distractions online anytime anywhere on any device FREE. Read the single BOOK in single PAGE in single CLICK with details hiding inside. If are happy to go in details, the links are next to it, you can go immediately. Our motto is to aggregate all texts of Hinduism in a single hosting site! We, at Wara KarmaYoga, are trying to assemble all the Sacred Texts of Hinduism in one place for easy read. Our aim is to make it easy to grasp for ordinary individuals, so that anyone with a little interest in the literature of Hinduism can start with least possible confusions. Since Hinduism has vast literature, which make the beginners' life very difficult to start. We know, if we can help you cross the initial hurdle, you will become a scholar one day and will find happiness in this vast literature. Good wishes to you in your endeavour!
Where to Start?
If you are new to Hindu Philosophy and do not know where to start,
then here is our suggestions.
Follow these steps:
- Read this article and start from the basics of Hindu literature.
- Understand the Classifications of Sacred Texts of Hinduism, i.e. Shruti (Vedas / Upanishads) and Smriti (Vedangas, Itihasas, Puranas, Shastra, Darshanas, Agamas, Kavya/ Upaveda/ etc).
- Understand the concept of Purushartha - the object of human pursuit
- Understand the ultimate goal of human being - the concept of Moksha (enlightenment, liberation).
- Understand the Yoga or Path to achieve Moksha - you have 3 paths: JyanYoga, BhaktiYoga, KarmaYoga. Sometime you will heard another, i.e. RajaYoga (JyanYoga + KarmaYoga). Everyone will have mix of these Yogas.
- Read Srimad Bhagavat Gita.
- If you like stories, you can read Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas.
- Now get basics of 6 Philosophical School of Hinduism. Choose one you like. If you have nothing, Choose Vedanta (Advaita) philosophy.
- Now read the commentaries of the Sutra of that philosophy. In case of Vedanta, it is Brahma Sutra.
- Now read sacred texts related only to your chosen philosophy. Don't mix with other philosophies, if you do, you will be totally confused. Because each philosophy has different meaning of Moksha and Paths to achieve that.
- After getting some clues on your chosen philosophy, start reading 13 main Upanishads.
- You may not understand in first reading, so don't worry, you will get it after some time.
- Now, go in detail on anything in Hinduism which interest you.
Basics of Hinduism
Hinduism has developed in a world where there has always been intense, creative religious
inquiry, which necessarily gives rise to a number of different myths and rituals. Hindus
of any faction grew up in close interaction with Hindus of many other beliefs and practices.
Hindus have also had from the time of the Rig Veda a conviction that there are always many
answers to any question. So, Hinduism has a treasure trove of multiple sacred texts.
Hindu texts are manuscripts and voluminous historical literature related to any of the
diverse traditions within Hinduism. .
Some basic info:
- Hinduism does not have a single sacred book like 'Quran' or 'Bible'.
- But for your easy understand, you can assume that the Vedas and Srimad Bhagavat Gita are the most respected texts in Hinduism.
- There is no Prophet like Jesus or Mohammed. Hinduism does not have any founder. It was developed over the time with the contributions of multiple Rishis and systematic studies started before 4000 BCE.
- Hinduism does not have multiple God, it believes in Single God or even does not have a God! It will be clear to you when you start studying 6 schools of Indian philosophy.
- You can find lots of Idol worships, but that is not God, it is media to reach God.
- Although there are some caste discrimination, but it is not like you think! It is not that important in your understanding of Hinduism.
- Hinduism embraces many religious ideas. For this reason, it’s sometimes referred to as a “way of life” or a “family of religions,” as opposed to a single, organized religion.
- Hindus believe in the doctrines of samsara (the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation) and karma (the universal law of cause and effect)
- One of the key thoughts of Hinduism is “atman,” or the belief in soul. This philosophy holds that living creatures have a soul, and they’re all part of the supreme soul. The goal is to achieve “moksha,” or salvation, which ends the cycle of rebirths to become part of the absolute soul.
- Hinduism is closely related to other Indian religions, including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
Shruti or Shruthi in Sanskrit means "that which is heard" and refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism. It includes the 4 Vedas including its four types of embedded texts— (1) the Samhitas, (2) the Brahmanas, (3) the Aranyakas and (4) the early Upanishads. Shruti have been variously described as a revelation through anubhava (direct experience), or of primordial origins realized by ancient Rishis. In Hindu tradition, they have been referred to as apauruṣeya (not created by humans). All 6 orthodox schools of Hinduism accept the authority of Shruti.
Smriti, (Sanskrit- “Recollection”) is the class of Hindu sacred literature based on human memory, as distinct from the Vedas. Smriti literature elaborates, interprets, and codifies Vedic thought but, being derivative, is considered less authoritative than the Vedic Shruti. Most modern Hindus, however, have a greater familiarity with Smriti scriptures. The Smrti literature is a corpus of diverse varied texts. This corpus includes, but is not limited to (1) the Vedāngas, (2) Itihasas (3) Puranas, (4) Purusharta Shastras, (5) Darshan Sutras, (6) Agamas/ Tanras and (7) UpaVeda/ Kavya/ Nibandh.
The Vedas ("knowledge") are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. These are part of Shruti Literature. The Vedas have been orally transmitted since the time immemorial with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques.
Rikveda (1 of 4 Vedas)
The Rigveda Samhita predominantly discuss cosmology and praise deities. It also deal with philosophical or speculative questions, virtues such as dāna (charity) in society, questions about the origin of the universe and the nature of the divine, and other metaphysical issues in their hymns. Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations (such as weddings) and prayers, making it probably the world's oldest religious text in continued use. Among 1028 Suktas of the Rigveda Samhita some suktas are very popular and frequently referred by the readers of Vedas. Some of them are- Purusha Sukta, Hiranya-garbha Sukta, Dhana-anna-dana Sukta, Aksha Sukta, Nasadiya Sukta, Duhsvapna-nashna Sukta, Yama-yami-samvada Sukta. Besides this, there are Suktas offered to different deities, such as, Indra, Marut, Varuna, Ushas, Surya, Bhumi, Soma, Agni etc.Learn More...
Yajurveda (2 of 4 Vedas)
The Yajurveda is the Veda primarily of prose mantras for worship rituals. The Yajurveda is broadly grouped into two – the "black" or "dark" (Krishna) Yajurveda and the "white" or "bright" (Shukla) Yajurveda. The term "black" implies "the un-arranged, unclear, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" which implies the "well arranged, clear" Yajurveda. We find detailed description of sacrifices in the Samhita of Yajurveda. The Vajasaneyi-Samhita gives a vivid description of many important sacrifices such as – Darsha-purnamasa, Agnihotra, Somayaga, Chaturmasya, Agnihotra, Vajapeya, Ashvamedha, Sarva-medha, Brahma-yajya, Pitrimedha, Sautramani, and so on. For a general idea the contents can be divided into three sections. The first section comprises the Darshapurnamasa, the second section deals with the Somayaga and the third section comprises the Agnicayanas. The last section of the Vajasaneyi-Samhita contains the popular Ishavasya-Upanishad.Learn More...
Samaveda (3 of 4 Vedas)
The Samaveda (from sāman "song"), is the Veda of melodies and chants. It is a liturgical text which consists of 1,549 verses. All but 75 verses have been taken from the Rigveda. It is "the Rigveda set to music". It is a fusion of older melodies (sāman) and the Rig verses. It has far fewer verses than Rigveda, but Samaveda is textually larger because it lists all the chant- and rituals-related score modifications of the verses. The Samaveda text contains notated melodies, and these are probably the world's oldest surviving ones. The musical notation is written usually immediately above, sometimes within, the line of Samaveda text, either in syllabic or a numerical form depending on the Samavedic Sakha (school).Learn More...
Atharvaveda (4 of 4 Vedas)
The Atharva Veda is the "knowledge storehouse of atharvāṇas, the procedures for everyday life". The hymns of Atharvaveda cover a motley of topics, across its twenty books. Roughly, the first seven books focus primarily on magical poems for all sorts of healing and sorcery. Books 8 to 12 are speculations of a variety of topics, while Books 13 to 18 tend to be about life cycle rites of passage rituals. The Atharvaveda is looked upon as the Veda of varied knowledge. It contains numerous Mantras, which according to their subject-matter, can be broadly divided into three categories- (1) Related to the cure of diseases and destruction of adverse forces. (2) Related to establish peace, protection, health, wealth, friendship and long life. and (3) Related to the nature of Supreme Reality, time, death and immortality.Learn More...
Each Veda has 4 subdivisions. The first 2 parts, the Samhitas and the Brahmans deals primarily with mantra and rituals; and are called the Karma kanda, meant for appeasing the gods for one’s necessities and desires, and for helping purify the mind. The last 2 parts, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads and are called the Jnana kanda, meaning they contain knowledge meant for introspection and contemplation.
Samhitas (1 of 4 Parts)
Samhita literally means "put together, joined, union", a "collection", and "a methodically, rule-based combination of text or verses". Samhita also refers to the most ancient layer of text in the Vedas, consisting of mantras, hymns, prayers, litanies and benedictions. Parts of Vedic Samhitas constitute the oldest living part of Hindu tradition.
Brahmanas (2 of 4 Parts)
The Brahmanas are Vedic śruti works attached to the Samhitas (hymns and mantras) of the Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas. They are a secondary layer or classification of Sanskrit texts embedded within each Veda, often explain and instruct Brahmins on the performance of Vedic rituals (in which the related Samhitas are recited).
Aranyakas (3 of 4 Parts)
The Aranyakas constitutes the philosophy behind ritual sacrifice of the ancient Hindu sacred texts, the Vedas. They typically represent the later sections of Vedas, and are one of many layers of the Vedic texts. Aranyakas describe and discuss rituals from various perspectives, but some include philosophical speculations.
Upanishads (4 of 4 Parts)
The Upanishads deal with meditation, philosophy, and ontological knowledge. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hinduism.
Show/Hide Books on: VEDAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Rikveda Samhita
- Aitareya Brahmana
- Kaushitaki / Sankhayana Brahmana
- Aitareya Aranyaka
- Kaushitaki/ Shankhayana Aranyaka
- Aitareya Upanishad
- Kaushitaki Upanishad
- Yajurveda Samhita
- Satapatha Brahmana (Shukla Yajurveda)
- Taittiriya Brahmana (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Brihadaranyaka (Shukla Yajurveda)
- Taittiriya Aranyaka (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Maitrayaniya Aranyaka (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Shukla-Yajurveda)
- Isha Upanishad (Shukla-Yajurveda)
- Taittiriya Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Katha Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Shvetashvatara Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Maitrayaniya Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda)
- Samaveda Samhita
- Tandya Brahmana
- Shadvinsha Brahmana
- Samavidhana Brahmana
- Arsheya Brahmana
- Daivata/ Devatadhyaya Brahmana
- Upanishad Brahmana
- Samhitopanishad Brahmana
- Vamsha Brahmana
- Jaiminiya Brahmana
- JaiminiyaAsheya Brahmana
- Jaiminiyopanishad Brahmana
- Talavakara or Jaiminiya-Upanshad Aranyaka
- Chandogya Aranyaka
- Chandogya Upanishad
- Kena Upanishad
According to the Muktikopanishad, there are 108 Upanishads. Although only 13 Upanishads are of great importance or Mukhya Upanishads. The adjective mukhya means "principal", "chief", or "primary". The Mukhya Upanishads are accepted as śruti by all Hindus, or the most important scriptures of Hinduism.
13 of those are called Mukhya Upanishads.
Isha Upanisad (Shukla-Yajurveda) (1 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The principle it follows throughout is the uncompromising reconciliation of uncompromising extremes. Later thought took one series of terms, — the World, Enjoyment, Action, the Many, Birth, the Ignorance, and gave them a more and more secondary position, exalting the opposite series, God, Renunciation, Quietism, the One, Cessation of Birth, the Knowledge, until this trend of thought culminated in Illusionism and the idea of existence in the world as a snare and a meaningless burden imposed inexplicably on the soul by itself, which must be cast aside as soon as possible. It ended in a violent cutting of the knot of the great enigma.Learn More...
Kena Upanisad (Samaveda) (2 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
‘Keneshitam’ or by whom is this directed to and the inevitable answer is that the directive is to ‘Manas’ or the Mind by the Outstanding Instructor Parameshvara Himself. What is the purport and message of the Instruction:- the contents of the Teaching are two folded viz. the Paraa Vidya and Aparaa Vidya. The former Knowledge is intended to ‘Sadyo Mukti’ or of the short term Liberation and Aparaa Vidya aims at Superior Learning to accomplish ‘Krama Mukti’. The Paraa Vidya seeks to overcome desires by of withdrawal of Mind from the pulls and pressures of material desires by way of abstinence and Sacrifices, Charities and such other ‘Karma Kaanda’ or KarmaYoga, while Aparaa Vidya necessarily involves elevated levels of ‘Atma Samskaara’ or purification of mind and focus on Innner Consciousness by the demolition of of the thick blanket of Ignorance and by way of ‘Samyak Drishti’ or Inward Vision as reflected into unification with the Supreme, leading up to the ladder of Krama Mukti.Learn More...
Kaṭha Upanisad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (3 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama (the Hindu deity of death). Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, Atman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation). When Nachiketas arrives at the Realm of Death, Yama is absent for three days and three nights. When Yama returns, the God of Death decides that, because he has been absent, and because this has been a breach of hospitality, he will make amends by offering to grant the boy three wishes. Nachiketas’ first wish is to return to his father, and to be accepted and welcomed by him. Yama grants this wish. Nachiketas’ second wish is to learn the secret of the sacred fire which leads to heaven. Yama also grants this wish. Nachiketas’ third wish is to know whether or not the Spirit continues to exist after death. Yama tells him that there are two paths, a path of wisdom and a path of ignorance. The path of wisdom leads to the Self, to Atman. The path of ignorance leads to the pursuit of only worldly pleasures. Yama says that the Self, Atman, is the inner being of all beings. Atman is the individual Self, Brahman is the universal Self. Yama tells Nachiketas that the Self is indescribable and indefinable. The pure consciousness which is the Self is eternal and all-knowing. The Self dwells in the mind and the body, but does not begin with birth or end with death. The Self is beginningless and endless. The Self is changeless, and omnipresent. The syllable Om is the symbol of the Self, of Brahman, of ultimate reality. Brahman is present in all being. It is the One in the many.Learn More...
Praṣna Upanisad (Atharvaveda) (4 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Prashna Upanishad is composed by 6 chapters, each containing one question (prasna) asked from Pippalada Rishi by one of his disciples Sukesha, Satyakama, Gargya, Kousalya, Bhargava and Kabandhi. The Six Questions which were ably replied to are about Creation of Universe and Methodology of Realisation; Prime Supports of Life and Praana; Origin and Destination of Mortal Life; From here to whither to!; Dream Control-mind or Soul!; Om- gateway to better life and beyond; and Shodasha Kalaas and Self like salt in water! The Prashnopanishad is an explanation of the mantras of Mundaka Upanishad covering Six Questions and Replies. The First three Questions are related to the extensive and intensive aspects of Rites and Meditation as also the fruits, even to the consequent surfeit and perhaps of repugnance. The Fourth Question elaborates the conceptualisation of ‘Brahma Tatva’ while the Fifth Question deals with the methodology of achievement and the Sixth One is the Climactic Realisation of the Enlightenment.Learn More...
Muṇḍaka Upanisad (Atharvaveda) (5 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Mundaka Upanishad is a collection of philosophical poems used to teach meditation and spiritual knowledge regarding the true nature of Brahman and the Self (Atman). It contains the teachings of Angira Rishi to Saunaka, regarding the two types of knowledge - the lower type about the material universe, and the higher knowledge about the transcendental Brahman, that cannot be described or perceived by the senses, the mind or intellect. The Mundaka Upanishad contains three Mundakams (parts), each with two sections. The first Mundakam defines the science of "Higher Knowledge" and "Lower Knowledge", and then asserts that acts of oblations and pious gifts are foolish, and do nothing to reduce unhappiness in current life or next, rather it is knowledge that frees. The second Mundakam describes the nature of the Brahman, the Self, the relation between the empirical world and the Brahman, and the path to know Brahman. The third Mundakam expands the ideas in the second Mundakam and then asserts that the state of knowing Brahman is one of freedom, fearlessness, complete liberation, self-sufficiency and bliss.Learn More...
Māṇḍūkya Upanisad (Atharvaveda) (6 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The shortest of all, consists of only 12 verses explaining the passage of the living being through the states of wakefulness (Vaisvanara), dream (Taijasa), deep sleep (Prajna) and in transcendental consciousness (Turiya) in which it is possible to realize the Self. The Mandukya Upanishad is an important Upanishad in Hinduism, particularly to its Advaita Vedanta school. It tersely presents several central doctrines, namely that "the universe is Brahman," "the self (soul, atman) exists and is Brahman," and "the four states of consciousness". The Mandukya Upanishad also presents several theories about the syllable Aum. It asserts that Aum is Brahman, which is the Whole, and that Brahman is this self (ātman). Here we find the maha vakya considered as the essence of the Atharva Veda:- ayam atma brahma, "Atman and Brahman are the same". The text of this Upanishad is often accompanied by the elaboration by Gaudapada entitled Mandukya karika.Learn More...
Taittirīya Upanisad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (7 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
After an invocation to Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Indra, Brihaspati and Vishnu Trivikrama, the first verse addresses Vayu as the direct manifestation of Brahman, Dharma and Satya, asking for his protection. "Knowledge (vijnana) is the fundamental ingredient of sacrifice (yajna) and the performance of one's duties (karmani). It is in knowledge that the Devas meditate on Brahman; by knowing it without misunderstandings all the negative reactions are destroyed and one fully enjoys all good things. The Self (Atman) is part of the Ancient and remains in it through knowledge even when it incarnates in a body. The inner Self is constituted by pure happiness (ananda)." (2.5.1) The Taittiriya Upanishad says that the highest goal is to know the Brahman, for that is truth. It is divided into three sections, 1) the Siksha Valli, 2) the Brahmananda Valli and 3) the Bhrigu Valli. The Siksha Valli deals with the discipline of Shiksha (which is the first of the six Vedangas or "limbs" or auxiliaries of the Vedas), that is, the study of phonetics and pronunciation. The Brahmananda Valli teaches about Brahman and tries to define it as "Truth, Omniscient, and Infinite". The Bhrigu Valli describes how son of Varuna (The Water God) Bhrigu obtained realization of Brahman through repeated Tapas under his fathers guidance.Learn More...
Aitareya Upanisad (Rigveda) (8 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Aitareya Upanishad is part of the Aitareya Aranyaka in the Rig Veda. It comprises the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka. It explains the inner or symbolic meaning of the sacrifice rituals described in the previous chapters of the Aranyaka. Particularly famous is the maha vakya ("great aphorism") prajnanam brahma (3.3), "Brahman is perfect knowledge", considered the essence of the Rig Veda. Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes:- first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman (Soul, Universal Self); second, the theory that the Atman undergoes threefold birth; third, that Consciousness is the essence of Atman.Learn More...
Chāndogya Upanisad (Samaveda) (9 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Chandogya Upanishad comprises the last eight chapters of a ten chapter Chandogya Brahmana text of Sama Veda. It is the longest of the Upanishads, describing ritual sacrifices. It contains (6.8.7) the maha vakya considered the essence of Sama Veda:- tat tvam asi, "you are That (Brahman)". It narrates the famous story of Satyakama Jabala, a boy son of a maidservant, who was recognized as brahmana due to the sense of truthfulness he had demonstrated. Within the text we also find many explanations on Vedic symbolism, especially in regard to the fire sacrifice and the mantras in relation to the life energy in the human body and in the senses, and in relation to the Sun. The text illustrates meditation on sound and prana and their identity with the Sun, that is svara and pratyasvara ("coming and going", i.e. cyclic) and states that the realization of the Pranava Omkara, its subtle manifestation, awards immortality. The text offers the conversation between Svetaketu and his father Uddalaka Aruni, rich with teachings and practical examples to understand the nature of Brahman- Atman. It teaches than only brahmacharya ("behaving as Brahman") enables one to realize Brahman, and that the difference between Devas and Asuras is that Asuras identify with the material body and consider it the true self.Learn More...
Brihadaranyaka Upanisad (Shukla-Yajurveda) (10 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is considered as the fourteen Kanda of the Shatapatha Brahmana, which is itself a part of the Shukla Yajur Veda. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is a treatise on Ātman (Soul, Self), includes passages on metaphysics, ethics and a yearning for knowledge that influenced various Indian religions, ancient and medieval scholars, and attracted secondary works such as those by Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya. Here (1.3.28) we find the famous verse asato ma sad gamaya, tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, mrityor ma amritam gamaya, "from what is temporary lead me to what is eternal, from the darkness lead me to the light, from death lead me to eternal life." This quote constitutes the refrain (adhyaroha) of the stutis called Pavamana. At verse 1.4.10 we find the famous maha vakya considered the essence of the Yajur Veda:- aham brahmasmi, "I am Brahman". It begins with the explanation of the meaning of the Vedic sacrifice, and states that Vac (the creative word, the Logos) is the origin of the universe. Then it explains Dharma (the ethical law), the four varnas (social categories) and the nature of prana (life energy). The second adhyaya continues by speaking of the nature of Brahman and Atman, the third speaks of the process of death and the destination of the living being after death, and the nature of Antaryami (the Supreme Soul in every being's heart). We also find the description of the three states of awareness, and the explanation of reincarnation and the symbolism of Gayatri mantra.Learn More...
Śvetāśvatara Upanisad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (11 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad contains 6 short chapters with philosophical explanations on Atman, Brahman, Paramatma, and Prakriti. The text begins with the questions:- "What is the cause (of the existence of the universe)? What is Brahman? From where are we coming (before birth)? Why do we live? What is our final destination?" It then develops its answer, concluding that "the Universal Soul exists in every individual, it expresses itself in every creature, everything in the world is a projection of it, and that there is Oneness, a unity of souls in one and only Self". The text is notable for its discussion of the concept of personal god – Ishvara, and suggesting it to be a path to one's own Highest Self.Learn More...
Kauṣītaki Upanisad (Rikveda) (12 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
The Kaushitaki Upanishad is contained inside the Kaushitaki Aranyaka of the Rigveda. It is also known as Kaushitaki Brahmana Upanishad. The Kaushitaki Upanishad contains the conversation between the king Chitra Gargyayani, the Rishi Kausitaki and his son Svetaketu about reincarnation, the attainment of the heavenly planets and Brahman. The Kausitaki Upanishad asserts that Atman (Soul) is existent, and that one's life is affected by karma. It states that one doesn't need to pray, when one realizes and understands his true nature as identical with the universe, the Brahman. It states that Freedom and liberation comes from "Knowledge and Action" only. In last chapter of Kausitaki Upanishad states that Brahman and Self are one, there is ultimate unity in the Self, which is the creative, pervasive, supreme and universal in each living being.Learn More...
Maitrāyaṇīya Upanisad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (13 of 13 Mukhya Upanishads)
In few words, 'He is the Self, this is the immortal, the fearless, this is Brahman,' is the gist of the whole Upanishad. Its main subject is a dialogue said to have been held between King Brihadratha and the sage Sakayanya, who relates the divine science of Brahman as it had been delivered to him by the sage Maitri or Maitreya, the son of Mitra. In the sequel of the discourse he relates a dialogue held in olden time between the deities called the Valakhilyas and the Prajapati Kratu. This inserted dialogue would seem to have originally ended with the fourth chapter, but in the present recension it is continued to the 29th, section of the sixth chapter. Maitri's own discourse ends in the 30th section of the same chapter ; but the Upanishad itself continues the subject in a very similar manner to the end of the seventh chapter.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: UPANISHADS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Isha Upanishad (Shukla-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Kena Upanishad (Samaveda)
- Katha Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Prashna Upanishad (Atharvaveda)
- Mundaka Upanishad (Atharvaveda)
- Mandukya Upanishad (Atharvaveda)
- Taittiriya Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Aitareya Upanishad (Rikveda)
- Chandogya Upanishad (Samaveda)
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Shukla-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Shvetashvatara Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Kaushitaki Upanishad (Rikveda)
- Maitrayaniya Upanishad (Krishna-Yajurveda) (Yajurveda)
- Aitareya Upanishad
- Atmabodha Upanishad
- Kaushitaki Upanishad
- Mudgala Upanishad
- Nirvana Upanishad
- Nadabindu Upanishad
- Akshamaya Upanishad
- Tripura Upanishad
- Bahvruka Upanishad
- Saubhagyalakshmi Upanishad
- Katha Upanishad
- Taittiriya Upanishad
- Isavasya Upanishad
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
- Akshi Upanishad
- Ekakshara Upanishad
- Garbha Upanishad
- Prnagnihotra Upanishad
- Svetasvatara Upanishad
- Sariraka Upanishad
- Sukarahasya Upanishad
- Skanda Upanishad
- Sarvasara Upanishad
- Adhyatma Upanishad
- Niralamba Upanishad
- Paingala Upanishad
- Mantrika Upanishad
- Muktika Upanishad
- Subala Upanishad
- Avadhuta Upanishad
- Katharudra Upanishad
- Brahma Upanishad
- Jabala Upanishad
- Turiyatita Upanishad
- Paramahamsa Upanishad
- Bhikshuka Upanishad
- Yajnavalkya Upanishad
- Satyayani Upanishad
- Amrtanada Upanishad
- Amrtabindu Upanishad
- Kshurika Upanishad
- Tejobindu Upanishad
- Dhyanabindu Upanishad
- Brahmavidya Upanishad
- Yogakundalini Upanishad
- Yogatattva Upanishad
- Yogasikha Upanishad
- Varaha Upanishad
- Advayataraka Upanishad
- Trisikhibrahmana Upanishad
- mandalabrahmana Upanishad
- Hamsa Upanishad
- Kalisantaraaa Upanishad
- Narayana Upanishad
- Tarasara Upanishad
- Kalagnirudra Upanishad
- Dakshinamurti Upanishad
- Pancabrahma Upanishad
- Rudrahrdaya Upanishad
- SarasvatIrahasya Upanishad
- Kena Upanishad
- Chandogya Upanishad
- Mahat Upanishad
- Maitrayani Upanishad
- Vajrasuci Upanishad
- Savitri Upanishad
- Aruneya Upanishad
- Kundika Upanishad
- Maitreyi Upanishad
- Samnyasa Upanishad
- Jabaladarsana Upanishad
- Yogachudamani Upanishad
- Avyakta Upanishad
- Vasudeva Upanishad
- Jabali Upanishad
- Rudrakshajabala Upanishad
- Prasna Upanishad
- Mandukya Upanishad
- Mundaka Upanishad
- Atma Upanishad
- Surya Upanishad
- Narada-Parivrajakas Upanishad
- Parabrahma Upanishad
- Paramahamsa-Parivrajakas Upanishad
- Pasupatha-Brahma Upanishad
- Mahavakya Upanishad
- Sandilya Upanishad
- Krishna Upanishad
- Garuda Upanishad
- Gopalatapani Upanishad
- Tripadavibhuti-mahnarayana Upanishad
- Dattatreya Upanishad
- Kaivalya Upanishad
- Nrsimhatapani Upanishad
- Ramatapani Upanishad
- Ramarahasya Upanishad
- HayagrIva Upanishad
- Atharvasikha Upanishad
- Atharvasira Upanishad
- Ganapati Upanishad
- Brhajjabala Upanishad
- Bhasmajabala Upanishad
- Sarabha Upanishad
- Annapurna Upanishad
- Tripuratapani Upanishad
- Devi Upanishad
- Bhavana Upanishad
- Sita Upanishad
The Vedangas are the last treatises of the Vedic Literature. There are 6 Vedangas. These are part of Smriti Literature. The oldest record of their names occurs in the Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.5) where they are named as- (1) Shiksha or phonetics or pronunciation, (2) Kalpa or ritual, (3) Vyakarana or grammar, (4) Nirukta or etymology, (5) Chandas or meter and (6) Jyotisha or astronomy.
Shiksha (1 of 6 Vedangas)
Shiksha really means instruction- then in particular ‘instruction in reciting’ i.e., in correct pronunciation, accentuation etc. of the Samhita texts. Later, it was a name given to works containing rules regarding the proper pronunciation of Vedic texts. Thus, the Shiksha-Sutras are treatises on phonetics. They are related to the Samhita and, therefore, are almost as old as the Kalpa-Sutras. Shiksha lays down the rules of phonetics – sounds of syllables, of pronunciation. The function of the Shiksha is thus to fix the parameters of Vedic words. Phonetics is most important in the case of the Vedic language, because we see that change in sound leads to change in results and effect. Hence, Shiksha which is Vedic Phonetics has been regarded as the most important of the six Angas (organs) of the Veda Purusha.Learn More...
Kalpa (2 of 6 Vedangas)
The second Vedanga is Kalpa (ritual) which is called the arms of the Veda Purusha. It is especially intended for the proper application of the Vedic texts. The oldest Kalpasutras are those which in their contents are directly connected with the Brahmanas and Aranyakas. It was the ritual (Kalpa), the chief contents of the Brahmanas, which first received systematic treatment in the manuals called the Kalpasutras. They contain the rules in the Sutra style, referring to sacrifices, with the omission of all things which are not immediately connected with the ceremonial. They are more practical than the Brahmanas which for the most part are taken up with mystical, historical, mythological, etymological and theological discussions. They are also considered significant for the study of Vedic culture and society.Learn More...
Vyakarana (3 of 6 Vedangas)
The third Vedanga is Vyakarana or grammar, which is necessary for the understanding of the Veda. It is called the mouth of the Veda Purusha. The old Vedanga-texts on Vyakarana are entirely lost today. In the Aranyakas, we find some technical terms of grammar. The only representative of this Vedanga is the Ashtadhyayi of Panini, which belongs to a later period. It is indeed the most celebrated text-book of grammar. It is not associated with any Vedic school. Formation of the word is the main subject of grammar. It discusses root (Prakriti) and suffix (Pratyaya) of a word to study its meaning. Panini’s Vyakarana is in the form of sutras or aphorisms. The fourteen Sutras are referred to here, as Maheswara Sutras.Learn More...
Nirukta (4 of 6 Vedangas)
Nirukta Vedanga is called the ears of the Veda Purusha. ‘Nirukta’ means ‘etymology’ and it explains the reason why a particular word has been used i.e., the meaning of usage. The only work which has survived as a specimen of this Vedanga ‘etymology’ is the Nirukta of Yaska. It is a commentary on Nighantu which is ‘list of words’ found in the Vedas. Tradition ascribes the Nighantu also to Yaska. The Nighantus are five lists of words, which are again divided into three sections. The first section consists of three lists, in which Vedic words are collected under certain main ideas. The second section contains a list of ambiguous and particularly difficult words of the Veda, while the third section gives a classification of the deities according to the three regions, earth, sky and heaven.Learn More...
Chandas (5 of 6 Vedangas)
Chandas Vedanga is regarded as the feet of the Veda Purusha. The body of the Vedas rests on the Chandas which are in the nature of feet. Each Mantra of the Veda has a special Chandas, just as it has a presiding Devata. According to Nirukta the term Chandas is derived from the root Chad (to cover). Meter is called Chandas because it covers the sense of the Mantra. The Chandas is designed for the purpose of securing the proper reading and reciting of Vedic texts. The literature comprising this Vedanga on metrics is equally small.Learn More...
Jyotisha (6 of 6 Vedangas)
The object of Jyotisha Vedanga is not to teach astronomy, but to convey such knowledge of the heavenly bodies as is necessary for fixing the days and hours of the Vedic sacrifices. It gives some rules for calculating and fixing time for sacrifices. Only we have a small text-book called Jyotisha of Vedic astronomy in verses in two recessions. Generally, Maharshi Lagadha is regarded author of this Vedanga Jyotisha. This is a very difficult text and, therefore, is not clear on several points to scholars even today. Later, we find many Sanskrit treatises on astronomy and mathematical calculations. Bhaskaracharya, Varahamihira and Aryabhatta are known ancient scholars conversant with these scientific subjects. The principles established by them are in use in the modern world.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: VEDANGAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Rigveda-Pratishakhya of Rigveda
- Vajasaneyi Pratishakhya of Shukla Yajurveda
- Taittiriya-Pratishakhya of Krishna Yajurveda
- Atharvaveda-Pratishakhya of Atharvaveda
- Shrauta-sutras,dealing with Shrauta sacrifices
- Grihya-sutras, dealing with the domestic ceremonies
- Dharma-sutras, dealing with the religious and social laws
- Shulba-sutras, dealing with the rules of measurement of the fire-altars etc.
The ancient Sanskrit epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata comprise together the Itihāsa ("Writer has himself witnessed the story") or Mahākāvya ("Great Compositions"), a canon of Hindu scripture. Teachings are embedded in the form of itihasic stories so that they remain relevant for all eras, as opposed to history which is time-specific . The Mahabharata includes the story of the Kurukshetra War and also preserves the traditions of the Lunar dynasty in the form of embedded tales. The Puranas narrate the universal history as perceived by the Hindus – cosmogony, myth, legend and history. The Mahābhārata contains within it probably the single most influential text in Hinduism, the Bhagavadgita.
Ramayana (1 of 2 Itihasas)
Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa. The epic, traditionally ascribed to the Maharishi Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, prince of the legendary kingdom of Kosala. The story follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest urged by his father King Dasharatha, on the request of Rama's stepmother Kaikeyi; his travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana --the evil king of Lanka, that resulted in war (against evil); and Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king amidst jubilation and celebration. This is the culmination point of the epic. It is considered a sacred book, and is read by millions of people every year.Learn More...
Mahabharata (2 of 2 Itihasas)
The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their successors. It also contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or puruṣārtha. Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, story of Savitri and Satyavan, story of Kacha and Devyani, the story of Ṛṣyasringa and an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, often considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyāsa.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: ITIHASAS
The Puranas are post-Vedic texts which typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology and geography. There are 18 canonical Puranas (Mukhya Purana), divided into three categories, each named after a deity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are also many other works termed Purana, known as 'Upapuranas.'
Brahma Purana (1 of 18 Puranas)
Brahmá Puráńa. "That, the whole of which was formerly repeated by Brahmá to Maríchi, is called the Bráhma Puráńa, and contains ten thousand stanzas." In all the lists of the Puráńas, the Bráhma is placed at the head of the series, and is thence sometimes also entitled the Ádi or 'first' Puráńa. It is also designated as the Saura, as it is in great part appropriated to the worship of Súrya, 'the sun.' There are, however, works bearing these names which belong to the class of Upa-puráńas, and which are not to be confounded with the Bráhma. The immediate narrator of the Brahmá Puráńa is Lomaharshańa, who communicates it to the Rishis or sages assembled at Naimishárańya, as it was originally revealed by Brahmá, not to Maríchi, as the Matsya affirms, but to Daksha, another of the patriarchs; hence its denomination of the Brahmá Puráńa.Learn More...
Padma Purana (2 of 18 Puranas)
Padma Puráńa. "That which contains an account of the period when the world was a golden lotus (padma), and of all the occurrences of that time, is therefore called the Pádma by the wise; it contains fifty-five thousand stanzas." The second Puráńa in the usual lists is always the Pádma, a very voluminous work, containing, according to its own statement, as well as that of other authorities, fifty-five thousand slokas; an amount not far from the truth. In the first, or section which treats of creation, the narrator is Ugraśravas the Súta, the son of Lomaharshańa, who is sent by his father to the Rishis at Naimisháráńya to communicate to them the Puráńa, which, from its containing an account of the lotus (padma), in which Brahmá appeared at creation, is termed the Pádma or Padma Puráńa. The Súta repeats what was originally communicated by Brahmá to Pulastya, and by him to Bhíshma.Learn More...
Vishnu Purana (3 of 18 Puranas)
Vishńu Puráńa. "That in which Paráśara, beginning with the events of the Varáha Kalpa, expounds all duties, is called the Vaishńava; and the learned know its extent to be twenty-three thousand stanzas". One of the most studied and circulated Puranas, it also contains a controversial genealogical details of various dynasties. Better preserved after the 17th century, but exists in inconsistent versions, more ancient pre-15th century versions are very different from modern versions, with some versions discussing Buddhism and Jainism. Some chapters likely composed in Kashmir and Punjab region of South Asia. A Vaishnavism text, focused on Vishnu.Learn More...
Vayu Purana (4 of 18 Puranas)
Vayu Purana- "The Puráńa in which Váyu has declared the laws of duty, in connexion with the Sweta Kalpa, and which comprises the Máhátmya of Rudra, is the Váyavíya Puráńa- it contains twenty-four thousand verses". The Váyu Puráńa is narrated by Súta to the Rishis at Naimishárańya, as it was formerly told at the same place to similar persons by Váyu; a repetition of circumstances not uncharacteristic of the inartificial style of this Puráńa. It is divided into four Pádas, termed severally Prakriyá, Upodgháta, Anushanga, and Upasanhára; a classification peculiar to this work. These are preceded by an index, or heads of chapters, in the manner of the Mahábhárata and Rámáyańa; another peculiarity.Learn More...
Bhagavata Purana (5 of 18 Puranas)
Śrí Bhágavata. "That in which ample details of duty are described, and which opens with (an extract from) the Gáyatri; that in which the death of the Asura Vritra is told, and in which the mortals and immortals of the Sáraswata Kalpa, with the events that then happened to them in the world, are related; that, is celebrated as the Bhágavata, and consists of eighteen thousand verses". The Bhágavata is communicated to the Rishis at Naimishárańya by Súta, as usual; but he only repeats what was narrated by Śuka, the son of Vyása, to Paríkshit, the king of Hastinápura, the grandson of Arjuna. Having incurred the imprecation of a hermit, by which he was sentenced to die of the bite of a venomous snake, at the expiration of seven days; the king, in preparation for this event, repairs to the banks of the Ganges; whither also come the gods and sages, to witness his death. Amongst the latter is Śuka; and it is in reply to Paríkshit's question, what a man should do who is about to die, that he narrates the Bhágavata, as he had heard it from Vyása; for nothing secures final happiness so certainly, as to die whilst the thoughts are wholly engrossed by Vishńu.Learn More...
Narada Purana (6 of 18 Puranas)
Nárada or Naradíya Puráńa. "Where Nárada has described the duties which were observed in the Vrihat Kalpa, that, is called the Náradíya, having twenty-five thousand stanzas". According to the Matsya, the Nárada Puráńa is related by Nárada, and gives an account of the Vrihat Kalpa. The Náradíya Puráńa is communicated by Nárada to the Rishis at Naimishárańya, on the Gomati river. The Vrihannáradíya is related to the same persons, at the same place, by Súta, as it was told by Nárada to Sanatkumára. Possibly the term Vrihat may have been suggested by the specification which is given in the Matsya; but there is no description in it of any particular Kalpa, or day of Brahmá. It discusses the four Vedas and the six Vedangas. It also lists major rivers of India and places of pilgrimage, and a short tour guide for each. It includes discussion of various philosophies, soteriology, planets, astronomy, myths and characteristics of major deities including Vishnu, Shiva, Devi, Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi and others.Learn More...
Markandeya Purana (7 of 18 Puranas)
Márkańd́a or Márkańd́eya Puráńa. "That Puráńa in which, commencing with the story of the birds that were acquainted with right and wrong, every thing is narrated fully by Márkańd́eya, as it was explained by holy sages in reply to the question of the Muni, is called the Márkańd́eya, containing nine thousand". Jaimini, the pupil of Vyása, applies to Márkańd́eya to be made acquainted with the nature of Vásudeva, and for an explanation of some of the incidents described in the Mahábhárata; with the ambrosia of which divine poem, Vyása he declares has watered the whole world- a reference which establishes the priority of the Bhárata to the Márkańd́eya Puráńa, however incompatible this may be with the tradition, that having finished the Puráńas, Vyása wrote the poem. Márkańd́eya excuses himself, saying he has a religious rite to perform; and he refers Jaimini to some very sapient birds, who reside in the Vindhya mountains; birds of a celestial origin, found, when just born, by the Muni Śamíka, on the field of Kurukshetra, and brought up by him along with his scholars- in consequence of which, and by virtue of their heavenly descent, they became profoundly versed in the Vedas, and a knowledge of spiritual truth. This machinery is borrowed from the Mahábhárata, with some embellishment. Jaimini accordingly has recourse to the birds, Pingáksha and his brethren, and puts to them the questions he had asked of the Muni. "Why was Vásudeva born as a mortal? How was it that Draupadí was the wife of the five Páńd́us? Why did Baladeva do penance for Brahmanicide? and why were the children of Draupadí destroyed, when they had Krishńa and Arjuna to defend them?" The answers to these inquiries occupy a number of chapters, and form a sort of supplement to the Mahábhárata; supplying, partly by invention, perhaps, and partly by reference to equally ancient authorities, the blanks left in some of its narrations.Learn More...
Agni Purana (8 of 18 Puranas)
Agni Puráńa. "That Puráńa which describes the occurrences of the Íśána Kalpa, and was related by Agni to Vaśisht́ha, is called the Ágneya- it consists of sixteen thousand stanzas." The Agni or Agneya Puráńa derives its name from its having being communicated originally by Agni, the deity of fire, to the Muni Vaśisht́ha, for the purpose of instructing him in the twofold knowledge of Brahma 59. By him it was taught to Vyása, who imparted it to Súta; and the latter is represented as repeating it to the Rising at Naimishárańya. The early chapters of this Puráńa describe the Avatáras; and in those of Ráma and Krishńa avowedly follow the Rámáyańa and Mahábhárata. A considerable portion is then appropriated to instructions for the performance of religious ceremonies; many of winch belong to the Tántrika ritual, and are apparently transcribed from the principal authorities of that system. Some belong to mystical forms of Śaiva worship, little known in Hindustan, though perhaps still practised in the south. It contains encyclopedic information, that includes geography of Mithila (Bihar and neighboring states), cultural history, politics, education system, iconography, taxation theories, organization of army, theories on proper causes for war, diplomacy, local laws, building public projects, water distribution methods, trees and plants, medicine, Vastu Shastra (architecture), gemology, grammar, metrics, poetry, food, rituals and numerous other topics.Learn More...
Bhavishya Purana (9 of 18 Puranas)
Bhavishya Puráńa. "The Puráńa in which Brahmá, having described the greatness of the sun, explained to Manu the existence of the world, and the characters of all created things, in the course of the Aghora Kalpa; that, is called the Bhavishya, the stories being for the most part the events of a future period. It contains fourteen thousand five hundred stanzas." The Bhavishya Puráńa repeated by Sumantu to Śatáníka, a king of the Pańd́u family. He notices, however, its having originated with Swayambhu or Brahmá; and describes it as consisting of five parts; four dedicated, it should seem, to as many deities, as they are termed, Brahmá, Vaishńava, Śaiva, and Twásht́ra; whilst the fifth is the Pratisarga, or repeated creation. The text exists in many inconsistent versions, wherein the content as well as their subdivisions vary, and five major versions are known. Some manuscripts have four Parvan (parts), some two, others don't have any parts. The text as it exists today is a composite of material ranging from medieval era to very recent. The available versions of Bhavishya Purana are based on a printed text published during the British colonial era.Learn More...
Brahmavaivarta Purana (10 of 18 Puranas)
Brahma-vaivartta Puráńa. "That Puráńa which is related by Sávarńi to Nárada, and contains the account of the greatness of Krishńa, with the occurrences of the Rathantara Kalpa, where also the story of Brahma-varáha is repeatedly told, is called the Brahma-vaivartta, and contains eighteen thousand stanzas." The Brahma-vaivartta is narrated, not by Sávarńi, but the Rishi Náráyańa to Nárada, by whom it is communicated to Vyása; he teaches it to Súta, and the latter repeats it to the Rishis at Naimishárańya. It is divided into four Khańd́as, or books; the Bráhma, Prakriti, Ganeśa, and Krishńa Janma Khańd́as; dedicated severally to describe the acts of Brahmá, Deví, Ganeśa, and Krishńa; the latter, however, throughout absorbing the interest and importance of the work. The character of the work is in truth so decidedly sectarial, and the sect to which it belongs so distinctly marked, that of the worshippers of the juvenile Krishńa and Rádhá, a form of belief of known modern origin, that it can scarcely have found a notice in a work to which, like the Matsya, a much more remote date seems to belong. Although therefore the Matsya may be received in proof of there having been a Brahma-vaivartta Puráńa at the date of its compilation, dedicated especially to the honour of Krishńa, yet we cannot credit the possibility of its being the same we now possess.Learn More...
Linga Purana (11 of 18 Puranas)
Linga Puráńa. "Where Maheśwara, present in the Agni Linga, explained (the objects of life) virtue, wealth, pleasure, and final liberation at the end of the Agni Kalpa, that Puráńa, consisting of eleven thousand stanzas, was called the Lainga by Brahmá himself." It is said to have been originally composed by Brahmá; and the primitive Linga is a pillar of radiance, in which Maheśwara is present. The work is therefore the same as that referred to by the Matsya. A short account is given, in the beginning, of elemental and secondary creation, and of the patriarchal families; in which, however, Śiva takes the place of Vishńu, as the indescribable cause of all things. Brief accounts of Śiva's incarnations and proceedings in different Kalpas next occur, offering no interest except as characteristic of sectarial notions. The appearance of the great fiery Linga takes place, in the interval of a creation, to separate Vishńu and Brahmá, who not only dispute the palm of supremacy, but fight for it; when the Linga suddenly springs up, and puts them both to shame; as, after travelling upwards and downwards for a thousand years in each direction, neither can approach to its termination. Upon the Linga the sacred monosyllable Om is visible, and the Vedas proceed from it, by which Brahms and Vishńu become enlightened, and acknowledge and eulogize the superior might and glory of Śiva.Learn More...
Varaha Purana (12 of 18 Puranas)
Varáha Puráńa. "That in which the glory of the great Varáha is predominant, as it was revealed to Earth by Vishńu, in connexion, wise Munis, with the Mánava Kalpa, and which contains twenty-four thousand verses, is called the Váráha Puráńa." It is narrated by Vishńu as Varáha, or in the boar incarnation, to the personified Earth. It furnishes also itself evidence of the prior currency of some other work, similarly denominated; as, in the description of Mathurá contained in it, Sumantu, a Muni, is made to observe, "The divine Varáha in former times expounded a Puráńa, for the purpose of solving the perplexity of Earth." It is primarily Vishnu-related worship manual, with large Mahatmya sections or travel guide to Mathura and Nepal. Presentation focuses on Varaha as incarnation of Narayana, but rarely uses the terms Krishna or Vasudeva. Many illustrations also involve Shiva and Durga.Learn More...
Skanda Purana (13 of 18 Puranas)
Skanda Puráńa. "The Skánda Puráńa is that in which the six-faced deity (Skanda) has related the events of the Tatpurusha Kalpa, enlarged with many tales, and subservient to the duties taught by Maheśwara. It is said to contain eighty-one thousand one hundred stanzas; so it is asserted amongst mankind." It is uniformly agreed that the Skanda Puráńa in a collective form has no existence; and the fragments in the shape of Sanhitás, Khańd́as, and Máhátmyas, which are affirmed in various parts of India to be portions of the Puráńa, present a much more formidable mass of stanzas than even the immense number of which it is said to consist. The most celebrated of these portions in Hindustan is the Káśí Khańd́a, a very minute description of the temples of Śiva in or adjacent to Benares, mixed with directions for worshipping Maheśwara, and a great variety of legends explanatory of its merits, and of the holiness of Káśí; many of them are puerile and uninteresting, but some are of a higher character. The story of Agastya records probably, in a legendary style, the propagation of Hinduism in the south of India; and in the history of Divodása, king of Káśí, we have an embellished tradition of the temporary depression of the worship of Śiva, even in its metropolis, before the ascendancy of the followers of Buddha, There is every reason to believe the greater part of the contents of the Káśí Khańd́a anterior to the first attack upon Benares by Mahmud of Ghizni. The Káśí Khańd́a alone contains fifteen thousand stanzas.Learn More...
Vamana Purana (14 of 18 Puranas)
Vámana Puráńa. "That in which the four-faced Brahmá taught the three objects of existence, as subservient to the account of the greatness of Trivikrama, which treats also of the Śiva Kalpa, and which consists of ten thousand stanzas, is called the Vámana Puráńa." The Vámana Puráńa contains an account of the dwarf incarnation of Vishńu; but it is related by Pulastya to Nárada, and extends to but about seven thousand stanzas. There is little or no order in the subjects which this work recapitulates, and which arise out of replies made by Pulastya to questions put abruptly and unconnectedly by Nárada. The greater part of them relate to the worship of the Linga; a rather strange topic for a Vaishńava Puráńa, but engrossing the principal part of the compilation. They are however subservient to the object of illustrating the sanctity of certain holy places; so that the Vámana Puráńa is little else than a succession of Máhátmyas. Thus in the opening almost of the work occurs the story of Daksha's sacrifice, the object of which is to send Śiva to Pápamochana tírtha at Benares, where he is released from the sin of Brahmanicide. Next conies the story of the burning of Kámadeva, for the purpose of illustrating the holiness of a Śiva-linga at Kedareśwara in the Himalaya, and of Badarikáśrama. The larger part of the work consists of the Saro-máhátmya, or legendary exemplifications of the holiness of Stháńu tírtha; that is, of the sanctity of various Lingas and certain pools at Thanesar and Kurukhet, the country north-west from Delhi. There are some stories also relating to the holiness of the Gódavarí river; but the general site of the legends is in Hindustan. In the course of these accounts we have a long narrative of the marriage of Śiva with Umá, and the birth of Kártikeya. In noticing the Swárochisha Manwantara, towards the end of the book, the elevation of Bali as monarch of the Daityas, and his subjugation of the universe, the gods included, are described; and this leads to the narration that gives its title to the Puráńa, the birth of Krishńa as a dwarf, for the purpose of humiliating Bali by fraud, as he was invincible by force. The story is told as usual, but the scene is laid at Kurukshetra.Learn More...
Kurma Purana (15 of 18 Puranas)
Kúrma Puráńa. "That in which Janárddana, in the form of a tortoise, in the regions under the earth, explained the objects of life--duty, wealth, pleasure, and liberation-- in communication with Indradyumna and the Rishis in the proximity of Śakra, which refers to the Lakshmí Kalpa, and contains seventeen thousand stanzas, is the Kúrma Puráńa." The name, being that of an Avatára of Vishńu, might lead us to expect a Vaishńava work; but it is always and correctly classed with the Śaiva. Puráńas, the greater portion of it inculcating the worship of Śiva and Durgá. It is divided into two parts, of nearly equal length. In the first part, accounts of the creation, of the Avatáras of Vishńu, of the solar and lunar dynasties of the kings to the time of Krishńa, of the universe, and of the Manwantaras, are given, in general in a summary manner, but not unfrequently in the words employed in the Vishńu Puráńa. With these are blended hymns addressed to Maheśwara by Brahmá and others; the defeat of Andhakásura by Bhairava; the origin of four Śaktis, Maheśwarí, Śivá, Śatí, and Haimavatí, from Śiva; and other Śaiva legends. One chapter gives a more distinct and connected account of the incarnations of Śiva in the present age than the Linga; and it wears still more the appearance of an attempt to identify the teachers of the Yoga school with personations of their preferential deity. Several chapters form a Káśí Máhátmya, a legend of Benares. In the second part there are no legends. It is divided into two parts, the Íśwara Gíta and Vyása Gita. In the former the knowledge of god, that is, of Śiva, through contemplative devotion, is taught. In the latter the same object is enjoined through works, or observance of the ceremonies and precepts of the Vedas.Learn More...
Matsya Purana (16 of 18 Puranas)
Matsya Puráńa. "That in which, for the sake of promulgating the Vedas, Vishńu, in the beginning of a Kalpa, related to Manu the story of Narasinha and the events of seven Kalpas, that, O sages, know to be the Mátsya Puráńa, containing twenty thousand stanzas." The Puráńa, after the usual prologue of Súta and the Rishis, opens with the account of the Matsya or 'fish' Avatára of Vishńu, in which he preserves a king named Manu, with the seeds of all things, in an ark, from the waters of that inundation which in the season of a Pralaya overspreads the world. This story is told in the Mahábhárata, with reference to the Matsya as its authority; from which it might be inferred that the Puráńa was prior to the poem. This of course is consistent with the tradition that the Puráńas were first composed by Vyása; but there can be no doubt that the greater part of the Mahábhárata is much older than any extant Puráńa. The present instance is itself a proof; for the primitive simplicity with which the story of the fish Avatára is told in the Mahábhárata is of a much more antique complexion than the mysticism and extravagance of the actual Matsya Puráńa. In the former, Manu collects the seeds of existing things in the ark, it is not said how; in the latter, he brings them all together by the power of Yoga. In the latter, the great serpents come to the king, to serve as cords wherewith to fasten the ark to the horn of the fish; in the former, a cable made of ropes is more intelligibly employed for the purpose.Learn More...
Garuda Purana (17 of 18 Puranas)
Gárud́a Puráńa. "That which Vishńu recited in the Gárud́a Kalpa, relating chiefly to the birth of Gárud́a from Vinatá, is here called the Gárud́a Puráńa; and in it there are read nineteen thousand verses." It is repeated by Brahmá to Indra; and it contains no account of the birth of Garuda. There is a brief notice of the creation; but the greater part is occupied with the description of Vratas, or religious observances, of holidays, of sacred places dedicated to the sun, and with prayers from the Tántrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Śiva, and to Vishńu. It contains also treatises on astrology, palmistry, and precious stones; and one, still more extensive, on medicine. The latter portion, called the Preta Kalpa, is taken up with directions for the performance of obsequial rites. It is an encyclopedia of diverse topics- Primarily about Vishnu, but praises all gods. It describes how Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma collaborate. Many chapters are a dialogue between Vishnu and the bird-vehicle Garuda. Cosmology, Describes cosmology, relationship between gods.Learn More...
Brahmanda Purana (18 of 18 Puranas)
Brahmáńd́a Puráńa. "That which has declared, in twelve thousand two hundred verses, the magnificence of the egg of Brahmá, and in which an account of the future Kalpas is contained, is called the Brahmáńd́a Puráńa, and was revealed by Brahmá." The Brahmáńd́a Puráńa is usually considered to be in much the same predicament as the Skanda, no longer procurable in a collective body, but represented by a variety of Khańd́as and Máhátmyas, professing to be derived from it. The facility with which any tract may be thus attached to the non-existent original, and the advantage that has been taken of its absence to compile a variety of unauthentic fragments, have given to the Brahmáńd́a, Skanda, and Padma. It is one of the earliest composed Puranas, it contains a controversial genealogical details of various dynasties. It includes Lalita Sahasranamam, law codes, system of governance, administration, diplomacy, trade, ethics. Old manuscripts of Brahmanda Purana have been found in the Hindu literature collections of Bali, Indonesia.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: PURANAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Brahma Purana
- Padma Purana
- Vishnu Purana
- Vayu Purana
- Bhagavata Purana
- Narada Purana
- Markandeya Purana
- Agni Purana
- Bhavishya Purana
- Brahmavaivarta Purana
- Linga Purana
- Varaha Purana
- Skanda Purana
- Vamana Purana
- Kurma Purana
- Matsya Purana
- Garuda Purana
- Brahmanda Purana
Puruṣārtha literally means an "object of human pursuit". It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life.
The four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values). All four Purusarthas are important, but in cases of conflict, Dharma is considered more important than Artha or Kama in Hindu philosophy. Moksha is considered the ultimate ideal of human life.
Each of these four canonical puruṣārthas was subjected to a process of study and extensive literary development in Indian history. This produced numerous treatises, with a diversity of views, in each category.
On Dharma (1 of 4 Shastras)
These texts discuss dharma from various religious, social, duties, morals and personal ethics perspective. Each of six major schools of Hinduism has its own literature on dharma. Examples include Dharma-sutras (particularly by Gautama, Apastamba, Baudhayana and Vāsiṣṭha) and Dharma-sastras (particularly Manusmṛti, Yājñavalkya Smṛti, Nāradasmṛti and Viṣṇusmṛti). At personal dharma level, this includes many chapters of Yogasutras. The Dharmashastra texts enumerate four sources of Dharma – the precepts in the Vedas, the tradition, the virtuous conduct of those who know the Vedas, and approval of one's conscience (Atmasantushti, self-satisfaction). The textual corpus of Dharmaśāstra were composed in poetic verses, are part of the Hindu Smritis, constituting divergent commentaries and treatises on duties, responsibilities and ethics to oneself, to family and as a member of society. The texts include discussion of ashrama (stages of life), varna (social classes), purushartha (proper goals of life), personal virtues and duties such as ahimsa (non-violence) against all living beings, rules of just war, and other topics.Learn More...
On Artha (2 of 4 Shastras)
Artha-related texts discuss artha from individual, social and as a compendium of economic policies, politics and laws. For example, the Arthashastra of Kauṭilya, the Kamandakiya Nitisara, Brihaspati Sutra, and Sukra Niti. The most Artha-related treatises from ancient India have been lost. The word Artha appears in the oldest known scriptures of India. However, the term connotes 'purpose', goal or 'aim' of something, often as purpose of ritual sacrifices. Over time, artha evolves into a broader concept in the Upanishadic era. It is first included as part of Trivarga concept (three categories of human life - dharma, artha and kama), which over time expanded into the concept Caturvarga (four categories, including moksha). Caturvarga is also referred to as Puruṣārtha. Ancient Indian literature emphasizes that dharma is foremost. The Gautama Dharmashastra, Apastamba Dharmasutra and Yājñavalkya Smṛti, as examples, all suggest that dharma comes first and is more important than artha and kama.Learn More...
On Kama (3 of 4 Shastras)
These discuss arts, emotions, love, erotics, relationships and other sciences in the pursuit of pleasure. The Kamasutra of Vātsyāyana is most well known. Others texts include Ratirahasya, Jayamangala, Smaradipika, Ratimanjari, Ratiratnapradipika, Ananga Ranga among others. Kama means "desire, wish, longing" in Hindu and Buddhist literature. Kama often connotes sexual desire and longing in contemporary literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations. Kama is one of the four goals of human life in Hindu traditions. It is considered an essential and healthy goal of human life when pursued without sacrificing the other three goals- Dharma, Artha and Moksha.Learn More...
On Moksha (4 of 4 Shastras)
These develop and debate the nature and process of liberation, freedom and spiritual release. Major treatises on the pursuit of moksa include the Upanishads, Vivekachudamani, Bhagavad Gita, and the sastras on Yoga. Moksha, also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, is a term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism for various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release. In its soteriological and eschatological senses, it refers to freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In its epistemological and psychological senses, moksha is freedom from ignorance- self-realization, self-actualization and self-knowledge. In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and the utmost aim to be attained through three paths during human life; these three paths are dharma, artha, and kama.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: SHASTRAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- The Manusmriti (~ 2nd to 3rd century CE)
- The Yājñavalkya Smṛti (~ 4th to 5th-century CE)
- The Nāradasmṛti (~ 5th to 6th-century CE)
- The Viṣṇusmṛti (~ 7th-century CE)
- Kamasutra of Vātsyāyana
- Ananga Ranga
A traditional classification divides Indian philosophy into orthodox (āstika) and heterodox (nāstika) schools of philosophy, depending on whether it believes the Vedas as a valid source of knowledge. There are 5 major heterodox (nastika) schools— Jain, Buddhist, Ajivika, Ajñana, and Charvaka which denies the Vedas as valid source of knowledge.
There are six major schools of orthodox (astika) Indian Hindu philosophy (shad-darśana) — Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta which believe the Vedas as ultimate valid source of knowledge.
Ancient and medieval Hindu texts identify six pramāṇas (Epistemology) as correct means of accurate knowledge and truths- one Pratyakṣa (Direct perception) and five Apratyakṣa (Indirect perception), i.e. (1) Anumāṇa - Inference or indirect perception, (2) Upamāṇa - Comparison and analogy, (3) Arthāpatti - Postulation, derivation from circumstances, (4) Anupalabdi - Non-perception, absence of proof, (5) Shabda - Word, testimony of past or present reliable experts. The focus of pramāṇa is how correct knowledge can be acquired, how one knows, how one doesn't, and to what extent knowledge pertinent about someone or something can be acquired.
Nyaya School (1 of 6 Dharshanas)
The Nyāya school is a realist āstika philosophy. The school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy were its systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on pramanas (epistemology). The foundational text of the Nyāya school is the Nyāya Sūtras of the first millennium BCE. The text is credited to Aksapada Gautama and its composition is variously dated between the sixth and second centuries BCE. Nyāya epistemology accepts four out of six prāmaṇas as reliable means of gaining knowledge – pratyakṣa, anumāṇa, upamāṇa and śabda. In its metaphysics, the Nyāya school is closer to the Vaiśeṣika school than the others. It holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge (notions and ignorance). Moksha (liberation) is gained through right knowledge. And knowledge is of two kinds- that which is seen, and that which is not seen. Soul, body, senses, objects of senses, intellect, mind, activity, fault, transmigration, fruit, suffering and release – are the objects of right knowledge.Learn More...
Vaisheshika School (2 of 6 Dharshanas)
The Vaiśeṣika philosophy is a naturalist school. It postulates that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to paramāṇu (atoms), and that one's experiences are derived from the interplay of substance (a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements), quality, activity, commonness, particularity and inherence. Knowledge and liberation are achievable by complete understanding of the world of experience. The Vaiśeṣika darśana is credited to Kaṇāda Kaśyapa from the second half of the first millennium BCE. The Vaiśeṣika school is related to the Nyāya school but features differences in its epistemology, metaphysics and ontology. The Vaiśeṣika school accepts 2 pramanas – Pratyakṣa and Anumāṇa. According to the Vaiśeṣika school reality is composed of four substances (earth, water, air, and fire). Each of these four are of two types- atomic (paramāṇu) and composite. An atom is, according to Vaiśeṣika scholars, that which is indestructible (anitya), indivisible, and has a special kind of dimension, called “small” (aṇu). A composite, in this philosophy, is defined to be anything which is divisible into atoms. Whatever human beings perceive is composite, while atoms are invisible. The Vaiśeṣikas stated that size, form, truths and everything that human beings experience as a whole is a function of atoms, their number and their spatial arrangements, their guṇa (quality), karma (activity), sāmānya (commonness), viśeṣa (particularity) and amavāya (inherence, inseparable connectedness of everything).Learn More...
Samkhya School (3 of 6 Dharshanas)
Samkhya is the oldest of the orthodox philosophical systems in Hinduism, with origins in the 1st millennium BCE. It is a rationalist school of Indian philosophy, and had a strong influence on other schools of Indian philosophies. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepted three of six pramāṇas as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These were pratyakṣa, anumāṇa and sabda. Samkhya school espouses dualism between Puruṣa (consciousness) and prakriti (matter). It regards the universe as consisting of two realities- Puruṣa and prakriti. Jiva (a living being) is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakriti in some form. This fusion led to the emergence of buddhi (awareness, intellect) and ahankara (individualized ego consciousness, “I-maker”). The universe is described by this school as one created by Purusa-Prakriti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind. Samkhya philosophy states there are of three types Guna (qualities, innate tendencies, psyche)- (1) Sattva being good, compassionate, illuminating, positive, and constructive; (2) Rajas guna is one of activity, chaotic, passion, impulsive, potentially good or bad; and (3) Tamas being the quality of darkness, ignorance, destructive, lethargic, negative. Everything, all life forms and human beings have these three gunas, but in different proportions. Samkhya theorises a pluralism of souls (Jeevatmas) who possess consciousness. The soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) in Samkhya aims at the realization of Puruṣa as distinct from Prakriti; this knowledge of the Self is held to end transmigration and lead to absolute freedom (kaivalya).Learn More...
Yoga School (4 of 6 Dharshanas)
The Yoga philosophical system aligns closely with the dualist premises of the Samkhya school. The Yoga school accepts Samkhya psychology and metaphysics, but is considered theistic because it accepts the concept of personal god (Ishvara), unlike Samkhya. The epistemology of the Yoga school, like the Sāmkhya school, relies on three of six prāmaṇas as the means of gaining reliable knowledge- pratyakṣa, anumāṇa and śabda. The universe is conceptualized as a duality in Yoga school- puruṣa (consciousness) and prakṛti (matter); however, the Yoga school discusses this concept more generically as "seer, experiencer" and "seen, experienced" than the Samkhya school. The Yoga school builds on the Samkhya school theory that jñāna (knowledge) is a sufficient means to moksha. It suggests that systematic techniques/practice (personal experimentation) combined with Samkhya's approach to knowledge is the path to moksha. Yoga shares several central ideas with Advaita Vedanta, with the difference that Yoga is a form of experimental mysticism while Advaita Vedanta is a form of monistic personalism. Like Advaita Vedanta, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy holds that Moksha (liberation/freedom) in this life is achievable, and that this occurs when an individual fully understands and realizes the equivalence of Atman (soul, self) and Brahman.Learn More...
Mīmāṃsā School (5 of 6 Dharshanas)
The Mīmāṃsā school emphasized hermeneutics and exegesis. It is a form of philosophical realism. Key texts of the Mīmāṃsā school are the Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini. The Prābhākara subschool of Mīmāṃsā accepted 5 means to gaining knowledge as epistimetically reliable- pratyakṣa, anumāṇa, upamāṇa, arthāpatti and śabda. The Kumārila Bhaṭṭa sub-school of Mīmāṃsā added a sixth way of knowing to its canon of reliable epistemology- anupalabdi. It held that the soul is an eternal, omnipresent, inherently active spiritual essence, then focussed on the epistemology and metaphysics of dharma. To them, dharma meant rituals and duties, not devas (gods), because devas existed only in name. The Mīmāṃsākas held that the Vedas are "eternal authorless infallible", that Vedic vidhi (injunctions) and mantras in rituals are prescriptive karya (actions), and that the rituals are of primary importance and merit. They considered the Upanishads and other texts related to self-knowledge and spirituality to be of secondary importance, a philosophical view that the Vedanta school disagreed with. Mīmāṃsākas considered orderly, law-driven, procedural life as the central purpose and noblest necessity of dharma and society, and divine (theistic) sustenance means to that end. The Mimamsa school was influential and foundational to the Vedanta school, with the difference that Mīmāṃsā developed and emphasized karmakāṇḍa (the portion of the śruti which relates to ceremonial acts and sacrificial rites, the early parts of the Vedas), while the Vedanta school developed and emphasized jñānakāṇḍa (the portion of the Vedas which relates to knowledge of monism, the latter parts of the Vedas).Learn More...
Vedanta School (6 of 6 Dharshanas)
The Vedānta school built upon the teachings of the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras from the first millennium BCE and is the most developed and best-known of the Hindu schools. The Vedanta philosophy accepts all 6 pramanas (or 5 depending on the sub-school)- pratyakṣa, anumāṇa, upamāṇa, arthāpatti, anupalabdi and śabda. It focussed on jnana (knowledge) driven aspects of the Vedic religion and the Upanishads. This included metaphysical concepts such as ātman and Brahman, and an emphasis on meditation, self-discipline, self-knowledge and abstract spirituality, rather than ritualism. The Vedanta separated into many sub-schools, ranging from theistic dualism to non-theistic monism, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own series of sub-commentaries. Main sub schools are Advaita vāda of Adi Shankaracharya, Vishistadvaita vāda of Ramanujacharya, Dvaita vāda or Bhedavāda of Madhvacharya, Dvaitadvaita vāda of Nimbarkacharya, Shuddhadvaita vāda of Vishnu swami popularized by Vallabhacharya, Achintya Bhedābheda vāda of Krishna Chaitanya. All of these schools, except Advaita Vedanta, are related to Vaishavism and emphasize devotion, regarding Vishnu or Krishna to be the highest Reality. According to Advaita school of Vedanta, all reality is Brahman, and there exists nothing whatsoever which is not Brahman. Its metaphysics includes the concept of māyā and ātman. Māyā connotes "that which exists, but is constantly changing and thus is spiritually unreal". The concept of ātman is of soul within each person, each living being. Advaita Vedantins assert that ātman is same as Brahman, and this Brahman is within each human being and all life, all living beings are spiritually interconnected, and there is oneness in all of existence. They hold that dualities and misunderstanding of māyā as the spiritual reality that matters is caused by ignorance, and are the cause of sorrow, suffering. Jīvanmukti (liberation during life) can be achieved through Self-knowledge, the understanding that ātman within is same as ātman in another person and all of Brahman – the eternal, unchanging, entirety of cosmic principles and true reality. The Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras constitute the basis of Vedanta. All schools of Vedanta propound their philosophy by interpreting these texts, collectively called the Prasthanatrayi, literally, three sources.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: DHARSHANAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- The Nyāya Sūtras by Akṣapāda Gautama
- Commentary by Vātsyāyana (3rd Centrury CE)
- Commentary by Uddyotakara (c. 6th century CE)
- Commentary by Jayanta Bhatta (c. 9th Century CE)
- Commentary by Vācaspati Miśra (c. 9th Century CE)
- Commentary by Bhāsarvajña (c. 9th Century CE)
- Commentary by Udayana (c. 10th Century CE)
- Commentary by Gaṅgeśa Upādhyāya (c. 14th Century CE)
- Commentary by Vardhamāna Upādhyāya
- Commentary by Pakṣadhara Miśra
- Commentary by Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma
- Commentary by GPadmanābha Miśra
- Commentary by Raghunātha Śiromaṇi (c. 15th Century CE)
- Commentary by anakinath Bhattacharya
- Commentary by Kanad Tarkavagish
- Commentary by Rambhadra Sārvabhauma
- Commentary by Haridas Bhattacharya
- Commentary by Mathuranath Tarkavagish
- Commentary by Jagadish Tarkalankar
- Commentary by Jaygopal Tarkalankar (c. 18th Century CE)
- Commentary by Gadadhar Bhattacharya
- Commentary by Annaṁbhaṭṭa (c. 18th Century CE)
- Commentary by Viśvanātha
- Commentary by Radhamohan Vidyavachaspati Goswami
- Commentary by Kalishankar Siddhantavagish (c. 18th Century CE)
- Commentary by Golaknath Nyayaratna (c. 19th Century CE)
- Vaiśeṣika Sūtra by Kaṇāḍa (1st century CE)
- Padārthadharmasaṁgraha by Praśastapāda (c. 4th century CE)
- Daśapadārthaśāstra by Candra (c. 7th century CE)
- Vyomavatī by Vyomaśiva (c. 8th century CE)
- Nyāyakandalī by Śridhara (c. 10th century CE)
- Kiranāvali by Udayana (c. 10th century CE)
- Līlāvatī by Śrivatsa (c. 11th century CE)
- Saptapadārthī by Śivāditya (c. 11th century CE)
- Commentary by Śaṅkara-Misra (c. 15th century CE)
- Commentary by Chandrakānta (c. 19th century CE)
- Sāṅkhya Sūtra by Kapila (c. 5th century BCE)
- Sāṅkhya Kārikā by Īśvarakṛṣna (c. 4th century CE)
- Commentary by Gauḍapāda (c. 6th century CE)
- Jaya-Maṅgalā by Śaṅkarācārya (not Adi Shankara) (c. 6th century CE)
- Yukti-dīpikā by Rājāna (c. 7th century CE)
- Sāṅkhya-Tattva-Kaumudī by Vācaspati Miśra (c. 10th century CE)
- Sarvadarsanasangraha (c. 13th century CE)
- Sāṁkhyapravacana Sūtra (c. 14th century CE)
- Sāṁkhyasūtravṛtti by Anirruddha (c. 15th century CE)
- Sāṅkhya-Pravacana-Bhāṣya by Vijñāna Bhikṣu (c. 16th century CE)
- vṛttisāra by Mahādeva (c. 17th century CE)
- Laghu-sāṁkhya-sūtra-vṛtti by Nāgeśa (c. 17th century CE)
- Yoga Sūtra by Patañjali (c. 3rd century CE)
- Commentary by Vyāsa (c. 4th century CE)
- Commentary by Śaṅkara (c. 8th century CE)
- Tattvavai Śāradī by Vācaspati Miśra (c. 8th century CE)
- Yogavārttika by Vijñānabhikṣu (c. 15th century CE)
- Yogamaṇiprabhā by Rāmānanda Sarasvatī (c. 16th century CE)
- Bhāsvatī by Hariharānanda Āraṇya
- Mīmāṃsā Sūtra by Jaimini (c. 4th century BCE)
- Commentary by Śābara (c. 6th century CE)
- Commentary by Kumārila (c. 7th century CE)
- Commentary by Prabhākara (c. 7th century CE)
- Commentary by Manḍana Miśra (c. 8th century CE)
- Nyāyaratnākara by Pārthasarathi Miśra (c. 13th century CE)
- Brahma Sūtras (Vedānta Sūtras) by Bādarāyana (c. 1th century CE)
- Commentary by Śaṅkara (Advaita) (c. 8th century CE)
- Commentary by Rāmānuja (Viśiṣṭādvaita) (c. 12th century CE)
- Commentary by Madhva (Dvaita) (c. 13th century CE)
- Commentary by Nimbārka (c. 13th century CE)
- Commentary by Śrkaṇṭha (c. 15th century CE)
- Commentary by Vallabha (c. 16th century CE)
- Commentary by Baladeva (c. 18th century CE)
- Advaita - Mandukya Kārikā by Gaudapāda (c. 5th century CE)
- Advaita - Panchapadika by Padmapāda (c. 8th century CE)
- Advaita - Naiṣkarmya Siddhi by Sureśvara (c. 8th century CE)
- Advaita - Brahmasiddhi by Mandana Miśra (c. 8th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Vacaspati Miśra’s (c. 9th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary of Padmapāda’s Pancapadika by Prakashatman’s (c. 10th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Prakāsātman (c. 10th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Vimuktātman (c. 10th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Sarvajñātman (c. 10th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Śrī Harṣa (c. 12th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Citsukha (c. 12th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by ānandagiri (c. 13th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Amalānandā (c. 13th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Vidyāraņya (c. 14th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Śaṅkarānandā (c. 14th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Sadānandā (c. 14th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Prakāṣānanda (c. 16th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Nṛsiṁhāśrama (c. 16th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Madhusūdhana Sarasvati (c. 17th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary of Dharmarāja Advarindra (c. 17th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Appaya Dīkśita (c. 17th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Sadaśiva Brahmendra (c. 18th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Candraśekhara Bhārati (c. 20th century CE)
- Advaita - Commentary by Sacchidānandendra Saraswati (c. 20th century CE)
- Bhedabheda - Commentary by Caitanya (c. 15th century CE)
- Bhedabheda - Commentary by Bhāskara (c. 9th century CE)
- Bhedabheda - Commentary by Yādavaprakāśa (c. 17th century CE)
- Bhedabheda - Commentary by Yādavaprakāśa (c. 17th century CE)
- Bhedabheda - Commentary by Vijñānabhikṣu (c. 16th century CE)
- Vishishtadvaita - Commentary by Nathamuni (c. 9th century CE)
- Vishishtadvaita - Commentary by Yamuna
- Vishishtadvaita - Commentary by Swaminarayan
- Dvaita - Commentary by Padmanabha Tirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Vadiraja Theertha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Narayana Panditacharya
- Dvaita - Commentary by Trivikrama Panditacharya
- Dvaita - Commentary by Jayatirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Vyasatirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Sripadaraja
- Dvaita - Commentary by Raghavendra Swami
- Dvaita - Commentary by Raghuttama Tirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Satyanatha Tirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Purandara Dasa
- Dvaita - Commentary by Kanaka Dasa
- Dvaita - Commentary by Satyapriya Tirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Satyadharma Tirtha
- Dvaita - Commentary by Satyadhyana Tirtha
Agamas / Tantras
The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of Hindu devotional schools. The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation a nd practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires. The origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear.
The 3 main branches of Agama texts are Shaiva, Vaishnava, and Shakta. The Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is usually used specifically to refer to Shakta Agamas.
Shaiva Agamas (1 of 3 Agamas / Tantras)
While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship. The Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage- Sthala, Tirtha, and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, and Murti refers to the image of god (usually an idol of a deity). The Shaiva Agamas are found in four main schools- Kapala, Kalamukha, Pashupata and Shaiva, and number 28 in total.Learn More...
Vaishnava Agamas (2 of 3 Agamas / Tantras)
The Vaishnava Agamas are found into two main schools – Pancharatra and Vaikhanasas. While Vaikhanasa Agamas were transmitted from Vikhanasa Rishi to his disciples Brighu, Marichi, Atri and Kashyapa, the Pancharatra Agamas are classified into three- Divya (from Vishnu), Munibhaashita (from Muni, sages), and Aaptamanujaprokta (from sayings of trustworthy men). The Vaishnava Agamas are 108 in number.Learn More...
Shakta Agamas (3 of 3 Agamas / Tantras)
The Shakta Agamas are commonly known as Tantras, and they are imbued with reverence for the feminine, representing goddess as the focus and treating the female as equal and essential part of the cosmic existence. The feminine Shakti (literally, energy and power) concept is found in the Vedic literature, but it flowers into extensive textual details only in the Shakta Agamas. These texts emphasize the feminine as the creative aspect of a male divinity, cosmogonic power and all pervasive divine essence. The Shakta Agamas are related to the Shaiva Agamas, with their respective focus on Shakti, or Lambda with Shiva in Shakta Tantra and on Shiva in Shaiva texts. The Shakta Agamas or Shakta tantras are 64 in number.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: AGAMAS / TANTRAS
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - khilatantra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - purātantra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - vāsādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - citrādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - mānādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - kriyādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - arcanādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - yajnādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - varṇādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - prakīrnṇādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - pratigrṛhyādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - niruktādhikāra
- Adhikaras by Bhrigu - khilādhikāra
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Jaya saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Ananda saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Saṃjnāna saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Vīra saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Vijaya saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Vijita saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Vimala saṃhitā
- Samhitas by Mareechi - Jnāna saṃhitā
- Kandas by Kashyapa - Satyakāṇḍa
- Kandas by Kashyapa - Tarkakāṇḍa
- Kandas by Kashyapa - Jnānakāṇḍa
- Tantras by Atri - Pūrvatantra
- Tantras by Atri - Atreyatantra
- Tantras by Atri - Viṣṇutantra
- Tantras by Atri - Uttaratantra
- Ahirbudhnya Samhita
- Brahma Samhita
- Garga Samhita
- Laksmi Tantra
- Visnu Tantra
These are rest of the Smriti Literature which does not fit in above mentioned categories.
Upaveda (1 of 2 Upaveda/ Kavya)
The term upaveda (“applied knowledge”) is used in traditional literature to designate the subjects of certain technical works. Lists of what subjects are included in this class differ among sources. As per the Caraṇavyuha, they are:- Ayurveda (Medicine), Dhanurveda (Archery), Gāndharvaveda (Music and sacred dance), Arthaśāstra (Economics).Learn More...
Kavya (2 of 2 Upaveda/ Kavya)
Kāvya refers to the Sanskrit literary style used by Indian court poets flourishing between c.200 BCE to 1200 CE. This literary style, which includes both poetry and prose, is characterised by abundant usage of figures of speech, metaphors, similes, and hyperbole to create its emotional effects. The result is a short lyrical work, court epic, narrative or dramatic work. "Kavya" can refer to the style or the completed body of literature. Aśvaghoṣa (c. 80–150 CE), a philosopher and poet considered the father of Sanskrit drama, is attributed with first using the word.Learn More...
Show/Hide Books on: UPAVEDA/ KAVYA
To read the full digital books visit the following links.
- Ayurveda (Medicine), associated with the Ṛgveda
- Dhanurveda (Archery), associated with the Yajurveda
- Gāndharvaveda (Music and sacred dance), associated with the Samaveda
- Arthaśāstra (Economics), associated with the Atharvaveda
- Raghuvaṃśa by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Kumārasambhava by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Kirātārjunīya by Bhāravi (c. 6th century CE)
- Shishupala Vadha by Māgha (c. 7th Century CE)
- Bhaṭṭikāvya by Bhartṛihari (c. 7th Century CE)
- Naishadha Charita by Śrīharṣa (c. 12th century CE)
- Ṛitusaṃhāra by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Meghadūta by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Vasavadatta by Subandhu (c. 7th century CE)
- Kadambari by Bāṇabhaṭṭa (c. 7th century CE)
- Harṣacarita by Bāṇabhaṭṭa (c. 7th century CE)
- Kāvyādarśa by Daṇḍin (c. 8th century CE)
- Daśakumāracarita by Daṇḍin (c. 8th century CE)
- Nātyaśāstra by Bharata Muni (200 BCE to 200 CE)
- Mricchakatika by Śudraka (c. 2nd century BCE)
- Svapnavasavadattam by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Pancharātra by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Pratijna Yaugandharayaanam by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Pratimanātaka by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Abhishekanātaka by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Bālacharita by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Dūtavākya by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Karnabhāra by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Dūtaghatotkacha by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Chārudatta by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Madhyamavyāyoga by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Ūrubhaṅga by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Karnabharam by Bhāsa (c. 3rd century CE)
- Vikramōrvaśīyam by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Mālavikāgnimitram by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Abhijñānaśākuntalam by Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE)
- Mudrarakshasa by Vishakhadatta (c. 8th century CE)
- Ratnavali by Sri Harsha (7th century CE)
- Nagananda by Sri Harsha (7th century CE)
- Priyadarsika by Sri Harsha (7th century CE)
- Mattavilasa Prahasana by Mahendra Vikram Varman (c. 3rd century CE)
- Āścaryacūḍāmaṇi by Shakti Bhadra
- Subhadra Dhananjaya by Kulasekhara
- Tapatisamvarana by Kulasekhara
- Kalyana Saugandhika by Neelakanta
- Sri Krishna Charita by Neelakanta