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Posts Tagged ‘Dharma Sutras’

Great Scriptures, Literatures and Books of Hindus: 3

Posted by kathavarta on January 30, 2009


The Puranas are the basis for getting knowledge about history, culture and heritage of the bygone eras. Most of the puranas provide details of the lineage’s and the role they provided in the upliftment of the society.

Since they are voluminous, Sage Vyasa was provided with the responsibility of compiling the puranas. Every period had their own Vyasa who did this work meticulously, Krishnadvaipayana (son of Parasara) had taken up the responsibility for this Yuga.

Purana’s provide knowledge of Vedas in a simple and lucid manner other than providing history and genealogy. That is the reason why Puranas have become more famouse compared to Vedas as it is within the reach of a common person.

There are 18 Puranas, which can be understood from the following three heading:

(1) Vishnu Purana
(2) Naradiya Purana
(3) Srimad Bhagavata Purana
(4) Garuda (Suparna) Purana
(5) Padma Purana
(6) Varaha Purana

(7) Brahma Purana
(8) Brahmanda Purana
(9) Brahma Vaivarta Purana
(10) Markandeya Purana
(11) Bhavishya Purana
(12) Vamana Purana

(13) Matsya Purana
(14) Kurma Purana
(15) Linga Purana
(16) Siva Purana
(17) Skanda Puarana
(18) Agni Purana


Apart from 18 Puranas there are 18 Upa-Puranas which are as under:-
(1) Sanatkumara
(2) Narasimha
(3) Brihannaradiya
(4) Sivarahasya
(5) Durvasa
(6) Kapila
(7) Vamana
(8) Bhargava
(9) Varuna
(10) Kalika
(11) Samba
(12) Nandi
(13) Surya
(14) Parasara
(15) Vasishtha
(16) Devi-Bhagavata
(17) Ganesha
(18) Hamsa


Brahmana are prose works that are appended to the Vedas:

VEDA: Rig-Veda…………………Brahmana: Aitareya-Brahmana; Kaushitaka-Brahmana
VEDA: White Yajur-Veda……Brahmana: Satapatha-Brahmana
VEDA: Black yajur-Veda…….Brahmana: Taittiriya-Brahmana
VEDA: Sama-Veda……………..Brahmana: Eight Brahmana
VEDA: Atharva-Veda…………Brahmana: Gopatha-Brahmana

They are esoteric keys to the ceremonial magic of the Vedas.

This great article is taken from below book:
Book Name: INDIA, Known things Unknown secrets
ISBN: 81-8056-373-1
Book Code: BV-5725
Publisher: Health Harmony, New Delhi, India
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Great Scriptures, Literatures and Books of Hindus: 2

Posted by kathavarta on January 29, 2009

CHATUR VEDAS (FOUR VEDAS) and Subdivisions within them

There are four major Vedas that are being followed by the Hindus from the ancient times, they are:


Out of the above four Vedas Rig Veda is the ancient and revered by all Hindus. Each of these grand books of eternal knowledge is again subdivided into various sections for better assimilation of knowledge.

(1) RIG VEDA———–0021 Sections
(2) YAJUR VEDA——-0109 Sections
(3) SAMA VEDA——–1000 Sections
(4) ATHARVA VEDA—0050 Sections

Total 4 Vedas and 1180 Sections.

Yajur Veda has two major parts the Shukla (Vajasaneya) and the Krishna (Taittiriya). Krishna is the older book compared to the Shukla.

The arrangement of Vedas is also unique in nature as it matches with the four Ashrams of the human being. The four divisions of the Vedas are:

(1) Mantra Samhitas (Hymns in praise of God):-
This section covers hymns, poems in praise of God, which requires high level of energy and is aptly suitable to the Brahmacharis.

(2) Brahmanas (Explanations of Mantras or Rituals):-
After understanding the mantras it is important to recite and do rituals in the name of the Lord, which require presence of large number of people and thus suitable to the Grihastya ?(householder).

(3) Aranyakas (Comprising of philosophical explanation of the Rituals):-
This book provides a base for understanding the lifestyle of the hermit and is thus suitable to people who wants to lead a life of a hermit or Sanyasi.

(4) Upanishads (Essence of the knowledge of the Vedas):-
The knowledge of the Vedas had been concentrated and put in the Upanishads; these grand books reveal the most subtle and deep spiritual truths.

Division of Vedas on the basis of the subject matter is:

A-Karma Kanda (Ritualistic Section)——Sacrifices and Rituals
B-Upasana Kanda (Worship Section)——Meditation, Worship, various forms of Bhakti
C-Gyana Kanda (Knowledge Section)——The true knowledge of Brahma

Four Vedas Contain:-
I have explained that there are four Vedas i.e. Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. Out of these four Vedas Rig Veda is the oldest and the most perfect scripture. The language of this Veda is so beautiful that it just stirs the soul to a new level of revelation. Nobody knows for sure when this grand book was written or revealed. Rig Veda forms the basis for the other two Vedas namely Yajur and Sama.

Yajur Veda Samhita is like a beautiful prose that goes on to explain the meaning of the rituals done while performing scarifices.

Sama Veda Samhita is nearly borrowed from the Rig Veda Samhita and provides some explanation to the ritualistic processes of the sacrifice.

Atharva Veda Samhita comprises of the rituals and practices that is profound in nature that it becomes nearly impossible to find any scripture matching the strengths of this grand book.

Important Upanishads::-

We have already seen that Upanishads are the essence of Vedas and this divine knowledge is so pure and enlightening that the more a person delves deep into it the more he drwas the knowledge from it.

Among the hundreds of the Upanishads, thirteen (13) Upanishads from an authoritative collection of knowledge, they are:
(1) Isa Upanishad
(2) Kena Upanishad
(3) Katha Upanishad
(4) Prasna Upanishad
(5) Mundaka Upanishad
(6) Mandukya Upanishad
(7) Aitareya Upanishad
(8) Taittiriya Upanishad
(9) Chhandogya Upanishad
(10) Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
(11) Kaushitaki Upanishad
(12) Svetasvatara Upanishad
(13) Maitrayani Upanishad


Though the Vedas are four in number there are other books of knowledge that provide the same level of knowledge like Vedas. These books contain the knowledge mainly concerned with materialistic world and provide ways and means of achieving it. These grand books of knowledge have been given the status of Upa-Vedas or Additional Vedas. These books of knowledge are four in number and the details of them can be understood from the following discussions.

1. Ayur Veda:-
This Upa-Veda contains most comprehensive system of healing methods developed thousands of years ago by the great Rishis and Sages. Dhanvantri is said to be the God of Ayurveda, later this knowledge was developed and dissimilated through the great Rishis and Healers like Charak and Susruta.

This system of healing worked on the basis of the human nature and its resultant effects.

2. Dhanur Veda:-
It contains the knowledge of weapons and its uses and its benefit during war. It is said that during the ancient period people had such sophisticated weapons that could match the modern weaponry system of today like the weapons that could fly, spew fire and make acid rains are similar to the weapons used today.

3. Gandharva Veda:-
Man from the ancient times has had inclination towards music and dance and this inclination has withstood the time to reach us. Gandharva Veda provides the knowledge about the science of music in a lucid and clear manner for a new entrant as well a proficient person in music.

4. Arthasastra:-
For any economy to progress it is important to have the knowledge of political, sociological, economical situations prevailent at that time.

Arthasastra is the ideal book that provides the basis for all these and more.


For reaching a particular level of knowledge, it is important that the knowledge should be increased to such a level that it can provide a base for getting into depth of the Vedas.

These are six limbs of Vedas that provide the basis for gaining better understanding of the Vedas:
(1) Shiksha by Maharshi Panini-
Shiksha provides the knowledge of phonetics. Shiksha is a complete course that deals with pronounciation, accent and words.

(2) Vyakarana by Maharshi Panini-
Vyakarana is Sanskrit Grammer.

(3) Chhandas by Pingalacharya-
Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

(4) Nirukta of Yaska-
Nirukta is philosophy or etymology.

(5) Jyotisha-
Jyotisha is the concept of Astrology. It is the science for knowing the past, present and future based on the movement of the planets and other heavenly bodies.

(6) Srauta Sutras (Rituals regarding scrifices)-

(7) Griha Sutras (Relationaships regarding the domestic life)-

(8) Dharma Sutras (Ethics, customs, rituals etc)-

(9) Sulba Sutras (Measirements related with the various rituals)-

This great article is taken from below book:
Book Name: INDIA, Known things Unknown secrets
ISBN: 81-8056-373-1
Book Code: BV-5725
Publisher: Health Harmony, New Delhi, India
Bookmark and Share

Posted in Hindu story, Katha, Religious, Sikhism, Story for Adult, Varta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »