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Varna and jti

Main article: Jti The terms varna (theoretical classification based on occupation) and jti (caste) are two distinct concepts: while varna is the idealised four-part division envisaged by the above described Twice-Borns, jti (community) refers to the thousands of actual endogamous groups prevalent across the subcontinent. A jati may be divided into exogamous groups based on same gotras ( ). The classical authors scarcely speak of anything other than the varnas; even Indologists sometimes confuse the two.[8]

Most sampradayas (sects) of modern Brahmins claim to take inspiration from the Vedas. According to orthodox Hindu tradition, the Vedas are apaurueya and andi (beginning-less), and are revealed truths of eternal validity. The Vedas are considered ruti ("that which is heard") and are the paramount source on which Brahmin tradition claims to be based. ruti texts include the four Vedas (theRigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda), and their respective Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads.

Following (stratified) order, from top to bottom,[citation needed]

the Brahmins: vedic priests.[citation needed] the Kshatriya: kings, governors and soldiers.[citation needed] the Vaishyas: cattle herders, agriculturists and merchants. [2] the Shudras: labourers, artisans and service providers. [citation needed]

The first three varna are considered Arya, and thus allowed to participate in Vedica rituals from which the non-Arya Shudra varna is excluded.[3] Separate and shunned by society, including the Shudras, were the "untouchables" such as the Dalit and the Chandaal (cla), who had to deal with the disposal of dead bodies and are described as dirty and polluted. There was a belief that one's Karma in the past, resulted in one's condition in this birth. "Now people here whose conduct is good can expect to quickly attain a pleasant birth, like that of a Brahmin, the Kshatriya, or the Vaishya. But people of evil conduct can expect to enter a foul womb, like that of a dog, a pig, or a Chandaal". [4]

Later scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita and Manusmriti state that the four varnas are created by God. However, at the same time, the Gita says that one's varna is to be understood from one's personal qualities and one's karma (work), not one's birth. The Indian society honoured people on their achievements irrespective of their caste. For instance, Valmiki, once a low-caste robber, became a great sage and author of the epic Ramayana. Veda Vyasa, another respected sage and author of the monumental epic, the Mahabharata, was the son of a fisherwoman.[12] Manusmriti, dated between 200 BCE and 100 AD, contains some laws that codified the caste system. The Manu Smriti belongs to a class of books that are geared towards ethics, morals, and social conduct - not spirituality or religion. In this text, the sage Manu explains that society is like The Human Body, where all body parts are required to function optimally in order to ensure the optimal function of society as a whole. He divided this metaphoric body into 4 main constituent parts: Head, Arms, Torso, Legs.[citation needed] The head : The head of a body is required for thinking, planning, and decision making. Thus the metaphoric head of society (the Brahmins) were also responsible for these things. The arms : The arms of a body are responsible for protection of the body. Thus the arms of society were the Kshatriyas who were responsible for protection of the society.

The torso : The torso of the body is responsible for consumption, production, and to hold society together as a whole. Thus, the Vaishya class was likened to the torso and constituted of the peasants, farmers, merchants, etc. The legs : The legs of a body are what carry the entire body altogether without which the body can make no movement or progress. These legs are the hardest physically working part of the body. The Shudra class of laborers was likened to the legs and was responsible for most physical labor jobs.

Brahmins, basically adhere to the principles of the Vedas, related to the texts of the ruti and Smriti which are the foundations of Hinduism, and practise Sanatana Dharma. Vedic Brhmaas have six occupational duties, of which three are compulsory studying the Vedas, performing Vedic rituals and practicing dharma. By teaching the insights of the Vedic literature which deals with all aspects of life including spirituality, [citation needed] [citation needed] philosophy, yoga, religion, rituals, temples, arts and culture, music, dance, grammar, pronunciation, metre, [citation needed] [citation needed] [citation needed] [citation needed] [citation astrology , astronomy, logic, law, medicine, surgery, technology, martial arts, needed] military strategy, etc. by spreading its philosophy, and by accepting back from the community, the Brahmins receive the necessities of [citation needed] life.

The original treatise consisted of one thousand chapters of law, polity, and pleasure given by Brahm. His son, Manu, learns these lessons and proceeds to teach his own students, including Bhrigu. Bhrigu then relays this information in the Manu Smriti, to an audience of his own pupils.[10] This original narrative was subdivided later into twelve chapters. There is debate over the effects of this division on the underlying, holistic manner in which the original treatise was written.[11] The book is written in simple verse as opposed to the metrical verse of the preceding dharmasutras. Manu also introduced a unique "transitional verse" which segued the end of one subject and the beginning of the next. The treatise is written with a frame story, in which a dialogue takes place between Manu's disciple, Bhrigu, and an audience of his own students. The story begins with Manu himself detailing the creation of the world and the society within it, structured around four social classes. Bhrigu takes over for the remainder of the work, teaching the details of the rest of Manu's teachings. The audience reappears twice more, asking first about how Brahmins can be subjected to death, and second to ask the effects of action.[12]

Salient features of Manusmrithi

In short, the main features of caste system as elaborated in the Manusmriti are as follows[14],[15] 1. Division of Hindu society into four varnas on the basis of birth. Out of these only the first three, namely , Brahmins , Kshatriya and Vaishya, who are collectively known as dwija (twice-born) are entitled to upanayan and the study of the Vedas. Shudras as well as women of dwija varnas are denied the right to study. [16] 2. Assigning different duties and occupations for different varnas. This is to be enforced strictly by the king. According to Manusmriti, if a person of lower caste adopts the occupation of a higher caste, the king ought to deprive him of all his property and expel him from his kingdom. [17] 3. Treating Brahmins as superior and other varnas, namely, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra as inferior to him in descending order with the Shudra occupying the bottom of the hierarchy. A Brahmin is to be treated as god and respected even if he is ignorant. Even a hundred-year old Kshatriya is to treat a ten year old Brahmin as his father. Brahmin alone is entitled to teach. If a Shudra dares to give moral lessons to a Brahmin, the king is to get him punished by pouring hot oil in his ear and mouth. Similarly, if a Shudra occupies the same seat as a Brahmin, he is to be punished by branding his waist (with hot rod) or getting his buttocks cut! [18]

4. Treating women as unequal. Women, that is, even women belonging to Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya varna are not entitled to upanayan and the study of the Vedas. For them, marriage is equivalent to upanayan and service of their husbands is equivalent to the study of the Vedas in the gurukul. Even if the husband is morally degraded, engaged in an affair with another woman and is devoid of knowledge and other qualities, the wife must treat him like a god. A widower is allowed to remarry but a widow is not. Besides, women are not considered fit for being free and independent. They are to be protected in their childhood by father, in youth by husband and in old age by son. They should never be allowed by their guardians to act independently. A woman must never do anything even inside her home without the consent of her father, husband and son respectively. She must remain in control of her father in childhood, of husband in youth and of son after the death of her husband. [19] 5. Treating different varnas as unequal for legal purposes. The Hindu law as codified by Manu is based on the principle of inequality. The punishment for a particular crime is not same for all varnas. In fact, the punishment varies depending on the varna of the victim as well as the varna of the person committing the crime. For the same crime, the Brahmin is to be given a mild punishment, whereas the Shudra is to given the harshest punishment of all. Similarly, if the victim of a crime is a Shudra, the punishment is mild, and the punishment is harsh in case the victim is a Brahmin. For example, if a Brahmin is awarded death sentence, it is sufficient to shave his head, but Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra are to actually die. If a Kshatriya, a Vaishya, or a Shudra repeatedly gives false evidence in the court, he is to be punished and expelled from the kingdom, whereas the Brahmin is not to be punished, he is to be only expelle If a person has sexual intercourse with a consenting women of his own varna, he is not to be punished. But if a person of lower varna has sexual intercourse with a woman of higher varna, with or without her consent, he is to be killed. If a Brahmin forces a dwija to work for him, he is to be punished. But if a Brahmin forces a Shudra to work for him, whether by making or not making payments to him, he is not to be punished, because Shudras have been created only for serving Brahmins. If a Brahmin abuses a Shudra, he is to be fined mildly, but if a Shudra abuses a Brahmin, he is to be killed. On the other hand, even if a Brahmin kills a Shudra, he is merely to perform penance by killing a cat, frog, owl or crow, etc. Thus a Shudra is to be killed for abusing a Brahmin, whereas a Brahmin is to be let off lightly even if he kills a Shudra. Such is the unequal justice of Manusmriti.[20] 5a. In fact, this system of graded inequality seems to be the very essence of the varna-vyavastha. Whether it is the choice of names,nor the manner of greeting, or the mode of entertaining guests, or the method of administering oath in the court, or the process of taking out the funeral procession, at each and every step in life, from birth to death, this system of graded inequality is to be applied and observed. Manu does not even spare the rates of interest on loan. For borrowing the same amount, Kshatriya has to pay more as interest than Brahmin, Vaishya more than Kshatriya and the poor Shudra has to pay the maximum amount as interest! 6. Prohibiting inter-marriage between different varnas. According to Manusmriti, a dwija ought to marry a woman of his own varna. A woman of the same varna is considered best for the first marriage. However, a dwija may take a woman of inferior varna as his second wife if he is overcome by sexual passion. But Manu strongly disapproves of Brahmins and Kshatriyas taking a Shudra woman even as their second wife. They become Shudra if they do so.[21] 7. Supporting untouchability is also a part of the scheme of social stratification outlined in the Manusmriti. Manu clearly mentions that Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya, collectively known as dwija and the Shudras are the four varnas. There is no fifth varna. He explains the origin of other castes by saying that they are varna-sankara castes, that is to say, castes originating due to the intermixture of different varnas, both in anuloma (upper varna male and lower varna female) and pratiloma (lower varna male and upper varna female) manner. For example, Nishad caste is said to have originated from illegal relationship between Brahmin male and Shudra female, whereas Chandala caste is said to be owing its origin to illegal relationship between Shudra male and Brahmin female.[22] 7a.Manu seems to be disapproving of pratiloma relationship more than the anuloma relationship, because he describes Chandalas as the lowest of the low castes.[23] 7b.Let us see what Manusmriti, has to say about the C handala. The Chandala, says Manusmriti, must not ever reside inside the village. While doing their work, they must reside outside the village, at cremation ground, on mountains or in groves. They are not entitled to keep cows or horses, etc., as pet animals. They may keep dogs and donkeys. They are to wear shrouds. They are to eat in broken utensils. They are to use ornaments of iron, not of gold. They must keep moving from one place to another, not residing at the same place for a long duration. They must not move around in villages and cities in night hours. They may enter the villages and cities in daytime, with king's permission, wearing special symbols (to enable identification), and take away unclaimed dead bodies.[24]

7c.Moreover, how is the "religious" person to deal with the Chandala? He must not have any social intercourse (marriage, interdining, etc.) with them. He must not talk to or even see them! He may ask servants (apparently Shudras) to give them food in broken utensils.[25] 8. Granting divine and religious sanction to varna-vyavastha. Manu gives divine and religious sanction to the varna-vyavastha by claiming divine origin for the varnas as well as for the Manusmriti and demanding unquestioning obedience of it. [26] 8a.Many feel Manusmrithi is so unjust and so out of tune with our existing values that even an objective exposition reads like a severe condemnation. Many Indians reject varna-vyavastha because it is irrational, unjust and undemocratic,is being opposed to the democratic and human values of liberty, equality and fraternity.[27]

Sects and Rishis

Due to the diversity in religious and cultural traditions and practices, and the Vedic schools which they belong to, Brahmins are further divided into various subcastes. During the sutra period, roughly between 1000 BCE to 200 BCE, Brahmins became divided into various Shakhas (branches), based on the adoption of different Vedas and different rescension Vedas. Sects for different denominations of the same branch of the Vedas were formed, under the leadership of distinguished teachers among Brahmins. There are several Brahmin law givers, such as Angirasa, Apasthambha, Atri, Bhrigu, Brihaspati, Boudhayana, Daksha, Gautama, Harita, Katyayana, Likhita, Manu,[17] Parasara, Samvarta, Shankha,Shatatapa, Ushanasa, Vashista, Vishnu, Vyasa, Yajnavalkya, Yama. These twenty-one rishis were the propounders of Smritis. The oldest among these smritis are Apastamba, Baudhayana, Gautama, and Vashista Sutras.[18]Provide Vepachedu's Sources[citation needed] Brahmins classify themselves on the basis of their patrilineal descent from a notable ancestor. These ancestors are either ancient [citation needed] Indian sages or kshatriyas (warriors) who chose to become Brahmins. The ten major gotras that trace descent from sages are: Kanva, Jamadagni,Bhrigu Bharadvja, Kaundinya, Gautama Maharishi, Sandilya, Vashista, Atryasa,Harithasa, Kashyapa, Agastya gotra. [citation needed] Other gotras are Mitra, Vishvamitra and Chaurasia gotra.
[citation needed]

Types of Casts in India 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Hindu Christians Muslims Sikh Buddhists Jains 7. Bahai

Types of Society and Groups 1. Burarucratic Society (Construction of Law) 2. Religious Society 3. Educational Society 4. Occupational Group Society 5. Economic Class (Wealth)

Bhagavad Gita, a 19th-century manuscript
Hindu texts other than the Shrutis are collectively called the Smritis (memory). The most notable of the smritis are the epics, which consist of the Mahbhrata and theRmyaa. The Bhagavad Gt is an integral part of the Mahabharata and one of the most popular sacred texts of Hinduism. It contains philosophical teachings fromKrishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, told to the prince Arjuna on the eve of a great war. The Bhagavad Gt, spoken by Krishna, is described as the essence of the Vedas.[155]However Gita, sometimes called Gitopanishad, is more often placed in the Shruti, category, being Upanishadic in content. [156] Puras, which illustrate Hindu ideas through vivid narratives come under smritis. Other texts include Dev Mahtmya, the Tantras, the Yoga Sutras, Tirumantiram, Shiva Sutras and the Hindu gamas. A more controversial text, the Manusmriti, is a prescriptive lawbook which lays the societal codes of social stratification which later evolved into the Indian caste system.[157] A well known verse from Bhagavad Gita describing a concept in Karma Yoga is explained as follows[158][159] To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction. (2.47)

Order of precedence of authority

The order of precedence regarding authority of Vedic Scriptures is as follows,

ruti, literally "hearing, listening", are the sacred texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma and therefore is also influential within Hindu Law.[160] Smti, literally "that which is remembered (or recollected)", refers to a specific body of Hindu religious scripture, and is a codified component of Hindu customary law. Post Vedic scriptures such asRamayana, Mahabharata and traditions of the rules on dharma such as Manu Smriti and Yaagnyavalkya Smriti. Smrti also denotes tradition in the sense that it portrays the traditions of the rules on dharma, especially those of lawful virtuous persons.) Pura, literally "of ancient times", are post-vedic scriptures notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.[161] ichra, literally "that which is followed by good (in recent times)". Atmatui, literally "that which satisfies oneself (or self validation)", according to which one has to decide whether or not to do with bona fide. Initially this was not considered in the order of precedence but Manu and Yjavalkya considered it as last one.

That means, if anyone of them contradicts the preceding one then it disqualified as an authority. There is a well known Indian saying that Smti follows ruti. So it was considered that in order to establish any theistic philosophical theory (Astika Siddhanta) one ought not contradict ruti (Vedas). Adi Sankara has chosen three standards and named as Prasthnatray, literally, three points of departure (three standards). Later these were referred to as the three canonical texts of reference ofHindu philosophy by other Vedanta schools. They are: 1. 2. 3. The Upanishads, known as Upadesha prasthna (injunctive texts), (part of ruti) The Bhagavad Gita, known as Sdhana prasthna (practical text), (part of Smti) The Brahma Sutras, known as Nyya prasthna or Yukti prasthana (part of darana of Uttar Mms)

The Upanishads consist of twelve or thirteen major texts, with many minor texts. The Bhagavad Gt is part of the Mahabhrata.The Brahma Stras (also known as the Vednta Stras), systematise the doctrines taught in the Upanishads and the Gt.

List of Hindu scriptures


Agama important smriti scriptures. Different denominations understand this term in different ways. rayaka () : Part of the Hindu ruti that discuss philosophy, sacrifice and the New Year holiday. Atharva Veda: one of the four Vedas; the last one Akilathirattu Ammanai: A 19th century Tamil Vaishnavite text and the primary scripture of Ayyavazhi sect.


Bhagavad Gt ( ) : The national gospel contained in Mahbhrata, Part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the BhishmaParvachapters 2340. A core sacred text of Hinduism and philosophy.[4] Bhagavata Purana one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, and is Sanskrit for "The Book of God". Brahmana one of the parts into which the Vedas are divided Brahma Sutras important texts in Advaita Vedanta


Chandas (

), the study of Vedic meter, is one of the six Vedanga disciplines, or "organs of the vedas.

Chandogya Upanishad is associated with the Samaveda. It figures as number 9 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. It is part of the Chandogya Brahmana, which has ten chapters. Charaka Samhita: An early Ayurvedic text on internal medicine. It is believed to be the oldest of the three ancient treatises of Ayurveda. "'Code of Manu"' is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmastra textual tradition of Hinduism


Devi Mahatmya also known as Durg Saptashat 700 verses from Mrkandeya Purana giving an account of the Glory of Devi, the Goddess, the most important text of Shaktism sometimes referred to as the "Shakta Bible" Devi Bhagavata One of the Puranas which is one of the most important writings in Shaktism. Divya Prabandha Collection of 4000 verses in Tamil; sung by Alvars saints on Vishnu. Considered as Dravida Veda.


Gheranda Samhita ( ): One of the three classic texts of Hatha Yoga (see also: Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita) written in the late 17th century CE. Gt (): See Bhagwad Gita


Hatha Yoga Pradipika: is one of the fundamental text of Hatha Yoga including information about asanas, pranayama, chakras, kundalini, bandhas,kriyas, shakti, nadis and mudras. It was written by Swami Swatmarama in the 15th century CE.


Itihasas in Hindu religious context this term refers to the Mahabharata and the Ramayana but may also be used in reference to all kinds of Indian epic poetry


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


Mahbhrata (): One of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. The Mahabharata is of religious and philosophical importance in India; in particular, the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of its chapters (Bhishmaparva) and a sacred text of Hinduism. Manu Smriti () : The Manusmriti translated "Laws of Manu" is regarded as an important work of Hindu law and ancient Indian society. Manu was the forefather of all humans and author of Manu Smriti. Certain historians believe it to have been written down around 200 C.E. under the reign of Pushymitra Sunga of Sangha clan.

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


Pura (): Purana meaning "ancient" or "old" is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as distinct from oral literature). Its general themes are history, tradition and religion. It is usually written in the form of stories related by one person to another.


Rmyaa (): Part of the Hindu smriti, written by Valmiki. This epic of 24,000 verses in seven kandas (chapters or books) tells of a Raghuvamsa prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sitais abducted by the rakshasa Ravana. gveda (): The Rigveda is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted as the holiest of the four religious texts of Hindus, known as the Vedas. Rudrayamala Tantra


Sahasranama a book containing a list of names of deities Sama Veda one of the four Vedas Shiva Samhita: is one of the three classical treatises on Hatha Yoga (see also: Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika) written by an unknown author. The text is addressed by the Hindu god Shiva to his consort Parvati. Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta a collection of seventy seven aphorisms that form the foundation of Kashmir Shaivism. Smriti Hindu scriptures other than the Vedas (e.g. the Itihasas, the Puranas) ruti (): A canon of Hindu scriptures. Shruti is believed to have no author; rather a divine recording of the "cosmic sounds of truth", heard by rishis. Stra (): Stra refers to an aphorism or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a book or text. 'Sutras' form a school of Vedic study, related to and somewhat later than the Upanishads. Sushruta Samhita: An ancient Sanskrit text, attributed to one Sushruta, foundational to Ayurvedic medicine (Indian traditional medicine), with innovative chapters on surgery. Swara yoga: An ancient science of pranic body rhythms. It explores how prana can be controlled through the breath.


Tantras (): The esoteric Hindu traditions of rituals and yoga. Tantra can be summarised as a family of voluntary rituals modeled on those of the Vedas, together with their attendant texts and lineages. Tevaram an important Tamil Saivite scripture

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


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


Veda (): Collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be ruti or revealed knowledge.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra a teaching where Bhairavi (Parvati) asks Bhairava (Lord Shiva) to reveal the essence of the way one has to tread on the path to the realization of the highest reality the state of Bhairava.


Yajurveda (): One of the four Vedas, focusing on liturgy, rituals and sacrifices. Yoga Sutra ( ): One of the six darshanas of Hindu or Vedic schools and, alongside the Bhagavad Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika, are a milestone in the history of Yoga. Yoga Vasistha, the discourse of sage Vasistha to prince Rama. It is an important text of Yoga as well as Advaita Vedanta. The book consists of around thirty thousand slokas as well as numerous short stories and anecdotes.

Timeline of Hindu texts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vedas Rigveda Samaveda Yajurveda Atharvaveda Divisions Samhita Brahmana Aranyaka Upanishads Vedangas Shiksha Chandas Vyakarana Nirukta Kalpa Jyotisha Itihasa Ramayana Mahabharata (Bhagavad Gita) Other scriptures Manu Smriti Artha Shastra Agama Tantra Stra Stotra Dharmashastra Divya Prabandha Tevaram Ramcharitmanas Yoga Vasistha

Upanishads Rig vedic Aitareya Yajur vedic Brihadaranyaka Isha Taittiriya Katha Shvetashvatara Sama vedic Chandogya Kena Atharva vedic Mundaka Mandukya Prashna Puranas Brahma puranas Brahma Brahmnda Brahmavaivarta Markandeya Bhavishya Vaishnava puranas Vishnu Bhagavata Naradeya Garuda Padma Agni Shaiva puranas Shiva Linga Skanda Vayu

Hindu scriptures are classified into two parts: Shruti and Smriti. The Vedas are classified under Shruti. Unlike other religions which claim authority of their scriptures as being delivered by a personal God or special messengers of God, Hindus claim that the Vedas do not owe their authority to anybody, rather the Vedas themselves are the authority, being eternal - the knowledge of God. According to Hindu tradition, the mass of knowledge called the Vedanta was discovered by persons called Rishis, seers of

thought. This mass of knowledge was recorded in the written form. The written forms of texts do not reveal any information about the dates of discovery. The Hindu tradition of preserving Vedas is mainly carried on an oral fashion. The written forms are somewhat more recent compared to the original oral tradition. Moreover, many modern historians do not have undisputed artifacts to prove exact dates of the written forms of the texts. Below is a chronological list of (groups of) Hindu texts. All dates refer to the written forms of the texts, and are approximate.

Rigveda, 1700 1100 BC[1] Samaveda, 1700 BC and later[citation needed] Yajurveda, 1400 - 1000 BC[citation needed] Atharvaveda, 1200 - 1000 BC[citation needed] Upanishads, 1200 - 500 BC[2] Ramayana, 5th - 4th century BC[3][4] Mahabharata, 5th[5] - 4th century BC[6] Bhagavad Gita, 100 BC - 300 AD[7] Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 100 BC - 500 AD[8] Puranas, 3rd - 16th century AD[citation needed] Yoga Vasistha, 10th - 14th century AD[9]

List of historic Indian texts

Each collection represents a set of books that are collectively known by the collection's name. In the list of books (shown below the table of collections), each book also refers to the collection it belongs to (if it does).

Name Vedas Shakhas Brahmanas Upanishads Ithihasas Pali Canon Puranas Dharmasastra Vedanta

Description Hymns and magical incantations. There are four vedas, and these constitute the Hindu canon. Vedic school. Each school taught a Veda in a specific way, over time evolving specific styles and emphasis, based on how / by whom / where it was taught. Commentary and elaboration on vedas and description of religious procedures. Philosophy in response to Vedas and Brahmanas. Two sections of the epic Bhagavatham Ramayana and Mahabharata - are known as the Ithihasas.

Alternate Names Samhita

Date 1400 - 1000 BCE

1000 - 800 BCE 800 - 600 BCE

Essential collections of teachings of Buddha, as written by his followers, three centuries later.


Later commentary on the vedas, upanishads and brahmanas.


Subject Area - subject area of the book Topic - topic (within the subject area) Collection - belongs to a collection listed in the table above Date - date (year) book was written Reign Of - king/ruler in whose reign this book was written (occasionally a book could span reigns) Reign Age - extent of the reign Geographic Region - as it was known at the time of writing

No Book Subject Area Topic Collection Languag e Author No concrete information available, but attributed to several rishis . No concrete information available, but attributed to several 'rishis' Date Reign Of Reign Age Geographic Region Modern Name of Geographic Region

1 Rig Veda

Hindu hymns about various gods, and references to historic Part 1 of the four events. part Hindu canon.

Veda / Samhita Sanskrit

1700 BCE to 1000 BCE

Indus region (Indus + its five tributaries Saptha Sindhva +Saraswati) Indus region (Indus + its five tributaries Saptha Sindhva +Saraswati)

2 Yajur Veda 3 Sama Veda 4 Atharva Veda 5 Taittiriya Shakha

6 Shaunaka Shakha 7 Paippalada Shakha

Hindu sacrificial knowledge.

Part 3 of the four part Hindu canon. Part 2 of the four Hindu music and arts. part Hindu canon. Hindu medicine, magic, sorcery. Part 4 of the four part Hindu canon.

Veda / Samhita Sanskrit Veda / Samhita Sanskrit

1400 BCE - 1000 BCE 1400 BCE - 1000 BCE

Veda / Samhita Sanskrit

Attributed to rishis Atharvanaand 1400 BCE - 1000 Angirasa. BCE

8 Satapatha Brahmana 9 Aitareya Brahmana 10 Kaushitaki Brahmana

11 Taittriya Brahmana Samavidhana 12 Brahmana 13 Arseya Brahmana Devatadhyaya 14 Brahmana

Hindu sacrificial knowledge. Hindu vedic practices.

Hindu sacrificial knowledge. Hindu music and arts. Hindu music and arts. Hindu music and arts.

15 Shakdwipiya Brahmana Hindu music and arts. 16 Tandyamaha Brahmana Hindu music and arts. 17 Aitareya Aranyanka 18 Kaushitaki Araynkaya

Recension ofYajur Veda Recension ofAtharva Veda Recension ofAtharva Veda Commentary onYajur Veda Commentary onRig Veda Commentary onRig Veda Commentary onYajur Veda Commentary onSama Veda Commentary onSama Veda Commentary onSama Veda Commentary onSama Veda Commentary onSama Veda

Shakha Shakha Shakha Brahmana Brahmana

Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit

600 BCE - 500 BCE

Brahmana Brahmana Brahmana Brahmana Brahmana Brahmana

Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Pali Sanskrit Sanskrit

19 Taittiriya Upanishad 20 Maitri Upanishad

21 22 23 24

Theravada Buddhism Yoga Ayurveda Life of Rama, a prince of the Sun dynasty.
Krishna's advice to Arjuna on duty.

Upanishad Upanishad Mimamsa Buddhist Pali Canon

25 Ramayana 26 Mahabharata 27 28 29 30 Bhagavad Gita Bhagavata Hatha Yoga Pradipika Gheranda Samhita

Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Greek Sanskrit Patanjali Herodotus
Chanakya (akaKauti lya)

circa 500 BCE

circa 200 BCE

31 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 32 Vishnu Purana 33 Persian Wars 34 Arthasastra 35 Milinda Panha 36 Buddhacharita Periplus of the 37 Erythrean Sea
Dialogues with King Milinda(Mena nder)


Chandragupt 321 BCE 301 BCE a Maurya Magadha Menander Kanishka

0 - 100 CE circa 150 BCE Sagala 100 Purushapura

Sialkot inPunjab Peshawar


Life of Buddha
A naval guide to Indian commerce.

Pali Sanskrit Latin


38 Manava Dharmastra 39

Law, code of conduct.

Code of conduct as described byManu. Dharmastra Puranas

A manual of love. Medical text. Sanskrit grammar Sanskrit grammar Drama aboutChandragupt a II(aka Vikramaditya ) Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics

40 41 42 43

Kamasutra Charaka Samhita Ashtadyayi Mahabhashya

Medicine Sanskrit language Sanskrit language

Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit

Vtsyyana Charaka Panini Patanjali

100 - 200 CE 100 - 200 CE circa 400 BCE circa 200 BCE

44 Devichandragupta 45 ryabhaya 46 Surya Siddhanta 47 Romaka Siddhanta 48 Paulisa Siddhanta 49 Vasishta Siddhanta 50 Paitamaha Siddhanta

Drama Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics

Sanskrit Sanskrit Panchasiddhanti ka Panchasiddhanti ka Panchasiddhanti ka Panchasiddhanti ka Panchasiddhanti ka Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit Sanskrit

Vishakhadatta ryabhaa Varahamihira Varahamihira Varahamihira Varahamihira Varahamihira Brahmagupta Bhaskara I Virasena Mahavira Sridhara

600 BCE 499 CE circa 400 CE 500-500 CE 500-500 CE 500-500 CE 500-500 CE 628 CE 600-680 CE 800-900 CE 800-870 CE 870-930 CE

51 Brhmasphuasiddhnta Mathematics Mathematics 52 Mahabhaskariya 53 Dhavala 54 Ganit Saar Sangraha 55 Nav Shatika
Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics

Amoghavars ha Rashtrakuta Bengal

Bharat Ek Khoj
List of episodes
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. Bharat Mata Ki Jai The Beginnings The Arrival of the Vedic People (the Rigveda) Caste Formation Mahabharata Part 1 Mahabharata Part 2 Ramayana Part 1 Ramayana Part 2 Republics and Kingdoms Negation and Acceptance of Life Chanakya and Chandragupta Part 1 Chanakya and Chandragupta Part 2 Ashoka Part 1 Ashoka Part 2 The Sangam Period: Silapaddirakam Part 1 The Sangam Period: Silapaddirakam Part 2 The Classical Age Kalidas and Shakuntala Part 1 Kalidas and Shakuntala Part 2 Harshavardhana Bhakti The Chola Empire Part 1 The Chola Empire Part 2 The Delhi Sultanate and Prithviraj Raso Part 1 The Delhi Sultanate and Prithviraj Raso Part 2 The Delhi Sultanate and Padmavat Synthesis The Vijayanagar Empire Feudalism The Fall of the Vijayanagar Empire Rana Sanga, Ibrahim Lodi and Babur Akbar Part 1 (Din-e-Ilahi) Akbar Part 2 Golden Hind Aurangzeb Part 1 Aurangzeb Part 2 Shivaji Part 1 Shivaji Part 2 Company Bahadur Tipu Sultan The Bengal Renaissance and Raja Ram Mohan Roy 1857 Part 1 1857 Part 2 Indigo Revolt Mahatma Phule Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Vivekananda Extremists and Moderates And Gandhi Came Part 1 And Gandhi Came Part 2 Separatism Do or Die Epilogue