Basics of Hinduism (straight from wiki)
I wrote this blog because at this point in my life, I wanted to know about my culture and heritage. Also, I was and am very influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, considered by some to be responsible for spreading Indian mysticism in the west. And the books of Devdutta Pattnaik. My favorite of his books being Myth= Mithya (mithya means lies).
check out this great blog piece I found on the book summary.
what are upanishads?
The Upanishads are a collection of philosophical texts which form the theoretical basis for the Hindu religion.
They are also known as Vedanta (literally means “the end of the Veda“).
The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain revealed truths (Sruti) concerning the nature of ultimate reality (brahman) and describing the character and form of human salvation (moksha).
More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main (mukhya) Upanishads.
What are vedas?
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.
They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti (“what is heard”),distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti (“what is remembered”).
The four vedas are:
The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the presiding priest;
The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the officiating priest;
The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the priest that chants;
The Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations, apotropaic charms and speculative hymns.
What are the Puranas?
The Puranas are ancient Hindu texts eulogizing various deities, primarily the divineTrimurti God in Hinduism through divine stories. Puranas may also be described as a genre of important Hindu religious texts alongside some Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction,
Itihasa, as it has come down to us, consists of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana(sometimes the Puranas too, are included).
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