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What is Hindusim holy book?


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February 01, 2009 7:57PM

Hindu sacred texts are perhaps the most ancient religious texts still surviving today. Some appear to be millennia older than the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which conservative Christians date to circa 1500 BCE and liberal scholars date to circa 900 BCE. * The primary sacred texts of Hinduism are the Vedas: the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India. The Rig Veda (a.k.a. Rigveda) may be the oldest of the four. The Yajur and Atharva Vedas refer to the vernal equinox having occurred in the Pleiades constellation -- an event dating from about 2500 BCE.

(The Upanishadas deal with Vedic philosophy and form the conclusions of each of the Vedas. "They elaborate on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a persons' actions.") * An important text is the Ramayana. It is "a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day" concerning the exploits of the hero Rama who is viewed as an avatar of Vishnu, and as "...a principal deity in his own right." The written form has been attributed to the poet Valmiki. * The Mahabharata is a group of books attributed to the sage Vyasa. They record "the legends of the Bharatas, one of the Aryan tribal groups." The Bhagavad Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata. It is a poem describing a conversation between a warrior Arjuna and the God Krishna. It is an ancient text that has become a main sacred text of Hinduism and other belief systems. * Other texts include the Brahmanas, the Sutras, Puranas, and the Aranyakas.