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Who Am I?. Hindu Texts. What do we already know about the history of the Hindu tradition? What do we mean by ‘sacred text’?. Hindu Texts. Smriti “that which is remembered”. Sruti “that which is heard”. The Ramayana The Mahabharata The Bhagavad Gita. The Four Vedas Upanishads.

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Hindu Texts

  • What do we already know about the history of the Hindu tradition?
  • What do we mean by ‘sacred text’?

Hindu Texts


“that which is remembered”


“that which is heard”

  • The Ramayana
  • The Mahabharata
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • The Four Vedas
  • Upanishads

The Vedas

  • ‘Veda’ = ‘knowledge’
  • Written in Vedic Sanskrit
  • The four Vedas are: Rig Veda

Sama Veda

Yajur Veda

Atharva Veda


Rig Veda - A collection of 1,028 hymns to various deities. It also contains many mythological and poetical accounts of the origins of the world

Sama Veda – ‘Sama’ means ‘melody’ and so this text is a copy of the Rig Veda’s hymns set to music. It was used as liturgy by the priests in ritual sacrifices

Yajur Veda – Mantras from the Rig Veda are paired up with certain sacrificial actions

Atharva Veda – This text is less concerned with sacrifice, but more with magic that will protect the individual against evil. It also contains philosophical hymns.



  • ‘To sit at the feet of’ – What do you think this means?
  • There are more than 200 Upanishads
  • We learn about many of the central concepts to the Hindu tradition from these books – What are they?

Karma Moksha





The Ramayana

  • One of the two great Indian Epics. The original poem was written by the poet Valmiki and was a 24,000 couplet long poem.
  • It tells of life in India around 1,000BCE.
  • It tells of the story of Rama and Sita – Who is Sita an avatar of?
  • It centres around the important concept of dharma.

The Mahabharata & Bhagavad Gita

  • The second of India’s great Epics.
  • It has over 200,000 individual lines of verse, fitted into 18 books.
  • Tells the story of a warring cousins, of good against evil.
  • The Bhagavad Gita is a small section of the Mahabharata and deals with Krishna talking to Arjuna about his guilty feelings surrounding the war
  • It is a collection of subtales that mutually illuminate each other.


Answer the following questions :

a. Give two differences between “Shrutis” and “Smritis”.

b. Give two main messages of Hindu Scriptures for Mankind which appeal to you. Why do they appeal to you?