Many other passages could be noted, each having a different opinion on what texts are sacred and should thus be listed under the name Veda. How does the average Hindu view this dilemma? Rigveda (Sanskrit: knowledge of the Psalms) also spelled gveda, the oldest holy book in Hinduism, written in ancient Sanskrit about 1500 BC, in what is now the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. A great bit more of it, and other sacred Hindu texts, is available online. Hinduism This view is not foreign to Christianity; by the Word, all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible (Colossians 1.16). This, of course, assumes that all Hindus have access to the scripture. Eichler, Detlef (no date) The Churning of Vedic Knowledge, [On-line], URL: Book six of the Mahbhrata contains the Bhagavad Gt, the Song of the Lord. This short text (about the size of Johns gospel), though technically part of the smrti literature, is popularly considered to be among the holiest revelation (Coburn, 1989, p. 116). Tags: The Vedas sanctity often appears to be inversely related to comprehensibility (Coburn, p. 112). The ranyakas reflect an increasingly abstract conception of the sacrificethe literal fire of the sacrifice began to be internalized and symbolically represented as the fire of digestion and the fire of sexual intercourse (for the fully developed doctrine, see Chndogya Upanishad 5.18.2 and Brhadranyaka Upanishad 6.2.13). The Vedas, meaning knowledge, are oldest text of hinduism. Firstly, to note that even though God did make Adam and also placed a special calling, promise and blessing on Abraham and his descendants, the Bible does not mention that God made all of this in the Jewish form.

Written by an unknown sage, the Gt tells the story of Arjuna, a general in the civil war on the eve of battle, and his chariot driver, Krishna, who is actually an incarnate form of God. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. Gandhi, M.K. Carpenter, David (1992), Language, Ritual and Society: Reflections on the Authority of the Veda in India, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 60[1]:57-77. if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[336,280],'hindusinfo_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_6',127,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position != 'undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-hindusinfo_com-large-mobile-banner-1-0')}; So, ignoring the distinctions and just going by some factual measures and figures, we come to know the dates of the Rig Veda to be 17001200 BCE and the dates of the Torah to 950 BCE. added). The Bible seems concise in comparison, containing only 23,314 verses in the Old Testament and 7,959 verses in the New. Together these sixteen branches of literature are known as ruti, meaning what is heard (from the root sru-, to hear). The fourth Veda, the Atharva Veda (Veda of the Fire Priests), differs in content from the other three, and was not used in the sacrifice. by the Babylonians. Lord Vishnu Incarnations & Symbols | Who is the Hindu God Vishnu? These qualities apply primarily to ruti scripture, but depending on ones definition of veda, they may also qualify other scripture. The most famous teaching of the Upanishads is that you are (tat tvam asi), which means that the essence of the self is the absolute. This means something significantly different to a Hindu than it would to a Western Christian with his linear notions of time and space. Clooney, Francis X. Now people dont pay attention to the precious Vedic knowledge. Likewise, the Brahmnda Purna depicts a four-headed Brahma emitting the four Vedic books from his four mouths (1.2.8). The roots of Christianity are in Judaism, which again traces its origin back to the creation of the first man and woman. There the scripture remains, as smoke lingering from an extinguished fire, waiting to be perceived by humans. Become a member to unlock this answer! Even the most orthodox sections of scripture are many times larger than the Bible. Discover who Manu is and what the laws of Manu are. Mitchiner, John (2000) Traditions of the Seven Rsis (New Delhi: New Delhi).

As Vivekananda pointed out, the Vedas are more than a mere bookthey are eternal knowledge, without author, beginning, or end. What are the oldest writings in the world? The only things clearly to be understood, are the profane songs, the obscene ceremonies, and the other indecencies connected with the prescribed festivals (as quoted by Goodall, 1996, p. xxxviii). The Vedas (meaning knowledge) are comprised of four ancient Indian texts, with the oldest dating from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC. 2400 Egyptian pyramid texts, including cannibal hymns. It seems that the Aryans were a fairer-skinned people of Persian descent, whereas the indigenous peoples (Dsas) whom they subjugated were of a darker skin color and Negro-Australoid features. English translations are available for the primary scriptures, yet even the most careful translations are difficult to understand.

Supreme Divinity can be represented as the causal word (sabda-brahman) [1991, p. 38]. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Sign up for our newsletter and get all our latest content. As for the Bible being the oldest text, most scholars place the final text of the Pentateuch around 450 BC. Another passage lauds Indras victory over the dark-skinned natives: He, much invoked, has slain Dsas and Sims [dark-skinned natives], according to his will, and laid them low with arrows. The Bible, also a progressive revelation, never corrects itself, but only compliments and fulfils that which has been written. Note one section from the atapatha Brhmana: Then they draw out the penis of the horse and place it in the vagina of the chief queen, while she says, May the vigorous virile male, the layer of seed, lay the seed; this she says for sexual intercourse ( Though it probably was performed rarely, it is mentioned frequently in the Vedic commentaries. There has always been a confusion about which of them is the oldest.

This would suggest the Torah being as old as the Vedic scriptures. What we usually do not do, however, is have different aspects of God portrayed as different characters in the same narrative. Is the Bible the oldest book ever written? But if it is a fact a thousand more years could be added to the prior existence of Hinduism. Apologetics Press is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the defense of New Testament Christianity. And thus, this makes Hinduism the older religion. The Kma Stra of Vatsyayana is one of the most infamous Hindu texts. Though Bible students rarely master the original languages, sufficient lexical aids exists so that the original meaning can be understood with relatively little difficulty. This belief in multiple gods is accompanied by a slew of celebrations.

Explore the story of how a young Indian prince reached enlightenment, spread his wisdom, and founded Buddhism. Eliot, Charles (1968 reprint), Hinduism and Buddhism: An Historical Sketch (New York: Barnes & Noble).

See the Upanishads definition, its etymological meaning, who wrote these religious texts, and their historical background. The Vedas are older than the New Testament, but only parts of the Old Testament. Speech can therefore be represented as the origin of all things. Written: Circa 2600 BC.

If you pick up the Rig Veda youll soon find that it speaks of many gods: Agniwhere we get our word igniteIndra, Mitra, and many others. God, known here as the Immense Being, breathed out the Vedas, not into specific men, but into the Universe. Many reject them for more pragmatic reasons; Lipner observed that in practice most Hindus have had no direct access to the Vedas, either in written form or aurally (p. 26). What is the origin of Hinduism? Written: Circa 2100 BC. [T]he holy words that are ruti must be seen alongside other transforming, sacramental activities, such as philosophical argumentation, the worship of the divine image form, and the highly nuanced moods (bhavas) of Krishna devotees (p. 112). The historical origin of the Vedas is unknown. Thus Mitra and Varuna work together to hold social order together day and nightboth take part in one process.

Many seek the truth in the hope that they might grope for it and find it, though, according to this passage, it is not far from each one of us. the Eternal Dharma), which refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts. The Vedas are the most authoritative texts, and ought to be called the revealed canon.. Our God is a fierce warrior God (see for example Exodus 15:3). They originate from the ancient Indo-Aryan culture of the Indian subcontinent and were originally an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation, culminating in Vedic Sanskrit writing between 1500 and 500 BC (before the Common Age). According to Coburn, the very concept of smrti is that of an authoritative, but open-ended Word (1989, p. 120). How can they best reach you? This is not to say that all Hindus accept the scriptures. The seven rsis, along with Vyasa, the compiler of the scripture, are generally considered to be perfected beings, greater than humans but less than divine. Allegedly a progressive revelation, Hindu scripture contradicts itself both within particular texts and as a body of literature. Olivelle, Patrick (1996), Introduction, Upanisads (Oxford: Oxford University Press). They are the reverberating primeval vital air that must be heard. By contrast, the Hindu scriptures have no final, objective authority; according to one Hindu, all scriptural knowledge is lower knowledge (Jayrama, 2000). It is one of the oldest complete religious texts in existence. the Quran in its entirety with a stern warning The oldest books of the Bible were written between 1000 and 500 B.C. . Vivekananda summarily stated the orthodox Hindu view of scripture: scripture is eternal, it is impersonal, and it is much more than letters written on a page. If all these gods are really One, Hindus are monotheists (of a sort), or, as some scholars prefer, monist,a philosophical/theological term with so many shades of meaning that usage is very problematic. Ghandi read it once daily. Upanishads (sitting close to a teacher) are, like the ranyakas, secret teachings transmitted from guru to student. For instance, the earliest Vedic texts, which are traced back to the Aryan invasion of the Indian subcontinent, reflect the racial biases of the invaders. Incidentally, as Clooney points out in his essay, postmodernists find this approach to understanding texts refreshingly in line with their own views. He contemplated. Though there is no ancient evidence of Moses we are aware of Biblical chronology and according to that, it seems to be around the 1200 BCE, which is probably simultaneous with the Rig Veda. The first three classes are known as the twice-born, and only the males of those classes are allowed to read the Vedas. Thus be ye lauded, you destroyers of the foe, you thirty-three Deities, the Gods of man, the Holy Ones.

To each samhit are attached inspired commentaries: the Brhmanas, ranyakas, and the Upanishads. However, biblical scholars know that the books that make up the Bible were written over many centuries, and that many of the stories they contain were written centuries after the events they record. They are not only the oldest form of Sanskrit literature but they are also the oldest writings of Hinduism. It is immortal and proclaimed by God to us for salvation. Therefore, the correct answer is option A. 2500 Egyptian Mailers Diary (oldest papyrus). The Rig Veda is the most authoritative of all Hindu scripture, if not for its content, then for its great antiquity. The Epic of Gilgamesh. All the various religious systems and scriptures of the Hindus look upon the Veda as the sole authority. In fact the Rig Veda is considered to be the oldest continual sacred writings. (1995), Religions of India in Practice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). They got their present form between 1200-200 BC and were introduced to India by the Aryans. Some are of a historical nature, such as Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. Others are ethical: Love your neighbor as yourself. There are also what might be characterized as theological or doctrinal truths, which include Jesus is Lord and There will be a day of judgment. The power of these statements of scripture derives from a comprehension of, and conformation to, those truthsnot from their repetition. If the Vedic samhits are like the Psalms, then the Purnas resemble the historical books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Jayaram, V. (2000), Hinduism in the Context of Texts, Hinduwebsite [On-line], URL: He created the gods and manifested the truth of his presence to them; they in turn created the written books of the Veda for the humanity they also made.

Jayaram, a Hindu scholar, admitted that Hinduism does not rely exclusively upon any particular source (2000), and Princeton professor Donald Lopez noted that it has no single text that can serve as a doctrinal point of reference (1995, p. 5). Traditionally, Hindu society is divided into four castes, the Brahmin (priestly class), Kshatriya (ruling class), Vaiya (merchant class), and dra (outcastes). PART 22 IN SERIES Ancient Plan Unfolding. Nothe Rig Veda is much, much older. Though written over a period of 1,400 years by forty very diverse men on two continents, The Book is completely unified and free from error. The Rig, Sma, Yajur and Atharva, became manifest from the Lord, along with the Purnas and all the Devas [gods] residing in the heavens (Atharva Veda 11.7.24). The discoverers of these laws are called Rishis, and we honor them as perfected beings (as quoted in Londhe, 2001). The amorphous collection of texts that might be labeled Hindu scripture consists of millions of lines of text written over thousands of years in several languages. 2022 All Rights Reserved. Thus the Hindus have no accessible ground of truth, no normative written word, and no objective moral or religious instruction. However, it is believed that the texts of Hinduism prove to be older than that of Judaism. They will disclose to a thoughtful eye the ruins of faded grandeur, the memories of noble aspirations. The Jewish Diaspora History & Overview | How Did Judaism Spread. This hymn addressed to the entire pantheon is typical of a vedic chant: Not one of you, ye Gods, is small, none of you is a feeble child: all of you, verily, are great. Wiki , Age , Famille et Carrire. The first Vedas were Rig Veda, which was formed about 3500 years ago. "Continue"

Most English translations of the Bible are on the reading level of a 6-12th grader, yet the same cannot be said of the Vedas. It is true that Christianity started with the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Written: about 2100 BC. Thus, the Vedas and the gods both were created, but they both have also always existed. Together containing about 124,000 verses, the epics comprise some of the longest literary works in human historyfive times as long as the Bible. Explore the life of Siddhartha Gautama's influence on India's religion and philosophy.

In the religion of Hinduism, there are changes and additions to books of their Vedas over the years, and its hard to say all these Vedas are older than the Torah. One could not pick up a copy of the Rig Veda and understand modern Hinduism or even the Vedic rituals without significant explanation. Evidence for this comes from the Sanskrit word for class, varna, which means color (cognate to the English varnish). The oldest of these texts are written in between the 17001200 BCE. Like the Rig Veda, the Sma Veda (Veda of chants) and the Yajur Veda (Veda of sacrificial prayers) served as liturgical manuals for the sacrifice; each of the three was used by one of the orders of Brahminic priesthood, a sacerdotal system similar in structure to the Mosaic system described in Numbers 4. The Brhadrankyaka Upanishad, for instance, condones rape: Surely, a woman who has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period is the most auspicious of women. Yes and no! The Universe is within the self, and the self is the Universe. Learn all about the Upanishads. In its present form the Rig Veda consists of some 10,000 verses, divided into some 1,000 hymns that usually take up 10 volumes in Sanskrit. In the actual sounded syllables of the Veda lie the points of contact with transcendent reality (Graham, p. 138). The eighteen most prominent Purnas alone contain about 375,000 versesapproximately the size of two World Book encyclopedias. You Deities who stay with us, and all you Gods of all mankind, give us your wide protection, give shelter for cattle and for steed (Rig Veda 8.30). All women and males of the dra class are excluded because of their impurity (Manusmrti 2.164-172). A more contemporary interpretation of Veda comes from the International Gita Society, which considers not only Hindu texts, but also the Bible and the Quran as scriptures from the Supreme Being. The eternal Vedas came from the impersonal Absolute. The Rmyana tells the story of Rama, a god-king who rescues his kidnapped wife Sita with the help of the monkey king. Bishku, Tridandi and Swami Bhakti Vijnana Giri (no date), The Supremacy of Srimad Bhagavatam over the Vedas, Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Matha [On-line], URL: One of the Brahmanas states: [In the beginning] was the only Lord of the Universe. Their name derives from the esoteric nature of the textsthe mystic teachings were handed down from teacher to disciple in the seclusion of the forests. The Vedas were composed in their entirety from Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. He didnt want humans to get the benefits of the four Vedas, so he stole them from Brahma. The ranyakas transition almost seamlessly into the final layer of Vedic commentary, the Upanishads, between 800-600 B.C. Those who know this essential truth possessed great cosmic power. The Law Book of Yjavalkya established the Vedas, the Pranas, the philosophical system called Nyya, the exegetical school of Mmms, treatises on moral duty (dharmastras), and the six classes of work that are auxiliaries to the Veda (pronunciation, prosody, grammar, word-derivation, astronomy, and ritual) as the fourteen bases of knowledge and moral duty (1.3). According to Mitchell, the language in which the Vedic poets speak of these enemies is uniformly that of unmingled, vehement hatred (1897, p. 19). Hindu scripture contradicts itself time and time again. Coburn points out that ruti must be seen as ongoing and experientially based feature of the Hindu religious tradition (1989, p. 112). These hymns produced for individual patrons were probably then collected and edited by the Brahmin priests for use in the ritual sacrifice (Mitchell, 1897, p. 17). There are also prayers recorded for the well-being of the priests source of income: O Agni, God, preserve our wealthy patrons with your succors (Rig Veda 1.31.12). What is Hinduism? One 18th-century pundit characterized Veda as that which pertains to religion; books are not Veda (Vedam est, quidquid ad religionem pertinet, vedam non sunt libri) [Graham, 1989, p. 139]. Limiting scripture to a few books tends to be the exception, not the rule; books are more often added to the Veda and deemed sacred. Clarke, James Freeman (1875), Ten Great Religions: an Essay in Comparative Theology (Boston, MA: James Osgood and Company). But as long as we understand, as monists do, that each merely represents different aspects or attributes of the same God, there is little difference. An average Western library or bookstore stocks some abridged compilation of the Vedic Samhits, the 13 principle Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gt, but only the most specialized libraries carry full versions of even the major scriptures.

Why is it important to know this? Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. Different Hindu scriptures present completely different paths to salvation (liberation)karma-yoga (the path of action), ja-yoga (path of knowledge), and bhakti-yoga (path of devotion). The discovery was announced in an article in Science Advances written by researchers from Kentucky and Jerusalem. Since the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, while at the same time contradicting its core essential teachings, the Muslim must therefore reject the Quran. Vc is the female personification of speech, and might be compared to the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs 4 (also perceived as feminine). If the size were insufficient to deter an honest seeker of truth, the incomprehensibility of the scripture certainly would. The Rigveda a scripture of Hinduism is dated to between 15001200 BCE. Gupta lamented: In the present age we take pride in the mere mention of the Vedas without caring to know about their contents (1979). It is better to analyse the dates and then figure out an estimated figure of the texts. A paraphrase of a modern Hindu prayer states: Those who are versed in the Vedas know that the universe is the transformation of speech. But one really cant draw conclusions from understanding and thus this is rejected by scholars as well. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. Apparently, contradiction is not regarded as evidence against the Vedas divine origin. About the same period as the sages Vysa and Valmiki were composing the Epics to provide concrete examples of the dharmic code of conduct, the more formal dharma shstras were being assembled. and A.D. 200. Learn why this is called the three baskets of Buddhism, and the role each plays in the Buddhist faith. Vedic knowledge hangs in the atmosphere as a sort of ether exuded by the gods; the truth needs only to be grasped by enlightened disciples whose heightened senses allow them to perceive it. Their influence is felt even to the present. Hindu Rituals Celebrations & Festivals | What are Hindu Rituals? REPRODUCTION & DISCLAIMERS: We are happy to grant permission for this article to be reproduced in part or in its entirety, as long as our stipulations are observed. The Brhmanas (exposition on the meaning of the sacred word), the first layer of commentary composed about 900 B.C., are prose descriptions and explanations of various sacrificial rites. The religion itself restricts to a select few the scripture that purportedly contains saving knowledge. At just about any good bookstore or online retailer youll find about 10% of the Rig Veda in a single volume published by Penguin in 1981. Sects of Hinduism | Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism & Smartism. It is also said that the texts have been analysed and figured out to be older than that of Judaism. Those written words are living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), and reflect the continuing presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. Hence Vc is everything (3.1.6). So, this is accountable to the records.if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[580,400],'hindusinfo_com-leader-1','ezslot_7',126,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position != 'undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-hindusinfo_com-leader-1-0')}; Secondly, also among the scholars who wrote the Veda, there are also arguments about when the Vedas had been written. The Laws of Manu alone is as long as the four gospel accounts, yet it is just one treatise among about 5,000. actually Rigveda is considered the oldest continuous sacred writing. The ranyakas (forest teachings) followed the Brhmanas without introducing much new material. It might accurately be said that atheists orient themselves in relation to the Bible, yet their position is opposite that of a Christian. Hindu students are not so fortunate. The six oldest mandalas are linked to six priestly families who composed, memorized, and handed down the hymns; books one, and eight through ten, are anthologies of hymns by various independent poet-priests, and were written later. At about 100,000 stanzas, it is 15 times longer than the Bible and eight times as long the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. Though Christians believe scripture to be the complete, written record of specific truths revealed by God, Hindus consider scripture to be the whole of universal truth that may be discovered. Though the Hindu scriptures are immensely significant to the tradition, they exert surprisingly little influence in the religious life of the average Hindu devotee. Learn about the Indian epic poem, the Mahabharata. Likewise the Purans, so holy as to be called the fifth veda (Chandogya Upanishad 7.1.4), are for the most part intensely sectarian; one denounces beliefs and rites which another enjoins (Mitchell, p. 260). Hinduism is the main religion of the Indian subcontinent and the world's third largest religion. The primary purpose of the collections of hymns was to propitiate the gods by praises accompanying the offering of malted butter poured on the fire and of the juice of the Soma plant placed on the sacrificial grass (Macdonell, 1917). The study of the stories and chronology is interesting and in-depth which require not just facts but understanding. When was the upstairs and downstairs taken? Similarities between rituals and deities in the religion of Vedic Hinduism and that of Persia and ancient Europe have led some scholars to attribute the composition of the Vedas to Aryan migrants from central Asia. Eliot notes that it is sacred sound not a sacred book which is venerated (1968, 1:lxxi). The Bible was written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. These sophisticated beliefs developed over time, however, and some of the most ancient hymns attribute revelation to the highest god.