The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns along with associated commentaries on liturgy and mystical exegesis. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas; the core text, known as the Rigveda Samhita, is a collection of 1,028 hymns in about 10,600 verses, organized into ten books. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns are praise of specific deities; the younger books in part deal with philosophical or speculative questions, with the virtue of dāna in society and with other metaphysical issues in their hymns. The oldest layers of the Rigveda Samhita are among the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language of similar age as certain Hittite texts. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, most between c. 1500 and 1200 BC, although a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BC has been given. The initial codification of the Rigveda took place during the early Kuru kingdom.
Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations and prayers, making it the world's oldest religious text in continued use. The associated material has been preserved from two shakhas or "schools", known as Śākalya and Bāṣkala; the school-specific commentaries are known as Brahmanas Aranyakas, Upanishads. The text maṇḍalas, of varying age and length; the text originates as oral literature, "books" may be a misleading term, the individual mandalas are, much rather, standalone collections of hymns that were intended to be memorized by the members of various groups of priests. This is true of the "family books", mandalas 2–7, which form the oldest part of the Rigveda and account for 38 per cent of the entire text, they are called "family books" because each of them is attributed to an individual rishi, was transmitted within the lineage of this rishi's family, or of his students. The hymns within each of the family books are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, so on.
They are arranged by decreasing number of hymns within each section. Within each such collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn. If two hymns in the same collection have equal numbers of stanzas they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order; the second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format. The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 9 %, respectively; the ninth mandala is dedicated to Soma and the Soma ritual. The hymns in the ninth mandala are arranged by their length; the first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest. Some of the hymns in mandalas 8, 1 and 10 may still belong to an earlier period and may be as old as the material in the family books; the first mandala has a unique arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas. The first 84 hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it; each mandala consists of sūktas intended for various rituals.
The sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc, which are further analysed into units of verse called pada. The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri, anushtubh and jagati; the trishtubh meter and gayatri meter dominate in the Rigveda. For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is divided into equal sections of several sūktas, called anuvāka, which modern publishers omit. Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into adhyāya and varga; some publishers give both classifications in a single edition. The most common numbering scheme is by book and stanza. E.g. the first verse is in three times eight syllables: 1.1.1a agním ī́ḷe puróhitaṃ 1b yajñásya deváṃ ṛtvíjam 1c hótāraṃ ratna-dhā́tamam "Agni I invoke, the house-priest / the god, minister of sacrifice / the presiding priest, bestower of wealth." Tradition associates a rishi with each ṛc of the Rigveda. Most sūktas are attributed to single composers; the "family books" are so-called. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95 per cent of the ṛcs.
The original text is close to but not identical to the extant Samhitapatha, but metrical and other observations allow reconstruction of the original text from the extant one, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50. The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age collection that established the core'family books' and a redaction, co
The Atharva Veda is the "knowledge storehouse of atharvāṇas, the procedures for everyday life". The text has been a late addition to the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism; the Atharvaveda is composed in Vedic Sanskrit, it is a collection of 730 hymns with about 6,000 mantras, divided into 20 books. About a sixth of the Atharvaveda text adapts verses from the Rigveda, except for Books 15 and 16, the text is in poem form deploying a diversity of Vedic matters. Two different recensions of the text – the Paippalāda and the Śaunakīya – have survived into modern times. Reliable manuscripts of the Paippalada edition were believed to have been lost, but a well-preserved version was discovered among a collection of palm leaf manuscripts in Odisha in 1957. In contrast to the'hieratic religion' of the other three Vedas, the Atharvaveda is said to represent a'popular religion', incorporating not only formulas for magic, but the daily rituals for initiation into learning and funerals. Royal rituals and the duties of the court priests are included in the Atharvaveda.
Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in ancient India, suggests a link between this Veda and medicine. The Atharvaveda was compiled as a Veda contemporaneously with Samaveda and Yajurveda, or about 1200 BC - 1000 BC. Along with the Samhita layer of text, the Atharvaveda includes a Brahmana text, a final layer of the text that covers philosophical speculations; the latter layer of Atharvaveda text includes three primary Upanishads, influential to various schools of Hindu philosophy. These include the Mandukya Upanishad and the Prashna Upanishad; the Veda may be named, states Monier Williams, after the mythical priest named Atharvan, first to develop prayers to fire, offer Soma, who composed "formulas and spells intended to counteract diseases and calamities". Monier Williams notes; the name Atharvaveda, states Laurie Patton, is for the text being "Veda of the Atharvāṇas". The oldest name of the text, according to its own verse 10.7.20, was Atharvangirasah, a compound of "Atharvan" and "Angiras", both Vedic scholars.
Each school called the text after itself, such as Saunakiya Samhita, meaning the "compiled text of Saunakiya". The "Atharvan" and "Angiras" names, states Maurice Bloomfield, imply different things, with the former considered auspicious while the latter implying hostile sorcery practices. Over time, the positive auspicious side came to be celebrated and the name Atharva Veda became widespread; the latter name Angiras, linked to Agni and priests in the Vedas, states George Brown, may be related to Indo-European Angirôs found in an Aramaic text from Nippur. Michael Witzel states Atharvan roots may be *atharwan or " priest, sorcerer", with links to Avestan āθrauuan "priest" and Tocharian <*athr, "superior force". The Atharvaveda is occasionally referred to as Bhrgvangirasah and Brahmaveda, after Bhrigu and Brahma respectively; the Atharvaveda is a collection of 20 books, with a total of 730 hymns of about 6,000 stanzas. The text is, state Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, a historical collection of beliefs and rituals addressing practical issues of daily life of the Vedic society, it is not a liturgical Yajurveda-style collection.
The Caraṇavyuha, a era Sanskrit text, states that the Atharvaveda had nine shakhas, or schools: paippalāda, mauda, śaunakīya, jājala, brahmavada, devadarśa and cāraṇavaidyā. Of these, only the Shaunakiya recension, the more discovered manuscripts of Paippalāda recension have survived; the Paippalāda edition is more ancient. The two recensions differ in, as well as content. For example, the Book 10 of Paippalada recension is more detailed and observed not doing a single mistake, more developed and more conspicuous in describing monism, the concept of "oneness of Brahman, all life forms and the world"; the Atharvaveda Samhita was organized into 18 books, the last two were added later. These books are arranged neither by the length of the hymns; each book has hymns of about a similar number of verses, the surviving manuscripts label the book with the shortest hymns as Book 1, in an increasing order. Most of the hymns are poetic and set to different meters. Most of the hymns of Atharvaveda are unique to it, except for the one sixth of its hymns that it borrows from the Rigveda from its 10th mandala.
The 19th book was a supplement of a similar nature of new compositions and was added later. The 143 hymns of the 20th book of Atharvaveda Samhita is entirely borrowed from the Rigveda; the hymns of Atharvaveda cover a motley of topics, across its twenty books. The first seven books focus on magical poems for all sorts of healing and sorcery, Michael Witzel states these are reminiscent of Germanic and Hittite sorcery stanzas, may be the oldest section. Books 8 to 12 are speculations of a variety of topics, while Books 13 to 18 tend to be about life cycle rites of passage rituals; the Srautasutra texts Vaitāna Sūtra and the Kauśika Sūtra are attached to the Atharvaveda Shaunaka edition, as are a supplement of Atharvan Prayascitthas, two Pratishakhyas, a collection of Parisisthas. For the Paippalada edition of Atharvaveda, corresponding texts were Agastya and Paithinasi Sutras but these are lost or yet to be discovered; the ancient Indian tradition recognized only three Vedas. The Rigveda, the verse 184.108.40.206 of Taittir
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the "art-of-living" well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one's love life, other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. Kamasutra is the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love, it is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya. The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses; the text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, lists desire and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be engaging, finding a partner, maintaining power in a married life and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, other topics; the majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.
The text is one of many Indian texts on Kama Shastra. It is a much-translated work in non-Indian languages; the Kamasutra has influenced many secondary texts that followed after the 4th-century CE, as well as the Indian arts as exemplified by the pervasive presence Kama-related reliefs and sculpture in old Hindu temples. Of these, the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is a UNESCO world heritage site. Among the surviving temples in north India, one in Rajasthan sculpts all the major chapters and sexual positions to illustrate the Kamasutra. According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra became "one of the most pirated books in English language" soon after it was published in 1883 by Richard Burton; this first European edition by Burton does not faithfully reflect much in the Kamasutra because he revised the collaborative translation by Bhagavanlal Indrajit and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide with Forster Arbuthnot to suit 19th-century Victorian tastes. The original composition date or century for the Kamasutra is unknown.
Historians have variously placed it between 400 BCE and 300 CE. According to John Keay, the Kama Sutra is a compendium, collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE. In contrast, the Indologist Wendy Doniger who has co-translated Kama sutra and published many papers on related Hindu texts, the surviving version of the Kamasutra must have been revised or composed after 225 CE because it mentions the Abhiras and the Andhras dynasties that did not co-rule major regions of ancient India before that year; the text makes no mention of the Gupta Empire which ruled over major urban areas of ancient India, reshaping ancient Indian arts, Hindu culture and economy from the 4th-century through the 6th-century. For these reasons, she dates the Kama sutra to the second half of the 3rd-century CE; the place of its composition is unclear. The candidates are urban centers of north or northwest ancient India, alternatively in the eastern urban Pataliputra. Vatsyayana Mallanaga is its accepted author because his name is embedded in the colophon verse, but little is known about him.
Vatsyayana states. In the preface, Vatsyayana acknowledges that he is distilling many ancient texts, but these have not survived, he cites the work of others he calls "teachers" and "scholars", the longer texts by Auddalaki, Dattaka, Ghotakamukha, Gonikaputra and Kuchumara. Vatsyayana's Kamasutra is mentioned and some verses quoted in the Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira, as well as the poems of Kalidasa; this suggests he lived before the 5th-century CE. The Hindu tradition has the concept of the Purusharthas which outlines "four main goals of life", it holds that every human being has four proper goals that are necessary and sufficient for a fulfilling and happy life: Dharma – signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, includes duties, laws, conduct and right way of living. Hindu dharma includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviors that enable social order, right conduct, those that are virtuous.
Dharma, according to Van Buitenen, is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. It is, states Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert. Artha – signifies the "means of life", activities and resources that enables one to be in a state one wants to be in. Artha incorporates wealth, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity; the proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. Kama – signifies desire, passion, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations. Gavin Flood explains kāma as "love" without violating dharma and one's journey towards moksha. Moksha – signifies emancipation, liberation or release. In some schools of Hinduism, moksha connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth, in other schools moksha connotes freedom, self-knowledge, self-realization and liberation in this life.
Each of these pursuits became a subject of study and led to prolific Sanskrit and some Prakrit languages literature in ancient India. Along with Dharmasastras and Mokshasastras, the Kamasastras genre have been preserved in palm leaf manuscripts; the K
The Linga Purana is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, a Shaivism text of Hinduism. The text's title Linga refers to the iconography for Shiva; the author and date of the Linga Purana is unknown, the estimates place the original text to have been composed between the 5th- to 10th-century CE. The text exists in many inconsistent versions, was revised over time and expanded; the extant text is structured with a cumulative total of 163 chapters. The text presents cosmology, seasons, geography, a tour guide for pilgrimage, a manual for the design and consecration of the Linga and Nandi, the importance of these icons, a description of Yoga with claims of its various benefits; the estimate composition dates for the oldest core of Linga Purana vary between scholars, ranging from the 5th-century CE to 10th-century. Like all the Puranas, the Linga Purana has a complicated chronology. Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature.
Each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition, it is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The Linga Purana survives in many versions, consisting of two parts – the Purva-bhaga with 108 chapters and Uttara-bhaga with 55 chapters. However, the manuscripts of the text assert in verse 2.55.37 that the Uttara-bhaga only has 46 chapters, suggesting that the text was expanded over time. Some scholars suggest that the entire Uttara-bhaga may be a insertion or attachment to the older part; the text is titled after its theme, the worship of Linga, the text is focussed on Shiva as Supreme. However, along with Shiva-related themes, the Linga Purana includes chapters dedicated to Vedic themes, as well as includes reverence for Vishnu and Brahma. Linga, states Alain Daniélou, means sign, it is an important concept in Hindu texts, wherein Linga is a manifested sign and nature of someone or something.
It accompanies the concept of Brahman, which as invisible signless and existent Principle, is formless or linga-less. The Linga Purana states, "Shiva is signless, without color, smell, beyond word or touch, without quality and changeless"; the source of the universe is the signless, all of the universe is the manifested Linga, a union of unchanging Principles and the changing nature. The Linga Purana text builds on this foundation; the Linga Purana consists of two parts -- the shorter Uttara-bhaga. They discuss diverse range of topics, illustrative sections include: Cosmology: the text presents cosmology in several places. For example, in early chapters it refers to the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, in chapter 1.70 it presents a Samkhya-type cosmology. Astronomy: the Purana presents its theory of sun, moon and stars in the night sky in chapters 1.55 to 1.61, with the mythology associated with each. Geography: the earth has seven continents asserts the text, it names and describes the mountains and rivers, what grows in various regions, the text woven in with mythology.
Tirtha: the holy cities of Varanasi, Kedarnath and Kurukshetra are extolled in chapters 1.77 and 1.92, for example. Yoga and ethics: the Linga Purana discusses Pashupata Yoga and ethics in many sections, such as chapters 1.8, 1.88-1.89, 2.13, 2.55 and others. The Linga Purana is notable for its aggressiveness in retaliating against those who censure Shiva, suggesting in chapter 1.107 that Shiva devotee should be willing to give his life to end the censorship of Shiva, if necessary with violence against those who censure Shiva. In Chapter 1.78, the text emphasizes the virtues of non-violence, stating, "violence should be avoided always, at all places."The Linga Purana's ideas incorporate, states Stella Kramrisch, those of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. The chapter 1.17 of the Linga Purana introduces Linga as Pradhana or Prakriti, while Shiva is described as Lingin, or one with this "subtle body". Linga is presented by the text as an abstract concept, contrasted with Alinga, along with its phallic significance and sexual truth in nature's process of life creation.
The verses of the text, states Kramrisch, presents Linga as an aniconic symbol of both the matter and the spirit, the Prakriti and the Purusha, whereby the "powers of creation and annihilation" are symbolized by the icon. Dimmitt, Cornelia. B.. Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-4399-0464-0. Kramrisch, Stella; the Presence of Śiva. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691019307. Dalal, Rosen. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin. ISBN 978-8184752779. K P Gietz. Epic and Puranic Bibliography Annoted and with Indexes: Part I: A - R, Part II: S - Z, Indexes. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-03028-1. Rocher, Ludo; the Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225. Linga Purana - Part 1, English Translation by J. L. Shastri Linga Purana - Part 2, English Translation by J. L. Shastri
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
The Maitrayaniya Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit text, embedded inside the Yajurveda. It is known as the Maitri Upanishad, is listed as number 24 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads; the Maitrayaniya Upanishad is associated with the Maitrayanas school of the Yajurveda. It is a part of the "black" Yajurveda, with the term "black" implying "the un-arranged, motley collection" of content in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" Yajurveda where Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Isha Upanishad are embedded; the chronology of Maitrayaniya Upanishad is contested, but accepted to be a late period Upanishadic composition. The Maitrayaniya Upanishad consists of seven Prapathakas; the first Prapathaka is introductory, the next three are structured in a question-answer style and discuss metaphysical questions relating to Atman, while the fifth to seventh Prapathaka are supplements. However, several manuscripts discovered in different parts of India contain lesser number of Prapathakas, with a Telugu language version showing just four, another Burnell version showing just one section.
The content and structure of the Upanishad is different in various manuscript recensions, suggesting that the Upanishad was extensively interpolated and expanded over a period of time. The common kernel of the Upanishad across different recensions, states Max Muller, is a reverence for soul, that can be summarized in a few words as, " is the Self – the immortal, the fearless, the Brahman"; the Maitri Upanishad is an important ancient text notable, in its expanded version, for its references to theories found in Buddhism, elements of the Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hinduism, as well as the Ashrama system. The text is notable for its practice of Anyatrapyuktam, being one of the earliest known Sanskrit texts that embedded quotes with credits and frequent citations to more ancient Sanskrit texts; the etymological root of the Maitrayaniya Upanishad are unclear. This has led to a variety of names and spellings for this Upanishad. Maitra and Maitri are related words which mean "kindly, good will, friend of all creatures".
The root for the Upanishad is the name of an ancient Indian scholar, sometimes spelled Maitri or Maitreya, giving the text the alternate name of Maitri or Maitra Upanishad. The ancient scholar is credited with a school of thought, thus giving the text the name Maitrayaniya Upanishad. Other names for this text include Maitrayani Upanishad, Maitrayana Upanishad, Maitrayaniya-brahmana Upanishad, Sriyagussakhayam Maitrayaniya-brahmana Upanishad and Maitrayaniyopanishad; the Maitrayaniya Upanishad was composed in late 1st millennium BCE after Atharva Veda texts such as the Mundaka Upanishad and Prashna Upanishad, but its precise chronology is unclear and contested. The chronology is difficult to resolve because all opinions rest on scanty evidence, an analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Olivelle includes Maitri Upanishad among the list of principal Upanishads that were composed last around the start of the common era.
Mahony suggests an earlier date, placing Prashna along with Maitri and Mandukya Upanishads, as texts that emerged about early fourth century BCE. Jayatilleke states, "Buddhism is not far removed in time from, though it is prior to, the Maitri Upanishad". Nakamura states that "although Buddhistic influence can be seen in the Maitri Upanishad, the particular terms and modes of expression of Mahayana Buddhism do not yet appear". Phillips, in contrast, lists Maitri Upanishad before and about the time the first Buddhist Pali canonical texts were composed. Ranade posits a view similar to Phillips, placing Maitri's chronological composition in the fifth group of ancient Upanishads and last of the Principal Upanishads. Cowell too considers Maitri Upanishad as late era Upanishad, with its sections comparatively modern, because of the structural and style differences within texts, inconsistencies in Poona manuscript, Calcutta manuscript, Eckstein manuscript, Burnell manuscript and other manuscripts, because some version of the manuscripts insert quotes from Vaishnavism.
Deussen states that the Upanishad is chronologically significant because its author takes for granted the concepts and ideas found in Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hinduism, which must have been established by the time Maitri Upanishad was composed. The extant recension of the text consists seven Prapāṭhakas, of which several sections are Khilas added later; the last two are called as khila by medieval era Indian scholar Ramatirtha. Others consider the last three sections as appendices. Other discovered manuscript versions of the Maitri Upanishad present different number of sections, ranging from 1 to 4, without any appendices. There are differences in style and content among the discovered manuscripts when the text contains the same number of sections; the text is a prose style Upanishad, with a motley collection of different sized paragraphs. The first section has four paragraphs, the second has seven, the third presents five paragraphs, while the fourth section contains six; as appendices, the fifth lesson has two paragraphs, while the sixth Prapathaka is the longest section with thirty eight paragraphs.
The last supplementary section, or the seventh Prapāṭhaka has eleven paragraphs som
The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti; the Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, texts that have been more preserved since ancient times. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma; the Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis, after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot. According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas. There are four Vedas: the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda.
Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas, the Upanishads. Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas; the various Indian philosophies and denominations have taken differing positions on the Vedas. Schools of Indian philosophy which cite the Vedas as their scriptural authority are classified as "orthodox". Other śramaṇa traditions, such as Lokayata, Ajivika and Jainism, which did not regard the Vedas as authorities, are referred to as "heterodox" or "non-orthodox" schools. Despite their differences, just like the texts of the śramaṇa traditions, the layers of texts in the Vedas discuss similar ideas and concepts; the Sanskrit word véda "knowledge, wisdom" is derived from the root vid- "to know". This is reconstructed as being derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *u̯eid-, meaning "see" or "know", cognate to Greek εἶδος "aspect", "form"; this is not to be confused is the homonymous 1st and 3rd person singular perfect tense véda, cognate to Greek οἶδα oida "I know".
Root cognates are English wit, etc.. Latin videō "I see", etc; the Sanskrit term veda as a common noun means "knowledge". The term in some contexts, such as hymn 10.93.11 of the Rigveda, means "obtaining or finding wealth, property", while in some others it means "a bunch of grass together" as in a broom or for ritual fire. A related word Vedena appears in hymn 8.19.5 of the Rigveda. It was translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith as "ritual lore", as "studying the Veda" by the 14th-century Indian scholar Sayana, as "bundle of grass" by Max Müller, as "with the Veda" by H. H. Wilson. Vedas are called Vaymoli in parts of South India. Marai means "hidden, a secret, mystery", but Tamil Naanmarai mentioned in Tholkappiam isn't Sanskrit Vedas. In some south Indian communities such as Iyengars, the word Veda includes the Tamil writings of the Alvar saints, such as Divya Prabandham, for example Tiruvaymoli; the Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts. The Samhitas date to 1700–1100 BCE, the "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c.
1000–500 BCE, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE, or the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The Vedic period reaches its peak only after the composition of the mantra texts, with the establishment of the various shakhas all over Northern India which annotated the mantra samhitas with Brahmana discussions of their meaning, reaches its end in the age of Buddha and Panini and the rise of the Mahajanapadas. Michael Witzel gives a time span of c. 1500 to c. 500–400 BCE. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material of the 14th century BCE, the only epigraphic record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the Rigvedic period, he gives 150 BCE as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, 1200 BCE as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda. Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. A literary tradition is traceable in post-Vedic times, after the rise of Buddhism in the Maurya period earliest in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE.
Witzel suggests the possibility of written Vedic texts towards the end of 1st millennium BCE. Some scholars such as Jack Goody state that "the Vedas are not the product of an oral society", basing this view by comparing inconsistencies in the transmitted versions of literature from various oral societies such as the Greek and other cultures noting that the Vedic literature is too consistent and vast to have been composed and transmitted orally across generations, without being written down. However, adds Goody, the Vedic texts involved both a written and oral tradition, calling it a "parallel products of a literate society". Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material, surviving manuscripts surpass an age of a few hundred years; the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University has a Rigveda manuscript from the 14th century. The Vedas, Vedic rituals and its ancillary sciences called the Vedangas, were part of the curriculum at ancient universities such as at Ta