The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term means tradition or "that which has come down", the Agama texts describe cosmology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires; these canonical texts are in Tamil. The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism, Shaktism; the Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is used to refer to Shakta Agamas. The Agama literature is voluminous, includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas, 108 Vaishnava Agamas, numerous Upa-Agamas; the origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga and philosophies ranging from Dvaita to Advaita; some suggest that these are others as pre-Vedic compositions. Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in the Pallava dynasty era.
Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas. The Agamas literary genre may be found in Śramaṇic traditions. Bali Hindu tradition is called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia. Āgāma is derived from the verb root गम meaning "to go" and the preposition आ meaning "toward" and refers to scriptures as "that which has come down". Agama means "tradition", refers to precepts and doctrines that have come down as tradition. Agama, states Dhavamony, is a "generic name of religious texts which are at the basis of Hinduism and which are divided into Vaishnava Agamas, Saiva Agamas, Sakta Agamas. Agamas, states Rajeshwari Ghose, teach a system of spirituality involving ritual worship and ethical personal conduct through precepts of a god; the means of worship in the Agamic religions differs from the Vedic form. While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship.
Symbols and temples are a necessary part of the Agamic practice, while non-theistic paths are alternative means of Vedic practice. Action and will drive Agama precepts. This, does not mean that Agamas and Vedas are opposed, according to medieval-era Hindu theologians. Tirumular, for example, explained their link as follows: "the Vedas are the path, the Agamas are the horse"; each Agama consists of four parts: Jnana pada called Vidya pada – consists of doctrine, the philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation. Yoga pada – precepts on yoga, the physical and mental discipline. Kriya pada – consists of rules for rituals, construction of temples; this code is analogous in the Buddhist text of Sadhanamala. Charya pada – lays down rules of conduct, of worship, observances of religious rites, rituals and prayaschittas; the Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage: Sthala and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, Murti refers to the image of god.
Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa describing the quality requirements of the places where temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they are to be made, their dimensions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex, etc. The Manasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules; the rituals followed in worship services each day at the temple follow rules laid out in the Agamas. The Agama texts of Hinduism present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism; this diversity of views was acknowledged in Chapter 36 of Tantraloka by the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. In Shaivism alone, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism Agama texts, sixty-four monism Agama texts; the Bhairava Shastras are monistic. A similar breadth of diverse views is present in Vaishnava Agamas as well; the Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman and the existence of an Ultimate Reality.
The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two. Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, God is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, there is no spiritual difference between life, matter and God; the parallel group among Vaishnavas are the Shuddhadvaitins. Scholars from both schools have written treatises ranging from dualism to monism. For example, Shivagrayogin has emphasized the non-difference or unity of being, rea
Planets in astrology
Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, "wandering stars", which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year. To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this group consisted of the five planets visible to the naked eye and excluded Earth. Although the term planet applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon, making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today. To ancient astrologers, the planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon human affairs. To modern astrologers, the planets represent basic drives or urges in the unconscious, or energy flow regulators representing dimensions of experience, they express themselves with different qualities in the twelve signs of the zodiac and in the twelve houses.
The planets are related to each other in the form of aspects. Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets' influence. Hone writes. Others hold that the planets have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organizing principles in the universe. In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-like fashion, "as above, so below". Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect the ebb and flow of basic human impulses; the planets are associated in the Chinese tradition, with the basic forces of nature. Listed below are the specific meanings and domains associated with the astrological planets since ancient times, with the main focus on the Western astrological tradition; the planets in Hindu astrology are known as the Navagraha or "nine realms". In Chinese astrology, the planets are associated with the life forces of yin and yang and the five elements, which play an important role in the Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui.
Astrologers differ on the signs associated with each planet's exaltation. This table shows the Greek and Roman deities associated with them. In most cases, the English name for planets derives from the name of a Roman goddess. Of interest is the conflation of the Roman god with a similar Greek god. In some cases, it is the same deity with two different names. Treatises on the Ptolemaic planets and their influence on people born "under their reign" appear in block book form, so-called "planet books" or Planetenbücher; this genre is atteted in numerous manuscripts beginning in the mid 15th century in the Alemannic German areal. These books list a male and a female Titan with each planet and Rhea with Saturn and Themis with Jupiter Crius and Dione with Mars and Theia with Sun and Phoebe with Moon and Metis with Mercury, Oceanus and Tethys with Venus; the qualities inherited from the planets by their children are as follows: Saturn: industrious and tranquility Jupiter: charming and hunting Mars: soldiering and warfare Sun: music and athleticism Moon: shy and tenderness Mercury: prudent and commerce Venus: amorousness and passion.
The seven classical planets are those seen with the naked eye, were thus known to ancient astrologers. They are the Moon, Venus, Mars and Saturn. Sometimes, the Sun and Moon were referred to as "the lights" or the "luminaries". Vesta and Uranus can just be seen with the naked eye, though no ancient culture appears to have taken note of them; the astrological descriptions attached to the seven classical planets have been preserved since ancient times. Astrologers call the seven classical planets "the seven personal and social planets", because they are said to represent the basic human drives of every individual; the personal planets are the Sun, Mercury and Mars. The social or transpersonal planets are Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are called the first of the "transpersonal" or "transcendent" planets as they represent a transition from the inner personal planets to the outer modern, impersonal planets; the outer modern planets Uranus and Pluto are called the collective or transcendental planets. The following is a list of their associated characteristics.
The Sun is exalted in Aries. In classical Greek mythology, the Sun was represented by the Titans Helios; the Sun is the star at the center of our solar system, around which the Earth and other planets revolve and provides us with heat and light. The arc that the Sun travels in every year and setting in a different place each day, is therefore in reality a reflection of the Earth's own orbit around the Sun; this arc is larger the farther north or south from the equator latitude, giving a more extreme difference between day and night and between seasons during the year. The Sun travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac on its annual journey, spending about a month in each; the Sun's position on a person's birthday therefore determines what is called his or her "sun" sign. However, the sun sign allotment varies between Western and Hindu astrology (sign change arou
The Naradiya Purana or Narada Purana (Sanskrit: नारद पुराण, are two Sanskrit texts, one of, a major Purana of Hinduism, while the other is a minor Purana. Both are Vaishnavism texts, have been a cause of confusion in Purana-related scholarship. To prevent confusion, some scholars sometimes refer to the minor Purana as Brihannaradiya Purana. Unlike most Puranas that are encyclopedic, the Brihannaradiya text is focussed entirely on Vishnu worship, while the Naradiya text is a compilation of 41 chapters on Vishnu worship and rest of the chapters cover a wide range of topics including a large compilation of Mahatmya to temples and places along river Ganges, neighboring regions; the Naradiya Purana is notable for dedicating eighteen chapters on other Puranas, one entire chapter summarizing each major Purana. It is notable for its verses extolling Buddha in chapter 1.2. Manuscripts of nearly all the major Puranas acknowledge the existence of a major Purana named either Narada or Naradiya, suggesting it was an important text in Hindu history.
Yet, unlike other Puranas which either appear in the major Purana or minor Purana lists, the Narada text appears in both lists. This caused significant confusion to early 20th century Indologists; the confusion was compounded by the fact that the content of the text manuscripts they found seemed to follow similar scope and focus, except that the Brihannaradiya Purana text with about 3,500 verses was bigger than the other with about 3,000 verses. Discovered manuscripts and scholarship established that the Narada or Naradiya is the major Purana, Brihannaradiya is the Upapurana; the Naradiya Purana consists of two bhagas, with the first called Purvabhaga and second called Uttarabhaga. The Purvabhaga has four padas with the total of 125 chapters; the Uttarabhaga has 82 chapters. The Brihannarada Purana has no parts or padas, a total of 38 adhyayas; the Narada Purana texts, like other Puranas, exist in numerous versions, but with less variation than other Puranas. Wilson states that both texts are of recent composition 16th or 17th century, because the five manuscripts he reviewed had verses mentioning certain events after Islamic invasion and control of the Indian subcontinent.
The other unusual part of the manuscripts he examined, states Wilson, is that the descriptions of ritual worship of Vishnu in the text are "puerile inventions, wholly foreign to the more ancient" ideas in Purana genre of Hindu texts. Rajendra Hazra, in contrast, states that the core verses of the texts were first composed over various centuries, as follows: he dates the Vishnu bhakti focussed text Brihannarada Purana to the 9th-century; the Naradiya Purana, states Hazra, was composed after the Brihannarada Purana. It is unknown, adds Hazra, whether the extant manuscripts of the Narada Puranas are same as the 9th and 10th-century originals, but we know that the verses quoted in medieval Hindu Smriti texts with these texts cited as source, are missing from the surviving manuscripts. Rocher states. Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom the major and minor Puranas 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 Padma Purana categorizes Naradiya Purana as a Sattva Purana. Scholars consider the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas classification as "entirely fanciful" and there is nothing in this text that justifies this classification; the Brihannaradiya Purana is focussed on the bhakti of Vishnu. It describes the festivals and ritual ceremonies of Vaishnavism. Many chapters of the text are part of Mahatmya glorifying river Ganges and travel centers such as Prayag and Banaras; the text includes chapters on ethics and duties of Varna and Ashramas and summaries on Sanskara. The Narada Purana follows the style of the Brihannaradiya Purana in the first 41 chapters of Purvabhaga, but the rest of the first part and second part are encyclopedic covering a diverse range of topics; the encyclopedic sections discuss subjects such as the six Vedangas, Dharma, Adhyatma-jnana, Pashupata philosophy, a secular guide with methods of worship of Ganesha, various avatars of Vishnu, Hanuman, goddesses such as Devi and Mahalakshmi, as well as Shiva.
The text glorifies Radha as the one whose love manifests as all Hindu goddesses. The text's secular description and verse of praises are not limited to different traditions of Hinduism, but other traditions. For example, chapter 1.2 extols Buddha. This contrasts with Kurma Purana, disdainful of Buddhism without mentioning Buddha, but similar to the praise of Buddha in other major Puranas such as chapter 49 of the Agni Purana, chapter 2.5.16 of the Shiva Purana, chapter 54 of the Matsya Purana and various minor Puranas. Chapters 92 through 109 of Purvabhaga are notable for summarizing the 18 major Puranas, one entire chapt
The Yajurveda is the Veda of prose mantras for worship rituals. An ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, it is a compilation of ritual offering formulas that were said by a priest while an individual performed ritual actions such as those before the yajna fire. Yajurveda is one of the four Vedas, one of the scriptures of Hinduism; the exact century of Yajurveda's composition is unknown, estimated by scholars to be around 1200 to 1000 BCE, contemporaneous with Samaveda and Atharvaveda. The Yajurveda is broadly grouped into two – the "black" or "dark" Yajurveda and the "white" or "bright" Yajurveda; the term "black" implies "the un-arranged, motley collection" of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" which implies the "well arranged, clear" Yajurveda. The black Yajurveda has survived in four recensions, while two recensions of white Yajurveda have survived into the modern times; the earliest and most ancient layer of Yajurveda samhita includes about 1,875 verses, that are distinct yet borrow and build upon the foundation of verses in Rigveda.
The middle layer includes the Satapatha Brahmana, one of the largest Brahmana texts in the Vedic collection. The youngest layer of Yajurveda text includes the largest collection of primary Upanishads, influential to various schools of Hindu philosophy; these include the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the Isha Upanishad, the Taittiriya Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad, the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and the Maitri Upanishad. Yajurveda is a compound Sanskrit word, composed of yajus and veda. Monier-Williams translates yajus as "religious reverence, worship, sacrifice, a sacrificial prayer, formula mantras muttered in a peculiar manner at a sacrifice". Veda means "knowledge". Johnson states yajus means " prose formulae or mantras, contained in the Yajur Veda, which are muttered". Michael Witzel interprets Yajurveda to mean a "knowledge text of prose mantras" used in Vedic rituals. Ralph Griffith interprets the name to mean "knowledge of sacrifice or sacrificial texts and formulas". Carl Olson states that Yajurveda is a text of "mantras that are repeated and used in rituals".
The Yajurveda text includes Shukla Yajurveda of which about 16 recensions are known, while the Krishna Yajurveda may have had as many as 86 recensions. Only two recensions of the Shukla Yajurveda have survived and Kanva, others are known by name only because they are mentioned in other texts; these two recensions are nearly the same, except for a few differences. In contrast to Shukla Yajurveda, the four surviving recensions of Krishna Yajurveda are different versions; the samhita in the Shukla Yajurveda is called the Vajasaneyi Samhita. The name Vajasaneyi is derived from Vajasaneya, patronymic of sage Yajnavalkya, the founder of the Vajasaneyi branch. There are two surviving recensions of the Vajasaneyi Samhita: Vajasaneyi Madhyandina and Vajasaneyi Kanva; the lost recensions of White Yajurveda, mentioned in other texts of ancient India, include Jabala, Sapeyi, Kapola, Avati, Parasara, Vaidheya and Vaijayavapa. There are four surviving recensions of the Krishna Yajurveda – Taittirīya saṃhitā, Maitrayani saṃhitā, Kaṭha saṃhitā and Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā.
A total of eighty six recensions are mentioned to exist in Vayu Purana, however vast majority of them are believed to be lost. The Katha school is referred to as a sub-school of Carakas in some ancient texts of India, because they did their scholarship as they wandered from place to place; the best known and best preserved of these recensions is the Taittirīya saṃhitā. Some mentioned by Panini; the text is associated with the Taittiriya school of the Yajurveda, attributed to the pupils of sage Tittiri. The Maitrayani saṃhitā is the oldest Yajurveda Samhita that has survived, it differs in content from the Taittiriyas, as well as in some different arrangement of chapters, but is much more detailed; the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā or the Caraka-Kaṭha saṃhitā, according to tradition was compiled by Katha, a disciple of Vaisampayana. Like the Maitrayani Samhita, it offers much more detailed discussion of some rituals than the younger Taittiriya samhita that summarizes such accounts; the Kapiṣṭhala saṃhitā or the Kapiṣṭhala-Kaṭha saṃhitā, named after the sage Kapisthala is extant only in some large fragments and edited without accent marks.
This text is a variant of the Kāṭhaka saṃhitā. Each regional edition of Yajurveda had Samhita, Aranyakas, Upanishads as part of the text, with Shrautasutras and Pratishakhya attached to the text. In Shukla Yajurveda, the text organization is same for both Kanva shakhas; the texts attached to Shukla Yajurveda include the Katyayana Shrautasutra, Paraskara Grhyasutra and Shukla Yajurveda Pratishakhya. In Krishna Yajurveda, each of the recensions has or had their Brahmana text mixed into the Samhita text, thus creating a motley of the prose and verses, making it unclear, disorganized; the core text of the Yajurveda falls within the classical Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE - younger than the Rigveda, contemporary with the Atharvaveda, the Rigvedic Khilani, the Sāmaveda. The scholarly consensus dates the bulk of the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda hymns to the early Indian Iron Age, c. 1200 or 1000 BC, corresponding to the early Kuru Kingdom. The Vedas are notoriously hard to date as they are compilations and were traditionally preserved through oral tradition leaving no archaeolo
Revanta or Raivata is a Hindu deity. According to the Rig-Veda, Revanta is the youngest son of the sun-god Surya, his wife Saranyu. Revanta is chief of the Guhyakas, semi-divine and demonic class entities – like the Yakshas – who are believed to live as forest dwellers in the Himalayas. Images and sculptures of Revanta show him as a huntsman on a horse, with a bow and arrow. Revanta is the brother of the Ashvins or the Ashwini Kumaaras, the twin Gods of healing and sunrise and sunset; the tale of Revanta's birth is narrated in scriptures like Markandeya Purana. Once, the daughter of celestial architect Vishvakarma and wife of Surya, unable to take the fervour of the Sun-god, repaired to the forests to engage in devout austerities in the form of a mare, she placed her shadow Chhaya. When Surya realised that Chhaya was not the real Sanjna, he searched for Sanjna and found her in the forests of Uttar Kuru. There, Surya approached Sanjna disguised as a horse, their union produced Revanta. In Kurma Purana and Matsya Purana, the mother of Revanta is named another wife of Surya.
While in another chapter of Markandeya Purana, he is son of Chhaya and his brothers are the Saturn-god Shani and Bhadra. Markandeya Purna further adds he was assigned the duty as chief of Guhyakas by Surya and to protect mortals "amid the terrors of forests and other lonely places, of great conflagration, of enemies and robbers." Sometimes, Revanta is depicted as combating robbers in reliefs. Another tale from the Devi Bhagavata Purana has a passing reference to Revanta. Once when Revanta – riding on the seven headed horse Uchaishravas – went to Vishnu's abode, Vishnu's wife goddess Lakshmi was mesmerized with the horse and ignored a question asked by the Lord. Thus, she was cursed by her husband to become a mare. Markandeya Purana describes Revanta as "holding a sword and bow, clad in an armour, riding on horseback, carrying arrows and a quiver". Kalika Purana describes him carrying a sword in right hand and a whip in his left, seated on a white horse, thus he is called one who rides a horse.
Varahamihira describes him as accompanied by attendants for hunting. In sculpture, Revanta is depicted with the Guhyakas, whose chief he is, in scenes of hunting. Apart from the attributes described in texts like bow. Revanta is depicted wearing long boots reaching up to the calves, unlike other Hindu divinities – except Surya – who are depicted barefoot. Revanta is depicted accompanied by a hunting dog. Revanta's attendants are depicted with various hunting weapons like swords; some of them are shown blowing a conch or beaming drums or holding an umbrella over the head of their lord, the umbrella being the symbol of royalty. Some of them are depicted as flying or holding wine or water jars. Sometimes, an attendant carries the dog chasing a boar. Revanta was worshipped as guardian deity of warriors and horses, protector from the dangers of forests and the patron god of hunting; the worship of Revanta is associated with Saura, cult of Surya. Scriptures like Vishnudharmottara Purana and Kalika Purana recommend worship of Revanta alongside Surya or according to the rituals of Sun worship.
Shabha-kalpa-druma records Revanta's worship after Surya's, in the Hindu month of Ashvin by warriors. Nakula, the fourth Pandava, is believed to have written Ashavashastram on horses, he suggests worship of Raivata to protect horses from ghosts. The worship of Revanta was popular in the early-mediaeval period in Rajasthan. Revanta is depicted in Vaishnava and Surya temples. There is a stone inscription that talks about a temple to Revanta, as the principal deity, in Vikranapur built by the Kalachuri king Ratnadeva II. Iconography of Revanta by Brijendra Nath Sharma, Published 1975, Abhinav Publications,86 pages, ISBN 0-7128-0116-2. M. L. Carter, Revanta, an Indian Cavalier God, Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli, vol. 48, fasc. 2
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 Aitareya Upanishad is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It comprises the fourth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka, one of the four layers of Rig vedic text. Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes: first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman. According to a 1998 review by Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, the Aitareya Upanishad was composed in a pre-Buddhist period 6th to 5th century BCE. Aitareya Upanishad is a primary ancient Upanishad, is listed as number 8 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. Considered one of the middle Upanishads, the date of composition is not known but has been estimated by scholars to be sometime around 6th or 5th century BCE; the Aitareya Upanishad is a short prose text, containing 33 verses. In the first chapter of the Aitareya Upanishad, Atman is asserted to have existed alone prior to the creation of the universe, it is this Atman, the Soul or the Inner Self, portrayed as the creator of everything from itself and nothing, through heat.
The text states. First came four entities: space, maram and apas. After these came into existence, came the cosmic self and eight psyches and principles. Atman created eight guardians corresponding to these psyches and principles. Asserts Aitareya Upanishad, came the connective principles of hunger and thirst, where everything became interdependent on everything else through the principle of apana. Thereafter came man, who could not exist without a sense of Self and Soul, but this sense began cogitating on itself, saying that "I am more than my sensory organs, I am more than my mind, I am more than my reproductive ability", asked, कोऽहमिति Who am I? Paul Deussen summarizes the first chapter of Aitareya Upanishad as follows, The world as a creation, the Man as the highest manifestation of the Atman, named as the Brahman - this is the basic idea of this section. In the second chapter, Aitareya Upanishad asserts that the Atman in any man is born thrice: first, when a child is born; the overall idea of chapter 2 of Aitareya Upanishad is that it is procreation and nurturing of children that makes a man immortal, the theory of rebirth, which are the means by which Atman sustainably persists in this universe.
The third chapter of Aitareya Upanishad discusses the nature of Atman. It declares that consciousness is what defines man, the source of all intellectual and moral theories, all gods, all living beings, all that there is; the Upanishad asserts that the key to the riddle of the Universe is one's own inner self. To know the universe, know thyself. Become suggests the Aitareya Upanishad, by being you. Max Muller translates parts of the chapter as follows, Who is he whom we meditate on as the Self? Which is the Self? Everything are various names only of Knowledge Everything, it rests on Knowledge. The world is led by Knowledge. Knowledge is its cause. Knowledge is Brahman. Aitareya Upanishad, like other Upanishads of Hinduism, asserts the existence of Consciousness as Atman, the Self or Brahman, it contains one of the most famous expressions of the Vedanta, "Prajnanam Brahma", one of the Mahāvākyas. Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older Upanishads reviewed and commented upon in their respective Bhasyas by various ancient scholars such as Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya.
Adi Shankara, for example, commented on Aitereya Upanishad, clarifying that some of his peer scholars have interpreted the hymns in a way that must be refuted. The first meaning, as follows, is incomplete and incorrect, states Shankara This is the true Brahman called Prana, this is the only God. All the Devas are only the various manifestations of this Prana, he who attains Oneness with this Prana attains the Devas. Adi Shankara reminds the reader that the Aitereya Upanishad must be studied in its context, which starts with and states Atma va idam in hymn 1, it doesn't start with, nor does the text's context, mean that "I am alive, thus God". Rather, states Shankara, the context is abundantly clear that one must know, "Atman exists, I am consciousness, that self-realization of one's Atman, its Oneness with Universal Soul is the path to liberation and freedom. Know yourself. Worship yourself." Adi Shankara explains that rituals, merit-karma does not lead to liberation, the wise do not perform these and rituals such as Agnihotra, they seek Atman and understanding of their own Being and their own Inner Self, when one has achieved "Self-knowledge, full awareness of one's consciousness" does one achieve moksha.
The first English translation was published in 1805 by Colebrooke. Other translators include Max Muller, Paul Deussen, Charles Johnston, Nikhilānanda, Gambhirananda and Patrick Olivelle; the author of the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Aitareya Upanishad has been credited to rishi Aitareya Mahidasa. Aitareya Upanisad Tamil Book==External links== Multiple translations Aitareya Aranyaka with Aitareya Upanishad embedded inside Max Muller; the Sacred Books of the E