The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas; the text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana existed by the 8th century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions, it is considered by scholars, in a historic sense, as among the "shiftiest, living" texts, edited, over many centuries, creating numerous variants. The common elements in the variant editions encyclopedically cover cosmogony, genealogy, festivals, temples, discussion of virtues and evil, of theology and of the nature and qualities of Shiva as the Absolute and the source of true knowledge.
The editions of Skandapurana text provide an encyclopedic travel handbook with meticulous Tirtha Mahatmya, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India and Tibet, with related legends, parables and stories. This Mahāpurāṇa, like others, is attributed to the sage Vyasa. Haraprasad Shastri and Cecil Bendall, in about 1898, discovered an old palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in a Kathmandu library in Nepal, written in Gupta script, they dated the manuscript to 8th century CE, on paleographic grounds. This suggests. R. Adriaensen, H. Bakker, H. Isaacson dated the oldest surviving palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana to 810 CE, but Richard Mann adds that earlier versions of the text existed in the 8th century CE. Hans Bakker states that the text specifies holy places and details about the 4th and 5th-century Citraratha of Andhra Pradesh, thus may have an earlier origin; the oldest versions of the Skandapurana texts have been discovered in the Himalayan region of South Asia such as Nepal, the northeastern states of India such as Assam.
The critical editions of the text, for scholarly studies, rely on the Nepalese manuscripts. Additional texts style themselves as khandas of Skandapurana, but these came into existence after the 12th century, it is unclear if their root texts did belong to the Skandapurana, in some cases replaced the corresponding chapters of the original. Some recensions and sections of the Skandapurana manuscripts, states Judit Torzsok, have been traced to be from the 17th century or but the first 162 chapters in many versions are the same as the older Nepalese editions except for occasional omissions and insertions. There are a number of manuscripts that bear the title Skanda Purana; some of these texts, except for the title, have little in common with the well-known Skandapurana traced to the 1st millennium CE. The original text has accrued several additions, it is, therefore difficult to establish an exact date of composition for the Skanda Purana. Stylistically, the Skanda Purana is related to the Mahabharata, it appears that its composers borrowed from the Mahabharata.
The two texts employ similar stock compounds that are not found in the Ramayana. Some of the mythology mentioned in the present version of the Skanda Purana is undoubtedly post-Gupta period, consistent with that of medieval South India; this indicates. The Kashi Khanda, for example, acquired its present form around the mid-13th century CE; the latest part of the text might have been composed in as late as the 15th century CE. The whole corpus of texts which are considered as part of the Skanda Purana is grouped in two ways. According to one tradition, these are grouped in six saṁhitās, each of which consists of several khaṇḍas. According to another tradition, these are grouped in seven khaṇḍas, each named after a major pilgrimage region or site; the chapters are travel guides for pilgrimage tourists. The Maheśvara Khaṇḍa consists of 3 sections: the Kedāra Khaṇḍa the Kaumārikā Khaṇḍa or Kumārikā Khaṇḍa and the Arunācala Khaṇḍa or Arunācala Māhātmya, further divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa or Vaiṣṇava Khaṇḍa consists of nine sections: Veṅkaṭācalamāhātmya Puruṣottamakṣetramāhātmya Badarikāśramamāhātmya Kārttikamāsamāhātmya Mārgaśirṣamāsamāhātmya 17 chapters, Mathura Tirtha region) Bhāgavatamāhātmya Vaiśākhamāsamāhātmya Ayodhyāmāhātmya and Vāsudevamāhātmya The Brahma Khaṇḍa has three sections: Setumāhātmya Dharmāraṇya Khaṇḍa and Uttara Khaṇḍa or Brahmottara Khaṇḍa The Kāśī Khaṇḍa is divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Āvantya Khaṇḍa consists of: Avantikṣetramāhātmya Caturaśītiliṅgamāhātmya and Revā Khaṇḍa The Nāgara Khaṇḍa consists of Tirtha-māhātmya.
The Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa
Bhagavata Purana known as Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata, is one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas. Composed in Sanskrit and available in all major Indian languages, it promotes bhakti to Krishna integrating themes from the Advaita philosophy and from the Dvaita philosophy; the origin of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam can be traced back to God Brahma who initiated Narada Rishi summarised in four verse called Chatur Sloki Bhagavatam. Narada Rishi submitted the same to Lord Veda Vyasa who elaborated to the presently available twelve skandhas and initiated to Sri Shukacharya. Lord Veda Vyasa has recorded the following narrations of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in seven days or in Saphaha format in the Puranas being worthy: Sri Shukacharya narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days to Parakshit Raja on the banks of Ganga and present Haridwar. Gokarna narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Narada Rishi organized Śrīmad Bhāgavatam for seven days at Ananda on the banks of Ganga wherein Sanatkumara narrated.
Sri Sutacharya, present during the first narration of Sri Shukacharya to Parakshit Raja narrated Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to Sri Saunaka Rishi in Naimisaranya in an elaborate way and for a long period of time. The Bhagavata Purana discusses a wide range of topics including Cosmology, Geography, Legend, Dance and Culture; as it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas and evil asuras and now rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as Krishna, – first makes peace with the demons, understands them and creatively defeats them, bringing back hope, justice and happiness – a cyclic theme that appears in many legends; the Bhagavata Purana is a revered text in a Hindu tradition that reveres Vishnu. The text presents a form of religion that competes with that of the Vedas, wherein bhakti leads to self-knowledge and bliss; however the Bhagavata Purana asserts that the inner nature and outer form of Krishna is identical to the Vedas and that this is what rescues the world from the forces of evil.
An oft-quoted verse is used by some Krishna sects to assert that the text itself is Krishna in literary form. The date of composition is between the eighth and the tenth century AD, but may be as early as the 6th century AD. Manuscripts survive in numerous inconsistent versions revised through the 18th century creating various recensions both in the same languages and across different Indian languages; the text consists of twelve books totalling 332 chapters and between 16,000 and 18,000 verses depending on the recension. The tenth book, with about 4,000 verses, has been the most popular and studied, it was the first Purana, translated into a European language, when a French translation of a Tamil version appeared in 1788 and introduced many Europeans to Hinduism and 18th-century Hindu culture during the colonial era. "Purana" means "ancient, old". Bhagavata means "devoted to, follower of Bhagavat – the "sacred, divine". An alternative interpretation of Bhagavata is "devotees of the Adorable One".
Bhagavata Purana therefore means "Ancient Tales of Followers of the Lord". The composer of this work, Lord Veda Vyasa, in his second verse has described the Subject and the Fruit of studying and named it as Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri is used for abundance or richness; such Sri hence called Srimad. Bhagavata means Sacred or Divine or Holy; the holy or divine verses brings an abundance of happiness, Knowledge, in Vedas and Vedanta, Vairagya to the reader or listener and hence is called Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavata is recognized as the best-known and most influential of the Puranas and, along with the Itihasa and other puranas, is sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Veda", it is important in Indian religious literature for its emphasis on the practice of devotion as compared to the more theoretical approach of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the source of many popular stories of Krishna's childhood told for centuries on the Indian subcontinent and of legends explaining Hindu festivals such as Holi and Diwali.
The Bhagavata declares itself the essence of derivative Smritis. Here Vedas are like seeds, Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Sahasaranama is like trunk, leaves, flowers; the fruit and its Juice being Srimad Bhagavata. As Srimad Bhagavata has the substance of Vedas and Mahabarata, it has high significance; the Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all the Vedanta literature. One who has enjoyed the nectar of its rasa never has any desire for anything else; the text has played a significant role in Chaitanya's Krishna-bhakti in Bengal, in the 15th–16th century Ekasarana Dharma in Assam, a panentheistic tradition whose proponents and Madhavdeva, acknowledge that their theological positions are rooted in the Bhagavata Purana, purged of doctrines that find no place in Assamese Vaishnavism and adding a monist commentary instead. In northern and western India the Bhagavata Purana has influenced the Hari Bhakti Vilasa and Haveli-style Krishna temples found in Braj region near Mathura-Vrindavan; the text complements the Pancharatra Agama texts of Vaishnavism.
While the text focu
The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the Mahābhārata is an epic legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes. It contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or puruṣārtha. Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, the story of Ṛṣyasringa considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyāsa. There have been many attempts to unravel compositional layers; the oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text reached its final form by the early Gupta period. According to the Mahābhārata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called Bhārata; the Mahābhārata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as "the longest poem written". Its longest version consists of over 100,000 śloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines, long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahābhārata in the context of world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of William Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Quran. Within the Indian tradition it is sometimes called the Fifth Veda; the epic is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, a major character in the epic. Vyāsa described it as being itihāsa, he describes the Guru-shishya parampara, which traces all great teachers and their students of the Vedic times.
The first section of the Mahābhārata states that it was Gaṇeśa who wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and non-religious works, it is first recited at Takshashila by the sage Vaiśampāyana, a disciple of Vyāsa, to the King Janamejaya, the great-grandson of the Pāṇḍava prince Arjuna. The story is recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugraśrava Sauti, many years to an assemblage of sages performing the 12-year sacrifice for the king Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimiśa Forest; the text was described by some early 20th-century western Indologists as chaotic. Hermann Oldenberg supposed that the original poem must once have carried an immense "tragic force" but dismissed the full text as a "horrible chaos." Moritz Winternitz considered that "only unpoetical theologists and clumsy scribes" could have lumped the parts of disparate origin into an unordered whole. Research on the Mahābhārata has put an enormous effort into recognizing and dating layers within the text.
Some elements of the present Mahābhārata can be traced back to Vedic times. The background to the Mahābhārata suggests the origin of the epic occurs "after the early Vedic period" and before "the first Indian'empire' was to rise in the third century B. C." That this is "a date not too far removed from the 8th or 9th century B. C." is likely. Mahābhārata started as an orally-transmitted tale of the charioteer bards, it is agreed that "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the epic was a popular work whose reciters would conform to changes in language and style," so the earliest'surviving' components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest'external' references we have to the epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's 4th century BCE grammar Aṣṭādhyāyī 4:2:56. It is estimated that the Sanskrit text reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period. Vishnu Sukthankar, editor of the first great critical edition of the Mahābhārata, commented: "It is useless to think of reconstructing a fluid text in a original shape, on the basis of an archetype and a stemma codicum.
What is possible? Our objective can only be to reconstruct the oldest form of the text which it is possible to reach on the basis of the manuscript material available." That manuscript evidence is somewhat late, given its material composition and the climate of India, but it is extensive. The Mahābhārata itself distinguishes a core portion of 24,000 verses: the Bhārata proper, as opposed to additional secondary material, while the Aśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra makes a similar distinction. At least three redactions of the text are recognized: Jaya with 8,800 verses attributed to Vyāsa, Bhārata with 24,000 verses as recited by Vaiśampāyana, the Mahābhārata as recited by Ugraśrava Sauti with over 100,000 verses. However, some scholars, such as John Brockington, argue that Jaya and Bharata refer to the same text, ascribe the theory of Jaya with 8,800 verses to a misreading of a verse in Ādiparvan; the redaction of this large body of text was carried out after formal principles, emphasizing the numbers 18 and 12.
The addition of the latest parts may be dated by the absence of the Anuśāsana-parva and the Virāta parva from the "Spitzer manuscript". The oldest surviving
Hindu texts are manuscripts and historical literature related to any of the diverse traditions within Hinduism. A few texts are broadly considered as Hindu scriptures; these include the Upanishads. Scholars hesitate in defining the term "Hindu scripture" given the diverse nature of Hinduism, many include Bhagavad Gita and Agamas as Hindu scriptures, while Dominic Goodall includes Bhagavata Purana and Yajnavalkya Smriti to the list of Hindu scriptures. There are two historic classifications of Hindu texts: Shruti – that, heard, Smriti – that, remembered; the Śruti refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts, believed to be eternal knowledge authored neither by human nor divine agent but transmitted by sages. These comprise the central canon of Hinduism, it includes the four Vedas including its four types of embedded texts - the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the early Upanishads. Of the Shrutis, the Upanishads alone are influential among Hindus, considered scriptures par excellence of Hinduism, their central ideas have continued to influence its thoughts and traditions.
The Smriti texts are a specific body of Hindu texts attributed to an author, as a derivative work they are considered less authoritative than Sruti in Hinduism. The Smrti literature is a vast corpus of diverse texts, includes but is not limited to Vedāngas, the Hindu epics, the Sutras and Shastras, the texts of Hindu philosophies, the Puranas, the Kāvya or poetical literature, the Bhasyas, numerous Nibandhas covering politics, culture and society. Many ancient and medieval Hindu texts were composed in Sanskrit, many others in regional Indian languages. In modern times, most ancient texts have been translated into other Indian languages and some in Western languages. Prior to the start of the common era, the Hindu texts were composed orally memorized and transmitted orally, from one generation to next, for more than a millennia before they were written down into manuscripts; this verbal tradition of preserving and transmitting Hindu texts, from one generation to next, continued into the modern era.
The Vedas are a large body of Hindu texts originating in ancient India, with its Samhita and Brahmanas complete before about 800 BCE. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit hymns, 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"; the knowledge in the Vedas is believed in Hinduism to be eternal, neither authored by human nor by divine source, but seen and transmitted by sages. Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti; the Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations, some way or other the work of the Deity. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma. 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.
The Upanishads are a collection of Hindu texts which contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism. The Upanishads are referred to as Vedānta, variously interpreted to mean either the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" or "the object, the highest purpose of the Veda"; the concepts of Brahman and Ātman are central ideas in all the Upanishads, "Know your Ātman" their thematic focus. The Upanishads are the foundation of its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are known, the central ideas of the Upanishads have had a lasting influence on Hindu philosophy. More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main Upanishads; the mukhya Upanishads are found in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas and were, for centuries, memorized by each generation and passed down verbally. The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, some in all likelihood pre-Buddhist, down to the Maurya period.
Of the remainder, some 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the start of common era through medieval Hinduism. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued being composed through the early modern and modern era, though dealing with subjects unconnected to Hinduism; the texts that appeared afterwards were called smriti. Smriti literature includes various Shastras and Itihasas, Harivamsa Puranas and Darshanas; the Sutras and Shastras texts were compilations of technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area. The earliest are dated to half of the 1st millennium BCE; the Dharma-shastras, derivatives of the Dharma-sutras. Other examples were bhautikashastra "physics", rasayanashastra "chemistry", jīvashastra "biology", vastushastra "architectural science", shilpashastra "science of sculpture", arthashastra "economics" and nītishastra "political science", it includes Tantras and Agama literature. This genre of texts includes the Shastras of the six schools of Hindu philosophy.
The Puranas are a vast genre of Hindu texts that encyclopedically cover a wide range of topics myths and other tradi
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
The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads, embedded as the final chapter of the Shukla Yajurveda. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, is known in two recensions, called Kanva and Madhyandina; the Upanishad is a brief poem, consisting depending on the recension. It is a key scripture of the Vedanta sub-schools, an influential Śruti to diverse schools of Hinduism; the name of the text derives from its incipit, īśā vāsyam, "enveloped by the Lord", or "hidden in the Lord". The text discusses the Atman theory of Hinduism, is referenced by both Dvaita and Advaita sub-schools of Vedanta, it is classified as a "poetic Upanishad" along with Kena, Katha and Mundaka by Paul Deussen. The root of the word Ishvara comes from īś- which means "capable of" and "owner, chief of" cognate with English own; the word Isha means "ruler, lord". The term vāsyam means "hidden in, covered with, enveloped by". Ralph Griffith and Max Muller, each interpret the term "Isha" in the Upanishad interchangeably as "Lord" and "Self".
Puqun Li translates the title of the Upanishad as "the ruler of the Self". The Upanishad is known as Ishavasya Upanishad and Vajasaneyi Samhita Upanishad; the chronology of Isha Upanishad, along with other Vedic era literature, is unclear and contested by scholars. All opinions rest on scanty evidence, assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Buddhism scholars such as Richard King date Isha Upanishad's composition to the second half of the first millennium BCE, chronologically placing it after the first Buddhist Pali canons. Hinduism scholars such as Stephen Phillips note the disagreement between modern scholars. Phillips suggests that Isha Upanishad was one of the earliest Upanishads, composed in the 1st half of 1st millennium BCE, after Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya, but before Taittiriya, Kaushitaki, Katha, Prasna and Maitri Upanishads, as well as before the earliest Buddhist Pali and Jaina canons. Earlier 19th and 20th century scholars have expressed a spectrum of views.
Isha Upanishad has been chronologically listed by them as being among early Upanishads to being one among the middle Upanishads. Deussen suggested, for example, that Isha was composed after ancient prose Upanishads - Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya and Kena. Further, he suggests that Isha was composed before other prose Upanishads such as Prasna, Maitri and all post-Vedic era Upanishads. Winternitz, suggests that Isha Upanishad was a pre-Buddha composition along with Katha, Svetasvatara and Prasna Upanishad, but after the first phase of ancient Upanishads that were composed in prose such as Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya and Kena. Winternitz states that Isha was composed before post-Buddhist Upanishads such as Maitri and Mandukya. Ranade posits that Isha was composed in the second group of Upanishads along with Kena Upanishad, right after the first group of Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya, but chronologically before Taittiriya, Kaushitaki, Mundaka, Prasna and Maitrayani. Isha Upanishad is the only Upanishad, attached to a Samhita, the most ancient layer of Vedic text known for their mantras and benedictions.
Other Upanishads are attached to a layer of Vedic texts such as Brahmanas and Aranyakas. Max Muller notes that this does not mean that Isha Upanishad is among the oldest, because Shukla Yajur Veda is acknowledged to be of a origin than textual layers of other Vedas such as the Rig Veda; the 8th-century Indian scholar Adi Shankara, in his Bhasya noted that the mantras and hymns of Isha Upanishad are not used in rituals, because their purpose is to enlighten the reader as to "what is the nature of soul?". Isha Upanishad is a philosophical text; the Isha Upanishad manuscript differs in the two shakhas of the Shukla Yajurveda. These are called the Madhyandina recensions; the order of verses 1–8 is the same in both, however Kanva verses 9–14 correspond to Madhyandina verses 12, 13, 14, 9, 10, 11. Madhyandina verse 17 is a variation of Kanva 15, Kanva verse 16 is missing in Madhyandina, Kanva verses 17–18 correspond to Madhyandina 15–16. In both recensions, the Isha Upanishad is the 40th chapter of Shukla Yajur Veda.
Versions with 18 verses refer to Kanva. The Isha Upanishad is significant for its singular mention of the term "Isha" in the first hymn, a term it never repeats in other hymns; the concept "Isha" exhibits monism in one interpretation, or a form of monotheism in the alternate interpretation, referred to as "Self" or "Deity Lord" respectively. Enveloped by the Lord must be This All — each thing that moves on earth. With that renounced, enjoy thyself. Covet no wealth of any man. Ralph Griffith interprets the word "Isha" contextually, translates it as "the Lord", clarifies that this "the Lord" means "the Soul of All, thy inmost Self – the only Absolute Reality"; the term "This All" is the empirical reality, while the term "renounced" is referring the Indian concept of sannyasa, "enjoy thyself" is referring to the "blissful delight of Self-realization". The Advaita Vedanta scholar Shankara inter
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