Are vedas accepted by all Hindus as sacred scriptures?

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Yes. Veda is sacred and is of highest authority. It is like the Supreme court in Hinduism. However Veda has two parts. Karma Kanda and Jnana Kanda. Jnana kanda or Upanishads are highest than Karma Kanda rituals.

Priorities of Scriptures

Hinduism has hundreds of scriptures. And many of them are conflicting with each other. So people are confused which one is primary and which one is secondary scripture.

Here I am giving the list and priorities of Hindu texts in decreasing order of authority as followed by scholars. Priority means if #6 text says something wrong, higher order texts (e.g. #1) can refute it. Like local court verdicts can be overruled by higher (supreme) court.

This priority is based on, lower priority texts depend on higher priority texts to get authority. As a principle, a text quotes other texts as reference to borrow authority and validity form them. That proves lower priority texts inherit concepts from higher texts.

  1. Veda(Sruti) – There were 1180 branches of Veda. Vyasa combined them all during his time. There are four Vedas – Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva. Out of that, 10 Principal Upanishads are Īśā (IsUp), ŚYV, Kena (KeUp), SV, Kaṭha (KaUp), YV, Praṣna (PrUp), AV, Muṇḍaka (MuUp), AV, Māṇḍūkya (MaUp), AV, Taittirīya (TaiUp), KYV, Aitareya, (AiUp), RV, Chāndogya (ChhUp), SV, Bṛhadāraṇyaka (BṛUp), ŚYV
  2. Smritis – Manu Smriti, Yajnavalkya Smriti, Goutama Smriti etc. There are hundreds of Smritis.
  3. Itihasa(history) – Mahabharat (included Bhagavat Gita – 700 slokas), Ramayana
  4. Purana (Mythologocal stories) – 18 major puranas (Sri Mad Bhagavatam – 18000 slokas, Vishnu Purana, Kurma Purana etc), There are also 18 Upa-puranas.
  5. Sutras (short formula) – Brahma sutra, Dharma sutra, Griha sutra, Srauta sutra (Apastambha sutra) etc.
  6. Bhasya (commentary) – description of above Sutra, Veda etc by sankaracharya, ramanujacharya, madvacharya, Vallavacharya etc
  7. Upa-Bhasya (sub commentaries till seven generations) of above by their disciples.
  8. Vedanga – (a) Shiksha (śikṣā): phonetics, phonology and morphophonology (sandhi), (b) Kalpa (kalpa): ritual, (c) Vyakarana (vyākaraṇa): grammar, (d) Nirukta (nirukta): etymology, (e) Chandas (chandas): meter, (f) Jyotisha (jyotiṣa): astronomy
  9. All local Puranas in different Indian local languages. Like Srimad Bhagavatam , Ramayan is available in all Indian local languages.
  10. Life-history and teachings of Indian saints. These are of huge collections.
  11. AyurVeda, Artha-sastra etc like secular sciences.

Author:

Muktipada Behera, Studied Vedanta

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