Sacred Texts of Hinduism

Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagvat Gita - Important Points

The Ramayana consisting of 24,000 verses was written by sage Valmiki in Sanskrit. It is divided into 6 kandas namely Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kiskindha Kanda, Sundara Kanda and Yudh Kanda. The 7th kanda, the Uttara Kanda is generally regarded as a later addition to Valmiki's Ramayana.
Kamban is the author of the Tamil version of Ramayana - Iramavataram (The Avatar of Rama).
The Telugu version of Ramayana, Ranganatha Ramayanam was written by Gona Budda Reddy.
Krittvasi Ramayana is the Bengali version of Ramayana written by Krittibas Ojha.
Ramcharit Manas was written by Tulsidas in Awadhi (a Hindi dialect).
The Mahabharata written by Ved Vyas in Sanskrit is the world's largest epic with around 1,00,000 verses divided into 18 parvas.
The Bhagavad Gita with 700 verses is a part of the Mahabharata.

Important points to remember on Vedas

The Vedas are believed to have been complied by Krishna Dwipayana also known as Ved Vyasa.
The Vedas have been written in Vedic Sanskrit.
There are four Vedas, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.
The Rig Veda is the oldest and also the largest of all the Vedas.
The Rig Veda contains hymns of praise to several deities. Most of the hymns are devoted to Indra and Agni.
Gayatri Mantra is contained in the Rig Veda. It is an invocation to the Sun God.
Sama Veda is almost entirely based on the Rig Veda.
The origins of Indian classical music are attributed to Sama Veda.
The Yajur Veda has two branches - the black (Krishna) and the white (Shukla).
The Yajur Veda contains chants which accompany ancient rites.
The Atharva Veda primarily consists of spells and charms to ward off diseases and to influence events.
Ayurveda has its origins in Atharva Veda.
The four Upvedas are Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda (music), and Shilpaveda (art and architecture).

Principal Upanishads — 13

UpanishadPart ofUpanishadPart of
Aitareya UpanishadRig VedaBrihadaranyaka UpanishadYajur Veda
Kaushitaki UpanishadRig VedaTaittiriya UpanishadYajur Veda
Chandogya UpanishadSama VedaKatha UpanishadYajur Veda
Kena UpanishadSama VedaMundaka UpanishadAtharva Veda
Maitri UpanishadYajur VedaMandukya UpanishadAtharva Veda
Isavasya UpanishadYajur VedaPrasna UpanishadAtharva Veda
Svetasvatara UpanishadYajur Veda


Schools of Vedic Philosophy

PhilosophyFounded by
Sankhya or the Cosmic principle school Kapila
Yoga Patanjali
Nyaya or the Logical school Gautama
Vaisheshak or the Atomic school Kanad
Purva Mimansa or the Ritualistic school Jamini
Uttara Mimansa or the Theological school Vyasa
NOTE: Kanad who founded the Atomic School, is believed to have propounded the theory of matter being indestructible and consisting of tiny indivisible particles called parmanus. Each parmanu consists of many 'anus' (atoms) which are the smallest particles of a substance.