Weekly page from Hindu Dharma: Upa-puranas and Others

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sat Dec 28 16:39:57 CST 2002

On Fri, 27 Dec 2002, Rajesh Sarin wrote:

> Namaskar,
> It would be a good compilation to have all the names of
> our Ancient Scriptures in one page.

Btw while you are looking for Hindu Dharma, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan also
published a book called "The Vedas" which is based on discourses by the
beloved Swami Chandrashekhara Bharati of Shringeri and which contains a
lot of information on this subject.

 Can the learned gathering
> post a complete list of all the names for :
> 1     4 Vedas -- Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, Atharvaveda

The Vedas are split into many shakhas many of which do not survive today.
There have been articles on this in the past.  Search the archives.

> 2     ? No. of Vedantas -- list please

Not sure what you mean.  There is only one Vedanta which has diferent
interpretations by different Acharyas.

> 3     ? No. of sub-categories of the Vedic Sciences - (viz. Ayurveda, etc)

The six Vedangas are concerned with the proper pronounciation and usage
of the Vedas.  They are:

1. Shiksha -- pronunciation
2. Nirukta -- etymology
3. vyakarana -- grammar
4. Chhanda -- meters
5. kalpa -- rituals (divided into Shrauta, Grhya, Vidhana, Shulva, dharma etc.)
6. Jyotish -- astronomy/astrology

Many of these (especially in the Kalpasutras) have different texts
depending on the shakha they belong to.

The upavedas (which despite the name only have a tenuous connection
to the Vedas themselves) are 4 though different people give different
lists. One such list is:

Ayurveda (Rgveda) -- medicine
Dhanurveda (Yajurveda) -- archery
Gandharvaveda (Samaveda) -- music and dance
Shilpaveda (Atharvaveda) -- sculpture

> 4     ? No. of --- Upanishads (108 is the normally known No.) - list please

The list of the 108 is given in the Muktikopanishad.  They were commented
on from the Advaita pointo of view by Upanishadbrahmayogi.  Again see the
archives for an article listing them all.

> 5     18 Puranas -- list please

brAhmaM pAdmaM vaiShNavaM cha shaivaM bhAgavataM tathA |
tathA'nyannAradIyaM cha mArkaNDeyaM cha saptamaM ||

AgneyamaShTamaM proktaM bhaviShyaM navamaM tathA |
dashamaM brahmavaivArtaM lingamekAdashaM tathA ||

vArAhaM dvAdashaM proktaM skAndaM chAtra trayodashaM |
chaturdashaM vAmanaM cha kaurmaM pa~nchadashaM tathA ||

mAtsyaMcha gAruDaM chaiva brahmANDamaShTAdashaM tathA |

> 6     ? No. of --- Up-puranas -- list please

AdyaM sanatkumaroktaM nArasiMhamataH param |
trtIyaM nAradaM proktaM kumAreNa tu bhaShitaM ||

chaturthaM shivadharmAkhyaM sAkshAnnandishabhAShitam |
durvAsasoktamAshcharyam nAradoktamataH param ||

kApilaM mAnavaM chaiva tathaivoshAnaseritam |
brahmANDaM vAruNam chAtha kAlikAhvayameva cha ||

mAheshvaraM tathA sAmbaM sauraM sarvArthasa~nchayam |
parAsharoktaM pravaraM tathA bhagavatadvayam ||

idamaShTAdashaM proktaM purANaM kaurmasaMjnitam |

As the excerpt form Hindu Dharma metioned there are other works called

> 7     ? No. of --- Smritis -- list please
> 8     ? No. of --- Dharmashastras -- list please

Technically all the works which are not Vedic but based on the Vedas are
smrtis but usually the term is used synonymously with dharmashastra.
There is a list of 18 smrtis and 18 upasmrtis which unfortunately I do not
have at hand (i'll see if I can dig it up) but in fact there are lots of
texts called smrti.

> 9     ? No. of --- Itihasa

2 -- Ramayana and Mahabharata.

> This list of scriptures would enlighten people like me, so that we can
> search for
> them and imbibe the knowledge into our being !

Note even if you were to read all of these you wouldn't necessarily be any
more informed about Dharma.  Dharma is practice.  It is following in the
footsteps of all the generations before us.  Books are not an authority in
themselves, they are important because they are the record of what the
sages of old taught.  Much was not and is not written down at all but that
does not make it any less valid or important.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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