Today I shall tell you about Hindu Spiritual Books.
The Sanskrit word Upanishad comes from the verb 'sad' which means 'to sit'
and 'upa' meaning 'under'. The whole word means 'sitting for learning at the
feet of a Master or Guru'. The Upanishads are part of the Vedas. 'Vid"
means 'to know'. Hence Vedas mean knowledge.
Originally there was one Veda which was passed down by word of mouth but
later the Vedas were divided into four parts. We, Hindus have the 'Shrutis'. It
literally means 'What is heard' The 'Vedas' belong to that category. (They were
written later) They are a collection of Hymns, Prayers… Each Veda consists of
many Upanishads. The main ones are 12 in number.
The 'Smrutis' are composed on 'Dharma' ie 'Law giving books (Dharma Shastras)
(To mention one of many)
The Itihaasas (Historical Recordings) : The Ramayana, Mahaabhaarata…
The Puraanas appeal to the imagination : Vishnu Puraana, Bhaagvad Puraana…
Agamas: A worship of a particular aspect of God. : Could be Vishnu, Shiva,
Darsanas: appeal to logical understanding. They are based upon the teachings
of the Vedas. : Nyaya, Samkhya, Vaisesika…
Books divided according to subject matter
Kaanda' deals with rituals
Kaanda' deals with worship<
Kaanda' deals with the Highest Spiritual knowledge.
By informing you that Hindus have so many Spiritual books, the message that I
am trying to convey is that there is a vast amount of knowledge that we have
accumulated. The main message remains, that of love, brotherhood and Peace. It
is enough if you remember that our Scriptures state that Creation is a 'Vasudeva
Kutumbakam' which means that everyone belongs to God's family. Hinduism believes
that all paths ultimately lead to the main Highway, which reaches the common
Spiritual destination of Humanity.
The most chanted mantra is:
Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti
Aum Peace Peace Peace.
Remember to chant the above mantra, whenever you want Peace at home, or
Dadi Ma Nani Ma