Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Chaitanya. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Chaitanya. Sort by date Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Goswamis Of The Gaudiya Vaishnava Religious Group?


Jiva, Goswami (ca. late 16th c.) Along with his uncles Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami, he was a prominent role in the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious group.

Despite the fact that the poet-saint Chaitanya formed the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, it was the Goswamis who gave discipline and systematic reasoning to Chaitanya's ecstatic devotionalism.

The Goswamis were originally from southern India, but their family had relocated to northern India.

When Rupa and Sanatana met Chaitanya, their lives were changed forever.

Chaitanya sent the brothers to Brindavan, the hamlet where Krishna is said to have spent his infancy, with orders to reside there and reclaim it as a sacred site.

The three Goswamis remained there for decades, recovering holy locations (tirthas), erecting temples, and, most all, establishing the Gaudiya Vaishnava community's principles and institutions.

Jiva was a versatile scholar who wrote on a variety of topics related to Vaishnava devotion, but he is most recognized for his metaphysical writings, which give the community's conceptual foundations.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, from Sanskrit and Bengali Sources, 1961, is a good source of knowledge.

Rupa Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Rupa Gos (ca. mid-16th c.) Along with his brother Sanatana Goswami and nephew Jiva Goswami, he was a follower of the Bengali saint Chaitanya, and was a crucial player in the creation of the Gaudiya Vaishnava society.

Despite the fact that the poet-saint Chaitanya formed the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, it was the Goswamis who gave discipline and systematic reasoning to Chaitanya's ecstatic devotionalism.

According to records, the Goswamis were brahmins whose ancestors came from the Karnataka area.

Rupa and Sanatana were in the service of a local Muslim monarch in Bengal, where the family had settled.

When Rupa and Sanatana met Chaitanya, though, their lives were changed forever.

Chaitanya sent the brothers to Brindavan, the hamlet where Krishna is said to have spent his infancy, with orders to reside there and reclaim it as a sacred site.

The three Goswamis remained there for decades, recovering holy locations (tirthas), erecting temples, and, most all, establishing the Gaudiya Vaishnava community's principles and institutions.

Rupa was a devout follower of Krishna (bhakta), but she was also a playwright and a scholar.

He concentrated on examining bhakti as an emotional experience in addition to composing poetry as a medium for expressing devotion to Krishna.

He is well known for enumerating the five forms of devotion, which describe the many ways to experience God's love.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, 1961; and Shrivatsa Goswami, "Radha," in John Stratton Hawley and Donna Wulff (eds. ), The Divine Consort, 1982, for further information.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Is Kavikarnapura?


 (mid-16th century) Author of one version of the Chaitanya-Charitramrta ("Nectar of Chaitanya's Deeds"), a Bengali saint Chaitanya's life story.

The text of Kavikarnapura was composed in 1542, nine years after Chaitanya's death, and at a time when efforts to make Chaitanya a saint had already started.

Kavikarnapura clearly recognizes his debt to Murari Gupta's previous biography of Chaitanya.

He departs from the older text by depicting Chaitanya as a Krishna incarnation who has come to bestow grace on ordinary people.

The author does not claim that this is a "objective" biography, but rather a hagiography produced by a devout follower, as with other conventional narratives of Chaitanya's life (bhakta).


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Was Krishnadas Kaviraj?


Krishnadas Kaviraj is the author of the Chaitanya-Charitramrta ("Nectar of Chaitanya's Deeds"), a chronicle of the life of the Bengali poet-saint Chaitanya, published roughly ninety years after Chaitanya's death.

Krishnadas' manuscript is Chaitanya's most recent and comprehensive biography, focusing mostly on Chaitanya's latter life, particularly his journey to Brindavan, the northern Indian town where the divinity Krishna is said to have spent his boyhood.

The three Goswamis—Rupa, Sanatana, and Jiva—have a strong intellectual effect on this literature, and their views shaped Chaitanya's religious followers, the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

This narrative, like the other classic accounts of Chaitanya's life, is a hagiography (an idealizing and idolizing image) produced by a devoted devotee, rather than a "objective" history (bhakta).


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Are The Gaudiya Vaishnava?

Chaitanya (1486–1533), a Bengali saint, created a religious society.

It gets its name from the old Bengali term Gauda, which emphasizes the adoration of the deity Vishnu.

Chaitanya's intense devotionalism is the foundation of the community's religious activities and beliefs.

He said that reciting Krishna's name over and over again, frequently while singing and dancing in the streets, is the way to holy ecstasy.

Chaitanya's religious charisma attracted a large number of disciples, the most prominent of whom were the Goswamis—the brothers Rupa and Sanatana, as well as their nephew Jiva.

The Goswamis moved to Brindavan, the place where Krishna is said to have grown up, under Chaitanya's order.

The descendants of the Goswamis still reside there.

The Goswamis at Brindavan went about organizing and systematizing Chaitanya's ecstatic experience's philosophical underpinning.

Despite their perception of themselves as Chaitanya's slaves, they play an equal role in the community's growth.

The primary intellectual tenet of the Goswamis was achintyabhedabheda, the belief that the Supreme Divinity (Krishna) and the human person share a "inconceivable identity and difference" that makes the soul both equal to and distinct from the divinity.

The Gaudiya Vaishnava group is also known for its in-depth examination of devotion (bhakti) as a spiritual experience.

As five kinds of devotion, they identified the many ways to feel God's love.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, 1961, is a good source of knowledge. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Was Murari Gupta?



The first version of the Chaitanya-Charitramrta ("Nectar of Chaitanya's Deeds"), a chronicle of the life of Bengali saint Chaitanya (1486–1533), was written by Murari Gupta (16th c.).

The work by Murari Gupta concentrates on Chaitanya's early childhood up till the conclusion of his southern Indian trip in 1513.

The poem ends with a short mention of his 1514 journey to Brindavan and subsequent return to Puri, where he spent the remainder of his life.

This is not a "objective" biography, like the other conventional versions of Chaitanya's life; rather, it is a hagiography (idealized picture) authored by a devout disciple (bhakta).

Nonetheless, Murari Gupta was a contemporary and companion of Chaitanya; his book is the most credible of these traditional sources since it represents first-hand experience.

~Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Is Sanatana Goswami?

Sanatana Goswami (ca. mid-16th c.) Along with his brother Rupa Goswami and nephew Jiva Goswami, he was a student of the Bengali saint Chaitanya and a crucial player in the creation of the Gaudiya Vaishnava society.

Despite the fact that the poet-saint Chaitanya formed the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, it was the Goswamis who gave discipline and systematic reasoning to Chaitanya's exuberant devotionalism.

According to records, the Goswamis were brahmins whose ancestors came from the Karnataka area.

Rupa and Sanatana were in the service of a local Muslim monarch in Bengal, where the family had settled.

When Rupa and Sanatana met Chaitanya, though, their lives were changed forever.

Chaitanya sent the brothers to Brindavan, the hamlet where Krishna is said to have spent his infancy, with orders to reside there and reclaim it as a sacred site.

The three Goswamis remained there for decades, recovering holy locations (tirthas), erecting temples, and, most all, establishing the Gaudiya Vaishnava community's principles and structures.

Sanatana was a bhakta (devotee) rather than a scholar.

His literary works, which tend to be devotional songs or commentaries on religious literature, reflect this.

The Hari-bhakti-vilasa (“The thrill of devotion to Hari”) is Sanatana's most renowned work, for which he also composed a commentary.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, 1961, is a good source of knowledge. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is A Jatra? What Is The Difference Between Yatra And Jatra?

 Jatra and Yatra is a vernacular variant of the Sanskrit word yatra, which means "travel." 

The term yatra is most often used to refer to travels to distant locations, while jatra refers to visits to locations within the immediate vicinity.


In Sanskrit, yatra signifies 'journey' or 'procession.' 

Yatra is a pilgrimage to holy locations such as confluences of sacred rivers, sacred mountains, places linked with Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and other sacred destinations in numerous Indian-origin faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Pilgrims believe that visiting a holy site purifies them and brings them closer to the divine. 

  • The trip is as significant as the goal, and the difficulties of travel are an act of dedication in and of themselves. 
  • A tirtha-yatra is a pilgrimage to a holy spot that is usually done in a group. 

Anyone who participates in the yatra is referred to as a yatri. 

According to the Vedic Hindu Dharma Shastras, a Yatri should do padayatra, or pilgrimage on foot, preferably barefoot, as a type of tapasya in which the pilgrim should go without umbrellas or cars; nevertheless, many yatris do not observe these niyamas.

Yatras have become highly organized occurrences in recent years, with professional tourist organizations catering to yatris. 

  • State governments are sometimes engaged in organizing yearly yatras, assigning numbers, registering yatris, and controlling yatri traffic. 
  • Haridwar attracted 55 lakh (5.5 million) pilgrims in 2003. 

The term Jatra also refers to a journey or a trip but has a different origin of usage derived from traditional Jatra performances. 

The advent of Sri Chaitanya's Bhakti movement, where Chaitanya himself portrayed Rukmini in the performance of Rukmini Haran ("The kidnapping of the Charming Rukmini") from Krishna's life narrative, is often attributed with the genesis of jatra, which is essentially a musical theatre genre. 

The concert, which took place in 1507 AD and lasted all night, is detailed in Chaitanya Bhagavata, Chaitanya's hagiography written by a disciple named Vrindavana Dasa Thakura. 

Though there are evidences of the presence of a type of singing known as 'Carya', which was popular in Bengal between the 9th and 12th centuries and existed in Orissa at the same time as the famous 'Carya Padas' style. 

Jatra performances are similar to Uttar Pradesh's Nautanki, Maharashtra's Tamasha, and Gujarat's Bhavai.

Though it originated in a religious setting abounding with diverse Bhakti Hinduism groups, it was superseded by morally didactic material towards the end of the 19th century, and finally became secular when it gained access into urban proscenium theatres during the Bengal Renaissance

The Jatra form's longevity in a fast changing social environment, while catering to a diverse audience, has been attributed to its inherent malleability and ability to adapt to shifting social dynamics, keeping it not just current and alive, but also flourishing.

Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Was Ishvara Puri?


Ishvara Puri is a Hindu devotee (c.1500). He was Lord Jai Shree Krishna's ecstatic devotee (bhakta), who is also known as the master of Bengali saint Chaitanya.

Ishvara Puri's origin is unknown, while his surname "Puri" suggests that he received official ascetic initiation in the Dashanami Sanyasis' Puri branch.

Chaitanya was fired with devotion to Krishna after meeting Ishvara Puri in the pilgrimage town of Gaya in 1508, and he began to perform the public ecstatic recitations of Krishna's name, which have become an established element in the religious life of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the community that claims him as its founder.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Is Yashoda In Hindu Mythology?


Krishna's foster mother in Hindu mythology, who welcomes him the night he is born and raises him until he is old enough to return to Mathura and claim his kingdom.

Yashoda, who loves Krishna as if he were her own child, is a model of unselfish devotion.

Rupa Goswami, a devotee (bhakta) of the god Krishna and a follower of the Bengali saint Chaitanya, has used her mythic example of loving, motherly care as the model for vatsalya bhava, one of the five modes of devotion most prominently articulated by Rupa Goswami, a devotee (bhakta) of the god Krishna and a follower of the Bengali saint Chaitanya Devotees who practice vatsalya consider themselves to be God's parents, lavishing love and care on the god in the same way as a cow does for her calf.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Where Is Mayapur, And The Headquarters Of The ISKCON?


 City in West Bengal, some 65 miles north of Calcutta, on the western bank of the Hugli River, across from the holy city of Navadvip.

Navadvip's claim to be the birthplace of the Bengali saint Chaitanya is older.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), often known as the Hare Krishnas, supports the assertion that Mayapur was Chaitanya's birthplace.

ISKCON has a beautiful temple complex at Mayapur that serves as the organization's headquarters.

E. Alan Morinis' Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition, published in 1984, has a wealth of information on this place.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is The Brahma Sampraday?


The Brahma  Sampraday is one of the Bairagi Naga class's four branches of ascetics. 

The Bairagi Nagas are followers (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu who are arranged into various anis, or "armies," in a military manner. 

Their main profession until the beginning of the nineteenth century was as mercenary warriors, but they also had significant trade interests; both of these vocations have virtually vanished in modern times. 

The Brahma Sampraday may trace its spiritual ancestry back to the Bengali follower Chaitanya's Gaudiya Vaishnava sect, but it claims ultimate origin from the southern Indian scholar Madhva. 

This second assertion seems dubious, in part because the two sects' guardian deities are different: Chaitanya and his followers worship the gods Krishna and Radha, while Madhva and his followers worship Lakshmi-Narayan. 

There are also distinctions in their practices. 

The Madhva ascetics have a lengthy history in southern India, but they are practically unknown in the north, where the Chaitanyite ascetics are well-represented. 

Ghurye speculates that the Gaudiya Vaishnavas' claim is based on their desire to create connections to an old lineage, which would provide them with an unquestionable identity and therefore a position in the Kumbha Mela bathing (snana) procession. 

Recommended read - Indian Sadhus, by G. S. Ghurye, 1964.

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Achintyabheda?

The Gaudiya Vaishnava school, which was established by the Bengali saint Chaitanya (d. 1533) and is dedicated to the worship of Krishna as the Supreme Being, has a key philosophical idea. 

Jiva Goswami, Chaitanya's student, originally articulated the idea of Achintyabheda in the late 16th century, and it describes the connection between God (Krishna) and the human soul, as well as between God and his supernatural forces. 

These connections are characterized as involving both sameness and difference in both instances. 

  • On the one hand, human souls are obviously distinct from God, as shown by their flaws and vulnerability to karma, both of which contrast with God's complete transcendence and perfection. 
  • However, because human souls may achieve ultimate freedom (moksha) via karma, they must share some aspect of God's essence, since liberation would be impossible if human souls were entirely distinct. 
  • Even while human souls share in the divine essence, their individuality is preserved even after freedom, when the human soul does not unite with Krishna but remains unique. 

The second connection, between God and his divine forces, is described in the same way. 

  • The divine powers are often imagined as real living deities, especially in the form of goddesses, rather than as characteristics (e.g., the capacity to create, maintain, and destroy the world). 
  • These forces are similar to God in that they are derived from Him, but they are also distinct in that each of the embodied powers does not possess the splendor of the whole. 
  • The exact nature of this simultaneous identity and difference is "inconceivable" in both instances, which has a mystical connotation. Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, from Sanskrit and Bengali Sources, 1961, is a good source of knowledge.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Hinduism - What Is The ISKCON Or International Society for Krishna Consciousness?

Abbreviation for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a Hindu missionary group known as the Hare Krishnas.

The necessity of reciting the holy name, especially the mahamantra ("Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare"), is emphasized by ISKCON.

ISKCON was created by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, and its religious origins may be traced back to his home Bengal's Vaishnava religiosity.

The value of publicly singing Krishna's name has long been stressed in Bengali Vaishnava tradition, notably in the Gaudiya Vaishnava congregation established by Bengali saint Chaitanya.

ISKCON is based on Bengali tradition, yet it exhibits tensions that distinguish it as a twentieth-century phenomena in different ways.

It is a particularly uncommon Hindu religious organization because of its vigorous missionary operations, as well as its membership— ISKCON was established in New York City by Prabhupada, and the majority of its members are Western converts from Judaism and Christianity, with the majority of its missionary operations taking place outside of India.

Theological inconsistencies have arisen as a result of ISKCON's origins and the inherent passion connected with converts.

On the one hand, ISKCON ideology tends to minimize human potential, focusing instead on God's rescuing grace.

ISKCON followers (bhakta) believe that they obtain religious merit by adhering to a strict vegetarian diet, abstention from booze and nonmedicinal substances, sexual activity limited to reproduction, and a well-established daily devotional regimen; many devotees also wear Indian clothing and hairstyles.

ISKCON reveals startling similarities to evangelical Christianity in these two opposing emphases—complete surrender to God's love and rigid obedience to a specified "holy" lifestyle.

Despite its Indian beginnings, ISKCON has been managed by these Western converts since Prabhupada's death in 1977, and hence may be described as a "countercultural" Euro-American phenomenon.

ISKCON has a strong presence in Brindavan, the hamlet that is revered as Krishna's boyhood home and where the organization has erected a beautiful temple; they are also active in Mayapur, Bengal, which they believe is Chaitanya's birthplace.

Following a period of expansion in the 1970s, ISKCON faced major legal issues in the 1980s, including civil suit defeats and claims of money laundering and murder.

See Larry Shinn, The Dark Lord, 1987, and Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, for supportive perspectives on the movement.

Also see vegetarianism.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



The Linga Sarira contains chakras (astral body). 5 Jnanendriyas (ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose); 5 Karmendriyas (speech, hands, legs, genitals, anus); 5 Pranas (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samana); Manas (mind); and Buddhi (mind) (intellect).

The spinal cord and the nerve plexuses of the gross body have corresponding centers. Each Chakra is in charge of and functions over a certain part of the body. These are invisible to the naked eye. Any irresponsible doctors look for Chakras in the physical body. They won't be able to find them there. They lose trust in Shastras and Yogic Kriyas because they can't locate any Chakra in a dead body.

The Linga Sarira's nervous system pushes Sukshma Prana (astral body). The nervous system of the gross human body is where Sthula Prana travels. The two classes are inextricably linked.

They behave and respond in response to one another. And after the actual entity has disintegrated to death, the Chakras remain in the astral body. The Chakras are only created through reflection and meditation, according to one school of thought. This is not an option. Since gross matter is the product of subtle matter, the Chakras should remain there in a subtle state. The gross body cannot exist without the subtle body. The sense of this statement is that the Sukshma Chakras can only be felt and understood during reflection and meditation.

Plexuses are found in areas where many nerves, lungs, and veins intertwine. Hepatic, Cervical, Brachial, Coccygeal, Lumbar, Sacral, Cardiac, Epigastric, Esophageal, Pharyngeal, Plumonary, Lingual, Prostatic, and other physical gross plexuses are known to the Vaidya Shastra. Sukshma Prana plexuses or centers can also be used in the Sushumna Nadi. These centers in Sushumna regulate all of the body's functions, including nervous, intestinal, circulatory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, and other systems. This are critical energy's subtle centers. They are the consciousness centers (Chaitanya). Sushumna's subtle centers refer to the human body's subtle centers. The Anahata Chakra, for example, is located in the Sushumna Nadi and has a physical counterpart at the heart (Cardiac Plexus).

Lotuses or Chakras are other names for the subtle centers in the Sushumna Nadi. Per Chakra is dominated by a specific Tattva. Each Chakra has its own presiding deity. Each Chakra is symbolized by a different species. It indicates that the center possesses the attributes, Tattvas, or Gunas of the animal in question. Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, and Ajna are the six major Chakras. The chief Chakra is Sahasrara. It's all in your brain. The Lokas refer to these 7 Chakras (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah, Maha, Jana, Tapa, and Satya Lokas). The Pancha Bhutas (five elements): earth, water, fire, air, and ether have their centers from Muladhara to Vishuddha.

When Kundalini awakens, it travels across all of the Chakras from Muladhara to Sahasrara. The Yogi encounters a unique type of Ananda (Bliss) and receives unique Siddhis (psychic powers) and wisdom at each Kundalini center to which he guides the Kundalini. When Kundalini is brought to Sahasrara Chakra, he experiences Supreme Bliss.

Adhara (another name for Muladhara Chakra), Amrita, Ananda, Lalita, Balvana, Brahmadvara, Chandra, Dipaka, Karnamula, Gulhaha, Kuladipa, Kundali, Galabaddha, Kaladaada, Kaladhvara, Karangaka, Kalabhedan, Lalana, Mahapadma, Niradhara, Naukula, Prana, Som Any of these names are specific to the six major Chakras. There are several small Chakras as well. Some Hathayogis believe there are 21 minor Chakras in addition to the 13 main Chakras, whereas others believe there are 49 Chakras. The ancient Yogis taught that there are 144 Chakras. The twelve red petals of the Talana Chakra are found at the base of the palate, while the six petals of the Manas Chakra are connected with sensations, visions, and astral flight.


Each Chakra has a certain number of petals, each of which has a Sanskrit alphabet on it. The Sanskrit letter that corresponds to the vibration emitted at each petal is used to describe it. Devi Kundalini's Mantra is represented by each letter. The letters are present in the petals in a dormant state. During focus, these can be manifested, and the movements of the Nadis can be sensed.

The number of petals on a lotus flower can vary. Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, and Ajna Chakras each have four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, and two petals. The 50 petals contain all 50 Sanskrit letters. The number and location of the Yoga Nadis around each Chakra decide the number of petals in each Chakra. I'll make it transparent once more. A certain number of Yoga Nadis emerges from each Chakra. The Nadis serve as the petals of the Chakra, which resembles a lotus. The Sanskrit letter that corresponds to the sound made by the vibrations of the Yoga Nadis. When Kundalini is at the Muladhara Chakra, the Chakras' petals hang downwards. They turn towards Brahmarandhra as it awakens. They are still facing Kundalini's side.

You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga and Holistic Healing here.

Hinduism - What Is Japa?

 (as in "muttering," "whispering") Individual recitation, generally the repeated utterance of a specific mantra or heavenly name(s), frequently with the use of a string of beads (mala) to execute a certain number of repetitions.

This kind of recitation is normally done as a private religious act, with just the reciter's voice heard and no other people present.

Japa is a Hindu practice that emphasizes the advantages of repeatedly chanting the holy name; such repeats are said to have eventual spiritual effects.

Japa is especially significant in the Gaudiya Vaishnavas sect, which was established by the Bengali saint Chaitanya and emphasizes public recitation of the holy name.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - AGAMAS



    What Are Agamas?

    Agamas refer to sacred Hindu texts recorded in various forms collectively.

    The significance of texts of all kinds—prose and poetry, written and oral, spoken and sung (whether by a single expert or by a multitude), antique and vernacular, stable and fluid—distinguishes Hinduism, if Hinduism can be characterized as a single thing at all. 

    Here we explore the significance of texts in Hinduism, defines various textual categories, and provides links to entries that cover related topics. 

    Agamas can be Stable and Flowing, Written and Spoken. 

    Any utterance, long or short, that can be repeated in essentially the same manner on several occasions is referred to in this context as a "text." 

    There is a propensity to limit the word "text" to utterances recorded in writing, whether in handwriting, printed, or electronic form. 

    This inclination is supported by the nomenclature of mobile phones and text editing software. 

    When discussing Hindu culture, however, where certain texts exist without writing and are conveyed orally from one speaker to another, this limitation is improper. 

    Writing seems to have first arisen in India, apart from the Indus Valley script, about the middle of the last millennium BCE, but was not utilized for religious writings until much later. 

    With the exception of a few later ones, several of these—the Vedic texts—were written down during a period when there is no proof that writing existed. 

    Others, passed down within small communities, are only known to those outside those communities if they are written down or electronically stored by a third party. 

    There are texts in all of the Hindu languages that are interpreted in this broad meaning (including English and other languages of countries outside South Asia). 

    Many civilizations have incredibly stable ritual texts that must always be performed in precisely the same way—the same words in the same sequence, often even with the same vocal inflections—in order to avoid becoming insulting, ineffectual, or even catastrophic. 

    Vedic writings are one example of this. 

    Other texts may be changed by various reciters, scribes, or even the same person at different times by deleting, adding, or modifying specific words. 

    The art of the reciter may include improvised variation. 

    The Mahabharata and Ramayana, which change considerably in various regions of South Asia, are excellent examples of this. 

    Whether a text is written or spoken depends on whether it is stable or flowing. 

    While the Vedic writings have not altered despite being passed down orally for millennia prior to being recorded, there are hundreds of manuscripts and four distinct printed copies of the Mahabharata. 

    The idea that a text should be retained in tact without being recorded in writing runs counter to what literary historians and anthropologists have discovered about the nature of oral literature. 

    In societies where oral texts are fluid, significant study on oral transmission of texts has been conducted (Chadwick and Chadwick 1932–1940; Lord 1960; Ong 1982). 

    A typical orally transmitted text, like a ballad or an epic, exists as a variety of performances, each of which is somewhat improvised and not an exact replication of any prior performance. 

    This explains, for instance, the Mahabharata's several recensions and myriad modifications. 

    Some theorists (mostly from outside Indian studies) have questioned whether the Veda could have been conveyed unmodified without the use of writing, despite the fact that the oral transmission of the Veda in ancient and contemporary times is thoroughly proven (Scharfe 2002: 8–37, 240–51). 

    According to one anthropologist, the Vedic texts cannot have taken on a set shape before writing was discovered since the concept of a stable text can only exist in a community that is literate (Goody 1987). 

    He claims that the educational environment decontextualizes memory in literate societies by isolating learning from action (Goody 1987: 189). 

    In contrast, this was and is accomplished in India without the use of writing by isolating the study of the Vedas from the context of the yajna, where the texts would be used. 

    The practice of self-study (svadhyaya), in which the Veda-knower recites the texts he has learned, and the learning process are rituals in and of themselves. 

    A class of people who dedicate a major portion of their life to it must be able to do the mental labor-intensive task of oral transmission of a stable text. 

    It was accomplished by brahmans, whose standing relied on their knowledge; monks, similarly, transmitted Buddhist literature (Warder 1970: 205, 294). 

    Some of Paul Ricoeur's (1981: 147; cf. Graham 1987: 15) insights must be amended in a Hindu setting due to the potential of a stable oral text. 

    He contends that the act of writing simultaneously creates the text and distinguishes it from speech, and hence from the setting in which the words were first spoken and in which they had meaning. 

    Recontextualizing the text in the interpreter's own context is the goal of hermeneutics, according to Ricoeur. 

    However, according to the Hindu perspective, the Veda and other writings are not distinguished from speech and are texts even if they are not written. 

    The Veda is speech in and of itself; it is frequently referred to as sabda-brahman, "Brahman as sound," and is a manifestation of the original speech that was spoken at the beginning of the cosmos (om). 

    Not just the Veda, but also the Epics, Puranas, Tantras, and other works that are passed down verbally yet written down in manuscripts are subject to the rule that voice takes precedence over writing (Carpenter 1992). 

    As shown by commentary (see below), recontextualization, or giving a text a new meaning in a new context, did occur in ancient India, but it had previously happened with the Brahmanas and writings like Yaska's Nirukta, completely independently of writing. 

    Until the widespread use of printing in the nineteenth century, other literature relied either on less stable techniques of oral transmission or on perishable manuscripts, or both, whereas the Vedic texts have been maintained stable by a closely regulated methodology of oral transmission. 

    While more well-known writings like the Panchatantra are available in several manuscript and printed copies in various locales, showing the unbridled inventiveness of anonymous storytellers, many ancient Sanskrit texts have been passed down in pretty dependable manuscript form. 

    Similar fluidity may be seen in the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, and other smrti works. 

    While certain vernacular collections, like the poetry of Kabir, have a very consistent history, others don't. 

    Some academics have tried to reconstruct the original shape of such a work by contrasting the readings of various manuscripts using textual criticism techniques. 

    Others argue that these approaches are unsuitable for works that have always been available in a variety of versions reflecting regional and ideological differences. 

    Others who seek the original text via the variation versions and those who believe that these versions themselves are the appropriate subject of study continue to have disagreements (Narayana Rao 2004: 110–03). 

    Printing altered the situation in the nineteenth century by giving certain copies of previously fluid writings preference and making Vedic texts, which were previously the property of twice-born men who had received upanayana, accessible to everyone. 

    Then then, recording and broadcasting in the 20th century altered everything. 

    Specialist reciters are no longer required because to sound recordings and written volumes of mantras (Buhnemann 1988: 96). 

    The Ramayana and Mahabharata on television have prioritized certain interpretations more successfully than printed copies could (Brockington 1998: 510–13). 

    The Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Puranas have certain stories that have rather solid literary forms, but popular storytelling is still a flexible art. 

    The vrat-katha is a significant kind of religious story that is told to a group of individuals engaged in a vrata

    The traditional form of a vrata includes the telling of the narrative, which explains how the vrata was established and what benefits come from following it. 

    However, a videotape might now take the role of the storyteller (Jackson and Nesbitt 1993: 65–70). 

    Hindu thinking places a high value on speech, as seen by the care with which texts are preserved and the respect accorded to individuals who recall them, both in the Vedic textual tradition and in less formal traditions (Graham 1987: 67–77). 

    However, in non-Vedic ritual writing has a place alongside speech despite the fact that speech is given priority and that the vocal aspect is dominant both in Vedic ritual and elsewhere. 

    Both inside and outside of temples, mantras are painted; home shrines often have metal sculptures of the om symbol, and some temples have neon signs. 

    On holy diagrams, this character and others that stand in for "seed mantras" are engraved (yantras). 

    Both Valmiki's Ramayana and the whole of Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas are engraved on the walls of contemporary temples in Varanasi and Ayodhya, respectively (Brockington 1998: 506n.). 

    In many temples, a printed copy of the Rigveda Samhita is on display; however, it is not meant to be read, but rather to be revered, much as the Sikhs revere the Adi Granth

    What exactly are "holy texts"? 

    The term "holy texts" is a useful method to distinguish between writings that obviously have a religious purpose within a given tradition and those that do not. 

    The Veda, the Dharmasastra, the poems of the Alvars and Nayan-mar, the mantras spoken or chanted in worship, bhajan songs, or books of instruction like the Siks.patr of Swami Narayana are just a few examples of texts that are discussed in this entry that are used in ritual or that convey religious ideas or precepts. 

    Even though the Pancatantra and the Kamasutra are included in this encyclopedia because of their importance to Hindu culture, we are not concerned with these writings since they are obviously not holy. 

    Although many of them include mythical content or express significant principles like karma or purity, the majority of ancient poetry and contemporary books are also unimportant to us. 

    The Mahabharata and the Ramayana, on the other hand, are the subjects of our interest since they not only include tales but also serve as a repository for religious doctrine and mantras and are dramatized and repeated during certain ceremonial occasions. 

    A priceless legacy of editions, translations, and other works has been left by the study of Hindu writings written in Sanskrit and other languages throughout the nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries. 

    The belief that every religion had its own "Bible" or "scriptures," serving a comparable purpose to the Bible in Protestantism (in theological theory if not in observable practice), was supported and, to some measure, driven by that scholarly tradition. 

    This presumption, exemplified by Muller's Sacred Books of the East series, ignores the many ways that texts may be employed in various traditions as well as the various ways that their authority or holiness may be perceived (Timm 1992: 2). 

    Like "the holy" itself, the notion of "sacred texts" or "scripture" is imposed from outside and is not always present among participants. 

    We may interpret it as texts that are "considered, in some way, as the primary center of spoken interaction with ultimate reality" (Graham 1987: 68). 

    They can be interpreted as such because they were said by a particularly wise person, like Valmiki, or by a great number of wise people, like the Vedic rishis or a group of bhakti poets, or by a deity, like Siva; or they can be interpreted as wise because they were eternal and independent of any author, which in the Purva Mmamsa view is the assurance of the Veda's authority. 

    Some works (e.g., Bhagavadgta 18, 67-78; S vetas.vatara Upanisad 6. 22f.) make a claim to being holy by offering incentives for hearing or reciting them or banning teaching them to unauthorized individuals. 

    However, the way a text is used, not its contents, can indicate whether it is considered sacred. 

    This includes whether or not it is recited in ritual settings, whether it is treated as a source of truths or moral imperatives, and whether written or oral versions of the text are revered or protected from tampering. 

    Speaking of sacred texts implies that there is a community who holds those texts in high regard (W.C. Smith 1993: 17f.). 

    For various Hindu groups, various texts are sacred in various ways. 

    Adherence to a text may define what is, for convenience's sake, a "sect" in Hinduism (Renou 1953: 91–99). 

    The word "sect" essentially translates to "tradition" in Sanskrit; unlike in European contexts where it may denote anything that differs from a church or societal standards. 

    Even when a sampradaya's founder left no written works behind, later generations continued to produce literary works in both the vernacular and Sanskrit. 

    This was the situation with the Chaitanya-founded Vaisnava tradition, where the six Gosvamins of Vrindavana composed Bengali and Sanskrit texts that were considered canonical for the Sampradaya. 

    Even the non-hierarchical Bauls, who have no known founder, have their own fluid corpus of songs. 

    What Are Smritis And Srutis?

    Smrti and Sruti Although the term "holy texts" or "scripture" is not an indigenous one, Hindus themselves have categorized such books in a number of significant ways. 

    We may start by dividing knowledge into sruti, which means "hearing, revelation," and smrti, which means "memory, tradition." Sruti is the Veda; it is timeless and was comprehended by the ancient via extrasensory perception. 

    Even if the writers of Smrti writings were much smarter than modern humans are capable of becoming, they were still humans. 

    The word "sruti" does not relate to a fixed canon of writings since the bounds of the Veda are fluid. 

    Indeed, the phrase was not always limited to the Veda; in Manusmrti (12.95), books that are most likely Buddhist and Jain are condemned as "srutis that are outside the Veda" (Olivelle 2005: 234, 349). 

    Smrti is still not as exact. It contains the Kalpasutras, yet as they are a component of the Vedic ceremonial system, they are not typical of smrti writings. 

    The Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Dharmasastras, the Puranas, the Agamas, and the Tantras are what are often meant by the word. 

    There may be disagreements on whether a text is authentic since none of these criteria are clearly established. 

    These works are often structured by a dialogue in which a mythological person learns something from a different figure, with the prestige of these individuals lending legitimacy to the lessons. 

    Conversations are often placed inside dialogues to provide a series of teachers and listeners, most notably in the Mahabharata. 

    As a result, their literary form places them in a setting of verbal instruction from an authoritative speaker to an attentive listener, a scenario that is repeated by a line of speakers and listeners down to the current reciter and his audience. 

    Smrti renders its listeners indirect receivers of linguistic communication from the divine, but Sruti makes audible the everlasting speech at the beginning of the cosmos. 

    The Smrti texts are publicly recited, with the reciter frequently interspersing a vernacular translation, in contrast to the Vedas, which must be protected from being heard by unauthorized people (such as non-twice-born men or women) and recited in a set ritual manner in the exact form in which they have been learned. 

    Despite the fact that printing and manuscripts have made such recitation easier, the majority of people encounter texts via voice. 

    The performance of reciting the Puranas is mostly oral, however it is carried out by a highly educated professional known as the pauranika, who not only reads the book aloud but also comments on it while referencing other works. 

    A similar performance erases the line between oral and written culture (Singer 1972: 150–55; see also Narayana Rao 2004: 103–14). 

    Since the proponents of smrti possessed in-depth knowledge of the Veda, historically, the authority of smrti is drawn from that of sruti. 

    Manu claims that the tradition (smrti) and behavior of people who know it are the second source of dharma after the Veda itself (Manusmrti 2, 6). 

    The Vedic redactor Vyasa is credited with writing the Mahabharata after compiling the Vedas (Mahabharata 1.1.52). 

    According to Mahabharata 1.1.204, "The epics (itihasa) and Puranas should be employed to reinforce the Veda, because the Veda dread an uneducated man lest he may ruin it." 

    The narrative is repeated in the Bhagavata Purana: Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata because women, sudras, and nominal brahman (those who do not fulfill the actual character of brahman by learning the Veda) could not access the Vedas (Bhagavata Purana, 1.5.25). 

    But it also adds a conclusion: Vyasa eventually wrote the Bhagavata Purana to instruct in Krishna worship because he was still unsatisfied (Bhagavata Purana 1.4. 26–31; 1.7.6–8). 

    The historical link between smrti and sruti weakens as we go from the Kalpasutras through the Dharmasastras and epics to the Puranas, Agamas, and Tantras

    The four yugas, the framework on which historical time is traditionally constructed, are used to acknowledge this historical variation in the tradition. 

    Only during the Kreta era could the Vedas be properly followed; during the Dvapara era, they were in danger of being lost, which is why Vyasa set them up. 

    The Vedas are poorly known and understood in the current Kali era, when the brahmans who should preserve them are degenerate and the status of the kshatriyas who once supported the yajna has been usurped by rebels; instead, the smrti texts, which contain the meaning of the Vedas, have taken their place. 

    The Kali era is claimed to outlaw several behaviors that are prescribed in the Vedic writings namely Kali Varjya(or kali-varjita). 

    These practices include animal sacrifice and niyoga, also known as levirate, in which a man's wife engages in sexual relations with his brother in order to produce a son for her dead husband. 

    The belief that the Bhagavata Purana, or any other specific smrti work, conveys the content of the Veda does not imply that specific sentences in one text may be connected to phrases in another. 

    Instead, it conveys the feeling that both have the absolute truth. 

    The Bhagavad Gita, which has been the subject of countless translations and commentaries since the late nineteenth century, is the smrti text that is currently printed the most widely. 

    Long before that, it served as the inspiration for numerous imitations, some of which are included in Puranas like the Ganesagta or the Devgta while the Anugta is contained within the Mahabharata itself (Gonda 1977: 271–76). 

    Although some people object to this, the Bhagavadgta is often utilized in funeral ceremonies and as a book for religious schools (Firth 1997: 84, 87). 

    Numerous smrti writings, whether they promote the worship of Siva, Visnu, or Sakti or another god, are well-known and acknowledged by devotees of other deities. 

    Many of the Puranas support this. 

    On the other hand, there are literature known as Agamas, Tantras, and Sam hitas that are particular to one or both of these deities. 

    The word "agama," which means "tradition," may be used to refer to works that provide guidance on ritual behavior and the pursuit of salvation generally, but it is particularly used to describe books that identify Siva as the ultimate god. 

    Tantra may also be used more broadly, however it is particularly employed in books on Sakti worship. 

    The Vedic Samhitas and the group of works dedicated to Visnu known as the Pancaratra Samhitas are the two principal usage of the term samhita. 

    Even while the phrases A gama, Tantra, and Samhita are often used to refer to Saivism, Saktism, and Vaisnavism, respectively, none of them are exclusive to any of these three. 

    However, the specific books they refer to are often just Saivism, Saktism, or Vaisnavism (Gonda 1977). 

    What Are Mantras, Vidhis, And Arthavada?

    The Veda is divided into mantra, vidhi, and arthavada categories according to a different categorization created in Purva Mimamsa. 

    1. A mantra is a passage of text chanted or spoken aloud during a rite. 
    2. A vidhi is a paragraph that instructs ritual practitioners on what to do and how to execute it. It is often translated as a "injunction." 
    3. Arthavada, which translates to "statement of purpose," explains why a ritual should be performed in a certain manner. 

    In practice, it refers to all Vedic texts that are neither mantras nor vidhis. 

    The Samhitas have mantras, but the Brahmanas and Aranyakas also commonly mention them. 

    The Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads also contain vidhi and arthavada

    Although the word "mantra" is often used outside of the Vedic setting, this categorization specifically pertains to Vedic writings. 

    Non-Vedic literature may also be categorized into sections that are employed in ritual, sections that prescribe, and sections that offer motivation for ritual action. 

    The phrases vidhi and arthavada are less common writings in both Sanskrit and the local language. 

    The sruti and smrti writings mentioned above are all in Sanskrit, and many Hindus who do not speak the language are acquainted with the sound of Sanskrit due to its usage in ritual. 

    There are holy scriptures in all Indian languages. 

    Bhakti, with its focus on the relationship between the devotee and the divine, which eliminates the necessity for the brahman and his ceremonial writings in Sanskrit, encouraged the use of literature in vernacular languages. 

    However, we need not assume that the earliest vernacular texts, starting with the Tamil poems of the sixth century, were also the first bhakti texts to be made available. 

    The use of vernacular languages from the beginning in Buddhist and Jain texts suggests that Sanskrit's dominance in the religious sphere had long been contested. 

    Along with the bhakti poetry, there are many vernacular Puranas, some of which are completely independent of Sanskrit and others that have been translated or altered from it (Rocher 1986: 72–77). 

    Many regional and educational themes are addressed in vernacular versions of the Ramayana, such as Kampan's Tamil translation Iramavataram and Tulsdas's Hindi Ramcaritmanas. 

    In the Ramlla dramas, especially at Dasahra, these, especially the latter, are not only recited but also performed (Brockington 1998: 505-07; Lutgendorf 1991). 

    It is less common to dramatize the Mahabharata, but South India and Sri Lanka both stage plays centered on Draupad (Brockington 1998: 507; Hiltebeitel 1988-91; Tanaka 1991). 

    Sanskrit writings are explicitly rejected in certain bhakti traditions, as in the tale of the Marathi poet Namdev who had a cow recite the Veda (Ranade 1961: 71). 

    The concept of the fifth Veda and the notion that vernacular texts with concepts such as the Tamil Veda, as well as smrti texts with concepts like the Bhagavata Purana (see above), contain the meaning of the Veda, were both expanded. 

    On the other hand, in many lineages, the creation of vernacular literature has been followed by the development of texts in Sanskrit. 

    For instance, the Sanskrit works of Yamunacarya, Ramanuja, and others came after the Tamil songs of the Alvars. 

    The Alvars were also followed by the Bhagavata Purana, which, because it was written in Sanskrit, made emotional bhakti accessible outside of the Tamil-speaking region. 

    However, the change from the vernacular to Sanskrit was accompanied by a change from an emotional to an intellectual form of bhakti (Hardy 1983: 36–43). 

    Vernacular works must obviously be regional, although this does not preclude their translation into or imitation in neighboring languages; for example, poetry credited to Kabr are also available in Bengali, Panjabi, and Hindi. 

    Tyagaraja's (1767–1847) Telegu songs are popular in areas of South India and the diaspora but are seldom recognized outside of that region (Jackson 1991). 

    Up until the nineteenth century, when English usage started to rise steadily throughout the Hindu world, Sanskrit was the only language in which texts could be made available. 

    The English writings of non-regional, non-sectarian Hinduism pioneers like Gandhi, Radhakrishnan, and Vivekananda—a Bengali, Gujarati, and Tamil—show the significance of English in this process. 

    In the last fifty years, Hindi has surpassed English as the language spoken across all of India. 

    Some Sanskrit writings are regional or even local, while vernacular texts are by their very nature local. 

    What Are Mahatmyas And Sthala-Puranas?

    In addition to texts from locally based sampradayas, there are texts from pilgrimage sites or temples. 

    These texts include Mahatmyas ('glorifications'), which extol the local deity and the advantages of visiting it, and Sthala-Puranas ('puranas of the place, local puranas'), which tell the history of the site's sanctity and the rules for visiting it. 

    Examples of these two types that overlap may be found in vernacular and Sanskrit languages (Rocher 1986: 71f. ; Gonda 1977: 276-81). 

    The readers or listeners of vernacular texts are not always able to understand them; Sanskrit is not the only language that is used in ritual without being fully understood. 

    The language of the Tamil bhakti poetry is not current spoken Tamil, although they are nevertheless widely performed in temples. 

    Tulsıdas’ Ramcaritmanas may have owed its popularity originally to its being in language familiar to its hearers, but it continues to be repeated in its original, now archaic form, its worth consisting in its holiness rather than its accessibility. 

    Sacred Poetry And Prose. 

    Most of the works we are interested in are in verse, however numerous mantras from the Yajur veda, all of the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, certain Upanisads, and the Kalpasutras are in prose (interesting as the earliest instances of prose in any Indian language). 

    Also written in prose are the non-Vedic sutras. 

    There are a few portions in the Mahabharata and Puranas that are written in prose. 

    Sanskrit literature, especially technical works like the Sam. 

    hyakarikas, the founding book of the Sam. 

    khya philosophy, was and remains heavily verse-based. 

    The sloka, a stanza of thirty-two syllables split into four halves, is by far the most popular poetry form. 

    Unlike the other meters employed in the complex literature known as kavya, it is adaptable and simple to utilize (see below). 

    Slokas have been written by countless anonymous authors of the Puranas and other texts, in addition to well-known poets, and are used even for quite unpoetic subjects were cited in prose works of religion that inspired debate, such as:

    1. Swami Narayan's Vacanamrta ('Immortality in words') in Gujarati, 
    2. Dayananda Saraswati's Satyartha Prakasa ('Light of truth') in Hindi, 
    3. or Vivekananda's writings in English. 

    What is Kavya?

    Even though kavya can be in prose, the term is occasionally translated as "poetry." It takes a significant amount of literary training to compose and appreciate this particular genre of Sanskrit literature. 

    It contains a variety of literary genres, such as verse epics, dramas, and one-verse epigrams. 

    Even today, despite the fact that few people are sufficiently educated to appreciate it, it is still being developed under the patronage of kings. 

    The Buddha-charita (also known as the "Life of the Buddha"), written by Asvaghosa in the first or second century CE, and inscriptions from the second century CE forward are the earliest instances that have survived. 

    Although textual scholars consider the Ramayana's only passages in which it claims to be the original kavya to be late and that it lacks the stylistic elaboration typical of kavya, it is still hailed as the genre's founding work (Brockington 1998: 23, 361). 

    Kavya, in contrast to smrti and other works, rigorously adheres to the grammatical rules established by Panini and other grammarians and makes use of sophisticated meters and aesthetic embellishments that are outlined in literary guides. 

    A thorough understanding of mythology as well as other disciplines is required to fully comprehend kavya, even though it generally does not come within the category of holy literature. 

    Kavya works frequently start with a prayer or deity's invocation. 

    Some, like Kalidasa's Kumarasam Bhava on the birth of Skanda, are based on mythological stories, while others, like his play Sakuntala, use epic tales. 

    The Gtagovinda and the Karnandana ('Delight of the ears'), poems from the Radhavallabh Sampradaya, which was formed by the poet's father, Hita Harivamsa, and focused on Krishna's beloved, Radha, are two instances of kavya compositions that are devotional throughout (Gonda 1977: 25–29; Entwistle 1987: 168). 

    The Kuncitan ghri-stava, written by Umapati Sivacarya in the year 1300 CE and translated as "Hymn of praise to [Nataraja's] curved foot," is one particularly intriguing example. 

    Each of its 313 verses concludes with a refrain that alludes to Siva's foot being raised in the dance and does so by way of a clever and moving fusing of mythological, theological, and philosophical ideas (D. Smith 1996). 

    What Is a Stotra?

    The stotra, a hymn of adoration to a deity, is a common type of religious text that is written in both Sanskrit and vernacular (Gonda 1977: 232–70). 

    In contrast to sloka or the meters used in kavya, many stotras use rhyme and a metre with a strong recurrent beat, and they frequently contain a refrain. 

    Many stotras are credited to Sankara (Mahadevan 1980; Hirst 2005: 24f.). 

    The Gtagovinda contains stotras, which are songs. 

    Another example is the poem Bande Mataram by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, which was originally written to honor Bengal as a mother goddess but was later changed to refer to India. 

    Its grammar is so straightforward that anyone who knows Bengali or Hindi can understand most of the poem (Lipner 2005). 

    The nama-stotra is one kind of stotra, and it consists mostly of a list of names, epithets, and descriptions of a specific god (Gonda 1977: 268–70; Gonda 1970: 67–76). 

    An early example is the Sata-rudrya ('[hymn] of a thousand Rudras'), which is still chanted in Siva temples and is part of the Black Yajur veda (Vajasaney Samhita 4, 5). 

    The prayers are interspersed with numerous names and epithets that invoke Rudra (Gonda 1970: 70f.; Gonda 1977: 241; translated Keith 1914: 353-62). 

    Other Sanskrit prose was utilized in theological works such as Ramanuja’s Vedartha-samgraha (‘Compendium of the meaning of the Veda’), and for the huge library of comments detailed below. 

    It was used for literary works such as the Pancatantra, theater, and other literary works that did not fall under the rubric of holy writings. 

    Except for letters and other related documents, little little prose was produced in the common languages until the nineteenth century. 

    The bhakti poems are in verse, though some, like the Marathi abhangs and the Kannad vacans, have a more flexible verse structure. 

    Since 1816, Rammohan Roy and his Hindu and Christian adversaries have contributed prose works in Bengali and English to religious debates that had hitherto only been held in Sanskrit. 

    In his earliest work, Roy noted that many people had trouble reading Bengali prose and offered some brief tips on how to do so (Killingley 1982: 12; Das 1966: 131f.). 

    Newspapers, books, and other advances encouraged the use of prose in the vernacular languages during the nineteenth century. 

    These well-known instances are the Lalita-sahasra-nama ('Thousand names of the luscious [Goddess]') in the Brahmanada Purana and the Visnu-sahasra-nama ('Thousand names of Visnu'; Raghavan 1958: 421-36). 

    What Is The Purpose And Place Of Commentary In Sacred Texts?

    Hindu writings are meant to be analyzed and discussed. 

    Some comments, sometimes referred to as t.ka, just clarify challenging terms; the term for a more thorough commentary is bhasya. 

    Some comments, such as Saya's on Vedic literature, Sankara's on the Upanisads, or the countless commentators on the Manusmrti or Manavadharmasastra, explain every word in the original text on the grounds that nothing is without intent. 

    Some texts, like the Brahmasutras and the Bhagavadgta, have been discussed numerous times from various and frequently conflicting perspectives; one of the commentator's tasks is to disprove competing interpretations. 

    A commentary, particularly one on a sutra, may be a text of original authorship in and of itself, with subsequent commentary by members of the same school of thought elaborating on the first commentary's meaning in light of newer developments within the school. 

    Although it has been argued that the presence of substantial commentaries indicates a text's theological significance, a text that is religiously inspiring but not theologically significant may draw little to no attention (Clooney 2003: 461). 

    In addition to Sanskrit commentaries, vernacular commentaries exist. 

    Tamil commentaries on Tamil texts are one such example (Hardy 1983: 244f.). 

    Oral commentaries on the Puranas have also been mentioned.

    ~Kiran Atma

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

    References And Further reading: 

    • J. A. B. van Buitenen, trans., Yamana’s Agamapramanyam or Treatise on the Validity of Pancaratra (Madras: Ramanuja Research Society, 1971).
    • Bruno Dagens, Architecture in the Ajitagama and the Rauravagama: A Study of Two South Indian Texts (New Delhi: Sitaram Institute of Scientific Research, 1984).
    • Mark Dyczkowski, The Canon of the Saivagama and the Kubjika Tantras of the Western Kaula Tradition (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988).
    • Kamalakar Mishra, Kashmir Saivism: The Central Philosophy of Tantrism (Portland, Ore.: Rudra Press, 1993).
    • S. K. Ramachandra Rao, Agama-Kosa: Agama Encyclopedia (Bangalore: Kapatharu Research Academy, 1994).