Sanskrit literature has six orthodox heads and four secular heads. The
six orthodox sections form the authoritative scriptures of the Hindus.
The four secular sections embody the latter developments in classical
The six scriptures are: (1) Srutis, (2) Smritis, (3) Itihasas, (4) Puranas,
(5) Agamas and (6) Darsanas.
The four secular writings are: (1) Subhashitas, (2) Kavyas, (3) Natakas
and (4) Alankaras.
The Srutis are called the Vedas, or the Amnaya. The Hindus have received
their religion through revelation, the Vedas. These are direct intuitional
revelations and are held to be Apaurusheya or entirely superhuman, without
any author in particular. The Veda is the glorious pride of the Hindus,
nay, of the whole world!
The term Veda comes from the root 'Vid', to know. The word Veda means
knowledge. When it is applied to scripture, it signifies a book of knowledge.
The Vedas are the foundational scriptures of the Hindus. The Veda is the
source of the other five sets of scriptures, why, even of the secular
and the materialistic. The Veda is the storehouse of Indian wisdom and
is a memorable glory which man can never forget till eternity.
The Vedas are the eternal truths revealed by God to the great ancient
Rishis of India. The word Rishi means a Seer, from dris, to see. He is
the Mantra-Drashta, seer of Mantra or thought. The thought was not his
own. The Rishis saw the truths or heard them. Therefore, the Vedas are
what are heard (Sruti). The Rishi did not write. He did not create it
out of his mind. He was the seer of thought, which existed already. He
was only the spiritual discoverer of the thought. He is not the inventor
of the Veda.
The Vedas represent the spiritual experiences of the Rishis of yore. The
Rishi is only a medium or an agent to transmit to people the intuitional
experiences, which he received. The truths of the Vedas are revelations.
All the other religions of the world claim their authority as being delivered
by special messengers of God to certain persons, but the Vedas do not
owe their authority to any one. They are themselves the authority as they
are eternal, as they are the Knowledge of the Lord.
Lord Brahma, the Creator, imparted the divine knowledge to the Rishis
or Seers. The Rishis disseminated the knowledge. The Vedic Rishis were
great-realized persons who had direct intuitive perception of Brahman
or the Truth. They were inspired writers. They built a simple, grand and
perfect system of religion and philosophy from which the founders and
teachers of all other religions have drawn their inspiration.
The Vedas are the oldest books in the library of man. The truths contained
in all religions are derived from the Vedas and are ultimately traceable
to the Vedas. The Vedas are the fountainhead of religion. The Vedas are
the ultimate source to which all religious knowledge can be traced. Religion
is of divine origin. It was revealed by God to man in the earliest times.
It is embodied in the Vedas.
The Vedas are eternal. They are without beginning and end. An ignorant
man may say how a book can be without beginning or end. By the Vedas,
no books are meant. Vedas came out of the breath of the Lord. They are
not the composition of any human mind. They were never written, never
created. They are eternal and impersonal. The date of the Vedas has never
been fixed. It can never be fixed. Vedas are eternal spiritual truths.
Vedas are an embodiment of divine knowledge. The books may be destroyed,
but the knowledge cannot be destroyed. Knowledge is eternal. In that sense,
the Vedas are eternal.