The Vedas are the eternal source of knowledge from which all the other Hindu Scriptures originated. When we say eternal books of knowledge, it carries a sense of oneness with the Supreme Lord. Scriptures are the holy books of a religion that are pious and revered. All the religions in the world have one scriptures each whereas Hinduism has many Scriptures.
Hindu scriptures are divided into Shruti and Smriti. The Shruti is the primary authority and the Smriti is the secondary. The Shruti literally means what is heard. The great rishis of yore heard the eternal truth which was later compiled by the great rishi Veda Vyasa in the four Vedas – Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda.
Smrities on the other hand include Itihasas or epics, puranas or chronicles, agamas or the manuals of worship and Darshanas or the schools of philosophy. All these are the supreme books of human knowledge and form the foundation of Hindu religion.
Prof. Shrikant Prasoon is a reader, teacher, thinker, writer, poet and above all, a humanist. The more he reads and thinks, the more he writes on varied topics but with one aim – ‘to show man the need of Nature and natural life.’ He believes that all religions are integral and inseparable, living and developing parts of one basic Religion called Humanism; and all the system are an outcome of the greatest celestial system, which is devised and regulated by the unseen and unknown Creator. A retired Professor of English, he writes in Hindi with equal ease. His recent books Knowing Guru Nanak and Knowing Buddha have been widely acclaimed.
Only a has been taken from scriptural transliteration for long ‘a’ sound which is otherwise impossible to write in the Roman script. Rest of everything is as written in government papers, magazines, newspaper and general books. It will help in easy reading of the mantras and slokas quoted in it and also the names of numerous books.
All the general information and vital statistics have been given at their proper places which will give an idea of and an insight into the scriptures from India, which are the Words of Brahman and the blessings of our ancient rishis to the human beings, whose richness gives ‘fullness’, ‘happiness’, ‘purity’, ‘divinity’ and ‘bliss’ to all.
While separately introducing the different Smritis, I have deliberately and purposely not mentioned them in other chapters so as to be able to cover many different topics in this small book.
Shri Ram Avtar Gupta, the Managing Director of Pustak Mahal, New Delhi, is to be congratulated for planning such books of great importance for the ‘ignorant and not-so-ignorant masses’, under the Hindoology series, which will definitely bring the readers closer to the rich and divine knowledge and to inner spiritual self. These scriptures are to be followed for health, happiness, and prosperity.
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