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Religious Scriptures of Hindu Religion

There are four sacred books in Hindu religion. They are:

1. The Vedas
2. Upanishads
3. Puranas and
4. Brahmanas Granth.

The last one is a commentary on the Vedas, but it is considered as a revealed book. These books are in Sanskrit, the sacred language of the Hindus.

The Vedas are divided into four books: (i) Rig Veda (ii) Yajur Veda (iii) Sama Veda and (iv) Atharva Veda. Of these, the first three books are considered the more ancient books, and the Rig Veda is the oldest of them. The Rig Veda was compiled in three long and different periods. Opinions greatly differ as to the date of compilation or revelation of the four Vedas. Swami Daya Nand, founder of the Arya Samaj, holds the opinion that the Vedas were revealed 1.3 billion years ago, while others (Hindu scholars and orientalists) hold the opinion that they are not more than four thousand years old. Analysis of the Vedas reveal differences in the accounts of the places where these books were revealed and the Rishis (Prophets) to whom these scriptures were given. Nevertheless, the Vedas are the most authentic scriptures of the Hindus.

The Upanishads are considered next to the Vedas in order of superiority and authenticity. However, some Pandits consider the Upanishads to be superior to the Vedas primarily from the internal evidence found in the Upanishads.

Next in authenticity to the Upanishads are the Puranas. The Puranas are the most widely read of all Hindu Scriptures, as these are easily available (the Vedas are difficult to find). The compiler of the Puranas is Maha Rishi Vyasa, and he arranged the Puranas in eighteen volumes. These books contain the history of the creation of the universe, the history of the early Aryan people, and life stories of the divines and deities of the Hindus. The Puranas were either revealed simultaneously with the Vedas or some time before. The sanctity and reverence of the Puranas is admitted and recognized in all the authentic books of the Hindus.

For a long time, the Hindu Scriptures were primarily in the hands of Pandits and a small group of men who had learned Sanskrit (The majority of the Hindu population knew Hindi and could comprehend only a smattering of Sanskrit words). Sir William Jones, who was a Judge and founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal, learned Sanskrit in the last decade of the Eighteenth century. He was instrumental in generating interest in Sanskrit and Hindu Scriptures in Europe, and it was due to his efforts that the Hindu scriptures were translated into English.

In 1935, Dr. Pran Nath published an article in the Times of India that showed that the Rig Veda contains events of the Babylonian (Present Iraq) and Egyptian kings and their wars. Further, he showed that one-fifth of the Rig Veda is derived from the Babylonian Scriptures. From a Muslim perspective, it is likely that the Hindus were given a revealed book or books that contained description and struggles of Allah’s Prophets sent previously to other peoples. It is also possible that commentaries written about them were incorporated later and became a part of the revealed books. There are a number of examples of these in Hindu scriptures.

The Atharva Veda is also known as ‘Brahma Veda’ or in its meaning as the Devine Knowledge. An Analysis of the Vedas reveal that ‘Brahma’ is actually Abraham, where the initial letter A in Abraham is moved to the end making it Brahma. This analysis is accurate when one writes the two words in Arabic script, a language close to that spoken by Prophet Abraham. Similarly, Abraham’s first wife Sarah is mentioned in the Vedas as Saraswati, and Prophet Nuh (Noah of The Flood) is mentioned as Manuh or Manu. Some Pundits consider Atharva Veda as the Book of Abraham. Prophets Ismail (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac) are named Atharva and Angira, respectively, in the Vedas.

Table 1

Brahma Abraham
Saraswati Sarah
Manu, Manuh Nuh