The Hindu tradition has produced a wide range of religious literature, although some are regarded sacred across the broad spectrum of Hinduism, others are considered sacred within different communities or sects. Earlier religious texts predominantly or almost exclusively were composed in Sanskrit. It seems as though, to be considered a credible author it was necessary to be proficient in and compose the work using only Sanskrit. However it does seem this rule was later relaxed and later texts were acknowledged upon acceptance of religious and authoritative sources.
Hindu literature can be classified into two main categories śruti and smṛti. Śruti can roughly be translated as ‘that which is heard’, this notably is referring to the divine revelations dealing with higher metaphysical reality. Smṛti denotes ‘that which is remembered’, these texts use the tenants of śruti to develop further ideas of Vedic theology. Although smṛti texts are composed by divine personalities they are still authored by man and hence cannot be equated to śruti, in this respect smṛti literature is always considered secondary texts.
The copyright of the article Classification of Vedic Literature is owned by the Jigyasa Team. Permission to republish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.