Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Scripture (Hinduism)

  • Carl Olson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_477-1

According to its history of usage, scripture is a term that implies a sacred text that is written. Scripture is a term of Western origin that can be traced to the Latin scriptura that is literally related to the act of writing, a method of preserving literature considered sacred or special by a community. Scripture shares in the religious life of a particular community within history, rendering scripture something human, historical, and social. Being grounded in the sociohistorical realm, scripture can encounter political machinations and power dynamics that help to shape it. Scripture can be conceived by a particular religious tradition as revealed by a deity or inspired by a higher power.

The Hindu tradition draws a distinction between śruti (that which is revealed) and smṛti(that which is heard). The former is inspired literature, whereas the latter is literature that has been transmitted from one generation to another by means of memory from authoritative humans. In some...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.
    Brockington JL (1998) The Sanskrit epics. E. J. Brill, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carmen J, Narayanan V (1989) The Tamil veda. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Coburn TB (1989) Scripture in India: towards a typology of the word in Hindu life. In: Levering M (ed) Rethinking scripture: essays from a comparative perspective. State University of New York Press, Albany, pp 102–128Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davis RH (2015) The Bhagavad Gita: a biography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gonda J (1975) Vedic literature. Otto Harrassowitz, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gonda J (1977) Medieval religious literature in sanskrit. Otto Harrassowitz, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hiltebeitel A (2001) Rethinking the Mahābhārata: a reader’s guide to education of the Dharma king. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jamison SW, Brereton JP (trans) (2014) The rigveda: the earliest religious poetry of India, 3 vols. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lutgendorf P (1991) The life of a text: performing the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Narayanan V (1994) The vernacular veda: revelation, recitation, and ritual. University of South Carolina Press, ColumbiaGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Olivelle P (1996) Upaniṣads. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Olson C (ed) (2007) Hindu primary sources: a sectarian reader. Rutgers University Press, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pollock S (2006) The language of the gods in the world of men: Sanskrit, culture, and power in premodern India. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Richman P (ed) (1991) Many Ramayanas: the diversity of a narrative tradition in south Asia. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Richman P (2001) Questioning Ramayanas: a south Indian tradition. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Robinson CA (2006) Interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gītā and images of the Hindu tradition. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Staal JF (1990) Rules without meaning: ritual, mantras and human sciences, Toronto studies in religion, vol 4. Peter Lang, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Theodor I (2010) Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: philosophy, structure, and meaning. Ashgate, SurreyGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Witzel M (1997) The development of the vedic canon and its schools: the social and political milieu. In: Inside texts, beyond the texts: new approaches to the study of the vedas, Harvard oriental series, Opera Minora, vol 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 257–345Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesAllegheny CollegeMeadvilleUSA