Religion Past and Present

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(520 words)

[German Version]

Vedas, sometime referred to collectively as the Veda, are the sacred texts of Hinduism. The Brahmanic tradition (Brahman, Vedic and Brahmanic religion) distinguishes two types of sacred texts: śruti, “revelation,” literally “hearing,” and smṛti, literally “remembering.” Only the Vedas are śruti, “revelation”; the authority of smṛti drives from śruti (at least in theory). Collectively the Vedas constitute a literature, Vedic literature, whose internal structure may be described roughly as follows. Most commonly four Vedas are di…

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Bronkhorst, Johannes, “Vedas”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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