The Hindu religion is based around several different texts. The word text is used loosely, as many of the most important "documents" in regards to the religion have never been written down. They are remembered orally, word for word, and passed down to each new generation in this manner. The highest of these is the Vedas, which is composed of four different smaller parts. The oldest of these, which was first learned in the Sanskrit language, is the Rig-Veda. It is believed to have been created from 1500 to 1000 BC and is made up of 1028 hymns that have been memorized and passed down to each new generation of Hindi people. The three other parts are the Yajur-Veda (textbook for sacrifice), Sama-Veda ( book of hymnals), and the Atharva-Veda (book of magic spells). This were all completed by 900 BC. The Brahmanas were also created around this time period and contain a guide for rituals for priests as well as the old myths that are behind each of the rituals. The Upanishads, which are philosophical meditations on the meaning of life and mysteries of the universe, were also added by the 5th century BC. All of these have remained unchanged since their creation as they are considered shruti or having been heard from the gods. Therefore, they exist, syllable for syllable today just as they were thousands of years ago. Another important text, the Smriti, is orally preserved but has no rules disallowing rewording,... [continues]
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