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Hindu Religious Scriptures

The terminology of the names of the Hindu religious scriptures is a bit confusing because some of the cited texts are parts of other literature. The oldest sacred texts of Hinduism are the Vedas. The Vedas were the holy scriptures of the fire sacrifice cult of the Aryans who came into North India starting about 2000 B.C. The language of the Vedas is Sanskrit. The Vedas consist of four books of knowledge:

The Vedas are largely concerned with the elements of the cult of fire sacrifice, sacred hymns (recitations) and the use of soma, a hallucigen obtained from a wild plant. The compilation of the more philosophical portion of the Vedas is called the Upanishads

In the first millenium CE (A.D.) a long poem called the Mahabrarata was composed. The name Mahabharata means the great epic of the Bharata dynasty. The official Hindi name for India is Bharat. Included within the Mahabharata is the Bhagavadgïta and the Ramayana.

Hinduism as it evolved is a blending of the original religious of the Aryan invaders, Vedism, and the many religions of the indigenous people. The indigenous people were probably mostly Dravidians.

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