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Is There A Single Hinduism Holy Book?

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Imagine you’re at your local library.

The knowledge of the world is at your fingertips. Essentially, you have walked into an Encyclopedia of Everything — categorized by topic, stored in sequential order, and run by the wisest of women and men. 

You ask your astute librarian, “Where can I find the encyclopedia of Christianity and Islam?”

She whispers, “In the religion section, under Holy Bible and Holy Quran.

“And how about the Hindu holy book? The Holy Book of Hinduism?”

“It does not exist,” she knowingly states. “There is no single Hinduism holy book. You can go to the Hinduism isle and scan all the Hindu texts from there… Just to warn you, though, there are many.”

Categories Of Hindu Texts


Sacred text

She’s right, there is no one Hinduism sacred text.

Rather, there are thousands of Hindu scriptures that make up an array of different sacred texts. Each Hinduism holy book describes a unique aspect of Hinduism.

Thankfully, these Hindu texts are organized into two categories:

1. Shruti  

“That which has been heard.”

These texts (including the Hindu Vedas) contain unquestionable truths that the foundation of Hinduism is based on — they are the “bedrock” texts. These texts remain unchanged. 

They were channeled from Source by the risis, (the seers, the sages), who recorded and shared them. For this, there is no acclaimed human author of these texts.

2. Smriti

“That which has been remembered.”

These texts were inspired by the Shruti texts.

Smriti texts provide information that helps Hindus better understand the Shruti texts. Unlike the Shruti texts though, Smriti texts are constantly revised and written by human authors.

Foundational Hindu Texts


hindu_text

While a general distinction exists between Smriti and Shruti, there isn’t always a clear divide. Rather, these categories can be thought of as scale or spectrum — Smriti at one end, and Shruti at the other (with some texts containing elements of both Smriti and Shruti).

Different sects of Hinduism place importance on different texts. However, there at least 7 main, universally recognized Hindu texts.

Main Shruti Texts

The Vedas

The Vedas are the oldest of the Hindu scriptures and form the very foundation of Hinduism.

They consist of the Rig Veda (book of mantra and hymn), the Sama Veda (book of song), the Yajur Veda (book of ritual), and the Atharva Veda (book of spell).

The 108 Upanishads (Muktika)

The Upanishads are the last chapter of the Vedas.

They are written in the form of a dialogue from the Hindu god Rama and cover the most important aspects of the four Vedas, meditation, philosophy, and spirituality.

The Vedanta Sutra (Brahma Sutra)

The Vedanta Sutra is a summary of the Upanishads.

The categorization of this Hinduism holy book as Shruti is debated. It is a widely accepted interpretation and explanation, written by an Indian philosopher over 2,500 years ago.

Main Smriti Texts

The Itihasas

The Itihasas are the history books of Hinduism, the Mahabharata and Ramayana being the two most important books.

They record an incredibly ancient history, spanning back hundreds of thousands of years (through the cycles of time, called Yugas). The Itihasas are structured as epics and account the histories of the gods and their wars, as well as the emergence of humanity.

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It is often considered to be its own text, as it profoundly describes the order of the Universe (dharma). It is written as a dialogue between the prince Arjuna, who seeks moral advice from the God Krishna.

The Puranas

The Puranas are ancient stories written on a variety of topics. These stories are thought to contain common-sense wisdom and knowledge. They cover nearly every aspect of life — from love and war to science and myth, to medicine and humor.  

The Dharma Shastra

The Dharma Shastra can be thought of as the Hindu Law Book. It contains commentary on the responsibilities and ethics of individuals, families, and communities.


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Have you ever read a Hinduism holy book? If so, what about it did you find most compelling? Share with us in a comment below!



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Health & Wellness

How To Make Your Meditation Practice Rock So That You Stress Less And Accomplish More

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Do you find meditation boring, time-taking, or too difficult? This interview with Emily Fletcher might just change your mind.

Emily Fletcher is the Founder of Ziva Meditation who has trained the teams of Google and Harvard on what meditation really means in the modern world.

In this interview she shares…

  • Why clearing your mind has nothing to do with meditating
  • Why top performers don’t go a day without their practice
  • What’s the difference between meditating like a monk and modern meditation
  • The science behind why meditation gives you a deeper rest than sleep and reduces aging
  • And how you can use meditation to perform better in every area of life

As Emily says,

We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation.

If you liked this interview, check out Emily’s new book: Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance. It’s an amazing guide for everyone who wants to improve their relationships, level up at work, or heal themselves.

This is not just another meditation book. In Stress Less, Accomplish More, Emily teaches a powerful trifecta of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting to improve your personal and professional performance, clarity, health, and sleep.

You’ll learn how to cultivate Mindfulness through brief but powerful exercises that will help you stop wasting time stressing. Plus, you’ll get Manifesting tools to help you get crystal clear on your personal and professional goals for the future. Grab your copy on Amazon.


What’s your biggest motivation to get better at meditating? Share it with us in a comment below.



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What Part Of The Brain Controls Balance?

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Standing upright, maintaining balance, and walking are all pretty natural processes to us. We don’t consciously think about balance during our daily activities.

But have you ever wondered how you manage to stand on one foot? Or perform any sports activity? Or how you don’t fall down every time you stumble? Today we’re learning what part of the brain controls balance.

What Controls Balance In The Brain?

As your body moves , your brain grooves.

—Jim Kwik, Author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Program

Maintaining balance is a very complex process in the brain. It’s performed by multiple parts of the brain and occurs as a result of the brain communicating with our environment.

The main part of the brain that control balance is the cerebellum.

But there are other parts of the brain that help out too, such as the brain stem which helps us develop healthy breathing practices.

The cerebellum or “little brain” is located in the back of your skull, above the amygdala (the part of the brain that controls emotions).

Besides controlling balance and posture, it’s also responsible for monitoring voluntary movement, eye movement, and speech.

What Part Of The Brain Controls Balance

What Part Of The Brain Controls Balance And Hearing?

The processing of sound happens in the temporal lobes which are a part of the cerebrum. The audio stimuli come through the ear and go directly into the primary auditory cortex located in the temporal lobes.

But how does the temporal lobe affect balance?

Have you ever heard a loud noise and reflexively found yourself moving away from the source of the noise?

That’s the temporal lobe at work. Your temporal lobe is directly connected to the cerebellum by neural pathways. This connection enables a quick reaction to loud noise.

Which Part Of The Brain Controls Balance And Posture?


We already mentioned that the cerebellum does not work alone. It controls equilibrium by combining sensory information from the outside world.

Those pieces of information come from the eye (visual), the ear (auditory) and muscles and joints (motor). The cerebellum sends information out to your body in order to stay balanced during movement. But that happens as a response to the information that comes in.

Consider standing on one foot. Your joints and muscles use receptors, called proprioceptors, to gather information about the spacial position of your body.

These receptors the send the information back to the cerebellum which adjusts your position by making you shift body weight, or even stretching your arms out to help maintain equilibrium.

Now, continue standing on one foot but close your eyes. It is much more difficult to stay in that position, isn’t it?

This is because you have limited the information coming to the cerebellum. It’s now unable to use visual information from the eyes and has lost a little of the spatial orientation.

Usually, we are not aware of these processes — they happen reflexively. But we often become aware of them when we exercise — especially exercise that involves a high degree of coordination.

For example, a ballerina doing a pirouette on one leg has to learn how to use surroundings in order to perform the movement without losing balance. And that’s no easy feat!

What Controls The Body’s Balance?


In addition to the cerebellum, two crucial structures in maintaining balance are the inner ear and the vestibular cranial nerves.

The vestibular system, located in the inner ear, enables you to be aware of the position of your head in relation to the floor. It’s responsible for helping you know that the object that you are looking at is not moving but that you have, for example, tilted your head.

Damage to any part of the brain related to balance can result in jerky, uncoordinated movements. Damage to any of these structures isn’t inherently life threatening, and movement is still possible. It simply requires a little more conscious attention than usual.


Are you skilled in any activity that requires good balance? Share it with us in the comments below!



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What is the Rig Veda? Behind The Veil Of History

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The Vedas are a peculiar topic of study.

They are one of the most primeval and mysterious texts known to man. They have no celebrated author and no timeline of origin… Yet, they have inspired world religions (namely, Hinduism) and their hymns are regarded as law — shaping societal, political, and economic philosophies.

The Vedas are split into 4 separate sacred texts, but are often compiled into a book referred to as the Chathurveda Samhitha.

The Rig Veda: The Book of Mantra

The Sama Veda: The Book of Song

The Yajur Veda: The Book of Ritual

The Atharva Veda: The Book of Spell

The Vedas were originally formed, recited, and passed down from generation to generation by Aryan nomads (considered “the noble ones”) in ancient India. It is most commonly believed that the Vedas were created during the Vedic Period (1,500 – 500 B.C.E.). Although, many scholars and great yogis today hypothesize that the creation of this oral tradition could have started as far back as 12,000 B.C.E.

However, it wasn’t until centuries later (long after the Vedic Period) that the Vedas were written into physical form, creating what we know today as the Vedic Texts.

The oldest and most fundamental of these texts is the Rig Veda.

What Is The Rig Veda?


Rigveda

In Sanskrit, the word Rigveda means “knowledge of the verses (or mantras).”

The Rigveda is by far the most prominent of the Vedas; it was the first Vedic text ever written and is the main source of history on the ancient Hindus.

The text is comprised of 1,028 hymns (sūktas) dedicated to various deities, including the Purusha Sukta and Creation Hymns. These hymns are all organized into 10 different books, which are commonly referred to as “circles” or “mandalas.”

The older books contain hymns that are more devoted to the praise of various gods and goddesses. The younger books are more concerned with philosophical questions, the virtue of dāna (generosity, charity) in society, and other metaphysical issues.

The hymns include praises, blessings, and sacrifices written in enchanting poetry and prose. When these beautiful words are chanted, one is transported to another state of mind.

This light hath come, of all the lights the fairest,

The brilliant brightness hath been born, far-shining,

Urged on to prompt the sun-god’s shining power.

Night and Morning clash not, nor yet do linger.

It’s awe-inspiring, to say the very least. But who wrote such wise and captivating hymns?

Here’s the thing about the Vedas — there is no acclaimed human author. They are simply a “language of the gods” in comprehensible human form.  

The Vedas were channeled by risis (the seers, the sages) from the very breath of “Source.” “Source” being the Paramātman: the “Primordial Self” or the “Absolute Atman.” The risis saw and interpreted the Vedas, but they did not compose them.

There are seven risis credited to channeling the Rigveda:  Atri, Kanwa, Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama, and Bharadwaja.

Just as one is transported to another state of mind when reciting the Vedas, it was within that same mind-state they were written — in a state beyond.

The Vedas contain universal truths that can help you understand and experience your connection to the Divine through study and practice. Sacred study reveals the practice, and practice helps you implement the powerful spiritual truths that can transform your life.

— Deborah King, Spiritual teacher and author of Mindvalley’s Be a Moder Master program.


Do you want to learn more about spiritual empowerment? Heal emotional wounds and past traumas that are holding you back and take the next step in your spiritual journey with this FREE Masterclass below:


Like the ancient sages, have you ever experienced mystical encounters with deities? Have you ever been transported to that “state beyond?” Share your experience with us in a comment below.



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