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Classical Hindu ThoughtAn Introduction$
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Arvind Sharma

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195658712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.001.0001

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(p.191) Chapter XXII Vedas
Classical Hindu Thought

Arvind Sharma

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the significance of the Vedas as books. The Vedas are the sacred books of the Hindus. They are to the Hindus what the Bible is to the Christians, and the Qur'ān to the Muslims. According to the traditional Hindu view of the Vedas, these books are eternal, beginning-less, not made by man, and moreover, they are the source of all religion. Modern Western scholarship considers the following features of great significance in relation to the Vedas as books: the purity of the texts; the antiquity of the texts; and the importance of the texts in the history of Hinduism. The essence of the significance of the Vedas as books lies in the fact that the Vedas are ‘the book of origins’. They are the original Indo–European work, and contain the origins of later Hindu development in the religious and even secular fields.

Keywords:   Vedas, sacred books, Hinduism, Hindu development, religion

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