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 Definition Oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. [d] [e]

One more move?

I came to this article by way of the deleted Veda article, and my question is why the article (which does a good job of covering the shruti/smrti thing) is called 'Vedas'. My suggestion would be that we should have an article on 'the sacred texts of Hinduism', which could then encompass the RV, the other vedas, the upanisads, the epics, and so forth. We could also have individual articles on each work and perhaps each category of work (Sanskrit epics, e.g.).

I guess what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that there does not seem to me to be a whole lot of justification for considering the "Vedas" as an object of study and an encyclopedia article, in particular considering the heterogeneity of the RV and the later vedas. If I don't hear anything in the next couple of days--especially considering the stub-like nature of the Vedas page, I'm going to move this article to sacred texts of Hinduism and start other articles on each of the individual vedas. Brian P. Long 12:03, 9 February 2008 (CST)

Further thoughts: I am leaning towards deleting this page and writing a fresh CZ version (upon reflection, I think putting the vedas in the category of 'revelation' is somewhat imprecise; there's not a whole lot more to this article). If any one has any objections to this, please speak up!
Furthermore, I think we need to rationalize the Hinduism-related articles on CZ. I have changed my mind from earlier, and I do think we need a catch-all article on 'Vedic literature' ('Vedic literature' sounds more encyclopedia-like than 'Vedas' to me, but I don't have strong feelings on this) I think we should also have an article discussing the status of different texts within Hinduism, beginning with a nuanced discussion of the shruti/smrti distinction and then moving on to the Vedas, the law of Manu, the epics and the Gita-- and how far forward we want to bring this discussion is open to debate. I would propose that we call this article 'sacred texts of Hinduism', as I mentioned before. An article on "Hindu scripture" sounds way too Orientalist to me. Any suggestions for straightening out CZ's coverage of Indic religions would be welcome. Brian P. Long 20:51, 14 February 2008 (CST)
The Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority[1] refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another[2] says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical, commentarial and pseudo-canonical.
A more useful category, it seems to me, is the Word:
  • For Jews & the various sorts of Christians their respective Bibles are the Word of God.
  • Similarly, for Muslims the Koran is the Word of God.
  • For the various sorts of Buddhists there are different concepts of Buddhavacana, the Word of the Buddha.
  • For Hindus the Veda is the Eternal Word.
Peter Jackson 16:23, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


  1. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Volume One), page 142
  2. Bechert & Gombrich, World of Buddhism, Thames & Hudson, London, 1984, page 79