Hinduism For All - Other Holy Texts of Hinduism



                Apart from the Vedas, Epics, Dharmashaastras and Puraanas, Hindu literature is abundant with related texts aiding their understanding of the day-to-day activities such as Smriti-mukta-kalaapa, Dharma-Sindhu, Nirnaya-Sindhu, the Aagamas, Tantras etc.

Aagamas :
           These are the text manuals, aiding especially the temple rituals. With the development of temple-architecture, Aagamas played a very important part in streamlining and elucidating the temple rituals. With Shaiva and Vaishnava form of worship becoming popular, there were distinctively Shaiva Aagamas and Vaishnava Agamas.

               These texts contained methodology of temple architecture, the positioning of shrines within it, the daily and annual worship procedures, various aids of worship, duties of a priest, temple consecration etc.

               Most of the older temples in India were built strictly according to the specifications laid down in the Aagamas, many of which can still be seen in South India. In northern part of India, we have lost most of the ancient temple architecture as they were destroyed by foreign invaders. That is the reason why even in the holiest shrines such as Kaashi, the present temple doesn’t stand the way it is described in its respective Aagama text.

Tantra :

           These are the texts, usually associated with the worship of mother Goddess, in all her benign as well fierce forms. This branch of literature is so voluminous that one would feel lost in its vast contents.

          There are two types of Tantric texts namely – Yaamala and Daamara, the difference lying in the subject matter dealt in both. Yaamala deals with worship which are more orthodox in manner wherein Daamara eschews heterodox practices too. Rudrayaamala, Bhairavayaamala, Vaamakeshvara Tantra, Vijnyaanabhairava Tantra etc. are some of the most popular tantric texts.

             This article is a snippet from the Book Hinduism For All, Authored by TS Srinivasan and Edited By Dr Ramchandrashekar. Hinduism for All is available online at www.giri.in & across Giri Trading Agency Private LimitedA chain of Speciality Stores dealing in all kinds of products needed in Indian Culture & Tradition. 

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