India has a rich tradition of spiritual thinkers, writers, and seekers. If one peeks down the ancient history, he will find hundreds of scholars and their scriptures here. Every one of them had tried to jot down his experience of life, applying his mind carefully. This has resulted in marvelous scriptures on many subjects. Let’s take a look at 10 great ancient scriptures.
Mahabharata is a great epic containing thousands of characters. It is basically the battle between Pandavas and Kauravas, for the kingdom. Pandavas were 5 and Kauravas were 100 in number. Pandavas, finally conquered the Kauravas, their cousin brothers. This scripture is full of ups and down, sins and sorrows, and marvelous piece scriptures from history.
Ramayana is the most celebrated and devoted scripture all over India. This is the story of Lord Rama’s life. There are a couple of versions of it, one written by Tulsidas, another one by Valmiki. This scripture has penetrated even in the rural folks. Many places related to Lord Rama are situated in north India; hence it is most popular in that region.
This is an account of a dialogue between Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna. Arjuna after seeing his relative on the opposite side put down his bow and arrow in agony. Then Lord Krishna enlightened him by discussing the existence, the god, and final salvation, decoding the secrets of the life of death for the commons.
Lord Krishna is worshipped not only in India but also in many other nations. This scripture, the complete story of his incarnations has been depicted widely. It talks about Lord Krishna, his various incarnations, his devotees in various incarnations, his teachings, etc. Most importantly it shows a holistic path of life to humans.
Adi Shankaracharya penned many scriptures with his great intellect. Vivek Chudamani is one of the greatest creations by him. It talks about the spiritual path of life. It has discussed the prerequisite for spirituality, finding a master, practices for self-realization, and many more things. Great knowledge in the form of simple dialects is elaborated in this scripture.
Patanjali is one of the greatest sages of India. His work on spirituality is set as a benchmark. Yoga Sutra is a classic example of his exemplary work. Here he discusses various aspects of self-realization. He talks about eight ingredients, which have been thoroughly described and discussed in this scripture. This is the bible of spiritual seekers.
There are 18 Puranas in Hindu culture. These are actually an account of Hindu mythology. Shiva Purana is one which is a source of spiritual energy for devotees of Lord Shiva. It describes the life, Lord Shiva. It describes his better half Parvati, his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. The Shiva trilogy, by famous writer Amish Tripathi, is based on this scripture.
Badarayana believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Badrayana has created this marvelous brainstorming piece. In initial chapters, it describes the nature of reality. Then in consecutive chapters, it elaborates about what is good for mankind. Then he writes about various aspects of the spiritual practice. In the final chapter, he professes the supreme ideal of life.
There are many Upnishadas in Hindu culture. Kathopnishad is one which talks about life after death. This is a dialogue between Yama, the god of death, and Nachiketa who has accidentally reached Yama’s premise live. Nachiketa asks to unveil the secret of death to Yama. Yama distracts him giving him many lures. Nachiketa finally succeeds in his effort.
Every human has a life, that comes to an end with death. This scripture talks about after death voyage of the soul of the dead. This is a brief description of the journey of the soul. In Hindu culture, chanting this Purana is presumed sacred immediately after someone’s death. It is believed that this chanting will make the voyage of the soul of the deceased smooth and happy.