The ancient Hindu scriptures, written in Sanskrit (from around 1500-900
BCE), and comprised of four parts: 1.
Rig-Veda, 2. Brahmanas, 3. Aranyakas, and 4. Upanishads. The first three parts deal mainly with the
words, rituals, and meaning of the sacrificial rites of the priestly caste
(Brahmin). The Upanishads focus on the
message that Atman, the essence or soul of the individual self, is really the
same as Brahman, the universal and ultimate reality that is the supreme, divine
Self. While Brahman may not
necessarily be interpreted as personal, the Vedas present such ultimate being
as the source and essence of all existence.
Contributed by: Marty Maddox/CTNS
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