Other Primary Texts Epics Mahabharata
Gita Vedanta Later texts Also of
There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda,
Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are the primary texts of
Hinduism. They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and
Sikhism. The Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was composed about
1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C. It is unknown when it was
finally comitted to writing, but this probably was at some point after
Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India.
Along with the Book of the Dead,
the Enuma Elish, the I Ching, and the Avesta, they are among the most ancient
religious texts still in existence. Besides their spiritual value, they
also give a unique view of everyday life in India four thousand years
ago. The Vedas are also the most ancient extensive texts in an
Indo-European language, and as such are invaluable in the study of
The Rig-Veda translated by Ralph
Griffith  This is a complete English translation of the Rig Veda.
Rig-Veda (Sanskrit). This is the complete
Rig Veda in Sanskrit, in Unicode Devanagari script and standard
The Sama-Veda translated by Ralph
Griffith  282,861 bytes.
The Sama Veda is a collection of hymns
used by the priests during the Soma sacrifice. Many of these duplicate
in part or in whole hymns from the Rig Veda. This is a complete
The Yajur Veda translated by A.B.
This is a complete translation of the
Yajur Veda. The Yajur Veda is a detailed manual of the Vedic
The Atharva-Veda translated by Maurice
Bloomfield  (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 42)
The Atharva Veda also contains material
from the Rig Veda, but of interest are the numerous incantations and
metaphysical texts, which this anthology (part of the Sacred Books of
the East series) collects and categorizes. The Atharva Veda was written
down much later than the rest of the Vedas, about 200 B.C.; it may have
been composed about 1000 B.C.
A Vedic Reader for Students by A.A. Macdonell
 (excerpts) 121,143 bytes
This text serves as an introduction to
the dramatis personae of the Rig Veda.
The Upanishads, Part I (SBE 1)
The Upanishads, Part II (SBE 15)
Max Müller, translator  (Sacred Books of
the East, vols. 1 and 15)
The Upanishads are a continuation of the
Vedic philosophy, and were written between 800 and 400 B.C. They
elaborate on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the
ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation and mediation, as
well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a
The Laws of Manu George Bühler,
translator  (Sacred Books of the East, vol. 25)
Manu was the legendary first man, the
Adam of the Hindus. This is a collection of laws attributed to Manu.
The Dharma Sutras George Bühler
translator  (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 2)
This is the first half of the Dharma
Sutras, another set of law books by various scholars from the first
The Institutes of Vishnu Julius Jolly,
translator  (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 7) This is also one
of the law books of Hinduism. It contains several notable passages,
including descriptions of yogic practises, and a moving hymn to the
Mahabharata and Ramayana are the national epics of India. They are
probably the longest poems in any language. The Mahabharata, attributed
to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The
Mahabharata tells the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group. The
Ramayana, attributed to the poet Valmiki, was written down during the
first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go
back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a moving love
story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to
addition, a key Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita,
is embedded in Book Six of the Mahabharata.
Mahabharata now has its own page:
translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1883-1896]
Rámáyan Of Válmíki translated by Ralph T.
H. Griffith [1870-1874]
This is the first complete public domain
translation of the Ramayana to be placed online.
The Ramayana in Sanskrit
Ramayana and Mahabharata R. Dutt translator
A very readable abridged version of these
Sir Edwin Arnold, translator  279,713
More stories from the Mahabharata,
rendered in poetry.
Bhagavad Gita, usually considered part of the sixth book of the
Mahabharata (dating from about 400 or 300 B.C.), is a central text of
Hinduism, a philosphical dialog between the god Krishna and the warrior
Arjuna. This is one of the most popular and accessible of all Hindu
scriptures, required reading for anyone interested in Hinduism. The
Gita discusses selflessness, duty, devotion, and meditation,
integrating many different threads of Hindu philosophy.
The Bhagavadgîtâ with the Sanatsugâtîya
and the Anugîtâ translated by Kâshinâth Trimbak Telang, (Sacred Books
of the East, Vol. 8) 
This is a scholarly prose translation of
the Bhagavad Gita with two other similar, less well known, works from
The Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit
The Bhagavad Gita
A modern prose
translation, sanctioned by the International Gita Society.
Bhagavad Gita Sir Edwin Arnold, translator 
A classic poetic version of the Gita.
Vedântâ-Sûtras, with commentary by Râmânuja, translated by
George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48) 
Vedântâ-Sûtras, with commentary by Sankarâkârya,
translated by George Thibaut; Part I (Sacred Books of the East, Volume
The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom and other writings of
Śankarâchârya; translation and commentaries by Charles Johnston [1946,
copyright not renewed]
The S'rimad Devî Bhâgawatam translated by Swami
Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) 
The Devî Gita translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari
Prasanna Chatterji) 
The Song of the Goddess. This is an
excerpt from the S'rimad Devî Bhâgawatam (above)
Sutras of Patanjali 80,965 bytes This concise work
describes an early stage in the philosophy and practise of Yoga. Dating
from about 150 B.C., the work shows dualist and Buddhist influences.
The Yoga Sutras are required reading if you are interested in Yoga and
The Sánkhya Aphorisms of Kapila
James R. Ballantyne 
Râmakrishna, His Life and Sayings
by F. Max
How To Be A Yogi by Swâmi Abhedânanda
are western collections of Indian folklore, written in the 19th and
early 20th Century. Some of these texts are courtesy of Phillip Brown,
from his now-defunct Belinus.co.uk site (marked as [PB].
Twenty-two Goblins by Arthur W. Ryder
Indian Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
Old Deccan Days by Mary Frere 
The Indian Stories of F.W. Bain
The Descent of the Sun 
Journal articles: Hinduism
Kabîr, Translated by Rabindranath Tagore,
Introduction by Evelyn Underhill; New York, The Macmillan Company;
Kabir tried to find common ground between
Hindus and Muslims. He wrote some wonderful devotional poetry.
of Rabindranath Tagore
and the Vampire Sir Richard Burton, translator. 
Sexuality Kama Sutra, Ananga Ranga, and more.