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Shruti (revealed)

*the Vedas

*the Brahmanas

*the Upanishads (=Vedanta)

[*the Bhagavadgita]Smrti (remembered)

*vast collection of myths,

epic texts, and traditions

The Vedas form the foundation of Hinduism, the bedrock upon which the entire tradition is built. Indeed, although Hindus of different schools and different sects typically align themselves with different texts, virtually all Hindus recognize the legitimizing authority of the Vedas. There are four primary Vedas-the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda-that together comprise over 1,000 hymns of praise addressed to the gods, as well elaborate instructions on how to conduct sacrifices to these divine beings, and a huge corpus of myths. Each Veda, in turn, has four divisions. The primary division is called the Samhita, which is the vedic text itself. The other three divisions-the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads-are commentaries and elaborations on the primary vedic text.

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Q: Why is shruti more important than smriti?
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