- Shruti (from shru, to hear) refers to sacred texts that are received through a kind of revelation, rather than written by humans. Shruti texts are the primary authority in Hinduism; they are complemented, but never superseded, by smriti, or human-made texts.Shruti texts are understood to be heard from a transcendent source. The VEDIC MANTRA texts and their adjuncts, the BRAHMANAS, which include in them the ARANYAKAS and UPANISHADS, are accepted by all as being shruti. These texts are considered to have been “heard” or “seen” by the Vedic RISHIS (seers). Other texts are sometimes given the status of shruti by certain groups or regional traditions, such as the BHAGAVAD GITA, the Tamil TEVARAM, or the TANTRIC AGAMAS.Further reading: Kalus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989); M. Winternitz, History of Indian Literature. Translated by S. Ketkar (New York: Russell & Russell, 1971).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.