Terms of Service
Age of Reason
Ancient Near East
Book of Shadows
Piri Re'is Map
Sacred Books of the East
This site is a freely available archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language.
This site has no particular agenda other than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship. Views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by the hosting organization (sacred-texts.com), our ISP or any sponsoring individuals or organizations.
Sacred texts went live on March 9th, 1999. The traffic started to increase when sacred-texts was listed at Yahoo! under 'Society and Religion | Texts'. In its first year of operation sacred-texts had about a quarter million hits. By 2004, it was receiving well over a quarter million hits per day. In 2005, site traffic regularly started to exceed a half million hits a day, and often spikes as high as one to two million hits a day. Sacred texts is one of the top 20,000 sites on the web based on site traffic, and is one of the top 5 most visited general religion sites (source: Alexa.com). On some days in 2005, sacred-texts' traffic was higher than the Vatican's (source: Alexa.com). We thank all of our visitors for your contiued support.
The texts presented here are either original scans from books and articles clearly in the public domain, material which has been presented elsewhere on the Internet, or material included under fair use conditions in printed anthologies.
Many of the texts included here were originally posted in ftp archives or on bulletin boards before the growth of the World Wide Web and have been lost. In some cases, the texts were posted in such a form as to make them unusable by non-technically oriented users. Some of these texts were on the web at some point but have completely disappeared because the site they were posted on has closed. Thus the need for an archive which organizes this material in a persistent location.
When few or no primary texts are available for a given religion, secondary texts have been included. In many cases, there are no primary texts for a given religion because the tradition is primarily oral. In this case, texts which contain transcriptions or retellings of these traditions have been used.
To round out the collection, the founder of sacred-texts and a few brave volunteers have been actively scanning original material from books and articles in the public domain. We have scanned over three hundred books in the past six years. A comprehensive bibliography of the texts scanned at sacred texts is available here. In particular, comprehensive translations of the Shinto texts, the Kalevala, the Upanishads, and the Rig Veda have never appeared anywhere else on the Net, to our knowledge. The African and Polynesian texts are also unique to this site.
We welcome email regarding typographical or factual errors in any file at sacred-texts. Please write us if you spot an error; include the URL and a few lines of context so we can pin down the location.
While all due care has been taken in the reproduction of the texts here, none of the texts or translations here are represented to be sanctioned by any particular religious body or institution. We welcome advice as to errors of fact or transcription.
Some of the material here may be copyrighted. It is our hope that the copyright holders may allow these texts to be posted here in the public interest. If you are the copyright holder of record of a text which you believe has been archived at this site in error, please contact us at the email address listed at the bottom of this page. We have made a good-faith effort to determine the provenance of each text and apologize if we have posted a text in error. Note: If you are requesting the removal of a file, you must be the copyright holder of the file, and you must specify the exact URL of the file.
-- Max Müller, Introduction to the Upanishads Vol. II.