All ancient books which have once been called sacred by man,
will have their lasting place in the history of mankind,
and those who possess the courage, the perseverance,
and the self-denial of the true miner, and of the
true scholar, will find even in the darkest and dustiest
shafts what they are seeking for,--real nuggets of thought,
and precious jewels of faith and hope.
-- Max Müller, Introduction to the Upanishads Vol. II.
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,
where possible, in the original language.
This site has no particular agenda other
than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship.
Views expressed at this site are solely those of specific authors,
and are not endorsed by sacred-texts.
Sacred-texts is not sponsored by any religious group or organzation.
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.
Today, site traffic often exceeds a million hits a day.
Sacred texts is one of the top 20,000 sites on the web based on site traffic,
consistently one of the top 10,000 sites in Australia, the US and India,
and is one of the top 5 most visited general religion sites (source: Alexa.com).
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.
From the start, we have
had a special focus on remedying the under-representation
of traditional cultures on the Internet.
The site has one of the largest collections of transcriptions of complete
books on Native American, Pacific, African, Asian and other traditional
people's religion, spiritual practices, mythology and folklore.
While many of these pre-20th century books are flawed due
to orientalist or colonialist biases,
they are also eye-witness accounts by reliable observers,
typically at the moment of contact.
These texts are crucial to the study of tribal traditions,
and in many cases, the only link with the past.
Locked up in academic libraries for decades,
sacred-texts has made them freely accessible anywhere in the world.
We have scanned hundreds of books which have all been made freely
accessible to the world.
A comprehensive bibliography of
the texts scanned at sacred texts is available here.
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.