The Vedas are apaurusheya "not of human agency", are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti ("what is heard"). The four Samhitās are metrical (with the exception of prose commentary interspersed in the Krishna Yajurveda). The term samhitā literally means "composition, compilation". The individual verses contained in these compilations are known as mantras. Some selected Vedic mantras are still recited at prayers, religious functions and other auspicious occasions in contemporary Hinduism.
The term upaveda ("applied knowledge") is used in traditional literature to designate the subjects of certain technical works. Lists of what subjects are included in this class differ among sources. The Charanavyuha mentions four Upavedas: Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharva Veda, Stapatya Veda
The Vedanga ( vedāṅga, "member of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines traditionally associated with the study and understanding of the Vedas. 1. Shiksha (śiksā): phonetics and phonology (sandhi), 2. Kalpa (kalpa): ritual, 3. Vyakarana (vyākarana): grammar, 4. Nirukta (nirukta): etymology, 5. Chandas (chandas): meter, 6. Jyotisha (jyotisa): astronomy for calendar issues, such as auspicious days for performing sacrifices. Traditionally, vyākarana and nirukta are common to all four Vedas, while each veda has its own śiksā, chandas, kalpa and jyotisa texts. The Vedangas are first mentioned in the Mundaka Upanishad (at 1.1.5) as subjects for students of the Vedas. Later, they developed into independent disciplines, each with its own corpus of Sutras.
The Aranyakas (Sanskrit āranyaka आरण्यक) are part of the Hindu śruti, the four Vedas; they were composed in late Vedic Sanskrit typical of the Brahmanas and early Upanishads; indeed, they frequently form part of either the Brahmanas or the Upanishads.
Yoga-darsana (the philosophy of Yoga) is based on the exposition of the epistemological, metaphysical, and methodological ideas of an age-long meditative tradition codified in the work of Patanjali and widely known as Yoga Sutras. As distinct from the Tantra and Hatha-Yoga traditions, Yoga-darsana is concerned primarily with acquisition and perpetuation of two states of mind referred to as "collocative" (sapaksa) with Yoga, namely, the state of the onepointed mind (ekāgratā) and the state of the inhibited mental functions (niruddha). The Yoga itself is being equated with samādhi.
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sānkhya, or Sāmkhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: sānkhya;) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.
Mīmāmsā (मीमांसा), a Sanskrit word meaning "investigation", is the name of an astika ("orthodox") school of Hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermeneutics of the Vedas. The nature of dharma isn't accessible to reason or observation, and must be inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the Vedas, which are considered eternal, authorless (apaurusheyatva), and infallible.
Vaisheshika, or Vaiśesika, (Sanskrit:वैशॆषिक) is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (orthodox Vedic systems) of India. Historically, it has been closely associated with the Hindu school of logic, Nyaya.
Nyāya (Sanskrit ni-āyá, literally "recursion", used in the sense of "syllogism, inference") is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic. The Nyaya school of philosophical speculation is based on texts known as the Nyaya Sutras, which were written by Aksapada Gautama
The Puranas (Sanskrit: पुराण purāna, "of ancient times") are a genre of important Hindu, Jain or Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.
Smriti (Sanskrit: स्मृति, Smrti, IPA: [smriti] ?) literally "that which is remembered," refers to a specific body of Hindu religious scripture, and is a codified component of Hindu customary law. Smriti also denotes non-Shruti texts and is generally seen as secondary in authority to Shruti.
The word Tantra also applies to any of the scriptures (called "Tantras") commonly identified with the worship of Shakti. Tantra deals primarily with spiritual practices and ritual forms of worship, which aim at liberation from ignorance and rebirth, the universe being regarded as the divine play of Shakti and Shiva.
In Hinduism sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms. This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study (Sanskrit: svādhyāya). Since each line is highly condensed, another literary form arose in which commentaries (Sanskrit: bhāṣya) on the sutras were added, to clarify and explain them.
The ancient Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, also termed Itihāsa (History) or Mahākāvya ("Great Compositions"), refer to epic poems that form a canon of Hindu scripture. Indeed, the epic form prevailed and verse was and remained until very recently the preferred form of Hindu literary works. Hero-worship was and is a central aspect of Indian culture, and thus readily lent itself to a literary tradition that abounded in epic poetry and literature.
The Gītās (Song of God), also more simply known as Gita, is a sacred Hindu scriptures, though its philosophies and insights are intended to reach beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole. It is at times referred to as the "manual for mankind" and has been highly praised