The Hinduism is one of the oldest and the largest religions in the world. It has no founder and is entirely based on the scriptures available for the guidance of the mankind. These scriptures are followed since time immemorial and have been tested and trusted by the times. The only founder that Hinduism believes in, the founder of the universe itself, the Supreme Deity,. However, there are many deities revered as the incarnation of God, in various forms. These incarnations of God, worshiped by the Hindus in whichever from they may like.
The scriptures are divided in to two - 'shruti' and 'smriti'.
Shruti is that which is heard and 'smriti' is that which is remembered. Shruti consists those scriptures, which were heard by the divine sages and then jotted down in the Dwapara Yuga, for the guidance of the common man. While some scriptures lead a man to the righteous path which is the way to salvation or liberation from the cycle of birth and death, others aim towards the betterment of the society in order to maintain peace and harmony. Those meant for the latter purpose mention a set of rules, that have to be observed.
Among the Shrutis, there are the Vedas. Vedas were compiled by Rishi Ved Vyas after he had heard these from the Gods, while he was in meditation. They are four in number namely- Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda. The first three were written by Vyas, and the fourth one was given by two other sages- Angiras and Atharavan.
The vedas have been subdivided into four sub-parts, which are: Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and the Upanishads.
Sub-parts Of The Vedas
The Samhitas consist of the hymns dedicated to the Gods. Brahmanas detail about the sacred rituals and the correct way of performing them. Aranyakas are about the rituals meant for the hermits and the vanprasthas or the forest dwellers. And Upanishads are the teachings or the messages of various teachers or Gurus to the students. These are generally the philosophies prevalent in Hinduism.
The other is the 'smriti', which means - that which is remembered. The authors of the Smritis are prominently successful sages who were the followers of Hinduism. The scriptures falling under this category are the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranas. The Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and about how he rescues his wife Sita, from the clutches of the demonic King Ravana. Sita was the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.
Similarly, the Mahabharata is the story of a war between the Pandavas and Kouravas. They are the guided by Krishna, another incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Arjuna, who is one of the heroes, becomes hesitant when he sees that the people he has to kill in the war are his own kinsmen. Krishna, guides him through the correct path of Dharma. That discourse which took place between Lord Krishna and Arjuna have been recorded in the from of Bhagvad Geeta. The Geeta is now the holy book of Hinduism.
Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata aim to establish Dharma in the society.
Puranas are eighteen in number, detailing about the three major Gods in Hinduism, known as the holy Trinity. They also mention the history of man and the whole universe.