are Six Orthodox sections that form the authoritative Scriptures.
They are: ( i ) Srutis or Vedas, ( ii
) Agamas, ( iii ) Smritis or Sasthras, ( iv ) Dharsanas, ( v ) Ithihasas
and ( vi ) Puranas. The Vedas are the oldest books
in the library of mankind. Every Hindu considers the Vedas
as the ultimate authority of Hindu religious teachings, of the practice
and the philosophy. Besides the four Vedas, we also have six 
Vedangas, a set of books
as explanatory limbs on the Vedic language, rituals and astrology.
There are also four  Upa-Vedas
on science and arts of health, archery, music and politics [Ayurveda,
Dhanur Veda, Gandharva Veda and Arthasasthra].
independent of Vedas, are texts given by God as a devotional form
of the faith and rules for Temple worship and ritualistic practice
of the Religion, with God in a manifest form, as Saguna Brahmam.
Dharsanas are explanatory texts
of Vedas for the learned authors. Dharsanas explain the Vedic teachings
and Philosophy for daily practice and understanding.
Smrithis or the Sasthras,
Ithihasas and Puranas,
essentially based on the Vedas, are the vehicles to carry these
teachings to the common man to practice the faith. Smrithis are
the sacred law codes written by the Rishis based on the Vedic teachings.
They deal with the duties of all men, Sanatana - Varna - Ashrama
Dharma. Ithihasas and Puranas give the religious teachings and philosophy
as simple stories for the common man. They form the Secondary authority
and are based on the Vedic teachings.
these teachings, mythology and rituals are helpful to instruct the
people about the great philosophy of Vedas and Agamas in simple
words to make them understand and follow the faith. The teachings
of Vedas and Agamas remain the foundation of their faith, principle
and philosophy. The rituals, puranas and sasthras remain the simple
guide to practice that faith. The major scriptures of Hinduism are
written in Sanskrit language. These scriptures form the basic knowledge
and teachings of this ancient civilization and its literary treasure.