Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. While religion means to bind, Dharma means to hold. What man holds on to is his inner law, which leads from ignorance to Truth. Though reading of the scriptures (saastras) would not directly lead you to self-realization, the teachings of the seers provide a basis and a path for spirituality. Despite being the oldest religion, the truth realized by the seers proves that the truth and path provided by Hinduism is beyond time. Hinduism is more a way of life than a specific religion.
In Hinduism one can find all religions of the world. Various religions like Buddhism, Sikhism emerged from it. The most important aspect of Hinduism is being truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no monopoly on ideas. It is open to all. This religion also professes Non violence Ahimsa Paramo Dharma Non violence is the highest duty. True Ahimsa implies curtsey, kindness, hospitality, humanity and love.
The humans are divided by vedas according to their orders of life namely Brahmacharya, Grihasthashram, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa and vedas teach us how a soul could be purified.
The Rig Veda Samhita is the grandest and oldest book of the Hindus. Its immortal mantras embody the greatest truths of existence and its priest is called the Hotri.
Its name is derived from the root word yaj meaning worship. The term for sacrifice i.e. yajna is also derived from here. It primarily deals with the procedural details for performing different yajnas
The Sama Veda Samhita is mostly borrowed from the Rig vedic Samhita, and is meant to be sung by the Udgatri, the Sama vedic priest, in sacrifices. Sama means peace. Accordingly this Veda contains chants to bring peace to the mind.
This Veda is named after a sage called Atharvan who discovered the mantras contained in it. It is basically a book of magic spells to ward off evil and suffering and to destroy one s enemies.
The Brahmanas are explanations of Mantras or rituals, which give guidance to people as to how; the sacrificial rites are to be performed.
The Aranyakas are the forest books, the texts that give philosophical interpretations of the rituals. After a man has finished all his worldly duties ( taking care of parents, marrying off children etc.) he proceeds to the forest to spend the rest of his days in solitude and meditation.
The Upanishads are the essence of Vedic teaching. They are called Vedantas meaning the concluding portion of the Vedas as well as the ultimate conclusions of Vedic wisdom.