Child : Mom can you please tell me more about the Vedas and dharma which you just talked about?
Mother : The Vedas are the original scriptures of Hinduism on which entire Hindu way of life is based. The ethical way of living as suggested in the Vedas is called dharma. Dharma is God's divine law for discipline and proper development of human beings. By Vedas no particular book is meant. The revelations that the ancient seekers of truth received through meditations were transferred from generation to generation through oral teachings. Many of those spoken concepts have been compiled and are available in volumes that we now call the Vedas. The Vedas are a collection of hymns, prayers, rituals, benedictions, sacrificial formulas and chants There are four distinct Vedas : Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda and Atharva Veda. Rig Veda the oldest among the Vedas mainly consists of hymns and chants praising God; Yajur Veda contains divine verses in musical form; and Atharva Veda contains guidelines for the proper way of living. The four Vedas were revealed to the sages Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira respectively. Later the Vedas were systemized for human benefit by sage Vyas.
Each of the Vedas contains similar essential detains on how to lead a life with a sound body, mind, and intellect and also how to attain a better next life. Each Veda consists of a ritual part and a philosophical part. The philosophical part of Vedas is called Upanishad. There are 108 Upanishads in all.