The Literature regarded as central to the Vedic and Hindu literary tradition was originally predominantly composed in Sanskrit. Indeed, much of the morphology inherent in the learning of Sanskrit is inextricably linked to study of the Vedas and other early texts.
Vedic literature is divided by tradition into two categories: Shruti Ð that which is heard (traditionally understood as revelation) and Smriti - that which is remembered (stemming from human authors, not revelation). The Vedas constituting the former category are considered sacred texts or scripture by many followers of Hindu religion. The post-Vedic scriptures form the latter category: the various shastras and the itihaasas, or histories in epic Sanskrit verse. Holding an ambiguous position between the Upanishads of the Vedas and the epics, the Bhagavad Gita is considered to be revered scripture by most Hindus today.
Hindu texts are typically seen to revolve around many levels of reading, namely the gross or physical, the subtle, and the supramental. This allows for many levels of understanding as well, implying that the truth of the texts can only be realized with the spiritual advancement of the reader.
3. Post-Vedic Hindu scriptures
4. The Bhagavad Gita
5. The Puranas
6. The Tevaram Saivite hymns
7. Divya Prabandha Vaishnavite hymns
The Upanishads ("Sittings Near [a Teacher]") are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures primarily discuss philosophy and "cosmic reality"; they also contain transcripts of various debates or discussions. There are 123 books argued to be part of the Upanishads; however, only 13 are accepted by all Hindus as primary. They are commentaries on the Vedas and their branch of Hinduism is called Vedanta. See Upanishads for a much more detailed look at the mystic backbone of Hinduism.
The Upanishads are acknowledged by scholars and philosophers from both East and West, from Schršdinger, Thoreau and Emerson to Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi and Aurobindo Ghosh, to be superlatively beautiful in poetry and rich in philosophy.
The Dharmashastras (law books) are considered by many to form part of the smrti. From time to time great law-givers (eg Manu, Yajnavalkya and Parashara) emerged, who codified existing laws and eliminated obsolete ones to ensure that the Hindu way of life was consistent with both the Vedic spirit and the changing times. However, it must be noted that the Dharmashastras have long been discarded by many groups of Hindus, namely those following Vedanta, Bhakti, Yoga and Tantra streams of Hinduism.
The Hindu philosophy reflected in the epics is the doctrine of avatar (incarnation of God as a human being). The two main avatars of Vishnu that appear in the epics are Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, and Krishna, the chief protagonist in the Mahabharata. Unlike the gods of the Vedic Samhitas and the more meditative, mystic and ethical Upanishadic ideas regarding the all-pervading and formless Brahman, the avatars in these epics are more developed personalities, loving and righteous intermediaries between the Supreme Being and mortals.
What holds the devotee's mind foremost is Krishna's repeated injunction to abandon the mortal self to the infinite love of the Lord. He spoke to not only to the mind and to the Hindu's innate sense of Dharma, but called for overwhelming love, that to love God was to love the immortal Self, and to find some harmony in oneself was to be at peace with the entire cosmos. It speaks of cultivating both the intellect and the body, but always to remain equal in perspectival intuition of the greater Self. The Bhagavad Gita truly sought to be a liberation scripture universal in its message.
Eighteen (18) are considered main purans called "Mahapuranas", and another Eighteen (18) are "Upapuranas". That means total number of Puranas in Hindu Literature are 36. Maharapuranas (18) - (1) Brahma (2) Padma (3) Vaishnav (4) Shaiva (5) Bhagvat (6) Naradiya (7) Markendeya (8) Agneya (9) Bhaibishya (10) Brhamabaibarta (11) Linga (12) Baraha (13) Skanda (14) Baman (15) Kourma (16) Matsa (17) Garud (18) Brahmanda
Upapuranas (18) - (1) Aadi (2) Nrisingha (3) Bayu (4) Shiva (5) Dharma (6) Durbasa (7) Narad (8) Nandikeshwar (9) Ushana (10) Kapil (11) Barun (12) Shamba (13) Kalika (14) Maheswar (15) Devi (16) Padma (17) Parasar (18) Marichi one Upparana also available (19) Bhaskar
Total 37 Hindu Puranas available, 18 Mahapuranas, and 19 Upapuranas
In South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, the Divya Prabhandha is considered as equal to the Vedas, hence the epithet Dravida Veda. In many temples, Srirangam, for example, the chanting of the Divya Prabhandham forms a major part of the daily service. Prominent among the 4,000 verses are the 1,100+ verses known as the Thiru Vaaymozhi, composed by Nammalvar (Kaaril Maaran Sadagopan) of Thiruk Kurugoor.
Hindu Texts Wikipedia