The Vedas are the basis for Hinduism but Hinduism, itself, is no more than an extension of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. These six schools of thought are called Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimasma and Vedanta. It is said that knowledge is only true when it is acceptable in the light of everyone of these. Thus the truth of any statement can be tested and proved, or otherwise, by applying these systems of analysis.
....The first system, Nyaya, is the science of reasoning and analyses the correctness of the procedure by which the knowledge to be tested was gained. It does this by applying 16 criteria to the knowledge which reduce it to its objective baseline. Having arrived correctly at the object of investigation through Nyaya, the qualities that distinguish that object from other object is established through Vaisheshika, which identifies the object of inquiry beyond any doubt. Then it is the turn of Sankhya, which enumerates the different components of an object according to 25 numerical qualities defined as being at the root of creation. Having defined the nature of the beast, it is the for the application of Yoga to provide some subjective experience of its existence. On one hand this involves the application of techniques of meditation designed to promote the union that is the true meaning of the word and of a number of philosophical criteria that define the nature of Yoga itself. Knowledge of the modes of action of the object and its components is provided by Mimamsa, which investigation or close consideration. Essentially this looks at the nature of the action involved and its relationship with dharma. It does this by reference to the structure and content of the Vedic canon through rules of interpretation. It also provides a philosophical justification for the observation of Vedic ritual.
....Finally, we come to Vedanta, the philosophical school that is best known in the West and the basis of the majority of Hindu sects. Vedanta means the end of the Veda and is based around and devoted to the final book of the Vedic cannon, the Upanishads. Said to have been created by the great sage, Vyasa,who is said to have been the author of the Bhagavad Gita,Vedanta reveals the true nature of the object. It is concerned with Brahman, or the ultimate reality, and the relation between it and the finite individual.
....Established through the Vedic culture and long influenced by the Vedas themselves, each of these schools of thought was systematised by sets of sutras, which reduced the doctrines of a particular system of thought into a number of brief but memorable aphorisms, formulas, or rules. Although each in its own way is of some importance in Indian thinking, it Vedanta that reigns supreme as the most influentuial philosophical school.