The Vedas (from the root vid, “to know,” or “divine knowledge”) are the most ancient of all the Hindu scriptures. There were originally three Vedas—the Laws of Manu always speaks of the three, as do the oldest (Mukhya) Upaniṣhads—but a later work called the Atharvaveda has been added to these, to now constitute the fourth. The name Ṛigveda signifies “Veda of verses,” from rig, a spoken stanza; Sāmaveda, the “Veda of chants,” from sāman, a song or chant; Yajurveda, the “Veda of sacrificial formulas,” from yajus, a sacrificial text. The Atharvaveda derives its name from the sage Atharvan, who is represented as a Prajāpati, the edlest son of Brahmā, and who is said to have been the first to institute the fire-sacrifices. The complex nature of the Vedas and the array of texts associated with them may be briefly outlined as follows:

“The Rig-Veda is the original work, the Yajur-Veda and Sama-Veda in their mantric portions are different arrangements of its hymns for special purposes. The Vedas are divided into two parts, the Mantra and Brahmana. The Mantra part is composed of suktas (hymns in verse); the Brahmana part consists of liturgical, ritualistic, exegetical, and mystic treatises in prose. The Mantra or verse portion is considered more ancient than the prose works; and the books in which the hymns are collected are called saṃhitās (collections). More or less closely connected with the Brahmanans (and in a few exceptional cases with the Mantra part) are two classes of treatises in prose and verse called Aranyaka and Upaniṣhad. The Vedic writings are again divided into two great divisions, exoteric and esoteric, the former called the karma-kanda (the section of works) and the latter the jnana-kanda (section of wisdom).” (Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary)


The Vedas with associated Brahmanas and Aranyakas
Veda Saṃhitā Brāhmaṇas Āraṇyakas (& Upaniṣads)
Ṛk Ṛigveda

Aitareya Brāhmaṇa
Kaushītaki Brāhmaṇa

Aitareya Āraṇyaka (Aitareya Upaniṣad)
Kaushītaki Āraṇyaka (Kaushītaki Upaniṣad)

Sama Samaveda

Pañcaviṃśa/Tandya Brāhmaṇa
Ṣaḍviṃṡa Brāhmaṇa
Sāmavidhāna Brāhmaṇa
Ārṣeya Brāhmaṇa
Daivata/Devatādhyāya Brāhmaṇa
Chāndogya/Mantra Brāhmaṇa
Saṃhitā Upaniṣad Brāhmaṇa
Vaṃśa Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Ārṣeya Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Upaniṣad Brāhmaṇa

Talavakara Āraṇyaka (Kena Upaniṣad)
Chāndogya Āraṇyaka (Chāndogya Upaniṣad)

Yajur Krishna Yajurveda
(Taittirīya, Kaṭhaka, Kāpiṣṭhala & Maitrāyaṇi)

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa
Kāpiṣṭhalakaṭha Brāhmaṇa

Taittirīya Āraṇyaka (Taittirīya Upaniṣad)

Maitrāyaṇi Āraṇyaka (Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad)

(Caraka) Kaṭha Āraṇyaka (Kaṭha Upaniṣad)

(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad)

Shukla Yajurveda (Vājasaneyī)
(Mādhyāndina & Kānva)
(Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad)
Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa
(Mādhyāndina & Kānva)
Bṛhad Āraṇyaka (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad)
Atharva Atharvaveda Gopatha Brāhmaṇa
Paippalāda Brāhmaṇa [Lost]
[No Āraṇyakas]
(Mundaka Upaniṣad) (Mandukya Upaniṣad) (Praṣna Upaniṣad)
The Vedas with associated Brahmanas and Aranyakas

Ṛigveda Saṃhitā

Aitareya Brāhmaṇa
Kaushītaki Brāhmaṇa

Aitareya Āraṇyaka (Aitareya Upaniṣad)
Kaushītaki Āraṇyaka (Kaushītaki Upaniṣad)


Samaveda Saṃhitā

Pañcaviṃśa/Tandya Brāhmaṇa
Ṣaḍviṃṡa Brāhmaṇa
Sāmavidhāna Brāhmaṇa
Ārṣeya Brāhmaṇa
Daivata/Devatādhyāya Brāhmaṇa
Chāndogya/Mantra Brāhmaṇa
Saṃhitā Upaniṣad Brāhmaṇa
Vaṃśa Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Ārṣeya Brāhmaṇa
Jaiminīya Upaniṣad Brāhmaṇa

Talavakara Āraṇyaka (Kena Upaniṣad)
Chāndogya Āraṇyaka (Chāndogya Upaniṣad)


Krishna Yajurveda Saṃhitā
(Taittirīya, Kaṭhaka, Kāpiṣṭhala & Maitrāyaṇi)

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa
Kāpiṣṭhalakaṭha Brāhmaṇa

Taittirīya Āraṇyaka (Taittirīya Upaniṣad)
Maitrāyaṇi Āraṇyaka (Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad)
(Caraka) Kaṭha Āraṇyaka (Kaṭha Upaniṣad)
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad)


Shukla Yajurveda (Vājasaneyī) Saṃhitā
(Mādhyāndina & Kānva)
(Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad)

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa
(Mādhyāndina & Kānva)

Bṛhad Āraṇyaka (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad)


Atharvaveda Saṃhitā

Gopatha Brāhmaṇa
Paippalāda Brāhmaṇa [Lost]

[No Āraṇyakas]
(Mundaka Upaniṣad)
(Mandukya Upaniṣad)
(Praṣna Upaniṣad)

Note: There are 13 Upanishads associated with or directly embedded within the Vedas and their Brahmanas and Aranyakas. These include the 10 Mukhya (“Principal”) Upanishads, plus three others. Because of this, some scholars consider all 13 to be Mukhya, though in the Muktika Canon, only the 10 are set apart.

See also: Vedāṅga, The Six “Limbs of the Veda”


Resources

Vedas: The Samhitas of the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva
Vedic Heritage Portal
The Vedas in Sanskrit
The Rigveda, Max Müller edition (Sanskrit) (Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4)
The Rigveda, Metrically Restored Text (Sanskrit)


Translations

Vedas: The Samhitas of the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva


Selected Articles, Commentaries, etc.