Who Composed the Vedas?
The Vedas have not been composed by anybody – they are eternally existent. They are the “breath” of God. Therefore, even God did not create or make the Vedas.
If the Vedas are the breath of God, a logical question that arises in any hindu is that how is it that there are 4 Vedas and how can one categorize breath?
We can observe this in ourselves. Our breath has different qualities depending on various factors. In a similar vein, Sage Vedavyasa, the foremost sage of this age called Kaliyuga, categorized the Vedas into the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.
What are the contents of the Vedas?
Each Veda may be divided into four portions for the ease of understanding of the urban hindu -
1. Samhita – This is a collection of Mantras
2. Brahmana – This prescribes the vedic rituals in detail and includes praises of the rituals, the glory of the Devas (Heavenly beings that control various aspects of our day to day life), and in some cases their weaknesses.
3. Aranyaka – Texts which were recited in hermitages in forests.
4. Upanishads – contain philosophy in the form of discussion and explanations.
Why do we have differences in the Shaivaite and Vaishnavite philosophies and what should I follow?
You are right, in some cases, there are some differences; However, these differences are negligible in the current day and age where man has moved so far away from his spiritual heritage. The differences that you talk about were at a very advanced level. The question was not whether the other path would lead to enlightenment, but which path produced the simplest method for devotees to attain Moksha
Further responses based on devotees aptitude.
Responses based on Ramanuja's philosophy
Responses based on Sankara philosophy