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  • Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Vedangas




    Vedangas are treatises which form the part of Vedic literature. They are six. The etymological meaning of Vedanga means limbs of Vedas. It suggests that they are helpful in understanding the Vedas. It is written by an established scholar that ‘the study of Vedanga was necessary either for the reading, the understanding, or the proper sacrificial employment of the Veda.’ Hence, these six limbs or the six treatise or the six subjects are necessary for fully understanding the Vedas which are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda and Atharva Veda.


    Further, R. C. Majumdar, specifically emphasis that they should not be taken as mere six books but the six subjects which are to be understood to appreciate the contents of the Vedas. It should be further remembered that they are treatises. It means that they are work of the intellect and memory of human beings. They are product of the use of human faculties.


    These six treatises are:
    1. Sikhsha (pronunciation)

    2. Chhandas (metre)
    3. Vyakarana (grammar)
    4. Nirukta (explanation of words; etymology)
    5. Jyotisha (astronomy {Kindly note, not the astrology as it is generally believed. That is other thing, that it is latter used for astrology far more than for executing Vedic ceremonies.})
    6. Kalpa (ceremonial).



    R. C. Majumdar has emphasised that
    the first two are considered necessary for reading the Veda, the two next for understanding it, and the last two for employing it at sacrifices.



    Therefore, it means that Sikhsha and Chhandas, that are metre and grammar are used for reading the Veda. They are used merely for reading. The Vyakrana and Nirukta, that are grammar and etymology, are used for understanding the Vedas. Finally, Jyotisha and Kalpa, that are astronomy and ceremonial involve the operational aspect, action aspect, the activity aspect of the Vedas.





    Source Used: Majumdar, R. C., ‘Ancient History’.



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