Vedanga, aka: Vedāṅga, Veda-anga; 10 Definition(s)


Vedanga means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[Vedanga in Pancaratra glossaries]

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग) are six: Phonetics (śikṣā), Grammar (vyākaraṇa), Prosody (chandas), Etymological science (nirukta), Astronomy (jyotiṣa), System of ceremonials (kalpa).

(Source): Isvara Samhita Vol 1
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[Vedanga in Jyotisha glossaries]

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग).—One of the six limbs, or supporting disciplines, of the sacred Vedas. Note: Vedāṅga is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

(Source): Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Vedanga in Dharmashastra glossaries]

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग) refers to a category of Apaurūṣeya texts, or “disciplines dealing with knowledge not contingent on individuals” (a type of Śāstra or ‘learned discipline’), all part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person.

The word ‘vedāṅga’ literally means (the six) limbs of Vedas, sciences auxiliary to Vedas. They are:

  1. śīkṣa (phonetics),
  2. kalpa (social thought),
  3. vyākaraṇa (grammar),
  4. nirukta (exposition of words, etymology),
  5. chandas (metrics),
  6. jyotiṣa (astronomy),
  7. alaṃkāraśāstra (study of figures of speech).
(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Vedanga in Hinduism glossaries]

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग) as the name of a text subsidiary to the study of the Rigveda, is first found in the Nirukta and the Rigveda Prātiśākhya.

(Source): Vedic index of Names and Subjects

The Vedanga (vedāṅga, "limbs of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines traditionally associated with the study and understanding of the Vedas.

  1. Shiksha (śikṣā): phonetics, phonology and morphophonology (sandhi)
  2. Kalpa (kalpa): ritual
  3. Vyakarana (vyākaraṇa): grammar
  4. Nirukta (nirukta): etymology
  5. Chandas (chandas): meter
  6. Jyotisha (jyotiṣa): astronomy

Traditionally, vyakarana and nirukta are common to all four vedas, whilst each veda has its own shiksha, chandas, kalpa and jyotisha texts.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग).—Six disciplines known as vedāṅgas developed to articulate and interpret texts (such as the Ṛgveda):

  1. śikṣā (phonetics),
  2. nirukta (etymology),
  3. vyakaraṇa (grammar),
  4. chanda (prosody),
  5. kalpa (ritualistic performances),
  6. jyotiṣa (astronomy).

Out of these six disciplines, the first four pertain to language, its sounds, words and forms, etymology and metre. These four are today part of modern linguistics.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Language and Grammar

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Vedanga in Marathi glossaries]

vēdāṅga (वेदांग).—n (S) A sacred science considered as subordinate to, and, in some sense, a part of, the Vedas. There are six such; viz. śikṣā, kalpa, vyākaraṇa, chanda, jyōtiṣa, nirukti.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vēdāṅga (वेदांग).—n A sacred science considered as subordinate to, and a part of the Vedas.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Vedanga in Sanskrit glossaries]

Vedāṅga (वेदाङ्ग).—'a member of the Veda', Name of certain classes of works regarded as auxiliary to the Vedas and designed to aid in the correct pronunciation and interpretation of the text and the right employment of the Mantras in ceremonials; (the Ved- āṅgas are six in number :-śikṣā kalpo vyākaraṇaṃ niruktaṃ chandasāṃ cayaḥ | jyotiṣāmayanaṃ caiva vedāṅgāni ṣaḍeva tu ||; i. e. 1 śikṣā 'the science of proper articulation and pronunciation'; 2 chandas 'the science of prosody'; 3 vyākaraṇa 'grammar'; 4 nirukta 'etymological explanation of difficult Vedic words'; 5 jyotiṣa 'astronomy'; and 6 kalpa 'ritual or ceremonical'). A peculiar use of the word 'वेदाङ्ग (vedāṅga)' in masculine gender may here be noted; वेदांश्चैव तु वेदाङ्गान् वेदान्तानि तथा स्मृतीः । अधीत्य ब्राह्मणः पूर्वं शक्तितोऽन्यांश्च संपठेत् (vedāṃścaiva tu vedāṅgān vedāntāni tathā smṛtīḥ | adhītya brāhmaṇaḥ pūrvaṃ śaktito'nyāṃśca saṃpaṭhet) || Bṛhadyogiyājñavalkya-Smṛti 12.34.

Derivable forms: vedāṅgam (वेदाङ्गम्).

Vedāṅga is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms veda and aṅga (अङ्ग).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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