What are The Vedangas?

The Vedangas
There are six Angas or explanatory limbs, to the Vedas: the Siksha and Vyakarana of Panini,
the Chhandas of Pingalacharya, the Nirukta of Yaska, the Jyotisha of Garga, and the Kalpas
(Srauta, Grihya, Dharma and Sulba) belonging to the authorship of various Rishis.
Siksha is a knowledge of phonetics. Siksha deals with pronunciation and accent. The text of
the Vedas is arranged in various forms or Pathas. The Pada-patha gives each word its separate
form. The Krama-patha connects the word in pairs.
Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of
Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.
Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.
Nirukta is philology or etymology.
Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies,
planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.
Kalpa is the method of ritual. The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong
to Kalpa. The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the
sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa. The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the
Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.
The Pratishakhyas, Padapathas, Kramapathas, Upalekhas, Anukramanis, Daivatsamhitas,
Parishishtas, Prayogas, Paddhatis, Karikas, Khilas and Vyuhas are further elaborations in the rituals
of the Kalpa Sutras.
Among the Kalpa Sutras, the Asvalayana, Sankhyana and the Sambhavya belong to the
Rig-Veda. The Mashaka, Latyayana, Drahyayana, Gobhila and Khadira belong to the Sama-Veda.
The Katyayana and Paraskara belong to the Sukla Yajur-Veda. The Apastamba, Hiranyakesi,
Bodhayana, Bharadvaja, Manava, Vaikhanasa and the Kathaka belong to the Krishna Yajur-Veda.
The Vaitana and the Kaushika belong to the Atharva-Veda.

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