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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Aṣṭādaśa-vidyās literally means ‘the eighteen sciences’.

The tradition, over the centuries, has recognized eighteen ‘vidyāsthānas’ or ‘vidyās,’ sources of knowledge or sciences. They comprise both the primary and the secondary sources from which we can know ‘dharma,’ righteousness, and the duties and responsibilities. These Aṣṭādaśa-vidyās comprise of four Vedas, six Vedāṅgas, four Upavedas and other scriptures. They are specified as as follows :

  1. Rgveda
  2. Yajurveda
  3. Sāmaveda
  4. Atharvaveda
  5. Śikṣā
  6. Vyākaraṇa
  7. Chandas
  8. Nirukta
  9. Jyotiṣa
  10. Kalpa
  11. Purāṇas
  12. Mīmāiiisā
  13. Nyāya
  14. Dharmaśāstras
  15. Ayurveda
  16. Dhanurveda
  17. Gāndharvaveda
  18. Arthaśāstra

In some reckonings, Sthāpatyaveda and Silpaśāstra (architecture and sculpture) considered as one science, replace Arthaśāstra.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore