By Swami Harshananda
Jñānakāṇḍa literally means ‘branch of the Veda devoted to spiritual wisdom’.
The Vedas are the foundation scriptures of the religion. It is comprised of three segments. They are:
- Karmakāṇḍa - The Samhitā and the Brāhmaṇa sections of the Vedas deal mainly with karma or Vedic rituals. Hence they are classified under the heading ‘Karmakāṇḍa’.
- Upāsanākāṇḍa - The Upaniṣads often form a part of the Āraṇyaka section. It deal with jñāna and hence they are called as ‘Jñānakāṇḍa’.
- Jñānakāṇḍa - The portions of the Āraṇyakas and some of the Upaniṣads, which teach upāsanās or special kinds of meditations are grouped under the title, ‘Upāsanākāṇḍa’. However this segment is less common compared to the rest of the two.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore