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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vedāṅgas literally means ‘limbs or subsidiaries of Vedas’.

Features of Vedas[edit]

The Vedas are difficult to understand mainly due to two reasons:

  1. Their archaic language
  2. Their complicated ritual system

Evolution of Vedāṅgas[edit]

Consequently, the six Vedāṅgas were evolved from the ancient times to make them intelligible and practicable. Though the word ‘aṅga’ literally means a limb, in a more technical sense, it signifies a subsidiary field of knowledge that helps us to understand the main work. Hence, Vedāṅgas are the subsidiary sciences that help us to understand the Vedas.

Classification of Vedāṅgas[edit]

The six Vedāṅgas are:

  1. Śikṣā - phonetics
  2. Chandas - prosody
  3. Vyākaraṇa - grammar
  4. Nirukta - etymology
  5. Jyautiṣa - astronomy
  6. Kalpa - religious practice


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