The literal translation of Vedanga is ‘the limbs of the Vedas.’ It refers to the six disciples associated with studying the ancient spiritual texts. All six Vedangas help in the study, preservation, and interpretation. It also helps us understand post-Vedic texts. And also aspects of Hindu and yogic philosophy. Let’s look at how many types of Vedangas there are and understand each in detail.
The Six Vedangas
The six Vedangas are as follows: –
Chandas – First among Six Vedangas
The first among the six Vedangas are Chandas. It is the study of prosody, which looks at the poetic meter. Therefore, it includes analyzing the number of syllabi. Scholars consider these seven meters of Chandas Vedanga as the legs of the Vedas.
The second among the six Vedangas is Jyotisa. It is the study of astronomy and astrology. Vedangas compare jyotisa to the eyes of Vedas. Hence the concern of early Jyotisa was to fix the date of sacrificial rituals.
Kalpa refers to the construction and design of religious sites and ritual instructions. This field looks at procedures described for rites of passage, weddings, births, and other rituals. It also explores concepts of individual duty and proper conduct.
It refers to Vaidika etymology. It aims to explain the meaning of archaic words. Nirukta Vedanga is the ears of the Vedas among the Vedangas. Nirukta is essential for several reasons. It represents the type and explanation for the classical style used in the Vedas. And it is also the oldest known attempt in the field of Vedic etymology.
Siksa is the study of phonology, phonetics, and pronunciation. Hence it focuses on the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and how they are combined and used in classical texts. It intends to train the students in the articulation of words and syllables. So that they can chant Vedic hymns correctly. And produce the same vibrations to maintain ritual purity and efficacy of the ceremonies.
Siksa Vedanga played an essential role in the time Veda was transmitted orally. And establishes the ground rules of proper pronunciation. Also, minimize the changes that usually come with oral transmission.
Vyakarna consists of the analysis of grammar and linguistics. It helps in bettering the construction of the words and sentences. And the Vedas regard Vyakarna to be the mouth of the Vedas
The Vedangas did have an essential role in the popularity of Sanskrit. It undoubtedly had a crucial role in developing native languages. And it also highlights the importance of academic excellence. Hence, physical, mental, and moral discipline is upheld in the Vedic dharma.