Branches of Indian Knowledge; 18 Vidhyasthanams

Posted: September 27, 2015 in education, inspiring, philosophy, sanatana dharma, sanskrit
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Vidhya traditionally means knowledge, comprises of 18 branches (known as 18 vidhyasthanams). In ancient India, there were great scholars who mastered all the 18 vidhyasthanams. The various vidhyasthanams are as follows:

Veda-angi (the main body, all upanishads are included in vedas)
01) Rig Veda – contains mantras to praise and invoke various deities.
02) Sama Veda – contains mantras of Rig veda sung in musical rendition.
03) Yajur Veda – contains procedures which adds to Rig veda to perform worships and sacrifices.
04) Atharva Veda – contains mantras used in sacrifices to ward off evil calamities.

Veda-angas (branches of vedas)
05) Shiksha – the science of pronunciation.
06) Kalpa – procedures to perform vedic rituals.
07) Vyakarana – the science of linguistics.
08) Nirukta – meaning of words together with etymology.
09) Chandas – the science of both vedic and non-vedic meters.
10) Jyothisha – the science of astronomy and astrology.

Upa-angas (sub-subsidiary aspects)
11) Mimamsa – the science of deep understanding and inquiry.
12) Nyaya-vistara – detailed study about the means of knowledge.
13) Purana – contains moral education from vedas through stories.
14) Dharmashastra – comprises code of conduct, religious and legal duties.

Upa-vedas (applied knowledge)
15) Ayurveda – the science of life.
16) Dhanurveda – the science of weapons and wars.
17) Gandharva-veda – the study of fine arts encompassing drama, music, dance.
18) Arthashastra  – treatise on wealth, public governance, military strategies.


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