The Vedas laid the foundation for both yoga and Hinduism. The study of shiksha was essential in
ancient India as the Vedas were believed to be divine and
inviolable; therefore, the correct pronunciation and tonal vibrations
of the hymns was necessary to maintain ritual purity.
In general, the Vedangas provide insight
into not only the meaning of the Vedas but also the meters,
structure and language of the ancient text. They also provide
understanding of other post-Vedic texts and aspects of Hindu and yogic
In addition to shiksha, the Vedangas include:
- Chhandas - The study of prosody,
which looks at poetic meter. This includes analyzing the number of
syllables per verse and any fixed patterns within them.
- Vyarkarana - The analysis of
grammar and linguistics in order to establish the precise way in
which words and sentences were constructed to express ideas.
- Nirukta - The study of
etymology. It is concerned with proper interpretation of the
Sanskrit words, given their context in the ancient texts.
- Kalpa - The focus on ritual
instructions, including for rites of passage. It also explores the
concepts of individual duty and proper conduct.
- Jyotisha - The study of
timekeeping. It deals with the astrological and astronomical aspects
of selecting the best dates and times to perform Vedic rituals and