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Monday, July 13, 2015


by Stephen Knapp
The Upa Vedas are the considered the smaller Vedas. They provide various sorts of knowledge and Vedic sciences. These include: 1. Ayurveda - Hindu science of health and longevity; 2. Dharnur-Veda - Hindu science of archery and war; 3. Gandharva-Veda - Hindu science of Music and Dance; 4. Artha Shastra - Hindu science of economics and government.

The Vedangas are also a group of scriptures attached to Vedas which also contain various Vedic sciences. These include:
1. Dharma Sutras - Codes of Manu, Yatnyavalkya, etc.
2. Jyotisha - Astrology and Astronomy
3. Kalpa - rituals and legal matters
4. Siksha - phonetics
5. Chhandas - measurements
6. Nirukta - Etymology
7. Vyakarana - Sanskrit grammar
To explain a little further, Ayurveda is the Vedic scripture of medicine. It consisted of more than 100,000 verses initially. Still it is considered as an Upa Veda of the Atharva-Veda. Sometimes this medical system is called part of the Fifth Veda. The Sanskrit word Ayurveda means medicine. The remedies in Ayurveda are mostly herbs and natural substances. The gods of healing in Ayurveda are Prajapati, Brihaspati, Indra, etc. Ayurveda originally classified diseases into physical, supernatural and spiritual. Ayurveda is practised widely in the State of Kerala in India. It is taught in the Ayurveda College, Kottakkal, Kerala.
The science of Jyotisha is meant as both astrology and astronomy. Both were part of the group known as the Vedangas. Astrology has come out of the Vedic sciences, and it does play a major part in the lives of people. It is still used widely for many purposes. The God of Astrology is Lord Subramaniyam, son of Lord Shiva. Some say that, once upon a time, astrology was a very well developed science, but today’s astrology is only a skeleton of what it once was, with most of the valuable knowledge lost due to the practice of utmost secrecy by the learned men in Hindu society.