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Fourteen Traditional Sources Of Knowledge In Hinduism – Vidyasthana

Vidyasthana is the traditional sources of knowledge in Hinduism. The Hindus gave great importance to education in ancient India and have prescribed the upanayana (being close to the teacher) as one of the sixteen religious sacraments to be performed essentially by everyone. Yajnavalkya Smriti mentions the following famous fourteen traditional sources of knowledge.

  • Purana (history)
  • Nyaya (logic)
  • Mimamsa (analysis, ritual lore, practical prescriptions related to the rituals)
  • Dharmasastras (the rule books of conduct)
  • The six supplementary disciplines for Vedic study – Shiksha (phonetics), vyakarana (language use and communication), chandas (prosody), nirukta (etymology: semantics, dictionary, thesaurus of the Vedic vocabulary), jyotisha (astrology), kalpa (the procedure of preparation and performing the ceremonial and sacred Vedic rituals).
  • The four Vedas – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.

The same fourteen are also called the sources and authority of Dharma. Out of these fourteen, depending on yogyata-adhikara (the qualifications), vritti and kula dharma (purpose and mission in life) of the aspirant, acharyas (the teachers) taught to the deserving pupils relevant works or sections of the text, the traditional secret-mystic meanings and applications. These fourteen sources differ in their importance and authoritativeness; the Vedas are the highest in the scale of authority.