To understand Vedas, 6 disciplines have to be studied.

Manduka Upanisad mentions six Vedaangas  (limbs of the Veda) as follows:

The Six Vedangas are :
  1. Siksha (Phonetics)  :
  2. Vyakaranam (Grammar)
  3. Chandas (Metre)
  4. Nirukta (Etymyology)
  5. Jyotisha (Astronomy)
  6. Kalpa (Rituals and Mathematics)

It is necessary to understand the Vedangas to understand the Vedas.

See for sanskrit texts on the above subjects

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Some  Extra Notes :

Brahmanas :

  1. The Brahmanas are commentaries on the samhitas, that explain the rites which accompany the mantras. The satapatha brahmana may be considered a commentary on the Vajasneyi Samhita.
  2. The Brahmanas also contain legends as well as discussions on the etymyology, metrics, grammar etc.

Aranyakas :

  1. The Aitreyaranyaka discusses 3 ways of chanting the Vedas, the Pada Patha, Samhita and Krama Patha.Preserving Vedas Integrity : Vedic Chanting Styles pAThAs

Pratisakhyas :

  1. The Pratisakhyas “truly” represent the Vedic Siksha.
  2. The Pratisakhyas discuss sandhis, metrics etc and how to convert one of the above pathas to the other. They are important to the study of Vedas.

Niruktha :

  1. Yaska’s Nirukta : is a Vedic commentary on the Nighantus (including Kasyapa’s). A Nighantu is a glossary of difficult and rare Rg Vedic terms. The Naighantuka kanda of the Nighantus consists of 3 lists of synonyms. The Naigama (Aikapadika) kanda consists of a list of isolated and difficult words. The Daivata kanda contains a classification of devatas.
Chandas :
  1. The RgvEda prAtis’AKyA and s’AnKayanas’rauta s’Astra are devoted to metres. The pingala sUtrAs, Candah sUtrAs and the nidhAna sUtras deal with metres.
Kalpa :
  1. Kalpasutras have 3 parts, the srauta for large yagnyas, the gruhya for domestic purposes, the dharma for law etc. Pitrmedhasutras, karikas, prayogas, sraddha kalpa and other such additional texts exists.
The AtharvaNa jyotiSA :
  1. gives divisions of time, nakshatra names, auspicious time for conception etc.

Vidhanas :

  1. There are 2 rg vidhanas, kanishta and jyestha.
  2. The kaniSTa vidhAna has 4 adhyayas. Like this RcAm vidhAnam, we also have sAmnAm vidhAnam.
  3. The Rvidh is aware of amRtA, pitryA, vAsavI, raudrA, and vaisvadEvI samhitAs.
  4. kAtyAyana the author of YVidh, is the grand disciple of Saunaka as per the SaDgurusiSyA.
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