वेदो नित्यमधीयतां तदुदितं कर्म स्वनुष्ठीयतां
तेनेशस्य विधीयतामपचितिः काम्ये मतिस्त्यज्यताम्।
पापौघः परिधूयतां भवसुखे दोषोऽनुसन्धीयतां
आत्मेच्छा व्यवसीयतां निजगृहात्तूर्णं विनिर्गम्यताम्॥१॥
There are eight instructions embedded in these four lines. They are tasks to be done during the bal ashram or brahmacharya ashram. ( ब्रह्माचार्य आश्रम) up to twenty-five years of age.
We will take up the first one today.
वेदो नित्यमधीयतां – Study the Vedas daily.
There are 14 sources of Vedic knowledge. The Vedas are regarded as Authoritative in every field of knowledge. Every doubt or question can be referred to the Vedas for final clarification. Indian tradition builds on the firm rock of its foundational texts. There is something in the Vedas that meets the needs of every individual. These 14 sources are:
1. The 4 Vedas: Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Some texts use the triple classification with reference to the Padas making up the verses. The Rig Veda comprises Niyata Padas or specific poetry verses. The Yajur Veda comprises Aniyata Padas or non-specific, prose verses. The Sama Veda comprises Niyata Padas which can be sung. Atharva Veda classifies into any of these three.
2. The 6 Vedangas: Siksha (Vedic phonetics), Kalpa (rules pertaining to rites), Chandas (metrics), Nirukta (etymological formation of words), Vyakarana (rules of grammar) and Jyotisha (influence of bodies on each other, planetary influences or the science of astrology). Vedic phonetics takes into account the accent, the pitch or level, the measure or effort, the speed of articulating words, and the smooth flow of chanting.
3. The 4 Upaangas: Puranas, Nyaya, Meemamsa and Dharma Shastras or Smritis. These add up to 14 sources.
4. The 4 Upavedas: Ayurveda (the science of healing), Dhanurveda (warfare), Gandharva Veda (music), and Sthapitya Veda (sculpture or Artha Shastra). Since they are found in the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas respectively, some say that they need not be counted separately. Some consider the four Upavedas as independent to the Vedas, and so they arrive at 18 categories.