Vedanga (from Veda [q.v.] and anga, "limb"), the name of six Sanskrit works, the object of which is to teach how to read and understand correctly the Vedic texts, and how to apply them correctly to sacrificial purposes. Their titles are as follows:
(1.) Siksha, or the science of proper pronunciation. It explains the nature of letters, accent, and pronunciation, and is ascribed to Panini (q.v.).
(2.) Chhandas, or a work on meter, which is ascribed to Pingala.
(3.) Vyakarana or grammar, by which native authorities understand the celebrated work of Panini.
(4.) Niruikta, or explanation, which explains difficult Vedic words, and is the work of Yaska, who was a predecessor of Panini.
(5.) Jyotisha, or astronomy, the chief object of which is to convey such a knowledge of astronomy as is necessary for fixing the days and hours of the Vedic sacrifices.
(6.) Kalpa, or works on the Vedic ceremonial which systematize the ritual taught by the Brahmaiha portion of the Veda, but omitting all legendary or mystical detail. At a later period these works were supplemented by a similar class of works: which merely describe the domestic ceremonies, such as the marriage rite, ceremonies at the birth of a child, naming the child, cutting his hair, etc. See Miller, Ancient Sanscrit Literature.