m:im:aös:a ny:ay:ev:st:rH .
p:ØraN:ö D:m:ü S:as*:ö c: ev:½a Êðt:aSc:t:ØdüS: ..
The above verse states that there are 14
domains of knowledge. These areas are considered to be all-encompassing and give an
explanation for all the events that occur around us. These are the Vedas (Rigveda,
Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda ), Meemamsa (a discussion on the
vedas), Nyaya (logic), Puranas ( of which there are 18
), Itihasa ( the Ramayana and the Mahabharata).
The Vedas themselves have 6 angas
or parts. These are Shiksha (the pronunciation of the Vedas), Chandas
(prosody), Vyakaranam (grammar), Jyotisham ( astronomy), Niruktam
(the meanings of words) and Kalpa (the rules for the performance of
Out of the above 14 topics, we cover five, these being
- Indian Mathematics
All of us are very fond of getting to the finish line in the easiest
way possible. Be it in going from one place to another or in solving a problem, we would
always like to take the shortest route possible. Arithmetic, in the Indian way, abounds
with such shortcut methods and mental calculations. There has also been tremendous work
done in the fields of algebra, geometry and trigonometry - so much so that most of what we
see in our textbooks today, is only an offshoot of the work our ancestors did. This
portion is considered to be a part of Jyotisham
Logical reasoning is the most
special among all of man's different faculties. He observes, interacts and arrives at
conclusions. It is that ability which sets him apart from all other beings. He has always
wished to know about the things around him, the way they work and why they work the way
they do. Tarka Shaastra, which is a branch of Nyaya , was the science
in which a complete understanding of the universe was attempted. Rules were specified for
classifying all that we see around us and for inferring other rules from their behaviour.
Indian AstronomyOur fascination with the sky would
have begun right from that age, when our parents would have pointed out to us, the silvery
moon, in their endeavours to feed us. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star .... Like a
diamond in the sky" goes a popular nursery rhyme, and several poets have written
verses eulogising the sky and the stars. But there is so much of science and mathematics
behind the beautiful facade of a clear night's sky. Astronomy(Jyotisham)had been
a great strength of ancient Indian scientists and they accomplished a great deal in this
area. Many astronomical observatories existed in earlier times and most mathematicians
were also astronomers.
All of us enjoy good rhythmic music, or for that matter, any verse
that is recited in the musical way that it should be. Chhandas is the domain of rhythms and
metres, which emphasises the occurrences of different patterns in 'shlokas'. Combinatorial
mathematics plays an important role in Chhandas.
Vyakaranam means 'grammar'. This section examines the necessity for
a grammar, and how effective it is, in getting across what we want to say, in as simple a
way as possible. This section also does a comparison of Indian grammar (Tamil &
Sanskrit) and English grammar, stressing on the need for precision and clarity in
expression. There exist different rules for different grammars, all put forth in a concise