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The Vedanga (Sanskrit: वेदाङ्ग vedāṅga, "limbs of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines of Hinduism that developed in ancient times and have been connected with the study of the Vedas:
The character of Vedangas has roots in ancient times, and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad mentions it as an integral part of the Brahmanas layer of the Vedic texts. These auxiliary disciplines of study arise with the codification of the Vedas in Iron Age India. It is unclear when the list of six Vedangas were first conceptualized. The Vedangas likely developed towards the end of the Vedic period, around or after the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. An early text of the genre is the Nighantu by Yaska, dated to roughly the 5th century BCE. These auxiliary fields of Vedic studies emerged because the language of the Vedic texts composed centuries earlier grew too archaic to the people of that time.
Vedangas developed as ancillary studies for the Vedas, but its insights into meters, structure of sound and language, grammar, linguistic analysis and other subjects influenced post-Vedic studies, arts, culture and various schools of Hindu philosophy. The Kalpa Vedanga studies, for example, gave rise to the Dharma-sutras, which later expanded into Dharma-shastras.
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