Sri Devi Kamakshi Sri Sri Sri Adi Sankara Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji Sri Sri Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji
Kamakoti.org presents several different aspects of HinduismKamakoti.org The official web site for Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, India.
   Home    |   Announcements    |   Tour Programme    |   Audio & Video    |   Image Gallery    |   Acknowledgements    |   Sitemap   
     About the Peetham    |   Origin of the Peetham    |   About this web site    |   Contact Us    |   Search   
  Use this link for a Printer Friendly version of this page   Use this link  to share this page on Facebook    Use this link  to share this page on Twitter    Use this link  to share this page on Pinterest    Use this link  to share this page on Google Plus    
!New: Sri Adi Sankara
Branches, Temples and Patasaalas
Articles
Hindu Dharma
Acharya's Call
Voice of Sankara
Personal Experiences
Sri Adi Sankara
Namo Namah
Dasoupadesam
Naamavali / Pushpaanjali
Tamil
Telugu
  
The Fourteen Abodes of Knowledge
(HinduDharma: )
 
Receive pages from Hindu Dharma in your email
News & Upcoming Events

information item Kumbhabhishekam of Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple performed - 9 February 2017

Kamakshi Ambal Kumbhabhishekam

Visit www.kanchikamakshi.org - Website of Shri Kamakshi Ambal Temple for latest updates on Kumbhabhishekam
information item Kumbhabhishekam of Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchipuram - 9 February 2017
information item His Holiness to bless Consecration of Kalahasteeshwara Swamy Temple Raja Gopuram on 1 Feb. 2017 and Kumbhabhishekam on 8 Feb. 2017
information item His Holiness visits Piler Sankara Matam - 22nd Jan. 2017
information item His Holiness visits Venkatagiri - 22nd Jan. 2017
information item Girivalam at Kalahasti - 21st Jan. 2017
information item Veda Parayanam held at Swamimalai - 12 Dec 2016 - 13 Jan 2017
information item Pujyashri Acharyas at Tirumala temple - 6 Jan. 2017
information item  श्री काँची कामकोटि पीठम - हिन्दी में समाचार
information item Book on Kamakshi Ambal Temple - Call for photos
information item 23rd Aradhana Mahotsavam performed - 25 Dec. 2016
information item His Holiness at Krishna Samudra Sangamam- 8 Dec. 2016
information item Read more...
              

The fourteen "abodes" of knowledge are: the four vedas; the six Angas or limbs of the Vedas; Mimamsa, Nyaya, the Puranas and Dharmasastra. You must have seen at least references to the Vedas and the six Angas. The Tamil work Tevaram says: "Vedamodarangamayinanai". According to this devotional work Isvara is the form of the four Vedas and the six Angas.

The fourteen dharma-pramanas (authorities of dharma) are called "caturdasa-vidya". The well-known poetic work 'Naisadham' mentions that Nala was conversant with these fourteen branches of learning. The poet (Sriharsa ) plays on the word "caturdasa": he says that "Nala accorded caturdasa to the caturdas-vidya", meaning he gave the fourteen branches of learning four dasas: reading, understanding what is read, living according to the teachings contained in what is read, and making others also live in accordance with them.

Caturdasatvam Krtavan kutah svayam

Na vedmi vidyasu caturdasasvapi

--Naisadham, 1. 4

All religious knowledge is encompassed by these fourteen branches of learning.

There are yet four more vidyas. If you add to the fourteen already mentioned, you will have eighteen vidyas - astadasa-vidya which are all-inclusive. Of them, the fourteen already mentioned are directly concerned with dharma. The remaining four - Ayurveda, Arthasastra, Dhanurveda and Gandharvaveda - do not directly deal with dharma. They are not dharmasthanas (abodes of dharma) but they qualify to be vidyasthanas(abodes of knowledge). The first fourteen, as already mentioned, are both dharmasthanas and vidyasthanas (abodes of dharma as well as abodes of knowledge).

The dharmasthanas and vidyasthanas are together commonly known as the sastras. The word "sastra" means an order or commandment. We speak of a royal "sasana", meaning a royal "edict". There is a chapter in the Mahabaharaaata in which Bhisma expounds the ordinances of dharma to Yudhisthira and it is called "Anusasana-parva". Aiyanar is called "Sasta" because he keeps the hosts of Siva under his control (through his orders ). Works on sastras incorporate the ordinances that are calculated to keep us disciplined and ensure that we tread the right path.

While all the fourteen sastras are basic and authoritative texts, the Vedas are their crown. Just as Buddhism, Zoroastrianism (Zarathustrianism), Christianity and Islam have the Tripitaka, the Zend-Avesta, the Bible and the Qur'an respectively as their scriptures, we have the Vedas as our prime scripture.

Of the fourteen branches of learning the first four (the four Vedas) form the basis for the subsequent ten. Together they constitute the complete corpus of sastras on which our religion is founded.

About "Hindu Dharma"
"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here