We know that there are four Upavedas associated with four Vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva). While reading some encyclopedias, I found that core things are not clear or there are different opinions.

First of all among the name of four Upavedas, three are clear Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद), Ayurveda (आयुर्वेद) and Gandharvaveda (गन्धर्ववेद), also called Natyashastra (नाट्य शास्त्र​) sometimes. But fourth one is not clear: Is it Artha (अर्थ) or Shilpa (शिल्प) or Sthapatya (स्थापत्य) Veda or combination of them?

Second of all is the association with four Vedas. (Out of the pages which lists the names of Upaveda, half of them do not provide information about the association) Among the four Upavedas, it's clear that Gandharvaveda is associated with Samaveda.

  • Now, talking about Ayurveda, as discussed in this answer it's treated as Upaveda of Rigveda and sometimes Atharvaveda.
  • Wikipedia and one Dhanurveda site states Dhanurveda is upaveda of Yajurveda whereas Quora states it's upaveda of Atahrvaveda and some says it is associated with Rigveda.
  • Apart from the unclarity of association of fourth Upaveda with Veda, there is another issue regarding the name and text content. Wikipedia call it Sthapatyaveda, other wikidot Artha Shastra or hindupedia states both.

Regarding scriptural reference, Prasthanabheda of Madhusudana Saraswati which I cited in this answer provides the list but we need to assume that they are associated with Rig, Yaju, Sama and Atharva Vedas respectively. Further it's debated that which texts are included Artha Shastra and whether to include Sthapatyaveda or not.

Bharatkosha provides bit more information e.g.

  • Vishwamitra brought out Dhanurveda from Yajurveda
  • Bharatamuni brought out Gandharvaveda from Samaveda
  • Dhanvantari brought out Ayurveda from Rigveda
  • Vishwakarma brought out Sthapatyaveda from Atharvaveda

But no scriptural-reference is cited.

So, we need to bring out some reliable information to clear the confusion. So, I'm looking for earliest scriptural-reference which lists Upavedas, mentions their authorship and association with four Vedas.

It would be useful if we can find reliable information on which texts are included in these Upavedas.


1 Answer 1


Caraṇavyūha (चरणव्यूह), a work of Shaunaka mentions the association of Upavedas with Vedas in AtharvaVeda Khanda. As I've informed in this question I have not found its English or Hindi transnational yet and hence quoting original Sanskrit verse from Sanskrit book available on Internet Archive:

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Transforming into IAST:

tatravedānāmupavedāścatvāro bhavantyṛgvedasyāyurveda upavedaḥ yajurvedasya dhanurveda upavedaḥ sāmavedasya gāndharvvedo’tharvavedasyārthaśāstraṃ cetyāha bhagavānvyāsa skando vā|

It syas:

  • Rigveda's Upaveda is Aayurveda
  • Yajurveda's Upaveda is Dhanurveda
  • Samaveda's Upaveda is Gandharvaveda
  • Atharvaveda's Upaveda is Arthashastra

Note: I am not sure whether Charanavyuha is the first text to mention the association but at least we now have scriptural-reference. Charanavyuha is many times used as reference for available Shakshas of Bedas.

  • 1
    Are upavedas and vedangas eternally present just like Vedas?
    – Satya
    Commented Sep 20, 2020 at 13:38
  • @Satya No, they're not believed to be Apaurusheya like Vedas.
    – Pandya
    Commented Sep 20, 2020 at 13:39
  • 1
    My query is not regarding Apaurusheyatvam, for example Vedas are also present in krita/satya yuga before divided by Vyasa. What about upavedas and vedangas? Are they present before getting expounded by Rishis?
    – Satya
    Commented Sep 20, 2020 at 13:47

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