Traditional knowledge of botany and agriculture revealed in the Vēda Saṃhitās, Brāhmaṇās, Araṇyakās and Upaniṣads

BODDUPALLI, RAGHAVA SWAMY

Abstract

In the Vēdic scriptures, we find a large number of terms used for describing the plants and plant parts/organs, both external features and internal structures. Many of these botanical and agricultural associated terms that are currently in use in the modern botany were first revealed and comprehensively discussed in the Vēdic texts. The Ṛgvēda (RV) mentions that Vēdic Indians had knowledge about the food manufacture, the action of light on the process and storage of energy in plants. The classical plant morphology and classification based on various plant parts, their structures and growth is explained in detail in the Atharvavēda (AV) and in the Yajurvēda (YV) and particularly in the Taittirīya Saṃhitā (TS) and the Vājasanēya Saṃhitā (VS) and related Brāhmaṇās. Agricultural tools, seasons, crops, favorable crop for each season, number of crops possible for each season and so on is revealed in the Yajurvēda and other Vēdic texts. The authenticity of various botanical and agricultural terms and descriptions are discussed in detail in conjunction with the VēdaMantras. These are later described in Purāṇas, epics, as well as in several other Sanskrit texts. Descriptions and information related to plants present in the four Vēdas have been compared with the modern botany and the similarity has been highlighted in the article.

Keyword(s)

Agricultural terminology, Anatomy, Botanical terminology, Classification, Plant biology, Vēdas

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