(Last Updated on : 10-03-2010)
Nirukta means 'explanation', which is one of the six Vedangas. There have been several works engaged in such a task, even at a very remote period of Hindu antiquity, and that they bore the name of Nirukta is possible, for 'Nirukta authors are quoted either generally or by name in several Sanskrit authors.
The works, which are called Nirukta preset the only surviving representation of this important Vedanga, is that of Yaksha, who was a precursor of Panini. His work consists of three parts- the Naighantuka, where for the most part, synonymous words are taught; the Naigama, which contains words that usually occur in the Vedas only; and the Daivata, which contains words chiefly relating to deities and sacrificial acts. Vedic passages are quoted in illustration of the words to be explained, and the comment given by Yasaka on these passages is the oldest instance, known at present to Sanskrit philology, of a Vedic gloss. Moreover the great importance, which Yasaka's Nirukta thus possesses for a proper understanding of the Vedic texts, it is valuable also on account of several discussions, which it raises on grammatical and other questions.
Nirukta is also the name of an Anga of the Vedas. The Nirukta contains a glossarial comment.
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