From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Karmakāṇḍa literally means ‘branch of the Veda dealing with karma or rituals’.

Religious tradition generally divides the Vedas into two broad groups:

  1. Karmakāṇḍa - deals with the varifous Vedic rituals including the yāgas or sacrifices
  2. Jñānakāṇḍa - comprises the Upaniṣads

Karmakāṇḍa as per Samhitā[edit]

Brāhmaṇas are the main content of the Karmakāṇḍa. The mantras in the Samhitā section are chanted at the appropriate stages in the performance of the Vedic rites.

Karmakāṇḍa as per Vedāntic Systems[edit]

Vedāntic systems accounts the Karmakāṇḍa to a lower place. The Mīmāmsā system makes it the chief aspect of the Vedas assigning Vedānta or the Upaniṣadic section to a subsidiary place.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore