(‘that which is committed to memory’)

The Vedas, the basic scriptures of Hinduism, are known by several other names: śruti, āmnāya and trayī. They are called ‘śruti’ since they are ‘heard’ (śru = to hear) by the disciples from the mouth of the teacher. They are ‘trayī,’ ‘a group of three’ since Ṛgveda, Yajurveda and Sāmaveda, the three earlier compilations were always considered together. They are known as ‘āmnāya’ since they are learnt by rote, committed to memory (mnā = to commit to memory, to repeat) and are handed down traditionally from the teacher to the disciple.

The word is sometimes used in the sense of kula or lineage and saṁpradāya or tradition as also ācāra or custom.