In ancient India, during the Vedic period from about 1500 BC to 600 BC, most education was based on the veda (hymns, formulas, and incantations, recited or chanted by priests of a pre-Hindu tradition) and later Hindu texts and scriptures.
Vedic education included: proper pronunciation and recitation of the Veda, the rules of sacrifice, grammar and derivation, composition, versification and meter, understanding of secrets of nature, reasoning including logic, the sciences, and the skills necessary for an occupation. Some medical knowledge existed and was taught. There is mention in the Veda of herbal medicines for various conditions or diseases, including fever, cough, baldness, snake bite and others.
Education, at first freely available in Vedic society, became over time more rigid and restricted as the social systems dictated that only those of meritorious lineage be allowed to study the scriptures, originally based on occupation, evolved, with the Brahman (priests) being the most privileged of the castes, followed by Kshatriya who could also wear the sacred thread and gain access to Vedic education. The Brahmans were given priority even over Kshatriya as they would dedicate their whole lives to such studies.
The Gurukul system of education supported traditional Hindu residential schools of learning; typically the teacher's house or a monastery. Education was free, but students from well-to-do families paid "Gurudakshina," a voluntary contribution after the completion of their studies. At the Gurukuls, the teacher imparted knowledge of Religion, Scriptures, Philosophy, Literature, Warfare, Statecraft, Medicine Astrology and History. The corpus of Sanskrit Literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as technical scientific philosophical and generally Hindu religious texts, though many central texts of Bhuddhism and Janishm have also been composed in Sanskrit.