The Early Vedic Period History In Details

The Early Vedic Period History In Details-In this article we published detailed history about The Vedic era, this article contain the most important topics from Vedic period like , Origin of Aryans, life in Vedic period and many facts about the Vedic Era, so please read this article very carefully to know about the Vedic Period.

The Aryans

The word Aryan is derived from Arya, which mean favorably disposed towards new corners and later it implied high birth, but generally, it refers to a language and not race.

Origin Of Aryans

Sapta Sindhu RegionAC Das
Arctic RegionBG Tilak
Central AsiaMax Muller
German PlainsProfessor Penka
TibetDayanand Saraswati
Foot Of HimalayasPandit Laxmi Shashtri
BactriaRhodes
EuropeWilliam Jones
HungaryP Giles
The Vedic Era History In Details

There are many theories about the origin of these people. The most accepted view is that they lived in the great steppe land which stretches from Poland to Central Asia. They were semi-nomadic people. In 2nd millennium BC, they started moving from their original home and migrated Eastwards and Southwards.

The Boghaz Kai inscriptions dated to 1400 BC gives the information about peace treaty between the Hittites and the Mittanis rulers of the Hittani, in which the names of the Vedic Gods Indra, Mitra, Nasatya and Varuna are mentioned. This supports the view, of the Central Asian homeland theory that Central Asia being Aryan homeland.

Advent of Aryans in India

It is believed that Indo-Aryans migrated from Central Asia into the Indian sub-continent in several stages or waves via Minor Turkey (Modern Turkey). From Iran, a group of Aryans branched off to move towards India. These Indo-Aryans and Iranian Aryans occupied Iran for much time, a part of this country came to be known as Araiya or Haraiva. Through Hindu Kush, these Indo-Aryans came to India around 1500 BC. These early immirgants made the region of Saptasindhu their home i.e., the land of seven rivers, area comprising Eastern Afghanistan, Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh.

Reasons behind Rapid Expansion of Aryans

  • Chariot driven by horses.
  • Weapons made of good quality bronze.
  • Use of armour (varman).
  • Use of destructive machine called Purcharishnu.
  • The Aryans soon mingled with the local people and adopted an agranian way of life after settling down in small, organised communities.

Early Vedic Age (1500-1000 BC)

The main source of information for the study of early Vedic Age people is the Rigveda. The founders of the Vedie culture, were the Aryans, probably an immigrant people whose first arrival in India is dated around 2000-1500 BC.

Geographical Knowledge

The Rigveda is the only source to give us an idea of the geographical expanse of the Early Vedic Period. Aryans were confined to the area which came to be known as the Saptasindhu or Saptasindhava (land of the seven rivers) comprising the modern day Eastern Afghanistan, Punjab (both Indian and Pakistani), and parts of Western Uttar Pradesh. So, the Rigvedic Aryans has knowledge of Eastern Afghanistan, North-West. Frontier Provinces and the Punjab.

Rigvedic Polity : Tribal Polity

  • Rigvedic society being a semi nomadic tribal society with pastoral economy, it was natural that Rigvedic polity was essentially a tribal polity. Kula (family) was the basis of both social and political organisation. Starting with Kula, the hierarchy in ascending order was Grama (village). Vis (Clan), Jana (Tribe) and Rashtra (Country), indicating the evolution of Vedic polity.
  • The tribal Chief called the Rajan was the centre of administrative machinery, because of his successful leadership in war, which were fought mainly for cows and not for territories kingship was normally heriditary.
  • The popular mode of government was monarchy. Despite this, the king did not exercise unlimited power, for he had to reckon with the tribal organisations called Sabha, Samiti, Vidata etc. These assemblies had effective control over the Rajan.
  • The former two being most important reflecting the will of the people in important matters and even women could attend them.
  • Sabha was the exclusive body and only elites were its members while Samiti was the house of commons. These assemblies performed multidimensional functions of political, social, religious, cultural and economic nature. Vidhata was the oldest one, while women attended Sabha and Vidhata in Rigvedic times. Tax known as Bali was voluntary. Sabha and Samiti were known as the twin daughters of Prajapati.

Tribal Conflicts

  • The Aryans were engaged in two types of conflicts, firstly they fought with the non Non-Aryans and secondly, they fought among themselves.
  • Divided into five tribes called Panchajan uiz Purus, Anus, Druhyus, Yadus and Turvasus, the Aryans fought amongst themselves.
  • The Bharata was a ruling clan supported by the priest Vashistha, it was opposed by a host of ten chiefs, five of whom were heads of Aryan tribes and the remaining of non- Aryan people.
  • The confedracy being led by priest Visvamitra resulted in the Battle of Ten Kings fought on the river Parusni, the modern Ravi. It gave the victory to the Bharata chief Sudas and established the supremacy of the Bharatas.
  • This war is known as Dasrajan war or the battle of ten tribes, also featured Alina, Pakhta, Bhalanas and Vishamin.

Rivers Mentioned In Rigveda

Rigvedic NameNew Name
GomalGomati
KrumuKurram
KubhaKabul
SuvastuSwat
SindhuIndus
DrishadatiGhaghar/Chitang
SatudriSatluj
VipashaBeas
ParushniRavee
AsikniChenab
VitastaJhelum
The Vedic Era History In Details

Socio-Economic Life

Tribe and Family

  • Kinship was the basis of social structure, and as man was identified by the clan to which he belonged, as can be seen in the names of several Rigvedic kings. People gave their primary loyalty to the tribe which was called Jana.
  • The term for family (Kula) is mentioned rarely in the Rigveda. Family comprised not only mother, father, sons, slaves etc, but many more people also. It was a patriarchal family headed by the father several generations of the family lived under the same roof.
  • Griha, seems to be a more common term for family.
  • Naptri, was the common term used for cousins, nephews, grandsons etc indicating existence of Joint Family. Eldest male member of the family was known as Kulapa. Because it was a patriarchal society, the birth of a son was desired again and again.

Social Division

  • The Rigveda shows some consciousness of the physical appearance of people in North Western India in about 1500-1000 BC. Varna was the term used for colour, and it seems that the Aryan language speakers were fair and the indigenous inhabitants were dark in complexion.
  • The factor which contributed most to the creation of social divisions was the conquest of the indigenous inhabitants by the Aryans. The Dasas and the Dasyus, who were conquered by Aryans, were treated as Slaves and Shudras. The Rigveda mentions Arya Varna and Dasa Varna.
  • The tribal chiefs and priests acquired a larger share of the booty, and they naturally grew at the cost of their kinsmen. which created social inequalities in the tribe gradually, the tribal society was divided into three groups-warriors, priests and the people.
  • The fourth division called the Shudras appeared towards the end of Rigveda period in Purushsukta hymn.

Position of Women

Women seen to have enjoyed equal status with men, received upnayan (initiation) and education of them sown even rose to the rank of seers composing Vedic hymns, attended popular assemblies and could offer sacrificies along with their households. The institution of marriage was well established with the monogamy as the general life though Polygamy and Polyandry are also indicated. Child marriage was not practised. Women could choose their husband. Widow remarriage was also practiced.

Pastoral Economy

The Rigvedic economy was essentially pastoral economy. Cattle breeding was the main occupation. Cows, goats, buffalos, sheep and horses were the animals domesticated by the Aryans. The importance of cattle specially of cow, can be understood by the fact that the wealthy persons were known as Gomata, war was called Gavishti, the chief of Jana was known as Gopati and the daughter was called Duhitri (one who milks cow). Agriculture was the secondary economic activity of the Rigvedic Aryans. Rigveda refers to only one grain Yava i.e., Barley.

Metals Known Rigvedic People

  1. Gold ➤ Hiranaya
  2. Iron ➤ Shyama (Krishna) Ayas
  3. Copper ➤ Ayas

Religious Life

The important features of Rigvedic religion are

  1. Personification of the press of nature.
  2. Vedic religion was Henotheism or Katheustheism.
  3. Predominance of male God.
  4. Godesses were there but not important.
  5. Aim of worship was material gains.
  6. Sacrifice was the first of Vedic religion.

Rig Vedic Gods

The religion of Rigveda is essentially simple, though it has many Gods. They were deeply impressed by the great phenomenon of nature which they conceive as alive and usually represents in anthromorphic form.

They may be classified as

  1. Terrestrial Gods Prithvi, Soma, Agni etc. (Prithvisthana)
  2. Atmospheric Gods Indra, Maruta, Parjanya etc. (Madhyamas thana)
  3. Heavenly Gods Varuna, Aswins, Apaya, Surya, Pnsan, Vishnu, Savitri etc. (Dyusthana)

Important Gods/Goddesses

  1. Indra ➤ The greatest God for the Aryan warriors and about one fourth of the total hymns (250 hymns) ascribed to him.
  2. Agni ➤ Second most important and 200 Rigvedic hymns are devoted to him known as Fire God. Acted as an intermediary between Gods and men.
  3. Varuna ➤ Ethically, the highest of all Rigvedic Gods; a mighty emperor sitting in a great place in the Heaven; was most feared God and called Asur was supposed to uphold the natural order.
  4. Soma ➤ Considered to be God of plants. All the hymns of IX Mandal of Rigveda are assigned to him. Also called King of Gods and sometimes identified with the Moon.
  5. Rudra ➤ The howler, a moral, archer God whose arrows brought disease; lived in mountains.
  6. Pushan ➤ was Lord of Jungle path.
  7. Yama ➤ was the Lord of death.
  8. Surya ➤ Sun and Sun God.
  9. Savitri ➤ A solar deity to whom the famous Gayatri Mantra is attributed in Rigveda.
  10. Usha ➤ Goddess of eternity and mother of Gods.
  11. Prithvi ➤ Earth Goddess. The Early Vedic Period History In Details
  12. Vayu ➤ God of wind. The Early Vedic Period History In Details
  13. Aswin ➤ Personified morning and evening stars.

The Vedic Era History In Details

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