Sunday, 5 April 2015


The Aryans History :
  •  Many historians have given various theories regarding the original place of the Aryans.
  •  However, the Central Asian theory, given by Max Muller, is the most accepted one. It states that the Aryans were semi-nomadic pastoral people and originated from area around the Caspian Sea in Central Asia.
  • Entered India probably through Khyber Pass (in Hindukush Mountains) around 1500 BC.
  •  The holy book of Iran ‘Zend Avesta’ indicates entry of Aryans to India via Iran.

Early Vedic Or Rigvedic Period

Region : The early Aryans settled in Eastern Afghanistan, modern Pakistan, Punjab and parts of western UP The whole region in which the Aryans first settled in India is called the ‘Land of Seven Rivers or Sapta Sindhava’ (The Indus and its five tributaries and the Saraswati).
  •        Lived on Sindhu river banks

Political Organisation :

Senani:head of the armed forces
Kulapa or Grihapati:head of family
Grama:group of families
Gramani:village headman
Vis or clan: group of villages(vispati:head of villages)
Vrajapati : officer who enjoyed authority over the pasture ground
Rashtragopa:priest or purohit

  • The rajan was not an absolute monarch,for the government of the tribe was in part the responsibility of the tribal councils like sabha, samiti, gana and vidhata.
  • Even women attended sabha and vidhata.
  • Many clans (Vish) formed a tribe. The basic social unit was the Kula or the family and Kulapa was the head of the family.
  • The king was assisted by  purohita and Senani (leader of the army), although there was no regular or standing army. The Aryans succeeded everywhere because they possessed chariots driven by horses.
  • There was no regular revenue system and the kingdom was maintained by the voluntary tribute (Bali) of his subjects and the booty won in battle.

Social Life :
  • Essentially agricultural economy.
  • The ploughed land was called Urvara or Kshetra. The main source of irrigation was    rain. Animal rearing was the second important occupation of the Aryans.
  • Cow was considered a sacred animal and was called Aghnya (not to be killed).

  • The carpenters were an important class in Rig Vedic society. Other important crafts of the Aryans were barbers, tailors, leather-workers, smiths, gold smiths; potters etc.
  • There is no caste system.Women are treated equally with men
  •  Women can allowed to sit in the Sabhas.
  • Used weapons like bows,arrows,swords,spears and axes.

Rivers in Rigveda :
Modern Names Rigvedic Names
Indus                        Sindhu
Jhelum                     Vitasta
Chenab                    Asikni
Ravi                         Purushni
Beas                        Vipasa
Sutlei                       Sutudri
Gomati                    Gumal
Kurram                    Krumu
Ghaggar                  Drisshadvati
 Economic life :
  • There were artisans like carpenters, weavers, cobblers, potters, etc.
  • Mixed economy – pastoral and agricultural – in which cattle played a             predominant part.
  • Used barter system. Cow was an important animal ,most  of their wars were fought for cow (most important form of wealth).
  •  Standard unit of exchange was cow. At the same time coins were also there (gold coins like Nishkq, Krishnal and Satmana).
  •  Gavyuti was used as a measure of distance
  •  Godhuli as a measure of time.
  •   Physicians were there called ‘Bhishakas’.
  •   The staple crop was ‘yava’, which meant barley.

 Religious life :

  •  Worship the forces of nature
  • Worship the Indra who played the role of warlord (breaker of forts – Purandar, also associated with storm and thunder).
  • The second position was held by Agni (fire-god). He is considered as an intermediary between gods and men.
  •  Varuna occupied the third position. He personified water and was supposed to uphold the natural order. He was ethnically the highest of all Rigvedic gods.
  •  Soma was considered to be the god of plants. Maruts personified the storms. Some female deities mentioned, like Aditi and Usha, who represented the appearance of dawn.
  •  No idol worship. Worshipped in open air through yajnas.
  •  Performed the Rajasuya,Vajpeya Sacrifice
  •  Chief priests who were engaged in performing sacrifices were - Horti- the invoker,  Adhvaryu-the executor,  Udgatri-the singer
  •  Vashista,vishwamitra are famous purohits.

  •       Scripted  vedas,Aranyakas and Upanishads around 1500-1000BC

   >Rigveda:1028 hymns with praise of different Gods
   >Samveda:1810 slokas are sing on holy occasion of Yajnas
   >Yajurveda:Procedure for the performance of sacrifices
   > there are 18 aranyakas and 108 Upanishads

Later Vedic Period(1000BC-500BC)
  •       King titles:Adhiraj,Rajadhiraj,samrat,Ekarat,virat and Savarat
  •       King has the supreme power
  •       Performed Rajasuya and Ashwamedha yagas
  •      Taxes:Bali,Sulk & Bhag
  •      Sabha ,samiti lost their importance and women not allowed to sit in Sabha
  •       Indra,varuna Gods replaced by Prajapati,Rudra Vishnu
  •       Idol worship started
  •       Belief of life after death and
  •       Varna system:Brahmans,Kshatriyas,Vaishyas and Sudras
  •        Polygamy practiced

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