ANCIENT INDIA:THE LATER VEDIC AGE

ANCIENT INDIA

THE LATER VEDIC AGE(1000 BC-600BC)

ANCIENT INDIA/VEDIC PERIOD/THE LATER VEDIC AGE/EPICS/RAMAYANA/MAHABHARATA/PURANAS
ANCIENT INDIA:THE LATER VEDIC AGE

RELIGION

The importance of Rig Vedic Gods was reduced.New Gods were popularized were Prajapati, Vishnu, Rudra., Pushan, the cow protector became the God of Sudras magic.

GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT

Sapta Sindhu region comprised the whole Ganges valley.
Kurukshetra and Panchal region are explained in their geographical extent.

POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

Tiny tribal settlements were replaced by strong kingdoms.
Powers of the king, who was called Samrat increased.Importance if the assemblies declined. Women were no longer permitted to attend assemblies. The term ‘rashtra’ indicating territory first appeared in this period.
A regular army was maintained for the protection of the kingdom.
References of Priest (Purohita), Commander in Chief (Senapati), Charioteer (Suta), Treasurer (Sangrahita), Tax Collector (Bhagdugha), Chief Queen (Mahisi) and the Game Companion (Aksavapa).

SOCIAL LIFE

The four fold division of the society became clear. Initially,based on occupation, which later became hereditary: Brahmins (Priests), Kshatriyas (Warriors), Vaishyas (Agriculturists, cattle -rearers and traders) and Sudras (servers of the upper three).
Women enjoyed freedom an respect bur their status deteriorated compared to earlier times.
The institution of gotra appeared in this age for the first time. Gotra sinified descent from common ancestors.
In this time too, chariot racing was the main sport and gambling was the main pastime.

POTTERY

The later Vedic people used four types of pottery :black and red ware, black -striped ware, painted grey ware.
Red ware was the most popular and has been found almost all over Western UP. However, the most distinctive pottery of the period is known as painted grey ware, which comprised bowls and dishes, used either for rituals or for eating by the upper classes.
Some old names of the rivers.

    Ashini          —   Chenab
Parushani     —   Ravi
 Sutudri         —   Sutlej
Vipasa          —   Beas
     Vitasta          —   Jhelum

TYPES OF MARRIAGES

There were eight forms of marriages and they were.

Brahma Marriage of a duly lowered girl to a man of the same class.
Davia The father gives his daughter to a sacrificial priest as a part of his fee.
Arsha A token bride-price of a cow and a bull is given in place of the dowry.
Prajapatya The father gives the girl without dowry and without demanding the bride -price.
Grandharva marriage by the consent of the two parties (love-marriage).
Asura Marriage, in which the  bride was bought from her father . It was looked down upon with disfavour by all sacred texts, though ‘Arthasastra‘ allows it without criticism.
Rakshasa Marriage by capture, it was practiced especially by the warriors.
Paishacha Marriage by seduction.

VEDIC LITERATURE

The word veda is derived from the Sanskrit word vid, meaning ‘to know’or knowledge par excellence. The Vedic text are shruti i.e., directly revealed to the authors by God. Smritis are remembered and collected parts of literature of later period. They are also called samhitas in the sense that they represent oral traditions of the time.
The four Vedas and their samhitas, the Brahmans, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads from a class of literature known as shruti.

THE RIG VEDA

It is divided into 10 books or mandalas. Mandal II to VII are considered the oldest and known as family mandals. Book I, VII and X seem to be added later and are called Sepuk.
It is dated 1500 BC -1000 BC.It has 1028 hymn, writer by a number of priestly families. The Tig VEda was werren when Aryans were still in Punjab. Bool II to VII are the earliest and attributed to Gritsamada, Vishwamitra, Vasudeva, Atri, Bhardwaj, Vashishtha,Kanva and Angiras.

The IX mandala contains the hymns of Soma.
The X mandala contains the famous Purushsukta hymns that explain the origin of the four varnas (Chatur -Varna theory).
Gayatri Mantra is the most sacred hymn of the Rig Veda. Mentioned in 3rd mandal, written by Viswamitra.(This mantra is addressed to the sun).
The singer of the Rig Veda is called the Hotra.

THE YAJUR VEDA

It is a ritualistic veda.
It is divided into Shukla Yajur Veda (Poetry) (includes Vajasneyi Smhita ) and Krishna Yajur Veda (Prose and Poetry ) (Kathak,Matruyani and Tailteriya, Vapisthal Samhita in which the Mantra and the Brahamanas part are no separated).
Written in prose, it deals with the procedure for the performance of sacrifices and contains rituals as well as hymns.
The singer of the Yajur Veda is called Ardhavayu. 

THE SAMA VEDA

The word Sama means the melody/music.
It is a collection of 1869 Mantras out of which 1474 been derived from the Rig Veda.
It contains the Dhrupada Raga.
The Sama Veda shows that the Aryans loved music and were not merely puritans.
The singer of Sama Veda is called Udagata.

THE ATHARVA VEDA

The Atharva Veda is entirely different from the other three Vedas and is chronologically, the last of the four Vedas.
The shatpath Brahmana used the term trayi i,e,. The Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Sama Veda.
Atharva Veda mentions beliefs and practices of the Non-Aryans.
It contains medicinal treatises magical mantra etc.
In it, the Sabha and the Samiti are described as sisters and the two daughters of Prajapati.
This Veda is also known as Brahma Veda.

THE BRAHAMANAS

These are the prose commentaries on various Vedic hymns They explain the Vedas in an orthodox way. They explain the hidden meanings behind the hymns of Brahamanas. They are expressive of the cause (thelu).
Shatpath Brahmin It is the largest Brahmin book. It has the story of Vidah and also the first water disaster.
Ptymology (nirvachana), censure (ninda), doubt (samshaya) and injection (vidhi).

Every Veda has several Brahamanas attached to it.

  1. Rig Veda                  Aitareya and Kaushitiki/Sankhyan.
  2. Sama Veda               Panchvisha,Shadviush,Chhandogya and Jaiminaya.
  3. Yajur Veda               Shatapatha and Taittariya
  4. Atharva Veda           Gopatha.

THE ARANYAKAS

The authors of the Aranyakas were some sages dwelling in the forest and explained Vedic texts for their pupils in the form of Aranykas. Aranyakas mean belonging to the forest.So, these Aranyakas are known as forest books.
They form the concluding part of Brahamanas.

THE UPANISHADS

The term Upnishad indicates knowledge acquired by sitting close to the teacher. Under it many metaphysical topics were discussed, such as the origin of the universe, the nature of God, the origin and the death of mankind etc.
They do not believe in orthodox rituals and sacrifices. On the contrary, ther are the followers of Karma (Action), Atma (soul) and God (Brahma).
They are spiritual and philosophical in nature.
They are also known as Vedanta or the end of the Vedas. Always preaches the jnana marga (knowledge path).
Upanishads are 108 in number (800 BC -500 BC).
Upanishads of Rig Veda-Aitareya+Kaushitaki.
Satyamev Jayate is extracted from Mukdak Upanishad.

UPAVEDAS

These are suvsidiary Vedas dealing with secular subjects.
Important Upvedas are;

Ayur Veda Pertains to medicine.
Dhanur Veda Pertains to the art of warfare.
Gandharva Veda Pertains to the music.
Shilpa Veda Pertains to art and literature.

VEDANGAS;(The Limbs of the Vedas)

These are treatises on science and arts Shiksha (Phonetics) ,(Rituals) and Vykarna (Grammar).
Chanda (Metrics),Nirukta(Etymology) Jyotisha (Astronomy).
Yaska’s Nirukta (5th century BC) is the oldest linguistic etc.

SHHAT DARSHAN(Six Systems of Philosophy)

  1. Nyaya (Analysis)                                          Gautam
  2. Vaisesika (Atomic Characteristic)            Kanada
  3. Sankhya (Enumeration)                             Kapil
  4. Yoga (Application)                                       Patanjali
  5. Purva Minansa (Enquiry)                           Jaimini
  6. Uttar Mimansa (Vedanta)                          Vyasa

LATER VEDIC AGE,LATER VEDIC AGE,LATER VEDIC AGE

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