Types of Vedas -Later Vedic Period

Types of Vedas -Later Vedic Period

The Vedas of Hindu Religions

Later Vedic period (1000-600 BC)

geographical coverage

1500 BC From 1000 BC The period up to the period is called Rigvedic period and 1000 BC From 600 BC The period till is called ‘Uttara Vedic period’.
Except the Rigveda, other Vedas, Brahmins, Aranyakas and Upanishads were composed in the later Vedic period.
In this period, in addition to the three Vedas Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Brahmins, Aranyakas, Upanishads and Vedanshos were composed. All these texts are considered literary sources of the later Vedic period.
The utensils obtained during this period are called gray pottery. Painted gray pottery was typical of this period, as the inhabitants here used clay painted and brown bowls and plates.
The use of iron in this period created a social-economic revolution.
In the later Vedic period, the Aryans expanded over the region because they now knew the use of iron weapons and horse-drawn chariots.
The Aryans expanded their territory in the later Vedic period and moved into the eastern regions, moving beyond the Ganges.
Reaching the upper reaches of Delhi and Doab, Bareilly, Badaun, reached Farrukhabad and made Hastinapur its capital, which is located in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.
The people residing in Magadha are called ‘Vratya’ in the Atharvaveda. He spoke Prakrit language.
The main center of the post-Vedic civilization was Madhya Pradesh, which spread from Saraswati to the Doab of the Ganges.
Videth Madhava art is found in the Shatapatha Brahmin. Which signifies the expansion of the Aryans towards the east of the Ganges River.

Political system

Governance methods described in Aitareya Brahmin

Event Name of government Head of government
The empire The emperor
The middle
state King
Swaraj Swaraat
North Kingdom Virat
Food Feast

Shatapatha Brahmin called Panjals the best representative of Vedic civilization.
In the Atharvaveda, Parikshit has been called the god of death.
The principle of the divine origin of the king is first found in Aitareya Brahmana.
Monarchical governance was further strengthened in the later Vedic period.
During this period, with the increase in the size of the kingdom, the importance of the king increased and his powers expanded. Now the king came to be known by the names of Emperor, Ekrat and Adhiraj etc.
During this period, the rank of king became hereditary.
The word ‘nation’ was first used only in the later Vedic period.
The principle of rebirth was first described in the Shatapatha Brahmin.
In the later Vedic, the existence of institutions, assembly and committee continued, but there is no mention of Vidath.
In the later Vedic period, women’s entry into the ‘Sabha’ was prohibited.
The district replaced the largest unit of Vedic rule.
In the Yajurveda the high officials of the state were called ‘Ratnis’. They used to be members of the royal council.
The number of ‘Ratni’ is given as 12. Ratnis used to come in the list, kings relatives, ministers, department heads and courtiers.
There is also mention of Trikkud, Kainj and Maenam (situated in the Himalayan region) in the later Vedic period.

Fighter commander

Thread king’s charioteer
Village head
Part shop tax collector
Collecting treasurer
King’s ally
Scar tissue
Head of Govikarta Forest Department
Palagal Clown
Mahishi Chief Queen

The sabha is called Narishtha in the Atharvaveda.
During this period, with the increase in the influence of the king, the people’s councils (the importance of the assembly and the committee decreased).
In the Rig Vedic period, sacrifice was a voluntary tax, which became a regular tax in the later Vedic period.
According to the Atharvaveda, the king used to get 16th part of the income.
Post-Vedic period Yajnas – Rajasurya, Ashwamegh and Vajpayee had political importance. These sacrifices were performed by the king.
social system

In the later Vedic period, the society was clearly divided into four varnas – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras.
During this period, Brahmins established their superiority in society.
The Kshatriyas represented the warrior class. He was considered the savior of the public. The king was elected from this class.
The Vaishyas adopted trade, agriculture and various handicrafts from the Rigvedic period and became a major taxpayer in the later Vedic period.
The work of the Shudras was to serve all three upper classes. All the people of this class were laborers.
In the later Vedic period a clear dividing line between the three higher classes and the Shudras is seen as Upanayana rites.
Women were generally given lower status. Women were respected in the society, but there was some decline compared to the Rigvedic period. Girls were given high. In Aitareya Brahmin, the daughter is called Kripash.
Family life was similar to the Rigveda. The society was patriarchal, owned by the father. In this period, women also had some parental rights.
The emergence of Sati system is known during this period, but its practice was not widespread. No proof of widow marriage is found.
The gotra system was established in the later Vedic period. The word gotra means – the place where the cowherd of the whole clan was kept together. But later the meaning of the word descended from a primitive man.
In the later Vedic period, only three ashrams, Brahmacharya, Grihastha and Vanaprastha are known, the fourth Ashram Sannyas was not yet clearly established.
The first four ashrams are mentioned in the Jablo Upanishad.
Post-vedic economy

Agriculture and Animal Husbandry

In the later Vedic texts, the words iron ore and Krishna have been used for iron. For the first time in Atranjikheda, iron equipment related to agriculture has been received.
Agriculture became the main occupation of the Aryans in the later Vedic period. In the Shatapatha Brahmin, all the four activities of agriculture – plowing, weaving, cutting and mowing are mentioned. In the Atharvaveda Prithuvaniya has been called the inventor of plow and agriculture.
The importance of animal husbandry was sustained. The cow and horse were still useful to the Aryans. Vedic literature shows that people used to pray to the gods for the growth of animals.
Yaj (cow), Vrihi (paddy), Maad (urad), Gudag (moong), Godhum (wheat), Masoor etc. are described in the Yajurveda.
There is mention of plucking by 24 bulls in the Kathak Samhita.

Commercial trade

After the stability of life in the later Vedic period, commerce and trade developed rapidly.
The Aryans of this period had become familiar with maritime trade.
In the Shatapatha Brahmin, there is mention of ‘Bohra’, who gives money on commerce and trade.
The currency was introduced in the later Vedic period. But barter was used in normal transactions or in trade.
Nishka, Shataman, Krishnal and Paad were the types of mudra.
The words ‘Shreshtha’ mentioned in Aitareya Brahmana and ‘Gana or Ganapati’ mentioned in the Vajasaneyi Samhita have probably been used for business organization.
Apart from gold and iron, Aryans of this era were also familiar with tin, copper, silver and lead.
Industry & Business

The rise of industry and different types of crafts was another feature of the post-Vedic era economy.
A long list of various occupations is found in the Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittariya Brahmin.
In the later Vedic period details of many occupations are found, in which there are references to metal purifiers, chariots, carpenters, tanners, goldsmiths, potters etc.
Textile manufacturing industry was a major industry during this period. There is no mention of cotton. Urna (wool), Shaj (flax) are mentioned in the later Vedic period.
Weaving was done on a large scale. Possibly women used to do this work. Women also used to do the work of coloring and embroidery.
A list (needle) is mentioned for sewing.
In the later Vedic period, pottery construction also took the form of business. Red pottery was more prevalent among the people of this period.
Metal craft industry was formed. The metal smelting industry was widespread in this era. Probably different types of appliances and objects were made by dissolving copper.


Religious system

Yajna became the mainstay of religion in the later Vedic period, while its ancestor Rigvedic period gave importance to praise and worship.
There are some indications of the commencement of idol worship in the later Vedic period.
The importance of Yajna etc. rituals had increased in this era. Along with this, Ananthak Mantra methods and rituals became prevalent.
Yajnas and rituals were clearly condemned in the Upanishads.
During this period, the Rugvedic gods Indra, Agni and Vayu became insignificant. They were replaced by Prajapati, Vishnu and Rudra.
Prajapati was called the supreme deity, while Parikshit was called the god of death.
In the later Vedic period, Vasudeva Sampradaya and the six philosophies – Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaiseshika, East Epistle and North Epistle emerged.
Sankhya philosophy was the oldest of all philosophies in India. According to this, the basic elements are 25, of which the first element is nature.

Philosophy promoter

Charvac Charvac
Yoga Patanjali
Sankhya Kapil
Justice Gautam
Forethought jamani
Vaishika kanak or uloom

The ritual of Pancha Mahayagya was necessary for the householder Aryans. The five Mahayagyas are:

Gratitude to the ancient sages
Worshiping the deities by devayagya havan
The description of ancestral fathers
Nripaash status ceremony
Sacrifice of Bhoot Yagya, gratitude to all beings

The ideological movement started against the rituals and rituals in the late period of the later Vedic period. This movement was initiated by the Upanishads.
The principles of rebirth, salvation and karma are clearly explained in the Upanishads.
The Upanishads explain the relationship between Brahma and Atma.
It has been told in the Chandyogna Upanishad that a person acquires Brahman, enlightenment in this life, he merges into the Brahman element after death and becomes free from the cycle of birth and death.
The principle of Nishkam Karma is first given in the Isophanishad.
There is a dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa in the Kathopanishad.
There is a Gargi-Yajnavalkya dialogue in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
Memorable facts

In the later Vedic period people did not know to use concrete bricks.
At one place in the Atharvaveda there is a description of the choice of king by Vish.
According to the Shatapatha Brahmin, the king is the one who has the approval of the subjects.
The story of Yama and Nachiketa is described in the Kathopanishad.
Permanent military system started in the later Vedic period.
The most powerful kingdoms in the later Vedic period were Kuru and Panchal.
Gautama has told the three deeds of Brahman – teaching, meditation and opacity. The Brahmins were among the sixteen types of priests who used to perform yagyas.
Among craftsmen, some classes like charioteer etc. were high and they had the right to wear Yajnopaveet.
In the Taittariya Brahmin, the word ‘Vemana’ is used for the loom.
The post-Vedic Aryans knew about cow dung and seasons.
The evidence of iron in India comes first from Antarajikheda in the later Vedic period.
2,40,000 cows were offered in Dakshina to the head priest who performed the Rajasuya Yajna.
In the later Vedic period, the practice of sacrificing animals in the religious area was practiced.
There were 7 priests in the Rig Vedic period yajnas, while in the later Vedic period yajnas, there were 14 priests.

Post vedic literature

1. Samaveda

It is considered to be the oldest and first book of Indian music.
The principal deity in the Samaveda is ‘Savita’ or ‘Surya’, it mainly contains mantras to praise the sun, but Indra Som also has enough description in it.
The priest of the Samaveda called Udgatrutra or Udgata used to do it. The number of mantras in it is 1869. But only 75 mantras are original. The remaining mantras are derived from the Rigveda.
The Samaveda has three branches – Kauthum, Ramayana and Shramaniya.
The Samaveda is the smallest in size among the four Vedas. Nevertheless, it has the highest reputation, one of the reasons for this is that Krishna says Vedanam Samaveedosmi in the Gita.

2. Yajurveda

It is related to ritual. It has both rituals and praise hymns.
It is composed in both prose and verse.
It has two parts – Shukla Yajurveda and Krishna Yajurveda. Krishna Yajurveda practiced in South India and Shukla Yajurveda Branch prevalent in North India.
The number of mantras in the Yajurveda is 2086.
The priest who chanted the mantras of Yajurveda was called Adhvaryu.
Krishna Yajurveda has four branches – Maitrayani Samhita, Kathak Samhita, Kapithal and Samhita.
Shukla Yajurveda has two branches – Mahyadin and Kanva Samhita.
The Yajurveda mentions two state ceremonies like Rajasuya and Vajpayee.
Gayatri Mantra and Mahamrityunjaya Mantra are also mentioned in Yajurveda. The Gayatri Mantra is first used in the Rigveda.

3. Atharvaveda

It was composed at the end. The number of mantras in the Atharvaveda is 6000, 20 chapters and 731 suktas.
The Atharvaveda describes many subjects like Brahm Gyan, Dharma, Samajnishtha, drug use, disease prevention, mantra, witchcraft etc.
The Atharvaveda has two branches – Pippalad and Shaunak.
The Atharva Veda was composed by Atharva Rishi.
In this, the residents of Magadha have been called Vratya.
The Atharvaveda is also known as the Brahma Veda. Atharva Veda is also important from the point of view of Ayurveda.
It is clear from the Atharvaveda that in the course of time, nature-worship was neglected among the Aryans and believed in phantom-spirits and system-mantra.

4. Brahmin Granth

The Brahmin texts were composed for the simple interpretation of the Vedas. They are also called as the commentary of the Vedas.
It depicts the ritualistic importance of yagyas.
These texts are composed in prose. This is the second part of Vedic Wangmay in which the rituals of the Yajna of the gods are explained in prose form and commentary is given on the mantras.
Their language is Vedic Sanskrit. Every Veda has one or more Brahmins (each Veda has its own separate branch). Today only these Brahmins are available

Rigveda Aitareya Brahmin (Branch Branch)
Kaushitki (or Shankhayan) Brahmin (Baskal Branch)
Samaveda Elder (or panchvinsh) brahmin
Conspiracy Brahmin
Aarshey Brahmin
Mantra (or chandigya) Brahmin
Jaiminiya (or Tavalkar) Brahmin
Yajurveda शुक्ल यजुर्वेद Shatapatha Brahmin (Madhyandini branch)
Shatapatha Brahmin (ferment branch)
कृष्ण यजुर्वेद Taittiriya Brahmin
Maitrayani brahmin
Kat brahmin
Kapisthal Brahmin
Atharvaveda   Gopath brahmin

5. Aranyak

The Aranyaka texts have been composed by scholars residing in the forests.
It discusses Yajna, religious rituals and philosophical questions.
In the Aranyakas, philosophical thoughts of the sages related to the soul, the divine, the world and human beings are fixed.
At present there are a total of 7 Aranyakas – Aitareya, Shakhayana, Taittariya, Maitrayani, Mahyadin, Vrihadaranyak, Talvakar and Chhandogya.

Veda Related auras
Rigveda Aitareya Aranyak, Shankhayan Aranyak or Kaushitak Aranyak
Yajurveda Brihadaranyak, Maitrayani, Taittiriyaanak
Samaveda Jaimonyopanishad or tavalkar aranyak
Atharvaveda No star

Aitareya Aranyaka is related to Rigveda. There are five main chapters (Aranyakas) within Aitareya in which Aitareya, the author of the first three, is considered the Assalayan of the fourth and the Shaunak of the fifth. Doctor Keith considers it to be ancient rather than Nirukta, and its creation dates to the 6th century, but in fact it is older than Nirukta. The first three Aranyakas of Aitareya are the doers of Mahidas, this makes them justified to believe that Aitareya is a contemporary of Brahmin.
The Shankhayana is also related to the Rigveda. It is similar to Aitareya Aranyak and is divided into fifteen chapters, a part of which is known as Kaushitaki Upanishad.
Taittiriya Aranyak is divided into ten passages (textbooks), which are called “Aran”. In this, the seventh, the eight and the ninth lesson are called “Taittiriya Upanishad”.
Brihadaranyaka is actually a hermit of the Shukla Yujurveda, but due to the abundance of spiritual facts it is counted in the Upanishads.
Tavalakara (Aranyak) is the only Aranyak associated with the Samaveda. Which has four chapters and many chapters in each chapter. The famous tavalakara (or ken) Upanishad is in the tenth anuvaka of the fourth chapter.
6. Upanishads

The Upanishads are supplementary texts of the Aranyakas. He was composed at the end of Vedic literature, hence he is also called Vedanta.
Upanishad means the knowledge that is learned by sitting near free.
The total number of Upanishads is considered 108, but the Upanishads are only 12.
India’s national motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is derived from Mundokpanishad.
The Upanishads envisage the concept of soul, divine, salvation and rebirth.

Veda Related Upanishads
Rigveda Atreopanishad
Yajurveda Brihadaranyakopanishad
Shukla Yajurved
Krishna Yajurveda
Taittiriyopanishad, Kathopanishad, Shvetashtaropanishad, Maitrayani Upanishad
Vashkal Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Kenopanishad
Mandukyopanishad, Question Council, Mundakopanishad

7. Vedang

Number of Vedangas is 6 – Education, Kalpa, Grammar, Nirukta, Astrology and Chanda.
Education- They were composed for the pure pronunciation of Vedic vowels. It was called the nose of the Veda. In this, the method of pronouncing Ved Mantras is given.
Kalpa – These are the sutras. They were called the hands of the Vedas. Which mantra of Vedas should be used in which karma? It has three branches – Shrouta Sutra, Grihya Sutra and Dharmasutra.
Grammar- Grammar was called the mouth of Vedas. In it, the composition of names and metals, the use of prefixes and suffixes, rules of compound and treaty are given. With this, the sum of nature and suffixes etc. leads to the realization of the words and the state of the sublime, unspoken and vowel vowels.
Nirukta – Nirukta is composed by Yask. In it, information about words is found. The meanings of the words used in the Vedas, those meanings are definitely mentioned in Nirukta.
The verses have been considered the feet of the Vedas. Gayatri Tishtrap, Jagati, Vrhati etc. verses are used in Vedic literature. The composition of verses like Gayatri, Ushik, etc. used in the Vedas is known through Chhandasastra.
Astrology- Astrology has been called the eye of the Vedas. From this, the time of Vedic Yajna and rituals is known. Here astrology means ‘Vedang Astrology’.

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