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Vedic civilization - History Notes For IAS

Vedic civilization (1500 BC - 600 BC)

Origin of Aryans Place:

The opinions of the scholars differ in relation to the native place of Aryans. Some scholars believe that the original residence of the Aryans was India. According to Max Muller, the original residence of the Aryans was Central Asia, while B G Tilak regards the Arctic region as the native place of Aryans.
The most valid view is that in the 2000BC-1500BC, the Aryans came in several stages in the Indian peninsula from Central Asia.

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Boghajkai - Evidence of four Vedic deities found in Asia Minor, which has Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Nastya. It certifies that Aryans had come from Central Asia and was first settled in the Sapt-Sandhav (7 rivers - East Punjab region) from here, gradually they started settling in the Ganga, Yamuna Plains.

Vedic civilization was mainly rural and its language was Sanskrit. Administration of Aryans was divided into 5 parts - Kul, Gram, Vish, Jan, Rashtra. The head of the village was called the Gramini and the head of the Rashtra was the king.

Vedic literature is divided into four parts - Vedas, Brahmins, Aranyak, and Upanishads.
Initially, Vedic literature was passed only verbally from one generation to another, which is called Shruti.

"Satyamev Jayate" has been taken from Mundkopanishad.

Veda -

The oldest and important volume of Vedic literature is Vedas. Vedas are four - Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharveda. The first three Vedas are called Vedatrayi.

Rig Veda - This is the world's oldest book and it is composed in verse form. The Rigveda has 10 mandalas (divisions), 1028 hymns and 10580 verses. The priest who recites these rituals is called hotri. This Vedas provides important information regarding the history of Aryans. It is also known as the “first testament of mankind”.

In the third division Vishwamitra dedicated the Gayatri Mantra to the God Sun.
In the seventh division, there is a reference to the Dasarajan war which was held between King Sudas and ten kings on the banks of Parushni (Ravi) river in which King Sudas won.
Ninth division is mentioned about the God Som.
Purushukt is mentioned in the tenth division, in which four varnas of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra are mentioned. The reference of Vamnavatar is also found in Rig Veda.

Yajurveda - Its reader is called as Adharvyu. In this, the mantra for the rules and lessons for sacrifice is described. It is in both prose and verse. There are two major texts of Yajurveda (samhitaye) - Shukla Yajurveda and Krishna Yajurveda. These are called Vajasnei and Taittariya samhita.

Samaveda - Father of Indian Music | It is a book based on melody and lyrics. The reader is called Udratri.

Atharveda - This Veda was composed by two sages named Atharva and Angira. It is also known as Brahma Veda. The Vedas get mention of disease prevention, mechanism spells, magic, curse, vandalism, faith, superstitions, marriage, love, medicine, administration work etc. In this, the Sabha and the Samiti are treated like two daughters of the king. It condemns the birth of a girl.

Brahmin –

Brahmin has been composed to understand the Vedas. Many Brahmins are associated with each Vedas. In the Vedic literature, knowing the history, Shataptha Brahmin has an important place of Brahmin after Rigveda.

  • Rig Veda  - Attereya Brahmin, Kaushitiki Brahmin
  • Samaveda - Tandyah Mahabrahman, Shadvinsh Brahmin
  • Yajurveda - Taittiriya Brahmin, Sathpath Brahmin
  • Atharveda - Gopath Brahmin, jaminye brahmin, Panchvish


It is written by the sages living in forests. They describe the Yajna and rituals mentioned in the Vedas.

Upanishad –

Upanishad means meaning. They are also called Vedanta because it is the last part of the Vedas. The number of Upanishads is 108. The Upanishad Knowledge is for the knowledge, while the Aranyak is for the purpose of Karma.

To understand the Vedas, 6 Vedanga has been created -
Shiksha, Jyotish (ancient astrological literature), Kalpa, Vyakarana (Ashtadhyayi - the oldest grammar text), Nirukat (oldest dictionary), Chhandas.

Epic –

Ramayana (Valmiki) - It mentions the life of Lord Rama. There are 7 kand in this. It is also called “Adi Kavya” etc. and it is the oldest epic in the world.

Mahabharata (Vedavyasa) - It mentions the lives of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. It is the world's largest epic. It has 1 lakh verses and it is divided into 18 parvas. Bhagavad Gita has been taken from Bhishma parva, while Shanti parva is the largest parva.

Puranas -

There are total 18 puranas which have been created by Lomharsha and his son Ugrashrava.

  • Vishnu Puranas  - Maurya Dynasty
  • Matsya puranas  - Satvahan Dynasty
  • Vayu puranas  - Gupta Dynasty
  • Bhagwat Puranas  - Gupta Dynasty 

Points to Remember -

The most common description of the Rig Veda is of the Indus River. After this Saraswati, Ganges and Yamuna are mentioned most. In Vedic period, the Priest and Fighter had an important role in state.
The Sabha and the Samiti were two organizations to advise

Aryans' society was patriarchal. Their main beverage was Soma ras. Their main occupation was animal husbandry and agriculture. The cow was considered as an Aghanya. His beloved animal horse and beloved God were Indra. He had knowledge of iron. Merchants were called Pbaani and barter system was prevailing.
Rajusya Yajna was used at the time of coronation. The Nishk and the Shatman currency were the units.
There are 3 flaws in accordance with the Mattrayi Samhita - Gambling, Wines and Woman. The name of BharatVarsha is first mentioned in the Hathigumpha record.

The ancient names of major rivers:

Present Name  - Ancient Name 

  • Chenab  - Askini
  • Ravi  - Parushni
  • Jhelam - Vitasta
  • Satalaj -  Shatudri
  • Vyas - Vipasha
  • Gandak - Sadanira
  • Kabul - Kubha

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