The Vedic Period


The Vedic Period or the Vedic Age refers to the period when the Vedic Sanskrit texts were composed in India.

Literally ‘Aryans’ means – the ‘best’ or ‘eminent’.

The Aryans are supposed to have migrated from Central Asia into the Indian Subcontinent in Severalstages during 2000 to 1500 B.C.

In order to prove their supremacy the Aryans called themselves ‘The Aryas’ and they called their opponents ‘Anarya’, ‘Dasyu’ or ‘Das’.

The Rigveda (1500–1000 BC) consists of 1028 hymns. These hymns were sung in honour of various gods and wererecited by Hotri.

The Gaytri Mantra had been discovered from the Rig Veda.

The Sindhu and its tributaries are called Sapta Sindhu.

The Yajur Veda is a book of sacrificial prayers. It is written in both verse and prose.

The Sama Veda consists of 1549 hymns.

It is a book of chants for singing during sacrifices.

The Aranyakas were written mainly for the hermits and the jungle living students.

The Upanishadas are anti ritualistic discussing about the relations between Brahma (God) and Jiva (Creature).

Upanishadas are philosophical texts and are called Vedanta as they came towards the end of the Veda.

Vrihadaranyaka is the oldest Upanishadas among all the 108 Upanishadas.

According to Rigveda, the famous Dasrajan Yuddha or the battle of ten kings was fought between Sudas, a Bharat King of the Tritsu family,and the confederacy of ten well-known tribes -Puru, Yadu, Turvasa, Anu, Druhyu, Alina, Paktha, Bhalnas, Siva and Vishanin.

In the bloody and decisive battle on the banks of river Parushni, the Bharatas emerged victorious.

Sabha and Samiti (Popular Assemblies) controlled the affairs of Vedic states. These two assemblies were called the two daughters of Prajapati.

The AtharvaVeda is abook of magical formulae which reflects the popular conventions and rituals of that period.

The Brahmans were composed after the Vedas to explain the hymns of the Vedas. They are written in prose and ritualistic in nature.

The Vedic Aryans worshipped the forces of nature such as Earth, Fire, Wind, Rain and Thunder; their main occupation was cattle rearing.

The King was responsible for the protection of the tribe.

Vedang were composed during post-vedic period. Shiksha, Kalpa, Vyakaran, Nirukta, Chhanda and Jyotish are the six vedangas.

Upvedas were composed after Vedangas.

Puranas means ‘the old’ and they are 18 in number.

Ashtadhyayi is the first grammar of the world written by Panini.

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the two Indian epics.

Darshans are the auxiliary treatise ofthe Vedas. The six schools of Indian philosophy are called Shad Darshan.

Literally ‘Smriti’ means ‘remembrance’. All the Smritis were composed during Gupta’s period