the vedic age

Topics: Vedas, Vedic period / Pages: 4 (1470 words) / Published: Jul 11th, 2015
1) The Vedic period (or Vedic age) (ca.1750–500 BCE) was the period in Indian history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed.
Our knowledge of Aryans is not based, as it is in the case of Harappan people, mostly on digging up their habitation sites. We know about the Aryans from the hymns which they composed and which were recited and passed on from generation to generation until they were finally written down. We call this literary evidence and it provides the clues to their history. But, recently, digging in certain places as Hastinapura and Atranji-Khera in western Uttar Pradesh has also supplied further information about their culture.
The hymns were composed in praise of the gods whom they worshipped. Rules were made about their religious ceremonies, their work and worship. These can be found in the four Vedas - Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. They also wrote long poems about their bravery and the battles which they fought. These poems were later collected and became the two epics of ancient India - the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha.

2) Early Vedic Aryans were organised into tribes rather than kingdoms. The chief of a tribe was called a rajan. The autonomy of the rajan was restricted by the tribal councils called sabha and samiti. The two bodies were responsible for the governance of the tribe. The rajan could not accede to the throne without their approval. The distinction between the two bodies is not clear. Arthur Llewellyn Basham, a noted historian and indologist, theorises that sabha was a meeting of great men in the tribe, whereas, samiti was a meeting of all free tribesmen. Some tribes had no hereditary chiefs and were directly governed by the tribal councils. Rajan had a rudimentary court which was attended by courtiers (sabhasad) and chiefs of septs (gramani). The main responsibility of the rajan was to protect the tribe. He was aided by several functionaries, including the purohita(chaplain), the

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