Indian History - The Vedic Age
The Vedic Civilization was the culture and traditions of the society prevalent during the Vedic age ( 1500- 600 BCE). In various examinations which have a section of general studies, often ask one or two questions about the Vedic civilization. This post of the history will try to cover the essential and exam-worthy details of the ancient Vedic period in easy points.
Vedic Literature (1500 BC – 600BC): Vedic Literature comprises of five literary productions: (1)The Samhitas or Vedas (2) The Brahamans (3)The Aranyakas (4) The Upanishads (5) Epics
(1) The Samhitas or Vedas : The term Veda means “superior knowledge” in Sanskrit. This period is called vedic because the four Vedas were composed during this time.These four Vedas are following:
(4) The Upanishadas : The Upanishadas are philosphical texts. They are generally called Vedanta, as they came towards the end of Veda. There are 108 Upanishadas. Vrithadaranyka is the oldest Upanishadas.
(5) Epics : There are two main Epics :
The Vedic civilization is named after the Vedas. Rig Veda is the only source of knowledge for this period.The texts consist of hymns, charms, spells, and ritual observations current among the Indo-European-speaking people known as Aryans, who presumably entered India from the Iranian regions.
A. Settlement of the Early Vedic Period :
(1) the terrestrial gods such as Prithvi, Agni, Brihaspati (Prayer), and Soma,
(2) The atmospheric gods, such as, Indra, Rudra (Probably lightning), Maruts, Vayu (wind) and Parjanya and
(3) celestial gods such as Dyaus (the sky), Varuna (vault of Heaven), Ushas (dawn), Asvins (probably twilight and morning stars) and Surya, Mitra, Savitri and Vishnu all associated with the most glorious phenomenon of nature, viz., the sun.
The period that followed Rig Vedic Age is known as Later Vedic Age.This age witnessed the composition of three later Veda Samhitas namely, the Samveda Samhita, the Yajurveda Samhita, the Atharvaveda Samhita as well as Brahmanas and the Upanishads of all the four Vedas and later on the two great epics—the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. During the Later Vedic Age the Aryans thoroughly subdued the fertile plains watered by Yamuna, Ganges and Sadanira. They crossed the Vindhyas and settled in the Deccan, to the north of Godavari.
A. Settlement of the Later Vedic Period :