Vedic Civilization (Based on NCERT)

Vedic Civilization (Based on NCERT)
Posted on 26-04-2022

Vedic Civilization

Vedic Civilization:  Aryan Civilization emerged after the decline of the Indus Civilization. The Aryan civilization is also called the Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization is divided into two periods – Rigvedic civilization and later Vedic civilization. The original source of knowledge of Rigvedic civilization is Rigveda, hence this civilization is named by the same name. The Rigvedic period refers to the period which is discussed in Rigveda. Two types of evidence are available for the study of this period.

Archaeological evidence

1. Painted gray pottery, 109 sites of gray pottery culture are known in Punjab, Haryana, 24 in Uttar Pradesh, and 8 in Rajasthan. The period of this gray pottery culture is 1700 – 1800 BC. is believed. This period is almost the same which is mentioned in the context of Rigveda on other grounds.

2. In the excavation, a building with 13 rooms in Bhagwanpura near Haryana and three sites in Punjab have also been found which are related to the Rigvedic period.

3. Bogazkoi inscription (Mitani inscription) 1400 BC - One inscription cites the Vedic gods Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and Nasatya as witnesses to the treaty between the Hittite king Shubbilimma and the Mitanni king Matiuaja. Here Ashwin is called Nasatya.

4. Kassi inscription (16oo BC) – This inscription gives information that a branch of Iranian Aryans came to India.

Literary evidence

Rigveda - It has 'ten mandalas' and 1028 hymns. The first and Tenth Circle. has been added while the seventh mandala is older than the second.


Various scholars have tried to determine the time of the arrival of Aryans in their own way. According to Bal Gangadhar Tilak – 6000 BC. According to Hermann Jacobi – 4500 – 2500 BC. According to Viternitz - 3000 BC. R. Of. According to Mookerjee – 2500 BC. According to Max Müller – 1500 BC.

The original abode of the Aryans

There are many opinions of many scholars about the residence of Aryans.
According to Balgangadhar Tilak – Arctic region according to   Philip Seseti and William Jones – Europe according to P. Gilles – Hungary and Danube river according to Max Müller – Central Asia according to Fenka – Scandinavia According to Swami Dayanand – Tibet G.B. According to Rode – Bactria

Aryan struggle

The Aryans clashed with people with Garrick pottery and red and black pottery. The reason for the victory of the Aryans was horse-driven chariots, good bronze tools, and armor (varman). The Aryans probably used a specific type of fort. It was called 'Pur. They used bow and arrow. Usually, there were two types of arrows. The first poisonous and horny head (face) and the second copper-headed. Apart from this, they also used a spear, spear, ax, sword, etc.

Political situation

The 'Raja' was the head of the nation or district of the Vedic age. Generally, it was the son of the king who attained the position of the king after the death of the father.


Since the economy of this period was a subsistence economy, there was little room for surplus. Therefore, the taxation system could not be established and the number of state officials was also limited. But the king was considered entitled to get sacrifices (taxes) from the subjects in return for fulfilling his responsibilities. It was a voluntary gift given to the king. Initially, the king did not get regular taxes from the subjects. Therefore, Indra was requested to compel the subjects to pay the royal tax. Later, the practice of regular taxes was established in the later Vedic period.

Judicial system

According to the thinkers, in this period, not only did he declare the supremacy of law or religion, but also insisted on its observance by the monarchy. In Rigveda, the word 'Dharma' has been used for the practice of law, later Dharma'.


Aryans had established their villages in the country by cleaning the forest areas. In this process, many villages in the whole of Punjab, Sandhav Pradesh, and northern India were established. The village was the smallest political and social unit in Rigvedic societyEconomic, social, and political instability prevailed in the initial phase of this era. The Aryans had a joint family system.

Important craft

The Aryans mainly used three metals – gold, copper, and bronzeWomen used to do the work of weaving clothes. Crafts like wood cutting, metallurgy, weaving, pottery, and carpentry were prevalent.

Exchange system

Probably barter system would have been prevalent in that era also. Although cow, horse, and nishka were used as exchange. The Nishka was probably a gold ornament or a lump of goldObviously, regular coins were not developed yet. It is known from the name Ashtakanas (Ashtkarmi) that the Rigvedic aayas probably had knowledge of numbers. The person who paid interest by giving loans was called Vaknaat.


Varna's system was the main basis of the system of Rigvedic society. Under this system, every person had the freedom to choose work according to his natural qualities. Therefore, the karma of a person had a special significance, because the character of a person was determined by his karma. The duties performed according to one's virtues and deeds began to be designated in the name of Varna-Dharma in society. The word 'Varna' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Vraj Varne' which means to choose. Thus 'Varna' refers to the selection of a particular occupation (or profession)The use of the word Varna in Rigveda is 'color' or 'light'. in the sense of. Somewhere the relation of Varna is shown with such people whose skin is black or fair. The Aryans were initially of a single Varna and the group of Aryans was called Vish.

Literary material

Vedas – Vedas are the oldest texts of the AryansThere are four Vedas – Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. Rigveda is the oldest among them all.

  • Rigveda -   Rik meaning position and knowledge Rigveda is the first Veda which is verse. It has 1028 hymns in its 10 mandalas (chapters) in which there are 11 thousand mantrasThere are 5 branches of this Veda – Shakalpa, Vaskal, Ashvalayana, Shankhayan, Mandukayan . It has a lot to do with the geographical location and the mantras invoked by the deities. The hymns of the Rigveda contain prayers, praises, and descriptions of the deities and their position in Devaloka. In this, information about water therapy, air therapy, solar therapy, mental therapy, healing by Havan, etc. is also available. In the tenth mandala of Rigveda, there is a mention of medicine sukta i.e. medicines. In this, the number of medicines has been told to be around 125, which is found in 107 placesThere is a special description of Soma in medicine. There is also a story about the revival of Chyawan Rishi in Rigveda.
  • Yajurveda -  Meaning of Yajurveda: Yat + Ju = Yaju. Yat means dynamic and Ju means skyIn addition, karmaInspiration for the best. Yajurveda contains the rituals of yajna and the mantras used in yagyas. Apart from Yagya, there is a description of philosophy. This Veda is prose. It contains prose mantras for the actual process of Yagya. There are two branches of this Veda, Shukla, and Krishna. Krishna -  Vaishampayana Rishi is related to Krishna. Krishna has four branches. Shukla –  Rishi Yagyavalkya is related to Shukla. Shukla has two branches. It has 40 chapters

    In one of the mantras of Yajurveda, the description of brihidhanyas is found. Apart from this, the subject of Divya Vaidya and Agricultural Science is also present in it.
  • Samaveda - Meaning of Sama, transformation, and musicGentleness and Worship. In this Veda there is a musical form of the hymns of Rigveda. Samaveda is lyrical i.e. in the form of a song. This Veda is considered to be the origin of music science. In this Veda of 1824 mantras, except 75 mantras, all other mantras have been taken from Rigveda itselfIt mentions the gods Savita, Agni, and Indra. It has mainly 3 branches, there are 75 hymns.
  • Atharvaveda – Tharva means vibration and Atharva means non- vibration. The one who remains absorbed in the worship of God while performing the best deeds of knowledge attains salvation by attaining a trembling intellect. In this Veda, there is mention of mystical disciplines, herbs, miracles, Ayurveda, etc. It has 5687 mantras in 20 chaptersIt has eight sections in which the two names are found in Bheshaj Veda and Dhatu Veda.

Upanishad -  The simple meaning of the word Upanishad is - 'Upvashan near' or 'Sit near (the disciple to sit near the Guru for the attainment of Brahma Vidya). This word is derived from the prefix 'Upa', 'Ni', and the root 'Sad'. Saddhatu has three meanings: Description - to be destroyed; Movement-getting or knowing and sedimentation-loosening. In the Upanishads, there is a very beautiful and enigmatic dialogue between the sage and the disciple, which takes the reader to the heart of the Veda. The total number of Upanishads is 108, they are divided into the following categories-

  1. Rigvedic – 10 Upanishads
  2. Shukla Yajurvedi  - 19 Upanishads
  3. Krishna Yajurvedi  - 32 Upanishads
  4. Samavedi  - 16 Upanishads
  5. Atharvavediya  - 31 Upanishads

Vedanga -  Vedanga is a Hindu religious text. Education, Kalpa, Grammar, Jyotish, Chhand, and Nirukta – these are the six Vedangas.

  1. Education  – In this, the method of reciting Veda mantras has been told.
  2. Kalpa  – Which mantra of the Vedas should be used in which work, it has been told. It has three branches – Shrautasutra, Grihyasutra and Dharmasatra.
  3. Grammar  - By this, the combination of nature and suffix etc. gives a sense of the accomplishment of words and the condition of sublime, anudatta, and vowel sounds.
  4. Nirukta  - The meanings in which the words are used in the Vedas are definitely mentioned in the Nirukta.
  5. Jyotish  - From this, the time of Vedic sacrifices and rituals is known. Here astrology means 'Vedang Jyotish'.
  6. Chhand  – The knowledge of the composition of verses like Gayatri, Ushnik, etc. used in the Vedas is obtained from the scriptures.

Puranas -  Puranas are the religious texts of Hindus, in which there are accounts of creation, rhythm, ancient sages, sages, kings, etc. These are the texts of the much later Vedic period, which come in the Smriti department. The Puranas are considered very important in the form of devotional texts among the texts which have an important place in the Indian life-stream. In the eighteen Puranas, the tales of sin and virtue, dharma and adharma, karma and inaction have been told, considering different gods and goddesses as the center.

  1. Brahma Purana
  2. Padma Purana
  3. Vishnu Purana
  4. Vayu Purana – (Shiva Purana)
  5. Bhagavata Purana – (Devi Bhagavata Purana)
  6. Narada Purana
  7. Markandeya Purana
  8. Agni Purana
  9. Bhavishya Purana
  10. Brahma Vaivarta Purana
  11. Ling Purana
  12. Varaha Purana
  13. Skanda Purana
  14. Vamana Purana
  15. Kurma Purana
  16. Matsya Purana
  17. Garuda Purana
  18. Brahmanda Purana


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