UPSC : Religion and Economic Condition UPSC Notes | EduRev
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Rig Vedic Period
- Naturalism and Anthropomorphism—personification.
- Polytheism and Henotheism or Kathenotheism—many gods were worshipped and headed towards Monotheism.
- No idolatrous
- The monotheistic conception appears more prominently in the hymns addressed to Hiranyagarbha (the germ of gold) and to Vishvakarman (the all creating).
- The idea of metempsychosis (transmigration of soul) is not developed during the Rigvedic period.
Later Vedic Period
- Indra and Agni lost their importance.
- Prajapati (the creator) became the supreme.
- The religion in the later Vedic period is distinguishable from the earlier Rig Vedic civilization in the sense that new Gods and Goddesses came to be worshipped.
- The great gods of the Rig Vedic period like Indra, Varuna, Surya etc., receded in the background and many gods like Vishnu, Rudra etc. come into prominence.
- ‘Pushan’ was regarded as the God of Sudras.
- The people also worshipped the snake.
- They had faith in witch-craft, charms, spells and spirits.
- People had faith in doctrine of self, karma, maya, mukti and transmigration of soul.
- Asceticism challenged the supremacy of vedic sacrifices.
Rig Vedic Period
- Pastoral economy
- Plough agriculture made the food supply more regular.
- They had certain technological knowledge about seasons connected with agriculture.
- The chief industries referred to in the Rig Veda are those of the carpenters, the chariot makers, the weavers, the leather-workers, the potter, etc.
Know the Important Facts
- On their way to India the Aryans first appeared in Iran.
- The term for war in the Rig Veda is Gavisthi.
- Family in the Rig Vedic Age was indicated by the term Griha.
- Social divisions based on occupations are first mentioned in Rig Veda.
- During the Rig Vedic period Agni acted as a kind of intermediary between the gods and the people.
- Atharva Veda’s contents speak of the beliefs and practices of the non-Aryans.
- Hastinapur, Noh and Atranjikhera are PGW sites.
- Pushan was the later Vedic god of the Shudras.
- Besides Indra, Agni also lost its importance in the later vedic times.
- Upanishad laid stress on the value of right belief and knowledge.
- About 200 hymns in the Rigveda are addressed to the fire god.
- In the Atharaveda, Sabha and Samiti are described as uterine sisters, the two daughters of Prajapati.
- In the Rig Vedic period “Purandara” was another name for Indra.
- Sanyasa Ashrama did not develop fully during the Later Vedic Period.
- Sudra is mentioned for the first time in the Tenth Mandala of the Rig Veda.
- In the Rig Veda, there is no reference to the ceremony of Upanayan or Initiation which is regarded as of such great importance in later ages.
- The Ashvins, were the great healers of diseases and expert in surgical art.
- The archaeological evidence suggests that the Vedic Aryans introduced the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) in north India.
- Five seasons are mentioned in the Rig Veda.
- Two pieces of cloth were normally worn—the upper garment was called uttariya and the lower one known as antariya.
- According to the Rig Veda Apaya river flowed between the Drasdvati and the Sarasvati. It is a small tributary flowing past Thaneswar in Haryana.
- Altogether ninety-nine rivers are referred to in the Rig veda.
- The Sama Veda is a collection of 1603 verses but except 99 all the rest of the hymns have been borrowed from the Rig Veda.
- The Athara Veda is divided into 20 Kandas and has 711 hymns.
- The Griha Sutra prescribes a code of conduct which gives a fairly good idea of the manners and etiquette of that age.
- There were a few non-monarchical states as well which are described as gana in the Rig Veda whose head was ganapati or Jyestha.
- The concept of Rita was perhaps the highest flight of the Rig Vedic thought. Varuna was considered to be the guardian or upholder of Rita.
- The Rig Veda mentions lions not the tigers.
- The ayas used for copper or bronze shows that metal working was known.
- The exchange of articles on the system of barter was in vogue and generally the cow was regarded as the standard of value.
- According to some scholars a sort of coinage known as ‘Nishka’ was also prevalent in those days.
Later Vedic Period
- Iron was used by these people for making implements.
- In addition to irrigation, which was known in Rig Veda, the use of manure is referred to several times.
- In place of yava (possibly barley) in the Rig Veda, many kinds of grains are mentioned.
- For the first time the Vedic people came to be acquainted with rice in the doab. It is called vrihi in the Vedic texts, and its remains recovered from Hastinapur belong to eight century B.C.
- The seasons of the different grains are briefly summed up in the Taittiriya Samhita.
- Ayurveda - dealing with medicine.
- Dhanurveda - dealing with the art of the warfare.
- Gandharveda - dealing with the art of music.
- Shilpaveda - dealing with the art and literature.
- The Atharva Veda provides us with a considerable number of spells to avoid blight and secure a good harvest.
- We find the great development of industrial life and the subdivision of occupations in this period.
- There is a trace of police officials in the Ugras who occur in one passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanished.
- The sresthin may be the wealthy merchant of the head of a merchant guild.
- Krishnala was used as a unit of weight.
- We find reference in the Brahmanas of the Satamana, a piece of gold in weight equivalent to a hundred Krishnalas.
- The nishka, originally a gold ornament was also at this time a suit of value.
- Aryan settlers who used the painted grey ware were the first to use iron.
- The supreme being of the pastoral religion is generally identified with the sky-God.
- The central feature of Aryan religious life was sacrifice.
- Aryans did not build any temple nor made any idol to worship their Gods.
- Though the Rig Vedic Aryans worshipped many Gods yet they believed that God is one.