Early Vedic Life

Aryans were a race of people who lived in Central Asia. They migrated to India and were known as ‘Indo-Aryans. They first settled in the ‘Sapta Sindhu’ region and named it ‘Brahmavarta’. The history of this period is based on the Rig Veda. Vedas are the chief source of information on Aryans. There are four Vedas namely Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda. Books like the Upanishads, the Puranas and the Brahmanas are collectively known as Vedic literature. Each village had its own gramani and each tribe its own chieftain or rajan. The King consulted the Senani (commander-in-chief of army) and Purohita during wars. Two councils, the Sabha and the Samiti exercised control over the king. The head of the family was called grihapati. Women could choose their husbands in a ceremony called the swayamwara. Indra was the God of rain and thunder. Agni was the God of fire. Surya, the sun God, Varuna, the God of water, Vayu, the God of wind were also important deities. The society was divided into Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. There were artisans like chariot-maker, weaver, leather-workers and potters. Weapons and other objects were made of copper and bronze. Villages were self-sufficient.

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