The Vedic Period

•    Due to scant archaeological remains, literary sources are used to derive information about Vedic period. Vedic literature comprises the four Vedas: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva.
•    Brahmanas were elaborate commentaries on Vedic hymns and socio-religious meaning of rituals. Aranyakas were philosophical and mystical works for hermits and students living in jungles.
•    Upanishads describe Aryan religious and spiritual thoughts. Ramayana and Mahabharata are two great Aryan epics.
•    Iron, discovered and used around 1200 BC, led to great changes in agriculture, technological developments and warfare. Vedic people knew four kinds of pottery.
•    Early Vedic Society, based on Varna or Caste System, was divided into four Varnas: Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras.
•    Patriarchal Family was the norm, wherein succession passed from father to eldest son (kulpa). Sons were desired to fight in wars.
•    Vedic Education was imparted orally. Teachers recited mantras, students repeated them. There were some gifted women scholars as well.
•    Women were held in great respect. As wives however, their life and property was at husbands’ mercy. Right to marry was their personal choice. They also had certain religious and political freedom.
•    Marriage was done with consent of the parents. But marriage with Dasyus was limited.
•    In Later Vedic Society, social condition was same as that of earlier period. Caste System, now rigid, became birth based. Untouchables were treated as outcastes.
•    Under Ashrama System, individual life was divided into Brahmacharya (education), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (forest hermit) and Sannyasin (renunciation).
•    Education was limited to three upper castes. Boys sent to gurukula for education learnt various subjects.
•    Position of Women declined. They were denied access to sacrifices and Sabhas. Education was prohibited for them. Widow Remarriage was forbidden.
•    Polygamy was practiced by upper classes. Eight types of Marriages were recognised, of which four were approved.
•    Early economy was based on agriculture and cattle rearing, former being main occupation of the people. In Trade and Industry, Barter system was practiced, as were various crafts.
•    Later economy was characterised by use of iron, which revolutionised agriculture. Pastoral life or Rigvedic people was overshadowed by agriculture, which developed more. Hymns emphasised on cattle wealth, hence cows were seen as sacred.
•    Trade and Commerce increased during this period, both maritime and inland. Corporations and guilds emerged. Art and Craft specialisation expanded.

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  • Q1

    The marriage ritual, which involved neither dowry, nor bride price, was called -

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Prajapatya

    Explanation:

    There were eight kinds of marriages in Vedic period. Of these, Prajapatya ritual involved neither dowry, nor bride-price.

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  • Q2

    Mahabharta was composed by

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Ved Vyasa.

    Explanation:
    Both Mahabharta and Puranas are supposed to be compiled by Ved Vyasa. Ved Vyasa was a great seer, guru, author, poet and philosopher in the Hindu religion.
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  • Q3

    The two greatest Sanskrit epics are the

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Mahabharta and Ramayana

    Explanation:
    The Mahabharata is about a war fought between the Kauravas and Pandavas, who were cousins.The Ramayana is about Rama, a prince of Kosala, who was sent into exile. His wife Sita was abducted by the king of Lanka, named Ravana, and Rama had to fight a battle to get her back.
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  • Q4

    The language in which puranas were written was

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Sanskrit.

    Explanation:
    The Puranas were written in simple Sanskrit verse and were meant to be heard by everybody, including women and shudras, who were not allowed to study the Vedas.
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  • Q5

    Epics are:

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    grand, long compositions, about heroic men and women, and include stories about gods

    Explanation:

    Epics are grand, long compositions, about heroic men and women, and include stories about gods.

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