Aryan religion consisted of the worship of mostly male gods who were believed to control the forces of nature.
Worship of the gods took place at outdoor fire altars.
Sacred chants , which the priest knew from memory, were an essential part of the ceremonies; and because they believed that the chants had power of their own, the priestly class protected them and handed them down orally from father to son.
It is these chants, in written form, that make up the core of the Aryans’ earliest sacred literature, called the Vedas .
There are four basic sacred text collections that constitute the Vedas :
Rig Veda (“hymn knowledge”) is a collection of more than a thousand chants to the Aryan gods. The most important of the Vedas – has an account of the origin of the universe. The universe is said to have emerged from a division and cosmic sacrifice of a primeval superperson, Purusha.
Yajur Veda (“ceremonial knowledge”) subject matter for recitation during sacrifice.
Sama Veda (“chant knowledge”) is a handbook of musical elaborations of Vedic chants.
Atharva Veda (“knowledge from [the teacher] Atharva”) consists of practical prayers and charms, such as prayers to protect against snakes and sickness.
During this period there seems to have been interest in all sorts of techniques for altering consciousness, such as sitting for long periods in meditation, breathing deeply, fasting, avoiding sexual activity, practicing long periods of silence, going without sleep, experimenting with psychedelic plants, and living in the darkness of caves.
All of these things could be done by people of any social class—not just by priests.