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Vedic Age

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Vedic Age

  1. 1. THE VEDIC CULTURE: THE RIGVEDIC AGE
  2. 2. Aryans
  3. 3. Aryans <ul><li>Most civilized & cultured races of the world. They were tall & fair-complexioned people with sharp features, & strong physique </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aryans <ul><ul><ul><li>Indians, English, Germans, Spanish, French & Persians pride themselves to be the true descendents of the Aryans. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They came to India during the second millennium B.C. This age is called the Vedic Age </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Original home of the Aryans
  6. 6. Original home of the Aryans <ul><ul><ul><li>Some of them think they are original inhabitants of India </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some regard them as invaders who destroyed the superior civilization of the original inhabitant’s whom they drove beyond the Vindhyas. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Original home of the Aryans <ul><ul><ul><li>Historians agree that the original home of the Aryans was in central Asia in regions around the Caspian sea. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Original home of the Aryans <ul><ul><ul><li>They might have been forced to migrate due to shortage of food and fodder to seek settlement in other lands. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aryans who came to India are called ‘Indo-Aryans’ . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Spread of Aryans in India
  10. 10. Spread of Aryans in India <ul><ul><ul><li>Aryans first settled in Punjab </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Founded their first settlements on the banks of the rivers Indus [Sindu] & Saraswathi [which has since dried up] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Spread of Aryans in India <ul><ul><ul><li>While driving the ‘ Dasyus ’ beyond the Vindhyas and thus gained the occupation of more and more land in the eastern & northern parts of the country –they renamed it as ‘ Aryavarta ’ [abode of the Aryans] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Life of the Aryans
  13. 13. Life of the Aryans <ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of the Aryans are found in the ‘Vedas’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Vedas’-means knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><ul><ul><li>Different vedas are : </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rigveda – most ancient </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yajurveda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Samaveda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Atharvaveda </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Social life
  16. 16. Social life <ul><li>Family life </li></ul><ul><li>Food </li></ul><ul><li>Games & Amusements </li></ul><ul><li>Dress </li></ul><ul><li>The Varnas /Castes </li></ul>
  17. 17. Family life <ul><ul><ul><li>Lived in joint families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They followed the patriarchal family </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grihapati - eldest male member in the family who exercised full authority over all the members. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Family life <ul><ul><ul><li>It was his duty to perform sacrifices or Yajnas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women also occupied a position of honour – their presence was essential at all religious ceremonies. They were given right education & some even composed the Rigvedic hymns </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Food <ul><ul><ul><li>Simple but nourishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wheat and barley cakes, milk & milk products like butter, ghee, curd, Cheese. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Games & Amusements <ul><ul><ul><li>Found leisure for enjoyment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fond of merry-making & pastimes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Favourite amusement – horseracing, chariot racing, hunting </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Games & Amusements <ul><ul><ul><li>Fascination for gambling with dice [this game has been referred to in the Rigveda as leading to ruins and slavery]. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Loved music & played on a flute which resembled the ‘Vina’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Dress <ul><ul><ul><li>Simple & generally consisted of 3 parts – </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Undergarment nivi /dhoti </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Garment vasa /shirt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Over-garment adhivasa /mantle/cloak of cotton & wool </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Dress <ul><ul><ul><li>Turbans were also commonly used by them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adorned their persons with gold & silver ornaments garlands & wreaths of flowers jewels etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ornaments were worn by men & women </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. The Varnas /Castes <ul><ul><ul><li>Divided into 4 Varnas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brahmanas priests were learned people who performed sacrifices </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kshatriyas ruling class or warriors </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. The Varnas /Castes <ul><ul><ul><li>Vaishyas trading class- farmers, goldsmiths, weavers, potters etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shudras descendants of Dasyus –serve the 3 higher varnas </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Economic life: their occupations
  27. 27. Economic life: their occupations <ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Domestication of animals </li></ul><ul><li>Trade </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery of Iron </li></ul><ul><li>Other occupations and Industries </li></ul>
  28. 28. Agriculture <ul><ul><ul><li>Primary occupation was cultivation of land </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agricultural products – barley, wheat, rice, cotton, oilseeds </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Agriculture <ul><ul><ul><li>Source of irrigation water – wells, canals, sometimes from lakes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People depended upon rains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fields cultivated by a pair of oxen. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Domestication of animals <ul><ul><ul><li>Domestication of animals was another important occupation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wealth and prosperity depended on the possession of a large number of animals [especially cows – which was held in great esteem] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Domestication of animals <ul><ul><ul><li>Other animals domesticated bulls, oxen, horses, sheep, goats, asses, & dogs. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Trade <ul><ul><ul><li>They were not indifferent to trade & commerce. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Barter system – exchange of articles was in vogue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cow was regarded as the standard of value. [value of things was measured in terms of cows] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Trade <ul><ul><ul><li>Coinage known as “ Nishka ” was also prevalent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trade was mainly carried on by road. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trade by sea was not quite unknown </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Discovery of Iron <ul><ul><ul><li>Greatest contribution of the civilization is discovery of iron </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iron was – a hard & tough metal hence better suited for making tools & weapons compared to copper or bronze </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iron was used in making axe-heads – used for clearing jungles and making land fit for cultivation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Discovery of Iron <ul><ul><ul><li>Other products made were sickles, hoes, plough-heads </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Led to the development of various arts & crafts like carpentry, black-smithy, tannery etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Discovery of Iron <ul><ul><ul><li>Iron tools helped sculptor in creating exquisite specimens of sculptures and rock-cut temples. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different rulers equipped their armies with different weapons such as swords, shields, arrow-heads, spear-heads etc.- laid the foundation of vast empires. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Other occupations and Industries <ul><ul><ul><li>Indulged in many other professions & occupations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chief industries referred to in the Rigveda – carpenters, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, weavers, leather’s, potters & physicians . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Other occupations and Industries <ul><ul><ul><li>All work for the benefit of the people as a whole </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No profession was inferior & below dignity </li></ul></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Government or political life
  40. 40. Government or political life <ul><ul><ul><li>Status of the King </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers and the King </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Sabha & Samiti </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mode of warfare </li></ul></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Status of the King <ul><ul><ul><li>Rigvedic Aryans lived in tribes called ‘Janas’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each Jana had its own ruler called ‘Rajan” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kingship was generally hereditary. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Status of the King <ul><ul><ul><li>Elected monarchies were not unknown </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People could select a worthy monarch of their own choice from among the members of the royal family or the nobility when situation demanded </li></ul></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Ministers and the King <ul><ul><ul><li>King was assisted by a number of ministers like </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Purohita religious adviser </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Senani leader of the army & helped king against his enemies. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Ministers and the King <ul><ul><ul><li>All ministers & officials were all men of high character & exercised a sort of great check on the autocracy of the king </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>King was helpless without ministers as a bird without its wings . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  45. 45. The Sabha & Samiti <ul><ul><ul><li>The tribes were further divided into ‘ Gramas ’ or the villages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>King also consulted the ‘ Gramini ’[village headman] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important matters were put before the two assemblies called the Sabha & Samiti . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 46. The Sabha & Samiti <ul><ul><ul><li>Anybody could give his suggestions in the Samiti </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Membership of the Sabha was restricted to the elders of the families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group of villages inhabited by the people of a tribe was called the ‘ Vish ’ hence the king was also known as ‘Vishpati’ [lord of the ‘Vish’] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Mode of warfare <ul><ul><ul><li>They were good warriors [developed a high standard of warefare. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>King & nobles fought on chariots </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Common people fought on foot </li></ul></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Mode of warfare <ul><ul><ul><li>Warriors wore a coat of - armour, a helmet, a hand & arm guard. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For offence they used swords, spears, axes, lances, bows & arrows [some times poisoned] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Mode of warfare <ul><ul><ul><li>Helmets, armours & shields were used for defence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They never attacked or wounded an unarmed or sleeping enemy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It was considered a sin to kill a person who did not take part in a battle </li></ul></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Thankyou

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