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Aryans, Rigvedic, Vedic culture
This is the ancient civilization of India in which the Vedas were composed. The Vedic word is derived from 'Veda', which means 'knowledge'. The creator of Vedic culture was Arya. In Vedic culture, the word Arya means superior, noble, aristocratic, noble, and noble. Maxmüller first used the word Arya in 1853 AD to refer to a superior caste.
Rigvedic period (1500–1000 BC)
The date of this period has been as controversial as obtaining accurate information about the people of this period. The Rigveda Samhita was composed during this period. Therefore, it is the only literary source of information of this period. Unlike the Indus civilization, the Vedic civilization was originally rural. The early life of the Aryans was based on animal feed. Agriculture was secondary to him. 1400 BC In the inscription of Bogajkoi (Asia Minor), there is a mention of the gods of the Rig Vedic period - Indra, Varuna, Mitra, and Nasatya.
The main source of information about the early history of the Aryans is the Rigveda. In the Rigveda, there is a mention of the Sapta Saindhava region for Arya-habitation, which means the area of seven rivers. These rivers are - Indus, Saraswati, Shatudri (Sutlej), Vipasa (Vyasa), Parushni River (Ravi), Vistasta (Jhelum), and Askini (Chenab). According to the information received from the Rigveda, the Aryans extended from Afghanistan, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh to the region from Sutlej to the Yamuna were called 'Brahmavart'. In Manusmriti, the region between the rivers Saraswati and Drishvadwati has been called 'Brahmavart'. It is considered to be the center of the Rigvedic civilization. The Doab region of Ganga and Yamuna and its border areas were also captured by the Aryans, which was called 'Brahmarshi Desh'. Later, the Aryans spread throughout North India, which is called 'Aryavarta'. There are 31 rivers mentioned in the Vedic codes, of which 25 rivers are mentioned in the Rigveda, but it is worth noting that only 21 rivers are mentioned in the river Sukta of the Rigveda. The most important river of this period has been described as Indus. The Ganges River is named once in the Rig Veda, while the Yamuna River is named thrice. The Himalayan Mountains and its peak 'Mujwant' are also mentioned in the Rigveda.
The Rigvedic society was patriarchal. The basis of social organization was gotra or birth-born, the smallest and basic unit of the society was the family or clan, headed by the father, who was called 'Kulap'. Despite being a patriarchal society, women were accorded due respect. The practice of joint family was prevalent during the Rigvedic period. The same word 'naptri' was used for grandfather, grandmother, grandson, grandson, etc. Signs of the varna system appear in the Rigvedic period.
According to the 10th Mandal of the Rigveda, a Brahmin is born from the mouth of a man, from the Kshatriya arms, from the Vaishya thighs, and the Shudra feet. During this period, women used to participate in yagna work with their husbands. Child marriage, the sati system, and purdah were not practiced. Generally, a matrimonial marriage was prevalent. In Rigveda, women such as Lopamudra, Ghosha, Sikta, Appala, and Vishvavara are described. The girl who lived unmarried for a lifetime was called 'Amaju'. The practice of niyoga was accepted for the attainment of a son.
In the Rigvedic period, the practice of slavery was prevalent. Som and Sura were prevalent in the Rig Vedic period.
The Rigvedic society was based on the tribal system. The Rigvedic people were divided into people and tribes. There was a king of the clan, who was called ‘Gop’. The Aryans have also been called Panchajans, as they had five clans (clans) - Anu, Druhu, Puru, Turves, and Yadu. The original basis of the state in the Rigvedic period was the Kul (family). The head of the family was called ‘Kulap’ or ‘Grihapati’. Based on clans, 'gram' was formed, the chief of which was 'gramani'. Many villages used to make 'Vish', the head of which was 'Vishpati'. Vish had formed 'Jan' which was a tribal organization. Its principal head was Ganapati.
Raja → Purohit → Vishpati → Gramani → Kulp
Thus the administrative units of the Aryans were divided into five parts -
1. Kul, 2. Grams, 3. Wishes, 4. People and 5. Nations
Monarchical governance system existed as well as the republic. The king's major function/duty was to protect the clan.
There were three categories of Aryan deities as representatives of nature.
Gods of the sky: Surya, Dhaus, Varuna, Mitra, Pushan, Vishnu, Savita, Aditya, Usha, Ashwin, etc.
Gods of Space: Indra, Rudra, Marut, Vayu, Parjanya, Yama, Prajapati etc.
Gods of the Earth: Agni, Soma, Prithvi, Jupiter, Saraswati, etc.
It is generally believed that the Aryans had laid the foundation of a new civilization by demolishing the cities of the Sandhava civilization, but it is still considered fiction due to no concrete evidence of it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Swati Sharma