Ancient History : Later Vedic Period

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Geographical Facts : –

  • During this period, the Aryans settled over whole of Northern
  • The centre of culture now shifted towards Ganges (Madhya desa) from Saraswati.
  • More rivers such as Narmada, Sadanira (Gandak), Chambal etc. were mentioned in this period.
  • There were 3 divisions of India –
  1. Aryavarta (Northern India)
  2. Madhya desa (Central India)
  3. Dakhinapath (Southern India)
  • Emergence of Janapadas – Kuru, Panchala, Kashi etc took place in the Doab Region.

Political Facts : –

Large Kingdoms and states made their appearance during this period.

  • “The theory of divine origin of Kingship” – was mentioned in Taittariya Brahmana
  • ‘Sabha’ and ‘Samiti’ has control over the Kingdom affairs
  • Kings did not possess a standing army.
  • Judiciary also grew killing, stealing of gold, drinking sura were considered as serious Crime and Treason was a capital offence.

Social Facts : –

  • With time ‘Yojnas” became more intense and complicated.
  • Various devisions were still there : – (But these were not so rigid)

Brahmanas       –           Learned Men
Kshatiryas        –           Group of People used to conquer territories and administer them                                            (Basically Aryans)
Vaishyas          –           Remaining Aryans
Shudras            –           Non- Aryans

  • The concept of  “Gotra” i.e. clan emerged here.
  • The mention of 4 Ashramas were mentioned in Jabala Upanishads They were
  1. Brahmacharya
  2. Grihastha
  3. Vanprastha
  4. Sanyasa
  • The status of women declined.
  • According to Maitrayani Samhita there are 3 types of evils: – Liquor women and Dice.

Economical Facts: –

  • Land now became more valuable than cows.
  • Agriculture started to replace rearing of cattle
  • Rice, Barley, Beans, sesame and wheat were cultivated in this period.
  • New occupations like Fisherman, washerman, Dyers, Door-Keepers, Footmen were also found.
  • Tin, silver, iron, gold, ayas (copper/iron) etc. were mentioned in Rig – Veda.

Questions based on Later Vedic Age

Q.1 Which of the following craftsmanship was not practiced by Aryans?

(a) Blacksmith
(b) Pottery
(c) Carpentry
(d) Jewellery
Ans. (a) Exp. Iron metal was not known to the Aryans of  Rigvedic age it was used by the people of Later vedic age.

Q.2 Which metal was first used by vedic peoples?
(a) Gold
(b) Iron
(c) Copper
(d) Silver
Ans. (c) Exp. Copper was the first metal which was used by the peoples of vedic period

Q.3 Caste system of  India was created for : –
(a) Immobility of Labour
(b) Occupational division of Labour
(c) Recognization of dignity of labour
(d) Economic uplift
Ans. (b) Exp. In early Vedic period, caste system was based on “Occupational division of labour. But in later Vedic period it was based on behalf of the birth.

Q.4 Which of the following stages in ascending order is correct with respect to the Aryan society?
(a) Grihastha – Brahmacharya – Vanaprashta – Sanyasa.
(b) Brahmacharya – Vanaprastha – Sanyasa – Grihastha
(c) Grihastha – Sanyasa – Vanaprastha –Brahmacharya
(d) Brahmacharya – Grihastha – Vanaprastha – Sanyasa.
Ans. (d) Exp. The four Ashrams of Vedic period are:-
1. Brahmacharya (student life)
2. Grihastha (Family life)
3. Vanaprashta (Retired life)
4. Sanyasa (life of Renunciation)

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