Ancient History : Vedic Age [1500BC – 600 BC]
- Original home of the Aryans still is a controversial point.
- According to popular belief, Aryans are supposed to have migrated from central Asia – and salted in the present Frontier Province and the Punjab – then Called “Sapt Sindhu” i.e. Region of 7 rivers.
Vedic Literature [1500BC – 600 BC ]: –
- Important Vedic productions are : –
- The Samhitas or The Vedas
- The Brahamans
- The Aranyakas
- The Upanishadas
1. There are 4 types of Vedas: –
1. Rig Veda: [collection of Lyrics]
- Also known as “1st testament of mankind”
- It contains 1028 Hymns and 10, 580 yeses divided into 10 Manadals.
- The 1st and 10th mandalas are said to be added later.
- The 10th mandala contains “Purushasukta” which explains 4 varnas namely
- The hymns of Rig veda were recited by “Hotri”.
2. Sama Veda:- (Books of chats)
- This veda is important for Indian music and had 1549 verses.
- Except 75 verses, all other are taken from Rig-Veda.
- The hymns of SamaVeda were recited by “Udgatri”.
3. Yajur Veda:- [Books of Sacrificial Prayers]
- Rig Veda & Sama Veda are in “Verse” only whereas Yajur Veda is in both verse and “Prose”
- It is devided in 2 pats
(a) Krishna Yajur Veda
(b) Shukla Yajur Veda
- The hymns of Yajur Veda were recited by “Adhvaryus”.
4. Atharva Veda : – [Book of magical formulae]
- It was included in the category of Vedas at a later stage.
- It contains charms and spells to prevent us from evils and diseases.
2. The Brahamans : –
- It explains the hymns of the Vedas
- It is written in prose and is ritualistic in nature
- Brahma means “Sacrifice’.
- Various rituals & sacrifices have been discussed in Brahamanas
3. The Aranyakas : –
- Aranya menas “The forest”.
- The “Forest test” were called Aranyakas.
- They are the concluding portions of Brahamanas.
- It is written mainly for the hermits and the students living in Jungle.
The Upanishadas : –
- There are 108 Upanishadas and “Vrihadaranyaka” is the oldest upanishada.
- They are Philosophical texts generally called “Vedanta” because they came towards the end of Veda.