Vedic Age

Vedas are the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The time frame during which these Vedas were composed is termed as the Vedic period or Vedic age. Rigveda is the oldest of all known Vedas and on the basis of linguistic and philological evidences it is believed to have been composed between 1700 – 1100 BC. The same period is believed to have marked the advent of the Vedic Era. It is also estimated that this era would have flourished till 500 BC.
Sadly, because of the lack of archaeological evidences very less is known about the Indian society during this period. However, historians believe that during this phase of Indian history there existed two distinct communities in India, namely – the Dravidians and the Aryans. The Dravidians were a community of indigenous people whereas the Aryans had a stance similar to the nomads who lived at the center of the Eurasian continent.
The Aryans were a group of people who spent their lives wandering places and had no permanent settlement. They initially were the invaders who first invaded India and later inhabited on the Indian soil without any permanent architecture or construction. During this stay they imposed their philosophical and social ideas, resulting in formation of a pattern of life which thereafter persisted in India for many centuries. With Aryan settlement, two groups of religious scriptures also came into existence which in turn had a great significance in the development of the Indianculture, thoughts and religions. These were – the Vedas and the Upanishads.
At around 1500 BC, these Aryans are believed to have settled in the north-western parts of India, which today form the Indian state of Punjab and most parts of Pakistan. This was the period when the Harappa Civilization in Indiaprobably ended. They named the region as ‘Sapta-Sindhu’. By etymology, ‘Sapta-Sindhu’ means the land of seven rivers. Later, the Aryans moved from the Sapta-Sindhu regions to other parts of northern India which were drained by the rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna. Several small kingdoms are believed to have evolved during this period in parts where these Aryans settled.


The Vedic period of India is largely speculated across the globe for its remarkable literature. This literature includes but is not limited to some great poems. These poems and other forms of Vedic literature narrate the life, philosophy and ideas of this period.
The Rigveda is believed to be the first known composition of the Vedic Period. It comprises of the verses composed in the praise of different forces of nature, which were looked upon as deities in that era.
The other three Vedas which along with the Rigveda form the Chaturveda are the Atharvaveda, the Samveda and the Yajurveda. Of these, the Atharvaveda is composed of philosophies and tries to offer solution to our day to day problems, difficulties and anxieties. It is also known to possess information on herbs and medicines. The Samveda comprise of the guidance on singing the verses of Rigveda with the set of rhythms and tunes. Lastly, the Yajurveda provides the information on sacrifices in prose.


Brahmanas form the second most important literature of the Aryans, next only to Vedas. These were composed to illustrate the use of Vedas in sacrificial rituals. Every Veda has an independent Brahmanas.


The word “Upanishad” means to acquire knowledge by sitting close to the guru (or teacher). These comprise of discussions on various questions such as creation of the universe, the nature of God, the origin of mankind and a lot more.


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