Later Vedic Period Indian history notes free for opsc

Last updated on December 7, 2023

THE LATER VEDIC PERIOD (1000-600 B.C.)

➮ The period assigned to the later Vedic phase is 1000 B.C. to 600 B.C. These communities used a particular kind of pottery called the Painted Grey Ware (PGW).
➮ Iron objects are common to most PGW sites. This metal was introduced around 1000-800 B.C. It is mentioned as Ayas.
➮ Society was clearly divided into four Varnas namely–Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudras.
➮ The upper three classes were known as Dvij (twice-born).
➮ Gotra first appeared in Atharvaveda with the meaning of clan. There was the practice of class exogamy.
➮ There was a reference to sati but not in a common fashion. There were instances of child marriage.
➮ Indra and Agni lost their importance. Prajapati (the creator) became supreme.
➮ Vishnu came to be conceived as the preserver and protector of the people. Pushan became God of Shudras. Sacrifices became more important and elaborate. There were 33 deities during later Vedic period.
➮ The king’s influence was strengthened by rituals. Rajasuya conferred supreme power on king. Chariot racing was the main sport and gambling was the main pastime.
➮ Vajapeya was a drink of strength.
➮ Aswamedha was the horse-sacrifice. Kings were known by different names in different regions.
➮ Eastern Kings were called Samrat. Western Kings were called Svarat. Northern Kings were called Virat. Southern Kings were called Bhoja. Kings of the middle country were called Raja.
➮ The earliest evidence of medicine comes from Atharvaveda.
➮ Atharvaveda mentions Sabha and Samiti as daughters of Prajapati.
➮ During the later Vedic period Prajapati came to occupy the Supreme position.
➮ The institution of Gotra appeared during the later Vedic period. Duties of four varnas are given in Aatreya Brahamana.
➮ Three roomed mud house has been discovered at Bhagwanpura.
➮ The largest deposit of Iron weapons has been found at Atranjikhera. Two furnaces for iron smelting have been found at Suneri village in the Jhunjhunu district.
➮ Eight forms of marriages are given in Ashvalahayan Grihyasutra. Satapatha Brahamana says that ‘wife is half her husband’.
➮ Women enjoyed freedom and respect but their status deteriorated compared to the early Vedic period.
➮ An earliest clear reference to the four ashrams is given in Jabala Upanishad.

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