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Important Notes of Early Vedic Period UPSC

 Table of Contents: 

  • About the early Vedic Period or Rig Vedic Society 
  • About Rig Veda 
  • About Sama Veda 
  • About Yajur Veda 
  • Atharaveda 
  • Political organization in the Rig Vedic period 
  • Administration in Rig Vedic Society 
  • Economic conditions of the Rig Vedic period 
  • Vedic name of Rivers 

Short Note of Rig Vedic period:

The Rig Vedic period is also known as the early Vedic period. The time period early Vedic period or rig Vedic period is between 1500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. The period of the later Vedic period is about 1000 B.C. to 600 B.C.

Rig Vedic people were mostly Aryan and came from present-day Central Asia and Southern Russia. The word "Arya" means noble.

Rig Vedic Aryans settled around the Saraswati River (present-day Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Western Uttar Pradesh region). Later, they moved towards eastern India ( Bihar and West Bengal region).

The literal meaning of Veda is Knowledge. There are four Veda namely Rig Veda, Samveda, Yajurveda, and Atharveda. However, only Rig Veda was compiled during the early Vedic period ( 1500 B.C. to 1000 B.C.). The remaining three Veda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda came in the later Vedic period ( 1000 B.C to 600 B.C).

About Rig Veda:

Rig Veda is the oldest Veda among the four, and it was compiled during the early Vedic period ( 1500 B.C. to 1000 B.C.).

It contains ten mandalas and 1028 hymns. The hymns were dedicated to praise of Indra, Agni, Soma, Mitra, Varuna, and other gods.

The famous Purushasukta is mentioned in the 10th Mandala. It explained about four varna namely Brahmana( born from the mouth of Brahma), Kshatriya ( born from the Arms of Brahma), Vaishya ( born from the thighs of Brahma), and Shudra ( born from the feet of Brahma). 

The world-famous Gayatri Mantra is mentioned in the 3rd Mandala of the Rig Veda.

It was believed that the first and 10th mandalas of the Rig Veda were added later.

The famous Battle of Ten Kings was also mentioned in Rig Veda, which was fought between the Bharatas tribe ( led by King Sudas) and other tribes. The country, ‘Bharatvarsha’ is named after the Bharata tribe.

About Sama Veda:

It is a collection of melodies. The primary source of Indian music is Samaveda.

About Yajur Veda:

It is a collection of hymns and rituals. It is comprised of rules and formulas of the Hawan.


Ayurveda is the newest among the four Veda. It comprises rituals of Charms, magic, and curing the disease.

Political organization in the Rig Vedic period;

The tribal chief was known as Rajan (king). King was mostly hereditary in nature, however "Samiti" tribal council could remove and elect the Rajan.

Vashishta and Vishwamitra were the two main priests in the Rig Vedic period.

Sabha, Samiti, Vidhtha, and Gana were four tribal councils during the Rig Vedic period.

Administration in Rig Vedic society:

Society was mostly patriarchal. The lowest unit of society was the family or Kula.

Groups of families were called "grama". The head of "grama" is known as "Gramini".

A group of several gramas is called "vis". The head of "vis" is known as "Vispati". 

The group of "vis" is called "Jana" or Tribes. The head of one "Jana" is known as "Gopa".

In the Rig Vedic period, Jana was the largest social group, which did not have clear territorial boundaries.

political organization in Vedic Period

The concept of Janpada came in the later Vedic period, which had a clearly demarcated boundary. The concept of Rashtra with clear territorial boundaries emerged during the later Vedic period.

The group of "Jana" is called Janpada or " kingdom ". The head of Janapda was the King or "Rajan".

During the Gautam Buddha time ( 500-600 B.C.), there were about 16 Mahajanapadas in India.

Economic conditions of the Rig Vedic period;

economic of Rig Vedic society was mostly dependent on pastoral [ animal rearing] and agriculture. The cow was also known as Aghanya, it was the most sacred and valuable wealth for Vedic people.

Vedic society was mostly rural, it was not like the urban society that was found in the Indus Valley civilization. 

Vedic name of Rivers ;


Jhelum (Vitasta )


Chenab (Asikani)

Ravi River ( Parushni/Iravati )

Satluj  (Sutudri)


Gandak( Sudanira)

Kabul (Kumbha)

Kurram ( Kubhu)

Swat (Suwasta)

Gomal ( Gomati)

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