Search Post on this Blog

Important Notes of Later Vedic Period UPSC

 Table of Contents: 

  • About the Later Vedic Period
  • Political structure during the Later Vedic period
  • The social life of the Later Vedic Period 
  • Economy Life of the Later Vedic Period 
  • Religion in the Later Vedic Age 
  • About Yajurveda 
  • About Upanishads 

Notes of Later Vedic Period:

The period of the later Vedic period is about 1000 to 600 B.C. In this period, Early Vedic Aryans moved eastward, from Punjab and Haryana region to Bihar and West Bengal region. They also moved southward to the Deccan and Godavari basins.

Please also read:

During the later Vedic period, the whole Bhartvarsh territories were divided into three parts- Aryavarta ( Northern India), Madhyadesha ( Central India), and Dakshinapatha ( Southern India).

Political structure during the Later Vedic period:

In this period, groups of Jana formed Janapada or Rashtra. In this period, the power of the king increased as their revenue sources increased with the growth of agriculture in the Gangetic plains. King in this era was no longer dependent on tributes, but they collected tax regularly which was commonly known as Bali ( 1/6th of agricultural produce). The wars were no longer fought for cows but now fought for territories. 

Later Vedic period

Kuru and Panchala Janapada emerged as powerful in this period. King's post was now hereditary in nature.

The following were chief officers and positions in the political system;

Gramini ( head of the village)

Sthapati ( chief judge)

Bhaghadugha ( tax collector)

Sangrahitri ( treasures)

Suta (Charioteer)

Akshvapa (Accountant

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".

The social life of the Later Vedic Period:

Four Varna systems become strict and hereditary in nature.

Intercaste marriage and intercaste dining are now forbidden. The concept of gotra (cow pen or same ancestor) emerged in this period, and marriage was forbidden in the same gotra. 

Ashrama system or four states of life emerges namely Brahmacharya ( student), Grihastha ( family life), Vanaprastha ( social service or partial retirement), and Sanyasa ( complete retirement).

Women's status during this period declined. Women were treated as Sudra. There was no right to education and sacrifice for women.

Economy life of the Later Vedic period;

the growth of Iron tools for agriculture helped people to clear the forest easily and help in cultivation. Agriculture was the main occupation and source of income for the majority of people. Barley, rice, and wheat were the main crops during the later Vedic period.

Painted Grey Ware is a distinctive pottery feature of the Later Vedic period.

Later vedic people were familiar with the sea, and they also traded with Baylonean.

Bali which was a voluntary gift during early Vedic times became a mandatory tax in this period. 

Religion in the Later Vedic Age:

Three Vedas namely Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharveda were compiled during the later Vedic period.

Samveda contains lyrics and it is the primary source of Indian music.

About Yajurveda:

Yajurveda contained rituals and formulas of yajnas (Hawanas) and sacrificial prayers. 

Satapatha Brahimin and Taitriya Brahim were supposed to compose the Yajurveda. 

Yajurveda is broadly grouped into two groups namely Krishna Yajurveda and Shukla Yajurveda.

Krishna Yajurveda is also known as black or dark Yajurveda. Krishna Yajurveda is unarranged or unclear. Krishna Yajurveda is comprised of mainly four Samhitas namely- Taittiriya Samhita, Maitrayani saṃhita, Kaṭhaka saṃhita, and Kapiṣṭhala saṃhita.

Shukla Yajurveda is also known as white or bright Yajurveda; it is clear and well-arranged. The Samhita of the Shukla Yajurveda is known as the Vajasaneyi Samhita.

Atharveda :

Atharveda contains spells, magical hymen, and disease-curing methods. Ayurveda basically originated from Ayurveda.

Prajapati ( Creator of the Universe) became the supreme god in this period. Early Vedic Gods like Agni and Indra lost much importance.

Much importance was given to Yajmana. Some important Yajnas were Ashvamedha and Rajasuya.

Some early Upanishads were compiled at the end of the Vedic age.  

About Upanishads:

Upanishads are also called Vedanta. There are 108 prominent Upanishads. 

The literal meaning of the Upanishad is "approaching and sitting near". Upanishad contains the text of the conversations between teachers and students. 

Upanishad contains the explanation of Self ( Atman), Pramatma ( Brahaman), the concept of Karma, the concept of rebirth, and Yoga.  Vrihadranyaka is oldest upnishads. 

The Tattavamsi phrase is found in Chandogya Upanishad.

"Satyameva Jayate" means "truth alone triumphs" and this phrase is taken from Mundaka Upanishads.

Buddhism and Jainism emerged as a result of the negative consequences of sacrifice, the varna system, and Yajnas.

You may like also:

Next Post »