THE VEDIC PERIOD
THE VEDIC AGE
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
1) Which is the main source of information regarding the early Aryans?
Ans.] The main source of information regarding the early Aryans is the Vedic literature.
2) Who was a ‘Gramini’?
Ans.] The headman of the village in the Vedic age was called a ‘Gramini’
3) Define the Sabha and Samity.
Ans.] The Sabha and Samity were the two councils of chosen members from among the people to assist the King. The Sabha was composed of all the distinguished members . Samity was a body that represented the whole tribe.
4) Name any two weapons of offence of the Aryans
Ans.] The two weapons of offence of the Aryans were bows and arrows, and spears.
5) What was the head of an Aryan family called?
Ans.] The head of the family of the Aryans was called the ‘Grihyapati’.
6) Name any two pastimes of the Aryans.
Ans.] The two pastimes of the Aryans were hunting and chariot race.
7) Give the names of two women scholars who composed the Vedic Hymns
Ans.] Two women scholars who composed the Vedic hymns were Upala and Mudgalini.
8) Give the names of four Vedas
Ans.] The four Vedas are Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
9) From which Veda we form an idea of the Early Vedic Civilization ?
Ans.] We can form an idea of the Early Vedic Civilization from the Rig Veda.
10) Name any two characteristics of the religion of the Aryans.
Ans.] Two characteristics of the religion of the Aryans were—
- The Aryans worshipped the forces of nature.
- Aryans worshipped different forces of nature but they believed in One-God.
11) Give the names of two gods of the Rig Vedic Aryans.
Ans.] Two gods of the Rig Vedic Aryans were Varuna and Indra.
12) Name two gods of the Later Vedic Age.
Ans.] Two gods of the Later Vedic Age were Brahma and Vishnu.
13) Give the names of the four ‘Varnas’.
Ans.] The four ‘Varnas’ of the Aryans were the Brahmanas, the Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras.
14) Why did the Aryans attach so much importance to the religious sacrifices?
Ans.] The Aryans attached much importance to religious sacrifices to appease the gods who in turn would bless the people with peace and prosperity.
15) Give the names of the two Epics.
Ans.] The two Epics were the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
16) Give one feature of the political organization of the Aryans.
Ans.]There was freedom of expression to every member and the resolutions were carried by the majority of vote.
17) What is the importance of the Upanishads?
Ans.] The Upanishads are the source of Indian philosophy. They explain various mysteries of life.
18) Give one important feature of the economic activity during the Rig Vedic Age.
Ans.] Agriculture was the chief occupation of the Aryans.
19) Why is the Vedic literature important in Indian society?
Ans.] The Vedic literature gives us ample information about the Indo- Aryans.
20) Who were the Indo-Aryans?
Ans.] The Indo-Aryans were the Aryans who came to India and settled here.
LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
1) State one important change in the political field in the Later Vedic Period.
Ans.] The expansion in the territorial limits of different empires had also increased the powers of the kings. Now the kings no longer recognized the authority of the Sabha and Samity.
2) State one important change in the religious life of the Later Vedic Aryans.
Ans.] The nature-gods of the Rig Vedic Age like Indra, Varuna, and Surya etc. were now replaced by new gods such as Brahma, Vishnu Shiva etc.
3) Which is the Vedic Literature?
Ans.] The Vedic Literature comprises of all the four Vedas and other allied books like the Brahmanas, the Aryanakas, the Upanishads, the Sutras, the Vedangas, the Upavedas, the Darshans, the Puranas, the Epics and the Dharmashastras.
4) Which is the oldest Veda? What does it contain?
Ans.] The oldest of the Vedas is the Rig Veda.
The Rig Veda consists of 1028 mantras or hymns written in praise of various gods representing various aspects of Nature.
5) Write about the religion of the Rig Vedic Aryans.
Ans.] Religion of the Rig Vedic Aryans—
- Worship of the Nature-gods: The Early Aryans were impressed by the various forces of nature such as Sun, Fire, Wind, Water, Dawn etc. and they worshipped them as gods.
- Knowledge of One-God: The Aryans worshipped several Nature-gods but they believed in one God who is the source of all powers.
- Singing hymns: The Aryans way of worship was very simple. They had not built any temples nor did they worship any idols. They chanted hymns in the open air as a part of their worship.
- Yajnas and sacrifice: Yajna or burning of incense was a major part of their religious duty. They believed in animal sacrifices. They performed the yajnas or sacrifices to propitiate the gods who in turn would bless their people with peace and prosperity.
6) What was the position of women in the Rig Vedic Age?
Ans.] The Indo-Aryans held their women in high esteem. Women participated in all the holy functions of the society. The women took active part in all holy festivals. There was no system of ‘purdah’. The women received education and even composed hymns of the Rig Veda. The widows had the choice to remarry. There existed monogamy.
7) Write about the food and dress of the Aryans.
Ans.] The Aryans ate simple but wholesome food. They generally took vegetables and fruits and corn and wheat and milk products. They also drank a beverage called the ‘soma’ which was also offered to the Gods. The Aryans used simple dress made of cotton and wool. They used turbans to cover their heads and wore under-garments, shirts and dhotis. They also wore gold and silver ornaments.
8) What was the change in the status of women in the Later Vedic Period?
Ans.] The status of had degraded during the later Vedic period as compared to their position in the early Vedic Age. They had lost their position both in the religious and social fields. The kings and nobles began to keep several wives. Birth of daughter was regarded as an unfortunate event. Women were also not allowed to actively take part in the affairs of the state.
9) How was the family life of the Early Aryans?
Ans.] The Aryans lived in villages and led a happy life. Their family was patriarchal where father was the head of the family. The oldest male member in the family was called the ‘Grihyapati’. All other members in the family obeyed the ‘Grihyapati’. The ‘Grihyapati’ followed all social and religious rites.
10) What religious changes came during the Later Vedic Period?
Ans.] In the Later Vedic Period religion became very complex. Now religious beliefs were intermingled with superstitions and rituals. Charms and spells were practiced to seek cure from several diseases and also to destroy enemies.