THE VEDIC PERIOD
1.Who were the Indo- Aryans?
Ans. The Aryans who came to India are referred as Indo-Aryans.
- What does the Rig Veda Contain?
Ans. The Rig Veda contains 1028 mantras praising different gods and goddesses which represented nature.
- What is the main source of information regarding the early Aryans?
Ans. The main source of information regarding the early Aryans is the Vedic literature.
- What was the head of an Aryan family called?
Ans. The head of an Aryan family was called Grihapati.
- Define Sabha and Samiti.
Ans. Sabha and Samiti were the two council of chosen members from among the people to assist the King. ‘Sabha was composed of only the distinguished members. ‘Samiti’ was a body that represented the whole tribe.
- Name any two past times of the Aryans.
Ans. Two past times of the Aryans were hunting and chariot-racing.
- Give the names of two women scholars who composed Vedic hymns.
Ans. Two women scholars who composed Vedic hymns were Vishwara and Ghosha.
- Give the names of the four Vedas.
Ans. The four Vedas are the Rig Veda, the Samaveda, the Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda.
- Give the names of the two epics.
Ans. The two epics are Ramayana and Mahabharata.
- Give the names of any two gods of the Rig Vedic Aryans.
Ans. Two Gods of the Rig Vedic Aryans were Indra and Agni.
- Which were the four castes in the Vedic times?
Ans. The four castes of the Vedic times were the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaishya and the Sudra.
- Which gods became prominent in the later Vedic period?
Ans. The Gods prominent in the later Vedic period were Brahma Vishnu and Shiva.
- Name any two weapons of offence of the Aryans.
Ans. The Aryans used bows and arrows and axes as weapons of offence.
- From which Veda we form an idea of the early Vedic Civilisation?
Ans. We form an idea of the early Vedic Civilisation from the Rig Veda.
- Name any two characteristics of the religion of the Aryans.
Ans. i) The Aryans were Nature Worshippers.
- ii) The Aryans believed in animal sacrifice and Yajnas.
STRUCTURED TYPE QUESTION
- a) When did the Aryans come to India?
- b) Mention the early Aryan settlements.
Ans. a) The Aryans came to India possibly in 1500 BCE. But they did not come all at one time.
- b) The first Aryan settlements were formed in the valley of the Kabul river and In Punjab. This area was called Sapt-Sindhu (seven river) or Brahmavarta or the land of Gods.
- What was the position of women in the Aryan society?
Ans. In the early Vedic Period, i) women enjoyed a respectable and equal status in society.
Ii) They look part in all religious ceremonies and social gatherings along with their husbands.
iii) They received education.
- iv) They had the right to choose their own partners.
- v) There was no such thing as child marriage or Sati. But later they were downgraded and confined to the four walls of the house. They mostly remained illiterate.
- a) What is meant by a Gurukul? Mention any two of its main features.
Ans. A Gurukul was learned man’s Ashrama where students from various places used to come to receive education
- i) In a Gurukul, students used to live with the teacher and serve him.
- ii) In the end, students paid Guru-Dakshina to the teacher according to their capacity.
- b) What were the four Ashrams?
Ans. The four Ashramas were Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyasa. With the assumption that a man’s life would be of 100 tears, each stage comprised of 25 years.
- a) How many Vedas are there? Which is the oldest Veda?
- b) Which is the latest Veda? What does it contain?
Ans. a) There are four Vedas. They are the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajurveda and the Atharva Veda. The oldest Veda is the Rigveda. It contains 1028 hymns in praise of various gods.
- b) The latest Veda is the Atharva Veda. It contains hymns dealing with charms and spells for subduing evil spirits.
5) In context of early Vedic Age briefly Discuss:
- a) Sabha and Samiti,
- b) Social Structure.
Ans. a) In the early Vedic Period, a King was assisted well as controlled by two types of assemblies. One was the council of elders and was called the Sabha. The other was the assembly of the whole tribe called the Samiti.
- b) Family was the basic unit of the early Vedic society. Several families made a village and several villages made a clan. Several clans made a Jana or tribe. Jana was the largest unit of the social structure.
- a) Mention the names of some Early Vedic Gods and Later Vedic Gods.
- b) What form of worship did the Early Aryans follow?
Ans. a) In the Early Vedic Period, Indra, Varuna, Agni, and Surya were some of the main gods. In the Later Vedic Period Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara were the main gods.
- b) The Early Vedic Aryans were highly religious-
- i) There religion was simple.
- ii) They worshipped Nature Gods.
iii) There were no temples, they recited hymns in the open air.
- iv) They practiced Yajnas.
- v) They also practiced animal sacrifices.
- In context of Early Aryans discuss: a) One feature of economic activity. b) One feature of political organisation.
Ans. a) The economic activity of the Early Aryans was centered on agriculture and domestication of animals. The animals gave the Early Aryans milk and milk product as well as meat. They also carried thin burden. They were also used in warfare.
- b) The Early Aryans had a very simple political organisation in which the King was only the head of the tribe.
8) Make a comparative study on the status of women in the Early and Later Vedic period.
Ans. Women were held in great esteem during the Rig Vedic Period. They enjoyed equal rights with men. But in the Later Vedic Age man’s position in the family became superior. Polygamy and dowry systems became common. Women could no longer take part in political and social affairs.
9) What was the differences in the Political life of the Early Aryans and the Later Vedic Aryans?
Ans. There were small tribes in the Rig Vedic Period. There were no kingdom. However, in the Later Vedic Period, we find such big kingdoms as Kuru, Panchal, Kosala, Magadh etc. Ashwamedha Yajnas were also performed now.
10) What changes came in the powers of the king in the Later Vedic Period?
Ans. The Rig Vedic King had very few powers which were controlled by such popular agencies as the Sabha and the Samiti. But in the Later Vedic Age, the king no longer recognised the authority of the Sabha or the Samiti.
11) What were the changes in the Religious life of the Later Vedic Aryans?
Ans. The religious beliefs of the Rig Vedic Aryans were very simple. They worshipped the Nature Gods and performed ‘Havana’ by burning incense and chanting Vedic mantras. But it became highly complex in the Later Vedic Period. Now the religious practices were intermingled with superstitions and rituals. Animals were sacrificed to appease new gods. Charms and spells were practiced to destroy enemies.
12) Describe the family life of the Rig Vedic Aryans.
Ans. The Early Aryan led a simple life. i) Their families were patriarchal where father was the head of the family.
- ii) The oldest male member in the family was called ‘Grihapati’.
iii) The ‘Grihapati’ performed all social and religious rites.
Iv) All the members in the family obeyed the ‘Grihapati’.
13) What led to the increase in the importance of the Brahmanas in the Later Vedic Period?
Ans. In the Rig Vedic Age, the religion was simple. but in the Later Vedic Age, the religious practices became more and more complex. It then became quite impossible for the householders to perform different Yajnas and sacrifices. Hence the demand for the Brahmans increased and thereby added to their importance.