Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 12 History Solutions Unit 1 Sources of Indian History Long Answer Questions.
CHSE Odisha 12th Class History Unit 1 Sources of Indian History Long Answer Questions
Long Type Questions and Answers
Discuss the various aspects regarding the relevance of History?
History is a pressing social need. Whether he may be a play writer, storyteller, doctor, scientist, pact, educationist, or the common. It is for all History teaches us about the past. The study of the past is important to understand the events of the present. history continuous story of one event leading to another, the present cannot be understood without understanding the past.
History provides identity to a nation. It is a natural instinct for the people of every country nation or society to know of their past. Because it contains the descriptions of generation. A nation needs its identity before the world community. History provides identity. History is not merely a certificate of praise for any nation. It is both a source of inspiration as well as of warning.
If some particular reasons lead to a downfall at one time, the nation should remain wide awake against those follies not to suffer again. Thus, to the thinking minds and the rulers of men, History holds lessons about the strength and weaknesses of the nation. History because learn many lessons from it. If we study history, there is a lesser chance of repeating the mistakes made by our ancestors.
History teaches us how harmful and destructive wars can be. History reminds the people of its past glories and inspires the nation to face the challenges with courage. For example, during the evil days of British rule, the Indian Nationalists thought of their glorious past and inspired the people to stand up against the foreigners. Thus, history proves, how a small band of united people can defeat a much stronger enemy.
History of ancient and great countries has greater relevance in modem age when the man has conquered time & distance of the world is regarded as a ‘global village’ countries with rich historical heritage invites countless visitors from all parts of the world. This led sot greater understanding among nations. The teachings of great men in the mirror of histories such as Buddha, Gandhiji, Gum Nanak, Sri Chaitanya, and many others are of great relevance.
We try to follow their teaching in our daily lives. This makes us better human beings and helps society to function better. History is regarded as the highest court of justice to pass judgment on the deeds or misdeeds of great men of the past. However, a great one could have been he cannot escape the verdict of history. History is the eternal witness to man’s virtues and vices, good deeds wind evil doings.
History also holds lessons about good and bad governments. It is witness to various systems such as monarchy, oligarchy, aristocracy, despotism, and democracy. Showing the merits and demerits of different systems of governance helps modem society to choose its own method. History holds examples of how smaller notions like Greece.
Italy could fight for Independence against stronger powers by deriving pride from its ancient past. History has relevance for self-revival in times of crisis. To sum up, it may be said that the relevance of History in the supreme lessons of upholds regarding the victory of truth over untruth of justice over injustice, and of moral values over forces of evil. History shows the causes and consequences of various actions. It provides an ideal for mankind to uphold.
Verify the dignity of Archaeological and Epigraphical sources of Indian History?
Historians reconstruct events of the past system manually and scientifically using various tools and sources of information. They depend on archeological and literary sources along with the study of coins, inscriptions, and accounts of foreign travelers. Archaeological sources include houses, temples, tools, jewelry, fossils, and other objects left behind by people.
For collecting information about the pre-historic, past historians have to depend solely on the remains or nuns of the past. Archaeologists dig up sites where people might have lived and bring out various objects which have been lived and bring out various objects which have been buried under the earth for many years. These objects may include fools, jewelry, fossils, and arts and crafts. At times houses where people lived, temples where people went to worship, and even the log out of an entire city have been excavated by archaeologists.
These provide valuable clues to historians for reconstructing the history of that period. The knowledge of most of the ancient civilizations such as Harapan, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian is based on archaeological evidence. Archaeologists while digging have found such objects which throw light on the life of the people and give information about the objects they used.
However, the task of archaeologists is extremely difficult because in most cases, the excavated objects are in fragments and archaeologists have to study the pieces minutely and carefully to get an idea about their use. In their work, they have to take anthropologists, physicists, and biologists to determine the bone structure or age of an object, etc. However, in the case of monuments, buildings, and other objects found above ground level, they may not have such problems.
The study of inscriptions in knowledge as Epigraphy. In the absence of paper, people used sharp instruments to write on hard surfaces. These are referred to as inscriptions. Inscriptions may be found on seals, copper plates, stone pillar rocks, or temple walls. They provide valuable information. Though the Harappan were the first to inscribe their script on seals, these have not yet been deciphered.
The oldest Indian inscriptions to have been deciphered so far are those issued by Asoka in the third century B.C. Though the earliest inscriptions have been found on stone, copper plates were used by the First century A.D. such copper plates have been found near Taxila. Earlier inscriptions were in Prakrit. Ashok and edicts were inscribed in Greek Aramaic and karoshi Scripts in the language of the local people.
Sanskrit was used in inscriptions bearing the history of the Mauryan post-Mauryan and the Gupta period has been published like. Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta, Junagarh inscription of Rudraman I. Aihole stone inscription of pulses II, etc. From the language, script style of composition, and the occasion when inscriptions were engraved we come to know about the political, social, economic conditions of the period to which they belong. The inscriptions being engraved on metals and stones cannot be tampered with without detection.
The study of coins is known as numismatics coins struck at different times by different rules provide valuable clues regarding dates names of rules, regions where these have been struck as well as the metal sued. Ancient coins were made of Copper, Gold, Silver, or lead coin molds made of burnt clay have been found in large numbers. Coins made of metal first appeared in the Buddhist period.
They were made of silver or copper and were called punch-marked coins because pieces of these metals were punched with certain marks such as trees, fish, etc. Early coins were known as cricks or stamina. Most of the coins however belonged to the Kushana. period. People kept the coins in earthen or bronze used as precious hoards, to be used in times of heed. Such hoards coins have been found in the southern part of India especially in Arikameda on the eastern coast, indicating commercial contact with the Roman empire.
The Gupta period is well known for gold coins. Coins bore the names of the rules and often carried the image of the gold they worshipped. For example “Samudragupta’s coins show him playing the veena, so we can see that coins provide various types of information about a particular period. Socio-economic and cultural aspects of a particular period may be inferred from the details Quailable on coins. Thus, coins are important sources of information.
Stress regarding the builders of the Indus valley civilization?
Who were the builders of the Indus civilization on this point, historians hold different opinions. According to some, long before the Aryans came to India, the Dravidians lived on the soil of this land. They were highly civilized. They built the Indus civilization. It was thus pre-Aryan and pre-Vedic civilization. To others, Ariane was the makes of Indus civilization. They came much earlier than it is supposed.
Their early settlements were in the northwestern regions of India and the Indus valley. Mohenjo-Dara and Harappa were their work. The third opinion is the builders of the Indus civilization were the Sumerians of Mesopotamia or some other people of that group of men. It is for this reason that there is a good deal of similarity between the civilizations of the Samer and Indus valley. The last of the three opinions do not seem to be correct.
There were trade relations between Mesopotamia and India from very ancient times. Different goods of Mesopotamia came to this country and many Indian goods were sold in Samer or Babylon. It is for this reason that similar goods have been found from the rains of the Samer and Indus cities. It is also natural that many ancient peoples used similar things for their livelihood. But comparing such things one cannot say that people of both places belonged to the same race or group.
Thus the Indus Valley people and the people of Sumer or Babylon were not the same. The question, however, remains if they were Dravidians or Aryans. Enough though has been to this subject. It is seen at last that there were some basic differences between the Indus civilization and the Aryan civilization. In view of these differences, it is difficult to suggest that the Aryans were the author of the Indus civilization. John Marshall has described those differences in the following manner. The Vedic Aryans worshipped the Bull.
The Aryans were the worshippers of Nature, they performed yajna and offered prayers to their Gods. But the Indus people were devoted to a mother Goddess and they worshipped trees, animals, and snakes. The Aryans did not like to live in cities, they loved to live in a simple rural atmosphere a mind the beauty of Nature. But the people of Indus culture built beautiful cities and loved to live prosperous urban life.
The Aryans were not in great favor of trade and commerce, they did not like sea Voyages. But the Indus people were fond of trade and commerce for which they traveled far and wide across the seas. The ancient script and writings of the Aryans have not yet been discovered. But the Indus valley people had developed scripts that are available in plenty from the rains. The Aryans were a race of warriors, they used various weapons to attack others. But the Indus people seem to have been a peace-loving race.
The Aryans used horses very much. But the Indus people knew very little of that animal. With such differences between the Aryans and the Indus people, it will be perhaps wrong to say that the Aryans built the Indus civilization. It is imagined, therefore, that the Indus valley civilization was the work of the Dravidians. It may be said, however, that history needs still more evidence to accept this theory.
Explain the Chief features of town planning in Harappan civilization?
The ruins of the cities of the Indus valley civilization display the remarkable skill of the people in town planning and sanitation. The main features are cities with their wide and straight stress efficient and covered drainage, structurally comfortable houses with bathrooms, and built of burnt bricks of various shapes.
The cities of the Indus valley were well-planned. The main roads followed a straight course from north to south and east to west intersecting at right angles. Houses were constructed in an orderly fashion on both sides of the Street. Harappa was famous for its town planning.
The drainage system was very impressive. The main drains covered with bricks or stones ran below the streets and were connected with the house drains. The bathrooms had sloping floors and drain that were connected to the street drains. The kitchen too had drained. The street drains ran along the sides of the street and were covered with bricks. They were cleaned at regular intervals. This system shows that the people paid great attention to health and Sanitation.
The cities were divided into two parts. The upper part has built on raised ground. It has been called the citadel or the acropolis. The citadel had high walls which provided protection during floods. It contained public buildings, religious structures, and granaries probably, the rating classes lived here. The lower part called the lower town was much bigger. It contained the houses and workplaces of the common people.
The Great bath:
The most striking feature of Mohenjodaro is the Great Bath. It is a rectangular structure resembling a swimming pool. There were some small bathrooms attached evidently for bathing before entering the Great bath provision was made for draining the bath when needed.
At Harappa, a number of granaries have been found surplus grains were stored in these granaries. Granaries were located near the bathroom. Near the granaries, circular brick platforms have also been found. They were probably used for threshing grain.
Explain the socio-economic and religious life of the Indus valley people?
Many things have been discovered from Mohenjodaro and Harappa. They include small images and seals. From the designs on the seals and the images, scholars, from ideas regarding the social economic, and religious conditions of the Indus civilization. There is other evidence also to give a clear picture of the Indus life. Below is given a brief account of the social, economic, and religious life of the Indus Valley people.
Social life :
The social life of the Indus people was highly developed. The Indus people were as advanced as the ancient. Egyptians and Sumerians are spheres of education. This is proved countless seals which contain very find scripts. Unfortunately, scholars have not yet been able to read the Indus scripts.
Attempts are being made to read them when they will be read many things will be known about the culture of that time. For the time it is enough to say that the existence of letters meant the existence of the art of writing. As many as 396 letters have been discovered so far. The Indus people lived a luxurious life. It is known from their ornaments and dress. People were fond of beautiful ornaments. The rich and the poor alike used them. The rich people used ornaments of gold, silver costly stones, and ivory.
The poor people used ornaments of copper, bones, and even burnt clay. Neckless, rings, earrings, and armlets are commonly used by women. Even men used different types of ornaments. The ornaments were artistic and attractive. The Indus people also used good dress. They were experts in the art of weaving.
In their food habits, the Indus people were quite advanced. They ate wheat, rice, barley, meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables and drank milk. They used cows, lambs, pigs, buffaloes, camels as domestic animals. Elephants were also used for various purposes. It is, however, not yet clear if they knew the use of horse and dog. The latest discoveries suggest, perhaps they did know. The Indus people knew the use of several metals.
They prepared many things of day to day use from those metals. Gold, silver, copper, tin bronze and lead were of common use. It is to be noted however that no iron has been discovered from the ruins of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. People made their utensils in copper or bronze. Earthen pots were used in plenty. They were painted in color. Toys of many kinds have been recovered from the rains.
Small figures of animals, birds men, and women were prepared in clay. Perhaps children used those as toys. The grown men and women played different games. They lived happy life. They enjoyed dancing. An attractive dress was used. Both men and women used combs and they liked attractive hairstyles. The bathrooms in every house prove that people believe in cleanliness. The Indus people were patrons of art.
Excellent ornaments, painted earthen pots, earthen toys of any kind, images made of bronze or stone, and the attractive designs on the seas give testimony to the love of the people for art. The figures of animals on the seas prove that the Indus artists and craftsmen were very competent in their work. The Indus valley people used copper and bronze weapons.
Battle axe dagger, spear, bow, and arrow were their main weapons. It is not yet clear if they used swords and shields. The Indus people used to bum or bury their dead. All these points give some idea about the social aspects of the Indus Valley civilization.
Economic life :
It can be easily said that the people who built great cities like Mohenjidaro and Harappa were economically prosperous. It is on economic foundations that an Urban civilization grows up. Mohenjudara and Harappa passed that foundation. It is believed that in those remote days there used to be heavy rains in the Indus region. Side by side the river Indus supplied much water for rice cultivation.
The soil was fertile and the Indus people were hardworking. They produced plenty of wheat and barley. According to some scholars, the living standard of the common men of the Indus valley than the standard of the common people in the Nice valley and Mesopotamia. The areas around Mohenjodara are still known as Pakistan or the ‘Garden of Singh’. The Indus people were also efficient in art and Crafts.
They were excellent weavers. They prepared beautiful dresses both in cotton and wool. Ornaments, weapons, utensils toys, and other goods of luxury were prepared by able artisans. Those groups of people were economically well off. The people of the Indus valley is wre great in trade and commerce. Inside India, they carried their business from the Kashmir Valley to the Deccan. For external trade, they moved far and wide. That was one of their chief achievements for fame.
They had trade relations with outside countries both through land and sea routes. It is known that the Indus people had close commercial relations with Sumeria, Egypt, and create. The seals of Mohanja-dar have been discovered in Mesopotamia. Similarly, the cuneiform writing of Mesopotamia has been discovered at Mohenjo- Daro. This proves the contact with the people at those two distant times. Agriculture, industry, and trade were the three chief occupations of the Indus valley people. Their economic condition, therefore, was prosperous.
Religious life :
From the relies on the Indus valley we get some idea about the religious life of that time from small female figures discovered from the rains some scholars believe that the people perhaps worshipped a mother Goddess, of course, it has not yet been possible to form a clear idea about that goddess. A female figure on a seal has created much interest. Some say it is the figure of the Earth Goddess. To others, it is the goddess of Nature.
The worship of the mother Goddess was prevalent in many ancient societies. The Indus people also might have believed that some people think that Mother Goddess of the Indus religion appeared as Goddess Durga or kali in the Indian Religion of the future ages. Besides the Mother Goddess, the people also worshipped a God. A beautiful figure appears on a seal which is like a powerful God.
Fie has three faces. There are harps on his head. He is sitting in the posture of a Yogi. On his four sides, there are figures of four animals, such as elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, and buffalo. Near his feet is the figure of a deer scholars feel that this god was Siva Pashupati. From a study of these figures, Sir John Marshall imagined that perhaps Saivism was the earliest religion of India. No temple has been discovered from the reigns of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, It is not clear, therefore how the people worshipped their Gods and Goddess.
May be the temples of Mohenjodaro are still lying buried under the Indus sands, not yet discovered. Similarly, the temple bricks of Flarappa might have been carried away from their original sites. The images or figures were all found in the dwelling houses of common men. It may be that the people of the Indus valley offered worship in their own houses. Besides the Mother Goddess and Siva, the Indus people also worshipped several other things and symbols.
They paid religious respects to the Bull, Tiger, Elephant, and some other animals that were also considered sacred, Perhaps these animals were regarded as the bananas of the deities. Some say that the Indus valley people worshipped even snakes. Similarly, worshipped several trees. It seems as if the religion of the ancient Indus Valley and the future Hinduism of India have similarities in many respects worship of Gods and Goddesses, animals, and frees, as was prevalent in the Indus valley, is also seen in the Hindu mode of worship.
It may be that the earliest religion did not disappear with the fall of the Indus civilization. The Aryans were influenced by the prevailing faiths of the Indus region. They accepted many features of pre-Aryan worship. From the faiths of the early Aryans later Hinduism developed. Sir Mortimer Wheeler believed that the worship of Siva came to later Hinduism from the ancient Harappan religion. The Harappans regarded the Bull as sacred.
So too, did the Hindus of later times. The similarities between the Indus religion and the later Hinduism prove that the civilization of India has maintained its unbroken continuity from a remote pre-historic past to recent times. The religion of India is a product of ages. It is vast and broad enough to cover the faiths of all peoples of all times who lived on the soil of this great country.
Discuss the authenticity of foreign accounts and their impact on Indian history?
Accounts of Indian life and civilization written by foreign travelers are important sources for the writing of ancient Indian history classical or Greek writers have recorded information about India beginning from the Persian invasion in the 6th century B.C. Hero dots and Ofesias have narrated the history of the Persian domination over north-western India. The floodgate of Indian contact with the west was opened with the invasion of India by Alexander the Great.
The historians like searches, one serious, etc. who accompanied Alexander have recorded remarkable accounts about North-Western India and the story of Alexander’s invasion. Among the classical authorities in India, the most renowned is Megasthenes, the Seleukidian envoy to the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He wrote a remarkable book named the Indika, which depicts the political, and social life of the Indians.
The value of Indika as a source of ancient Indian history of Immense. Unfortunately, the contents of the book are not available in full. Strabo has recorded fragments ofMegasthenes account in their books. Dr. Sehwanbeek has collected and edited them. Platarch wrote a biographical sketch of Alexander in which narratives about his invasion of India are included. Justin wrote a book named Epitome which throws light on the early life of Chandragupta Maurya.
The periplus of the Erythralan sea supplies accounts for Indian ports, harbors, and goods. An unknown Greek sailor wrote this book in the first century A.D. No. a correct account of the economic and commercial life of India for the late centuries before Christ and for the late centuries before Christ and for the early Gentries can be written without the help of this book. Ptolemy’s Geography is a famous work.
Pliny has furnished a study of India’s flora and fauna in his Natural History. Quintus has written an account of Alexander’s Invasion of India depending on earlier records. The spread of Buddhism in China promoted contact of china with India. Buddhist pilgrims from china came to India to visit the holy places of Buddhism in India. Some of the pilgrims left valuable accounts about life and society in India.
Chinese historian SSA-ma chiefs composed an annual about India in the first century B.C. Chinese historian Fan-ye recorded information about the Yue-chi and the Kushanas. The Chinese pilgrim Fa- Hien visited. India in the reign of Chandra Gupta II. He left a good narrative about India which is regarded as a source of Gupta history. Fa-Hien visited North-western India and the Gangetic Valley.
His writing is devoid of any political matter. He was interested in Buddhism and social life in India. He lived in Pataliputra for six years and sailed for China from the port of Tamralipta in Bengal. He wrote several books on Buddhism in India, was Hiuen-Tsang. He visited India during Harshavardhana and left a detailed account of the political and social life of India. The name of his book is si-ya-ki.
This narrative is more descriptive and elaborate than the account left by Fa-Hien. But Huen-Tsang was not above a Buddhist bias which is evident from his unblessing eulogy for the Buddhist emperor Harsha. Tibetan historian Lama Taranatha’s writings named Dawa and Tangyur are also valuable sources. A comparative study of the classical and the Chinese sources would reveal that the classical writers were particular in the observation of political and administrative matters.
The Chinese travelers being mostly Buddhist pilgrims were indifferent to political events and administrative matters. They, however, give emphasis on the condition of Buddism and the social fragments contain details about Chandragupta’s administration his court and camp life, and the general condition of the People the flora and fauna of India. The Chinese accounts are not so complete and versatile.
From the 8th century AD, Arabian scholars like Al-Beruni visited India. Al-Beruni was a great scholar of Sanskrit. He has left a capital account in India. Al-Beruni’s work is named Tahaki Hind. It is a mine of information about India and her people other Arab writers like At Biladuri etc. may also be mentioned. The historical value of the foreign accounts about India can hardly be exaggerated.
These foreign writers often wrote with great detachment and critical observation. But their narratives suffer from several general defects. Firstly, most of the writers did not know the local languages and customs. Secondly, they did not stay in India for a long time. Thirdly, some of these writers particularly the Greeks did not always write from personal observation but from hearsay. As a result, they occasionally recorded wrong information,
Evaluate the relationship of the Indus civilization with the Sumerian civilization?
Sumerologists find a striking resemblance between the Indus civilization and the ancient civilizations of Sumer and Mesopotamia. pictorial writings, the developed city life, burnt bricks, wheel-made potteries, the cult of the mother Goddess, the hairstyle of-Indus women, the use of bronze and copper for making implements are great points of similarities between the civilizations of the Indus, the summer and that of Mesopotamia.
The second notable point of resemblance between the three civilizations is that they flourished in the valley of great rivers like the Indus, the Euphrates, and the Tigris. The above similarities coupled with the mature character of the Harappan civilization have led some scholars to suggest that the Indus people had borrowed the pattern and ideas of their culture from the Sumerians and the Mesopotamians.
It is also argued that the citadels found at Harappa and Maheiijodaro bear the influence of the architectural designs of Sumer. Probably the firsts at Harappa and Mahenjodaro were erected by a foreign race most possibly the Sumerians. They built these first in order to impose their authority upon the local urban population. The citadels were drowning the cities with a hint of alien domination.
However, on a sober consideration of the matter, the theory of the Sumerian authorship of the Indus, civilization is-still in-the speculation. There is still a lack of concrete evidence to prove the theory of the Sumerian origin of the Indus civilization. Despite its close contact with Sumer, the Indus civilization had many peculiarities and features of its own. This has led prof Gordon childe to emphasize the distinctive character of the two cultures. In spite of many appearances.
Similarities between the two, the Harappan was distinctly Indian. In its origin, the Harappa culture was not a fruit of burrowing transplanting from the Sumerian culture. Dr. Basham has pointed out that the Indus civilization was the creation of a people who lived in the Indus valley for several centuries and that this great civilization and little to the Sumerian culture of the Middle East. Firstly, there was very little intellectual exchange between the two sister cultures.
Secondly, the Indus style of sculpture, the stone saving, the terra-cotta, and the art of Indus seals are basically local and peculiar to the Indus people. They bear no trace of foreign Influence. Thirdly, the resemblances between the two, civilizations may be their inherent cousinship or due to the Dravidian authorship of the Sumerian civilization. The same Dravidians are also supposed to be authors of the Indus civilization.
Thus, the integrity of the Indus civilization stands unchallenged. Kumaraswamy has suggested that the Indus civilization spread from the Indus Valley to the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris and became known as the Sumerian Mesopotamia civilization sir ariel stein has concluded that possibly a parent civilization grew up in a place in between the Indus valley and the Euphrates Valley and branched off to the east and the west. However, all these are hypothetical theories.
Their authenticity has not yet been proven. Though the theory of the Sumerian origin of the Indus civilization is a hypothetical one the fact remains that there was a good deal of intercourse between the Indus, Sumer, and Mesopotamia people. There is an overwhelming through the land route via Baluchistan and probably through the sea routes across the Persian Gulf also. Numerous Indus types of deals have been discovered at Sumer. Akkad and Elan. Again Sumerian articles though fewer in number have been discovered in the Indus Valley.
Discuss regarding the earliest home of the Aryans and their coming to Indian Soil?
Among the various groups of mankind, the Aryans are the most famous. In the Sanskrit language, the word Arya means the man of noble character the ‘free-born’. The descendants of the ancient Aryan race spread over wide areas of Europe and Asia. From the, earliest Aryan language, classical languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek came into being. From these languages, several other languages developed. They are all from the Aryan family of languages.
The Earliest Home of the Aryans :
Nobody can say exactly which place on earth was the earliest home of the Aryan people. To some Indian scholars, the Aryans were the original inhabitants of India and they did not come to this land from outside. On the other hand, some Patriotic European scholars believe that the Aryans originally lived on the shores of the faraway Baltic sea. The majority of historians, however, believe that the early Aryans lived in that region of Europe which now comprises such places as Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia.
From their original home, the ancient Aryans spread away to different places. Going south and westward they divided themselves into several branches and entered Greece. Italy, Germany, Spain, and England came in another direction, they entered into Iron and India. The name Iran (Persia) comes from the word Aryanam which is the country of the Aryans In India, the Aryans first settled in the area known as Punjab.
At first, the name of that place was captained, or the land of the seven rivers. Subsequently, it was called Panchanada, or the land of the Five Rivers. Punjab means the land of the five1 Rivers. The fact that the Aryan tribes of Europe and Asia came; from common ancestors is known from their earliest religious and social ways of life. From the original Aryan word Dyu, came the words Deva in Sanskrit, Deas in Latin Zeus in Greek.
Tiu in Saxon and Zio in German. The original fire God of the ancient Aryans became Agni in India, is in Italy, and in East European lands. The use or Dawn of the Indian Aryans was the same as the EOS of the Greeks and Aurora of the Italians. Similarly from the root family terms of the ancient Aryans came such words as Peter Matar.
Bharat and Duhitar in Sanskrit and Father, Mother, Brother, and Daughter in English. Many such words in Sanskrit and several European languages came from the same Aryan roots. Though they came from the same ancestors, the different branches of the Aryan people in course of time lived as separate races and developed their separate individualities.
Coming of the Aryans to India:
The time when the Aryans entered India is yet a subject of debate. Attempts are made to know that time from Vedic literature. According to some learned Indians like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the earliest Veda, favors as the Rigveda, was composed about 4,500 years before Christ. The Aryans must have come, therefore, several generations before that time. According to a famous western scholar. H.T. Colebrooke discovered the Vedas for the Western people the composition of all the Vedas was perhaps finished by the 14th century B.C.
For several centuries before that, they must have settled in Punjab. Max Muller believed that the Vedas were composed about 1500 years before Christ. Another western scholar Whitney believed that the hymns of the Rigveda were composed between 2,000 B.C. and 1,500 B.C. Most likely, the Aryans entered India around 2,000 years before the birth of Christ.
This opinion is held by the majority of historians. Soon after their entry into India, the Aryans began to compose the Vedas. Much about their early life in India is known from the descriptions in the Vedas. At first, they settled in the Punjab region where the rivers, Sindhu, Vitasta, Chandrabhaga, Iravati, Bipasa, Satadru, and Saraswati flowed.
At that time they had to fight against the primitive people of the land as well as perhaps with the civilized Dravidians. The enemies were described in the Vedas as Dasyus and Asuras. In course of time, the Dravidians migrated towards the south, and the primitives retired into mountains, hills, and forests. The conquered or subjugated enemies were described as the Dasas.
From Punjab, the Aryans moved eastward into the river valleys Ganges and Yamuna. They called that region Madhya Desa. Gradually they spread over the whole of the Uttarapatha. The Landmass between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas and from the western seas east was named as the Aryavarta.
Evaluate Regvedic society and discuss their economic life?
The early Vedic society represented human quality and simplicity at their best. It was a society of high moral standards. It showed advanced civilization, a settled and organized human relationship. The Aryan families were the backbone of the society. Society was organized on the basis of the family as a unit. Each home was like an abode of happiness. This is because the Aryans laid great emphasis on the virtues of family life.
A good family man was a good social being. Usually, the father was the head of the family. As the head, he controlled the other members. The younger members senior members. The relationship between father, mother, brother, and sisters rested on a sense of duty, devotion, affection, and cordiality. The size of a family could be big enough to contain many members from grandparents to grandchildren.
But they all lived in peace. In their daily life, the Aryan householders lived in plain living and high thinking. Truth, mercy kindness, goodness, mutual help, and understanding were the ideals of family life. The Aryans believed in the system of Chaturashrama or the four-fold division of one’s life. At a young age when the man received education and training, he practiced Brahmacharya.
Thereafter he married and led the Garhasthva life or the life of a house-holder. When the man reached the third stage of his life, he adopted Vanaprastha. During that period he lifted in a cottage away in the forests to perform religious duties. In the final phase of life in old age, he practiced the Sannyasa Vrata by renouncing everything. These practices showed the disciplines of the Aryan life.
Women held a high position in the Aryan Society. Inside the family, they played a prominent role. They exercised much influence in domestic affairs. In religious ceremonies and festivals, women enjoyed equal place with men. Before their marriage, Aryan daughters received education in the house of their parents. The word Duhitri in Sanskrit and Daughter in English came from the root Aryan word Dough which means milking the cow.
Perhaps the Aryan girls were fond of looking after the cows as their domestic duty. There was no child marriage in the Rigvedic society. Girls lived in the house of their parents till they attained marriageable age. They had the freedom to select their husbands of arranged marriages were a more usual custom. Marriage was considered a sacred obligation in Vedic culture.
It was indissoluble. There was no secession of women in the Vedic society. The Vedic women took part in the highest socio-religious duties. They studied the Vedas. Some of them like Lopamudra Ghosh, Vishwavara and Apala became mortal as the authors of the Vedic hymns.
The most praised worth feature of the early Vedic society was the social equality of men. All Aryans were equal among themselves.
There was no caste system to separate man from man. Every Aryan could learn the Vedas could fight battles as a soldier, and work as a cultivator. It is only the conquered people who were given a lower rank in society as the basis. In brief, the Rigvedic Aryans lived in an ideal society that was unique in the ancient world.
The economic condition of the people in the early Vedic society was prosperous. The Aryans were a hard-working race. They were also believers in the simple life. They loved to live in villages. Their economic activities mostly centered around their villages. Agriculture was the Chief occupation of the Vedic Aryans. They regarded cultivation as the main source of their livelihood. Around every village, there were plenty of cultivable lands and wide pastoral fields for cattle.
Each family had its own land to grow crops. Grasslands for the animals were held in common by all villagers. The lands under cultivation were called kshetra. The Aryans depended much on the rains and rivers for agriculture. They also took water from canals to their fields. To make the land service, they used manure. Dhan and you were the two chief products of agriculture. Since the lands were fertile in those days and the population was small, there was enough food in Vedic India to keep the people happy and self-sufficient.
Next to agriculture, the Vedic Aryans paid great attention to the rearing of cattle and various other domestic animals. Milk was regarded most useful and cows paid the minimum care. In every village, there were cowherd boys to drive the cattle to the green pasture lands. Sheep, goats, and horses were the other useful animals in Vedic society. The early Aryans also developed trade, commerce, and industry.
Merchants were there to carry various useful goods from place to place. Varieties of cloth, metal goods, and skin products were sold by traders in different markets. Carts drawn by horses and oxen usually carried the articles of trade. Boats were used in rivers for internal movements of goods. Rare evidence is also there to prove that the Vedic Aryans had maritime activities across the seas.
Cottage industries flourished in Vedic society. In most villages, there were weavers smiths, metal – workers carpenters, and also tanners. Artistic goods were made at select centers ornaments, weapons, chariots, implements for cultivation, utensils, and many other useful things were made by the people for regular use. The Aryans loved to eat rice, barley, milk, meat fish, and fruits.
In festivals and religious occasions. They used to drink soma rasa, on the whole, the economic life of the Vedic period was a life of plenty and prosperity. It is said that the early Aryans did not build big cities or Nagara. But they built strongholds and forts known as PURA with walls around and strong houses inside.
Evaluate the political status of the early Vedic people?
The Aryans were a powerful people. The Aryans were a powerful people. They came to India in an organized way. As they spread themselves in India and settled permanently they developed political organizations in their society for a better life.
The nature of the Vedic political organization was as follows:
Several families formed a village or the Gram. The head of the Grama was called Gramani. He regulated the affairs of the village maintained peace in his area. Several villagers formed a district or canton which was very big in size, and the visit ruled more or less like a king. Several districts formed A Jana or people, which was like a big political unit or the Rastra. The Rastra or the state or the Jana was ruled by a head named the Rajan or the king.
He was said to be “without a rival and a destroyer of rivals” In later times, when the territory became big in size the Rajan became a Samrat In Vedic India, the kingship was generally a hereditary institution. The kind occupied a position of honor. He was appointed by the chief priests. He usually enjoyed the confidence and loyalty of the people. He lived in his palace. In dress, manners, and style he maintained the dignity of royalty. The son of the king had his right to his father’s kingdom.
Because of such continuity, it was the duty of the railing king to train his successor in the art of good government as well as in various virtues required of a monarch. In places, the subjects also could elect or select a king for their land. The king appointed several officers. Among such officers, the purohit or chaplain, the scenario or the commander of the army, the Duta or the messenger, and the Gramani or village headman played a prominent role.
The king also had his adviser or ministers. He appointed spies to collect information about the people. The king was required to perform two main duties. One was the protection of his land and the people from outside enemies. For this, he maintained his army. The other was to serve and please tie people. The king or the Rajan of the Vedic age was not an autocrat.
He governed according to the laws and customs of the land according to religious beliefs and with the advice of the seers, Sagar, and elders. There was even some kind of popular assemblies in those days called Samiti to give opinions on the affairs of the state. There was also the Sabha or council of Elders, containing wise men to advise the Government. The monarchy was thus limited. It is also understood that in places there was some kind of republican can government among some of the Aryan tribes.
The term Gana or people was perhaps used for such a state. Its head was called Ganapati or Jyeshtha (elder). On the whole, the Vedic political organizations were sound and stable. The state rested on the foundations of ethics, morality, virtue, and popular will. In course of time, smaller kingdoms fielded place to bigger kingdoms. Powerful monarchs wanted to rule over larger territories. Stronger political units and organizations thus became the need of the time.
Narrate the religious life of the early Vedic people?
The Aryans were deeply religious. Their spiritual thoughts were of the highest order. Among the ancient races of the earth, no race was equal to the Indian Aryans of the early Vedic age in spiritual and religious thoughts. While the whole world was in the darkness of ignorance and blind beliefs, Rigvedic India held the lamp of wisdom. Among the ancient most religious of mankind, the Vedic religion is considered the best.
The Rigvedic Aryan’s thoughts of the supreme creator through the creation. Nature represented the different manifestations of that creation. They, therefore, became the worshippers of Nature. The mighty elements of Nature were regarded by the Aryans as their gods. All the useful elements of Nature appeared in divine form in the Aryan religious thoughts.
While the whole world was in the darkness of ignorance and blind beliefs, Rigvedic India held the lamp of wisdom. Among the ancient-most religions of mankind, the Vedic religion is considered the best. The Rigvedic Aryans thought of the supreme creator through creation. Nature represented the different manifestations of that creation. Therefore became the worshippers of Nature.
The mighty elements of nature were regarded by the Aryans as their Gods. All the useful elements of nature appeared in divine form in the Aryan religious thought. Dyaus or the shining sky, Prithivi or Mother Earth Indra or the God of Rain and Thunder, Varuna or the Lord of waters, Surya or the illuminator Market or the Lord of stones, Vayu pr the God of wind.
Agni or the God of Fire, and Usha, or the goddess of Dawn, were the famous divinities of the Aryan worship. Every one of them was a part of nature. While believing in several Gods and Goddesses the early Aryans developed faith in the supreme Being who was the creator of all Every other god was only his representation.
Therefore, they sang:
“They call him, Mitra, Varuna, And Agni To what is one the poets give much anime, They call it Agni, Yama, Matrisvan.” The seers and sages of Vedic India were the epitomes of wisdom. They searched for the origin and meaning of the universe and came to know the first cause of creation. “Neither death nor deathlessness existed of day and night there was yet no distinction. Alone that one breathed calmly, supported, other than it was none, nor aught above it.”
While the religious faith of the Vedic Aryans was deeply spiritual their religious practices were simple. They performed Yajnas in which they made offerings of ghee, milk, grain, and other things while singing hymns in honor of gods and goddesses. In their religious conduct, they became virtuous, kind charitable, and truthful. This was the early Vedic civilization glorified. The social political and religious conditions of the time were the brightest proofs of that great civilization.
Explain the inner system of Later Vedic Society?
The greatest change that the later Vedic period saw in the Aryan society was the rise of the rigid caste system. It destroyed the values of human equality of the earlier days and created a distinction between man and man. It was natural that there should be different kinds of work in any society at any time. Generally, the people were required to perform four sets of duties. Some were bound to perform worship, prayers, and religious rites.
The second group of men had to learn the arts of warfare to fight battles against enemies or invaders. The third set of people was called upon to cultivate lands, carry on trade and commerce, and produce necessary goods for the need of tire society. The fourth group of people had to perform various social-service works from sweeping or cleaning to other works of personal needs. Any man could do any such work according to his own free choice or ability.
In course of time, these four main works led to the rise of four main castes. Those who performed religious duties formed the priestly caste known as the Brahmana those who looked to agriculture, trade, or other productive works came to be known as the Vaisya. And finally, those who performed social and menial services to the society formed the lowest caste and were called the Sudra.
The supreme tragedy of this division of labor was that the castes became hereditary. son of a Kshatriya even if learned could not be a Kshatriya. Secondly, the Brahmana and ‘the Kshatriya regarded themselves as higher classes and made a monopoly of social privileges. key looked down upon the other classes. Intermarriage among the castes stopped. Two more evils followed. First, some castes broke into several sub-castes.
For example among the Vaisya caste, several divisions rose up according to hereditary professions. Cultivators, merchants, smiths, carpenters, and artisans formed distinct castes. The studies were also divided into many sections. Secondly the Sudras, because of their mental works, came to be regarded as impure. The Upper castes needed their services in most matters but denied them many social privileges.
The non-Aryan tribes who were taken into society became members of the Sudha caste. That also was a reason for considering the Sudra as inferior. The caste system became more and more rigid. The evils of inequality became more painful to the lower castes. A time, therefore, came when Buddhism and Jainism appeared as strong movements against such evils. During the later Vedic age, women also lost their earlier status. Polygamy or marrying several wives by the man became a social vice.
The higher castes practiced this system because of their wealth child marriages also appeared. The Dowry system was practiced. Women gradually lost their right to property cause women still enjoyed their equal position with men in religious matters. They still received education and could show their talent. Celebrated women like Gargi and M’aitreyi showed their merit in the spheres of highest learning. On the whole, the later Vedic Society became the forerunner of the social systems of the future Hindus India.
Evaluate the religious life of the later Vedic People?
During the later Vedic period, much of the simplicity of the Rigvedic religion was lost. The hold of the priestly class became more absolute. The priests developed complicated modes of worship. Sacrifices became more common. The rites and rituals became difficult. Superstitions entered in the name of religion. Fear of evil spirits and witches came in. Philosophical and theological speculations became more complex.
In the spirit of such developments, the later Vedic sages laid greater emphasis on the faith in the supreme being the Absolute. The concept of the param Brahma or the Paramatma dominated the man’s mind. The supreme Gods like Vishnu or Siva were paid greater devotion. The later Vedic period produced many religious doctrines to influence Indian thought forever. The doctrine of karma or results according to deeds.
Maya or illusion, Mukti or the supreme release, Jan antra or the transmigration of souls, etc. made a deep impact on the Aryan mind. The individual soul or Jiva came from the universal soul or Brahma and could go back to that origin. This was possible through the most correct ways of life and thought. Tat Twain Asi or That Thou Art was the identification of the individual Atman with the universal Atman.
The supreme goal of life was the Moksha or the liberation when the individual sous were absorbed in the universal soul. Thus, cm side there developed deep spiritual ideas in the later Vedic age which had no parallel elsewhere in the world. The deep-rooted superstitions began to dominate the mind of the common man making religious practices mostly meaningless. Amid such developments future Hinduism was beginning to take its shape.
Ramayana and Mahabharata:
Towards the dose of the Vedic age the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were composed. These two great Epics became the fountain source of Indian religious and spiritual thoughts, Balmiki was the author of the Ramayana. The Chief .characters of this Epic represented the highest ideals of worldly life. The Aryan virtues and nob RV were reflected in them.
The political social and religious conditions of that time arc known from the Ramayana. Vyasa was the author of the Mahabharata. describes every aspect of life and thought of that remarkable period. Its influence on the future is deep. Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It contains the highest spiritual thoughts of everlasting value
Narrate the economic condition of later Vedic Aryans?
In the later Vedic age the economic activities of the Aryans grew greatly. The population began to increase and so also did the number of Aryan settlements. New kinds of works and efforts appeared side by side. New means of livelihood were discovered and developed. The Aryans became more concerned with the progress of agriculture. In the fertile soil of the Gangetic valley, they cultivated many types of crops. They improved the modes of cultivation.
For example, for using heavy plows in fields, they even engaged as many as 24 bullocks in each plow. The Aryans learned more and more about the use of different metals. They made different types of weapons, ornaments agricultural implements, various tools for work, and other equipment. With the expansion of Aryan settlements and the rise of bigger kingdoms, roads and communication systems, began to develop.
As a result, the volume of trade and commerce increased. It is known from the Atharva Veda that there were different types of roads in those days. There were ordinary paths for walking winder roads for bullock carts, and better roads for swift-running chariots. The traders and merchants carried their goods to distant places for better communication facilities. Side by side, travel by boats in rivers became more common.
Trade relations between distant places on the river banks developed rapidly. Both by land and water routes the merchants carried on their economic activities. It was during this time that the Aryan traders ventured into the seas for external trade. This was a notable feature of the later Vedic age. It was during the later Vedic age that the Aryans improved the art of weaving to a remarkable extent.
Various types of costly and attractive dresses and clothes were made to meet the new social demands. As the people became richer, there were greater demands for gold ornaments. Goldsmiths of that time were more advanced in their profession than in earlier times. They made ornaments in new designs and in a good many numbers. The art of pottery was also developed.
The blacksmith, too, enlarged the scope of their work to meet new demands. During the later Vedic age, plenty of fertile lands were available all over the Indo-Gangetic plains. Being very hardworking, the Aryan Cultivatoks produced enough to meet the needs of society. On the whole, the later Vedic Aryans Lived an economically prosperous Life.
Discuss the socio-economic condition in the 6th century B.C. or at the time of sixteen Mahajanasadas?
In the sixth century B.C., most of the people of India lived in the villages. The villages were of varying sizes. They were inhabited by a number of families. These families were very large consisting of various members from the grand-father to the grandsons including their wives and children. Agriculture particularly the cultivation of rice was the Chief occupation of the. people, other kinds of grains, sugarcane fruits, and vegetables were also cultivated.
A method of irrigation by community attempt and protection of field by community fencing came into vogue. Channels were dug at the boundary of each plot for cooperative irrigation. The village headman supervised the operation of these schemes. Arable land was absent of big estates-peasant proprietorship was the general custom. Land could be sold by the owner. But custom demanded that he should not sell his land to an outsider of the village.
There were common pasture lands for grazing cattle. The burden of taxes varied from 1/6 to 1/12 of the produce which collected through village headmen. The tax was generally paid in kind. We have no direct evidence regarding the system of taxation in the republican states. But Prof. Rhys Davids has suggested that the republics must have some system of taxation. Famine and scarcity due to floods or failure of rain were not unknown. The Buddhist records refer to famines.
Cattle rearing trade and commerce formed other occupations of the people. Partnership for trade was a common practice. Trade relation within India was wide. Trade with foreign lands by sea became fashionable also. Inland trade was carried by caravans while foreign trade was carried by ocean-going vessels. Many parts grew up along the coast for the export and import of goods. Bhrigukachchha or Bharuch, support known so para on the western coast became famous parts.
Inland cities like Taxila, Ujiaini, Champa, Rajagriha, and Ayodhaya also became great emporiums for trade. Occupations tended hereditary in the sixth century B.C. caste system began to be crystallized in this period. Though there was no iron-bound truth for the son to follow the calling of the father. There are many instances of the chance of occupation. A brahmana became a cultivator or a trader.
Again many Kshatriyas were cultivators of the soil spite of such departures there was a marked tendency towards rigidity of caste. Change of hereditary occupation was disliked inter-dining and inter-marriage between different castes were disfavoured. The barter system has ceased to exist and transactions were made with copper coins called Kar shaping weighing 140 gains.
Gold coins were rare in this period. Arts and crafts in this period were generally practiced for the needs of society. The black-smith, gold-smith, fanner, potter, etc made their articles for the people. Specialization in arts tod crafts appeared. Guides of work with elected presidents were also formed.