Aryans: The Founders Of Vedic Civilization

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Aryans: The Founders Of Vedic Civilization

The Origin Of Aryans

‘ Where did the Aryans come from?’ is a question that is still under the scanner. Let’s go into deep of Vedic period & Vedic literature. A lot of scholars had claimed that Aryans, the founders of the Vedic civilization might have migrated from Central Asia or South Russia to India. But recent studies claim them to be indigenous people of India. The Indian freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, in his arguments, defends the Aryans to be men of the original Indian nobility.

The Vedic literature refers to India as Aryavarta, which means the land of the Aryans. But this is not possible if Aryans had invaded. No other country was called by this name. The ancestors of Aryans might have been invaders. They could have traveled from Central Asia or Africa. But Aryans were indigenous to Asia. They later came to be known as the Kshatriyas. Certain texts and Vedic literature give us proof that Aryans and Kshatriyas were the same. The followers of Buddha, in their texts, describe him as ‘Aryaputra’, which means the son of Arya. And it is a well-known fact that Buddha was the son of a king and a Kshatriya. In the present, the Rajputs are popular as their descendants.

Aryans: The Founders Of Vedic Civilization

The Early Life

During the early Vedic period, Aryans lived in the Sapta-Sindhu region which means the area of seven rivers. These seven rivers are Sindhu, Vitasta (Jhelum), Asikni (Chenab), Parushni (Ravi), Vipash (Beas), Shutudri (Sutlej) and the Saraswati. The Aryans lived here. They fought battles, grazed their cattle and other domesticated animals. During the later Vedic period they started moving eastward. They came to occupy eastern U.P. (Kosala) and north Bihar (Videha). Initially, in the Vedic era, the Aryans were pastoralists. So, cows held great importance. Studying and analyzing Vedic literature we get to know that, initially cattle rearing was the main occupation of Aryans. For example, words like ‘gomat’ (a wealthy person), ‘duhitri’ (a woman who milks the cow) have been used in Rigveda while talking about the Aryans. But gradually Aryans took the position of Kings. They became the highest ruling authorities.

The religion of Aryans

The religion of Aryans

The Vedic civilization architecture was built in the realms of nature. Therefore, the Aryans worshipped the forces of Nature as gods and goddesses. So, we see them worshipping the god of light—Sun, also called Mitra, the god of the vast blue sky—Dyau, the god of rain and thunder—Varuna, the god of air—Marut. And also gods and goddesses like Agni, Usha, Prithivi, Saraswati, etc. The Aryans used to light a holy fire for Yajna. They would pour ghee and milk in the fire while speaking the mantras. Slowly the Vedic religious practices like Yajna and the chanting of the mantras became very elaborate and complex. A class of experts who came to be known as Purohits, i.e, priests started performing them. Therefore, the priests became the guardians and protectors as also the guides of the religion of the common people.

 

Culture and Social life of Aryans

Chariot racing, dancing, and music were common activities. For music, they used the flute, the lute which resembled the Veena, and the drum. But their favorite activity seems to have been gambling. People usually consumed dishes made of rice, wheat, flour, etc. Milk, butter, and ghee were very common. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, and meat also formed the part of foods. They also drank an intoxicating drink sura.

Culture and Social life of Aryans

The society was patriarchal. People could marry according to their choice. Child marriage was unknown. The wife was the husband’s partner at all social and religious ceremonies. As mentioned in various Vedic texts and Vedic literature, the life of Aryans consisted of four stages. The first stage, i.e., Brahmacharya, was a stage of studentship and training. In the second stage, i.e., Grahsthya Ashram, the man returned to his own house after his study. He lived the life of a householder with his wife and children.

After the age of fifty, the man had to live in forests separately from the household. He prepares himself for the final stage of life. The fourth stage, i.e., Sannyas Ashram involved meditating. It also included sustaining on the gifts one would receive.

After studying the Vedic literature deeply and tracing the fossils and excavations, we can say that Aryans were not only the founders of Vedic Civilization but also of Hinduism. The Aryans mingled with other communities and formed a rich tapestry of social, religious and cultural diversity which is unique to India.

Do you Want to know more about Vedic Civilization? Read The civilization of Vedic era

4 COMMENTS

  1. Aryan means noble person. Aryavarta means a country consists of good people. But, Max mullar invented Aryan-Dravidian race theory for British so as to use this as a tool to divide Indians.

  2. Let’s continue living with the thoughts begifted to us by them, Who Ever They Were. Let’s enhance it with present accomplishments only then will they be redeemed. This is where Sanskrit language comes in as the perfect scientific language used by the learned for communications. The yajna/yagya means meeting of ideas and mind by learned at one place, in a common language for communication and creation of new ideas.

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