First Cities of India
Chalcolithic Villages in India
Janapadas and Republics
Second Urbanisation in India
India and Iran (Persia)
India During Mauryan Period
Post Mauryan India
Kingdoms in South India
India, Nations in the Northwest of the Indian Subcontinent and China
India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia
Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagar and Bahamani Kingdom
India During Mughal Period
Swarajya to Empire (Maratha Period)
- Swarajya to Empire - Contribution of Sants
- Foundation and Expansion of Swarajya
- Maratha War of Independence
- Administrative System Established by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
- Release of Shahu Maharaj
- Peshwa Period
- Swarajya to Empire - Art, Architecture, Literature
- Swarajya to Empire - Trade, Industries, and Social Life
- Varna System
- Ashrama System
Vedic Literature and Social Organisation of Vedic Times:
- It is founded upon two systems or aspects of human life that is combined together to give human life a different and social meaning.
- It’s a fourfold classification of society and individuals.
- VARNASHRAMA system helped people in attaining 4 goals of one’s life according to the society or ancient period.
- PURUSHARTHAS – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.
- This system signified life management.
- Created balance and harmony in one’s life
- Society has Varna that is Castes
- Individual has phases of life or stages that are guided by Ashrama
- Social organisation - VARNASHRAMA Dharma.
VARNA OR CASTE SYSTEM:
- Originally the caste system was based on colour.
- The racial difference was of Arya varna and Dasa Varna.
- By the end of the Rigvedic period, this difference and the system got narrower, fundamental, rigid, and acquired the status of divinity.
- Earlier there were three divisions namely Brahman, Rajanya, Vis.
- Later it was replaced or changed by Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra.
- They topped the social hierarchy.
- They acquired the highest status and were respected in the society.
- They had a high standard of excellence religiously and spiritually too.
- They provided the details or information about the rituals to the masses.
- Brahmana were regarded as the custodians of spiritual life.
- They were the fighting and the governing class of the society or any empire.
- This class had been superior in terms of learning.
- Kshatriyas did not involve in productive activities.
- They acquired the maximum economic advantage.
- Trade, industry, and agriculture came under this class.
- They were rich, ‘ Shreshtin’ – guilds of traders, organisation that had heads, good position in society because they were rich.
- Honoured in the royal court.
- The lowest in the social hierarchy.
- The people of this caste did menial and were servile workers
- The people from this caste were expelled and looked down.
- There were two other groups – Vratyas and Nishadas
- Vratyas led a nomadic life
- Nishida's were aboriginal people.
- An individual had to live through the four stages of life.
- This developed in the later Vedic age.
- It was divided into four-part according to the life span.
- Four equal parts of 25 yrs accordingly.
- At different stages of life, different duties were assigned.
- The first stage Brahmacharya ashrama (1-25 yrs)
- The second stage Grihastha Ashrama ( 25-50 yrs)
- The third stage Vanaprastha Ashrama ( 50-75 yrs)
- The fourth stage Sanyasa Ashrama ( 75-100 yrs)
(1) BRAHMACHARYA ASHRAMA:
- Here, everyone’s a student.
- You are supposed to live a celibate and austere life
- The students stays at Guru’s house.
- The teacher’s commands are to be obeyed compulsorily.
- Studying the Vedas is also a goal that should be achieved by one.
- They had to learn approximately 64 types of arts like archery etc.
- This is the second stage of a student’s life.
- Now he is no more a student but has taken the role of a householder.
- He has to earn for his family and provide for them.
- He is ought to get married, rear children.
- He has sacred duties too.
- The Brahmanas guide while performing the duties.
(3) VANAPRASTHA ASHRAMA:
- The householder is now become old and has grandchildren
- He has to sacrifice all the materialistic comforts and head to the forest.
- ‘Vanaprastha’ – departure to the forests and live there in the woods.
- For the next 25 years, he meditates and he is guided by ‘Aranyakas’ ( sacred text )
(4) SANYASA ASHRAMA:
- Now he is a homeless wanderer.
- He carried a begging bowl and few ragged clothes
- It is that time of one’s life where he has to give up on all sorts of worldly pleasure and lead a saint’s life.
- The supreme goal is attaining MOKSHA
- For this, Upanishads are of great help.
- This is the oldest Veda.
- It has 1028 Suktas and 10,600 Rucha
- Suktas are hymns and Rucha are verses.
- Comprised of Ten Mandala.
- It begins with a small mandala addressed to Agni, Indra, Soma, and other gods.
- A number of Ruchas strung together makes a Sukta (hymn). Many Suktas make one Mandala.
(2) THE YAJURVEDA:
- The Yajurveda offers an explanation of the sacrificial rituals.
- It explains when and how the mantras should be used
- A Rigvedic rucha, when recited in sacrificial rituals, is regarded as Mantra.
- The Yajurveda is a combined composition of the Rigvedic Rucha in verse and the explanation of its use as a mantra in prose.
(3) THE SAMAVEDA:
- It is the earliest text of rhythm.
- It is regarded as the foundation of Indian classical music.
- The Samaveda is a text that gives the rules of reciting mantras in a musical form.
- It is fundamental in the development of Indian music.
- It basically guides one through the right way of reciting mantras.
(4) THE ATHARVAVEDA:
- It provides solutions to problems related to people’s daily life. eg; chants for concentration.
- This Veda has information about charms and useful medicines.
- It is historically known for the scientific knowledge that the text provides.
- The primary source of information during the Vedic Period.
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