It is believed that the Aryans entered India from present-day Afghanistan and settled in the valley of Kabul and Punjab. This was called Sapta Sindhu or the land of the seven rivers—Indus, Ravi, Beas, Satluj, Jhelum, Chenab, and Saraswati. Because the region was fertile, the Aryans took to agriculture. It is believed that when the Aryans came to India, they came into conflict with the local people. The local inhabitants were defeated and they came to be known as ‘dasas’ or ‘dasyus’. Let’s talk about the Aryan Gods
Important Aryan Gods
In the Rig Veda, Indra is the king of the gods and ruler of the heavens. Indra is the God of thunder and rain and a great warrior, a symbol of courage and strength. He leads the Deva (the gods who form and maintain Heaven) and the elements, such as Agni (Fire), Varuna (Water), and Surya (Sun). He thus fights in a timeless battle between good and evil. As the God of war, he is also regarded as one of the guardians of the directions, representing the East. As the favorite national god of the Vedic Indians, Indra has about 250 hymns dedicated to him in the Rigveda, more than those devoted to any other god and almost one-fourth of the total number of hymns of the Rigveda.
Agni, the Vedic god of fire who presides over the earth, has made the transition into the Hindu pantheon of gods, without losing his importance. With Vayu and Indra, who presided over the air and sky, he is one of the supreme gods in Rig Veda. The link between heaven and earth is associated with Vedic sacrifice, taking offerings to the other world in the fire. Agni is a deva, second only to Indra in the power and importance attributed to him in Vedic mythology. Agni stands for knowledge for it is seen by the learned people, covering all things that move and do not move, and because it is summers the Devatas are endowed with knowledge. The light Agni unit is the light of knowledge, therefore it is known as an illuminator of knowledge who lights up the path leading to truth.
Cow has been a symbol of wealth since ancient Vedic times. In the Rig Veda, the cows figure frequently as symbols of wealth, and also in comparison with river goddesses. The Vedic god Indra is often compared to a bull. The river is often linked to cows in Rigveda.
Other Important Aryan Gods
- People worshipped forces of nature. Indra was an important god. Agni (fire), Varuna (water), Surya (Sun), Vayu (wind) and Yama (god of dead) were some other important gods.
- Goddesses were also worshipped by the Vedic Aryans. Some important deities were Usha (goddess of dawn), Ratri (spirit of night) and Prithvi (goddess of the Earth).
- During the Later Vedic Period, Prajapati or Brahma, the creator became the supreme God and Agni and Indra lost their former importance. While Vishnu was worshipped as The Preserver, Shiva was regarded as The Destroyer.
The Vedic Period
The age of history in which the Vedas were composed in the Indian subcontinent is known as the Vedic Age. The Vedas were composed by the Aryans. There are four Vedas—the Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Arthaveda. Read more
The Age of the Guptas
The Gupta Empire ruled the country from AD 320 to AD 540. It was not as large as the Mauryan Empire, but it politically united the North Indian territories for more than a hundred years. Read more
The Mughal Empire
The weakness of the Delhi Sultanate and political disunity thereafter led to the establishment of Mughal rule in India. The Mughal Empire was founded by Babur after he defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. Read more
The Medieval India – South india and Cholas
The Chera kingdom was one of the earliest kingdoms in South India. They were later defeated by the Pallavas in the 4th century AD. In the 10th century, the Cholas became a powerful kingdom in the South. Read more