Social life of Early 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. The period when the Aryans first settled in India during 1500–1000 BC is known as the Early Vedic Period. Let’s talk about the Social life of the Early Vedic Period


Social life of Early Vedic Period


The Family Structure: The basic unit of the social structure was the ‘family’. The joint family system was prevalent. Houses in this age were built of wood or reed. The Rig Vedic society was patriarchal in which Grihyapati(master of the house) dominated in family and social life.

Position of Women: Women were given equal status to that of men in society. They were permitted to participate in all the religious rites. Gaining of education had not been restricted to them. There were women scholars who composed hymns and were well-versed in the sacred scriptures. Girls could seek husbands of their own choice. Monogamy was in custom, but polygamy was also practiced by many. Child marriage, the Sati system, and Purdah did not exist among the Aryans, The women attended all social functions and gatherings. The general tendency of people was to have male births rather than females. They used to perform prayers seeking the birth of the male child. But, in the case of females, people had a repulsive attitude they did not like to have a female baby.

Varna System: One hymn in the last book of the Rig Veda refers to four orders of society — the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas, and The people who explained the Vedic texts and performed the religious ceremonies were called the Brahmins. Those who belonged to the ruling class were the Kshatriyas. The common people, who were engaged in agriculture, trade, and industry were the Vaisyas. The Shudras were the menial workers who did not have much to own. Scholars are of the opinion that the term ‘Varna’ in the Rig Veda, refers to the racial difference between the Aryans and non-Aryans. It is in this context that therferms Ary a Varna and Dasa Varna came into use. There was no ban on the taking of food cooked by Shudras and no restrictions on intermarriages or change of occupation.


Also, Read

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