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. Varna System in Early Vedic Period is discussed below
Varna System in Early Vedic Period
One hymn in the last book of the Rig Veda refers to four orders of society — the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas, and Shudras. 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. Shudras occupied the lowest strata of society and were supposed to do all the menial work.
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.
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