Lesson 3 – THE ARYAN AGE (1500 BC – 1000 BC)
- By 1500 BC the Aryans had advanced east over the Hindu Kush Mountains into India.
- There is no archeological evidence for the first centuries of India’s Aryan age (1500 – 1000BC, but The Book of Knowledge or Vedas were preserved through oral tradition; particularly the Rig Veda (Verses of Knowledge). Also the Aryans lived in tribal villages with their migrant herds unlike the pre-Aryan peoples of Harrapa.
- The Rig Veda was not written down before 600 BC, but Vedic hymns had been composed as early as 1500 BC.
- Each Aryan tribe was ruled by an autocratic male raja and each family was controlled by the father whose dominant role over his wife and children was to become the standard pattern for subsequent Indian familial relationships, in which male supremacy and hierarchy dictated by age were to remain the rule.
- The simple tribal structure grew more complex during this period as warfare and conquest brought new peoples and problems under the ruling rajas, who required assistance from noble “warriors” (kshatriyas) and the advice of “councils” (sabha and samiti) of household elders to govern their burgeoning tribes.
- By the time the Rig Veda was written, the Aryans had made the transition from a nomadic pastoral economy to a combined agricultural and pastoral one, for they reaped some variety of “grain” (yava) which must have been barely or wheat.
- The game of dice, like chess, was invented in India and many dice carved of nuts were found at Mohenjo-daro; proof that Aryans were avid gamblers.
- The Sanskrit word that came to mean “class” (varna) and that is still used with the modifiers brahman, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra to identify the four broadest categories of Hindu caste society originally meant “covering” as in skin covering of various colors. Each varna had a distinguishing color: white for brahmans, red for kshatriyas, brown for vaishnas and black for shudras.
- After Indra’s victory, Varuna, The King of Universal Order came forward to take the central position of Aryan religious authority.
- The seeming simplicity of the Aryan nature-worshipping religion was soon obscured by the Vedic quest for an understanding of cosmic origins and control over cosmic forces.
- The Rig Veda, when completed, resembled a monotheistic model more than a pantheisic one.
- How did the Aryan Civilization change India?
- How did the Aryans differ from the Harrappa?
- Why is the Rig Veda crucial to understanding Indian History?
- Why would Aryan rule be classified as patriarchal?
- How was the warrior class formed during the Aryan age?
- How did the Aryan economy evolve?
- How did gambling evolve in India?
- How is the Hindu caste system divided?
- How did Aryan religion evolve?
- How can one civilization’s rise cause revisionism in the civilization that is falling?
- How are the Aryan cultural developments in India similar to other cultures overtaking a native culture?
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