UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 1 Mains 2023
Vedic Society belongs to the period from 1500 bc – 600 bc, divided between early and later Vedic ages ,which has become the foundation for many present day features visible in our Indian society .
FEATURES OF VEDIC SOCIETY
|FEATURES||RIGVEDIC TIME PERIOD – 1500 – 1000 BCE||LATER VEDIC TIME PERIOD – 1000- 500 BCE|
|Political structure||Sabha and samiti. no taxation system – accepted only voluntary offerings. wars were fought for protection of cows||wars were fought for territory – Rashtra . Tribal assemblies because subordinate to the king , administrative machinery assisted him. Taxation system developed|
|Role of king||Subordinate to assembly||Divine rights of kingship, the king’s post became hereditary .|
|Marriage||Widow Remarriage prevailed.||Endogamy was Practised . The gotra system Arised .No widow remarried .|
|family||Head – male , patriarchy||patriarchy|
|Social structure||egalitarian , absence of strict social hierarchy||society got divided into 4 varnas , absence of social mobility .|
|Status of women||Women education allowed – e.g.- Gargi. Participated in Sabha and samiti .||Very few got education. E.g. – Lop mudra .No participation in Sabha and samiti.|
|Religious practices||Nature forces Worshipped -Indra , Surya , Vayu –||Concept of Trimurti – worship of brahma , Vishnu , Mahesh. Yajna performed.|
VEDIC FEATURES STILL PREVAILING IN SOCIETY:
- ADMINISTRATION – The administrative machinery headed by key officials like later Vedic age assists the government .
- NATURE OF SOCIETY – Indian society is still divided into varna systems , like later Vedic times but has got modified that social mobility by right to livelihood , inter caste marriages can be seen .patriarchal society
- STATUS OF WOMEN – the status of women is an amalgamation of both early and later Vedic – women are given education , still some are restricted .
- MARRIAGE – held on the basis of gotra . Inter-caste marriage has low acceptance .
- SACRED GROVES – the idea is the same as the Vedic form of nature worship , here forests are preserved by locals for worship – example -Khasi and Jaintia hills – Meghalaya , Aravalli hills – Rajasthan.
- ECONOMY – Agriculture based economy of India with crop diversity , Pastoralism ,use of iron at large scale, taxation system.
- PANCHAYAT SYSTEM – concept of Sabha , samiti can be seen in Panchayati raj system
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE POST OF BRAHMAN – ,brahman priest is considered most imp – to chant the mantras and to perform yajna.
- IDOL WORSHIP – Trimurti – brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh.
Hence, Vedic society has proved to be a foundation for present day Indian society in many ways , but we can say that today’s society reflects more flexible and modified features of the then Vedic society.
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