Vedic Literature-Comparison of Economic Life

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Comparison of Economic Life

Agriculture

Rig Vedic Period

  • Mostly scattered in villages.
  • The word ‘Nagar’ has not been mentioned.
  • Rig Vedic primarily a pastoral society.
  • No concept of private property; cultivated
  • The ploughshare was called SITA.
  • People used manure.
  • Wheat was called Godhum.
  • Oil seed and cotton cultivated.
  • Rice not cultivated extensively. They knew that art of harvesting, threshing and sowing.
  • No concept of land measurement due to the abundance of vast land.
  • Cow was the main source of wealth.

Later Vedic Period

  • Specialization in the agricultural field;
  • Some rudimentary form of urbanization came.
  • Two seasons of agriculture Rice in autumn and, Barley, and Wheat in winter;
  • Rice began to be cultivated extensively;
  • Concept of private property came into being;
  • Concept of measurement came;

Materials and Trade

Rig Vedic Period

  • No reference of export traders.
  • Reference of group of people called PANI monopolised the economy; -they were probably nonaryans;
  • Reference of metal ayas in this period, which came to the be known as Iron, but no doubt that iron not known to the people;
  • only knew about Gold, copper and Bronze;
  • Copper known as Apshya;
  • There is seldom reference of Nishka; it is mainly in form of necklace, as a medium of exchange (a lump of gold) ;
  • Professions and occupations were not hereditary. LATER VEDIC PERIOD
  • Specialization in trade;
  • There was reference of some court of corporations GANA- headed by an elderman called Shreshtins.
  • Hiranya – Gold
  • Shyam – Iron
  • Loh - Copper
  • Trapu - Tin
  • Various types of professions and occupations
Professions and Meaning
TermMeaning
RathkaraChariot driver
IshukaraArrow maker
RajusargeChord maker
Bid alkariBasket maker
RajitriPainter
SurakaraVine maker
DhavarFisherman
Kewat GopalaMilkman
AbhipalaShepherd
AjpalaGoat maintainer
AshwaHorse-maintainer
HatipElephant maintainer
  • Occupations and profession hereditary
  • Later Vedic text refers to iron as shyama or Krishna Ayas probably indicating iron;
  • Yajur Vedic also referred to black bronze - iron;
  • medium of exchange almost the same - in the form of cow and gold;
  • Unlike Rig Vedic transaction in the form of gold.
  • Nishka, a lump-sum of gold having definite weight of 320 Rattis;
  • There is a doubt that these gold materials used as coins; money lending was prevalent and moneylender was called as Kusidin.

Domestication of Animals

  • Cow was the most important animal during both the times; Horse was the second important animal;
  • Other important animals were ox, goats, sheep etc.
  • Lion was known but there is negligible reference about cat, tiger and camel;
  • Snake associated with evil;
  • Elephant՚s reference was uncertain, but in the Later Vedic period the elephants became common.

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