Vedic Literature-Comparison of Economic Life

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Comparison of Economic Life


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
Differant Professions with their Meaning in todays worlds




Chariot driver


Arrow maker


Chord maker

Bid alkari

Basket maker




Vine maker



Kewat Gopala





Goat maintainer




Elephant 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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