Important Facts of Indian History for Competitive Exams Part 2

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 131K)

  • The Rigvedic Aryans worshipped the Sun as Savita, Mitra, Pooshan and Vishnu. Sun was called the ‘Eye of Gods’; and Agni the ‘Mouth of Gods’. Agni was considered to be the Purohit of the Aryans. They thought that the offering of the Yajna reaches to the gods through Agni. Varun was worshipped as a spatial god.

  • In Rig Veda, Usha, Sita, Prithvi, Aranyani, Ratri, Vak are worshipped as goddesses.

  • Besides Rig Ved, the reference of Sita as the goddess of agriculture is made in Gomel Grihya Sutra and Paraskar Grihya Sutra.

  • The ancient idols of Ganesh show his main weapons as Paash and Ankush.

  • In the Rigvedic age the traders were called ‘Pani’. They stole away the cattle of the Aryans.

  • Das’ or Dasyas were more hated than the ‘Pani’. They have been referred as black complexioned inauspicious and opposed to Yajnas. They were the worshippers of Phallus (Shishnadev).

  • In the Rigvedic age, the cow was the backbone of economy. It was called ‘Aghanya’—not to be killed, war has been referred as Gavisthi, the guest as Mohan and the daughter as Duhiti. One Rik refers to the domestication of sheep.

  • Vashishtha who replaced Vishwamitra as Purohit of King Sudas, has been mentioned as adopted son of Urvashi, and born of the ‘Virya’ of Mitra and Varun on an earthen pot.

  • Ballabh and Tarukshadas were chieftains who lavishly donated to the Purohit and through their grace obtained respect and high place in the Aryan society.

  • Savitri is referred in the famous Gayatri Mantra. In Rig Ved the maximum reference is made of Indra. After him Varun is referred to. In the earlier Richas Varun and Marat have been mentioned as ‘Gan’. Twasta also was a Vedic God.

  • Prajapati has been referred as the Adi Purush—the first human (male). The gods were his children.

  • In Rig Ved, the king has been mentioned as the Protector of the clan or the Gopta Janasya. The reference to Sabha, Samiti, Gan, and Vidath is made as the Tribal Councils.

  • No bureaucracy developed in Rigvedic age. Yet the officer of Gochar land were called Vrajpati, the officer of the village was called Gramani. He was the commander. The chief of the family is referred as ‘Kulap’.

  • The words like Vat, Gan, Gram and Shardh have also been used for indicating the group of Soldiers.

  • In Rig Ved Jan is used 275 times, Vish is used 170 times. Sangram is the word which indicates war between the villages.

  • The God of Vegetation. It was also an intoxicating drink and the method of its preparation is referred in the Rig Ved.

  • The later Vedic literature was written during 1100 to 600 B.C. The painted grey ware—bowls and plates were used and the tools which they used were made of iron.

  • The main crop of the later Vedic age was wheat and paddy instead of barley.

  • In the later Vedic age, the Vidath were extinct but the Sabha and the Samiti existed.

  • In this period, the King performed the rites of Rajasuya Yajna with a desire to obtain divine power, Ashvamedha Yajna to expand the empire and the Vajpeya Yajna for chariot racing with friends and relatives of his Gotra.

  • The Gotra system began in the later Vedic age. The custom of marrying outside the Gotra also started.

  • In the literature of later Vedic age, the first three Ashrams are mentioned—(1) Brahmcharya, (2) Grihastha, (3)Banprastha. The Sanyas Ashram is not mentioned.

  • In later Vedic period the plant some could not be obtained easily. As such other drinks were also used.

  • Gold and silver were mainly used for making ornaments and utensils. Other metals were used for making many other implements in the later Vedic era.

  • In later Vedic period, the commercial classes (Traders) organized themselves in ‘Sangh’. The Aryans conducted sea trade. Nisk, Satman and Krishal were used as coins for trade purposes.

  • In comparison to the religion of Rigvedic period, the later Vedic religion had become very complex. Purohit, Yajna and sacrifice were considered important. Many types of Yajnas were performed.

  • The Shatpath Brahman refers to the various steps in progress of cultivation—Jutal (ploughing), Buwai (planting), Lavani (weaning), Mandai (cutting) are the various processes mentioned in it.

  • Sangam literature is compiled in 8 books. They are—(1) Narune, (2) Kuruntoge, (3) Aigunuru, (4) Padirupyuttu, (5) Paripadal, (6) Karlittorga, (7) Nedultoge, (8) Purnanuru.

  • In the Sangam age, the Tamil Grammar was written in a detailed book, ‘Tolkappiyam’.

  • With the songs of the musicians, the dancers known as Panar and Widelier used to dance.

  • Pedinekilkanku is a famous composition of Sangam literature.

  • Sangam is a Sanskrit word meaning a Congregation and a Council.

  • The main theme of the Sangam literature is ‘Romance’ (Shringar) and heroism (Veergatha). Shringar is called as ‘Aham’ and Veergatha has been called as ‘Puram’.

  • The first Sangam was organized at Madurai under the chairmanship of Rishi Agastya.

  • The second Sangam was organized at Kapatpuram again under the chairmanship of Rishi Agastya.

  • The third Sangam was organized at Madurai and it was chaired by ‘Nakkirar’.

  • Avery was the family of Sangam age which meant Sabha (assembly).

  • Panchvaram was the assembly of the advisors of the King of Sangam age.

  • Ur was the institution which looked after the city administration.

  • The excavation of Arikamedu, provide enough evidence to prove that once open a time, the cantonments of the Roman traders resided there.

  • The teachers in the Sangam age were called as Kanakkaters.

  • The students in the Sangam age were called Bhanwan or Pillai.

  • Parsvanath arranged for fourfold vows (Chaturvrata) for the Bhikshus (monks)—(1) I shall not kill the living beings, (2)I shall always speak the truth, (3) I shall not steal, (4) I shall not keep any property.

  • Mahavir Swami has been called Nigashtha, Naatputra and Nirgranth Satpura.

  • Mahavir Swami left his mortal frame and attained Nirvana at Pawapuri near Patna in Bihar.

  • The Triratna in Jainism are described as Samyak Shraddha (veneration), Samyak Gyan (knowledge) and Samyak Acharana (conduct).

  • According to Jainism, Nirvana (redemption) to free the soul from the physical bondage.

  • Mahavir Swami has described five vows for the common people which are called as Panchmaha-vrat. These are—Truth, Non-violence, No stealing, No collection of wealth or anything and celibacy (Satya, Ahmisa, Astey, Aparigraha and Brahmcharya). To these was later added, ‘Not to eat at Night’.

  • Ptolemy, the ruler of Egypt sent Dioniyas as his ambassador to the Court of Bindusaar.

  • In Chandra Gupta Maurya’s time, the chief of the city was called Nagaradhyaksha who worked like the modern District Magistrate.

  • The smallest unit of the administration was the village. Its chief officer was called Gramik or Gramani.

  • Gramani was elected by the people of the village.

  • In every village, there was an officer who was called Gram Bhojak.

  • In the administration of Chandra Gupta Maurya the department of espionage was well organized. According to Kautilya, there were two sections of the secret service—(1) Sansthan, (2) Sancharan.

  • In the inscriptions, Asoka is called Devanampriya and Priyadarshi.

  • The Ceylonese sources and Deepvansh, call him, Priyadarshan and Priyadarshi. Scholars think that these were his titles.

  • Asoka appointed an officer called Mahamatras in every city and district.