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Advent of Aryans in India

21-JUL-2015 18:16

    Chronology

    The period of 1500 B.C and 600 B.C was divided into Early Vedic Age (Rig Vedic Period) and Later Vedic Age.

    • Rig Vedic Period: 1500 B.C- 1000 B.C; It was in this period, Aryans were supposed to have invaded India.
    • Later Vedic Period: 1000 B.C- 600 B.C

    Original Home and Identity

    • Aryans were pastoralists, i.e., they did not practice settled agriculture.
    • They tamed many animals, but horses were the most important of them all.
    • The Aryans started their journey to west Asia towards India from about 200 bc onwards.
    • The first stop of the Aryans in their journey towards India was Iran.

    The Rig Veda

    • It is the oldest book in the Indo-European language.
    • A compendium of prayers, it is divided into ten books or mandalas.
    • It has a compilation of prayers offered to various gods such as Agni, Varun, Indra, Mitra, etc.
    • Rig Veda shares its contents with Avesta, the oldest Iranian text, including the names of various gods and some social classes.

    Rivers in the Vedic Age

    • Earlier, Aryans lived in eastern Afghanistan, Punjab, and some areas of Uttar Pradesh.
    • Some rivers such as the Kubha, Saraswati, Indus (or the Sindhu), and its tributaries are mentioned in the Rig Veda.
    • The term ‘sapta sindhu’ or the group of seven chief rivers is mentioned in the Rig Veda for India.
    • The seven rivers were probably:

    1. Saraswati in the east,
    2. Sindhu(Indus) in the west,
    3. Satudru(Sutlej), Vipasa(Beas), Asikni(Chenab), Parushni(Ravi) and Vitasta(Jhelum) in between.

    Tribal Conflicts

    • The first batch of Aryans invaded India in circa 1500 B.C.
    • They got into conflicts with the autochthonous inhabitants of India, i.e. the Dasas or Dasyus.
    •  While the Dasas did not provoke much violence from the Aryans, Dasyuhatya or the slaughter of Dasyus is frequently mentioned in the Rig Veda.
    • Indra is also mentioned as Purandara in the Rig Veda, which literally translates into ‘breaker of forts’.
    • The mention of the Pre-Aryan forts could have been of Harappan settlements.
    • The Aryans were easily able to conquer the natives as they possessed better arms, coats of mail (Varman) and chariots driven by horses.
    • The Aryans engaged in two types of conflicts: one with the indigenous populations and then among themselves.
    • The Aryans were divided into five tribes called Panchajanas and sometimes procured the help of non-Aryans as well.
    • The rulers of Aryan clan were Bharata and Tritsu assisted by priest Vasishtha.
    • The country Bharatvarsha was named after the king Bharata.

    The Dasarajan War

    • India was ruled by the bharata clan and faced opposition from ten kings; five Aryans and five non-Aryans.
    • The battle fought amongst them is called the battle of ten kings or the dasarajan war.
    • Fought on the river parushni or Ravi, the battle was won by the Sudas.
    • Later, the Bharatas joined hands with the Purus to form a new clan called the Kurus.
    • In the later Vedic times, the Kurus and the Panchalas played an important role in the politics of the upper Gangetic plains where they established their rule together.

    Jagranjosh

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