Vedic Age in India (1750 BC–500 BC)
Vedic Age is named after Vedas (Sacred scriptures), which were written during this age. It is believed Vedic Age lasted during 1750 BC to 500 BC, as per Archeological and linguistic scholar’s claims it is believed Indo Aryans migrated from “Bactria-Margiana Culture” (Northern Afghanistan) and settled in Northern India (Nepal, Pakistan & India). These Indo Aryans bring their religious traditions & culture to India.
Based on linguistic evidences “Rigveda”, which is Oldest among four Vedas, was written during 1700 BC – 1100 BC however this time span is not clear (just speculations based on evidences). So we consider 1700 BC – 1100 BC as early Vedic Period. Knowledge of Aryans came into light by Rigveda (Rigveda-samhita), which is believed to be composed during 1500 BC -1200 BC.
Based on Linguistic explanation, Vedic Civilization classified into following chronological branches:
- Rig Veda is oldest sacred text which has greater similarity with Indo-Iranian texts, both has similar language and content. It is believed it took couple of centuries to compose Rig Veda (Please see common words table below).
- Mantra Language
- Mantra Language is derived from Rig Veda, coincided with Black & Red Ware Culture and early Iron Age in North West India. During this Age compilation of Mantras and Prose Language of Atharvaveda (Shaunakiya & Paippalada), the Samaveda Samhita, the Rigveda Khilani and Mantras of Yajurveda took place. Due to the time of reinterpretation, all these text has great change in terms of language.
- Samhita Prose (Mantras and Benedictions; Prayer asking for Divine Blessing)
- Samhitas are collection of prayers, charms, sacrificial formulas, hymns & litanies.
- Brahmana Prose
- During this period all four Vedas & oldest Upanishad (Aranyakas) signifies Brahmanas properly. Videha was established as a third main political center in Vedic period which is North Bihar & Nepal currently (Please see in map below).
- Sutra Language
- During this period Grihya Sutras, major portion of the Srauta Sutras and some Upanishads were composed. This period is believed around 500 BC, which is last phase of Vedic Period.
Rigveda, literal meaning Praise Knowledge (Rc means Praise or Shine, Veda means knowledge), is a collection of 1028 Hymns & 10,600 verses which is in ten books. So we have ten Mandalas in Rigveda. 2 to 7 Mandalas are oldest part of Rigveda, 1 & 10 Mandalsa were added in last (so youngest in Age).
2 to 7 Mandalas discuss cosmology and praise deities, 1 & 10 Mandalas (Added at last) discuss philosophical questions about the origin of the universe and the nature of god, the virtue of Dāna (charity) in society, and other metaphysical issues.