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About the Vedic Period
Basically the culture and tradition of a country depends on its historical background. Ancient Vedic culture still continues in some aspects in India because the Indians are the successor of the Vedic inhabitants. The culture was divided in two distinct groups; Dravidians and Aryans. We are aware of the culture by two great scriptures; Vedas and Upanishads which had a thoughtful effect on the development of cultures, traditions and religious conviction of India. Vedic culture has continued from 1500 BC to 500 BC in the north and northwestern parts of India. This time period is divided into two parts - The Vedic period from 1500 BC to 1000 BC and the Later Vedic period from 1000 BC to 600 BC.
Vedas were said as Chaturvedas and it has four parts. Among them, Rig-Veda was the first composition of the Chaturvedas. It consists of verse composed of religious hymns and probably it inherited many elements from pre-Vedic, common Indo-Iranian society. RigVedic Aryans have a lot in common with the Andronovo culture and the Mittanni kingdoms as well as with early Iranians. The other three Vedas are Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. The Yajurveda provides information about sacrifices. The Samveda is believed to be the base of Indian Cultural Songs and Music. The Atharvaveda consists of philosophy and lists solution to day-to-day problems, anxieties and difficulties. It also includes information on Medicines and Herbals. Another literature was Upanishad which consists of discussions on several problems such as creation of the universe, the nature of God, the origin of mankind.
Cattle were held in high esteem and frequently appear in Rigvedic hymns; Agriculture grew more prominent with time as the community gradually began to settle down in post-Rigvedic times. The economy was based on bartering with cattle and other valuables such as salt or metals. Families were patrilineal, and people prayed for the abundance of sons.
People worshiped many God and Goddess including the god of the following nature rain, animal, earth, etc. The main deities of the Vedic pantheon were Indra Dev (king of God), Agni (the God of fire), and Soma and some deities of social order such as Mitra Varuna (god of rain), Aryaman and Amsa, further nature deities such as Surya (the God of Sun), Vayu (the God of wind), Prithivi (the God of earth).
The later Vedic period
The later Vedic period was marked by appearance of agriculture as the dominant economic activity. The late Vedic period was marked by the rise of the sixteen Mahajanapadas referred to in some of the literature. The power of the king and the Kshatriyas greatly increased. Rulers gave themselves titles like Ekarat, Sarvabhauma and Chakravartin. The kings performed sacrifices like Rajasuya, Vajapeya and for supreme dominance over other kings, the ashvamedha (horse sacrifice).
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