NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 1 Ancient World, Introduction Part 7 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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India: The Vedic Age

  • Around 1500 BC in India, the Vedic Age marks a new phase in ancient Indian History which began with the arrival of the Aryans.
  • It lasted for almost a thousand years, in the course of which a number of incidents took place;
The Vedic Age
  • The Vedic Age is accordingly divided into two periods of about equal duration;
    • Early Vedic Period
    • Later Vedic Period.
  • Vedas are the most important source of information on the Vedic Age.
  • The Early Vedic period is known mainly for the Rig Veda, which was the first Veda to be composed.
    • Horses
    • Goats and sheep were also important
  • Raja; The chief of the tribe.
  • Sabhas and Samitis; Popular assemblies of all members of the Janas, had an important say in public affairs.
  • The Later Vedic literature consisted of the following books, that is, the three Vedas;
    • Sama Veda
    • Yajur Veda
    • Atharva Veda
  • There were also commentaries on all the four Vedas;
    • Brahmanas
    • Aranyakas
    • Upanishads
  • PGW sites; They are all marked by a typical pottery called Painted Grey Ware (PGW) .
  • During the Later Vedic period, there was a large scale toward the east development of the Aryan people group to Indo-Gangetic Doab and Upper Ganga fields.
  • Towards the end of the period, three important kingdoms came up further East:
    • Kashi
    • Koshala
    • Videha
  • The main occupation was agriculture, and number of crops including rice;
    • wheat
    • sugarcane was grown.
  • Castes began to emerge and crystallise in the form of four Varnas;
    • Brahmanas
    • Kshatriyas
    • Vaishyas
    • Shudras
  • The significance of the god Indra subsided; new divine such as Prajapati figured noticeably.

The Post-Vedic Age

  • Mahajanapadas; In the 6th century BC there came up large territorial states in northern and eastern India.
  • There were sixteen such states, which are more powerful namely;
    • Anga
    • Magadha
    • Vajji
    • Kashi
    • Koshala
    • Malla
    • Kuru
    • Vatsa
    • Avanti
    • Kamboja
    • Gandhara
    • Assaka
    • Chedi
    • Matsya
    • Shurasena
  • Among these the most powerful states are;
    • Magadha
    • Kosala
    • Avanti
  • Some gave rise to new forces in the society that is;
    • The extension of agriculture
    • Growth of trade industries
    • Rise of territorial states
    • Beginning of urbanization
  • The 6th century BC was also a period of socio- religious transformation.
  • This period is called the Ancient Period in History, which saw the rise of two important religions called;
    • Jainism
    • Buddhism

Buddhism

  • In 563 BC at Lumbini which is situated near the Indo-Nepal Border, the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha was born.
  • He was the son of Shuddhodhana
  • He was the chief of Shakya of Kapilavastu
  • Under a pipal tree, at the age of 29, Gautama left home and attained Bodhi at Bodhgaya.
  • His teachings included;
    • Four Noble Truths (Arya Satya)
    • Eightfold Path (Ashtangika Marga)
  • According to Buddha:
    • the world is full of misery (dukkha) ;
    • desire (trishna) is the cause of this misery;
    • if desire is conquered, then all sorrows can be removed;
    • This can be done by following the Eightfold Path; which included:
      • right memory
      • right aim
      • right speech
      • right action
      • right livelihood
      • right efforts
      • right memory
      • right meditation
  • Buddha suggested a ‘Middle Path’ .
  • ‘Middle Path’ means away from both extreme luxury as well as extreme austerity.
  • For his followers he also laid down a code of conduct such as;
    • Non-killing
    • Non- stealing

Jainism

  • The first Tirthankara, Rishabhanath, who is known to be the founder of Jainism.
  • Vardhamana Mahavira - 24th Tirthankara of this sect.
  • Parshvanath - 23rd one.
  • In 540 BC at Kundagram near Vaishali Mahavira was born.
  • Chief of Jhatrika Kshatriya clan was his father.
  • At the age of 30 he became a Mahavira, in 468 BC pawapuri near Rajagriha he died.
  • The followers of Mahavira are known to be ‘Jainas’ .
  • Opposed the caste system
  • Accepted the doctrine of Karma and rebirth.
  • Jainism has five cardinal principles:
    • Ahimsa or non-violence
    • Truthfulness
    • Abstention from stealing
    • Non-attachment
    • Celibacy or Brahmacharya
  • The three jewels (Triratna) of Jainism are:
    • Right vision (Samyak Darshana)
    • Right knowledge (Samyak Jnana)
    • Right Conduct (Samyak Charita)

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