What Books and Burials Tell Us – CBSE Notes for Class 6 Social

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Facts that Matter:

• There are four Vedas:
(i) Rigveda (ii) Samaveda
(iii) Yajurveda (iv) Atharvaveda.
The oldest one is the Rigveda (3500 years ago). It contains over a thousand hymns (“Suktas”). The Vedas are religious texts of Hinduism. The hymns were composed by rishis and students memorised them. The Rigveda has been written in old (Vedic) Sanskrit.
• The Vedas were written down much later. Students learnt the hymns and passed it on to other generations by memorising and not writing.
1024px-Rigveda_MS2097
                                                                      The Manuscript of rigveda
• Rigveda contains prayers for cattle, children and horsesf Wealth was distributed among the leaders, priests and other people, according to the Rigveda. ‘Yajnas’ were performed. Most men took part in wars.
• The Rigveda divides people in two groups on the basis of their work : the ‘brahmins’ and the ‘rajas’. People or the community as a whole have been referred to as ‘jana’ or ‘vish’. The composers of hymns called themselves ‘Aryas’, and their opponents ‘Dasas’/ ‘Dasyus’.
• Stone boulders as the one in figure are called Megaliths.
magalith
                                                                                     Megalith
They were used to mark burial sites. This practice was used in the Deccan and Kashmir. Some megaliths are on the surface and some are underground.
• The dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware.
• People were buried along with several objects. The objects chosen probably depended upon the status of the person dead.
• Families were usually buried together.
• In Inamgaon, people were buried with their head towards north. Vessels containing food and water were placed with them.

Words that Matter:

• Aryas: The people who composed the hymns used the word ‘Aryas’ for themselves.
• Black and Red-Ware: The two distinctive pots, with which the dead were buried, have been called the Black and the Red Ware.
• Brahmins: The priests were referred to as the ‘Brahmins’. They performed various rituals.
• Dasyus/Dasas: The opponents of the ‘Aryas’ were referred to as ‘Dasas’/’Dasyus’ by them. This world later meant ‘slave’.
• Megalith: A stone boulder, used to mark burial site, is referred to as a megalith.
• Sukta: The hymns of the Vedas were called ‘Suktas’, which translates into ‘well-said’.

Dateline:

• About 3600 years ago—beginning of settlement of Inamgaon.
• About 3500 years ago (i.e. circa 1500 B.C.)—beginning of composition of the oldest of the Vedas, the Rigveda.
• About 3000 years ago (i.e. circa 1,000 B.C.)—beginning of the building of megaliths.
• Around 2700 years ago (i.e. circa 700 B.C.)—end of settlement at Inamgaon.
• Around 2000 years ago—Charaka wrote ‘Charaka Samhita’.
• Less than 200 years ago (in the 19th century A.D.)—printing of the Rigveda for the first time.