Total History and Civics Class 9 ICSE Morning Star Solutions Chapter 2 The Vedic Period.
These Solutions are part of Total History and Civics Class 9 ICSE Morning Star Solutions. Here we have given.Total History and Civics Class 9 ICSE Morning Star Solutions Chapter 2 The Vedic Period.
I. Short Answer Questions.
What is meant by Vedic culture ?
Vedic culture involves the culture of Aryans settlements along Indus, Yamuna and Ganga rivers. Early Vedic Period is concerned to the Indus Valley (1500 – 1000 BC). Later Vedic Period (1000 – 500 BC), is related to Yamuna-Ganga Doab culture. The early period was also known as iron age or tribal age and the later age is connected to the development of agriculture along Yamuna-Ganga basin.
Why was the Early Vedic Literature known as Shruti ?
The Early Vedic Literature was known as ‘Shruti’, because it was conveyed by the God to the great sages by hearing (by ‘Shravan’) and so it was called ‘Shruti’.
Name the four Vedas and state what the hymns in each Veda deal with ?
(a) The Rig Veda : It is the oldest religious text in the world. It contains 1028 hymns divided into 10 mandalas. The hymns are dedicated by the sages to the Gods. Much of the Indian philosophy is based on the Rig Veda. It also contains the famous ‘Gayatri Mantra’.
(b) The Sama Veda : It contains 1875 hymns, some of which are borrowed from the Rig Veda. These hymns were sung at the time of the sacrifice by the priests. These are sweet song or ‘the melody’.
(c) The Yajur Veda : It deals with rituals or the hymns recited during the performance of Yajnas. These are 2086 hymns.
(d) The Atharva Veda: It contains 731 hymns dealing with magic and charm. The hymns deals with the power of ghosts, spirits, gyan, karma and upasana.
What are the Upanishads ?
The Upanishads are philosophical commentaries on the Vedas.These form the basic source of Indian philosophy. These were composed between 1000 BC 800 BC by different sages, they are said to form the foundation on which later additions to Vedic Literature rest.
What are the Dharmashastra ? Name one Dharmashastra.
The law-books called the Dharmasutras and the Samritis together with their commentaries are called Dharamashastras. Manusmriti, which gives the description of Hindu code of law is a Dharmashastra.
What is known as Bhagwad Gita ?
‘Bhagwad Gita’ is the compilation of the text, teachings imparted by Lord Krishna to Arjun explaining the importance of‘Karma’ or duty, immortal soul, the right way of life. It also includes the glimpse of Mahabharata battle. It is a sacred book of Hindus.
Mention the importance of the Epics as a source of information about the Aryans.
- The Epics serve as the main source of information on the political institutions and the social and cultural organisation of the Epic Age.
- They provide information on the various Aryan Kingdoms, about their army and the weapons they used during the period.
- pics reveal the high ideals of family life of the Aryans.
- The Bhagwad Gita one of the Great Epics of the world elaborates the Karma philosophy and the immortality of the soul.
Which battle is known as the Mahabharata ?
The battle fought between ‘Kurus’ or ‘Kauravas’ and ‘Pandus’ or ‘Pandavas’ along the battlefield of ‘Kurushetra’ is known as the ‘Mahabharata’.
Name the period during which the Aryans began to settle in India.
The Aryans settled down in India between (1500-500 BC) i.e. Along Indus valley in Early Vedic Period (1500-1000 BC and Along Yamuna-Ganga basin in Later Vedic Period (1000-500 BC)
What are known as the Varnashramas ? Name them.
There were four Varnashramas, e.g. Brahmacharya (upto 25 years), Grihastha (25-50 years)Vanaprastha (50-75 years) and Sanyasa Ashrama (75-100 years).
What was known as the ‘Sapta Sindhu’ ?
The Indus basin was known as the ‘Sapta Sindhu’ or the land of seven rivers, namely Sindhu (Indus), Ravi, Beas, Satluj, Jhelum, Chenab and Saraswati.
How did trade become a pivot around which the life of the people revolved ?
During the Later Vedic Age, trade became quite prominent; so the settlement or the towns and cities developed around the main trade centers. Thus, the city life moved according to the activities associated with the trade.
State the difference in the position of women between the Early Vedic and Later Vedic Age.
During the Early Vedic Period women were respected. The institution of marriage had become sacred. The daughters were given freedom to choose their husbands. In the Later Vedic Period, there was significant decline in the status of women. Their participation in Yajnas was not considered necessary. They did not enjoy the right to property. Man’s opinion were respected. As a result the freedom to choose the husbands by women was curtailed.
Name the four ashrams into which the human life span was divided, indicating the time span for each.
The four ashrams are Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.
- Brahmacharya Ashrama : It lasted upto the age of 25 years. During this period, the pupil was expected to acquire knowledge in the gurukul and observe strict discipline.
- Grihastha Ashrama : During this period, man was supposed – to marry and raise a family. This period lasted from the age of 25 to 50 years.
- Vanaprastha Ashrama : It lasted from the age of 50 to 75 years. During this period man was expected to retire from worldly life and acquire spiritual and philosophical knowledge.
- Sanyasa Ashrama : The last stage lasts from the age of 75 to 100 years. This was the period of renunciation.
State briefly the change that occurred in the position of the Brahmins in the Later Vedic Age.
In the Later Vedic period, Brahamins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras became four distinct castes or Varnas. The Brahmins or the priests performed religious rituals. During the Later Vedic Age, the caste system become rigid. The Brahmins enjoyed more privileges. The priests came to be considered as Gods on earth.
Give one point of difference between the Early Vedic Period and Later Vedic Period.
The tribal stage of Early Vedic Period shifted to the settled pattern of life in Later Vedic Period. One family system was changed to joint family system.
Name two important duties of a King in the Later Vedic Period.
Two important duties of a King in the Later Vedic Period included ‘Rajsuya Yajna’ at the time of coronation and ‘Ashvamedha Yajna’ to expand his realm. The another main duty of a king was to protect his territory.
Name the important officers appointed by the King to carry on his administration.
The important officers appointed by the King were Gramins (officer in charge of village affairs), Purohita
(performing religious ceremonies) and Senani (Commander of army).
Name the two yajnas performed by the King.
Two main yajnas performed by the King were ‘Rajsuya Yajna’ (at the time of coronation) and ‘Ashvamedha Yajna’ (to improve the power of the realm).
What is known as the ‘Battle of Ten Kings’ ?
The period between 1000 BC and 600 BC is marked by the ‘Battle of Ten Kings’, fought between Sudas, a Bharata King of the Tritsu family and a confederacy of ten tribal chiefs led by Vishvamitra.
Name the important gods of the early Aryans.
Worship of natural phenomena prevailed in early Aryans, e.g. Indra, Agni, Varuna, Mitra, Surya etc.
Name the Nature Gods of the Later Vedic Period.
Nature Gods of the Later Vedic Age were Prajapati Brahma,Rama, Krishna (incarnation of Vishnu) and Shiva etc.
Name the God to which the famous Gayatri mantra is addressed.
The famous Gayatri mantra is addressed to the Sun, the god of light and creation.
Name any two early Aryan settlements.
The early Aryans settled in the Sapta-Sindhu region which comprised the five rivers of Punjab namely—Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej and the river Indus (Sindhu) and the river Sarasvati.
Which is the oldest Vedic Literature.
The Rig Veda is the oldest Vedic literature.
What does the Rig Veda contain?
It contains hymns in praise of different Gods and Goddesses like – Indra, Varuna and Agni.
Mention any of the Vedic hymans that enables us to reconstruct the Early Vedic Civilization.
Agni. Agni was the personification, of the ‘sacrificial fire’. Sacrifices or yanjas occupied a prominent place in the early Vedic religion. Agni was thought of a messenger or a bearer of offerings (of milk, grain, ghee, etc.) from men to Gods.
How can you say that the Rig Vedic Age was the Non-Iron using phase of Vedic history?
The copper and the bronze were available in abundance, while the use of iron was not known to the Rig Vedic Age.
Name any two of the four Varnas.
The Brahmins and the Kshtriyas.
What was the position of women in the Rig Vedic age?
Women were treated as being equal with men. They took part in all religious rites. Women were given education. Girls had freedom in the choice of husbands. Monogamy any polygamy both were popular. Child-marriage the sati system and purdah did not exist among the Aryans. The women attended all the social functions and gatherings. People prayed for the birth of sons in particular, but there are no clues of prayers for the birth of a daughter.
What were the two main occupations of the Rig Vedic Aryans?
Domesticiation of the animals and agriculture.
Name the two political institutions which exercised check on the powers of the King in the Rig Vedic period.
The Samiti and the Sabha.
What form of worship did the Aryans follow during the early Vedic period?
The early Vedic period comprised worshipping of several gods. The Aryans used to worship Gods of the Sky or Heaven, Gods of the Atmosphere Gods of the Earth, Sacrifices or the Yajnas.
Mention the important features of the religion of the early Vedic period.
The religion of the early Vedic period was very simple. The people worshipped various forces of nature as manifestations of the Supreme God. Thus, they worshipped a number of Nature Gods. The Aryans did not build any temples of worshipped idols. They used to chant hymns in the open air. Sacrifices or the Yajnas occupied a prominent place in the early Vedic period.
State the importance of Sacrifices in the early Vedic ritual.
The Aryans propitiated their Gods by performing sacrifices.
The common items of offerings for the sacrifice included ghee, milk, grain, flesh and soma juice. Every householder performed the sacrifice by kindling the sacred fire and reciting hymns. All the members of the family participated in these ceremonies.
Mention the important changes that took place in their religion of the later Vedic period.
In the later Vedic period, Vajpeya sacrifice was performed by a new king at the time of his coronation. The Rajasuya sacrifice was performed to appease Gods in order to ensure the material well-being of the kingdom. The Ashvamedha sacrifice was performed for a powerful king to proclaim that he was the ‘King of Kings’.
Name any two newer regions occupied by the Aryans during the later Vedic period.
During the later Vedic period, the Aryans occupied the region along the course of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna—Bihar, vast regions to the eash such as Kosala (each Utter Pradesh).
Mention the monumental evidence to suggest that Southern India had also become familiar with Iron in the later Vedic Age.
Megalithic Monuments such as dolmens and cromlechs have been found all over South India. The word ‘megalith’ means large stone (mega + lith). A dolmen or a cromlech is a megalithic tomb with a large flat stone laid on upright ones. Iron tools, arrows and fragments of rice and other grains have been found, besides the skeletons of the persons buried in these graves. This is enough to show the transition from Copper and Bronze Age Culture to the Iron Age.
Mention any two of the Ashrams in the life of a man in Aryan society.
The Brahmacharya Ashram and the Grihastha Ashram.
Mention the important subjects included in the courses of Gurukul education.
Logic, Ethics, Military Science, Astronomy and Astrology were included in the course of study/ Mathematics, Law and Grammar were also important subjects of study besides Vedic literature.
Name the sacrifice that was performed by a king at the time of his coronation during the later Vedic age.
The Ashvamedha sacrifice was performed by a king at the time of his coronation during the later Vedic age.
Name any two newer crops produced by the later Vedic Aryans.
Virhi (rice) and wheat.
Name the important deities of the later Vedic period.
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Rama and Lord Krishna became popular deities during the Epic period. Durga, Kali and Parvati emerged as the important female deities.
Mention briefly the rituals and sacrifices of the later Vedic Aryans?
Sacrifice became the most important part of the religion of the later Vedic Aryans. The ceremonies could be performed only by professional priests, many superstitious beliefs in spritis, spells and charms became part of their religion. Practice of Tapasya or penance occupied an important place in the religion. They believed in the principles of Karma (action) and Moksha (salvation).
In the later Vedic period, the simple religious practices became complicated and ritualistic which were varied handled by the priests themselves as they had a vast knowledge of enchanting mantras in a meaningful manner to perform the holy rituals for a purpose, wish or some other reason. Hence, the priestly class was always given a prominent position in society in the later Vedic period.
Name the two Epics and their authors.
The two Epics are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Ramayana was written by the Sage Valmiki and the Mahabharata is believed to be the work of Ved Vyasa.
II. Structured Questions :
With reference to the sources of information about hie Vedic Age, write short notes on the following :
(a) The Epics
(b) Role of Iron Implements
(a) The Epics — The Epics provide following information about the Vedic age :
- The Epics serve as the main source of information on the political institutions and the social and cultural organisation of the Epic Age.
- They provide information on the various Aryan Kingdoms, about their army and the weapons they used during the period. The Kshatriyas were entrusted with the defense of their kingdoms and they believed that death on the battlefield was the noblest act in the life of a warrior.
- The Epics are considered as the finest literary works of the ancient period and are acclaimed for their literary and philosophical value.
- They reveal the high ideals of family life of the Aryans.
- The great heroes, depicted in the Epics are the embodiment of high moral principles, and made a great impact on successive generations.
The Bhagwad Gita elaborates the Karma philosophy and the immortality of the soul.
(b) Role of Iron Implements — In India, the Iron Age began in 1000BC. The village farming communities gradually dispersed in large parts of India from the Gangetic plains to the peninsular south. Iron was a harder metal than copper and bronze. It was cheap and available in plenty Iron deposits were found over large areas ; so man could use iron to make livelihood. It was used in the following areas :
- Agriculture: The Aryans with their agricultural background discovered the use of iron in India, which gradually gave rise of economic development. Discovery of iron gave them new implements like axes to clear the forest and cultivate the land. With the use of iron plough-heads, sickles and hoes, they could bring vast tracts of land under cultivation.
- Occupation : The use of iron gave rise to new trades by providing durable implements like saws, chisels, hammers, nails and tongs. This gave rise to such occupations as weaving, spinning, carpentry, tanning and tool-making.
- Defence : Because of its durability and easy availability, iron was extensively used in making weapons of war like swords, armours, shields and slings.
2. With reference to Vedic Literature, answer the following questions :
Give a brief account of the four Vedas.
- The Rig Veda : It contains 1028 hymns divided into 10 mandalas. These hymns are dedicated to the gods and natural gifts and the prayers and meant for the welfare of the whole humanity.
- The Sama Veda : It contains 1875 hymns as the songs sung by the sages and gods at the time of holy ceremonies.
- The Yajur Veda : There are 2086 hymns which were recited during ‘Yajnas’. There is also description of herbal medicines and their effects.
- The Atharva Veda : With 731 hymns, this veda deals with magic and charm. It also contains scientific knowledge and medicines, too.
What are known as Brahamanas and Aranyakas ?
The Brahamanas : These are the commentary in prose of the vedas, which explain the social and religious importance of rituals as well as the value of sacrifices.
The Aranyakas: These are ‘forest books’ written for the guidance of the hermits and the students living in the forests. Their central theme is mysticism and philosophy.
3. With reference to Vedic Period answer the following questions :
Mention the periods of the Early and Later Vedic Periods.
Early Vedic Period is from 1500 to 1000 BC and Later Vedic Period is from 1000 to 500 BC.
State three important changes that took place in the society in the process of its transition from the Early Vedic Period to the Later Vedic Period.
- Single family system converted to Joint family system.
- Equal rights enjoyed by women changed to declination in the status of women.
- General caste system converted to rigid caste system.
4. With reference to the Society during the Vedic Age, answer the following questions :
Explain briefly the class divisions that existed in the society.
In the Early Vedic Period, the society was divided into different classes based on their profession. A person could adopt any profession of his choice.
People followed different professions which became hereditary in course of time. This resulted in the division of society into occupational classes. However, later on class system became caste system.
In the Later Rig Vedic Period, caste system emerged. The four main castes were — Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The Brahmans or the priests performed religious rituals. The Kshatriyas participated in wars. The Vaishyas engaged in business and looked after agriculture as well as industry. The Shudras served the upper classes.
Explain the four stages in the life of an Aryan.
In the Later Vedic Period, the whole life-span of an Aryan came to be divided into four periods. The four stages of life are known as four ashramas, each of 25 years duration. The four ashramas are Brahmacharya, Grithastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.
The Brahmacharya Ashrama lasted upto the age of 25 years. During this period, the pupil was expected to acquire knowledge in the gurukul and observe strict discipline. During the period of the Grithastha Ashrama, (25 to 50 years) man was supposed to marry and raise a family. As a householder, he was to take responsibility of maintaining his family.
The third stage was Vanaprastha Ashrama. (50 to 75 years) During this period man was expected to retire from worldly life and acquire spiritual and philosophical knowledge.
The last stage (75 to 100 years) was the Sanyasa Ashrama. This was the period of renunciation. Man had to leave everything forever and go into meditation in order to attain moksha or salvation.
State the position of women in the Vedic period.
In the Early Vedic Period women enjoyed the equal rights and their educational talents were not less than men, e.g., Maitreyi and Gargi were two famous women of that age, who were highly respected for their extraordinary knowledge and preaching magic of conversation. In the Later Vedic Period, there was significant decline in the status of women. Their participation in Yajnas was not considered necessary. They did not enjoy the right to property.
With reference to economic organisation of the people in the Vedic Period answer the following questions:
(a) State the methods used by the Aryans in agriculture.
(b) Why was domestication of animals very important to the Aryans ?
(c) How was trade managed during this period ?
(a) Agriculture became quite prominent in Vedic Period. The use of various agricultural implements like iron plough shares, metal tools was in practice. The making of furrows for crops was evident with reference to Pusan in Rig Veda. Variety of crops were cultivated.
(b) Domestication of animals was very important for helping in agriculture and milk products.
(c) The trade became remarkable, as the growth of new towns and cities were developed linked with the trade activities e.g. metal crafts, carpentry, pottery, fishery, spinning, weaving etc. Although the coins were used in the trade, but barter system was still dominant.
6. With reference to the picture given answer the following questions :
Describe briefly the life in a Gurukul.
The life in a Gurukul was very simple. The students got up early in the morning for bath and prayers and after that they had to do all household duties, gardening and serving of their teachers. They learned the actual way to be healthy and efficient. The life was quite hard and the total sacrifice was practiced for obedience and duty.
What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a Gurukul.
Advantages : The students lived in Gurukul with their teacher and carried on all the household duties, too. It was beneficial for their physical, mental and spiritual development. They learned the basic rules of humanity and equality and the moral of simple living and high thinking.
Disadvantages : The students led a hard life without any personal choice or liking. The education was basically oral and the written tests were missing ; otherwise their ability would be better judged.
With reference to the Vedic age, answer the questions that follow :
(a) How did the kingdoms expand during the Later Vedic period ?
(b) Compare the duties of a king during Early Vedic period with those during the Later Vedic period.
(c) What position did the priestly class hold in the Later Vedic period ?
(a) During the Later Vedic period, vast kingdoms were established, both through merger of villages and conquests. ‘Ashvamedha Yajna’ was performed for challenging the other kings to fight and transfer their realms to the winner king. In this way a king was to become from king to a ‘Chakravarti Samrat’, like the emperor Ashoka in later Mauryan period.
(b) The main duty of the king was the welfare and security of his tribe. But during the Later Vedic period, the king was dependent on the advice and directions given by the priests. In this way the welfare of the people became uncertain.
(c) In the Later Vedic Period, the priests became very important persons, as they performed all the religious ceremonies. Their status was very high ; so much so that they were worshipped as Gods due to their knowledge and special qualities of mind.
Discuss the sources to reconstruct the Early Vedic (Rig Vedic) Past the with reference to the following :
(a) Indra, the most favourite God of the Aryans
(b) Agni, the personification of Sacrificial fire
(c) References to the Cow in the Rig Vedic hymns
(a) In the Rig Veda, Indra is the king of the gods and ruler of the heavens. Indra is the God of thunder and rain and a great warrior, a symbol of courage and strength. He leads the Deva (the gods who form and maintain Heaven) and the elements, such as Agni (Fire), Varuna (Water and Surya (Sun).
He thus fights in a timeless battle between good and evil. As the God of war, he is also regarded as one of the guardians of the directions, representing the East. As the favourite national go do the Vedic Indians, Indra has about 250 hymns dedicated to him in the Rigveda, more than those devoted to any other god and almost one fourth of the total number of hymns of the Rigveda.
(b) Agni, the Vedic god of fire who presides over the earth, has made transition into the Hindu pantheon of gods, without lossing his importance. With Vayu and Indra, who presided over the air and sky, he is one of the supreme gods in Rig Veda. The link between heaven and earth, he is associated with Vedic sacrifice, taking offerings to the other world in the fire. Agni is a deva, second only to Indra in the power and importance attributed to him in Vedic mythology. Agni stands for knowledge for it is seen by the learned people, covering all things that move and do not move and because it is summers the Devatas endowed with knowledge. The light Agni units is the light of knowledge, therefore it is known as illuminator of knowledge who lights up the path leading to truth.
(c) Cow has been a symbol of wealth since ancient Vedic times. In the Rig Veda, the cows figure frequently as symbols of wealth, and also in comparison with river goddesses. The Vedic god Indra is often compared to a bull. River are often linked to cows in the Rigveda.
Describe the social life of the Rig Vedic Aryans with reference to the following :
(a) The Family Structure
(b) Position of Women
(c) Varna System
With reference to the given heads the social life of the Rig Vedic Aryans is described below :
(a) The Family Structure : The basic unit of the social structure was the ‘family’. The joint family system was prevalent. Houses in this age, were built of wood or reed. The Rig Vedic society was patriarchal in which Grihyapati (master of the house) dominated in family and social life.
(b) Position of Women : Women were given equal status to that of men in society. They were permitted to participate in all the religious rites. Gaining of education had not been restricted to them. There were women scholars who composed hymns and were well-versed in the sacred scriptures. Girls could seek husbands of their own choice. Monogamy was in custom, but polygamy was also practiced by many. Child-marriage, the Sati system and Purdah did not exist among the Aryans. The women attended all social functions and gatherings. The general tendency of people was to have male births rather than the females. They used to perform prayers seeking the birth of the male-child. But in case of females, people had a repulsive attitude they did not like to have female-baby.
(c) Varna System : One hymn in the last book of the Rig Veda refers to four orders of society — the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas and the Shudras. The people who explained the Vedic texts and performed the religious ceremonies were called the Brahmins. Those who belonged to the ruling class, were the Kshatriyas. The common people, who were engaged in agriculture, trade and industry were the Vaisyas. The Shudras were the menial workers who did not have much to own. Scholars are of the opinion that the term ‘Varna’ in the Rig Veda, refers to the racial difference between the Aryans and non-Aryans. It is in this context that the terms Arya Varna and Dosa Varna came into use. There was no ban on the taking of food cooked by Shudras and no restrictions on intermarriages or change of occupation.
With reference to the following explain the main features of the Riv Vedic Economy :
(a) Domestication of Animals
(c) Crafts and Trade Transactions
With reference to the given headings, the economic life of the Rig Vedic Aryans is explained as follows :
(a) Domestication of Animals : The Rig Vedic Aryans had mainly a pastoral economy. Cattle formed an important item of dona (gifts) made to the priests. The word Gomat was used to signify a wealthy person. It meant the one who possessed many cattle, especially the cows and bulls. Other domesticated animals were the ox, the horse, the dog, the goat and the sheep.
(b) Agriculture : The Rig Vedic Aryans were mainly scattered in villages. They frequently prayed for plentiful rain and bountiful harvest, large herds of cattle and good health. It shows that agriculture was an important occupation of the village folk. However, the only grain referred to in the Rig Veda is Yava which could mean grain in general or barley in particular.
(c) Crafts and the Trade and Commerce : Men and women were engaged in weaving cloth. The metal-workers or the smiths were skilled in making weapons, implements and ornaments. The metal ayas mentioned in the Rig Veda is generally taken to mean copper or bronze, although it has been understood as iron also. The people were engaged in trade, cloth and leather goods being the main items. The barter system practiced for trade transactions. The cow was the standard unit of value.
They used horses and bullocks for carrying goods from place to place. They also transported goods through the inland rivers.
What information do we gather from the later Vedic literature in respect of :
(a) Spread of Vedic Civilization to many New Regions.
(b) Role of Iron in later Vedic Economy.
(a) Aryas-expansion during the later Vedic age : As the population increased, the Aryans moved along the course of the river Ganga and Yamuna. The scene shifted from Punjab to the land of the Kurus which was the region round modem Delhi. Further, they occupied vast regions to the east, such as Kosala (each Uttar Pradesh), Kashi (Varanasi), Videha (North Bihar) and Magadha (South Bihar). The name Van gas” occurs in one of the Aranyakas (forest texts), which refers sto the people of Eastern Bengal. The Aitareya Brahmana mentioned the Andhras, who in modern times are the Telugu-speaking people of the sour them India. Thus, the territories occupied by the later Vedic Aryans, comprised the whole of India to the north of the Narmada and some regions even to the south of that river.
(b) In context of the use of Iron extensively during the later Vedic Age, the given headlines are described as under :
The regions in which the use of Iron was fairly widespread during the later Vedic Age, they were the modern States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, parts of Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Iron weapons such as arrowheads and spearheads and tools like— knives, axes and plough shares have been discovered from various painted Grey Ware sites. But in some parts of the country, the Red Ware (pottery) were more common than the Polished Grey Ware.
Describe the social changes evident in the later Vedic period with reference to :
(a) Position of Women
(b) Caste System
With reference to the given heads the social changes evident in the later Vedic period are described as under :
(a) Position of Women : The honour or respect that the women of the Rig Vedic age had enjoyed had been lessened towards the later Vedic age. Although they continued to be associated with all religious rites, the rules of marriage underwent a change. If monogamy was the ideal, polygamy was practiced, atleast in higher sections of society. Widow-marriage, which was fairly common in the Rig Vedic age, was now regarded with disfavour. But the education which some women received, was of high order. The discourses of women philosophers are preserved in the Upanishads.
(b) Caste System : The Brahmins and Kshatriyas enjoyed powers and privileges denied to the Vaisyas and the Shudras. By this time, besides the four major Varnas, many other caste groups had come into being like—the merchants, the chariot- makers, the smiths, the carpenters, the tanners, the fishermen etc. Membership of a caste had become hereditary and there was also a fixation of occupation on the basis of one’s caste¬grouping. The so-called untouchables were forced to live in separate settlements outside the village or the town boundaries.
In the later Vedic Age there was a marked change in the economic life of the Aryans. In this context describe:
(a) The growing important of Agriculture
(b) Variety of Crafts
(c) Changes in the field of Trade and Commerce
In context of the marked change in the economic life of the Aryans, the given headlines are described as follows:
(a) The growing important of Agriculture : Rearing of cattle and other domestic animals continued, but it was now less important than agriculture. In addition to Yava or barley, a new crop Vrihi or rice had assumed greater significance. Fragments of both barley and rice have been found at Hastinapur and other place. The later Vedic Aryans produced many other crops such as wheat millet and sugarcane.
(b) Variety of Crafts : Different kinds of crafts had been introduced. The main reason behind it, could be the use of iron in large quantities. Iron weapons and tools have been recovered from various Painted Grey Ware or Black and Red Ware Sites. Crafts, such as pottery, leather-working, carpentry, making of jewellery and the manufacture of glass also flourished. Crafts specialisation had now become more common that, in early Vedic period. Thus, chariot-making developed as an occupation different from that of carpentry.
(c) Change in the field of Trade and Commerce : Important changes can be noticed in the field of trade and commerce. Commerce was made easier by the- use of such units of value as nishka and satmana. The reference to ships, indicates a flourishing in land maritime trade. A class of hereditary merchants (Vanija) existed now. Many of the professions were organised into guilds, which in later ages, controlled prices and ensured the quantity of the goods.
Explain the religious beliefs and forms of worship during the later Vedic Age with reference to :
(a) Gods and Goddesses they worshipped
(b) Rituals and Sacrifices they performed
With reference to the given headlines, the religious beliefs and forms of worship during the later Vedi Age are explained below :
(a) Gods and Goddesses they worshipped : The Later Vedic Aryans used to worship Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They believed that Prajapati or Brahma was the creator. Vishnu the preserver, helped men and Gods in their distress. Shiva was regarded as Mahadeva the great god, and Pashupati, the Lord of animate beings. Rama and Krishna, who were incarnations of Lord Vishnu, became popular deities during the Epic period. Durga, Kali, Lakshmi and Parvati emerged as the important female duties of the people.
(b) Rituals and Sacrifices they performed : The simple religious practices turned complicated and ritualistic in the later Vedic period. Sacrifice became the most important part of their religion. People believed that Gods could be pleased only by performing elaborate sacrifices.
The ceremonies could be performed only by professional priests. Many superstitious beliefs in spirits, spells and charms became part of their religion.
Practice of Tapasya or penance occupied an important place in the religion.
They believed in the principles of Karma (action) and Moksha (salvation).
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