Vedic Period polity, social – divisions, and Vedic Gods


®Vedic period worked with tribal chief in centre called Rajan due to his successful leadership in war.

®His post has become hereditary. He did not exercise unlimited power.

®He was elected by tribal assembly called Samiti

®Several tribal based assemblies were there who exercised deliberative , military and religious functions.

Sabha and samiti were most important of them.

®The king was assisted by functionaries in day-to-day administrations . The most important of them are purohita and senani .

®The two priest who played a main role in rig veda are vasishtha and vishvamitra.

®those chief received offerings from people as bali.

®Some officers enjoyed positions on their territories and they were called as vrajapathi.

®He led the heads of families called kulapas or the heads of fighting hordes called gramanins.

Eventually they became head of the village.

®the king did not maintain a standing army but mustered a military at times of war formed by tribes such as vrata , gana , grama , sardha.



®Kanship was the basis of social culture.

®People gave their primary loyalty to the tribe called Jana.

®tribe was also called as vis is used 170 in rig veda

®Vis was divided into smaller groups called Grama meant for fighting.

®The term for family is kula and is rarely mentioned in rig veda.

®vedic phrase for family was Griha which frequently occurs in the text.

®The households were not separate and the family was a very large joint unit.

®The family was headed by the father as in roman culture.

®For many generations family lived in the same roof as it was a patriarchal society.

®Women could attend assemblies and offer sacrifices. They even composed 20 hymns in the text.

®Marriage were established through primitive practices such as yami.

®The practice of levirate and widow marriage were also seen in those texts.

®Marriageable age were between 16 to 17.


®Rig veda shows some consciousness of physical appearance.

®Aryans were fair in complexion and indigenous inhabitanta were dark.

®The colour were a identity mark at that period.

®Dasas and dasyus who were conquered by Aryans were treated as slaves and shudras.

®People were differentiated into 3 groups : warriors , priests and the people.

®The fourth group called shudras appeared at the rid vedic period.

®We hear that slaves were given as gifts to priests.

®Divisions based on occupation were started during this period.


®Aryans found their their religions around them.

®they found it difficult to explain the advents of rain , sun , moon , mountains etc.

®Rig veda contains hymns composed by different familes

®The most important divinity in rig veda is Indra who is called purandara.

®Indra is considered to be rain god.

®The second place goes to agni who is the god of fire. Because fire plays a vital role in their day today  life like cooking and burning etc.

®The third is varuna the god of water.

®Soma is considered to be the god of plants.

®We also find female divinities like adidti and ushas.

®Agni and indra were give offerings like vegetables , barley , etc.

®But at that time practice were not followed by scarifices.

®people mainly asked for praja(children) , pashu(cattle), food , wealth , healt , etc.