APPSC Group 2 Revison, Vedic Age NOTES, QUICK REVISION

Aryan Migration and Vedic Literature , Vedic age NOTES

  • The Aryans are believed to have migrated from outside regions, with theories suggesting Central Asia, Europe, or the Arctic region as their homeland.
  • The Boghazkai inscription in Asia Minor, Turkey, supports the Central Asian theory.
  • The Aryans initially settled in the present-day Frontier Province and Punjab, known as Sapta Sindhu.
  • Vedic literature comprises four main texts: Samhitas or Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads.
  • The Vedas consist of four main texts: Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda.


  • The Rigveda, the oldest religious text globally, contains 1,028 hymns composed around 1700 BC and divided into 10 mandalas.
  • Important features include the Gayatri Mantra and reverence for the Saraswati River.
  • Mandalas 2 to 7 are the earliest, each ascribed to different Rishis (sages), while the 10th Mandala contains the Purushasukta hymn, explaining the caste system’s origin.


  • It is a collection of melodies recited at Soma sacrifices, containing the Dhrupad Raga.


  • Contains rituals and beliefs of non-Aryans, divided into Shukla (White) and Krishna (Black) Yajurveda.


  • Functions as a book of magical formulas, mentioning Gotra among other topics.


  • Also known as Vedanta, they mark the last phase of the Vedic period, discussing concepts like Karma, Atman, and Brahma.
  • There are 108 Upanishads, with the period from 800 BC to 500 BC known as the Upanishadic period.


  • Six limbs of the Vedas, including Shiksha (Phonetics), Vyakarana (Grammar), and Jyotisha (Astronomy).

Brahmanas and Aranyakas

  • Brahmanas are prose commentaries on Vedic hymns, with the Shatapatha Brahmana attached to Yajurveda being significant.
  • Aranyakas are texts where sages explain Vedic scriptures to their pupils in the forest.


  • Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda, and Sthapatyaveda are considered Upavedas, each associated with a Veda.


  • Six systems of Hindu philosophy, including Nyaya, Sankhya, and Yoga, were developed by ancient Indian philosophers.

Puranas, Sutras, and Smritis

  • The Puranas reflect a change in worship mode and deity portrayal, with Matsya Purana being the oldest.
  • Sutra literature comprises three classes: Srauta Sutra, Griha Sutra, and Dharma Sutra.
  • Smritis, or Dharma Shastras, are law books written in shloka form, with Manusmriti being the most famous.


  • The Ramayana and Mahabharata are the two main epics, containing rich narratives and philosophical teachings.
  • Bhagavad Gita, extracted from the Mahabharata, is a revered text on duty and righteousness.

Aryan and Vedic Age

  • The Aryans migrated from Central Asia and settled in present-day Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Rigvedic society had a patriarchal structure, with a division into four varnas based on occupations.
  • Rigvedic religion was henotheistic, worshipping gods like Indra, Agni, and Varuna.
  • Later Vedic period saw the emergence of new gods like Vishnu and Rudra, and elaborate sacrificial rituals.
  • Society saw the emergence of new occupations and a decline in the status of women.
  • The later Vedic period introduced complex rituals like Asvamedha and Rajasuya sacrifices.