Life in the Aryan society | Later Aryan (Vedic Period) | Literature In Vedic Period

Origin of the Aryans

Opinions Areas under Aryan influencediffer regarding the original home of the Aryans. The most accepted view is that the region between Poland to the Central Asia might have been of the Aryans. They were said to be semi- nomadic people, who started moving from their original home towards the west, south and east. The branch which went to Europe were the ancestors of the Greeks, Romans, Celts  and Teutons. Another branch went to Anatolia. TheProbabale movement of the Aryans into India great empire of the Hitties evolved from the mixture of these immigrants with the original people. The branch which remained were the ancestors of the Slavonic people. The group which moved south came to conflict with the west Asian civilization. In course of their journey towards the east or south a group of Aryans had settled in  Iran. They crossed the Hindukush and entered India through Afghanistan and captured  the greater part of the northern India. They came to be known as Indo-Aryans to distinguish them from the others who spoke a language different from those who settled in western Asia and Europe.

The Indo-Aryans entered Punjab and the other north-western part of India. They moved towards south-east and eastwards into the Ganga Valley. The Aryans were pastoral Nomads. They settled in villages. The region which the Aryans occupied was known as Sapta Sindhu. Moving further eastwards they settled along the Ganga and Jamuna. In due course of time the whole of northern India were under the Aryans and it was called Aryavarta  or the land of the Aryans. The period of Aryan settlement was between 2500 and 1500BC. The early Aryans were divided into many tribes. A few among them are Anus, Druhyus, Yadus, Turvasas  and Purus. They settled on either side of the river Saraswati. They were involved in fighting among themselves. Besides these tribal warfare the Aryans were engaged in struggles with the dark skinned people or Dasyus. The Dasyus were the Dravidians who occupied the regions of the Indus valley civilization. The superiority of the Aryans resulted in the Dravidian submission and retirement to the south. 

Political Organization

Family served aJanapada at the time of the Aryans.s the basis of the both social and political organization. Families together formed the grama. Villages together formed is and they turn formed the janas. The community was patriarchical and each tribe was under the chief whose position was hereditary. The rastra was ruled by the king  which was normally hereditary. The king led the tribe in battle, and protected the people. The Purohita  was one of the important signatory. He was the sole associate of the king his friend, philosopher and guide.  The Senani the leader of the army, and Gramani  the head of the village. The main duty of the king was the protection of his subjects, property, defence and  maintenance of peace. The king was not an autocrat he was controlled by two popular assemblies Sabha and Samiti. These assemblies brought forth the people's  view on various issues. The Sabhas also discharged legal duties like providing justice. Individual ownership of property was recognized. The land was a property owned by the family. The property passed on in a hereditary manner from father to son.

Economic Condition

The Aryans who  were semi-nomadic people also domesticated animals which helped them in the activities of agriculture and other pastoral and hunting acts. Agriculture consisted the major share of their economy. Canals  to provide irrigation was a significant feature of this occupation. Coins were unknown and trade was through the Barter system. Craft was not a popular profession. The lack of good roads  might have hampered trade, but river navigation was existing. Specialization  in areas such as carpentry, smithy, weaving, pottery, etc had been taking place.