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History — Chapter 5

The Vedic Civilisation

Class 6 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Name the following

Question 1

Any two Vedas

Answer

(a) The Rig Veda

(b) The Sama veda

Question 2

Two official who assisted the Rajan.

Answer

(a) The Gramini

(b) The Senani

Question 3

Two popular assembelies.

Answer

(a) The Sabha

(b) The Samiti

Question 4

Two important Gods of the Rig Vedic Age.

Answer

(a) Indra (The God of Rain)

(b) Surya (The Sun God)

Question 5

Two Gods worshipped during the Later Vedic Age.

Answer

(a) Shiva (The destroyer)

(b) Vishnu (The preserver)

Compare and Contrast

Question 1

Compare and Contrast Early Vedic Age and Later Vedic Age.

 Early Vedic AgeLater Vedic Age
1. The region where Aryans settled  
2. Popular Assemblies  
3. Mode of Worship  
4. Position of Women  

Answer

 Early Vedic AgeLater Vedic Age
1. The region where Aryans settledSapta Sindhu region (i.e., The region of seven rivers).Gangetic Valley.
2. Popular AssembliesThe Sabha, The Samiti and The Vidhata.The Sabha and The Samiti.
3. Mode of WorshipThe Gods were worshipped through the recitation of prayers and offering of sacrifices. Yajnas with offerings of vegetables, barley, ghee, etc. were performed. No temples were constructed and no images of Gods were worshipped.Temples were constructed and images of Gods were worshipped. Sacrifices became far more important and had to be accompanied with a number of elaborate rituals which could be performed by the brahmin priests only.
4. Position of WomenWomen had equal rights as men. They could receive education, attend the tribal assemblies, participate in debate and religious ceremonies, choose their husbands in the swayamvara. Widows could remarry and the practice of child marriage, purda system or sati were not in existence.Status of women declined in the society. They were no more allowed to participate in the assemblies. Practice of child marriage, purda system and sati became prevalent.

Match the following

Question 1

Column AColumn B
1. Land of the Aryans(a) Gomat
2. Council of Elders(b) Aryavrata
3. Head of the family(c) Upanayana
4. A wealthy person(d) Sabha
5. Sacred thread ceremony(e) Grihapati

Answer

Column AColumn B
1. Land of the Aryans(b) Aryavrata
2. Council of Elders(d) Sabha
3. Head of the family(e) Grihapati
4. A wealthy person(a) Gomat
5. Sacred thread ceremony(c) Upanayana

Answer the following questions

Question 1

Describe the functions of each of the four social classes during the Rig Vedic Age.

Answer

The functions of each of the four social classes during the Rig Vedic Age are described below:

  1. The Brahmins — The priests who performed religious rituals.
  2. The Kshatriyas — The king and the warring class who fought wars and protected the tribe.
  3. The Vaishyas — Those engaged in agriculture, business and industry and produced goods for the society.
  4. The Shudras — Those who served the upper three classes. They emerged towards the end of the Rig Vedic period but were neither hated nor treated as untouchables.

Question 2

Compare the religion of the Early Aryans with that of the Later Vedic Aryans.

Answer

Comparison of religion of the Early Aryan with the Later Vedic Aryans:

Early Vedic AryansLater Vedic Aryans
The people of Early Vedic age worshipped the forces of nature, like the rain, fire, Sun, water, wind, thunder, etc. They personified them as Gods like Indra, Agni, Surya, Varuna, Vayu, etc. They worshipped a large number of Gods and Goddesses.During the Later Vedic Age, the Gods of the Early Vedic Age lost their importance. The three most significant Gods of the Later Vedic period were Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver and Mahesh or Shiva, the destroyer.
They worshipped the gods through the recitation of prayers, offering of sacrifices and performed yajnas.During this period, prayers continued to be recited, sacrifices became far more important. These sacrifices had to be accompanied by a number of elaborate rituals which could be only performed by the brahmin priests.
No temples were constructed and no images of Gods were worshipped.Temples were constructed and images of Gods were worshipped.

Question 3

Explain the system of education prevalent during the Later Vedic Age.

Answer

The Later Vedic Age had a special system of education. Usually at the age of seven, a boy was sent to a Gurukul, which was the house of the teacher. He was supposed to live there until he completed his education. The guru treated his students like his own children. He had to get up early in the morning, take his bath and chant the vedic mantras.

Most of the teaching was done orally and the students were required to learn everything by heart. The students were taught Vedic literature, grammar, astronomy, medicine, music, architecture and the art of warfare. After completing the education, the students paid Guru Dakshina or a fee to the teacher according to their means.

Question 4

What was an Ashrama? Describe the functions of each ashrama.

Answer

The life of the Aryans was divided into four stages of 25 years each. Each stage was called an Ashram. These were:

  1. Brahmacharya — It was the first stage when a person had to go to the Acharyas (teachers) and the Gurukul (household of the teacher) to receive education. He was supposed to stay in the Gurukul till his education was complete.

  2. Grihastha — It was the second stage during which a man was allowed to lead a married life and have children.

  3. Vanaprastha — It was the third stage when a man would give up his wordly life and go to the forest to meditate.

  4. Sanyasa — It was the last stage of life when a person was supposed to renounce all the wordly life and become an ascetic.

Question 5

What kind of sacrifices were performed by Kings during the Vedic Age?

Answer

Sacrifices performed by Kings during the Vedic Age were:

  1. Ashvamedha Yajna — During this yajna, the ruler would let loose a special horse, accompanied by soldiers, for a year to wander at will. The king would lay his claim over all those territories over which the royal horse moved unchallenged. If the horse was captured by another ruler, it meant war between two kingdoms. At the end of the year, the horse was sacrificed during the yajna.

  2. Rajasuya Yajna — It was performed to confer supreme power on the king. It was connected with the King's consecration.

  3. Vajapeya Yajna — The term 'Vajapeya' is a combination of two words 'vaja' and 'peya' meaning 'rice' and 'drink' respectively. As the name suggests, Vajapeya sacrifice was believed to bring in a bountiful corp and plentiful water.

Question 6

What kind of scientific developments took place in the Later Vedic period?

Answer

The following points illustrate the kind of scientific developments that took place in the Later Vedic period

  1. Astronomy was highly developed in the Vedic period. People knew about the movement of heavenly bodies and could calculate their positions at different times. That is how they could predict the time of solar and lunar eclipses.
  2. They knew that the Earth moved on its axis and around the Sun, whereas the Moon moved around the Earth. All this enabled them to prepare an accurate calender.
  3. They knew the use of zero and how to make large calculations. Square roots, cubes, cube roots were known and used.

Question 7

How were the women treated in the Early Vedic Period?

Answer

Position of women in the Early Vedic Period is described below:

  1. In the Early Vedic Period women had equal rights as men.
  2. Education was open for both boys and girls.
  3. Women attended the tribal assemblies, participated in debates and religious ceremonies.
  4. The daughters were allowed to choose their husbands in a special ceremony called The Swayamvara.
  5. Widows were allowed to remarry and the practice of child marriage, parda system or sati were not in existence.

Question 8

What were the main occupations of people during the Later Vedic Period?

Answer

Agriculture was the chief occupation of people during the Later Vedic Period. Besides agriculture other occupations were weaving, spinning, pottery-making, carpentry, tanning and tool making. Agriculture surplus and the rise of new arts and crafts encouraged trade and commerce.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. What is happening in the picture? What does the picture tell us about the system of education prevalent during the Vedic Age? How is this system different from the present education system? The Vedic Civilisation, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 6.

(a) What is happening in the picture?

(b) What does the picture tell us about the system of education prevalent during the Vedic Age?

(c) How is this system different from the present education system?

Answer

(a) The picture shows a gurukul where the guru is imparting education to his students.

(b) During the Vedic Age, a special system of education known as the gurukul was prevalent. In this system, the students lived in the house of the guru and learnt from him. The guru treated his students like his own children. The students were required to do the household work for the teacher. They had to get up early in the morning, take bath and chant the Vedic mantras.
Most of the teaching was done orally and the students were required to learn everything by heart. The students were taught Vedic literature, grammar, astronomy, medicine, music, architecture and the art of warfare. After completing the education, the students paid Guru Dakshina or a fee to the teacher according to their means.

(c) The gurukul system of education is different from the present education system in the following ways:

  1. In gurukul, students were required to be away from their homes and live a hard life without any personal choice whereas the present education system is much more comfortable for the students.
  2. In gurukul, education was oral. The curriculum and methods of assessment for the students were not fixed whereas the present education system is well structured with books and proper assessments.
  3. In gurukul, there was no fixed fee structure. The students paid guru dakshina according to their means whereas in present education system fee structure is well defined.
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