Essays about the social and economic life of the Rig-Vedic Aryans



a. Social Life:

The foundation of the social structure in the early Vedic Age was the family. The members of a family lived in the same house.

The oldest living member was the head of the family and was called Karta or Kulapa. He was responsible for maintaining discipline in one family.

Honesty, religiosity and respect to elderly persons were some of the main feature of the Rig-Vedic Aryan society. Women were held in honor and respect.

Though mainly concerned with domestic duties the women also participated in religious ceremonies. The womenfolk of the early Vedic age enjoyed much freedom and were educated and trained.

There were learned ladies like Lopamudra, Visvavara and Ghoshas, who even composed hymns and rose to the rank of rishis. Widow-remarriage was very much in vogue.

b. Economic Life:

The Aryans came to India as a semi-nomadic people. Their earliest life seems to have been mainly pastoral agriculture being a secondary occupation.

Of the animals reared by the Rig-Vedic people cattle was the most important. Those cattle were considered to be the most valued possession of the Rig-Vedic Aryan is borne out by the fact that they even prayed to Gods for the increase of cattle.

Apart from cattle, horse also played a significant role in the early Vedic period. The early Aryans also practiced agriculture they are known to have cultivated wheat, barley, cotton etc.

Land cultivated by means of plough drawn by oxen, was under the common ownership of the members of a family.