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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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The Age of the Rig Veda

The Age of the Rig Veda

(p.106) 12 The Age of the Rig Veda
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The Indo-Iranians came from two areas of Central Asia. The Aryans in India are known from the Rig Veda. This text is the earliest text of the Indo-European languages. The Indo-Aryans were engaged in fighting with the pre-Aryans and amongst themselves. The Rig Vedic people had a superior knowledge of agriculture and they were a predominantly pastoral people. The administrative machinery of the Aryans in the Rig Vedic period functioned with the tribal chief. The Rig Veda does not mention any officer for administration of justice. The practice of levirate and widow remarriage was also shown. It then displays some consciousness of the physical appearance of people in north-western India. The significant divinities addressed in the Rig Veda include Indra, Agni, Varuna, Soma, Maruts and Sarasvati. They have many deities who represent the different forces of nature in one form or another but are also assigned human activities.

Keywords:   Rig Veda, Indo-Aryans, agriculture, pastoral people, tribal chief, Indra, Agni, Varuna, Soma

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