Things to remember

  1. It is believed that before the coming of the Aryans in India the greater part of northern and north-western India was inhabited by a group of people known as Dravidians
  2. The Dravidians could not meet challenge and hence gradually moved southwards. The horse played a very important role in the lives of the Aryans.
  3. There is no trace of totemism and animal worship.
  4. Rig Veda is collection of 1017 hymns supplemented by 11 others called Valakhilyas. Purusukta theory developed in the later Vedic period.
  5. The first three Vedas - Rig, Sam and Yajur Veda are collectively known as Trayi.
  6. The word Arya comes from the root word meaning to cultivate and Aryans as a whole were agriculturists who considered agriculture a noble profession or occupation.
  7. In the later Vedic period the purohita or priest was described as the rashtragopa or the protector of the realm of the raja.
  8. The king in later Vedic age performed Rajsuya sacrifice which was supposed to confer supreme power on him. The king also performed Vajpeya or the chariot race. The ritual lasted for 17 days and it was supposed to elevate him from the position of Raja to that of Samrat.
  9. Indra and Varuna lost their previous importance and prajapati attained the supreme position in later Vedic age.
  10. Pushan became the God of Sudras.
  11. Rudra and Vishnu became more important than before.

In the Rig Veda the worshippers of Indra were called arya. When this text speaks of the struggle between the Aryans on the one hand and the dasas and the dasyus on the other it does not consider the former to be indigenous and the latter to be foreigners. The struggle takes place between two cultures one observing the vrata and the other violating it. At that stage there is no perception of India as a country or a nation and therefore the notion of indigenous and foreigner do not arise. On the basis of skin colour some hymns of the Rig Veda depict Aryans to be of a separate community. Their enemies are described as black skinned.