Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes
Developed city-life, use of potterâ€™s
wheel, kilnburnt bricks, and vessels made of copper and bronze are some common
and distinctive features of all the civilizations of the pre-historic period.
The use of mud mortar was common
during Indus Valley civilisation. Gypsum and mud were used for plaster. In case
of drains, gypsum and lime mortar was used.
The most important feature
of houses of Mohenjodaro is the presence in them of one or more bathrooms,
the floors of which were fully laid and connected by means of drainage channels
with the main street.
More than 500 seals have been
discovered at various places inhabited by people of Indus Valley civilizations.
These were made of terra-cota.
The seals and painted pottery of
the Indus Valley show the figures of Pipal and Acacia trees. They
were regarded as celestial plants and were supposed to be inhabited by divine
The people of Indus Valley also
practiced the worship of Lings and Yoni symbols. The likelihood
that both Shiva and Ling worship have been inherited by Hindus from the Indus
Valley is reinforced by the prevalence of the bull (the vehicle of Shiva) or
bull-like animals amongst the seal-symbols.
The pottery of Indus Valley was
generally wheelmade and was painted red and black.
The Dravadians are
thought to have come to India from eastern Mediterranean. At one time the
Dravadian culture was spread throughout India.
Puja ceremonies along with
flowers, leaves, fruits and water were performed by Dravadians. Aryans were
accustomed to Homa rites or sacrificial fire. Infact, the
word puja has been derived from a Dravadian root called Puru, which means
The Dravadian language is still
spoken by the Brahui people of Baluchistan.
As per the theorypropagated by
late Bal Gangadhar Tilak the original home of Aryans was the Arctic region.
However, the most widely accepted view is that the Aryans originated from
Central Asia. The view which is accepted in West isthat original home of Aryans
was in South-East Europe.
In the early vedic period river
Ravi was known as Parushni, riverJhelum as Vitasta, Chenab
as Asikni, Beas as Vipas and Sutlej as Sutudri.
The word Veda comes from the root vid,
to know. It means knowledge in general. It is specially applied to
branch of literature which has been handed down by verbal transmission and is
declared to be sacred knowledge or Sruti.
Hindus consider the Vedas to be
revealed books and give them the titles of Apaurusheya (not made
by man) and nitya (Eternal).
According to Kautilya,â€œThe three
Vedas, Sama, Rig and Yajus constitute the triple Vedas. These
together with Atharvaveda and the Itihasa Veda are
known as the Vedas.â€ The ordinary definition of the Veda does not include Itihasa.
The Veda consists offour different
classes of literary compositions: (a) the Mantra constitutes
the oldest division of Vedic literature and is distributed in four Samhitas
or collections known as the Rik, Sama, Yajus and
the Atharva; (b) Brahmanas are the
secondclass of Vedic works. They are mainly prose texts containing observations
on sacrifice; (c) Aranyakas or forest texts are books of
instruction to be given in the forest or writings meant for wooddwelling
hermits; (d) Lastly there are the Upnishads which are
either imbedded in the Aranyakas or form their supplements. The above
named literary works are classed as Sruti, or revelation, and
constitute theVedic literature proper.
The Brahamanas are
the first specimens of praise in the world. They mark the transition from the
Vedic to later Brahmanical social order.
The Vedangas are
class of compositions that are regarded less authoritative than Sruti and
are styled Smriti. The Vedangas are six in number: Siksha
(phonetics), Kalpa (ritual), Vyakaran (grammar), Nirukt (etymology),
Chhand (metrics) and Jyotish (astronomy).
In Vyakarana, Nirukt
and Chhand we have the great work of Panini,
Yask and Pingal.
The Nyaya Darsana
was written by Gautam. According to it, Tarka or logic is the
basis of all studies. Knowledge can be acquired by four methods: Pratyaksha
or intuition, Anumana or inference, Upma or comparison and sadba
or verbal testimony.