Brahmanism – Brahmanism culture / Brahmanism age & facts.

Brahmanical age

Brahmanical Age (1) Vedic culture emerged in India after the demise of Indus culture. Vedic culture is often referred to as Aryan culture. This Vedic culture falls back into two parts. They are (a) Early Vedic culture (Rigvedic culture) and (b) Later Vedic culture (Brahmanism culture / Brahmanism era 1000 BC to 600 BC).

(2) Early settlement of Aryans in India During the period, they had to fight with the locals or the natives for a long time. As a result, his life at that time was full of struggles. He later established his dominance in this place. So there was a lot of stability in their lives. This change also affected their way of life and culture. Therefore, there seems to be a big difference between the culture of the early Aryans and the culture of the later period. 

(3) The culture of the early period of Aryans is called ‘Rigveda culture‘, while the culture of the later period is called ‘Brahmani culture’ or ‘Brahman age’.

Period.

(1) It is clear from the above discussion that Brahmanism started after the end of the Rig Veda period. The beginning of this period is usually e.g. C. E. It is believed to have started in 1200. 

(2) The very name of this period indicates that during this period Brahmins attained special importance in social life. His dominance in the religious and social spheres was undeniably established. 

(3) etc. C. E. With the establishment of Buddhism and Jainism in the sixth century and their growing influence, the importance of Brahmins automatically diminished. 

(4) Naturally etc. C. E. 1200 to etc. C. E. The period of 600 Brahmanical domination is called ‘Brahman Yuga’.

Political situation.

(1) During the Rig Veda period, Arya had settled in the dua of Saraswati and Drishdvati. Manu has called this region ‘Brahmavarta‘. 

(2) Later, they moved eastwards into the Ganga-Yamuna valleys and established their kingdoms in those regions as well. This region came to be known as ‘Madhya Desh’. 

(3) During this period new powerful Aryan tribes emerged. The importance of Bharata diminished and the dominance of Kuru Panchal began to increase. 

(4) The kingdom of Kuru was extended from Saraswati to the Ganges. The kingdom of Panchala had become just as powerful. 

(5) Besides, many small and large kingdoms of Aryans existed during this period. Bihar and its eastern regions as well as South India were predominantly non-Aryan gang states. 

(6) During the Brahmanical period, kingdoms became larger with expansion. Also, in the struggle for regional supremacy, only strong kings survived. As a result, the king’s power and authority increased. Rajpada began to be inherited. However, some texts also mention the practice of choosing a king. The monarchy was considered a trusted institution. 

(7) Although the king’s authority increased, his authority was not unlimited. The king had to consult with the Brahmins. 

(8) Two important bodies, ‘Sabha‘ and ‘Samiti‘, existed at that time. The king had to consider their opinion. The king had many officers to help him in his work. As the state expanded, so did the need for a well-organized government.

Social conditions.

(1) In Brahmanism, four characters were clearly shaped in society. These four characters were, Brahmin; Two, Kshatriya; Three, Vaishya, and four, Shudra. 

(2) Out of these, Brahmins and Kshatriyas were given many privileges. They were not burdened with taxes. The burden of taxes was on prostitutes only. Brahmins had the right to education. Kshatriyas had political power. Agriculture and trade were in the hands of prostitutes, while the Shudras had to do less quality work. 

(3) At the same time, the caste system was becoming more rigid. The upper castes were privileged and were gaining more prestige in society.

Ashram system.

Ashram’s system was a major feature of this period. The life of the individual was arranged in four ashrams. She thus

(1) Brahmacharyashram: After the Upanayana ritual of the child, he had to stay at the Gurugriha and study.

(2) Grihasthashram: In this period of life, a person has to live a worldly life by getting married. He had to perform all the duties of a householder.

(3) Vanprasthashram: This was considered a prelude to Sannyasashram. In this state, a person had to move away from the world and live in the forest.

(4) Sannyasashram: In this state, a person had to give up the world completely and take sannyasa.

Family.

(1) It was an important social organization. During this period patriarchal family system was in vogue. 

(2) During the Vedic period, women did not have an important place in society. Their freedom was diminished. They were inferior to men. They were not given the opportunity of an education. 

(3) The practice of child marriage had become commonplace. This destroyed the freedom of women to choose their mates. It was during this period that Sati’s move began to gain recognition.

Marriage.

This institution also gained importance during the Brahmanical period. Many restrictions on marriage began to come into existence. Eight types of marriage were considered. They are- (1) Brahma, (2) Daiva, (3) Arsh, (4) Prajapatya, (5) Asura, (6) Gandharva, (7) Rakshas, and (8) Paishachik.

Rites.

These were considered important religious rituals in a person’s life. There is no unanimity about the number of rites; But, sixteen important rites were recognized.

Financial status.

(1) In the Brahmanical period, agriculture was the main occupation of the people. Rice, wheat, barley, sesame, cotton, etc. were grown on the farm. Animal husbandry was another important occupation during this period. 

(2) Trade and small-scale industries had made great strides during this period. Artisans and professionals were doing different jobs in society. For example- weaver, blacksmith, carpenter, potter, laundress, barber, painter, butcher, etc. Agriculture and trade were in the hands of prostitutes. 

(3) Some coins were also circulated during this period.

Religious situation.

(1) The nature of Dharma became more complex during the Brahmanical period. Sacrifices and rituals began to be given more importance. As the importance of Yajna Sanstha increased, so did the importance of the Purohit class i.e. Brahmins. The priest became the link between God and the host. Sacrifices performed without a priest led to the perception that the host did not get the desired fruit. Therefore, the superiority of Brahmins was automatically proved. He established dominance over society. 

(2) The importance of deities like Indra and Varuna in the Vedic period decreased during this period. Instead, the importance of gods like Vishnu, Prajapati, and Shiva increased. 

(3) The religious ideas of the Aryans were also influenced to some extent by the religious ideas of the non-Aryans. As a result, superstitions about ghosts, vampires, and witchcraft grew.

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