The Aryans were responsible in bringing in Vedic religion to India from the homelands they originally had. They worshipped nature mostly. Religion in ancient India was basically a union in polytheistic form of religious practices and deities of the Aryans and the Dravidians who were conquered by them. Through architecture, carvings, idols and statues that have been excavated from the remains, it is indicated that along the Indus River some advanced settlements had lived. The ancient Aryan Gods included the fire God, Agni, the God of stars and the atmosphere, Indra and the sky God, Varuna. By way of fire, offerings were given to God as per the religion practiced in ancient India. Even today, fire is used by Hindus while performing religious practices.
Descendants of The Aryans
The descendants of Hittites are termed as Aryans. The Hittites did not use any written language and were warriors, worshiped nature forces and were excellent at story telling. Through ballads and songs they retained their ideals and stories. They were forced out of their land after under Commander Joshua in the Canaan invasion by Israel. It was during this time in 1300 BC that the Aryans migrated to India and then massacred the Dravidians in India. ‘Aryans’ is derived from the Sanskrit language. The meaning of the word Aryan is ‘noble’. There are three forward Indian castes, namely Vaishyas, Kshatriyas and Brahmins to which the term Aryan is applied. In India, these castes contribute to around 12% of the population. This group may be a minority one, but in India today, it has played a major role in gaining control of economic, political and religious power.
The Aryans personified objects and natural forces like the fertility of the soil, moon and the sun as Gods. There seems a great connection between animism and Hinduism. The Aryans were nomads especially during their early years without having any fixed occupations. For their gods they did not build any temples. In the open places, they made a sacrifice of animals. Dairy product like milk and butter was also offered which were poured over the images of gods, a practice still common today in India. The juice of the sacred soma plant was also used in the sacrifices. It was believed by the Aryans that the plant was sent by God Indra to the earth. Juice of the soma plants was not only delicious but invigorating too to whoever shared it with the gods and drank it. This plant was believed to be a kind of mushroom to induce hallucinations as per speculations about the Aryans. Horse sacrifice was elaborately done during the time of the Aryans to help the rulers get atoned for any misdeeds of the past.
Besides this the participants were also provided with religious power due to the sacrifice. Expansion of territories by rulers was also possible as per the belief by the Aryans. Many of the rulers in India found this idea quite attractive and also adopted this idea for expansion of their territories. A young male horse would be released for 12 months after which it was captured from the countryside and then sacrificed. However if any territory was covered by the horse without being captured, that territory would be claimed by the ruler to whom the horse belonged. The Aryans got themselves well assimilated into the Indian social framework. All across Punjab state they got small agrarian communities established. They shaped the culture in India fundamentally with the development of Sanskrit language and a well developed religion. Many of the languages in India are unified by the basis provided by the Sanskrit language.
The religion involved a rich pantheon of Goddesses and Gods, legends and myths and for Hindu religion, Sanskrit became a corner stone. In Indian culture it an important single denominator. There was no script available with the Aryans however they were successful in developing a tradition that was truly rich. The four vedas and hymns were composed by them. On the basis of the 4 vedas, hymns and philosophic poems were composed by the Aryans. Lifestyle of the Aryans was quite a settled one which brought in social and government patterns that were more complex. It was during this period that the caste system evolved. Besides this, republics and kingdoms also emerged.
The Aryans influenced India with not only their Sanskrit language but also the priestly cult. The original people behind the four Vedas, were the Aryans. In Hinduism the oldest of all scriptures are the Vedas. Mahabharata and the Ramayana are the two epics that came into existence during the Aryan era. Many tribes were formed by the Aryans who then settled in the northern part of India, in various regions. It was hereditary to have a chief amongst the tribals. The chief took advice from either the whole tribe or the committee members generally for the purpose of functioning. Depending upon the specialization of work followed, there came into existence a division of the Aryan society, internally along caste lines. The four groups that comprised the framework of the society, included the priests or the Brahmana, the warriors or Kshatriyas, the agriculturalists or the Vaishyas and workers or the Shudras.
Initially, occupations decided the caste of a person and it was flexible and open but later on, caste and the corresponding occupation became hereditary and fixed with any change of caste becoming impossible.The Rig Vedic people are the Brahmins. Their classification is made as religious patriarchs of all religions in the world and in India. For all thoughts in religion, the foundation is the Rig Veda, from the Aryan era. The authors of the caste system in India are the vedic people or the Brahmin ancestors. The Brahmins are on top of the hierarchy and they still continue to remain so in modern India.