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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 177Book's First Page
by later Vedic texts (1000–500 BC), though so clearly show post-cremation burials dating to the period between 600 and 300 BC. The Vedic texts speak of burying the bones after cremation. The Srauta Sutras and the Grihya Sutras provide for the collection of the bones, and the Satapatha Brahmana prescribes the burial of bones and erection of a smasana or tumulus on it. Both Rig Veda and Atharva Veda show that animals were commonly burnt with the dead bodies of human beings. The funeral rite of the Rig Veda shows that a goat was burnt along with the dead body. According to the Atharva Veda a working ox was burnt with the dead person. Male Dominance Male dominance is an important trait of Indo European society. Anthropologists attribute patriarchy to the masculine qualities needed in plough cultivation and to the control of female sexuality. But since horse riding also required masculine qualities, it may equally, together with ploughing, have led to male dominance. That the society was phaliocentric is attested to by early Indo-European terms and laws. The ancient Indian law givers hold that a woman is never independent. Male dominance is clearly indicated by early Avestan and Greek texts also. VEDIC TEXTS Meaning The word veda is derived from the root vid, which means to know, signifying ‘knowledge par excellence’. It is specifically applied to a branch of literature which is declared to be sacred knowledge or divine revelation, that is sruti. Though the hymns of the sruti are attributed to several rishis (sages), tradition maintains that these hymns were merely revealed to the sages and not composed by them. Hence, the Vedas are called apaurusheya (not made by man) and nitya (existing in all eternity), while the sages are known as mantradrashta, that is inspired seers who saw or received the mantra by sight directly from the Supreme Creator.