Such a relationship seems feasible from both the archaeological and the
literary evidence and possibly, the two groups in northern India at that time,
spoke different languages. It is interesting that many of the words associated
with agriculture in the Vedic texts seem to be non-Aryan.
Society There was a broader division of society initially, into two varnas:
the arya varna and the dasa varna as referred to in the Rig Veda. Whereas
the term dasa did sometimes have an association with physical
characteristics, the term arya is generally a reference to someone who is to be
respected and does not seem to carry a specific racial meaning. It is even
likely that sometimes, arya and dasa were used symbolically. The later Vedic
texts refer to the more familiar four varnas —brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and
Political Pattern Identity in the Rigvedic period was related to jana,
meaning tribe, into which one was born. Birth was of central importance as
the indicator of identity. The vis, which appears to have been a smaller unit
than the jana and was possibly a clan, is frequently mentioned. In the
hierarchy of clans, that of the raja had the status of the ruling clan. Yet the
raja often bore the name of the clan. The term raja referred to a chief rather
than to a king. A group of families constituted the grama, which later came to
mean a village.
Later Vedic Phase
Geographical Knowledge The later Vedic texts cover a wider
geographical area, including the western Ganga plain and the middle Ganga
plain. The extension eastwards was along two directions: the foothills of the
Himalayas, a route which was later become famous as the uttarapatha
(literally, the northern route), and a more southern route following the banks
of the Yamuna and Ganga. Later, the route going south, the dakshinapatha,
was to link the Ganga valley with the peninsula. Familiarity with this wider
geographical area meant having to adjust to a variety of new environments.
     North Bihar is referred to as extensive marshland. The pre-existing
settlements in this area can be traced back through excavations to periods as
early as the neolithic in some cases, such as at Chirand. The texts refer to the
burial practices of the asuras as  a mark of differentiation between the asuras