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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 221Book's First Page
and their importance grew at the cost of Indra and Agni (Rig Vedic gods). The cult of Rudra evolved from a Harappan cult (Pasupati Mahadeva) and hence it was a non-Aryan influence. Special deities emerged for some of the social classes, for example Pushan (protector of cattle) for the Sudras. There was a clear-cut male domination even in the divine pantheon during both the periods. Monotheism and Monism The former is a doctrine which admits of only one god and the latter is a doctrine which seeks to explain varied phenomena by a single principle. There was a tendency towards both doctrines among certain small groups since the Rig Vedic period onwards. Life after Death The Rig Vedic period did not produce any consistent theory about it. The idea of metempsychosis (souls being reborn in human, animal and plant form) was not yet developed. In the later Vedic period life after death was envisaged in terms of punishment for sin and reward for virtue. There was evidence of metempsychosis in the later Vedic hymns. Idea of transmigration of souls was not clear in the Vedas, though Upanishads expound the belief in the passage of human soul from life to life according to one’s conduct in the previous life. The theory of karma evolved from the above belief. The karma concept is not actually stated in the Rig Veda, but it does mention that a person’s conduct in this world determines his life after death. But it is the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which clearly mentions the concept and states that as a man lives, so he becomes. Mode of Worship The Rig Vedic period was marked by recitation of prayers and offering of sacrifices both at the individual and collective levels. The offerings (such as grain, vegetables, flesh, ghee, and so on) were not accompanied by any ritual or sacrificial formulae, because magical power of the word (mantra) was not yet considered very important.