History notes for SSC: The Vedic Age – Part 2

So in the last chapter, we studied about the Vedic Society. In this chapter, we will study the Vedic literature and its types. We will only study about the Shruti in this article and read Smriti in the next chapter. So let’s begin “History notes for SSC: The Vedic Age – Part 2”.

Vedic Literature:

Vedic literature can be divided into 2 parts:

  • Shruti:
    • Shruti means “Heard”
    • It is believed to be of divine origin
    • All Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads are shruti
  • Smriti:
    • Smriti means “memorized”
    • It is believed to be of human origin
    • All other texts apart from shruti are smritis
    • Examples are Manusmriti, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vedangas

We will study only about the Shrutis in this chapter.

  1. Vedas:

Vedas are believed to be the oldest texts of human history. Rigveda is the first Veda. So lets see all the vedas:

So you can read all the Vedas in the above picture. Each Veda had its own Upveda. You will have to remember Upveda for each of them. Also remember the meaning and special points of each veda.

2. Brahmana:

  • These were prose commentaries of the Vedas
  • Each Veda had several Brahmanas explaining some hymns of the Veda
  • The most important ones are:
    • Taittrya Brahmana: Brahmana of Yajur Veda – Oldest and longest Brahmana
    • Shatpatha Brahmana: Brahmana of Yajur Veda – Brahmana of 100 paths

3. Aranyakas:

  • These are also known as forest books
  • These were written by forest sages
  • These are the concluding parts of theBrahmana

4. Upanishads:

  • These were written around 800-600 BCE
  • These were the latest of all the Shrutis
  • There are a total of 108 Upanishads
  • The meaning of the word Upanishad is “Sitting close to the teacher to learn”
  • Important Upanishads are:
    • Mundakaupanishad: “Satymeva Jayate” taken from here
    • Vrihadnayaka: “Tamso ma jyotirgmay” taken
    • Taittrya Upanishad: “Athithi devo Bhava” taken


So with this we come to an end of the chapter. In the next chapter we will study Smritis.

To read the next chapter: The Vedic Age- Smritis and Misc facts: CLICK HERE

Watch our video tutorial of the chapter: