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Introduction to the Vedic Period | World History | Khan Academy

November 4, 2019

– [Sal] First civilization
that we have evidence of around modern-day India and Pakistan is the Indus Valley Civilization, and it’s right around the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan
and northwest India. In other videos we talk about how it really comes into being
in the Third Millennium BCE, and as we enter into the
Second Millennium BCE it starts to decline. We don’t know exactly why it declined. Might have been climate
change, drying up of a river. Might have been a natural disaster. It might have been an
influence of other peoples. We’re gonna talk about
in this video is the next significant period in the
history of South Asia, and it involves the
migration or the introduction of another group of people, we believe another group of people, and that’s the Indo-Aryans. Write this down. Indo-Aryans, sometimes
referred to as just the Aryans, who we believe began to migrate into modern-day Pakistan
and northwest India at right about the same time that the Indus Valley
Civilization was declining. Some historians actually believe maybe Indus Valley Civilization
declined because of them. Maybe it was some type of an invasion. Although that theory is
not as widely held anymore. Some folks believe that the
Indus Valley Civilization and this Indo-Aryan
migration somehow merged. But this period that we’re talking about, with the migration of these Indo-Aryans, this is called the Vedic
Period, or the Vedic Period. It’s called the Vedic Period because we learn about it from a
collection of literary works that we get from that time,
most famously the Vedas. Veda comes from Sanskrit, and Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas. Vedas, in Sanskrit, means: knowledge. And they’re the foundation of, one, what we know about the Vedic Period, but they’re also the foundation of modern Indian culture and religion. The primary pieces of the Vedas are the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda.. The Rigveda in particular is considered the oldest of the Vedas. It’s believed that it was composed around the early part of that Vedic Period, between maybe 1500 BCE
and around 1200 BCE. We’re talking between
3,000 and 3500 years ago, while these three Vedas we
believe were composed later. Now, these Indo-Aryans, it’s believed, were essentially pastoralists; they were cattle herders, perhaps nomadic. But as they began to settle not
just the Indus River Valley, they actually began to settle
the entire Gangetic Plain, which would include this area, which would be northeast India as well as countries like Bangladesh. The Indus and the Ganges are two of the most significant rivers in India. But as they started to
settle the Gangetic Plain they also became more traditional farmers. In this green here, I’ve highlighted when they became more farmers, and started to have more settled kingdoms, or we believe started to
have more settled kingdoms. Other significant Hindu epics, we believe the events of the them happened around that late Vedic Period. The events of the
Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Now, the Vedas and these epic poems were originally orally transmitted. But then, later, either
in the late Vedic Period or after the Vedic Period was when they were actually written down. Just so you have some context here, Sanskrit is considered one of the oldest Indo-European languages we have. I’ll talk more about Indo-European languages in a little bit. Because it turns out
that Sanskrit is related to European languages like Greek and Latin and even Germanic languages. Sanskrit’s one of the oldest, alongside Mycenaean Greek
and the Hittite Language. Those were all contemporary civilizations of around this period right over here, in the Second Millennium BCE. Just so have you context,
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, his life was in one of
these Vedic kingdoms in the northeast of India. Now, as I mentioned, the
Vedas laid the foundation for much of what we consider
to be modern-day India. In fact, the first documented reference to the Indus River we have from the Vedas. The Indus Valley Civilization, we haven’t been able to
decipher their writing. They didn’t write down the word Indus. It was in the Vedas that
we have the word sindhu, and sindhu was later
changed or mispronounced or pronounced differently into other words that we now associate with India. Words like Hindu, Indus, and India, they all derived from Sindhu, which was the River
referred to in the Vedas, and then changed into Hindu,
Indus, and things like India. Now, also in the Vedas is the first time that we have reference to a
stratified social structure, and we see that with the
varnas that are referred to. You could view these as
social roles or classes. At the top you have the brahmins: the priests, the scholars,
and the teachers. Then the next you have
the kings and the warriors referred to as the kshatriyas. Then the vaishyas, who are the farmers, the merchants, the artisans. Then the shudras: the laborers. Now, some historians and
Vedic scholars believe that these reference to the varnas were added after the Vedic Period to things like the Rigveda; and some believe that these
weren’t traditional casts, as it’s sometimes perceived today, but just a reference to
different social strata, that it wasn’t necessarily inherited. We are not actually sure about that. But just to give you a feel
of what was in the Rigveda. I encourage you to go look
at the actual primary text, and there’s a lot out there to read. It includes prayers; it
includes praise of the gods; it includes rituals; but it also has a lot of interesting philosophy. And, for example, this
is from the Rigveda. This is a hymn referred
to as Nasadiya Sukta, and it’s in the 10th book, the 129th hymn. I find it really
interesting because it shows a fairly mature philosophical attitude. This is actually the origin hymn, and this is just a part of it. We’re talking about the
origin of the universe. “Who really knows? “Who will here proclaim it? “Whence was it produced? “Whence is this creation? “Gods came afterward, with
the creation of this universe. “Who then knows whence it has arisen? “Whether God’s will created
it, or whether He was mute. “Perhaps it formed itself,
or perhaps it did not. “Only He who is the overseer
in highest heaven knows. “Only He knows, or
perhaps He does not know.” I just find it interesting
because it takes a very philosophical view towards
this very fundamental question of the origin of the actual universe. So the Vedic Period, very
important period in India. It really lays the foundation
for what we consider to be modern Hinduism, modern-day India. It starts as really a
Bronze-Age civilization, but as we get into the later Vedic Period, we see them smelting iron,
and creating iron tools, and things like that. And, as we’ll see in the next video, the language of the Vedas, the Sanskrit, when Western scholars
started to discover it, it opened up their minds as to what were the roots of many of
the peoples who settle not just north India but also Europe.


  • Reply Sher e Pakistan January 27, 2017 at 2:08 am

    This has already been debunked. According to genetics, IVC has nothing to do with the Vedic. While the Aryans were not a race; but just a noble class.

  • Reply Vikram Shukla January 27, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learning Sanskrit right now. Four ways to say my name is_____.

  • Reply Aditya Tyagi January 27, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Srikant Talageri has shown from linguistic, textual, and archaelogical evidence that the Aryan Invasion Theory is false. He has issued a worldwide challenge for anyone to prove him wrong and no one has done so. However, the AIT is still taught as "fact" almost everywhere. A minority viewpoint, the Out-of-India theory, only has currency among only a handful of scholars but seems to be far more accurate in describing history accurately. Viewers may want to do further research beyond what is presented as the mainstream narrative on this issue. One day the truth shall emerge uncluttered by propaganda. Satyameva Jayate.

  • Reply YSV Rao January 27, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Boy Salman Khan sure is assimilated LOL, he struggles mightily with the pronunciations!

  • Reply Pavini Parashar January 27, 2017 at 9:48 am


  • Reply Naimul Haq January 28, 2017 at 2:26 am

    This account is quite inaccurate. The mature Harappan period began 2350 bc and ended 1900 bc, and was concurrent with the period of Rig Veda.The pre-Harappan period period began 4000-2650 bc.
    After the fall of the Harappan period, tribes from central Asia entered India and formed the consortium called Kuru, who destroyed the Yadav tribe of Krishna in the war of Kurukhetra (1500-1200 bc) and replaced Sanatan religion with the Semitic religion of Hinduism with the caste system, which broke the back bone of the Indians from which India never recovered.
    The Sanatan religion and the Hindu religion preach opposite views /theologies.

  • Reply xrx0R 9 January 28, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    The Aryans were real, they're people from northen Persia who emigrated to the Afghan and north Indian regions and then mixed with locals that's why today there wre a lot of Indians with coloured eyes and other european/caucus features. This is a slap in the face to Indian nationalists.

  • Reply Krishna January 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Is this Salman Khan or some other tutor?

  • Reply Cow Bhai January 30, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Aryan Invasion/Migration theories are made up by jealous westerners to own the great Sanskrit and its literature.

  • Reply Apoorv Gupta February 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    everyone in the world knows that all european languages came from sanskrit.

  • Reply Nikhil Mishra February 26, 2017 at 6:53 am

    In India the east India which is Assam Arunachal Pradesh Manipur Mizoram Nagaland Tripura sikkim are considered north east India

  • Reply Amrit Zoad February 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Swastika and Proto-Shiva sculptures were found in Indus Valley Civilization. Coupled it with Aryan Migration Theory, the present day Indians are mix of both!

  • Reply Vedant Patil March 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    there as no invasion most part of civilization was on saraswati river and due to earthquake , river started flowing under ground which is still there , so that's why people moved .

  • Reply Vedant Patil March 30, 2017 at 11:32 am

    there was no one in the top or bottom in varnas , varna was just division of power between people ,people was able to change their varna eg- Shudra to Bramhin ,bramhin to kshatriya and so on . there were rules which were different for different varna .
    so varna is not similar to cast , cast system which was created by British .

  • Reply M K April 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    why can't we have Mr. khan as a CAT (Common Admission Test) mentor.😭😭😭

  • Reply Criminology M.A. April 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    This video is incorrect in one area. The Vedas aren't in Samskrita or Sanskrit but in the Vedic language. Sanskrit is the refined form of old indic or Vedic. Sanskrit was created by the great sage and Father of grammar Panini.

  • Reply Criminology M.A. April 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I've read the Vedas and can state for a fact that the section about the Varna isn't correct. Firstly it is only mentioned in the Purusha Sūkta and the hymn didn't use the word Kshatriya. The Varnas that are mentioned are Brāhmin, Rājanya, Vaishya, and Shūdra. Notice that their is a clear distinction in the Vedic Varna and the later, post Vedic, meaning and interpretations/application of Varna as well in terminology. The Varnas in the Vedas don't mention hereditary occupation and social status aka caste system. The Varnas weren't even a class system as mentioned in the Vedas. It appears as a poetic classification of humanity and it's traits. For reference: my versions were the English translation of the Vedas by Ralph Griffith and max Müller, an my Hindi version was by Swami D

  • Reply Ravi Karthaka April 18, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Stop this utter nonsense about indo-aryan crap. And do not use the word Veda or Vedic in vain. This video should be deleted from you tube.

  • Reply Suman Dhungana April 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I like the video but in the video you mentioned Gautama Buddha's life was in one of those Vedic Kingdoms in northwestern India; however, it would have been better if you have mentioned his life started from Nepal and then to the rest of the world.

  • Reply Tomáš Kovařík April 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    terrible narrator to an awesome topic

  • Reply gda295 April 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm


  • Reply brian gallia May 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Lot's of debate about the Aryan migration. Let's just ask Brian Williams; he was there.

  • Reply From Venus To Saturn June 7, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Aryans were stabilized albinos

  • Reply ACoustaDC June 29, 2017 at 5:36 am

    let's not forget the most famous of The Vedas…. Darth

  • Reply Saltedalmond July 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    the philosophical was pretty cool, you usually imagine these ancient civilizations to be very extreme about their religion belifes and no one could question the gods, but then you see this about how they do not understand the universe and accept that they dont know instead of just giving credit to the gods

  • Reply Anand P Durai September 24, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Khan Academy, Sanskrit is an ancient language.
    But, What about Tamil Language
    Kindly make a video on Tamil language

  • Reply Bikram Kishore Mishra October 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I find nasadiya sukta as an early account of agnosticism

  • Reply Guru Rao December 11, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Please watch all there presentation about INDIAN Civilization History with science facts.

    1. Indian Civilization: Part 1: Genetic History of India

    2. Indian Civilization: Part 2: Astronomical Observations

    3. Indian Civilization: Part 3: Knowledge-Transfers from India

    4. Prince William: DNA Test Proves Indian Heritage

  • Reply Abhishek Shrivastava December 29, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Not Ganges River instead Ganga River

  • Reply DividerInChief December 30, 2017 at 7:46 am

    nasadiya sukta is the most celebrated hymn around the world

  • Reply Dizzy Blu December 31, 2017 at 12:06 am

    3:16 THATS NOW. Then the Saraswati was just as important and the Indus-Saraswati civilisation was based around it

  • Reply Kumar Nilmani February 22, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Brothers and Sisters. Go and study, How modern scientists have strongly opposed the theory of migration by study of DNA and chromosomes that there was no such migration. many groups in seperately conducted it and all groups scientists prove it to be false. This theory was proposed in mid 19th century when they came to know about Sanskrit and they feared they were not superior than people in these countries. Because they considered their colonies less civilised . They feared that they will lose everything if people came to know about it.But Now the world have an advanced genetic science which proves there was no migration. thank you

  • Reply P s March 28, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    You didn't mention Avestan ,the language most likely similar to Sanskrit.

  • Reply John von Shepard March 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Indo Aryans invasion did happen.

  • Reply MrMagooo April 2, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Sal, Aryan migration theory has been debunked. Please update your content to stop spreading old British lies.

  • Reply Ꝺeezy May 4, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Is "veda" related to German "wissen?"

  • Reply Tooth&NailGaming June 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    The last line of the hymn sounds like Donald Trump :p

  • Reply Tesla Advocate June 12, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Timeline is incorrect. It is much more older than that. Please do research again.

  • Reply David Harrison June 16, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    6:50 this hymn was is episode 10 of the cosmos, edge of forever, was my favorite episode by far as a kid.

  • Reply The Plow and Flute Project July 18, 2018 at 1:59 am

    this is all complete BS! completely bogus! events of mahābhārata and rāmāyaṇa some 3000 years ago? the war of the mahābhārata occurred 5100+ years ago. the rāmāyaṇa occurred in a completely different millenia. the truth can not be understood by so-called academic scholarship. one must learn the truth by approaching a bona fide spiritual master in an authorized disciplic succession.

  • Reply sayan chakraborty July 21, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    sir please Indian modern history .

  • Reply sayan chakraborty July 21, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I like your history video .

  • Reply db Patel August 27, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Tujhe kuch jaankari hai nahi bakwas kar mat

  • Reply Dr Laxman More September 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Here too .

    Who were Aryan middle east or west.?

    If Sanskrit and Vedas their primitive what they have proof??
    At least cultures?

    Any archaeological findings?

  • Reply Murphy D October 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    संस्कृतम् आर्यजनेन भारतम् आगतः / आर्यजन: पश्चिमभागत् आगतवान् /

  • Reply Revermen October 20, 2018 at 2:31 am

    This was awful

  • Reply Frank Bishop December 28, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The folks insisting that Sanskrit is the basis of all Indo-European languages seem not to grasp the concept of "Proto-Indo-European." P. I. E. is a theoretical language from which all three known classical languages derive – Sanskrit, Hellenistic Greek and Latin. With an understanding of P. I. E., we can look intelligently at the evolution of this family of marvelous languages.

  • Reply siva kumar January 24, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Aryan invasion/migration has proved conclusively , by linguistics, archeologically, literature , and recently genetically .
    Whether anyone accepts or not ,all the populations of the world are migrants from Africa, each one migrating at a different time period .
    As far as Indian subcontinent concerned,
    1) earliest people were the hunter gatherers , the only remaining people of them were the Andaman tribes
    2)second people to come were the elamo dravidians , from near East and mixed with hunter gatherers already present and they established the Indus valley civilization
    3)third and most recent migration were the Aryans , from the steppe lands of southern Europe and central Asia around 4000 yrs back into indian subcontinent, on the way destroying IVC , and conquering the local people , and started the caste system ,appointing themselves as upper caste people and local people as shudras( which is similar aparthied system is south Africa during 1800 &1900's where all the major high ranking posts are captured by white people and low ranking jobs are given to local black people)
    4) and finally the oldest attested indo European language is not sanskrit but mittani in today's turkey where the written inscriptions are found for info European languages dating to around 1800 BC
    5) and finally genetic studies has shown that the population the world over is a migrant and mixed population, and India is not an exception.

  • Reply Sabastian Love February 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Homie, you should research some of the stuff that has been discovered by retro-dating the skies to corroborate celestial signs (cycles, comets, etc.) that are mentioned in the Hindu holy books. They're much older than your timeline. The city of Dwaraka has been confirmed ≥12,000 years old… Also a fun recent rediscovery: look into "Rama's Bridge" or "Rama Setu."

  • Reply Kris tine June 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    You're amazing, thank you so much!

  • Reply Premier Interiors June 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    LOL….The vedas are atleast 5000 years ago, the Bhagavat Gita was spoken for the second time 5000 yrs ago.

  • Reply parasu108 parasu108 August 23, 2019 at 9:06 am

    This place known as modern day India is the cradle of civilization for many reason both sacred and practicle, definitely a good place to be near the mighty Himalaya's when world wide catastrophe strikes? but to say this place or that place is the first? civilization? we will continue to find older sites because life has existed on earth and elsewhere in the universe since forever! and earth has always had civilized city dwellers, so many sites are being discovered constantly and who knows what is hidden under the ice? I think due to holy sites and such India is always going to be known as the center of civilized humans and the capital of all human races, there are however many non human species that also existed along side us and we even breed with them like neanderthal denisovan? there is flores man and many other mentioned in literature's and yet to be discovered archaeologically, they may remain in our DNA. but it just sounds corny to say that mohenjo daro THE OLDEST THIS OR THAT? eternity surely has produced unlimited civilizations and we are just scratching the surface according to many ancient histories.

  • Reply R Sin October 12, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Mr. Khan academy , this is America , just keep in mind ,that’s all .

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