Cattle, Horses, Chariots

There were prayers in Rigveda for the cattle, children ( sons),horses. Horses were yoked to the chariots that were used in the battles. Battles were fought to capture land, which was important for pastures, cattle, people , water and many more things.

The wealth obtained were kept by the leaders, some were given to the priests, while the remaining were distributed among the people. Wealth were also used in performing yagnas or the sacrifices of the animals. These yagnas were performed to please gods and goddesses. Offerings in the yagnas were made in the form of ghee, grain and animals.

Men used to take part in the wars. However there were no military or army,but there assemblies where people met to discuss about wars and how to maintain peace. People used to chose leaders who were brave and were warriors.


  • Many prayers are there in Rigveda for
    • Cattle
    • Children especially for sons
    • Horses
  • Reasons for their prayers:
    • Horses yoked to chariots —-used in battles
  1. To capture cattles
  2. For land
  • For pastures(for animals)
  • cultivation(for growing hardy crops as barley)
  1. For water
  2. To capture people
  • Wealth obtained from the battles
    • Some kept by the leaders
    • Some given to the priests
    • Used for the performance of Yajnas/ Sacrifices in which offerings were made into the fire
  1. Meant for Gods and Goddesses
  2. Offerings included ghee, grain, and in some cases animals
  • The rest distributed amongst the people
  • Mostly men took part in wars
  • No regular army but assemblies held
    •  People met
    • Discussed matters of war and peace
    • Chose leaders, who were brave and skillful warriors


Several ways to describe people:

  • In terms of their work
  • The language they speak
  • The place they belong to
  • Their family
  • Their communities
  • Their cultural practices

Some words used to describe people in The Rigveda:

  • Two groups described in terms of their work
    • The Priests- called Brahmins
      • performed various rituals
    • The Rajas
  1. Did not have capital cities, palaces or armies
  2. Did not collect taxes
  3. Sons did not automatically succeed fathers as rajas
  • Two words used to describe the people or the community as a whole
    • Jana ( still use in Hindi and other languages for people)
    • Vish (the word vaishya comes from vish)
  • Several Vish or Jana mentioned by name
    • The Puru Jana or Vish
    • The Bharata Jana or Vish
    • The Yadu Jana or Vish
  • Sometimes described as
    • Aryas
      • Who composed hymns
    • Dasa / Dasyus
      1. People not performed sacrifices
      2. Spoke different languages
      3. Later Dasas means Slave
      4. Often captured in wars
      5. Treated as the property of the owners
      6. Make them do whatever owners wanted