Class 12 history chapter 3 notes, kinship caste and class notes

kinship caste and class Notes: Class 12 history chapter 3 notes

ClassClass 12
ChapterChapter 3
Chapter Namekinship caste and class
CategoryHistory Notes

Class 12 history chapter 3 notes, kinship caste and class notes here we will be learn about the Mahabharata and the social and economic life of the people of that time.

Importance of Textual Traditions : –

🔹 Historians often use textual traditions and inscriptions to understand the contemporary society. Careful use of these texts allows to piece together attitudes and practices that shaped social histories.

Mahabharata : –

🔹 Mahabharata is the most detailed and colossal epic in the world. according to literary traditions, this epic was composed by a sage named Vyas who dictated the text to Shri Ganesha.

🔹 It has 18 books, or parvas and it more than one lakh verses. This is the greatest heritage not only of India but of the world.

🔹 The old name of Mahabharata was Jai Samhita. It was composed over a period of about 1,000 years (c. 500 ВСЕ onwards). The Mahabharata, like any other epic, contains vivid descriptions of battles, forests, palaces and settlements.

Basic features of Mahabharata : –

  • Many answers to the original writers of the Mahabharata
  • It was orally composed by the charioteer -bards
  • Later, the Brahmanas wrote the epic first and then the sage Ved Vyasa.
  • Mahabharata is the most colossal epic in the world.
  • Mahabharata is source of fraternity, marriage and paternal lineage.
  • Later, incorporation of new stones and events.
  • Mahabharata has dynamic text
  • Mahabharata Translation in various languages.

The central story of Mahabharata : –

🔹 The central story of the Mahabharata is about two sets of warring cousins. It describes a feud over land and power.

🔹 These were the Kauravas and Pandavas who belonged to a single ruling family of the Kurus-a lineage dominating over one of the Janapadas.

🔹 The conflict ended in a battle in which the pandavas emerge victorious. After that, patrilineal succession was proclaimed.

The Critical Edition of Mahabharata : –

🔹 One of the most ambitious projects of scholarship began in 1919, under the leadership of a noted Indian Sanskritist, V. S. Sukthankar. A team comprising dozens of scholars initiated the task of preparing a critical edition of the Mahabharata.

🔹 They selected the verses that appeared common to most versions and published these in several volumes, running into over 13,000 pages. The project took 47 years to complete.

🔹 Two things became Apparent in this entire process:

  1. There were several common elements in the Sanskrit versions of the story, evident in manuscripts.
  2. There were enormous regional variation in the ways in which the text had been transmitted over the centuries.

Terms for family : kula, jnati, vamsha : –

🔸 kula : – Sanskrit texts use the term kula to designate families.

🔸 jnati : – Sanskrit texts use the term jnati for the larger network of kinfolk.

🔸 vamsha : – The term vamsha is used for lineage.

Meaning of Patriliny : –

🔹 Patriliny means tracing descent from father to son, grandson and so on.

Meaning of Matriliny : –

🔹 Matriliny is the term used when descent is traced through the mother.

Families : –

🔹 Families are usually parts of larger networks of people defined as relatives, or to use a more technical term, kinfolk.

Features of family or Information about families : –

🔹 Family was an important institution of society.

🔹 People of the same family share food together.

🔹 Family members use resources together and share them.

🔹 Family members Live and work together.

🔹 Family members perform rituals together.

🔹 In some societies, regard cousins are also considered blood relations.

🔹 Family relations are considered ‘natural’ and related by ‘blood’.

Patriliny system : –

🔹 According to patrilineal inheritance, sons could claim the resources (including the throne in the case of kings) of their fathers when the latter died. The main story line of Mahabharta strengthen the idea of patriliny. Most ruling dynasties (c. sixth century BCE onwards) followed this system.

🔸 variations in patriliny system : sometimes there were no sons, in some situations brothers succeeded one another, sometimes other kinsmen claimed the throne, and, in very exceptional circumstances, women such as Prabhavati Gupta exercised power.

Status of daughters in patriliny system : –

🔹 While sons were important for the continuity of the patrilineage, daughters were viewed rather differently within this framework.

  • They had no claims to the resources of the household.
  • At the same time, marrying them into families outside the kin was considered desirable. This system, called exogamy (literally, marrying outside),

🔹 This gave rise to the belief that kanyadana or the gift of a daughter in marriage was an important religious duty of the father.

Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras : –

🔹 These are codes of social behavior meant to be followed by Brahmanas in particular and society in general. 500 BCE The Sanskrit texts in which these norms were compiled were called Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras. They are written in Sanskrit.

Manusmriti : –

🔹 It is one of the best-known legal texts of early India, written in Sanskrit. the Manusmriti, was compiled between c. 200 BCE and 200 CE.

Marriage : –

🔹 marriage is “a religious sacrament in which a man and a woman are bound in a permanent relationship for the physical, social and spiritual need of dharma, procreation and sexual pleasure.”

Rules of marriage : –

🔹 The Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras recognised as many as eight forms of marriage. Of these, the first four were considered as “good” while the remaining were condemned. It is possible that these were practised by those who did not accept Brahmanical norms.

🔹 Eight forms of marriage : –

  1. Brahma marriage : – Brahma marriage is the Hindu term for a father’s daughter marrying a bridegroom from the same caste through religious procedures.
  2. Daiva form of Marriage : – A father gifts his daughter to a priest.
  3. Arsha form of Marriage : – A token bride price is given in place of the dowry.
  4. Prajapatya form of Marriage : – A father marries his daughter without dowry and bride-price.
  5. Asura form of Marriage : – Bride was brought from her father forcefully.
  6. Gandharva form of marriage : – Love marriage
  7. Rakshasa form of marriage : – Marriage which was done by capture or kidnapping.
  8. Paishacha form of marriage : – Marriage by seduction.

Endogamy : –

🔹 Endogamy refers to marriage within a unit – this could be a kin group, caste, or a group living in the same locality.

Exogamy : –

🔹 Exogamy refers to marriage outside the unit. exogamy meant that the lives of young girls and women belonging to families that claimed high status were often carefully regulated to ensure that they were married at the “right” time and to the “right” person.

Polygyny : –

🔹 Polygyny is the practice of a man having several wives. This practice was less prevalent. Draupati in Mahabharata is an example of Polygyny.

Polyandry : –

🔹 Polyandry is the practice of a woman having several husbands. Vichitarviya had two wives in Mahabharata. King Pandu also had two wives.

Gotra : –

🔹 Gotra is a Brahmanical practice which came into practice after about 1000 BC. In Brahmanical practice people were classified into gotras. Each gotra was named after a Vedic seer, and all those who belonged to the same gotra were regarded as his descendants.

Rules of gotra : –

🔹 Two rules about gotra were particularly important:

  1. women were expected to give up their father’s gotra and adopt that of their husband on marriage
  2. and members of the same gotra could not marry.

The gotra of women : –

🔹 women were expected to give up their father’s gotra and adopt that of their husband on marriage.

🔸 Dispute: Insriptional evidence regarding the inheritance of gotra among Satavahanas : –

  • But Satavahana can be called an exception to this.
  • The mother’s gotra was before the son’s name.
  • For example, Gautami’s son Shatakarni and Vashishthi’s son Pulumavi.
  • That is, even after marriage, the Satavahana queens adopted the Gotra of their father instead of their husband.
  • It also turns out that some queens were from the same gotra.
  • This fact was against the rules of exogamy system.

Were mothers important?

🔹 Satavahana rulers were identified through metronymics (names derived from that of the mother). Although this may suggest that mothers were important, we need to be cautious before we arrive at any conclusion. In the case of the Satavahanas we know that succession to the throne was generally patrilineal.

Features of Indian social life in the Mahabharata : –

  • Society based on caste system
  • Distribution of social work according to varna.
  • Patriarch Society.
  • Universal recognition of the rules of marriage.
  • women’s gotra rules
  • Emphasis on having son in the society.
  • Social inequality
  • Untouchability

Varnas system : –

🔹Varna System is the historical term used to depict the Caste System in today’s world. The origination of the word “Varna” came from the word “Vri,” which means the choice to choose one’s occupation.

🔹 Brahmanas claimed that this order, in which they were ranked first, was divinely ordained, while placing groups classified as Shudras and “untouchables” at the very bottom of the social order. In Brahmanical theory, Caste, like varna, was based on birth.

Meaning of the word ‘Varna’ : –

🔹 On the basis of karma (actions), the four parts into which the Aryans had divided the society are called Varna. In the early society there were four varnas: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.

Rules related to ‘occupation’ : –

🔹 The Dharmasutras and Dharmashastras also contained rules about the ideal “occupations” of the four categories or varnas.

🔸 Brahmanas were supposed to study and teach the Vedas, perform sacrifices and get sacrifices performed, and give and receive gifts.

🔸 Kshatriyas were to engage in warfare, protect people and administer justice, study the Vedas, get sacrifices performed, and make gifts.

🔸 Vaishyas study the Vedas, get sacrifices performed, and make gifts, engage in agriculture, pastoralism and trade.

🔸Shudras were assigned only one occupation that of serving the three “higher” varnas.

What was done to ensure that the rules were followed?

  • The Brahmanas evolved two or three strategies for enforcing these norms.

🔹 One, as we have just seen, was to assert that the varna order was of divine origin.

🔹 Second, they advised kings to ensure that these norms were followed within their kingdoms.

🔹 And third, they attempted to persuade people that their status was determined by birth.

आगे पढ़ने के लिए नीचे पेज 2 पर जाएँ


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