Readers are advised to read Yugas-Part1, Yugas-Part2, Yugas-Part3 and Yugas-Part4 before reading this article.
Krita Yuga 1
12,000 BC to 8000 BC
Duration of Krita Yuga 1 was 4000 years. If we follow the ratio 1:1:1:1 instead of the ratio 4:3:2:1, its duration can as well be 1000 years. In this case Krita Yuga 1 would become the period from 5000 BC to 6000 BC. If we take the average of the ratios, then the duration of this Yuga becomes 2500 years. Then Krita Yuga 1 would become the period from 6500 BC to 9000 BC.
Reign of the Ice Age Indra
In this period, the oldest known Indra ruled as an Ice age hero, hunting mammoths (Airavata) using weapons (Vajra) made of bones obtained from the skeletal remains of Ice Age animals. Undifferentiated Vedas (which would later become Atharva Veda and Rig Veda) started development towards the end of this ancient Krita Yuga.
Mbh.3.100:- There were in the Krita age certain tribes of fierce Danavas that were invincible in battle. They were known by the name of Kalakeyas and were endued with terrible prowess. Placing themselves under Vritra and arming themselves with diverse weapons they pursued the Devas (celestials) with Indra at their head in all directions. The Devas (gods) then all resolved upon the destruction of Vritra, and went with Indra at their head to Brahma. Brahma advised to get bones of Dadhicha living on the banks of Saraswati.
Vajra, a weapon made of animal-bones
In the above narration, the bones of Dadhicha seems to be the fossilized bones of an ancient creature (Dinosaur or some large ice age mammal) situated in the asylum of Dadhicha on the banks of Saraswati. It does not seems to be Dadhicha's own bones (bones taken from his body). Architect Twashtri converted these fossil-bones into weapon named Vajra for Indra. It seems Twashtri made a set of weapons named Vajra for Indra, not just one weapon. There was Vajra-Sayaka (Vajra-Bow) mentioned in Rig Veda: Manyu Suktha. A Vajra weapon is also used as a projectile weapon (like a javelin), probably to hunt mammoths and kill enemies. Another Vajra weapon is also used as a club for personal defense and to make vital blows to hunted animals and opponents.
Airavata, an Ice Age Mammoth
Ancient texts mention Airavata as the mount of Indra. Description of Airavata, a four tusked, light colored, tall elephant fits the description of a mammoth-species. Indra probably hunted it and used it as his sign or symbol. He may as well, used it as his vehicle, as mentioned in the Puranas. Indra also seems to have taken the credit of releasing waters from the melting glaciers which was a natural phenomenon during the end of the Ice age. His opponent Vritra seems to be another Ice age hero who initially owned these glaciers. Indra probably overthrew Vritra and his tribe. Thus as mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas Indra became the slayer of Vritra and the releaser of waters.
These incidents probably took place in the Airavata region. It was a huge region perpetually covered by snow, ice and glaciers. It contained with in it the north polar region and Siberia in the north. Its southern end was the Himalayas and its southern valley. Thus the region around the Iravati (Ravi_River in Punjab-Pakistan) would be the southern boundary of this ancient region that existed towards the end (10000 BC) of last ice age. I guess the battle between Indra and Vritra occurred in the Iravati river valley. Once the permafrost receded, the frozen Iravati river started flowing. Indra took credit for this release of water from the glacial ice which formerly belonged to the territories of his opponent Vritra.
Ice age Indra's territory thus lied around Iravati river and probably included regions up to southern part of Saraswati basin which was warm enough for river flow. The ancient sage Dadhicha lived on the northern regions of Saraswati river basin in Kurukshetra within the territories of Ice Age Indra.
Usually the passage of time will fuse together many historical personalities whose life times were separated by centuries and make them a single person. Examples are Vyasa, Parasurama, who were many, lived at different periods but fused into a single Vyasa and a single Parasurama. In the case of Indra, however, the fusion was imperfect. Hence the ancient text correctly mentions that there were several Indras at different period of times. Other Indras lived subsequent to the Ice Age Indra. It seems that the Ice Age tribe (Devas) who had Indra as their leader was not very happy with the rising temperatures. They wanted the environment to be warm enough so that water will flow but not more than that. When the temperature rose they probably followed the receding ice and thus moved north and north-east probably along the Satadru (Sutlej) river (which is believed by some researchers to be same as the northern course of the ancient Saraswati river cutting across the Himalayas) reaching Himachal_Pradesh and finally Tibet. During the period of Mahabharata they seemed to have settled in Tibet. In Mahabharata, Arjuna is mentioned as meeting the Indra of this age, in a territory that lied to the north of Himalayas and to the East of Manasarovara. It is possible that some of the Devas migrated northward along Sindu (wikipedia:Indus]) river and its northern tributaries reaching Kashmir, Afganistan and Central Asia. But these Deva tribes merged with other tribes and probably lost their Deva identity.
The region of [Saraswati] river system (that lied around the course of Saraswati, from Himalayas up to the sea), thus left vacant by the tribes of Devas and Asuras were then occupied by the tribes of Ikshwakus, Ailas, Purus, Bharatas, Kurus and Yadavas.
The oldest Indra (Ice Age Indra) was the role model for the subsequent Indras and also for subsequent kings belonging to the Ikshwaku, Aila, Puru, Bharata and Kuru tribes. Often kings belonging to these tribes compare themselves to Indra or tries to be like Indra.
Mbh.9.45:- In days of yore, in the Krita age, all Devas, duly approaching Varuna, said unto him these words, As Indra, the leader of the Devas, always protects us from every fear, similarly be thou the Lord of all the rivers!
Varuna was the old leader of the Devas or rather the undivided tribes of Devas and Asuras. From Varuna, the young Indra took the leadership. He became the leader of the Devas and the primary foe of the Asuras. His enmity towards the Asuras was after his marriage with an Asura queen named Sachi (who later became known as Indrani, the wife of Indra). She was the daughter of Asura king Puloman. Hence she was also known as Paulomi. It is not clear if Puloman has any connection to the ancient tribe of sage Pulaha. Pulaha is also an ancient tribe in southern Inda, especially Kerala. People of Andaman islands too believe in a god named Pulaha. When Indra started oppressing the Asuras and thus created disunion among the tribes of Asuras and Devas, Varuna opposed him initially but Indra pushed him to oblivion. Mahabharata contains references indicating opposition or war between Indra and Varuna.
Varuna too was credited with the release of waters (probably from the glacial ice) and knew about its use in irrigation and cultivation of crops. He might have created many artificial rivers channeling water from the melting glaciers to the irrigation fields where various crops are cultivated. Devas remembered about the wonderful feats Varuna achieved using the water released from the glaciers and honored him by making him the lord of rivers (and later, the lord of oceans).
Vishnu and Mitra
Indra is the hero praised in Rig Veda. He was assisted by an assistant hero (Upendra). He was known as Vishnu. Vishnu is often mentioned as younger brother of Indra and the strongest ally of Indra. He is often mentioned as the youngest among the twelve Adityas, the heroic brotherhood praised in the Vedas.
Like Indra and Vishnu formed a pair, Varuna and Mitra formed a pair. Mitra assisted Varuna, like Vishnu assisted Indra and thus was another assistant hero. Mitra and Varuna formed the older pair while Indra and Vishnu formed the later pair. Mitra in Sanskrit means friend. Probably he was called Mitra because he was the friend of Varuna. Sages who worship Mitra were called Maitreyas. There was also an ancient religion named Maitraism. Some researchers connect Varuna and Mitra with Abrahamic Gods mentioned in Bible and Quran as the Father-Son pair.
The worshipers of Mitra and Varuna often call this pair as 'Mitra-Varunis'. The worshipers themselves were later called Mitravarunis. Among the worshipers of the old pair, were the Bhargava sages. Hence the Bargavas were often called Mitravarunis. Sages like Vasistha and Agastya were thus the sons of a Mitravaruni Bhargava sage. Bhargavas often allied with Asura kings and became their priests. Examples are sages in the lineage of Bargava-Sukra who were priests of Asura kings like Vrishaparva and Mahabali.
The Angirasa sages worshiped the new pair of heroes viz. Indra and Vishnu, however giving more importance to Indra and less to Vishnu. Angirasas often allied with the Devas like Indra and the kings who supported them. Examples are Angira Brihaspati who was the priest of Indra. The branches of Angira tribe like the Bharadwajas and Gautamas too followed the Angirasas. Bhargavas, in later stages accepted the Indra-Vishnu pair but gave more prominence to Vishnu over Indra and continued their dislike for Indra. The Agastyas, the Vasisthas and the Vyasas who branched from Bhargavas reduced the importance of Indra and increased the importance of Vishnu, through in the epic age and Puranic age that ensued after the (Rig) Vedic age.
The Rudras were another sub-tribe (and probably the oldest) belonging to the Deva tribe, like the Aditya-tribe in which Indra belonged. The eleven Rudras were as famous as the twelve Adityas. The Rudras were more ancient than the Adityas. It seems that the Adityas headed by Varuna and Indra took over the power from the tribes of Rudras and Maruts (another ancient Deva tribe allied to the Rudras). The eldest of the elven Rudras, was known as Rudra. The singular form of the name Rudra denoted the eldest among the eleven Rudras. He is later known as Siva and was extolled in the Puranas as one of the Trinity-Gods viz. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma.
Among the trinity Gods, Brahma was formerly an Upanishadic concept, which later got personified. Puranic Trinity-God Brahma is a fusion of the Upanishadic concept of Brahman (the cosmic consciousness / the expanding self-awareness / the un-manifest) , and a historic figure often mentioned as the Pitamaha (the grand father), much similar to the Spitama the ancestor of Zaratushtra mentioned in the Iranian Veda (Avesta). Pitamaha-Brahma is often mentioned as the father or grandfather of many historic figures whose ancestry is unknown, untraceable or is very ancient. Thus Pitamaha Brahma is attributed to be the father / grandfather / ancestor of many Prajapaties like Daksha, many sages like Vasistha, Atri, Marichi, Angirasa and others like Manu.
The Ocean Churning Event
Mbh.6.81:- Loud and fierce was the uproar made by the twang of the bows stretched by the kings, resembling the roar of the ocean while churned in the Krita age by the Devas and the great Asuras
One of the most amazing events mentioned in ancient texts is the mention of the churning of ocean. As per this the Devas and Asuras jointly used a mountain to churn the ocean. From this churning several kind of wealth were obtained from the bottom of the ocean. How can oceans be churned? How a mountain can be used to churn oceans? One probable explanation is plate tectonic activity. We know that the Indain plate was not part of Asian continent. It floated after separating from Africa, Australia and Antartica and banged onto Asia. There was an ocean named Tethys separating Indian peninsula from Asia. Himalayas were formed as a result of the collision of India with Asia.
Churning of ocean mentioned in ancient Indian texts has something to do with collision of India with Asia. Though this happened 10 million years ago, a small part of Tethys ocean could have trapped somewhere in the Himalayas with a mountain at its middle during the time (15,000 BC to 10,000 BC) the Devas and Asuras were living together in this region. They might have witnessed a tectonic event (or a strong earth quake) that might have shaken the central mountain and churned (agitated) the water in the small ocean (or sea or lake). This might have led to the myth of the churning of ocean. As a result, they might have got many materials from the bottom of the lake, like precious stones (diamonds, emerald, pearls etc), some of which are formed at high pressures. They might have also got some fossils (like the fossil of a giant turtle, which lead to the myth about Kurma- Avatara of Vishnu) emerged from the bottom to the surface, as a result of the agitation or churning of the ocean (sea or lake).
Ocean churning event also contributed to the disunity of Davas and Asuras. It seams that this event benefited the Devas most leaving very little to the Asuras due to the ploy of Indra and Vishnu and created a rift in the Deva-Asura unity.
The first Manu
Another example of imperfect fusion of personalities was Manu. The ancient texts correctly mentions that there were several men named Manu. Each of them were well known in their time period and were very popular in their time-periods. At Mbh.12.334 we have the mention of Swambhuva Manu. He is considered as the first Manu. This Manu lived in Krita Yuga. Manu is often mentioned as the founder of the "human" race, as if the Devas and Asuras were not humans. Probably Manu's tribe and the tribe of Devas and Asuras coexisted but the ancient Indian population is derived mainly from Manu's tribe. Due to lesser familiarity of other tribes, the people belonging to the Manu's tribe might have considered these other tribes as alien tribes or as non-human tribes and their own tribe as human.
The first name Swam-bhuva of this Manu, indicates that he is self-born. This is an indirect way to tell that the ancestry of this Manu is unknown, untraceable or is very remote. In other words this Manu is the oldest of all the person named Manu. It is likely that this Manu lived a few centuries after the oldest known Indra. Among the different people named Manu, some figure in the Great Flood Event and some where Prajapatis (a patriarch or father of many children). Some of the recent Manus were credited with the authorship of law books like Manu-Smriti containing rules or laws for the society. These laws are often applicable to the time period in which they are proclaimed. Manu himself warns in his law books that these laws need amendments time to time as period changes and its usage after the expiry of its scope and time-period in which it is pronounced can cause undesirable effects.
Daksha, the Patriarch
At Mbh.12.348 Daksha is mentioned as being born from the willpower of Brahma, which in other words indicate that Daksha's ancestry is not known or not traceable or is very remote. Daksha too lived in Krita Yuga and was a Prajapati (a patriarch or father of many children) like Manu. One of the Indras (it is not clear if he is same as the Ice Age Indra) was mentioned as the son of Aditi, a daughter of Daksha. All the daughters of Daksha were matriarchs. Among these matriarchs were Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Sinhika, Kadru and Vinata.
The Ancient Matriarchs of human society
The sons of Aditi were the twelve famous members among the Deva tribe. They were also known as the twelve Adityas. The sons of Diti were Daityas and those of Danu were Danavas. The sons of Kala were Kalakeyas. These were all different tribes of Asuras. None of the ancient texts mention any kind of disunion between the Daityas, the Danavas and the Kalakeyas and always portray them as united against the Devas. The Devas included not just the Adityas but also other tribes like the Vasus, the Rudras, the Maruts and the Sadhyas. Kadru and Vinata gave rise to two more tribes, younger (or emerged later) than the Aditya-Devas and the Asuras. Kadru is mentioned as the mother of the Naga tribe and Vinata that of the Suparna tribe. Like the Devas and Asuras, the Nagas and Suparnas too were opposed to each other. Though there were fights between the Suparnas and the Devas, they seemed to ally together ignoring their differences. As a result the Asuras allied with the Nagas.
Matriarchy predated Patriarchy
There is an alternate theory about these ancient matriarchy and patriarchy. As per this, the human society was matriarchal in nature during a phase of human history. The matriarchs like Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Kadru and Vinata thus existed many centuries earlier (25,000 BC to 12,000 BC?) than the patriarchs like Daksha, Kardama, Kasyapa and Manu (12,000 BC to 6000 BC). After the advent of patriarchal societies, some patriarchal leaders reduced the importance of the matriarchs and popularized the legend that, those ancient matriarchs like Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Kadru and Vinata were all daughters of the patriarch Daksha and later became the wives of yet another patriarch Kasyapa. The Kasyapas were originally a priest class of the Naga tribe and were more affiliated to the Nagas than any other ancient tribe. But after the advent of the patriarchy and after the Naga tribe dominated ancient India, the legends were modified to make Kasyapa the husband of all these ancient matriarchs. Thus Kasyapa became known as the father of every known tribe, including the ancient tribes of Devas, Asuras, Nagas, Suparnas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Yakshas and Rakshasas.
The Global spread of the Nagas and Suparnas
Mahabharata mentions a fight between Suparna-Garuda and Deva-Indra, in which Indra was defeated. Though the help of Vishnu as a mediator, Indra made alliance with Garuda and thus the Suparnas became the allies of the Devas. Mahabharata also mentions many Asuras like Maya living in harmony with Naga kings like Takshaka at Khandava. Asuras also lived in Naga cities like Bhogavati (the city of pleasures) and Nagas lived in Asura cities like Hiranyapura (the golden city). Thus the Nagas and the Asuras allied together. It seems that the Nagas and the Suparnas spread across the world. Nagas use 'snake' or 'serpent' or 'crawling dragons' as their symbol or emblem. Suparnas use birds like 'hawk', 'eagle' that predate on snakes or 'flying dragons' as their symbol. These symbols of snakes, serpents, hawks, eagles and dragons are part of national flags of many modern nations. This indicates their ancestry or affiliation to the ancient tribes of the Nagas and the Suparnas.
Valikhilyas were the ancient sages who lived in Krita Yuga. They were short in height, but were great thinkers compared to the period they lived. They studied the motions of the Sun and devised a mechanism by which the ancient humans can measure time. They noticed the yearly pendulum like motion of the Sun travelling north-south in the sky. This they used to define a unit of time called a year. They also noticed the gradual movement of the celestial north pole (a projection of the Earth's axis of rotation on to the imaginary celestial sphere aka the sky) and used to record time as large as 1000 years. They were the ancient astronomers of India.
The development of Rig Veda was initiated in Krita Yuga1 probably from 10,000 BC onwards (the middle of Krita Yuga1), describing the Ice Age Krita Yuga heroes like Indra and Varuna. Its growth accelerated during the end of Krita Yuga1. The core books of Rig Veda was probably completed development by the middle of Treta Yuga1 (6500 BC) with the description of the activities of tribes like Ikshwakus and Bharatas. Atharva Veda too developed along with Rig Veda. Yajur Veda developed in the second half of Treta-Yuga (6500 BC) and continued its growth in Dwapara Yuga (till 3000 BC) along with the advent of elaborate sacrifices officiated by priests and funded by kings. Sama Veda developed in the first half of Dwapara Yuga (5000 BC to 4000 BC) in which Rig Vedic verses are put to melodious compositions. The Vedas started differentiated like Rik, Yajus, Sama in Dwapara Yuga. This classification was completed by Vyasa towards the end of Dwapara Yuga.