There is no direct information about the social life of that period in the works of the Vedic period, but there is scope for differences of opinion, if conclusions are drawn from the research. But unlike these, the essence of human life in the period from the history of Ramayana and Mahabharata is completely found in the works.
According to folk tales, Ramayana era is Tritiyayug. Treta means yagya, sacrifice etc. Hence Treta Yuga means Yagya Yuga.
The era of Ram was a Yagya era. Example: Yagya performed by King Dasharatha to get a child, Sage Vishwamitra taking Ram-Lakshman to protect Treta (Yagya), Yagya performed by warriors to win the war. Yagya was the spiritual basis of people’s life. The fire lit in Yagya is also called Treta Agni. Hence Ram’s incarnation is of Treta Yuga, the correct meaning of saying this is that Ram’s incarnation in Treta Yuga took place for the protection of the Yagya system. In Valmiki’s Ramayana, while mentioning the best qualities of Sri Ram, Maharsihi Adikavi Valmiki says-
‘Samudra iva Gambhirye Dhairya Cha Himavaniv’ (Va.RA .Bal.Kand.1.17)
That is, Ram, a descendant of Ikshvaku, is like the ocean in seriousness and the Himalayas in patience.
A vast country extending from the Himalayas to the ocean must have emerged in the mind of the original poet Valmiki. He believed that Sri Ram is the accepted symbol of all India.
Nation is a self-governing social unit of the Vedic period. That is why, while calling the nation, the focus is on the public, but with time, for the cultured governance of the public, a new system emerged which had the form of a king and a state, in which the area governed by the king was called a state. At the time of departure to the forest, Raghukul’s Rajguru Maharishi Vashishtha tells Mother Kaikeyi with a sad heart –
‘Na hi tad bhavita rashtram, yatra ramo na bhupatih, tad vanam bhavita rashtram yatra ramo nivatsyati’ (Va.Ra.Ayodhya Kand 37.29) i.e. where Ram does not rule, there will be no nation; The forest where Ram lives will become a nation.
In this context, Rajguru Vashishtha’s entire focus is on the work done for the benefit of the nation because a nation is not made by mere system, the nation is made by the values and right attitude of the society there. In this chaos, Mother Kaushalya says to Dasharatha Maharaj, because of you the nation along with the state has been destroyed, all the subjects along with the ministers have been destroyed.
Hatan tvaya rashtrimidam sarajyaam hatah sm sarvah sah mantribhishcha (Va. Ra.Ayodhya Kand61.26)
In this context too, Mother Kaushalya was seen to be more concerned with nation than her son’s exile because a nation without a king soon comes to an end.
At the time of the death of King Dasharatha, Bharat and Shatrughan were spending endless time away from the discord of Ayodhya in their own maternal uncle’s house and due to the exile of Sri Ram, Ayodhya nation was without a king, so keeping in mind the system of the nation, Maharishi Vishisht was decided to declare Bharat, a king so that the balance of the nation is not disturbed under any circumstances.
During the entire period of exile, Sri Ram visited various places in the country and worked to establish harmony. At the social level, the influence of Sri Ram’s personality was so supreme that the boatman who takes him in the boat to take him across the Saryu, respectfully washes the feet of Sri Ram and makes him cross the river without asking for reply (Manka 108 Ramayana-Chaupai 27- 30). From this incident one can feel the denial of caste sentiments and a strong sense of coordination is felt in the social outlook of the then society.
After the abduction of Sita, Sri Ram and Lakshman reached the shelter of Mount Ishyamook in search of Sita. There, for the primary dialogue, Sugriva’s minister Hanuman, after knowing the introduction of Sri Ram and his intention of coming, expressed his intention in this way – ‘Ubhau Yogyau Aham Manye Rakshitum Prithivi Imam Sasagarvanam Kritsyanam Vindhyameru Vibhushitam’ (Va. Ra.Kishkindha Kand -3.15)
That is, both of you together are capable of protecting this entire earth, which extends till the ocean, is rich in forests and is adorned with Mount Meru in the north and Vindhyachal in the middle.
In this context, Hanuman ji has envisaged that the effect of the union of Sri Ram and Sugriva will be established on the entire Aryan nation. This feeling of social harmony was reflected through friendly union, which brought into existence the entire form of national upliftment, a nation spanning from the great mountains (Himalaysa) to the ocean.
Even in the construction of Ram Setu, every aspect of the society plays its duty and teaches that the nation can be strengthened only by the continuous work of all sections of the society. So that any kind of evil can be conquered. The day of Ravana’s killing is celebrated every year in the name of Vijayadashami on the tenth day of Sharadiya Navratri in different parts of India, which shows the feeling of togetherness and brotherhood.
After conquering Lanka, Vibhishana was handed over the authority of the nation (Lanka), so that the people could be cultured and taken to the pinnacle of civilization. So that negative thoughts are not included in the social outlook. When Sri Ram, Sita ji and Lakshman reach Ayodhya Dham after completing 14 years of exile, they are given a grand welcome with a lamp garland. Since then, every year on the Krishna Paksha Amavasya of Kartik month, the festival of Diwali is celebrated with great pomp all over India. During preparations for the coronation of Sri Ram in Ayodhya, arrangements are made by Bharat and Sugriva to bring water from 500 rivers of the country. (Va.Ra.Yuddh Kand, Chapter-128, Verse 48-58)
In short, even during the Ramayana period, the flow of nationalism of the country continued to flow uninterrupted and kept developing. The concept of nation- state developed, the feeling of one country, one nation emerged from the Himalayas in the North to the South Sea.