Friday, July 2, 2010

Fish signs of IVC resemble Vaastu and Jalanaadi signs of astrology. (World Tamil conference series -8)

The day after the conclusion of the World Tamil Conference, the chief protagonist of Dravidian hypothesis whom Mr Karunanidhi sponsored in the World Tamil Conference to push his belief that Tamils were Dravidians, admitted that his research is not final and that there can be other interpretations to the Indus symbols. (Read the posts at the end of this article.)

This is a welcome statement in the light of attempts by Mr Karunanidhi to give life to Tamil- connection to Dravidian origins in the IVC.

The entire IVC presents a different picture when seen through the eye of an Indian. The structures remind one of the Vaastu principles of construction.

First take a look at the sites excavated. They show perfect town planning and architecture.

The drainage system in accordance with the slopes is the primary issue decided in town planning and house construction even today as per Vaastu principles. The square and rectangular shaped houses are first-rate Vaastu compliant ones. This immediately reminds me of the Graama Vaastu (of townships) and the graha Vaastu (of houses) principles.

The circular structures found in the excavations are supposed to be platforms for drying crops according to the researchers. But from Vaastu point of view, circular shapes known as Vrittakaara is ideal for education. Until recently education was imparted under tree shades in our country. A circular platform was constructed around or under a big and shady tree or a banyan tree where discussions and teachings were done.

According to Vaastu texts circular platforms were also meant for commanders. The local panchayats would be held in circular platforms under the shade of a tree. The circular plots and circular constructions were also suitable for temples, educational institutions and marriage halls. Houses in circular shapes were constructed in the extension of the villages while the houses in the villages used to be square or rectangular shaped ones. The pictures available on the internet on Harappan excavations show a similarity to Vaastu guidelines.

Vaastu is a not a new concept to India. It is an Upaveda of Atharvan veda. If we say that Vedas are the oldest texts, it also means that the Vaastu-upavada was as old as Vedas. Think of a habitation, construction or architecture, there can no other guide than Vaastu sastra in this country. The architectural methods are a continuing tradition in this country, devised by two noted schools of Vaastu - of Vishwakarma and Maya. No one knows their origins. The presently available books attributed to them, Vishwakarma Prakaashika and Mayamata, are revised editions done from time to time.

The very first job of the researchers on the Harappan excavations must have been to check whether the 3-way architecture of Vaastu of this country was found in the excavations. The 3 way are about the basis of measurements (angula pramana) used for

(1) houses, buildings, mansions, palaces, temples, townships, villages, roads etc

(2) water bodies such as wells, tanks, drainages, ponds etc and

(3) figurines, idols, dolls furniture etc.

There are a number of finer calculations of determining the 'aya' and the pada vaastu which can be applied in the excavated sites to know whether they comply with the rules of vaastu.

Researches done by the IIT Professor R. Balasubramanian established that the measurement scale continues to be the same in this country from Harappan times till today. He did the research in the Harappan structures and also in the Iron Pillar (the Vijay Sthupi of Chandragupta Vikramadhitya dated at 912 BCE) and the Taj mahal. He found out that the measurement and the engineering tradition had been the same in all these. Earlier posts on this topic can be read here :-

Continuing civilization from Harappa to Iron pillar

Taj Mahal was built with ancient Indian engineering

This structural similarity must have formed the backdrop of any further research in the Indus Valley. Instead of going in these lines, the researchers had proceeded from a hypothetical notion of Dravidian pre-presence and a subsequent Aryan invasion and gone to establish the same by trying to fit the words from Tamil texts to derive a connection between the words and the Indus symbols. I may sound rude by this comment, but I can not help it because as a Tamilian I don't find any connection to the words, particularly the Tamil word for Fish (meen) with the fish symbols that form nearly half of the depictions.

The understanding is simple. The Tamil word meen (fish) is derived from the root word 'mee'. It was not originally meant as fish. The derivation of the word shows connection to 'star'. Let us see how.

Mee (Mee) means high, upper, something in excess or great. To see some Tamil words,

(from Tamil Lexicon written by N.C. Kandaiya Pillai)

மீ - மேலிடம், ஆகாயம்., மேன்மை (the sky is known as 'mee' because it is high. The star in the sky is known as meen, from this word. Since the star is high (mee) it is known as meen. )

மீக்குணம் பெருந்தன்மை

மீக்கூற்றம்அதிக பேச்சு, புகழ்

மிக்கோன்மேற் பார்வை , பொலிவு , எறுகை .


மீசு - மீது (the moustache is known as meesai because of this. It is on the lips or in the upper portion of the lips. So it is meesai. உதட்டின் மீது உள்ளதால் அது மீசை )

மீட்சிதிரும்புகை .

மீதிஎச்சம் (that is left over, extra)

மீது - மேல்புறம்

மீதூர்தல்மேல் மேல் வருதல், அடர்தல்

மீத்தோல்மேல் தோல்

மீப்புமிகுதி , மேன்மை

மீமிசைமிக்கது , மேலிடத்தில்

மீமிசை அண்டம்உயர்ந்த பதம்

The word meen (for star) is thus derived from the word mee which means high. In Sangam texts we come across the reference to stars as meen because they are high up in the sky. The usage of the same word for fish seemed to have been developed later. I can quote the Paripadal verse for this. In the first song in the Paripaadal thirrattu, there comes a description of the temple tank in a place called Irunthaiyur. It says that the fish are seen glowing in the water like the fish of the sky.

விண் வீற்றிருக்கும் கய மீன் விரி தகையின்
கண் வீற்றிருக்கும் கயம்.


The sky is regarded as a vast milky ocean and the stars were considered as the fish seen in that ocean. The meaning of the term is thus originally connected to the star. This 'meen' must have come into vogue in the beginning. It could have come into use to denote fish later. This is from the Tamil textual point of view.

It is said that a model of an iron fish was used for navigation purposes."A crude forerunner of modern magnetic compass was being used around fourth or fifth century A.D. called "Matsya Yantra". It comprised an iron fish that floated in a vessel of oil, pointing north. According to Bombay Gazetteer: The
Hindu Compass was an iron fish that floated in a vessel of oil and pointed to the north. Even in the modern days, we have liquid filled compasses.

Jacques de Vitry in his "History of the
Kingdom of Jerusalem " (1218 A.D.) referred to the use of the compass in India.
An Arabic manual of mineralogy (1252 A.D.) said that Indian seamen steered by an iron fish floating in a bowl of oil." ( )

In the Vaastu sastra also, the fish have a special place. As I said earlier in this post, any logical construction of the culture of the Harappans must have started form the dwellings which must be assessed in comparison with the current architectural practices, as ours is a continuously 'living' country.. The dwellings and artifacts must be assessed from the point of view of Vaastu.

If we go in that order we will know what the fish sign stands for.

The fish sign stands for directions in Dig saadhana in Vaastu. In olden days there were no magnetic compasses. The determination of the direction is the first work done on a site or even for objects such as furniture or artifacts. For furniture and artifacts the directions as south-north is determined by one's right hand and left hand. The word Pra-dakshina – the circumambulation of deities (clock-wise turnings) is so-called because you turn towards right which signifies the South. The East - west is determined by the head and the feet (up – down). A fish symbol on a thing or artifact or a tablet denotes the direction in which it must be kept or seen. This is one way of interpreting fish symbol.

Fish has a role in the determination of direction of plots before starting construction. A conch will be planted in the middle of the site and the shadow of the conch will be watched from sunrise to sun set. The sun's movement through different signs will make the length and direction of the shadow of the tip of the conch in different ways. All these have been taken into account and the exact direction of the east is found out by the shadow.

The first thing that must be done is to draw a line connecting east and west points of the shadow. Then fish shaped lines are drawn between the east and the west. The points of intersection of these lines mark north and the south. Every time, people were not drawing lines on the ground. A standard fish symbol was used in Vaastu in olden days, that was kept east- west, by aligning with the shadow of the conch to determine the north and the south directions.

Whenever I see the fish symbol in the seals, I am reminded of this directional utility of the fish. The fish lines are drawn for the corner directions also. That can be easily depicted in the fish symbol. Most of the fish images of the IVC look like pictorial indications for directions.

For instance, this symbol of Crocodile and fish looks like a warning displayed near a water body infested with crocodiles. The mouth of the fish denotes North. The position of the crocodile in this shows western direction. This may perhaps be a warning that crocodiles were found westwards.

In this picture where the available fish images have been categorized, I can see a simple indication for directions.

The first column is exactly how the fish symbol is depicted for the 4 directions in Vaastu. The horizontal line in the middle denoted the east- west (In Dik-saadhana explained above, the tip of the shadow of the conch in the morning and afternoon is connected by a line and the fish symbol such as this is kept on the line, with the horizontal line aligning with east –west. From this the north – south is known from the mouth and bottom of the fish.

The 2nd column shows the symbol that is held to align with the north-south line in dik sadhana to make doubly sure that the directions are correct.

The 3rd column shows 4 fins which align with the 4 corner directions (NE, SE, SW, NW). This symbol further makes it easy to determine the 4 corners once the four main directions are determined.

The 4th column shows a standard fish symbol for north-south alignment.

The 5th column is not only a direction- determinant but also gives some extra information – having some meaning such as north, upper or climbing or moving towards north. If this symbol comes along with other symbols, it would make better sense to determine what is being told.

Now coming to what is being told in these symbols, I find a pattern. There are a good number of creatures connected with water ways that make some sense when seen along with the fish symbol.


Alligator – 49

Fish - 14 (objects shaped like fish); fish also a sign

Frog - 1

Serpent - 10

Tree - 34 + 1 (leaves)

Water-carrier - 220

Scorpion - 106

Claws (of crab) - 130 + 90 (shaped like pincers)

The area where they are found is in the course of dried up Saraswathy river!

It was sage Saraswad who had given the knowledge of how to find out Jala naadis or underground waterways.

In Brihad samhitha, in chapter 54, Varahamihira dwells at length what the sage Saraswad has told about finding underground water veins.

The name of the sage goes well with what he has taught! River Saraswathy had dried up but had been flowing as an underground water way. The Hindu notion also is that she is flowing hidden under the ground. The people had settled throughput the course of Saraswathy after making sure the water availability for their survival.

Perhaps the sage Saraswad was their guide in giving numerous clues on how to find out the availability of water at one place and the quality and quantity of water available in that place or whether there would be perennial availability or not. Varahamihira lists out nearly 100 tips for underground water detection given by Saraswad! The sage perhaps got his name for his valuable contribution in finding out river Saraswathy's bounties on her course.

The kind of tips he has given take into account, trees, ant hills, rocks, fish, toads, snakes (found under ground near the waterways), tortoise etc. He has mentioned more than 50 trees to identify the water source. Each tip is like an exploratory route to the source. The general trend of the tip will be like this.

Note down a tree ( a specific tree), Measure 3 cubits in the west / east of the tree. Make a dig. At one man's height, you will find a rock. Remove the rock and you will find a frog or a snake or fish in slush. Dig 4 cubits to the west / east and you get perennial sweet water. This is a sample description. Many details such as these can be had from that chapter in Brihad samhitha.

When I look at the seals or carvings, I am reminded of Saraswad's tips. For instance this carving can be sequenced like this

Reading from right to left, the tree looks life the Arjuna tree with fruits. When the Arjuna tree is found in bloom, it means there is water nearby.

A man holds a garland or fish symbol. As per fish symbol terms, he is holding the west part of it.

Next to him are 4 lines. So I wonder if it says that "on the west of Arjuna tree, at 4 cubits distance "

Again a V- shaped shaped symbol with a dent on east-west direction followed by a man with two lines on both his sides.

This looks like (continue from " on the west of Arjuna tree, at 4 cubits distance ") in the east west direction dig the ground for a man's height.

The digging is symbolized by a man standing in a tunnel ( lines on both his sides)

Then continues the tunnel structure with steps -like lines which are 5 in number. This could mean dig for 5 cubits further.

The comes the last symbol which resembles a pond with trees on all sides. That means when dug like this one can get a pond full of water.

I call this as a pond because look at the crossing lines. They look like the lines of Pada-vaastu followed for any structure including ponds and tanks and forests.

The overall meaning of these figure could be " In the west of an Arjuna tree that is seen in full bloom, dig at a distance of 4 cubits for a depth of a man's height. When dug for 5 more cubits, you will find a good availability water that can fill a pond."

There have been Vaastu guidelines given by both Saraswad and Manu on the kind of trees to be grown around a pond.

In most of the running images with fish symbols, we see images that correspond to water, water jar or something connected to water. So I am inclined to see these symbols as easy -to -identify models for water detection. This may be meant for common man's knowledge.

The experts in water detection (like Sage saraswad) would have made standard rules on how to identify underground water and they would have made as permanent carvings to be available for all times. In Brihad samhitha alone we find nearly 100 combinations for water detection. Varaha mihira says that he has gathered those tips from ancient works and compiled them in that book. There might have existed many other combinations in the past. They could have been carved out as a reference model so that any one on the look out for water can use them to get water.

It must be remembered that the so-called Indus civilization is detected all along the river Saraswathy. From scientific images it is known that this river had sunk in the sands. The civilization weaned off due to scarcity of water. During the period that the people existed in the banks of sunken Saraswathy, they must have managed by identifying more places of water sources on the basis of natural factors given above. One can not ignore the Vaastu concepts fitting with the architecture of the sites.

In this back drop, connecting it to Tamil's culture is something far fetched. Any interpretation of Tamil's past can not be done independently of the textual information on Tamil's past. We will see the textual information in the upcoming posts.

Given below are 2 articles on what Dr Parpola has said on Dravidian connection. In the first write-up it is shown that he has agreed that his interpretation is not final. Mr Karunanidhi has misused his research for political ends.

The 2nd article is about Mr Parpola's admission that the habitants of IVC might have moved towards the South much before the "Aryans arrived".

At a time when the Aryan Invasion theory is finding a natural death, this opinion from him by disconnecting Dravidian problem from the Aryans is welcome. Before embarking on when "Aryans arrived", it is better to take a look at what underwater archeology says on civilization that existed around Gujarat 9,500 years ago. (click this link to read

- jayasree


From a forwarded message

"The Indus Script, Harappan Dravidian and the Wild Ass" by Asko Parpola and the debate thereafter



Venue (Backside of CPT): Roja Muthiah Research Library, 3rd Cross Road, CPT Campus, Taramani, Chennai 600113

28-06-2010 (Monday) 4,00 pm: when I entered the Roja Muthaiah research Library premises, Venkatachallam[1], the old man was sitting in the Indus Research Centre (IRC), a room allotted to them on RHS. Then I saw K. V. Ramakrishna Rao[2] and Orissa Balasubramaniam[3] entering the room and all started discussing about something with some papers.

The women / girls started rearranging chairs and tables at the entrance hall leading to the lecture hall. Two persons started displaying the books they brought on the tables. Only three-four persons were there for attending the meeting.

4.22 pm: Iravatham Magadevan came inside the room of IRC. Then he went to meet Asko Parpola, who was there already in the Computer room. Few more added.

4.40 pm: Tea came. Stil, people started coming slowly. Most of them have been elite, rich coming in cars. Then one woman came, identified as Rani Gift Siromoney, the wife of Gift Siromoney.

Then came P. R. Subramaniam, Narasaiah, Ramamurthy, Kavitha, Solomon, Vasanthi, Subbu, Ravichandran, Malar Mannan, Haran, K. V. Gopalakrishnan, ........................and so on. And of corse reporters from the media.

4.50 pm: People started going inside the lecture hall. Hardly 20-25 were there. Some went and sat in the first two rows and others were hesitating and settling down in the last rows.

5.20 pm: the lecture not started, obviously, they were looking for some group to come. Then came the group from the Madras Christian College.

Iravatham Mahadevan He started explaining his relationship with Gift Siromoney from 1968, when he met him at the 2nd World Tamil Conference, where both came to present papers. He was praising his analysis of Kolam carried with the primitive computer in those days. He claimed that Gift was responsible for finding out the significant of "Pulli ezhuthu" that differentiates Tamil Brahmi from other Brahmi. He pointed out how he prepared charts showing the inscriptional way of development of Tirukkural written. He told that one Abdul Haq was the first to bring out computer analysis of the IVC. Pointing to his wife, he lamented that Rani was so worried as Gift was quoting from his concordance brought out in 1968 than the Bible.

Prof. Mrs. Rani Siromoney started his speech invoking god etc., Repeating the above with intermittent invoking god for all happenings.

R.W. Alexander Jesudasan, though not introduced to the audience by name for unknown reasons, the Principal of the Madras Christian College was called to say few words and he started his sermon praising the lord, Gift and others. He claimed that the Tamil studies of the college might come to end, but continues. He mentioned about Parithimal Kalainjar (V. Suryanarayana Sastri) of their college. However, he did not explain how it continues (He did not mention about M. Deivanayagam[4] who has been creating problem now or Moses Micheal Faraday[5] who confuses Siddhas with Christians).

The invitation card read as follows: Indus Research Centre of the Roja Muthiah Research Library invites you to the inauguration of the Gift Siromoney Endowment Lecture Series Welcome address Dr. Iravatham Mahadevan Inaugural Lecture Prof. Asko Parpola on "The Indus Script, Harappan Dravidian and the Wild Ass".

6.10 pm: Asko Parpola started his speech showing the ppt. The first slide shoed that the same papers was presented on 25-06-2010 at Coimbatore on the occasion of the World Classical Tamil Conference. He delved upon the seal M-1690a, but revealed that it was missing long back.

"In a paper to be presented at the World Classical Tamil Conference, I am going to discuss recent developments in my study of the Indus script. In the book Deciphering the Indus Script (Cambridge 1994), I interpreted the `fish' sign as Proto-Dravidian *miin `fish' = *miin `star', and its compounds with preceding signs as names of heavenly bodies attested in Old Tamil. One newly deciphered sign depicts "a hoofed animal's hind leg." It occurs once before the plain `fish' sign. Old Tamil taaL `leg' has a Toda cognate meaning "thigh of animal's hind leg" and denotes a star in PuRam 395. The `hind leg' sign once precedes a sign that depicts the wild ass. Is the reading taaL `(hind) leg' meaningful in this context?

"Just one Indus seal has the wild ass as its iconographic motif; it was excavated in 2009 at Kanmer in the Kutch, next to the only wild ass sanctuary in South Asia. Bones of wild ass come from Harappan sites in Baluchistan, the Indus Valley and Gujarat; the salt deserts of this very area have always been the habitat of the wild ass. Bones or depictions of the domestic horse and the donkey are not found in South Asia before 1600 BCE.

"Tamil kaZutai or "donkey" has cognates in Malayalam, Kota, Toda, Kannada, Kodagu, Tulu, Telugu, Kolami, Naiki, Parji, Gondi and Kuwi. Bhadriraju Krishnamurti reconstructs *kaZ-ut-ay and asserts that Proto-Dravidian speakers knew of the donkey. More probably *kaZutay meant `wild ass' in Harappan Dravidian, and the term was transferred to the similar-looking donkey when this newcomer came to South Asia from the west through the Indus Valley. Rigvedic gardabha - `donkey' has no cognates in Iranian; it is a Dravidian loan word with the added Indo-Iranian animal name suffix -bha-. I explain *kaZutay as `kicker of the salt desert', from *kaZ(i) / *kaLLar `saline soil' and *utay `to kick'. The wild ass lives in the salt desert and is a vicious kicker.

"There is a Hindu myth explicitly associated with the wild ass, the Dhenukavadha of Harivamsa 57. Krishna and Balarama came to a palmyra forest occupied by the fierce ass demon Dhenuka and its herd. Wanting to drink the juice of ripe palm fruits, Balarama shook the trees. Hearing the sound of falling fruits, the enraged ass demon rushed to the spot. Seeing Balarama beneath a wine palm, as if holding the tree as his banner, the wicked ass bit Balarama and started kicking him hard with its hind legs. Balarama seized the ass by those hind legs and flung it to the top of a palm. The ass fell down with its neck and back broken and died. Dhenuka's retinue met with the same fate, and the ground became covered with dead asses and fallen palm fruits. The palm forest, horrible when terrorised by the asses, impossible for humans to live in, difficult to cross, and with a great extent and salty soil (iriNa), now became a lovely place.

"The description of the palm forest as a salt desert confirms that wild asses are meant. The palm tree, Sanskrit taala from Proto-Dravidian *taaZ, is prominent in the myth and its earliest sculptural representations. The wine palm is associated with the wild ass, which inhabits the palm forest and finally falls down from the top of the palm like its ripe fruits. The wine palm is connected also with the ass' killer (his successor as the god of its drink), Balarama, whose addiction to toddy is "an essential part of his character."

"The myth also refers to the palm emblem on Balarama's banner (tâla-dhvaja). In the Rigveda, Indra is invited to drink Soma like a thirsty wild ass (gaura) drinks in a pond of salty soil (iriNa). In Kutch today, such ponds are called taalaab. This Persian word comes from Indo-Aryan taala `pond', from Proto-Dravidian *taaZ `low place, depression.' Like the camel, the wild ass can quickly drink an enormous amount of water, becoming through homophony the prototypal toddy-drinker. Further homophones of taaZ connect the wild ass with the ebb of tide and its mythical cause, the mare-faced demon of the netherworld who drinks the whole ocean."

He also relied upon his paper "Equus hemionnus & Equus Kiang and their vernacular names" along with Juha Janhunen.

Though, he mentioned about "wild ass" i,e, Asiatic Wild Ass[6] prevalent in different parts of the world, Asia in particular, he kept silence as to how they crossed over to Kiang in China. However, he went on as follows:

"The Asiatic wild ass in Harappan, Dravidian and Indo-Iranian record
Asko Parpola University of Helsinki, Finland This abstract summarizes my part of a longer paper written in collaboration with Juha
Janhunen (who deals with the Turkic, Mongolic and Tibetan terms), entitled "The Asiatic wild asses (Equus hemionus & Equus kiang) and their vernacular names", to be published in full in the Proceedings of this roundtable

"After an introduction on the taxonomy and geographical distribution of the
different ass species and subspecies, I discuss one grapheme of the
Indus script (no. 46 in the sign list of Parpola 1994: fig.5.1), proposing that it depicts the wild ass. The sign has realistic (cf. fig.1 a & b) and schematic variants (fig.1 c). The wild ass is present in the Harappan osteological record at least in Baluchistan, Sindh and Gujarat, but probably also in the Punjab and Rajasthan. Moreover, there are terracotta figurines of the wild ass, but it is
not among the "heraldic" animals of the
Indus seals, probably because the ass was already an animal of ill omen: later on it was associated with Nirrti

"The principal Harappan language, and apparently the only one in which the
Indus texts from South Asia were written, was Proto-Dravidian (cf. Parpola 1994). Attested in 13 Dravidian languages, representing all the subgroups except North Dravidian, is a word for 'ass' (DEDR no. 1364). Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (2003: 12 and 525) reconstructs this etymon for Proto-Dravidian as *kaz--ut-ay. Franklin Southworth (2005: 269-270) accepts this recontruction, proposing that instead of the domestic ass, the word originally denoted the wild ass, and that this animal was once present even in South India. This does not seem impossible in view of the continuous belt of semi-arid thorn-desert and dry tropical savannah from Kutch to Tamil Nadu, although there is little osteological support for this hypothesis. The wild ass assumption is endorsed by a new etymology that I propose for the word, as a Proto-Dravidian compound of *kaz- - 'salt desert' (DEDR no. 1359 + Turner 1966 no. 2954) and *utay 'kick' (DEDR no. 616). Desert, especially salt desert, is the habitat of the wild ass, and figures in the names of the onager in Sumerian (anše-eden-na) and Persian (χar-e daštÄ«). On the other hand, the ass is famous for its kicking, and represented as kicking in the myth of the (wild) ass demon Dhenuka (cf. HarivamÅ›a .57). Sanskrit gardabha- 'ass' is very probably derived, with the animal name suffix -bha- (of PIE origin but still productive in Indo-Aryan), from the Dravidian word for 'ass', as proposed by Thomas Burrow and Murray Emeneau."

Conclusion: taaL (from *taaZ, preserved in Old Kannada) `(hind) leg, stem of tree' (whence taaZ `tree with a prominent stem' > `wine palm') is in many ways connected with the wild ass[8].

7.11 pm: Discussion and questions: Surprisingly, Iravatham Mahadevan this time allowed questions from the audience with with conditions[9]. There were only six questions and they are as follows:

1. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao: your claim is confusing about the words - தாள௠/தால௠/தாழ௠, கழ௠/கழ௠etc. What you mention about தாள௠of Puram is different from your interpretation of தால௠/தாழ௠.

Asko Parpola accepted the possibility of other interpretations of the words. When Rao told that there had mean specific words used for ass and horse in the Sangam literature, he requested to provide them.

2. White bearded person: Taking the reference that Indra was invited to drink Soma like a thirsty wild ass (gaura) drinks in a pond of salty soil (iriNa), he asked as to whether the "wild ass" drank that it could be salty.

Asko Parpola replied that it was only figurative.

3. Dr. Vasathi: In our field excavations, we found the pictures / rock paintings of ass / horse and there have been may references in Sangam literature about ass / donkey. Whether the "koverukazuthai" and "wild ass" as mentioned by you are one and the same?

The Neolithic and megalithic findings of south India have been dated after the Wild ass of IVC.

4. A man with namam on his forehead: You mentioned about camel as one of five things to be sacrificed. Does camel to do anything in the context?

Asko Parpola went back to his slide that shown the five things for sacrifice:












He explained that hunting wild ass ws royal pastime and in ritual, it could have found place.

5. Kavitha (who does Ph.D in Indus script, as introduced by IM): Why there was no wild as in South India?

They entered India through IV before proto-dravidians.

6. Ramamurthy (very old man shaking............As IM himself called him so): ........................Researchers fall trap to such interpretations and also others to, but without coming to any specific conclusion............................

Asko Parpola accepted that his decipherment is incomplete and all the seals cannot be read like that and multi-interpretation is possibe! However, it s ironical that media reports that Asko reads IVC in Dravidian, Tamil and so on, as if, it is final. Iravatham Mahadevan intervened to accept that "multiple-interpretations of the seals are possible and nothing is final in the decipherment".

Conclusion: The function started as Christian crusade, went on as Dravidian propgandist lecture and ended with confessional statement that the decipherment was not final!

Meanwhile, the press has carried on undue publicity about the meeting, of course, bth The Hindu and New Indian express do not publish the responses posted in their websites:

1. The Indus script and the wild ass - published on June 23, 2010

For this, "The Hindu" has published three responses in its site.

2. `Dravidians headed south before Aryans' arrival' - published on 29-06-2010

3. பேராசிரியர௠அஸ௠கோ பர௠போலா சொற௠பொழிவà¯



Interested may visit here and record their valuable opinion, criticism and suggestion:

[1] An enthusiastic IVC researcher, who concentrates on the weights and measures of IVC. He was accusing that Bryan Wells used his findings without mentioning his name.

[2] Independent researcher in Chennai.

[3] Comes from Orissa, but now in Chennai doing maritime and other connected research on the antiquity of the Tamil maritime activities etc.

[4] Incidentally, Deivanayagam claims that I Mahadevan helped Devakala his daughter for her Ph.D. Now, both father and daughter have indulged in attacking Tiruvalluvar, Hindus etc.

[5] Now he has been the HOD of Tamil department of the Christian College.

[6] Several authorities, including "Mammal Species of the World", list as individual species Equus

hemionus, Equus kiang and Equus onager, and several subspecies are built on these, such as E.

kiang polyodon. Also Equus luteus has been used synonymously with onager and hemionus


[8] Ironically, the entire thing was already published in "The Hindu" and there have been three responses also: see at

[9] I understand that K. V. Ramakrishna Rao requested IM that there should be discussion.




Dravidians headed south before Aryans' arrival'

Express News Service

First Published : 29 Jun 2010 04:09:33 AM IST

Last Updated : 29 Jun 2010 04:35:45 AM IST

CHENNAI: Giving a new twist to the debate over what actually happened between the Aryans and the Dravidians in the second millennium BC, Professor of Indology with the University of Helsinki Asko Parpola said his research indicated that Dravidians were not driven south by the Aryans; instead, they gradually moved there in search of better pastures - and this was before the invading Aryans even came to town.

On the sidelines of the Dr Gift Siromani Endowment Lecture organised by Madras Christian College where Parpola delivered his lecture on 'The Indus script, Harappan Dravidian and the wild ass', he told Express that his research showed that the Dravidians were originally the inhabitants of the Indus Valley in Gujarat.

Gradually, some of them moved south in search of greener pastures and more fertile soil for grazing and farming. And there was evidence, he said, that this move was much before the invading Aryan hordes came to India. The Dravidian community that remained near the Indus River was conquered over many years later by the Aryans, he said.

"Just like when the British took over India, they made the Brahmins learn their language and work under them to administer the country before they conquered the whole nation, likewise, these

Aryans too made the local village chieftains learn the Indo Aryan language. An elite layer of Dravidians would've initially learnt Indo Aryan first," said Parpola.

"The northern Dravidians then over time took completely to speaking Indo Aryan with only traces of the original proto Dravidian language still remaining," he added.

Parpola added, "Dravidian languages flourished in the south because the Aryans could never conquer the south. Even the north would've taken centuries to conquer."

The theory that has currency among historians is that Aryans drove Dravidians to the south of the nation. This has been the cause for much debate in academic circles.




When the domestic head asses are entrenched in the local institutions of learning at the pleasure of the ruling party, what choice do they have other then following the lyrics and tune of vested interests with selected half truths. It is more of the awe at hearing paeans flowing from caucasian presenters in an exotic place. Why not for an all paid vacation and on top of being rewarded too.

By Go Adikal
6/30/2010 11:55:00 AM

Yesterday (28-06-2010), he talked about the Dravidian Harappans and their wild ass only and not as you report here. He confused the Tamil words தாழ். தால், தாள் as rightly pointted out by one of the audience, who questioned him first. He confessed that other interpretations were possible. He was definitely taken aback, when two of the women audience asked about the difference between the wild ass of him and that of Sangam literature and as well as that of South India, because he was telling that the wild ass also enetered India through IV just like proto-dravidians, so that they could record கழுதை in their language! So Iravatham Mahadevan left with no option but accept "multiple-interpretations of the seals are possible and nothing is final in the decipherment"., yet, the media reports that the language was proto-dravidian, Tamil and so on.

By Vedaprakash
6/30/2010 7:44:00 AM


B Shantanu said...

Dear Jayasree: Can I have your permission to print this as a "Guest Post" on my blog?

Please let me know...

The blog has been aroundfor 6 years and now carries almost 1200+ articles related to Religion, History and Culture of India.

Thanks. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!

My email is jai.dharma AT

jayasree said...

Dear Mr Shantanu,
You are most welcome to post it. I happen to read your blog every now and then and am aware of the good work you are doing. May your tribe grow.