Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Demise of Aryan Invasion/Race Theory" - by Prof. Dinesh Agarwal

Vedas are recited whereas

Vedantha is studied, assimilated and understood or interpreted.

Vedic passages were taught orally, with all the accompanying swaras, modulations etc

and handed down the generations only orally.

It was never written.

It was only an oral tradition.

"vEda gosham" was an integral part of daily life throughout Arya vartha.

The purport of this was that it must be recited in the recommended way

and recited on recommended occasions (homas, prayers etc)

as part of Karma khanda

so that the vibrations caused by it go a long way in bringing out the desired result.

Vedic hymns can even move mountains.

The power of Mantras is so great

that the emerging understanding in science is

that some acoustics caused the initial trigger of Creation.

It is known as Naada -Brahma in our system,

understood as Omkaar or the sound of 'udukkai' (drum) of Shiva

which triggered Creation.

The power of sound is indicated in Ramayana,

in the slaying of 60,000 sons of Sagara.

When the Sagaras found out the lost horse in Kapila's ashrama,

Kapila did not curse them by any words for the abuse they did.

He just let out a sound 'hum'

and that caused them to burn into ashes!

The power of Veadantin who has mastered Vedas, is such that!

The power of Bheejaksharas is such that!

In contrast to Vedas which is an oral tradition,

the vedanga, six in number was studied.

Vedanta, that included vast literature called Upanishads and Brahma sutras

was studied, argued upon and interpreted.

The first verse of Brahma sutra tells

that (the education) is now switched from karma khanda (vedas)

to knowledge based interpretation of Upanishads.

This was the education in ancient society.

This was how knowledge was acquired.

That is why for any question on Vedanta, Dharma, and Karma,

we refer to the vast literature of vedanta and not vedas.

But unfortunately, that was done by Westerners when they for the first time in the history

not only translated them but also

attributed their interpretations based on their existing level of

knowledge of cultures and others issues.

As a result, two notable disservices were done to this country,

one, the concept of Caste from a distorted understanding of Varnas

and the other,

the concept of Aryan - Dravidian conflict were formed.

In fact it must be remembered that the westerners

embarked upon Aryan invasion theory

after getting to know the translated version of Vedas.

Archaeological findings at Harappa,

were taken as an evidence of their interpretation of Vedas.

It is unfortunate that this mis-interpretation is still continuing,

giving rise to

conflicts in this society.

After having exhausted thoroughly, the caste card to the hilt, to draw political capita,

persons like Mr Karunanidhi, have now taken up the Aryan tangle.

His poem (so-called) in bad taste on Ms Jayalalitha's birth day a few days ago,

addressing her as

"Arya aaraNangu...." (the one who takes pride in declaring herself as Aryan female)

is indicative of what can be expected from him

in the coming days, when Sethu issue is going to come up for hearing in the Supreme court.

Such being the sorry state of environment of this country,

it is all the more depressing to see

that even the educated people also fall a prey to Aryan Invasion theory,

fed by translations and interpretations by Westerners.

It must be remembered that even acharyas like Adi Shankara and Ramanuja did not

translate or interpret Vedas.

They even refrained from quoting Vedas in their commentaries.

To know what we were and who we were, we must look at our society.

Vedas which are central to mantra - japa practices and

are meant for metaphorical understanding

should not be interpreted to

'invent' a theory about migration and invention -

leave alone people's way of life..

Instead, for any theory of Aryan migration,

we have to look at puranas, ithihasas and other lores,

apart from other sources such as archeology.

In this context, I am reproducing the version by Prof Dinesh Agarwal

on how issues were twisted in this Aryan Invasion theory.


Source: Prof. Dinesh Agrawal [Penn State University, USA]

Real Meaning of the Word 'ARYA'

In 1853, Max Muller introduced the word 'Arya' into the English and European usage

as applying to a racial and linguistic group when propounding the Aryan Racial theory.

However, in 1888, he himself refuted his own theory

(Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, 1888, pg 120) and he wrote:

"I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas,

I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language...

to me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner

as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar."

In Vedic Literature, the word Arya is nowhere defined in connection with either race or language.

Instead it refers to: gentleman, good-natured, righteous person, noble-man,

and is often used like 'Sir' or 'Shree' before the name of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc.

In Ramayan (Valmiki), Rama is described as an Arya in the following words:

a;yR: sv;R-smWcewv: sdwv ip[y;dxRn (Aryah sarvasamashchaivah sadaiv priyadarshan ) :

Arya - who cared for the equality to all and was dear to everyone.

Etymologically, according to Max Muller,

the word Arya was derived from ar- (ar-), "plough, to cultivate".

Therefore, Arya means - "cultivator" agriculturer (civilized sedentary, as opposed to nomads and hunter-gatherers), landlord;

V.S. Apte's Sanskrit-English dictionary relates the word Arya to the root r- (r-) to which a prefix a (a) has been appended

to give a negating meaning.

And therefore the meaning of Arya is given as "excellent, best", followed by "respectable" and

as a noun, "master, lord, worthy, honorable, excellent", upholder of Arya values, and further: teacher, employer, master,

father-in-law, friend, Buddha.

References in Rigveda

The voluminous references to various wars and conflicts in Rigveda

are frequently cited as the proof of an invasion and wars between invading 'white-skinned' Aryans and 'dark-skinned' indigenous people.

Well, the so-called conflicts and wars mentioned in the Rigveda

can be categorized mainly in the following three types:

Conflicts between the forces of nature:

Indra, the Thunder-God of the Rig Veda, occupies a central position in the naturalistic aspects of the Rigvedic religion,

since it is he who forces the clouds to part with their all-important wealth, the rain.

In this task he is pitted against all sorts of demons and spirits

whose main activity is the prevention of rainfall and sunshine.

Rain, being the highest wealth, is depicted in terms of more terrestrial forms of wealth, such as cows or soma.

The clouds are depicted in terms of their physical appearance:

as mountains, as the black abodes of the demons who retain the celestial waters of the heavens (i.e. the rains),

or as the black demons themselves.

This is in no way be construed as the war between white Aryans and black Dravidians.

This is a perverted interpretation from those who have not understood the meaning and purport of the Vedic culture

and philosophy.

An example of such distorted interpretation is made of the following verse:

"The body lay in the midst of waters that are neither still nor flowing.

The waters press against the secret opening of the Vrtra (the coverer) who lay in deep darkness whose enemy is Indra.

Mastered by the enemy, the waters held back like cattle restrained by a trader.

Indra crushed the vrtra and broke open the withholding outlet of the river."

(Rig Veda, I.32.10-11)

This verse is a beautiful poetic and metamorphical description of snow-clad dark mountains

where the life-sustaining water to feed the rivers flowing in the Aryavarta

is held by the hardened ice caps (vrtra demon), and Indra, the rain god by allowing the sun to light its rays

on the mountains makes the ice caps break and hence release the water.

The invasionists interpret this verse literally on human plane,

as the slaying of vrtra, the leader of dark skinned Dravidian people of Indus valley

by invading white-skinned Aryan king Indra.

This is an absurd and ludicrous interpretation of an obvious conflict between the natural forces.

Conflict between Vedic and Iranian people:

Another category of conflicts in the Rigveda represents the genuine conflict

between the Vedic people and the Iranians.

At one time Iranians and Vedic people formed one society and were living harmoniously

in the northern part of India practising Vedic culture,

but at some point in the history for some serious philosophical dispute,

the society got divided and one section moved to further north-west,

now known as Iran.

However, the conflict and controversy were continued between the two groups often resulting into even physical fights.

The Iranians not only called their God Ahura (Vedic Asura) and their demons Daevas (Vedic Devas),

but they also called themselves Dahas and Dahyus (Vedic Dasas, and Dasyus).

The oldest Iranian texts, moreover depict the conflicts between the daeva-worshippers and the Dahyus

on behalf of the Dahyus, as the Vedic texts depict them on behalf of the Deva-worshippers.

Indra, the dominant God of the Rigveda,

is represented in the Iranian texts by a demon Indra. What this all indicate that wars or conflicts

of this second category are not between Aryans and non-Aryans,

but between two estranged groups of the same parent society

which got divided by some philosophical dichotomy.

Vedas even mention the gods of Dasyus as Arya also.

A well-known global phenomenon to share the natural resources

like, water, cattle, vegetation and land, and expand the geographical boundaries of the existing kingdoms.

This conflict between various indigenous tribal groups in no way suggests

any war or invasion by outsiders on the indigenous people.

Excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro

It is argued that in the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro

the human skeletons found do prove that a large scale massacre had taken place

at these townships by invading armies of Aryan nomads.

Prof. G. F. Dales (Former head of department of South Asean Archaeology and Anthropology, Berkeley University, USA)

in his "The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-daro, Expedition Vol VI,3: 1964

states the following about this evidence:

"What of these skeletal remains that have taken on such undeserved importance?

Nine years of extensive excavations at Mohenjo-daro (1922-31) -

a city of three miles in circuit - yielded the total of some 37 skeletons, or parts thereof, that can be attributed

with some certainty to the period of the Indus civilizations.

Some of these were found in contorted positions and groupings that suggest anything but orderly burials.

Many are either disarticulated or incomplete.

They were all found in the area of the Lower Town -

probably the residential district.

Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel

where one could reasonably expect the final defence of this thriving capital city to have been made.

He further questions:

Where are the burned fortresses, the arrow heads, weapons, pieces of armour, the smashed chariots a

nd bodies of in the invaders and defenders?

Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites,

there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as

unconditional proof of an armed conquest and the destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan invasion.

Colin Renfrew, Prof. of Archeology at Cambridge, in his famous work, "Archeology and Language :

The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins",Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988,

makes the following comments about the real meaning and interpretation of Rig Vedic hymns:

"Many scholars have pointed out that an enemy quite frequently smitten in these hymns is the Dasyu.

The Dasyus have been thought by some commentators to represent the original,

non-Vedic-speaking population of the area, expelled by the incursion of the warlike Aryas in their war-chariots.

As far as I can see there is nothing in the Hymns of the Rigveda

which demonstrates that the Vedic-speaking population were intrusive to the area:

this comes rather from a historical assumption about the 'coming' of the Indo-Europeans.

It is certainly true that the gods invoked do aid the Aryas by over-throwing forts,

but this does not in itself establish that the Aryas had no forts themselves.

Nor does the fleetness in battle, provided by horses (who were clearly used primarily for pulling chariots),

in itself suggest that the writers of these hymns were nomads.

Indeed the chariot is not a vehicle especially associated with nomads.

This was clearly a heroic society, glorifying in battle.

Some of these hymns, though repetitive, are very beautiful pieces of poetry,

and they are not by any means all warlike.

"To thee the Mighty One I bring this mighty Hymn,

for thy desire hath been gratified by my praise In Indra,

yea in him victorious through his strength, the Gods have joyed at feast,

and when the Soma flowed. The Seven Rivers bear his glory far and wide,

and heaven and sky and earth display his comely form.

The Sun and Moon in change alternate run their course that we,

0 Indra, may behold and may have faith . . .

The Rigveda gives no grounds for believing that the Aryas themselves lacked for forts,

strongholds and citadels.

Recent work on the decline of the Indus Valley civilization shows

that it did not have a single, simple cause:

certainly there are no grounds for blaming its demise upon invading hordes.

This seems instead to have been a system collapse, and local movements of people may have followed it."

M.S. Elphinstone (1841):(first governor of Bombay Presidency, 1819-27) in his magnum opus, History of India, writes:

"It is opposed to their (Hindus) foreign origin,

that neither in the Code (of Manu) nor, I believe, in the Vedas,

nor in any book that is certainly older than the code,

is there any allusion to a prior residence or to a knowledge of more than the name of any country out of India.

Even mythology goes no further than the Himalayan chain,

in which is fixed the habitation of the gods...

...To say that it spread from a central point is an unwarranted assumption,

and even to analogy; for, emigration and civilization have not spread in a circle,

but from east to west. Where, also, could the central point be,

from which a language could spread over India, Greece, and Italy and yet leave Chaldea, Syria and Arabia untouched?

There is no reason whatever for thinking that the Hindus ever inhabitated any country but their present one,

and as little for denying that they may have done so before the earliest trace of their records or tradition.

So what these eminent scholars have concluded based on the archaeological and literary evidence

that there was no invasion by the so-called Aryans,

there was no massacre at Harappan and Mohanjo-dara sites,

Aryans were indigenous people,

and the decline of the Indus valley civilization is due to some natural calamity.

Presence of Horse at Indus-Saraswati sites

It is argued that the Aryans were horse riding,

used chariots for transport, and since no signs of horse was found at the sites of Harappa and Mohanjo-daro,

the habitants of Indus valley cannot be Aryans.

Well, this was the case in the 1930 - 40 when the excavation of many sites were not completed.

Now numerous excavated sites along Indus valley and along the dried Saraswati river have produced

bones of domesticated horses.

Dr. S. R. Rao, the world renowned scholar of archeology,

informs us that horse bones have been found both from the 'Mature Harappan' and 'Late Harappan' levels.

Many other scholars since then have also unearthed numerous bones of horses:

both domesticated and combat types.

This simply debunks the non-Aryan nature of the habitants of the Indus valley and also identifies

the Vedic culture with the Indus valley civilization.

Origin of Siva-worship

The advocates of AIT argue that the inhabitants of Indus valley were Siva worshippers

and since Siva cult is more prevalent among the South Indian Dravidians,

therefore the habitants of Indus valley were Dravidians.

But Shiva worship is not alien to Vedic culture,

and not confined to South India only.

The words Siva and Shambhu are not derived from

the Tamil words civa (to redden, to become angry) and cembu (copper, the red metal),

but from the Sanskrit roots si (therefore meaning "auspicious, gracious, benevolent, helpful kind")

and sam (therefore meaning "being or existing for happiness

or welfare, granting or causing happiness, benevolent, helpful, kind"),

and the words are used in this sense only, right from their very first occurrence.

(Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Sir M. Monier-Williams).

Moreover, most important symbols of Shaivites are located in North India:

Kashi is the most revered and auspicious seat of Shaivism which is in the north,

the traditional holy abode of Shiva is Kailash mountain which is in the far-north,

there are passages in Rigvada which mention Siva and Rudra and consider him an important deity.

Indra himself is called Shiva several times in Rig Veda (2:20:3, 6:45:17, 8:93:3).

So Siva is not a Dravidian god only, and by no means a non-Vedic god.

The proponents of AIT also present terra-cotta lumps found in the fire-alters at the Harappan and other sites

as an evidence of Shiva linga,

implying the Shiva cult was prevalent among the Indus valley people.

But these terra-cotta lumps have been proved to be the measures

for weighing the commodities by the shopkeepers and merchants.

Their weights have been found in perfect integral ratios, in the manner like 1 gm, 2 gms, 5 gms, 10 gms etc.

They were not used as the Shiva lingas for worship, but as the weight measurements.

Discovery of the Submerged city of Krishna's Dwaraka

The discovery of this city is very significant and a kind of clinching evidence in discarding the Aryan invasion

as well as its proposed date of 1500 BC.

Its discovery not only establishes the authenticity of Mahabharat war and the main events described in the epic,

but clinches the traditional antiquity of Mahabharat and Ramayana periods.

So far the AIT advocates used to either dismiss the Mahabharat epic as a fictional work of a highly talented poet

or if not fictional would place it around 1000 BC.

But the remains of this submerged city along the coast of Gujarat were dated 3000BC to 1500BC.

In Mahabharat's Musal Parva,

the Dwarka is mentioned as being gradually swallowed by the ocean.

Krishna had forewarned the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city before the sea submerged it.

The Sabha Parva gives a detailed account of Krishna's flight from Mathura with his followers

to Dwaraka to escape continuous attacks of Jarasandh's on Mathura and save the lives of its subjects.

For this reason, Krishna is also known as ranchhor (one who runs away from the battle-field).

Dr. S. R. Rao and his team in 1984 - 88 (Marine Archaeology Unit)

undertook an extensive search of this city along the coast of Gujarat where the Dwarikadeesh temple stands now,

and finally they succeeded in unearthing the ruins of this submerged city off the Gujarat coast.

Saraswati River Discovered

It is well known that in the Rig Veda,

the honor of the greatest and the holiest of rivers was not bestowed upon the Ganga,

but upon Saraswati, now a dry river, but once a mighty flowing river

all the way from the Himalayas to the ocean across the Rajasthan desert.

The Ganga is mentioned only once while the Saraswati is mentioned at least 60 times.

Extensive research by the late Dr. Wakankar has shown

that the Saraswati changed her course several times,

going completely dry around 1900 BC.

The latest satellite data combined with field archaeological studies have shown that the Rig Vedic Saraswati

had stopped being a perennial river long before 3000 BC.

As Paul-Henri Francfort of CNRS, Paris recently observed,

"...we now know, thanks to the field work of the Indo-French expedition

that when the proto-historic people settled in this area,

no large river had flowed there for a long time."

The proto-historic people he refers to are the early Harappans of 3000 BC.

But satellite 'photos show that a great prehistoric river

that was over 7 kilometers wide did indeed flow through the area at one time.

This was the Saraswati described in the Rig Veda.

Numerous archaeological sites have also been located along the course of this great prehistoric river

thereby confirming Vedic accounts.

The great Saraswati that flowed "from the mountain to the sea" is now seen

to belong to a date long anterior to 3000 BC.

This means that the Rig Veda describes the geography of North India long before 3000 BC.

All this shows that the Rig Veda must have been in existence no later than 3500 BC.


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