Dr S.Kalayanaraman is doing yeomen service to Bharatham and the world by bringing out the lost information on the world’s oldest civilization that thrived for many millennia in the Indian Sub-continent. His presentation yesterday in Chennai on the linguistic leads as revealed by the Sarasvati hieroglyphs turns out a new leaf in the understanding of languages in use in the 3rd millennium BC. The details can be read below.
In his own words, “A close study indicated that the ancestors of the present-day speakers of all Indian languages were living together in a linguistic area, where speakers of different dialects borrowed language features from one another and made them part of their own dialect,”
This finding makes me recall some instances from the past. One is from Valmiki Ramayana wherein Hanuman debates within himself on what language he could speak to Sita who was languishing in the Ashoka vana. Should I speak in the language of the learned persons (in Sanskrit) or speak in the language of common persons, Hanuman asked himself.
Sanskrit was the language of education and was used in discourses on intellectual stuff. This existed in written form. But the dialect spoken by people was different and it was not given a written form. We come to know from Megasthanes that transactions were done orally. There was no habit of recording or writing anything in trade. It was because people adhered to word of mouth and rarely indulged in cheating. Wherever writing was done it was done in Sanskrit. But the common dialect that people spoke was not given a written form.
This had existed till the times of onset of Jain and Buddha culture. The Jains were the forerunners in giving written form to spoken language of the commoner. In a scenario dominated by Sanskrit based Vedic religion, the Jains wanted to reach out to the common man. They could reach him easily only by speaking his language and making him read their views in the language they speak.
The earliest books written in language other than Sanskrit were by Jains. They were in Prakrith. The earliest Jain book of astrology is ‘Surya Pragnapti’ which was an adaptation of Lagadha’s Rig Jyothisha. This was in ‘Arthamagadhi Prakrith’. Lagadha’s Jyothisha was written when the sun entered Dhanishta in uttarayana. Jain’s Surya pragnapthi has the sun entering Abhijit in uttarayana!
That means this book of the Jains was written when Abhijith was still part of the sky. Abhijit is placed in between Utthradam and ThiruvONam (shravaNa). Abhijit was part of the sky until Mahabharatha times. Even if we want to discount the existence of abhijith for lack of evidence now astronomically, we can still enumerate the period of this book. This book was written when the sun entered uttarayana at a point left of Shravana star. Today the sun enters uttarayana in Moola star. The time gap can be ascertained and it is possible to find the time of Surya pragnapti from this. That time is when the spoken language of the people of most of Bharatham was given a written form.
From Prakrit, other Indian languages sprang with a written libi.
But Tamil was a case apart from all these.
When Mahabharatha war happened, Tamil was already there in written form supported by the sophistry of a well developed Grammar. A verse on the praise of the Cheran king who supplied food to the armies engaged in Mahabharatha war is found in PurananUru. Another verse is about the Pandyan king who lived in the now- submerged landmass, south of present day Kanyakumari. Tamil was referred to as “Agastheeyam” in one of Srivaishnava books (Acharya Hrudhayam) Agastheeyam is said to be a grammar work of Tamil done by sage Agasthya. This sage is also said to have given a written form to Tamil.
That means Tamil had once existed as a spoken language among the masses. There are however many Sanskrit terms in Tamil (eg daanam, thavam) as part and parcel of Tamil language itself. Unless Tamil had co-existed along with Sanskrit, this can not have happened. The aiding tool for this combination is Hindu dharma or Sanatana Dharma as it was the only dharma prevalent everywhere in those days. Since the Tamil lands were stretched far down the South and were part of a huge landmass connecting Africa and Australia, my guess is that Tamil was a spoken language in that part of the world.
Coming to the findings of Dr S.Kalyanaraman, he has pointed out an interesting similarity in the writing on metallurgy and of artisans of India in those days. The cast for making statues (utsava bhEra) recovered from Harappan sites (Saraswathy sites) are the same as what the Vishwakarmas settled near Swamimalai in Tamil nadu do today! It was because there was a single cult of Vishwakarma, a single cult of Maya followed by artisans all through the Ithihasic and Puranic times.
As such, these informations are not news to me! Without even going into research of this kind, we can say everything about the antiquity and unanimity of Bharatheeya culture just from our arm chairs with the help of Ithihasas, Puranas, Samhitas and a host of other texts given by Maharishis.
Lecture at Rojah Muthiah Library at 5 PM on 26 February 2009 by S. Kalyanaraman
Script is decoded as sarasvati hieroglyphs composed of all pictorial motifs -- over 100 -- and signs -- over 400 – and read rebus in mleccha vācas (as distinct from arya vācas -- Manu). The context is: miners' and smiths' repertoire (not unlike the viśwakarma working on utsava bera in Swamimalai following the cire perdue technique of Sarasvati civilization bronzes or asur/agaria working in iron ore smelters in Ganga basin of 18th century BCE).
Sarasvati hieroglyphs are in mleccha, mlecchita vikalpa (Vatsyayana). Hypothesis posited: Language X + Proto-Munda = Proto-mleccha (with borrowings in Sarasvati Linguistic Area).
Rebus readings of almost all glyphs (pictorial motifs as well as signs) relate to mine workers’ and metalsmiths’ repertoire. The writing system is a vikalpa (alternative representation) of their vernacular, mleccha, cognate: meluhha. Presented in 15 e-books at http://sites.google.com/site/kalyan97
In view of the essentially pictographic nature of the writing system, the presentation is made in three parts:
a. monograph on vernacular (deśī), the linguistic area and the continuity of proto-mleccha vernacular; structure and semantics of hieroglyphs of mlecchita vikalpa, the decoded writing system;
b. powerpoint slides with selected glyphs and readings; and
c. Epigraphica Sarasvati of about 4000 inscribed epigraphs on photo albums. http://sites.google.com/site/kalyan97/epigraphica-sarasvati
Two fundamental questions should be researched further:
1. the continuity of the civilization evidenced by cultural markers all over India and the neighbouring regions;
2. the formation and evolution of languages in a linguistic area of the Sarasvati civilization continuum in India, proved by the decoding of the Indus script (Sarasvati hieroglyphs).
Aryan-Indian ties debunked
Kumar Chellappan (Deccan Chronicle, 27 Feb. 2009)
Indians were pioneer metallurgists and the Indo-Aryan-Dravidian-Munda division among languages is false, claims a Chennai-based Indologist, insisting that Indian culture did not owe it to the Aryan invasion.
“People speaking old versions of the languages in the country were living together and had evolved words to describe advanced metallurgy,” Dr S. Kalyanaraman, chairman, Saraswathi Research Foundation, told Deccan Chronicle.
The deciphering of the 4,000-year-old writing system prevalent during the Indus civilisation proved the close link between metallurgy and the writing system, he said.
“The sub-continent had its own indigenous writing and culture. Postulations that our culture is indebted to the Aryan invasion are wrong,” he said. Dr Kalyanaraman says he has deciphered the Indus writing system through research spanning three decades.
“These scripts were found on nearly 4,000 seals and objects with the first seal excavated by archaeologist Alexander Cunningham in 1875,” he said.
The anxiety to prove the existence of the great Saraswathi Civilisation made him to take voluntary retirement from the Asian Development Bank.
“I could track the course of Saraswathi river from Manasarovar through Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and beyond. A progressive civilisation existed along the Saraswathi’s banks and it was what historians termed as the Mohenjodaro-Harappan civilisation. The course of the Saraswathi was substantiated by satellite images from ISRO,” he said.
The inscriptions from the region had pictures and pictorial writings.
“A close study indicated that the ancestors of the present-day speakers of all Indian languages were living together in a linguistic area, where speakers of different dialects borrowed language features from one another and made them part of their own dialect,” he said.
According to Dr Kalyanaraman, this decoding had proved that more than 30 per cent of agricultural words and most of metallurgical words in Indian languages did not have any links with Indo-European languages.