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Aryan Invasion/migration Theories & Debates -2 - Bodhi - 03-04-2008

Medvedev is Madhu Vedi in Sanskrit!
PTI | Moscow

Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev apparently shares an India link unknown to many. The 42-year-old successor of Vladimir Putin has a surname which can trace its origin to Sanskrit.

Medvedev is derived from 'medved', the Russian word for bear.

For pre-Christian Russians, who were the worshippers of wooden idols of 'Balvan' (almighty god), the use of the word 'ber' was a taboo and so they preferred to call the animal 'Medved'.

While in Russian, 'Medved' would have translated to 'someone having the knowledge of honey', in Sanskrit, the language of Aryans, the word 'Madhu Vedi' has the same meaning.

Experts believe that Arctic Russia was the home of Indo-European Aryans tribes before they migrated to the South due to advent of Ice Age.

Outstanding Indian scholar of Vedas and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his book The Arctic Home in Vedas has also mentioned about the common roots of the Russians and Indians.

Ever since the rise of Nazi Germany and the Hitler's crimes against the Jews during the Second World War anything Aryan had been a taboo in Communist Russia and for the first time President Vladimir Putin had made a timid attempt to mention the Aryan roots of Russia during his visit to India in January 2007.

Addressing eminent Indians at a private gathering in the Russian Embassy in New Delhi, Putin for the first time publicly acknowledged that the common roots of Indians and Russians date back to 'days of Zoroaster', as he did not want to evoke the wrath of the powerful Orthodox Church and Jewish lobby by mentioning the word 'Aryan'.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories & Debates -2 - Guest - 03-05-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Mar 4 2008, 08:39 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Mar 4 2008, 08:39 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Medvedev is Madhu Vedi in Sanskrit!
PTI | Moscow

Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev apparently shares an India link unknown to many. The 42-year-old successor of Vladimir Putin has a surname which can trace its origin to Sanskrit. 

Medvedev is derived from 'medved', the Russian word for bear.
Medved is much more convincingly derived from "madhu-vid" which means "knower of Honey" and makes more sense as a term for a bear.

"Madhu-Vedi" can mean, with a stretch, someone associated with a branch of knowlede or veda called "Madhuveda" just as you have dvivedi, trivedi etc. But it is much more convoluted than a simple "madhu-vid". Other meaning can be had by the term "vedi" meaning a place for some religious rites, but then it doesn't make sense.

Although, there is a "vidyA" in the veda called "madhu-vidyA", using which a person aspires to make everything in his life sweet. Look for madhu-sUktam in the rigveda. But again this vidyA doesn't have much to do with bears.

But I guess a Russian name is much more likely to be associated with bears, than a spiritual vidyA to make everything in one's life sweet.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Husky - 03-05-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Mar 4 2008, 06:59 PM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Mar 4 2008, 06:59 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->As far as the Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy is concerned, it must be remembered that ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ are linguistic and not racial terms. There is no pure race, and Aryan and Dravidian speakers have been in contact with each other in South Asia from the start of their encounter.

This statement is repeated over and over that it is linguistic speakers but why do they make it a group of people who can conquer other people. They should not be talking about conquering people when language cannot be used to conquer people.

This encounter of two different language speakers is very strange since these two groups do not have any historical markers. The entire creation of this group is a manufactured image and carried forward for decades without anybody questioning the authenticity of the theory.

The start of the encounter between the two groups is also arbitrary. There is not date or reference for why that perticular date is chosen as the encounter between the two groups.

This two groups and their story of encounter is a fascinating fantasy which has been accepted by the elite in India for more than 100 years.[right][snapback]79260[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Let's try some profiling here, rather applicable as the whole Oryan game is based on the psychology of infatuation with a make-believe and disenfranchisement induced by the same.
Parpola is obviously merely trying to superimpose the dichotomy of Europe onto India. The lately introduced languages of Europe (presently thought "Indo-European") invaded the Finno-Ugric, Basque and Pict spaces. As the victim (Parpola is Finnish), he feels an affinity/identifies with my Mother Tongue and waxes eloquent on it, insinuating that I've "had to learn to live with invaders as well". Nahah. India is one population with many sub-ethnicities - all Bharatiyas - and many languages, all Bharatiya.

Like the "IE" WitSSels, Victor Mairs and Roger PearSSons of this world who identify with the non-existent Oryans, Finnish Parpola (who is excluded from that clique by nature of the lately-invented Oryan dichotomy) is forced to condescend and anthropologise on me/TN. Thanks, but the door is that way.
I have no desperate need to find where I belong, like the recent disenfranchised of the new Europe have to (the New Europe is the one built on the theory of IE and not-IE). I already belong, I have always belonged (and will continue to belong even if I ever foolishly got convinced of falsehoods that claim otherwise). I know my Bharatiya family who are my community. And it's all historical - not built on modern fantasy like the Oryan/non-Oryan tales are.

Only advice I have for people like Parpola is to stop playing that Oryan/non-Oryan game - it's the only way they can snap out of the unwarranted feeling of inferiority they let themselves be cornered into. Until there's actual proof for the Oryans (don't hold your breath), he can just keep ignoring the non-existent 'invisible' ball sent his way by the fantasists like Mair et al. And to keep himself entertained, he can salute Brits uniformly with: "Hey Basque, how are ya?" and be right in most cases.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Husky - 03-05-2008

Nothing more than psyops in this article, should be moved to "motivated media thread" IMO.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Mar 4 2008, 08:39 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Mar 4 2008, 08:39 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Medvedev is Madhu Vedi in Sanskrit!
PTI | Moscow
Experts believe that Arctic Russia was the home of Indo-European Aryans tribes before they migrated to the South due to advent of Ice Age.
(There are also sane experts unmentioned above, who ask themselves who these Oryans are and whether there's any record of their existence. Basic question: how could Oryans have lived in Arctic Russia if no one has any evidence that they're more than a fantasy)

Outstanding Indian scholar of Vedas and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his book The Arctic Home in Vedas has also mentioned about the common roots of the Russians and Indians.
(His book is fiction, widely acknowledged as having no bearing on IE either.)

Addressing eminent Indians at a private gathering in the Russian Embassy in New Delhi, Putin for the first time publicly acknowledged that the common roots of Indians and Russians date back to 'days of Zoroaster', as he did not want to evoke the wrath of the powerful Orthodox Church and Jewish lobby by mentioning the word 'Aryan'. 
(If the above is true, he has said no more than acknowledge the Zoroastrian connection that parts of Russia had. Why assume/insinuate that he made an allusion to Oryans but had to "hide it"?
Zoroastrians and Hindus are historical. Oryans have never been - there's still no evidence for their historicity. And no evidence they have any connection with Zoroastrians or Hindus of Iran and India.)[right][snapback]79268[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->There are countless words in Russian and other languages that sound like one Indian language or another (oooh, language games! fun! <!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> ). Medvedev doesn't come as close to Indian words as some others. But Press Trust of India (PTI) may tell us where they've found actual proof of Oryans, before trying to sell the idea.

Methinks the above was written by an Indian christoterrorist (I suppose a psecularado or communist would be a possibility as well... even if less likely):
(1) Putin is booed all over the world, certainly by westernised Indian christians
(2) The above seeks to insinuate that Zoroastrian and Hindu people are opposed to Jewish concerns, by artificially and unrealistically combining Jews with the church and posing the two as conflicting groups.
(3) Setting up Russia with heathen India on one hand against the church and Jews. They're painting shades of nazi intolerance/elitism versus righteous christos (righteous only by association as the christos having now linked themselves - in that one statement, though never in actual fact or history - with the Jews). Meanwhile the facts of history show that christos <i>were</i> the nazis while the Orthodox church hounded many a Jewish person to his/her death.
That one line is meant to distance themselves from the nazis by tying Jewish people to themselves while attaching nazi connotations and alleged aspirations onto Hindus.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ever since the rise of Nazi Germany and the Hitler's crimes against the Jews during the Second World War anything Aryan had been a taboo in Communist Russia and for the first time President Vladimir Putin had made a timid attempt to mention the Aryan roots of Russia during his visit to India in January 2007.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->And here they're making it sound like Putin has Oryan-infatuations and tendencies, by portraying him as having had to "hide" his alleged wish to mention some Oryan roots or whatnot. There's no evidence of his actually wanting to indicate "something else" or that he's been feeling "impeded" from mentioning the Oryans all through communist times because of some taboo. Who knows what he thinks of Oryans.
If he mentioned Zoroastrians, then that really says nothing more than just Zoroastrians. But the PTI writer(s) - are they mind-readers that they try to put words in his mouth?
(4) Pathetic efforts to rake up their Oryan tale again.

They have given no proof that Medvedev has anything to do with Samskritam other than state it repeatedly. Tilak's book is also fiction and irrelevant, it's only brought up to tie Oryans with Hindu nationalists in readers' minds:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Outstanding Indian scholar of Vedas and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->An entire multi-para article on what Putin "actually meant" where they quote <b>only 3 of his words</b> (which have nothing to do with Oryans anyway), and where they provide no evidence at all that their insinuations is indeed what he "meant". And in the world of IE-fantasy/scholarship, the "days of Zoroaster" come WAY after any Oryan invasions/migrations, because Zoroastrianism comes long after the supposed Europe-meets-India/Iran routine. So in that case too, how does a Russian connection with Zoroastrian period reference Oryans?
And then there's also:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Experts believe that Arctic Russia was the home of Indo-European Aryans tribes before they migrated to the South due to advent of Ice Age.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->They couldn't mean... In that case, No, Siberia and the parts of Russia neighbouring Alaska have NEVER been the original home of IE peoples. They've been the original home of "circumpolar tribes" or something - meaning the people like Sami and Innuit. All non-"IE".

In fact, the reporter(s) have said nothing concrete about where they're going with the article, except that one statement where they mention "Orthodox church and Jewish lobby". That is the crucial line in the whole article. They give their intentions away there. It is the key that explains the other paragraphs: shows the setup and the conclusion, the intended audience and the ideas they want to instill with it in various readers.

For instance, the statement about the 'Arctic Russian homeland of IE' is only to once again alienate Hindu Dharma from India in the mind of the audience, while the alien terrorist religion is made to sound more people-friendly/more righteous, more sympathetic and easier to relate to by mentioning it alongside Judaism.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-06-2008

"The placement of the locus specifically in the vicinity of Bactria-Sogdiana is justified in Nichols (ch 8, Volume 1)"

<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 03-06-2008

‘<b>I do not believe in a full decipherment’ of the Indus script</b>" - Asko Parpola

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>There is a recent controversy that the Indus script is not a system of writing at all. What are your comments on this? </b>

In December 2004, Steve Farmer and his two colleagues published an article where they mention several reasons why the Indus script cannot be writing. In the paper I presented here in Chennai, I examined each one of their nine arguments, concluding that none holds water. For instance, they claim that there is no repetition of signs within a single Indus seal, emphasising this as the most important indicator. But I can quote many examples where such repetition is found.

Another claim was that no longer texts in other writing media like palm leaves have been found at Indus sites. We know from Greek sources that cotton cloth was used as writing material in 325 BC in the Indus Valley. But preserved Indian texts written on cotton cloth date from more than a thousand years later. We know for certain that the Indus people had cotton, but only microscopically small remains of cotton have been preserved in association with metal objects.

Farmer and his colleagues do not discuss the evidence supplied by the Indus sign sequences, which make it virtually certain that the Indus script is writing. How else can we explain that in hundreds of sequences, the signs are always written in the same definite order? If they were just non-linguistic symbols, why did they follow such rules, and did the Indus people keep long registers of sign orders in all the many dozens of sites?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Some Indian scholars claim that the Aryans never came from outside India and that the Indus Civilisation was Vedic. What is your stand on the Aryan-Dravidian debate? </b>

The urban civilisation of the Indus Valley differs greatly from the predominantly nomadic culture described in the early Vedic texts. <b>For one thing, the domestic horse, which occupies an important position in Vedic religion and culture, is not represented among the many animals depicted on Indus seals, nor is there any unambiguous bone evidence for the presence of the horse in South Asian before 2000 BC. The horse is not native to South Asia, and was introduced by outsiders in post-Harappan times</b>.

I have always found it most unfortunate that the past is politicised and used for other than scholarly purposes. As far as the Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy is concerned, it must be remembered that ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ are linguistic and not racial terms. There is no pure race, and Aryan and Dravidian speakers have been in contact with each other in South Asia from the start of their encounter. <b>Ever since the Aryan speakers came to India from Central Asia, this militarily powerful minority group would have mixed with the local population</b>.  <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> Centuries of gradually increasing bilingualism eventually led to a large-scale language shift, making almost the whole population of North India Indo-Aryan speakers. Linguistic and religious fanatics inflame a wrong sort of nationalism, which has led to great ills both in South Asia and elsewhere. Ancient traditions of language must not be used to divide people.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-27-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Mahabharata over the "Aryan Phoren" Myth.</b>

Beside the wonderful "Bhagvad Gita", here’s one other reason to care about what’s "written" in the Mahabharata 


Current mainstream scholarship on Indian Pre-History is still holding onto the myth -
AIT / AMT / ATT /ALT /A"X1"T / A"X2"T.....
[ i.e. Aryan X Theory; where X = "I "means Invasion; X= "M" means Migration; X= "T" means Tourism ; X= "L" means Language get the point...i.e. claiming that -

Wild Wandering Nomads calling themselves "Aryans" for no particulat reason came to India, & gave us the vedas/sanskrit {presumably composed while riding these wild horses}, & some of their Genes, amongst other things...Everything good about India & its culture is "Phoren"]

Currently, we Indians enjoy the unenviable status of "half-breeds" in the world, i.e. Indo-Aryan, basically "Eurasian" mongrel hybrids. [I know I'm overstating, but ..]. This is because we (our "Scholars / leaders") don't seem to care very much about how the world sees us, based on biased "scholarship" of the past few hundred years.

The basic (utterly unproven) premise is that all the "high points" of Indic Culture{vedic thought, language, sciences, the whole "hindu" way of life} are from foreign Sources.

i.e. from this "accepted' & "scholarly Point Of View-

If not White/Central AsianInvaders, then it'd better be Migrants, if not that, then, pleeze pleeze, its "got to" be small bands of tourists, or "pretty please" maybe just an "imported" language, Sanskrit ??

This mindset rules all "intelligent" discussions regarding Indian Pre-History.

For those who’ve noticed, it also "rules" i.e. casts [pun intended!] its long shadow when it comes to the contentious issues of Indian society today. [Like the "Soni(a) Kudi ruling Mannu Bhai, from behind the curtain, pulling the strings]

I mean even things like "Caste"System", "Reservations", etc (See my Blogs Casht Sishtum -Bhoil Da Bhoot explains – Part 1 , & Part 2 for a Ruff ‘n Tuff take on this) .

All media / academy / even our kids education is yet to get De-hypnotized from this attitude. (see my blog on the Calif School controversy - Macaca’s fate in California hangs in balance; Ref# 8, #4-7among many others...)

It is perhaps a matter of time before our origins are accepted as ours (i.e. Indian) which is being shown as more & more plausible based on the important evidences, Genetic / Archaeological / literature...

It’s a "Mahabharata" perhaps already in its "Kurukshetra" battle phase, but most "cool desis" don’t know , or don’t care…


Mahabharata, part of our "Itihaasa", or so we think. Variously known as "Epic", or "myth" or "drama", etc, its literary aspects are respected the world over. But it is a lot more for Indians.  Traditionally, & over many millennia, it has come to define our culture. It is one book, which contains all of humanity’s humanity, & divinity’s divinity.

For people respecting Indic culture, & Sanatana Dharma practitioners (aka "hindus"), it is much more. To paraphrase what has often been attributed to Rishi (sage) Vyaasa after he dictated it to Sri Ganesha,

"Whatever is in the world, will be found in the Mahabharata, and what’s not in the Mahabharata, will not be found in the world!"

You might call it a hyperbole, but that is for another debate / discussion.

Here I’m looking at just one aspect of this Itihaasa ( roughly translated from Sanskrit, meaning, "Thus I have Heard"). This is the aspect of its chronology.

"Scholars", mostly of the European & Europeanized-Indian variety have been "assigning" various arbitrary dates to its composition, depending on their biases & agendas, from AIT inspired dates of 500 BC or even later to closer values from our Indian traditional dates of earlier than 3000 BCE, i.e. 5,000 + years ago.

BN Narhari Achar (from Univ Of Memphis, TN, USA ) has developed a "Planetarium Software" which can model the sky over the North Indian Subcontinent at various points of time, even as far back as 3 or 4 thousand years ago, with good accuracy.
[5+ yrs ago, paper at , see Ref#1 for Excerpts]

Being a "scientific" project, it is open to being checked & refuted by competent objectors, who can’t use the common excuse of "Oh the Sanskrit texts are contradictory, & confusing" which was often used in the past to deny legitimacy to our "itihaasa" texts.

Since one can reasonably assume that our ancient ancestors:-

(a) did not have computing resources to "pre-date" a full & complete description of a sky a few thousand years ago from their time!

(b) even if they did, why would they choose an arbitrary date & "back calculate" a whole description over a 100+ year period in the Mahabharata ? [Oops I forgot, they were perhaps trying to fool the eminent scholars of today..??]

One can look at what the descriptions of the dates & sky in the Mahabharata tell us, using this software.

Nicolas Kazanas (see Ref # 2 for Bio)  wrote an extensive paper refuting many many elements of the "Indic Culture / Genes / etc..were all brought from outside" theory that masquerades as fact today.

A wonderfully revealing & interesting paper in itself, & worth reading. [I’m still reading it..V V loooooong]. Paper at -

An excerpt from this, regarding Mahabharata dating, & N Achar’s calculations, is what I’d like to share below.

Excerpt -

3. We now come to the epic Mahaabhaarata and Achar's third paper (2001). In this, Achar examined some astronomical references in Bks III, V and XIII of the MB.

His sky map showed that of all calculations by Westerners and Indians only that of KS Raghavan (1969) was correct: the exact year for the great war of the Bharatas on the basis of all these data was 3067.

In Bk V, to take some examples,

Krsna leaves for Hastinaapura on the day of the Revati naksatra in the month Kaumuda (=Kaartika, ie Oct-Nov) and arrives there on the day of Bharan-i (81, 6ff); on the day of Pusya

Duryodhana rejects all offers of peace; Krsna departs on the day of uttara phaalguni and says to Karn-a that the amaavaasyaa (day of the New Moon) will come after 7 days, then Karn-adescribes the positions of some planets at that time (141, 7-10).

All these data converge in agreement with Achar’s sky formation only in the year 3067.

Whatever other data are contained in the MB and whatever other dates are suggested thereby, the passages with the astronomical facts for the year 3067 remain unaffected.

The ancient Indian tradition of the Puraan-as and astronomers was fairly correct in placing the onset of the Kali Yuga at 3102 and the Bharata war 35 years earlier: the disparity is only 70 years (Kazanas 2002).

The medieval Kashmiri historian Kalhana (and his tradition), of course, seems to have been quite right in setting the previous cycle at 3067 (Elst 1999:104).

Here however we must take into account that people begin to create tales and poetic cycles in fixed forms 2 or 3 generations after the event they celebrate when the actors have departed from the stage.

So 3067 is a good date for the origin of the core of the MBh.

It is the date when the sons and grandsons of the warriors began to recite/sing in established forms the deeds of their ancestors.

Neither Bryant nor Witzel mention this paper, so we don’t know what sort of objections will be raised.12

But, if these finds are correct (and I see no reason at all to doubt them), then, obviously, there is much work ahead for the younger indologists.

As Leach said, the old chronologies and matters of style and so on will have to be scrapped and a new framework established.

On the basis of the astronomical data the initial core of the MB belongs to the early 3rd millennium; the epic developed and grew in length in the subsequent 1000 years, when, c1800, perhaps, a new change of style, language and rearrangement of contents took place leading to the final form in the last centuries BCE. This is conjectural, of course.13

When, in 1996, I decided to abandon the mainstream view of the AIT and its chronology , I knew very little about astronomical data beyond the works of Jacobi and Tilak (both in the 1890s).

Naturally it is good to have confirmation from Archaeoastronomysince heaven does not lie.


Further References:

Excerpt from

"Date of Mahabharata War using simulations from Planetarium software"

The Mahabharata war is an important milestone event in the chronology of Bharata. The great epic tells us that the war was fought1 at the junction of the dvaapara and kali yugas.

There is an age-old tradition of celebrating certain events connected to the epic such as the Gita jayanti or Bhishmaashtami.

No Bharatiya ever doubted the historicity of the event. In spite of such longstanding traditions, the situation changed when Western (and some Indian too) scholars began to study the epic seriously from the 'rationalist historic' point of view.

Doubts were expressed about the war having been a historical event.

Even if the historicity of the war was conceded, the date of the event was deemed to be in doubt. The importance of determining the date of the Mahabharata war for ancient Indian chronology can hardly be overstated2.

A plethora of dates, derived on the basis of a number of diverse methodologies have been proposed and no consensus has been reached.


These simulations compel one to agree that the astronomical references in the epic Mahabharata form a consistent set, the events must have been observed and not put into the text by some later clever astronomer. These simulations also provide a basis for determining the date of the Mahabharata war.

The date of the events, 3067 BCE, is proposed on the basis of very stringent astronomical conditions that must be satisfied for the occurrence of the events described in the epic. It is based on the following facts:

there was an equinox near jyeÿstha; a solar eclipse occurred at jyeÿshha in an eclipse season with two lunar eclipses on either side; the final lunar eclipse occurred in less than fourteen days after the solar eclipse.

It is demonstrated conclusively by the simulations that the proposed date, which is identical to the one proposed earlier by Raghavan, provides the best agreement with the events described in the epic.



The problem was first suggested to the author by Dr. Kalyanaraman and the author started the project with an uncharacteristic naivete overflowing with confidence about applying the new tool to determine the date of the war.

However, soon he realized both the enormity and the complexity of the problem and that while he was among the first to use the Planetarium software, he was not the only one. He was amazed by the number of people, who have attempted to determine the date of the Mahabharata war.

He can echo the sentiments expressed by the fourteenth century Kannada poet, who under the penname kumara vyasa composed in verse form the epic Mahabharata in Kannada.

Kumara vyasa in explaining as to why he chose to compose the Mahabharata, instead of the Ramayana, says " tinukidanu phaniraaya ramayanada kavigala bharadali". [" even the great serpent, ˜Adisesa groaned under the weight of the number of people who have composed Raamaayana".]

The present author can say " tinukidanu phaniraaya kelavaleva janara bharadali" [" the great serpent groans under the weight of the pandits who have tried to determine the date of the Bharata war".]


Ref # 2:

Nicolas Kazanas on himself (from Paper mentioned above) :-

I am a sanskritist with a little Greek and less Latin. I am of Greek nationality (but a British subject) and although I have twice visited India for extended periods I know very little about the modern religion(s) there and practically nothing about its politics (except the unfortunate conflict over Kashmir).

As an undergraduate and postgraduate at SOAS (London) in the 1960s I absorbed the mainstream "Aryan Invasion Theory" (AIT hereafter); for G Dales’ s work that knocked down Sir M Wheeler’ s extravagant view had not yet percolated down to us.

In any case I was then, and continued to be for many years afterwards, interested in Sanskrit only, the dramatic works and the

Subsequently I taught the AIT with the South Russian Steppe as the locus of dispersal of the IndoEuropeans (IE hereafter) for 18 years and I wrote a Course of Sanskrit (in Md Greek) in which I actually concocted fictitious passages about the Aryans invading with chariots and subduing the natives who thought it prudent to accept them and cooperate!

In 1987, I began to wonder about the AIT.

In the same year I went to India and collected much material which took a few years to sort out and digest, since I had little acquaintance with Indian archaeology and early history. What became abundantly clear in the early 1990s (and filled me with incredulity) was the fact that there was

In 1996 I abandoned the AIT in all its forms and the mainstream chronology for Sanskrit literature. The experience was doubly painful:
first it was not easy to give up an idea I had taken for granted for more than 20 years;
Upanishads and Vedaanta; I had no interest at all in the early history of India. no evidence whatever for any invasion (which by that time was becoming "migration").
second I could not understand why mainstream indologists adhered to the AIT so passionately, since it was supported only by linguistic data that could, in any event, be interpreted in different ways.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dig deep & find – No Aryan Phoren here! </b>

A little bit of Archaeology, & a bit of Fraud Psychobabble, or Freudian Psychoanalysis
Confessions, Personal
[in the time tested traditions of "dig in, & spill your guts"]

(A) Bondage

Growing up In "Modern" India, I was as "cool" as they come. Going to the best schools in town (inevitably "convent" type, i.e English Medium, nuns and/or no nuns…) I was pretty pleased, on top of the pile, so to speak. I could afford to be quite "superior" to the rest of the gang in the playground, in the cricket team, etc. Only 3-4 of us were "angrez" enough in this most Anglicized of games, & could pronounce all the propah words like "Howzat", & know that "Greg Chappell, re gadhe, not Chappal!". [And proudly knowing what the word "Chapel" meant]

Used to feel a kind of pity for the other kids who struggled when they encountered English in its pervasive forms, in words, style, manners, & ideas. It was a badge of "honour" when friends said "Saala! Angrez India chod ke gaya to is angrez ki dum ko chod gaya!" [i.e. When the English "dog", metaphorically of course, left India, he left this wagging tail behind.]. Glowed inwardly when dad said (after watching me go "English Only" in my entire personality, reading habits, music, arguments on "stupid customs", etc)

" Neenu Englandalle huttu bekagittu! Namma mele ishtu yaake kripa madidiyappa?"
[Why this great condescension, this great favour, o great English lord, of being born in this humble Indian family? You should have been born In England!]

Suffice it to say, I really had started feeling I was "being wasted" in dull India, & "truly" belonged in the West, England, America, even "lowly" Australia/NZ , sometimes even the "Gulf" seemed like a worthy place ["at least I can use a "lift" every day, drive a cool Toyota on the smooth highways"..]

Then I transited from just reading about the distant west, & wanting to be like ‘em, to seeing, really seeing my "kindred souls" from out ‘Yonder, the Great West’. Boy they looked a lot "fairer" than I had imagined! Deathly Pale, actually.

Being "fair" [or "light skinned", depending on where you say it] was fine, easy on the eyes & all that, but this!? "Haven't seen too many Indians who look like this!" This was a time when book covers were being "upgraded" from simple line drawings or B&W pics, to color pics on glossy paper. Enid Blyton characters suddenly went "blond & blue eyed" on me, and was my hero James Bond [Roger Moore in the movies at that point] really sandy haired, & so "gora".

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had read & "intellectually understood" that according to prevailing classification, I was "Brown" & they were "White", but it is one thing to "know, & quite another to experience! One can {& still does} ignore others strangeness of appearance when reading about them, even thinking about them., but a living , breathing person…

["Gawd, she’s a Goddess!" my friends would say after spending a lot of time & money to just say "Hi!" to the girls in the Swedish students group camping one summer in our school dorms…"Yup! What a Blond Bombshell", I’d nod in agreement. "Kuch Hasee kyaa? Kuch Phansee kyaa?" All in fun of course, but oh...the longing..]

Many a time have I spent my teenage years looking at the mirror, under the brightest of lights, wishing my "nose were a little straighter & narrower" or that I were, oh about 5 inches taller, 4 inches wider in the shoulders…you get the picture. All because I thought I looked "almost" like James Bond, if only the lights were bright enough, & the above alterations could somehow be made to happen.

I was "almost" like these wonderful guys that I wanted to emulate, & these girls that I admired. Coupled with all this usual teenage turmoil going on, I was also mad as to why India wasn’t more like the West I’d so come to admire, or to be more direct, why I wasn’t more like the Westerners I so admired…

And only later did I realize the foolishness, the insidiousness of it all. I was comparing my physical "assets" to some "norm" of the "cool guy" from another culture, another genetic makeup. Why was I so caught up in trying to be someone I could never be? And- What’s so great about this "norm" anyway?

And I bet I was not alone in this, nor has much changed today.

Moving to the US in my mid twenties didn’t change things much, although this thought pattern did recede into the background due to various factors, mainly about being busy setting myself up for the future. Other things helped too, like my "being in the same boat" as many buddies, establishing a career, having enough interaction with the opposite sex to get a healthy sense of self-respect.

But still…."Oh I wish…." Wouldn’t Quite go away.

(B) Salvation
[Fast Forward to AXT, {see my "Aryan Phoren part 1" }]

A couple of years ago, as part of a metaphoric "journey back to the roots, back "home", I started reading about the debates going on amongst Scholars, Linguists, Archaeologists, Geneticists, & the like on the concept of "Indo-Aryan". [A word most of us educated in India have absorbed without much thought, as it comes out of most school history books we study. {For this issue in US, see my blog Macaca….} ]

It took me quite a while to absorb the easily missed fact that "Indo-Aryan"or "Dravidan" or "Adivasi" the category most Indians are supposed to belong to, is a fairly recent 18-19th century construct of European vintage [Ahh…I love French & Italian Wine, don’t you…??]. It is also based on quite dubious conjectures & analogies of linguistic similarities between Sanskrit based Indian languages & Central Asian & European languages.

The idea of us Indians being a hodge-podge unclear mixture of Conquering Aryans from (where else but) the North West, sometimes Europe, sometimes Central Asia, (depending on the scholar's whim & personal background) with some other distinct "local people" is also just a theory, without much evidence to support it.

Its main currency has been gained by constant repetition over the past 200 odd years.

Now let's look at what our culture, especially the "samskriti" or "high Culture", has to say. Indian samskriti has extensive "oral self-documentation" from the distant mists of time, i.e. Rgveda & beyond [again ref part 1].

There is not one word about foreign origins. {SeeSwami Vivekananda, Ref#3for his candid take on this.}.

Compare this with most other cultures. They remember their foreign origins (if any), thru legends, songs & such, which refer to rivers & mountains etc they left behind, songs of journey...remember the Biblical song "By the Rivers of Babylon"....the "Discovery of the new land" etc. [See Ref#4 excerpts, Ref#2 & Ref#1 for details of other cultures stories & myths]

So what's going on Today? Where's this "Salvation" that I "promised" coming from?

The answer lies in Genetics & Archaeology, for those who'd like to subject our own cultural memories, however well preserved, to the "sceptics searchlight".
Genetics & Archaeology are getting better & better, (& both are much more "hard science" than linguistics) and they are basically saying at every turn, that Indians have been basically the same from before the "Indus Valley Civilisation" onwards.

So, all these things (along with India & Indians changing position in the world) together kept fermenting in my mind for quite a while, & still are….But they definitely tell me one simple thing-

I am not an "almost gora" in looks, abilities. Nobody is an "almost somebody else". In fact , the very idea violates the whole notion of individuality.

I have no reason for being told what my origins are by a patently immature theory. My culture may have may foreign influences, but they are mere influences. At the core, my culture is mine, & foreigners didn’t bring it here.

When I (the metaphoric "I", meaning any self-respecting desi) look a "Westerner" in the eye, I need to know, & have it be known, that I come from a culture that gave the world more than it took, & as much as (s)he defines him/her self, I define myself. I need self-respect, & hope for respect from others, for my culture. It defines who I am.

For a proper self-definition, of course, I need to know what my culture is, from as original a source as possible. I need to be deeply sceptical of much that passes as "scholarship" about India, & Indian culture.

Let’s discuss Archaeology for this time. The past few decades have bee very exciting ones in the "digging" of the Indian Subcontinent. RadioCarbon  dating has advanced to reliably date matter found on buried sites.

Not being an "accredited scholar", I’ll just take help of the scholars own words, from here on.

How’ll that increase my Self-Esteem ?

Now it’s the time for the experts. I give over the rest of this blog to the experts, the Archaeologists themselves. Notice please, the words NO EVIDENCE, & how often they crop up in the discussions below.

After reading thru, if the reader gets one thing, which is that today’s Indian needs to radically take a good look at the misconceptions floating around about Indian & Indians, it will be worthwhile. Also, it may appear "dry" & "scholarly" but scholars are humans too, with pet biases, & we cannot let a scholar’s bias decide how we or our next generation (a) looks at themselves; (b) is looked at by others.

More on this in the next part of the Phoren Aryan (if there is one…)

QUOTABLE QUOTES [Ref by #s at very end]

Here’s the words of Shaffer & Litchtenstien: [from Ref#1 Ananth Kumar ]

Besides other ideological motivations [43], racism, too, has played its part in IE studies and the framework it constructed, as has been noted by a number of scientists in the field. As recently as the late 90s, archaeologists Jim Schaffer and Diane Lichtenstein remarked:
As data accumulate to support cultural continuity in South Asian prehistoric and historic periods, a considerable restructuring of existing interpretative paradigms must take place. We reject most strongly the simplistic historical interpretations, which date back to the eighteenth century, that continue to be imposed in South Asian culture history. These still prevailing interpretations are significantly diminished by European ethnocentrism, colonialism, racism, and antisemitism. Surely, as South Asia studies approaches the twenty-first century, it is time to describe emerging data objectively rather than perpetuate interpretations without regard to the data archaeologists have worked so hard to reveal. [44]

[29] Archaeology:
In Migration, Philology and South Asian Archaeology (1999), archaeologists James Schaffer and Diane Lichtenstein conclude:
That the archaeological record and significant oral and literature traditions of South Asia are now converging has significant implications for regional cultural history. A few scholars have proposed that there is nothing in the "literature" firmly placing the Indo-Aryans, the generally perceived founders of the modern South Asian cultural traditions(s), outside of South Asia, and now the archaeological record is confirming this…. Within the context of cultural continuity described here, an archaeologically significant indigenously significant discontinuity was a regional population shift from the Indus valley, in the west, to locations east and southeast, a phenomenon also recorded in ancient oral traditions.
As data accumulate to support cultural continuity in South Asian prehistoric and historic periods, a considerable restructuring of existing interpretative paradigms must take place.

James Schaffer and Diane Lichtenstein, Migration, Philology and South Asian Archaeology, in "Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation and History," (University of Michigan Press, 1999).

Here’s what other eminent Archaeologists have to say { from Ref#2 N Kazanas’ paper, mentioned widely in part 1}

Writes J.M. Kenoyer, specialist in the archaeology of the Indus Valley: "[T]here is no

archaeological or biological evidence for invasions or mass migrations into the Indus Valley between the end of the Harappan phase, about 1900 BC and the beginning of the Early Historic Period around 600 BC" (1998:174).

Shaffer and Lichtenstein confirm this emphasizing the continuity of the indigenous culture (1999).

The absence of archaeological evidence began to be noted in the late 1960s. Jarrige and Meadow established (1980) the indigenous Mehrgarh culture with cereal cultivation c6500 on the Bolan, north-west of Mohenjadaro and its gradual spread south-east to the Indus where it developed into the Harappan or ISC (=Indus-Sarasvati Culture) c3000.

Subsequent studies confirmed this: "The shift by Harappan groups and, perhaps, other Indus Valley cultural mosaic groups, is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in South Asia before the first half of the first millennium BC" (Shaffer & Lichtenstein 1995:135).

Other investigators provide additional evidence from their own branches of research.

flow of genetic traits occurred from Bactria into Saptasindhu c1800:

"Parpola’s suggestion of movement of Proto-R
rgVedic Aryan speakers into the Indus Valley by 1800 is not supported by our data. Gene flow from Bactria occurs much later and does not impact Indus Valley gene pools until the dawn of the Christian Era" (Hemphill & Christensen 1994).

K Elst, who quotes this passage, explains that the later flow is apparently that of the Shaka and Kushana invasions (1999:232; also Bryant, 231).

K Kennedy (in Erdosy, 1995) concurs with this view: "There is no evidence of demographic disruptions in the northwestern sector of the [Indian] subcontinent during and immediately after the decline of the Harappan culture" (again in Elst, 233; also Bryant, 231).



Kumar- The AIT : More than meets the eye


A really well written (& really loooong) comprehensive article.

Excerpts: (Opening Paras of the article)

There are some Indians today who are convinced that the subcontinent's population can be classified into Indo-Aryan and Dravidian ethnic groups. Ignoring the fact that Indo-Aryan and Dravidian are defined as being merely language families and so do not denote ethnicity at all, their conviction shows that it has now become a question of identity.

The Indo-European language family represents a model of the world which incorporates a view of history, of population dispersal and of language diffusion. Within its framework are to be found the now-familiar concepts of Aryan, Dravidian, Indo-European languages and their subfamilies, as well as the notion that at some point in its history, India accommodated entrants from Eurasia who supposedly brought with them India's first Indo-European language and an equally alien culture.

With these concepts having entered our everyday lives today (not just our vocabulary, but also our view of history), it is easy to forget how recent the Indo-European (IE) framework actually is. In a short span of time, just over two centuries, something has changed entirely.

Indians have started to identify themselves with terms defined within the IE framework and have internalised its views.

Language and thought

Today, the Indo-European world-view has very cleverly and dangerously reduced our choices to either Indo-Aryan orDravidian, thereby excising the valid third option of 'Indian'.

This might appear very trivial, but it is a form of language control. Language control is a means to alter and limit people's way of thinking. George Orwell's cautionary novel Nineteen Eighty-Four [1] describes a totalitarian dictatorship that systematically destroys language, thereby shaping the very thoughts and reality of its undermined subjects. [2]

Language is the means through which humans understand and formulate ideas, and by which we communicate and express ourselves.

Denying language is to deny thought; and controlling language is to control thought. Although this is what propaganda attempts to do in its own crude and overt manner, the subtlety of the IE world-view in imposing language control on Indians has mostly gone unnoticed by us.

Many Indians have subconsciously absorbed its views and can now only look at the world according to how the IE framework has defined it.

For a long time now, it has been shaping the reality of present-day India.

Consider that we have a political party (the DMK) whose name contains the term 'Dravidian', whilst history books have long been teaching children about Aryans who allegedly invaded India sometime around 1500 BCE. The IE world-view, through denying us access to the term 'Indian', has effectively started denying our thinking of ourselves as Indians. It is shaping our perceptions of our own identity.

A few other examples of language control that Indians are being subjected to today include how, through the media, the term 'Dalit' has slowly but consistently been replacing 'Harijan' [3]; the vague and merely geographic 'South Asia' has come to replace the historic entity of the 'Indian subcontinent'; and we are forced to use the Portuguese-derived word 'caste' which describes neither jati nor varna nor any other Indian word or Hindu concept. [4]

Though one may not immediately see it, these are impositions on our way of viewing and understanding history, our present world, and ourselves.

Another example: the Holocaust memorial in the US commemorates the genocides of the 'Soviets' and 'Yugoslavs' of World War II. Yet which nation today is called the Soviet Union? Where is Yugoslavia? There are no people and no nations today that go by these names. This is tantamount to an act of rewriting history: through calculated use of language, historic atrocities against the Russians and Serbs have been pushed to the background. Why? In order to prevent either from gaining public sympathy when the west intends to take action against them: Serbia during the Balkan Wars of the last decade; and Russia, because its imminent rise might come to pose a threat to the west. [5]

We return now to the Indo-European framework, which has attempted to explain (that is, to model) the observed linguistic similarities between European languages and India's Samskritam and northern languages. Like all models, it is based on some assumptions.

Retracing the history of how the IE linguistic family was formulated will uncover the assumptions underlying its world-view.

By re-examining their validity in light of what is known today, we can re-evaluate the IE framework and its applicability. And then perhaps, instead of passively accepting it, we may be in a better position to decide whether or not- its world-view should be considered so final as to determine our own.

REF#2: Nicolas Kazanas (Quoted extensively in part 1 i.e. "Mahabharata…Aryan Phoren"

A survey of all "Current scholarship, & scientific info" on the issue.

A wonderfully revealing & interesting paper in itself, & worth reading. [V V loooooong]. Paper at -

Picked up from Sulekha blog Lies for children in indian text books  by krisanu
The Myth of Aryans and Non-Aryans
By Swami Vivekananda
"The mind jumps back several thousand years, and fancies that the same things happened here, and our archaeologist dreams of India being full of dark eyed aborigines, and the bright Aryan came from - the Lord knows where.

According to some, they came from Central Tibet, others will have it that they came from Central Asia. There are patriotic Englishmen who think that they were all black haired. If the write happens to be a black haired man, then the Aryans were all black haired.

Of late there have been attempts to prove that the Aryans lived on the Swiss lakes. I should not be sorry if they had been all drowned there, theory and all. Some say now that they lived at the North Pole. Lord bless the Aryans and their habitations.

As for as the truth in these theories, there is not one word in our scriptures, not one, to prove that the Aryans came from anywhere outside of India, and in ancient India was included Afganistan. There it ends.

All the theory that the Shudras caste were all non-Aryans and they were a multitude, is equally illogical and equally irrational. It could not have been possible in those days that a few hundred Aryans settled and lived there with a few hundred thousand slaves at their command. These slaves would have eaten them up, made "chutney" of them in five minutes.

The only explanation can be found in the Mahabharatha, which says, that in the beginning of Satya Yuga there was only one caste, the Brahmanas, and then by difference of occupation they went on dividing themselves into castes, and that is the only true and rational explanation that has been given. And in the coming of the Satya Yuga all the other castes will have to go back to the same condition. The solution to the caste problem in India, therefore, assumes this form, not to degrade the higher castes, not to crush out the Brahmana." 

REF # 4:
Historian Shrikant Talageri's contributions to Koenraad Elst's Online Book [Bharatvani Website].

[Note: "Urheimat" is repeatedly used here. Seems to be German, roughly translating to "our original home"]

4.6.5. Migration history of other IE tribes

Other branches of IE have a clear migration history, even if no literary record has been preserved. It is commonly accepted that the Celtic and Italic peoples were invaders into their classical habitats. The Celts’ itinerary can be archaeologically traced back to Slovakia and Hungary, and Germany still preserves some Celtic place-names.
In France, Spain, and the British Isles, a large pre-IE population existed, comprising at least two distinct language families. Of the Iberian languages, only a few written fragments have been preserved. Etruscan is extinct but well-attested and fully deciphered, though we don’t know what to make of the persistent claims that it was a wayward branch of the IE Anatolian family. The Basque language survives till today, but attempts to link it to distant languages remain unsuccessful. At any rate, this area witnessed a classic case of IE expansion, resulting in the near-complete celtization or latinization of western and southern Europe.

Germanic, Baltic and Slavic cover those areas of Europe which have been claimed as the Urheimat: Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, South Russia. In the case of the Germanic peoples, there is no literary record (but plenty of archaeological indications) of an immigration, nor of the replacement or assimilation of an earlier population.

The Baltic language group, represented today by Latvian and Lithuanian, once covered a slightly larger area than today, but there is no literary memory of a migration from another area. However, many Balts today will tell you that they originally came from India.

Before this is declared to be an argument for an Indian Urheimat, it should be verified that this belief really pre-dates the 19th century, when it was the prevalent theory among scholars throughout Europe.

The folklore avidly recorded by nationalist philologists in the 19th century could well contain not only age-old oral traditions of the common people but also some beliefs fashionable among those who recorded them. The Slavic peoples have expanded to the southwest across the Danube, and in recent centuries also (back?) to the east, across the Ural mountains. The farthest in time that human memory can reach, Ukraine and southern Poland seem to have been the Slavs’ homeland.

When scholars from the Germanic, Baltic and Slavic countries started claiming their own country as the IE Urheimat, this certainly was not in contradiction with facts known at the time.

But these Urheimat claims were only based on a weak argumentum e silentio: the first written records of these peoples are comparatively recent, several millennia younger than the break-up of PIE, and the true story of their migratory origins has simply been lost.

This is not to deny that they may have preserved traditions of their own migrations for as long as the Israelites, but apart from the erosion wrought by time, it is christianization which has generally put a stop to the continuation of the traditional tribal knowledge.

And where Christian monks stepped in to collect and preserve remnants of the national heritage (as in Ireland), it was too late: stories had gotten mixed up, the people who remembered the traditional knowledge were dying out, the thread had become too thin not to be broken,

That the Greekstook their classical habitat from an Old European population is not in doubt, but there is no definite memory of their immigration. Perhaps the myth of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece, located in Georgia, should be read as a vague indication of a Greek migration from there, overseas to Thracia, whence the Greek tribes entered Greece proper in succession. But an actual immigration narrative is missing.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-27-2008

<b>Colonial Constructs about Indian Languages
The "Indo-European" Model and Beyond

Most educated Indians know that most Indian languages are divided into two broad linguistic streams - i.e. the "Indo-European" and the "Dravidian". Tied in with this linguistic classification is the theory that the North Indian languages came with "Aryan" settlers. During colonial rule, it may have seemed comforting to North Indians to know that they enjoyed a historical genetic and cultural connection with the "superior" races of Europe who had by then come to rule much of the world. Of course, this provided little comfort to the South Indians who were indirectly told that their own cultural history was inferior to that of the North because they lacked the all-important European connection.

To this day, influential historians (such as Romila Thapar) and others at the JNU (and several other leading Indian universities) continue to swear by this colonial era model. Critics of this colonial-era formulation are usually dismissed as "amateurs" or "national chauvinists" who are somehow unable to comprehend the supposedly well-established "science" of "modern" lingusitics.

But is this classification truly "scientific" or a construct that derives more from purely political considerations as some recent critics have argued?

Hungarian Critics of the "Indo-European" Scheme
For instance, in Hungary, there is a growing body of scholars who are extremely uncomfortable and dissatisfied with the manner in which Hungarian was excluded from the Indo-European framework. Hungary's T. Majlath notes that "Critics of the Finno-Ugric theory argue that it became highly popular when the Hapsburgs sought to put the Hungarians in their place not long after the failed Hungarian War of Independence of 1848, when Linguistics had not as yet developed into the "exact" science it is today."

In recent decades, several Hungarian and other Eastern European scholars have attempted to build lexicons comparing Hungarian words with their Slavic counterparts. Unsurprisingly, these lexicons show that the distance between Hungarian and the Slavic langauges spoken by its closest neighbors in Europe is not as large as might be implied by the conscious and deliberate exclusion of Hungarian from the "Indo-European " schemata that includes all the Slavic languages but excludes Hungarian. Others have built lexicons comparing Hungarian with Sanskrit and Tamil (along the lines of the lexicons built by adherents of the "Indo-European" formula), and again, they show that a selective interpretation of these lexicons could well lead to a new classification in which both Tamil and Sanskrit would end up in the same family of languages as Hungarian.

<b>Yet to Employ Computerized Statistical Analysis</b>
As some modern linguists have argued, the inclusion or exclusion of a language in a particular family must be based on very precise and consistent criterion that should be backed up computerized statistical analysis. For instance, there are some Indian language scholars who have suggested that a computerized analysis of Sanskrit and Latin lexicons might yield a far more limited overlap than would be rationally implied by the "Indo-European" classification.

In fact, such analysis might reveal a greater overlap between North Indian and South Indian langauages as well as between Adivasi langauges and their neighboring Indic langauges that are presently placed under the "Indo-European" umbrella.

But to date, advocates of the Indo-European paradigm have strenuously resisted such calls for a fresh and unbiased scientific analysis of their classification methods. Nor have the been open to analyzing their conclusions in the context of geography, archaeology, anthropology, trade ties, cultural exchanges and regional political developments.

Few linguists ascribing to the Indo-European/Dravidian divide have bothered to investigate the extent of commonality between Sanskrit or Tamil or Munda and Hindi or Tibetan and Bengali. The possibilities of overlapping vocabularies or shared words between langauges that are currently placed in different linguistic streams has simply not interested many Western-influenced Indian linguists.

<b>Incorporating DNA Data</b>
Most significantly, they have yet to utilize the growing body of DNA data that provide very useful pointers to early human migration patterns. For instance, recent DNA analysis has shown that the Indian subcontinent was populated by migrants from Africa in three phases. In the first phase, the West coast of India was populated extending up to Southern India. In the next phase, a larger group of migrants populated the Indian subcontinent arriving from Africa via the Middle East. Finally, there was a smaller migration that brought a new wave of settlers from the Caucasian region (who had reached there from Africa via the Middle East). One branch of the Caucasian settlers entered India while other branches populated Europe. However, it should be emphasized that these migrations took place long before settled civilization - not only long before the Vedic era, but also much before the Harappan Indus-Sarasvati civilization.

This would suggest the commonality that was noted between the North Indian and European languages may have been due to very early migration patterns - when language was still in a somewhat rudimentary phase and had not yet developed into the more complex written form that comes with urbanization and settled civilization.

Although promoters of the Indo-European scheme have shied away from saying so, the commonality between the Indian and European langauges appears to be largely confined to a vocabulary that one might associate with early humans who were familiar with animal husbandry and fire and valued clan relationships but had yet to develop advanced agriculture or the social systems that go with more complex societies where a proportion of the population has become urbanized and there is a growing degree of specialization of labor accompanied with the expansion of trade and commerce. (DNA might likewise explain the similarities noted between Brahui and Tamil).

<b>Problems with the "Indo-European" Construct</b>
However, languages are much more than words for earth, grass, fire, grazing animals and kinship ties. As societies develop and become exceedingly more complex their vocabularies grow in proportion and they become more formal and expressive. They develop written scripts and they formulate a functional (and sometimes unique) syntax and grammar. Different languages develop not only particular idioms but they also borrow words from their neighboring civilizations and trading partners. Words also spread through cultural exchanges and the spread of philosophy and religion.

Building primitive lexicons that show similar roots for certain common words can hardly be an adequate basis of linguistic classification. Especially if that classification is going to be further used to generate implications about sociological and cultural development. If the commonality between Indian and European langauages extends only to a small pastoral-era oral lexicon, the Indo-European theory of langauges could hardly be called in to justify the "Aryan Invasion" theory let alone infer that the Vedas were written by "Indo-European Aryan" migrants.

In fact, one of the intended (or even unintended) consequences of such linguistic speculation is that there has been a needless intellectual division between North Indians and South Indians, between Adivasis and "non-Adivasis" . Moreover, it has strengthened the now increasingly untenable view that there is no continuity between the Indo-Saraswati Harappan civilization and Vedic civilization, and that India's languages (both in the oral and written forms) must have been brought to India by more "civilized" outsiders.

In accepting such constructs not only must one throw away archaeolgical and anthropological evidence that points to the many continuities in Indian civilization but one must also obscure the significance of the pioneering work done in the realm of linguistics by Panini and his predecessors.

<b>India and the Birth of Formal Linguistics</b>
Although there is some disagreement on when Panini lived, few modern linguists would deny him and (his lesser-known) predecessors a place at the very forefront of the science of linguistics.

Amongs the earliest known formal Sanskrit lexicons is the Nighantu (a thesaurus-like lexicon) ascribed to Yaska (7th c BC) whose work attempted to systematize the various lexicons that had been developed to aid in the understanding and intrerpretation of the Vedic texts. These included lexicons of rare or difficult words classified into chapters containing similes, metonyms, and other categories of related words that were used to describe physical things and objects in nature. A separate chapter contained words that related to human physical/physiological and mental/emotional qualities and yet another chapter confined itself to words relating to abstract qualities and concepts. A separate book described homonyms that presented special difficulties in their interpretation or had ambiguous meanings. Yaska's Nighantu was accompanied by his Nirukta (a treatise on entymology and word-parsing) in which rules for deriving words from roots and affixes are described. Yaska followed Sakatayana (an older grammarian) and described four types of words: nama (or nouns), akhyata (verbs), upsarga (prefixes) and nipata (particles such as prepositions). He defined verbs as those in which the process or action predominated and nouns as that in which an entity or a being or a thing predominated. He was also cognizant of how sometimes verbs taken on a noun-like form - such as "going for a walk" where the verb walk takes on a noun-like form.

Yaska also posited a semantic theory in which he argued that words had inherent meanings in contrast to Panini who argued that words had meanings only in their specific context. This debate appears to mirror the modern-day debate between semantic atomists and cognitive linguistics. Panini's Ashtadhyayi (Eight Chapters) went deeper into linguistic morphology defining such terms as phonemes, morphemes and roots. He also described rules/algorithms for taking material from lexical lists (dhatupatha) and generating words from them in a structured and systematic manner. Panini's influence on modern linguistics has been considerable (see below).

In this entire body of work stretching, from Sakatayana to Panini, there is virtually nothing to link Sanskrit to any European influence.

On the other hand, both Sanskrit and Tamil are syllabic languages and both treat consonants and vowels very similarly. Just as in Sanskrit where aksharas (speech particles or atoms) are divided into Svarams (vowels) and Vyanajanams (consonants), in Tamil vowels (Uyir Ezhuttu) are clearly distinguished from consonants Mey Ezhuttu.

<b>Alphabets versus Syllables</b>
And although linguists are divided as to which came first, both Sanskrit and Tamil are written in very similar ways. Unlike the European langauges that are written using alphabets (derived from Greek, and branching off from Latin or Cyrillic), all Indian languages are written using syllables made up of (simple or compound) consonant shapes that are modified by the symbols for vowels that connect the consonants. In Sanskrit (and languages derived from it) as well as in South Indian langauges like Telugu and Kannada there is a precise and unambiguous correspondence between how words are pronounced and how they are written.

From the point of view of classifying languages based on the organizational principles that govern their written scripts no logic would permit the Sanskrit-derived North Indian langauges to be placed in the same language group as the European languages.

For instance, languages (such as Chinese or Japanese) that use pictograms, logograms and ideograms in their written form are a unique group of languages and are classified as "Semanto-phonetic". To understand the development of such languages using morphological and entymological constructs as described by Sanskrit linguists such as Yaska or Panini would be absurd.

Yet, Western scholars seem to have no difficulty in clubbing Sanskrit with English and French even though the manner in which Sanskrit developed and was formalized was entirely unknown and alien to the Europeans. On the other hand, structurally speaking (notwithstanding some differences), Sanskrit and Tamil are like sisters, yet many Westerners persist with placing them in entirely different language families.

<b>Pan-Indic and Pan-Asian Commonalities </b>
In their manner of organizing syllables and writing, all Sanskrit and Tamil derived Indian languages are similar which should place them all in a common Indic language group. Moreover, they share this organizational feature with the Ethiopic Ge-ez, Tibetan, Sinhala, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, earlier Lao, the pre-colonial Philipino Baybayin script for Tagalog, Balinese and Javanese. The Korean Hangul also shares certain commonalities. (Langauges like Arabic and Hebrew are partially syllabic in that consonants are precisely denoted but vowel sounds are usually omitted and implied by the context.)

This would suggest that in the pre-colonial world, there was a broad similarity in language scripts that extended across the Indian Ocean from Ethiopia to Indonesia and extended further to the Phillipines and Thailand.

Since the written form of any language represents it in its most advanced form, it is curious how Western linguists and their Indian apologists have strangely ignored this important facet in classifying the langauges of the world. Nor have they analyzed the important cultural and sociological implications of this shared heritage.

<b>Phonetic Repertoire and Awareness</b>
The organization of Sanskrit syllables also shows remarkable insight into the physiology of human speech production. Vowels are listed separately and divided by the time of pronunciation (short or long) and by the manner of their production (oral or nasal). In the Vedic period, vowels were also distinguished by their pitch accent (high, low or falling). In this practice, archaic Sanskrit had more in common with languages to India's East such as Thai or Chinese.

Consonants were likewise divided between how they were sounded (as stops, approximants or sibilants). Consonants were further divided by the place of articulation (such as where a part of the tongue was placed in the mouth to create the relevant sound - velar, palatal, retroflex, dental or labial). They were aware of consonant combinations as well as how consonants could be varied by using different parts of the tongue (root, body or tip) or lower lip for labial. Consonants were further distinguished between the effort of articulation (internal for unaspirated, aspirated, unvoiced or voiced, and external for plosive, approximate and fricative).

This creates a repertoire of consonant sounds that finds no exact parallel in any European language but is partially or wholly replicated in the South Indian langauges.

For instance, consonants classified as {Sparsham, Nadam, Mahapranam} - i.e. <stopped voiced aspirated> consonants derived from the unvoiced and unaspirated g, j, b or soft and hard d are alien to English as are the <unvoiced aspirated) forms of k, p and soft/hard t.

Phonetically speaking, from North to South, the languages of the Indian subcontinent have more in common with each other than with any European language - (especially English and French).

<b>Pan-Indic Linguistic Features</b>
Writing in Language in India (9, Jan, 2002), G. Sankaranarayanan observes how repeating words and forms is a significant feature that extends across the Indian subcontinent and includes not only the Sanskrit and Tamil derivatives but also Munda and languages from the Tibetan-Burmese group.

While some forms of rhyming reduplication are also to be found in English such as bow-wow or willy-nilly, other types of reduplication appear to be entirely absent or very rare in English. For instance, the expression "Ram Ram" may be used to express anguish in Hindi, but its analog "God God" or "Jesus Jesus" would be not be idiomatic in English. Likewise Hay-re-Hay or Baap-re-Baap used to express shock or dismay would be hard to replicate in English - the latter translating to father-oh-father.

In both Tamil and Hindi, a guest may be welcomed with the expression "va:nga va:nga" or "aiye aiye" - i.e. "come, come" to suggest a special enthusiasm and graciousness. The correct analog for such a greeting in English might be "please do come", but not come come. Repeated words may be routinely used to designate emphasis - "piyo piyo" (drink drink) or "jaldi jaldi" (quick quick) or "dekho dekho" (look look). Such usage is also to be found in other Asian languages such as Bahasa Indonesia where "tengo tengo" (look look) is a perfect translation of "dekho dekho".

In other contexts a repeated word (whether noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, or verb) acquires a special semantic significance.

Consider the Tamil " ra:tri ra:tri maLHai peyyutu" (night night it rains ) meaning that it rains frequently - every night or every other night.

Or the Hindi "apne apne vichar hain" (their their views/thoughts/opinions are) meaning that people have their own opinions.

In the interrogative form, in Hindi one might ask "kya kya kiya" - (what what did) meaning what all did you do? Or, "kahan kahan gaye" (where where went) meaning where all did you go?

One could also repeat a verbal participle: "bolte bolte thak gaye" or "kahete kahete thak gaye" - (talking talking got tired or telling telling got tired) i.e (I/we) got tired telling (him/her/them) again and again.

Thus word repitition is an economic but meaningful way of expressing varied forms of frequency, plurality or multiplicity.

Note too that Indic languages permit the dropping of pronouns (which become implied). In the previous example both the subject (I/we) and object pronouns (him/her/them) may be dropped, but (got tired telling) would be impermissable in English.

Another form of repitition is the use of an echo word to suggest a broader category than the word echoed. Note that the echo word may not be a word itself and its only requirement would be to partially repeat the first word. Thus we may have "cha:y sha:y" to suggest (tea etc), or (tea and something with it), or (tea or something like it).

Or, "kuch kaam vaam kiya" to ask if (you/he/she) did any work or anything else constructive? Here "kaam" is work but "vaam" is used to denote something comparable in signficance to work such as study or complete a chore or perform some other important task.

Here again, we observe a linguistical feature that extends across all Indic langauges (and even to other Asian langauges ) and to a European non "Indo-European" langauge like Hungarian but is rare or entirely missing in an "Indo-European" language like English.

<b>Sentence Word Order</b>
It may also be noted that across India, both Sanskrit and Tamil derived languages use SOV (subject Object Verb) word order as a default. But several Indo-European langauges such as English, French, Portugese and Bulgarian use SVO word order.
However, in colloquial or theatrical speech, (or even in poetic/literary texts) Hindi (like Arabic) also permits VSO. Moreover, when repeated words are used all Indian langauges permit the omission of the subject and the word order becomes flexible - either OV or VO.

Word order also becomes flexible in the context of question and answer exchanges. Thus in Hindi "Gaye the Tum?" (Went did you?), "Tum Gaye The?" (You went did?) and "Tum Gaye?" (You went?) are all possible. Replies to where did you go could be equally varied from the standard SOV "Main Allahabad gaya tha" (I Allahabad went) to an OVS "Allahabad gaya tha main" (Allahabad went I) or simply OV "Allahabad gaya tha" (Allahabad went) or even VO "Gaya tha Allahabad" (Went Allahabad)

In this respect, Indian languages are similar to each other but not to less flexible "Indo-European" languages like English. On the other hand, Russian and Czech (like Hungarian) do not require a fixed or default word order.

In conclusion, it might be stated that the present scheme of bifurcating Indian langauges into the "Indo-European" and "Dravidian" scheme is unsatisfactory in many ways. Not only does it ignore vital commonalities between the langauges of Northern and Southern India, it has also precluded comprehensive comparitive studies between these Indic languages and other Indic langauges such as the Munda or those from the Tibetan-Burmese stream.

Not only is the "Indo-European" classification based on very narrow grounds, it privileges an archaic oral history over later (and more important) developments when indic languages were studied systematically and formalized. Moreover, it entirely ignores the development of writing in the Indian subcontinent and also, the linguistic exchanges and enrichment that occurred between the Sanskrit and Tamil derived langauges as well as borrowings that must have occurred between these langauges and their Adivasi cousins . The classification also tends to mimimize commnalities and exchanges between the Indic languages and the languages of India's land-connected neighbors and oceanic neighbors.

Also obscured is the scientific analysis and rational organization that went into the formalization of Sanskrit (in both spoken and written forms) and other Indic languages that created a solid foundation for India's largely self-propelled progress in philosophy, law and governance, art, theatre and music, epistemology, mathematics, and the biological and physical sciences.

Consciously or unconsciously, the "Indo-European" scheme not only divided India from within but also set it apart from from its intellectuall-linked Asian brethren and oceanic neighbors in Africa.

Undoubtedly, theories such as this complemented Britain's colonial "divide and conquer" strategy. Such disingenuous constructs (whether by accident or design) allowed the English to colonize, subjugate, and finally loot the Indian subcontinent - not only of of its legendary wealth, but by distorting its linguistic heritage, it also robbed the Indian people of their very essence and self-esteem.

It is high time that linguistic scholars in India revisit afresh this entire field and rescue it from inappropriate and outdated colonial constructs.

<b>About the Author</b>
Shishir Thadani has an Undergraduate degree from IIT Delhi and a Post-Graduate degree in Computer Science from Yale where his area of specialization included Theoretical Computer Science, the Syntax and Semantics of Computer Langauges and Natural Langauage Processing.

Giti Thadani, who is intimately familiar with several European langauges including German, French and Hungarian (as well as Sanskrit) also contributed through several converstations with the author.


Lakshman Sarup, The Nighantu and The Nirukta (London, H. Milford 1920-29), Repr. Motilal Banarsidass 2002, ISBN 81-208-1381-2.

Bimal Krishna Matilal (1990). The word and the world: India's contribution to the study of language. Oxford. Yaska is dealt with in Chapter 3.

"Siddhanta Kaumudi" by Bhattoji Diksita and "Laghu Siddhanta Kaumudi", by Varadaraja.

"Telugulo Chandovisheshaalu" (In Telugu).

Repitive Forms in Indian Languages by G. Sankaranarayanan, Language in India (9, Jan, 2002)

Thirumalai, M.S. 2002. How to Learn Another Language? in Language in India (

Abbi, Anvita. 1980. Semantic Grammar of Hindi: A Study in Reduplications. New Delhi.

Apte, M.L. 1968. Reduplication, Echo, Formation and Onomatopoeia in Marathi. Pune.

Gnanasundaram, V. 1985. Onomatopoeia in Tamil. Annamalainagar.

Nayak, H. M. 1967. Kannada Literary and Colloquial: A Study of Two Styles. Mysore.

Sankaranarayanan, G. 1976. "Associative Pairs in Tamil," in The Eighth India University Tamil Teachers' Conference, Mysore.

Sankaranarayanan. G. 1983. "Reduplication in Tamil," in To Greater Heights (1969-79). Mysore.

Panini's use of metarules, transformations, and recursion together make his grammar as rigorous as a modern Turing machine. The Backus-Naur form (Panini-Backus form) or BNF grammars used to describe modern programming languages have significant similarities to Panini grammar rules.
(See T.R.N. Rao. Panini-backus form of languages. 1998.)

Chomsky: "The first generative grammar in the modern sense was Panini's grammar",

In Optimality Theory, the hypothesis about the relation between specific and general constraints is known as "Panini's Theorem on Constraint Ranking". Paninian grammars have also been devised for non-Sanskrit languages. His work was the forerunner to modern formal language theory (mathematical linguistics) and formal grammar, and a precursor to computing.O'Connor, John J; Edmund F. Robertson "Pāṇini". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive

On Phonetic Awareness: It may be observed that modern Korean Hangul which replaced Korea's Chinese-related pictographic script also shows such awareness about sound production as Sanskrit.

Certain pan-Indian aspirated consonants (dh, gh, bh etc) that are not to be found in "Indo-European" languages such as English, occur in some African languages and Arabic.

Rolled D, Dh

General Resource

Central Institute of Indian Languages
Mysore 570006, India

Wikipedia's Linguistic Resources, esp. those pertaining to Abugida Languages

Various on-line lexicons that compare Hungarian to various "Indo-European" and other languages

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-27-2008

<b>The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance</b>

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 03-28-2008


Pages from the history of India and the sub-continent

The Aryan Invasion: theories, counter-theories and historical significance

[Note this is a revised version of a previous essay and an older essay (Sep 12, 2001)

The Aryan Invasion theory was first propounded when linguistic similarities between Sanskrit and the major European languages were discovered by European scholars during the colonial era. In an atmosphere of raging eurocentricism, it was inevitable that any explanation of this seemingly inexplicable discovery would taken on racial and ideological overtones. (See Refs. 1)

Colonial expositions of the Aryan Invasion Theory

British intellectuals were particularly nonplussed by this apparent link between the languages of the conquerors and the conquered. In the earliest phases of British rule in India, the East India Company proceeded largely unconsciously - without moral dilemmas and without overt recourse to ideological or racial superiority. But as the rule of the East India Company expanded, and battles became more hard fought and the resistance to British occupation in India grew, the ideology of European racial superiority became almost essential in justifying British presence in India - not only to assuage British conscience, but also to convince the Indian people that the British were not mere colonial conquerors but a superior race on a noble civilizational mission.

After 1857, the British education system in India had been deliberately designed to assist in the development of a narrow but influential class of deeply indoctrinated and predominantly loyal agents of British colonial rule in India. British elaborations of the Aryan invasion theory became powerful and convenient ideological tools in generating legitimacy for British rule. In its most classical and colonially tinged incarnation, it portrayed the Aryans as a highly advanced and culturally superior race in the ancient world, locating their original home in Northern Europe. It then went on to suggest that some time in antiquity, the Aryans migrated from their original home in Europe and brought with them their language and their superior culture and transcendental philosophy to civilize the primitive and materially backward Dravidian people of the subcontinent. All the greatness of Indian civilization was ascribed to the Aryans, thus implying that if India were to ever achieve greatness again, a return to Aryan rule was imperative.

And by claiming a cultural continuity between this noble race of ancient times and themselves, the British could become inheritors of the grand Aryan tradition and assert their "legitimate" civilizational right to rule over the people of the subcontinent - not to exploit them, but so as to "reinvigorate" Indian civilization by reintroducing Aryan rule that had been disfigured and corrupted by the violent and barbaric incursions of the Muslims. Preposterous and distorted as it was, this absurdly racist proposition was made palatable to a self-doubting and repressed class of upper-caste Hindus who were told that they were descendants of the Aryans, and could identify with the manifold and globally encompassing achievements of the Aryan people by accepting British authority so as to participate in this great Aryan renaissance in India. (See Ref. 2)

The theory gained rapid currency amongst upper-caste Hindus who had legitimate gripes against the Muslim nobility for having been denied equal access to power in the Muslim courts, but were too enfeebled to put up a fight on their own, and were too alienated from the mass of artisans and peasants to join in popular rebellions against the feudal dispensation. The British rulers offered the opportunity of gaining petty privileges in exchange for acquiescence to colonial rule, and the Aryan invasion theory provided the ideological justification for betraying the rest of ones nation. By placing the ancestral home of the Aryans far off in Northern Europe, the British were putting the idea in the heads of such upper-caste Hindus that they were far removed from the Indian masses and had no good reason to identify with them.

Wittingly or unwittingly, the Aryan invasion theory thus became the emotional bait for a section of the Indian population who were to aid and abet the colonial project in India. Although some of these Indians ultimately did develop national feelings, and forged a national identity that eventually came into conflict with the continuation of colonial rule, the theory continued to play an important role in confusing the psyche of the post-independence Indian intelligentsia.

Since the Aryan invasion refers to a period of considerable antiquity, and there is little physical evidence to support any authoritative conclusion, theories affirming (or opposing) the invasion hypothesis can vary from being wildly speculative at worst, to being reasonably plausible at best. Even the most diligent and objective of historians can at best come up with informed conjectures, leaving open the possibility for uncertainty, and ideologically-driven diversionary postulations. The absence of concrete data and the ambiguity involved in interpreting surviving texts from the Aryan period makes the task of combating history-writing that has been colored by colonially influenced analysis doubly difficult.

Nevertheless, it is possible to construct the contours of what may be more plausible, and at least eliminate what is obviously fiction or fantasy.

Arguments for and against the Invasion Theory

Opponents of the invasion theory make a somewhat plausible case that the sacrificial rites and rituals described in some of the Vedic texts bear a resemblance to practices that may have been common during the Harappan period. The similiarity of Harappan and Vedic altars is indeed intriguing. This would bolster the argument that Brahmins of the Vedic age emerged from the Harappan priesthood, and not from any Aryan invasion. But a link between the Harappan priesthood and Vedic Brahminism does not preclude the possibility of an invasion or foreign migration since North Western India attracted a constant stream of migrants and invaders.

However, the mere possibility of what may have happened cannot be the basis of an all-encomapssing theory such as the "Aryan Invasion Theory". It must be grounded on more solid evidence to withstand critics who might describe such assertions as racially-tarred speculations.

Philological Analysis

Proponents of an invasion (or migration) theory feel quite strongly that the Indo-European linguistic commonality cannot be explained in any other way, and cite philological studies that appear to bolster their case.

However, some opponents of the invasion theory argue that the observed commonality of the Indo-European group of languages could have been achieved without an Aryan invasion. They observe that the Harappan civilization had extensive trade and commercial ties with Babylon as well as with civilizations to the further West. There is a remarkable similarity in seals and cultural artifacts found in Harappan India, Babylon and even the early civilizations of the Mediterranean such as Crete. Hence, they argue that a linguistic commonality may have developed quite early through trade and cultural contacts and that this common linguistic structure may have subsequently moved from South to North. Since Mediterranean Europe and the Middle Eastern civilizations developed well before the civilizations of Northern Europe, such a possibility is not altogether inconceivable.

But such a hypothesis does not preclude the possibility that invading or migrating clans may have also introduced non-Indian words into the existing Indian languages - leading to a composite language stream that incorporated both Indo-European and indigenous features. (Urdu is an example of a language that was introduced as a result of a series of invasions, adding a large body of foreign words while maintaining the syntactical structure and vocabulary base of the previous language.)

Since much of the Indo-European linguistic commonality appears to correspond to the basic vocabulary of a pastoral nomadic population, intrusions by patriarchal warrior clans from Central Asia cannot be ruled out. Authors such as Gimbutas (The Civilization of the Goddess, the World of Old Europe) present a reasonably convincing model of how the older matriarchal order in Europe was gradually broken down by migrants/conquerors who spoke a language that might account for certain common elements of the Indo-European group of languages. However, it would be inappropriate to mechanically apply the same conclusions to India, (nothwithstanding some of the linguistic and philological arguments in favor of such a theory) because other explanations for the  linguistic similarities are now being illuminated through very recent DNA studies.

It must be emphasized that while there are both similarities and differences amongst the various Indo-European languages, our essay on Indian Languages shows quite convincingly that the differences outnumber the similarities. The essay shows how the primary and dominant motive force for the development of Indian languages, (including the so-called Indo-European languages of the North) especially during the written period was indigenous. Far too  often, historians (and philologists) have tended to downplay (or ignore) the contributions of the Adivasi and Tamil language streams in the development of the Indic languages. A more objective and balanced philological analysis of the Indian languages points to rather limited Indo-European links, but to a considerably greater  degree of independent indigenous development. Moreover, just as South Indian languages have absorbed Sanskrit words, North Indian languages have also absorbed words from Tamil and languages related to it.

Another criticism of the invasion theory lies in the interpretation of the word "Arya" to mean race, nationality or even linguistic group. Critics suggest that the word Arya as used in the Rig Veda and other texts is better translated as one who was noble in character (or noble in deed) or perhaps hailing from a noble (or royal) background. Hence, to use the term "Aryan" to describe the racial or national characteristics of an invading clan or clans would naturally be erroneous.

The Horse and Chariot Theories

Notably, historians favoring the invasion theory have based many of their arguments on postulates connecting the introduction of the horse and chariot in India to invading (or migrating) "Aryans". They also point to the balladic character of some of the verses in the Rig Veda with references to armed cattle raids and warriors on horse-driven chariots who appear to portray a race or a group of clans of pastoral nomadic warriors. The imagery fits particularly well with artifacts found in Babylon and Ancient Persia (and other regions near the Caspian Sea) that depict warriors riding on horse-driven chariots. Other literary evidence from the Rig Veda also appears to connect the authors of these Rig Veda verses to the "Aryan" identified civilization of ancient Persia.

However such historians have failed to notice that there are drawings of horse and horse-drawn vehicles (tangas)  in the caves of Bhimbhetka and other sites that counter the notion that the horse was unknown in India till an "Aryan Invasion/Migration". This would then suggest that the chariots described in the Rig Veda could have simply been an evolution of the Indian tanga. And while there is little tangible evidence of warrior clans in the numerous urban settlements that comprise the Harappan civilization, it is not unlikely that as settled  civilization developed in India, and as urbanization spread to new areas, warrior clans may have emerged entirely due to indigenous processes.

Commonalities of Vedic Gods with the Middle East

Other evidence to bolster the "Aryan Invasion Theory" lies in certain common names/references and features of some Vedic Gods that appear to be pan-West Asian. While this might suggest a certain ancient link between the North Indian nobility and the nobility of Persia and Western Asia, it does not substantiate the claim that the "Aryans" were Europeans or Caucasians. Moreover, there are many different ways in which such commonalities may have developed.

Since there are references in the Manusmriti to ruling clans who were clearly of non-Indian origin, there is no doubt that various foreign tribes/clans must have entered India as migrants or invaders. There are references to Greeks, Persians as well as to Chinese amongst India's ruling "Aryan" families. But there are also references to South Indian or "Dravidian" "Aryan" clans. To conflate these royals "Aryans" exclusively with European invaders would be clearly inappropriate. Moreover, to identify the timing of such an invasion with the period of the Rig Veda would also be entirely speculative.

This is not to say that India could have never been invaded by Caucasian or other clans, but rather that even if such invasions may have taken place, these invasions would have been neither unique nor decisive in shaping Indian history.
While it is not inconceivable that some of the ruling clans described in the Rig Veda may have entered India as invaders, the notion that the "Aryans" were exclusively outsiders, and that too European, and brought with them the entire text of the Vedas, and hence, laid the foundations of Indian civilization is what is most untenable, and is easily exposed if developments in Indian culture and philosophy are adequately studied in depth and with unbiased eyes.

As Indian critics of the Aryan invasion theory have demonstrated, (apart from the few common gods that are also referenced outside India) much of the imagery of the Vedas is indigenous. To many Indians - the references to plants and animals, and the climactic and  geographical descriptions suggest a connection to Indian soil.  Some of the  spiritual values (and cultural mores and traditions) that emerge from the Rig Ved seem to have a distinctly Indian sources that many Indians can identify with intuitively and instinctively.

Links between Harappan and Vedic Civilization

In fact, there is some compelling circumstantial evidence linking the settlers of the Gangetic plain to earlier Harappan settlements. For instance, emerging geological evidence pointing to ancient river systems drying up and changing course, and the excavation of numerous settlements along the banks of these ancient river systems (such as the Saraswati basin that ran in parallel to the Indus) lends credence to the argument that the settlers of the Gangetic plain must have been predominantly domestic migrants.

Finds of Shatranj (chess) pieces, dice and terracotta animal and goddess figurines also point to connections between Harappan and later civilizations. It is also quite remarkable how the ornamentation of some temples in Rajasthan and Western Madhya Pradesh appears to derive from some of the excavated jewelry from Harappan sites in Northern India. And remarkably, there are no parallels to such motifs outside India.

Some scholars also see a continuity between the Sulva Sutras and the Harappan civilization which owing to its material advance must have very likely developed a level of arithmetic and ritual and abstract philosophy concomitant with it's achievements in urban planning and agricultural management. The evidence for decimal weights and measures in the Harappan civilization, and the later perfection of a decimal numeral system in India lends further substance to such claims.

Relevance of the Aryans

All this suggests that there is a much greater degree of continuity in Indian civilization than previously realized, and further examination of the Indian historical record will demonstrate that the numerous developments in philosophy and culture that have taken place in India cannot be attributed to "Aryan" invaders. In fact, the main significance of the invasion theory lies not in the determination of whether such an invasion took place or not, but rather in how much of a debt Indian civilization might owe to such an invasion.

For instance, prior to the series of Islamic invasions, and long after the "Aryan" period of Indian history, there have been numerous other invasions that had an impact on the subcontinent. Yet it is only the "Aryan" invasion that attracts popular and scholarly attention. This is primarily because of the importance ascribed to the "Aryan" invasion by British colonial historians.

Before the invention of the "exalted" Aryan (of European origin) by British (and other European and Western) ideologues,  few Indians had any conscious memory of an "Aryan" warrior past since later ruling families in India had long since expanded and diversified from what may have been the ruling "Aryan" clans of the time of the Mahabharatha or even the Manusmriti. Not only had the "Kshatriya" caste expanded to accomodate several new clans, many of India's most illustrious Northern rulers (such as the Nandas, the Mauryas and the Guptas) were non-Kshatriyas.

Prior to any supposed "Aryan" invasion, India already had a relatively advanced settled-agriculture based urban civilization. And within a few centuries after their possible "imported" introduction in India, some of the "Aryan"-identified gods described in the Rig Veda ceased to be worshipped and gradually faded from mainstream Indian consciousness. Brahmin gotra (clan) names mentioned in the Rig Veda also lost their import and the vast majority of Brahmin gotra (clan) names that came into common use could not have had any "Aryan"-invasion connection. As Kosambi convincingly points out in his Introduction to Indian History, many of India's Brahmins rose from 'Hinduised' tribes that earlier practised animism or totem worship, or prayed to various fertility gods and/or goddesses, or revered fertility symbols such as the linga (phallus) or the yoni (vagina). A majority of these Hinduised tribes retained many elements of their older forms of worship, and several Brahmin gotra (clan) names are derived from non-Aryan clan totems and other tribal associations.

For instance, one of the most popular gods in the Indian pantheon - Shiva - appears to have no connection with any possible "Aryan" invasion, and may in fact have its prototype in the fertility god of the Harappans. Similiarly, Hanuman, Ganesh, Kali or Durga, or Maharashtra's Vithoba - none could have any external "Aryan" connection, since they don't even find any mention in the Rig Veda. Whether in matters of popular religion or in matters of high philosophy, there is little contribution of note that can be traced directly to a supposed  "Aryan invasion".

Uniquely Indian Aspects of Vedic Literature

As noted earlier,  much of the Vedic literature - both in the style and substance of its verses, appears to be uniquely Indian, and it is not impossible that at least some of the verses may have Harappan origin. Many of the philosophical themes that are explored and developed in the Vedic literature have insightful naturalist references that are consistent with Indian geography. In addition, there are certain philosophical aspects of the Vedic literature that don't appear to be replicated in quite the same way in any other civilization that was contemporaneous to the Vedic civilization.

The best of the Vedic Shlokas refer to a common life-spirit that links all living creatures, to human social-interconnectedness, to the notion of unity in diversity and how different sections of society might have different prayers and different wishes. Whereas some verses point to god as being a source for wish-fulfillment, in other verses, there are doubts and queries about the nature of god, whether a god really exists, and whether such questions can every be really answered. These aspects of Vedic thought were elaborated upon by later schools of Indian philosophy, and recur frequently in Indian literature and philosophy. But such verses appear to  have no direct parallel in civilizations to India's West.

Already in the Vedic period, there is an amorphous quality to spiritual beliefs that included atheistic, agnostic and soul-based (as opposed to god-based) philosphical assertions and queries that gave  Indian spiritual practice and organization its own and somewhat unique flavor.

While some of India's rational schools developed in parallel with the Vedas, and are included as appendices to the Vedic texts, others developed practically independently of the Vedas, or even in opposition - as polemics to the Vedas (such as those of the Jains and the Buddhists). (See Philosophical development from Upanishadic theism to scientific realism) The Upanishads, the Sankhya, and the Nyaya-Vaisheshika schools, the numerous treatises on medicine, ethics, scientific method, logic and mathematics clearly developed on Indian soil as a result of Indian experiences and intellectual efforts.

India's great surviving temples and Stupas with their rich carvings and sculpture were all created with aesthetic principles and formulations that developed centuries after any invading or migrating "Aryans" would have completely melted into Indian society. And though it is not impossible that these foreign "Aryans" may have introduced certain technological innovations and inventions, knowledge of brick-making, textile production, tool-making, pottery and metallurgy was already available to the Harappans and residents of the Indo-Saraswati civilization.

The grammar of Sanskrit and its highly systematized alphabet also had little to do with any "Aryan" invasion. Sanskrit is a highly structured and methodical language, optimized for engaging in rational debates and expressing mathematical formulas. Its skillfully organized alphabet bears little resemblance to the rather random and arbitrary alphabet of its European "cousins". Much of its vocabulary and syntax developed long after any supposed invasion, and although the oral structure of Tamil may differ from those of the North in some respects, the majority of India's languages (both Northern and Southern) share a large base of a common Sanskrit-derived vocabulary. Besides, words travelled from South to North and from Adivasis to non-Adivasis as well.

In addition, what is especially significant is how the North Indian scripts share so much in common with the scripts of Southern India. The phonetic organization of consonants and vowels,  phonetic spelling, and the many other commonalities that bind all of India's syllabic scripts weakens the entire linguistic premise of the Aryan invasion theory. In fact, when it comes to scripts, consonant and vowel sounds, all Indian languages are closely related, and their closest relatives are to be found in South East Asia, Ethiopia (and even Korea and Mongolia to some degree) but not in Europe.  (See Ref.6 and Indian Languages)

While the Aryans of the Vedas may be credited with laying the foundations of "Hindu" civilization in the Gangetic plain, the essence of Hindu civilization emerged gradually, taking several centuries to crystallize. Undergoing both internal reform and fusion with pre-existing tribal and matriarchal cultures, the Hinduism of both the rulers and the masses kept evolving. Even as it retained certain philosophical elements from Vedic literature, it also broadened and in some ways diverged completely from the Vedas.

Beyond the Northern (Yamuna/Gangetic) plains, the influence of Aryan-identified Vedic civilization was generally more limited. Vedic influences on the civilizations in Bengal, Assam and Orissa were initially almost minimal, and these Eastern civilizations largely followed their own (and somewhat unique trajectories), as did the civilizations of South India - absorbing Vedic philosophical concepts gradually and only partially. Throughout India, Buddhism and Jainism also found converts, and in Kashmir, the North West, and in the East - Buddhism had a particularly profound influence, while in Western India (such as in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Western Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka) Jainism was very influential. In Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal and Orissa, Tantric influences were important.

In essence, Indian civilization whether Hindu, Buddhist or Jain, or any other, developed primarily from the unique (and varied) conditions of Indian geography and the human exertion that went into modifying those conditions to advance agriculture and settled civilization. Taken in the general context of say three or four thousand years of Indian history, it is hard to ascribe to an "Aryan" invasion/s the sort of paramountcy assigned by the British. While British motives in magnifying the "Aryan" character of Indian civilization are only too apparent, this contemporary obsession with the "Aryan" question that appears to have gripped large sections of the Indian intelligentsia suggests that the ideological confusion created by the British has not yet been fully sorted out.

One consequence of this is that the debate on the Aryan question has been highly contentious, with historians adopting strident and extreme positions, not seeing that there can be both continuities and discontinuities in the development of Indian civilization. It has also diverted many of India's historians from equally (or more) important tasks - such as describing and integrating those periods of Indian history where considerable new archeological material is now available and needs to be incorporated into the presently known and documented view of Indian history.

Key aspects of Indian history remain poorly researched and documented. Many Sanskrit and vernacular texts have not been studied and assimilated by English speaking historians. Regional variations in Indian history have not been studied enough. A deeper understanding of some of the lesser known kingdoms all across India is required to correct false generalizations about Indian history. Much more effort is required in understanding social movements, gender and caste equations. Simplifications and generalizations based on antiquated documents like the Manusmriti (which was mainly resurrected by British historians) provide a very incomplete and distorted picture of actual social relations and practice in India. The Manusmriti also offers little in terms of understanding local and regional peculiarities in matters of social relations. (See Ref.3)

Considerable work is also required in unifying haphazard and scattered studies in the area of India's economic history and the history of philosophy, science, technology and manufacturing. It is also important that the vast body of work that has been published since independence in English be translated into the nation's many languages and regional dialects. It is tragic that so much of the best research done in Indian history is available only to English speakers. These are just some of the tasks that need greater attention from the community of Indian historians.

Intriguing as the "Aryan"-origin debate may be, it is in the end only one facet of Indian history, and merits further attention only if historians and archeologists can offer fresh and new insights on this subject and relate them to the broad dynamics of Indian civilization.

Notes and References:
1. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, famous for his work on the Indian Constitution, as well as his campaign in support of the nation's dalit community noticed the racial overtones underlying the theory and described the British espousal of the Aryan Invasion theory in the following words: "The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption that the Indo-Germanic people are the purest of the modern representation of the original Aryan race. The theory is a perversion of scientific investigation. It is not allowed to evolve out of facts. On the contrary, the theory is preconceived and facts are selected to prove it. It falls to the ground at every point."

b. British anthropologist, Edmund Leach also termed the Aryan invasion theory as being born out of European racism.

2.. "What has taken place since the commencement of the British rule in India is only a reunion, to a certain extent, of the members of the same family," John Wilson, a colonial missionary, declared with a straight face, and naturally this happy reunion had now brought India into contact "with the most enlightened and philanthropic nation in the world." - quoted by Sri Aurobindo: The Origins of Aryan Speech, (The Secret of the Veda, p. 554).

3. See Madhu Kishwar: Manusmriti to Madhusmriti

4. See Marija Gimbutas: The Civilization of the Goddess, The World of Old Europe on the philological commonalities of the Indo-European languages, and how these commonalities relate to the culture and ethos of pastoral nomadic patriarchal warrior clans.

5. P.T. Srinivasa Iyengar (History of the Tamils) makes a similar case emphasizing the essentially indigenous development of Tamil language and civilization. Although some of his conclusions appear to be somewhat conjectural (such as those pertaining to Tamil Nadu possibly being the "original" homeland of the Sumerians), his assertion that Tamil language and culture arose from the very geography of the Tamil country is well substantiated. He does this by citing the anthropological observations of the ancient Tamils and demonstrating how the distinct geographical features of the Tamil country influenced the development of distinct modes of production and patterns of living, which in turn, helped shape their culture and language.

6. See, for instance, Wikipedia's on-line article on Indian and other Syllabic/Abugida scripts.


Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 04-17-2008

Articles by Arun Gupta

What does history teach us?
In the beginning was the Rig Veda - II
In the beginning was the Rig Veda - I
Harappa haunts...

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 04-21-2008

Thanks to M. Kelkar.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But, Johanna Nichols (1997, 1998) presents an alternative model for the epicenter of the Indo-European linguistic spread which addresses this eastern homogeneity in a strikingly different manner.  Nichols' Indo-European homeland thesis, which is the most recent homeland theory at the time of writing, places the origin of the Indo-Europeans well to the east of the Caspian Sea, in the area of ancient Bactria-Sogdiana.  Since this is adjacent and partly overlapping the area where the Out-of-India/Indigenist school would place the homeland, her theory merits some attention. Nichols' theory is partly predicated on the geographical relationship between loan words emanating from Mesopotamia into Indo-European via other language families (see Nichols 1997 for details), and partly for her assertion that the principle that area of greatest homogeneity of a language family is indicative of its locus or origin is demonstrably false for the languages of Central Asia.  She cites Iranian, which spread over enormous stretches of Asia in ancient times, and Turkic, which likewise spread over major portions of Asia. as examples of languages whose greatest diversity occured in refuge areas on the western periphery of their point of origin.

In Nichols' Bactrian homeland, PIE -expands- out of its locus eventually forming two basic trajectories.  The language range initially radiates westward engulfing the whole area around the Aral sea from the northern Steppe to the Iranian plateau.  Upon reaching the Caspian, one trajectory expands around the sea to the North and over the steppes of Central Asia to the Black Sea, while the other flows around the Southern perimeter and into Anatolia.  Here we have a model of a continuous distribution of PIE without postulating any migrations whatsoever.  By the third or second millenium BCE we have the proto-forms of Italic, Celtic, and perhaps Germanic in the environs of Central Europe and the proto-forms of Greek, Illyrian, Anatolia, and Armenian stretching from northwest Mesopotamia to the southern Balkans (1997: 134).  Proto-Indo-Aryan was spreading into the subcontinent proper, while proto-Tocharian remained close to the original homeland in the Northeast.

<b>As this expansion was progressing into Europe, a new later wave of IE language, Iranian, is spreading behind the first language spread. </b> Sweeping across the steppes of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the deserts of north Iran, the Iranian dialects separated the two preceding trajectories -- which up till that time had formed a continuum -- into two non-contiguous areas(one in central Europe to the North of the Caspian Sea, the other in Anatolia to its south).  In time, the two original trajectories coincided in the Balkans.  The Southern trajectory had meanwhile formed a continuous chain of Dacian, Thracian, Illyrian, Greek, and Phrygian spreading from west Anatolia to the Danube plain (ibid.: 136) From the northern trajectory, Italic spread to Italy from Central Europe, and Celtic to its historic destination, followed, in time, by Germanic which was followed, in turn, by Balto-Slavic.  All these languages spread by expansion -- there are no migrations throughout this whole immense chronological and geographical sequence.

The corollary of Nichols model is that the assumed variegatedness of the western languages is only due to the fact that the later Iranian languages had spread and severed the contiguity of the northern and southern IE trajectories (which had previously formed an unbroken continuity around the east coast of the Capsian) while leaving behind Indo-Iranian and a stranded Tocharian to the east.  The variegatedness of western languages is actually due to their situation on the western periphery of the original locus, or homeland.  This model might also address the issue of why PIE did not evolve into more dialects in the putative homeland: the later westward spread of Iranian obliterated all of the eastern parts of the proto-continuum except for Indo-Aryan to its east, and the isolated Tocharian to the Northeast.

Source: E Bryant<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Bodhi - 05-21-2008

pasting from HH's blog

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A question from R prompted me to look more closely at the formation of cerebrals or retroflexes in Indo-Aryan (i.e. T, Th, D, Dh, N, L, Sh). This is an important problem that Hindus should have studied but have tended to ignore. This is particularly compounded by the boorishness of several dim-witted modern Hindus who deny the Indo-Aryan incursion into jambudvIpa or, still worse, deny the Indo-European monophyly. Hence, the pioneering studies in this regard were conducted by the mlechCha linguists J.Wackernagel (who authored the great work Altindische Grammatik), T. Burrow and H.W. Bailey. Wackernagel correctly recognized several such cases like:

Ati > ATi (Ati is the vedic form for ‘duck’ as seen in the taittirIya saMhitA)
atati > aTati (wander, atati in R^igveda)
udumbara > uDumbara (a type of fig, former attested in vedic texs)
pattana > paTTana (a city, former attested in mahAbhArata)

In each of these cases the word has a long history inside Indo-Aryan and there is no evidence that it was borrowed from Austro-Asiatic or Dravidian in the retroflex/cerebral form. Rather the original dentals appear to have become cerebrals within the history of Indo-Aryan. The more archaic form (usually vedic) is always dental with the late Sanskrit forms acquiring cerebrals. In a case like pattana we see this transition apparently happening between Epic Sanskrit and later classical Sanskrit. Wackernagel and Burrow also correctly noticed that in some cases this phenomenon also happened even earlier during the divergence of vedic from its other Indo-European sisters. For example:

monile (Latin) => maNi (Skt) : jewel
stUnA (Avestan) => sthuNA (Skt) : pillar

Such cases are also noted within the evolution of Indo-Aryan as Prakrit and Pali diverged from Old-Indo-Aryan. In the vulgar Pali we observe the following cases:
udAra > uLAra (great/liberal)
budbuda > bubbubLa (bubble)
AshAtika > AsATikA (insect larva; further AsADI in Maharatti).

While there are numerous examples of this phenomenon that span the entire evolution of Indo-Aryan, right from its origin, it is clear that it is sporadic and not at all uniform. This differentiates it from other regular sound changes typical of other linguistic evolutionary events. Its distribution throughout the evolution of Indo-Aryan strongly argues against Prakritization of Sanskrit- a point correctly noted by Burrow. The dental archaisms are most prevalent in the RV suggesting an acceleration in this phenomenon during the transition from vedic to classical Sanskrit.

Once this phenomenon is recognized, it becomes clear that many of the words claimed to be loans from Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic into Sanskrit are actually endogenous developments via bifurcation of original dentals into a mixture that retained the old dental or became cerebrals. It also strengthens certain etymologies that were rejected before by Indo-Europeanists. Of the former the most important ones are:

paNDita- The old linguists believed that it is a lone word derived from the Dravidian root paND- to mature. In support of this it was pointed out that Telugu had a word paNDa and Kannada a word paNDe both of which meant ‘wisdom’. However, they missed the point that panda as ‘wisdom’ was already there in Sanskrit from which Telugu and Kannada appear to have borrowed it because we do not find it in Tamil or other branches of Dravidian. In contrast, the dental form pand meaning ‘wise counsel’ is preserved in Persian. So it has retained meaning in Indo-Iranian rather than in the case of the Dravidian paND root. So paNDita emerged in Indo-Aryan from the paND root meaning wisdom/wise counsel; hence paNDita.

khaNDa, kANDa, paTala, pATha: Certain Indologists have claimed that these words, which are often first used in the indexing of vedic texts are of non-Aryan origin and might have either come from the Dravidians or the original Sindhu-Sarasvati peoples. But there are hardly any satisfactory etymologies given in support of this. Instead the cerebralization explains many of these. khad –‘to break into pieces’ is a root found in Avestan. This is seen without the nasal infix in khaDga. pANini and pata~njali indicate the presence of the root in the perfect form chakhAda. Thus, khaNDa is likely to come from an Indo-Iranian khad root than Dravidian or Austro-Asiatic.

kANDa which is used to denote sections of texts also more generally means node or joints (kANDa or dUrva grass in yajurveda; a~Nguli-kANDa for finger joint). Burrow noted the presence of the Greek ortholog Kondoi meaning ‘knuckle’ suggesting that kANDa is a purely Indo-European word developing internally within Sanskrit. Likewise, pATha and paTala are likely to be internal developments in Sanskrit rather than loans from Dravidian.

Early Indologists had ridiculed the idea that the Sanskrit word kalevara ‘body’ had anything to do with the Latin word cadaver. But the vulgar dialect of the Bauddha tantra-s records the word kaDevara (meaning both body and corpse) and Pali has kaLevara which taken together support the presence of the form kaDevara which is likely to have emerged from *kadevara through the cerebralization phenomenon noted by Burrow. So Latin cadaver and Sanskrit kalevara are indeed orthologs rather than the former being a “ka-ku-ki” type loan from the mystery old Indian language.

An evolutionary speculation: R^igveda in particular and vedic in general have fewer instances of cerebralization and often preserve the older dental Indo-European condition. Many cerebrals that are found in later layers of Sanskrit can be established as intrinsic developments mainly through presence of Iranian counterparts but they are rarer or even absent in the core vedic layers (e.g. paNDita, pANi, maNDala, khaDga). We also note some other loans from Iranian into Indic like marIsa, dUsa and soDha for milk (the later again cerebralized). This suggests that the development of classical Sanskrit just prior to the epic layer was marked by a massive rise in these cerebral forms. The Iranian connection noted above suggests that a prominently cerebralizing dialect of Sanskrit emerged in the boundary zone between the Iranians and Indians and rapidly moved inwards influencing the Sanskrit of the kuru-pA~nchala heartland. We suspect this movement was linked to the historical paNDava-s and perhaps were even precursors of the great Megalithic movement through the sub-continent (thought this is less certain). Further tests of this hypothesis might yield useful understanding of early Indian history.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 05-29-2008

<b>Aryan invasion story 'a western myth'</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->CHICAGO: An eminent Indologist and a visiting professor at the University of Houston, Dr Pramod Pathak has challenged the basis of age old theory perpetrated by Western scholars about the invasion by Aryans in India and of driving the Dasuys South ward.Talking to the media in Chicago, Dr Pathak said that his study and research revealed that the Aryan invasion theory is a myth and it is perpetuated by the English scholars from the time of their invasion of India in the 17th century.The British regime fabricated the history of India to suit their motive to establish and perpetuate their political, social and religions institutions in India.

They would succeed in their nefarious game because they had both the political power and opportunity to misguide the Indian people. It is now an accepted historical fact that Max Muller promoted the invasion theory and accordingly formulated the dates of Vedic origin and the differences in Aryan and Dravidian cultures so that English rulers could divide the societies bringing out the issues of race and color.Max Muller, according to historians was a British employee, specially appointed to rewrite the history of India.

This becomes obvious as one refers to Lord McCauley, who wrote that in order to perpetuate the English rule and institutions in India they should "produce such a group of people, who would be Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, opinion and intellect."Explaining the genesis of the subject, he said that when he was working for his Ph.D. thesis he came across the hymn II.34 in the Atharva Veda in praise of the God Pashupati. It praises the Lord of beasts - Pashupati, who historians later considered as the master of quadruped and bipeds.

He immediately correlated it with the famous Pashupati seal form the Indus Culture and presented a paper in the Archaeological conference, which was well received. It appeared that the seal was pictorial representation of the AV hymn II.34. It led him to consider the possibility that followers of Atharva Veda were part of the Indus culture. Dwelling further on this aspect he continued to observe that in the Rigveda there were conflicting entities, namely Aryans and Dasas. Rig-Vedic hymns describe that Indra destroyed ninety-nine "pur"s of Dasas.

These "pur"s are described as "ayasi" i.e. metallic.According to the current and prevailing views, Aryans invaded India, destroyed the culture there and established their hegemony. Their main enemies were the "Dasa" people. Dr Pathak said, "I had the opportunity to study the Indo-Iranian texts. These texts mention people called "Daha", "Dahae" or Dasa. These Daha people belonged to the southern part of Iran. I then came across references to the tribe called "Dahamarda" stayingin the Seistan province of Afghanistan.

Their villages were named as "Deh" i.e. "Desha" and name of one village was "Dah bashi Deh". It is fully Sanskrit origin name i.e. "Dasa Bhashi Desha". It raised doubts as to whether the enemies of the Aryans were in India or in South Afghanistan.Further studies in the environment of Afghanistan revealed that very intense winds blow in Afghanistan for four months.

These are known as "Bad-isad-o-bist". According to some Iranian sources this name is of Sanskrit origin. "Bad" is "Vata" i.e. wind, " Sad" is Shata and "bista" is "vimshati" i.e. twenty. All that meant winds of hundred and twenty days i.e. exactly the four months. These winds have resulted in great erosion of the landscape in the deserts of central and south western Afghanistan and created thousands of small circular butts or hillocks formed due to wind erosion.

These are capped with stone cover of red stones, called Suhr-da-Gall i.e. red earth in local language. There was an excellent paper by Wilhelm Rau "Meaning of Purs in the Vedic literature". He concluded that Vedic "Pur"s do not represent well laid cities of Indus but were temporary shelters made of stones. All this information fitted so well to confirm that Dasas of the Rig-Vedic lore were the people from Seistan, Afghanistan.

Their temporary bastions were the "Pur"s destroyed by Indra as mentioned the Vedas. These evidences greatly changed my opinion, which I had learnt as a student and even after. So the idea that Aryans invaded India and enslaved local people, whom they called Dravidians were definitely preplanned and perpetrated on the Indian subjects by the British rulers with ulterior motives of advancing their interest of promoting their own religious and educational values, said Dr Pramod Pathak.Dr Parhak is a Visiting Professor at the University of Houston and conducted courses on History and Culture of India.

He is the founder member of the Mahatma Gandhi Library at Houston and invited lecturer at the interfaith meets and Unity Church at Houston. He has written eight books and several research articles on the Vedic and Ideological topics and on Ramayana. He is an expert on the Indus culture seals and has given interpretations of these.He studied the history of Ancient Afghanistan and wrote a book "The Afghan Connection" based on these studies.

It deals with pre-Buddhist ethno-archaeology of Afghanistan. The idea that Sanskrit was an alien language and a Central Asian Race (Aryan) invaded India and brought with them their language, Sanskrit was promoted by Western scholars in order to show that Aryans were also invaders like Greeks, Huns, Arabs, Mughals and later English and Europeans.

They wanted to deny that India from time immemorial was called, "Aryavart". Its inhabitants were called Aryas and the ancient borders of India extended up to Iran. So the ancient Iranians continue to called themselves as Aryans. The details of these and many other findings on the Vedic entities are to be found in his book, "The Afghan Connection".

Surendra Ullal<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Bodhi - 06-03-2008

goes on....

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Michael Witzel"  witzel_michael
Sun Jun 1, 2008 4:00 pm (PDT)
We are happy to announce the next issue of the Electronic Journal of
Vedic Studies
(EJVS 15-1, May 2008, 1-):

Rigvedisch Pur


Rainer Stuhrmann

It is preceded by an English Summary (see below).

The paper is important as it discusses, philologically, the two kinds
of fortifications that the Rgvedic Puru and Bharata besieged: first,
stone fortresses in the mountains of the Northwest and then brick
fortifications in the Indus plains. Incidentally, this agrees with
recent discoveries in northwestern Pakistan (Bannu, NWFP, etc.).

Please note the new location (2007 sqq.) of the journal, at the
Laurasian site
(that is dedicated to comparative mythology):


Extract from the Summary:

Mortimer Wheeler, point[ed] at the Aryans immigrating into India and
conquering "walled cities (púr)." At best, he modified his well-known
dictum "Indra stands accused" to that a "coup de grâce...
"Subsequently, Wilhelm Rau endeavored to show... that the Vedic
texts ... exclude the identification of the Vedic purs with the
cities of the Indus civilization.... [Discussion of layout and
nature of purs]...
In the present article, ... I reach the conclusion that the Indo-
Aryans encountered a extensive front of determinedly resisting purs....

Two originally allied tribes excelled in the conquest of the purs:
the Puru and the Bharata. Divodasa conquered the ...[many] purs of
Sambara in the mountains west of the Indus. His son Sudas became the
famous King of the Bharata ... the victor in the "Ten Kings' Battle"
on the Ravi. He probably was contemporaneous with Purukutsa, who
destroyed the seven "old" purs east of the Indus.

... the conquest of most purs mentioned in the RV took place within
two generations. Kutsa and DivodAsa fought with the purs in the
mountain regions, his son Purukutsa, however, against those in the
plains east of the Indus, while Sudas had to challenge other Vedic
tribes that already were established in the Panjab...

... To my mind, this scenario is not excluded even for the end of the
mature Harappan phase and the beginning of the late Harappan phase
around 1900 BCE.

Michael Witzel<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 06-10-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>An ecological view of ancient India </b>

We need to look at the civilisation of India according to geographical and ecological imperatives that are far more certain than historical speculation conditioned by simplistic ideas of ethnicity, linguistics or migrations.

Ecology is beginning to define how we look at the world and how we look at ourselves. Each geographical region in the world constitutes a special ecosystem — an interrelated habitat for plants and animals shaped by climate and terrain. These ecological factors have a strong effect upon culture as well.

As part of nature ourselves, society arises out of an ecological basis that we cannot ignore. Most civilisations, both in their advance and decline, reflect how people manage the ecosystems in which they live along with their natural resources. Human culture derives largely from its first culture, which is agriculture, our ability to work the land. This depends largely on water, particularly fresh water that is found in rivers, and flat land that can be easily irrigated.

However, so far we have looked at history mainly in a non-ecological way, mainly trying to define it according to political, economic or racial concerns. Our account of ancient history — particularly that of India — has not given adequate regard to ecological factors. It has put too much weight on migration, as if culture came from the outside, rather than on the characteristics and necessities of the ecosystems in which people live and must rely upon for developing a sustainable way of life.

The Aryan invasion theory is such a product of the pre-ecological age of historical theory that emphasised the movements of peoples over the natural development of culture within well-defined geographical regions. Nineteenth century thought — the product of a colonial age — found it easy to see culture as something brought in by intruders, rather than as something developed by the inhabitants of a region who had to develop suitable methods to harness their natural resources as shaped by the ecology around them.

River systems

It is a well known fact that the main civilisations of the ancient world of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India (Indus Valley), and China were possible only because of the great river systems around which they grew up. The rivers made these civilisations possible, not simply human invention or any special ethnic type that migrated there. If we examine these four great river centres of early civilisation it is clear that the largest and most ideal river region in the world for developing civilisation is India. Egypt grew up around one great river, the Nile that flowed through what was otherwise a dry, rainless desert. Mesopotamia had two rivers but only of moderate size, the Tigris and the Euphrates, flowing through a large desert as well. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were located in subtropical regions that provided abundant warmth and sunshine for crops, but otherwise suffered from the limited size of their river banks that were their sole steady water supply. China had a large but unpredictable river system, the Yellow River, which frequently overflowed its banks in various floods. It also received abundant rain. But it was centred in a cold northern region, with a limited growing season.

Ancient India, on the other hand, had a massive nexus of numerous great rivers from the Indus in the west to the swamplands of the Gangetic delta in the east. It had both a warm subtropical climate and seasonal abundant rains. This river region included relatively dry regions of the west to the very wet regions of eastern India affording an abundance of crops both in type and quantity. The Indian river system was much larger in size and in arable land, and better in climate than perhaps all the other three river regions put together. No other ecosystem in the world could so easily serve to create an agricultural diversity or the cultural richness that would go with it. Ecologically speaking, north India was the ideal place in the world for the development of a riverine civilisation via agriculture. Bounded by the Himalayas in the north, and lower mountains on the west, east and south, this north Indian river plain is a specific geographical region and ecosystem, whose natural boundaries could easily serve to create and hold together a great civilisation. It was also ideal for producing large populations that depend upon agriculture for their sustenance.

This same network of rivers was ideal for communication and trade. Not surprisingly, the Rigveda, the oldest book of the region, is full of praise for the numerous great rivers of the region, the foremost of which in early ancient times was the Sarasvati, which flowed east of the Yamuna into the Rann of Kachchh, creating an unbroken set of fertile rivers from Punjab to Bengal. This Vedic goddess of speech was a river goddess. The Vedic idea of One Truth but many paths (Rigveda I.164.46) probably reflects this experience of life of many rivers linked to the one sea.

The main point of this article is that if we really want to understand the development of civilisation in ancient India we cannot ignore such ecological and geographical factors. Ancient India was the ideal ecological region for the development of civilisation in the ancient world. Therefore, we should look to an indigenous development of civilisation in the region. We need not import its people, animals, plants, culture or civilisation from the outside, particularly from barren and inhospitable Central Asia, for example, which would not have been suitable to India and which is separated from it geographically by very hard to cross mountain and desert barriers.

New approach

It is time to take a new ecological look at the Vedas, which so far have not been examined adequately ecologically but have been approached mainly according to linguistic, Marxist or Freudian concerns that easily miss the obvious geography or ecology of the text. If we do this, we will discover that even the oldest Vedic text, the Rigveda, clearly describes a region of many vast rivers flowing to the sea, the most important of which was the Sarasvati. The climate that it describes of great rains and monsoons, the symbolism of the great God Indra, is also clearly that of India. The flora and fauna mentioned including the Brahma bull, water buffalo and elephant and its sacred trees of the Pipal, Ashvatta and Shamali is also that of India.

The fall of the Indus or Harappan culture, just as was the case for many in the ancient world, was owing to ecological factors, something that Nineteenth and early Twentieth century migrationist views of history completely missed. It occurred not because of the destruction wrought by the proposed Aryan invaders but by ecological changes brought about by the drying up of the Sarasvati River around 1900 BCE. This did not end civilisation in the region but caused its relocation mainly to the more certain waters of the Ganga to the east. Such a movement is reflected in the shift from Vedic literature that is centred on the Sarasvati to the Puranic literature that is centred on the Ganga.

The great north Indian river system from Punjab to Bihar is perhaps the greatest breadbasket or agricultural centre in the world. Any humans in the region would have been aided by the land, the waters and the climate, affording them a great advantage in the development of language and culture as well. The natural resources provided by the riverine ecosystem of north India could uphold great civilisations over the centuries. From it the peoples and literature of the region had adequate support from nature to sustain their cultural traditions.

Southern river regions

The type of civilisation developed on the rivers of north India could easily connect with the cultures developing on the rivers in the south of the country that shared a common climate and geographical ties. The other main great river region for India is the basins of the Krishna and Godavari rivers in the southeast of India, mainly Andhra Pradesh. This provides another important agricultural centre in the ancient world, which has also not been examined properly. Another important river area is the Narmada and Tapti rivers in Gujarat and Maharashtra. As these were nearby the delta of the Sarasvati, they could have been an extension of it (which is perhaps why the Bhrigu Rishis of this region are so important in Vedic literature).

That the civilisation of north India could have had connections with these southern cultures is also ecologically based. For this we must consider the ecological factors that existed when agriculture began to arise in the world around 10,000 BCE. Before the end of the Ice Age north India was much drier and cooler in climate. This means that if there was any pre-Ice Age basis for agriculture in north India it would have more likely come from these more suitable southern river regions which had better rainfall at that time.

We need to look at the civilisation of India according to geographical and ecological imperatives that are far more certain than historical speculation conditioned by simplistic ideas of ethnicity, linguistics or migrations. In this regard the study of the Sarasvati river system by the geologists of India and linking it to the Sarasvati river as lauded in Vedic literature is probably the key. Civilisation is like a plant that owes its existence to the land on which it grows. We cannot ignore this important fact either for our past or for our future. The current Government of India plan to link all the great rivers of the country represents such a responsible ecological approach which, including reconstituting the old Sarasvati river channel, links the great future of the country with its great past.

DAVID FRAWLEY<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Bodhi - 06-10-2008

(Myth of) Aryan invasion/migration theory: a bibliography‏

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Arvidsson, Stefan (2006), *Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology
and Science,*Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. translated
by Sonia Wichmann,

Bryant, Edwin F.; Linguistic substrata and the indigenous Aryan debate; Aryan
and Non Aryan in South Asia; Ed. by Bronkhorst, Johannes and Deshpande,
Madhav M. (Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora vol. 3); 1999

Bryant, Edwin <> (2001), The Quest
for the Origins of Vedic
The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Oxford University Press

Bryant, Edwin, The indigenous Aryan debate, diss. Columbia University (1997)

Chakrabarti, Dilip, K.; 1985; The Issue in the Indian Iron Age. Pp.
74-88;in S. B. Deo and K. Paddayya (eds.), Recent Advances in Indian
Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute; Poona

________.;1999; India- An Archaeological History, Paleolithic Beginnings to
Early Historic Foundations; Oxford University Press; New Delhi Chakrabarti,
Dilip; Colonial Indology Sociopolitics of the Ancient Indian Past; Munshiram
Manoharlal; New Delhi; 1997; 257 pp.

Danino, Michel and Nahar, Sujata; 2000; The Invasion that Never Was, 2nd
ed.; The Mother's Institute of Research; New Delhi

Elst, Koenraad; The Vedic Corpus Provides No Evidence for the
so-calledAryan Invasion of India;
28 October 1998. Available on-line at
Elst, Koenraad; Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate; Aditya Prakashan; New
Delhi; 1999

Frawley, David <> (2001). The Rig
Veda and the History of India. Aditya Prakashan.

Georg Feuerstein <>, Subhash
Kak <>, David
In Search of the Cradle of
New Light on Ancient India Quest Books (IL) (October, 1995)

Gupta, S. P. (ed.) <> (1995). The
lost Sarasvati and the Indus Civilisation. Jodhpur: Kusumanjali Prakashan. 2007, Supplementary material to the
16-page Educational Insight section entitled "Hinduism from Ancient Times",
Hinduism Today Journal, April 2007

Kalyanaraman, S, 1995, SarasvatiSindhu civilization: evidence from the veda,
archaeology, geology and satellite, 10th Wold Sanskrit Conference,

Kalyanaraman S. 1997, A project to revive the Sarasvati river: Role of GIS,
National Seminar on Geographic Information Systems for Development Planning,
Chennai, 10-12 January, 1997, Renganathan Centre for Information Studies

Kalyanaraman S, 1999, SarasvatiRiver, Godess and Civilization, in: Memoir
42, Vedic Sarasvati, Geological Survey of India, Bangalore, pp. 25-29.

Kalyanaraman, S, 2000, River Sarasvati: Legend, Myth and Reality, All India
Sarasvat Association, Mumbai

Kalyanaraman S., 2001, Sarasvati, Babasaheb Apte Smarak Samiti, Bangalore
(1100 pages, 600 illustrations); part of 6 vol. Encyclopaedia on Sarasvati

Kalyaanaraman S., 2004, Sarasvati (an encyclopaedic work in 7 volumes:
Civilization, River, Bharati, Technology, Epigraphs, Language), Bangalore,
Babasaheb Apte Smarak Samiti, Bangalore

Kalyanaraman S., 2008, Indus script encodes mleccha speech (5 volumes)
mirrored as e-books at

Kazanas, Nicholas, 1999 'The Rgveda and IndoEuropeans' in ABORI 1999(2000)
vol 80 (15-42).

Kazanas, Nicholas (June, 2001). "A new date for the
(PDF <>). . special issue of Journal of
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Kazanas, N.<>(2002),
"Indigenous Indo-Aryans and the Rigveda", Journal of Indo-European
Studies 30: 275-334 .

Kazanas, N.<>(2003),
"Final Reply", Journal of Indo-European Studies 31: 187-240

Kazanas, Nicholas; 1999; The Rgveda and Indo-Europeans; in Annals of
theBhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. LXXX:15-42; Poona

Kennedy, Kenneth A. R.; 1982; Skulls, Aryans, and Flowing Drains; in Gregory
L. Possehl (ed.). Harappan Civilization A Contemporary Perspective, pp.
289-295; Oxford and India Book House; Delhi

Kennedy, Kenneth A. R, 1995, Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric
skeletal record from South Asia? Biological anthropology and concepts of
ancient races; in The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia ed. by
Erdosy,George (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin); 1995

Kivisild et al. <> (2003), "The
Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers Persists Both in Indian Tribal and
Caste Populations <>",
Am. J. Hum. Genet. 72: 313–332, Sahoo et al.

(2006), "A prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes: Evaluating demic diffusion
scenarios <>", Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences 103 (4): 843-848.

Kenoyer JM, 1988 Ancient cities of the IVC OUP, Karachi

Klostermeier, Klaus,1998, Questioning the Aryan Invasion Theory and
Revising Ancient Indian History, ISKCON Communications Journal ICJ - Vol. 6,
No. 1, June 1998

B.B. Lal, 2000, Why Perpetuate Myths ? A Fresh Look at Ancient Indian
History Director General (Retd.), Archaeological Survey of India, Lecture
given at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT),
New Delhi

B.B. Lal, 2002, The Homeland of Indo-European Languages and Culture: Some
Thoughts, Paper presented at a seminar organized by the Indian Council for
Historical Research on the same theme in Delhi on 7-9 January 2002

Lal, B. B., The Sarasvati flows on: The continuity of Indian culture, Aryan
Books International (2002)

Mughal, Mohammed
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B. N. Narahari Achar, 2003, Planetarium Software and the Date of the
Mahabharata War, Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, Bangalore

Oldham, R. D. (1893). "The Saraswati and the Lost River of the Indian
Desert". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 49–76.

Poliakov, Leon (1974). *The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and
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BP Radhakrishna and SS Merh, eds., 1999, Vedic Sarasvati : Evolutionary
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Rajaram, Navaratna Srinivasa; 1995; The Aryan Invasion Theory and the
Subversion of Scholarship; Voice of India; New Delhi

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Schafer, Jim G., Lichtenstein, Diane A.; Migration, Philology and South
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Bronkhorst,Johannes and Deshpande, Madhav M. (Harvard Oriental Series,
Opera Minora
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Gruyter,Berlin); 1995

J.R. Sharma, A.K. Gupta & B.K. Bhadra, 2006, Course of Vedic River
Sarasvati as Deciphered from Latest Satellite Data, Puratattva No. 36

Talageri, Shrikant; Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism; Voice of
India; New Delhi; 1993

Talageri, Shrikant; 2000; The Rigveda A Historical Analysis;
AdityaPrakashan; New Delhi.

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mata ka khandana; Ramalal Kapoor Trust; Sonepat (Haryana)in Hindi

Valdiya, KS, 2002, Saraswati : The River that Disappeared/K.S. Valdiya.
Hyderabad, Universities Press, 2002, 116 p.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 07-14-2008

<b> Aryan race did not exist, says Suryanath Kamath</b>
Staff Reporter

The term Aryan only means noble: historian

‘European scholars wrongly interpreted the war mentioned in the Vedas’

‘Indus Valley civilisation and Vedic civilisation are not different’
BANGALORE: “Indus Valley civilisation and Vedic civilisation are not two different civilisations but the former was only an urbanised version of the latter,” historian Suryanath U. Kamath said here on Sunday.</b>

Dr. Kamath, former Director of Karnataka State Gazetteer, was speaking on “Ancient India: Overseas Connections” organised as a part of Mythic Society’s centenary year celebrations.
Refuting the existence of Aryan race or an invasion by them, he said: “The Vedas speak of a war between light and darkness which was wrongly interpreted by European scholars as a war between light-skinned and dark-skinned people. The term Dravida means ‘inhabitants of Tamil Nadu’ and not a race, and the term Aryan means ‘noble’.”</b>

On the Indus Valley civilisation, he said: “There are factual evidences of a river that ran parallel to the west of the Sindhu and this was home to the Vedic civilisation but [river] dried up around 1900 BC which brought an end to the civilisation.”

Dr. Kamat spoke extensively about the Indian trade connections with Persia and Rome during the Indus Valley civilisation.

“There is a Roman settlement in Puducherry, established for commercial activities around 2,000 years ago. Romans had a penchant for Indian perfumes, diamonds and garments and in return, there was a constant flow of gold into India,” Dr. Kamat said.
Sea routes

He said: “Indian seamen had knowledge of sea routes much before the Western sailors could have, and [they] were also well versed in ship building as we can find description of ships in the Rig Veda.

“This is proved by the fact that various artefacts of Harappan civilisation were found in countries as far as Rome and Mexico,” Dr. Kamat said.

Dr. Kamat said that the Indian connection with foreign lands was not just limited to trade but also extended to culture.

“South-East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines are largely influenced by Indian culture and we can see such influence in Buddhist Stupas and Hindu temples in these countries,” Dr. Kamath said.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 07-18-2008

<b>Hindu impact on the West</b>

<i>Aryan Impact on the West with Special Reference to Greece and the Ramayana vs. the Iliad, N.J. Tindwani (Prof.), publisher-author, pp 56, Rs 125.00 </i>

The author, an English professor and poet, linguist and grammarian chiefly, was initiated into the subject of his writing after reading historian Gangaram Samarat’s book Aryavarta, where the Iliad is said to have overtones of the Ramayana and there is a possibility of strong links between the two. For driving his point home, he studied the origin of the Aryans and their various settlements in the world. He says that with Greece, we had ancient relations because our culture, civilisation and philosophy reached Greece through Turkey which in turn is connected to India via Iran and Iraq. Greeks came to India to study philosophy and literature and being the original Aryans, they had frequent interactions between the two.

In the book under review, the author has presented the 33 similarities between the Ramayana and the Iliad and said that the origin of Aryans was in Tibet at Meru in the Himalayas. The Aryans reached India to spread over America, Europe, Italy, Germany, England and Egypt which was civilised by the Aryans in the remote past. Egyptians take pride in being called Aryans and in belonging to the dynasty of Sun whom they worship. It is said that the original name of Egypt was Mishar which means a mixture of different cultures. The modern name of Egypt came down from King Ajapeth who was an Aryan from Sind. After his name, it was called Ajapet, which got distorted to Egypt over passage of time.

Comparing the Ramayana and the Iliad, the author quotes Arther Lely who wrote, “The Iliad and the Ramayana have so much similarity that one is forced to conclude that the Iliad is composed after reading the Ramayana.”

The listing of similar events in both the Ramayana and the Iliad could but be merely coincidental but it did need some conscious effort to mould a historical event in the existing structure of an epic which Homer found in the Ramayana. Homer used his poetic genius, keeping the “role model of the Indian epics in his mind and giving the world a beautiful legacy of his epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.” He concedes that though the Iliad texture is that of the Ramayana, “the colours are Homeric in all sense of the term.”

<i>(N.P.Tindwani and Vallabhacharya Society, near S.M. Bridge, Jivraj Park, Ahmedabad-380051.)</i>

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Bodhi - 08-09-2008

Koenraad Elst wrote on a list: (He is healthy)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In fact, modern Hindus have a far more static view of Indian history
than the Orientalists. And to the extent that the latter had a static
view of India, they had largely borrowed it from their native
informers. Go to any of the Hindu activist forums, where Vaishnava or
Arya etc., you will see all the anger at Orientalists for
acknowledging *change* in Indian religious history.

Thus, on a list where both of us are members, we just had a little
debate on whether the notion of reincarnation exists in the Rg-Veda.
****** was attacked for saying that it doesn't. All that
anyone could come up with as proof of this notion was three verses
from the latest part of the Rg-Veda, in which "rebirth" may perhaps
be mentioned, but not at all as a natural process affecting us all,
inevitably, and not as a miserable fate we have to get away from,-- a
Buddhist notion now pretty universally accepted (lip service) by most
Hindus but most definitely non-Vedic. So no, reincarnation was not
part of Sanâtana ("eternal") Dharma, it was an innovation. (Or as a
believer might put it, a "discovery": first the notion wasn't there,
then some yogi saw the "truth" of reincarnation, then the idea
spread, while more and more practitioners learnt the technique
to "verify" the "fact" of reincarnation.)

Nonetheless, most Hindus insists on projecting their cherished post-
Vedic notions onto the Vedas, calling the karma/reincarnation
doctrine "Vedic", just as they call the Indian version of Hellenistic
astrology "Vedic astrology", or Indian cooking with Portuguese-
imported potatoes and tomatoes and chillis "Vedic cooking". No harm
done, I suppose, but when Orientalists have patiently deconstructed
this *Hindu* belief in the static unchanging "eternal" character of
Hindu beliefs, I see many Hindus reacting angrily to
this "Eurocentric" disrespect for Hindus' self-understanding.

Likewise, Vaishnavas like to project the practice of idol-worship
onto the Vedas, and more importantly, the belief in divine
incarnations. The Greeks and many other pre-Christian ancients had
this notion of particular human beings, heroes or sages, being gods
incarnate, so it is not impossible that ancient Indians had a similar
notions. Only, translators have never found it in the Rg-Veda. Worse,
even in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, philological analysis has shown
that Rama and Krishna were originally just humn beings, heroes
alright, but human mortals nonetheless. Only in the latest-added
parts do they start becoming divine incarnations. Vishnu's penchant
for incarnating among us humans, now a core belief of the majority of
Hindus, is a post-Vedic innovation.

The same tendency to reject historicity is in evidence in the debate
on the origins of Indo-European and Indo-Aryan. Though the
distinction between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit has been
acknowledged since Panini himself, numerous Hindus deny a history,
i.e. change, to the language of the gods. If at all they acknowledge
the existence of an Indo-European language family, they cannot
conceive of a pre-Sanskrit language as its origin, with Sanskrit
merely an evolute on the same footing as Greek or Hittite.

I have been wondering for some time why Hindu opponents of the AIT
(with the exception of Shrikant Talageri) have failed so completely
to try and fit their favoured Indian-origin scenario with the data of
historical linguistics. The fact that historical linguistics is
simply not taught in Indian universities is not the whole
explanation. I now believe that the deeply ingrained Hindu aversion
to the idea of change in a deeply cherished and religious item such
as the Sanskrit language has more to do with it.

Another factor for the aversion to PIE is of course the perceived
claim by AIT believers that historical linguistics has somehow proven
the AIT. Anyone still under this illusion ought to study the inter-
linguist Urheimat debate. Watch the confidence with which they
dismiss each other's theories, how one fully qualified linguist can
believe it was Anatolia, another it was the Baltic area, another
finding it in South Russia, and none stumbling against hard
linguistic data that preclude his own preferred scenario. Surely an
attempt could be made to make a case at least equally convincing for
India, all dressed up in linguistic jargon. Then at least the AIT
opponents could still be on speaking terms with the rest of the

But so far, the present generation of Indian AIT opponents has
completely failed to even make a beginning. That includes you,
****. Your presence on this list indicates you are at least aware
of the importance of IE linguistics, I hope you use the occasion to

Kind regards,