Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory (Dinesh Agrawal)
May 22, 2010 4 Comments
An excellent article on “Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory” by Dr. Dinesh Agrawal. (Taken from http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/ancient/aryan/aryan_agrawal.html.)
Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory
By Dr.Dinesh Agrawal
Aryan Race and Invasion Theory is not a subject of academic interest only, rather it conditions our perception of India’s historical evolution, the sources of her ancient glorious heritage, and indigenous socio-economic-political institutions which have been developed over the millennia. Consequently, the validity or invalidity of this theory has an obvious and strong bearing on the contemporary Indian political and social landscape as well as the future of Indian nationalism. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago when it was cleverly introduced in the school text books by British rulers. The last couple of decades have witnessed a growing interest among scholars, social scientists, and many nationalist Indians in this some what vapid and prosaic subject due to their aunguish on the great damage this theory has wrought on the psyche of the Indian society, and its tremendous contribution in creating apparently lasting schism between the different sections of the Hindu society. This subject must especially and urgently interest to all those people who are committed to the ideology of Hindutva, for one of the primary and fundamental premises of Hindutva philosophy lies in the fact that the Indian cultural nationalism has been evolved and fostered over the millenia by our ancient rishis who at the banks of holy rivers of Saptasindhu had composed the Vedic literature – the very foundation of Indian civilization, and realised the eternal truth about the Creator, His creation, and means to preserve it. The fact that these pioneers of the ancient Vedic culture and hence the Hinduism were indigenous people of mother India, is mendaciously denied by the Aryan Invasion theory which professes their foreign origin. If such a false theory is allowed to perpetuate and given credence without any tenable and reliable basis, the very raison d’etre of Hindutva is endangered. In this essay, an attempt has been made to expose the myth of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) based on scriptural, archaeological evidences and proper interpretation of Vedic verses, and present the factual situation of the ancient Vedic society and how it progressed and evolved into all-embracing and catholic principle, now known as Hindusim.
The Aryan issue is quite controversial and has been the focus of historians, archaeologists, Indologists, and sociologists for over a century. AIT is merely a proposed ‘theory’, and not a factual event. And theories keep modifying, are discredited, nay even rejected with the emergence of new knowledge and data pertaining to the subject matter of the theories. The AIT can not be accepted as Gospel truth knowing fully well its shaky and dubious foundations, and now with the emergence of new information and an objective analysis of the archaeological data and scriptures, the validity of AIT is seriously challenged and it stands totally untenable. The most weird aspect of the AIT is that it has its origin not in any Indian records (no where in any of the ancient Indian scriptures or epics or Puranas, etc. is there any mention of this AIT, sounds really incredible!), but in European politics and German nationalism of 19th century. AIT has no support either in Indian literature, tradition, science, or not even in any of the south Indian (Dravidians, inhabitants of south India, who were supposed to be the victims of the so-called Aryan invasion) literature and tradition. So a product of European politics of the 19th century was forced on Indian history only to serve the imperialist policy of British colonialists to divide the Indian society on ethnic and religious lines in order to continue their reign on the one hand and accentuate the religious aims of Christian missionaries on the other. There is absolutely no reference in Indian traditions and literature of an Aryan Invasion of Northern India, until the British imperialists imposed this theory on an unsuspecting and gullible Indian society and introduced it to the school curriculum. The irony is that this is still taught in our schools as an unmitigated truth, and the authorities who set the curriculum of Indian history books are not yet prepared to accept the verdict, and make the amends. This is truly a shame! Now, more and more evidence is emerging which not only challenges the old myth of Aryan Invasion, but also is destroying all the pillars on which the entire edifice of AIT had been assiduously but cleverly built.
It is a known fact that most of the original proponents of AIT were not historians or archaeologists but had missionary and political axe to grind. Max Muller in fact had been paid by the East India Company to further its colonial aims, and others like Lassen and Weber were ardent German nationalists, with hardly any authority or knowledge on India, only motivated by the superiority of German race/nationalism through white Aryan race theory. And as everybody knows this eventually ended up in the most calamitous event of 20th century: the World War II. Even in the early times of the AIT’s onward journey of acceptability, there were numerous challengers like C.J.H. Hayes, Boyed C. Shafer and Hans Kohn who made a deep study of the evolution and character of nationalism in Europe. They had exposed the unscientificness of many of the budding social sciences which were utilized in the 19th century to create the myth of Aryan Race Theory.
In the last couple of decades, the discovery of the lost track of the Rig Vedic river Saraswati, the excavation of a chain of Harappan sites from Ropar in the Punjab to Lothal and Dhaulavira in Gujarat all along this lost track, the discovery of the archaeological remains of Vedis (alters) and Yupas connected with Vedic Yajnas (sacrifices) at Harrapan sites like Kalibangan, decipherment of the Harappan/Indus script by many scholars as a language belonging to Vedic Sanskrit family, the view of the archaeologists like Prof. Dales, Prof. Allchin etc. that the end of the Harappan civilization came not because of the so called Aryan invasion but as a result of a series of floods, the discovery of the lost Dwarka city beneath the sea water near Gujarat coast and its similarity with Harappan civilization – all these new findings and an objective, accurate and contextual interpretation of Vedas indicate convincingly towards the full identity of the Harappan/Indus civilization with post Vedic civilization, and demand a re-examination of the entire gamut of Aryan Race/Invasion Theories which have been forcefully pushed down the throats of Indian society by some European manipulators and Marxist historians all these years.
For thousands of years the Hindu society has looked upon the Vedas as the fountainhead of all knowledge: spiritual and secular, and the mainstay of Hindu culture, heritage and its existence. Never our historical or religious records have questioned this fact. Even western and far eastern travellers who have documented their experiences during their prolonged stay and sojourn in India have testified the importance of Vedic literature and its indigenous origin. And now, suddenly, in the last century or so, these the so-called European scholars are pontificating us that the Vedas do not belong to Hindus, they were the creation of a barbaric horde of nomadic tribes descended upon north India and destroyed an advanced indigenous civilization. They even suggest that the Sanskrit language is of non-Indian origin. This is all absurd, preposterous, and defies the commonsense. A nomadic, barbaric horde of invaders cannot from any stretch of imagination produce the kind of sublime wisdom, pure and pristine spiritual experiences of the highest order, a universal philosophy of religious tolerance and harmony for the entire mankind, one finds in the Vedic literature.
Now let us examine the origin and the conditions in which this historical fraud was concocted.
Max Muller, a renowned Indologist from Germany, is credited with the popularization of the Aryan racial theory in the middle of 19th century. Though later on when Muller’s reputation as a Sanskrit scholar was getting damaged, and he was challenged by his peers, since nowhere in the Sanskrit literature, the term Arya denoted a racial people, he recanted and pronounced that Aryan meant only a linguistic family and never applied to a race. But the damage was already done. The German and French political and nationalist groups exploited this racial phenomenon to propagate the supremacy of an assumed Aryan race of white people, which Hitler used to its extreme absurdities for his barbaric crusade to terrorize Jews and other societies. This culminated in the holocaust of millions of innocent people. Though now this racial nonsense has mostly been discarded in Europe, but in India it is still being exploited and used to divide and denigrate the Hindu society. Our aim is to expose myth about AIT, and establish the truth of the identity of the pioneers of the Vedic civilization and set the historical events after the Vedic period in proper perspective and in realistic time frame.
What, really, is the Aryan Invasion Theory?
According to this theory, northern India was invaded and conquered by nomadic, light-skinned RACE of a people called ‘ARYANS‘ who descended from Central Asia (or some unknown land ?) around 1500 BC, and destroyed an earlier and more advanced civilization of the people habitated in the Indus Valley and imposed upon them their culture and language. These Indus Valley people were supposed to be either Dravidian, or AUSTRICS or now–days’ Shudra class etc.
The main elements on which the entire structure of AIT has been built are: Arya is a racial group, their invasion, they were nomadic, light-skinned, their original home was outside India, their invasion occurred around 1500 BC, they destroyed an advanced civilization of Indus valley, etc. And what are the evidences AIT advocates present in support of all these wild conjectures:
- Invasion: Mention of Conflicts in Vedic literature, findings of skeletons at the excavated sites of Mohanjodro and Harappa
- Nomadic, Light-skinned: Pure conjecture and misinterpretation of Vedic hymns.
- Non-Aryan/Dravidian Nature of Indus civilization: absence of horse, Shiva worshippers, chariots, Racial differences, etc.
- Date of Invasion, 1500 BC: Arbitrary and speculative, in Mesopotamia and Iraq the presence of the people worshipping Vedic gods around 1700BC, Biblical chronology.
Major Flaws in the Aryan Invasion Theory
A major flaw of the invasion theory was that it had no explanation for why the Vedic literature that was assumed to go back into the second millennium BC had no reference to any region outside of India. Also the astronomical references in the Rig Veda allude to events in the third millennium BC and even earlier, indicating origin ofVedic hymns earlier than 3000BC. The contributions of the Vedic world to philosophy, mathematics, logic, astronomy, medicine and other sciences provide one of the foundations on which rests the common heritage of mankind, is well recognized but cannot be reconciled if Vedas were composed after 1500BC. Further, if it is assumed that the so-called Aryans invaded the townships in the Harappa valley and destroyed its habitants and their civilization, how come after doing that they did not occupy these towns? The excavations of these sites indicate that the townships were abandoned. And if the Harappan civilization had a Dravidian origin, who were allegedly pushed down to the south by Aryans, how come there is no Aryan-Dravidian divide in the respective literatures and historical traditions. The North and South have never been known to be culturally hostile to each other. Prior to the descent of British on Indian scene, there was a continuous interaction and cultural exchange between the two regions. The Sanskrit language, the so-called Aryan language was the lingua-franca of the entire society for thousands of years. The three greatest figures of later Hinduism – Shankaracharya, Madhavacharya and Ramanujam were Southerners who are universally respected in the North, and who have written commentaries on Vedic scriptures in Sanskrit only for the benefit of the entire population. Even in the ancient times some of the great Sutra authors like Baudhayana and Apastamba were from South. Agastya, a celebrated Vedic rishi, is widely venerated in the South as the one who introduced Vedic learning to the South India. And also was the South India un-inhabitated prior to the pushing of the original population of Indus Valley? If not, who were the original inhabitants of South India, who accepted the newcomers without any hostility or fight?
There is enough positive evidence in support of the religious rites of the Harappans being similar to those of the Vedic Aryans. Their religious motifs, deities and sacrificial altars bespeak of Aryan faith, indicating continuity and identity of Vedic culture with the Indus valley civilization.
If the Aryan Hindus were outsiders, why don’t they name places outside India as their most holy places? Why should they sing paeans in the praise of India’s numerous rivers crisscrossing the entire peninsula, and mountains – repositories of life giving water and natural resources, nay even bestow them a status of goddesses and gods. If Aryans were outsiders why should they consider this land as the ‘holy land’ and not their original land as the ‘holy land’ or motherland? For the Muslims, their holy placeis Mecca. For the Catholics it is Rome or Jerusalem. For the Hindus, their pilgrim centers range from Kailash in the North, to Rameshwaram in the South; and from Hingalaj (Sindh) in the West to Parusuram Kund (Arunchala Pradesh) in the East. The seven holy cities of Hinduism include Kanchipurum in the south, Dwaraka in the west and Ujjain in central India. The twelve jyotirlings include Ramashwaram in Tamil Nadu, Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Somnath in Gujarat and Kashi in Uttar Pradesh. All these are located in greater India only. No Hindu from any part of India has felt a stranger in any other part of India when on a pilgrimage. The seven holy rivers in Hinduism, indeed, seem to chart out the map of the holy land. The Sindhu and the Saraswati (now extinct) originating from the Himalayas and move westward and southwards into the western sea; the Ganga and the Yamuna also start in the Himalayas and move eastward into the north-eastern sea; the Narmada starts in central India and the Godavari starts in western India, while the Kaveri winds its way through the south to move into the southern sea. More than a thousand years ago, Adi Shankaracharya, who was born in Kerala, established several mathas (religious and spiritual centers) including at Badrinath in the north (UP), Puri in the east (Orissa), Dwaraka in the west (Gujarat), and at Shringeri and Kanchi in the south. That is India, that is Bharat, that is Hinduism.
These are some of the obvious serious objections, inconsistencies, and glaring anomalies to which the invasionists have no convincing or plausible explanations which could reconcile the above facts with the Aryan invasion theory and destruction of Indus Valley civilization.
Now let us examine the facts about the so-called evidences in support of AIT:
- Real Meaning of the word Arya
- The voluminous references to various wars and conflicts in Rigveda are frequently cited as the proof of an invasion and wars between invading white-skinned Aryans and dark-skinned indigenous people. Well, the so-called conflicts and wars mentioned in the Rigveda can be categorized mainly in the following three types:
- It is argued that in the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro the human skeletons found do prove that a massacre had taken place at these townships by invading armies of Aryan nomads. Prof. G. F. Dales (Former head of department of Southasean Archaeology and Anthropology, Berkeley University, USA) in his “The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-daro, Expedition Vol VI,3: 1964 states the following about this evidence:
- Presence of Horse at Indus-Saraswati sites
- Origin of Siva-worship
- Discovery of the Submerged city of Krishna’s Dwaraka
- Saraswati River Discovered
- Decipherment of Indus Script
- New Archaeological findings
- Chronology of the pre-historic period of India
- Vedic Age – 7000-4000 BC
- End of Rig Vedic Age – 3750 BC
- End of Ramayana – Mahabharat Period – 3000 BC
- Development of Saraswati-Indus Civilization – 3000-2000 BC
- Decline of Indus and Saraswati Civilization – 2200-1900 BC
- Period of Complete chaos and migration – 2000-1500 BC
- Period of evolution of syncretic Hindu culture – 1400 – 250 BC
In 1853, Max Muller introduced the word ‘Arya’ into the English and European usage as applying to a racial and linguistic group when propounding the Aryan Racial theory. However, in 1888, he himself refuted his own theory and wrote:
“ I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language… to me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar.” (Max Muller, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, 1888, pg 120).
In Vedic Literature, the word Arya is nowhere defined in connection with either race or language. Instead it refers to: gentleman, good-natured, righteous person, noble-man, and is often used like ‘Sir’ or ‘Shree’ before the name of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc.
In Ramayan (Valmiki), Rama is described as an Arya in the following words: Arya – who cared for the equality to all and was dear to everyone.
Etymologically, according to Max Muller, the word Arya was derived from ar-, “plough, to cultivate“. Therefore, Arya means – “cultivator” agriculturer (civilized sedentary, as opposed to nomads and hunter-gatherers), landlord;
V.S. Apte’s Sanskrit-English dictionary relates the word Arya to the root r-,to which a prefix a has been appended to give a negating meaning. And therefore the meaning of Arya is given as “excellent, best“, followed by “respectable” and as a noun, “master, lord, worthy, honorable, excellent“, upholder of Arya values, and further: teacher, employer, master, father-in-law, friend, Buddha.
So nowhere either in the religious scriptures or by tradition the word Arya denotes a race or language. To impose such a meaning on this epithet is an absolute intellectual dishonesty, deliberate falsification of the facts, and deceptive-scholarship. There are only four primary races, namely, Caucasian, the Mangolian, the Australians and the Negroid. Both the Aryans and Dravidians are related branches of the Caucasian race generally placed in the same Mediterranean sub-branch. The difference between the so-called Aryans of the north and the Dravidians of the south or other communities of Indian subcontinent is not a racial type. Biologically all are the same Caucasian type, only when closer to the equator the skin gets darker, and under the influence of constant heat the bodily frame tends to get a little smaller. And these differences can not be the basis of two altogether different races. Similar differences one can observe even more distinctly among the people of pure Caucasian white race of Europe. Caucasian can be of any color ranging from pure white to almost pure black, with every shade of brown in between. Similarly, the Mongolian race is not yellow. Many Chinese have skin whiter than many so-called Caucasians. Further, a recent landmark global study in population genetics by a team of internationally reputed scientists over 50 years (The History and Geography of Human Genes, by Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza, Princeton University Press) reveals that the people habitated in the Indian subcontinent and nearby including Europe, all belong to one single race of Caucasion type. According to this study, there is essentially, and has been no difference racially between north Indians and the so-called Dravidian South Indians. The racial composition has remained almost the same for millennia. This study also confirms that there is no race called as an Aryan race.
A. Conflicts between the forces of nature: Indra, the Thunder-God of the Rig Veda, occupies a central position in the naturalistic aspects of the Rigvedic religion, since it is he who forces the clouds to part with their all-important wealth, the rain. In this task he is pitted against all sorts of demons and spirits whose main activity is the prevention of rainfall and sunshine. Rain, being the highest wealth, is depicted in terms of more terrestrial forms of wealth, such as cows or soma. The clouds are depicted in terms of their physical appearance: as mountains, as the black abodes of the demons who retain the celestial waters of the heavens (i.e. the rains), or as the black demons themselves. This is in no way be construed as the war between white Aryans and black Dravidians. This is a perverted interpretation from those who have not understood the meaning and purport of the Vedic culture and philosophy. Most of the verses which mention the wars/conflicts are composed using poetic imagery, and depict the celestial battles of the natural forces, and often take greater and greater recourse to terrestrial terminology and anthropomorphic depictions. The descriptions acquire an increasing tendency to shift from naturalism to mythology. And it is these mythological descriptions which are grabbed at by invasion theorists as descriptions of wars between invading Aryans and indigenous non-Aryans. An example of such distorted interpretation is made of the following verse:
The body lay in the midst of waters that are neither still nor flowing. The waters press against the secret opening of the Vrtra (the coverer) who lay in deep darkness whose enemy is Indra. Mastered by the enemy, the waters held back like cattle restrained by a trader. Indra crushed the vrtra and broke open the withholding outlet of the river. (Rig Veda, I.32.10-11)
This verse is a beautiful poetic and metamorphical description of snow-clad dark mountains where the life-sustaining water to feed the rivers flowing in the Aryavarta is held by the hardened ice caps (vrtra demon) and Indra, the rain god by allowing the sun to light its rays on the mountains makes the ice caps break and hence release the water. The invasionists interpret this verse literally on human plane, as the slaying of vrtra, the leader of dark skinned Dravidian people of Indus valley by invading white-skinned Aryan king Indra. This is an absurd and ludicrous interpretation of an obvious conflict between the natural forces.
B. Conflict between Vedic and Iranian people: Another category of conflicts in the Rigveda represents the genuine conflict between the Vedic people and the Iranians. At one time Iranians and Vedic people formed one society and were living harmoniously in the northern part of India practising Vedic culture, but at some point in the history for some serious philosophical dispute, the society got divided and one section moved to further north-west, now known as Iran. However, the conflict and controversy were continued between the two groups often resulting into even physical fights. The Iranians not only called their God Ahura (Vedic Asura) and their demons Daevas (Vedic Devas), but they also called themselves Dahas and Dahyus (Vedic Dasas, and Dasyus). The oldest Iranian texts, moreover depict the conflicts between the daeva-worshippers and the Dahyus on behalf of the Dahyus, as the Vedic texts depict them on behalf of the Deva-worshippers. Indra, the dominant God of the Rigveda, is represented in the Iranian texts by a demon Indra. What this all indicate that wars or conflicts of this second category are not between Aryans and non-Aryans, but between two estranged groups of the same parent society which got divided by some philosophical dichotomy. Vedas even mention the gods of Dasyus as Arya also.
C. Conflicts between various indigenous tribal groups over natural resources and various minor kingdoms to gain supremacy over the land and its expansion: A global phenomenon known to share the natural resources like, water, cattle, vegetation and land, and expand the geographical boundaries of the existing kingdoms. This conflict in no way suggests any war or invasion by outsiders on the indigenous people.
What of these skeletal remains that have taken on such undeserved importance? Nine years of extensive excavations at Mohenjo-daro (1922-31) – a city of three miles in circuit – yielded the total of some 37 skeletons, or parts thereof, that can be attributed with some certainty to the period of the Indus civilizations. Some of these were found in contorted positions and groupings that suggest anything but orderly burials. Many are either disarticulated or incomplete. They were all found in the area of the Lower Town – probably the residential district. Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel where one could reasonably expect the final defence of this thriving capital city to have been made.
He further questions: Where are the burned fortresses, the arrow heads, weapons, pieces of armour, the smashed chariots and bodies of in the invaders and defenders? Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites, there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as unconditional proof of an armed conquest and the destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan invasion.
Colin Renfrew, Prof. of Archeology at Cambridge, in his famous work, “Archeology and Language : The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins“, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988, makes the following comments about the real meaning and interpretation of Rig Vedic hymns:
“Many scholars have pointed out that an enemy quite frequently smitten in these hymns is the Dasyu. The Dasyus have been thought by some commentators to represent the original, non-Vedic-speaking population of the area, expelled by the incursion of the war like Aryas in their war-chariots. As far as I can see there is nothing in the Hymns of the Rigveda which demonstrates that the Vedic-speaking population were intrusive to the area: this comes rather from a historical assumption about the ‘coming’ of the Indo-Europeans. It is certainly true that the gods invoked do aid the Aryas by over-throwing forts, but this does not in itself establish that the Aryas had no forts themselves. Nor does the fleetness in battle, provided by horses (who were clearly used primarily for pulling chariots), in itself suggest that the writers of these hymns were nomads. Indeed the chariot is not a vehicle especially associated with nomads. This was clearly a heroic society, glorifying in battle. Some of these hymns, though repetitive, are very beautiful pieces of poetry, and they are not by any means all warlike.
…When Wheeler speaks of the Aryan invasion of the Land of the Seven Rivers, the Punjab’, he has no warranty at all, so far as I can see. If one checks the dozen references in the Rigveda to the Seven Rivers, there is nothing in any of them that to me which implies an invasion: the land of the Seven Rivers is the land of the Rigveda, the scene of the action. Nothing implies that the Aryas were strangers there. Nor is it implied that the inhabitants of the walled cities (including the Dasyus) were any more aboriginal than the Aryas themselves. Most of the references, indeed, are very general ones such as the beginning of the Hymn to Indra (Hymn 102 of Book 9).
To thee the Mighty One I bring this mighty Hymn, for thy desire hath been gratified by my praise. In Indra, yea in him victorious through his strength, the Gods have joyed at feast, and when the Soma flowed.
The Seven Rivers bear his glory far and wide, and heaven and sky and earth display his comely form. The Sun and Moon in change alternate run their course that we, O Indra, may behold and may have faith . . .
The Rigveda gives no grounds for believing that the Aryas themselves lacked for forts, strongholds and citadels. Recent work on the decline of the Indus Valley civilization shows that it did not have a single, simple cause: certainly there are no grounds for blaming its demise upon invading hordes. This seems instead to have been a system collapse, and local movements of people may have followed it.”
M.S. Elphinstone (1841): (first governor of Bombay Presidency, 1819-27) in his magnum opus, History of India, writes:
Hindu scripture…. “It is opposed to their (Hindus) foreign origin, that neither in the Code (of Manu) nor, I believe, in the Vedas, nor in any book that is certainly older than the code, is there any allusion to a prior residence or to a knowledge of more than the name of any country out of India. Even mythology goes no further than the Himalayan chain, in which is fixed the habitation of the gods…
…To say that it spread from a central point is an unwarranted assumption, and even to analogy; for, emigration and civilization have not spread in a circle, but from east to west. Where, also, could the central point be, from which a language could spread over India, Greece, and Italy and yet leave Chaldea, Syria and Arabia untouched?
And, Elphinstone’s final verdict:
There is no reason whatever for thinking that the Hindus ever inhabitated any country but their present one, and as little for denying that they may have done so before the earliest trace of their records or tradition.
So what these eminent scholars have concluded based on the archaeological and literary evidence that there was no invasion by the so-called Aryans, there was no massacre at Harappan and Mohanjo-dara sites, Aryans were indigenous people, and the decline of the Indus valley civilization is due to some natural calamity.
It is argued that the Aryans were horse riding, used chariots for transport, and since no signs of horse was found at the sites of Harappa and Mohanjo-daro, the habitants of Indus valley cannot be Aryans. Well, this was the case in the 1930-40 when the excavation of many sites were not completed. Now numerous excavated sites along Indus valley and along the dried Saraswati river have produced bones of domesticated horses. Dr. SR Rao, the world renowned scholar of archeology, informs us that horse bones have been found both from the ‘Mature Harappan’ and ‘Late Harappan’ levels. Many other scholars since then have also unearthed numerous bones of horses: both domesticated and combat types. This simply debunks the non-Aryan nature of the habitants of the Indus valley and also identifies the Vedic culture with the Indus valley civilization.
The advocates of AIT argue that the inhabitants of Indus valley were Siva worshippers and since Siva cult is more prevalent among the South Indian Dravidians, therefore the habitants of Indus valley were Dravidians. But Shiva worship is not alien to Vedic culture, and not confined to South India only. The words Siva and Shambhu are not derived from the Tamil words civa (to redden, to become angry) and cembu (copper, the red metal), but from the Sanskrit roots si (therefore meaning “auspicious, gracious, benevolent, helpful kind”) and sam (therefore meaning “being or existing for happiness or welfare, granting or causing happiness, benevolent, helpful, kind”), and the words are used in this sense only, right from their very first occurrence. (Sanskrit- English Dictionary by Sir M. Monier-Williams).
Moreover, most important symbols of Shaivites are located in North India: Kashi is the most revered and auspicious seat of Shaivism which is in the north, the traditional holy abode of Shiva is Kailash mountain which is in the far-north, there are passages in Rigvada which mention Siva and Rudra and consider him an important deity. Indra himself is called Shiva several times in Rig Veda (2:20:3, 6:45:17, 8:93:3). So Siva is not a Dravidian god only, and by no means a non-Vedic god. The proponents of AIT also present terra-cotta lumps found in the fire-alters at the Harappan and other sites as an evidence of Shiva linga, implying the Shiva cult was prevalent among the Indus valley people. But these terra-cotta lumps have been proved to be the measures for weighing the commodities by the shopkeepers and merchants. Their weights have been found in perfect integral ratios, in the manner like 1 gm, 2 gms, 5 gms, 10 gms etc. They were not used as the Shiva lingas for worship, but as the weight measurements.
The discovery of this city is very significant and a kind of clinching evidence in discarding the Aryan invasion as well as its proposed date of 1500BC. Its discovery not only establishes the authenticity of Mahabharat war and the main events described in the epic, but clinches the traditional antiquity of Mahabharat and Ramayana periods. So far the AIT advocates used to either dismiss the Mahabharat epic as a fictional work of a highly talented poet or would place it around 1000 BC. But the remains of this submerged city along the coast of Gujarat were dated 3000BC to 1500BC. In Mahabharat’s Musal Parva, the Dwarka is mentioned as being gradually swallowed by the ocean. Krishna had forewarned the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city before the sea submerged it. The Sabha Parva gives a detailed account of Krishna’s flight from Mathura with his followers to Dwaraka to escape continuous attacks of Jarasandh’s on Mathura and save the lives of its subjects. For this reason, Krishna is also known as RANCHHOR (one who runs away from the battle-field). Dr. SR Rao and his team in 1984-88 (Marine Archaeology Unit) undertook an extensive search of this city along the coast of Gujarat where the Dwarikadeesh temple stands now, and finally they succeeded in unearthing the ruins of this submerged city off the Gujarat coast.
It is well known that in the Rig Veda, the honor of the greatest and the holiest of rivers was not bestowed upon the Ganga, but upon Saraswati, now a dry river, but once a mighty flowing river all the way from the Himalayas to the ocean across the Rajasthan desert. The Ganga is mentioned only once while the Saraswati is mentioned at least 60 times. Extensive research by the late Dr. Wakankar has shown that the Saraswati changed her course several times, going completely dry around 1900 BC. The latest satellite data combined with field archaeological studies have shown that the Rig Vedic Saraswati had stopped being a perennial river long before 3000 BC.
As Paul-Henri Francfort of CNRS, Paris recently observed, “…we now know, thanks to the field work of the Indo-French expedition that when the proto-historic people settled in this area, no large river had flowed there for a long time.”
The proto-historic people he refers to are the early Harappans of 3000 BC. But satellite ‘photos show that a great prehistoric river that was over 7 kilometers wide did indeed flow through the area at one time. This was the Saraswati described in the Rig Veda. Numerous archaeological sites have also been located along the course of this great prehistoric river thereby confirming Vedic accounts. The great Saraswati that flowed “from the mountain to the sea” is now seen to belong to a date long an terior to 3000 BC. This means that the Rig Veda describes the geography of North India long before 3000 BC. All this shows that the Rig Veda must have been in existence no later than 3500 BC. (Aryan Invasion of India: The Myth and the Truth By N.S. Rajaram)
River Saraswati IN RIGVEDA
The river called Saraswati is the most important of the rivers mentioned in the Rig Veda. The image of this ‘great goddess stream’ dominates the text. It is not only the most sacred river but the Goddess of wisdom. She is said to be the Mother of the Veda.
A few Rig Vedic hymns which mention Saraswati river are presented below:
ambitame naditame devitame sarasvati (II.41.16)
(The best mother, the best river, the best Goddess, Saraswati)
maho arnah saraswati pra cetayati ketuna dhiyo visva virajati (I.3.12)
(Saraswati like a great ocean appears with her ray, she rules all inspirations)
ni tva dadhe vara a prthivya ilayspade sudinatve ahnam:
drsadvatyam manuse apayayam sarasvatyam revad agne didhi (III.23.4)
(We set you down, oh sacred fire, at the most holy place on Earth, in the land of Ila, in the clear brightness of the days. On the Drishadvati, the Apaya and the Saraswati rivers, shine out brilliantly for men)
citra id raja rajaka id anyake sarasvatim anu;
parjanya iva tatanadhi vrstya sahasram ayuta dadat (VIII.21.18)
(Splendor is the king, all others are princes, who dwell along the Saraswati river. Like the Rain God extending with rain he grants a thousand times ten thousand cattle)
Saraswati like a bronze city: ayasi puh;
surpassing all other rivers and waters: visva apo mahina sindhur anyah;
pure in her course from the mountains to the sea: sucir yati girbhya a samudrat (VII.95.1-2)
All this indicates that the composers of the Vedic literature were quite familiar with the Saraswati river, and were inspired by its beauty and its vasteness that they composed several hymns in her praise and glorification. This also indicates that the Vedas are much older than Mahabharat period which mentions Saraswati as a dying river.
Dr. SR Rao, who has deciphered the Indus script, is an ex-head of Archaeological Survey of India, a renowned Marine archaeologist, has been studying archeology since 1948 and has discovered and excavated numerous Indus sites. He has authored several monumental works on Harappan civilization and Indus script. To summarize his method of decipherment of Indus script, he assigned to each Indus basic letter the same sound-value as the West Asian letter which closely resembled it. After assigning these values to the Indus letters, he proceeded to try to read the inscriptions on the Indus seals. The language that emerged turned out to be an “Aryan” one belonging to Sanskrit family. The people who resided at Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, and other sites were culturally Aryan is thus confirmed by the decipherment of the Harappan script and its identity with Sanskrit family. The Harappa culture was a part of a continuing evolution of the Vedic culture which had developed on the banks of Saraswati river. And it should be rightly termed as Vedic-Saraswati civilization.
Among the many words yielded by Dr. Rao’s decipherment are the numerals aeka, tra, chatus, panta, happta/sapta, dasa, dvadasa and sata (1,3,4,5,7, 10,100) and the names of Vedic personalities like Atri, Kasyapa, Gara, Manu, Sara, Trita, Daksa, Druhu, Kasu, and many common Sanskrit words like, apa (water), gatha, tar (savior), trika, da, dyau (heaven), dashada, anna (food), pa(protector), para (supreme), maha, mahat, moks, etc.
While the direct connection between the late Indus script (1600 BC) and the Brahmi script could not be definitely established earlier, more and more inscriptions have been found all over the country in the last few years, dating 1000 BC, 700 BC, and so on, which have bridged the gap between the two. Now it is evident that the Brahmi script evolved directly from the Indus script. (Sources: Decipherment of the Indus Script, Dawn and Development of Indus Civilization, Lothal and the Indus Civilization, all by S. R. Rao)
Since the first discovery of buried townships of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro on the Ravi and Sindhu rivers in 1922, respectively, numerous other settlements, now number over 2500 stretching from Baluchistan to the Ganga and beyond and down to Tapti valley, covering nearly a million and half square kilometers, have been unearthed by various archaeologists. And, the fact which was not known 70 years ago, but archaeologists now know, is that about 75% of these settlements are concentrated not along the Sindhu or even the Ganga, but along the now dried up Saraswati river. This calamity – the drying up of the Saraswati – and not any invasion was what led to the disruption and abandonment of the settlements along Saraswati river by the people who lived a Vedic life. The drying up of the Saraswati river was a catastrophe of the vast magnitude, which led to a massive outflow of people, especially the elite, went into Iran, Mesopotamia and other neighboring regions. Around the same time (2000-1900 BC), there were constant floods or/and prolonged draughts along the Sindhu river and its tributaries which forced the inhabitants of the Indus valley to move to other safer and greener locations, and hence a slow but continuous migration of these highly civilized and prosperous Vedic people took place. Some of them moved to south east, and some to north west, and even towards European regions. For the next thousand years and more, dynasties and rulers with Indian names appear and disappear all over the West Asia confirming the migration of people from East towards West. There was no destruction of an existing civilization or invasion by any racial nomads of any kind to cause the destruction or abandonment of these settlements.
According to the invasionists, the Indian civilization or the Indus Valley civilization is only 4000-5000 years old. They place the end of this civilization around 1900BC, and invasion of Aryans around 1500BC. There is also no plausible explanation from these invasion advocates for a gap of 400 years between the end of the Indus Valley civilization (IVC) and the appearance of Aryans on the Indian scene if Aryans were responsible for the destruction of the IVC. They propose the period of 1400-1300 BC as the beginning of the Vedic age when the Vedas were composed and Aryans began to impose their culture and religion on the indigenous population of the northern India. The Ramayana and Mahabharat, if considered as real events, must be according to them arbitr- arily be dated in the period 1200-1000BC. And only after 1000BC, the historic accounts of empire building, Buddha’s birth etc. have to be dated. This chronology first proposed by Max Muller was primarily based on his firm belief in the Biblical date of the creation of the world, i.e. October 23, 4004 BC. Such chronology contradicts all the archaeological evidences, scriptural testimonies, traditional beliefs, and most importantly defies the commonsense and scientific method. Therefore, based on Vedic testimonies, Puranic references, archaeological evidences, and all the accounts presented here above, the most realistic and accurate chronological events of the pre-historic period of India should be fixed as follows:
David Frawley’s Paradox
The Harappans of the Indus Valley have left profuse archaeological records over a vast region – from the borders of Iran and beyond Afghanistan to eastern UP and Tapti valley, and must have supported over 30 million people and believed to be living an advanced civilization. And yet these people have left absolutely no literary records. Sounds incredible! The Vedic Aryans and their successors on the other hand have left us a literature that is probably the largest and most profound in the world. But according to the AIT there is absolutely no archaeological record that they ever existed. Either on the Indian soil or outside its boundaries. So we have concrete history and archeology of a vast civilization of ‘Dravidians’ lasting thousands of years that left no literature, and a huge literature by the Vedic Aryans who left no history and no archaeological records. The situation gets more absurd when we consider that there is profuse archaeological and literary records indicating a substantial movement of Indian Aryans out of India into Iran and West Asia around 2000 BC.
So, how can all these obvious anomalies and serious flaws be reconciled? By accepting the truth that the so-called Aryans were the original people habitants of the townships along the Indus, Ravi, Saraswati and other rivers of the vast northern region of the Indian subcontinent. And no invasion by nomadic hordes from outside India ever occurred and the civilization was not destroyed but the population simply moved to other areas, and developed a new syncretic civilization and culture by mutual interaction and exchange of ideas.
The Vedic seers in Vedic literature have proclaimed and practiced the following all-embracing, catholic, and harmonious principles for a peaceful coexistence of various communities. How can such people be accused of annihilater of a civilization, murderer of innocent people, and destroying large number of cities?
ahm bhumimdadamaryam (Rgveda)
Creater declares: I have bestowed this land to Aryas.
Kirnvanto Vishwaryam (Rgbeda)
Make the entire world noble.
Aa na bhadra katavo yanto vishwatah (Rgveda)
Let noble thoughts come from all sides.
Mata Bhumih putro ham prithvyah (Atharv veda)
Earth is my mother, and I am her son.
The entire universe is one family.
Consequences of the Aryan Invasion Theory in Context of India
- It serves to divide artificially India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other by various interested parties: A major source of social tension in south Indian states.
- It gave an easy excuse to the Britishers to justify their conquest over India as well as validating the various conquests and mayhems of invading armies of religious fanatics from Arab lands and central Asia. The argument goes that they were doing only what Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done millennia ago to the indigenous population.
- As a corollary, the theory makes Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures, especially the Greek culture: An absurd proposition.
- Since the identification of Christianity and the Middle Eastern cultures, the Hindu religion and Indian civilization are considered as a sidelight to the development of religion and civilization in the west: A deliberate and dishonest undermining of the antiquity and the greatness of the ancient Indian culture.
- It allows the science of India to be given a Greek basis, as any Vedic basis was largely disqualified by the primitive nature of the Vedic culture: In fact the opposite is true.
- If the theory of Aryan invasion and its proposed period were true, this discredited not only the Vedas but the genealogies of the Puranas, and all the kings mentioned in these scriptures including Lord Krishna, Rama, Buddha etc. would become as fictional characters with no historical basis: Which simply means disowning and discarding the very basis and raison de’etre of the Hindu civilization.
- The Mahabharat, instead of being a civil war of global proportion in which all the main kings of India participated as is described in the epic, would be dismissed as a local skirmish among petty princes that was later exaggerated by poets.
- In other words, the Aryan Invasion Theory invalidates and discredits the most Hindu traditions and almost all its vast and rich literary and civilizational heritage. It turns its scriptures and sages into fantasies and exaggerations.
- On the basis of this theory, the propaganda by the Macaulayists was made that there was nothing great in the Hindu culture and their ancestors and sages. And most Hindus fell for this devious plan. It made Hindus feel ashamed of their culture – that its basis was neither historical nor scientific, the Vedas were the work of nomadic shepherds and not the divine revelations or eternal truth perceived by the rishis during their spiritual journey, and hence there is nothing to feel proud about India’s past, nothing to be proud of being Hindu.
In short such a view and this concocted Aryan Invasion theory by a few European historians in order to prove the supremacy of Christianity and Western civilization, served (and still serving) the purpose: ‘divide and conquer the Hindus‘.
Swami Vivekananda on Aryan Invasion Theory
“Our archaeologists’ dreams of India being full of dark-eyed aborigines, and the bright Aryans 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 the Aryans were all red haired. Others, according to their idea, think that they were all black-haired. If the writer happens to be a black-haired man, the Aryans were all black-haired. Of late, there was an attempt made to prove that the Aryans lived on Swiss lake. 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 of these theories, there is notone word in our scriptures, not one, to prove that the Aryans came from anywhere outside of India, and in ancient India was included Afghanistan. There it ends…”
“And the theory that the Shudra caste were all non-Aryans and they were a multitude, is equally illogical and irrational. It could not have been possible in those days that a few Aryans settled and lived there with a hundred thousand slaves at their command. The slaves would have eaten them up, made chutney of them in five minutes. The only explanation is to be found in the Mahabharat, which says that in the beginning of the Satya Yoga there was only one caste, the Brahmins, and then by differences of occupations they went on dividing themselves into different castes, and that is the only true and rational explanation that has been given. And in the coming Satya Yuga all other castes will have to go back to the same condition.” (The Complete Work of Swami Vivekananda, Vol.III Page 293.)
So, What are the facts?
Now, based on what has been presented above, following facts about an ancient and glorious period of India clearly emerge:
- The Aryan Invasion and Racial theories, and Aryan-Dravidian conflicts are a 19th century fabrication by some European scholar. They are being exploited even now for political reasons.
- The hymns of Rigveda had been composed and completed by 3700BC, this can be scientifically proved.
- The language of the Indus script is related to Sanskrit, the language of Vedas.
- The Indus valley civilization should be aptly called as Saraswati Vedic civilization, as the new evidences and right interpretation of the archaeological findings indicate.
- There is now strong evidence that the movement of the ancient Aryan people was from east to west, and this is how the European languages have strong association and origin in the Vedic Sanskrit language.
- The ending of Indus Valley and the Saraswati civilization was due to the constant floods and drought in the Indus area and the drying up of the Saraswati river. This had caused a massive emigration of the habitants to safer and interior areas of the Indian subcontinent and even towards the west.
- There was no destruction of the civilization in the Indus valley due to any invasion of any barbaric hordes.
- The Vedic literature has no mention of any invasion or destruction of a civilization.
- There is no evidence in any of the literature which indicate any Aryan-Dravidian or North-South divide, they were never culturally hostile to each other.
- The population living in the Indus valley and surrounding the dried up Saraswati river practiced the Vedic culture and religion.
Most of the material presented above has been taken from the following books.
1. The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993) By Shrikant G. Talageri (Voice of India)
2. The Astronomical Code of India (1992) By Subhash Kak
3. Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization (1995) By N.S. Rajaram and David Frawley (World Heritage Press)
4. Aryan Invasion of India: The Myth and the Truth By N.S. Rajaram (Voice of India Publication)
5. Indigenous Indians: Agastya to Ambedkar (1993) By Koenraad Elst
6. New Light on The Aryan Problem: Manthan Oct. 1994 (Journal of Deendayal Research Institute)
7. Dawn and Development of the Indus Civilization (1991) By S.R. Rao (Aditya Prakashan)