|February 9th, 2011, 09:14 PM||#1|
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The Lost Vedic River Sarasvati
This is a new thread which I would like to post some information gathered by reading various articles and books about the lost river Saraswati of pre-historic India. Please don't bring in politics and destroy this thread. I just don't want this thread to have the same fate like the IVC thread.
Last edited by skganji; February 12th, 2011 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Added a Image
|February 9th, 2011, 11:02 PM||#2|
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B.B.Lal - The Sarasvati- The mother of Indian Civilization.
Just as a mother gives birth to a child and nourishes it till it comes of
age, so did the Sarasvat give birth to this Indian Civilization and nourish
it. Unfortunately, however, in the latter case, the mother disappeared not
long after raising the child up to its adulthood, leaving some non-believers
to doubt even her identity. What an irony!
One of these non-believers, the noted historian Professor R.S. Sharma,
who was in limelight during the middle of the 1990s as a Babri Masjid
protagonists, had the generosity of making the following remarks (Sharma
The fundamentalists want to establish the superiority of the Sarasvati
over the Indus because of communal considerations. In the Harappan
context they think that after the partition the Indus belongs to the Muslims
and only the Sarasvati remains with the Hindus.
What an unfounded accusation! Anyway, the learned Professor goes
on to say:
The Sarasvat receives much attention in the Rig Veda and several sµuktas
are devoted to it; so they want to use it for their purpose. But it seems
that there are several Sarasvatis and the earliest Sarasvati cannot be
identified with the Hakra and the Ghaggar. In the Rig Veda the Sarasvati
is called the best of the rivers (naditama). It seems to have been a great
river with perennial water. The Hakra and the Ghaggar cannot match it.
The earliest Sarasvati is considered identical with the Helmand in
Afghanistan which is called Harakhwati in the Avesta.
First and foremost. Let it be remembered that we are looking for the
physical equivalent of the Rigvedic Sarasvati and not for any sundry river
going by that name or a name phonetically similar to that. Thus, it is
imperative that we take into full account what the ˇRigveda itself has to say
about the location of this river.
Verses 5 and 6 of the famous Nadi-stuti hymn of the Rigveda (10.75.5-6)
describe the various rivers known to the Vedic people, in a serial order
from the east to the west, i.e. from the Ganga.-Yamuna. to the Indus and its
western tributaries. In this enumeration, the Sarasvati is mentioned
between the Yamun. and the Sutlej. The relevant verses run as follows:
इमं मे गङगे यमुने सरस्वति शुतुद्रि सतेमं सचता परुष्ण्या |
असिक्न्या मरुद्व्र्धे वितस्तयार्जीकीये शर्णुह्यासुषोमया ||
तर्ष्टामया परथमं यातवे सजूः ससर्त्वा रसयाश्वेत्या तया |
तवं सिन्धो कुभया गोमतीं करुमुम्मेहत्न्वा सरथं याभिरीयसे ||
O Ganga., Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutudri (Sutlej) and Parusni (Ravi), O
Marudvridha. with Asikni (Chenab), O Arjikiya. with Vitasta (Jhelum) and
Susoma (Sohan), please listen to and accept this hymn of mine.// 5 //
O Sindhu (Indus), flowing, you first meet the Tristama (and then) the
Susartu, the Rasa, and the Sveta (Swat), and thereafter the Kubha (Kabul),
the Gomati (Gomal), the Krumu (Kurram) with the Mehatnu; and (finally)
you move on in the same chariot with them (i.e. carry their waters with
you).// 6 //
Does the Harakhwati of the Avesta, identified by Sharma with modern Helmand in Afghanistan, this this unambiguous geographical bill ? Surely, not. There is no Yamuna or Sutlej in Afganistan to sandwich the supposed Sarasvati ( Harakhwati).
Further, RV 3.23.4 mentions the Drisadvati and Apaya as the tributaries of the Sarasvati:
दर्षद्वत्यां मानुष आपयायां सरस्वत्यां रेवदग्नेदिदीहि //
There are no rivers by these names in Afghanistan. On the other hand, these two rivers are located in Haryana and Rajasthan in India.
Finally, there is the oft-quoted hymn, RV 7.95.2.
एकाचेतत सरस्वती नदीनां शुचिर्यती गिरिभ्य आ समुद्रात /
which clearly states that the Sarasvati flowed all the way from the mountains to the ocean. While there do exist mountains in Afganistan, there is no ocean. Then, how does one make the Helman ( the supposed-to-be Sarasvati) fall into the ocean and conform to the geographical description in the RigVeda ?.
The above quotations from the Rigveda itself make it abundantly clear that the Helmand of Afganistan can have no claim whatsoever to be equated with the Rigvedic Sarasvati
Anyway, letting Professor Sharma and others of the same ilk stick to their guns, if they choose do so even after the above discussion, we may now turn our attention to a more positive note, viz. if the Helmand of Afganistan is not the Rigvedic Sarasvati, which river in India does fit the bill ?. In doing so, we shall apply all the three tests referred to above, namely :
(i) the location of the said river between the Yamuna and Sutlej;
(ii) the existence of the Drisadvati and Apaya as its tributaries; and
(iii) the given river having flowed into the ocean.
The course of Vedic Sarasvati from the 'Mountains to the Sea'
There does flow a river called the Sarasvati between the Yamuna and Sutlej and thus passes the first of these tests. Today it starts at the foot of the Siwalik hills and flows via Punjab into Haryana where it passes by the towns of Pipli, Kurukshetra and Pehowa, after which it merges into the Ghaggar and is known downstream by the latter name. It then dries up near Sirsa. Thereafter the dry bed, which varies in width from 2 to even 8 Kilometers at places ( Yash Pal et al. 1984), is traceable all the way, cutting across the Indian border into Cholistan ( Pakistan) where it is called the Hakra. On its having flowed through Sindh down to the sea, we quote from a recent study by Lous Flam ( 1999) :
From Fort Derawar to the south, the Hakra can be aligned with the Raini and Wahinda remnants, which subsequently connect with and blend into the Nara channel. .. In addition to the Sindhu Nadi [ Indus ], the Nara Nadi has been recognized as an exclusive perennial river which flowed in the north-eastern, east-central and south-eastern portions of the lower Indus basin during the fourth and third millennia BC. .....
Available evidence suggests that during the fourth and third millenia the delta of the combined Sindhu Nadi and Nara Nadi was located near the Rann of Kachchh on the eastern side of the Lower Indus Basin to somewhere between Hyderabad and Thatta in the Sindh.
This fulfills the third contition.
As to the second one, the Drisadvati, also now as dry as the Sarasvati itself, has been identified with the modern Chautang. Passing by the towns of Bhadra, Nohar , etc. , it joins the Sarasvati-Ghaggar combine near Suratgarh.
The origin of the Sarasvati from the Himalayan glaciers ; its location between the Yamuna and Sutlej on the plains ( along with its tributary, the Drisadvati) ; and its ultimate flow all the way down to the ocean.
The foregoing data, therefore, leave no doubt that the Sarasvati-Ghaggar combine, which is now dry beyond Sirsa but flowed in ancient times all the way down to the sea, is none other than the Rigvedic Sarasvati. ( Cf Lal 2002: 1-24).
While Professor Sharma can take delight in aiming his arrows at those who he dubs as 'fundamentalists' ( quoted above), would he like to use the same adjective for persons like C.F.Oldham ( 1893) and A.Stein ( 1942) who too have no hesitation in identifying the Ghaggar-Hakra combine with the Rigvedic Sarasvati ?. In fact , Stein's 1942 paper even bears the caption, 'A Survey of Ancient Sites along the "Lost" Saraswati River'
In the basin of this Rigvedic Sarasvati, westwards upto the Indus and even down to Gujarat, there flourished in the third Millennium BCE a mighty civilization which in many ways overshadowed some of the other contemporary civilizations of the ancient world. Having been excavated first at Harappa, this civilization come to be known as the Harappan Civilization. With the excavations at Mohenjo-daro on the Indus, it was give a name after that river. During the past five decades, hundreds of sites have been discovered in the Sarasvati basin in India and Pakistan and thus a new name has come into vogue, namely the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. Indeed, call by it by any name, the rose will always smell sweet !.
Excavated on the Indian side, one may refer to a few important sites: viz. Kalibangan, Banawali, Rakhigarhi, Dhalewan, Rupnagar , Kunal and Bhirrana. Each one of these has added something new to our knowledge since the days when Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were excavated. But here we shall refer only briefly to some of these discoveries.
Kalibangan, located on the left bank of the Ghaggar in Hanumangarh District of Rajasthan, has shown for the first time that not only was the smaller part of the settlement, called the 'Citadel', fortified but the larger one, known as the 'Lower Town', as well. Subsequent excavations at many of the other sites on the Sarasvati, mentioned above, as also those in Gujarat in India and even at Harappa itself in Pakistan, have shown that the putting up of fortifications around both the units of the settlement was indeed a normal feature with the Harappans. Further, the streets at Kalibangan show that in width these bore an inter se ratio of 1:2:3:4, the actual measurements being 1.8, 3.6, 5.4 and 7.2 meters. What a meticulous layout !
These sites have also negated the one-time theory that the Harappan civilization was 'monotonous'. Indeed, each site has shown its own features in respect of the integration of the two units, namely the 'Citadel' and the 'Lower Town'. Though not located in the Sarasvati Valley, we may draw attention to Dholavira in Gujarat( Bhist 1991), which consisted of three units, viz. the citadel, the Middle Town and the Lower Town. Such divisions of the settlement do call for a re-assessment of the socio-political set-up of the Harappan civilization.
Kalibangan has brought to light a sizeable settlement which preceded the Mature Harappan stage. But even this settlement was fortified. Further, two no less remarkable observations were made about this Early Harappan township.
.... to be continued.
Last edited by skganji; February 21st, 2011 at 07:36 PM.
|February 10th, 2011, 08:27 AM||#3|
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nice thread. bring it on
|February 10th, 2011, 10:09 AM||#4|
here and there
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|February 10th, 2011, 07:00 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jun 2005
the "modern and scientific world" which is based on "facts and figures" are mostly (not always) hypothesis supported by a string of experiments carried over a sample space which the scientists believe cover almost all the scenarios. there's something beyond your and my understanding which doesn't really fall in the purview of the factual world. But having said that I don't mean that in a miraculous sort of a way.
|February 10th, 2011, 07:48 PM||#6|
here and there
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Agree, but his post sounds like something from a religious text. check how he describe Dr. R. S. Sharma, a non believer.
Real scientist should not go with prejudices. here in all these circus the goal is implanted first and then cutting the path to it. whether it is from Hindu extremists or their opponents.
|February 10th, 2011, 08:11 PM||#7|
Join Date: Jun 2005
I guess this is taken up from a blog some where.
somedays back I got into serious argument with some non sensical souls about Taj Mahal being a Hindu shrine and how some PN Oak has proven it time and again. There have been many fanatic support groups that have sprung up in recent times which time and again perpetuate and dwell on stupid issues to hog lime light.
I am sorry but I only read the relevant part of the article somehow
|February 10th, 2011, 09:04 PM||#8|
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Agreed. However, anti-Hindu ideology can't be criteria in studying ancient India. Dr. R.S.Sharma has not considered all the facts about River Sarasvati while making his observations. B.B.Lal is just explaining the flaws of such casual statements and irresponsible statements of Dr. R.S.Sharma.
B.B.Lal is the former director of ASI. I still have lot more to present factual data and scientific data to support the existence of River Sarsvati in pre-Historic India. I am just taking this material from various presentations by different scholars and put them here for people who have some interest in this river.
Rig Veda is just not a religious text, it also contained many geographical details of ancient India. There is nothing wrong in taking geographical data about River Sarasvati from Rig Veda.
|February 10th, 2011, 09:10 PM||#9|
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So I don't understand why people will have a problem when the Rig Veda is taken into account while studying ancient India. Again please don't bring the Marxist ideas or imperialistic ideas and impose them while studying ancient India.
It is just not religious texts but lot of scientific data has been collected by ISRO and other organizations to study this lost river. Please have patience while I present the data.
Last edited by skganji; February 10th, 2011 at 09:19 PM.
|February 10th, 2011, 09:20 PM||#10|
Citizen of the milky way
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Awesome thread.Never knew this please continue sir
LOVE INDIA SERVE INDIA
Fact of the week:
Chennai metro underground stations to have platform screen doors
TIER TWO CITIES RAKSHAK
|February 11th, 2011, 11:11 PM||#11|
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Where Lived the Rigvedic Rishis, Rulers, and Artisans, the Founders of Bharatiya Sanskriti ?.
This paper is presented by Shivaji Singh about River Sarasvati.
Along the banks of the Sarasvati and the adjoining river basins , collectively designated as Sapta Sindhavah ( Rig Veda 8.24.27),
य रक्षादंहसो मुचद यो वार्यात सप्त सिन्धुषु |
lived our enlightened ancestors who developed a unique world-view blending materialism with spirituality that helped survive Bharatiya culture against all odds during its long existence of over seven millennia. But , so far we do not know exactly on which sites of the area our Rigvedic ancestors lived. We cannot pin-point the settlements of the Bharatas after whom our country is called Bharata. This is rather a pity. A Greek proudly tells us : " Look, this is Mycenae where lived Agamennon, the hero of the Trojan War". But as yet we cannot point out and say . "This is the place where dwelt Sudas, the hero of the Battle of Ten Kings ( Dasa-Rajna)". We have no idea about the locations of the famous Pancha-janah, namely, the Purus, Anus, Druhyus, Yadus and Tursvasas who lived in the Sarasvati Valley before moving onto different places in various directions. We do not know the location where the eminent philsopher Dirghatamas sate down to delineate Srishti-Vidya, the knowledge of cosmos and its creation. We cannot say where dwelt the great artisans who fashioned the chariots, weapons, boats and utensils mentioned in the Rig Veda. We have no definite information about the places where dwelt the great Rishi families known as Visvamitras, Vasisthas, Agastyas, Kanvas, Angirases and the like who are credited to have intuitively grasped the wisdome contained in the hymns of the RigVeda.
Fortunately, this pitiable state of ignorance is now going to end. Reappearance of river Sarasvati has provided us a great opporunity and proper historical perspective. It is now time to launch a major research project for identiying the sites associated with prominent RigVedic rishis, kings and artisans, the founders of our culture and civilization. As I have shown else where ( Singh, 2004: 63-65) , it is not difficult to identify archaeologically at least the main settlements of RigVedic persons and peoples. We need only a few more excavations and a little more critical study of the text do that. With RigVeda in one hand and spade in the other, it is possible to locate at least some of these valuable sites.
If heinrich shliemann could discover the ruins of Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns, etc. with clues provided in the verses of Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns, etc. with clues provided in the verses of Homer in nineteenth century when archaelogical techniques were primitive , why can't we discover settlements of RigVedic janas on the basis of valuable hints about them provided by the RigVeda today when archaeological techniques have become extremely refined ?.
Needless to say that such an enterprise would be extremely rewarding. For, when found, these sites may be developed as Sanskritika Tirthas that will not only help enrich historical conciousness so neccessary for national solidarity but also prove extremely fruitful for the development of our tourist industry.
In fact, reappearance of river Sarasvati has ushered in a new era of research in the field of Indian history, archaeology and culture. The colonial paradigm of Indian history based on Indo-European linguistics is breathing its last. So also is the case of the Marxist paradigm of Indian history since the doctrine of dialetic materialism, that the Marxists preach, is inherently unsuited for historical interpretations in a country like India where spiritualism constitutes the core of accepted value system. The new paradigm - is characterized by a fresh scientific temper in which conclusions pertaining to the roots of Indian culture, arrived at mainly by literary-archaological correlations, are being subjected to verification in the light of latest knowledge in earch sciences and biological sciences, on the onad hand , and Indian ethos and pysche, on the other.
When a new era of research begins with a changed perspective, no one knows the limits of the horizon that would be illuminated in due course slowly and gradually or even suddenly. A few basic points, however, are already clear. First , the authors of the Vedic culture, the Aryas ( not to be confused with so-called Aryans), were sons of the soil, not aliens. Second the Vedic and Harappan cultures represent a single cultural tradition. In fact, what call the 'Harappan' or 'Indus-Sarasvati' civilization is a phase ( marked by the rise, intensification and collapse of an urban process) within the much earlier, more extensive and more durable Vedic Civilization that still continue.
The present paper has two sections : retrospect and prospects. In prospects, which is the main thrust of the paper, an effort is made to give a glimpse of the new and fascinating dimensions of research that the reappearance of this once the mightiest river of South Asia has opened before historians. They pertain mainly to a correlation of the enormous mass of Vedic literary data with equally abundant Harappan archaeological findings. Special attention in this connection is paid to working out a methodology and procedure for identifying archeologically the ancient settlements associated with eminent Vedic personalities in Sarasvati Valley and the adjacent areas. In retrospect, which constitutes a sort of backdrop, historical studies about river Sarasvati and the facts that have already been made clear by these studies are summarized for making the present discourse meaningful to a larger audience.
RIVER SARASVATI AS DEPCITED IN THE RIGVEDA
To start with, let us first very briefly present the description of the river Sarasvati as found in the Rig Veda. In the RigVedic times, it was a mighty river flowing from the mountains to the sea ( giribhyah asamudrat, RV, 7.95.2). The abundance and tremendous force of its water had an enchanting impact on the minds of the poets who repeatedly described it as :
* 'abounding in waters' ( maho-arnah महो अर्णः सरस्वती पर चेतयति केतुना | , RV, 1.3.12)
* 'flowing rapidly' ( pra-sasre, सस्र एषा सरस्वती, RV, 7.95.1; according to Sayana, pradhvati sighram gachchhati),
* 'moving fautlessly' ( akuvari' , सरस्वत्यकवारी, RV, 7.96.3; Sayana's rendering : akutsitagamana),
* 'possessing unlimited strength' ( yasyah amah ananto , RV 6.61.8; in the words of Sayana, yasyah balam aparyanto-aparaimitah),
यस्या अनन्तो अह्रुतस्त्वेषश्चरिष्णुरर्णवः |
* 'roaring' ( charati roruvat, RV, 6.61.8; अमश्चरति रोरुवत ||; bhrisam sabdam kurvan vartate, according to Sayana) and even as
* 'fierce' ( ghora, सरस्वती घोरा, 6.61.7; Sayana's interpretation : Satrunam bhayakarini).
* 'the most impetuous of all other streams' ( apasam-apastama, RV 6.61.13; अपसामपस्तमा; Sayana renders this epithet as vegavatinam nadinam madhye vegavattama).
The material and spiritual benefits the river Sarasvati brought to the people is reflected in several epithets attributed to her as, for example :
* 'rich in grains' ( Vajinivati, सरस्वत्यकवारी चेतति वाजिनीवती | , RV, 7.96.3; Sayana renders the term as annavati),
* 'strong in wealth and power' ( Vajeshu Vajini, सरस्वत्यवा वाजेषु वाजिनि , RV, 6.61.6)
* 'having golden path' ( hiranyavartanih, सरस्वती घोरा हिरण्यवर्तनिः | , RV, 6.61.7)
* 'promoter of the welfare of the five peoples' ( panchajata vardhayanti, RV, 6.61.12, पञ्च जाता वर्धयन्ती | )
* 'the purest of all rivers' ( nadinam suchiryati, नदीनां शुचिर्यती, RV, 7.95.2)
* 'auspicious' ( भद्रा ,RV, 7.96.3)
* 'inspirer of those who delight in truth' (चोदयित्री सून्र्तानां, sunritanam chodayitri, RV, 1.3.11)
* 'the instructor of the right minded' ( चेतन्ती सुमतीनाम ,sumatinam chetanti, RV, 1.3.11), etc.
The Rigveda provides us also an idea of the kind of people ( good as well as bad in the eyes of the Rishis) settled in the Sarasvati Valley and the neighbouring regions as , for instance:
* Purus, who, according to the text, dwelt 'in fullness of their strength', on the both the grassy banks of Sarasvati ( RV, 7.96.2)
* Bharatas, whose king Vadhryasva is said to have begotten Divodasa by Sarasvati's grace ( RV, 6.61.1) and whose princes are found performing yajnas on the banks of Sarasvati, Drishadvati and Apaya ( RV, 3.23.4).
* Pancha-Janah ( the five peoples), that is, Anus, Druhyus, Yadus, Turvasas and Purus, whose welfare the Sarasvati had increased ( RV, 6.61.12)
* Nahushas, descendents of Nahusha, on whom the Sarasvati had poured her benefits( भूरेर्घ्र्तं पयो दुदुहे नाहुषाय || ; RV, 7.95.2),
* Panis , the 'churlish *****rd ( misers), thinkin only of themselves' whom the Sarasvati consumed( RV, 6.61.1),
* Paravatas, who were destroyed by the Sarasvati ( RV, 6.61.2) and
* Brisyas, whom the Sarasvati rooted out ( RV, 6.61.3)
Thus, we have a realistic picture in the RigVeda of a mighty and highly glorified river named Sarasvati descending from the Himalayas, flowing majestically and emptying into the sea, which names of the people living on its banks andd in its valley. The fact that river was later lost in the sands of the desert at a place called Vinasana ( literally 'disappearance') is also attested to by the literature( Panchvimsa Brahmana, 25.10.6; Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana, 4.26 etc) . There is absolutely no ambiguity in descriptions, no room for any controversy, yet an effort was made to hijack the river out of India.
EFFORTS TO HIJACK THE SARASVATI AWAY TO AFGHANISTAN THAT FAILED.
In order to force fit the literary descriptions of river Sarasvati in the so called Aryan invasion model ( its offshoot, AMT), certain scholars have gone to the extent of locating it in Afganistan. The sixth mandala of the RigVeda is admittedly the earliest mandala of the text. Taking advantage of this fact, Alfred Hillebrandt ( a professor of Sanskrit in 1880s at the university of Breslau, Germany, who later held the position of the Vice-Chancellor of that university twice) distinguished two RigVedic Sarasvatis , western and eastern. According to him, the scene of action in the sixth mandala of the RigVeda is the Arachosia region in Afghanistan and the Sarasvati depicted in that Mandala is river Arghandab flowing there ( Hillebrandt, 1891/1999 : 2.209-12). It was , this western Sarasvati, the Arghandab, in his opinion, that had blessed Vadhryasva with a son named Divodasa. He locates the Panis, Paravatas and Brisayas, mentioned in the sixth mandala, in and around Arachosia identifying them with Parnians of Strabo, Paroyetai of Ptolemy, and Barsaentes of Arrian, respectively. However, as it was next to impossible for him to locate the Bharata princes performing yajnas on the banks of Sarasvati, Drishadvati and Apaya, associated together, he admitted that the Sarasvati of the seventh and all other mandalas of the RigVeda, except the sixth, was the eastern Sarasvati that flowed through Kurukshetra.
Alfred Hillebrandt who may be overlooked for he was writing all this over a century ago when Aryan Invasion Theory was accepted as a Gospel Truth and when Sarasvati had not been rediscovered. On the same grounds, similar other speculations like that of Brunnhofer who identified Sarasvati with Oxus or, for that matter, those of Roth and Zimmer who thought that Sarasvati could be Indus and no other river, may be disregarded. These speculations were never taken seriously, and Macdonnel and Keith, the authors of the Vedic Index, had rejected them as early as in 1912. Even before them, Max Muller, who was no friend of Indian nationalists, maintained that though lost in the desert, the modern Sarasuti was in the Vedic period a large river which reached the sea either independently or after joining the Indus. In view of such a background, it certainly surprises one to find that scholars like Irfan Habib and R.S.Sharma still argue that Sarasvati of the earlier portions of RigVeda existed in Afghanistan, not in India !.
In their paper entitled 'The Historical Geography of India 1800-800 BC', presented to the 52nd Session of Indian History Congress held in 1992, Irfan Habib and Faiz Habib opine that the name Sarasvati in the RigVeda stands for three different rivers. They designate them as Sarasvati-1, Sarasvati-2, and Sarasvati-3. According to the Habibs, Sarasvati-1 is the Avestan Harakhvaiti or Harakvaiti, ' the river which gave its name to the 10th land created by Ahur Mazda', the region later known to the Achaemenians as Harakhuvatish and to the Greeks as Arachosia. The Habibs recognize Sarasvati-2 as the Indus itself and assign all descriptions of a mighty Sarasvati in the text to this river. Sarasvati-3 , according to them, is the Sarasvati of the 75th hymn of the tenth book of the RigVeda ( the famous Nadi Sukta) in which 'Sarasvati appears among the tributaries of the Sindhu'. It is Sarasvati-3, they conclude, which is 'the sacred Sarasvati of the later Vedic and post-Vedic literature' and which is shown as Sarasvati-Ghaggar-Hakra in the Survey of India maps.
Thus, Ifran Habib and Faiz Habig revive more than a century old discarded theories of Hillebrandt, Roth and Zimmer at a stretch. However, unlike Hillebrandt, who identified Sarasvati with Arghandab,the Habibs equate it with the Helmand 'above its junction with Arghandab' because the latter has 'much smaller volume of water' to match when referred together with big rivers like Sarayu and Sindhu as in Rig Veda, 10.64.9. However, the equation of Sarasvati with Helmand is simply out of question. As I have already discussed elsewhere ( Singh, 1997-98: 140), Helmand is Avestan Haetumant, the river that gave to the 11th land created by Ahur Mazda ( Vendidad, 1.14). Had the Avestan Haetumant been known to the Rigveda, it must have been known as 'Setumant', not as 'Sarasvati'.
In fact, the Habibs have done away with this problem just in three paragraphs, covering less than a page of their paper. They have not even referred to the objections, not to speak of countering them, that led to the rejection of the theories propounded long ago by Hillebrandt, Roth and Zimmer, which they seek to revive. Neverthless, a senior leftist intellectual like R.S.Sharma takes this placing of the so-called 'earliest' Sarasvati in Afganistan as a proven fact. On page 35 of his book Advent of Aryans in India, published in 1999, he states: " The earliest Sarasvati is considered identical with the Helmand in Afganistan which is called Harakhvaiti in the Avesta." Need we remind him that Helmand is called Haetumant, not Harakhvaiti in the Avesta ?.
No more speculation : River Sarasvati is now there before our eyes
Thanks to the cumulative efforts of hydrologists, geologists, field archaeologists and space scientists, the entire course of RigVedic Sarasvati marked by dry beds of its old channels from Adi Badri in Haryana to the Runn of Kutch in Gujarat has now been clearly charted out ( Sharma, Gupta and Bhadra 2005-2006). The story of the river's rediscovery goes back to the year 1944 when Major F.Makenson, while surveying the area from Delhi to Sindh for a safe route, came across a dry riverbed that was wide enough, as he said, for construction of an eight-way lane. A quarter of a century later, in 1869, archaelogist Alex Rogue was baffled to find Himalayan alluvial deposits in the Gulf of Khambat since the rivers Sabarmati, Narmada, etc, falling in the gulf could not have accumulated them as they were not Himalayan in their origin. He , therefore, felt that these deposits must have been brought there by the river Sarasvati before its drying up. Another quarter of a century had not elapsed when in 1893 C.F.Oldham of the Geological Survey of India affirmed that the dry riverbed skirting the Rajasthan desert was definitely that of the Vedic Sarasvati.
These early glimpses of Sarasvati had alerted the archaeologists who started recognizing and reporting the presence of dry beds of the river from various segments of its possible course in Rajasthan and western India. Significantly, at several places Late Harappan settlements were found on the dry bed itself indicating thereby that the river must have dried up much before the time of those early settlers. Then, a major step forward in Sarasvati's research was taken in nineteen seventies-eighties when Landsat imageries provided by NASA and Indian satellites enabled scientists like Yashpal and Baldev Sahai to chart paleo-chanells of Ghaggar-Hakra and it tribuataries that fitted perfectly well with the RigVedic descriptions of Saravati. As critically brought out in a paper ( Yashpal et al . 1984) , several points were quite clear by that time. First, the river had a constant width of about 6 to 8 Km from Shatrana in Punjab to Marot in Pakistan. Second, a tributary ( Channel Y1) joined it southeast of Markanda. Third , another tributary ( Channel Y2) that correspons with present Chautang ( ancient Drishadvati) joined it near Suratgarh. Fourth, it flowed into Runn of Kutch without join Indus. Fifth, Sutlej was it main tributary , which later shifted westward, probably due to tectonic activity. Sixth, Yamuna changed its course atleast thrice before joining Ganga. In 1985, V.S.Wakankar set out with his team of scientists on his month long Sarasvati Expedition. The expedition was extremely fruitful. It brought to light several significant facts about ancient settlements on the river and physically confirmed, on ground, the realities which the space scientists were pointing to by analysis of Landsat imageries.
Source of Saraswati - The glacier at Gharwal
During the last two decades that have passed since then, researches on Sarasvati have vigorously continued throwing much fresh light on the river and its history. In a well-researched and thoroughly documented paper, geologists V.M.K Puri and B.C. Verma ( 1998) have shown that Vedic Sarasvati originated from a group of glaciers in Tons fifth order basin at Naitwar in Garhwal Himalaya. The river flowed for some distance in the mountains and receiving nourishment from Algar, Yamuna and Giri followed a westerly and southwesterly course along Bata Valley and entered plains at Adi Badri'. This proves that the RigVedic description of the Sarasvati as flowing from the mountains was a ground reality, not a figment of poetical imagination. In that very paper, Puri and Verma have discussed at length the various developments responsible for river's desiccation. According to them, reactivation of Yamuna tear, constriction of Vedic Sarasvati's catchment area by 94.05 %,emergence and migration of river Drishadvati towards southeast acquiring the present day Yamuna course and finally shifting of Shutudri ( Sutlej) forced the Vedic Sarasvati 'to change drastically from the grandeur of a mighty and a very large river to a mere seasonal stream' ( Puri and Verma 1998:19).
We now know also when the Sarasvati dried up, thanks to the cumulative efforts of scholars like B.B.Lal, Robert Raikes and others. B.B.Lal's excavations at Kalibangan, the famous Harappan site situated on the left bank of Sarasvati in Rajasthan, revealed that its occupants had suddenly abandoned the settlement' even though it was still in a mature stage and not decaying'. After a thorough study of available evidence, Raikes concluded that it was abandoned because of scarcity of water in the river ( Raikes, 1968). The radiocarbon dates this abandonment in around 2000 BCE ( Lal, 1997:245-46). Thus, it became clear that Sarasvati had almost completely dried up by that time. This is an extremely significant information for the chronology of the RigVeda. Since the RigVeda was composed when the Sarasvati was flowing in it fuls majesty, it cannot be assigned to a period later than 2000 BCE.
Many more scholars have contributed to Sarasvati studies. The list is long but we may mention a few names. K.S.Valdiya, Fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced studies and Research, Jakkur, Banglaore, have come out with his book Sarasvati : The River that Disappeared, published by the Universities Press in 2002. It is a valualbe source of information on physical presence of Sarasvati on ground. The life history of this ',mighty, snow-fed river that flowed from the foothills of the Himalayas to the shores of the Arabian Sea' has been discussed within the framework of geological parameters and the inferences rigorously evaluated on the anvil of geodynamics.
Significant are also the contributions of S.M.Rao, a nuclear scientist at the BARC. He was examining samples of water collected from deep wells in Pokharan area of Rajasthan to check whether any radioactive elements were present therein due to the nuclear tests. To his great and pleasant surprise, he found that the samples were of Himalayan glacier water 8000 to 14000 years old. This brought to his mind the Vedic Sarasvati and he carried on further investigations on this topic. Later on, he came with the results of his investigations in a paper entitled 'Use of isotopes in search of Lost River' that appeared in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear chemistry, in 2003. In his paper he has shown that the 'fresh groundwater in that region was indeed ancient and slowly moving southwest and probably had headwater connection in the lower ranges of Himalayas, but not to any glacier'. It was also noticed that 'the isotope data compared well with the data in a similar study in another branch of buried channel in the Cholistan part of the Thar Desert in Pakistan'.
Worthnoting is also an authoritative anthology entitled Vedic Sarasvati : Evolutionary History of a Lost River in Northwest India edited by B.P.Radhakrishna and S.S.Merh that contains several important papers of scholars like Baldev Sahai, A.S. Rajawat and others.
In view of the enormous literary, archaeological and scientific data and evidence referred to above, it is clear that there is only one RigVedic Sarasvati, not two or three as imagined by some , and that river survives as the Ghaggar-Hakra-Sarasvati of the Survey of India maps. Though dried up on the surface, it sill flowing underneath. Currently the Haryana State Government is planning to revive it to meet the water requirements of the state both for drinking as well as irrigation purposes. Perhaps the day is not far off when Sarasvati would be found flowing again from Haryana to Gujarat. Only those who have blindfolded themselves under a spell of bigotry can deny these facts.
FACTS ALREADY MADE CLEAR AS A RESULT OF
VEDIC RIVER SARASVATI’S DISCOVERY
As noted earlier, among the facts that have already been made clear as a sequel to Sarasvati's reappearance, two are the most important ones : First, the authors of the Vedic culture, the Aryas, are sons of the soil, not aliens. Second, the Vedic and Harappan cultures represent a single cultural tradition.
There are no takers of the Aryan Invasion Theory ( AIT ) today. Even its erstwhile upholders accept this fact now. The various incarnations and reincarnation of the AIT, the so-called Aryan Migration Theories ( AMTs) , have failed to arouse any confidence since they are contradicted by archaeological and genetic findings. A new theory called Out of India ( OIT) is gaining currency among scholars ( Elst, 1999 : 333-34, Talageri, 1993 and 2000: Singh, 2003 and 2004) that explains the linguistic affinities in phonology, vocabulary and grammetical structure, found in the so-called Indo-European languages , and acounts for those socio-religious and mythological parities that are observed in the traditions of the speakers of these languages. Even the very validity of the 'language family' concept is being challenged now ( Kak , 1994).
The other significant fact that the Vedic Harappan cultures represent a single cultural tradition is demonstrated by the geographical , chronlogical and cultural parities found between the RigVedic culture and the Early-to-Mature Harappan culture ( Singh, 200). As the hymns of the RigVeda must have been composed at an advanced stage of what we call the RigVedic culture, its initial phases must be correlated to pre-Harappan Hakra Ware culture ( Kunal I, Bhirran IA, etc). The uniformity in Mature Harappan traits, particulary the signs and symbols, over a large area demonstrate a kind of 'oneness', an evidence of the emergence of a sort of social identity fostered by and expanding ideology. The question naturally arises : what else this ideology was if not the Vedic ?. In literature we find the optimistic and martial RigVedic Aryas waging wars against their enemies and moving from the banks of the Sarasvati towards Indus and beyond. In archaeology we see the Mature Harappans overrunning different peoples and burning down settlements at Kot Diji in the Indus Valley and at Nausharo, Gumla and Rana Ghundai west of the Indus ( Lal, 1997: 91). Is this correspondence in literary and archaeological scenarios insignificant ?. In fact, the Vedic-Harappan identity is proved not only by geographical, chronological and cultural parities between the two but also by the interdependence and similar development pattern of the ideological and urban processes that they represent ( Singh, 2003).
Now that the Vedic-Harappan identity is beyond any doubt, we have before us the tremendous and fascinating task of correlating enormous literary and archaeological data with each other and presenting a wholesome history of the foundational period of Indian culture.
So far, several scholars have been providing evidence of horse bones and chariots in Harappan archaeological assemblages, and many others vehemently denying them. This is no literary-archaeological correlation worth the name. Tagging Vedic Aryas or even the so-called Aryans ( that is, the Vedic-Speakers) with horse is unjustified. There are several Anarya social groups in antiquity who are using horses and chariots. For instance, the Hyskos were not Vedic-speakers ( nor were they speaking any branch of the so-called Indo-European language), but they are said to have conquered Egypt in the sixteenth century BCE with the help of horses and chariots. Should we consider the non-Aryas like Dasas, Dasyus and Panis to have been stupid enough not to learn the use of horses and chariots from their adversaries, the Aryas, with whom they were living in close proximity ?.
In fact, with the discovery of river Sarasvati literary-archaelogical correlations have acquired a new, unlimited and hitherto unimagined scope. There are several dimensions of such correlations. One may, for instance, collect information about stone industry in the Vedic literature to later investigate the extent to which it matches with stone industry as known from Harappan archaelogical assemblages. Or one may, as I had done long ago ( Singh 1969) , show the striking resemblance that exists between Vedic pottery, on the one hand, and Harappan and post-Harappan potteries, on the other. All such researches would indeed be important, but , to my mind, most significant work would be to give meaning to Harappan signs and symbols in the light of Vedic literature. The other extremely important research area is to locate archaeologically the settlements associated with eminent Vedic personalities and various social groups known to Vedic literature. This is a big task and may need several decades to complete it. In this paper, we shall confine ourselves to RigVeda and Early-to-Mature Harappan archaeology and try to outline a research strategy to locate the settlements of the eminent janas and personalities of that time.
Rigvedic ethno-geographic configurations
The 'Five Peoples' called Pancha-Janah ( पञ्च जना RV , 1.89.10 ; जनेषु पञ्चसु 3.37.9, etc) are the most frequently mentioned social group in the RigVeda. They are designated also as Pancha-Jata ( पञ्च जाता , RV, 6.61.12), Pancha-Manushah( पञ्च मानुषाननु RV, 8.9.2), Pancha-Charshanyah ( पञ्च चर्षणीर, RV , 5.86.2; 7.15.2; 9.101.9), Pancha-Krishtayah ( पञ्च कर्ष्टिषूच्चा RV , 2.2.10 ; 3.53.16; 4.38.10, etc) and Pancha-Kshitayah ( पञ्च कसितीनाम , RV, 1.7.9; 1.176.3;5.35.2 ; etc). Thus, while Charsyanyah , from root 'char' ( to move), may point to their predominantly food-gathering condition that requires a lot of mobility within a homeland, Krishtayah , from root 'krish' ( to cultivate) may indicate their settled agricultural situation. Similarly, kshitayah, from root 'kshi' ( to possess, to have power over), may express their still more developed social status when these people had acquired political sense of lordship over the territory they occupied ( for somewhat similar ideas, see Nandi, 1986-87:156-57).
The names of the ethnic units constituting this group of five peoples is not explicitly stated in the Rigveda resulting in certain wild speculations by some ancient and medieval authorities( Cf, Aitareya Brahmana, 3.31; Yaska, Nirukta, 3.8; Sayana on RV, 1.7.9; etc.). However, on circumstantial evidence, modern scholars agree that the Anus, Druhyus, Purus, Yadus and Turvasas are the RigVedic 'Five peoples'. They are clearly mentioned together in one verse ( RV, 1.108.8) and substituting Yakshu for Yadu, in another hymn too ( RV, 7.18).
यदिन्द्राग्नी यदुषु तुर्वशेषु यद दरुह्युष्वनुषु पूरुषु सथः |
It is also clear that initially all these five peoples lived on the banks of the Sarasvati ( RV, 6.61.12) though later on in the RigVedic period itself several of them moved to other areas (.
The Bharatas have received the maximum notice in the RigVeda though they are not included in the group of the 'Five Peoples' mentioned above. Though pitted against the 'Five Peoples' , they were themselves a branch of the most important among them, the Purus. Their relationship with the Tritsus is not very certain. However, the data at hand suggests that Tritsus were the royal family of the Bharatas. The Kusikas constituted another family of the Bharatas to which belonged Visvamitra, the former priest of the Bharata chief Sudas later replaced by Vasishtha. The Bharatas are depicted as performing sacrifices on the banks of Sarasvati, Apaya and Drishadvati ( RV, 3.23.4) showing that they were living in the region between the rivers Sarasvati and Yamuna, that is, in the Kurukshetra area.
Besides the above 'Five Peoples' and the Bharatas, there are at least thirty other ethnic units referred to in the RigVeda. We list below their names alphabetically giving one RigVedic reference to each one of them though some occur in the text more than once.
1. Aja ( 7.18.19) 2. Alina ( 7.18.7)
3. Bhalana ( 7.18.7) 4. Chedi ( 8.5.37-39)
5. Gandhari ( 1.126.7) 6. Gungu (10.48.8)
7. Ikshvaku ( 10.60.4) 8. Kikata ( 3.53.14)
9. Kritvan ( 9.65.23) 10. Krivi ( 8.20.24)
11. Kuru ( 8.3.21) 12. Matsya ( 7.18.6)
13. Maukavant ( 10.34.1) 14. Nahusha ( 1.100.18)
15. Naichasakha ( 7.53.4) 16. Paktha ( 7.18.7)
17. Paravata ( 8.34.18) 18. Parsu ( 7.83.1)
19. Parthava ( 8.83.1) 20. Rusama ( 8.3.13)
21. Sigru ( 7.18.19) 22. Simyu ( 7.18.5)
23. Siva (7.18.7) 24. Srinjaya ( 4.15.4)
25. Usinara (10.59.10) 26. Vaikarna (7.18.11)
27. Varasikha (6.27.4-5) 28. Vasa ( 8.8.20)
29. Vishanin (7.18.7) 30. Vrichivant (7.27.7)
The settlements and movements of some of these ethnic units can be ascertained on the basis of the RigVeda and subsequent Vedic literature. Thus, it is known that the extreme northwest of the RigVedic geographical horizon, which extended at least up to the river Kabul ( Kubha) in Afganistan, was occupied by the Gandharis, Pakthas, Alinas, Bhalanasas and the Vishanins. After their defeat in the 'Battle of Ten Kings' , the Druhyus has alos moved towards the northwest from the Sarasvati Valley. Their presence in Gandhara region is attested to by the later tradition ( Macdonell and Keith, 1912/95: 1.385).
The Puru leader Trasadasyu had acquired a new terriotory on the banks of the river Swat ( Suvastu) and he is described as ruler over their ( RV, 8.19.37). This appears to be in addition to his original domain in the Sarasvati Valley for he says that has possession over two terriotories ( Mama dvita rashtram khastriyasya, मम दविता राष्ट्रं कषत्रियस्य,RV, 4.42.1). In the Sindh and Punjab region were located the settlements of the Sivas, Parsus and Vrichivants. The Purus and the Bharatas continued to occupy respectively the western and eastern parts of the Sarasvati Valley down to the end of the RigVedic period. The Srinjayas too were located somewhere nearby the territory of the Bharatas. They were closely allied with the latter for Bharata chief Divodasa and a Srinjaya leader and are celebrated together ( Macdonell and Keith, 1912/95: 2.469) and the Turvasas are depicted as common enemies of both ( RV, 6.27.7; 7.18).
During the RigVedic period, the Yadus seem to have migrated from the Sarasvati region towards south and southwest finally reaching the Gujarat and Kathiawar areas where, according to the Epic-Puranic tradition, many of their lineages flourished. In their journey towards Gujarat, they had to cross through large water-logged tracts in which Indra is said to have helped them ( RV, 6.20.12). That , they became large cattle -owners and wealthy , is also attested to by the text, ( RV, 8.1.31; 6.46).
To the south of the Punjab, in the region of Rajasthan and Malwa, were located the settlements of the Matsyas and Chedis. In the eastern part of the RigVedic geographical horizon on the banks of Yamuna lived the Ajas, Sigrus and Yakshus who sacrificed heads of horses to Indra when the Bharata chief Sudas defeated Bheda ( RV, 7.18.19). Another social group, called the Paravatas, who lived on the Yamuna as later attested to by the Panchavimsa Brahmana ( 9.4,11). Their location on the northern border of Gedrosia, earlier proposed by Hillebrandt, is not accepted by Vedicists and as the authors of the Vedic Index rightly opine, the mention of Sarasvati River in connection with the Paravataa in the RigVeda accords with their position on the Yamuna ( Macdonell and Keith, 1912/95:1.518-19).
The eastermost ethnic unit known the RigVeda is that of the Kikatas. They are said to be living in the Magadha aread ( Talageri, 2000 : 119 ). The RigVeda doesnot provide sufficient information about the location of several social groups mentioned by it. However, these too may be roughly located keeping in veiw the core areas of the composition of the books ( Mandalas) of the text in which they occur. As I have shown elsewhere ( Singh, 1997-98) , most of the hymns contained in the sixth and seventh books of the RigVeda were composed in the Sarasvati Valley and the majority of the hymns in the latter half of the first and fourth books in the lower Indus region, the aread today known as Sindh. This line of investigation may fruitfully be developed further and where no other clue an ethnic unit is available, the core area of the book in which it occurs may be taken to represent its most probable habitat.
THE EARLY-TO-MATURE HARAPPAN AND THE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND CONTEMPORARY ETHNO-GEOGRAPHIC CONFIGURATIONS
While the various RigVedic communities are known by their names mentioned in the text and we have no difficulty in distinguishing them, the social groups in relevant archaeological cultures have to be identified by a critical study of inter-assemblage variability. This is because none of the Early-to-Mature Harappan and the immediately preceding and contemporary cultures relate to a single ethnic unit or community. Formation of each one of them involves several social groups.
Archaeologists now agree that the Harappan archaeological assemblages in various areas are not alike and despite certain uniformities in the urban phase, they have significant regional variations. Gregory L. Possehl (1982/93: 19-26) has distinguished as many as six Harappan 'domains'. They are (1) Eastern or Haryana ( Kalibangan) Domain, (2) Northern or Punjab ( Harappa) Domain,
(3) Central or Bahawalpur ( Ganweriwala) Domain , (4) Southern or Sindh ( Mohenjo-daro) Domian, (5) Western or Gedrosia ( Kulli/Harappan) Domain, and (6) Southeastern or Gujarat ( Lothal) Domain. The Eastern or Haryana Domain, for instance, has a distinct Bara culture on the Sutlej ( (Sharma, 1982/93: 141-65) and another equally distinct Siswal culture on the Chautang, the dry bed of the Drishadvati ( Bhan, 1971-72: 44-46).
The, it is also a fact that the Harappans, though the most dominant social group of the Sarasvati-Sindhu region, were neither omnipotent nor the only participants in the cultural formation of the time and area. In fact, they were interacting with several non-Harappan peoples in various areas. Jim G. Shaffer and Diane A. Lichtenstein (1995:137) have already shown that the Mature Harappans were, or had the potential to be, interacting with a variety of culturally similar or different peoples in various regions such as with agricultural and pastoral groups like the Kulli or Damba Sadaat on their borders in Baluchistan , with Kot Dijians, Mehrgarh VI-VII people and perhaps Amrian social groups on the Indus plain , with cattle pastoralists of Bagor in Rajasthan, with agriculturalists engaged in significant metallurgical activities of the Ganeshwar and Banas groups in the same region, with hunters and gatherers of Langhnaj in Gujarat, and perhaps with Vindhya rice horticulturists in the Gangetic plain.Several other social groups like the Neolithic people of Kashmir and rice cultivators of mid-Ganga plain may be added to the list of ethno-geographic configurations given by Shaffer and Lichtenstein with whom the Harappans may have been associated. The Sarasvati-Sindhu (Harappa) civilization emerged and flourished because of the close symbiotic ties maintained between the Harappans and many of these social groups living in and around the different Harappan domains.
With this background we may, now, proceed with the considerations of ethno-geographic configurations in the following three major areas:
1. IN THE SARASVATI VALLEY
The earliest archaeologically identified culture of the Sarasvati Valley is the Hakra Ware culture which goes back to the beginning of the fifth millennium BCE as evidenced by recent Carbon-14 dates of samples from Bhirrana ( a site in Fatehabad district of Haryana) determined by the determined by the Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow (Sample
No. BS 2314, calibrated date 4353 BCE and Sample No. BS 2318, calibrated date 4721 BCE).
Long ago, in the Pakistani part of the Sarasvati Valley, M.Rafique Mughal ( (1982/93: 85-95) had identified 99 sites of this culture in the Cholistan area comprising the Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur districts. The antiquities collected from the surface of the sites, mostly single culture ones, clearly indicated that the authors of this culture were at a level of social formation which was more advanced than the Neolithic stage but had still not fully acquired a Bronze Age status. The excavated sites of the culture in Indian part of the valley have made the picture still clearer. The Hakra culture people were using a varied range of pottery mostly made on slow wheel but occasionally also by hand ( Rao et al. 2004-05 and 2005-06). Some of the pottery features, especially the tradition of coating the exterior with mud intermixed with small bits of pottery and quartz granules, link the culture with Amri IA levels in Sindh dated to the early part of the fourth millennium BCE showing a westward diffusion of the culture.
Its cultural continuity in the following Sothi/Kot Diji/Kalibangan I phase is evidenced both in and outside of the Sarasvati Valley at sites including Sarai Khola, Jalilpur and Ghaligai (Shaffer, 1992: 445). Hakra elements have been noticed at Burzahom in Kashmir too where, as in the Swat Valley, they seem to have persisted into the mid-second millennium BCE. Probably there were other social groups in the Sarasvati Valley existing along with the Hakra Ware people, but at present our knowledge about them is very imperfect.Possibility of the presence of a non-Hakra group in the earliest levels at Kunal in Haryana datable to about 3100 BCE has been expressed (Gupta, 1996: 52-53; Khatri and Acharya, 1994-95: 84-86).
During what is presently called the Early Harappan Period, several social groups were living in the Sarasvati Valley. They are represented by archaeological assemblages found at a large number of sites. In the cholistan region Mughal ( 1982/93:91) had recorded 40 sites of this period as against 99 of the earlier Hakra Ware stage. But, compared to Hakra Ware culture sites, the Early Harappan settlements are much larger in area and have thicker depostis indicating growth in population as well as increase in sedentary habits. In the Indian part of the Sarasvati Valley, over two decades ago 137 sites of this period were recorded by J.P.Joshi , Madhu Bala and Jassu Ram (1984). The number of known Early Harappan sites have greatly increased since then.
Several of these sites on the Indian side like kalibangan, Banawali, Rakigarhi, Kunal and Bhirrana have been subjected to excavation to various extents. The findings show that despite new developments and changes, these assemblages clearly manifest a new culturual continuity demonstrating membership to a tradition not only by inherting certain features ( like the continuance of some ceramic styles) from the earlier Hakra Ware phase but also by introducing significant new elements ( such as the peacock and peepal-leaf designs on pottery, terracotta 'cakes', the bricks with sides in the ratio of 4:2:1, etc) to the succeeding Mature Harappan phase. The homogeneity of the assemblages is emphasized by several features, especially the use of black and white colours in painting the potteries ( outlines in black and fillings in white generally). This is considered to be a distinctive feature of the Early Harappan pottery not only in the Sarasvati Valley but also outside of it ( Lal, 2002 : 30).
However, it must be noted that despite the obvious homogeneity in Early Harappan assemblages, there are regional variations. For instance, certain features characterize only particular sites or have restricted distribution. Thus, a dull chocolate coloured burnished ware with 'parin' marks is found only at Kunal ( Khatri and Acharya, 1994-95:84) and features like fortification and pit-dwellings are present at some sites while absent on others. Not much work has been done on the inter-assemblage variability demonstrated by the sites of the period. Neverthless, the differences in assemblages are clear indicating the presence of several disntict ethnic units in different localities of the Sarasvati Valley before the emergence of urbanization or what is known as the Mature Harappan phase. In fact, their individuality was not completely lost even during the peak period of urbanization which must have considerably intensified their interaction.
Earlier it was believed that the transition from the rural to urban phase of the Harappan culture occurred somewhat quickly. Gregory L. Possehl (1990) had suggested a duration of 150 years for the transition and Shaffer and Lichtenstein (1989) were inclined for a still lesser time of only 100 years (around 2600-2500 BCE) for it. However, after considering comparatively
more recent data from Dholavira, Kot Diji, Kunal and Harappa, S.P. Gupta (1996: 68-100) assigned it a duration of ‘at least 200 years if not more placing it roughly between 2800 BCE and 2600 BCE. It was, thus, a gradual and not an abrupt transition.
A noteworthy fact about this transition is that its core area was the Sarasvati Valley. The earliest set of Mature Harappan dates around 2600 BCE are from Kalibangan, a site on the Sarasvati (Lal, 1997: 246; Table 2). Then the Harappan sites in the Sarasvati Valley outnumber those in the Indus Valley by more than six times (Gupta, 1996: 3). These facts speak for themselves. Though trade, commerce and industry, the basic factors leading to any urban process, involve areas far separated from each other, the human initiative invariably comes from certain specific quarters. It can hardly be doubted that in case of the Harappan urbanization the initiative was provided by the leading social groups living in the Sarasvati Valley. Shaffer and Lichtenstein (1989: 123) are of the view that the palaeoethnic group called the Harappan that dominates the Integration Era (that is, the urban phase) of the ‘Indus-Sarasvati tradition’ was created by a fusion of Hakra,Kot Diji and Bagor ethnic groups in the Sarasvati Valley. One may or may not agree with the inclusion of Bagor group in this fusion, but the fact remains that its locale was the Sarasvati Valley. In fact, as I have discussed in detail elsewhere (Singh, 2003: 26-28), the Vedic ideology that arose in the Sarasvati Valley, played a significant role in the rise and intensification of the Harappan urbanization.
In the Sarasvati Valley, the concentration of the Harappan sites is noticed in three distinct localities. Joshi, Bala and Ram ( (1984: 513-16) designate them as 'economic pockets' meaning thereby clusters of closely-knit inter-dependent sites developed in the process of achieving subsistence self-sufficiency. The first cluster of sites is located roughly in the area extending from Kalibangan ( in District Hanumangarh, Rajasthan) in the southwest to Balu ( in District, Haryana) in the northeast and includes the sites of the Mansa taluk of District Bhatinda in Punjab. Moving downstream along the Sarasvati, the second cluster of sites is found in the cholistan and third third further downstream in Kutch. It is worthnoting that though Cholistan has the heaviest site concentration, it has only one big site Ganweriwala, which measures 81.5 ha. in area, all others falling in size categories that range from less than 5 ha. to not more than 20 ha. ( Chakrabarti, 1995:31). The concentration of sites in Kutch, where Sarasvati joins the Arabian Sea, is rather surprising in view of the area's minimal agricultural potentiality. Evidence at hand shows that animal breeding must have been the main cause for the concentration of sites in this area.
It may be pointed out that the factors leading to the formation of three distinct localities of site clusterization in the Sarasvati Valley, the concentration of the largest sites in Mansa taluk of Bhatinda in Punjab, the emphasis on animal husbandry in Kutch, etc. are directly linked to changing ethnogeography of the valley. In absence of a detailed analysis of inter-assemblage variability based on specific trait distributions, these facts alone provide us a peep into the paleoethnicity of the area watered by Sarasvati and its tributaries.
2. IN THE LOWER INDUS VALLEY
In the Early Harappan times, the lower Indus Valley was occupied by several different social groups like the Amrians, Balakotians and others. The Amrians derive their name from a site named Amri in western Sindh where their cultural remains were clearly defined by J.M.Casal in the early ninteen sixties. The presence of Amrians has been noted also at Ghazi Shah and several other sites throughout western Sindh and Baluchistan. Agriculture, pastoralism and fishing were threee main patterns of their subsistence ( Fairservis, 1975: 208-16).. Their cultural traits leave no room for doubt that they constituted a distinct social group, but they were not living in isolation. Their participation in an interaction system is attested to by the presence of a few Hakran and Kot Dijian types of pottery at Amri, the finding of some Amri-style pottery at Balakot and similarities in shapes, decorative motifs and abstract signs in potteries of Amri, Balakot and Kot Diji assemblages ( Shaffer, 1992:445). The chronological horizon of the Amri culture is placed roughly between 3500 and 2600 BCE.
The Balakotians constitute another distinct pre-Harappan community in the lower Indus Valley. They from known from Balakot, a coastal site in District Las Bela, located in Khurkera alluvial plain some 88 km north-west of Karachi. They had affinities with social groups occupying upland areas in the north. This is indicated by the presence of specimens of a polychrome pottery called the Nal Ware ( well-known from the type-site Nal in District Jhalawan) and the Togau-style decorative motifs on pottery ( a feature of Kalat-Anjira area) in the earliest levels of Balakot. Some pottery types from later levels of Amri too appear in earlier levels at Balakot and increase sufficiently showing developing interaction between Balakotians and Amrians. It is interesting to find that the Balakotians were using mud bricks for constructing their houses that have side measurements in the same ratio of 4:2:1 that was soon to become typical to Mature Harappans. The Balakotians were present on the site throughout the fourth millennium BCE and for a century or so even in the third.
Moving up the Indus Valley north and northeast from Balakot and Amri, one reaches two well-known sites, Mohenjo-daro and Kot Diji, situated at a distance of about 43 kim from each other, the former on the right bank of the Indus and the latter on the left bank of that river though a little away from it. At both thes sites lived pre-Mature Harappan communities. The data from Mohenjo-daro is scanty (as it has always been difficult to recover it due to rise in underground-water level) but unmistakable. The materials recovered in borings show that pre-Mature Harappans at Mohenjo-daro were using a sort of 'Wet Ware' similar to that found at Jalilpur ( (Lal, 1997: 62-63).
However, as if to compensate for the scarcity of evidence at Mohenjodaro, Kot Diji has presented a very rich data in this connection. The excavations at the site have brought to light from its earliest levels an important social group of the pre-Mature Harappan horizon designated after the name of the site as Kot Dijians. Their pottery, mostly wheel-turned is quite distinctive ( Khan, 1965). The most significant pottery-type is a globular pot with a thin body, slightly everted rim and fugitive broad band
painted round the neck. On one of such pots, a horned deity is painted in black and white on a dark brown glassy slip. This may have been an earlier depiction of the well-known horned deity ( or deities) of the Mature Harappan times. The uppermost Kot Dijian layer is sealed by a thick deposit of burnt and charred material. The subsequent layers after a break pertain to Mature Harappans. The chronological horizon of the Kot Dijians spans roughly from 3000 to 2500 BCE.
The nuclear area of Kot Dijians, it must be noted, is in the Sarasvati Valley where it is found on atleast 177 sites ( 40 in the Pakistani and 137 in the Indian part of the valley, Lal, 2002:48). They were the most expansionist social group of their time. In the process of colonization, the Kot Dijians sometimes founded new settlements becoming their original settlers( as at Harappa), but more often they overtook previously settled habitations from others. Outside the Sarasvati Valley, their presence is attested to at several sites like Harappa and Jalilpur on the Ravi, at Gumla and Rehman Dheri in Gomal basin and at Sarai Khola in Taxila area ( Gandhara) besides of course at Kot Diji on the Indus.
3. OUTSIDE THE SARASVATI AND THE LOWER INDUS VALLEYS
Archaeology reveals the presence of several distinct social groups in areas outside the Sarasvati and the lower Indus valleys that fall in the RigVedic horizon. We have referred to the occupation of Gumla by the Kot Dijians. But, before the Kot Dijians reached there two separate social groups had already lived at the site ( Dani, 1971-1972). The first to settle on the site were a pottery-less people, using a variety of microliths, who were advancing towards what the archaeologists call the Aceramic Neolithic stage. The next to occupy the site were a pottery-using community who had, as indicated by their pottery-traits, affinities with social groups living in Northern Baluchistan and in areas further west and north-west.
Similarly, Jalilpur was already inhabited by a distinct social group characterized by a hand-made, thick and under-fired red pottery coated by a mixture of clay and pottery-bits before the Kot Dijians joined them at the site and soon overhelmed them. So is the case of Rehman Dheri. Here lived a people who used a fine red pottery with paintings in black and chocolate. Further north from the Gomal Valley, in the Bannu basin too there lived several ethnic units who we meet in the course of Kot-Dijian colonization. The data at hand suggests that besides founding some new settlements in the area ( like Tarakai Qila), the Kot Dijians had overtaken several others ( like Sheri Khan Tarakai) from earlier occupants.
The kot Dijians extended their colonization up to Gandhara region ( that is , up to Rawalpindi and Peshawar districts in Pakistan). At Sarai Khola ( a site of the region in the vicinity of Taxila) the earliest settlers were a Neolithic people. They have produced a disctintive brown coloured pottery that is wheel-turned and highly burnished. These Neolithic people, resembling their contemporaries at Burzahom, were present at this site when the Kot Dijians arrived there and overtook the site from them.
W need to identify the various paleoethnic units of Baluchistan and Souther Afghanistan too because the RigVedic 'contact area' extended to these regions. Jim G. Shaffer ( 1992) has identified at least nine and four different social groups in what he designates the Baluchistan and Helmand traditions respectively. He calls these social groups 'phases' but, for convenience, we name them simply as 'peoples'. The Mehrgarh people ( included in Indus Tradition too) constitute the earliest and the most important social group in the Baluchistan Tradition. The others are the Kile Ghule Mohammed people,Kechi Beg people, Damb Sadaat people, Nal people, Kulli people, Perano people, Bampur people and the Pirak people.In the Helmand Tradition, he counts the Mundigak people, Bampur people,Helmand people, Shahr-I-Sokhta people and the Seistan people. Shaffer has ascertained their chronological spans and contextual position on the
sites they have occupied.
Coming back home, a word on the social groups of the pre-Mature Harappan horizon in Gujarat. Valuable evidence in this regard is provided by excavations at Dholavira. R.S.Bisht ( 1991) has distinguished the lowest 60-70 cm deposit at the site as pe-Mature Harappan. Though somewhat disputed ( Chakrabarti, 1995: 41),other archaeologists give due credence to this evidence. In this context, B.B.Lal refers also to the presence of ‘un-Harappan’ micaceous wares in the lowest deposits in Lothal region reported
by S.R. Rao, the discovery of some pottery at Nagwada in the Rupen estuary that have affinities with Amri pottery of Sindh, and to the pre-Mature Harappan radio-carbon dates made available for ‘pre-Prabhas Culture’ at Prabhas Patan (Somnath) as also for early deposits at Rojdi in Central Saurashtra and Padri in District Bhavnagar (Lal, 1997: 84-85). That, several pre-Mature Harappan communities were present in different areas of Gujarat too, is beyond doubt.
... To be continued.
Last edited by skganji; March 16th, 2011 at 10:28 PM.
|February 13th, 2011, 12:34 PM||#12|
here and there
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Aryan Migration theory (not invasion) is still the most favored theory by historians outside of India. In India it is not like that, because some of our scholars are driven by national passions rather than pure academic interests.There is some real issues we need to face for an Arian Indiginous Theory
1)There is No way a Lighter skinned people evolved in India because of the direct sunlight we got. And around the globe all lighter skinned peoples in tropical area are resent migrants ( in evolution thousands of years are still called recent)
2)There were no horses in India of the periode of Rigveda described. (The most widely described animal of vedas) Harappan seals portraited thousands of animals but No Horse.
3) The river Sarasvati, - It is the most important river of vedic Aryan. But there is no such river in India existed. And more notably Central Asia, which is the birth place of Aryans according to some scholars- have a river similar to that of Sarasvati
4) The Soma, (The RgVeda calls the plant, Soma the "Creator of the Gods" (RV 9.42) ie, Ephedra doesnot grow in India but only in the dry climate of central Asia. In later vedic texts Soma was replaces by some other plants of subcontinent it clearly show the Aryan Migration.-
To overcome these issues They made a dried up Sarasvati River theory and even a false seal of Horse from Harappa.
And about Soma, The beleivers ( As per skganji) simply denies the Ephedra theory
According to Edwin Bryant
|February 13th, 2011, 08:46 PM||#13|
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Last edited by skganji; March 15th, 2011 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake corrections.
|February 21st, 2011, 07:25 PM||#14|
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Archaelogical sites on River Indus and River Sarasvati. These Images are taken from Michel Danino's latest book - "Lost River - On the trail of the Sarasvati". Page numbers will be provided later.
Map of Sapta Sindhu (Nation of Seven Rivers), Marius Fontane, 1881; Listed in Page 52 of Michel Danino's book "Lost River - On the trail of the Sarasvati".
Histoire Universelle, Inde Vedique (de 1800 a 800 av. JC)
Alphonse Lemerre, Editeur Paris.
Map of Louis Renou's 1947 Sarasvati Basin Map. Listed in Page 55 of Michel Danino's book "Lost River - On the trail of the Sarasvati".
Last edited by skganji; April 22nd, 2011 at 07:42 PM.
|March 15th, 2011, 10:50 PM||#15|
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The Horse and Chariot Arguement.
The following is an article written by Nicholas Kazanas of Omilos Meleton university, Greece on the Horse and Chariot Arguement.
1. How do we know what kind of animal denoted the rigvedic word asva ( also atya,aajin, haya etc)..Certainly the Greek, Latin etc cognate words denoted a particular equid, but how can we be sure that the rigvedic animal is the same ?.... After all, the only description we have is of an equid with 34 ribs in RV 1.162.18 .
चतुस्त्रिंशद वाजिनो देवबन्धोर्वङकरीरश्वस्य सवधितिःसमेति |
अछिद्रा गात्रा वयुना कर्णोत परुष-परुरनुघुष्य वि शस्त ||
Translation : The four-and-thirty ribs of the. Swift Charger, kin to the Gods, the slayer's hatchet pierces.Cut ye with skill, so that the parts be flawless, and piece by piece declaring them dissect them.
This may contain a mythological element as Witzel says but since, on the other hand, there is a 34-rib horse , why assume that RigVedic asva is of necessity the 36-rib horse found in other IE regions. Thus when R S Sharma describes domesticated horse remains at Mehagara dated at 5000 as "isolated species of a horse dinstinct from the one inhabiting areas in the USSR, Iran, Afganistan etc. and associated with the Aryans " ( 1995:17), he has very obviously prejudged the case. Since the rigvedic horse has 34 ribs, it has not come from distand lands where the horse has 36 ribs : like the IAs the rigvedic horse is indigenous.
Horses were used in racing ( aaji ) and ( more often mares) for pulling cars. One hymn undoubtedly refers to horses ( atya, asva) in races ( aaji ). Another refers to war. Some hymns refer to horses running but not necessarily in a race ( RV 9.36.1). Other refer to races ( 4th Mandala, Hymn 35) but not necessarily horses . 10th Mandala, Hymn 102 is the only one that describes at length a chariot race and here the animals are oxen : this is the Mudgala-Mudgalani race. 3rd Mandala, Hymn 53, Stanza 18 also has oxen, while stanza 5 has Vaajin raasabha ( वाजिनो रासभस्य ) either 'horse' and 'ass' or 'fat ass' for Indra (!). The ass is not unusual since 1.34.9 also has the yoking of Vaajin ( 'horse' or 'fast ass') and rasabha ( रासभस्य - 'ass')
, here for the Asvins, also 1.116.2 and 1.162.21 ! ( Could one speculate further that Vajin and perhaps asva might at times denote 'ass, onager, hemione' ?). In post-rigvedic texts we find more races, often with horses. In the early Aitareya Brahmana IV, 7-9, however, in a race among gods, Agni's car is drawn by mules, Usas's by cows, Indra's by horses and the ( Asvins) is drawn by asses. But then in the RV the Asvins' chariot is often said to be drawn by birds ( eagles in 1.118.4; swans in 4.45.4 ; birds unspecified in 6.36.6 ; etc). Pusan's car, again is pulled by goats . Dawn's car is drawn by oxen as often as by steeds.
All this suggests to me that, contrary to widespread belief, horses may have been plentiful at all periods and in all places. Certain hymns mention , of course, large number of horses : 6.63.10 has 100s and 1000s;
सं वां शता नासत्या सहस्राश्वानां पुरुपन्था गिरे दात |
भरद्वाजाय वीर नू गिरे दाद धता रक्षांसि पुरुदंससा सयुः ||
Translation : Nāsatyas! Purupanthas offered hundreds, thousands of steeds( horses) to him who sang your praises,
Gave, Heroes! to the singer Bharadvāja. Ye-Wonder-Workers, let the fiends be slaughtered.
8.46.22 has 60000 !.
षष्टिं सहस्राश्व्यस्यायुतासनमुष्ट्रानां विंशतिंशता |
दश शयावीनां शता दश तर्यरुषीणां दश गवां सहस्रा ||
Translation : Steeds (Horses) sixty thousand and ten thousand kine, and twenty hundred camels I obtained;
Ten hundred brown in hue, and other ten red in three spots: in all, ten thousand kine.
In 8.55.3, 400 mares ( female horses) are mentioned in a danastuti "praise of gift". What would any one anyone want with 400 or even 100 horses let alone thousands, unless they had a large force of cavalry ?. Or they drank the mares' milk and ate horse meat. Or we have here hyerboles ?...Other hymns speak of very few horses : 4.32.18, 6.45.12; etc. Now, if there were plenty of horses why should a sage like Vamadeva ( 6th Mandala, Hymn 32 ) be praying to Indra for horses ( for his whole clan, Gotamas ) ?..... Perhaps , and I repeat perhaps, the horse was not so common in so common in Saptasindhu as is usually thought. Elst (1999:181) and R Thapar (1996:21) suggest that the horse was “symbolic of nobility” thus giving social status.
Now, Witzel cites R. Meadow and A.K. Patel to the effect that no clear examples of horsebones have been found in the area before 1700 (2001: 59). What we are not told is that this paper by Meadow and Patel (i) seeks to refute S. Bakonyi, who actually does accept finds of horse remains at Surkotada, and (ii) was completed in 1994 (publ. in 1997) and therefore does not cover data presented in late 1994 and after. Be that as it may, B B Lal (1997: 285-6) presents sufficient evidence for horse in the ISC. He dismisses as suspect the evidence at Rana Ghundai (p 162) but finds evidence at Lothal, Surkotada and Kalibangan though he states "one would like to have more and more examples" (p 286).Kochhar also, who advocates the AIT, mentions horse remains at different sites of the ISC found in well-established strata before the alleged IA entry (c.1700 – 1500) from 1800 to 2155 (2000: 186, 192). GR Sharma who favours the AIT found ample evidence for wild horse c 18000 and domesticated horse 6570 to 4530 at the Bolan and Son Valleys (1980: 110 ff.; also Kazanas 1999: 33-4);16 this is in the Ganges basin well to the east of Saptasindhu. These bones were reexamined by another non-indigenist Indian, RS Sharma, who confirmed the early date for domesticated horse at 5000 and some c1000 (1996:17). How many horse-remains would satisfy invasionists?... Of the many millions of dead humans in the ISC (who were cared for often through burial) only a few hundred skeletons have been unearthed, so we should not have excessive demands for horses.
There are now several reports for horse remains from mature ISC.
(i) Allchin and Joshi found “lumbar vertebrae of horse” at Malvan, a Harappan site at Shaurastra (1995: 95).
(ii) Dhavalikar (1995: 116-117) reports horse bones unearthed at Kuntasi, periods I and II (=2300-2000).
(iii) Thomas et al found 9 bones of true horse (0.13% of the total faunal remains) and 9 bones of the onager at Shikarpur from mature Harappan levels, ie c 2300 (1995).
Finally, there are the terracotta horse figurines. Their presence in ISC sites was acknowledged by Thapar and Mughal (1994: 254). Then Lal states again that the horse was present in the ISC and presents in addition the photograph of a horse figurine from mature Harappan levels in Rakhigarhi (2002: 73ff). Thus I take it that there is now sufficient attestation of the horse in the ISC.
2. As for the chariot, the basic assumption that the rigvedic ratha was like the chariots of the Near-East or Europe in the 2nd millenium may be justifiable under the preconceptions of the AIT but is not warranted by the testimony of the RigVeda. Although many references to ratha and its aspects in the RV are mythological and we cannot be certain that they apply to human physical realities., there are enough others to enable us to form a good picture. The many more realistic details in the later Vedic texts are too far removed in time to be of indubitable relevance. Many interpretations of rigvedic issues suffer from precisely this drawback.: because of insufficient information in the RV ,scholars seek help from later texts and even from non-Indic material, always under the spell of the AIT ( Aryan Immigration Theory). Such procedures have generated assumptions that are untrue and arguements that are circular ( as those noted by Bryant, pp 117, 144, etc). Here I shall use only rigvedic evidence and such references from later texts as do not affect it; I shall ignore historical sematics since most such material comes from IE branches of late attestation.
Witzel refers at length to an Egyptian chariot of the 15th century (now in Florence) with parts of it made of elm, ash, oak and birch, all imported from places like south Russia, and weighing 30 kg (2000:6).He does not say here that this is like the rigvedic chariot but as he states elsewhere that the latter also weighs c 30 kg (2201: n 192), this is what he intends. This may be legitimate but utterly irrelevant and misleading since the rigvedic vehicle is made of salmali ( शल्मलिं , 10.85.20, किंशुकं ?). or Khadira ( खदिरस्य) and simsapa ( शिंशपायाम - 3.53.19) and its axle of aratu (अरट्वे 8.46.27) - all these woods being native to India. We have no information at all about its weight.
Most of the evidence is collected in the Vedic Index under Anas and Ratha an all other erudite studies add nothing - except confusion imported from other texts and/or non-Indic material. Under Anas it is said that the cart is "sometimes expressly contrasted with the chariot ( ratha) for war or sport" : the reference 3.33.9 is given ( but note that the phrase "for war or sport' is not of rigvedic origin but an imported notion that beclouds the matter). This hymn doesn't present any express contrast : it says simply ( in stanzas 9 and 10) that Visvamitra "has come from afar anas rathena ( दूरादनसा रथेन ), ie "by means of anas/ratha" which may mean "by cart [and] chariot" or "by cart [ which is ] chariot" ( or vice versa). One must wonder here why a priest of high order, a renowned rsi who displays magical powers in stopping the onrush of river-waters, would need a chariot "for sport or war". The VI corrects its first statement by saying ( now under Ratha) that "this distinction [between anas and ratha]is not absolute".Indeed, Usas has ratha in (late) 1.48.10 and (early) 3.61.2 but anas,अनः in (early) 4.30.11 and (late) 10.73.7. Indra, the mighty warrior who is called arranger aajikrrt and lord aajipati
of the race (or battle: 7.53.6-14), is said to be anar-vis ( नर्विशे in late 1.121. 7) "seated on a cart" not chariot. The references are by no means exhausted but enough has been said to show that, in fact, there is little if any distinction in anas/ratha : "of differences in the structure of the two we have no information " (VI, Ratha).
3. Measurements and dimension of the chariot are given in the much later Sulba Sutras, so I shall ignore them. But there is one passage in the RV that is helpful ( perhaps more). In 6.61.13 the river Sarasvati is likened to a chariot : ratha iva brhati ( रथ इव बर्हती ) : " like a chariot tall/big/stately/bright". So if a large river is compared to a chariot of size ( brhat-), the chariot cannot be a small and narrow contraption of 30 Kg. In 3.33.2, a river is again compared or related to a chariot रथ्येव याथः but the size is not explicit here). This hint of a large size is reinforced by the references that follow.
These vehicles, anas or ratha, were drawn by 1,2,3 or 4 animals. "Horses were normally used for chariots but the ass ( gardabha) or mule ( asvatari) are also mentioned" as indeed we saw above. what is suprising is that while in the Upanishads the cars are said to have two wheels, in the RV they have one wheel ( 1.53.9 - चक्रेण रथ्या & 1.164.2 - रथमेकचक्रमेको ; 6.54.3 - पूष्णश्चक्रं; ), sometimes 3 wheels ( e.g that of the Rbhus in 4.36.1 - रथस तरिचक्रः ) , sometimes 7 ( सप्तचक्रं रथ) all abiously mythological. Once the car has 2 wheels and , all golden , is that of the Asvins ( 8.5.29 - उभा चक्रा हिरण्यया , again mythological) but in 6 other instances this car is to be 3-wheeled tricakra. In 10.85.14 the car is again तरिचक्रेण ( three wheels) but in the next stanza one of the wheels is missing ( कवैकंचक्रं ? -where is the wheel ?). It is not clear to me whether the Asvins had a 4-wheeled car, now left with three, or a 3-wheeled car now left with 2 wheels. These cars have another curious aspect in the RV : the ratha has normally "seats" or space for two, the driver and another, but often it has space for three. I am not referring only to the Asvins' car which carries the Sun-Maiden too, but also to 3.6.9 and 6.47.9 where ratha carries three and more on its वरिष्ठे न इन्द्र वन्धुरे : "widest seat/box". Then in the ( late) 10.53.7 ,we find a chariot ratha that has seating for 8 ( अष्टावन्धुरं ).
All these details ( plus the fact that as we saw in Para 1, above, the chariot is drawn by an ass or ass and horse) constitute the picture of a vehicle that is not at all like the ( war) chariots appearing in 2nd millenium in the Near East. P Raulwing's admirably erudite study on the IE chariots and horses sheds not on ray of light on the rigvedic vehicles. The evidence for the development in the NE of the first light chariots for war ( Littauer & Cronwel 1996) as against the Pontic Steppe ( Anthony & Vinogradov 1995) seems fairly convincing. But neither the former not the latter tell us anything useful about the RV.
Witzel took umbrage ( resentment 2003) to this view accusing me of using only mythological evidence ( which is untrue : See 7.1 regarding Mudgala race) but he himself used the most obviously mythological references ( Asvins' golden wheel, RV 8.5-59; etc. and RV 10.85.11 which speaks of Surya' bridal car which has the sky at its covering ( stanza 10) and is in fact manas 'the mind', but, because he probably used Geldner's German translation, he thought this was ratha whereas it is anas ( st 10,12) !) etc ).
4. Further confusion comes from projecting non-Indic material onto the minor aspect of the rathavahana रथवाहनं, in 6.75.8. Mentioned by Witzel ( 2001 : n192) and usually translated as a platform or large vehicle for transporting the supposedly fragile, light ( 30 Kg) chariot, the word occurs also in AtharvaVeda, 3.17.3 in a list -"cow, sheep, prasthaavad rathavaahamam and a lusty fat girl" : all these a plough should dig up ( laangalam … udvapatu ). This passage with slight variations is found in some Brahmanas. If we put aside any notions from Near East ( hypothetical ) parallels and modern racing-cars ( Witzel ibid), it is very difficult to see how this "chariot-transport that-has-a-support or-a-platform" ( surely pleonastic ?) fits with the cow, sheep and girl. To my mind the whole phrase seems to be a metaphor for a horse ( "chariot-puller that-has-stability") but I wouldn't bet on it and WD Whitney translates "on-going chariot-frame" ( note: not ‘platform’). The word occurs also in the prose texts and there it may have the meaning "platform, conveyer", though in a text like Baudhaayana Srauta Sruuta XI, 6, 72,8 it is probably used metaphorically: athaihi yajamaaneti: ratha esa daksin-e sron-yante rathavaahana aahito bhavati: " Come, O sacrificer ! he says : this chariot is placed on the platform [ which is] the southern hip ( sroni-) [ of the altar]". All such references are much too late. ( See Sparreboom 1985 passim for the mainstream view).
The use of the word in RV 6.75.8 can be taken differently. First of all, if the ratha was dismantled and placed on the platform, as is generally though ( Sparreboom , p.30), this hymn would have been an ideal place to mention such a fact. But the hymn does not say that wheels and box are seperate; in fact the chariot ratha is not lauded per se as other things are. Here the rathavaahana ( रथवाहनं ) is equated with the oblation havis ( हवि ), just an in other passages the hymn or tought offered is given in the figure of a chariot ( eg 5.29.15). Since the chariot itself is not lauded ( as the warrior is in stanza 1, the cow in stanza 2, the good charioteer in stanza 6, horses in stanza 7, the whip in 13, the mail or armour in 18-9), then it seems reasonable that rathavaahana is the chariot itself, lauded per se in stanza 8; to use Whitney's translation, it is the "(on-going) chariot-frame". There is no need to assume a chariot-carrying platform. Pada 8c tátraa rátham úpa sagmám sadéma ( तत्रा रथमुप शग्मं सदेम ) is translated by W.O'Flaherty ( 1981:237) as "on it [i.e.the platform] let us place the working chariot". This rendering can hardly be correct since the verb
upa-sad- means "sit on/by, approach respectfully" and the like ( the causative upasaadaya- alone means "place on) : so the phrase should give "let us revere/honour the efficient chariot". Furthermore , this very stanza says that upon this vehicle are already laid ( निहित) weaponry (यत्रायुधं ) and mail ( वर्म ). So O’Flaherty and others say that on this “platform” weapons and mail are first laid
and then the chariot itself. Is it likely that practical men would load the chariot (whole or dismantled) afterwards and thus possibly damage the weaponry ? Of course not.
Final point. Even if some rigvedic vehicles resembled the early one-man, two-wheeled chariot of the Near East, this does not mean that the Vedic रथ came from there and , still less, from the Urals.. The Harappans already had the technology for its construction. For other types of vehicles, of course, there is ample evidence : "a more sophisticated type of vehicle with one or two pairs of
wheels … is known from the Rhine to the Indus by around 3000 BC" (Piggott 1992: 18; for more details Kazanas 1999: 33). The absence of actual remains does pose a difficulty but is not in itself evidence of absence.
Last edited by skganji; April 28th, 2011 at 11:07 PM.
|March 28th, 2011, 10:34 PM||#17|
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The Homeland of Indo-Iranians
The content for this section is mostly taken from Shrikant Talageri's book "THE RIGVEDA - A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS". He has done a very detailed analysis on some similarities between Rig Veda and Avesta in his other book ( RIGVEDA AND AVESTA - THE FINAL EVIDENCE) to identify the original homeland of Indo-Iranians. Interested readers can go through them.
The concepts of a common Indo-Iranian habitat and a common Indo-European habitat are based on the fact that the Vedic Aryans share a common linguistic ancestry and cultural heritage with the other Indo-European groups in general and the Iranians in particular..
But the identification of Centra Asia as the location of this common habitat and of South Russia as the location of this common Indo-European habitat are purely arbitrary hypotheses with absolutely no basis in archaeology or in written records.
What is the geographical location of the Indo-Iranian homeland which, in effect, means the area where the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians developed common linguistic and cultural element which distinguish them from other Indo-Europeans ?.
We will examine this question under the following heads :
I. The Angirases ( अङगिरा ) and Bhrgus ( भर्गवे )
II. The Historical Identify of the Iranians
III. The Iranian Migrations.
I. THE ANGIRASES AND BHRGUS
One of the very important feature which must be examined, in order to get a proper perspective on Indo-Iranian history, is the special position of, and the symbiotic relationship between, two of the ten families of Rsis in the Rigveda, the Angirases and the Bhrgus.
While all the other families of Rsis came into existence at various points of time duiring the course of composition of the Rigveda, these two familes alone represent the pre-Rigvedic past : they go so far back into the past that only the eponymous founders of these families ( Angiras and Bhrgu respectively) but even certain other ancient Rsis belonging to these familes ( Brhaspati, Atharvana, Usana) are already remote mythical persons in the Rigveda; and the names of these two familes are already names for mythical and ritual classes: the Angirases are deified as " a race of higher beings between Gods and men" ( as Griffith puts in in his footnote to 1.1.6) and the Bhrgus or Atharvanas are synonymous with fire-priests in general.
What is more, the names of these two familes are also found in the Iranian and Greek texts, and they have the same role as in the Rigveda: the Iranian Angra and Greek Angelos are names for classes of celestial beings ( although malignant ones in the Iranian version) and the Iranian Athravan and Greek Phleguai are names for fire priests.
But an examination of the Rigveda shows a striking difference in the positions of these two families :
a. The Angirases are the dominant protagonist priests of the Rigveda.b. The Bhrgus are more or less outside the Vedic pale through most of the course of the Rigveda, and gain increasing acceptance into the Vedic mainstream only towards the end of the Rigveda.
The situation is particularly ironic since not only are both the families equally old and hoary, but is the Bhrgus, and the Angirases, who are the real initiators of the two main ritual systems which dominate the Rigveda : the fire ritual and the Soma ritual.
The situation may be examined under the following heads :
A. The Angirases and Bhrgus as Composers.
B. The Angirases and Bhrgus in References.
C. The Post-Rigvedic situation.
D. Vedic Aryans and Iranians.
I.A.. The Angirases and Bhrgus as Composers
The Angirases have two whole Mandalas ( Mandala 4 and Mandala 6) exclusively to themselves ( no other family has a Mandala exclusively to itself, and the Bhrgus do not have a family Mandala at all), and are the dominant family in two of the four non-family Mandalas ( 1 and 10) and second in importance in the two others ( 8 and 9). They are also present as composers in all the other Family Mandalas ( except in Mandala 2, but there we have the Grtsamadas).
It is clear from the above details that the Bhrgus are increasingly accepted into the Vedic mainstream only in the Late Period of the Rigveda. This is confirmed also by the fact that the Bhrgu hymns in Mandalas 8 and 9 are all old hymns ( with the exception 9.62 and 9.65 hymns which are composed by late descendants of Jamadagni), the overwhelming majority of them even attributed to pre-Rigvedic Bhrgu Rsis, all of which are kept outside the Vedic corpus and included in only in the Late Period.
1. The few hymns or verses by Bhrgus in the Mandalas of the early and middle periods are not there on their own strength, but on the strength of the close relations of their composers with the families of the Mandalas concerned :
a. In the early period, we find only 3 verses ( 3.62.16-18) by a Bhrgu ( Jamadagni-जमदग्निना ) , all of which are jointly composed with Visvamitra, the eponymous Rsi of the Mandala. Jamadagni, by all traditional accounts, is the nephew of Visvamitra, his mother being visvamitra's sister.
b. In the middle period, we find only 4 hymns ( 2.4-7) by a bhrgu ( Somahuti), and it is clear in this case also that the composer is closely associated with the family of Mandala 2 : in the very first of these hymns, he identifies himself with the Grtsamada -गर्त्समदासो ( 2.4.9).
2. The hymns in the Late period are also clearly composed by a section of Bhrgus who have become close to the Angirases, and who, morever, find it necessary or expedient to make this point in clear in their hymns :
a. In Mandala 3, hymn 102 is composed by a Bhrgu jointly with an Angiras Rsi: and the hymn to Agni refers to that God as "Angiras".
b. In Mandala 9, a Bhrgu, descendant of Jamadagni, identifies himself with the Angirases ( 9.62.9).
c. in Mandala 10, a Bhrgu composer refers to both the Bhrgus and the Angirases a his ancestors ( 10.14.3-6).
अङगिरसो नः पितरो नवग्वा अथर्वाणो भर्गवः सोम्यासः |
तेषां वयं सुमतौ यज्ञियानामपि भद्रे सौमनसेस्याम ||
Synonynms : अङगिरस - Angiras, पितर - fathers, नवग्वा - Navagvas, अथर्वाण - Atharvans,भर्गवः - Bhrgus, सोम - Soma
तेषां - they,वयं - onto us, सुमतौ - together,भद्रे - auspicious, सौमनसेस्याम - loving-kindness
Translation : Our Fathers are Aṅgirases, Navagvas, Atharvans, Bhṛgus who deserve the Soma.
May these, the Holy, look on us with favour, may we enjoy their gracious loving-kindness.
I.D.. Vedic Aryans and Iranians
The Bhrgus clearly occupy a very peculiar position in Indian tradition and History.
An American scholar, Robert P. Goldman, in a detailed study of the history of the BhRgus as it appears from the myths in the MahAbhArata, makes some significant observations. According to him:
1. The mythology clearly "sets the Bhrgus apart from other brahmanical clans.. The myths.. unequivocally mark the BhRgus as a group set
apart from their fellow brahmans". The characteristic feature which sets the Bhrgus apart is “open hostility to the gods themselves…
One of the greatest of the Bhrgus is everywhere said to have served as the priest and chaplain of the asuras, the demon enemies of heaven and of order ( dharma ) ".
After analysing various myths involving the most prominent Bhrgu Rsis, Goldman again reiterates his point that “hostility emerges as the more characteristic phenomenon, and the one that most clearly sets the group apart from the other famous sages and priestly families of Indian myth… the motifs of hostility, violence and curses between gods and sages… are virtually definitive of the Bhargava cycle.”
And “the association of the sage Sukra with the asuras is one of the strangest peculiarities of the Bhargava ( भर्गव )corpus".At the same time, the traditions record certain ambiguous moments in this hostility where it appears that “the Bhargava seems unable to decide between the asuras and their foes on any consistent basis”.
There is, for example, “a myth that is anomalous… at the request of Siva, Rama, although he was unskilled at arms, undertakes to do battle against the asuras… He does so, and, having slain all the asuras, he receives the divine weapons that he wishes.”Here, it must be noted, Rama (Parasu-Rama) is actually “said to associate with the gods, and, especially, to fight their battles with the asuras”.
And even in “the long and complex saga of Sukra and the asuras, Sukra is twice said to have abandoned the, demons to their fate, and even to have cursed them… the first time he appears to have been motivated simply by a desire to join the gods and assist at their sacrifice.”
Goldman, therefore, arrives at two conclusions:
1. “The identification of Sukra as the purohita and protector of the asuras may shed some light on some of the most basic problems of early Indian and even early Indo-Iranian religion. If, as has been suggested on the basis of the Iranian evidence, the asuras were the divinities of Aryans for whom, perhaps, the devas were demons, then Sukra and perhaps the Bhargavas were originally their priests.”
2. “The repeated theme of Sukra and his disciples’… ultimate disillusionment with the demons and their going over to the side of the gods may also be viewed as suggestive of a process of absorption of this branch of the
BhRgus into the ranks of the orthodox brahmins.”
Goldman’s conclusions fully agree with our analysis of the position of the Bhrgus in the Rigveda: in short, the traditional Indian myths about the Bhrgus, as recorded in the Epics and Puranas, conjure up a historical picture which tallies closely with the historical picture which emerges from any logical analysis of the information in the hymns of the Rigveda.
What is particularly worthy of note is that these myths, and these hymns, have been faithfully preserved for posterity by a priesthood dominated by none other than the Bhrgus themselves - i.e. the Bhrgus of the post-Rigvedic era. And it is clear that these later Bhrgus, even as they faithfully recorded and maintained hymns
and myths which showed their ancestors in a peculiar or questionable light, were puzzled about the whole situation.
As Goldman puts it: “That one of the greatest Bhargava sages should regularly champion the asuras, the forces of chaos and evil - in short, of adharma - against the divine personifications of dharma is perplexing and has no non-Bhargava parallel in the literature. The origin of the relationship was evidently puzzling to the epic
redactors themselves, for the question is raised at least twice in the MahAbhArata. In neither case is
the answer given wholly satisfactory.”
We have one advantage over the redactors of the Mahabharata - we have the evidence of the Avesta before us:
1. The Avesta clearly represents the opposite side in the conflict:
a. In the Avesta, the Asuras (Ahura) are the Gods, and Devas (DaEva) are the demons.
b. Here also the Bhrgus or AtharvaNas (Athravan) are associated with the Asuras (Ahura),
and the Angirases (Angra) with the Devas (DaEva).
2. The Avesta also shows the movement of a group from among the Bhrgus towards the side of the Deva-worshippers: there are two groups of Athravan priests in the Avesta, the Kavis and the Spitamas, and it is clear that the Kavis had moved over to the enemies.
Last edited by skganji; May 5th, 2011 at 11:28 PM.
|April 12th, 2011, 11:13 PM||#18|
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THE HISTORICAL IDENTITY OF THE IRANIANS
The credit for this article again goes to Srikant Talageri and his book "Historical analysis of Rig Veda". I modified his article by adding proper Sanskrit words for easy readability and to get the clear picture of what Rigveda has to say about the subject.
Gnoli points out the Avesta reflects "an historical situation which Iranian elements exist side by side with .. Aryan or Proto-IndoAryan ( elements):.
Turning to the RigVeda, it is natural to expect to find the same situation reflected there as well. And if that is so, it must also be likely that the Iranians have a specific historical identity in Vedic terms. The historical identity of the Vedic Aryans themselves, as we have seen, is quite specific: this identity does not embrace all the tribes and peoples named in the RigVeda, but is confined to the Purus ( and particularly the Bharatas among them) who alone are called Aryas in the RigVeda. All other people , i.e. all non-purus , are called Dasas in the RigVeda. All the other people, i.e. all non-Purus, are called Dasas in the RigVeda. While it is natural to infer that the term Dasa was a general term for all non-Purus as well as a specific term for the particular non-Purus who existed "side by side" with the Purus ( i.e for the Iranians), there must also have been a specific tribal name for these Particular non-Purus.
The Rigveda (in agreement with the Puranas) classifies the Purus as one of the five tribes: namely, the Yadus, Turvasas, Druhyus, Anus, Purus (I.108.8). Prima facie, the Iranians must be identifiable with one of the remaining four. Of the four, all sources locate the Yadus and Turvasas together in the interior of India, and the Druhyus are located outside the frontiers of India. The most likely candidates are therefore the Anus who are located “side by side” with the Purus in all geographical descriptions (and, incidentally, even in the enumeration of the names of the five tribes in I.108.8 यदुषु तुर्वशेषु यद दरुह्युष्वनुषु पूरुषु सथः ).
And an examination of the evidence demonstrates beyond the shadow of any doubt that the ancient Indian tribes of the Anus are
identical with the ancient Iranians:..
1. As we gave already seen, the IndoAryan-Iranian conflict very definitely had an Angiras-BhRgu dimension to it, with the Angirases being the priests of the Indoaryans and the Bhrgus being the priests of the Iranians: a situation reflected in the traditions of both the peoples.
The situation is also reflected in the Rigveda where the dominant priests of the text, and the particular or exclusive priests of the Bharatas ( the Vedic Aryans), are the Angirases: all the generations before Sudas have Bharadvajas as their priests ; Sudas himself has the Kutsas also as his priests ( besides the new families of priests : the Visvamitras and the Vsisthas) ; and the descendants of Sudas , Sahadeva and Somaka have the Kutsas and the Vamadevas as their priests.
The Bhrgus are clearly not the priests of the Bharatas, and , equally clearly, they are associated with a particular other tribe : the Anus.
The names Anu and Bhrgu are used interchangeably : compare RV 5.31.4 with 4.16.20 and 7.18.14 with 7.18.6.
अनवस ते रथम अश्वाय तक्षन तवष्टा वज्रम पुरुहूत दयुमन्तम |
बरह्माण इन्द्रम महयन्तो अर्कैर अवर्धयन्न अहये हन्तवा उ ||
Translation : Anus have wrought ( produced ) a chariot for thy Courser, and Tvaṣṭar, Much-invoked! thy bolt that glitters.
The Brahmans with their songs exalting Indra increased his strength that he might slaughter Ahi.
एवेद इन्द्राय वर्षभाय वर्ष्णे बरह्माकर्म भर्गवो न रथम |
नू चिद यथा नः सख्या वियोषद असन न उग्रो ऽविता तनूपाः ||
Translation : Now, as the Bhṛgus wrought ( produced) a car, for Indra the Strong, the Mighty, we our prayer have fashioned,
That he may, ne’er withdraw from us his friendship, but be our bodies' guard and strong defender.
नि गव्यवो.अनवो दरुह्यवश्च षष्टिः शता सुषुपुः षट सहस्रा |
षष्टिर्वीरासो अधि षड दुवोयु विश्वेदिन्द्रस्य वीर्या कर्तानि ||
synonyms : नि - carry, lead, गव्य - cows, वश्य : humbled, षष्टिः - sixty, शता - hundred,सुषुपुः - deep sleep [सुषुप्ति], षट - six , सहस्रा - thousand,
षष्टि - sixty, र्वीर - hero, अधि - over, षड - six, दुवोयु - worshipping ,
Translation : The Anavas ( Anus) and Druhyus, seeking cows, were humbled to deep sleep ( dead), the sixty hundred, six thousand,
And six-and-sixty heroes. For the pious were all these mighty exploits done by Indra.
पुरोळा इत तुर्वशो यक्षुरासीद राये मत्स्यासो निशिता अपीव |
शरुष्टिं चक्रुर्भ्र्गवो दरुह्यवश्च सखा सखायमतरद विषूचोः ||
Eager for spoil was Turvaśa Purodas, fain to win wealth, like fishes urged by hunger.
The Bhṛgus and the Druhyus quickly listened: friend rescued friend mid the two distant peoples.
Griffith also recognizes the connection in his footnote to 5.31.4, when he notes : "Anus: probably meaning Bhrgus who belonged to that tribe".
2. The Rigveda and the Avesta, as we saw, are united in testifying to the fact that the Punjab ( Saptasindu or HaptaHendu) was a homeland of the Iranians.. This reference to Hapta Hendu is a recollection in Fargard I ( DZA, I, 4-10).
In the RigVeda, the Anus are repeatedly identified with the Parusni river, the central river of the Punjab, as the Purus are identified with the Sarasvati: in the Dasarajna battle, the Anus are clearly the people of the Parusni area and beyond. Likewise, another hymn which refers to the Parusni ( 8.74.15.) also refers to the Anus ( 8.74.4).
3. The name Anu or Anava for the Iranians appeas to have survived even in later times : the country and the people in the very heart of Avestan land, to the immediate north of the Hamun-i Hilmand , were known, as late as Greek times ( cf . Stathmo Parthikoi, 16, of Isidore of Charax), as the Anauon or Anauoi .
4. The names of Anu tribes in the RigVeda and the Puranas can be clearly identified with the names of the most prominent tribes among latter-day Iranians.
The Dasarajna battle ( described in three hymns in the Rigveda, 7.18,33,83) was between Sudas (सुदासः) on the one hand, and a confederation of ten tribes from among the Anus (अनव) and Druhyus (दरुह्य ) on the other ,which took place on the Parusni .
Of these ten tribes, the following six, named in just two verses , may be noted :
आ पक्थासो भलानसो भनन्तालिनासो विषाणिनः शिवासः |
आ यो.अनयत सधमा आर्यस्य गव्या तर्त्सुभ्यो अजगन युधा नर्न ||
युवां नरा पश्यमानास आप्यं पराचा गव्यन्तः पर्थुपर्शवो ययुः |
a Prthus or Parthavas ( पर्थु 7.83.1) : Parthians
b. Parsus or Parsavas ( पर्शव 7.83.1) : Persians
c. Pakthas ( पक्थास 7.18.7) : Pakhtoons.
d. Bhalanas (भलानस 7.18.7) : Baluchis
e. Sivas (शिवासः 7.18.7) : Khivas
f. Visanins ( विषाणिनः 7.18.7) : Pishachas ( Dards).
Three more tribes, named in adjacent verses, must be noted separately.
a. Bhrgus ( र्भ्र्गवो 7.18.6) : Phrygians.
b. Simyus ( शिम्यु 7.18.5) : Sarmatians.
c. Alinas ( लिनासो 7.18.7 ) : Alans
A major Iranian tribe which is not named in the RigVeda, but appears as a prominent Anu tribe in the RigVeda, but appears as a prominent Anu tribe in the Puranas and epics is the Madras : Medes ( Madai).
Significantly, the Anu king who leads the confederation of Anu tribes against Sudas ( and who is named in 7.18.12) has a name which to this day is common among Zoroastrians : Kavasa (कवषं ).
Furthermore, this king is also called Kavi Cayamana ( कविरशयच्चायमानः) four verses earlier ( 7.18.8). This is significant because an ancestor of this king ( सम्राट ), Abhyavartin Cayamana ( अभ्यावर्ती चायमानो) , is identified in 6.27.8 as a Parthava पार्थवानाम( Parthian). At the same time, Kavi is the title ofthe kings of the most important dynasty in Avestan and Zoroastrian history, the Kavyan or Kayanian dynasty.
In later times, it is the Parthian kings who are the loudest and most persistent in their claims to being descendants of the Kayanians.
If the full name of this king is interpreted as Kavi Kavasa ( कवषं) of the line of the Cayamanas, he can be identified with Kavi Kavata, the founder of the pre-Avestan dynasty of Kavyan or Kayanian kings, whose most prominent decendant was Kavi Vistaspa.
5. The Dasas of the Rigveda are opposed to the Aryas : since the word Arya refers to Purus in general and the Bharatas in particular, the word Dasa should logically refer to non-Purus in general and the Anus ( or Iranians) in Particular.
The word Dasa is found in 54 hymns ( 63 verses) and in an overwhelming majority of these references, it refers either to human enemies of the Vedic Aryans , or to atmospheric demons killed by Indra: in most cases, it is difficult to know which of the two is being referred to, and in some of them perhaps both are being simultaneously referred to.
There are eight verses which refer to both Arya and Dasa enemis ; and in this case it is certain that human enemies are being referred to. These verses ( 6.22.10, 6.33.3,6.60.6; 7.83.1, 10.38.3 ) help us to confirm the identity of the Aryas of the Rigveda. However, they give us no help in respect of the Dasas.
But finally , there are three verses which stand out from the rest : they contain references which are friendly towards the Dasas:
a. In 8.5.31, the Asvins are depicted as accepting the offerings of the Dasas.
आ वहेथे पराकात पूर्वीरश्नन्तावश्विना |
पराकात - Far away distance, अमर्त्य - immortal, अन्न -food,
वहेथे - drive,
Translation : From far away ye come to us, Aśvins, enjoying plenteous food Of Dāsas, O Immortal Ones
b. In 8.46.32, the patrons are referred to as Dasas.
शतं दासे बल्बूथे विप्रस्तरुक्ष आ ददे |
शतं -hundred , दासे बल्बूथे - of Dasa Balbutha, विप्र - sage, तरुक्ष - Taruksa, ददे - gift ( give)
Translation : A hundred has the sage received, Dāsa Balbūtha's and Tarukṣa's gifts.
c. In 8.51.9. Indra is described as belong to both Aryas and Dasas.
यस्यायं विश्व आर्यो दासः शेवधिपा अरिः |
Given the nature of Mandala 8, and the fact that all these three hymns are दानस्तुति ( hymns in praise of donors), it is clear that the friendly references have to do with the identity of the patrons in these hymns.
A special feature of these दानस्तुति is that, while everywhere else in the Rigveda we find patrons gifting cattle, horses and buffaloes, these particular patrons gift camels ( उष्ट्र).
यथा चिच्चैद्यः कशुः शतमुष्ट्रानां ददत सहस्रा दश गोनाम ||
Translation As Kasu, Cedi's son, gave me a hundred camles, and ten thousand kine ( cows).
षष्टिं सहस्राश्व्यस्यायुतासनमुष्ट्रानां विंशतिंशता |
synonyms : षष्टिं - sixty, सहस्रा - Thousand, अश्व्य - Horses,अयुत - ten thousand, उष्ट्र - camels, विंशति - twenty, शत - Hundred
Translation : Steeds (Horses) sixty thousand and ten thousand kine (Cows), and twenty hundred camels I obtained;
उदानट ककुहो दिवमुष्ट्राञ्चतुर्युजो ददत |
Synonyms : उदानट - reach upto, दिव - Heaven, उष्ट्र - camel, चतु - four, युजो - yoke, ददत - give ( bestow)
Kakuha hath reached up to heaven, bestowing camels yoked in fours.
Outside of these three hymns, the camel is referred to only once in the RigVeda, in a later upa-Mandals of Mandala 1 ( 1.138.2), where it is mentioned in a simile (comparison).
Now, as to the identity of the patrons in these four hymns :
a. In 8.5, the patron is Kasu
b. In 8.6, the patrons include Tirindira Parsava ( तिरिन्दिर पर्शावा)
c. In 8.46, the patrons include Prthusravas ( पर्थुश्रवसः) , son of Kanita ( कानीत)
In two of these cases, as we can see, the identity is self-evident : one patron is called a Parsva ( Persian) and another has Prthu ( Parthian) in his name.
In sum, the Iranians are fully identifiable with the Anus, the particular Dasas ( non-Purus) of the Rigveda.
Last edited by skganji; May 4th, 2011 at 11:41 PM.
|April 22nd, 2011, 10:06 PM||#19|
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Akaemenian Inscription at Behistun ( Bistun) . C-522-486 B.C.
Script : Persian Cuneiform.
Language : Old Persian ( Avestic).
Location : This tablet was sculptured at Behistun on the main road from Mesopotamia to Persia to commemorate the victory of King Darius (Darayavahush) the Great (c.529-486 BC).
Column one has 96 lines. In the below Image , you can see first 15 lines of column one.
Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Behistun_DB1_1-15.jpg
The reason I am putting this inscription is that two Iranian groups especially Parthian (Parthia[pathava]) and Persians ( Parsa) were exclusively mentioned in the Rigvedic verse 7.83.1. These two groups are mentioned side by side in this Rigvedic verse.
युवां नरा पश्यमानास आप्यं पराचा गव्यन्तः पर्थुपर्शवो ययुः |
Column 1 , lines 1-8
1. \ adam \ Dârayavauš \ xšâyathiya \ vazraka \ xšâyatha \ xšâyathiy
2. ânâm \ xšâyathiya \ Pârsaiy \ xšâyathiya \ dahyűnâm \ Višt
3. âspahyâ \ puça \ Aršâmahyâ napâ \ Haxâmanišiya \ thâtiy \
4. Dârayavauš \ xšâyathiya \ manâ \ pitâ \ Vištâspa \ Vištâspahyâ \ pitâ \ Arš
5. âma \ Aršâmahyâ \ pitâ \ Ariyâramna \ Ariyâramnahyâ \ pitâ\ Cišpiš \ Cišp
6. âiš \ pitâ \ Haxâmaniš \ thâtiy \ Dârayavauš \ xšâthiya \ avahyarâ
7. diy \ vayam \ Haxâmanišiyâ \ thahyâmahy \ hacâ \ paruviyata \ âmâtâ \ ama
8. hy hacâ \ paruviyata \hyâ \amâxam \ taumâ \ xšâyathiyâ \ âha \ th
(1) I am Darius [Dâryavuš], the great king, king of kings, the king of Persia [Pârsa], the king of countries, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenid.
(2) King Darius says: My father is Hystaspes [Vištâspa]; the father of Hystaspes was Arsames [Aršâma]; the father of Arsames was Ariaramnes [Ariyâramna]; the father of Ariaramnes was Teispes [Cišpiš]; the father of Teispes was Achaemenes [Haxâmaniš].
(3) King Darius says: That is why we are called Achaemenids; from antiquity we have been noble; from antiquity has our dynasty been royal.
(4) King Darius says: Eight of my dynasty were kings before me; I am the ninth. Nine in succession we have been kings.
(5) King Darius says: By the grace of Ahuramazda am I king; Ahuramazda has granted me the kingdom.
(6) King Darius says: These are the countries which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Ahuramazda I became king of them: Persia [Pârsa], Elam [Űvja], Babylonia [Bâbiruš], Assyria [Athurâ], Arabia [Arabâya], Egypt [Mudrâya], the countries by the Sea, Lydia [Sparda], the Greeks [Yauna], Media [Mâda], Armenia [Armina], Cappadocia [Katpatuka], Parthia [Parthava], Drangiana [Zraka], Aria [Haraiva], Chorasmia [Uvârazmîy], Bactria [Bâxtriš], Sogdia [Suguda], Gandara [Gadâra], Scythia [Saka] (Ghi-mi-ri or Cimmeria in Babylonian version), Sattagydia [Thataguš], Arachosia [Harauvatiš] and Maka [Maka]; twenty-three lands in all.
(7) King Darius says: These are the countries which are subject to me; by the grace of Ahuramazda they became subject to me; they brought tribute unto me. Whatsoever commands have been laid on them by me, by night or by day, have been performed by them.
(8) King Darius says: Within these lands, whosoever was a friend, him have I surely protected; whosoever was hostile, him have I utterly destroyed. By the grace of Ahuramazda these lands have conformed to my decrees; as it was commanded unto them by me, so was it done.
(9) King Darius says: Ahuramazda has granted unto me this empire. Ahuramazda brought me help, until I gained this empire; by the grace of Ahuramazda do I hold this empire.
Last edited by skganji; April 23rd, 2011 at 02:36 AM.
|April 23rd, 2011, 01:53 PM||#20|
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Interesting..But I am not able to follow,finding it tough.
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