Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The following is an excerpt from a book called "ISLAM" by an ex Muslim Anwar Shaikh.
"The propagandists will have us believe that an Islamic government is the custodian of human rights. How much truth is there in this assertion? The reality can be revealed by the examination of Islam and the way it is practiced in Muslim countries. What is Islam? It means complete surrender to Allah (and Muhammad). As Allah is the Master and Sovereign, a true Muslim must dedicate himself to building Islamic government where the law of the Koran reigns supreme.
The implications of this rule could be fatal to human rights. It applies to both non-Muslims and Muslims living in the Islamic State. Let us take the non-Muslims first. (a) In an Islamic State, the non-Muslims are second class citizens. In fact, they are condemned as ac- cursed people and, therefore, not entitled to any rights whatsoever because, according to Islamic teachings, "Allah is an enemy to the unbelievers" (The Cow: 98). Also "God has cursed the unbelievers, and prepared for them a blazing Hell" (The Confederates : 65) Because of this ideology, the Koran commands: "Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends; whosoever does that belongs not to God" (The House of Imran : 60). Surely, it must be clear that in a State, where non- Muslims are not to be befriended by Muslims, they cannot have equal rights of justice. This is specially true when there is a dispute between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. For example, a Jew has no remedy in law against a Muslim if the latter hits the former in a temper. Again, a Muslim cannot be executed for the murder of a non-Muslim.
In obedience to the Koranic injunction (Repentance: 29), non-Muslims living in Muslim State are subject to Jazya (Poll Tax) which is an imposition or penalty for being a non-Muslim. (b) Having viewed the rights of non-Muslim in a Muslim State, now I turn to the human rights of a Muslim. Allah, the Islamic (god, does not allow a Muslim to exercise his free will which is the foundation of humanity. He must obey the commandments of Allah which He revealed 1400 years ago, regardless of their unsuitability to modern times. Is it not strange that almost all the Muslim nations are backward and find it hard to manufacture even push-bikes, whereas non- Muslims have been able to build spacecraft and send men to the moon with satellites to carry world-wide communications, used willingly by the Muslim States? In fact, Muslim countries owe practically all of their scientific, medical, engineering and oven entertainment establishments to the West.
Almost every- thing they have taken from the West conflicts with Islamic principles. Yet, they put the Islamic stamp on them and pretend that non-Muslim have stolen these phenomena from the Koran which, they claim, contains instructions on every- thing such as physics, medicine, engineering, accountancy, law, history, spacecraft, literature and in fact everything that is or will be. What a tragedy it is that Islam ever reached the Indian sub-continent. There is no doubt that it shook Hinduism, but it is equally true that the Hindu culture beat it out of shape along with its ethos.
The Pakistani Mullahism states that once a person has confirmed his belief in the prophet Mohammed by reciting the Shahada (Kalma Sharif), he inevitably goes to paradise where Houris (beautiful young women) and hand- some youths wait impatiently for him to render their services. These misguided presentations of belief do not, help the cause of Islam. Are the ruling classes of Pakistan Muslims believers) or hypocrites (unbelievers)? I was one of those ardent advocates of Pakistan in 1947 and shouted like others : Pakistan ka matlab kya? La Ilahaila Allah. It ineans that the purpose of partitioning India is to create Pakistan for establishing the government of Allah (Islamic theocracy).
This promise involved the massacres of ten Lakh (one million ) Muslims and displacement of another ten million through forced migration. Despite suffering this calamity of horrific proportions, the people of Pakistan have been waiting for the enforcement of the Islamic Law but it has not come as yet. Why? The truth is that what is projected as the Islamic Law is not comprehensive enough to facilitate the formation of a government because there are less than eighty verses in the Koran which express legal concerns. When they are stretched, they lose their relationship with Islam.
For example, the agrarian system of Islam is feudalistic but the mullah and the Politician pretend that it is socialistic. Again, they claim that the Islamic government is democratic whereas the truth is exactly the opposite. These attitudes are a fine example of hypocrisy and they demonstrate the apostasy of the Pakistani religious and political leadership. Islamic Law requires four eye-witnesses to prove rape! Needless to say, for this type of offence it is ni'arly always impossible to produce such witnesses. Usually, when a com plaint of rape is made, the offender counter-accuses the. woman of being a whore and of destroying his faith (eeman) through temptation . This is all the Pakistani police officer needs to hear; he sets the accused man free and locks up the woman where there is a strong likelihood that she will be abused by the Police officers. According to some newspaper reports, this, lustful pursuit of the police can become sadistic when the officers force the woman to strip and dance to amuse them. The national character introduced by the Theo-Fascis ruling classes of Pakistan has resulted in the practice of Kuf (faithlessness) in the guise of eeman (faith). Not only individually , but also collectively, they have become anti-Islamic.
What a craft these people have developed to flout Islam in the name of Islam! If this is not enough, look at the license brothels in Pakistan. This is an open invitation to Zana and i carries the Islamic punishment of death by stoning. The rulers of Pakistan today have been making, mockery of Islam. The real culprits are the mullahs and the politicians who have brainwashed the ordinary people in the name of Islam for the purpose of driving them in those direc- tions that suit the ruling classes only. It is a tragedy that the so-called 'guidance' of the reli- gious and political leadership of Pakistan is really a gross misdirection. If there is any Kafir in the world of Islam, these people are the ones. The simple truth is that there is no such thing as an Islamic government.
This has been true for the past 1400 years. So why pick upon the Indian sub-continent to pretend that such a government can be established? It is simply because those who sought complete power for themselves in one part of the large continent of diverse religions found it easier to misguide and manipulate people in the name of the prophet Mohammed. The promise of a paradise full of beautiful women and pretty boys was declared to be the reward of those who supported the division of the continent that left both sides weaker in the larger world. The same promise of paradise is the reason why the poor people of Pakistan are prepared to tolerate the hell on earth that their political and religious leaders have created.
What a confidence trick it is that has been played upon the aspirations of the poor people f Pakistan as they await the only relief of their suffering through death and the passage to Paradise. The mullahs are not doing their duty as the ambassadors of Islam. The Mullah has a Koranic duty to raise is voice against a wicked government and all those who deride Islam in the name of Islam. He must bring such a government down and replace it with a righteous administration. But in Paki- stan, he has no intention of doing his duty. This is what makes him a hypocrite. Says the Koran: "A hypocrite is an unbeliever" (Women 140). Again : "The hypocrites bid to dishonor and forbid honour. God has promised them the fire of hell. God has cursed them" (Repentance: 65). And again : "Cursed they (the hypo- crites) shall be, and whosoever they are come upon, they shall be seized and slaughtered all". (The Confederates: 60). There is no secular punishment for apostasy. It is rtrlctly a matter between God and man. but the Pakistani mullahs have tried to act as Allah by prescribing 'murder for relegation'. Religion is the bread and butter of the mullah. Without it, he is sure to starve.
It is also a source of dignity for him but it pays him better when he acts as the stooge of the Politicians. It is his favourite trick to pronounce Fatwas' against innocent people to divert public attention from government atrocities which are committed in pursuit of power. Just look at the Pakistani Blasphemy Act of 1981. The perpetration of deception, deviation and dev- ilishness through the misrepresentation of Islam has become an effective tradition in the Indian subconti nent. It is a highly paying business for the mullah and the most enticing net for the politician to trap votes. Shatim-e-Rasool, or insulter of the Prophet Muhammad. is such a device in Pakistan. There is no command in the Koran that legitimises the killing of one who insults the Prophet. This is strictly a device of the Pakistani authorities at the instigation of the mullahs.
Whenever the mullahs are challenged to identify the particular Koranic verse advocating the murder of the Shatim-Rasool (swearer of the Prophet), they cannot do so and resort to lies instead. When questioned on the issue, one mullah declared in the Daily Jang (London, August 5th 1994) that it is mentioned in verses in "The Apartment": 57,61-62. It would appear that this particular mullah has never read the Koran because "The Apartment" has only 18 verses! It reminds one of a hadith (saying of the Prophet): "Time will come when Islam will exist in name only and the Koran will be just a collection of words.
The mosques will be full but completely unguided. During that period the mullahs shall be the worst of creatures under the sky; they will be the source of mischief'. (Muskat, Vol. 1, Mtab-ul-ilm, Ch. 3, p. 76). was to write and publish ETERNITY which is a philosophical work. They did not read the book. Those who claim to have read it do not possess the intellectual capacity to understand it. Take another couple of examples. Miss Tasleema Nasreen of Bangladesh is reported to have said that the contents of the Koran should be modified to meet the needs of the times. Instead of advancing counter-arguments to demonstrate the perfection of the Koran, the mullahs whipped up a public hysteria. Another woman, Mrs. Tansu Cillier, Prime Minister of Turkey, also stated in June 1994 that the Koran should be re- interpreted to suit the needs of the times.
As a result, the Turkish Government's Department of Religious Affairs issued instructions to the country's fifty universities to help prepare a new exposition of the Koran. This task is being undertaken seriously by the Turkish Muslim scholars today. This is exactly the same attitude as that of Tasleema Nasreen; yet nobody has raised a finger at the Turkish Prime Minister. It shows the hypocrisy of the mullah. Having been one of the enthusiastic creators of Pakistan in 1947, I can honestly say that I am frustrated and infuriated by what is going on in Pakistan today. It represents exactly the opposite of my dreams regarding an Islamic State."
Friday, October 8, 2010
Indo-European? The Issue Of Language And The Problem Of Linguistics In Relation To The History Of India
According to many spiritual traditions, East and West, in the beginning was the Word. This is true both of cosmic creation and of human history. Speech is the basis of all human culture. In the Vedic view, the faculty that most defines the human beings is speech, the essence of which is OM, the cosmic sound that creates the entire universe through its vibratory power.
The key to the origins of civilization and high thinking in humanity is linked to the development of speech. Other marks of civilization like writing and urban constructions are secondary and became possible only because of the spoken word. Yet speech arose much earlier in history than urban civilization, and it is likely that some form of speech has been with modern humans since our origins a hundred thousand years ago or more. Some societies that have not used writing have also had a high degree of verbal skills through oral poetry and story traditions.
The study of the ancient world must consider the development of ancient languages and, when existent, their literary records. In this regard, India has left us the greatest literature of the ancient world, the Vedic, and the greatest language, Sanskrit. This in itself tells a lot about the importance of Indian Civilization, its continuity and its antiquity. Only a great culture could produce and preserve such a language that has endured when all other great ancient languages have fallen into extinction.
Yet language records, by which we mean written texts, go back only some 5000 years, and even then only in fragments. This means that we cannot reduce ancient languages and the development of human speech to the available written records, however useful these might be. Efforts to explain the current languages of India have been based upon proposed migrations of people over the last three or four thousand years only. Now we can see that these follow too short a time frame to account for cultural developments and connections in the region, which were already well in place before this period.
Our modern view of the ancient world is colored by another modern discipline apart from archaeology. This is linguistics, or the comparative study of languages. Linguistics attempts to recreate postulated ancient languages. It then tries to use these creations to recover the history and the movements of people as if language was the primary determinative factor in how or why people migrated. This is sometimes called historical linguistics.
However, we must remember that linguistics is not a hard science like genetics nor based on technical evidence like archaeology. There is no genetic material in the human being that can be identified with particular languages or language families. There is, for example, no Indo-European gene or Dravidian gene or Sanskrit gene!
Linguistics reflects certain assumptions about language and its development that linguists have today. The assumption that ancient people viewed and developed their languages many thousands of years ago, the way we theorize they did cannot be accepted as scientifically proven. As we shall soon discover, science casts serious doubt on it.
For these reasons, we cannot treat linguistics as a primary source for determining what occurred in the ancient world. It may be of secondary value, it at all, for refining correlations based on more solid forms of evidence.
The discovery of connections between Sanskrit and many Languages of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, caused nineteenth century scholars to posit an 'Indo-European' family of languages. Such ancient languages as Latin, Greek, Iranian and Sanskrit have many affinities as do later languages in the Germanic, Slavic, Baltic and others. This led them to posit some original Proto-Indo-European language behind all these from which these different languages arose as branches.
Based on this idea, scholars proposed an original homeland of this Proto-Indo-European group somewhere in Central Asia as a kind of common point of dispersion in different directions. They also proposed that the Vedic language and culture arose as a result of migrations from this region. In addition, many tried to relate this original linguistic group with some sort of racial identity or ethnicity, not surprisingly European Caucasoid! The term 'Aryan language' is an invention of Western scholars used to mean such Indo-European languages – historical and reconstructed.
Yet the fact that Indo-European languages are related in some ways is no proof that they evolved from a single language, much less the place or time when that might have occurred. The so-called Indo-European languages have connections with non-Indo-European languages as well. The similarities between Indo-European languages can be explained in other ways than from a migration into India, for which there is no evidence. For example, there could be movements out of India or other forms of cultural diffusion.
The division of languages into families is not watertight. Vedic Sanskrit has affinities with the Dravidian and Munda languages of India also. These connections extend to common loan words and common grammatical formations even for languages that might be classified as otherwise belonging to different language families. There appears to be no easy way of fitting languages into separate families.
Our view is that just as India has maintained a continuity of peoples and cultures within its geographical zone, the same is true of its languages. A region that could develop great languages like Sanskrit and Tamil cannot be held deficient as far as language is concerned. Indeed, Vedic grammar and linguistics as reflected in Panini and other more ancient texts is the most sophisticated in the world. The creative genius of India has long gone into language, grammar, metrics, etymology, mantra and other language studies, both scientific and spiritual. It is hardly a linguistic vacuum zone, only borrowing its languages from the outside, as some linguists propose. As with genetics, so with languages. The greatest diversity and the highest antiquity of Sanskrit and its derivatives are found in India. This is strong evidence that Sanskrit was born in India.
A major problem with migration theories of languages – which include the idea that the original Sanskrit speakers migrated to India sometimes after 1500 BCE (3500 BP) – is that it was rather late in the ancient period in which populations, civilizations, customs and languages were already well established.
The main migration of peoples and of languages would have been from the south and east at the end of the Ice Age. This was a consequence of natural history and the climatic upheavals that took place at the time. It was at this time that disruptions owing to climate changes would have created the maximum necessity for such movements of people. Yet if post-Ice Age events were the main impetus behind the development of both languages and cultures, it would make most of the languages of the world order than current estimates.
At best, the Indo-European group of languages reflects older cultural connections that began with these movements of peoples at the end of the Ice Age. The dominance of so-called Indo-European civilizations like India, Iran, Greece, and Rome aided in the continuity of such linguistic groups, but not their origin.
In this regard it is helpful to look at what current science has to say about the language problem. Recent studies in the human genome suggest that some mutations in a gene called FOXP2 may have triggered the uniquely human capacity for speech and therefore language. Dates are uncertain, but all humans inhabiting the world today – traceable to an exodus from Africa perhaps 90,000 years ago- possess this capacity. Hence it is reasonable to suppose that the necessary mutations in speech production, hearing and cognition (comprehension) must have taken place 100,000 years ago at the least. – See "Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language"
Chronology is not the only problem with linguistics as a tool in history. Linguistics methods fail scientific tests also. As published in Mathematics in the archaeological and Historical Sciences, when Kruksal, Dyen and Black applied statistical tests to the languages that make up the Indo-European family, they found results that contradicted the most basic assumption of linguists – that they form a language family. The most important member is of course Sanskrit, but their analysis threw up a major contradiction: Indian and Iranian languages failed the grouping test! This is a bombshell, for according to Info-European linguistics, Indo-Iranian is the lynchpin of the whole discipline, but the one quantitative test that was applied to the hypothesis discredited it.
Struck by this, Cavalli-Sforza highlighted that the Kruksal, Dyen and Black study "…found no similarity at all between Italic and Celtic languages, nor between Indian and Iranian ones… The non-identification of an Indo-Iranian group by Dyen et al. is the major departure from the conclusions accepted by the majority of traditional linguists. See "Great Human Diasporas" Addison-Wesley, 1995: page 190. In other words, much of what was regarded as solid fact in linguistics remains highly questionable, if not outright wrong.
The point to note here is that the tests do not deny that Sanskrit and ancient Iranian (Avestan) are related. They question the methodology used in deriving language families, which is the main tool of comparative linguistics. Since comparative linguistics is the basis of various migration theories, including the Aryan invasion (or migration) theory, it is hardly surprising that both comparative linguistics and invasion-migration theories should have fallen victims to rigorous scientific analysis. Both now stand discredited for the same reason: they are unscientific.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Unfortunately, these proposed Vedic Aryan hordes have been portrayed by western historians as primitive Nazis bringing racial oppression into ancient India. These mythical Aryan invaders have been attributed with caste oppression and all other Indian social evils. Yet such scholars fail to note that the type of class and clan society we find in the Vedas is much like what existed throughout the ancient world, continues in tribal societies everywhere, and persists in some forms in modern societies as well. It is not an Aryan invention.
The rule was the same in most ancient cultures; chieftains and priests formed a special group at the top. The common people were divided into merchants, farmers and servants, with some populations on the outside of the social order kept in the distance. Such a division does not reflect any single political or religious ideology, much less a particular ethnicity, but just the practicalities of organizing society in the pre-technological and largely non-urban world (even in the Harappan area with its numerous urban sites the great majority of people lived in villages).
There is no need to invent the Aryans to bring in the caste system, any more than to bring in the Sanskrit language. The pride of birth is high and often an important source of status in all cultures and societies. It does not require invaders to produce it. Such abuse of status is a common human problem, which continues today in various forms. It cannot simply be used to blame some mythical Aryans of thousands of years ago.
Yet today, even when most western historians have rejected the scenario of the pillaging Aryan hordes, they are doing very little to correct the distortions caused by it, often allowing these wrong accounts to continue in old textbooks without revision. They have thereby allowed the anti-Hindu or anti-Vedic sentiments generated by such ideas to go on without any serious challenge. Such characterizations border on racism and breed conflict and misunderstanding. It is necessary to remove these Aryan distortions for a correct view of ancient India. That is the part of the purpose of writing these articles.
When we open a history book used in our schools today, we find that it invariably begins with a description of the Indus Valley Civilization. It usually starts off with an account of the discovery of the two major sites Harappa and Mohenjodaro, followed by a brief description of what was found there. We will also be told how this civilization went into decline and finally disappeared by 1500 BCE (3500 BP). The main cause of this disappearance, the reader is then informed, was the invasion of India by nomadic tribes from Central Asia called the Aryans. According to this account, these invading Aryans, who are said to have entered India through the passages in the northwest, fought and overcame the inhabitants of the Indus Valley and established themselves over much of North India. They are then said to have composed their literature, the most important of which is the Rig Veda. This history of India begins in earnest with the records of the Aryans following their invasion. This in essence is the account of ancient history found not only in school books, but also in such authoritative sources as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The modern science of molecular genetics has demolished the whole notion of the Aryans. Archaeology also has disproved the idea of an Aryan invasion. In addition to political and racial ideas that were given a linguistic garb, some religious beliefs also played a part in creating the Aryan Invasion Theory. In the 19th century Europe many students were taught the Biblical superstition that the world was created in its present form with all its life forms on 23rd October 4004 BCE. European scholars steeped in this belief, could not accept that Indian history and civilization went much further back in time. So they distorted and misinterpreted records to fit their own limited worldview.
In recent years, recognizing that the Aryan Invasion Theory has been disproved, some scholars are proposing something they are calling the Aryan Migration Theory. This, too, is no more valid. All the old contradictions remain and some new ones arise as well. These both are rejected for the same reasons.
"ARYAN" – No single aspect of ancient Indian history has so dominated historical discourse as the so-called 'Aryan problem'. In the 19th century, European scholars, new to the study of India, proposed an 'Aryan invasion' that was supposed to have brought the Vedic civilization and the 'Aryan language' (Sanskrit) to India from the Aryan west. The theory led to the illusory idea of an Aryan race, generally blond and blue-eyed which fuelled a pathological attempt to recreate an Aryan nation years later in, of all places, Germany!
Even archaeology has not escaped the Aryan obsession, with scholars claiming that the Harappan civilization was non-Aryan, destroyed by the invading Aryans. Mortimer Wheeler, one of the early Harappan archaeologists, went so far as to try to read an Aryan massacre into skeletal remains he found at Mohenjodaro, which he highlighted with great drama and which has entered into many textbooks, still used to the present day. Through later archaeology disproved Wheeler's finding as a case of imagination gone wild, showing that the skeletons showed no evidence of violent deaths, and no Harappan sites have ever been found that were destroyed by outside invaders, archaeologists still talk about the incoming Aryans, hoping to find them eventually, somewhere! Meanwhile the depiction of the Aryans has retreated from massive destructive hordes to small groups of undetectable migrants, hoping to preserve the theory even if no evidence in favor of it can be found. The Aryan idea appears more like an article of faith for western historians than anything inherent in the facts coming out of India. What is the reality?
In the whole world of the Rig Veda, consisting of ten books and more than a thousand hymns, the word 'Arya' appears fewer than 40 times. It may occur as many times in a few pages of a modern European work like Hitler's Mein Kampf, where there is no doubt about its racial meaning. As a result, any modern book or even discussion on the 'Aryan problem' is more likely to be a commentary on recent European thought on the Aryans than anything really relevant to ancient India of many thousands of years ago.
The use of the term Aryan can be compared with the fear of the Swastika as a symbol of racism and hatred, which it is often falsely combined. The Swastika is an old Vedic symbol of good fortune, found in the oldest archaeological sites in India. It is found among other people also, including in pre-Columbian Native American tribes. The Nazis probably got their swastika symbol from ancient Roman ruins like Pompey where also it is found rather than directly from India. It is a solar symbol of enlightenment that the Buddhists and Jains also adopted. Other than the gross misuse by the Nazis, the Swastika – more popularly the Svasti – has been used as a symbol of goodwill and well-being all over the world. Except for the fleeting period of Nazi misuse, the Swastika has been a universal symbol of peace and prosperity.
The Rig Veda and all of Sanskrit literature that followed never refer to Aryans in this modern sense of the word. Aryan was an important title of respect, roughly comparable to the English word 'sir' or 'gentleman'. It was used to symbolize nobility and refinement of behavior and character, not a pattern of bias and prejudice to which it has been turned into by modern writers! The ancient Sanskrit lexicon Amarakosha identifies it as a synonym for honorable or praiseworthy conduct.
There is no reference to any 'Aryan' type, race or tribe as a term of ethnicity in Sanskrit literature. There is only Aryan as certain type of high culture or lofty code of conduct. Even the Buddha called his religion 'Arya dharma' in this manner. We cannot imagine Aryans conquered ancient India and took over all titles of respect in the country, any more than we can imagine that a tribe of Englishmen named 'sir' took over all main positions of power in England!
The Vedic deities or Devas were regarded as forces of light and their enemies were regarded as forces of darkness, just as was the case for many ancient solar religions, from America and Egypt to Europe and India. But this was not meant as a racial statement, but just the natural symbolism of light and darkness.
Yet the truth is that after two hundred years and many books on the subject of the Aryans, scholars are still unclear what the Aryan identity is. At first the Aryans were supposed to be a race of distinguished by physical traits like white skin, blond hair and blue eyes, but given the lack of any evidence for such types in India or Iran, countries of the most ancient Aryan cultures, this has largely been given up. Other scholars have gone so far to identify Aryan as Caucasian, though there are many Caucasian groups that have darker skin and many others who do not speak so-called Aryan languages. Scientists, too, have no use for the 'Aryan race'. As far back as 1939, Julian Huxley, one of the great biologists of the 20th century, dismissed it as part of "political and propagandist" literature.
Genetics is a new science that is adding important new information about human origins, but even with it some initial data has been distorted by the Aryan obsession. A recent study conducted by Bamshad et al. al the University of Utah claims to have found evidence of western, possible Indo-European or Aryan peoples in the DNA of some South Indian peoples (actually too small a group to prove the point). Their claims that they have identified genes relating to tribes and even castes (and sometimes language!) make NO scientific sense. Their study resembles Wheeler's imaginary massacre at Mohenjodaro. This genetic study has similarly been discredited by more important thinkers in the field. Eminent geneticists like L. Cavalli-Sforza and Stephen Oppenheimer have rejected it. See: Genetic Evidence on the Origin of Indian Caste Populations by M.Bamshad, T.Kivislid, W.S. Watkins, M.E. Dixon, C.E. Ricker, B.B Rao, J.M Naidu, B.V.R Prasad, P.G Reddy, A. Raganagam, et al. 2001, Genome Research 11, pp 994-1004. According to them the M17 genetic marker, which is supposed to distinguish the 'Caucasian' type, occurs with highest frequency and diversity in India, showing that among its carriers, the Indian population is the oldest.
Archaeologically speaking, the search for Aryan skeletons in India has not come up with anything either. There are to date no ruins, remains, encampments or settlements of any invading Aryans that anyone has ever been able to show or prove to have existed apart from indigenous developments.
Sensitive to the disrepute that race theories have fallen into, some scholars hold on to the Aryan term but as referring to a linguistic group. This began with the German-born Indologist Max Muller, one of the main proponents of Aryanism, who made a celebrated switch from Aryan as a race to Aryan as a language. Yet the vast body of Indian literature on linguistics, the richest in the world going back to yaska, Panini and Vedic texts, knows nothing of any Aryan language as the dialect of a particular group of people. When used relative to language, Aryan refers to noble or cultured speech, like well-educated individuals who speak good Sanskrit, similar to people speaking good English versus those speaking common or vulgar forms. This does not means that those speaking unrefined speech are speaking a different language or are of a different ethnicity!
The 'Aryan Nation' or Aryan racial purity was the battle cry of German nationalists, not ancient Indians. To look at ancient Sanskrit terms in light of their modern European redefinitions cannot lead us anywhere in understanding the ancient world, however much political passion it may arouse.
All this means that the 'Aryan problem' is mainly a non-problem – an aberration of wrong history and inaccurate semantics. It has been kept alive by certain historians, who have taken the Sanskrit term to mean what they would like it to. According to its advocates, because of linguistic similarities with languages of Europe and central Asia, the Vedic language and literature must be of non-Indian origin, and so must have been brought in by a different ethnic group, whom these propose was the invading or migrating Aryans. This proved not by any evidence of these incoming Aryans, but by the linguistic requirements of modern theories.
In other words, certain scholars have invented the Aryans as a people to give justification of their own theories. The idea of the invading Aryans was proposed even before any major archaeological finds relative to ancient India were made, and continued long after archaeology contradicted the invasion idea. It has ignored or distorted those finds that came later. Aryans are needed because without them there can be no Aryan invasion (or migration) needed to justify certain linguistic theories. In the face of all this it is best to ignore labels and look simply at the record of the people who lived in India and created her unique civilizations.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
What we call history is, to a greater extent, an artificial line, defining people are either civilized or uncivilized based upon markers like writing, urban development or the use of metals that may not be crucial to the real character of people. It is unlikely that earlier humanity was any less human or any less sensitive than we are, even if they did not build cities like we do. So-called primitive peoples often produced art and literature far superior than what is being produced today.
It is also well known fact of history that so-called primitive people in the colonial era, like the Native Americans, were often more honest, kind and truthful than their European conquerors, who never honored a single treaty with them. Scientifically speaking, the yogi in a cave and the caveman are indistinguishable to the urban markers of modern civilization, though they are radically different relative to the evolution of consciousness.
In this regard, Hindu records through the Vedas and Purans suggest that human civilization – or at least some sort of advanced culture capable of spiritual development – has been going on much longer than our recorded history. These texts connect human history with longer natural and cosmic cycles, and current humanity with earlier humanities of tens of thousands of years ago.
It has also been the view of many spiritual thinkers worldwide that there were earlier humanities that underwent their own cultural developments, though not necessarily in a technological manner. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Babylonians firmly believed this. We are only now beginning to suspect these possibilities. What was previously regarded as the beginning of history around 3000 BCE (5000 BP – Before Present) is now being seen as part of a longer natural history, with culture, agriculture and language being much older.
The Vedas project a 'Yuga' theory of historical and cosmic development, the idea of periodic cycles of humanity and of nature, broken by great natural catastrophes. This fits in well with current scientific theories about natural history through the Ice Ages and warm periods like the one we are living in today. There are two cycles of 41,000 years and 24,000 years duration that overlap the 100,000-year Ice Age Cycle, which are main cycles of natural history scientists are looking at relative to early humanity. These are characterized by the position of the Earth's axis relative to the Sun, and therefore the amount of energy that the Earth receives. Though the exact relationships are not known, these cycles have a bearing on the world's climate and a profound effect on the life of all species. The Vedic Yuga cycle of 24,000 years reflects similar time frames.
The idea of earlier Manus and the earlier kalpas, or world-ages, such as we find in the Puranic literature, may reflect memories of these earlier phases of mankind prior to what our current culture recognizes as history. This Hindu connection to prehistoric eras of human species may be responsible for the Hindu idea of an eternal tradition of truth (Sanatan Dharma). It extends to the Hindu view of the universe, which is defined according to longer natural cycles of yugas extending into the age of the universe itself and a recognition that our current universe is only one of many that exists throughout the endless expanse of time and space.
From the standpoint of modern science, this 'Hindu view of time' better reflects the movement of natural history (and cosmology) that is marked by cycles and cataclysms over long periods of time. It stands in stark contrast to Western historical models that follow a linear and progressive model of history, generally focused on events of the last 5000 years, if not the last 500. These place human history apart from the nature's cycles and often opposed to them as well.
Such linear time models extend to Western politics and religion. The Western mind then interprets history according to its own linear models, and ignores the role of natural history and its cycles that was the real time frame in which ancient people actually lived.
As we move into an ecological age, we must once more respect natural history and natural time cycles. This will take the modern mind back in the direction of the Hindu view of time and the Hindu approach to history that has always based itself on such natural time cycles and a regard for the much greater antiquity of the human species. It also accommodates new discoveries in fields as diverse as natural history, genetics and cosmology.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In recent decades, there have been significant advances in our knowledge of our past thanks to new techniques based on genetic mapping. As this is very new discipline, still learning to define itself and its capacities, there remains a good deal of controversy but this much seems to be reasonable certain: our ancestors or Homo sapiens originated in Africa around 150,000 years ago. A small group eventually left Africa some 80,000 years ago and settled along the coast of South Asia from which they gradually spread out to colonize different parts of the world. All non-Africans in the world today are descended from a small group of south Asians living south of a line from Yemen to the Himalayas, especially from those along the Indian coast. This means that after Africa, India is the second homeland of our human species. Geneticists like L. Cavalli-Sforza and S. Oppenheimer have noted that settlers in the coastal regions of India were the source ('inocula') for the population of India. Some of them later migrated northwards and westward to populate Europe. This is the exact reverse of the various migration-invasion theories (like the Aryan invasion) advanced by linguists and anthropologists who sought to derive Indians and their civilization from Central Asia, Eurasia, or even Europe. See for example, Eden in the East by Stephen Oppenheimer (2003).
This 'founder group', from which all non-Africans are descended, barely survived the fallout from a volcanic eruption in Sumatra known as the 'Toba Explosion', 74,000 years ago. The Toba Explosion was the greatest catastrophe ever to hit humanity. It almost put an end to non-African human populations, but a core group survived in India, which became the jumping off point for the ultimate colonization of the world. This does not mean that there were no non-African humans before the Toba Explosion, but only that descendants of those earlier populations have not survived outside of Africa. Apparently another group out of Africa 120,000 years ago made its way to Egypt but disappeared 90,000 years ago without leaving a genetic trace. This means that the Indian population is largely indigenous from the earliest times of the Toba Explosion and is not the result of recent migrations as held by many historians and anthropologists.
The Europeans were among the descendents from these early South Asians, possibly as recently as 40,000 years ago. South Asia, India in particular, was the jumping off point for the colonization of East Asia, Greater India, Australia and ultimately the Americas.
The data for this is summarized by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, arguably the world's foremost population geneticist, and his colleagues, in the following words:
"Results show that Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of the Pleistocene southern and Western Asians and have received limited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene. The phylogeography [neighboring branches] of the primal mtDNA and Y-chromosome founders suggests that these southern Asian Pleistocene coastal settlers from Africa would have provided the inocula for the subsequent differentiation of the distinctive Eastern and Western Eurasian gene pools. " – The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers Persist Both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations: by T. Kisilvid, S.Rootsi, M. Metspahi, S. Mastana, K. Kaldma, J. Parik, E. Metspalu, M. Adojan, H.-V. Tolk, V. Stephanov, M. Golge, E. Usanga, S.S. Papiha, C. Cinnioulu, R. King, L. Cavalli-Sforza, P.A. Unterhill and R. Villems. 2003. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72: pp 313 – 332.
Put in non-technical language, it means that the Indian population and all its varied constituents, however defined – upper castes, lower casters, tribal (or so-called indigenous peoples), Dravidians and so forth – are all mainly of indigenous origin, and the contribution of immigrants (gene flow) is negligible. This is a major blow to the many invasion-migration theories that continue to dominate historical discourse in India. In particular, the various theories about Aryans and non-Aryans have no scientific basis whatsoever. In fact, such genetic information calls into question the entire concept of race as a primary factor for explaining the movements of people in ancient history.
Seen against this background, it is natural that the human inhabitants of India and Greater India, like the climate and its flora and fauna, should remain closely related. This is precisely what recent biological studies have also revealed. And this connection goes back at least 50,000 years. It is the descendants of these early humans who created both Indian and Greater Indian civilizations – art, archaeology and literature. Their influence also spread north and west.
This means that contrary to older views that India was mainly populated from the outside in historical times, India has actually been a major source of the world's populations going back many tens of thousands of years, of which the movement at the end of the last Ice Age was the largest and the most important.
Human Migration Timeline:
- 150,000 years ago Modern humans – out mtDNA ancestors – lived in Africa
- 120,000 years ago A group of humans travelled northward through Egypt and Israel but died out 90,000 years ago
- 80,000 years ago A group of humans travelled through the southern Arabian peninsula towards India. All non African people are descended from this group
- 75,000 years ago Modern humans moved east from India to Southeast Asia and China
- 70,000 years ago Humans crossed from Timor to Australia
- 46-50,000 years ago Homo Sapiens entered Europe. Most Europeans today can trace their ancestry to mtDNA lines that appeared between 50,000 and 13,000 years ago
- 40,000 years ago Humans trekked north from Pakistan up the Indus River and into Central Asia
- 40,000 years ago Humans from the East Asian coast moved west along the Silk Road
- 20-30,000 years ago Central Asians moved west towards Europe and east towards Beringia.
The natural history of our species is dominated by one very significant natural event over the last fifteen thousand years. This is the end of the last Ice Age. The end of the Ice Age radically changed climates worldwide, submerged extensive coastal regions and caused extensive migrations of people. Its effects on India and Greater India were particularly important, devastating and transforming to the entire environment. These events form the basis of any real examination of the history of the region or of the history of humanity as a whole.
India's links with Greater India were even closer ten thousand years ago and earlier during the Ice Age period when the whole region – from peninsular India to Indonesia – formed at various times either a single landmass or a massive archipelago of islands and peninsulas separated by relatively shallow, easy to cross sea-lanes. This created a vast landmass known as 'Sunda Land'. Large areas of Sunda Land along with substantial strip of the Indian coast were submerged by rising sea levels when the last Ice Age ended. This has to be the natural background from which to begin any study of the history and culture of the Indian people. Their history cannot be set apart from these natural connections with Greater India and its populations. Nor can we ignore the impact of the cataclysms on the inhabitants of the region.
Sunda Land and South India, especially the coastal regions, were the most favorable places for populations. Since they both had abundant heat and moisture, throughout the Ice Age period, when much of the northern hemisphere was cold, arid and inhospitable. This may be reflected in South Indian recollections of Kanya Kumari, a larger Pacific continent to the South, and to Vedic references to the sea and early maritime cultures. It is also why the peoples of India and regions referred to as Greater India are genetically older and more diverse than those of Europe and West Asia. This is because these regions constitute a single natural zone united by geography, climate and natural history. In view of this unity which is of untold antiquity and is also reflected in the history and culture of the region, it is properly called Greater India. Modern terms like Indo-China and Indonesia are no more than recognitions of this historical fact.
When sea levels rose, it was these best habitable lands that were lost, triggering migrations to the interior and the north. This was probably the greatest and most consequential migration in human history that set in motion most of the cultures and changes to civilization that came later. It holds one of the keys to understanding the region's prehistory along with its chronology.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Human beings and their culture arise out of the land like other species. They are part of their natural environment to which they must adapt in order to survive. Different cultures naturally reflect the circumstances of their geographic regions, climates and ecosystems. This is more important the further back in time we go and the more we look outside of urban environments, but even these are not above this law. To understand human history, we must look to natural history, particularly for ancient cultures that were much closer to the land than we are today. This begins with the facts of geography.
The motherland or Matri Bhoomi is the first guru of the people, one might say, just as the mother is the first guru of the child. The motherland of India is not only a great teacher but also a great provider of all aspects of life and humanity, holding a spiritual as well as material abundance for her children.
Mother India is not just a cultural and spiritual formulation but also a geographical reality, a unique formation of nature. With the highest mountains in the world and perhaps the greatest set of rivers, the land of India has shaped its people and its culture probably more than anything else has. This large tropical and subtropical subcontinent comes under the influence of the same natural forces of climate and geography, giving rise to similar responses from the people inhabiting the region.
India is a vast subcontinent located between the great mountain range of the Himalayas and the sea. It is a region defined by its special geography, which strongly insulates it from outside influences. The northern mountains are effective boundaries and remain almost impassable even today. The mountains to the west are part of a large desert region that serves to effectively block any easy access from that direction as well. The mountains of the east lead to successive ranges and almost impenetrable jungles in some of the wettest regions on Earth.
India's greatest access has always been by sea. From the west and into the Arabian Sea, India has a natural maritime route to the Persian Gulf, Arabia and the Red Sea. To the east through the Bay of Bengal it has an access to Greater India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Yet the southern and Eastern routes are much easier to travel because they lead to well-watered regions, while the Western sea routes cross extensive desert coastlines. Western theories like the Aryan Invasion theory that has the main culture of peoples of ancient India come from the northwest are contrary to the facts of the geography and natural history of the region that is connected more to Southeast Asia. The easy maritime access to the southeast is why in historical times Indian civilization naturally spread by sea to Malaysia, Indochina and Indonesia, following the course of the rivers and coastlines. India's geography and ecology provide the basis for its unique culture that has sustained itself through the millennia and also influenced the cultures around it which did have such as access to arable land and vast rivers.
It is a fact of history, growing out of the natural environment and geography that through most of its history India has been a maritime nation, depending upon a network of travel and trade on large rivers into the sea. Most western views of the history of India fail to take into account the natural history or the geographical ties of India, which have always been to the south and the east.
North India forms a vast plain defined by a series of great Himalayan rivers from the Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. These rivers provide an agricultural potential unparalleled in the rest of the world. While the civilization of ancient Egypt rested upon one great river, the Nile, and that of Mesopotamia on two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, ancient India had over a dozen such rivers and in a wetter and warmer subtropical climate. These great rivers of North India lead into the ocean either by the Arabian Sea or by the Bay of Bengal and would naturally have led the culture towards maritime travel as well.
South India forms a plateau but also has its great rivers like the Narmada, Krishna, Kaveri and Godavari that draw their waters from the heavy monsoon rains. The coastal regions are particularly well watered because the western and the eastern mountain ranges trap the rain-bearing monsoon winds. As a relatively small peninsula with oceans on both sides, its geography similarly creates a compelling connection to the ocean. Even connections to North India were often easier by sea than by land routes from South India.
India is blessed with probably the best agricultural region in the world. Though densely populated, even today its population is less dense than the United States when measured in terms of arable land. Its unique subtropical mountain, river and maritime ecosystem has allowed it to develop greater populations than Europe and the Middle East combined and made it a fertile ground for cultural growth. This is another reason why the idea that India needed outside populations to provide its people or its culture makes a little sense. Not surprisingly, ancient India's accounts of history and geography emphasize this great land with the Himalayas in the north, extending down to the sea, finding that to be a world in its own right and so are not much concerned with outside regions.
The greater geographical region in which India is located is dominated by two major natural forces; the tropical (and subtropical) climate and the seasonal monsoon rains. The countries of Greater India come under the same influences, depending upon rivers that flow from their northern mountains that are extensions of the Himalayas. In terms of climate and natural history, India shares more with greater India than with West Asia, Central Asia or Europe. This is reflected in the close connections between India and Greater India that go back tens of thousands of years. These run the gamut of the natural world including climate, flora and fauna and the people inhabiting the region.
We cannot, therefore, separate human achievements from the region's natural history. We must look for interpretations and explanations that connect the rhythm of nature with the progress (or decline) of civilizations. Our ancients understood this well when they sought to harmonize their lives with natural. They saw the divine manifesting everything in nature, living and non-living – from the grandest to the most humble. The Yajur Veda says:
Isavasyamidam sarvam, yatkincit jagatyam jagat.
"All this universe is pervaded by the Lord, whatsoever moving thing there is in this moving world"
The ideals of nature worship that we see in Vedic texts and in other ancient scriptures and teachings reflect a deeper connection with the Divine Spirit pervading nature. It is not at all primitive, but a progressive, all-comprehensive understanding of life. The truth of interconnectedness and interdependency, all the need of co-existence – that the human being is a part of nature and cannot survive without it – are hidden in these rituals. It reflects a deeper inner and an ecological vision, such as we are only just now beginning to discover and appreciate in this modern, ecological age.
Natural history includes the older history of our species before what we could call civilization was invented, as well as our interaction with the natural environment and its development over time.
Most history books today overlook the natural history of our species, which goes back tens of thousands of years before recorded history. This can have misleading consequences, particularly relative to the origins of civilization that depended upon earlier advances in agriculture, language and social interaction in the prehistoric era.
History books similarly ignore the importance of the natural environment as the prime factor in shaping culture and look upon political or economic factors as more significant. Yet floods, droughts and other natural calamities are usually more significant for beginning, ending or radically altering civilizations than simply internal social struggles.
Culture and civilization are primarily the human response to the natural environment and its changes. History is the record of this response. What we call history is but a phase in the natural history of our species and its greater development. Such a more 'ecological approach' to history is necessary in the current ecological age when we are again recognizing the importance of nature in shaping who we are. Human beings are part of the planet and cannot be looked upon as a species existing in isolation. Our activities affect and alter our ecosystems in ways that determine what our culture will be and how long it is likely to endure. This means that the natural history of India is the best context in which to start out examination of the human history of the region.
The natural history of India, meanwhile, is most closely related to that of Greater India(South East Asia), which has a similar pattern of mountains and monsoons in a tropical region. Therefore, one of the most significant consequences of this orientation to India's natural history takes us away from the focus on Central and West Asia as the basis of Indian civilization that has for too long dominated the discourse. This has particularly important consequences relative to the natural history of both regions over the past more than 10,000 years.
Questionable racial and linguistic theories, like the Aryan Invasion, either not based upon or even contrary to archaeological and other scientific evidence, have dominated the discourse. Or Marxist theories based upon modern ideas of politics have been imposed on ancient peoples, ignoring the natural setting in which they lived. It directs us to Greater India.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Sir William Jones was the first to show that there are many common cognate words shared by Sanskrit and European languages. Speaking to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, Jones made a statement which was soon to become quite famous:
…the Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philosopher could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists. -- Quoted in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, ed. William Morris (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1969), article by Calvert Watkins, p. XIX.
Common Words Shared By English and Sanskrit
India or Bharat's own school of thought and its own world view emphasizes dharma or natural law as the main factor behind both human life and the working of the universe. It sees human history in the context of the development of life and consciousness, and not just in terms of dates, events and inventions.
The Vedic vision begins with the idea of an eternal tradition of truth, wisdom and knowledge. This, in Sanskrit is called 'Sanatan Dharma' – the eternal dharma or the way of truth. In the Vedic view, consciousness underlies the entire universe of matter, energy and mind and provides the force that motivates and moves them.
The Vedic vision has important historical ramifications. According to its view, there was a rishi or yogic culture at the beginning of human history, not only in India but throughout the world. We find the echoes of this great tradition in the many stories of the great sages, seers and prophets of ancient times – such as occur in the annals of cultures as diverse as the Mayan American, the Chinese, the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Celtic and Hindu. These Hindu rishis or seers were said to have established the paths to spiritual knowledge for humanity at the beginning of this world age, which we can please roughly around the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.
In the Vedic view, cosmic intelligence is the basis of all life. This places a greater emphasis on the evolution of consciousness than that of mere outer forms. What we see in nature is but a reflection of a deeper evolution of mind and consciousness that is a universal potential, not just a chance happening on Earth.
Consciousness pervades the entire universe, animate and inanimate. In living things, as per the limitations of body and mind, that consciousness has the capacity of feeling in the plant kingdom, and has an additional capacity of sensation in the animal kingdom. With human beings it has a power of intelligence through which the very creature can realize its oneness with God or the universal consciousness. That is the real goal of life in the Vedic sense. The Aitareya Upanishad and Aranyaka show this quite well.
The civilization of India has always oriented itself to the spiritual life, the liberation of spirit, as the main goal of human existence. This we see in its many great yogic, religious and philosophical traditions, and in the many yogis, sadhus, mystics and sages it has produced in every generation. Whether is is meditation, yoga asanas, mantras, chanting, ritual or prayer, we find all such higher subjects taken up in great detail, depth and comprehensiveness. Certainly, at a spiritual and yogic level, India can claim to be the great mother of world civilization. We find this same focus in ancient India, whether in figures in yoga postures on ancient Harappan Seals or great Vedic chants to the cosmic powers.
Yet the civilization of India was rich not only spiritually but also materially. It had great wealth in agriculture, textiles, gold and gems that made it a goal for traders worldwide. It was this search for the legendary wealth of India which motivated Columbus to sail towards America in the first place and which had earlier brought Roma, Greek and Babylonian traders to the region.
According to economist Angus Maddison in The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective the region that today comprises the Indian Subcontinent held the largest share of the world's gross domestic product until the 16th century. India was the richest for over 75% of the world's counted calendar of history.
Ancient India also had a powerful warrior class and its own traditions of the martial arts. Complementary to the spiritual dharma was a kingly dharma to protect those leading the spiritual life and to maintain peace and prosperity for the entire region. (Most of the Mahabharata devotes itself to the raja Dharma or the way of kings, which forms an entire section of the Shanti Parva.) But India did not create a cult of foreign conquest. Even the king had to bow down before the ascetic and the renunciate and to retire to the forest for spiritual practices in his later years.
India today carries on this ancient spiritual and cultural heritage, which is developing anew in the modern world since India's return to its independence as a nation. India's gurus travel worldwide, with followers in every land, bringing deeper spiritual practices of yoga and meditation to all people. India's scientists are renowned world-wide for their skill and reliability. Its merchants are once more contribution to global prosperity and competing successfully in all major cities of the world.
- Natural history of tropical Asia shows that the origins of Indian civilization go back to the end of the last Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago.
- Archaeologically, India has the most extensive and continuous record of all ancient civilizations, much more than Egypt, Sumeria, or Mesopotamia of the same time periods. Yet its role as a source of civilization has largely been ignored by the historical biases of the West.
- The Vedic literature is the ancient world's largest, with its many thousands of pages dwarfing what little the rest of the word has been able to preserve. This literature reflects profound spiritual concepts, skill in mathematics, astronomy and medicine, special knowledge of language and grammar and other hallmarks of a great civilization. It cannot be attributed to nomads and barbarians or to the short space of a few centuries.
- The ancient Indian literature, the world's largest, and ancient Indian archaeology, also the ancient world's largest, must be connected. We can no longer accept the idea of Ancient India without a literature and Vedic literature reflecting no real culture of civilization. Vedic literature and its symbolism is clearly reflected in Harappan archaeology and its artifacts.
- Greater India, which included South India, was the home of most human populations which migrated after the end of the Ice Age when the water released by melting glaciers flooded the region around ten thousand years ago. Greater India, not the middle east, is the likely cradle, not only of populations but culture and agriculture as well.
- The Sarasvati river, the dominant river in Indi in the post-Ice Age era, after 8000 BCE (10,000 BP) and the main site of urban ruins in ancient India is well described in Vedic texts. It ceased to flow around 1900 BCE (3900 BP) making the vedic culture older than this date. All stages of the development and drying up of the Sarasvati can be found in Vedic texts down to the Mahabharata, showing that the Vedic people were flourishing along the river at all phases.
- There is no scientific or archaeological basis for any Aryan or Dravidian race, which are now discredited concepts. No skeletal remains of the so-called Aryans have ever been found in India. Whatever remains have been found are similar to the existing populations in the country going back to prehistoric times. There is no archaeological evidence of any Aryan invasion or migration into India but only the continuity of the same populations in the region and their cultural changes. This requires that we give up these old ideas and look at the data afresh apart from them.
- Connections between Indian languages and those of Europe and Central Asia, which can be found relative to both Sanskritic and Dravidian languages, are more likely traceable to a northwest movement out of India after the end of the Ice Age. The late ancient Aryan and Dravidian migrations, postulated to have taken place c. 1500 BCE (3500 BP), into India from Central Asia of Western linguistic theories occur too late, after populations and cultures were already formed, to result in the great changes attributed to them. Besides no records of such proposed invasions, or migrations have yet been found. Archaeology, literature and science, including genetics, all contradict it.
- Vedic spirituality of rituals, mantras, yoga and meditation, based on an understanding of the dharmic nature of all life, created the foundation for the great spiritual traditions of India. It emphasized individual experience of the Divine and spiritual practice over outer dogmas and beliefs. Such a spiritual ethos is the fruit of a great and mature ancient civilization.
- The Hindu view of time, through the Hindu Yuga theory, connects human history with natural history of tens of thousands of years marked by periodic cataclysms and make sense in the light of new scientific discoveries relating to natural history through genetics and climate changes. So the Hindu Yuga theory may be seen as a way of describing the renewal of habitation on earth in phase with the climate cycles.
- This ancient and eternal Vedic culture is still relevant to the world today and live on in the great ashrams, mandirs and spiritual practices of India. Reclaiming this ancient spiritual heritage of India and spreading it throughout the world is one of the greatest needs of the coming planetary age, in which we must go beyond the boundaries of creed and materialistic values.
The famous author Mark Twain describes India as 'the cradle of the human race' and 'birthplace of human speech.' In his ten volume. Story of civilisation, author William Durant declares 'India was the motherland of our race' and 'Sanskrit the mother of European Languages.' Voltaire and Schlegel are convinced that everything has come down to us from the river Ganges. And according to Max Muller the Famous orientalist 'the Vedas are the oldest book in existence and carries us back to times of which we have no records anywhere.'
In his book 'Proof of Vedic Culture's Global Existence' Stephen Knapp has compiled information which confirms that the Vedic culture was once global, and we would like to share some of this Information with you. At least 90% of this information we have found to be correct. There are a few grey areas, but see what you think. If you agree, let us know, if you disagree, also let us know, and if you can provide additional information definitely let us know.
In His book, diary of a travelling preacher, Indradyumna Swami records a conversation with professor Alexander Vasilyavich Medvedev, chairman of the religious affairs committee of the Urals region.
Professor Medvedev: "The problem amongst our leaders may not be so much in having to accept your movement, but to accept that the Vedic culture could have very well been the original culture here in Russia. You know in Russia practically all the scientists accept that the Vedic culture once flourished here, the centre being in the Volga river region.
The debate among our scientists is only if the Aryans came from India or they originated here. There is much evidence to the fact that Vedic culture existed here, most notably the Russian Veda"
"The Russian Veda" Interrupted Indradyumna Marharaj.
"Yes, it is famous amongst our people, it is as old as Russia, and the stories are exactly like those in the Vedic scriptures. The central figure of the Russian Veda is a personality called Krishen. He is the upholder of spiritual truths and the killer of many demons. His killing of a witch and snake are exactly like the history of child Krsna killing the putana and aghasura demons in the bhagavat puranas. But the Russian Veda is not intended for children. It is full of spiritual truths."
Land of the Rishis
Salvation, goal of all Rishis
Rishis seeking spiritual power
Strength of the realm
Russian town named after Lord Krsna
Vedic fire God
The locals still call their land Shibir
White as in white snow covered region
Svetlana, the name of Stalins daughter is from the Sanskrit word svetanana meaning fair faced
During the nineteenth century when Europe was greatly appreciating the Vedic culture, Sir Henry Maine, a scholarly member of the viceroy of Indias council declared about Germany "a nation has been born out of Sanskrit". Below we provide evidence of the Vedic influence throughout Germany and Europe.
Land of the Daityas. ( Daitya refers to mother Diti and Kashyapa muni, the Dutch also share this link.)
The Daityas were also known as the Danuv community due to Kashyapa munis marriage to Danu, who is also known as one of the primary Goddesses of the celts.
A common hindu surname
The fort of the Hindus
Fort garrisoned by horses
Place of Lord Rama
Ravenna (Italian city)
Demon killed by Lord Rama
City dedicated to Lord Buddah
Region below sea level
Skanda is the son of Lord Siva. Naviya is Sanskrit for naval settlement. Scandinavians were the mariner descendants of the Vedic ksatriyas who worshipped Skanda
"In the rig veda we have more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt or Ninevan … The Vedas is the oldest book in existence." (Max Muller)
"After the latest research into the history and chronology of the book of the old testament, we may safely call the rig veda the oldest book, not only of the Aryan community, but the whole world." (Reverend Morris Philips)
"The Vedas has a twofold interest, it belongs to the history of the world and to the history of India. In the history of the world the Vedas fills a gap which no literary work in any language could fill." (Max Muller)
The Yadu dynasty which Lord Krsna appeared in. It is common for the y and j to become interchangeable hence, Yaduism, Yeduism and finally Judaism
The township of Lord Krsna. Yadu - dynasty of Lord Krsna, Isha – God, alayam – abode or place
The abode of Isha – God
The abode of God. (Ishalayam - shalayam - shalome)
Talmud (jewish scripture)
Tal is Sanskrit for palm. Mud comes from mudra which means imprint or script, hence Talmud is Sanskrit for palm leaf manuscript
Ramallah (Palestine city)
The city of Lord Rama
The first or most ancient man
Star of David
A simplified version of the sri yantra, connected to the Goddess Laxmi Devi. Drawn in front of many Hindu homes
Bestowed by the mother Goddess
Semites were the descendants of Shem which originates from Shyam, Lord Krsna
Worshipers of Hari (Krsna)
"I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the river Ganges" (Voltaire)
"India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of European languages. She was the mother of our philosophy … of our mathematics … of the ideals embodied in Christianity … of self government and democracy…mother India is in many ways the mother of us all." (William Durant. Author of the ten volume, story of civilisation)
"Everything, absolutely everything is of Indian origin." (Friedrich Schlegel)
Zeus the Greek God of heaven, travels planet to planet on a mystical six horse chariot wielding a trident. Indra the Vedic king of heaven also travels on a mystical six horse chariot wielding a thunderbolt.
Arjuna, devotee of Lord Krsna
In the lineage of Hari (Krsna)
May Hari (Krsna) bless you
Friend of the Gods
Peeth means place of education
God, the warder of calamities
One whose conduct is meritorious
"This Garuda column of Vasudeva (Visnu), the God of Gods, was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshiper of Visnu, the son of dion, and inhabitant of taxila, who came as Greek ambassador from the great king Antialkidas to king Kasiputra Bhagabadra, the savior, then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship. Three important precepts when practiced lead to heaven; self restraint, charity and conscientousness."
The Heliodorus column, erected in 113 B. C. by the ambassador of Greece. Over 2000 years ago the Greek ambassador worshiped Visnu.
Greek Silver coins made by Agathaclose, a Greek ruler from the 2nd century B.C., bear the imprint of Krsna and Balarama and are displayed in several museums.
"The whole of Greece from the era of the supposed Godships of Poseidon and zeus down to the close of the Trojan war was Indian in language, sentiment, religion, peace and war" (India in Greece, E. Pococke)
"Almost all the theories, religious, philosophical and mathematical as taught by the pythagorans were known in India in the 6th century B. C." (Professor G. Rawlinson)
"When Greece and Italy, those cradles of modern civilisation, housed only the tenants of the wilderness, India was the seat of wealth and grandeur." (History of British India, Thornton)
Gouri, Vedic Goddess
Followers of the Vedic sage
Named after the Vedic sage
Named after the Vedic sage
Land of the Aryans
Abode of the Vedic sage Guatam
Lord Rama, the illustrious scion of Aja. Their kings were named Ramses meaning Rama the God
Vedic warrior Parasurama
Vedic demigod Lord Indra
Realm of Vedic king Bahubal
Vedic warrior from Ramayana
Land of the missiles
Land of the immortals
Land of the Gods
Township of Lord Siva
Visnu, Lord of the Anguli country
Great land or islands
The suffix sthan comes from the Sanskrit word stan meaning land. Afghanistan, Turkisthan, Kurdisthan, Ghabulisthan, Kazakstan, all reflect their Vedic connection. Arabia comes from the word Arvasthan.
And finally … Throughout the last two thousand years, many changes have taken place. The most influential being the rise of Christianity, followed by the religion of Islam. While the world was being converted to these new religions, anything that contradicted or existed before them was eradicated. However it is impossible to destroy everything, and if one looks with a honest heart and an open mind, they will surely see that the original culture from which all other cultures have sprung is the ancient Vedic culture. The Vedas themselves are very much like mother India. They are simply sitting there waiting for you to discover her. They are not attacking you with a sword or pointing a gun at you, they are simply sitting there patiently waiting.
Bottom of Form