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Myth of Aryan Invasion
It is not surprising that the colonial rulers of British India, missionaries and bureaucrats in particular, were interested in presenting history of Indian Subcontinent in such a way that it would suit them most. It is obvious: 'He who rules, he dictates!' Thus, a definite bias and prejudice is bound to creep in the study and recording of the history. The important point is to correct such distortions on the basis of new discoveries made by modern science and knowledge, based on objectivity, rationality and reason. It would take quite some time to accept the corrected versions about history, but let it be so. It is essential to open our mind to new discoveries and facts, arguments and evidences, setting aside our biases and prejudices. Such is the case in relation to historical distortions about ancient India brought about by British and German 'scholars'.
British, Germans, Europeans as a whole, and interestingly Indian intellectuals in British-ruled India as well, believed that about 1500 BC a nomadic people, called Aryans, invaded northwest frontiers of India, coming from the Central Asia or some part of Europe through the passes like Khyber in Hindkush Mountain Range (now in Afghanistan) and defeated and drove away the local inferior Dravidians. These Aryans were superior to local Dravidians in every respect: physique, intelligence and culture. In the fertile land of India, in the calm serenity of weather and atmosphere they developed agriculture and produced great wealth. But their most important contribution was development of Sanskrit language and composition of first literature in the form of Rig Veda around 1200 BC!
Recent discoveries in the Northwest regions of Indian Subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) have proved that a highly developed society and civilization was firmly existent on the banks of river Saraswati. This period, when Rig Veda, the first authentic record of human wisdom and knowledge, was composed, should be taken as the beginning of the Ancient Indian history. This is because there is erroneous belief that civilization of Harappa and Mohen-jo-Daro is the oldest period of Indian history. But the recent findings and knowledge available on the basis of archeology, ancient mathematics, astronomy, some success in deciphering the language of Harappan seals, and satellite imagery has proved beyond doubt that pre-Harappan period, the Vedic period, is as important as Harappan era for correct understanding of world history.
The melting of ice from the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas started around ten thousand years back. The opulent flow of clean and pure water hurried itself into streams and currents and turned into confluence as mighty rivers flowing down the slopes into the plains of northwest India. Saraswati, Indus, Yamuna or Jamuna, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and Ganges are a few rivers that can be named as having formed out of this melting of ice caps. These rivers flowed through the plains bringing with them life and prosperity on their banks. Agriculture prospered and so also the culture of ancient India. The plentiful bounty of agriculture produce offered leisure to the talented and pious Rishis for meditation and contemplation on the intricacies of the origin of the universe, awesome surprises of the nature, and purpose of human birth. In their gratitude to the bountiful nature, they offered not the floral tributes but the tributes of exquisite verses, rich in content and form. These verses later became the Vedas. The favour and the fear offered by the nature reflected in their creation of Idol worship, with Nature with her constituent parts became symbols of God. Indra, Varun, Marut, Rudra, Kuber, and Yaksha are but to name a few. Mountains and rivers, serpents and birds, trees and animals also later found symbolic value as images of Gods.
The discovery and ability to handle fire for beneficial purposes made them realize its value, and the gratitude turned into devotion, culminating into worship of Fire as Supreme God. Hence, the sun and the moon, lightning and fireplaces became the objects of reverence and worship. To complete the natural flow of gratitude these people of ancient India, Aryans, as they were called, started offering sacrifices in the fire. The places of sacrificial rituals find great importance in the ancient Indian civilization. Building of these 'Yajna Kunda' or sacrificial altars required knowledge of algebraic geometry. Thus, ancient mathematics plays important role in pinpointing the historical age of this ancient civilization.
The second important invention of the Aryans relates to creation of a 'wheel'. Today, out of familiarity, we may not understand the true import of this discovery, but if we look back into the past of about 5000 BC, we cannot but remain amazed at the knowledge of mathematics of these very ancient people. Recent discoveries point to this age of this civilization as C. 6000 BC.
One proof for this claim is the discovery of a metallic relic, the 'Head of Vashishtha'. In the year 1958 one American collector by name Harry Hicks procured a metallic antic piece in India, New Delhi, in the form of 'head of a seer'. After due scientific investigation he came to the conclusion that it was sculpted around 3800 BC. The carbon-dating techniques and nuclear research proved this beyond doubt. Such highly developed technique of metal refinery reflected equally developed culture and civilization. In the face of such factual discovery it was somewhat difficult to accept the 'Aryan Invasion' around 1500 BC. What was there during the intervening period of 2300 years! How could we say that these 'Dravidians' living in northwest India were ignorant, backward, and inferior to the 'invading Aryans'? Indeed, the doubt can be raised about the very theory of 'Aryan Invasion'.
The doubt is further corroborated by finding of the mention of the word 'Aryan' several times in Rig Veda, and it can be shown that this Rig Veda was composed around 4200-4800 BC. How can one explain the mention of the word Aryan 3000 years prior to their own invasion! In fact, the word Aryan does not pertain to any race, it was just an honorific word meaning 'Sir' or 'Sri', a person of noble character and bearing.
Third interesting point is about the discovery of mighty Ancient River Saraswati, flowing from north to south between present-day Indian states Punjab and Uttar Pradesh towards Gujarat (this river has dried up since then). The river finds mention in Rig Veda at several places, while the Ganges and the Indus are seldom mentioned. On the banks of the river Saraswati are scattered places of human settlement, as proved by excavation and satellite photography. The period is much older than that of Indus civilization of Harappa and Mohen-jo-Daro from where most of the historians want to begin their study of ancient Indian history. It is proved now that an unusual drought lasting for three hundred years from 2200 BC to 1900 BC dried up this mighty river Saraswati. Additional cause for it's drying was that its main tributaries, river Yamuna and Sutlej changed their course and joined the Ganges and Indus respectively.
Thus, these ancient people of Vedic culture and period shifted westward, eastward, and southward in their natural instinct to survive. Human settlements with corresponding cultures were established thence on the banks of the river Indus (west), the Ganges (east), and in Gujarat in the south. From Afghanistan to Gujarat we get archeological proofs of such displacement and resettlement. What we have found in Harappa and Mohen-jo-Daro are the remnants of this civilization of around 1900 BC. The spread of these displaced people due to prolonged drought was not restricted to parts of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan alone, but it went farther to central Asia and even Europe. Thus it can be said with conviction that Aryans did not come from Europe or central Asia, but they were the inhabitants of ancient Vedic India who in turn spread outside India. However, taking Harappan civilization as the ancient civilization, the British and the other European scholars conjured up Aryan Invasion (around 1500 BC) theory.
In Conclusion we can say:
That the present day beliefs about ancient Indian history are factually incorrect. They are based on European perspective with gross distortions due to colonial bias and interests.
Prior to Indus Valley Civilization of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, there flourished a much progressive culture and civilization, which we may label as Vedic Period of ancient India. Recent discoveries in archeology, astronomy, ancient mathematics, and satellite photography lend unequivocal support to this claim.
Based on these new facts, it can be safely said that the 'Aryan Invasion' theory is but a myth, and instead, in reality it were the Indo-Aryans who later migrated to far off west as Indo-European race. The linguistic similarities between ancient European languages, Sanskrit, and Indian languages are not because 'the Aryans brought Sanskrit from Europe to India' but quite the opposite. 'Daughter' in English, 'Doch' in Slav, or 'Tochter' in German has not become 'Duhita' (Sanskrit, meaning one who used to milk the cows in ancient Aryan family), but reverse is the case. Ignite has not become Agni, but Agni becomes ignite and so on.
Let us conclude by quoting a paragraph from the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Vol. 5, pages 534-535):
"And what your European Pundits say about the Aryan's swooping down from some foreign land, snatching away the lands of the aborigines and settling in India by exterminating them, is all pure nonsense, foolish talk! Strange, that our Indian scholars, too, say amen to them; and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys! This is very bad indeed. ... 'You are learned men, hunt up your old books and scriptures please, and draw your own conclusions'."
Acknowledgment: The article is based on my understanding of the studies and books by Dr. N. S. Rajaram and David Frawley.
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