The Ramayana on the Need for a Proper Leader, By Stephen Knapp

 

Sometimes people think that the ancient Vedic literature no longer has any real usefulness in this day and age. That it is little better than an antique of foregone days. However, this article shows the universal and ever-relevant nature of the Ramayana, and how it explains the symptoms of society when there is no ruler, or when there is an unqualified leader. When there is no such ruler of a country, they describe an assortment of symptoms and problems in society that become prominent, and thus spoil life for the citizens. The descriptions are of a society that is falling apart, wherein the citizens are troubled by the lawlessness and corruption that abounds.

However, these symptoms are what we find so common in today’s world, which shows the timeless nature of the instructions given by these great sages.

Nonetheless, in other situations in the Ramayana, we find remedies for these problems. Such as when Vibhishana instructs Ravana on some of the duties of a king, which we briefly look at. However, Ravana did not like being instructed in this way because he was not interested in acting like a good king anyway, similar in ways to some of the rulers we see today.

Furthermore, the descriptions of Ayodhya when Lord Rama returns to lead the people shows the effects on society when there is a good and proper ruler, and how such a ruler should lead society for the ultimate good of everyone. It also shows the influence that such a king can have all over the land, which we obviously need more than ever in this world. So let us look at these descriptions.

 

THE RESULTS OF A LEADERLESS SOCIETY.

This especially points out how the Ramayana held views on the means for a harmonious society, and what helped provide or prevent it. This section outlines how a society without a leader, or without one that is qualified, will never be harmonious, and will actually exhibit symptoms that will prevent such a united society. Although these describe a time thousands of years ago when facilities were different, it can still be compared to what we would expect to see, or not see, in this day and age. Amazingly, many of the symptoms that are described are the same conditions as we see in society today.

The reason why I wanted to elaborate on these teachings is that as we look around this world, many parts of it seem to be falling apart with each passing day. How can we change things? It is time that people of the world understand what to look for in a leader if we are going to live harmoniously with ourselves or with nature. It is time that we know who to elect if we are going to have a leader who provides the right kind of protection and guidance, and who holds and practices the proper virtue if we are going to steer society in the right direction. And that is, unfortunately, not someone we often see today. It is not that the Ramayana is some kind of outdated book that no longer provides any wisdom, but we will see that it still holds practical advice that will help us correct our misguided aims of life by reconsidering the insight as given by the sages in the Ramayana. So let us take a look at some of these verses, and we will see many of the same indicators right now of a leaderless society that it describes.

This is from the Ayodhya Kanda, Canto 67, verses 9-38, as described by Markandeya and other great sages to urge Vasishtha to install a qualified prince onto the throne.

“In a land destitute of a ruler, the thundering cloud wreathed with lighting does not drench the earth with rain water.” 9

So here we see that drought is common when there is no proper ruler, or when society is misdirected. In such a situation, people no longer work in harmony with nature so that it reciprocates with the needs of the people. People often feel that nature is something to dominate and control, to take what they want from it. But actually we are a part of nature and should be in harmony with it. Otherwise, nature merely reflects the mass consciousness of the people who inhabit the planet, and thus drought is not uncommon.

“In a rulerless land, handfuls of seeds are no longer scattered (for fear of uncertainty of crops). (Nay) in a rulerless land, a son is not amenable to the control of his father, nor his wife amenable to the control of her husband (there being no executive authority to enforce correct conduct).” 10

Herein we see that a leaderless society becomes lawless, with no respect for authority on any level.

“In a rulerless land, people do not construct assembly halls (for public gatherings, there being no such gatherings), nor do joyous men plant lovely gardens (for fear of their being destroyed by enemies of peace and order) or build sacred houses (such as temples and buildings for the free accommodation of travelers and strangers, etc).” 12

In this way, no one builds elaborate structures since the lawless or the enemies will come and destroy them because of a lack of respect for the culture, or to drive out those who are not of the same disposition or religion.

“In a rulerless land, festivals (in honor of deities) in which actors and dancers exhibit their art in a highly ecstatic mood, and convivial gatherings promoting the welfare of the state do not gather strength.” 15

Again this shows how a sophisticated culture will be set to ruin by adharmic forces if there is not a ruler who can gather the means to defend the culture.

“In a rulerless land, parties to a law-suit are not able to have their dispute settled, nor are those given to hearing stories from the Puranas, etc., pleased with such stories told by those to whom the narration of such stories is agreeable.” 16

It may be somewhat amusing to see this description being a result of a rulerless land, especially in India where lawsuits are known to take many months or even years. Without a qualified leader who can execute an efficient system of law and order, the court system becomes increasingly backlogged with cases that are not resolved, not because they can’t be dealt with, but because of a lack of efficiency and honesty in the judicial system, and the interest of the courts to resolve such cases without accepting bribes or other complications before such cases are heard.

“In a rulerless land, virgins decked with gold ornaments do not for their part go united to gardens to sport at dusk (for fear of being abducted or violated by miscreants).” 17

These days no one can go out at night or even in daylight without the risk of being robbed or abducted. This is surely a sign of a lack of proper leadership wherein the citizens know that a crime will be punished, and people will be protected. Without good leaders, criminals know they can get away with many criminal acts.

“In a rulerless land, wealthy husband and cowherds, even though well protected (by their attendants) do not sleep with open doors (for fear of thieves and dacoits).” 18

Again, all doors to a house must be locked where there are criminals, or those who have no respect for authority, which means the authority is too weak to uphold the law and give appropriate punishment to criminals.

“In a rulerless land, the sound of plucking the bow-string with the palm produced by Kshatriyas uninterruptedly discharging arrows while practicing the use of bows is not heard.” 21

This merely indicates that those like the police or soldiers meant to protect the people are in limited numbers, and are not around to help keep law and order. This is usually because the leaders put their interests and priorities in other directions rather than in protecting law abiding citizens or in building a strong military or police force to defend the country and citizens.

“In a rulerless land, merchants travelling far and wide do not safely move about fully equipped with abundant salable goods.” 22

“In a rulerless land, nothing is one=s own in the eyes of anyone. Like fishes, men always devour one another. 31

Again, here we see that in a land without a qualified ruler, merchants cannot move about without the fear of being robbed or killed for their merchandise. In such a case, society is hardly civilized at all.

“In a rulerless land, there is no acquisition of property and no security of possessions. Nor is the army able in a rulerless land to vanquish the foes in a battle.” 24

Even the army becomes ineffective and without proper direction when there is no qualified leader, thus leaving the country vulnerable and unable to oppose its foes, or uphold law and order.

“In a rulerless land, self-controlled ascetics moving all by themselves and contemplating on the Self with their own mind and taking up their abode wherever the evening falls do not move about (freely for want of hospitable householders).” 23

Herein it is described how ascetics who hold the knowledge of the spiritual path are not very abundant, prominent, nor are they often respected. People in general lose interest in such topics when there is no ruler to show by example how to uphold, respect or protect the Dharmic path.

“In a rulerless land, men well-versed in sacred lore do not meet (freely) holding disputations in forests and groves.” 26

Again we see the lack of respect for those who hold within themselves spiritual knowledge, who no longer roam about ready to give such wisdom to the masses, knowing that they may simply meet with the contradictions and criticisms of materialistic people.

“In a rulerless land, flowers, sweetmeats and sacrificial fees are not brought together for the worship of deities by self-controlled men.” 27

In fact, even proper worship, pujas, and Dharmic traditions are soon lost without a leader who will uphold their protection. This means that such a leader must follow or at least respect the Dharmic traditions and the deep spiritual knowledge that is preserved therein.

“A state without a ruler is really no better than rivers without water, a woodland without grass, and cows without a keeper. 29

“If there is no king demarcating good and evil in the world, oh, this world will be reduced to (utter) darkness as it were and nothing can be clearly perceived.” 36

In other words, a land without a qualified ruler is a wasteland wherein the real goal of life is not understood, nor is it practiced, and mere existence with the attempt to avoid so many problems is all that is left to achieve, and that also only with great struggle. With this as the standard, such a society is reduced to utter ignorance of the true purpose of life.

 

WHAT THE KING IS MEANT TO BE

Now that we have seen some of what the Ramayana presents as dangers of a lack of real leadership, there are also a few verses that give insight to what a real ruler should be. This points out the power of such a king by these qualities, if he possesses them.

“(Just) as the eye ever strives for the good of the body (by serving as a guide to it and showing it the right path), so does the king, who is the fountain of truth and righteousness, ever strive for the good of the state. 33

“The king is truthfulness and virtue (incarnate); the king constitutes the nobility of birth in men of a high pedigree. The king is the mother as well as the father; the king is the benefactor of men. 34

“(Even) Yama (the god of retribution); Kubera (son of Vishrava, the god of riches), Indra (the ruler of gods), and the very mighty Varuna (the deity presiding over water) are outstripped by a king of excellent conduct by virtue of such conduct (inasmuch as he combines in himself the virtues of all the above-named deities).” 35

 

HOW A KING SHOULD GUIDE SOCIETY

A king is not only supposed to maintain law and order, but a real king, a Vedic king, should also provide the means that people can attain the real and spiritual goal of life. So now we look at the solutions to the above problems with how a king should give proper guidance to the people. This is described by Kumbhakarna while rebuking Ravana for all of his misdeeds. Naturally, Ravana, typical of many politicians today, did not like to hear such advice, simply because he had no intention of following it. But it is described in the Ramayana for our benefit.

From Yuddha Kanda, Canto 63, verses 7-21, it explains:

“Holding consultation with his ministers, he who takes into consideration the five aspects of the threefold duties (with reference to hostile kings) moves along the right path.” 7

In this case the five aspects means: 1. The method of initiating an action, 2. The person or material to be worked with, 3. The time and place of action, 4. Provisions necessary to make it successful, and 5. The calculated chances of success. And these aspects are used in three kinds of circumstances when dealing with enemies, which are: 1. The way to attain peace through reconciliation, 2. Acceptance of their allegiance through the acceptance of gifts, or 3. Invasion to force coercion toward peace. A ruler must be strong enough to make these considerations or he will be pushed aside or removed by the enemy who will take over his territory.

“A king who seeks to determine his duty in accordance with the science of polity and perceive his friends too, along with the ministers, understand aright.” 8

Herein, as explained, a king has to realize who he can trust among friends and ministers, and then he can move forward with confidence. This is essential if the king or ruler expects to stay in power or hold onto his position.

“The self-controlled king who, having deliberated with his ministers, bestows gifts, takes to (expedients of) conciliation and, sowing dissension among the hostile ranks, exhibits prowess, O prince of ogres, or resorts to them (all) together and takes recourse both to right action and the reverse of it at the right time and pursues virtue, worldly gain and sensuous pleasure at the proper time never meets with disaster in the world.” 11-12

A self-controlled king means a king with spiritual wisdom and virtue. Without understanding what real virtue is, no one can fulfill the proper role of a leader, or for that matter even a husband, teacher, father, or one who employs others. But more important than merely knowing what true virtue is, is the need to follow it and live according to those virtues, which is especially expected for any ruler. Only by applying this kind of wisdom and virtue will a king encounter success and avoid disaster, not only in his personal life but also for his country.

“A king should take action (only) after considering what is salutary in consequence to him in consultation with his ministers who make their living by their intelligence and know the reality of things.” 13

Herein the point is simple, that regardless of how intelligent a ruler may think he is, the saying is two heads are better than one, and a king must consult with his qualified ministers to make sure of the proper action to take. However, this verse also refers to ministers who know the reality of things, as opposed to those who are merely academically trained.

“People whose mental level is in no way higher than that of beasts, and (yet) who have been allowed to take their seat among counselors, desire to express their views through (sheer) impudence without fully knowing the import of the scriptures. The advice tendered by such people, who having no knowledge of the scriptures, are (equally) ignorant of the science of wealth, or who seek immense wealth, ought not to be followed. 14-15

“Men who tender unwholesome advice in a salutary garb through (sheer) impudence should be excluded from deliberation as they mar the (very) purpose (of the deliberation).” 16

Here is said the obvious, that those who are not qualified, though they may try to appear so by such things as academics, wealth, etc., and with pride may try to force their opinion on others, should not be given any consideration. No one should listen to them, not the citizens and least of all the king, because they will only take the country in the wrong direction, causing problems that will later take much time and money to correct. History shows many examples of this, from which we should learn. Furthermore, those who are not true friends of the king or of the citizens and have their own agenda, or who have been bought off by the enemy, will bring the ruler and the country to ruin, as explained in the next few verses:

“Getting united with shrewd enemies, (evil-minded) counselors in this world prevail upon their master to undertake wrong actions in order to bring him to ruin. 17

“A ruler should make out (the reality of) those ministers who have been won over by the enemy to their side (through bribe, etc.) and, thus, have become enemies though appearing as friends, (as discerned) through their (actual) behavior when a final decision is being taken after deliberation. 18

“Aliens find out the weakness of a ruler who is (easily) led away by false appearances and rushes headlong into actions … A king who, disregarding the enemy, does not actually protect himself, undoubtedly meets with reverses and is dragged down from his position.” 19-20

 

SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF RAMARAJA

What follows are descriptions of some of the symptoms of a proper and royal leadership, such as when Lord Rama ruled over the land. This shows the effects on society when there is a good and proper ruler, and how such a ruler should lead society for the ultimate good of everyone. It also shows the influence that such a king can have all over the land, and that any problems within the kingdom, at least in the olden days, was considered to be the fault of the king who then had to take responsibility and account for them through his own efforts, knowing it was his own lack of quality for the existence of such problems. Therefore, the people should make sure to avoid an unwanted and unqualified ruler and check that the leaders are properly qualified with knowledge and habits of virtue before being elected. Otherwise, the adversities and difficulties of life will be many.

This is from the Yuddha-Kanda, Canto 128, verses 98-106. This is when Bharata gives back the kingdom of Ayodhya to Lord Rama.

“While Sri Rama ruled over the kingdom (of Ayodhya), there were no widows to lament (over their loss) nor was there any danger from beasts of prey or snakes, nor again was there any fear of diseases. 98

“The world had no robbers or thieves, nor did anyone suffer harm. Nor again did old people (ever) perform obsequies relating to [the death of their] youngsters. 99

“Every creature felt pleased, (nay) everyone was devoted to righteousness. Turning their eyes towards Sri Rama alone, creatures did not kill one another.” 100

This is the effect of a qualified leader, that his influence can change the whole atmosphere in the cooperation among people, in reducing or eliminating the criminal mentality, in the endeavor to work in harmony with nature, and in everyone to have empathy for all creatures and fellow citizens. This may not be wholly possible in this day and age, but a qualified leader can certainly move humanity in this direction. But if a leader is merely posing as a great personality while harboring wicked or materialistic desires and misguided intentions, the whole country will be directed toward ruin.

“So long as Sri Rama ruled the kingdom (of Ayodhya), people lived to an age of thousands of years, were blessed with thousands of sons, and remained free from diseases and grief. 101

“So long as Sri Rama ruled the kingdom, the talks of the people centered around Sri Rama, Sri Rama, and Sri Rama alone. (Nay) the world itself appeared (to them) as transformed into Sri Rama. 102

“Trees in Ayodhya ever remained firmly rooted and bore fruit and flowers perpetually. Clouds sent down rain (only) when desired and the wind was (ever) delightful to the touch. 103

“Remaining entirely free from avarice and satisfied with their own avocations, the Brahmanas (priestly class), the Kshatriyas (the warrior class), the Vaishyas (members of the mercantile class), and the Shudras (the laboring class), remained content in their own duties. 104

“So long as Sri Rama ruled, the people remained devoted to pious observances and never told lies. (Nay) all were endowed with auspicious bodily marks and all were given to righteousness. 105

“With his (three younger half-) brothers, the glorious Sri Rama ruled for ten and one thousand years.” 106

 

THE KING IS FORCED TO ACCEPT 1/6TH OF KARMA OF HIS SUBJECTS

From the Ramayana we also understand how important it is for the ruler of people to watch or patrol over their territory to make sure that all unfairness, criminal activities, or unrighteous acts are immediately put to a stop. This is because all such actions produce contrary reactions, not only for the people and the country, but also for the ruler, which is reflected back on them through the acts of nature, disrespect from the citizens, and the dark future created for their next life. Therefore, this shows the importance of electing a ruler who will not neglect his responsibilities of leading the people properly, uphold virtue and spiritual wisdom, and protect and defend the citizens and country without hesitation.

In this regard, the Uttara-Kanda, Canto 74, verses 30-33, explains: “Whenever one performs unrighteous deeds not to be performed, and rooted in lack of prosperity, [such a person] indeed goes to hell, however the king also undoubtedly (goes to hell). Righteously ruling over the subjects, the king shares one sixth portion of the (merit) that accrues from pious deeds performed by study and penance. (However) the king also partakes of one sixth (of his subject=s bad karma) if he does not protect the subjects (by leading them properly). So you, O lion among kings, investigate your territory. Whenever you see unrighteous actions done, then make efforts (to put them right); thus righteousness and longevity will prevail among men [as well as for the king].”

 

REFERENCES

Srimad Valmiki-Ramayana, Sanskrit Text and English Translation, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India, 1995.

India’s Ancient and Great Maritime History, by Stephen Knapp

(An Excerpt from Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture)

We should first take into account that ancient India, which was centered around the Indus Valley years ago, and was already well developed before 3200 BCE, stretched from Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean and points farther east and north, the largest empire in the world at the time. But its influence spread much farther than that. During its peak developments, it had organized cities, multistory brick buildings, vast irrigation networks, sewer systems, the most advanced metalwork in the world, and a maritime trade network that incorporated the use of compasses, planked ships, and trained navigators that reached parts of western Asia, Mesopotamia, Africa, and other ports far beyond their borders. 1 So they were certainly capable of ocean-going trips that could have reached even to the Americas.

Prakash Charan Prasad explains in his book, Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India (p. 131): “Big ships were built. They could carry anywhere upwards from 500 men on the high seas. The Yuktialpataru classifies ships according to their sizes and shapes. The Rajavalliya says that the ship in which King Sinhaba of Bengal (ca. sixth century BCE] sent Prince Vijaya, accommodated full 700 passengers, and the ship in which Vijaya’s Pandyan bride was brought over to Lanka carried 800 passengers on board. The ship in which the Buddha in the Supparaka Bodhisat incarnation made his voyages from Bharukachha (Broach) to the ‘sea of the seven gems’ [Sri Lanka], carried 700 merchants besides himself. The Samuddha Vanija Jakarta mentions a ship that accommodated one thousand carpenters.”

Marco Polo also related how, “An Indian ship could carry crews between 100 and 300. Out of regard for passenger convenience and comfort, the ships were well furnished and decorated in gold, silver, copper, and compounds of all these substances were generally used for ornamentation and decoration.” 2

Because of the Vedic civilization’s great reach, Aurel Stein (1862-1943), a Hungarian researcher also related: “The vast extent of Indian cultural influences, from Central Asia in the North to tropical Indonesia in the South, and from the borderlands of Persia to China and Japan, has shown that ancient India was a radiating center of a civilization, which by its religious thought, its art and literature, was destined to leave its deep mark on the races wholly diverse and scattered over the greater part of Asia.” 3

In this regard, Philip Rawson, in The Art of Southeast Asia (1993, p. 7), further praises India’s gift of its civilizing affect on all other cultures. “The culture of India has been one of the world’s most powerful civilizing forces. Countries of the Far East, including China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, and Mongolia owe much of what is best in their own cultures to the inspiration of ideas imported from India. The West, too, has its own debts… No conquest or invasion, nor forced conversion [was ever] imposed.” And this is the basis for the mystery of the widespread nature of the ancient Vedic empire, which in many ways still exists today. It was this subtle spiritual dimension that spread all over the world.

ADVANCED EAST INDIAN SAILING IN THE EARLY VEDIC TEXTS

As Gunnar Thompson also explains, regarding the capability of Indian ships: “Extensive maritime trade between India and the islands of Indonesia is well documented and illustrated. A 1st century Hindu manuscript, the Periplus, mentions two-mates ships with dual rudders mounted on the sides in the fashion of ancient Mediterranean vessels. The ships are portrayed in 2nd century Indian murals. Chinese chronicles of the same era describe seven-masted Hindu vessels 160 feet in length carrying 700 passengers and 1000 metric tons of merchandise. Buddhist records of a 5th century pilgrimage from Ceylon to Java report vessels large enough to carry 200 passengers.” 4

India’s ancient maritime history is referenced as far back as the early Vedic texts. This is taken from my book, Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture (pp. 143-45). As we look at other cultures, what is often left out is the advanced nature of the ancient Indian civilization. As we look over this information, it becomes clear that ancient India had the means for sailing over great expanses of water, and also had a thriving trade industry based on shipping.

The fact is that the ancient Vedic texts, such as the Rig Veda, Shatapatha Brahmana, and others refer to the undertaking of naval expeditions and travel to distant places by sea-routes that were well-known at the time. For example, the Rig Veda (1.25.7) talks of how Varuna has full knowledge of all the sea routes that were followed by ships. Then (2.48.3) we find wherein merchants would also send out ships for foreign trade. 5

Another verse (1.56.2) speaks of merchants going everywhere and frequently to every part of the sea. Another verse (7.88.3-4) relates that there was a voyage by Vasistha and Varuna in a ship skillfully fitted for the trip. Then there is a verse (1.116.3) that tells of an expedition on which Tugra, the Rishi king, sent his son Bhujya against some of his enemies in the distant islands. However, Bhujya becomes ship wrecked by a storm, with all of his followers on the ocean, “Where there is no support, or rest for the foot or hand.” From this he is rescued by the twin Ashvins in their hundred oared galley. Similarly, the Atharva Veda mentions boats which are spacious, well constructed and comfortable.

We should keep in mind that the Rig Veda is said to go back to around 3000 BCE, which means the sailing capacity for the Vedic civilization of ancient India was well under way by that time.

An assortment of other books also referred to sea voyages of the ancient mariners. Of course, we know that the epics, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata referred to ships and sea travel, but the Puranas also had stories of sea voyages, such as in the Matsya, Varaha, and Markandeya Puranas. Other works of Classical Sanskrit included them as well, such as Raghuvamsha, Ratnavali, Dashakumaracharita, Kathasaritsagara, Panchatantra, Rajatarangini, etc.

Actually, ships have been mentioned in numerous verses through the Vedic literature, such as in the Vedas, Brahmanas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, and so on. For example, in the Ayodhya Kand of Valmiki’s Ramayana, you can find the description of such big ships that could hold hundreds of warriors: “Hundreds of oarsmen inspire five hundred ships carrying hundreds of ready warriors.” The conclusion is that ships have been in use since the Vedic age.

In the Ramayana, in the Kishkindha Kand, Sugriva gives directions to the Vanar leaders for going to the cities and mountains in the islands of the sea, mainly Yavadvipa (Java) and Suvarna Dvipa (Sumatra) in the quest to find Sita. The Ramayana also talks of how merchants traveled beyond the sea and would bring presents to the kings.

In the Mahabharata (Sabha Parva), Sahadeva is mentioned as going to several islands in the sea to defeat the kings. In the Karna Parva, the soldiers of the Kauravas are described as merchants, “whose ships have come to grief in the midst of the unfathomable deep.” And in the same Parva, a verse describes how the sons of Draupadi rescued their maternal uncles by supplying them with chariots, “As ship wrecked merchants are rescued by means of boats.” However, another verse therein relates how the Pandavas escaped from the destruction planned for them with the help of a ship that was secretly and especially constructed for the purpose under the orders of the kind hearted Vidura. The ship was large, and provided machinery and all kinds of weapons of war, and able to defy storms and waves.

Also, in Kautilya’s Arthashastra we find information of the complete arrangements of boats maintained by the navy and the state. It also contains information on the duties of the various personnel on a ship. For example, the Navadhyaksha is the superintendent of the ship, Niyamaka is the steerman, and Datragrahaka is the holder of the needle, or the compass. Differences in ships are also described regarding the location of the cabins and the purpose of the ship itself. 6

In the Brihat Samhita by Varahamihir of the 5th century, and in the Sanskrit text Yukti Kalpataru by Narapati Raja Bhoj of the 11th century, you can find information about an assortment of ships, sizes, and materials with which they were built, and the process of manufacturing them. For example, one quote explains, “Ships made of timbers of different classes possess different properties. Ships built of inferior wood do not last long and rot quickly. Such ships are liable to split with a slight shock.” 7 It also gives further details on how to furnish a ship for accommodating the comfort of passengers, or for transporting goods, animals, or royal artifacts. The ships of three different sizes were the Sarvamandira, Madhyamarmandira, and the Agramandira.

The Shangam works of the South Indian Tamils have numerous references to the shipping activities that went on in that region, along with the ports, articles of trade, etc. Such texts included Shilappadikaram Manimekalai, Pattinappalai, Maduraikhanji, Ahananuru, Purananuru, etc. 8

Ancient Indians traveled to various parts of the world not only for purposes of trade, but to also propagate their culture. This is how the Vedic influence spread around the world. For example, Kaundinya crossed the ocean and reached south-east Asia. From there, evidence shows that rock inscriptions in the Sun Temple at Jawayuko in the Yukatan province of Mexico mentions the arrival of the great sailor Vusulin in Shaka Samvat 854, or the year 932. In the excavations in Lothal in Gujarat, it seems that trade with countries like Egypt was carried out from that port around 2540 BCE. Then from 2350 BCE, small boats docked here, which necessitated the construction of the harbor for big ships, which was followed by the city that was built around it. 9

In the period of 984-1042 CE, the Chola kings dispatched great naval expeditions which occupied parts of Burma, Malaya and Sumatra, while suppressing the piratical activities of the Sumatra warlords.

In 1292 CE, when Marco Polo came to India, he described Indian ships as “built of fir timber, having a sheath of boards laid over the planking in every part, caulked with iron nails. The bottoms were smeared with a preparation of quicklime and hemp, pounded together and mixed with oil from a certain tree which is a better material than pitch.” He further writes: “Ships had double boards which were joined together. They were made strong with iron nails and the crevices were filled with a special kind of gum. These ships were so huge that about 300 boatmen were needed to row them. About 3000-4000 gunny bags could be loaded in each ship. They had many small rooms for people to live in. These rooms had arrangements for all kinds of comfort. Then when the bottom or the base started to get spoiled, a new layer would be added on. Sometimes, a boat would have even six layers, one on top of another.”

A fourteenth century description of an Indian ship credits it with a carrying capacity of over 700 people giving a fair idea of both ship building skills and maritime ability of seamen who could successfully man such large vessels.

Another account of the early fifteenth century describes Indian ships as being built in compartments so that even if one part was shattered, the next remained intact, thus enabling the ship to complete her voyage. This was perhaps a forerunner of the modern day subdivision of ships into watertight compartments, a concept then totally alien to the Europeans.

Another traveler named Nicolo Conti came to India in the 15th century. He wrote: “The Indian ships are much bigger than our ships. Their bases are made of three boards in such a way that they can face formidable storms. Some ships are made in such a way that if one part becomes useless, the rest of the parts can do the work.”

Another visitor to India named Bertham writes: “The wooden boards are joined in such a way that not even a drop of water can go through it. Sometimes, the masts of cotton are placed in such a way that a lot of air can be filled in. The anchors were sometimes made of heavy stones. It would take a ship eight days to come from Iran to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari).” 10

The famous archeologist Padmashri Dr. Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar says, “I had gone to England for studies, I was told about Vasco da Gama’s diary available in a museum in which he has described how he came to India.” He writes that when his ship came near Zanzibar in Africa, he saw a ship three times bigger than the size of his ship. He took an African interpreter to meet the owner of that ship who was a Gujarati trader named Chandan who used to bring pine wood and teak from India along with spices and take back diamonds to the port of Cochin. When Vasco da Gama went to meet him, Chandan was sitting in ordinary attire, on a cot. When the trader asked Vasco where he was going, the latter said that he was going to visit India. At this, the trader said that he was going back to India the very next day and if he wanted, he could follow him. So, Vasco da Gama came to India following him. 11

Sir William Jones, in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society–1901, relates how the Hindus, “must have been navigators in the age of Manu, because bottomry is mentioned in it. In the Ramayana, practice of bottomry is distinctly noticed.” Bottomry is the lending of insurance money for marine activities. 12

In this way, Indians excelled in the art of ship-building, and even the English found Indian models of ships far superior of their own and worth copying. The Indian vessels united elegance and utility and fine workmanship. Sir John Malcom observed: “Indian vessels are so admirably adapted to the purpose for which they are required that, notwithstanding their superior stance, Europeans were unable during an intercourse with India for two centuries, to suggest or to bring into successful practice one improvement.” 13

Mexican archeologist Rama Mena points out in his book, Mexican Archeology, that Mayan physical features are like those of India. He also mentions how Nahuatl, Zapotecan, and Mayan languages had Hindu-European affinities.

In this line of thinking, some American tribes have traditions of having ancestral homelands across the Pacific. A legend of Guatemala speaks of an ancient migration from across the Pacific to the city of Tulan. A tribe from Peru and Tucano of Columbia also relate in their traditions how ancestors sailed across the Pacific to South America. Tales of trade over the Pacific were also related to the earliest of Spanish explorers in Central America. 14

Georgia anthropologist Joseph Mahan, author of The Secret (1983), has identified intriguing similarities between the Yueh-chic tribes of India-Pakistan and the Yuchi tribe of North America’s Eastern Woodlands. The Yuchi tradition also tells of a foreign homeland from across the sea–presumably in India. 15

This information makes it clear that ancient India had the means to reach and in fact did sail to many parts of the world, including the ancient Americas, long before most countries. This is further corroborated by information in the chapter of Vedic culture in America in Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence, for those of you who would like more information on this.

ANCIENT INDIA’S MARITIME TRADE

Further evidence shows that shipping from Bharatvarsha was a national enterprise and the country was a leader in world trade relations amongst such people as the Phoenicians, Jews, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans in ancient times, and more recently with Egyptians, Romans, Turks, Portuguese, Dutch, and English.

The simple fact is that India’s maritime history predates the birth of Western civilization. The world’s first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BCE during the Harappan civilization, near the present day Mangrol harbor on the Gujarat coast.

The earliest portrayal of an Indian ship is found on an Indus Valley seal from about 3000 BCE. The ship is shown being elevated at both bow and stern, with a cabin in the center. It is likely to have been a simple river boat since it is lacking a mast. Another drawing found at Mohendjodaro on a potsherd shows a boat with a single mast and two men sitting at the far end away from the mast. Another painting of the landing of Vijaya Simha in Ceylon (543 BCE) with many ships is found amongst the Ajanta caves.

That India had a vast maritime trade, even with Greece, is shown by the coins of the Trojans (98-117 CE) and Hadrians (117-138 CE) found on the eastern coast of India, near Pondicherry. This is evidence that Greek traders had to have visited and traded in the port cities of that area.

Kamlesh Kapur explains more about this in Portraits of a Nation: History of India: “Recent archeological excavations at Pattanam in Ernakulum district of Kerala by the Kerala council for Historical Research (KCHR) indicate that there was thriving naval trade around 500 B.C. According to the Director of KCHR, ‘The artifacts recovered from the excavation site suggest that Pattanam, with a hinterland port and a multicultural settlement, may have had links with the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the South China Sea rims since the Early Historic Period of South India.’ KCHR has been getting charcoal samples examined through C-14 and other modern methods to determine the age of these relics. These artifacts were from the Iron Age layer. The archeologists also recovered some parts of a wooden canoe and bollards (stakes used to secure canoes and boats) from a waterlogged area at the site.

“The radiocarbon dating from Pattanam will aid in understanding the Iron Age chronology of Kerala. So far, testing done by C-14 method to determine the ages of the charcoal samples from the lowermost sand deposits in the trenches at Pattanam suggests that their calibrated dates range from 1300 B.C. to 200 B.C. and 2500 B.C. to 100 A.D. Thus there is strong evidence that Kerala had sea trade with several countries in Western Asia and Eastern Europe from the second millennia B.C. onwards.” 16

The influence of the sea on Indian Kingdoms continued to grow with the passage of time. North-west India came under the influence of Alexander the great, who built a harbor at Patala where the Indus branches into two, just before entering the Arabian sea. His army returned to Mesopotamia in ships built in Sindh. Records show that in the period after his conquest, Chandragupta Maurya established an admiralty division under a Superintendent of ships as part of his war office, with a charter including responsibility for navigation on the seas, oceans, lakes and rivers. History records that Indian ships traded with countries as far as Java and Sumatra, and available evidence indicates that they were also trading with other countries in the Pacific, and Indian Ocean. Even before Alexander, there were references to India in Greek works and India had a flourishing trade with Rome. Roman writer Pliny speaks of Indian traders carrying away large quantity of gold from Rome, in payment for much sought exports such as precious stones, skins, clothes, spices, sandalwood, perfumes, herbs, and indigo.

The port cities included such places as Nagapattinam, Arikamedu (near Pondicherry), Udipi, Kollam, Tuticorin, Mamallapuram, Mangalore, Kannur, Thane, and others, which facilitated trade with many foreign areas, such as Indonesia, China, Arabia, Rome, and countries in Africa. Many other inland towns and cities contributed to this trade, such as Madurai, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Ellora, Melkote, Nasik, and so on, which became large centers of trade. Silk, cotton, sandalwood, woodwork, and various types of produce were the main items of trade.

Trades of this volume could not have been conducted over the countries without appropriate navigational skills. Two Indian astronomers of repute, Aryabhatta and Varahamihira, having accurately mapped the positions of celestial bodies, developed a method of computing a ship’s position from the stars. A crude forerunner of the modern magnetic compass called Matsyayantra was being used around the fourth or fifth century CE. Between the fifth and tenth centuries CE, the Vijayanagara and Kalinga kingdoms of southern and eastern India had established their rules over Malaya, Sumatra and Western Java. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands then served as an important midway for trade between the Indian peninsula and these kingdoms, as also with China. The daily revenue from the western regions in the period 844-848 CE was estimated to be 200 maunds (eight tons) of gold.

Not only was there trade from ancient times, going to many areas of the globe, but other countries may have also been going to India. It is reported that marine archaeologists have found a stone anchor in the Gulf of Khambhat with a design similar to the ones used by Chinese and Japanese ships in the 12th-14th century CE, giving the first offshore evidence indicating India’s trade relations with the two Asian countries. The stone anchor was found during an exploration headed by two marine archaeologists, A. S. Gaur and B. K. Bhatt, from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). “Though there are a lot of references and Chinese pottery (found from coastal sites) indicating trade relations between the two Asian nations (China and Japan) in the past, but this anchor from the offshore region is the first evidence from Indian waters. Similar type of anchors have been found from Chinese and Japanese waters,” stated Mr. Gaur. 17

Furthermore, another recent finding that shows the ancient advancement of Indian maritime capabilities is the evidence that Indian traders may have gone to South America long before Columbus discovered America. Investigation of botanical remains from an ancient site, Tokwa at the confluence of Belan and Adwa rivers, Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh (UP), has brought to light the agriculture-based subsistence economy during the Neolithic culture (3rd-2nd millennium BCE). They subsisted on various cereals, supplemented by leguminous seeds. Evidence of oil-yielding crops has been documented by recovery of seeds of Linum usitatissimum and Brassica juncea. Fortuitously, an important find among the botanical remains is the seeds of South American custard apple, regarded to have been introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The remains of custard apple as fruit coat and seeds have also been recorded from other sites in the Indian archaeological context, during the Kushana Period (CE 100-300) in Punjab and Early Iron Age (1300-700 BCE) in UP. The factual remains of custard apple, along with other stray finds, favor a group of specialists to support with diverse arguments the reasoning of Asian-American contacts way before the discovery of America by Columbus in 1498. 18

THE INDIAN NAVY AND SEA POWER

In the south especially there was an established navy in many coastal areas. The long coastline with many ports for trade for sending out ships and receiving traders from foreign countries necessitated a navy to protect the ships and ports from enemies. According to records, the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, and the Cheras had large naval fleets of ocean bound ships because these rulers also led expeditions against other places, such as Malayasia, Bali, and Ceylon.

The decline of Indian maritime power commenced in the thirteenth century, and Indian sea power had almost disappeared when the Portuguese arrived in India. They later imposed a system of license for trade, and set upon all Asian vessels not holding permits from them.

The piratical activities of the Portuguese were challenged by the Zamorins of Calicut when Vasco da Gama, after obtaining permission to trade, refused to pay the customs levy. Two major engagements were fought during this period. First, the battle of Cochin in 1503, clearly revealed the weakness of Indian navies and indicated to the Europeans an opportunity for building a naval empire. The second engagement off Diu in 1509 gave the Portuguese mastery over Indian seas and laid the foundation of European control over Indian waters for the next 400 years.

Indian maritime interests witnessed a remarkable resurgence in the late seventeenth century, when the Siddhis of Janjira allied with the Moghuls to become a major power on the West Coast. This led the Maratha King Shivaji to create his own fleet, which was commanded by able admirals like Sidhoji Gujar and Kanhoji Angre. The Maratha Fleet along with the legendary Kanhoji Angre held sway over the entire Konkan Coast keeping the English, Dutch and Portuguese at bay. The death of Angre in 1729 left a vacuum and resulted in the decline of Maratha sea power. Despite the eclipse of Indian kingdoms with the advent of western domination, Indian shipbuilders continued to hold their own well into the nineteenth century. The Bombay Dock completed in July 1735 is in use even today. Ships displacing 800 to 1000 tons were built of teak at Daman and were superior to their British counterparts both in design and durability. This so agitated British shipbuilders on the River Thames that they protested against the use of Indian built ships to carry trade from England. Consequently, active measures were adopted to cripple the Indian shipbuilding industries. Nevertheless, many Indian ships were inducted into the Royal Navy, such as HMS Hindostan in 1795, the frigate Cornwallis in 1800, HMS Camel in 1801, and HMS Ceylon in 1808. HMS Asia carried the flag of Admiral Codrington at the battle of Navarino in 1827, the last major sea battle to be fought entirely under sail.

Two Indian built ships witnessed history in the making. The Treaty of Nanking, ceding Hong Kong to the British, was signed onboard HMS Cornwallis in 1842. The “Star Spangled Banner” national anthem of the USA was composed by Francis Scott Key onboard HMS Minden when the ship was on a visit to Baltimore. Numerous other ships were also constructed, the most famous being HMS Trincomalee, which was launched on 19 October, 1817, carrying 86 guns and displacing 1065 tons. This ship was latter renamed Foudroyant.

The period of 4000 years between Lothal and Bombay Dock, therefore, offers tangible evidence of seafaring skills the nation possessed in the days of sail. In the early seventeenth century, when British naval ships came to India, they discovered the existence of considerable shipbuilding and repair skills, as well as seafaring people. An ideal combination was thus available for supporting a fighting force in India. 19

HOW THE BRITISH KILLED THE MARINE INDUSTRY OF INDIA

When the westerners made contact with India, they were amazed to see their ships. Until the 17th century, European ships were a maximum of 600 tonnes. But in India, they saw such big ships as the Gogha, which was more than 1500 tonnes. The European companies started using these ships and opened many new factories to make Indian artisans manufacture ships. In 1811, Lt. Walker writes, “The ships in the British fleet had to be repaired every 12th year. But the Indian ships made of teak would function for more than 50 years without any repair.” The East India Company had a ship called Dariya Daulat which worked for 87 years without any repairs. Durable woods like rosewood, sal and teak were used for this purpose.

The French traveler Waltzer Salvins writes in his book Le Hindu, in 1811, “Hindus were in the forefront of ship-building and even today they can teach a lesson or two to the Europeans. The British, who were very apt at learning the arts, learnt a lot of things about ship building from the Hindus. There is a very good blend of beauty and utility in Indian ships and they are examples of Indian handicrafts and their patience.” Between 1736 and 1863, 300 ships were built at factories in Mumbai. Many of them were included in the Royal Fleet. Of these, the ship called Asia was 2289 tonnes and had 84 cannons. Ship building factories were set up in Hoogly, Sihat, Chittagong, Dacca, etc. In the period between 1781 to 1821, in Hoogly alone 272 ships were manufactured which together weighed 122,693 tonnes.

In this connection, Suresh Soni, in his book India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition, explains how India was deprived of its marine industry, but also from any notation in its ancient history of its ship-building ability. He writes:

“The shipping magnates of Britain could not tolerate the Indian art of ship manufacturing and they started compelling the East India Company not to use Indian ships. Investigations were frequently carried out in this regard. In 1811, Col. Walker gave statistics to prove that it was much cheaper to make Indian ships and that they were very sturdy. If only Indian ships were included in the British fleet, it would lead to great savings. This pinched the British shipbuilders and the traders. Dr. Taylor writes, ‘When the Indian ships laden with Indian goods reached the port of London, it created such a panic amongst the British traders as would not have been created, had they seen the enemy fleet of ships on the River Thames, ready for attack.’

“The workers at the London Port were among the first to make hue and cry and said that ‘all our work will be ruined and families will starve to death.’ The Board of Directors of East India Company wrote that ‘all the fear and respect that the Indian seamen had towards European behavior was lost when they saw our social life once they came here. When they return to their country, they will propagate bad things about us amongst the Asians and we will lose our superiority and the effect will be harmful.’ At this, the British Parliament set up a committee under the chairmanship of Sir Robert Peel.

“Despite disagreement amongst the members of the committee on the basis of this report, a law was passed in 1814 according to which the Indians lost the right to become British sailors and it became compulsory to employ at least three-fourth British sailors on British ships. No ship which did not have a British master was allowed to enter London Port and a rule was made that only ships made by the British in England could bring goods to England. For many reasons, there was laxity in enforcing these rules, but from 1863 they were observed strictly. Such rules which would end the ancient art of ship-building, were formulated in India also. Tax on goods brought in Indian ships was raised and efforts were made to isolate them from trade. Sir William Digby has rightly written, ‘This way, the Queen of the western world killed the Queen of the eastern oceans.’ In short, this is the story about the destruction of the Indian art of ship-building.” 20

Of course, let us not forget that not only was commerce between ancient India and other countries made through maritime capabilities, but also through land routes that extended to China, Turkistan, Persia, Babylon, and also to Egypt, Greece, and Rome, which continued to prosper.

These days, India is still very much in the ship building business, mostly in small and medium size ships. As of 2009 there were 27 major shipyards, primarily in Mumbai, Goa, Vishakhapatnam, and Cochin.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the fact is that the ancient Vedic civilization had a strong connection with the sea, and maritime abilities. Even in their language of Vedic Sanskrit, words such as samudra, salil, sagar, and sindhu indicated the sea or large rivers. The word sindhuka also meant sailor, which became the name Sindbad for the sailor in Arabian Nights. Also, the English word navigation actually originates from the Sanskrit word Navagati.

Further evidence has been shown, such as that presented at a 1994 conference on seafaring in Delhi where papers had been presented that shows how Indian cotton was exported to South and Central America back in 2500 BCE. Another report suggested Indian cotton reached Mexico as far back as 4000 BCE, back to the Rig Vedic period. According to Sean McGrail, a marine archeologist at Oxford University, seagoing ships called ‘clinkers’ that were thought to be of Viking origin, were known in India a good deal earlier. Thus, India’s maritime trade actually flourished many years ago, along with many other of its advancements that are hardly recognized or accounted for today. 21

This helps reveal that India’s maritime trade actually flourished more and far earlier than most people realize. This was one of the ways Vedic culture had spread to so many areas around the world. Though the talents and capabilities that came out of ancient India’s Vedic civilization have often remained unrecognized or even demeaned when discussed, nonetheless, the Vedic people were far more advanced in culture and developments then many people seem to care to admit, and it is time to recognize it for what it was.

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Lehrburger, Carl, Secrets of Ancient America: Archaeoastronomy and the Legacy of the Phoenicians, Celts, and Other Forgotten Explorers, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2015, p.209.

2. Kuppuram, G., India Through the Ages, pp 65..527-31.

3. Ibid., pp.527-31.

4. Thompson, Gunnar, American Discovery: Our Multicultural Heritage, Hayriver Press, Colfax, Wisconsin, 2012, p.216.

5. Rao, S. R., Shipping in Ancient India, in India’s Contribution to World Thought and Culture, Published by Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan, Chennai, 1970, p. 83.

6. Science and Technology in Ancient India, by Editorial Board of Vijnan Bharati, Mumbai, August, 2002, p. 105.

7. Ibid., pp. 108-09.

8. Ramachandran, K. S., Ancient Indian Maritime Adventures, in India’s Contribution to World Thought and Culture, Published by Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan, Chennai, 1970, p. 74.

9. Soni, Suresh, India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition, Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, p. 68.

10. Ibid., p. 72.

11. Ibid., p. 73.

12. Shah, Niranjan, Little Known Facts About Shipping Activity in Ancient India, in India Tribune, January 8, 2006.

13. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 1) (Singhal, D. P., Red Indians or Asiomericans–Indian Settlers in Middle and South America, India’s Contribution to World Thought and Culture, Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, Chennai, India 1970, p.644.

14. Thompson, Gunnar, American Discovery: Our Multicultural Heritage, Hayriver Press, Colfax, Wisconsin, 2012, p.223.

15. Thompson, Gunnar, American Discovery: Our Multicultural Heritage, Hayriver Press, Colfax, Wisconsin, 2012, p.235.

16. Kapur, Kamlesh, Portraits of a Nation: History of India, Sterling Publishers, Private Limited, 2010, pp. 414-15.

17. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903151560.htm.

18. http://www.ias. ac.in/currsci/ jan252008/ 248.pdf.

19. http://indiannavy.nic.in/maritime_history.htm.

20. Soni, Suresh, India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition, Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, p. 74-75.

21. Frawley, Dr. David, and Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram, Hidden Horizons, Unearthing 10,000 Years of Indian Culture, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, Ahmedabad, India, 2006, p. 79.

How the Essence of Religion Came From Vedic Culture, by Stephen Knapp

(An Excerpt from the book Mysteries of the Ancient Vedic Empire, by Stephen Knapp)

As we look over the various cultures and religions of the world, we may ask if all religious systems are divine. Though they seem to conflict with each other on various points, still there are many areas of truth in which they all agree. Or you could say that some of the same essential truths can be found within each of them. And by a careful comparison, we can trace the essence of that truth back to what was originally explained in the Vedas, the oldest of all written texts, and, more importantly, what was the most developed of all cultures and philosophies.

In this way, we can also trace these essential truths back from one religion to another, and how the Vedic culture influenced Zoroastrianism, which influenced Judaism, which influenced Christianity, which influenced Islam. However, each succeeding religion became more distant from the original spiritual teachings and understanding, until each one thought that, rather than offering truths and processes to be followed, they promoted the idea that they were also the only way, superior to all else. When, actually, they were becoming increasingly narrow in their views, and less able to give people true enlightenment by showing how to uplift their consciousness to perceive the spiritual dimension, but demanding merely blind faith to follow it or go to hell, or some other such thing. This strategy hardly offers any real improvement or social upliftment, other than offering what may be a few moral principles, but little of any genuine spiritual development. And this is the loss, and what becomes a complete misdirection of the actual purpose of a spiritual path.

One of the early religions that others are traced back to is Zoroastrianism. But even this can be traced further back to the Vedic culture and the Rig Veda. To help explain some of this, we will reference Suhotra Swami’s book Dimensions of Good and Evil, where he describes what he calls the “Zoroastrian Nexus.”

It starts with a person named Jarutha described in the Rig Veda in less than complimentary terms, wherein he is against the sage Vasistha. It is also said (RV 7.9.6) that Vasistha had later killed Jarutha, possibly with Agni, fire. In the Rig Veda (7.13.1) Agni is also called the demon (asura) slayer.

In the Vedic texts, Jarutha is also called Jarasabdha. The Bhavishya Purana (Chapters 139-140) describes the history of the Maga Jarasabdha. The word maga refers to a dynasty of priests whom Jarasabdha was a progenitor, born in the family line of vira aditya, the powerful Aditya, meaning the sun god. So worship of the sun was important in their line.

Mandala Seven of the Rig Veda talks about Vasistha’s devotion to Varuna. Varuna was a great god of the rivers and seas, and was also called Asura-maya in the Rig Veda. Asura-maya means lord of the demons, the non-Vedics, because Varuna had power over the demonic undersea creatures. (Asura comes from the Sanskrit asun-rati, meaning he who gives life or rejuvenates, and maya because he measured out the sky. The word asura later became connected with those who were against the Vedic standards.)

Vasistha was fathered by the demigods Varuna and Mitra. It seems that both Jarutha and Vasistha were priests of Varuna, but a rivalry broke out between the two. Because of this rivalry, Jarutha left the Vedic culture and preached something different. He did not accept the Vedic standards and began to promote a different view, which was not accepted by Varuna. Due to this disagreement, Varuna cursed Jarutha and rejected him from Brahminical culture. So Jarutha was expelled from the region of Bharatvarsha, and he went to Persia. There he was able to propagate his own religion and philosophy.

In the region of Persia, Jarutha became known as Zarathustra, and began what became known as Zoroastrianism, called after his other name Zoroaster, which is a Greek derivative from the name Zarathustra. But even historically it is known that his early teachings aroused great hostility towards him.

In ancient Iran, the hereditary priestly caste was called the Magi. So it appears that the lineage of Maga Jarasabdha (Jarutha, Zarathustra) began from Varuna, the chief of the solar deities. In the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta, the name of God is Ahura-mazda, which matches Varuna’s Vedic title of Asura-maya. So, Zarathustra changed what had been the Vedic view into a different philosophy. Ahura Mazda, which means Wise Lord, became the name of the Zoroastrian God.

Furthermore, the Vedic demigods are headed by Brihaspati, whose other name is Angirasa, from where we get the name of Angra Mainyu in Zoroastrianism, who is depicted as the devil or Satan. So the Satan of Zoroastrianism is the Vedic spiritual master of the demigods.

In this way, Jarutha took the side of the demons and, though accepting Varuna as the main god, he promoted the idea that the non-Vedics were superior in their position. Basically, his philosophy was a rejection of the Vedic view, and he refashioned it in his own way. So there were still many Vedic aspects that remained. Even the language in the Zend Avesta is very similar to Sanskrit, and contains much pre-Zoroastrian material that can be related to the Rig Veda.

Nonetheless, Jarutha/Zarathustra called the demons Ahuras, or the pious ones, opposite of the Vedic view of them being called asuras, the demons. He also called them the daivas, similar to the Sanskrit name devas for demigods. In this way, the whole philosophy of Zoroastrianism was to take the Vedic philosophy and turn it upside down. So in Zoroastrianism the power of darkness became the power of light because he agreed with the non-Vedic point of view.

The point is that now we had Angra Mainyu as the name of the devil and Ahura Mazda as the name of God in this new faith. This idea of a God and a counterpart known as the devil, who could threaten the plans of God and divert the good intentions of the pious, now appeared for the first time, and is what filtered down through other religions of that region, including Judaism, Christianity and then Islam. The basis of this whole idea was pure concoction. And this idea and lack of higher spiritual knowledge is what has negatively affected any of the philosophies that followed this premise. This was because Zoroaster had accepted one demigod in contrast to another, rather than accepting the purer form of Lord Vishnu or Krishna as the Supreme, who has no rival. However, even in the Vedic system there may be evil spirits, subtle beings who are misguided and malevolent, and who cause trouble, but they are not beings who can threaten the will of the Supreme Lord.

As Suhotra Swami explains further: “It is curious how Zoroastrianism amplified this dualism [of a devil against God]. In the Vedic version, Asura-maya, Varuna, lord of the waters, dwells in the depths of the cosmic Garbhodaka Ocean, far below the earth. Yama’s [Yamaraja, the lord of death] underworld heaven and hell are very near that ocean; in the matter of chastising the sinful, Yama and Varuna are closely allied. In the Zoroastrian version, Ahura-mazda (Varuna) is the lord of light who gave his servant Yima an underworld kingdom called Vara, a realm that, while dark to human eyes, is mystically illuminated. In the Vedic version, Mitra and Varuna are a pair of demigods who in ancient times served the Supreme Lord as a team by supervising the realms of light and darkness. In the Zoroastrian version, Varuna is the supreme lord. Mitra is his light. The mantle of darkness (evil) is worn by an unceasing enemy of Ahura-mazda named Angra Mainyu or Ahriman. It appears that Angra Mainyu is the Vedic Angirasa (Brihaspati), spiritual master of the devas and a great foe of Shukracharya, the spiritual master of the asuras. From Mahabharata 1.66.54-55 we learn that Varuna took the daughter of Shukracharya, named Varuni, as his first wife.

“In the Vedic version, the powers of light and darkness or good and evil are not ultimate. By taking them to be ultimate, and moreover by reversing them (portraying the asuras as good and the devas as evil), Zarathustra twisted the Supreme Lord’s purpose for the cosmos that is administered on His behalf by such agents as Varuna, Yama and Brihaspati. Zoroastrianism was a revolutionary departure from Vedic philosophy.” (Suhotra Swami, Dimensions of Good and Evil, pp. 120-121)

Professor Norman Cohn, who heads an influential school of thought among religious historians, feels that the teachings of Zarathustra are the source of the philosophy of the apocalypse, the end of times–the belief in a final war between God’s army of angels and the devil’s army of demons. It is this idea that has continued down through various religions today.

In Zoroastrianism, this apocalyptic war was expected to start with the appearance of a messiah or savior, named Saoshyant, who would prevail against the forces of evil, at which time the dead would be resurrected from their graves. Then there would be a great assembly which would be a final judgment of all souls, the wicked ones would be destroyed and the righteous would become immortal, and the kingdom of God would be established on earth, wherein the righteous would enjoy life forever. It was the first time this sort of idea was promoted.

This has paved the way for many believers who are waiting for the end of times, the end of days, and they see signs of its approach in every evil thing that happens around them, expecting that they will be delivered to eternity in a resurrected but purified material body on a new earth. All of this shows a lack of deeper spiritual understanding, which has also paved the way for what can be seen as a sense of religious superiority, the feeling that my religion is better than yours and is the only way to salvation in the eyes of God. And from this has spread humongous quarrels, torture, hatred, and war, from nothing more than what has been traced back to a product of someone’s imagination simply because he rejected the Vedic system.

This borrowing from one religion to another can be recognized in many other ways as well. So let us look at a few more. For example, the idea that Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden that we find in the Bible, and where they are tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit by Satan, is almost entirely taken from the Jewish scriptures. Also the description of angels, such as Gabriel, Michael, Azrael, and Israfil, who have particular positions and purposes as we find in the Jewish tradition, which took these from the Persians, was also borrowed by Mohammed, who was said to have been given what became the Islamic teachings from the angel Gabriel.

Another example is the bridge to heaven. This is called Al Sirat by Mohammed. This is said to go over the abyss of hell, and is said to be finer than a hair, and sharper than the edge of a sword. Being led by Mohammed, Muslims are supposed to easily cross over it, whereas the wicked will lose their footing and fall into hell beneath them. However, the Jews had previously spoken of the bridge of hell, which is also no wider than a thread. But going further back, both the Muslims and the Jews are equally indebted to the Zoroastrians who had taught that on the last day, all men will be forced to pass over such a bridge, in their language called Pul Chinavad. 1

Even the concept of heaven and hell can be traced back to Zoroastrianism. Of course, there were also descriptions of both the heavenly and hellish planets in the Puranic texts. This was adopted by Zarathushtra and explained in the Gathas that heaven, or Garo-de-mana (Garotman in Persian), is where the angels sing hymns to God. This is described in the Yas xxxviii, 10; xxxiv, 2, which agrees with a similar description in Isaiah VI and Revelation of St. John.

Another example is the idea of paradise. In the Islamic faith, after crossing the Al Sirat, the faithful will reach paradise, which is situated in the seventh heaven. In this paradise, there are beautiful gardens, furnished with springs, fountains, and rivers, along with milk, honey, and trees with trunks of gold which produce the most delicious fruits. And more attractive than that are the 70 or so ravishingly beautiful girls called hur-ul-ayun on account of their big black eyes. However, most of this description is indebted to the Jews, for which, unfortunately, many of the Muslims have a great dislike. In the Jewish texts, such as Gemar Tanith, f. 25; Biracoth, f.34; Nidrash Sabboth, f. 37, all relate the future mansion of heaven as being a delicious garden in the seventh heaven. And the Midrash, Yalkut Shewini also describes it as having three gates with four rivers flowing with milk, wine, balsam, and honey. Anyone can see the similarities, one religion inheriting or borrowing from the other.

However, the Zoroastrians also described paradise in a similar manner. Paradise was called Bihisht and Minum which indicates crystal, where the righteous will enjoy all manner of delights, especially the company of huran-i-Bihisht or black-eyed nymphs of paradise, the care of whom is under the angel Zamiyad. So this seems to be the roots of the nymphs of paradise that was borrowed by later religions. Also, in one of the later writings of the Parsis (a group of Zoroastrians), the Nama Mihabad (40 & 41) describes that the lowest order of heaven is where the residents will enjoy all the delights of this world; nymphs, male and female slaves, meat and drink, clothing and bedding, articles of furniture, and other things too many to describe. 2 Of course, this sounds like hardly anything spiritual, but merely a continuation of the comforts any materialist would dream of having. Surely an enticing picture for those who think they deserve it.

Even Satan or the principle of evil is often described as a serpent, first in the Zend Avesta in Zoroastrianism, which in turn gave this to Christianity, and then on to Islam. Thus, all these often depict the evil principle as a serpent. 3 The German philosopher Schopenhaur also recognized this, as he stated in his book Religion and Other Essays (p.III): “And this confirms the views which has been established on other grounds that Jehova is a transformation of Ormuzd [Ahura Mazda], and Satan of the Ahriman [Angra Mainyu] who must be taken in connection that Ormuzd himself is a transformation of Indra [the Vedic demigod of heaven].”

We must consider, in this example, that in the Vedic philosophy, heaven is still a part of the temporary material creation and is not a part of the spiritual world. Therefore, Indra is a demigod and not the Supreme Being of the spiritual domain, which is beyond and outside the material worlds.

Another idea was the resurrection of the body, which actually is not found in the Vedic principles, but started with the Zoroastrian doctrine. The whole idea that during the last judgment the body would be resurrected was then accepted by the Jews, who lent it further to the Christians, especially through the teachings of Paul who was previously a Jew anyway, and then it went to Islam. The seed of this idea can be found in the Zend Avesta where it states (Zamyad Yasht XIX, 89-90): “This splendour attaches itself to the hero (who is to rise out of the number) of prophets (called Saoshyant) and to his companions, in order to make life everlasting, undecaying, imperishable, imputriscible, incorruptible, for ever existing, for ever vigorous, full of power, (at the time) when the dead shall rise again, and imperishableness of life shall commence, making life lasting by itself (without further support). All the world will remain for eternity in a state of righteousness; the devil will disappear from all those places whence he used to attack the righteous man in order to kill (him), and all his brood and creatures will be doomed to destruction.”

Herein we can see the Vedic premise of the eternal nature of the soul within the body, which will continue after the death of the body, but it has been misinterpreted to be the idea that the body is what will rise again. That it will live without the influence of the illusory nature, which here is suggested as the freedom from the presence of the devil, the principle of evil or illusion. And once free in this way, the living being can reach his full potential, such as described here as being indestructible, vigorous, everlasting, etc. This is all but a misinterpretation of the Vedic spiritual concepts, but filtered through the idea that the body is still the permanent identity of the eternal soul. We could discuss this for a lengthy time, which I have already done in some of my other books, but here we will leave it at this.

Even the Islamic phrase from the Koran “La-Elah-illiullah” (there is no God but God) is nothing but a repeat of the Zoroastrian formula “Nest ezad Magar Yazdan.”

Also, as every chapter of the Koran (except the ninth) opens with the words “Bismillah uar Rahman er Rahim,” this merely corresponds to the same formula which begins the Zoroastrian books, namely “Banam Yazdan Bakhshish gar dadar,” both basically meaning “in the name of the most merciful God.” So one is not so unique from the other, though they do not realize this.

As the Vedic followers called themselves Aryas or Aryans, the Parsis also called themselves Aryas, as described in the Zend Avesta, in such places as, “To the glory of the Aryas,” (Sirozah I, 9); “We sacrifice unto the glory of the Aryas made by Mazda,” (Sirozah II, 9); “How shall the country of the Aryas grow fertile,” (VIII, Yast, 9); “Ahura Mazda said, If men sacrifice unto Vretreghna made by Ahura… never will a hostile horde enter the Aryan countries, nor any plague, nor leprosy, nor venomous plants, nor the chariot of a foe, nor the uplifted spear of a foe.” (Bahram Yast, 48)

The question should be: Is it not about time for the Muslims to realize how much of their doctrines, ideas and sayings were inherited from previous cultures and religions, like Judaism and also Zoroastrianism? It can hardly be called a new revelation or special message from God. Each religion professes that their God is merciful, kind and loving. Or that their prophet or savior is giving something new. But as we find by studying the Koran and the Old Testament of the Bible, the revengeful nature of the God of the Torah is very much the same as the threatening nature of Allah in the Koran, where there are certain passages that tell the followers to make war upon and slay the infidels. These are both far different than the love for your neighbor that was recommended by Jesus in the New Testament. 4

As explained by Ganga Prasad in his book The Fountain-Head of Religion: “As for Zoroastrianism, its theism is in no way inferior to that of either Judaism or Mohammedanism. ‘Ahurmazda’ says the Rev. L. H. Mills, ‘is one of the purest conceptions which had yet been produced, and–we might add–is undoubtedly the prototype of the God of the Koran as well as the God of the Bible… But however superior to the belief of his contemporaries, the theism of the Koran can hardly be said to be superior to that of Judaism. The claim of the Koran, therefore, to be an independent revelation of God, on the plea of teaching a better theism than Judaism and Zorastrianism, to which it can be traced, is untenable.’” 5 Plus, the conception of Ahura-mazda was but a carry-over from the basics of the Vedic understanding of God.

There are also many similarities between the parables of Buddhism and Christianity, and between the lives of Buddha and Christ. Both are said to have been miraculously born, at which time they were surrounded by great omens, with a star presiding over each, in which case for Buddha was the Pushya Nakshatra. Both were visited by wise men upon their birth, such as when the rishi Asita came to King Suddhodana to see the newborn Buddha, and wise men came to Jerusalem to worship Jesus, as explained in the book of Matthew. And as the evil spirit of Mara came to tempt Gautama before he became the Buddha, Satan also tempted Jesus. Furthermore, many of the teachings of Jesus in the area of compassion, mercy, kindness, and inward development were also the same as or similar to those of Buddha. We could go on with many more of these kinds of similarities, others of which I have described in my book Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence.

Furthermore, just as in the Vedic traditions there was the spiritual river of the Ganges (considered to be descending from the spiritual Karana Ocean) or the Yamuna (considered spiritually purified because Lord Krishna played in it), and wherein devotees would take a dip to be spiritually purified, the Hebrews also accepted the Jordan River whose waters were used for the same purpose, especially for baptizing to be free from one’s past sins.

In regard to the similarities between Sanskrit and the language of the Zend Avesta, even Max Muller recognized this very clearly. He went on to explain in his Chips From a German Workshop (Volume I, pp. 82-3): “It is clear from his (Eugene Burnouf’s) works and from Bopp’s valuable remarks in his ‘Comparative Grammar’ that Zend in its Grammar and Dictionary is nearer to Sanskrit than any other Indo-European language; many Zend words can be retranslated into Sanskrit simply by changing the Zend letters into their corresponding forms in Sanskrit… It differs from Sanskrit principally in its sibilants, nasals and aspirates. The Sanskrit s, for instance, is represented by the Zend h… Where Sanskrit differs in words or grammatical peculiarities from the northern members of the Aryan family, it frequently coincides with Zend. The numerals are the same up to 100. The name thousand, however, sahasra, is peculiar to Sanskrit and does not occur in any of the Indo-European dialects except in Zend, where it becomes hazanra.” 6

Even the biblical rendition of the universal creation, as described in Genesis, was adopted from that given in the Parsi scriptures, which is but a summary of that given in the Vedic literature, which is practically the most elaborate version of the process of the universal creation found anywhere in any religious text.

One last example of similarities that we will look at is the premise for the next appearance of a savior, or a second coming, after which everyone will rise again to live in a world of peace and God consciousness, without evil, or when their tribe will triumph over their enemies. This gives any believer a great deal of faith and hope in the future that they will be saved or delivered, if they continue to follow that particular religion. However, the idea that God or His prophet will appear again is not new, but was first related in regard to the avataras of God in the Vedic tradition.

As Lord Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita (4.7): “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself.”

However, unlike other religions, Lord Krishna descends in regularly scheduled appearances for specific purposes. It is not that He will descend one last time and that is the end. That is incomplete information. But He will continue to appear in the material creation as the need arises, throughout the various time periods known as yugas. These avataras are fully described in the Puranas so we can understand when and how often They will appear. Therein we see that God regularly descends into the material worlds in His different forms at different times to give society the spiritual knowledge they need to know in order to attain the purpose of life.

The Vedic texts also describe the next appearance of God in the future, this time as Lord Kalki when He will appear at the end of Kali-yuga to bring in the next golden age known as Satya-yuga. Therein He will kill all the miscreant kings and rulers and relieve the world of this burden and bring back a time of peace, harmony, cooperation, and God-consciousness. And this schedule of avataras continues through Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, and again into Kali-yuga, all of which continue to repeat as many as 1000 cycles, called a kalpa or day of Brahma. In any case, this is the basis of any religion’s idea for the next coming of God.

All of these various similarities would show that many of the world’s religions and their legends and traditions, and even their precepts are to a great extent derived from Vedic culture. They may not be directly the same, but it is easy to see upon careful study that Christianity owes much to Vedic Dharma. Or as Max Muller said in his book Chips From a German Workshop (Volume I, Introduction, p.11), “There has been no entirely new religion since the beginning of the world. If we once understand this clearly, the words of St. Augustine, which have seemed startling to many of his admirers, become perfectly clear and intelligible, when he says, ‘what is now called the Christian religion has existed among the ancients and was not absent from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, from which time the true religion, which existed already, began to be called Christian.’” 7

In this way, we can understand that the earliest of spiritual knowledge, which can be accepted as that found in the most elaborate Vedic texts, has but filtered down through generations, and that each successive religion did little but adopt in its own way or interpretation of what was already there, and that the essential spiritual truths found in all religions are but inheritances of the more elaborate teachings found in the Vedic texts and traditions. Thus, Vedic Sanatana-Dharma is like the roots and trunk of the tree of the various religions, which are like the branches of the tree. Just as rivers ultimately meet at the sea with a common goal, in spite of coming from different areas and conditions, as if coming to their ultimate unity, similarly Vedic Dharma is like the parent authority and root of all other religions.

Unfortunately, the Parsi, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions do not discuss in depth such things as the law of karma and reincarnation, even though these are mentioned in places or hinted at, but hardly described or analyzed very deeply. They do not discuss the nature or size of the soul, the soul’s transcendence beyond the body, nor do they mention the idea of a Supersoul. Nor do they describe much about the nature of God, His characteristics, personality, how He looks, or His numerous pastimes, except in only the briefest of ways. It seems, therefore, that the higher spiritual knowledge actually becomes reduced in succeeding religions as the information is passed down over the following generations of religious traditions. In Judaism, Christianity and then Islam, the true depth of spiritual knowledge was increasingly forgotten. Even the detailed descriptions of God and His real loving nature, as found in the Vedic literature, has similarly deteriorated in passing from the Vedas and Puranas into the Zend Avesta, the Old Testament, Bible, and further down the line. Therefore, to get back to the heart of the matter, we must get back to the roots, where it all began, with the Vedic tradition.

The evidence provided in this chapter concludes that at a very remote time, long before the dawn of history, the forefathers of all Aryan nations, such as India, Persia, Afghanistan, and even most if not all of Europe, lived under the banner of one common religion. Their common name was Arya, which they gave to Aryavarta (ancient India, the land of the Aryans), as well as to Iran (Persia), and other countries. In this way, Sanskrit was the mother of all Aryan languages, just as the Vedic religion is the parent of all religions which prevailed in all branches of the Aryan family, and we can recognize the remnants of this in many parts of the world today, if only we are educated in understanding what is the real Vedic Aryan culture.

It is this Vedic culture that gave humanity the deepest level of spirituality that has descended and circulated around the world in the various ways and into the religions that followed. The previous chapters of this book should have clearly illustrated this point.

Furthermore, there are three distinctions between any of the bone fide religions today, and that is: 1) The area in the world in which the religion was taught, 2) the time in history in which it appeared, and 3) the capacity of the people to understand it. In this way, only so much spiritual knowledge could be given if the people of the area were not able to comprehend deep spiritual knowledge. Saint Tukaram also saw these distinctions when he said, “the teaching is as per the capacity of the taught.” Because of this, in some cases the knowledge is given in a straightforward manner, such as we see in the Vedic literature in which so many questions are asked, and so many deep answers are provided, with the means by which the student can actually realize and perceive the spiritual truths that are described. In other religions we see the use of parables and stories, in which the followers can only understand the preliminary principles, which often go no farther than establishing the moral ethics by which to live. They often do not hold much in the way of higher spiritual principles. This means that to understand deeper spiritual truths, the person must go elsewhere.

This is like the difference between an abridged dictionary and an unabridged dictionary. They both hold the same knowledge, but one is more complete than the other. The unabridged dictionary will contain hundreds or thousands more words than the abridged dictionary. This is the same difference between the religions. The Vedic texts will contain much more spiritual knowledge and information on understanding God or the Absolute Truth. So the more complete religion or spiritual path will give you the deeper means of understanding who you are and your relationship with God and all other beings. It will also provide you the process by which you can spiritualize your consciousness to the degree in which you can begin to directly perceive this higher reality. It is much more mature and developed, over and above those that are simplified and elementary. A most developed religion will also facilitate one’s becoming free from attachment, selfishness, violence, malice and hatred, by which a person can more easily focus on the spiritual nature of oneself and God, and the unity we all share with each other in that light. Whereas a religion that is incomplete and allows followers to hold on to these negative characteristics, especially violence, hatred toward others, emphasis on our differences, etc., will keep one bound up to this earthly plane of duality, which is the exact opposite purpose of any genuine spiritual process.

Vedic Dharma, on the other hand, is defined as that which leads to glory, peace, prosperity, and elevates society to liberation from this earthly existence. It is the understanding that this world is not our real home, never was and never will be. But it is also the portal through which, by living the right way, can propel us into the spiritual dimension, far away from this temporary earthly existence. This is why Vedic Dharma is meant to help all of society, and not divide society into those who are “saved” and those who are not. It teaches society to discard hatred toward one another and attain mental peace and internal contentment. This is actually meant to be the fundamental principle of all religions, which then encourages right conduct for attaining realization of the Eternal Truth, the reality of who and what you really are, and your relation to the Supreme Lord.

However, the attainment of moksha or liberation from material existence is unique in Vedic culture because most religions proclaim the ideal of merely reaching heaven, which is still considered part of the material creation. Yes, moksha also means rising above material suffering, ignorance, and the attainment of the Eternal Truth and bliss, right here and right now, in this life. It is not necessarily something that only can be attained after death. Whereas the non-Vedic religions often put emphasis on moral conduct, social behavior, ethics, etc., for reaching heaven in the next life, mainly with the idea of continuing the enjoyment of material facilities, yet give little emphasis on deeper spiritual philosophy. So in such religions there remains many philosophical questions for which there are limited answers. But it is up to the individual to choose which process he or she wants to accept in reaching a natural level of spiritual realization. That is why no Vedic or Hindu sect has tried to propagate or increase their followers through the use of the sword or by force, or through fear of torture, intimidation, or other such means. There is no history that shows the use of brutality for the propagation of Vedic culture. It is spread only through the purity of its teachings and the means by which people can use it for their own enlightenment. It is that means alone which is meant to attract people to investigate and then follow this spiritual way of life. It is meant to be a natural process, not forced.

This is why Dharmists, Hindus or devotees do not interfere in the religion of others and expect the same respect in return. This is also why anyone of any religion can easily live amongst those who follow Vedic Dharma.

Vedic culture contains a philosophy that goes back to a time beyond history, and has developed over millenniums. Even Sanskrit is considered to have descended from the Shabda-brahman, or the spiritual vibration that exists outside of the material creation, beyond time and space. Furthermore, we find that the insights given by the great rishis and sages are coming from a spiritually realized level of consciousness that is beyond mere faith or cultivated knowledge. Such insights and revelations come from a level of direct spiritual perception and experience, with the means and directions given to others so we can follow them to attain our own realizations.

The completeness of the Vedic spiritual philosophy can be seen with but a small analysis. This does not mean there are not great amounts of wisdom in all religions, but where else are you going to go to understand the roots of the knowledge of karma, or reincarnation, or the science of the nature or size and location of the soul, or the understanding of the Paramatma or Supersoul, and the means to unite with the Supreme? Where else are you going to find such detailed descriptions about God, or our relationship with God, or so many instructions given by God, or the means to acquire a direct connection with God? What other religion has such clear descriptions about the spiritual realm and how to reach that level of existence? We need to recognize the unique nature of the Vedic tradition and its philosophy.

Furthermore, the Vedic spiritual path offers the view that every creature is sacred. Spiritually we are all of the same quality. As explained in the Sri Ishopanishad: ishavasyam idam sarvam, yat kincha jagatyam jagat, which means that everything in this creation, both animate and inanimate, is part of the Lord’s energy, and that God’s energy is within all beings. Therefore, every creature has a spiritual significance. Plus, through the Vedic system of spiritual development, everyone can access that spiritual perception. It is not a matter of faith, but a process of realization. The Vedic process begins with faith, as all spiritual paths do, but if the path is practiced properly, it is expected to bring you to the level of having your own spiritual realizations and perception. And to do this there are so many means of assistance, such as the instructions from the Vedic texts, guidance from the realized gurus, and the association of other sadhus or devotees, all meant to help inspire and propel you forward to higher and higher levels of spiritual perception, realization and experience.

However, in Western religions, it is often presented that a follower can only attain such access through the approval of or connection with the church or religious institution. Without that, then you are finished, sometimes to eternal damnation, depending on the religion. In this way, the religion creates an air of exclusiveness, that the only way you can understand anything spiritual or have a connection with God is by accepting that particular church or denomination, or their specific savior or prophet. And, of course, the only people that are privileged to being “saved” are those who follow that same religion. Quite honestly, this is a very shallow level of understanding, like showing your allegiance to your religion by disliking, demeaning or even hating all others.

The Vedic or Dharmic approach to spiritual development is the antithesis of this. There is no restriction to spiritual knowledge, and all questions can be asked. The avenues of spiritual discovery are the guru (spiritual teacher), shastra (spiritual texts) and sadhus (other devotees or sages). This leads to the freedom of choice in the ways of understanding and ultimately experiencing the Divine. This is the real goal of human life. Everyone is coming from different backgrounds, and everyone has different lessons to learn. So personal investigations to find spiritual truth should be allowed and provided for everyone. It should not be controlled or limited by any certain religious persuasion.

This should especially be the case when we realize the premise of this chapter, that the essence and heart of all spiritual knowledge is descending from Vedic culture, Sanatana-Dharma, and that to get to the deepest level of spiritual understanding would be to take a deeper look at what it has to offer all of humanity, socially and individualistically, not only for peace, compassion, cooperation, harmony, etc., but to attain a closer link with the Divine. Nothing else offers a higher level of happiness, completeness or fulfillment, which is ultimately for what everyone is searching. This is the purpose of life.

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Prasad, Ganga, The Fountain-Head of Religion: A Comparative Study of the Principal Religions of the World and a Manifestation of Their Common Origin From the Vedas, The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, U.P., 1927, p.5.

2. Ibid., p.6.

3. Prasad, Ganga, The Fountain-Head of Religion: A Comparative Study of the Principal Religions of the World and a Manifestation of Their Common Origin From the Vedas, The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, U.P., 1927, p.59.

4. Ibid., pp.11-13.

5. Ibid., p.13.

6. Muller, Max, Chips From a German Workshop, Volume I, pp. 82-3.

7. Prasad, Ganga, The Fountain-Head of Religion: A Comparative Study of the Principal Religions of the World and a Manifestation of Their Common Origin From the Vedas, The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, U.P., 1927, p.26.

A Look at India From the Views of Other Scholars

(Excerpt from Mysteries of the Ancient Vedic Empire by Stephen Knapp)

First of all, why should we consider that Ancient India was so important? What did it have to offer anyone? And what did others have to say about Vedic India? And what difference does it make if it did spread over such a wide area and into so many different countries? And even if it did, why would this make a difference today?

If we have not studied the ancient Vedic culture, then there may be more about it that we should understand. After all, it is still the oldest living indigenous culture on the planet. It is not dead yet, and never will be. That alone says something of its universal nature. And if we have studied it, then we should review some of the impressions that India made in the minds of other people to better understand its importance.

THE WIDE INFLUENCE OF VEDIC INDIA

First of all, as explained in The Ancient World by John Haywood, “India is the birthplace of two of the world’s great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. Today, nearly half the world’s population live in countries whose cultural development has been influenced by one or both of these religions. Apart from India itself, these countries include China, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia. The influence of ancient India was not just limited to its religions. Indian mathematicians were the first in the Old World to discover the mathematical value of zero, and gave the world quadratic equations and the now universally used system of ‘Arabic’ numerals. The alphabets of Tibet, Mongolia and all of the Southeast Asian languages are of Indian origin. Yet despite their wide-ranging influence, the early civilizations of the Indian subcontinent are the least well known of any of the ancient civilizations.” 1

Let me add that how the influence of the Vedic culture of ancient India, Bharatvarsha, spread throughout the world is also hardly understood. This is why I have put together the present volume. And, as mentioned above, the advancements that were developed within and spread outside of India is also rarely recognized, which is why I have explained these ancient advancements, many of which the world now takes for granted, in my book Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture.

Many others also had complimentary things to say about the importance of India and its Vedic traditions, such as Mark Twain: “Let us remember,… That India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit, the mother of Europe’s languages; that she was the mother of our philosophy, mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics, mother, through Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.” 2

Mark Twain went on to say: “This is India! Cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the moldering antiquities of the rest of the nations,… one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects. India is the prime source of human development.” 3

William H Gilbert said in his Peoples of India: “In the history of human culture, the contribution of the Indian people in all fields has been of the greatest importance. From India we are said to have derived domestic poultry, shellac, lemons, cotton, jute, rice, sugar, indigo, the buffalo, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, sugar-cane, the games of chess, pachisi, and polo, the zero concept, the decimal system, the basis of certain philological concepts, a wealth of fables with moral import, an astonishing variety of artistic products, and innumerable ideas of philosophy and religion such as asceticism and monasticism.”

In this same regard, Rabindranatha Tagore also related, “I cannot but bring to your mind those days when the whole of Eastern Asia, from Burma to Japan was united with India in the closest ties of friendship.”

A. L. Basham also felt that India was extremely important, as he says in his Cultural History of India: “There are four main cradles of civilization, from which elements of culture have spread to other parts of the world. These are, moving from east to west, China, the Indian subcontinent, the ‘Fertile Crescent’, and the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Italy. Of these four areas, India deserves a larger share of the credit than she is usually given, because, on a minimum assessment, she has deeply affected the religious life of most of Asia, as well as extending her influence, directly or indirectly, to other parts of the world.”

Pierre Sonnerat also explained, “We find among the Indians the vestiges of the most remote antiquity… We know that all peoples came there to draw the elements of their knowledge… India, in her splendour, gave religions and laws to all the other peoples; Egypt and Greece owed to her both their fables and their wisdom.” 4

The German historian and novelist Friedrich Schlegel saw in Sanskrit the “original language,” or what is now called the Proto-Indo-European language, and declared in 1803 that, “Everything without exception is of Indian origin… ” 5 Also, “Whether directly or indirectly, all nations are originally nothing but Indian colonies… The oriental antiquity could, if we consented to deepen it, bring us back more safely towards the divine.” 6

Regardless of how much various religions in the past or even today have tried to wipe out or minimize the advanced nature of Vedic culture, they still could not do that, as explained as follows by Higgins: “The peninsula of India would be one of the first peopled countries, and its inhabitants would have all the habits of the progenitors of man before the flood in as much perfection or more than any other nation… In short, whatever learning man possessed before his dispersion may be expected to be found here, and of this, Hindustan affords innumerable traces… notwithstanding … the fruitless efforts of our priests to disguise it.” 7

Even Vedic culture’s deep spirituality is found to be the underlying basis of other religions, as explained by Maurice Maeterlinck: “Thanks to the labors of a science which is comparatively recent, and more especially to the researches of the students of Hindu and Egyptian antiquities, it is very much easier today than it was not so long ago to discover the source, to ascend the course and unravel the underground network of that great mysterious river which since the beginning of history has been flowing beneath all the religions, all the faiths, and all the philosophies: in a word, beneath all the visible and everyday manifestations of human thought. It is now hardly to be contested that this source is to be found in ancient India. Thence in all probability the sacred teaching spread into Egypt, found its way to ancient Persia and Chaldea, permeated the Hebrew race, and crept into Greece and the north of Europe, finally reaching China and even America.” 8

Professor James Traub, in India–The Challenge of Change, goes on to say: “Five thousand years ago, civilization of India was age-old. This civilization should be much older with many millennia of human endeavor behind it. Five thousand years ago, when the peoples of Europe were hauling stones across the face of the continent and grubbing out a meager existence, Indians throughout what is now western and southern Pakistan and Punjab, and even farther to the East, were living in elaborately designed cities, with sturdy houses, broad, straight roads, public baths, and drainage systems that were hardly equaled until the Roman era three thousand years later…. But five thousand years ago, according to archeologist John Marshal, the Indus Valley civilization was already age-old and stereotyped on Indian soil, with many millennia of human endeavor behind it. Usually we think of Mesopotamia as the cradle of civilization, but evidence suggests that the society of northwestern India, which has preserved its essential spirit over countless generations, deserve equal billing.”

Not only was the Vedic Indian influence recognized to the west of India, but also far to the east, as explained by Rene Grousset in Farther India and the Malay Archipelago (Volume II): “In the high plateau of eastern Iran, in the oases of Serindia, in the arid wastes of Tibet, Mongolia, and Manchuria, in the ancient civilized lands of China and Japan, in the lands of the primitive Mons and Khmers and other tribes of India-China, in the countries of the Malaya-Polynesians, in Indonesia and Malay, India left the indelible impress of her high culture, not only upon religion, but also upon art, and literature, in a word, all the higher things of spirit… There is an obstinate prejudice thanks to which India is constantly represented as having lived, as it were, hermetically sealed up in its age-old civilization, apart from the rest of Asia. Nothing could be more exaggerated. During the first eight centuries of our era, so far as religion and art are concerned, central Asia was a sort of Indian colony. It is often forgotten that in the early Middle Ages there existed a ‘Greater India,’ a vast Indian empire. A man coming from the Ganges or the Deccan to Southeast Asia felt as much at home there as in his own native land. In those days the Indian Ocean really deserved its name.”

Will Durant in his Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, goes on to say, “It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to us such questionable gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all, our numerals and our decimal system. But these are not the essence of her spirit; they are trifles compared to what we may learn from her in the future. As invention, industry and trade bind the continents together, or as they fling us into conflict with Asia, we shall study its civilization more closely, and shall absorb, even in enmity, some of its ways and thoughts. Perhaps, in return for conquest, arrogance and spoliation, India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of the mature mind, the quiet content of the unacquisitive soul, the calm of the understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all living things.”

However, that may depend on how much the people of India retain their culture. Otherwise, the more Westernized they become in their thinking and values, the more the above statement may be called into question. Nonetheless, to remain aware of its possibilities, we should not forget the well-known and glowing words that Max Muller had for India and its culture: “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow–in some parts a very paradise on earth–I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. If I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more universal, in fact more truly human, again I should point to India.” 9

Lord Curzon, while Viceroy of India, in his address at the Great Delhi Durbar in 1901, expressed, “Powerful empires existed and flourished here (in India) while Englishmen were still wandering, painted, in the woods, and while the British Colonies were still a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.”

From a more political perspective, Lord Curzon, before he went to India as a Viceroy, two or three times emphasized the importance of India to the British Empire when he said: “India was the pivot of our Empire. If this Empire lost any other part of its dominion we could survive, but if we lost India, the sun of our Empire would be set.” (Times, 3/12/1898)

Lord Roberts, after retiring for good from India, also said a similar statement to the London Chamber of Commerce: “I rejoice to learn that you recognize how indissolubly the prosperity of the United Kingdom is bound with the retention of that vast Eastern Empire.” (Times, 25/5/1893)

“That retention of our Eastern Empire is essential to the greatness and prosperity of the United Kingdom.” (Times, 29/7/1893)

“However efficient and well-equipped the army of India may be, were it indeed absolute perfection, and were its numbers considerably more than they are at present, our greatest strength must ever rest on the firm base of a united and contented India.” 10

In this way, the Vedic empire was a different kind of empire and showed its influence by its qualities and beneficial nature to one and all, rather than by power and military dominance. In A History of India by Kulke and Rothermund (1986, p.152), they explain how the influence of ancient India traveled over many lands: “The transmission of Indian culture to distant parts of Central Asia, China, Japan, and especially Southeast Asia is certainly one of the greatest achievements of Indian history or even the history of mankind. None of the other great civilizations–not even Hellenic–had been able to achieve a similar success without military conquest.”

The attractive nature of the Vedic Aryan Culture is explained more completely by David Frawley: “In the beginning there was one culture–that of the Spirit–and one language–that of Truth. This culture was outwardly one of worship and inwardly one of meditation. The language was one of mantra and communication was from the heart. The outer life was simple. There were small cities and villages, mainly along the rivers. Agriculture was practiced with the use of domesticated animals. Boats and wagons were used for travel. The emphasis was on the inner life and the outer life was not considered important, nor was there any great effort or need to improve it. Nature was abundant. This culture did not come from the outside but came from within and was guided by the sages, who generally lived in retreat in the mountains, who visited the peoples periodically and gave them instruction. From it later cultures diversified, along with divisions of language and religion, as we gradually fell from truth and our connection to the Divine to pursue outward and sensate values.” 11

Some additional information of the peaceful and developed ways of the Harappan culture is described by Michel Danino in his book, The Invasion that Never Was. “Dancing, painting, sculpture and music (there is evidence of drums and stringed instruments) were part of Harappan culture. Probably drama and puppet shows too, as a number of masks were found. The Harappans may also have been the inventors of the game of chess, of which one terracotta set was found at Lothal. Other kinds of gaming board and pieces have come up at many sites, as well as cubical dice identical to those used today. Children do not seem to have been neglected, judging from the exquisite care with which craftsmen fashioned toy oxcarts and figurines, spinning tops, marbles, rattles and whistles. And they could also amuse themselves with pet dogs and monkeys, pet squirrels and birds, too.

“Naturally, with hundreds of rural settlements, agriculture was practiced on a wide scale, the result of a long tradition going back four millennia. There is evidence of networks of canals for irrigation, of carefully shaped ploughs and ingenious tilling methods: at Kalibangan, for instance, excavations revealed a field ploughed with two perpendicular networks of furrows, in which higher crops (such as mustard) were grown in spaced-out north-south furrows, thus casting shorter shadows, while shorter crops (such as gram) filled contiguous east-west furrows. In the Indus valley, wheat, barley, pulses, a number of vegetables, and cotton were some of the common crops, and were planted following the two-season pattern still in use today (rabi or winter, kharif or summer); in Gujarat, rice and various millets were grown, too.” 12

THE SPIRITUAL ASPECT–STILL ATTRACTIVE TODAY

One of the major factors of the Vedic society was their spiritual orientation, which many people seek out even today. Max Muller mentioned this in one of his books: “I wish to point out that there was another sphere of intellectual activity in which the Hindus excelled–the meditative and transcendent–and that here we might learn from them some lessons of life which we ourselves are but too apt to ignore or to despise.”13

It was the Vedic philosophy that charmed and attracted people. As the Britisher Sir Charles Elliot explains, more than military or economic power, Vedic India spread into the hearts of people because of her way of thinking, and through that process spread over the globe. “Scant justice is done to India’s position in the world by those European histories which recount the exploits of her invader and leave the impression that her own people were a feeble dreamy fold, sundered from the rest of mankind by their seas and mountain frontiers. Such a picture takes no account of the intellectual conquests of the Hindus. Even their political conquests were not contemptible, and are remarkable for the distance, if not the extent, of the territories occupied… But such military or commercial invasions are insignificant compared with the spread of Indian thought.”

Sir William Jones (1746-94) once said about his admiration for India: “I am in love with Gopia, charmed by Crishen (Krishna), an enthusiastic admirer of Ram and a devout adorer of Brihma (Brahma), Bishen (Vishnu), Mahisher (Maheshwara); not to mention that Judishteir, Arjen, Corno (Yudhishtira, Arjun and Karna) and the other warriors of the Mahabharata appear greater in my eyes than Agamemnon, Ajax and Achilles appeared when I first read the Iliad.” 14

Arthur Schopenhauer, the German scholar (1788-1860), as quoted by Nehru, 15 once said that he expected Vedic Dharma to become accepted by the majority of people: “From every sentence (of the Upanishads) deep, original and sublime thoughts arise, and the whole world is pervaded by a high and holy and earnest spirit… In the whole world there is no study … so beneficial and as elevating as that of the Upanishads… (They) are products of the highest wisdom … It is destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people.”

It was also Schopenhauer who said, “The truth was recognized by the sages of India.” 16

GREATNESS OF VEDAS

Much of the reason for the qualities of ancient India and its great sages are held and can be seen by the greatness of the Vedic texts. This has been recognized by numerous scholars over the years. Here are a few, such as Professor Paul William Roberts in Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India: “The Vedas still represent eternal truth in the purest form ever written.”

Of course, we know that Henry David Thoreau greatly admired the Vedic literature, as mentioned in Quotes of Henry David Thoreau: “What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on me like the light of a higher and purer luminary, which describes a loftier course through a purer stratum. It rises on me like the full moon after the stars have come out, wading through some far stratum in the sky.”

He also said in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions.”

Another famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson is, “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”

Even Aldous Huxley once related, “The Bhagavad Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value of mankind. The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries of the spiritual thoughts ever to have been made.” 17

Annie Besant brings up another idea, that even westerners who are now drawn to the rare teachings of the Vedic philosophy are experiencing an attraction that was attained in a previous life. In India: Essays and Lectures she says: “Among the priceless teachings that may be found in the great Indian epic Mahabharata, there is none so rare and priceless as the Gita… This is the India of which I speak–the India which, as I said, is to me the Holy Land. For those who, though born for this life in a Western land, and clad in a Western body, can yet look back to earlier incarnations in which they drank the milk of spiritual wisdom from the breast of their true mother–they must feel ever the magic of her immemorial past; must dwell ever under the spell of her deathless fascination; for they are bound to India by all the sacred memories of their past and with her, too, are bound up all the radiant hopes of their future, a future which they know they will share with her who is their true mother in the soul-life.” 18

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Haywood, John, The Ancient World, New York, Metro Books, 2013, p.54.

2. Twain, Mark, Following the Equator, 1897, p. 347.

3. Ibid.

4. Sonnerat, P., Voyage aux Indes orientales et a la Chine, Paris, 1782.

5. Schlegel, Friedrich von, Letter to Ludwig Tieck of 15 December, 1803, quoted by Leon Poliakov in The Aryan Myth.

6. Schlegel, Friedrich von, Essay on the Language and Wisdom of the Indians, quoted by Roger-Pol Droit in L’Oubli de I’Inde, Paris Presses Universitaires de France, 1989, p. 129.

7. Higgins, The Celtic Druids) (Niranjan Shah, India: The Birthplace of Human Speech, International Vedic Vision, Sands Point, N.Y., 2013, p. 66.

8. Maeterlink, Maurice, in The Great Secret) (Niranjan Shah, Indian Origins of Ancient Civilizations, International Vedic Vision Foundation, New York, 2011, p.4.

9. Muller, F. Max, India, What can it teach us? Published by Rupa & Co., New Delhi, reprint in 2002.

10. Quoted in “Dadabhai Naoroji: Poverty and un-British Rule in India,” 1901, http://www.archive.org/details/povertyunbritish00naoruoft .

11. Frawley, David, Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, 1991, p.239.

12. Danino, Michel, & Sujata Nahar, The Invasion That Never Was, The Mother’s Institute of Research, Delhi, 2000, p.91.

13. Muller, Max, India: What Can it Teach Us?, Longmans, Funk & Wagnalls Company, London, 1999, p.138.

14. Mukharji, S.N., Sir William Jones: A Study in Eighteenth Century British Attitudes to India, Orient Longman, 1987.

15. The Discovery of India, Calcutta, Signet Press, 1946, pp. 92-93.

16. Schopenhauer, Arthur, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1, trans. E. Payne, New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1969, p.3.

17. Galav, T. C. Philosophy of Hinduism–An Introduction, p.65.

18. Besant, Annie, India: Essays and Lectures, Vol. IV, The Theosophical Publishing Company, London, 1895, p.11.

Sanskrit: Its Importance to Language. by Stephen Knapp

There has always been a controversy regarding whether Sanskrit was the original language, as some feel, or whether there was what has been called a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language that was the start of all other languages, which is now said to have disappeared. So let us take a look at this.

First of all let us face the fact that Sanskrit is the language that composes what has been recognized as the earliest texts on the planet, such as the Rig Veda and the other Vedas. Secondly, it is also known that it was an oral tradition long before it became a written language. This was because the great sage Vysadeva, who compiled the main portions of the Vedic literature, could foretell that the memory of mankind would soon be greatly reduced, compared to what it had been. So there would be a need for the texts to be in written form. Thirdly, the sophistication of the language, its grammar, syntax, and so on, was highly developed. So it had to have been in existence for some time, long before most other languages, or even any other language that appeared later on, all of which were far less developed than Sanskrit. So, how could there have been a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language that was the basis of forming Sanskrit that had to have been almost as sophisticated as Sanskrit that is said to no longer exist?

SANSKRIT AND THE PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE ISSUE

        So how did the idea come about that there must be a Proto-Indo-European language that was the origin of Sanskrit, Greek and Latin?

It all started when certain researchers started to see similarities between the main languages, such as Sanskrit, Greek and Latin. Presently, there are 439 languages and dialects, of which half is considered belonging to the Indo-Aryan subbranch. Twelve languages and their derivatives are considered to be Indo-European, including Spanish, English, Portuguese, Russian, German, French, Italian, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, and Urdu. And most of the languages in India are known derivatives of Sanskrit.

It was as early as 1583 when Thomas Stephens, an English Jesuit missionary in Goa started to recognize similarities between Sanskrit, Greek and Latin. Then in 1585, Filippo Sassetti, an Italian merchant who had traveled to India, also wrote about various similarities. Next was the Dutch scholar Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn, in 1647, who noted the similarities among these languages, including Dutch, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Persian, Slavic, Celtic and Baltic languages. He was the one who first proposed that they must all derive from a common source language, which he called Scythian. Then in the late 1760s Gaston Coeurdoux made observations of the same type, with a study of Sanskrit, Latin and Greek. There were others who had done the same thing. However, none of these men aroused much notice in their research.

It was in 1786 when Sir William Jones started giving talks about the similarities between Sanskrit, Greek and Latin, along with Celtic, Gothic and Persian languages, and suggested that there was a relationship between them. That is when people started to take notice.

It was in 1813 when Thomas Young first coined the phrase “Indo-European” to describe this relationship and family of languages, which then became the standard “scientific” term. Then it was Franz Bopp who produced a study of these languages, called Comparative Grammar between 1833 and 1852, that seemed to verify this relational theory. This was the beginning of the Indo-European studies as part of an academic curriculum. This went further to August Schleicher’s Compendium in 1861, and then Karl Brugmann’s Grundriss in the 1880s. From there it went further into what can be called modern Indo-European studies.

We could explain how various languages are considered part of a family or group and subgroups, or branches and subbranches, through genetic identification, or what can be called shared innovations, or their structure and phonology, or what is called their evolutionary history. But we won’t indulge in all this analysis.

In any case, we now have the “Indo-European Family” of languages, which is a study of the commonalities of numerous languages, rather than the attempt to try to understand what was the original or “Proto-Indo-European” language, or the seed from which all other languages began, starting with Sanskrit, Greek and Latin. So this is the difference when you begin talking about Indo-European language: Are you talking about the “family,” in which case you could certainly be talking about many languages, or are you talking about what could be the original, or at least the search for the original seed language of all others? In the latter case, such a language still has not yet been identified, and maybe never will.

WHERE WAS THE ORIGIN OF THE PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE?

        So if there was to be a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language, which means the seed language of all others, it had to come from somewhere. So where and what people developed it, and how did it spread?

It was speculated that the original Indo-European people go back to 5000 BCE. These were later called the Kurgan people, who lived northwest of the Caucasus and north of the Caspian Sea. These were considered to be semi-nomadic people. The word kurgan actually means “barrow” or “artificial mound” in Turkic and Russian. The Kurgan hypothesis was first formulated in the 1950s by Marija Gimbutas. In any case, it was figured that these people abandoned their homeland and started to migrate in different directions, taking their language with them, some arriving in Greece by 2000 BCE, and others to India in 1500 BCE. From there, the languages started to morph into varieties into what we find today as Greek, Sanskrit and Latin. This is known as the Kurgan Hypothesis, which basically means it is all speculation, or more diplomatically called a “model.”

Another theory is that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken by a people who lived about 6000 years ago in the vicinity of the Pontic Steppe, north of the Black Sea and east to the Caspian, near where the Scythians were supposed to have lived. It is then suggested that this PIE language faded away before there was the invention of a writing system, and then the Indo-Europeans expanded from the homeland, thus causing the evolution of the language into various dialects and incomprehensible daughter languages. These languages also evolved, giving birth to each of their own family of languages.

We also have the Anatolian Hypothesis. This theory, proposed by archaeologist Colin Renfrew at Cambridge University in 1987, holds that the Indo-European languages were spread not by marauding horsemen from the Caucuses but with the expansion of agriculture from Anatolia between 8000 and 9500 years ago. Radiocarbon analysis of the earliest Neolithic sites across Europe provides a fairly detailed chronology of agricultural dispersal. This archaeological evidence indicates that agriculture spread from Anatolia, arriving in Greece at some time during the seventh millennium BCE and reaching as far as the British Isles by 5500 years ago.

Renfrew maintains that the linguistic argument for the Kurgan theory is based on only limited evidence for a few enigmatic early Indo-European word forms. He points out that parallel semantic shifts or widespread borrowing can produce similar word forms across different languages without requiring that an ancestral term was present in a proto-language. Renfrew also challenges the idea that Kurgan social structure and technology was sufficiently advanced to allow them to conquer whole continents in a time when even small cities did not exist. Far more credible, he argues, is that Proto-Indo-Europeans spread with the expansion of agriculture – a scenario that is also thought to have occurred across the Pacific, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

So, as we can see, most of these ideas are but speculations that remain ever-changing, or, to put it plainly, inconclusive. Nonetheless, some people think that the original language has indeed already been identified, and has been around for thousands of years, if not longer, which is Sanskrit, which is the oldest of all sophisticated languages and from which all other major languages are but derivatives. Whatever factors for a Proto-Indo-European language the scholars are looking for can be found in Sanskrit. No other language has been identified to be older, or more influential in terms of texts written in Sanskrit, or how many other languages can be found that relate to it. So let us take a closer look at this.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SANSKRIT

        As we can see, the above theories are all hypothesis, or speculations which have not and cannot decisively identify who were the original bearers of the primeval language, or what that language really was. Even if these are considered the general consensus in academia, these theories are still too full of discrepancies to be taken seriously when analyzed in detail.

However, we can offer other evidence that should be considered. Of course, we acknowledge the idea that there had to have been many kinds of minor languages scattered across the globe, but we also propose the idea that there was one major sophisticated language that had great influence around the world, and which spread in various forms throughout many civilizations, and which is the prime factor for the similarities that we find in many languages today.

The problem with PIE is that they feel it was never a written language but only the seed for those languages that later did become written languages. So there is no and never will be any direct evidence for it. But they try to find words that can be identified as remnants of the Proto-Indo-European language. This is where all of the speculations begin.

So, why is this important? Remember, it is a biased interpretation of this Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language issue that has helped continue the idea of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). This is the idea, another hypothesis, that holds the premise that the Vedic Aryans came out of the Caucasus Mountain area only after they had already developed their language and writing, thus bringing with them the Vedic culture and the early Vedas to the Indus-Sarasvati region of India. This promotes the view that India was not the homeland of the real Vedic culture, and that it was brought to them by outsiders, who some call invaders, who were more advanced. This has perpetuated a false history of India and its Vedic traditions for many years, ever since Max Muller came up with this theory, and this is what must be corrected. That is why there is also a need to correct this Proto-Indo-European issue. [For more information on the Aryan Invasion Theory, please see my article and Ebook entitled: The Aryan Invasion Theory: The Final Nail in its Coffin on my website at http://www.stephen-knapp.com.]

THE ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENTS OF WRITING AND LANGUAGE IN INDIA

        There has always been questions about where the original script came from, and how did it originate. However, in this regard, famous archeologist and specialist in scripts, A. B. Walawalkar and scribe L. S. Wakankar have, through their research proved that the Indian script originated in India itself and said that on the basis of phonetics, the tradition of writing was present even in the Vedic times. 1

The name Sanskrit actually refers to a language brought to formal perfection, aside from the common languages at the time, like Prakrit. The form of Sanskrit that has been used for the last 2500 years or more is commonly known as Classical Sanskrit, which had been established by the ancient grammarians. Most scholars accept that it was finalized by Panini in the 5th century BCE. That is what became the standard for correct Sanskrit with such comprehensive authority that little has changed it down to the present day. However, even Panini mentions at least ten grammarians who preceded him. So he can not be the earliest of grammarians as some propose, which indicates that Sanskrit had been in use many years before him.

Kamlesh Kapur provides further insight into Sanskrit writing in her book Portraits of a Nation: History of India: “Sanskrit language is composed of 50 sounds and letters in its alphabet. It has 11,000 roots from which to make words. The English language has 500,000 words. Sanskrit language has 1700 Dhatu (root verbs), 80 Upasargas (suffixes, prefixes), and 20 Pratyaya (declensions). It is believed that Sanskrit has roughly 74,000,000 words. In fact, using these rules and by adding prefixes and suffixes, Sanskrit can provide an infinite number of words whose meaning is completely determined by the grammatical process.

“Several languages spoken and written today in India have been derivatives of Sanskrit. Bengali, Gurumukhi, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya and Hindi have been derived from Sanskrit. Languages of the South have been influenced by Sanskrit. Recently, Washoe County of Nevada (USA) proclaimed January 12, 2008 as Sanskrit Day. The proclamation says that, “As Hinduism expands in the West, it is important that to understand Hinduism, one should have a working knowledge of Sanskrit.’” 2

However, India also has a strong tradition in its Vedic culture that describes the possible or at least customary origin of its script. There are a few examples of this. One is that the text known as Yaju Taittariya Samhita tells the story of how the devas faced the problem that since sound vanishes once the words are spoken, what method could be applied to give it shape? So, they went to Indra and said, “Vachanvya kurvit,” which means “grant sound a shape.” Then Indra said that he would have to take the help of Vayu, the wind god. The other gods agreed and Indra gave a shape to sound in the form of the knowledge of writing or script. This is famous as Indra vayavya vyaakaran, or the grammar pertaining to the aerial Indra. 3

Another example gives credit to Lord Shiva. This one describes that with the death of various sages, particular branches of Vedic knowledge started disappearing. So, with a prayer to save them, great sages like Sanaka went to Shiva in the south Indian place of Chidambaram. Hearing their prayers, Lord Shiva strummed his damru instrument nine and then five more times during the interval of his cosmic dance. Thus, fourteen sources of sound were born. These came to be known as the Maheshwar Sutra. 4

Another story from the Vedic tradition is that when the great Vedavyas was thinking of writing the Mahabharata, he faced the problem of who would write it. To solve this problem he thought of Ganesh. When Ganesh came, Vedavyas said, “You be the writer of the Bharat Granth.” Ganesh agreed only if Vedavyas would not pause or stop, and Vedavyas agreed as long as Ganesh would not write anything unless he understood the meaning of everything that Vedavyas dictated. This was supposed to have happened shortly after the beginning of the age of Kali-yuga, which is accepted to be in the year 3102 BCE. So there had to have been the knowledge of the Sanskrit script at that time, as well as the oral tradition that went back many thousands of years before this.

Nonetheless, the archeologist Balawalkarji studied the scripts of the ancient coins and proved that it was mainly the Maheshwari script which was the Vedic script. According to him, it was only later that the Brahmi and the Nagari script developed from this. This is important as some people propose that Sanskrit came out of the preceding Brahmi script, which is not the case.

SANSKRIT LANGUAGE

        No doubt one of the greatest contributions from Vedic culture is the script and language of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the language of ancient India and of Vedic philosophy and its civilization. It is a perfect language, which also invokes the spiritual vibration of which it speaks. It is a refined language, but also most self-protective in the way it manages to maintain the original meaning that it presents, as long as a person properly understands Sanskrit grammar and syntax. In other words, when translated according to the rules of the Sanskrit language, you cannot take the interpretation far outside its firsthand intention without giving up all of the rules of Sanskrit.

A. L. Basham, former professor of Asian Civilization in the Australian national University, Canberra, writes in his book The Wonder That Was India (page 390): “One of ancient India’s greatest achievements is her remarkable alphabet, commencing with the vowels and followed by the consonants, all classified very scientifically according to their mode of production, in sharp contrast to the haphazard and inadequate Roman alphabet, which has developed organically for three millennia. It was only on the discovery of Sanskrit by the West that a science of phonetics arose in Europe.”

Basham goes on to say (page 509): “It will be seen that this alphabet is methodical and scientific, its elements classified first into vowels and consonants, and then, within each section, according to the manner in which the sound is formed. The gutturals are formed by the construction of the throat at the back of the tongue, the palatals by pressing the tongue flat against the palate, the retro-flexes by turning up the tip of the tongue to touch the hard palate, the dentals by touching the upper teeth with the tongue, and the labials by pursuing the lips.”

Furthermore, Sanskrit or remnants of it can be found in so many other languages around the world, that a person can begin to say that it may have been the original language that the world first new. In almost all languages, like Greek, French, English, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Indian, Mayan, Slavic, Russian, and the Sanskrit derivatives like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, or Malayalam, Sanskrit words are found everywhere. Either Sanskrit-speaking people carried them all over the world, or Sanskrit was the one world or main language, traces of which linger in all languages around the planet.

This is one of the reasons, however, why some people have felt that Sanskrit was one of several ancient languages that descended from another common ancestor. One of those people was the English poet, Jurist and scholar, Sir William Jones, who, in 1783, was appointed a justice of the High Court of Bengal. He began to study Sanskrit and wrote and published his high impression of Sanskrit. In 1786, while delivering his third lecture, Sir William Jones made the following statement which aroused the curiosity of many scholars and finally led to the emergence of comparative linguistics. Noticing the similarities between Sanskrit and the Classical Languages of Europe such as Greek and Latin, he delivered: “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of 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 not possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source which, perhaps, no longer exists; there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celt, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanskrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family…” 24

Sir William Jones in Asiatic Researches, (Vol. I, p. 423) also asserted the means by which the similarities in many languages, especially of the Indo-European group, is supplied by Sanskrit: “Deonagri [devanagari] is the original source whence the alphabets of Western Asia were derived.”

Mr. Pococke also relates: “The Greek language is a derivative from the Sanskrit.” 5 The learned Dr. Pritchard also says: “The affinity between the Greek language and the old Parsi and Sanskrit is certain and essential. The use of cognate idioms proves the nations who used them to have descended from one stock. That the religion of the Greeks emanated from an Eastern source no one will deny. We must therefore suppose the religion as well as the language of Greece to have been derived in great part immediately from the East.” 6

In this way, the idea started that there was a previous language that was the seed of the others, namely Sanskrit, Greek and Latin. They named this imaginary ancestor as Proto-Indo-European, or Proto-Indo-Germanic language. However, they have failed to find this imaginary language for the last 150 years. Plus, they will never find it because there was no such language. Nonetheless, not everyone agreed with this idea that Sanskrit was merely a part of a Proto-Indo-European language.

For example, even the British scholar Thomas Maurice, editor of the seven volumes of Indian Antiquities, mentions in Volume IV that Halhead, the first European Sanskrit scholar, “seems to hint that it (Sanskrit) was the original language of the earth. All Western scholars who readily apply their mind to the problem will find themselves concurring with Halhead that Sanskrit is the oldest language and that it was spoken all over the world. Other world languages are shattered and twisted bits of Sanskrit.”

The Great Sanskrit scholar Franz Bopp wrote in his Edinborough Review (Volume 33, page 43): “At one time Sanskrit was the one language spoken all over the world.”

As the study and interest in Sanskrit grew, there were many scholars and researchers who gave praise to it. In 1777, the French astronomer Bailly figured that the earliest humans had to have been located on the banks of the Ganges. Bailly also once stated, “The Brahmans are the teachers of Pythagoras, the instructors of Greece, and through her the whole of Europe.” 7

Voltaire also opined, “In short, Sir, I am convinced that everything–astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc.–comes to us from the banks of the Ganges.” 8

The French naturalist and traveler Pierre de Sonnerat (1782) also believed all knowledge came from India, which he considered the cradle of the human race. 9

Then in 1807, Schelling, a metaphysician who was well-known in his day, wondered “what is Europe really but a sterile trunk which owes everything to Oriental grafts.” 10

In 1808, Friedrich von Schlegel argued that “the Northwest of India must be considered the central point from which all of these nations had their origin.” 11 Schlegel, who also helped popularize German interest in Sanskrit, in his study of comparative grammar came to the conclusion that “the Indian language is older, the other younger and derived from it.”

In 1845, Eichhoff boldly proclaimed that “all Europeans come from the Orient. This truth, which is confirmed by the evidence of physiology and linguistics, no longer needs special proof.” 12 And this, I might add, is before genetics confirmed the same thing.

In 1828, Vans Kennedy related, “Sanscrit itself is the primitive language from which the Greek, Latin, and the mother of the Teutonic dialects were originally derived.” 13

Then in 1855, Lord A. Curzon, the British governor-general of India and later chancellor of Oxford, was fully convinced that “the race of India branched out and multiplied into that of the great Indo-European family…. The Aryans, at a period as yet undetermined, advanced toward and invaded the countries to the west and north-west of India, conquered the various tribes who occupied the land.” 14

Michelet was another that had the opinion that the Vedas “were undoubtedly the first monument of the world”,15 and that India “emanated a torrent of light and the flow of reason and Right.” 16

Plus, Godfrey Higgins, in his book The Celtic Druids (page 61), writes: “There are many objections to the derivation of the Latin from the Greek. Latin exhibits many terms in a more rude form than Greek. Latin was derived from Sanskrit.”

The roots of many languages are found in Sanskrit, which some called the mother of all languages, distinguished from the rest by its longevity, stability of form over the many millennia, and showed the status of a sacred language. The fact is that the farther back in time we trace the European languages, the more they begin to resemble Sanskrit. The farther we go back in time, the more we see that European and Vedic culture coalesce.

Sri Aurobindo observed that Sanskrit is “one of the most magnificent, the most perfect and wonderfully sufficient literary instruments developed by human mind… at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly formed and full and vibrant and subtle…” 17

We can see many Sanskrit words in other languages, or continuations of them in Lithuanian, Russian, or English. In fact, there are many words in Lithuanian that are related to or a part of Sanskrit. I have already spent a chapter or two of my book Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence comparing Sanskrit with numerous English words, so we will not go into it here.

One of the reasons why remnants of Sanskrit appear in places around the world, since Sanskrit was the language of early India, or Bharatvarsha, was that people of the region spread or migrated to other parts of the world. Then they named oceans, rivers, mountains, and regions with Sanskrit names. Anybody can see this if they are simply a little educated in it. For example, we can see it in names like Indonesia, Indochina, West Indies, etc., or in other places we have Afghanistan, Baluchastan, Turkasthan, Kurdisthan, Kazaksthan, and Uzbekisthan, all which show the Sanskrit based sthan, and which gives a hint of the past influence of the global Vedic tradition. Looking further, there are also many Sanskrit names in the countries of the Far East and South Pacific.

Unfortunately, the similarities in languages were used to help support the Aryan Invasion Theory, the idea that Sanskrit and the Vedic culture came into ancient India from outside. But more than anything, it was not that Sanskrit traveled into India, but that it traveled west and was then adopted to varying degrees by others, thus giving way to what had been called the Proto-Indo-European language that was supposed to have pre-dated Sanskrit. Of course, this has yet to be proved, and the idea came about mostly because of the Euro-centric way of looking at things. With new evidence that has come out, we can conclude that there was a westward movement or migration of people out of India that brought Sanskrit with them, which was absorbed into the existing languages of several central and west Asian regions.

With the advanced nature of the Sanskrit language and alphabet, some feel that, like the traditional source of the Vedas, Sanskrit was given by Divinity to humanity. It could not have been developed by the slow process of a human agency. After all, in the time period in which Sanskrit appeared, mankind was considered by some to be barbarians. But how could such a people, if that is what they were, develop such a refined language like Sanskrit? For such a language to appear, it would have to come from an equally refined and advanced civilization. Otherwise, why, after thousands of years of our advanced scientific civilization, have we not seen a better or more sophisticated language?

To help substantiate this, we can relate the following quote which appeared in the 1985 spring issue of AI (Artificial Intelligence) magazine, written by NASA researcher Rick Briggs: “In the past 20 years, much time, effort, and money have been expended on designing an unambiguous representation of natural languages to make them accessible to computer processing. These efforts have centered around creating schemata designed to parallel logical relations expressed by the syntax and semantics of natural languages, which are clearly cumbersome and ambiguous in their function as vehicles for the transmission of logical data. Understandably, there is a widespread belief that natural languages are unsuitable for the transmission of many ideas that artificial languages can render with great precision and mathematical rigor. But this dichotomy, which has served as a premise underlying much work in the areas of linguistics and artificial intelligence, is a false one.

“There is at least one language, Sanskrit, which for the duration of almost 1000 years was a loving spoken language with a considerable literature of its own. Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigor until the present century. Among the accomplishments of the grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence.”

On another level, the ancients and rishis called Sanskrit the language of the gods, or devevani or devabhasha. The script was called devanagari, the script of the gods. And the fact is, the most spiritual of Vedic literature is in Sanskrit. In the Rig Veda, Sanskrit has been called vacho aggram, or the earliest language. It is no doubt the main language used by the great rishis or sages to disseminate the knowledge of enlightenment that had been received by them ever since the time of the universal creation. Sanskrit was able to invoke the spiritual energy of which it speaks, and the vibration for propelling the consciousness to the higher realms it depicts. The great epics and codes of knowledge are all in Sanskrit. Even the great acharyas, like Shankar, Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, and other poets and philosophers wrote in Sanskrit. Sanskrit stood for at least three millennia, if not much longer, as the carrier of Vedic thought before its dominance gradually gave way to the vernacular dialects that eventually evolved from it as the modern languages of Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and so on.

There are officially 25 languages in India, along with 33 different languages and 2000 some dialects that are known to be used. In this regard Will Durant relates in Our Oriental Heritage (p. 406): “The Sanskrit of the Vedas and the epics has already earmarks of a classical and literary tongue, used only by scholars and priests; the very word Sanskrit means ‘prepared, pure, perfect, sacred.’ The language of the people in the Vedic age was not one but many; each tribe had its own Aryan dialect. India has never had one language.”

SANSKRIT GRAMMAR

        The grammar of Sanskrit is also known to be without comparison. Sir William Wilson Hunter wrote in The Indian Empire: “The grammar of Panini stands supreme among the grammars of the world, alike for its precision of statement and for its thorough analysis of the roots of the language and of the formative principles of words. By applying an algebraical terminology, it attains a sharp succinctness unrivaled in brevity. It arranges in logical harmony the whole phenomenon which the Sanskrit language presents and stands forth as one of the most splendid achievements of human invention and industry. So elaborate is the structure that doubts have arisen whether its innumerable rules of formation and phonetic change, its polysyllabic derivatives, its ten conjugations with its multiform aorist and long array of tenses could even have been the spoken language of a people.” 19

Though we give much credit to Panini for being one of the first if not the first grammarian of Sanskrit, we should still remember that in his writings, Panini himself mentions at least 10 grammarians who preceded him. 18

Mrs. Manning also relates: “Sanskrit grammar is evidently far superior to the kind of grammar which for the most part has contented grammarians in Europe.” 20

Mr. Elphinstone agrees in the same way: “His (Panini’s) works and those of his successors have established a system of grammar, the most complete that ever was employed in arranging elements of humans speech.” 21

Professor Sir Monier Williams says: “The grammar of Panini is one of the most remarkable literary works that the world has ever seen, and no other country can produce any grammatical system at all comparable to it, ether for originality or plan or analytical subtlety. . . His Sastras are a perfect miracle of condensation.” 22

Furthermore, it is known that Sanskrit was a vocal tradition long before it was put into written form. This tends to show that Sanskrit had been existing for many years before Panini, and that Panini may have also existed at a much earlier time period than many people think.

The fact that Panini listed previous philologists indicates that there had to have been a fully existing language of Sanskrit in ancient India long before he formed his book on Sanskrit grammar. Otherwise, the complex literature could not have been passed down to future generations to continue in such a flawless manner in an oral tradition. Panini did not develop Sanskrit but only compiled the rules of Sanskrit.

Dr. Cardona, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a known Panini grammarian, places Panini in the 6th century BCE, but believes that Panini could have been much earlier. In this regard, Count Bjornstjerna, even with what early evidence he could uncover, writes in his Theogony of Hindoos that Hindus possessed written texts of religion before 2800 BCE. So it is likely that it could have been long before then.

Another bit of evidence in this regard is the presence of words of Vedic Sanskrit in Syria as early as 2200 BCE. This has the effect of pushing back the period of when the Vedic hymns were composed to beyond 3000 BCE. Thus, the whole theory of a Aryan invasion into India near 2000 BCE falls flat and is contrary to the evidence found in the Middle East. 25

The earliest of glossaries on Vedic words goes back to the Nighantu, written by the ancient etymologist Yaska. Yaska explained that he compiled this based on previous glossaries, the most important of which was the Nighantuka-Padakhyana, which is attributed to Kashyapa Prajapati. Yaksa himself described at least twelve previous etymologists before him. As listed in his Nirukta, it includes Aupamanyava (Nirukta 1.1), Audambarayana (1.1), Varshayayani (1.2), Gargya (1.3), Shakatayana (1.3), Agrayana (1.9), Shakapuni (2.8), Aurnavabha (2.26), Taitiki (4.3), Sthaulastivi (7.14), Kraustuki (8.2), and Kathakya (8.5). So his own commentary, the Nirukta, is based on a long tradition of Vedic Sanskrit, and was a compilation and codification of the etymological knowledge that went all the way back to the pre-historic time of Kashyapa Muni.

Obviously, Sanskrit was the earliest of developed languages, and no country but ancient India, and no language except Sanskrit can boast of a possession so ancient or venerable. No people but the Vedic Aryans, followers of Vedic Dharma, can show such a sacred heirloom in its history, so high in its grandeur and glory when compared with other languages. The Vedas and Vedic literature, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, serve as a beacon of divine light for the onward progress for humanity.

THE VEDIC TEXTS

        Sanskrit is the foundation of Vedic literature, which is the basis of the Vedic philosophy. The Vedic literature is a complete library for understanding life, the purpose of the creation, how the cosmos manifested, and what is the spiritual identity of the individual soul, Supersoul, and Supreme Being; plus, the relationship between them, and the pathways for directly realizing and perceiving these. This is what is called Sanatana-dharma, the eternal duty of life and the eternal state of being, meaning complete harmony and balance that we should all reach. This is the main purpose of the human form of life according to the Vedic system.

The original compositions of many of the Vedic hymns were given credit to the early sages or seers, such as Brigu, Angirasa, Marichi, Atri, Vashistha and his brother Agastya, and Vishvamitra. It was Brigu, Angirasa, Marichi, and Atri from whom came the seven rishis (Saptarishis) who became the main lineages or gotras that we refer to today. These consist of: Jamadagni from Bhrigu; Bharadvaja from Angirasa; Gautama from Angirasa; Kashyapa; Vashistha from Marichi; Agastya from Marichi; Atri; and Vishvamitra from Atri. It is said that Bhrigu and his descendants lived in the western part of the Asian subcontinent and Vashistha and Vishvamitra lived in the Sarasvati region. Later, the great sage Vedavyasa compiled it all into written form. (A detailed analysis of the Vedic literature and its numerous books has been provided in a previous book of mine called The Heart of Hinduism and in my E-book called A Complete Review of Vedic Literature. So I will not included that elaboration here.)

The point to remember is that the Vedic literature held universal spiritual knowledge. Even the Puranas, which are considered to be the interplanetary histories and elaborations of the spiritual knowledge of the Vedic samhitas, such as the Rig, Sama, Atharva, and Yajur Vedas, are said to be universal in nature. In other words, they were not exclusive to the region of India.

One little story that can help point this out is how, with the use of the Vedic knowledge, the source of the Nile River was found. The British explorer John Hanning Speke, who in 1862 discovered the Nile in Lake Victoria, acknowledged that the Egyptians themselves did not have any idea of where the Nile’s source was located. However, it was from British Lt. Colonel Wilford’s description of the Hindus’ intimate awareness with ancient Egypt that led Speke to Ripon Falls, at the edge of Lake Victoria. This was outlined in Wilford’s essay on Egypt from the Puranas, called Ancient Book of the Hindus’ Asiatic Researches (Vol. III, 1792). What was also most helpful was that Lieutenant Speke constructed a map based on the information from the Puranas, as described in his book, Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863). He explained, “All our previous information concerning the hydrography of these regions originated with the ancient Hindus who told it to the priests of the Nile; and all these busy Egyptian geographers who disseminated their knowledge with a view to be famous for their long-sightedness, in solving the mystery which enshrouded the source of their holy river, were so many hypothetical humbugs. The Hindu traders had a firm basis to stand upon through their intercourse with the Abyssinians.”

Thus, the map coursed the river through Kushadvipa, from a great lake in Chandristhan, “Country of the Moon,” while it gave the correct position in relation to the Zanzibar islands. Speke wrote that some Hindu Pundits knew the Nile as Nila and Kaali. The word Nile means blue and Kali means dark, which were appropriate descriptions of the Nile River. Their names are mentioned in some Puranas, including the Bhavishya. This went against the idea of that time because Lake Victoria was unknown then.

Sir Richard Burton, the leader of the Nile expedition had identified Lake Tangyanika as the source. Speke, however, following the advice of a Benares Pundit insisted that the real source was a much larger lake that lay to the north. By following this advice, Speke was able to discover Lake Victoria and the source of the Nile. The Pundit also told him that the real source were the twin peaks known as Somagiri. Soma in Sanskrit indicates the moon, and giri means hill or mountain. Thus, Somagiri indicated the fabled Mountains of the Moon in Central Africa.

The wonderful inventive genius and high level of consciousness of the Vedic Aryans enabled them to produce or utilize a language which contributed materially in the creation of a literature that remains unparalleled for richness, sublimity and range. The particular beauty inherent in the language of such intellectual powers were greatly enhanced by the scientific upbringing that had developed into what is now such a model of perfection that it was known as devanagari, or the language of the gods.

Professor Monier Williams was also highly impressed with the Ramayana. He had written: “Ramayana is undoubtedly one of the greatest treasures in Sanskrit literature.” However, later he went into more detail on his appreciation for it: “There is not in the whole range of Sanskrit literature a more charming poem than the Ramayana. The classical purity, clearness and simplicity of its style, the exquisite touches of true poetic feeling with which it abounds, its graphic descriptions of heroic incidents, nature’s grandest scenes, the deep acquaintance it displays with the conflicting workings and most refined emotions of the human heart, all entitle it to rank among the most beautiful compositions that have appeared at any period or in any country. It is like a spacious and delightful garden, here and there allowed to run wild, but teeming with fruits and flowers, watered by perennial streams, and even its most tangled jungle intersected with delightful pathways. The character of Rama is nobly portrayed… ” 23

The Mahabharata also was not in want of its western admirers, even from years ago, such as Dr. F. A. Hassler of America, in his letter to P. C. Roy, dated July 21, 1888, which was published in P. C. Roy’s English translation of the Mahabharata: “In all my experience in life, I have not found a work that has interested me as much as that noble production of the wise, and I do not hesitate to say, inspired men of ancient India. In fact I have studied it more than any other work for a long time past, and have made at least 1,000 notes which I have arranged in alphabetical order for the purpose of study. The Mahabharata has opened to me, as it were, a new world, and I have been surprised beyond measure at the wisdom, truth, knowledge, and love of the right which I have found displayed in its pages. Not only so, but I have found many of the truths which my own heart has taught me in regard to the Supreme Being and His creations set forth in beautiful, clear language.”

The early American ethnologist, Jeremiah Curtin, who also had written to Baba P. C. Roy about his edition of the Mahabharata, also had deep appreciation for what he found within it. He relates in his letter, which appeared in Part XXX of the book: “I have just finished reading carefully from beginning to end, 24 numbers of your translation of the Mahabharata, and can honestly say that I have never obtained more pleasure from reading any book in my life. The Mahabharata will open the eyes of the world to the true character and intellectual rank of the Aryans of India. You are certainly doing a great work… The Mahabharata is a real mine of wealth not entirely unknown, I suppose, at present to any man outside your country, but which will be known in time and valued in all civilized lands for the reason that it contains information of the highest import to all men who seek to know in singleness of heart, the history of our race upon the earth, and the relations of man with the Infinite Power above us, around us and in us.”

THE CONCLUSION

What all of this shows is, as Dr. Vishnu Kant Verma explains, is that to this day, the Proto-Indo-European language, meaning that original language from which all others developed, such as Greek and Latin, has not been identified. What has been shown is that Sanskrit is the most ancient and developed of all sophisticated languages. What has also been shown is that many languages are but offshoots of Sanskrit, and the most likely to be the central language of the Indo-European family. One reason for this is also due to the Indo-Aryan migrations to Asia Minor, the Middle East and into Greece and Europe. (Verma, Dr. Vishnu Kant, Indo-Aryan Colonization of Greece and Middle-East, Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi, 2001, p.51)

This also shows the power of Sanskrit and what it has retained through the years, and how it is certainly one of the most powerful and original if not the seed of all other languages. This also illustrates that it is not a matter of proselytizing, but only a matter of sharing the Vedic knowledge and wisdom with others that will attract numerous people to find that the deeper levels of spirituality that they are looking for is already existing and waiting for them within the texts of the Vedic literature.

[Most of this is taken from a chapter from Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture by Stephen Knapp]

CHAPTER NOTES

1. Suresh Soni, India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition, Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, p. 199.

2. Kamlesh Kapur, Portraits of a Nations: History of India, Sterling Publishers, Private Limited, 2010, p. 401.

3. Suresh Soni, India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition, Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, p. 199.

4. Ibid., p. 200.

5. Pococke, India in Greece, p. 18.

6. Pritchard, Dr. Pritchard’s Physical History of Man, Vol. I, p. 502.

7. Jean-Sylvan Bailly, Lettres sur l’origine des sciences et sur celle des peuples de l’Asie, Paris, Freres Bebure, 1777, p. 51.

8. Ibid., 1777, p. 4.

9. Pierre Sonnerat, Voyages aux Indes Orientales et la Chine, Paris, 1782.

10. L. Poliakov, The Aryan Myth, Sussex University Press, London, 1971, p. 11.

11. Friedrich von Schlegel, Uber die Sprache und die Weisheit der Indier, Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hindistory of Linguistic Science, Amsterdam, Benjamins, 1977, p. 505

12. E. W. Eichhoff, Vergleichung der Sprachen von Europa und Indien, Schrey, Leipzig, 1845.

13. Vans Kennedy, Researches into the Origin and Affinity of the Principal Languages of Asia and Europe, Longman, London, 1828, p. 196.

14. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 16, 172-173.

15. J. Michelet, Bible de l’humanite, Paris, Chamerot, 1864, p. 26.

16. Ibid., p. 485.

17. Pride of India: A Glimpse into India’s Scientific Heritage, Samskriti Bharati, New Delhi, 2006, p. 130.

18. Nicholas Kazanas, Indo-Aryan Origins and Other Vedic Issues, by Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2009, p. 199.

19. Imperial Gazetteer of India, Art, “India”, p. 214.

20. Ancient and Medieval India, Vol. I, p. 381.

21. Elphinstone’s History of India, p. 146.

22. Monier Williams, Indian Wisdom, p. 172.

23. Indian Epic Poetry, p. 12.

24. Jones, Collected Works, Volume III, 34-5, quoted by Vepa, Kosla, The South Asia File: A Colonial Paradigm of Indian History Altering the Mindset of the Indic People, Indic Studies Foundation, Pleasanton, California, 2008, p.54.

25. Verma, Dr. Vishnu Kant, Indo-Aryan Colonization of Greece and Middle-East, Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi, 2001, p.130.

26. Ibid., p

[This article can be found at http://www.stephen-knapp.com]

The Aryan Invasion Theory: The Final Nail in its Coffin, by Stephen Knapp

(From a Chapter in “Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture’)

        The Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) is the idea that the Vedic people were not indigenous to the area of northern India, but were invaders from the Caucasus Mountain region that descended on India around 1500 BCE, and then wrote the Vedic literature and forced the natives to accept their culture. In writing this chapter I want to emphasize that this book is not about the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), but we should at least include one chapter on it to show its place in discovering the real history of the development of ancient India and the origins of Vedic culture. In doing so, I acknowledge there have already been volumes written on this controversial topic, and on where the original homeland of the Indo Aryans might be. So anyone can read any of those books until one is nauseated with various viewpoints, but that is not what we are going to do here. Going into a long dissertation about how all the theories were developed and what evidence they found is the last thing I want to do. For all but the specialist researchers and readers, it would make for an extremely tedious book, at least more so than some may feel it is already. So, we are only going to summarize some of the most recent and concluding research that is available today.

Let us remember that the idea that the Vedic Aryans came from outside of ancient India and entered the region to start what became the Vedic civilization is a foreign idea. There was never any record, either historical, textual or archeological, that supports this premise for an Aryan invasion. There also is no record of who would have been the invaders. The fact is that it is a theory that came from mere linguistic speculation which happened during the nineteenth century when very little archeological excavation had yet been done around India.

There have been many researchers who have tried to study the linguistics of the people to gather an indication of where the original homeland of the Vedic Aryans was actually located. This was done to either try to uphold or refute the idea of the Aryan Invasion Theory. In my book, Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence, I dealt with linguistics and word similarities to a degree, but this topic, in spite of all the research, study, and books written on whatever findings were made, has done little to absolutely establish with clarity the original home of the Vedic Aryans.

Some scholars have always felt that the linguistic evidence is not sufficient to draw definite conclusions where the homeland of the Vedic Aryans was located.

Linguistics amongst some scholars have always been a speculative process, at best arriving at various conjectures about the origins of particular cultures and languages. Others have been even more dismissive of the idea of reconstructing a hypothetical language based on words that remain present in spoken languages thousands of years later. Thus, in trying to understand the Vedic Aryans and where their homeland may have been by analyzing some hypothetical Proto-Indo-European language that still has not been identified seems rather doubtful. At best, it may provide some basic hypothesis, which in reality may be most misleading. This also seems to say that there is little reason to hold the field of linguistics in such a high degree of respect, considering all the books that have been written that seem to use this process to determine so many conclusions, or conjectures, on the homeland of the Vedic Aryans.

As a further comment to this issue, G. P. Singh relates, “They (proponents of the Aryan Invasion Theory) are divided in their opinion regarding the exact location of the said common home, the reason for which is not far to discover. The speakers of Aryan languages have been clubbed together as an Aryan race which never existed as such. The philological and ethnological explanations regarding the identification of an Aryan language with an Aryan race are conflicting. The similarities of a few words do not necessarily constitute a proof of common origin of their speakers, rather they indicate commingling and sociocultural contacts and fellowship. The theory of a common home of members of a so-called Aryan family whether in Asia or Europe cannot be accepted merely on the evidence of linguistic paleontology… The Aryan invasion of India is a myth and not the truth. The Aryans were neither invaders nor conquerors. They were not the destroyers of the Harappan civilization but one of its authors.” 1

This does not mean, however, that we cannot still use linguistics to help recognize the many similarities of cultures by the closeness of words, in both spelling and meaning, that are used in the languages of various traditions, or where and how far the Vedic and Sanskrit influence has traveled, and how various cultures may have shared traditions with each other. But to supply proof of where the Vedic people originated, that is not possible. Plus, today we have so much more research and archeological evidence that tells far more than the study of linguistics, which will certainly lead us to the correct conclusion about this matter.

Up till today, there is still no culture from the time of ancient India that can be said to have originated outside and then invaded or brought the Vedic culture to the interior of India. More evidence will be given as we discuss this topic. But for now, what this means is that if we look at the ancient ruins, or agricultural practices, artifacts, or social activities, it can be recognized that they were all based on indigenous techniques and traditions. They are not linked to anything that would have come from outside of India, although just the opposite is the case. Moreover, we can see a migration from India to the west or even eastward.

Traditionally, as we find in the Manu-samhita (2.17-18), Vedic culture was founded by the sage Manu between the banks of the Sarasvati and Drishadvati Rivers. And the Sarasvati River was the main river in the Rig Veda, which, according to modern land studies, was a massive and important river at the time (before 1900 BCE). Only after this did the emphasis shift to the sacred Ganga (Ganges) River. This would indicate that the Vedic tradition is indeed a product of the area of ancient India.

There was also no real divide between north and south India in terms of the so-called invading Aryans in the north and the Dravidians of the south. As explained by David Frawley, “Dravidian history does not contradict Vedic history either. It credits the invention of the Tamil language, the oldest Dravidian tongue, to the rishi Agastya, one of the most prominent sages in the Rig Veda. Dravidian kings historically have called themselves Aryans and trace their descent through Manu (who in the Matsya Purana is regarded as originally a south Indian king). Apart from language, moreover, both north and south India share a common religion and culture.” 2

A recent landmark global study in population genetics by a team of internationally reputed scientists (as reported in The History and Geography of Human Genes, by Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberta Piazzo, Princeton University Press) reveals that the people who inhabited the Indian subcontinent, including Europe, concludes that all belong to one single race of Caucasian type. This confirms once again that there really is no racial difference between north Indians and south Indian Dravidians.

Other scholars and researchers are also giving up the idea of the Aryan Invasion Theory. As further explained in the book Origin of Indian Civilization, based on the results of the conference of the same name, it was described that, “While not in complete agreement, yet for Professor Witzel and Eltsov to acknowledge that the Harappan and Vedic civilizations were concurrent, is an important landmark in the debate on the Indic civilization. Prof. Witzel also stated for the first time to many in the audience that he and his colleagues no longer subscribe to the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). Prof. Witzel of Harvard agreed with the scholars present that the Aryan invasion theory is a nineteenth-century concept and a spent force today. He said, ‘nobody in the right mind believes in something like Aryan Invasion Theory.’” 3

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY

        Before the 1857 uprising it was recognized that British rule in India could not be sustained without a large number of supporters and collaborators from within the Indian population. Recognizing this, it was influential men like Thomas Babbington Macaulay, who, as Chairman of the Education Board, sought to set up an educational system modeled after the British system, which, in the case of India, would serve to undermine the Hindu tradition. While not a missionary himself, Macaulay came from a deeply religious family steeped in the Protestant Christian faith. His father was a Presbyterian minister and his mother a Quaker. He believed that the conversion of Hindus to Christianity held the answer to the problems of administering India. His idea was to create a class of English educated elite that would repudiate its tradition and become British collaborators. In 1836, while serving as chairman of the Education Board in India, he enthusiastically wrote his father about his idea and how it was proceeding:

“Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully. The effect of this education on the Hindus is prodigious… It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolator among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, by natural operation of knowledge and reflection. I heartily rejoice in the project.”

So the point was that religious conversion and colonialism were to go hand in hand. European Christian missions were an appendage of the colonial government, with missionaries working side by side with the government. In this case, we could ask if over the years much has really changed in the purpose of the Christian missions in India.

The key point here is Macaulay’s belief that “knowledge and reflection” on the part of the Hindus, especially the Brahmanas, would cause them to give up their age-old belief in anything Vedic in favor of Christianity. The purpose was to turn the strength of Hindu intellectuals against their own kind by utilizing their commitment to scholarship in uprooting their own tradition, which Macaulay viewed as nothing more than superstitions. His plan was to educate the Hindus to become Christians and turn them into collaborators. He persisted with this idea for fifteen years until he found the money and the right man for turning his utopian idea into reality.

He needed someone who would translate and interpret the Vedic texts in such a way that the newly educated Indian elite would see the superiority of the Bible and choose that over everything else. Upon his return to England, after a good deal of effort he found a talented but impoverished young German Vedic scholar by name Friedrich Max Muller who was willing to take on the arduous job. Macaulay used his influence with the East India Company to find funds for Max Muller’s translation of the Rig Veda. Though an ardent German nationalist, Max Muller agreed for the sake of Christianity to work for the East India Company, which in reality meant the British Government of India. He also badly needed a major sponsor for his ambitious plans, which he felt he had at last found.

The fact is that Max Muller was paid by the East India Company to further its colonial aims, and worked in cooperation with others who were motivated by the superiority of the German race through the white Aryan race theory.

This was the genesis of his great enterprise, translating the Rig Veda with Sayana’s commentary and the editing of the fifty-volume Sacred Books of the East. In this way, there can be no doubt regarding Max Muller’s initial aim and commitment to converting Indians to Christianity. Writing to his wife in 1866 he observed:

“It [the Rig Veda] is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years.”

Two years later he also wrote the Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India: “The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?” This makes it very clear that Max Muller was an agent of the British government paid to advance its colonial interests. Nonetheless, he still remained an ardent German nationalist even while working in England. This helps explain why he used his position as a recognized Vedic and Sanskrit scholar to promote the idea of the “Aryan race” and the “Aryan nation,” a theory amongst a certain class of so-called scholars, which has maintained its influence even until today.

MAX MULLER DENIES HIS OWN THEORY

        It was in the nineteenth century when Max Muller tried to date the Vedas to 1200 BCE. Then he accepted the Sutra literature to the sixth century BCE and assigned a duration of just 200 years to each of the periods of Vedic literature, namely the Aranyakas, Brahmanas and Vedas. But when his contemporary scholars, like Goldstucker, Whitney and Wilson, raised a fuss about this, he had to regress and stated (in his Preface to the Rgveda): “I have repeatedly dwelt on the merely hypothetical character of the dates, which I have ventured to assign to the first periods of Vedic literature. All I have claimed for them has been that they are minimum dates, and that the literary productions of each period which either still exist or which formerly existed could hardly be accounted for within shorter limits of time than those suggested.” 4

This indicates his admission that he really did not know and he was expressing nothing but conjecture. This is not exactly a scholarly action. But still being pressed by his contemporaries, he finally admitted it in a publication in 1890 (Physical Religion) and reflected the responsibility by saying no one can figure it out: “If now we ask how we can fix the dates of these periods, it is quite clear that we cannot hope to fix a terminum a qua. Whether the Vedic hymns were composed [in] 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 BC, no power on earth will ever determine.” 5

Although Max Muller was the one who cleverly came up with the Aryan Invasion Theory, he later worked to bring out the Sacred Books of the East series, which helped promote the spiritual wisdom of the East to the general public in Europe. Later, though a German by birth, he was living comfortably in England when in 1872, after the German nationalists finally achieved unification, he marched into a university in German occupied France (Strasbourg) and denounced the German doctrine of the superior Aryan race. It was at this time that he began to clarify that by Aryan he meant language and not a race. This was in stark contrast with his previous views, which had all been well documented, and which kept following him since politicians and propagandists kept using his conclusions as authority for their own race ideas. At last, he stated clearly in 1888:

“I have declared again and again that if I say Aryan, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor skull nor hair; I mean simply those who speak the Aryan language… To me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan blood, Aryan race, Aryan eyes and hair is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolicocephalic dictionary or of brachycephalic grammar.” 6

Just as he had previously been a proponent of the Aryan race theory for the first 20 years of his life, he remained an opponent of it for the remaining 30 years of his life. However, in spite of this fact, we still find Indian scholars who still hold onto Muller’s previous views, however inaccurate they may have been, in their own conclusions on India’s history.

THE DAMAGE DONE BY THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY

        The premise of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) was used as a perfect tool, especially by the British, to divide the Hindu society and the state of India. The North Indian “Aryans” were then pit against the South Indian “Dravidians,” along with high-caste against low-caste, mainstream Hindus against tribals, Vedic orthodoxy against the indigenous orthodox sects, and later to neutralize Hindu criticism of the forced Islamic occupation of India, since “Hindus themselves entered India in the same way as Muslims did.” Even today, the theory has still been used as the basis for the growth of secularist and even Marxist forces.

The problem with all of this is that people of Indian descent, especially the youth, when they hear all of this Aryan Invasion theory nonsense, they begin to lose faith in their own country, culture and history, and especially in the Vedic tradition and epics. They think it is all just stories, fiction, or even a lie. But that is not the case at all, which is why it is important to show where this theory came from, what its purpose was, and why we should throw it away and take a second and much deeper look at what the Vedic tradition has to offer, and how it was actually the source of much of the world’s advancement in so many areas.

Even in India today it is often the case that schools teach the Western views of Indian history and even use European translations of the great Vedic texts. Children are taught that their culture is inherently inferior to the Western developments, and that Hinduism is archaic, outdated, with nothing to offer people today. Therefore, in this view, Indian students should no longer value their own culture and instead look toward the West for everything they need. But this notion is absolutely false. They do not known how much the Western youth looks toward India for its spiritual inspiration, and are using the ancient Indian and Vedic traditions, such as yoga, Jyotish, Vastu, Ayurveda, and the Vedic philosophy to reach their highest potential and well-being. They would not do that if they were not experiencing the benefits of it. In fact, it is all becoming increasingly popular because there is more curiosity, inquiry, and need to find something of substance rather than being content with the shallow nature of Western society and its values.

Part of the problem today is in the educational system of India, and everywhere for that matter, that still often projects the idea that the native Indians were undeveloped and pushed out of the area that was taken over by the invading Aryans, who then pushed their language, culture, and religion onto the people who remained. Those who went south to avoid the invading Aryans were called the Dravidians. The British missionaries, even as early as 1840, went on to use this theory as a means to persuade people of South India to reject the Vedic tradition, since it had been forced on them by invaders, and accept Christianity. By using the typical “divide and rule” policy that the British were known for, they helped create a schism in the people of India which gave them better means to control and manipulate them under the guise of giving them back the respect they had always deserved. Of course, if they became Christian they would deserve even more respect, as portrayed by the missionaries. So, the Aryan Invasion Theory, which had originally been developed by a Christian certainly continued to serve the Christian interests well, unbeknownst to the people who falsely accepted the Dravidian identity. In this regard, Chandrasekharendra Saraswati summed it up very nicely: “Their conclusions would permit them to regard the ancient rishis as primitive men inferior to the moderns… their analysis of our religious texts was motivated by the desire to show Christianity as a better religion.” 7

Thus, the real truth was kept hidden so their agenda could be served. But was not that the whole purpose behind the Aryan Invasion Theory from the start? After all, as N. S. Rajaram has succinctly related, “English translations of the Rigveda… represent a massive misinterpretation built on the preconception that the Vedas are the primitive poetry of the nomadic barbarians. Nothing could be further from the truth.” 8

Even of late, there have been leaders in Tamil Nadu who have promoted this Dravidian identity, and gave reasons why they should reject Hinduism, which is but an imposition on the natives. Of course, now, through the use of genetics, it has been proven that there never was any division, except in name only, between the Vedic Aryans and the native Dravidians. They were all part of the same native and indigenous fabric of ancient Indian civilization. Any other divisions were all but hypothetical and theory only. But this was part of the damage that such mental speculation had caused. And it still goes on. That is why books and information such as this needs to be spread, so that the truth of the matter can finally be displayed for all to see, and the unity to help preserve and protect the truth of the depth and profound nature of the Vedic civilization can be properly understood.

OBJECTIONS TO THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY

        As archeologists B. B. Lal explains, it was Mortimer Wheeler who, after reporting a few skeletons being found at Mohenjodaro, said that the people of Mohenjodaro had been massacred in the invasion of the region. However, the skeletons had been found at different stratigraphic levels of the site–some from intermediate levels, late levels, and also from the deposits that had accumulated at the site after its desertion. This showed that Wheeler was wrong in his assessment. Recent skeletons would have been no where but the uppermost levels.

Thus, the conclusion would have to be that no evidence whatsoever of an invasion has been found at any of the hundreds of Harappan sites. Furthermore, at most of these sites, there is ample proof of continuity of habitation. An outside invasion also means the presence and entry of a new people, but no such evidence exists. A detailed study of human skeletal remains by Hemphill and his colleagues (1991) showed that no new people arrived between 4500–800 BCE, during which the “Aryan invasion” was said to have happened (around 1500 BCE). Therefore, no evidence for an invasion exists, and certainly not by any Aryans.

Furthermore, when new invaders arrive, place names of some towns and rivers remain from the previous people who occupied the area. But no Dravidian names exists for any such objects in the entire area once occupied by the Harappans. 9

Another point is that before the Vedas were written, it had been an oral tradition. However, an oral tradition of this kind of philosophy and culture cannot be maintained by a people in constant movement for decades if not centuries over many thousands of miles, which is what the Aryan Invasion Theory proposes. Such a tradition as the Vedic culture could be preserved only by a sedentary people where the older generation would have the necessary time to pass the communal lore to the younger generation. 10

In fact, as we have established in Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence, the Vedic texts make no mention of any migration at all. Surely, if that had happened there would have been some narration of it, or history of a previous location. But nothing exists like that, nor any language previous to the Vedic culture that existed in the Gangetic plains as would be expected.

There are many reasons why common sense can tell you that there could not have been any invasion into Aryavrata (India) by Vedic Aryans from outside. The question is that if the Aryans were supposed to be rambling barbarians, as viewed by some, yet were able to develop such a sophisticated language (Sanskrit) and compositions (the Vedas), then how did they not leave in the countries they left behind a rich culture that shows their previous developments? What happened to their descendants who should have kept the remnants of their culture and language? Why were not similar developments made by those who remained in Eastern Europe? And what happened to the pre-Sanskrit language and culture of the area that the Aryans invaded, if that is what happened? No answers have been found regarding these points.

Furthermore, as Dr. B. B. Lal relates, “Let it be squarely stated that the earliest book of the Aryans, the Rig Veda, does not mention any of the species of cold-climate trees enumerated. On the other hand, all the trees mentioned in the Rig Veda, such as the Ashvatha (Ficus religiosa L.), Khadira (Acadia catechu Wild), Nigrodhas (Ficus benghalenis L.), do not belong to a cold climate but to a tropical one. Likewise, the Rig Vedic fauna, comprising such species as the lion, elephant, peacock, also belong to a tropical climate. Further, during the Rig Vedic period the Sarasvati was a mighty river, but it gradually dried up. The evidence of archeology, hydrology and radiocarbon dates shows that the Sarasvati dried up around 2000 BCE. All this proves that the Rig Veda antedated the magic figure. Again, the Rig Vedic geography covers the area from the Ganga-Yamuna on the east to the west of the Indus. Likewise, the archeological evidence shows that prior to 2,000 BCE it was the Harappan Civilization that flourished in this region. Thus, the textual and archeological data combine to establish a perfect spatial-cum-chronological oneness between the Rig Vedic and Harappan cultures. And since, as demonstrated in this book, the Harappans were ‘the sons of the soil’, it squarely follows that the Rig Vedic people were indigenous.” 11

We also need to understand from what frivolous basis came the term ” Aryan race.” The people who created this term, and the Aryan Invasion Theory itself, were not biologists, archeologists, or scientists, though some of them later adopted this. But they were only linguists of questionable qualifications. Even in 1929, Sir Julian Huxley, one of the great natural scientists of the twentieth century related (in Oxford Pamphlet, No. 5, OUP: p.9):

“In 1848, the young German scholar Friederich Max Muller (1823-1900) settled in Oxford… About 1853 he introduced into the English language the unlucky term Aryan as applied to a large group of languages.

“Moreover, Max Muller threw another apple of discord. He introduced a proposition that is demonstrably false. He spoke not only of a definite Aryan language and its descendants, but also of a corresponding ‘Aryan race.’ The idea was rapidly taken up both in Germany and in England.” 12

Part of the problem was a misinterpretation of the word aryan. With the AIT, it was meaning a race of people, or even a separate language. But the word arya was always meant to be used as an honorific title for someone who lead a pure life, who was on the path for attaining a pure and spiritual consciousness. Arya actually means clear as in light consciousness, not as a light-skinned person of another separate race. An Aryan in this case meant an ethical, social and spiritual ideal of a well-governed life, for someone who was noble, straightforward in his dealings, was courageous, gentle, kind, compassionate, protector of the weak, eager for knowledge, and displayed respect for the wise and learned. Thus, everything that was opposite of this, such as mean, cruel, rude, false, ignoble, was considered non-aryan.

Huxley, regarding the scientific view at the time (1939), said the following: “In England and America the phrase ‘Aryan race’ has quite ceased to be used by writers with scientific knowledge, though it appears occasionally in political and propagandist literature… In Germany, the idea of the ‘Aryan race’ received no more scientific support than in England. Nevertheless, it found able and very persistent literary advocates who made it appear very flattering to local vanity. It therefore steadily spread, fostered by special interests.”

In this regard, N. S. Rajaram explains: “Those ‘special conditions’ were the rise of Nazism in Germany and British imperial interests in India. While both Germany and Britain took to the idea of the Aryan race, the courses taken by this racial theory in the two countries were quite different. Its perversion in Germany leading eventually to Nazism and its horrors is too well known to be repeated here. The British, however, put it to more creative use for imperial purposes, especially as a tool in making their rule acceptable to Indians. A BBC report admitted (6 October, 2005):

“It [AIT] gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier.” 13

This was the way the British could justify their presence in India as a new and improved brand of Aryans that were doing the same thing that the present Indians who were the previous invading Aryans had done in the past. Thus, the Aryan Invasion Theory was perpetuated by special interests rather than by true historical evidence. In such a case, when the truth finally becomes apparent, such false notions have to dwindle and fade. That is why I have written about how those who believe in the false history of India are but a dying breed. The modern archeologists simply do not believe or see enough evidence to accept the Aryan Invasion Theory. Thus, it becomes self-evident that the Vedic culture was part of the indigenous tradition of India all along, and not brought to India by any outside invaders.

MISLEADING DATES OF THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY

        When the idea for the Aryan invasion was developed by Max Muller, he was formulating dates based on his familiarity and loyalty to the Biblical tradition, which tries to establish that the world was created in 4004 BCE. Therefore, whatever dates he came up with had to fit into this scheme of things. So, as we know, he decided that the Aryans had to have invaded India in 1500 BCE, and then developed the Rig Veda thereafter in 1200 BCE. This means that such calculations are based on faith in the Bible, and, accordingly, a group of linguistically unified people must have been existing around the Caspian Sea before invading India. It is this Biblical reference that formed the foundation of these dates of Max Muller’s for the Aryan Invasion Theory and when the Rig Veda may have been written. These were merely assumptions, many of which have been left uncontested, especially outside of India, up until a few decades ago.

Furthermore, Dr. Narahari Achar, a physicist from the University of Memphis clearly showed with astronomical analysis that the Mahabharata War took place in 3067 BCE, seriously challenging the outside “Aryan” origin of Vedic people. 14 Therefore, if we accept the year 3102 BCE as the date for the beginning of Kali-yuga, and 3067 BCE as the time for the Mahabharata war, this surely means that human society itself had been in existence for many, many years before the Christian date of 4004 BCE as the date for the creation of the world. This would make the 4004 BCE date of creation and the stories that go with it complete fiction.

The real problem with this is that these dates of 1500 BCE for the invasion of the Aryan forces and 1200 BCE for the creation of the Rig Veda have been propagated in both school and college books for many years as if they are the substantiated truth. However, even Muller admitted many times later in his life that these dates were arbitrary in nature, or merely guesses grounded on his own view of things, which were precarious opinions based on his allegiance to the Bible. He had written in admission, “I need hardly say that I agree with everyone of my critics. I have repeatedly dwelt on the entirely hypothetical character of the dates that I venture to assign [to the Vedic literature]. … Whether the Vedic hymns were composed 1000, 1500 or 2000 or 3000 BC, no power on earth will ever determine.”

As we have seen, it is the findings in archeology and the statements and history within the Rig Veda that have contradicted the dates of the fictional Aryan Invasion and the idea of an invasion itself. For example, the Rig Veda has described the ancient and glorious Sarasvati River, which is known to have dried up around 1900 BCE, and was probably already in the process of drying up back in 3000 BCE. This could not have been written by any invaders who entered India around 1500 BCE. How could they have described worshiping a river that had already ceased to exist 500 hundred years earlier? This is impossible. It would be like a haunting ghost story, still talking about things that had disappeared many generations ago.

This indicates that the Rig Veda had to have been in existence while the Sarasvati River was in her prime. This also means that the dates that many Western scholars have assigned for the formation of the Rig Veda are also in error by probably 2000 years or more. Of course, it was Max Muller who was paid by the British Government to write a negative interpretation of the Vedas to undermine the view Hindus themselves had for their own scripture, so he may have also been under pressure for his employment if he did not provide such viewpoints. Nonetheless, he had his own ambitions, as was outlined in a letter to his wife in 1866 about his edition of the Rig Veda having “a great extent on the fate of India and the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion and to show them what that root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it in the last three thousand years.”

Well, his purpose did not work, but certainly created a major distraction in finding the truth of the matter, which, fortunately, there have been many scholars that have now shown the inaccuracy of the views that had originated from Max Muller’s hypothesis and guesswork.

THE SARASVATI RIVER IN THE RIG VEDA

        The Sarasvati River is mentioned in the Rig Veda over 60 times, with three hymns that make Sarasvati the subject, namely in book 6, hymn 61, and book 7, hymns 95 & 96. The most noted verse from the Rig Veda that refers to the mighty Sarasvati river and its civilization is 7.95.1.1-2, which states:

pra kshodasa dhayada sasra

esha sarasvati dharunamayasi puh

prababadhana rathyeva yati

vishva apo mahina sindhuranyaha

        “Pure in her course from the mountains to the ocean, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened.”

Thus, it stands to reason that the Sarasvati acquired this state of reverence during its prime and not after it started drying up. In other verses that describe her, we find it said in the Rig Veda (7.36.6) she is the holiest and greatest of all rivers, the best of the seven rivers, and Mother of the rivers and the Sindhu River. Then again she is the best of the seven rivers (6.61.9-10), and is fed by three, five or seven streams (6.61.12), and nourishes all of the Vedic people, and flows through the mountains and crushes boulders like the stems of lotus flowers (6.61.2), and that Sarasvati was the best of mothers, the best river and best goddess (6.41.16).

For further insight into this, we can see how the Rig Veda described the Sarasvati River. Some of the Sanskrit words used to describe the Sarasvati in the Rig Veda are naditama, ambitama, and devitama, which mean best river, best mother and best goddess (2.41.16); it is swollen and fed by three or more rivers pinvamana sindhubhih (6.52.6); it is endless, swift moving, roaring, most dear among her sister rivers; together with her divine aspect, it nourishes the tribes (6.61.8-13). In 7.95.2 it is said giribhyah a samudrat, it flows in a pure course from the mountains to the ocean. Then 7.96.2 and 10.177 mentions to pray to the river goddess for sustenance and good fortune, and 10.64.9 calls upon her (and Sarayu and Indus) as great and nourishing. Thus, the descriptions indicate a live and flowing river of great importance, flowing from the Himalayas to the ocean. 15

The Rig Veda (10.75.5) also indicates where the Sarasvati was located by listing the main northern rivers in order from the east, in which case places the Sarasvati between the Yamuna and the Shutudri (modern Sutlej), as found in the verse:

imam me gange yamune sarasvati shutudri stomam parushnya

asiknya marudvridhe vitastya arjikiye shrinuhya sushomaya

        “Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri (Sutlej) Parushni (Ravi) Asikni, Manuvridha, Vitasta, Arjikiye, Shrinuhya, and Sushomaya.”

Many great Vedic rishis were also mentioned in the Rig Veda as having a connection with the Sarasvati River, such as Vasistha and Jamadagni (7.96.3), Gritsamada (2.41.16), and Bharadvaj (6.61). Also kings like Divodas (6.61) and Bharatas such as Devavat and Devashravas (3.23) are mentioned in connection with the Sarasvati. Also of the Rig Veda are the clan of the Purus who resided along the Sarasvati, in which it says, “Sarasvati, on both whose plant-laden banks the Purus dwell.” (7.96.2) 16

The importance of the Sarasvati, as herein demonstrated, cannot go unnoticed. Besides references to the Sarasvati River in the Rig Veda, we can find some in the Atharva Veda as well. One reference (6.30.1) refers to Indra ploughing the banks of the Sarasvati to cultivate barley, which was not only one of the items for offering into the fire during the yajna ritual, but was also one of the earliest staple foods.

During sacrifices, we find (AV 5.27.9) Sarasvati as the goddess was invoked along with goddesses Ida, Mahi and Bharathi. Then in hymns (AV 7.68 and 18.1.41) she is called to accept oblations during the ritual. We also find (AV 7.57.1) where Vamadeva was shaken due to the apathy and derogatory words of the people, and invokes Sarasvati to reduce tension and cleanse the mind. In a similar way, we find (AV 19.40.1) where Sarasvati is praised in order to overcome frailties of the mind.

PROOF OF THE SARASVATI RIVER

        While surveying the course of the Sarasvati River, geologist Sir Auriel Stein (1862-1943) concluded that there was indeed such a river that had dried up when the course of the Sutlej changed, and discontinued being the main contributory of the Sarasvati River. Thus, as the Sarasvati began to dry, the cities and residents that depended on the river also had to move. With the satellite images made through earth sensing satellites from 1978 by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) that revealed the ancient river courses, these show that the Sarasvati was a channel that ranged from six to eight kilometers wide, and up to 14 kilometers in some parts. Thus, the greatness of the Sarasvati River, as described in the Rig Veda, was verified.

This was further confirmed by an aerial survey conducted by the American Landsat satellite in 1990 that showed a dried tract of 1000 miles where the Sarasvati would have flowed from the Himalayas to the Sourashtrian coast. This changed the way many researchers viewed this issue. This was later followed up in 1996 by the Indian remote sensing satellite of the Indian Space Research Organization, the color images of which also clearly showed marks of a palaeochannel as wide as 3 km to 12 km in the same stretch.

Furthermore, in 1998, there were 24 wells dug by the Central Ground Water Commission along the dry bed, all of which produced potable water but one. Also in 1998, after the Pokhran atomic test, the Baba Atomic Research Center (BARC) drilled down 70 meters for sub-soil water to confirm that the aquifers had not been affected by radioactive material and found that the water was of Himalayan origin from as far back as 14,000 years.

This discovery of the Sarasvati also solved the reason why there were alluvial deposits in the Gulf of Cambay, discovered in 1869 by archeologist Alex Rogue. It was odd because there was no known river that flowed from the Himalayas at the time. 17

THE DEMISE OF THE SARASVATI

        The Rig Veda describes the Sarasvati River as a mighty flowing river. So if we know that it dried up completely around 2000 BCE, and had to have been in the process of drying by 3000 BCE or before, then the Rig Veda had to have been written before it started to dry up. There is nothing in the Rig Veda about the Sarasvati diminishing in any way. However, we do find in the Mahabharata where the Sarasvati was decreasing to a shorter course, such as in 3.130.3; 6.7.47; 6.37.1-4; 9.34.81; and 9.36.1-2.

The Mahabharata (Shalya Parva, 36-55) also describes the Sarasvati in relation to Balarama’s pilgrimage, which He took to occupy Himself rather than participate in the war at Kurukshetra with His brother Lord Krishna. It states that the Sarasvati was still significant in its holiness, but from its origin it flowed only for a forty-day journey by horse into the desert where it disappeared. All that was left were the holy places that used to be on its banks (as also mentioned in 3.80.84; 3.88.2; & 9.34.15-8). The Mahabharata also describes the geographical location of the river, saying that it flows near Kurukshetra (3.81.125). Similar information along with the place where the Sarasvati disappears, Vinashana, is found in the Manu-samhita (2.21).

All of this also indicates that the Rig Veda had to have existed well before 2000 BCE because it is described therein that the Sarasvati was a mighty flowing river during the Rig Vedic times, before it finally dried in 2000 BCE. According to the Rig Veda (10.75.5-6), the Vedic people occupied the area from the Ganga in the east to the Indus in the west. And as we have established in Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence, the Harappan civilization was a part of the Vedic culture in the form of its continuance and diversity, or regional variations. In fact, the Rig Veda was already in existence before the Harappan Civilization came into its prime.

From other research we have found that the whole of the Sarasvati River had dried by about 2000 to 1800 BCE, and was at best a few small lakes. But the site of the Harappan Civilization called Kalibangan, that sits along the bank of the Sarasvati, after hydrological investigations (Raikes 1968), reveals that it was abandoned because of the drying up of the river. And this happened because of the rise of the Bata-Markanda Terrace in the Himalayas (Puri and Verma 1998). Even the Panchavimsha Brahmana (15.10.16) mentions the drying up of the Sarasvati. Radiocarbon dates also show that Kalibangan was abandoned around 2000 BCE. 18

Research explains that the demise of the Sarasvati River was caused by the lack of water it had previously received from the Yamuna, which had changed its course to flow eastward into the Ganga. Then the Sutlej also turned southwest, while the glacial melt also decreased, all of which greatly weakened the flow of the Sarasvati. This resulted in the Sarasvati disappearing into the desert at a place called Vinashana, or Samanta-panchaka in the Mahabharata, before it reached the sea. 19

This, along with the world drought that was known to have happened around 2200 to 1900 BCE, contributed to drying up the Sarasvati and Drishavati rivers and to the disappearance of the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization. It also created the Thar desert. After this many people were forced to abandon this area and whatever towns and cities flourished there at that time. This massive worldwide drought not only impacted the Harappan civilization, but is also known to have affected or ended the civilizations of not only Egypt, but also of the Sumer-Akkad regions in Mesopotamia. All of this caused a deterioration of the Vedic bond in this area, and a rise in small political groups known as Janapadas, which is described in the Buddhist and Jain literature. Sanskrit also lost influence while Prakrits, regional languages, like Pali and Ardhamagadhi were used, as we find in the Buddhist and Jain texts of that era.

As further explained by N.S. Rajaram, it was sometime around 3000 BCE when the Yamuna River changed its course and started its flow into the Ganga River. This may have been due to earthquakes or something similar. That, of course, weakened the flow of the Sarasvati River, wherein it soon disappeared into the desert at a place called Vinashana. Some archeologists have identified this place as Kalibangan in Rajasthan, which is also where Harappan and pre-Harappan settlements have been found, as well as signs of possible earthquakes in the area. This corresponds to descriptions found in the Jaiminiya Brahmana and the Mahabharata.

The lower part of the Sarasvati River was still fed by the Sutlej and other rivers for some time, which continued to flow through the Thar desert and support some of the Harappan settlements in Rajasthan, Sindh and Cholistan to the Rann of Kutch. However, the Sutlej later also changed course, so this stretch of the river also dried up in stages from 2200 to 1900, when it is known to have disappeared completely, putting an end to whatever was left of the Harappan society in that area. This means that the Harappan civilization came to an end by natural causes, not any invaders, and then moved farther east into the Gangetic plains. Some Harappan people may have also moved westward into West Asia where the contributed to the growing tribes there. Some of the Kassite rulers seemed to have been of Indian origin who established an empire there.

Since Mohenjodaro and Harappa were first discovered in 1922, numerous other settlements have been uncovered, which now number over 2500, which stretches from Baluchistan to the Ganga and beyond, and down to the Tapti Valley. All of this covers nearly a million and a half square miles, all of which have been researched by archeologists. And 75% of all of these are concentrated around the dried up Sarasvati River bed. However, this also means that it was not an invasion that forced the abandonment of these towns and cities, but it was the drying up of the Sarasvati River, which was a catastrophe that lead to an outflow of people going in different directions from here to resettle elsewhere, especially into the Gangetic plain, but also including westward into Iran, Mesopotamia and other areas.

Even a most recent study, as reported in The Daily Mail in London, combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago.

Liviu Giosan, a geologist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and lead author of the study published the week of May 28, 2012, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “We reconstructed the dynamic landscape of the plain where the Indus civilization developed 5200 years ago, built its cities, and slowly disintegrated between 3900 and 3000 years ago. Until now, speculations abounded about the links between this mysterious ancient culture and its life-giving mighty rivers… We considered that it is high time for a team of interdisciplinary scientists to contribute to the debate about the enigmatic fate of these people,” Giosan explained.

As the report related, the research was conducted between 2003 and 2008 in Pakistan, from the coast of the Arabian Sea into the fertile irrigated valleys of Punjab and the northern Thar Desert. The international team included scientists from the U.S., U.K., Pakistan, India, and Romania with specialties in geology, geomorphology, archaeology, and mathematics. By combining satellite photos and topographic data collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the researchers prepared and analyzed digital maps of landforms constructed by the Indus and neighboring rivers, which were then probed in the field by drilling, coring, and even manually-dug trenches. Collected samples were used to determine the sediments’ origins, whether brought in and shaped by rivers or wind, and their age, in order to develop a chronology of landscape changes.

The new study suggests the same conclusions as had previously been arrived at by other researchers, that the decline in monsoon rains led to weakened river dynamics, and played a critical role both in the development and the collapse of the Harappan culture, which relied on river floods to fuel their agricultural surpluses.

From the new research, a compelling picture of 10,000 years of changing landscapes emerges. Before the plain was massively settled, the wild and forceful Indus and its tributaries flowing from the Himalaya cut valleys into their own deposits and left high “interfluvial” stretches of land between them. In the east, reliable monsoon rains sustained perennial rivers that crisscrossed the desert leaving behind their sedimentary deposits across a broad region.

The new research argues that the Sarasvati (Ghaggar-Hakra) was primarily a perennial monsoon-supported watercourse, and that aridification reduced it to short seasonal flows. Therefore, the conclusion of their research, in this regard, is that the slow drying of the Sarasvati River was the primary reason for the movement of the Indus Valley Civilization from the region, not invaders who took over the area. By 3900 years ago, their rivers drying, the Harappans had an escape route to the east toward the Ganges basin, where monsoon rains remained reliable. 20

LOCATION OF VINASHANA

        It is said that the place of Vinashana is where the Sarasvati River stopped flowing. However, not everyone is sure of exactly where it was located. Some historians and archaeologists locate it near Bharner, others near Kalibanga, and others in Rajasthan. But the popular convention of the lists of holy places in the Puranas locates it in the Kurukshetra region, Samanta-panchaka. Whereas the Padma Purana (18.247) seems to locate the site of Vinashana as far downstream as Pushkaranya. The Skanda Purana (Nagara Khanda, 164.39) appears to say that the flow of the Sarasvati went underground after it reached Pushkararanya in her westward flow.

As related in New Discoveries About Vedic Sarasvati, “Pushkararanya of Kurukshetra was the forest area located close to present Jind or Jayantika. Still this place is famous as Pokharan. There is a pond, which is known even today as a pond where Duryodhana hid himself after being defeated by Bhima in mace fighting. So it is crystal clear from this reference that Vinashana is located in Haryana itself and not Rajasthan.”

“Sridharasvani (c1400 AD) cited by C. Rayachaudhuri 21 in his gloss on Bhagavata Purana (1.9.1) locates Vinashana in Kurukshetra itself. The fact is that during the age of composition of the Brahmanas and Sutras, when the sacrificial cult was at its climax, the name of Vinashana stuck to one particular locality, which almost constantly remained humming with all sorts of sacrificial activity. As we have already described, Beri, close to Bisan, being such a holy place, the geographical identification of Vinashana of the Kurukshetra region with the area of Bisan near Beri of Rohtak will not be a farfetched one.” 22

The Bhagavata Purana (10.79.23) further describes Vinashana as the place where Balarama went to forestall the mace duel between Bhima and Durodhana, which gives more credence to the whereabouts of Vinashana, since the mace duel took place in the region of Kurukshetra. Plus, modern Bisan in Rohtak is a place close to Pokaran in Jind where Duryodhana, according to tradition, is said to have hid himself after his defeat in the duel. This is also in the region where Bhisma fell after the 18 days of battle in the war of Kurukshetra, which is a famous place near Kurukshetra.

THE ARGUMENT OF NO HORSE IN HARAPPA

        In analyzing the culture of the Harappans, one of the arguments has been that there was no horse, and that no horse bones have been found there. This is to justify the idea that the horse was not indigenous to the region and was brought into the area by invading Aryans. However, when we research the Harappan seals, we find what is called the Horse Seal, which means the horse had been a part of the Harappan culture. Furthermore, horse bones have been found at all levels at several Harappan sites. Furthermore, when deciphering the seals, the word ashva (a Sanskrit word for horse) is a commonly occurring word on the seals. Therefore, the idea of a horseless Harappan culture is a fallacy that has been proved wrong by evidence. 23 Horse remains have also been found in places like Koldihwa and Mahagara in the interior of India dating back to 6500 BCE.

As further elaborated by B. B. Lal: “A study of the horse anatomy shows that there were two types of horses in the ancient world that we still find today. There is an Indian type that has seventeen ribs and a West and Central Asian horse that has eighteen ribs. The Rig Vedic horse, as described in the Ashwamedha or horse offering of the Rig Veda, has thirty-four ribs (seventeen times two for the right and left side). (Rig Veda 1.162.18) This shows that the Rig Vedic horse did not come from Central Asia but was the South Asian breed. The Rig Vedic horse is born of the ocean, which indicates southern connections. (Rig Veda 1.163.1)”

As further explained, “Relative to the idea some people have that there are no horse remains at Harappa, Sir John Marshall who excavated Harappa and Mohenjodaro gave measurements of the horse remains he had found at Mohenjodaro (see his Mohenjodaro Indus Civilization, Vol.II, pages 653-4). Clay horse figurines, like the terracotta horse, have also been found from Lothal. In this regard, noted archeologist B. B. Lal states 24 :

“Even the much touted argument about the absence of the horse from the Harappan Civilization has no validity in the light of the new evidence regarding its presence. The noted international authority on the palaeontology of the horse, Sandor Bokonyi of the Archaeological Institute, Budapest, after duly examining the faunal remains concerned, had declared as far back as 1993 that ‘the domestic nature of Surkotada horse (a Harappan site in Kachchh) is undoubtful’” 25

Furthermore, Sir John Marshall, Director General of the Archaeological Survey, when excavating Harappa and Mohenjodaro, recorded the presence of what he called the “Mohenjodaro horse”:

“It will be seen that there is a considerable degree of similarity between these various examples, and it is probable the Anau horse, the Mohenjo-daro horse, and the example of Equus caballus of the Zoological Survery of India, are all of the type of the ‘Indian country bred,’ a small breed of a horse, the Anau horse being slightly smaller than the others.” 26

This is quite prominent evidence for the existence of the horse. However, the idea that if the horse was not already present in the Harappan area, that it was brought into ancient India by invading Aryans, then it would have to be proved, which is not actually possible because the Rig Veda (1.162.18) also describes the horse as having 34 ribs, with a similar description in the Yajur Veda, while the Central Asian horse as 36 ribs. This shows that the native Indian horse has been in India for many hundreds of years. This should clearly nullify the whole argument of no horse in the Harappa region, along with another factor used to try to justify the Aryan Invasion Theory.

The thing about the horse is that it was a greatly prized and valuable animal. So, there may not be many circumstances that would allow for horse bones to be found. However, the Sanskrit word for horse, ashva, is found 215 times in the Rig Veda. Also, many personalities had names connected with the word as well. Thus, the horse was highly valued.

The conclusions of whether the inhabitants of Harappa were Vedic Aryans or not were based on excavations in 1930-40 when they were not so complete, and when they found few remains of horses at the Harappan Indus sites, which gave way for the argument of no horse in Harappa. However, now that numerous sites along the Indus and the dried Sarasvati River have been excavated more thoroughly, bones of domesticated horses have been found at various locations. Dr. S. R. Rao, the renown archeologist, informs us that horse bones have been found from the “Mature Harappan” and “Late Harappan” levels of these sites. Many other scholars have also unearthed numerous bones of horses of both domesticated and combatant types. Thus, if any scholar still clings to the idea that the Indus Valley inhabitants can not be connected to or were not a part of the Vedic Aryan culture because of no horse remains, then they have not updated their research. This also clarifies the fact that this civilization was indeed a part of the Vedic culture.

Besides the evidence for horse bones being found at places already mentioned, Edwin Bryant describes additional places where the bones of horses have been found. “The report claiming the earliest date for the domesticated horse in India, ca. 4500 BCE, comes from a find from Bagor, Rajasthan, at the base of the Aravalli Hills (Ghosh, 1989). In Rana Ghundai, Baluchistan, excavated by E. J. Ross, equine teeth were reported from a pre-Harappan level (Guha and Chatterjee 1946, 315-316). Interestingly, equine bones have been reported from Mahagara, near Allahabad, where six sample absolute carbon 14 tests have given dates ranging from 2265 BCE to 1480 BCE. (Sharma et al. 1980, 220-221). Even more significantly, horse bones from the Neolithic site Hallur in Karnataka (1500-1300 BCE) have also been identified by the archaeozoologist K. R. Alur (1971, 123). These findings of the domestic horse from Mahagara in the east, and Hallur in the south, are significant because they would seem inconsistent with the axiom that the Aryans introduced the domesticated horse into the Northwest of the subcontinent in the later part of the second millennium BCE…

“In the Indus Valley and its environs, Sewell and Guha, as early as 1931, had reported the existence of the true horse, Equua caballus Linn from Mohenjo-Daro itself, and Bholanath (1963) reported the same from Harappa, Ropar, and Lothal. Even Mortimer Wheeler (1953) identified a horse figurine and accepted that ‘it is likely enough that camel, horse and ass were in fact all a familiar feature of the Indus caravan.’ Another early evidence of the horse in the Indus Valley was reported by Mackay, in 1938, who identified a clay model of the animal at Mohenjo-Daro, Piggott (1952, 126, 130) reports a horse figurine from Periano Ghundai in the Indus Valley, dated somewhere between Early Dynastic and Akkadian times. Bones from Harappa, previously thought to have belonged to the domestic ass, have been reportedly critically reexamined and attributed to a small horse (Sharma 1992-93, 31). Additional evidence of the horse in the form of bones, teeth, or figurines has been reported in other Indus sites such as Kalibangan (Sharma 1992-93, 31); Lothal (Rao 1979), Surkotada (Sharma 1974), and Malvan (Sharma 1992-93, 32). Other later sites include the Swat Valley (Stacul 1969); Gumla (Sankalia 1974, 330); Pirak (Jarrige 1985); Kuntasi (Sharma 1995, 24); and Rangpur (Rao 1979, 219).” 27

In spite of these considerable findings of the horse in ancient India, many archeologists ignored them and kept pointing back to the idea that the true domesticated horse was never known to the Harappans. This only kept the confusion of the real date for the Harappans and history of the Indus Valley Civilization in circulation, when actually it was something that would help show that it was an indigenous society.

THE URBAN OR RURAL ARGUMENT

        Another argument had been that the Harappan society was not part of the Aryan Civilization because Harappa was urban while the Aryans were rural pastoralists. Therefore, they had to be two separate societies. However, B. B. Lal explains: “Just as there were cities, towns and villages in the Harappan ensemble (as there are even today in any society) there were both rural and urban components in the Vedic times.” 28

S. P. Gupta also shares a similar thought on this that helps make it more clear that the Harappan or Indus Civilization was merely an outgrowth and a part of the Vedic culture: “Once it becomes reasonably clear that the Vedas do contain enough material which shows that the authors of the hymns were fully aware of the cities, city life, long-distance overseas and overland trade, etc… it becomes easier for us to appreciate the theory that the Indus-Sarasvati and Vedic civilizations may have been just the two complementary elements of one and the same civilization. And this, it is important to note, is not a presupposition against the cattle-keeping image of the Vedic Aryans. After all, ancient civilizations had both the components, the village and the city, and numerically villages were many times more than the cities. In India presently there are around 6.5 lakhs of villages but hardly 600 towns and cities put together…. Plainly, if the Vedic literature reflects primarily the village life and not the urban life, it does not at all surprise us.” 29

DECIPHERING THE INDUS SEALS

        Many scholars have suggested that the final clue in understanding the location of the Indo-Aryans would be if and when the Indus Seals could be deciphered. With the book of N. Jha and N. S. Rajaram, The Deciphered Indus Script: Methodology, Readings, Interpretations, it would seem that a big step in that direction has been made, if not completed.

With this new information, it would seem to corroborate the notion that in reality the Vedic Age was developed before the Indus Valley Civilization. Many scholars previously have tried to separate the two completely, saying that the Indus Valley Civilization, such as places like Harappa and Mohenjodaro were not a part of the Vedic culture, but that is not accurate. They indeed were a part of it, and their seals represented a form of the Vedic language. This would also indicate that a largely indigenous civilization must have been flourishing a thousand years before what became the development of Dynastic Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The Sarasvati-Indus Valley Civilization was probably in its prime about 3100 to 1900 BCE. But if we accept the dates that were given by Muller and his followers, that Vedic culture did not start until 1500 BCE, then that is why many are those that say Harappa and Mohenjodaro could not have been part of the Vedic Aryans. This brings us to what is called ” Frawley’s Paradox”, for as David Frawley points out, it gives us a history without a literature for the Harappans, and a literature without history, archeology or geography for the Aryans. This makes no sense. How can there be one without the other for any developed civilization?

Therefore, it becomes more apparent that the Vedic literature is far older than most thought, and the Harappans were a part of the Vedic culture. And the Indus seals help make that clear. It is generally accepted that the year 3067 is when the war at Kurukshetra took place. The Vedic Aryans were already well established and were a part of that war. This means that most if not all of the Rig Veda hymns had already been developed by 3500 BCE, not later, though they may have been written or compiled later. The Harappans had to have participated to some degree in that war. This was also about the time when the Indus seals had been formed. In fact, as N. S. Rajaram explains, “the Mahabharata, in the Shanti Parva, contains a description of the etymological texts whose contents are recorded on the seals, as well as the Vedic symbolism relating to the images on them… This is what holds the key not only to the decipherment [of the seals], but also to an understanding of the culture and civilization of the Harappans.” 30

In the deciphering of the Indus script, it was found that there are close connections between the structure of the Indus script and the rules of grammar and phonetics described in such primary works on Vedic Sanskrit as the Rik-Pratishakhya of Shaunaka, and the Nighantu by Yaska. This helped pave the way for understanding the seals. Many of the words on the seals can be traced back to the Nighantu.

Actually, several investigators before the publication of the work of N. Jha in 1996 recognized that the language on the Indus script had to be Vedic Sanskrit. N. S. Rajaram himself had concluded the writings were connected with the Sutras, based on short statements or meanings. In this way, the Indus seals have provided further insights into the original location and time period of the Vedic culture.

GENETICS SHOW AN EAST TO WEST MOVEMENT

        From the scientific perspective, Dr. Chandrakant Panse presented a paper that explained that the tissue antigens of the north and south Indians were completely distinct from those of the Europeans. “The stark lack of similarities in the gene pools of the Indian subcontinent and Europe, vividly evident in the mtDNA and the MHC complex, destroys any Aryan invasion notions, and confirms the genetic uniformity of people of the Indian subcontinent.” 31

Another aspect for the dismissal of the Aryan Invasion Theory based on genetics was reported in The Hindu newspaper on June 24, 2006. The report was that Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, D. N. Tripathi, in Bangalore explained that geneticists from Pakistan had collected samples for genetics analysis of the people of the Indian subcontinent and sent them to cellular and molecular biology laboratories in the U.S. From the DNA tests of the blood samples from the people in the Indian subcontinent, the scientists concluded that the human race spread out of Africa 60,000 years before Christ. They had settled in the subcontinent region. However, from these tests, the geneticists concluded that people living in both the northern and southern regions of India, and those in the West Asian region were from the same gene pool. This indicated that the human race had its origins in Africa and not Europe or Central Asia, as claimed by a few historians, and then went primarily to and spread out from ancient India. 32

When asked about the argument of many historians that the lineage of people in north India is traced to the Aryans outside of India who later entered or invaded India, Professor Tripathi said that test results had proved this wrong. “We have the results of studies. The conclusion of some historians that Aryans came here 1500 years before Christ does not hold water.”

As further explained in this regard by N. S. Rajaram, “A particular trait that we choose as characterizing a population group is called a genetic marker. One such marker that has proven useful is the M17 genetic marker. It is common in India and in adjacent regions, but becomes increasingly rare as we move westward into Europe. This, combined with the fact that Indian carriers of M17 are genetically more diverse than European carriers shows that the Indian population is older than the European.” 33

“Noting that the mtDNA is carried by the female line, while Y-chromosome is passed on through the male line, what this means is that the Indian population is largely indigenous in origin and has received negligible external input (gene flow) since the end of the last Ice Age (Holocene). This means that various migration theories like the Aryan invasion in 1500 BCE simply cannot be true.” 34

Furthermore, the Oxford geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer is quite clear on this and, while focusing on the M17 marker, explains: “… South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17 and his ancestors; and sure enough we find highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central Asia, but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of a ‘male Aryan invasion’ of India.”

“One age estimate for the origin of this line in India is as much as 51,000 years. All this suggests that M17 could have found his way initially from India or Pakistan, through Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming to Europe.” 35

He also explains that the eastward movement of those people with the M17 marker traveled from India westward through Kashmir, Central Asia, up into Russia and then into Europe after 40,000 BP (38,000 BCE). Thus, as we have been saying, all migration in this regard has been from the east westward. 36

So the conclusion is that there could have been no thing called the Aryan Invasion as some propose, and that the tribal people of India are ancestrally no different than the rest of the Indian population. Therefore, anyone saying something different is only proposing such for some special interest or divisive purpose, and, thus, they should not be trusted. There are many of us who have known this, but it can take a long time to continue gathering enough evidence to present it in a way that establishes the truth. Furthermore, the divisions in India known as the northern Aryans and the southern Dravidians is also a fallacy based on conjecture, used now only to facilitate “special interests” that need to divide people for political, financial or other reasons.

In this way, we can understand that the idea that the Vedic culture and people of the area now called India have not developed out of invaders who are said to have brought the culture to the region. The idea that the Vedic and Dharmic culture was brought out of the Caucasus and into ancient India cannot be taken seriously without losing one’s credibility. If anything, it is the Europeans who are descendants of the migrants from India, going back as far as 40,000 years, making them a younger population than the much older Indian population.

All of this also pushes the dates back much farther by several thousand years than the foolishly proposed guestimate of 1500 BCE.

CONCLUSION:

THERE NEVER WAS ANY ARYAN INVASION

        Though there have been many scholars and researchers who have written and provided evidence that establishes that there never was an Aryan invasion, and that the Vedic people and its culture were indeed originally from the area of India, Nicholas Kazanas, the Greek professor, was the most recent to provide evidence and articles that were published in academic journals, thus forcing the academics to take another look at this issue. The theory of the Aryan invasion still has held much influence, if not bias and prejudice, at the way academics view the history of India, which is something that should have changed and been corrected years ago. Thus, after years of promoting the Aryan Invasion Theory, and then rejecting it after having done his own research, Kazanas concludes:

“The Aryan Invasion Theory, despite its 150-year-long life, has no real support anywhere except continued prejudice. It has now been substituted in a similar shameless frame of mind, by ‘migration’ of an alleged complex and, to the archaeologist or anthropologist, incomprehensible nature; this is a deception, since the aryanisation of North India on so an enormous a scale could not possibly have been effected without conquest and coercion–for which there is no testimony of any sort. Why this preposterous proposition should have acquired the status of historical fact among serious Indologists is for me a mystery. There may have been racist prejudice as many writers aver (Shaffer 1984; Leach 1990; Frawley 1991, 1994; Feuerstein 1995; Trautman 1997; Bryant chs 1-2, 13; many Indian writers like Talageri 2000, and Indian-American Kak 2000); this was perpetuated by mechanical repetition rather than logical consideration. Renfrew too was right perhaps in seeing nothing in the Rig Veda demonstrating that the Indoaryans ‘were intrusive to the area: this comes rather from a historical assumption about the ‘coming of the Indoeuropeans’ (1989: 182)…

“In sharp contrast, all the primary materials of a historian agree in showing no evidence at all for any entry. On the contrary, such testimony as had been preserved, early historical documentation and later traditions testify that Indoaryans are indigenous to Saptasindhu [land of seven rivers in Northern India]. These traditions (corroborated by foreign writers of the 4th cent BC) affirm that the Indoaryans have been in Saptasindhu since at least the 4th millennium [BCE]; this is now fully supported by Archaeoastronomy which places the great Bharata war at 3067, a Brahmana text c 3000 – 2900 and the Vedanga Jyotish c 1800. Given that archaeologists, anthropologists et all, specializing in the prehistory of that area, affirm unequivocally since 1980 that the local culture has an uninterrupted continuity since c 7000 (except for a break in the skeletal record c 4500), we can say that the Indoaryans have been in North India since that time. There is also the fact that the Rig Veda knows nothing of elements in the Indus-Sarasvati-Civilization whereas the later texts have these elements; moreover even in very late hymns the Sarasvati is a large river supporting the Aryans on its banks: therefore the Rig Veda must belong to a period before 3000.” 37

This is an important point, that the Vedic texts make no mention of any entry into the region by outside invaders, or that they were a part of a culture of invaders. Plus, due to their content, it can be discerned that they had to have been existing before 3000 BCE.

In the Rig Veda (and later Indic texts) there is no hint of any invading Aryas coming into the Sarasvati or Saptasindhu, the area of the seven rivers in North India and Pakistan. A. B. Keith 38 wrote, “It is certain… that the Rig Veda offers no assistance in determining the mode in which the Vedic Aryans entered India… the bulk at least [of the Rig Veda] seems to have been composed rather in the country round the Sarasvati River.” 39

The Vedic texts further refer to people being exiled or driven away from the area of northern India, such as in the Aitareya Brahmana (8.33.6 or 8.18) which tells of how the sage Vishvamitra exiled his 50 disobedient sons so that, in later periods, most of those people called the Dasyus are known as the descendants of Vishvamitra. Therefore, the Rig Veda provides no reference for an Aryan entry or displacement of the natives, but points out how Aryans and Dasyus went westward from the area of Northern India. 40

Therefore, the idea that the Indoaryans migrated into the vast area of the Sarasvati region, including the Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, and so on, back in 1700 to 1500 BCE at which time the local natives learned the complicated language of the Vedic Aryans, after which numerous mountains, rivers, etc., suddenly had Sanskrit names is something you might find in a fairy tale rather than real history. There is no real explanation for this to have happened [except that they were an indigenous people]. 41

Because of these factors, there have been those who always spoke against the idea of an Aryan Invasion. Vivekananda was one such strong opponent of the Aryan Invasion Theory. He boldly challenged in this way (5:534-535): “And what your European pundits say about the Aryans 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! In what Veda, in what Sukta do you find that the Aryans came into India from a foreign country? Where do you get the idea that they slaughtered the wild aborigines? What do you gain by talking such nonsense? Strange that our Indian scholars, too, say amen to them; and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys!… Whenever the Europeans find an opportunity, they exterminate the aborigines and settle down with ease and comfort on their lands; and therefore they think the Aryans must have done the same!… But where is your proof? Guess work? Then keep your fanciful ideas to yourself. I strongly protested against these ideas at the Paris Congress. I have been talking with the Indian and European savants on the subject, and hope to raise many objections to this theory in detail, when time permits. And this I say to you–to our pundits–also, ‘You are learned men, hunt up your old books and scriptures, please, and draw your own conclusions.’”

Dayananda Sarasvati (February 12, 1824 to September 26, 1883), the founder of the Arya Samaj (1875), was another who had strong words against it: “No Sanskrit book or history records that the Aryas came here from Iran… How then can the writings of foreigners be worth believing in the teeth of this testimony.”

We cannot forget Aurobindo who had voiced his opinion about this many times, such as: “The indications in the Veda on which this theory of a recent Aryan invasion is built are very scanty in quantity and uncertain in significance. There is no actual mention of any such invasion.” 42

Jim Shaffer, a western archeologist, was another to strongly protest the idea of an Aryan invasion. In his article, The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality, he explains how he thinks after all of his work and research: “Current archaeological data do not support the existence of an Indo-Aryan or European invasion into South Asia at any time in the pre- or protohistoric periods. Instead, it is possible to document archaeologically a series of cultural changes reflecting indigenous cultural development from prehistoric or historic periods… The Indo-Aryan invasion as an academic concept in 18th– and 19th-century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of that period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data. What was theory became unquestioned fact that was used to interpret and organize all subsequent data. It is time to end the ‘linguistic tyranny’ that has prescribed interpretive frameworks of pre- and protohistoric cultural development in South Asia.” 43

After having done extensive research into the issue at hand, Nicholas Kazanas explains how he came to his own conclusions: “Having held and taught for more than 18 years, but without investigating, the received doctrine that the Indo-European branches dispersed from the South Russian or Pontic Steppe (as per Mallory 1997, 1989; Gimbutas 1985, 1970; and others), and that the Indo Aryans had entered Saptasindhu c1500 [BCE], I began to examine these mainstream notions thoroughly and in c1997 abandoned them. I decided that no evidence of any kind supported them; on the contrary, the evidence showed that by 1500 [BCE] the Indo Aryans were wholly indigenous and that the elusive Indo-European homeland was very probably Saptasindhu and the adjacent area–the Land of Seven Rivers in what is today N-W India and Pakistan; this area could well have extended as far northwest as the Steppe.

“Apart from the recent genetic studies, which at the time were not so well-known nor so secure, the decisive evidence for me now is the antiquity of Sanskrit, indicated by its inner coherence and its preservation of apparently original PIE [Proto-Indo-European] linguistic features (like the dhatu, five families of phonemes, etc) and cultural elements. The Vedic language as seen in the RV alone, despite much obvious attrition and several innovations, has preserved many more features from the putative PIE [Proto-Indo-European] language and wider culture. This was due to its well attested and incomparable system of oral tradition which preserved the ancient texts fairly intact and continued even into the 20th century. An oral tradition of this kind cannot be maintained by a people on the move for decades if not centuries over many thousands of miles, as the AIT proproses. Such a tradition could be preserved only by a sedentary people where the older generation would have the necessary leisure to pass the communal lore to the younger one.” 44

Kazanas also brings up the argument that even if the Vedic Aryans had been maintaining their language and literacy during an invasion or migration into the Saptasindhu region, why then is there no mention of it in any of the Vedic literature? Why was there no mention of their travels, mishaps, dangers in meeting alien people, etc? The reason is simple: they did not migrate, but were the original inhabitants of the area.

The only reason that has kept this defective and deformed doctrine alive is the personal and political interests that had an agenda to fulfill for their own purposes. There have been those, as there still are, who have a purpose in demeaning and belittling the Indian Vedic tradition and its early history. Even, as odd as it may seem, many Indian scholars also dumb-down the profound history and nature and the early advanced developments that came out of ancient India. Hopefully they will stop doing this and actually take a deep interest and research into their own culture to see what it really had to offer, and still does offer the world of today. Why not? What do they have to lose? That is the telltale question.

Therefore, as Nicholas Kazanas summarizes, which I quote because I could not say it better than he does, “Let us hope that the noxious AIT and all notions rooted in it will sooner than later end up in the only place they should be–the dustbin of history.” 45

SCHOLARS WHO BELIEVE IN THE FALSE HISTORY OF INDIA ARE A DYING BREED

        Now that India has been free for a number of decades from British rule, researchers, historians, and archeologists can all begin to take a new look at the true history of India. We can have a more unbiased view of the numerous new findings that keep cropping up that give an increasingly accurate understanding of how ancient and how advanced was the Indian Vedic civilization. Now more than ever there is a serious lack of support and opposing evidence for the theories that were made popular by the British, such as the Aryan Invasion Theory, or that it was the invading Muslims who gave India the great contributions to Indian art, music, or even architecture. With the newer and more accurate historical findings, many of these ideas are falling apart like a house of cards.

These days there is much more evidence being presented by newer, younger and bolder researchers that show the falsity of these antiquated ideas. Furthermore, there are also more questions that are no longer answered by the old beliefs about India’s history and the Aryan Invasion Theory. The theories of the old scholars are being overturned.

We also see that new students of archeology and history are hesitant to accept these ideas in the face of the newer findings and evidence that keep being discovered, such as the latest discovery (January, 2002) that ancient Indian civilization could date back to 9,000 years ago.

I have even talked to some students who are informed about the truth of Indian history and archeology who confronted their professors about the outdated inaccuracies and overtly misleading information that they were teaching in schools and universities. One professor admitted that it was wrong, but she had to teach it because it was in the book the college was using and that is what she had to teach.

I have even had friends discuss with educated Muslims the idea that many ancient buildings of India were not built by the Muslim invaders who have been given the credit, but were only captured them, and they readily agreed that anyone who really knew their history would admit this was the case. There was no argument with this. India had the mathematics (Shulba Shastras) and architectural treatises and abilities, along with knowledgeable craftsmen, to have built such structures, while the invading Muslims did not bring such knowledge and facility. In fact, the chronicle of Al Biruni, who accompanied Mahmoud Ghazni, relates the surprise and awe of the Muslim invaders to see such buildings. Thus, such structures had to have already been in existence.

It is interesting that the common laypersons are quicker to see the logic in the new research findings and in considering these new architectural discoveries than the academic scholars. The academicians who cling to such old ideas tend not to write more books justifying what they teach, but seem to spend more time on trying to debunk, criticize or discredit the new findings or theories that seem more relevant and able to answer or put to rest the age-old questions. Just a few of these questions include: Where is the pre-Aryan language that existed if the people of India were not part of the Vedic culture? What existed in India before the Vedic culture, if it was brought by invaders? If the Vedic Aryans invaded the Indus region after 1500 BCE, then how is it that the Vedas glorify the greatness of the Sarasvati River which is known to have dried up no later than 1800 BCE? How did the Vedic Aryans know of the Sarasvati River at all, unless they were already there and a part of the advanced Vedic culture from thousands of years ago? How is it that Arabic and European countries were able to make advancements in mathematics only after they learned the numeric system that originated in India, now called the Arabic numerals, with its unique symbol of zero? Why, when we seriously look at the way the area of India, the Middle East and Europe developed, it appears that the advanced nature of society came from India rather than from outside? When we read in the Puranas of the advanced organizational nature of the Vedic cities and their fabulous palaces and buildings such as in Dwaraka as found in the Bhagavata Purana, why should we think that India had no amazing structures before the Muslim invaders entered the country? Should we think that ancient Indians only lived in forests and tents? That is what it seems many academicians would have us believe. Anyway, these and other questions have not and can not be answered by the old ideas on India’s history such as the Aryan Invasion Theory.

So it is unfortunate that many of these academics still hold on to these ideas as the basis of their views. The reason why some of these academics take this so personally is that they have the most to lose. The basis of their job, or their own identity, and their value to society and the whole basis of everything they thought they knew about history becomes threatened if it is proved that what they have been teaching is false.

The fact of the matter is, unfortunately, and as we can plainly see, much historical analysis is but a big ego trip; theories and opinions meant to do little more than support the premise of the superiority of one culture over another. There is a need to take a new look at reason and cultural development without this sort of interference of ego.

Now more than ever before truth is prevailing, and the corruption of the British and Muslim theories and stories that have been put forth to demean India and the Indian race and its Vedic culture is being recognized on an increasing scale. For this reason, the academics that still cling to such theories as the Aryan invasion are a dying breed. Maybe then we can be free from their closed-minded prejudice that came from the theories and attempted validations meant to do nothing but support the premise of the superiority of the European and Caucasian races over the darker skinned Indian people.

Eventually, truth prevails. And after a few hundred years of ideas that were purposely contrived to demean the culture and history of India, we are now learning that the truth is quite different, and India was more advanced than the old British theories give it credit. And we can see that these old theories are falling by the way side.

The threat to the Aryan Invasion Theory is coming as a surprise only to those who have not kept up with, or outrightly rejected, all the new evidence that is continually being uncovered, and all the new questions that cannot be substantiated by such concepts as the Aryan Invasion Theory. Thus, it is a revolution that is going in like a needle and out like a plow to propose that the Aryan Invasion is but a fictional account, and that the Muslims who invaded India merely captured the major monuments of India without really building them.

As time goes on, more and more evidence will accumulate to show the truth of India’s Vedic history. As the evidence mounts, the old theories will slip away and anyone still clinging to such ideas as the Aryan invasion or the false history of India’s architectural wonders will only look foolish. It is taking some time to reveal this truth, but out of all the cultures of the world, it is India that has best withstood the tests of time and remains the oldest living culture in the world. And this is not due to remaining dependent on the views of outsiders who think they know India’s culture and history better than Indians, or those who still are influenced by the stories of India from invaders and dominators who disliked or even despised India and its people.

Now is the time for those of us connected with, or who appreciate India’s historical and Vedic culture to unite and work to reveal the true and advanced nature of India’s timeless Dharmic tradition, and its advancements, which were already in existence before the credits of its wonders were attempted to be taken by outsiders.

NOTES

1. G. P. Singh, Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture.

2. David Frawley, The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, p. 43.

3. Bal Ram Singh, Editor, Origin of Indian Civilization, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 15.

4. B. B. Lal, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010. p. 23-24.

5. Ibid., p. 24.

6. Max Muller, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, by London, 1888, p. 120.

7. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, The Vedas, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1988, p. 16.

8. N. S. Rajaram, The Politics of History, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1995, p. xvi.

9. B. B. Lal, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010. p. 26.

10. Kazanas, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 57.

11. B. B. Lal, The Home land of the Aryans, Evidence of Rig Vedic Flora and Fauna and Archeology, Aryan Books International, Delhi, pp. 85-88.

12. N. S. Rajaram, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 166-67.

13. Ibid., p. 167.

14. Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 17.

15. Kazanas, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 54.

16. Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram, Hidden Horizons, Unearthing 10,000 Years of Indian Culture, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, Ahmedabad, India, 2006, p. 64-65.

17. Pride of India: A Glimpse into India’s Scientific Heritage, Samskriti Bharati, New Delhi, 2006, p. 78-79.

18. B. B. Lal, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 34.

19. Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram, Hidden Horizons, Unearthing 10,000 Years of Indian Culture, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, Ahmedabad, India, 2006, p70-71)

20. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2151143/Climate-change-wiped-worlds-great-civilisations-4-000-years-ago.html.

21. C. Rayachaudhuri, Studies in Indian Antiquities, Calcutta, 1958, p. 134.

22. Dr. Ravi Prakash Arya, New Discoveries About Vedic Sarasvati, Indian Foundation for Vedic Science, Rohtak, Haryana, India, 2005, p. 26.

23. N. Jha and N. S. Rajaram, The Deciphered Indus Script, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2000, p. 162.

24. Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram, Hidden Horizons, Unearthing 10,000 Years of Indian Culture, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, Ahmedabad, India, 2006, p.106.

25. B. B. Lal, Homeland of the Aryans: Evidence of Rig Vedic Flora and Fauna and Archaeology, pp. 80-81.

26. Sir John Marshall, Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization, Vol. II, p. 654.

27. Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 170-171.

28. B. B. Lal, Colonialism, Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Archaeology, Parts 1 and 2, Review of Archaeology 18, no. 2:1-14 and 35-47, 1997, p. 285.

29. S. P. Gupta, The Indus Sarasvati Civilization, Pratibha Prakashan, 1996, p. 147.

30. N. Jha and N. S. Rajaram, The Deciphered Indus Script, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2000, p. 31.

31. Chandrakant Panse, DNA, Genetics and Population Dynamics: Debunking the Aryan Invasion Propaganda, Professor of Biotechnology, Newton, Massachusetts. Paper presented at the Third Annual Human Empowerment Conference at Houston, Texas, September, 2005.

32. http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/24/stories/2006062412870400.htm.

33. N. S. Rajaram, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 171.

34. Ibid., p. 173.

35. Stephen Oppenheimer, Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World, Constable, London, 2003, p. 152.

36. Stephen Oppenheimer, The Real Eve: Modern Man’s Journey Out of Africa, Carroll & Graf, 2003, p. 152.

37. Nicholas Kazanas, Indo-Aryan Origins and Other Vedic Issues, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2009, p. 62-3.

38. A. B. Keith, The Age of the Rigveda, Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, 1922, pp. 77-113.

39. Nicholas Kazanas, Indo-Aryan Origins and Other Vedic Issues, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2009. p. 9.

40. Nicholas Kazanas, Indo-Aryan Origins and Other Vedic Issues, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2009, p. 10-11.

41. Ibid., p. 243.

42. Shri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1971, p. 24.

43. Jim Shaffer, The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality (in The People of South Asia, 77-90. Ed. John Lukacs, Plenum Press, New York, 1984, p. 88.

44. Nicholas Kazanas, Indo-Aryan Origins and Other Vedic Issues, by Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2009, p. 302.

45. Ibid., p. 328.

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Were There Two Buddhas, by Stephen Knapp

        I was asked to look into this a few years ago by someone who knew of my research abilities. But I have not been able to until now because of other priorities. But this topic has come up before, that actually there were two different Buddhas that played the part to establish Buddhism and its principles of ahimsa and nonviolence and its monist philosophy.

In the following material, we will look at the evidence that seems to indicate that there was first the Avatara Buddha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who appeared near 1800 BCE, and then there was another person who became known as Gautama called Buddha, born around 560 BCE.

1. The first Avatara Buddha established the philosophy of Ahimsa, nonviolence, and convinced those followers of Vedic customs who had become bent toward animal sacrifice to give up such rituals and simply follow him, and become kind to animals. Being an avatara of Vishnu, He did not establish any godless or monist philosophy.

2. The Avatara Buddha was also born of his mother Anjana in what became known as Bodhgaya.

3. The second Buddha known as Gautama, Siddhartha, or Shakyamuni – sage of the Shakyas – was born in Lumbini, now in Nepal, with Mayadevi as his mother. He is the one we often hear about, the prince who left home to do austerities to find enlightenment. He went to Bodhgaya to meditate because of its spiritual potency as the birthplace of the avatara Buddha. Then he became enlightened to the reasons for suffering in this world, and developed a godless way of becoming free from suffering. From that point he established the monist and godless philosophy of Buddhism, which became named after him.

Of course, the Theravadin texts refer to six preceding Buddhas (those who have awakened) as Vipasyin, Sikin, Krakuccanda, Konagamara, and Kashyapa, and Maitreya as the Buddha of the future. But we are not talking of any of these.

4. The reason why these two Buddhas became merged into one identity was partly because Adi Sankaracharya, in discussions with others, related them as one person and did not discriminate between the purpose of one or the other. Sankaracharya developed his own sunya philosophy, which was very much like the Buddhist philosophy, replacing the Buddhist nirvana with his Vedic Brahman, to defeat Buddhism and drive it out of India. He succeeded most effectively. At that time many were leaving Vedic culture altogether and converting to Buddhism. But with this new Mayavadha philosophy from Sankaracharya, Buddhism bowed and the conversions stopped, and Buddhism itself started to decline.

However, those important acharyas who followed Sankaracharya defeated his monist or impersonalist Mayavada philosophy and more clearly defined the Vedic view, such as:

Sri Vishnuswami with his Suddha-advaita-vada,

Ramanujacharya with his Vasistadvaita-vada,

Nimbarkacharya with his Dvaita-advaita-vada,

Madhvacharya with the Dvaita-vada,

Sri Chaitanya with his Acintaya-bheda-bheda-vada,

with further commentary and arguments against Sankaracharya’s impersonalist philosophy by Srila Baladevavidyabhushana and others.

Therefore, no matter how much some schools of thought have clung to the Mayavada philosophy of Sankaracharya, it has been defeated and dismissed many times over. Yet, Sankaracharaya played an important part in paving the way for protecting the Vedic culture by using his own imagined philosophy, based on his own interpretation of some of the Vedic stanzas, to defeat Buddhism at the time.

Much of the evidence that follows comes from a book called Beyond Nirvana: The Philosophy of Mayavadism: A Life History. This was written by Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshava Gosvami Maharaja of the Gaudiya Math, the person who gave sannyasa initiation to His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. The book was later translated and published in English by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, and published in 2003 in Mathura, India.

The whole book gives a lengthy dissertation on the development, history and present situation of the impersonalist point of view. Chapter Two especially focuses on the evidence for two Buddhas that had existed.

First, however, we should point out that there had always been a conflict in the dates of the Buddha’s birth. One birth is around 560 BCE, but when analyzing the records, there is evidence for a much earlier birth of Lord Buddha, of which I have written before as follows:

Reestablishing the Date of Lord Buddha

(Excerpt from Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence)

Most of us are taught that Buddha was born around 560 to 550 B.C. However, once we start doing some research, we find evidence that this date may be too late. Buddha may have been born much earlier.

For example, in Some Blunders of Indian Historical Research (p. 189), P. N. Oak explains that the Puranas provide a chronology of the Magadha rulers. During the time of the Mahabharata war, Somadhi (Marjari) was the ruler. He started a dynasty that included 22 kings that spread over 1006 years. They were followed by five rulers of the Pradyota dynasty that lasted over 138 years. Then for the next 360 years was the 10 rulers of the Shishunag family. Kshemajit (who ruled from 1892 to 1852 B.C.) was the fourth in the Shishunag dynasty, and was a contemporary of Lord Buddha’s father, Shuddhodana. It was during this period in which Buddha was born. It was during the reign of Bimbisara, the fifth Shishunag ruler (1852-1814 B.C.), when Prince Siddhartha became the enlightened Buddha. Then it was during the reign of King Ajatashatru (1814-1787 B.C.) when Buddha left this world. Thus, he was born in 1887 B.C., renounced the world in 1858 B.C., and died in 1807 B.C. according to this analysis.

Further evidence that helps corroborate this is provided in The Age of Buddha, Milinda and King Amtiyoka and Yuga Purana, by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam. He also describes that it is from the Puranas, especially the Bhagavata Purana and the Kaliyurajavruttanta, that need to be consulted for the description of the Magadha royal dynasties to determine the date of Lord Buddha. Buddha was the 23rd in the Ikshvaku lineage, and was a contemporary of Kshemajita, Bimbisara, and Ajatashatru, as described above. Buddha was 72 years old in 1814 B.C. when the coronation of Ajatashatru took place. Thus, the date of Buddha’s birth must have been near 1887 B.C., and his death in 1807 B.C. if he lived for 80 years.

Professor K. Srinivasaraghavan also relates in his book, Chronology of Ancient Bharat (Part Four, Chapter Two), that the time of Buddha should be about 1259 years after the Mahabharata war, which should make it around 1880 B.C. if the war was in 3138 B.C. Furthermore, astronomical calculations by astronomer Swami Sakhyananda indicates that the time of the Buddha was in the Kruttika period, between 2621-1661 B.C.

Therefore, the fact that Buddha lived much earlier than what modern history teaches us has a number of ramifications. First, the time of the Buddha’s existence is underestimated by about 1300 years. Secondly, this means that Buddhism was in existence in the second millennium B.C. Thirdly, we also know Buddha preached against the misused Vedic rituals of animal sacrifice. Such misuse or misinterpretation of something in a culture generally only happens after a long period of prominence. So the purer aspect of Vedic culture must have been around for many hundreds if not thousands of years before its tradition began to be misused. Therefore, this pushes the Vedic period to a much earlier time from that of Buddha than originally figured, and much earlier than many people have calculated. And lastly, everything else we have figured according to the time frame of the appearance of Buddha now has to be re-calculated. Again we find that history has to be adjusted away from the speculations of modern researchers, and that many of the advancements in society and philosophy, as outlined in the Vedic texts, had taken place much earlier than many people want to admit.

* * *

However, now with new evidence, we can begin to see that the above information may be quite right for the timing of the Buddha Avatara, but the later birth figure of 560 BCE may also be correct for the second Buddha. The first Buddha avatara established a form of Buddhism by revolting against those rituals that accepted animal sacrifice and emphasized the godly principles of ahimsa, nonviolence based on recognizing the Divine in all beings, and divinity of all souls, arousing compassion for all. The second Buddha styled what became Buddhism that was known for its monist or impersonalistic philosophy (that God, the Absoute Truth, is inert, nonactive, and without any characteristics) and that reaching the same inert and non-active state of nirvana is the goal for attaining freedom from all suffering.

To give further information in this regard, I will now simply include the second chapter of Beyond Nirvana: The Philosophy of Mayavadism: A Life History, as follows, with my own few comments in brackets:

Two Buddhas

Shakya Simha Puddha and the Vishnu Avatara Buddha

It may be observed in different places in the Puranas that Mayavadism had been referred to as Buddhism [or “covered Buddhism”. It is this “covered Buddhism” that is described in the Puranas as being the major religion after 10,000 years of Kali-yuga have passed, and when the world will have forgotten all information about the personal form of God.]. It is therefore necessary in this context to briefly discuss Buddhism. Sri Buddha’s philosophy or views is Buddhism. Hence, it is imperative that readers become acquainted with scriptural facts about Lord Buddha, who is declared by scripture to be one of the ten incarnations (avataras) of the Supreme Lord, Sri Vishnu. This is described in Srila Jayadeva Gosvami’s composition “Gita Govinda“:

vedan uddharate jaganti vahate bhugolam udbibhrate

daityam darayate balim chalayate kshatra kshayam kurvate

paulastyam jayate halam kalayate karunyam atanvate

mlecchan murccayate dasaktikrite krishnaya tubhyam namaha

        “O Krishna, He who accept ten incarnations! I offer my obeisances unto You for saving the Vedic scriptures as Matsya-incarnation; You help up the universe as Kurma-incarnation, and lifted up the world as Varaha, the Boar incarnation; as Nrishimha You vanquished Hiranyakashipu; as Vamana You deceived Bali Maharaja; as Parashurama You exterminated the corrupt warrior class; as Rama You slew Ravana; as Balarama You took up the plough; as Buddha You bestowed compassion, and as Kalki You kill the Mlecchas.” 1

In his Dasa Avatara Stotram, Srila Jayadeva writes in the ninth verse:

nindasi yajna vidherahaha shrutijatam

sadaya hridaya darshita pashughatam

keshava dhrita bhuddha sharira

jaya jagadisha hare jaya jagadisha hare

        “O Lord of the universe, Keshava! You took the form of Lord Buddha Who is full of compassion and stopped the slaughter of animals which is strictly forbidden in the Vedas.”

If this Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, then Sri Sankaracharya’s connection to Him requires further elaboration and analysis. It becomes imperative to research this matter if Sankaracharya’s philosophy is referred to as another presentation of Buddhism. Sri Sankaracharya’s assessment of Buddha seems opaque, for he would have us believe that Shakya Simha Buddha [the human] and the Lord Buddha [the avatara] that the Vaishnavas worship, are one and the same personality. However, this is far from the truth. Our revered gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, revealed that Shakya Simha Buddha was simply a highly intelligent mortal, a vastly learned person who had attained some inner realizations [his enlightement]. So by declaring Shakya Simha to be Lord Buddha or by equating him with Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Sri Sankaracharya gives sufficient proof of the respect and dedication he quietly nurtured within him for Shakya Simha. The berating and admonishment he directed towards Shakya Simha is indeed only an “eye-wash” intended to hoodwink the public.

One may ask at this point, in which context did Sri Sankaracharya opine Shakya Simha Buddha (also known as Gautama Buddha [the human]) and Avatara Buddha to be the same personality? In response, I kindly request the learned readers to scrutinize Sri Sankaracharya’s commentaries. In his commentary to Brahma Sutra that I referred earlier, the word sugatena refers to Gautama Buddha, the son of Shuddhodana and Mayadevi, and not to the original Vishnu incarnation of Buddha [as the Srimad-Bhagavatam describes as the son of Anjana who appeared in the province of Gaya, or more specifically Bodhgaya]. While discussing Buddha’s philosophy, Sri Sankaracharya mentions his name in his commentary: sarvatha api anadarniya ayam sugata-samayah shreyaskamaih iti abhiprayaha. In this statement sugata again refers to Gautama Buddha, the son of Mayadevi [the person who appeared in the town now known as Lumbini in Nepal]. However, it is true that another name for Vishnu Avatara Buddha is Sugata, and thus Sankaracharya falsely interpolated Shakya Simha Buddha as if he were Vishnu Avatara Buddha. The use of the name Sugata-Buddha for Vishnu Avatara Buddha was already existing in Buddhist scriptures [so combing the two into one was not difficult]. This is substantiated in the book Amarakosha, an extremely ancient treatise written by the famous nihilist and atheist Amara Simha. It is believed that Amara Simha was born approximately 150 years prior to Sankaracharya’s birth. Amara Simha was the son of the brahmana Sabara Svami, who fathered a host of children with different mothers of different castes. The ancient verse about Amara Simha was well known in the learned circles of yore:

brahmanyam abhavad varaha mihiro jyotirvidam agranihi

raja bhartriharish cha vikramanripah kshatratratmajayam abhut

vaishyayam harichandra vaidya tilako jatash cha shankuh kriti

shudrayam amaraha shadeva shabara svami dvija sya atmajaha

        “Varaha Mihira, foremost among the greatest astrologers, was born from the womb of a brahmana lady. King Vikrama and King Bhartrihari were born from a kshatriya mother. From a vaishya mother were born Harichandra, a vaidya tilaka – an excellent Ayurveda physician and Shanku; and from a maidservant (shudra) mother was born Amara Simha. These six were fathered by the brahmana Shabara Svami.”

The Amarakosha Speaks of Two Buddhas

        Amara Simha was the author of many books on Buddhism. By coincidence all these books came into the possession of Sri Sankaracharya, who subsequently preserved only the Amarakosha and burnt all the others. The following verses about Buddha are found in the Amarakosha:

sarvajnah sugato buddho dharmarajas tathagataha

samanta bhadro bhagavan marajil lokajij jinaha

shadabhijno dashabalo dvayavadi vinayakaha

munindra shrighanah shasta munihi

        “All knowing, transcendental Buddha, king of righteousness, He who has come, beneficent, all encompassing Lord, conqueror of the god of love Mara, conqueror of worlds, He who controls his senses, protector of the six enemies, possessor of the ten powers, speaker of monism, foremost leader, lord of the ascetics, embodiment of splendour and teacher of the ascetics.”

The above verse contains eighteen names of Vishnu Avatara Buddha including the name Sugato, and the verse below contains the seven aliases of Shakya Simha Buddha [the human] without any mention of Sugato.

Shakyamunis tu yah sa shakyasimhah sarvarthasiddha shauddhodanish cha

gautamash charkabandhush cha mayadevi sutash cha saha

        “Teacher of the Shakyas, lion of the Shakyas, accomplisher of all goals, son of Shuddhodana, of Gautama’s line, friend of the entrapped ones, the son of Mayadevi.”

In these verses, starting with sarvajnah and finishing with munih are eighteen names addressing the original Vishnu incarnation Lord Buddha. The next seven names beginning with Shakya-munistu to Mayadevi-Sutascha refer to Shakya Simha Buddha. The Buddha referred to in the first eighteen names and the Buddha referred to in the later seven names are clearly not the same person. [This clearly indicates that knowledge of the two Buddhas was well known long ago.] In the commentary on Amarakosha by the learned Sri Raghunatha Cakravarti, he also divided the verses into two sections. To the eighteen names of Vishnu Avatara Buddha he writes the words “astadash buddha“, which clearly refers only to the Vishnu avatara. Next, on his commentary for the seven aliases of Shakya Simha he writes: “ete sapta shakya bangshabatirneh buddha muni bishete“, meaning “the next seven names starting from Shakya-munistu are aliases of Buddha-muni [the human] who was born into the Shakya dynasty.”

Thus from the above verses and their commentaries it is indeed transparent that Sugata Buddha [the avatara] and the atheist sage Gautama Buddha are not one and the same person. I take this opportunity to request the learned readers to refer to the Amarakosha published by the respected Mr. H. T. Colebrooke in 1807. 2 On pages 2 & 3 of this book the name ‘Buddha’ has been explained. The ‘Marginal Note’ on page 2 for the first eighteen names, states they are names of Ajina or Buddha and the ‘Marginal Note’ for the later seven states these are aliases of Shakya Simha Buddha. A further footnote is added to clarify the second Buddha, of the latter seven names – Footnote (b) “the founder of the religion named after him.”

Mr. Colebrooke lists in his preface the names of the many commentaries he used as references. Besides Raghunatha Cakravarti’s commentary, he took reference from twenty-five others. It can be said with certainty that the propagator of Bahyatmavada, Jnanatmavada and Sunyamavada, the three pillars of atheism, was Gautama Buddha or Shakya Simha Buddha. There is no evidence whatsoever that Sugata Buddha, Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, was in any way connected with atheism in any form. Shakya Simha or Siddhartha Buddha, received the name Gautama from his spiritual master Gautama Muni, who belonged to the Kapila dynasty. This is confirmed in the ancient Buddhist treatise Sundarananda Charita: “guru gotrad atah kautsaste bhavanti sma gautamah” – meaning “O Kautsa, because his teacher was Gautama, they became known from his family line.”

Other Buddhist Literatures Recording Two Buddhas

        Besides the Amarakosha, so highly favored by Sankaracharya, there are other famous Buddhist texts like Prajna-Paramita Sutra, Astasahastrika Prajna-Paramita Sutra, Sata-shastrika Prajna-Paramita Sutra, Lalita Vistara, etc. Proper scrutiny of these texts reveals the existence of three categories of Buddha, namely:

Human Buddhas: like Gautama, who came to be known as Buddha after enlightenment.

Bodhisattva Buddhas: Personalities like Samanta Bhadraka who were born enlightened.

Adi (original) Buddha: the omnipresent Vishnu Avatara incarnation of Lord Buddha.

The Amarakosha states that Lord Buddha, Sri Vishnu’s incarnation, is also known as Samanta Bhadra, whereas Gautama Buddha is a human being. Other than the eighteen names of the Vishnu Avatara Buddha mentioned in Amarakosha, many names of Lord Buddha are recorded in the above mentioned Buddhist texts. In Lalita Vistara, Chapter 21, page 178, it is described how Gautama Buddha meditated on the same spot as the predecessor Buddha:

cha dharanimunde purvabuddhasanasthaha

samartha dhanur grihitva shunya nairatmavanaiha

klesharipum nihatva drishtijalancha bhitva

shiva virajamashoham prapsyate bodhim agryam

        “The one seated on the hallowed earth of the previous Buddha’s birthplace is on the path of voidism and renunciation. With his weapon, the powerful bow, he vanquishes the enemies of distress and illusion. Thus with wisdom he will attain the auspicious state of grieflessness and worldly detachment.”

It is transparent from this verse that Gautama Buddha, realizing the spiritual potency of the previous Buddha’s birthplace, chose to perform meditation and austerities in that vicinity, under a pipal tree. The ancient and original name of this place was Kikata, but after Gautama attained enlightenment there, it came to be known as Buddha Gaya (Bodhi Gaya) [now Bodhgaya]. Even to the present day, the rituals of worship to the deity of Buddha at Bodhi Gaya are conducted by a sannyasi (renounced monk) of the Giri order, belonging to the Sri Sankaracharya sect. It is commonly accepted amongst those monks that Buddha-Gaya (Vishnu Avatara Buddha) was a predecessor of Gautama Buddha, who came later to the original Buddha’s birthplace to practice meditation. Shakya Simha Buddha chose this place to attain liberation, knowing it to be saturated with immense spiritual power.

        Lankavatara Sutra is a famous and authoritative Buddhist scripture. From the description of the Buddha, which is found in this book, it may be firmly concluded that he is not the more recent Shakya Simha or Gautama Buddha. In the beginning of this book we find Ravana, King of Lanka, praying first to the original Vishnu incarnation Buddha and then to the successive [and in this case the] future Buddha. A part of this prayer is reproduced here:

lankavatara sutram vai purva buddha anuvarnitam

smarami purvakaih buddhair jina-putra puraskritaihi

sutram etan nigadyante bhagavan api bhashatam

bhavishyatyanagate kale buddha buddha-sutas cha ye

        “Ravana, the king of Lanka, at first recited in the Totaka metre, then sang the following – ‘I invoke in my memory the aphorisms known as Lankavatara-sutra, compiled and propagated by the previous Buddha (Vishnu’s incarnation). The son of Jina (Lord Buddha) presented this book. Lord Buddha and his sons, who will appear in the future, as well as Bhagavan, the Vishnu incarnation, will continue to instruct all from this book.’”

Anjana’s Son, Named Buddha, is Different from Shuddhodana’s Son

        Some people may consider that it is not Sankaracharya but the Vaishnavas who demonstrate a greater degree of respect and sincere reverence towards Buddha, therefore, it is they who should also be known as Buddhists. In this regard my personal view is, according to the Linga Purana, Bhavishya Purana, and the ninth of the ten Vishnu incarnations mentioned in the Varaha Purana, the Buddha described therein is not the same personality as Gautama Buddha, [the person] who was the son of Shuddhodana. Vaishnavas never worship the nihilist and atheist (sunyavada) Buddha or Gautama Buddha, They only worship Lord Vishnu’s ninth incarnation, Lord Buddha, with this prayer from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 10/40/22:

namo buddhaya shuddhaya daitya-danava-mohine

        “O Supreme Lord Buddha! I offer my obeisance unto You, Who is faultless and have appeared to delude the demoniac and atheistic class of men.”

Earlier in the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1/3/24, Lord Buddha’s advent is described in the following manner:

tatah kalau sampravritte

sammohaya sura-dvisham

buddho namnanjana-sutaha

kikateshu bhavishyati

        “Then in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Buddha, son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.”

The Buddha mentioned in this verse is Lord Buddha, son of Anjana; also known by some as Ajina’s son. Sri Sridhara Svami writes in his authoritative commentary to this verse:

buddha avartaramaha tata iti anjanasya sutaha

ajina suta it pathe ajino’ pi sa eva kikateshu madhye gaya-pradeshe

        “The words tatah kalau etc., describe Vishnu’s incarnation Buddha as the son of Anjana. Ajina in the word ajina sutaha actually means Anjana. Kikata is the name of the district of Gaya.”

The monists, either by mistake or some other reason, regard Sri Sridhara Svami as belonging to their sect and persuasion. Be as it may, his comments however on this matter can easily be accepted by the Mayavadis as true without hesitation. The following quote is from the Nrisimha Purana 36/29:

kalau prapte yatha buddho bhavannarayana – prabhuh

        “In Kali-yuga the Supreme Lord Narayana appears as Buddha.”

A fair estimate of Lord Buddha’s appearance can be made from this verse; that He lived approximately 3500 years ago, or by accurate astronomical and astrological calculation around 4000 years ago. Regarding the astrological facts at the time of His birth, the treatise Nirnaya-sindhu states in the second chapter:

jyaishtha shuka dvitiyayam buddha-janma bhavisyati

        “Lord Buddha will appear on the second day of the waxing moon, in the month of Jyaishtha.”

Elsewhere in this book is described the procedure for Lord Buddha’s worship:

pausha shuklasya saptamyam kuryat buddhasya pujaanam

        “Lord Buddha is especially worshipped in the seventh day of the waxing moon in the month of Pausha.”

The rituals, prayers and procedures for worship mentioned in these scriptures all clearly indicate that they are meant for Lord Vishnu’s ninth avatara incarnation. Lord Buddha also finds repeated mention in many authentic Vedic scriptures like the Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana, Vayu Purana, and Skanda Purana. The Buddha mentioned in the Devi Bhagavat, a more recent text, and in Shakti Pramoda, refers to Shakya Simha Buddha – not the Vishnu Avatara Buddha.

The truth remains that there are many different demigods and demigoddesses who are worshipped by their respective devotees, in the same way that Shakya Simha Buddha (who was an atheist) is worshipped or glorified by his followers. However, this is all completely separate and unrelated to the path of Sanatana-dharma, which is the eternal religion of man enunciated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

According to the German scholar Max Mueller, Shakya Simha Buddha was born in 477 BC in the Lumbini gardens, within the city of Kapilavastu. This ancient and at that time well-populated city in the Terai region of Nepal was well known. Shakya Simha or Gautama Buddha’s father was known as Shuddhodana, while his mother was called Mayadevi, this is all accepted as historical fact. Although Anjana’s son and Shuddhodana’s son both share the name of Buddha, they are nevertheless two different personalities. One of them was born in Kikata – which is now famous as Bodhi-Gaya, while the second Buddha was born in Kapilavastu, Nepal. Thus, the birthplace, parents, and era of Vishnu Avatara Buddha and the birthplace, parents, era, etc., of Gautama Buddha are totally at variance.

We can therefore now observe that the famous personality generally referred to as Buddha is not the Vishnu incarnation, the original Lord Buddha and, hence, Sankaracharya’s views on this are completely unacceptable. It is not uncommon to find disagreements in matters of tradition and history, but in regards to important and significant issues an unbiased and objective discussion is imperative. Attracted by Buddha’s personality and fame, it is one thing to honor and respect him, but being impressed by his philosophy and teachings and reverentially surrendering to him is wholly another matter. Whatever the case may be, I am sure that the respected readers have grasped the crucial point that Buddha is not a single person, but at least two separate identities – Shakya Simha is not the same as Lord Buddha, Vishnu’s ninth incarnation. It is certainly undeniable that there are some similarities between these two Buddhas, yet it is incontestable that they are two different persons [with two different purposes].

Footnotes

1. Mleccha – derived from the Sanskrit root mlech meaning to utter indistinctly (Sanskrit) – a foreigner; non-Aryan; a man of an outcaste race; any non-Sanskrit speaking person who does not conform to the Vedic social and religious customs.

2. This book was published under the auspices of the Asiatic Society and can be referenced at it library. See www.indev.nic.in/asiatic/

END OF CHAPTER TWO – BEYOND NIRVANA

CONCLUSION

        Actually, there is much I like about Buddhism. I like its peaceful and gentle ways, the basis of its connection with all of life, but also its principle of detachment and renunciation as a means to enter higher forms of existence. I like some of the forms of meditation that it uses to gain more understanding and control of the mind. I like its mild form of determination to the principles and its goals.

However, from the above descriptions we can understand that the worship of the first Buddha, which at this point in time has practically been forgotten, is a means of definite spiritual progress through nonviolence, compassion for all and renunciation from the world for one’s self-interest. However, these days most of what is known of Buddhism is based on the monistic path as established by Shakya Simha Buddha, the second Buddha who was but a mortal who, with great intellectual ability, propounded a path that promised the end of suffering, and the eventual entrance into what is called nirvana. This goal of entering nirvana actually requires such a discipline that, in this day and age, it is practically impossible to achieve. This would also mean that, no matter how much one progresses along this path, the most one can attain, besides a more peaceful life which may be good enough for some people, are still future rounds of birth in this world. Praying to Shakya Simha or Gautama Buddha, or any of the other forms of which he may be depicted, still cannot offer any Divine assistance, since he is not really Divine. Nor does Buddhism really acknowledge God, either outside us or within. The soul is also not recognized. So, it is perfect for those who wish to follow a path that is basically atheistic in nature.

In this way, it is very similar to the philosophy that was established by Sankaracharya who proposed, through his own imaginative interpretation of some basic Sanskrit verses, that the Absolute Truth was impotent, inert, and without any characteristics. Like the Buddhist sunya or void, nirvana, or Great White Light, Sankaracharya also propounded a monistic Brahman that is the eternal and timeless void, nondual, an impersonal oneness, and great white light, the Brahman effulgence. You could say that it is merely an adaptation of the core concepts of Buddhism but with a Vedic slant. As Shakya Simha Buddha tried to nullify the sufferings of the world through voidism, Sankaracharya tried to do the same thing with his conception of impersonal Brahman. Sankaracharya says that Brahman is all that is eternal, while Shakya Simha proposed that the void is all that remains.

Students of Sankaracharya will accept him as a scholar of Vedanta and a great theist and will follow what appears to be his apparently theistic teachings, but in this way they actually become atheists by giving up the concept of God and any chance of establishing a relationship with the Supreme Being.

Sri Krishna-Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, who compiled the major Vedic texts, has declared in his writings in the Puranas that the monistic, impersonal Mayavada philosophy is false and non-Vedic. The same would apply to what we presently know as Buddhism. You can find this in the Padma Purana 25/7:

mayavadam asacchastram pracchannam bauddham uchyate

        “The theory of Mayavadism is a concocted scripture and is known as a disguised Buddhism.”

Therefore, if we accept the traditional and major Vedic view, as found in all Vedic samhitas and original texts, it ultimately leads to the premise that God is personal, with personality and characteristics, active and eternal, though beyond our mental ability to comprehend, but with whom everyone has a relationship that only needs to be reawakened. The real Vedic tradition points to the ways in which we can grow beyond our limitations and realize by direct perception our natural spiritual identity and reawaken our eternal loving relationship with the Supreme Spirit. This is the direction and ultimate goal of all truly Vedic processes of spiritual development.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This additional information is from the book, “Dasavatar: Ten Manifestations of Godhead,” By Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, published by Mandala Publishing and Sree Caitanya Gaudiya Math, downloaded from http://www.sreecgmath.org.

Among the Dashavataras, Sri Buddha is the ninth avatara. Additionally, Sri Buddha is the twenty fourth lila-avatara.

In order to condemn the practice of animal sacrifice, Supreme Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Buddha. Srila Jayadeva Gosvami prays to the Lord of the universe in his Dashavatara-stotra:

nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha sruti-jatam

sadaya-hridaya-darshita-pashu-ghatam

keshava dhrita-buddha-sharira jaya jagadisha hari

(Sri Jayadeva’s Dashvatara-stotra, 9th Verse)

“O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories unto You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, You decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice.”

The name of Buddha also appears in the verse that describes the ten avataras in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

matsya kurmo varahashca nrisimha vamanastatha

ramo ramashca ramashca buddha kalki ca te dashah

In the dashavatara verse of Sahitya-darpana,1 we find the names of Buddha and Kalki. The Agni, Vayu and Skanda Puranas also mention the name of Buddha, as does the following verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam:

tatah kalau sampravritte sammohaya sura-dvisham

buddho namnanjana-sutaha kikateshu bhavishyati

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.3.24)

“Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya2 (Bihar) just for the purpose of infatuating those who are envious of the faithful demigods.”

In Chapters 17-18 of the 3rd Section of Vishnu Purana, Buddha has been designated as Mayamoha’. Once, while bathing in the waters of the Yamuna, Akrura was astonished to see Krishna-Balarama within the river. Coming out, he saw Them seated in a chariot as They had been before appearing in the water. Again he immersed himself in the water, and saw the yellow-clad four-handed Vasudeva Sri Krishna along with His associates, graciously seated on the lap of the thousand-hooded Sri Anantadeva while being worshiped by Brahma and other demigods. At that time, he prayed to the Lord in the following manner:

namo buddhaya shuddhaya daitya-danava-mohine

mleccha-praya-kshatra-hantre namas te kalki-rupine

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.40.22)

“O Lord! I offer my obeisances unto Your form of Buddha, who, possessing a faultless nature, deluded the miscreants by composing anti-Vedic scriptures. I also offer obeisances unto Your Kalki form, the annihilator of the wicked kshatriyas who are no better than barbarians.”

The Vedas encode instructions according to the eligibility or qualification of various living beings, especially human beings. But in the course of time, ignorant men took the tamasika3 orders to be the only instruction of the Vedas4 and engaged in the extensive killing of animals, sometimes even sacrificing human beings during worship of the demigods. At that time, the Supreme Lord descended in the form of Buddha and outwardly rejected the teachings of the Vedas for the welfare of human beings incapable of comprehending the true teachings of the Vedas. This implies that He disputed and cancelled His own prior teachings, propounded the futility of belief in God and preached to human beings four noble truths, to free them from their violent practices. This act of Buddha provided instantaneous benediction to mankind of that period. As Lord Buddha was the Supreme Lord Himself, many people resolved to follow ahimsa-dharma the path of non-violence, due to His influence. As a result of non-violence, the hearts of human beings became pious and their qualifications gradually increased, so Lord Shiva appeared as Shankaracarya. He re-established the supreme authenticity and decorum of the Vedas, and founded the philosophy of brahmakarana-vada’ (Brahman as the ultimate cause). In later ages, the Vaishnava stalwarts built the philosophy of bhakti upon this same foundation stone. From the personal and aggregate point of view, these are the steps of progress.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the Lord Himself, removed the incompleteness of the previously propagated philosophies through His acintya-bhedabheda-tattva’ philosophy (the principle of inconceivable simultaneous distinction and non-distinction).

It is said that Sakyasimha Buddha, the son of Shuddhodana and Maya, and Buddha-avatara, the Vaishnavas’ object of adoration, are not one and the same person. Our Most Revered Nityalilapravishta Om Vishnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada has clearly said, “Shakyasimha Buddha was merely a vastly learned person, so we cannot call him the original Buddha or Lord Buddha.”

Acarya Sri Shankara has by mistake referred to Maya’s son, Buddha, as Sugata Buddha’ in the following commentary: sarvatha api anadaraniya ayam sugata-samayaha shreyaskamaih iti abhiprayaha.

The Amarakosha-grantha (Sanskrit dictionary) states:

sarvajna api sugato buddho dharmarajastathagataha

samastabhadro bhagavan marajillokajijjinaha

sarvabhijno dashabalo ‘dvayavad‚ vinayakaha

munindraha srighanaha shasta muniha shakyamunistu yaha

“All-Knowing, Transcendental, Buddha, King of Righteousness, He Who Has Come, Beneficent, All-Encompassing, Lord, Conqueror of the God of Love Mara, Victorious of Three Worlds, He Who Controls His Senses, Protector from the Six Enemies, Possessor of the Ten Powers, Speaker of Monism (One Absolute), Teacher, Lord of the Sages, Embodiment of Splendor and Eminent Saint.”

In his commentary on the above verse, Srila Ragunatha Cakravarti has written: “All eighteen names of Buddha from sarvajna’ ( omniscient) to shakyamuni,’ refer to Vishnu-avatara Buddha. Therefore, Sugata’ clearly refers only to Vishnu-avatara Buddha.

sa shakyasimhah sarvarthasiddhah shauddhodanishcha sah

gautamashcarkabandhushca mayadevisutashca sah

“Teacher of the Shakyas, lion of the Shakyas, accomplisher of all goals, son of Shuddhodana, of Gautama’s line, friend of scholars, son of Mayadevi.”

Here, Shrila Ragunatha Cakravarti has written: ete sapta shakyabangshabatirneh buddhamuni bisheshe

“The seven aliases from shakyasimha Buddha’ down to mayadevisuta’ (the son of Mayadevi) refer to monks belonging to the Shakya Dynasty.”

Thus, Sugata Buddha and Shunyavadi (Shakyasimha) Buddha are not the same person.

Further evidence is found in Mr. H. T. Colebrooke’s Amarakosha, published at Ramapura in 1807. It is written in Chapter 21, Page 178 of Lalitavistaragrantha that Gautama Buddha performed penances at the same place as the previous Buddha (Vishnu avatara Buddha). Maybe it is for this reason that in later ages he and Lord Buddha are considered as being one:

esha dharanimunde purvabuddhasanasthaha

samartha dhanurgrihitva shunya

nairatmavanaih klesaripum nihatva dristijalanca bhitva-shiva

virajamshokam prapsyate bodhimagryam

Currently this place is known as Buddha Gaya, but Srimad-Bhagavatam refers to it as Kikata Pradesha:

tatah kalau sampravritte sammohaya sura-dvisham

buddho namnanjana-sutah kikateshu bhavishyati

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.24)

“Thereafter, in the twenty-first manvantara at the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in Kikata Pradesha (the province of Gaya Bihar), just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful demigods.”

According to Sri Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary: anjana suto ‘jina sutashceti pathadvayam kikateshu madhye gayapradeshe

“The names Anjanasuta5 and Ajinasuta can both be found in the above verse. The province of Gaya has been called Kikateshu.”

Srila Sridhara Svamipada has written in his commentary:

buddhavataramaha tata iti

anjanasya sutah

ajinasuta iti pathe ajino ‘pi sa eva

kikateshu madhye gayapradeshe

“Buddha-avatara refers to Buddha who is the son of Anjana, and also in another reading, the son of Ajina. In the above verse, the name is written as Ajina or Anjana, and Kikata refers to Gaya Pradesha.”

It is written in the 29th Verse, 36th Chapter of Sri Nrisimha Purana: kalau prapte yath„ buddho bhavennarayana prabhuh

“Lord Narayana appeared as Buddha when the age of Kali Started.”

This clearly implies that Lord Buddha appeared five thousand years ago.

The following verse can be found in the second paragraph of Nirnaya-sindhu: jyaishtha shukladitiyayam buddhajanma bhavishyati

“Buddha will take birth on the 2nd day of the shuklapaksha6 of the month of Jyaishtha7.”

Another part of this book describes the mode of worshipping Buddha: pausha shuklasya saptamyam kuryyat bhuddhasya pujanam

“Worship Lord Buddha on the 7th day of the shuklapaksha of the month of Pausha.8

This is the prescription for the worship of Buddha, the avatara of the Supreme Lord. The full moon day of the month of Vaishakha9, known as Buddha-purnima, is to be celebrated for both Buddhas, subject to consideration of both Buddhas together.

In Sri Madhvacarya’s commentary on Verse 1.3.24 of Srimad-Bhagavatam, from his book Bhagavata-tatparya, the following quotation from Brahmanda Purana has been referred to:

mohanartham danavanam balarupi pathisthitaha

putram tam kalpayamasa madhabudhirjinah svayam

tatah sammohayamasa jinadyana suramshakan

bhagavan vagbhirugrabhirahimsa vacibhirharihi

(Brahmanda Purana)

“In order to delude the demons, He (Lord Buddha) was present in the form of a child on the way while the fool, Jina (a demon), imagined Him to be his son. Later on, Lord Sri Hari (as avatara-Buddha) expertly deluded Jina and other demons by His strong words of non-violence.”

There is an authentic Buddhist book, Lankavatarasutra’ 10, in which Ravana, the king of Lanka, prays to Jina’s son, the ancient Lord Buddha, and to all the Buddhas and Buddhas’ sons who would appear in the future, via this eulogy (stava):

atha ravano lankadhipatih gathagiten anugayati sma

lankavatarasutram vaih purvabuddhanuvarnitam

smarami purvakaih buddhairjinaputra-puraskritaih

putrametannigadyate bhagavanapi bhashatam

bhavishyantyanapate kale buddha buddhasutashca ye

Therefore, this source leaves no doubt that the ancient avatara-Buddha and the modern Gautama Buddha are not the same person.

Buddha-avatara has been discussed in various Puranas such as Linga, Bhavishya, Varaha, Agni, Vayu, Skanda, Vishnu, and many others. In the 17th and 18th Chapters of the 3rd Section of Vishnu Purana, Buddha is referred to as Mayamoha. It should be remembered that the Buddha-avatara whose narrations are found in various Puranas and other scriptures, is not the nihilistic Buddha, the son of Shuddhodana. namo buddhaya shuddhaya daitya danava mohine

The preceding eulogy to Lord Buddha, taken from Akrura’s prayer in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10-40-22), is the essence of all the Vedas, Vedanta, Puranas, Itihasas and other scriptures. The meaning of this prayer is:

“O Lord, I offer my obeisances unto Your faultless beguiling form of Lord Buddha who enchanted the demons and devils by composing anti-Vedic mantras.”

Commenting on this, Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written: shuddhaya vedaviruddha shastra pravarttakatve ‘pi nirddoshaya

“The meaning of the word ‘shuddhaya’ is that although He is the founding element of anti-Vedic literature, yet He remains inculpable.”

Therefore, by establishing shastras opposed to the Vedas, He (avatara- Buddha) hypnotized devils and demons. This is the reason why some writers of Buddha’s biography consider avatara-Buddha and human Buddha to be the same.

In Canto 6,Chapter 8,19th verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, King Indra prays to Lord Buddha with the mantra, buddhas tu pashanda-gana-pramadat. This mantra is from the Narayana kavacha of Vishvarupa, the son of Sage Tvashta. By reciting this mantra Indra prayed, “O Lord Buddha! Save me from the defect of indifference born out of atheistic hypocrisy.”

This means that Lord Buddha, in His asura-vimohanalila’ (the pastime of hypnotizing the demons), deluded the wicked natured people by establishing scriptures opposed to the Vedas. “Save me Lord Buddha from the terrible offence of disobeying the Vedas due to ignorance of their secret meanings.”

Factually, Lord Buddha is not a condemner of the Vedas for any reason whatsoever. This pastime is meant only to mesmerize the demons. It is written in the 40th chapter of the Maheshvara section of Skanda Purana that: “After the passing of 3600 years of Kali-yuga, Lord Buddha, the avatara of Vishnu, the saviour of dharma, will appear in the Magadha territory from the womb of Anjani, fathered by Hemasadana. He will perform many glorious tasks and rule over the earth containing seven islands, for sixty-four years. Then, safeguarding His glories with His devotees, He will retreat to His abode.”

Thus, we can see by the authentic words of genuine scriptures, that Lord Buddha and Shakyasimha/Gautama Buddha are not the same. The Lord has established many anti-Vedic scriptures for deluding the demons. Other Buddhas also followed Him and propagated anti-Vedic nihilism. That is why many doubts arise, as all of them have been mentioned together in several places11. Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has written: veda na maniya baudha haya ta nastika.

“With no regard for the Vedas, Buddha has become atheistic.”

This means, in India, those who have no faith in the Vedas are considered to be atheistic.

According to the German scholar Max Muller, Shakyasimha Buddha was born in the Lumbini Forest of Kapilavastu in 477 B.C. Ancient Kapilavastu is a famous district situated near Nepal. Gautama’s father’s name was Shuddhodana and His mother’s name was Mayadevi. Anjana’s son and Maya’s son both share the same name but one appeared at Gaya and the other at Kapilavastu. Thus, the appearance places and parents of Vishnu Buddha and Gautama Buddha are totally different. Because the human Buddha was unable to understand the asura-vimohana-lila of Lord Vishnu Buddha, he propagated anti-Vedic nihilism [voidism].

    NOTES:

1 A Bengali reference encyclopedia

2 Gaya Region: This is famous as Bodha Gaya or Buddha Gaya. This is the most important pilgrimage place of Buddhists. This place was famous even before the time of Christ. The remains of the Mahabodhi Temple and the Stupa (monument), built by King Ashoka, are evidence of its fame and antiquity. The Pippala tree (ficus religiosa), under which Buddha attained enlightenment, is still there today. In the journey diary of the Chinese traveler, Fahiyan, a description of the Mahabodhi Temple of Uruvilva has been provided.

3 The mode of ignorance.

4 In the scriptures animal sacrifice is specified to enable society to gradually rise above violent tendencies.

5 Suta’ means son’.

6 Shukla-paksha: The moonlit half of a lunar month the bright fortnight.

7 Jyaishtha month: the 2nd month of the Hindu (Lunar) calendar (Summer).

8 Pausha month: the 9th month of the Hindu (Lunar) Calendar (Winter).

9 Vaishakha month: the 1st month of the Hindu (Lunar) Calendar.

10 Lankavatara-sutra’ was published with the help of the Indian Buddhist Text Society and Bengal Government in January 1900 A.D.

11 In the 21st issue of the 18th volume of Gaudiya (Magazine), in the articles of Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura entitled, Pracchanna Bauddha and Nastikyavada’ (Disguised Bauddha and Atheism) and Gautama’ as well as in the book Sri Gaudiya Darshana: History and Elements’ by Sri Sundarananda Vidyavinoda (a disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura), the name of Shakyasimha Gautama Buddha has rarely appeared while writing about the Buddhist philosophy.

Pujyapada Tridandi Svami Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Maharaja, the beloved disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and founder of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, in his writing, Mayavadera Jivani’ (The Life History of Impersonalism), has written: “The lila of the Supreme Lord, the expansion of the Lord, Buddha, appeared around 3500 B.C.” (Page 74)

“Nihilistic Siddhartha was the disciple of Sage Gautama of Kapila’s lineage. Therefore, his other name is Gautama.” (Page 14)

Shakyasimha Buddha appeared around five hundred years before.” (Page 18)

12 Buddha married Yashodhara at the age of sixteen years. Buddha renounced the world at the age of twenty-nine years. He attained emancipation at the age of eighty years (New Bengali Dictionary of Asutosh Dev)