Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Vedic Civilization – Part II

It was on the banks of river Saraswathi which once traversed a distance of 1,600 kms from Manasarovar to Gujarat and with a width of six to eight kms that the Vedic civilization flourished around 7000 years ago. It was during this period great strides were made by Indians in the field of spirituality, philosophy, literature, mathematics, medicine and other allied fields. The Vedic civilization laid down the foundation for the development of India’s political and ethical thoughts, social and religious customs and provided the essence of uniformity in the life of the people of Indian sub-continent. The Vedic civilization is unparalleled and unique in the history of mankind for it is the sole civilization among the ancient civilizations to be still thriving.

Extent and Population: From the towns discovered and artifacts excavated it appears that the Vedic civilization had spread from Suktagendor in Baluchistan in the west to Alamgirpur in Uttar Pradesh in the east and from Ropar in the Himalayan foot-hills in the north to Daimabad in the Ahmadnagar district of Maharashtra in the south. Some of the important sites are Lakhmirwala (about 225 hectares in size) in Punjab (India), Mohenjodaro (200 hectares with a population of 85 thousand), Harappa (150 hectares with a population of 65,000), both in present day Pakistan and Ganweriwala in Bahawalpur and Dholavira in Gujarat measuring 80 and 60 hectares respectively. In Ramayana there is reference to cities like Kasi, Kosala, Ayodhya, Kausambi and in Mahabharatha we have reference to cities like Dwaraka, Indraprastha and Magadha kingdom comprising areas of modern Bihar being ruled by Jarasandha. This shows that the Vedic civilization had spread far and wide.

Authors of the Vedic Civilization: Navarathna Rajaram and David Frawley have argued a costal origin for the Vedic civilization on the following basis.

  • There are over a 100 references to samudra (sea) in Rigveda. It has prayers to the safety of ships and passengers and the story of a ship wreck in which Bhujyu was travelling and he being rescued by Asvins.
  • Rigveda has 25 hymns in reference to sage Agastya who is said to the father of Tamil language and 100 hymns in reference to his elder brother Vasishta; both are descendants of Varuna, the God of sea.
  • The teachings of Varuna the sea God to seer Bhrigu are found in the Taittiriya Upanishad and the Taittiriya tradition of the Yajurveda was long been popular in south India.
  • We also reference to Jamadagni the father of Parashurama, who is credited to have created the western coast of India (Parashurama Kshetra).

Hence Navarathna Rajaram writes that the Rigveda appears to be the product of the mix of two groups of people; tribes and ruling families that inhabited the north and poet and sages from the coastal region and south India.

Racial Type: Based on the work Genes, Peoples and Languages by one of the world’s foremost population geneticists, Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Navaratna Rajaram opines that the Indian population, upper castes, tribal, Dravidians and so forth are mainly of indigenous origin. The excavations at Harappa have brought to light skeletons belonging to members of various racial groups- all which are present in India today. There is no evidence that a new race intruded into north India during so called Harappan times and that the Dravidian inhabitants of the region were driven to the south.

Sources for the reconstruction of Vedic Civilization: Col James Tod, the celebrated author of Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan says-“Much reward him who would make a better digest of the historical and geographical matters in the Puranas. But we must discard the idea that the histories of Rama, Krishna and others are mere allegories- an idea supported by some, although their races, their cities and their coins still exists”. Speaking about the Puranas, F.E.Pargiter says that bards and minstrels handed down the accounts of dynasties verbally just like the Vedas were transmitted verbally from generation to generation, all which were put into writing at a later stage. Hence to get a complete picture of the Vedic civilization we have to carefully collate and critically examine different literary sources like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharatha and the Jaina and Buddhist literary sources. This evidence should correlate with archeological, inscriptions (Seals) and geological findings. The discovery of river Saraswathi, the submerged city of Dwaraka, the date of Mahabharatha war, all have given a new dimension to reconstruct the history of ancient India.

Date of the Vedic Age: Based on astronomical data Indians have fixed the date on which the Mahabharatha war took place. According to Aryabhatta, Kaliyuga began from 3102 B.C. and the date of Mahabharatha war was 3138 B.C. In modern times scholars like Dr. Mankad fixed 3201 B.C. as the date of the war and mathematicians and astrophysicists making use of planetarium software and taking the astronomical data available in the text of the epic Mahabharatha itself as the basis, have assigned the year 3067 B.C. as the date of the Mahabharatha war.  Another famous astronomer Varahamihira says that Yudhisthira became king in saka era 2526 B.C. corresponding to 2469 B.C. or 2447 B.C. Dr. P.C.Sengupta based on Vedanga Jyotisha has fixed 2449 B.C. as the date of Mahabharatha war. The date arrived by the Kashmiri historian Kalhana was 2448 B.C., one year less than that assigned by P.C.Sengupta. Considering either 3067 B.C. or 2449 B.C. as the date in which the Mahabharatha war took place helps us to reconstruct the history of ancient India including arriving at the approximate age of Rama and the composition of Rigveda.

Age of Rama and Rigveda: In Vayu Purana we have a total of 94 kings from Manu to Bhrihadbala belonging to the Ikshavaku dynasty. Bhrihadbala died in the Mahabharatha war and was 29 generation after Rama, the famous king of Ayodhya. Taking Vayu Purana as the basis for the list of ancient Indian kings and the year 2449 B.C. as the date of Mahabharatha war and allotting 40 years for each generation, the date of Rama would be 3609 B.C. Sudasa was anterior to Rama by 18 generation and his date would be 4329 B.C. (It was during his period that the III and VII mandala of the Rigveda, considered to be the oldest was composed) Mandhatra who drove the Dhruyus out of North-west India was anterior to Sudasa by 27 generation and his date would be 5409 B.C. and Manu the first king was anterior to Mandhatra by 20 years and his date would be 6209 B.C. If we take 3067 as the date of Mahabharatha war and try to reconstruct the chronology of the Ikshavaku rulers, we get 4227 B.C. as the date of Rama, 4947 B.C. as the date of Sudasa, 6027 B.C.as the date of Mandhatra and 6827 B.C. as the date of Manu. Cuneiform inscriptions found in Mesopotamia record that Mesopotamia’s trade in the east was with three countries, Dilmun (the Persian Gulf region around Bahrain), Makan (Oman peninsula) and Meluhha (India). It is said that trade received a tremendous boost from the time of Sargon of Akkad from 2350 B.C. though there is clear evidence of early trade which can be placed in 2800-2500 B.C. Robert. H. Brunswig who has critically examined the evidence relating to artifact association showing contact with Mesopotamia and Persian Gulf and the radio-carbon dates of five Harappan sites, suggested a three period framework for the Indus Civilization; the formative phase- 2800-2500 B.C., the mature phase- 2500-2200 B.C. and the late phase- 2200-2000 B.C., after which the Harappan culture as a distinct entity gradually ceased to exist. This shows that Vedic civilization flourished around 4329 B.C. / 4947 B.C. and the Harappa civilization (actually the urban culture of the Vedic civilization) was posterior to the Vedic period.

Vedic Literature: The word Veda is generally applied to a branch of literature which has been handed down from time immemorial by verbal transmission and is declared to be sacred knowledge or divine revelation (Sruti). They are

  • The Rigveda which is the oldest and consists of 1017 hymns addressed to various gods. The composers of the Rig Veda were members of ten priestly families, namely Kanvas, Angirases, Agastyas, Grtsamadas (Kevala Bhrgus), Atris, Visvamitras, Vasisthas, Kasyapas, Bharatas and Bhrugus. Apart from these families we also have hymns composed jointly by members of different families and those composed by Rishis whose family’s identity is unknown.
  • The Yajurveda is mostly in prose and makes use of verses of the Rigveda to explain sacrifices. It is divided into Krishna Yajurveda and Sukla Yajurveda.
  • The Samaveda is a collection of melodies and the text of it is almost wholly drawn from Rigveda.
  • The Atharvaveda consists of hymns which are chanted or sung. It is a collection of songs, spells and incantations for the healing of disease, restoration of harmony and the exorcism of evil spirits.

To each of the four Vedas are attached the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. The Samhitas are the books of hymns or psalms, which are sung to the praise of various gods. The Brahmanas are the treatises relating to prayers and sacrificial ceremony. They deal with rituals, sacrifices, their mystic meanings and sacred significance. The Aranyakas are the last books or concluding portions of the Brahmanas. They deal with the philosophical doctrines, the allegorical significance of rites and the mystic meaning of the text of the Samhitas. Finally the Aranyakas developed into Upanishads which are purely philosophical texts. The Upanishads are believed to be 108 in number although only 13 of them are accorded the status of major or principal Upanishads. They explain the various theories of the creation of the universe; explain the doctrine of the transmigration of the souls, the doctrine of Karma and explain about God (Brahman) and the Soul (Atman). German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was so profoundly influenced by Indian thoughts that he admitted his indebtedness to Indian wisdom, to Plato and Kant for the best of his ideas. He regarded the Upanishads as the solace of his life and death.

Samhita Brahmana Aranyaka Upanishad
Rigveda 1.Aitareya2.Kausitaki 1.Aitareya2.Kausitaki 1.Aitareya2.Kausitaki
Samaveda 1.Tandyamaha                  orPancavimsha2.Sadvimsha

3.Jaiminiya

  Jaiminiya 1.Chandogya2.Kena
ShuklaYajurveda    Satapatha 1.Brhadaranyaka2.Isha
KrishnaYajurveda    Taittiriya   Taittiriya 1.Taittiriya2.Katha3.Maitri

4.Shvetashvatara

Atharvaveda    Gopatha 1.Prashna2.Mundaka3.Mandukya

The Vedangas: The next section of the Vedic literature consists of Vedangas which are subsidiary sciences necessary for the study of the Vedas. They are Shiksha (phonetics), Kalpa (rituals). Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta (etymology) Chhandas (metrics) and Jyotishya (astronomy). Besides these six, there are other sciences like Ayurveda (medicine), Gandharvaveda (music and dancing), Shilpaveda (architecture) and Dhanurveda (art of warfare). Among the Vedangas, the Kalpa Sutras is divided into Grihyasutras (which gives instructions regarding the various ceremonies that  are to be performed at different stages in the life of a householder), Srautasutras (which deal with the great Vedic sacrifice involving  the services of a number of priests), Dharmasutras (deal with the social usages, customs and practices of everyday life, including religious, civil and criminal laws) and Sulvasutras (describes minute rules pertaining to the measurement and construction of the fire-altars and the place of sacrifice. They are it seems the oldest books on Indian geometry).

Rulers of the Vedic Age: The Puranas contain information of all the rulers who ruled India beginning with the first king Manu. Pliny quoting Megasthenes writes that from the days of father Bacchus to Alexander (Bacchus was also known as Dionysos) their kings are reckoned at 154 whose reigns extended over 6451 years and three months. Arrian declares that from the time of Dionysos to Sondrakottos the Indians counted 153 kings and a period of 6042 years; among these a republic was thrice established, one for 300 years, another for 120 years and another of unknown period which Arrian did not take into account. We get a complete picture of the rulers of the Vedic age when we collaborate the list of the names of the kings given in the Puranas with other literary sources. The Rigveda contains reference to several tribes/dynasties like Anus, Purus, Yadus, etc. In the Puranas the geography of the five Aila or lunar tribes was given. Accordingly the Purus were located in Haryana-UP, Anus in Kashmir, Druhyus to the west of Punjab, Yadus to South-West (Rajasthan and Western M.P.) and Turvasas to the South-East of the Yadus. To the North-East of the Purus were the tribes of Iksvaku or solar race.

Political Life: monarchy was the prevailing form of government. The duties of the king included protection of his people’s life and property and repulsing the attacks of his enemies. He also acted as a representative of his people on public and religious functions such as the performance of a sacrifice. We have instance of kings like Harishchandra and Rama who were known for their truthfulness and righteousness. There were popular assemblies of elders called Sabha and Samithi and are described as twin daughters of prajapati, the creator. They had a say in the running of the administration and selection of the king. Doctrine of divinity of king was not known during the Vedic period. We do not find references to any judicial organization in Vedic literature. Probably the Sabha functioned as a popular court. The king was assisted by a senapathi, purohit and a gramapati. The senani was the commander of the army; the purohit was the King’s Counsel and the gramapati head of the village, which was the lowest unit of administration. At Mohenjodaro a very big hall about 25 metres square has been discovered. Its roof is supported by 20 rectangular brick pillars set with great accuracy in four rows of five pillars each. The hall was divided into long corridors inter-speared with low benches having even seats. This hall probably served the purpose of public assembly. The uniformity and standardization in brick size, weights and measures and civic regulations in respect of town planning in the Vedic cities excavated shows the existence of good governance.

Social Life: During the Vedic period patriarchal form of society prevailed. The head of the family was the father. It was a joint family system. Society was divided into various classes like priests, warriors, craftsmen and labourers. A workers quarter has been excavated at Harappa. Ratnagar says some sort of caste system was prevalent in the society as people living in the citadel were segregated from those of the lower town. At Mohenjodaro they were separated by some 150 meters and at Kalibangan by 40 meters. In Dholavira the town was divided into four different localities, the acropolis, the bailey, the middle town and the lower town all enclosed by defense walls. But in the early Vedic period there was no caste system. People could change their occupations according to their needs or talents and dined freely with each other. It is only in the tenth mandala of the Rigveda there is reference to the caste of Brahmana, Kshtriya, Vaishya and Sudra. (The tenth mandala or the Rigveda is a later composition). In fact the composer of the third mandala of Rigveda is Vishwamitra who was a Kshtriya king and after severe austerities became a sage. In Ramayana we find Guha, the Nisada chief and leader of Dasas and Kaivartas who is described as a close friend and companion of Rama. Rama even sent him the news of his safe return after his victory over Ravana. In Mahabharatha we find Dharmavyadha, a butcher in Mithilarajya instructing a Brahmana in Vedanta. The Upanishads has several references to Brahmins seeking the knowledge of Brahman from Kshtriya kings.

Position of women: Women were held in great respect. In social and religious gatherings they occupied the same position as men. The girls were married only after they attained the age of 18 years. There was no child marriage, parda system, sati system and monogamy prevailed. Like boys the girls also received education. The Rigveda mentions the names of learned women like Lopamudra, Nivavasi, Ghosha, Apala and Vishwavara who attained to the ranks of Rishis and composed hymns. The term dampati used in the Rigvedic period designates the mistress as well as the master of the house. The wife was admitted to full religious rites and participated in all the major ceremonies and offering of the husband

Dress, ornaments and cosmetics: Cotton fabrics were used so also wool. Men and women used a shawl which covered their upper body called adhivasa, atka or drapi and a lower garment similar to the present day dhoti called vasa or paridhana and an inner garment called nivi. Ornaments were worn by both men and women of all classes. Necklaces, armlets, finger-rings and bracelets were worn by men and women; and girdles, nose-studs, ear-rings, bangles and anklets by women alone. The rich wore the ornaments of gold, silver, ivory and other semi-precious stones like lapis-lazuli, jasper, carnelian and agate while the poor wore ornaments made out of copper, bone, shell and terracotta. They used collyrium, face-paint, hair wash, powder and other cosmetics. Round metal rod in copper and bronze with both ends rounded and polished were probably used for applying cosmetics. Bronze mirrors and ivory combs have been found in Mohenjodaro.

Amusements: Gambling, chariot racing, hunting, playing chess, dancing and singing were some of the pastime activities of the Vedic people.

Vedic Inscriptions/Seals: More than 4000 seals have been discovered majority of them at Mohenjodaro (1540) and Harappa (985). Other towns where these seals have been discovered are Lothal, Kalibangan and Chanhudaro. These seals ranged in size from half an inch to just over two and a half inch square although the most common sizes run from 0.7 to 1.2 inches. These seals made out of steatite or soap stone, faience, ivory, clay and stone were of two types, square with a carved animal and inscription and rectangular with an inscription only. A majority of seals (1159) depict the unicorn standing before a fire altar. The picture of bull occurs in 55 pieces of seals.

Did the Seal contain the Vedic script? Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat and Michael Witzel in their book The Myth of Indus Valley Script say that the seals contain nonlinguistic symbols which served key religious, political and social functions. Science Historian Dr.B.V.Subbarayyappa has propounded that the seals are numerical on the additive-multiplicative decimal system which records the agricultural production and management so essential for the sustenance of a civilization. It was Father Heras who first postulated the theory that the Indus Valley people were Tamilians and their script was an ancient form of Tamil. Dr. Asko Parpola and I.Mahadevan who have done extensive research on these seals claim that the language contained in the seal is Dravidian. But Dr.Navaratna Rajaram who has also done extensive research on the Indus seals questions that if the authors of the Harappa civilization were Dravidians and if the Harappa seal contain Dravidian script, why did the Tamils used Brahmi script when they began to write instead of using their own Indus script? Dr. Natwar Jha in his Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals argues that the script on Indus seal is old Brahmi or Proto-Brahmi and the language of the seals is Vedic Sanskrit. Even earlier the noted archaeologist Dr.S.R.Rao had held the view that the script of the seal is old Brahmi and the language was Sanskrit.

The Vedic Towns: Important archaeologists who excavated some of the famous urban settlements of the Vedic civilization were Rakkal Das Banerjee (Mohenjodaro in Pakistan), Dayaram Sahni (Harappa in Pakistan)), S.R.Rao (Lothal in Gujarat), Y.D.Sharma (Ropar in Punjab, India), B.B.Lal and B.K.Thapar (Kalibangan in Rajasthan), W.A.Fairservis (Allahdino in Pakistan), R.S.Bisht (Dholavira in Gujarat and Banawali in Haryana), Amarendra Nath (Rakhigarh in Haryana), Aurel Stein (Suktagendor in Pakistan), George F.Dales (Balakot in Pakistan), J.S.Khatri and Madhav Acharya (Kunal in Haryana), J.P.Joshi (Surkotda in Gujarat) and N.G.Majumdar and E.J.H.Mackay (Chanhudaro in Pakistan). Out of over 2600 archaeological sites of the Vedic towns (so called Indus Valley Civilization) as many as 2000 (i.e. 80%) of the sites are found on the banks of river Saraswathi. There are very large sites on this river banks like Rakhigarhi, Lakshmirwala, Bhatinda, Ganweriwala, each of which is larger than either Harappa or Mohenjodaro. There are also other culturally vibrant sites like Ropar, Kunal, Kalibangan, Kotdiji, Dholavira, Surkotada, Lothal, Rangapura, etc.

Streets: The cities (Mohenjodaro and Harappa) had wide and straight roads. They were at right angles, running due north and south and east and west. The street intersected at right angles dividing the city into square and rectangular blocks.

Houses: the open courtyard was the basic feature of the house planning. The court yard which was paved with bricks was surrounded by chambers. The doors and windows opened into it. A remarkable feature of the houses was their windowless outer walls; the doors opened on to the narrow lanes rather than on to the main street. Every house had a kitchen and a bathroom placed at the street side. It was well paved with bricks. The houses had two or more stories, had wooden doors, window and narrow stairs. Roofs of the houses were flat and made of wood. Every house had a brick lined well.

Bricks: Houses were constructed with burnt bricks of standard size. The common size of bricks was 11×5.25×2.25 inches. For special purpose like covering drains big sized bricks were made measuring 20.5×8.5×2.25 inches. L shaped bricks were used for corners.

Drainage: Below the main streets and sometimes even in small lanes ran a principal drain covered with bricks or stones and provided with sumps and inspection chambers at regular intervals. The drains were built using bricks and cemented with mud and mortar. Their size was 12 inches deep and nine inches wide. From these drains waste water flowed to culverts four to five feet deep and two and a half feet wide and covered with corbelled roofs. From these culverts water was emptied into river Sindhu.

Commerce and Industries: The urban centers of Vedic civilization were booming with industrial activities. The major industries were pottery making, textiles and construction. Wheel made pots were made which were plain and designed for utilitarian purposes. They were used as storage jars, cooking utensils, dishes, bowls and cups. Chanhudaro was an important industrial town noted for shell work and bangle making. In Gujarat there were specialized industrial centers as at Nageshwar for shell cutting, Nagwada for jewellery, Kuntasi for bead making, pottery and copper artifacts. Banavali in Haryana produced beads and jewellery as the discovery of a goldsmith’s house would suggest. Bead making requires techniques of sawing, flaking, grinding and boring, all which the Vedic artisans were aware of. Other professionals were carpenters and blacksmiths.

External Trade: The Vedic people had extensive trade relationship with west Asia. Concrete evidence of this trade is now available in cuneiform inscriptions which have been found in Mesopotamia. These documents record that Mesopotamia’s trade in the east was with three countries, Dilmun, Makan and Meluhha (India). During the Akkadian times boats from Meluhha came to Sumer and Akkad which indicates direct trade between the two countries and the decline starts in 2000-1900 B.C. during the time of third dynasty of Ur. Trade with Mesopotamia was direct. But later during the time of the Dynasty of Lasra (2075-1763 B.C.), it was probably under Dilmun middlemen. Trade received a boost from the time of Sargon of Akkad who mention the arrival of Meluha ship and felt proud it. The Mesopotamian documents give a long list of imports from Meluhha. These include shells, ivory, carnelian, copper, lapis lazuli, a variety of woods, pearls, spices, cotton, birds and animals. So extensive was the foreign trade that Lothal folk had to build an artificial brick structure 219 x 37 metres to receive ships and handle cargo. Indian imported woolen goods and even foodstuff.  The discovery of two terracotta mummies from Lothal is significant. It is interesting to note that Egyptian mummies are said to have been wrapped in Indian muslin. It is therefore not unlikely that some Indians probably travelled to Egypt and had seen mummies via land route through Mesopotamia. The overseas trade relations of the Vedic people is attested by the discovery of stone seals and a terracotta amulet depicting boats at Mohenjodaro and the discovery of five clay model of boats from Lothal by S.R.Rao.

Sculptural Art: Some of the artifacts of this period are the polished red male torso found in Harappa, the figure of a beard man or priest king made out of white limestone and the statuary of a dancing girl made out of bronze found at Mohenjodaro, a copper chariot found at Daimabad, a copper figure of a dog found at Lothal and two silver crowns with tiara found at Kunal.

Monuments: The great bath, granary and an assembly hall at Mohenjodaro, the workers quarters and a granary at Harappa, the dockyard at Lothal, a reservoir and a stadium (or ceremonial ground) at Dholavira are some of the important structures of that period.

Education: The Vedic Literature (the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads appended to them) formed the chief subject of instruction and the vital part of education during the Vedic period. The Vedas were transmitted orally by word of mouth from teacher to pupil. The main subjects taught were not only the Vedas, but also spiritual knowledge (Brahma Vidya), grammar, mathematics, chronology, dialectics, ethics, astronomy, military science, Vedangas, etc. The six Vedangas helped the proper understanding, recitation, and the sacrificial use of the Vedas. Girls also received education.

Religious Life: In the early stage of the Vedic period forces of nature was worshipped and most of the Rigvedic hymns are addressed to gods like Indra, Agni, Vayu, Varuna, etc. They had classified their gods into three categories namely heavenly gods, atmospheric gods and terrestrial gods. Later worship of Mother Goddess became popular so also the worship of Shiva in the form of Linga. Figurines of mother goddess have been discovered at places like Mohenjodaro, Banawali and Kotdiji. Many conical and cylindrical stone pieces, which look exactly like a Shiva-linga, have been discovered. To please their gods they performed yagas. At Lothal, Kalibangan and Rakhigarhi fire altars have been found. Also many sacrificial altars have been discovered which shows animals were sacrificed to please gods. Excavation in various sites  have resulted in the findings of religious symbols like swastika, Om, pipal tree, bull, engraving of snake on seals. The great bath or pushkarni have been discovered at Mohenjodaro. It is about 56 metres long and 34 metres wide and has six entrances. The bath consists of a large quandrangle in the centre and galleries and rooms on all sides. In the centre of the quadrangle is a large swimming pool, about 25 metres long, seven metres wide and two and a half metres deep. The floor of the swimming pool is made of bricks laid on edge and the walls have been made water-tight by using specially trimmed brick in gypsum mortar. Dr. Mackay feels that since people had bathrooms in their houses only on special occasions people frequented this bath (just as people now assemble during Kumbh mela).

Depopulation of the Vedic towns: In 1750 B.C. the Yamuna took an eastward diversion and became a tributary of Ganga and in 1500 B.C. the Sutlej took a westward diversion and became a tributary of Sindhu. This deprived the Saraswathi of water and it was reduced to a petty rivulet, left with only the seasonal water of ephemeral streams coming down from the Siwalik. Also due to destruction of forest due to over grazing and using wood to burn bricks used for construction of buildings led to ecological disasters. Natural calamities like earth quake and economic recession due to the decline of trade with the Mesopotamia were other factors which led to the depopulation of Vedic cities and the migration of the population to the east towards the Gangetic plains.

Achievements of Vedic people

Political: They were the first to introduce people’s participation in running the administration of a country by constituting sabha and samithi. They introduced the concept of running the government on dharmic lines.

Social: The concept of ashrama dharma was the unique contribution of the Vedic people. How a man should live, what should be his duties and goal was explained in ashrama dharma which divided man’s life into four stages namely-

  • Brahmacharya– wherein one is supposed to acquire knowledge or skill to earn a living,
  • Gruhasta– when he is supposed to lead the life of a householder,
  • Vanaprastha– wherein he devolves his household responsibilities to his offspring and retires to forests and
  • Sanyasa– wherein he contemplate on the ultimate reality.

Ecological Consciousness: The love and respect for nature in the form of worshipping trees, water, sun, fire and animals shows the ecological awareness of the Vedic people. The representation of trees and leaves especially pipal on many seals have been found. The discovery of some seals portraying the swastika and the wheel indicates the worship of sun symbolically, while the worship of snakes is evidenced by the discovery of a tablet showing a seated deity with a hooded cobra over his head.

Yoga: At Mohenjodaro we have a seal where a three faced deity is seated cross legged on a throne in an erect meditative posture or yoga posture and surrounded by animals like elephant, tiger, buffalo, deer and rhinoceros. This deity is being identified as Shiva also called Mahayogin and Pashupati. In Harappa was found a figure in yogic posture. All these probably indicate that the genesis of yoga began during the Vedic age.

Literature: They gave the world the perfect spoken language called Sanskrit. The literary works composed during those periods, namely the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagvath Gita, epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha even today inspires the present generation of literature lovers.

Sanatana Dharma: Another unique contribution of the Vedic civilization was the evolution of Sanatana Dharma, a way of life based on the ideals of ethics, tolerance, altruism and respect for all forms of life. It was this aspect of tolerance of Sanatana Dharma which made the world greatest philosopher, Immanuel Kant to observe that the tolerance which the Hindus possess make them believe that the religion of other countries are also good and for this reason they (Hindus) never compel others to embrace Hinduism.

Gurukul System: The Gurukul system wherein education was freely imparted to pupils apart from free lodging and boarding in the house of the teacher was another legacy of the Vedic civilization.

Spiritual: The contribution of the Vedic seer in the intellectual realm was unique. Thousands of years earlier than ancient Greeks, the Vedic rishis had pondered over the nature of ultimate Reality and realized it. The result was the collection of several Upanishads containing lofty philosophical ideas about metaphysics and ontology. Unlike the Greeks they did not merely speculate but realized reality. The Vedic people perceived God in all animate and inanimate things. They emphasized that Brahman or God is the essence of the universe. They evolved the doctrines of immortality of soul, karma and reincarnation.

Technological innovations: In the development of a civilization, harnessing and efficient use of energy is essential. We have evidence to the use of cattle power for transport and wind power for sailing their boats by the Vedic people. They built ocean going ships and long before Hippalus discovered the monsoon winds, the Vedic people possessed a sound knowledge of the periodicity and regularity of the winds in the Indian Ocean without which their vessels could not have made regular voyages to the Mesopotamian ports. The binary and the decimal system of measurements, the technology of water proofing, well digging, invention of corbelled arch, metal saw, fine tubular drills, concept of town planning and laying of their town on a gridiron plan were some of the innovations of the Vedic people. According to Navaratna Rajaram, the Sulva/Sulbasutras were text on geometry and mathematics which contained detailed mathematical instructions for the design and construction of Vedic altars found at various urban sites of the Vedic civilization like Kalibangan, Lothal, etc. The knowledge of the Sulva/Sulbasutras which was first used for religious and ritualistic purpose was later applied for town planning and architectural purposes like construction of the harbor at Lothal. Abraham Seidenberg, author of History of Mathematics credits Sulbasutra as inspiring all mathematics of ancient world from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece.

To sum up the Vedic civilization was an indigenous flowering of civilization which took place on the banks of river Saraswathi some 7000 years back. It was on the banks of this river that many towns sprang up and it represented the urban culture of Vedic civilization which was misrepresented as a separate culture and called Harappa or Indus Valley Civilization. Today there are many nations in this world which have nothing in common with the ancient civilization which flourished in their territory. Mexico of today has nothing in common with the ancient Mayan civilization, Egypt with the Nile civilization, Iraq with the Mesopotamian civilization, Greece with the ancient Greek civilization and Italy with the Roman civilization. But India is the only exception; for it still retains its religion, its customs, tradition and philosophy of life which it inherited from the Vedic civilization.

The Vedic Civilization – Part I

The efflorescence of human mind first occurred in the Indian sub-continent with the beginning of the Vedic age on the banks of river Saraswathi which has now dried up. Though the exact date of this civilization is rather difficult to determine we can roughly say that it flourished around 5000 B.C. But one thing is sure; the Vedic age preceded other ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamian and Egyptian. But in History textbooks prescribed as syllabus in schools, colleges and universities it is mentioned that Vedic civilization is posterior to the so called Harappa civilization, which in fact was the urban representation of the Vedic culture. For answers why such distortion of historical facts is being taught to our students even though several decades have passed after India obtained her political sovereignty, we have to go back to history.

In India rewriting of history began during the British rule. As we know the decline of Mughal empire had led to stagnation in all cultural and intellectual activities and many historical personalities of yore had gone into oblivion in the minds of the people. Monuments had fallen into ruins and even literate Indians failed to grasp or recognize the importance of historical artifacts and inscriptions especially copper plate inscription which in many homes found their way to attic. With regards to stone inscriptions, they laid at the mercy of elements. It was the English officials working in the East India Company who took interest in the study of these inscriptions, monuments and other literary works of India and were responsible for bringing new light on Indian history especially of the ancient period. The prime cause for the officials working in the E.I.C. to explore the history and culture of India was due to their belief that an effective control over Indians requires knowledge of their history. Similarly the Christian missionaries studied Vedas, Upanishads and began to translate them as they believed that the knowledge of Hinduism would help them in their evangelistic activities.

Establishment of the Asiatic Society: Sir William Jones, the Judge of Calcutta Supreme Court formed the Asiatic Society on January 15th 1784 with a view to study Indian history and culture. A journal Asiatick Researches was started in 1788 and in 1814 a museum was also set up. Charles Wilkins, a close associate of Jones laid the foundation of epigraphical studies in India by unlocking the mystery of the Gupta and Kutila scripts. The recovery of the ancient history of India from inscriptions and coins began with the publication in 1785 by Wilkins of a copper plate inscription found in Monghyr and a pillar inscription from Dinajpur in Bengal. He was the first Englishman to publish a Sanskrit grammar in 1779. F.E.Pargiter, a civil servant in Bengal wrote Dynasties of the Kali Age (1913) and Ancient Indian Historical Tradition (1922). James Princep an assay master of Calcutta mint deciphered the Ashoka’s inscriptions written in Brahmi and Kharoshthi scripts in between 1834-1837 A.D.

Establishment of Archeological Survey of India: In 1861 Alexander Cunningham, an army engineer, renown by his antiquarian activities impressed the then Viceroy, Lord Canning to establish the Archeological Survey of India and in 1862 Cunningham was appointed as the Archeological Surveyor of North India, a post he held till 1885. The reports compiled by him and his assistants was full of descriptions of ancient sites and buildings, facsimiles of inscriptions and coins and their interpretations and sketches of the history of many rulers. In 1871 he published his work Ancient Geography of India. Cunningham’s survey covered only north and east India and to cover west India Archeological Survey of West India was constituted in 1873 with James Burgess in charge. In 1881 he was also given the charge of surveying south India. In 1883 John Faithful Fleet was appointed Government Epigraphist for a period of three years and in 1886 E. Hultzsch was appointed Epigraphist for South Indian Inscriptions. In 1888 after the retirement of James Burgess as Director of Archeological Survey of India, a post which he held after the retirement of Cunningham in 1885, the department Archeological Survey of India was abolished and its work devolved on local governments. The ASI department was revived in 1902 by Lord Curzon who appointed John Marshall as the Director General of ASI. In 1904 the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act was passed by which the government got powers to safeguard building in private possession which were not used for religious purposes. He also allotted money for repair, restoration and protection of historical monuments.  With regards to the money to be allotted for preserving the ancient monuments, he is said to have told “Were Germany the ruling power in India, I do not hesitate to say that she would be spending many lakhs a year on a task to what we have hitherto rather plumed over selves on our generosity in devoting Rs 61,000 raised only a year ago to 88,000”. It was under John Marshall the urban sites of Vedic civilization like Harappa and Mohenjodaro were discovered in 1922. Thus it was mostly the Europeans who were in the forefront of rewriting Indian history and naturally their views and opinions carried weight. Indians who took up historical studies was trained under them and followed their (European) method in comprehending Indian history.

Vedic age fixed based on biblical myth: Till 1922 all historians agreed to the fact that the dawn of Indian civilization began with the Vedic age, the date of which was fixed around 1500 B.C. This dating was made not on scientific lines but based on religious beliefs. In 1654 Archbishop Usher of Ireland declared that his study of Scripture had proved that creation took place in the year 4004 B.C. on 23rd October 23. From the end of the seventeenth century this chronology was accepted by the Europeans. This resulted in the Europeans hard to reconcile themselves to the view that any race or civilization could be older than the date of 4004 B.C. Himself being a Christian missionary Max Muller who studied the Vedas assigned 1500 B.C. for the beginning of Aryan invasion and 1200-1000 B.C. as the date for the composition of the Rig-Veda hymns. But Max Muller himself adds: “Whether the hymns of the Rig-Veda were composed 1000, 1500, 2000 or 3000 years before Christ, no power on earth will ever determine.

Reason for giving non-indigenous authorship: With regards to the authors of this civilization the Europeans gave a foreign authorship based on their study of similarities which they found between Sanskrit and other European languages. Filippo Sassetti a merchant of Florence stayed in Goa for five years (1583-88 A.D.) and studied certain languages and declared that there is a definite relation between Sanskrit and some of the main European languages. In 1786 Sir William Jones claimed that this similarity between the languages was on account of their common origin. He held that Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, etc., had common origin and named them as Indo-European languages. It was presumed that people speaking these languages had a common fore-father and they lived at one place in Europe and were given the name Aryans. These Aryans is said to have later migrated from Europe to other countries and one branch of these Aryans entered India from north-west region. It was these Aryans who were the authors of the Vedic civilization. The first European to use the word Aryan for a race was Lassen. He used it in 1847 in his book History of Ancient India. In 1856 a British physician Norman Chevers wrote Aryan Race which highlighted the racial unity between Indian and European Aryans. In 1921-22 A.D. several urban settlements were discovered in places like Harappa, Mohenjodaro and other places in present day Pakistan and its date was fixed around 2500-1500 B.C. and the end of this civilization was ascribed to the supposed Aryan invasion.

Flaws in connecting language with race: The above theory based on philology has many flaws. First of all Sanskrit possesses the greatest number of roots and words and variety of grammatical forms which other Indo-European languages lack.  Secondly if speakers of a particular language leave home for foreign lands they gradually lose their language as they are cut off from the mainstream of their languages. For instance the Kashmiri speaking Hindus have lost touch with their language and the Parsis of Persia speak Gujarati in their homes. If the Aryans had come from outside India, Sanskrit must have received a thorough shrinking of numerous grammatical forms by the time it reached India. But this had not happened. Thirdly none of the literatures of Europe has works as ancient and rich as the Rig-Veda. Fourthly it would be too unreasonable to believe that a semi-barbarian tribe who destroyed an advanced civilization such as the Harappa would be able to philosophically speculate and write works such as Vedas and Upanishads. Fifthly just because there are similarities in certain words it does not mean that people speaking these languages belong to same race. For instance many Arabic words have similarity with Persian and Turkish words. But this does not mean that Iranians and Turks are Arabs. Many people today speak English. This does not mean that they belong to the English race.

Absence of Horse: Another reason given for supporting the Aryan Invasion Theory was the supposed absence of horse in Harappan cities and hence a hypothesis was made wherein the invading Aryans, riding horses and horse driven chariots subdued the Harappans. Criticizing the above hypothesis Navaratna Rajaram argues that while the Harappan seals have picture of bull, the cow is never represented. From this we cannot conclude that the Harappans raised bulls but were ignorant of the cow. Just because if certain objects are not found during excavation or references to certain entities are not mentioned in the Rig-Veda it does not mean the absence of it or that the Vedic people were unaware of it. For instance salt is not mentioned in the Rig-Veda and therefore one cannot conclude that the Vedic people were ignorant of salt. Probably when the above hypothesis was made the Harappan sites were not fully excavated. But now archeologists have found the evidence of horse in various Harappan sites. In Surkotda Jagat Pati Joshi found the skeletal remains of not one but several domesticated horses spread over a very long period. Bones of horses have also been found at Banawali and Kuntasi. Also terracotta figures of horse have been discovered at Mohenjodaro and Lothal. At Banawali, Kuntasi and Mitathal terracotta wheels of toy carts with spokes have been found.

The Boghaz-Koi documents: Yet another reason for ascribing the non-indigenous authorship for the Vedic civilization was the discovery of two important documents at Boghaz-Koi in Asia Minor in 1907 by Hugo Winckler. In one of the records, a treaty signed between the Mittanis and Hitties in 1360 B.C. the names of four Vedic gods Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya are mentioned. Similarly Kassite documents dating 1760-1600 B.C record Indo Aryan deities like Surias (Surya), Maruttas (Marut the wind god), Dakas (Daksa) and Simalia (Himalaya). The Kassites who ruled for several centuries introduced into Babylonia the horse for drawing chariots and the late Babylonian name for horse Susa is derived from the Sanskrit Asva. The kings of Mittani on the upper Euphrates of the 15th or 16th century B.C. bore Aryan names as Artatama, Sutarna and Dusratta. They worshipped Vedic gods like Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nastya (the alternate name for Aswini twins). These names were found in their Cuneiform inscriptions. Also a fragmentary handbook on chariot racing composed in the Hittite language by a Mitannian author named Kikkuli and found at Boghaz Koi, the Hittie capital in Asia Minor, has technical terms used for tracks of the course which are very close to Sanskrit. For example Aikavartanna, teravartana, panzavartana, shattavartana are used for one, three, five and seven laps of the race. On the basis of these documents it was assumed that the original homeland of the so called ‘Aryans’ was Central Asia.

Westward Migration of Hindus: But how come there is close affinity between several European languages with Sanskrit and why Sanskrit words are found in the documents discovered at Boghaz-Koi? The answer is provided by Shrikant Talageri in his works- Aryan Invasion Theory: A Reappraisal and Rig-Veda- A Historical Analysis. The dynasties of the Vedic period are grouped into those belonging to the solar race of the Iksvakus and those belonging to the lunar race of the Ailas. The Ailas are further divided into five main branches- Yadus, Turvasas, Druhyus, Anus and Purus. In the Puranas the geography of the five Aila or lunar tribes was given. Accordingly the Purus were located in Haryana-UP, Anus in Kashmir, Druhyus to the west of Punjab, Yadus to South-West (Rajasthan and Western M.P.) and Turvasas to the South-East of the Yadus. To the North-East of the Purus were the tribes of Iksvaku or solar race.

The eastward march of the Druhyus and their conquests seems to have brought them into conflict with all the other tribes and people like the Purus, Anus, Yadus and even the Ikshvakus. This led Mandhatri of the Trksi dynasty, identified as a branch of the Ikshvakus (Mandhatri’s father was an Ikshvaku king and mother was a Puru) to confront the Druhyus and after defeating them drove them out into Afghanistan and beyond. This happened in 5409 B.C. / 6027 B.C.  when Mandhatri killed their king Angara. The place vacated by them was occupied by the Anus. After a time, being overpopulated the Druhyus crossed the borders of their territory and founded many principalities beyond the frontiers of India. This first historical emigration represents an outflow of the Druhyus into the areas to the north of Afghanistan (i.e. into Central Asia and beyond). From Central Asia many Druhyu tribes in the course of time migrated westwards reaching as far as Western Europe and they may have included the ancestors of Hitties, Tocharian, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavonic. According to Talageri these Druhyus came to be known as the Druids in ancient Europe and the Druids themselves trace their origins to Asia. This migration probably saw the influence of Sanskrit on some of the European languages.

The second historical emigration recorded is that of the Anus and the residual Druhyus which took place after the battle of 10 kings (Dasarajna) in 4329 B.C. / 4947 B.C. In this battle Sudas defeated the Anus and conquered their territory and this led to their migration to Afghanistan and beyond. Later they migrated further westwards as far as west Asia and southwestern Europe. They included the ancestors of Iranians, Thraco-Phrygian (Armenian), Illyrian (Albanian) and Hellenic. Hence influence of Sanskrit and Vedic religion was found among the Kassites, Hittites and Mitannis who lived in Central Asia.

From time immemorial, Hindus have been moving to distant lands for the purpose of trade and commerce. While we have proof for their migration to south-east Asian countries in the form of artifacts, we don’t find the same in west Asia and Europe mainly due to the iconoclastic attitude of the Semitic religions like Christianity and Islam which destroyed whatever traces the migrating Hindus had left. According to the Syrian writer Zenob, in about 304 A.D. St. Gregory attacked and destroyed images of gods in two Hindu temples in the Canton of Taron situated in upper Euphrates, west of Lack Van. St. Gregory must have been instrumental in wiping out to a large extent the trace of Indian religion in the west.  Moreover common sense tells us that the risk and hardship involved while travelling to south-east Asian countries by crossing the ocean was relatively more than travelling to Asia Minor through land routes. Hence if the Hindus could had travelled to far off lands in south-east Asia, their migration to Asia Minor and from there to Europe would not have been an impossible feat.

As per the hypothesis of Navaratna Rajaram, about 65,000 years ago a small group of our African ancestors made their way to South Asia and settled in South-Central India. From here in about 45,000 years ago small groups left India and made their way to Eurasia and Europe. They were the first Indo-Europeans. Then about 10,000 years ago a second wave of people left India for Europe taking with them the language Sanskrit and agricultural skills. This accounts for the closeness of Sanskrit to European languages in vocabulary if not grammar.

Meaning of the word Arya: The meaning of the word Arya in Sanskrit is noble or civilized. This has nothing to do with race. So also the word Dravida does not denote a race but is the general name of southern Brahmins which is divided into five sections namely Dravida (Tamil Brahmins), Karnata (Kannada Brahmins), Tailanga (Telugu Brahmins), Gurjara (Gujarati Brahmins) and Maharashtra Brahmins. These groups are collectively called pancha dravida. It should be remembered that the Brahmins of the north are not called Arya but as Gauda which also consists of five sections namely Sarasvata (associated with the valley of Sarasvati in Punjab), Kanyakubj (Uttar Pradesh), Gauda (Bengal), Maithila (North Bihar) and Utkala (Odisha).

Arguments against the Aryan invasion:

  1. People even now speak of Alexander’s invasion, the attack of Mohammad bin Qasim, Mohammad Ghazni, Babur, Nadir Shah, etc. If any Aryan invasion had taken place they would have referred to it at least in folklore. Even the Vedas and Puranas are silent on it.
  2. The Greeks who were present in third century B.C. do not speak of Aryan invasion.
  3. The geographic limits mentioned in Rig-Veda are all within India. All rivers except few are still flowing. The geographical data of the Rig-Veda clearly indicate that the Punjab and its neighbouring region constituted the homeland of the Vedic people which was known as the Sapta-Sindhu region and which the Vedic people called as Devakrita Yoni or Devanirmita Desha.
  4. Races migrating to other countries look back to their homeland and cherish its memories for centuries together. Parsis of India remember Iran as their original homeland even after 1000 years. But nowhere in their literature have we found the Vedic people making reference about their original homeland located outside India. The Europeans who migrated to America, Australia and New Zealand have named some of the towns and rivers there after the names of their original country. If at all the so called Aryans had come to India from outside they would also had named some of the rivers or towns in India of places of their home country. But we do not find such thing having taken place in India.

Political reason for promoting the Aryan invasion theory: As there was a demand for self-government, the Aryan invasion theory came handy for the British to tell the Indian that like them (British) even they (Indians) had come from outside and also the ancestors of both of them were Aryans and hence they were like distant cousins. The British claimed that they have a mission to fulfill and that mission was the upliftment the Indian masses morally and materially. On one hand they wanted to deny Indians taking pride of their past by making them feel as one among the several invaders who came to India and on the other hand accept their (British) rule not as an alien rule but of their long distanced cousins who had morally and materially advanced and by following them and collaborating with them, they (Indians) could also make progress.

Religious motive for promoting Aryan invasion theory: The Christian missionaries in course of their evangelization found it difficult to convert the Brahmins and also found that they had moral and intellectual hold over other castes in India. In order to loosen this grip the British sowed the seed of discord by labeling the Brahmin as Aryan and the non-Brahmin majority as Sudras/Dravidians. The former was depicted as an invader having destroyed the latter’s culture and enslaved him. Robert Caldwell the Bishop of Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu coined the word ‘Dravidians’ for the people living in Tamilnadu and argued that they were kept in chains by the Aryans through the Hindu religion from which he proposed they should be liberated. Refuting this absurd theory, Swami Vivekananda in his lecture on ‘The Future of India’ said – “the theory that the Sudra caste were all non-Aryans and they were a multitude is equally illogical and equally irrational. It could not been possible in those days that a few Aryans settled and lived there (in Tamilnadu) with a hundred thousand slaves at their command. These slaves would have eaten them up, made ‘chutney’ of them in five minutes”. “The only explanation (to the existence of different castes) is to be found in the Mahabharatha, which says that in the beginning of the Satya Yuga there was one caste, the Brahmanas, and then by difference of occupation they went on dividing themselves into different castes and that is the only true and rational explanation that has been given” the Swami added.

Voices against invasion theory: According to noted Indologist Michel Danino, passages from the Rig-Veda were twisted and sometimes mistranslated to show that the semi barbarian Aryans invaded India and destroyed the Harappa civilization and drove the authors of that civilization namely the Dravidians to south India. But now even respected archaeologists of the old school of thought such as Raymond and Bridget Allchin admit that the arrival of Indo-Aryans in North-West India is scarcely attested in the archeological record. Another noted scholar Jim Shaffer said in 1984 that the current archeological data do not support the existence of any Indo Aryan or European invasion in South Asia any time in pre or proto history period. In India a number of noted archaeologists like S.R.Rao, B.B.Lal, S.P.Gupta, Dilip Chakrabarty, M.K.Dhavalikar, R.S.Bisht do not support the Aryan invasion or migration. Even earlier when the Aryan invasion theory was unquestioned European scholars like Pargiter, Winternitz and Hermann Jacobi refused to subscribe to it. Swami Vivekananda in his work- The East and the West (Chapter VII- Progress of Civilization) said that it was bizarre to consider the authorship of the Vedas to the invading Aryan. He said that the theory of the Aryans swooping down from some foreign land, snatching away the lands of the natives and settling in India by exterminating them is all pure nonsense, foolish talk. It is strange that our Indian scholars say the same thing and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys. According to Swami Vivekananda wherever the Europeans find an opportunity they exterminate the aborigines and settle down in ease and comfort on their land and therefore they conclude that the Aryans must have done the same. “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 natives? What do you gain by talking such nonsense,” he questioned.

Why falsehood and distorted History still being taught? But it is puzzling why in spite of so many evidence to support the indigenous authorship for the Vedic civilization, its date being prior to other civilizations like Egyptian, Mesopotamian and the Harappa culture being its urban representation, we in India are still teaching all rubbish things like the Aryan race destroying the Harappa culture and presenting the Vedic civilization as posterior to the Harappa not only in schools and colleges but also at university levels. The answer is not far to seek. According to Greek scholar Nicolas Kazanas an idea/view becomes ‘established’ as the mainstream orthodoxy if people who hold key positions accept it and promote it. Such a view may be utterly wrong yet it may hold sway for decades and centuries.

Domination of Marxist historians in Universities/academic bodies: In India it is the Marxist ideology which is strongly entrenched in academic centers, both at Universities and research organizations. Nationalism is anathema for the Marxists as their ideology is pan universe. Nationalism promotes love for one’s nation, pride in one’s culture, language, religion and way of life, all of which acts as a hindrance for the Marxists to market their ideology. The Aryan invasion theory undermines the development of pride in our past as this theory credits outsiders as the authors of the Vedas held sacred by all Hindus. This theory also sows dissension among south Indians and north Indians by portraying north Indians as Aryans and south Indians as Dravidians and also portraying the Brahmin community as an Aryan and an intruder to the south. The successive governments which ruled India were under the ideological grip of the communists and hence did not show interest to remove the flaws in history books. Moreover in India almost 99 percent of politicians are crooks who have made politics their profession in order to loot the state and its people. They are least bothered about history, culture or development. Another aspect to be noted is that in India it is fashionable to degrade everything related to Hindu culture and religion in the name of progressiveness. Those who do this attract the attention of the media. Even intellectuals to grab the attention of media or seek positions in academies/institutions propagate their anti-Hindu view. Hence even for a non-political, objective and unbiased historians who have to work in Universities telling the truth means labeled as communal, losing promotions, research grants and other benefits like sponsorship to attend international seminars or positions in academic bodies like I.C.H.R. (Indian Council for Historical Research). In the present situation taking pride in one’s nation, culture, religion and language is termed as communal and anti-secular. Hence it takes much courage to speak the truth. Noted American scholar David Frawley writes- “It is sad to note how intellectuals in India are quick to denigrate the extent and antiquity of their history even when evidence are so clear”. ”I don’t think there is any other nation on earth that would be so negative if such ancient glories were found in their lands”, he adds.