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Aryans

Aryans were Indians, they did not invade

By R.A. Goel

Under the pretence of detoxification of the alleged saffronisation of school educational texts, many self-proclaimed intellectuals and acclaimed fellow-travellers are pushing the questionable but long- held fictitious propaganda, which is offensive as much to the truth as to the self-respect of even the sleeping, sluggish, Indian society.

1. A classical instance of the canard is the continued plugging in of the thesis that the Indo-Aryans were not the sons of the soil of India and that they were as much intruders or invaders as the other recorded historic invaders and plunderers from Alexander onwards.

2. Aryans of India possessed the earliest known book and spoken words in the entire world literature as their Vedas. It is amazing that it does not strike as extremely odd to the so-called intellectuals and rationalists that if the early Aryans of India had their original abode elsewhere outside this country, it would be elementary to expect the knowledge contained in the Vedas to have necessarily pre- existed in such land of their alleged origin. So, the universally accepted proposition that the Vedas were the earliest known literature of the world, both spoken and recorded, does establish that no other people anywhere possessed the capacity and the treasury and knowledge of the Vedas-like literature. Accordingly, when no other foreign people outside India had Veda-like literature at their command, it would be calumny to persist with the awkward proposition that people of some foreign land were the ancestors of the Indo-Aryans and that the Aryans poured into or streamed into India from other lands or regions of the world.

3. A few more aspects of the ridiculous thesis that Aryans entered India from elsewhere are intended to be highlighted in the subsequent discussions.

4. An obstinate myth in circulation for centuries is regarding the origin of Aryans being from land outside India.

We can get an insight from the extracts of such an attempt from historian R.S. Sharma's history textbook of Class XI entitled Ancient India (p. 70) published by NCERT.

"Originally the Aryans seem to have lived somewhere in the region stretching from southern Russia to Central Asia. Certain names of animals, such as goats, dogs, horses, etc. and names of certain plants such as pine, maple, etc. are similar to one another in all the Indo-European languages. They show that the Aryans were acquainted with the rivers and forests. Curiously enough, common words exist only in a few Aryan languages for mountains although the Aryans crossed many hills."

The Aryans had a concept of universalism not advanced by any people of that age; they glorified non-violence, then not preached or practiced anywhere in the world.

5. The facts, however strongly suggest the foregoing hypothesis to be altogether fictitious and imaginary:

Commonality of linguistic words, roots, phrases or even grammar may exist amongst English, Greek, Italian, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit or other languages of the world just as simple words like father, mother, daughter, etc. would show but there is hardly any evidence that Englishmen, Italians, Arabs had common ancestors in any known historical era.

Noted historian, Vincent A. Smith, has clearly concluded the proposition that "Language was no proof of commonality of blood". (Oxford History of India by Vincent A. Smith, 1957, p. 40).

It is sheer superstitious prejudice and continued misplaced belief in myths with their least factual or historic foundation that tempts or drives even learned people and scholars into such superstitious labyrinths.

6. It is conceded in the history textbook by R.S. Sharma, NCERT, 1999 (p. 71) as follows:

"A little earlier than 1500 b.c. the Aryans appeared in India. We do not find clear and definite archaeological traces of their advent."

7. The above clear admission by the proponents of the theory of non-Indian origin of Aryans, despite all endeavours to paint Aryans as foreigners immigrating into India, is really astounding. These scholars themselves admit the absolute absence of any trace of archaeological evidence in their possession in support of this much- hyped and persistently repeated myth.

8. It is a surreptitious suggestion and a mere naive conjecture and surmise in gross distortion of truth or history seemingly with the blind purpose to equate other foreign people entering and invading India as being of the same kind of intruders that Aryans were wrongly suggested to be.

9. It is our intent to show in further write-ups that Aryans were natives of India, and not in the least intruders or invaders or immigrants or migrants into India at any point of time in history or of pre-historic period. This caricature of history, being absurdly carried out by known learned historians persistently, must in the interest of truth and historic values cease unless these scholars have pursuits other than truth in the matter.

This matter can hardly be put on the backburner any further. It has already done grave injustice to the Aryans and to the people of India. Pricking of this prejudicial and false hypothesis is essential to show its absolutely imaginary origin.

10. How the hypothesis of Aryan intrusion into India came to be widely postulated during the efforts to reconstruct history of India needs some exposition:

Oxford History of India (p. 32), 1957, says: "From the Vedic hymns it has been possible to piece together a reasonably coherent picture of Aryan invaders on their first impact with the black, flat-nosed Dasyus who comprised their native opponents and subjects."

"In fact, the accepted belief in the Indo-Aryan immigration from Central Asia depends largely on the interpretation of geographical allusions in the Rig Veda and Yajurveda. Direct testimony to the assumed fact is lacking and no tradition of an early home beyond the frontier survives in India."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 14, (p. 228) records: "From the 4th century b.c. two scripts were in issue-Kharosthi in the north-west and the more important Brahmi elsewhere."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.14 (p. 228) holds:

"Trade, for example, between the Roman Empire and South-east Asia via south India was considerable in the early centuries of the Christian era."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 18 (p. 630) mentions:

"The Vedas are in a sense hymns, but the gods to which they refer are not persons but manifestations of the ultimate truth and reality."

The Aryans had no slave system; they reared cows. They were agriculturists and not pastoral or indulging in animal husbandry like the Asians. They had no feudal landlords; they never attacked or enslaved any people or country, not even Ceylon; they had no purdah; they cremated their dead while all the remaining communities of the world buried their dead. The script of their language was from left to right, unlike the Semitics or Iranians whose script ran from right to left. They had village democratic units and no kings or lords or chiefs like Central Asians or Mongols or Tartars. These features are in sharp contradistinction to the contemporary Central Asian or Arabic or Roman or Greek traditions or habits or institutions of these people. The Aryans could not, therefore, ever have been their constituents at any point of time in history.

The Aryan had a concept of universalism not advanced by any people of those eras; they glorified non-violence, not preached or practiced anywhere in the world. What more proof is required to show their distinct identity from any other people of those days?

The Vedic people had no founding Prophet unlike Abraham of the Jews, Christ of the Christians, Mohammed of the Muslims and many others. This shows their absolute exclusive personality, different from other peoples or faiths.

There is no concept of an `infidel' or `Jehad' or `holy war' in the Aryan culture, civilisation or faith. The entire world outside the Aryan fold considers people different from themselves as heretics. The Aryans, therefore, had abiding gentleness and humanism, not known or possessed by others.

Vedic women were scholars and also participated in village sabhas and vidvat-mandals. Such respect and authority given to women was absolutely unknown to Central Asians of those days. Never have been a group of people belonging to such Central Asian communities shown such respect.

The Aryans, unlike other people, had no concept or tradition of having a standing army. The Aryans were republicans; the term jana occurs at about 275 places in the Rig Veda. Republicanism was unknown to the rest of Asia in those days.

Muir's History (Sanskrit version, Part-II) records: "No Sanskrit books, howsoever old, mention Aryans as being of non-Indian origin. There is also no hint or evidence to show or suggest that the Rig Veda mentions dasa's (slaves) or asuras as people belonging as aborigines of India.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak clearly admitted to Umesh Chander Vidya Ratan that Aryans hailed from the Arctic and that (he) Tilak had read only the translation of the Vedas by Western authors, and not the Vedas translated or commented upon by the (original) Hindus. Tilak, therefore, admitted that he could not clearly vouchsafe for the authenticity of his theory.

Jawaharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India (p. 92) mentioned that Plotinus (a.d. 205-270), an Iranian and other philosophers came to study Indian philosophy, including the Upanishads. From them, these ideas also reached Saint Augustine (a.d. 354-430)-the greatest of Latin Church fathers, and through Augustine the Aryan philosophy thus influenced the Christianity of the day.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 18 (p. 972) the blood group B prevalent in India is found elsewhere in the world in eastern Asia or India or Africa but is not in any substantial existence in Europe or Central Asia. The Aryans could not have, therefore, emanated from Central Asia or Europe.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 6 (p. 292) says: "Although in appearance the majority of Indian people look like Europeans, in blood type they are similar to Mongoloid neighbours to the east who are quite distinct from Central Asia (or people of the Steppes of the Siberia of erstwhile USSR).

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 1 (p. 34) again holds:

"Type B blood, high in Asia with a maximum in northern India, is low in Europe and in Africa." This also goes to show that the Aryans of India did not migrate from either Europe or Africa.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 10 (p. 722) admits that "the assumption that the people whose languages are related, or also related racially is spurious."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 21 (p. 31) makes the following admission regarding the origin of the Aryans in India:

"Theories of the origin of the Aryans in India relate to the question of what has been called the Indo-European homeland. In the 17th and 18th centuries, European scholars who first studied Sanskrit were struck by the similarity in its syntax and vocabulary to Greek and Latin. This resulted in the theory that there had been a common ancestry for these and other related languages, which came to be called the Indo-Europeans group of languages. This, in turn, resulted in the notion that the Indo-European-speaking people had a common homeland from which they had migrated to various parts of Asia and Europe. This theory led to unlimited speculation which continues today, regarding the original homeland of Aryans and the date of their dispersal from it. The early history of India is still beset by `the Aryan problem' which often clouds a genuine search for historical insight into this period."

11. The time has come now when, as per German philosopher Rudolf Karl Bultmann's advice, the demystification and demythologisation of the Aryan ingress into or their alleged invasion of ancient India can no longer be avoided. We have to expose its absolute hollowness as well as its fictitious origin. This matter can hardly be put on the backburner any further. It has already done grave injustice to the Aryans and to the people of India. Pricking of this prejudicial and false hypothesis is essential to show its absolutely imaginary origin. Its continuous repetition is obstinate, motivated by a fatal disregard of the truth. The habit is merely in line with the imitative peculiar to Indian people's trait of self-denigration. It is misconceived modernism and false rationalism. The entire enlightened world has stopped subscribing to this myth already.

12. History has established that Tamilians, Dravidians and the so- called northern Indians had a common ancestral script, the Brahmi. Dravidians and Aryans, even if a little physically different in appearance, are not different racial people in blood group or other genetics of importance. Nambudiri Brahmins of Kerala show the classical case of Aryans' and Dravidians' merger of identities.

Aryans had no practice of untouchability. Caste system was not known to the Aryans. It was an aberration of much later times dating to the dark period of Indian history following the invasions by Huns and Shakas that led to the caste syndrome. In the Vedic and Aryan regimes, the alleged Shudras even became rulers and kings when they acquired such faculties.

The Aryans are indigenous people of India inasmuch as Chinese are of China or Arabs are of Arabia. The story of their intrusion into India was fabricated by some foreigners deliberately to justify their aggression, brutalities, invasions, suppression, and enslavement of India in the past two millennia. The Aryans alone have the proud heritage of belonging to this ancient land and its eclectic as also syncretic universalism. They sent out the message of peace and brotherhood for the entire world's peoples' progress and prosperity (sarve bhavantu sukhin). Yes, but then the Aryans shall not accept hegemony by others or any further vilification to the effect that they invaded India at any point of time. They are the original people of India or Aryavarta or Hindustan or Bharat, call it what you may.

(The writer is a retired engineer-in-chief and can be contacted at 630, Sector 16-A, Faridabad, Haryana.)

Who were the Aryans?

By Dr Dinesh Agarwal

Beginning with the issue, dated February 27, 2005 we are carrying this comprehensive document on the Aryan Invasion Theory. The writer here deals with all aspects of the controversial issue extensively quoting from authoritative sources.

Real Meaning of the Word `Arya'

River Narmada starts in central India and River Godavari starts in western India, while River Kaveri winds its way through the south to move into the southern sea. More than a thousand years ago, Adi Shankaracharya, who was born in Kerala, established several mathas (religious and spiritual centres) at Badrinath in the north (UP), Puri in the east (Orissa), Dwaraka in the west (Gujarat), and Shringeri and Kanchi in the south. That is India, that is Bharat, and that is Hinduism.

In 1853, Max Muller introduced the word `Arya' into the English and European usage as applying to a racial and linguistic group when propounding the Aryan racial theory. However, in 1888, he himself refuted his own theory and wrote:

"I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language...to me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar." (Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas by Max Muller, 1888, 120 pp)

In Vedic literature the word `Arya' is nowhere defined in connection with either race or language. Instead it refers to: a gentleman, good-natured, righteous person, nobleman, and is often used like `Sir' or `Shree' before the name of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc.

In Ramayana (Valmiki), Rama is described as an Arya in the following words: Arya-who cared for equality for all and was dear to everyone.

Etymologically, according to Max Muller, the word Arya was derived from ar, meaning "to plough, to cultivate". Therefore, `Arya' means `cultivator', agriculturer (civilised and sedentary, as opposed to nomads and hunter-gatherers), landlord.

V.S. Apte's Sanskrit-English dictionary relates the word `Arya' to the root r, to which a prefix a has been appended to give a negating meaning. And therefore the meaning of `Arya' is given as `excellent, best', followed by `respectable' and as a noun, `master, lord, worthy, honourable, excellent', upholder of Arya values, and further, teacher, employer, master, father-in-law, friend, Buddha.

So nowhere, either in the religious scriptures or by tradition, the word `Arya' denotes a race or language. To impose such a meaning on this epithet is an absolute intellectual dishonesty, deliberate falsification of the facts, and deceptive scholarship. There are only four primary races, namely, Caucasian, the Mongolian, the Australians and the Negroid. Both the Aryans and Dravidians are related branches of the Caucasian race generally placed in the same Mediterranean sub-branch. The difference between the so-called Aryans of the north and the Dravidians of the south or other communities of Indian subcontinent is not a racial type. Biologically all are the same Caucasian type, only when closer to the equator, the skin gets darker, and under the influence of constant heat the bodily frame tends to get a little smaller. And these differences cannot be the basis of two altogether different races. Similar differences one can observe even more distinctly among the people of pure Caucasian white race of Europe. Caucasians can be of any colour ranging from pure white to almost pure black, with every shade of brown in between. Similarly, the Mongolian race is not yellow. Many Chinese have skin whiter than many so-called Caucasians.

Demise of Aryan Invasion Theory - II

Further, a recent landmark global study in population genetics by a team of internationally reputed scientists over 50 years (The History and Geography of Human Genes, by Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza, Princeton University Press) reveals that the people habitated in the Indian subcontinent and nearby including Europe, all belong to one single race of Caucasian type. According to this study, there is essentially, no difference racially between north Indians and the so-called Dravidian, south Indians. The racial composition has remained almost the same for millennia. This study also confirms that there is no race called an Aryan race.

References to Wars in Rig Veda

The voluminous references to various wars and conflicts in the Rig Veda are frequently cited as proof of an invasion and wars between invading white-skinned Aryans and dark-skinned indigenous people. These so-called conflicts and wars mentioned in the Rig Veda can be categorised mainly into the following three types:

Conflicts between the forces of nature: Indra, the thunder-god of the Rig Veda, occupies a central position in the naturalistic aspects of the Rig Vedic religion, since it is he who forces the clouds to part with their all-important wealth, the rain. In this task he is pitted against all sorts of demons and spirits whose main activity is the prevention of rainfall and sunshine. Rain, being the highest wealth, is depicted in terms of more terrestrial forms of wealth, such as cows or soma. The clouds are depicted in terms of their physical appearance: as mountains, as the black abodes of the demons who retain the celestial waters of the heavens (i.e. the rains), or as the black demons themselves. This should in no way be construed as the war between white Aryans and black Dravidians. This is a perverted interpretation from those who have not understood the meaning and purport of the Vedic culture and philosophy. Most of the verses which mention the wars/conflicts are composed using poetic imagery, and depict the celestial battles of the natural forces, and often take greater and greater recourse to terrestrial terminology and anthropomorphic depictions. The descriptions acquire an increasing tendency to shift from naturalism to mythology. And it is these mythological descriptions, which are grabbed at by invasion theorists as descriptions of wars between invading Aryans and indigenous non-Aryans. An example of such distorted interpretation is made of the following verse:

"The body lay in the midst of waters that are neither still nor flowing. The waters press against the secret opening of the vrtra (the coverer) who lay in deep darkness and whose enemy is Indra. Mastered by the enemy, the waters held back like cattle restrained by a trader. Indra crushed the vrtra and broke open the withholding outlet of the river." (Rig Veda, 1.32.10-11)

This verse is a beautiful poetic and metamorphical description of snow-clad, dark mountains where the life-sustaining water to feed the rivers flowing in the Aryavarta is held by the hardened ice-caps (vrtra, demon) and Indra, the rain-god, by allowing the sun to light its rays on the mountains, makes the ice caps break and hence release the water. The Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) proponents interpret this verse literally on the human plane, as the slaying of vrtra, the leader of dark-skinned Dravidian people of Indus Valley by invading white-skinned Aryan king, Indra. This is an absurd and ludicrous interpretation of an obvious conflict among the natural forces.

Conflict between Vedic and Iranian people: Another category of conflicts in the Rig Veda represents the genuine conflict between the Vedic people and the Iranians. At one time Iranians and Vedic people formed one society and were living harmoniously in the northern part of India, practising Vedic culture, but at some point of time in history, because of some serious philosophical dispute, the society got divided, and one section moved to further north- west, now known as Iran. However, the conflict and controversy were continued between the two groups, often resulting in even physical fights. The Iranians not only called their God Ahura (Vedic asura) and their demons Daevas (Vedic devas), but they also called themselves Dahas and Dahyus (Vedic dasas, and dasyus). The oldest Iranian texts moreover depict the conflicts between the Daeva- worshipers and the Dahas on behalf of the Dahyus, as the Vedic texts depict them on behalf of the deva-worshipers. Indra, the dominant god of the Rig Veda, is represented in the Iranian texts by a demon Indra. What this all indicates is that wars or conflicts of this second category are not between Aryans and non-Aryans, but between two estranged groups of the same parent society which got divided by some philosophical dichotomy. The Vedas even mention the gods of Dasyus as Arya also.

Conflicts between various indigenous tribal groups over natural resources and various minor kingdoms to gain supremacy over the land and its expansion: A global phenomenon known to share the natural resources like water, cattle, vegetation and land, and expand the geographical boundaries of the existing kingdoms. This conflict in no way suggests any war or invasion by outsiders on the indigenous people.

Archaeological Evidence

It is argued that in the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, the human skeletons found do prove that a massacre had taken place at these townships by invading armies of Aryan nomads. Prof. G. F. Dales (former head of Department of South Asian Archaeology and Anthropology, Berkeley University, USA), in his The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-daro Expedition, Vol. VI, 3; 1964 states the following about this evidence:

"Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel where one could reasonably expect the final defense of this thriving capital city to have been made.

"What of these skeletal remains that have taken on such undeserved importance? Nine years of extensive excavations at Mohenjo-daro (1922-31) - a city of three miles in circuit - yielded a total of some 37 skeletons, or parts thereof, that can be attributed with some certainty to the period of the Indus civilisation. Some of these were found in contorted positions and groupings that suggest anything but orderly burials. Many are either disarticulated or incomplete. They were all found in the area of the lower town - probably the residential district. Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel where one could reasonably expect the final defense of this thriving capital city to have been made."

He further questions:
"Where are the burned fortresses, the arrowheads, weapons, pieces of armour, the smashed chariots and bodies of the invaders and defenders? Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites, there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as unconditional proof of an armed conquest and the destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan invasion."

Related:
Arya, Aryan - definition
J. Phillipe Rushton - Race Evolution Behavior: A Life History Perspective (2nd Special Abridged Edition)
Search for the historical Krishna
Western Indologists: A Study in Motives
Dying Breed Scholars
Purpose and Origin of Vedas
BBC: Hinduism: History: The Aryan Invasion Theory

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