River Saraswati And The Aryans By P.LaL


River Saraswati And The Aryans By P.LaL

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 This book is about River Saraswati and the Vedic Culture , and matters connected  therewith .

It has 16 Chapters and three Appendices. The Appendices pertain to Carbon dating, archaeogenetics and archaeoastronomy. These explain the principles behind certain concepts made  use of in the book. The first two are generally accepted by the mainline scholars , while the last one is viewed with suspicion by them . The fact is that the principles of archaeoastronomy  are no less scientific.

River Saraswati is intimately connected with the Vedic culture. It finds mention 72 times in the Rig Veda. However, it is not a flowing  river now.  The period of its drying up is closely linked to the dating of the Rig Veda, and consequently with the issue of the so-called migration into the Indian subcontinent , of the Aryans who supposedly composed the Rig Veda. The matter has been examined in depth in the book and it has been concluded that there had  been no such migration around 1,500 BCE as claimed.  Among many proofs for the negation of the Aryan Migration Theory , the absence of any adverse comments about Vedic Culture in the ancient Sangam literature of Tamil has been cited, as it was the case of the pro-AMT enthusiasts that Aryans who came to India by way of invasion/migration had displaced the local Dravidians who then fled to the South.

The Rig Veda and river Saraswati have been dealt with at length. Many hymns of the Rig Veda have been re-produced to illustrate the points made. English translations by H.H. Wilson ( 1786-1860 ), an English orientalist, and those by Ralph T.H. Griffith ( 1826-1906 ), English Indologist,  have been used. Translations by the latter are in poetic style, while those by the former are in prose.

A recent scientific study which says that  river Saraswati, in fact , flowed and disappeared twice in the past 80,000 years and that it was perennial during 80-20 ka and 9-4.5 ka ( ka refers to a thousand years), has also been discussed. The identification of the channels of the Rig Vedic Saraswati with those of the present-day monsoon fed Ghaggar-Hakra system has been discussed and endorsed  on the basis of the overwhelming evidence available including that provided by satellite imagery. Efforts of the Haryana government to make the waters flow again in the channels of the lost river by constructing a dam near Adi Badri to tame the waters of the river Somb have been referred to and eulogised.

Different view points and evidence in support thereof,  regarding the age of the Vedic culture , including the theory of Bal Gangadhar Tilak that the Arctic region near the North Pole was the original home of the Aryans have been examined. It has been concluded that the Vedic culture commenced during the period 7,000 BCE-6,000 BCE and that the sages had travelled far and wide including the Arctic region and felt there the aura of long dawns and long nights as mentioned by Tilak in his book “The Arctic Home in the Vedas”.

The relationship between the Indus Valley Civilisation ( dated to 3,300 BCE-1,300 BCE ) and the Vedic Culture  has been critically discussed. The normally accepted belief that the IVC preceded the VC has been challenged, and it has been postulated that both existed together for a particular period i.e. till the IVC lasted and both were complementary to each other during that period ; the VC outlived the IVC as the former  was more resilient having a rural base, whereas the IVC,  being an urban society,  could not face natural disasters and crumbled. It has been tried to be proved that  Sanskrit was the spoken language during both the periods ; signs and symbols on the Harappan seals did not constitute  a script for a language, but  they conveyed  sharp, crisp Vedic messages. Similarities of signs/symbols of Harappan seals with those found in two old cultures at Vinca and Easter Islands which also remain undeciphered so far, has been particularly pointed out.

Evidence for the presence of  horses in the IVC period and even prior to that ,  has been presented, though Rig Vedic horse was 34-ribbed as per one of its own hymns, whereas horses from Central Asia were with 36 ribs.

The similarities among Indo-European languages have been briefly mentioned on the basis of which linguists and philologists drew the conclusion that they were related to each other and , therefore, must have been derived from some proto language. Sanskrit was accorded this place of the mother language initially, then relegated to the status of a sister language, and further on,   to that of the grand-daughter language, for reasons not purely scholarly. The reasons for doing this by certain western scholars have been touched upon.

The dispersal of populations from Africa to various parts of the world around 160, 000 years ago has been particularly discussed. It has been shown that such populations arrived in India via two routes- by sea to South India about 65,000 years ago,  and by land route to North-Western parts of India about 40,000 years ago. Their interaction , and the effects on them of the end of the last Ice Age around 12,000 years ago have  been examined; it has been concluded that there has been no major infusion of gene pool from outside into the Indian population except those by trade etc. The oft cited remark that Dasas/ Dasyus of the Rig Veda were dark complexioned has been scientifically negated, as the Skin Reflectance of the sunlight which determines the colour of the skin increases as the latitude increases , and thus those living at latitude of 200 or more  north of the equator have light skin colour.

The  limitation of the genetic studies , in the absence of evidence from linguistic , archaeological and textual , has been pointed out. Some recent genetic studies negating the AIT/AMT , and proving that the so-called Aryan/Steppe gene R1a1 originated in India and travelled outside,  giving a boost to the OIT, has also been discussed.

In view of the fact that the entire population of the world today are descendants of African itinerants , the concept of all of us being brethren implicit in the verse of Maha Upanishad – “वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् “- has been stressed upon.

All care has been taken to  conform to  facts on record, or as learnt by the author from numerous sources during his research. Opinions of experts on the subjects have been quoted at appropriate places, duly acknowledged. Errors if any, however, are unintentional. Author would welcome them to be brought to his notice.

It is hoped the book would be found useful and thought-provoking by most sections of the people not only in India but abroad also.




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