by Padman Govindarajan

        In the history book currently in use in the Indian schools, the beginning of the Vedic civilisation coincides with Aryan invasion.  History, which records actual events, accomplished facts and hard realities, should have nothing to do with personal beliefs or pre-conceived notions and should depict factually the actual happenings.  Though history deals with the past, it has its own contribution to make in tackling the current problems and in shaping the future.  In his “Discovery of India”, Pundit Nehru says:   “Out of that distant past, which is history and the present, which is the burden of to-day, the future of India is gradually taking shape.  We must have an intellectual understanding of these mighty processes of history.  We must have even more, an emotional awareness of our past and present, in order to try to give right direction to the future.”

        The more remote the past, the hazier and murkier is the picture available of the ancient times.  Fortunately, of all the ancient civilisations, only India has preserved the clearest picture of the pre-historic times wholly in tact.  The unimpaired preservation of the Vedas from the remotest past through oral transmission has been hailed as the most marvellous feat of human mind.  Unlike the Old Testament, which is a historic record of several generations reduced to writing after Hebrew script came into existence, the Vedas are religious scriptures containing sacred hymns that make only a passing reference to the happenings of the time.  Western Indologists with their staunch religious leanings have inflicted the greatest damage and gravest injury on the Vedas by their wrong interpretations of the hymns and by according incorrect chronology to the Vedic civilisation.  Referring to this deep-rooted prejudice, anthropologist A.S.Sayce says: “To a generation which has been brought up to believe that in 4004 B.C. or there about the world was being created, the idea that man himself went back to 100,000 years was both incredible and inconceivable.”

        Among the Western Indologists, the first to take up the study of Sanskrit was William Jones, the Chief Justice in British Settlements of Fort William.  Jones who began his study of Sanskrit in 1784 noticed remarkable similarities between Sanskrit and European languages.  He says: “ The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.”  Jones regarded as the founder of Indology, with his Old Testament background, seems to have erroneously believed that the close affinity between several languages of East and West, revealed their origin from a common language spoken by their commons ancestor.  Linguists believed that speakers of Indo-European languages became separate migrating from the original common home, but their ancestors were one.  The common ancestor was traced to Aryans from the word WIROS for men occurring in the majority of the Indo-European languages.

        The search then began for this original Aryan home, the country of the WIROS, inferred from the data in these Indo-European languages.  By the process of elimination of hills, deserts, dense forests and inhospitable polar regions, Western researchers dominated by their religious bigotry, pitched upon the region around Caspian sea as the most likely original homeland of the Aryans.  The pre-Darwinian Western Indologists had implicit faith in the Genesis as the infallible word of God and they found it impossible to reconcile themselves to the view that any civilisation could ever have existed before Genesis.     They resented the hoary antiquity ascribed by the Indian tradition to Sanskrit literature and Vedic civilisation and much more to the origin of man from Manu.  The ancient Hebrews who were descendents of Aryans totally forgot their ancient ancestry and considered themselves to be the oldest of all races.

        In the pre-historic times, Sanskrit was the one and only spoken language and all its alphabets along with their consonants and vowels were appropriated by the other Indo-European languages after reading and writing came into vogue with the use of scripts.  The primeval man, whom the Hebrew called “Adam” is derived from Sanskrit word ATMA-BHU, one of the epithets of Brahma, the originator of mankind.  In the beginning of creation,  “Brahma gave names to all objects and beings” and so did Adam according to the Hebrew tradition.  The German scholar Dr. Spiegel was of the considered view that the Biblical theory of creation of the world has been borrowed from the ancient religion of the Persians.  Dr. Will Durant observes a passing reference to vegetarianism, to a ‘return to nature’ and to the primitive simplicity which Hebrew legend pictures in the Garden of Eden.  The episode about deluge and Noah’s Ark is a corrupted version of the making of ship of specified dimensions by Manu.  Strange to say that the Hindu tradition supports the truth that the Biblical statements were derived from Persian, Babylonian and Egyptian scriptures, which according to the ancient history of the world were in turn derived from the more ancient Vedic sources.

        The Christian and Jewish bias impelled the Western Indologists to suppress the correct chronology of the Vedic civilisation in order to underrate and vilify Aryan civilisation and Sanskrit literature.  They could not persuade themselves to accept the fact that the Vedic Hymns were composed millennia before the Old Testament was written.  The pride of the superiority of their own religion and of the infallibility of their own conclusions about Indo-European languages so deeply ingrained in Western Indologists led them to propound the absurd and preposterous theory of Aryan invasion.  Prof. M. Rangacharya writes: “Incalculable mischief has been done by almost all the English and American scholars in assuming arbitrarily the earliest dates for Egypt and Mesopotamia ­ dates going back to B.C.5000 at least ­ and the latest possible dates for ancient India on the ground that India borrowed from them.”  The Western loyalty to their religious faith did not allow the acceptance of Sanskrit as being the mother language of at least the Indo-European group, as at first very ably propounded by Franz Bopp and endorsed by many Indian Indologists.

        The ancient history of India as recorded by Western Indologists begins with the advent of Aryans to India.  By no stretch of imagination, a small group of Aryans could have migrated from their original home to the East, going along the Danube, crossing the Plateau of Asia Minor avoiding the region between Euphrates and Tigris the seat of a powerful civilisation to reach Persia and proceed further to enter the million square K.Ms Indus Valley through the Khyber pass. The earliest source for the pre-historic period is the Rig Veda in the Deva Bhasha Sanskrit.  The understanding of the much-maligned word ARYA by the Western intellect is a perversion totally unrelated to its original Sanskrit meaning of nobility and profundity of wisdom.  The Aryan invasion is a fictitious invention of religious fanatics not borne out by the unbiased and impartial interpretation of Vedic hymns.

other essays by the same author: