REWRITING THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT INDIA
by Padman Govindarajan

        Synopsis: (Age of Vedas has been arbitrarily decided by Max Muller and grave injustice has been done to the Sacred texts.  Should free India remain quiet? )

        The rewriting of the history of ancient India has been opposed by some historians who think that the move initiated by the Government must have been at the instance of those who want to serve the cause of Hindutva.  This apprehension is wholly misconceived, as the scholars who oppose the Governments move seem to be oblivious of the grave injustice that has been done by the Western researchers to Vedic civilisation.   Ancient Indian history has been based on conjecture, hunch or surmise and is NOT a factual record of the actual past happenings.  The Vedic chronology decided the by the Western scholars based on superficial study of the language of the Vedas cannot be considered as sacrosanct or unalterable and if substantial evidence is produced by the modern Indian researchers to disprove and falsify the authenticity of the Vedic chronology, there should be no hesitation in amending the historical texts to present a more accurate, flawless and factual picture of ancient Vedic history.

        More than a century ago, Max Muller formulated the chronology of the Vedas wholly based on the literary style adopted by the Vedic seers in the composition of their hymns.  He seems to have totally ignored the fact that the purely conjectural pseudo-science of philology was too amateurish and crude a method to decide the antiquity of the highly venerated and sacred Vedas.  Vedas are basically religious scriptures believed to be APAURUSHEYA or divinely revealed and using them to decide the age of Vedic civilisation was not only improper but also mischievous.  The traditional Hindu belief has been that the Vedas are without any known human beginning and are, therefore, authoritative, infallible, universally valid and eternally applicable truths.   Ancients considered the Vedas as Divine Wisdom and memorised them to be passed on wholly in tact to the subsequent generations.  Finite human intellect cannot trace the origin or determine, with any degree of accuracy, the antiquity of the Vedas, which are in Deva Bhasha or language of gods i.e. Sanskrit.  The attempt to fix the age of Vedas on the basis of superficial philological study of the Vedic Samhitas, Brahmanas and Aranyakas cannot but be highly subjective and can result only in distortion of truth about the chronology of ancient past.

        Muller arbitrarily and deliberately assigned the oldest Rig Veda to 1200 B.C. and when questioned by critics he disowned his chronology saying: Whether the Vedic hymns were composed 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 years B.C., no power on earth will determine.  In formulating his chronology, Muller must have been strongly influenced by his Christian belief that the creation of the world had taken place in 4004 B.C.  He must have feared that the assignment of any date to the Vedic hymns prior to 4004 B.C. may shake the already fragile faith of Christians in Genesis and critics may brand the creation of world in six days, origin of man in the likeness of God and Noahs Ark as borrowed ideas from the more ancient Vedas.  Muller relied wholly on philology, as no archaeological evidence was available then.

        The Mohehjodaro in Sind was discovered in 1922 and Harappa in West Punjab a few years later.  Although the two sites were about 600 KMs apart, the two civilisations covering an area in excess of a million square KMs were considered as one Indus civilisation in view of the similarity of the objects discovered in the ruins.  The approximate period of the Indus Valley has been determined by a reference to the Rig Veda, keeping in view the already well-established Vedic chronology of Muller.  The early archaeologists erroneously concluded that the antique pieces found in the Indus Valley ruins belonged to the pre-Vedic period.  In their keenness to prove what they believed to be true, the investigators claimed that the prevalence of Lingam worship necessarily meant that the pre-Vedic people inhabiting the Indus Valley were Dravidian Saivites of South India.

        The three crucial questions connected with Indus Valley are a) whether it is pre-Vedic or post-Vedic, b) whether the inhabitants were non-Aryans or Aryans or a mix of both and c) whether the language of communication was Sanskrit or Tamil?  Any conclusion about the age of Indus Valley should not be based exclusively on language or river basin but should take into consideration all available evidence in regard to food habits, beliefs and observances, religious customs and practices ornaments and weapons used, clothes worn, method of disposal of dead etc.  A comparison of the archaeological remains of Indus Valley with Vedic civilisation,  as can be made out from the Vedic hymns, reveals almost cent per cent similarities between the two civilisations in food habits, animal rearing, cotton weaving, personal cleanliness, use of metals for weapons and ornaments, method of worship, practice of Yoga, cremation of dead, belief in immortality of soul and after-life etc.  The absence of horse and rice in Indus Valley was taken as evidence of its non-Aryan origin but this negative evidence is no more tenable in view of the occurrence of horse bones and rice in several sites in India and Mohenjodaro in Pakistan.  The belief that only Vedic Aryans knew iron is incorrect, as the Sanskrit word AYAS is a generic term for metal and does not specifically refer to iron.  Furthermore, a deeper study of the so-called stone objects considered as Lingams turned out to be truncated conical weights.  It is well known that the accuracy and consistency of the weights developed by the Indus people were of a very high order.

        The detailed study of the Indus scripts by several researchers has revealed that it has closer affinity to Sanskrit than to the oldest Dravidian language of Tamil, which is hardly 2000 years old.  The fight between Aryas and Dasyus in the Rig Veda refer to the mythical battle between the enlightened and the ignorant as also the good and evil forces and it has nothing to do with any racial struggle between foreign and indigenous people.  In fact, there could have been no alien influx, as Aryans seem to have been local residents.  Modern satellite and field surveys indicate that the once mighty Saraswati River seems to have changed its course several times and went completely dry around 1900 B.C.  Some experts believe that the phonetically close affinities between the Deva Bhasha Sanskrit and several European languages may be due to the fact that natural calamities may have driven Indus Valley people to migrate out of India.

        From the details furnished above, the only obvious and unmistakable conclusion can be that Indus Valley should clearly be either Vedic or post-Vedic civilisation and certainly NOT pre-Vedic.  The Aryans must have been local residents and the language used by them could have been only Sanskrit.  Muller deliberately presented a highly biased and evidently subjective Vedic chronology using hopelessly flawed and totally unscientific method of philology to safeguard the Christian faith in Genesis.  It is highly unfortunate that even fifty-years after Independence, India does not have an ancient history of its own and it continues to rely on an obviously incorrect and patently wrong Vedic chronology provided by one single Western scholar.  Truth should not be allowed to become a casualty to linguistic interpretation of highly sacred Vedas and the injustice and wrong done to Vedic chronology should be corrected at the earliest.
 



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