India and Indus Valley civilisation
by Padman Govindarajan

        Our national language is Hindi, which is an abbreviation for Hindustani and   public functions are concluded with the words “Jai Hind”.  Who is a Hindu and what is the minimum he ought to know?   The name India for the Bharathavarsha or more popularly Hindustan is not of indigenous origin but of foreign import.  In ancient times, India was known to the foreigners by the river Sindhu, which Persians pronounced as Hindu and the Greek as Indos.  The Indus River is very closely related to the Indus Valley civilisation.  Indian culture and civilisation is inseparably linked to the eternal Vedic way of life called Sanathana Dharma.  It is, therefore, important to know the correct chronology of Vedic civilisation.
        Way back in 1786, the Father of Western Indology, Sir William James, speculated that Sanskrit and Indo-European languages must have “sprung from some common source which perhaps no longer exists.” Although there was no evidence that any common ancestral language was ever spoken before the Deva Bhasha or language of gods i.e. Sanskrit, the pre-Darwinian Western linguists with their implicit faith in the Bible, attempted to reconstruct the pre-historic times on the basis of the highly questionable pseudo science of philology to identify the possible cradle of human civilisation implied in the linguistic evidence of a common ancestral language.   The common ancestor was ultimately traced to Aryans from the word WIROS occurring in most Indo-European languages that was supposed to refer to martial men.  The word ‘Aryan’ in Sanskrit refers to highly enlightened personages who follow the eternal Vedic way of life called the Sanathana Dharma.
             From a hypothetical common ancestral language emerged the hypothetical martial race of Aryans.  The Christian and Jewish bias of the pre-Darwinian Western Indologists impelled them to preserve the sanctity of the Bible by deprecating, discrediting and devaluing the Sacred Vedic hymns, to suppress the truth about the antiquity of the Vedas in the Deva Bhasha Sanskrit.  After the identification of the hypothetical Aryan race, began the search for their original home believed by the linguists to be somewhere near the Garden of Eden mentioned in the Genesis.  The most probable hypothesis currently in vogue seems to be that the Aryans entered India from outside but the exact region from where they came is still a matter of dispute.  More than anyone else, it was Max Muller who was solely responsible for the highly imaginative Aryan invasion supposed to be rooted in the Rig Veda.  Muller took particular care to ensure that the hypothetical Aryan invasion took place after the Biblical flood and he arbitrarily assigned a date of 1200 B.C to the Rig Veda, which is considered as the oldest among the four Vedas.  With the active connivance of the then ruling British government, the incorrect Vedic chronology found its way into the school curriculum through the history textbook.   What was only a philological speculation was converted by the British government into a historical fact by according official recognition to the dubious Vedic chronology.
        The Indus Valley was discovered in 1922 and the archaeologists keeping in view the already well-established Vedic chronology of Muller concluded that the Indus Valley that belonged to the period between 3250 B.C. and 2750 B.C. was pre-Vedic.  Though none was able to decipher the script in the Indus seals the archaeologists considered the script as Dravidian without any basis, rhyme or reason.  By no stretch of imagination, a small group of nomadic, pastoral, primitive people could have travelled vast distances without the necessary logistic support and overpowered the highly civilised Indus people who were spread over nearly a million square KMs.  Furthermore, within a few generations of their arrival, these primitive people becoming highly poetic to give to the world hymns containing profoundest wisdom, highest thoughts and sublimest philosophy is a psychological impossibility.
        The two thriving cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa represent the peak of the Vedic civilisation.  For any society to advance to a point where town dwelling was achieved would have taken many millennia.  What is currently known about the Indus Valley is the closing stage of the Vedic civilisation and what is not known is much more than what is currently known.  India is named after the Indus Valley and archaeological, anthropological, astronomical and literary evidence available in the Rig Vedic hymns provide unassailableevidence that the Indus Valley was positively post-Vedic.  Recent studies of the Indus seals by Indian experts also reveal that the script in the seals is more akin to Sanskrit than the oldest Dravidian language Tamil, which is hardly 2500 years old.
        Opinion is gaining ground that the Indus civilisation was probably the earliest human civilisation in the world.  Who were the original inhabitants of this ancient civilisation?   The human remains found at Indus sites reveal that the population of this Valley was varied in that early age.  They bring to light four ethnic types probably corresponding to the four castes mentioned in the Vedas.  The most singular feature of the Vedic civilisation is the Varna Ashrama Dharma or the unpopular caste system.  This unique system is wholly indigenous, as no where outside India the concept of social distribution of labour according to Guna i.e. aptitude and temperament is prevalent. The citizens of the Indus Valley were not wholly homogenous non-Aryans or Dravidians but were a mixed ethnic population.  Precisely how and when the caste system with its specific occupations made its maiden appearance cannot be established with any degree of certainty but the stratification of Indus society suggests that some form of caste system may well have been in vogue in that ancient civilisation.
          The place of origin of the Aryans has been variously sought in Europe and Asia and the Aryan race is presumed to have branched off at different periods northwest and westward into Europe and southward into Persia and the valley of Ganges, giving rise to the great branches of the languages like Greek, Latin, German etc on the one hand and Persian and Hindu on the other.  Philology is a highly questionable, imprecise pseudo science on which much reliance cannot be placed.  In Sanskrit the word ‘Arya ‘ refers to noble, enlightened, profoundly wise personages who pursue the Vedic way of life.  Even in the Indus Valley there seems to have existed atheists and agnostics who must have, like the Buddhists and Jains, revolted against the Vedic way of life.  Rig Veda refers to these non-conformists as Adevayu i.e. not worshipping Vedic gods, Abrahman i.e. devoid of devotion, Avrata i.e. lawless, Anyavrata i.e. follower of strange ordinances, Devapiyu i.e. revilers of Vedic gods etc.
        The question often raised in regard to the antiquity of Vedas is: What is the probable age of Rig Veda, which is the oldest of the four Vedas.  Regarding Vedic chronology Max Muller opines: “ Whether the Vedic hymns were composed 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 years B.C. no power on earth will ever determine.” The Rig Veda is the earliest literary work of India and perhaps of the world.  The excavations of Indus Valley offer useful evidence that can change the conception of not only ancient Vedic chronology but also human history.  The literary evidence available in the Rig Veda and the archaeological remains of Indus Valley should be closely examined together to arrive at any definite conclusion about whether the Rig Vedic civilisation was the ancestor or the descendent of Indus civilisation.  A modest attempt to examine in-depth this complex issue has been made below:
        The three crucial antique remains that are the most important of all Indus Valley finds have not received the extent of attention that they richly deserve. These are the unique art pieces in Yogic postures, the four-armed standing figure occurring at item No. 383 of the Signs of Indus script and the Peepul tree, which has enormous esoteric significance.  In the Karma Kanda or ritualistic portion of the Vedas, nowhere in the Samhitas, Brahmanas or the Aranyakas is there any mention about Yoga, as this portion of the Vedas deal wholly with various forms of Yajnas or fire sacrifices.   The first specific mention about Yoga is found in the Kathopanishad, which is elaborated in the Srimad Bhagawad Gita, the Song Celestial.  Both Kathopanishad and the Gita contain reference to the Peepul tree and the Gita goes to the extent of saying that the person who realises the esoteric significance of this tree is a knower of the Vedas.  While the Kathopanishad makes a passing reference to the four-armed Deity Vishnu in VISHNOR YAD PARAMAM PADAM, the Lord in the Gita reveals to Arjuna His four-armed Divine Vishnu form in all its fine details.  In the Indus Valley, people seem to have strictly adhered to several Vedic practices like fire sacrifices, ceremonial cremation of the dead, worship of Vedic deities, practice of Yoga, belief in after-life and immortality of soul etc.
        On the basis of preponderance of evidence available in the Indus remains, one can safely conclude that the Indus Valley civilisation could represent the culmination of the Vedic period, when the Upanishads and Srimad Bhagawad Gita must have been widely popular.  Western archaeologists have placed the Indus civilisation between 3250 to 2750 B.C., by allowing a period of 500 years for the seven different layers of Indus remains.  This chronology more or less corresponds with the traditional view that the Mahabharatha war was fought in 3102 B.C.  This fact is further corroborated by the Aihole inscription of Pulikesin II that declares that the Epic battle took place in 3102 B.C. that marks the end of the Dwapara Yuga and the commencement of the Kali Yuga.  According to the astronomical tradition represented by Aryabhatta, the Kali Yuga is believed to have begun on the 18th February 3102 B.C.
        The fundamental unity of the Bharathavarsha from Himalayas to Cape Camorin right from the Indus Valley times was brought about by the Vedic way of life popularly known as the Sanathana Dharma or the eternal way of Vedic religion that governs every aspect of human life from birth to death.  The Sanathana Vedic Dharma must have been the way of Indus people who seem to have worshipped the Vedic deities, observed the Varna Ashrama Dharma, performed Vedic sacrifices and practised the Upanishadic Yoga.   Indus civilisation did not become extinct by any foreign invasion and even to this day the eternal way of Indus life survives in agricultural farming, vegetarianism, cattle rearing, cotton clothing, use of precious beads, gold ornaments and pottery, social customs, religious beliefs and spiritual practices.   Vedas are immutable truths that are universally applicable and eternally valid and can have no beginning or end.

        The dissemination of the FULLNESS OF TRUTH to the upcoming generations through the educational institutions is very important.  The emblem of Government of India is SATYAMEVA JAYATE i.e. TRUTH ALONE TRIUMPHS.  It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that the incorrect and false history recorded by the British that currently finds a place in the school curriculum should be revised expeditiously to present to the future generations, a reliable, flawless and factual history of ancient India.

other essays by the same author:

Rewriting the History of Ancient India:
What Hindus ought to know:
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