One more nail in the coffin of the “Aryan Invasion Theory”

published on October 31, 2008




The Rigveda and the Avesta: the final evidence








 




by Shrikant G. Talageri






 


New Delhi,



Aditya Prak., 2008, xxxviii,379p., bibl., ind., 23cm.
ISBN 9788177420852  Rs.750 (hb), Rs. 350(pb)





 

 



ABOUT THIS BOOK







The single most significant unresolved problem in the study of World History today
is the problem of the geographical location of the Original Homeland of
the Indo-European family of languages. This is because this is the most
important family of languages in the world in terms of the number of
primary as well as secondary speakers, as also in terms of geographical
spread, ethnic diversity, and political and economic clout.

This family of languages has twelve branches (two of them, Anatolian
and Tocharian, now long extinct): the extant branches, from west to
east, are Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian, Greek,
Armenian, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan. The question of where
exactly the original homeland of this diverse family was located has
been a hotly debated issue among linguists, historians and
archaeologists, and, especially in India,
where the issue has acquired deep political overtones, also among politically inclined writers of every brand.

 

In his two earlier books, The Aryan Invasion Theory: A Reappraisal(1993) and The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis(2000), the author of this book put forward the hypothesis, backed by detailed arguments, data and evidence, that this Original Homeland lay in the northern parts of India, and that the other branches of Indo-European languages spread out from India to their respective historical habitats.


In
this book, he presents the final case with conclusive new evidence
based on an unassailable interpretation of old but hitherto universally
misinterpreted data. The result is a hypothesis which critics will find
it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to counter and disprove.


 

 


The two highlights of this book are as follows.

 


One,
the establishment of the Relative Chronology of the Rigveda vis-à-vis
the Avesta and the Mitanni inscriptions, and of the Geography of the
Rigveda; followed by a detailed analysis of the Internal Chronology
of the (different parts of) the Rigveda; and, finally, the first steps
in the establishment of the Absolute Chronology of the Rigveda in terms
of the actual point of time BCE when the hymns of the text were
composed.

 

 

And, two,


the
presentation of a linguistic hypothesis which shows finally and
conclusively that the Indian Homeland hypothesis is the only hypothesis
which explains all the linguistic problems which arise in the course of
the quest for the Original Homeland.


 

 


All
this has important and far-reaching implications, not only in resolving
the academic question of the location of the Indo-European Homeland,
and not only in resolving the question of the linguistic identity of
the Harappan or Indus or Sindhu-Sarasvati Civilization,
but also in taking the beginnings of the history of Indian Civilization
as we know it (as distinct from its prehistory, which is what the Harappan civilization amounts to in current historical discourse) back by several thousands of years:

 

While the beginnings of the history of the Egyptian and the Mesopotamian Civilizations
are known to lie at least as far back as the fourth millennium BCE on
the basis of detailed decipherable and deciphered records
(inscriptions, scrolls, etc.), the
beginnings of Indian Civilization as we know it could not really be
traced far earlier than the mid-second millennium BCE, and even this
only on the basis of back-tracking the stages of Vedic history (whether
logically or illogically done) from the oldest known decipherable and
deciphered records found in India: the Ashokan inscriptions of the
latter half of the first millennium BCE.

 

The
earlier records, of the Harappan Civilization, are not yet convincingly
deciphered; and the interpretation of the signs on the Harappan seals
(from the question of the identity of the language represented in those
seals down to the question of whether or not, indeed, any language is
represented at all in them) has been a matter of motivated debate: the
academic scholars presume the language of the Harappan Civilization to
be non-Indo-European, since the current academically accepted theory
requires that the Indo-European “Indo-Aryans” could not have “entered” India far earlier than the latter half of the second millennium BCE.

 



However, ironically, decipherable and deciphered records are found in West Asia (Iraq, Syria, and even Palestine and Egypt), dating to the mid-second millennium BCE, which record the presence of “Indo-Aryan” speakers in West Asia at around the same time as they are supposed to have been entering into India.

The presence of these “Indo-Aryans”, the Mittani “Indo-Aryans”, in West
Asia has hitherto been interpreted as evidence of an “Indo-Aryan” group
which broke away from the main body of “Indo-Aryans” somewhere in Central Asia,
and moved westwards to appear in West Asia at around the same time as
the main body of “Indo-Aryans” appeared in northwestern India.

 


But
the analysis of the Rigvedic, Avestan and Mittani data in this book
completely overturns this theory: it presents an unassailable case
showing that the culture common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the
Mitanni records is a culture which developed in northern India in the Late Rigvedic Period, and that this Late Rigvedic Period followed earlier periods (the Middle Rigvedic Period, and, before that, the Early Rigvedic Period) which have different cultures and which preceded this common culture; and that not only the “Indo-Aryans”, but also the proto-Iranians, in those earlier pre-Avestan and pre-Mittani
periods, were inhabitants of areas deeper within northern India and had
only started expanding westwards towards the end of the Early Rigvedic
Period.

 


All
this places the “Indo-Aryans” and the proto-Iranians deep within
northern India at least as early as the early third or late fourth
millennia BCE, with no connections further west. This lends legitimacy
to an interpretation of Indian history
with indigenous origins going back deep into the fourth millennium BCE,
and brings Indian traditional Indian historical traditions (excluding,
of course, all the mythical elements, exaggerations and interpolations
which have seeped into them) as well as the Harappan civilization
within the ambits of the academic study of the history of Indian
Civilization as we know it.

 





 





 



 


To order:

 

Add postage Rs. 25.00

 
Payment should be made through Demand drafts or cheques payable at Delhi in favor of Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi.
 

Or you could deposit at any Bank of India branch for “Aditya Prakashan”, BOI, Ansari Road Branch,




 

New Delhi, c. a/c C603220100012624
 
 

Aditya Prakashan

2/18 Ansari Road,

New Delhi-110002




www.adityaprakashan.com


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