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Chapter 2 1. The physical features of the Indian subcontinent Part I मयाऽद्यक्षेण प्रकृत िः सूय े सचराचरम् ॥ - गी ा
The flowering of culture is dependent on a vibrant economic growth. The economic condition of India is directly dependent on its geo-physical features. The political, social and religious development of India is a direct outcome of its geographical features. A critical analysis of these things help us to understand culture.
Jambudweepa, Bharathavarsha and Bharata Kanda In the ancient Hindu puranas Jambudweepa is a land mass surrounded by ocean. It stretches from Gomukh (the birth place of Ganga) to the tip of land at Kanyakumari1]. Emperor Ashoka says in his inscriptions that he spread the message of Buddha across four corners of Jambudweepa. The influence of Indian sub-continent had spread to Egypt, Cairene, Mesopotamia, Syria, Corinth and other neighbouring countries. The influence of India also extended to the countries of the south-east Asia.
______________________ Footnotes 1. Mahabharatha – Bheeshma parva 5 – 9; Bhagavatha Chapter 5, 16 to 20; Bruhan Naradiya III; Pādma I, 3-9; Vayu 34-50; Vishnu II, 2-7; Matsya 121; Kurma I, 44-49; Markandiya 49-57; Varaha 74-89; Brahma 18-27; De. Ba. VIII, 4-13; Linga 46-53; Garuda 54-57; Shiva. Uma 17-18;
आयन्तु नवमस्तेषाां द्वीपसागर सांवृ िः । योजनानाां सहस्रां ु द्वीपोऽयां दतक्षणोत्तरिः ॥ आय स्तु कुमारी िः ग?यािः प्रवहावतदिः । त योर्ध्वन्तु तवस्तीणवसहस्रातण दशैव ् । द्वी ोद् युपतनतवष्टोऽयां म्लेच्छैरन्ते ु सवव िः ॥ -मत्स्य, ११४ © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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The word “Bharathavarsha or Ajanabavarsha” extended from Oxyus river and Pamir mountains and Hindukush mountains to Kanyakumari, which is the southern tip of India. Bharta son of Rishiba (an avatar of Vishnu) and son of Jayantha ruled Ajanabav Varsha and gave his own name to the country, which came to be called “BharathaKanda” 1 .
Fig 1.A Jambudweepa – Bharata Varsha – Bharata Kanda
King Dhushyantha and Shakuntala’s son “Bharatha” ruled Bharatha under the name of Sarvadhamana. King Dasharatha’s son Bharata and the Bharata Rishi are also equally well known in the Puranas. ______________________ Footnotes 1. Linga 47; Matsya, 110 to 112; Bharata – Beeshma parva 6; Vishnu II, III. Bhagavatha I, 17, 5-5, Bharatha Adi parva 65-100; Dhrona 68; Shanti 28; Bhagavatha IX, 20.
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During vedic age a clan known as Bharata lived in between the region of river Parushni (Ravi) and river Vipasha (Beas). It is mentioned in six Jain Puranas that Vrishaba Thirthankara’s son Bharata was a ruler of this sub-continent. Hence, the country came to be called “Bharatha”. In king Kharavelas “Hathi Gumpa” inscription there is a mention of “Bharathavasa”. Some puranas mention that the grandson of Priyavratha son of Agnidhra called Ajanabha ruled this land and so this country came to be called “Ajanabhavarsha”. Kautilya1 described the region from the snow-capped mountains of Himalayas to Kanyakumari as “Chakravarthi Kshetra”. Even the puranas refer to the landmass from KailashManasarovar and Kashmir to Kanyakumari as “Bharata Khanda”, because of this Bharata is a holy land, its religion, language and culture are indivisible according to ancient sages. It is believed by generation of people that the good deeds of the previous births of a man ensured a rebirth in Punyabhumi, that is “Bharatha kanda”2.
The name “Bharatha” is a very
meaningful nomenclature for the hoary ancient land 3. The Goddess Bharatha Devi gifted the four vedas to mankind, the sage Bharatha muni gifted fine arts, the sage Jada Bharatha gave philosophical wisdom, Dhushyanta’s son Saravadharmana Bharatha gave a just rule during his reign and a fine administration to the nation as the first emperor of Bharatha. The nation fulfilled the aspiration of its citizens by ushering in, an era of wealth and prosperity. In our culture even the physical features of the land have acquired a philosophical meaning
______________________ Footnotes 1. Artha Shastra I, II. 2. Markhandeya 57-59; Vishnu II 3,1; Vayu 45-75; 76,81; Matsya 114-10. V, Bhagavatha V, 18 -11. 3. अतहमव अचकुमायाविः तसद् नुवैत्तरणी नदीसूयवस्यदयनांपुरिः यावद्वा कुष्णमृगो तवचरत त्र धमवश्च ुष्पादो भवत ॥ - पैठीनसी धमवशास्त्र
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2500 B. C.
6000 B. C.
New Stone Age Neolithic Age
ಕ್ಷು ದ್ರ ಶಿಲಾ 5.
4th Age (Pleistocene) Pliocene
ಮಹಾಶಿಲಾ ಪುರಾತನಶಿಲಾ ಪ್ರರ ಕ್ ಶಿಲಾ Upper Paleolithic Middle Paleolithic Lower Paleolithic
Carnesian Roben-Gausen Maglemosian Asalinian Tardenoisian
New Stone Age
Magdalenian Solutrean Aurignacian Mousterian Acheulean Chellean
ಕ್ಷು ದ್ರ ಶಿಲಾ
Glacian Age IV
8000 B. C. 20,000 B. C.
Soian Interglacial III Cultural Interglacial II Abhiwillioglacial II Asholean Kareva Hand Axe Interglacial I Irawady Glacial I Shivalik
Third Age (Tertiary) Cenozoic
Middle Eocene Meioscene Aligoscene Eocene
Murry – Pegu Bet Dwaraka Ranikhet Himalayan Product (ಉತಪ ತ್ತಿ ) Deccan Trap
60,000 B. C.
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Second Age Mesozoic
Cretaceous Jurassic Triassic
South India Narmada Valley (Himalaya) Gondwana (Arya)
First Age Paleozoic
Permian Carboniferous Devonian Silurian Ordovician Cambrian
Lifeless Age Archean Azoic
Kadapa – Vindhya (Purana) (Hymantha) Dharwad Aravalli (ದೈಕೃತ) Pre-Cambrian Shield of South India (Findings of Investigation and Research)
Pleistocene Glaciation in India Silurian (24.6 Million Years) ಪುರಾತನ 1. Paleolithic Age I 2. Mesolithic Age II 3. Neolithic Age III 4. Chalcolithic Age (Copper Age) IV Cenozoic III Pleistocene IV Epoch (1.8 Million Years to 10,000 years) Pliocene Sohan Valley (N. W. India)
4, 800, 0,00,000 years.
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In the mantras recited everyday during Sandhyavandana (morning, afternoon and evening rituals) a sankalpa (resolve) is made by the reciter describing the physical features of the land like mountains and rivers, which are mentioned to describe the location of the performer of the ritual. It has been a regular custom for Indians to go on a pilgrimage to holy places, where mountains and rivers are worshipped as sacred. In Tantrik form of worship, the human body is compared to the country and the complete identification of human body with the land is a yogic practise of Tantra philosophy. The various “Yogini Pitas” (The yogic centers are assigned different Bija akshara (the primordial sounds). The kundalini Shakti is aroused from the tip of the land Kanyakumari progressing to Kaveri province symbolizing “Brahmagranthi” and from Kaveri region to Vindhya mountains, symbolising Vishnugranti and from Vindhyas to Himalayas symbolising “Rudraganthi” and ultimately reaching Sahasra lotus at Kailash -Manasasarovar region, where Jaga-Janani merges with Sadhashiva. Jaga Janani
gives birth to the Universe thereby
endorsing the concept of Prakruthi and Purusha. That is why Sri Shankaracharya considers that the country of birth and Jaga-Janini are identical and one and the same. The country of one’s birth is the true heavenly paradise and richer than the bliss of heaven. Every holy place and yogini pita is invoked by the supernatural power ingrained in the land through the mantras. For this reason the country of Bharata is considered as an ideal ground for living well and for attaining salvation in this lifetime.
Part II (Chapter 2) Early Man in India The Indian Sub – continent can be divided roughly into three divisions, peninsular landmass surrounded by ocean, mountainous region in the north-east and the delta of great rivers in North India. We do not find any life forms in India during Proterozoic age. In the southern region, we have the volcanic formations viz. (the rock formations of Cuddappa) and the later formations of Vindhya mountain range in central India. The early life forms are absent in the Azoic age. After the “Azoic” or “Archean” and in early “Paleozoic” age, around 4,800,0,00,000 © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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years ago, the life forms began to appear on the Indian Sub – continent. During this age such creatures as “Brachiopods”, “Tritobite” and “Gasteropod” belonging to mollusc’s family, coelenterata, Echinodermata, cephalopods, echinoderms and some plants appeared on Earth. Later due to earthquakes, the middle ocean got formed. In the South, Gondwana landmass extended to present day South Africa, South America and Australia. Because of climate changes, new living creatures evolved on Earth. Later during first part of “Arya” age, that is cretaceous age such creatures as Ichthyosaur, Megalosaurus, Titanosaurus, the giant reptiles appeared on Earth. During the recent past, because of widespread earthquakes during Eocene, Miocene and Pliocene periods the Himalayan mountain range got formed. In the world of living creatures – mammals, conch, algae, sporophyte & Lycopods appeared during this period. During middle Eocene period Dicotyledon, Coelenterata and webfeet animals appeared on Earth. During the Shivalik age – Pre-historic Elephant, primitive Horse, Tiger, Cheetah, Bear, Rhinoceros, Shivatherium, Turtles, Crocodiles and other creatures emerged on Earth. The early ape like creatures – Sivapithecus and Dryopithecus also appeared on Earth eventually.
The Modern Man in India
The modern man emerged on the Indian Sub – continent, after geological upheavals subsided and the physical features of the land had assumed its present shape. During the Pleistocene age harsh ice age conditions prevailed over the northern India resulting in great flooding of ice borne rivers. According to some experts a mega river called Indo-Brahma flowed through Northern India. Perhaps it had encompassed the present day rivers such as Sindhu (Indus), Ganga and Brahmaputra. The great historical river Saraswati flowed from North to South West through Punjab and Rajputana and finally joining Satadru river merging with Arabian Sea. Because of geological upheavals in the Himalayas, the river Yamuna acquired the proportions of a major river by absorbing the bulk of Saraswati river waters. In Southern parts of India during Pleistocene age the climate remained warm and hence early man appeared on the scene. Modern day biologists and anthropologists opine that man (Homosapiens) evolved from a branch of the apes. The evolutionary biology informs us that first life emerged in the ocean. The gradual emergence of aquatic life like fishes and © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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whales, later amphibian life evolved like frogs, turtles and crocodiles. In due course animals and birds emerged and on top of the evolutionary tree apes and man appeared some two million years ago.6 In Hindu mythology we come across a description of ten avatars (dashavatar) of Vishnu which parallels the story of human evolution. The first avatar of Vishnu is “matsya avatar”, that is fish which refers to aquatic life. The second avatar is Tortoise (Kurma avatar) which is amphibious. The Varaha (boar) and Narasimha (half human and half lion) avatars refer to half-human and half-lion like beings vis a vis Neanderthal man. Vamana Avatar of Vishnu is reminiscent of pigmy tribesmen. The Hindu Mythology informs us that God Vishnu took the avatar of Rama and Krishna to destroy the evil forces and to establish dhama (righteous ways) on Earth. The tenth avatar of Vishnu is that of Buddha. The purpose of the 10th avatar is to establish Dharma, Jnana (wisdom) and non-violence (Ahimsa) as cherished values of human life. The earliest fossil of modern human being was found in Java. This early man is called Pithecanthropus Erectus or Java man. It is suspected by anthropologists that Java man may have migrated from the area of South India at the time when Gondwana landmass was disappearing into the sea and islands of the Eastern Asia were forming. Some other experts feel that early man migrated to North-Western region of China and near Peking (Beijing) in a cave, fossil of an early man called “Pekinese man” was discovered by anthropologists. So Asian continent must have produced early human beings during the evolutionary period.
_________________________ 6. Footnote स्थावरां तवांश ेर्वक्षां जर्जां नवर्क्षकम् । कूमाव श्च नवर्क्षां च दशर्क्षां च पतक्षणिः ॥ तत्रांशल्लक्षां पशूनाां च च ुर्वक्षां च वानरािः । ो मनुष्य ाां प्राप्यां िः कमावतण साधये ् ॥ - बृहतद्वष्णुपुराण
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There is a speculation with regard to a common root of mankind, which later branched out into three language groups – monosyllabic, agglutinative and inflexional. Did the human beings have a common ancestor ? Some scientists believe in the theory of monogenetics 7. There is no concrete evidence to prove that South India is the original homeland of the earliest man. The recent discoveries of “Sialkot Skull” and “Bayan Skull”, which is supposedly “Aryan” or part-Aryan and part-Dravidian does not take us back to a very early stage of human evolution.8 (i)
Human Race in India The anthropologists have divided mankind into different races based on colour of the
hair and its texture, skin colour, shape and colour of the eyes and size of the body, shape of the skull, contours of the nose, blood group and by physical and mental characteristics. The most important factor appears to be the shape of the skull. This may vary a little bit because of food habits, climate and caste divisions. Language and race do not have any natural affinity. Hence there is no classification of race like “Aryan Race” or “Dravidian Race” based on the language used by a group of people. Generally speaking human beings are classified into three major types: a. Dolicocephalic: Dark Complexioned skin, unibrow9, flat broad nose, large skull size, such people are found in Africa and Oceania region. b. Mesocephalic: Fair or white complexioned skin, acqualine (long) nose, medium size skull are the characteristics of the people. They are found in Mediterranean area. The Caucasian race (Nordic and Ur-Arabic people are spread all over Asia and Europe) of people belonging to this group are found in Asia and Europe.
_______________________ Footnotes 7. Fossil bones of Eve discovered in Africa. 8. J. Anth, Soc Bombay 1920, P. 63 9. United Eye brows without a gap in the middle.
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This classification also includes Alpine, Pamir – Iranian, Armanoid, Anatolian-Dinaric, illarian sub-groups. c. Brachycephalic: These people have yellow skin, large skull and broad nose classified as Mongoloid race. They inhabit China, Mongolia, South-East Asia and Japan. Different Races in India:11 Herbert Hope Risley has classified Indians into seven categories. I.
Aryan Race: Tall, well built, white and reddish complexion, long acqualine nose, large sized skull. Such people are found in Punjab, Rajputana, Kashmir and NorthWestern region. II. Aryan – Dravidian Race: Smaller size skulls, they are found in United Province and Bihar. III. Alpine Race: People from Baluchistan to Mysore State in the South and Bengal in the East. Some Bengalis belong to Mongoloid – Dravidian Race. IV. Eastern Dravid: Munda – Mon Khmer are found in Madhya Pradesh. V. Dravidians: South of Vindhyas and on the Western Coastal region of India. They have inter-mixed with Alpine and Scythian races. VI. Proto-Dravidians: Tribal people living in the forests of South India. d. Mongoloid Race: They have broad skull; almond shaped eyes and yellow skin. They are found living in North-East India and Himalayas. A. Leptorrhine: Long narrow nose and belonging to Caucasian race (Aryan). B. Messorrhine: Broad high-bridged nose and medium sized skulls (Aryan Dravidian). C. Platyrrhine: Broad & flat nose – Australoid and Negroid race of people having dark complexion, curly hair and thick lips.
_________________________ Footnotes 11. B. N. Datta, Studies in Indian Social Polity
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One tribe in Baluchistan uses a Dravidian language called Brahui, but they are physically tall and well built, possess long narrow nose and belong to the Alpine race. They may have borrowed the Brahui language from Southern Dravidian, immigrants in a long time past. The well-known scholar Paragiter has divided Hindus into three important castes: 1. Pururava people belonging to Chandravamsa (descendants from the Moon God soma). They are pure Aryans. 2. Saudyumnar belong to Munda - Mon Khmer. 3. Suryavamsi (descendants from the Sun God [Surya] belonging to Dravidian group. [Dr. Eichstaedt does not endorse Paragiter’s classification of Indians.] The uncivilized tribal people living in forest are the true indigenous natives of India called Weddid. Amongst them are two groups. a. One group called Gondid has dark-grey complexion with unibrow and belong to matriarchal system of society and another group of people called Malid, who possess dark blue coloured hair. b. The second group is called Melanid. They live in the forests of Northern parts of South India. They also practice matriarchal system and they are further divided into Southern Melanid and Kolid groups. c. In the plains, we find “Indid” group of people and amongst them “Gracile Indid” people who practice patriarchy. The “northern indid” people possess dark grey hair. In the northern plains of India people with fair complexion belonging to this group reside and they are dependent on agriculture. In the south people with dark complexion live in the forests and subsist on a diet of tubers and sweet radish. Those who live in the bushland survive by hunting as well as cultivation of crops. Various invaders came to India through Khyber Pass and they settled in the foot hills of Himalayas and in the Indo-Gangetic plain and some in Bengal. A few other groups descended into India through Bolan pass and settled on the banks of Sindhu river. They continued their migration into Bombay Presidency, Gujarat and Mysore State. They began to © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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settle down in the Cauvery delta. The central plains of South India was not conducive to agriculture. Hence large scale grazing of cattle and sheep began in this area. Gradually these people evolved Varna system and hence castes and sub-castes emerged. The Todas of Nilgiri is one such sub-group. Ancient Negrid race of India consisting of Melanid and Malid people are closely related to western Negrid of Africa and eastern Negrid of Melanesia. Those who arrived in India from the north called Weddid people and they were peace loving. They are mainly responsible for “Alt-Kultur” (German: Old Culture) and spread all over India. Amongst these people a group of called “Proto-Gondid” practiced totem culture. They depended on hunting and later with the development of agriculture they founded the Harappan Civilization. After the decay and destruction of Harappan Civilization, the tribal people who lived in the South like Kolid, Melanid, Negrid and Gondid occupied these areas. After this phase people of north Indid or Aryan group, which was a war mongering pastoral tribe descended and they eliminated these assorted tribes, which practiced matriarchy. The Naga group of people evolved “Naal” culture. In the Indo-Gangetic plains we find Melanid, Weddid, Indid and Northern Indid groups. In South India, the Todas took refuge in the mountains of Nilagiri to escape from these pastoralists pursuing them. In Mysore State, Malid and Melanid groups have inter-mixed with Indo-negrid, thereby becoming the oldest indigenous group. The original inhabitants are Melanid group of people consisting of such tribes as Kurumba etc. The Melanid people, who migrated later took up agriculture. The Indid tribes people migrated to down south along the Pennar river into Malabar region and eventually became Keraloid group. In the plains of South India we do not find Wedded-Malid people. The Vokkaliga group of people, belonging to wedded group, who pursued agriculture became Gau (district) Typus (Type). In the North Western region of Mysore state one finds Indid, Turanoid, West Brachid (Konkan) and a very small percentage belong to people of pele-mongolid group. According to Eichstaedt12 for the shaping of Mysore History these tribes are responsible. The Kurumba tribes people became later Kadambas. North-Indid people became Gangas of Mysore. Pallavas and Cholas originated from Malenid people. In the Mysore state the Malenid people became Hoysalas. The Maleru and the Hasalru tribes trace their roots to © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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Ancient Malid. Depending on their various professions the Forest Kuruba, Iruliga, Soliga and Jenu Kurumba people have become forest dwellers. The fisherfolk of Mysore belong to Malid group. The Bedas (hunters), Kotte, Okkalu & Agasa (Washerman) tribes people have a link with Orientalid people (similar to Bhat tribesman of Rajaputana). The Holiya and Madiga tribesmen can be traced to Vadda, Uppara, Banjara, Nagas of Indid origin and the Malinid people of South India. The Kurubas are different from Kadukurubas, because they are pastoralists. The Mysore Indid people comprising such people as Vokkaliga, Gangadikara and Kunchatiga have Melanid connections. Many tribesmen from neighbouring regions have come and settled in Mysore State viz like Handijogi and Reddy people from Andhra, Kahar, Mahratta, Namagouda and Areru from Maharashtra, Beri and Mudaliar from Tamil country, orugusa and Gauliga from Northern-Indid stock can be seen here. The above mentioned race theories are not accepted by all experts. But one can conclude that there are three important groups in the Southern parts of India. 1. Munda and Kol people belong to Kherpari or Austro-Asiatic group. In the opinion of Gait during Old Stone Age Period these tribes must have migrated from Malay, Indo-China and Oleria region into India. Perhaps these people came from Eastern Asia into Assam. Later they may have entered India via Sea. They perhaps passed through Odra (Orissa) country to reach Central India. That is why Munda language is not found in South India. At present the theory of Austric languages propounded by Smith is respected by Anthropologists. In this Munda – Mon – Khmer group we find the following tribes are included. Munda-Kol, Santhal, Mundari, Bhumji, Brihor, Asura, Koran, Ho, Koda, Khariya, Turi and Kurki etc. Amongst these tribes Kol’s gave their name to such places as Kolar and Kolleru.
_______________________ Footnotes 12. Mysore Castes and Tribes, Vol. I
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One of the tribes of Kol, that is Asura’s reside in Khasipur region. Many identify this group known as Asuras with the Rigvedic Asuras. Some link these people with Assyrians. Another tribal group called Sawara – Sabara are found in Sambalpur, Sambalghar, Kanker and Bastar region. One Sambara tribe belonging to asura group is mentioned in Vedas. One of the sub-groups is called Sambara. The word “Shabari” has its root in Dravidian languages like Halpi or Gondi. The Bhils of Madhyapradesh who belong to Kol tribe perhaps got their name from the word “bow” (bhil). 2. Dravidians - Some anthropologists are of the opinion that Dravidians belong to mediterranean race. Dravidian languages differ from Munda – Mon – Khmer language. The Gond, Khand and orus are Dravidian tribes people, but they engage Munda priests to conduct their religious rituals. A few experts think that the original Dravidian language structure can be seen in Gandi and Kurak Khand languages. The Gondas and Bhurran tribesmen call themselves “Ravana Vamji” (Ravana lineage). The Booyi tribesmen call themselves “Parvathaputta” (Hanuman lineage). The Ramosi tribesmen of Birar call themselves “Rama Vamji” (Rama’s lineage). In the opinion of Caldwell the Dravidians migrated from Central Asia around 2000 B. C. They reached India and around 1000 B. C., Tamils according to Caldwell separated from this group and settled in South India. Even today in Northern India such Dravidian Tribes as Maal, Sauri, Pahari, Khand and Gond people of Booji region are found existing in large areas. These Dravidians are responsible for the development of Indus Valley Civilization prior to Aryan Invasion. It is also believed that Rig Vedic references to Anasa (snub nose – Flat nose), Dasyu, Shishna Deva, Mruduvachi and Asura refer to the presence of Dravidians, who were rivals of Aryans. These were at best mere conjectures and meaningless speculations made by some historians. Such tribes as Todas, Halepike, Kuruba, Kurumba, Kadar, Malevedar, Badaga, Iruliga and Soliga are considered to be Dravidians in Mysore State. But in Tamilnadu the same tribes are considered to be Proto-Dravidian and Polynesian. According to some experts the Nagas are Proto-Dravidian and Naga language is different from Dravidian languages. But Dr. Parker considers Nagas as belonging to Nayar Community and © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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hence Dravidians. In the opinion of Kanaka Sabha Pillai, such South Indian tribes as Villavar and Minavar (Meena’s and Bhils of Rajaputana), Pulava, Ovia and Paradavar are not Dravidians, but belong to Nagavamsa (Naga lineage). 3. Aryans: We have already clarified that the words ‘Arya’ and ‘Dravida’ do not apply to a race of people, but it is only used in a linguistic sense. Some Western scholars, who studied the Aryan group of languages thought that the language must have originated from a single race. After a comparative study of languages such as Greek, Roman (Latin), Teoutonic, Slav, Iranian, Hittite and other languages, that they thought that those languages must have had a common ancestral language. They came to conclusion that this language was spoken by Aryans, who lived in Austria, Hungary or in the Baltic region or in Southern part of Russia etc. and they were Pastoral nomadic people. Around 2300 B. C. these tall, well-built people with fair complexion and having oval blue or grey coloured eyes left their homeland situated in present day Ukraine or Southern Russia and marched towards Europe. They followed the course of River Danube and on their way they destroyed Trojan culture and conquered Thessally and Macedonia. They entered Greece and destroyed Minoan – Myceanian Civilizations. The second wave of Aryan invaders stormed Anatolia, Syria and Iran and marched through Hindu-Kush mountains and entered present day Sind – Punjab region in 1500 B. C. They were responsible for the destruction of Indus Valley Civilization. They drove out the Dravidians, who were living in these areas to Southern India. These hoards were called by different names such as Indo-Iranian, Indo-European, Indo-Germanic, Indo-Aryan and Virose. Some Historians protested against this Aryan Invasion Theory and began to greatly praise Celtic-Mediterranean Culture. They described these Nordic Aryans as War mongers, destroyers of Civilizations and their contribution to Global culture as being zero. The Ancient Civilizations of Createan, Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian and Iberian are called Mediterranean Civilizations.
theories have bred only hatred and encouraged violence and they can be ignored as being irrelevant. The name “Arya” only applies to Vedic Age people and to the ancient Iranians who composed the religious epic “Avesta”. The ancient Iranians called themselves “Airiya” and ‘Ariya”. The Hindu-Khush mountain divides people © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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on the either side on the basis of language and race. In the north of Hindu – Khush we have people with big craniums, who use Iranic languages. In the South of Hindu – Khush mountains we find people with elongated skulls speaking languages such as Paichasi and Prakruth, which are derivatives of Sanskrit. Though originally these people spoke a common ancestral language, the people living in the north are described racially as Alpine – Armenoid Race and the Southern people as belonging to Indo-Aryan Race.
During the Mesolithic Period the primitive man had evolved a warrior culture, manufactured battle axe and cord ware pottery. They buried their dead in single graves. These people used Indo-European languages and they were distributed in different geographical regions like Baltic Sea and from north sea to black sea or Caucasus or in the Caspian Sea region. The language used by these people had links with Finno – Agrarian in the north, Uralic in the east and to the languages in the orient. The words for copper and axe in Aryan languages are same as in Sumerian language. In the Aryan culture we can see the influence of Ur-Asiatic of the North and oriental influences of the South. Therefore some opine that the original home of Aryans is northern Europe. It is, according to others south Russia or Caucasus. But it is difficult to determine the original home of Aryans on this basis. Some consider the agriculturalists of Danube river region or Western Comb-ware people as Aryans. We cannot say that Indo – European group of languages belonged only to the fierce warrior tribes. Perhaps it was used by others as well.
Dr Hawke15 concludes that Indo-European group of languages were used by warrior tribes of Europe some 3000 years ago.
_______________________ Footnotes 15. Hawke, Foundation of Europe.
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According to Pargiter the Kshatriyas (the Warrior castes originally) and Brahmins of the priestly class were Aryan from the Mediterranean area. The Kshatriyas enjoyed a high status in caste hierarchy and some like Ashwapathi Kekiya and Maharaja Janaka preached Philosophy to Brahmins. The famous spiritual leaders like Buddha and Mahavira were Kshatriyas who condemned the path of Karma (ritualistic religious practices) and they were not Brahmins16. Some experts divide Aryans into Vedic-Aryans and Non-Vedic Aryans. Amongst these people the large sized skull people belonging to Pamir-alpine group became Dravidians. These tribesmen founded Indus Valley civilization. They are also responsible for the creation of Dravidian and Aryan languages. These non-vedic Dravidians first settled in North West and later around 1500 B. C. the vedic aryans entered India. This argument goes against the Indian traditional theory about Aryans and it lacks adequate circumstantial evidence. In the Vedas and other texts it is nowhere mentioned that Aryans are war mongering, pastoral and migrant people from foreign lands. Aryans are found in the region between Himalaya and Vindhyas, which is described as Aryavarta. सरस्व ी दृश्द्द्वायोदे वनद्योयदन्तरम् । ां दे व तनतमव ां दे शां ब्रह्माव व प्रचक्ष े ॥
The Brahma Rishis lived in the Ganga-Yamuna river basin and this area is described as Brahmavarta. “In recent years such scholars as Hopkins, Geldner, Pishall, Keith and Macdonald consider the Eastern region next to Punjab as being the locale where Rig Veda Samhita was composed by Rishis17. The “River Stuti” begins with rivers in the east and then moves on to the western region, viz. Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Satadru, Parushni, Asikini, Marupdhrudha, Vishasta, Argikiya and Sushoma rivers which begin in the Eastern region and gradually move to the West. This proves the fact that Aryans migrated from their original homeland near Ganga and Yamuna rivers to North-Western region, where the other rivers flowed into the sea. _______________________ Footnotes 16. Paragiter, Indian Historical Tradition. 17. Macdonnell and Keith, Vedic Index, p. 468. The Vedic Age (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Vol I).
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The other rivers mentioned in vedic texts like kuvaha (Kuba, Kofen or Kabul river), Krumu (Kuram), Gomati (Gomaal), Rasa (Aracis or Sksaritis) and other rivers which flows through Hindu – Khush mountains marks the area of Aryan country. Therefore the Aryan Mesolithic culture and Neolithic Culture (B. C. 10,000) spread to Western countries such as Iran, Hittite, Mittani and Hurri civilizations and contributed to the development of their culture. This Aryan culture also spread to the region of Hellis point bay and beyond into Ukraine-Danube region around B. C. 3000. We conclude with certainty that the original home of Aryans should be Panchanad Kuru – Panchala and Ganga- Yamuna doab region. We cannot describe “Aryan Culture” as Warrior Culture. This stereotyped image of Aryans as nomadic warriors is a fanciful projection of the Western scholars. This definition does not apply to Vedic Aryans of India. The word ‘Arya’ is derived from Ri – Ar – uw root sounds. The Latin words “Ara trum” (a plough) and the word “Airiya” (agricultural field, grassland etc.) refer to early preoccupation of these people.
It is an injustice to Aryans to describe them as pastoral wanderers or as a race of war mongering hordes, because the Rig Veda describes “Arya” as a cultured gentlemen. The IndoEuropean race is different from Indo-Aryan race. It is also a fallacy to differentiate Aryans and Dravidians as being two dissimilar races, which populate Indian Subcontinent.
I wish to contradict the theory propounded by some scholars that Indus Valley Civilisation is Dravidian or Ur-Aryan, later in the coming chapters.
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Part III Languages of India
Fig : Language distribution in India
It is assumed that man initially imitated natural sounds of animals and birds. He tried to express his feelings of hunger, surprise, fear and joy through sounds. In the beginning, man must have used monosyllabic words to address a person. Gradually the frontal lobes of the brain (Neopallium) evolved and man used hand gestures to convey his ideas and also dental consonants came to be used. Even today among several tribes they have such words as red cow or black cow, but not the word “cow” as a word to denote a category of animal. During the early days, when man pursued the profession of hunting and pastoral life, he had to coin new words to describe his experiences. Man developed agriculture, business and various industries which brought him into contact with other people. In the beginning the language spoken was agglutinative and later such languages as Sanskrit, Greek and Latin languages © www.srikanta-sastri.org
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emerged with inflexions. It is still debated whether a language originated at one geographical centre and spread to other parts of the world or it originated in different centres independently and later got mixed up. In the Indian sub-continent, there are at least three hundred languages which can be divided into Aryan and Dravidian groups. But these ten languages are considered to be very important. They are Munda- Naga-Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Eastern Hindi, Western Hindi (Urdu), Oriya and Gujarati. Statistics of important Indian languages according to 1931 census Sl no.
Table : Statistics of important India languages according to 1931 census i.
The Aryan language group
The western linguists have called this group of languages as “Indo-European”, “IndoGermanic” and “Ur-Aryan”. Dr. George Abraham Grierson opines that the language “Aryan” is the mother of the three languages. Iranian, Dacian and Indic. Some of these languages like Parsi, Avestik, Scythian and East-Iranian originated from this branch of Indo-European language. From Parsi, the other sub-divisions emerged like Kurdish, ancient Persian, Burgista and Pahlavi languages. Under the Indic-language group these languages are listed- Vedic Sanskrit, ancient Prakrit, Pali and Apabhramsa. Modern Aryan languages are Elu (ancient Sinhalese), Gypsy languages, Dardi or Paishachi, Kafffir-Baskali , Y-Ala , Kho-Vara (Kho-bwa),
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Shina and Kohistani. Many Vedic words are found in Paishachi languages. According to some experts Pali, Prakrit and Dravidian languages originated from Paishacha group. In the recent past after a thorough study of pictographic Hittite languages, such linguists as Prof. Bedricil Hronzȳ, Prof. Sturte Vont Edgar and Prof. Friar have revised their opinion with regard to “Indo-European” languages. Hence any discussions based on earlier theories are baseless. Many un-Aryan words are found in cuneiform classical Hittite language, which is of recent origin (2000 B. C.). Several linguists have accepted ancient hieroglyphic Hittite or Hattille or Nesali – Nesumli as the languages of the Aryans. Therefore Indo-Hattille is the root language of Indo-European language. Hence Indo – Hattilli language gave birth to Indo-European languages.
Pre Indo European
The above isoglosses show the inter-relationship between “Centum” group of languages and “Cetum” group of languages. European languages: Cetum and Centum languages 11. German 10. Celtic 9. Italian 8. Greek
1. Hittite 2. Tocharian 3. Threco-frisian
4. Balto- Slovanic 5. Albanian 6. Indo Iranian 7. Aremenian
Table : Cetum and Centum languages
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The first three languages of ‘A’ group belong to Indo-European group (Figures 1, 2 and 3). The languages listed as 4, 5, 6 and 7 belong to Cetum group (B group). The languages listed as 8, 9,10 and 11 belong to Centum group (C group). Dr. Bedrich Hroznȳ opines that in Eastern Asia Minor the natives were Hatti people. In 2000 BC a horde of invaders came to this area and subdued the local population. But they adopted the same name of Hatti and established a new culture. In many Cuneiform inscriptions quotations like “Hattaili Kisan Matti”, “Hattili Memae” (Meaning: In Hattili language this is how it is expressed) are inscribed from classical Hattilli. So we can assume that Hattili used after 2000 B. C. was different from the classical Hattili of the ancient period. This ancient pictographic (Hieroglyphic) classical Hittite language gives a list of names of kings and Gods and a few other things mentioned there show a strong affinity to Sanskrit language1. There are some differences in aspects of grammar between Indo-Hittite and IndoEuropean languages. The well-known linguist Edgar Howard Strutevant2 considers Hittite language to be different from Indo- European languages.
_______________________ Footnotes 1.
Hatille - Sanskrit
Asamanajas Lowhi, Rohit
Ariyas Aeias Sagaris Tuvarsas Dur path
Arya Ayu Sagara Turvasu Drupada
Leap Paprsa Stap Apas Nepas Pater
Lape Prushath Stapaya Abhi Nabhas Patra
Yet Aat Te Hook Hepk
Aad Dadati Vāk
2.Ha, Im, U sounds are not found in Indo-Hittite language. Arla = Are, Arath = long distance, Indo-Hittite, Hatilli consonant sounds join with vowels as prefixes. Indo-European sounds are long drawn while pronouncingMehthrome = Mathram; In Indo-Hittite, Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha and it becomes soft sounds in Indo-European languages. They are not found in classical Hittite- Keta=Shethe, In Indo- Hittite, He, Kwa, Gu, Ghu disappears in Indo-European languages: Kiss-Krura; Hittite Kurur < Indo- Hittite Kurur, Indo- Hittite Tastadasd > Indo-European Sta, Stha. Indo-Hittite antyatsa > becomes in Indo-European language “Sa”. Some of the archaic elements of Hittite language differs from Indo-European languages. But Hittite language and Sanskrit language possess many similarities.
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But the evolution of so called Indo- European languages demonstrate that it had incorporated certain elements of Hittite language. Dr. Peterson has shown the intimate relationship between Tocharian language and Hittite language. In Paishachi and Prakrit languages the vowels differ from each other3. Similarly in IndoEuropean languages explosives proliferated widely resulting in development of differernt dialects in various countries resulting in the evolution of such languages as classical Tocharian, Thracian, Frisian, Etruscan, Lidan. Finno-ugrian, Slav, Baltic and High German. Dr. Keith4 speculates that Indo-European group of people must have lived around Kirgis grasslands near Napier-Ural central region. The recent research work done in the field of Archaeology has come up with enough evidence to show that original homeland of so called Indo-Europeans or Aryans happens to be India. Around early 4000 BC, these people migrated in westward direction and they were responsible for the birth of Hittite civilization and various other civilizations. Though there are some similarities between cuneiform Hittite languages and Indo-European languages, it is generally accepted that ancient Indo-Hittite language is the root language (or the original language) of Europe. The various theories propounded by Western scholars, which are contrary to this may be ignored. We can summarize from all these facts that the Vedic- Sanskrit reached Anatolia, even before Bokazkai inscription and Tel-Al Amaṝna letter (1400 BC) and spread all over Syria. The various mutations of Vedic-Sanskrit, finally crystallized in the form of Avestan language around 800 BC during this period, Vedic Sanskrit spread in different directions. In it’s journey through the north-west, it resulted in Paishachi and Prakrut languages and in its southward journey it resulted in Dravidian languages. The lingua franca of Roman Empire, the Latin language over centuries became Italian, Similarly Prakrut language emerged from Sanskrit as an off shoot. The grammarians have accepted Sanskrit as mother of Prakrut.
_______________________ Footnotes 3. Language, IX 4. IHQ XIV P. 221; 1-30
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Dr. Griearson considers Prakrut and Paishacha languages as belonging to Indo – European “Kho” (mountain) category language. But Bloch, Morgenstiernece and some others reject Griearson’s argument that Prakrut is quite different from Sanskrit, so it belongs to a third group5. They feel it belongs to Sanskrit group. Some others think that Paishacha language is a “chaos” language6 and does not belong to a special separate group. But such languages as Magadi, Arda-Magadi, Pali, Sauraseni and Maharashtri, which belong to Prakrut group are different variants of the Vedic-Sanskrit language. These languages are called middle- Indo-European languages. The grammarians have divided Prakrut into ancient prakrut or Chulika Paishachi and Pratichya. The name Pali was given by Buddhist monks of Sri Lanka to Magadi or Arda-Magadi language around 8th century AD. According to some scholars Pali originated either in Ujjain or Taxila7, but spread across the Vindhya and into NorthEastern regions. Prior to the Vedic age, the Darada or Pischacha tribes people migrated to Kekaya, Kuru-Panchala, Magada, Gouda and Nepal in the Eastern region and another group migrated to Southern region of Vindhya, Maharashtra, Andhra and Karnataka . Thereby initiating the development of Gouda and Dravidian languages. From middle Indo-Aryan languages8 the so called modern Indo-European languages of India came into existence like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarathi, Urdu, Nepali, Kashmiri, Brajabasha, Punjabi, Lahandi, Rajasthani and Assamese. II Munda –Mon-Khmer languages This group of languages are found in central and Eastern parts of India. Neilson V. Smith and others are of the opinion that these languages of Austric group either belong to Austroasiatic or Austronesian category of languages. But Dr. Harvis E. Cole says Munda languages are closely linked to Finno-Ugrian and so there is no separate group called “Austric” group. _______________________ Footnotes 5. Bloch, Lefarmation de langue Masathi; Morgentierence, Reports of Linguistic Missions to Afghanistan and North-Western India, 1926-32. Oslo. 6. Master, J.R.A.S 1943. 7. B. C. Law, History of Pali Literature, Vol. I. 8. Bloch, L’ Inde-Aryan du Veda aux Temps. Modernes. 1934.
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These Munda-man Khmer languages had spread as far as Polynesia. In the Polynesian Maori language we find these words “Matariki” (Krithika star), Matrukeru (7 mother goddesses), “Raka” (Poornima – full moon day) and “Kuhu” (Amavasya –new moon day) which are Sanskrit derivatives and these people claim that they are from the land of Ganges river. Their language has a close affinity to Sanskrit. But Dr. Sylvian Levi has greatly exaggerated the importance of “Austric” language and claims it to be the foundation of IndoEuropean languages, which existed during the Vedic period9. III Dravidian languages Robert Caldwell advocated a special theory that Dravidian languages prevailing in South India belong to a separate group. He relied heavily on grammar of these South Indian languages to come to such a conclusion. Some linguists relied heavily on grammar of Dravidian languages to prove this hypothesis. In Dravidian languages depending on the meaning of the noun word, its gender is determined and Sandhi- declension both in singular person and plural person co-join the case (relationship between a noun and a verb) through a common suffix or post- position. In Dravidian languages the adjectives are not graded as high or low and superior or inferior. They are on an even keel. There are no pronouns to denote a relationship. The accusative case is not specially used. Verbs have a negative form. The adjectival participles belong to a separate group. The first person in third degree includes everything that is there through the use of two kinds of numbers. There is also a speculation that a proto-Dravidian language existed in the past and it was similar to Gondi, Kuvi, Kuruk, Malto, Brahui-e and later got transformed into Tamil, Telugu, Tulu, Kannada, Malyalam, Toda, Kodav, Badaga and Kotha languages. But some Sanskrit grammarians consider Dravadian languages as descendants of Prakrut language, which itself is an offshoot of Sanskrit language and offer various evidences to support their claim. In Indian sub-continent there is no difference at any time between Dravidians and nonDravidians on the basis of caste and culture. _______________________ Footnotes 9. K. Chatterji, Proceedings VIII O.R . Conference, Mysore 1935.
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Therefore we cannot compare Dravidian language group with any other foreign group. There is no evidence to show that Dravidians are migrants from a foreign land. Hence, we have to conclude that Dravidian languages emerged from Prakrut and Paishacha languages. They also got blended with tribal negrito languages. It appears to have taken present form after centuries of evolution. When we examine historical evidences of 3rd century B. C., Emperor Ashoka installed his edicts in Northern Mysore state and they are written in Pali language. In the Mauryan inscriptions of Southern India Dravidian words are totally absent. So we have to conclude Pali and Prakrut were not only official languages, but also languages of the common folk from Afghanistan to Old Mysore region. Ashoka had sent ambassadors and Buddhist monks to these kingdoms of Pandya, Kerala, Chola, Sahyaputra and Tamraparni (Sri Lanka). We do not have any evidence to show that Dravidian languages prevailed in these countries during 3rd century B. C. Recently Brahmi inscriptions of 2nd Century B. C. were discovered in Tiruchanapalli and Anemale, which do not show any Dravidian links. Hence we do not have any proof to show the original nature of Dravidian languages before 1st Century A. D. In the Vedic corpus, words such as “Matachi” (Locust) and other similar words do not conclusively prove the Dravidian language influence on Vedic-Sanskrit language. The Sangam literature of Tamilnadu has its origin in 2nd century A. D.. But we have to concede that some form of Tamil must have existed prior to this date. The over enthusiastic claim that Dravidian language and its culture and caste system are completely different and superior to “Aryan” language, culture and caste system cannot be accepted10. In Indian sub-continent apart from Arya, Dravida, Munda-Mon-Khmer languages, we also have Tibeto-Chinese languages in the North-Eastern region, which are spoken by a few millions. _______________________ Footnotes 10. “Attempts have been made recently to show that Finnish and Hungarian are linked by a ‘common language’ with the Dravidian languages of Southern India and similarly Korean and Japanese with Turkish and even Hungarian; but judged by the canons of what is called Indo-European comparative philology, they can be dismissed as the result of enthusiastic workers allowing themselves, to be governed by their own sentiments ‘whence proceed’ as Bacon said, “sciences as one would”. J. R. Firth, The Tongue of Men. P. 95, 1937.
Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...
Published on Nov 10, 2019
Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...