Wednesday 20 July 2016

The Recorded History of the Indo-European Migrations - Part 1 of 4. Who Were the Vedic Aryans?

 [This long article, divided (because it is long) into four parts, is a summarization (with many important additions and rearrangements of details, and with many data-sections copy-pasted from previous articles) for my blog of the basic details of the final evidence presented by me in my three books, and particularly the third one published in 2008. The history of the Indo-European migrations from their Original Homeland in India is recorded history. The article as a whole may appear extremely heavy, boring and tedious to many, but it is based on pure data alone and not on rhetoric or wishful thinking, and the conclusions are unchallengeable and irrefutable.  I challenge particularly those "Hindus", who have been recently shouting from the rooftops about "genetic" evidence of Indo-European (IE) language-speaking "genomes", "chromosomes" and "haplogroups" invading India, to try to disprove this very tangible, precise and complete evidence.]

There are four Great Classical Civilizations in the Old World: from the east, China, India, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Of these, it is generally known and acknowledged that the Great Civilizations of China, Mesopotamia and Egypt go back beyond 3000 BCE, since detailed records are avaiḷable about their kings and dynasties, the major political events in their ancient history, the wars fought by them, their scientific and cultural achievements and their contributions to the world  ̶  and the chronology of all these historical details is, more or less, known with reasonable accuracy. All these details are known and acknowledged about Classical Indian Civilization also in all these matters, but all of it pertains only to the period after 600 BCE or so. Of the four Great Civilizations of the Old World, the civilization of India alone stands apart in the fact that its history before 600 BCE is supposed to be a big blank in all these matters! The Great Indian civilization, whose remains were discovered by archaeologists in the early twentieth century on the banks of the Indus and the now dried-up Sarasvati, and whose beginnings (like those of the other Great Civilizations) go back well beyond 3000 BCE, is alleged to be a totally different civilization from the later Classical one, of a totally different people speaking a totally different language and having a totally different religion and culture!
Likewise as per the linguistic and philological consensus based on the evidence of language, the history of the different dialects of the original Aryan or Indo-European language speaking people in their (unidentified) Original Homeland also goes back to a point of time before 3000 BCE or so, and it was only around that time that they started separating, by migrations, from each other. But the details of their history in all these matters is likewise one more big blank (including even the exact geography of that Original Homeland)!

In short:

(a) their descendants, after migrating to different areas, left us detailed historical records of their independent civilizations everywhere: in India, Iran, Central Asia, Anatolia, Iraq, Greece, Rome, Scandinavia, Ireland, South Russia, the Caucasus and Balkan areas, and every corner of medieval Europe,
(b) but the history and geography of these Original IEs (Indo-Europeans) themselves, in their Original Homeland, is supposed to be a total blank, although they lived at a point of time (just before 3000 BCE) when the other Great Civilizations were leaving us detailed historical records.

In other words, we have here supposedly three "different" cultures or Civilizations:
1. The Original PIE culture in an unknown Original Homeland (pre-3000 BCE - ?).
2. The Indus-Sarasvati or Harappan Civilization in a known territory (pre-3000 BCE - 1900 BCE?).
3. The Vedic culture in the same known territory (1500 BCE? - 600 BCE) leading to the Classical Indian/Hindu Civilization (post 600 BCE).

And 3 above (which is dated by these scholars after 1500 BCE) is not connected by them with 2 above which is in the same known territory in the (allegedly) immediately preceding period, but with 1 above which is supposed to have been in an unknown area in a far earlier period!

Is this scenario supported by the recorded evidence?

Historians in history books treat the history of the Proto-Indo-Europeans in their unidentified homeland, the history of the "Harappan" people in their very well-defined territory, and (in spite of the details of names and events in the Rigveda) the history of the Vedic people in their (same) well-defined territory in the north-western parts of India, as the eventless histories of mysteriously anonymous, faceless and nameless crowds of people, with no avaiḷable historical details about their kings and dynasties and the major political events and conflicts in their ancient history. However, the fact is that these three allegedly "different" people are actually more or less (i.e. with subtle distinctions) one and the same people with a very well-recorded history, as we will see in this article which (with a few small but important additions of details) is a summarization of the evidence presented by me in my three books, and particularly the third one published in 2008. The history of the Indo-European migrations from their Original Homeland is recorded history. These proto-Indo-Europeans had names, historical personalities, historical kingdoms and historical events, recorded in the traditional texts of India.

The main question that arises is: why, if this is so, has it never been recognized by the Indologists studying these texts?

The answer is that the Indologists were looking through the lenses and blinkers of the AIT (Aryan Invasion Theory) according to which the "Aryans" (or "Indo-Aryan" or "Vedic" language speaking people, being originally a branch of the "Indo-European" language speaking people of South Russia) invaded India somewhere around 1500 BCE or so, settled down in the "Saptasindhava" region (mainly the Greater Punjab i.e. present-day northern Pakistan), and composed the Rigveda. Later they spread out eastwards and, now with their centre shifting eastwards to "Āryāvarta" or present-day Haryana-U.P., composed the Yajurveda (and finalized the Samaveda, which mainly consists of extracts from the Rigveda). Finally they spread out as far east as Bengal, and composed the Atharvaveda. As they spread out over the rest of northern India, the various other Vedic texts were given their final form.

The traditional Indian historical texts (the Puranas and Epics) speak of various conglomerates of tribes spread out all over northern India: mainly the tribal conglomerates of the "solar" tribes (the Ikṣvāku-s) and the "lunar" tribes (the Aiḷa-s i.e. the "five tribes": Druhyu-s, Anu-s, Pūru-s, Yadu-s, Turvasu-s). Obviously in the AIT paradigm, all these (and other) tribes mentioned in the Puranas automatically become descendants of the original "Aryan" invaders who composed the Rigveda - particularly since all of these are found named in the Rigveda also, which also frequently refers to the "pañcajana" or "five tribes".

The Indian writers who oppose the AIT, whether or not they also espouse the OIT (Out-of-India Theory), also accept this paradigm about the Vedic people being the progenitors of Indian culture as a whole (and in extreme cases they even insist they are the progenitors of all the cultures of the world), and therefore in their eyes also the different conglomerates of tribes named in the Puranas automatically become descendants of these "Vedic Aryans" who composed the Rigveda. This Indian obsession with wanting to place the Vedic culture on the highest pedestal only serves to blind them to the facts, data and evidence in the Rigveda, and leaves them helpless to make a convincing case against the AIT, for the following reasons:

1. Whether they like it or not (and however much they refuse to accept it), the Vedic language is not the parent of all the Indo-European languages. There are 12 linguistically well-defined branches of IE: (from the north and west) Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Italic, Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Hittite (now extinct), Tocharian (now extinct), Iranian, and Indo-Aryan. This automatically discounts the idea that the Vedic language (the oldest recorded Indo-Aryan language) could be the parent or progenitor of the languages of the other 11 branches.

2. The oldest text, the Rigveda, has a well-defined geographical area: from Haryana (and adjacent border areas of U.P.) to Afghanistan. The Yajurveda has a geographical area further east: centered around U.P. The geographical area of the Atharvaveda extends eastwards up to Bengal. Subsequent Vedic texts represent different geographical areas in northern India.

These two circumstances (where the "Vedic Aryan" language is one of twelve branches of IE languages of which the other eleven are found outside India, and where the other linguistic and cultural descendants of the Vedic Aryans are found in "later" post-Rigvedic literature "spreading" deeper and deeper inside India)  seem to fit in with the AIT rather than with the OIT or any other anti-AIT position. Therefore, the Indian writers fall back on denial: they mainly deny the validity of the linguistic facts, and some also deny the geographical picture depicted by the study of the comparative geography of the Vedic texts. But what they (as much as the protagonists of the AIT) ignore or fail to understand is that the actual facts, data and evidence in the Rigveda show a totally different picture. We will examine this picture in four parts as follows:

Part 1. Who were the "Vedic Aryans"?
Part 2. The chronology and geography of the Rigveda.
Part 3. The Anu migrations.
Part 4. The Druhyu migrations.

This part, the first and probably the shortest part, will deal only with the historical identity of the Vedic people:, under the following heads:

Section 1: The Puranic Tribes.
Section 2. The ārya-s in the Rigveda.

Section 1: The Puranic Tribes.

The Puranas refer to the mythical Manu Vaivasvata who ruled the whole of India, and divided the land between his ten sons. However, the actual Puranic accounts describe only or mainly the history of descendants of two of these "sons": the tribal conglomerates of the "solar" tribes (the Ikṣvāku-s) and the "lunar" tribes (the Aiḷa-s i.e. the "five tribes": Druhyu-s, Anu-s, Pūru-s, Yadu-s, Turvasu-s).
The descriptions in the Puranas about the locations of the Five Aiḷa tribes in northern India clearly place the Pūru-s as the inhabitants of the Central Area (Haryana and adjacent areas of western U.P.), the Anu-s to their North (Kashmir and adjoining areas), the Druhyu-s to their West (present-day northern Pakistan), and the Yadu-s and Turvasu-s to their South-west (Rajasthan, Gujarat, western M.P.) and South-east (eastern M.P. and Chhattisgarh?) respectively. The Solar race of the Ikṣvāku-s are placed to the East (eastern U.P, northern Bihar). Later historical events described in the Puranas see the Anu-s expanding southwards and occupying the erstwhile territory of the Druhyu-s (present-day northern Pakistan) while the Druhyu-s move out into Afghanistan and then into Central Asia.  

This clearly shows that the Pūru-s were the inhabitants of the core Rigvedic area of the Oldest Books (6,3,7): Haryana and adjacent areas, and they (and, as we will see, originally their sub-tribe the Bharata-s) were the "Vedic Aryans". Their neighbouring tribes and people in all directions were the other non-Vedic (i.e. non-Pūru) but "Aryan" or Indo-European language speaking tribes. The Pūru expansions described in the Puranas explain all the known historical phenomena associated with the "Aryans": the expansion of Pūru kingdoms eastwards (Panchala, Kashi, Magadha, etc., as described in the Puranas) explains the phenomenon which Western scholars interpreted as an "Aryan expansion into India from west to east" (the area of the Rigveda extending eastwards to Haryana and westernmost U.P., the area of the Yajurveda extending further eastwards to cover the whole of U.P., and the area of the Atharvaveda extending even further eastwards up to Bengal), and their expansion westwards described in the Puranas and the Rigveda was the catalyst for the migration of Indo-European language speakers from the Anu and Druhyu tribes (whose dialects later developed into the other 11 branches of Indo-European languages) from India.

So, in short, the Pūru-s were the "Vedic Aryans" (i.e. the composers of the Rigveda and the speakers of the "Indo-Aryan" dialect, one of the 12 branch dialects of the original proto-IE language), and (among) the other tribes named in the Puranas were the speakers of the other (i.e. other than "Indo-Aryan") 11 branch dialects of the original proto-IE language.

The evidence for this lies in the Rigveda itself:

The Rigveda frequently refers to the "panchajana" or the "Five Tribes", i.e. the five Aiḷa tribes: Druhyu-s, Anu-s, Pūru-s, Yadu-s, Turvasu-s, who are named together in I.108.8. Some of the references are in the form of enumerations (as we would say: "Punjab, Sindha, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Utkala, Banga…"), or directional references (as in "from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.."): I.47.7; 108.8; VI.46.8; VIII.4.1; 10.5. However, the other references make the identities very clear:

1. The word Ikṣvāku occurs only once (in X.60.4) as an epithet of the Sun.

2. The Yadu-s and Turvasu-s (Turvaṣa-s in the Rigveda) are mentioned many times (i.e. in 19 hymns). But almost every time (in as many as 15 hymns) they are mentioned together (as one groups together outsiders or distant peoples from one direction or general area: as an insular Maharashtrian in Mumbai, for example, would use phrases like "U.P.-Biharwale", "Gujarati-Marwadi", "Punjabi-Sindhi", or "Chini-Japani"; or "Madrasi" or "Kanadi" to encompass all South Indians, etc.). What is more, they are named mostly in references to two specific historical incidents which specifically describe them as living "far away" and having to cross several rivers to reach the Vedic area, and they sometimes figure as allies and sometimes as enemies.

3. The Druhyu-s are only mentioned thrice in a single hymn (VII.18), and there they are enemies of the composers of the hymn. The Anu-s are mentioned in 4 hymns: in the two more specific of them (VI.62; VII.18, both in the Old Books), they also are enemies of the composers of the hymns. In the other two more general references (V.31; VIII.74) both in the New Books, the word Anu is used as a synonym for Bhṛgu-s (who also figure as enemies in VII.18).

4. In contrast with all this, the Pūru-s are found referred to throughout the Rigveda in the first-person sense. They are the "We" of the Rigveda: in IV.38.1 and VI.20.10, the Pūru-s are directly identified with the first person plural pronoun. All the Vedic Gods are identified as the Gods of the Pūru-s: Agni is described as being like a cooling “fountain” to the Pūru-s (X.4.1), a “priest” who drives away the sins of the Pūru-s (I.129.5), the Hero who is worshipped by the Pūru-s (I.59.6), the protector of the sacrifices of the Pūru-s (V.17.1), and the destroyer of enemy castles for the Pūru-s (VII.5.3). Mitra and Varuṇa are described as affording special aid in battle and war to the Pūru-s, in the form of powerful allies and steeds (IV.38.1,3; 39.2). Indra is described as the God to whom the Pūru-s sacrifice in order to gain new favours (VI.20.10) and for whom the Pūru-s shed Soma (VIII.64.10). Indra gives freedom to the Pūru-s by slaying their enemies (IV.21.10), helps the Pūru-s in battle (VII.19.3), and breaks down enemy castles for the Pūru-s (I.63.7; 130.7; 131.4). He even addresses the Pūru-s, and asks them to sacrifice to him alone, promising in return his friendship, protection and generosity (X.48.5), in a manner reminiscent of the Biblical God’s “covenant” with the "People of the Book", the Jews. In VIII.10.5, the Aśvins are asked to leave the other four tribes (the Druhyu-s, Anu-s, Yadu-s and Turvasu-s, who are specifically named) and come to "us".

But there is much more:

a) The area of the Sarasvati river was the heartland of the Vedic Aryans. It was so important that it is the only river to have three whole hymns (apart from references in 52 other verses) in its praise: VI.61; VII.95 and 96. Sarasvati is also one of the three Great Goddesses praised in the āprī sūktas (family hymns) of all the ten families of composers of the Ṛigveda. As per the evidence of the Rigveda, the Sarasvati was a purely Pūru river, running through Pūru territory, with Pūru-s dwelling on both sides of the river: “the Pūru-s dwell, Beauteous One, on thy two grassy banks” (VII.96.2).

b) The identity of the Pūru-s with the Vedic Aryans is so unmistakable, that the line between “Pūru” and “man” is almost non-existent in the Rigveda: Griffith, for example, sees fit to directly translate the word Pūru as “man” in at least five verses: I.129.5; 131.4;  IV.21.10; V.171.1 and X.4.1. In one verse (VIII.64.10), the Rigveda itself identifies the Pūru-s with “mankind”: “Pūrave […] mānave jane”. The Rigveda actually coins a word Pūru-ṣa/ Puru-ṣa (descendant of Pūru), on the analogy of the word manu-ṣa (descendant of Manu), for “man”. In his footnote to I.59.2, Griffith notes: "Pūru's sons: men in general, Pūru being regarded as their progenitor", and again, in his footnote to X.48.5, Griffith notes: "Ye Pūru-s: 'O men' - Wilson", and likewise in his footnotes to VII.5.3 and X.4.1.

c) The identity of the Pūru-s with the Vedic Aryans is impossible to miss: Prof. Michael Witzel points out that it is “the Pūru, to whom (and to ... the Bharata) the Ṛigveda really belongs” (WITZEL 2005b:313), and affirms that the Rigveda was “composed primarily by the Pūru-s and Bharatas” (WITZEL 1995b:328), and notes that the Bharata-s were “a subtribe” (WITZEL 1995b:339) of the Pūru-s. Southworth even identifies the Vedic Aryans linguistically and archaeologically with the Pūru-s.

d) The only two unfriendly references to Pūru-s, in this case clearly to sections of non-Bharata Pūru-s who entered into conflict with the Bharata clan or sub-tribe, who are the Vedic Aryans proper of the Rigveda (especially during the period of the Family Books, after which the Rigveda becomes a general Pūru text), are in VII.8.4 which talks about “Bharata’s Agni” conquering the (other) Pūru-s, and VII.18.13 which talks about conquering “in sacrifice” the scornful Pūru-s (who failed to come to the aid of the Bharatas in the Battle of the Ten Kings). The Bharatas are undoubtedly the unqualified heroes of the hymns in the Family Books 2-7 (all but one of the references to the Bharatas appear only in the Family Books: I.96.3; II.7.1,5; 36.2;  III.23.2; 33.11,12; 53.12,24;  IV.25.4;  V.11.1; 54.14;  VI.16.19,45; VII.8.4; 33.6): in many of these verses even the Gods are referred to as Bharatas: Agni in I.96.3, II.7.1,5; IV.25.4 and VI.16.19, and the Maruts in II.36.2. In other verses, Agni is described as belonging to the Bharatas: III.23.2; V.11.1; VI.16.45 and VII.8.4. There is not a single reference even faintly hostile to them.

e) Significantly: 1. Bhāratī, the deity of the Bharata subtribe of the Pūru-s is one of the three Great Goddesses (like Sarasvati) praised in the family hymns of all the ten families of composers in the Rigveda. 2. Of those ten families of composers, while nine are priestly families, the tenth is a family exclusively consisting of composers from the royal dynasty of the Bharata subtribe of the Pūru-s, whose āprī sūkta is X.70.

But most significant of all is the use of the word ārya in the Rigveda.

Section 2. The ārya-s in the Rigveda.

Most significant of all is the use of the word ārya (which everyone acknowledges as the word by which the Vedic people referred to themselves) in the Rigveda in the sense of "belonging to our community/tribe". It is used only in reference to Bharata kings like Sudās and Divodāsa, never in reference to non-Pūru kings. Non-Pūru patrons (mainly of the Atri and Kaṇva rishis) are never called ārya. Even when non-Pūru kings like Mandhāta, Purukutsa and Trasadasyu are praised to the skies (Trasadasyu is even called a "demi-god" or "ardha-deva" in IV.42.8-9), it is only because of the help rendered by them to the Pūru-s (referred to in I.63.7; IV.38.1, VI.20.10; VII.19.3), and they are never called ārya. And the Rigveda even clearly specifies that ārya means Pūru, in I.59.2 (vis-a-vis I.59.6) and VII.5.6 (vis-a-vis VII.5.3).

The word ārya is found in 34 hymns, of which 28 are composed by composers belong to the Bharata family and the two families directly affiliated to them, the Angiras-es and Vasiṣṭha-s, and 2 more by the Viśvamitra-s who were also affiliated to the Bharata king Sudās before being supplanted by the Vasiṣṭha-s. One more within the Family Books is by the Gṛtsamada-s (note that the Gṛtsamada-s are descended from an Angiras rishi). Only 3 hymns are by rishis not affiliated to the Bharata-s, and the references to āryas in those three hymns are interesting as they show the neutrality of the composers vis-à-vis the Bharata Pūru-s:

One hymn (IX.63) is by a composer from the most neutral and apolitical family of rishis in the Rigveda, the Kaśyapa-s, and the word ārya is used twice in the hymn in the only case in the whole of the Rigveda where the word has a purely abstract rather than personal or tribal meaning. The other two hymns are by Kaṇva-s, who (alongwith the Atri-s) are politically active rishis not affiliated solely to the Vedic Aryans (Bharata-s and Pūru-s) but closely associated with other tribes as well. In one (VIII.51.9), the composer expresses (his) neutrality between ārya-s and dāsa-s, and in the other (even) this unaffiliated composer uses the word ārya only in reference to the Bharata king Divodāsa.

Most interesting of all:
i) Nine (IV.30, VI.22,33,60, VII.83, X.38,69,83,102)  of the above 34 hymns refer to ārya-s as enemies (8 of them jointly to ārya and dāsa enemies)! All the nine hymns are by Bharata-s or the two families of rishis closely affiliated to them, the Angiras-es and Vasiṣṭha-s.
ii) Further, 7 more hymns (I.100,111, IV.4, VI.19,25,44, X.69) refer to jāmi (kinsmen) and ajāmi (non-kinsmen) enemies, all 7 being composed by Bharata-s and Angiras-es.
iii) And one more (X.133), by a Bharata composer, refers to sanābhi (kinsmen) and niṣṭya (non-kinsmen) enemies. In addition, one more (VI.75), by an Angiras, likewise refers to sva araṇa (hostile kinsmen) and niṣṭya (non-kinsmen) enemies.

This has no logical explanation in AIT interpretation except to say that the Aryans must "also have fought amongst themselves". But the pattern of references makes the actual explanation clear: it is Bharata Pūru-s as the Vedic āryas fighting against non-Bharata Pūru-s as the enemy āryas. Finally, the Rigveda itself makes this clear when it tells us in the Viśvamitra hymn III.53 (which records the aśvamedha performed by Sudās on the eastern banks of the Sarasvati, after which he is described as expanding his kingdom in all directions) that the Bharata-s, when they set out to do battle, do not differentiate between those who are close to them (i.e. kinsmen) and those who are distant from them (non-kinsmen).

Note: There are only 19 hymns in the Rigveda (out of a total of 1028 hymns) composed by composers from the Bharata family. But 3 out of 34 hymns in the Rigveda which use the word ārya, 2 out of 9 hymns in the Rigveda which refer to "both ārya and dāsa enemies", 1 out of 7 hymns in the Rigveda which refer to "jāmi and ajāmi enemies", and the only hymn which refers to "sanābhi and niṣṭya enemies", are by Bharata composers.

The evidence is very clear: The Pūru-s  ̶  and only the Pūru-s  ̶  and particularly the Bharata Pūru-s from among them, are the "Vedic Aryans", composers of the Rigveda and speakers of the Vedic dialect (the "Indo-Aryan" of the linguists). And the other tribes named in the Puranas are logically not "Vedic Aryans". The other tribes find mention in the Pūru Rigveda only in the same way as outsiders like the non-Jewish tribes of Palestine and the Egyptians, Hittites, Babylonians and Persians are mentioned in the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament). They can logically include (if evidence to this effect can be found in the Rigveda) the speakers of the other IE dialects (which later became the other 11 branches of IE languages). And, as we will see, the Rigveda and traditional history actually provide recorded evidence to this effect.

As we will see, the expansion of the Pūru-s westwards led to migrations of the two conglomerates of tribes to their west, the Anu-s and the Druhyu-s, out of India. But before that, let us arrive at the chronology of these events by examining, in part 2 of this article, the chronology and  the geography of the Rigveda.

Bibliography (of the 4 Parts)

GRIFFITH: The Hymns of the Rigveda. Griffith, Ralph T.H. (Complete translation of the Rigveda), 1889.
HOPKINS 1896a: Prāgāthikāni. Hopkins, Edward W. pp. 23-92 in JAOS (Journal of the American Oriental Society), Vol.17, 1896.
HOPKINS 1896b: Numerical Formulae in the Veda. Hopkins, Edward W. in JAOS (Journal of the American Oriental Society), Vol.16, 1896.
KUZ'MINA 2007: The Origin of the Indo-Iranians. Kuz'mina, Elena. ed. J.P.Mallory. Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series. ed. A.Lubotsky. Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2007.
PROFERES 1999: The Formation of Vedic Liturgies. Proferes, Theodore. Harvard Thesis, April 1999.
TALAGERI 2000: The Rigveda – A Historical Analysis. Talageri S.G. Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2000.
TALAGERI 2008: The Rigveda and the Avesta – The Final Evidence. Talageri S.G., Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2008.
WITZEL 1986: Tracing the Vedic Dialects. Witzel, Michael. in “Dialectes dans les Litteratures Indo-Aryennes”, Paris (Fondation Hugot), 16-18 Septembre, 1986.
WITZEL 1987: On the Localization of Vedic Texts and Schools. Witzel, Michael. in “India and the Ancient World –History Trade and Culture Before AD 650” ed. by Gilbert Pollet, Orientalia  Lovaniensia Analecta, vol. 25, Departement Orientalistiek, Leuven.
WITZEL 1991: Notes on Vedic Dialects. Witzel, Michael.  in ZINBUN, Annals of the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, 67(1991).
WITZEL 1995a: Early Indian History: Linguistic and Textual Parameters. Witzel. Michael.  pp. 85-125 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin, 1995.
WITZEL 1995b: Rgvedic History: Poets, Chieftains and Politics. Witzel, Michael. pp. 307-352 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin.
WITZEL 1997a: Sarama and the Panis – Origins of Prosimetric Exchange in Archaic India. Witzel, Michael. pp. 397-409 in Joseph Harris and Karl Reichl (eds.), “Prosimetrum: Crosscultural perspectives in Narrative Prose and Verse”. D. S. Brewer. Cambridge.
WITZEL 1997b: The Development of the Vedic Canon and Its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu. Witzel, Michael. in “Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts”, ed. by M.Witzel, Cambridge 1997 (being the proceedings of the International Vedic Workshop, Harvard univ., June 1989).
WITZEL 1999: Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan. EJVS 5-1, 1999.
WITZEL 2000a: The Languages of Harappa. Witzel, Michael. Feb. 17, 2000.
WITZEL 2000b: The Home of the Aryans. Witzel, Michael. in “Anusantyai, Fest schrift fur Johanna Norten zum” 70, Geburtstag. Ed. Almut Hintze, Eva Tichy, JH Roll, 2000.
WITZEL 2001a: Autochthonous Aryans: The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts. Witzel, Michael. (EJVS)7-3(2001)
WITZEL 2001b: WESTWARD HO! The Incredible Wanderlust of the Rgvedic Tribes Exposed by S. Talageri, at
WITZEL 2005: Indocentrism: autochthonous visions of ancient India. Witzel, Michael. pp.341-404, in “The Indo-Aryan Controversy — Evidence and Inference in Indian history”, ed.Edwin F. Bryant and Laurie L. Patton, Routledge, London & New York, 2005.
WITZEL 2006: Central Asian Roots and Acculturation in South Asia: Linguistic and Archaelogical Evidence from Western Central Asia, the Hindukush and Northwestern South Asia for Early Indo-Aryan Language and Religion. in “Indus Civilization: Text and Context”, edited by Toshiki Osada, Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 2006.   


  1. There are many recessions of Yajurveda and many other lost (over 50), with regional variations. Is it possible that Yajurveda is older than Rig Veda, but that people were not initially less worried about conserving it exactly, due divergences in how to execute the rituals?

  2. The atharvaveda would be the oldest, at least parts of it, since that are many simple popular witchcraft, where high priests would not even bothered in memorizing it exactly for a long time. That would be mostly traditions carried on by witch doctors from great antiquity, when people were still not organized as kingdoms, but as chiefdoms.

    1. The chronological order of the different Vedic texts is not disputed. The Rigveda is undoubtedly the oldest. The fact that a large number of words are not found in the Old Books of the Rigveda, but are found in the New Books and in both the Atharvaveda (whose geographical area is to the east of the Rigveda) and the Avesta (whose geographical area is to the west of the Rigveda) proves this. One example is the word "atharva" itself. Please see part two of this article which I will be uploading by tomorrow.

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    3. I read your books and I will argue again what I posted above, that some texts were not properly conserved, that is, frozen in time, and kept being updated due either disputes on how to perform rituals (yajurveda, more than 50 versions, originally) or that they were not being considered worth saving (atharvaveda), because they were mostly just folk things.

      Indeed, Rig Veda is the oldest book, but it is not the one which has the oldest content. For example, the much later Puranas have stories which predates Rig Veda. As an analogy, Homeric histories are from greek of the 8th century BC, but the story refers to events around 13th century BC. The Greek written in Linear B, which belongs to that time, is more archaic than the Homeric one, though they talk about events which are contemporaneous.

      It makes sense to me that Vedic Aryans correspond to the people of the Hakra tradition, which would later spread around all SSVC. The tradition of asvamedha is a bit to the east, as you describe. For example, the Ganges is mentioned briefly in book 6 as Jahanavi, which was the original place of the Aryans before moving west.

      So, I take it that Rig Veda is frozen in time because of the lack of disputes on how to do stuff and was held in high regard.

      I have another reason for that, that is, it took some time, some centuries, to develop techniques of memorization. These techniques were used to texts with more status, the family books and secondarily, the rituals. Rituals, in any culture are very unstable, so to decide which one is the most correct breaks down attempts to memorize things. Though, place names, being generally more stable, are more reliable since are more neutral.

      So, I think that Vedic Aryans began on where is now Uttar Pradesh, remembered in book VI as Jahnavi. Or perhaps even further east, if you suppose that the later Anga kingdom was at a remote past the place of the Angiras. The latter can be adduced by how the Angiras ended up being priests for the Bharatas, according to Pargiter.

    4. I don't think we have any disputes on the points made by you. I have also pointed out that "the much later Puranas have stories which predate Rigveda", that there were "Aryan" people further east from pre-Rigvedic times, that eastern places are remembered as the ancient motherland, etc. That is the whole point I am making when I show that the Rigvedic Aryans were basically the Bharata Purus. Other sub-tribes of Purus, as well as Ikshvakus and others, lived to their east. I have also pointed out that the composition of the other Samhitas and some other early Vedic texts is not "post-Rigvedic" since it already started during the Late period of composition of the New Books.

      The point is that the Rigveda was "frozen in time" and therefore represents recorded material of the older age and has to be the basis for the reconstruction of ancient history. Even today, for example, unrecorded (in writing) tribal and local traditions all over India may record memories more than a thousand years old, but for reconstructing history (especially on controversial issues) written records from the times of Shivaji or the Mughal period provide more clinching arguments and data than these older traditions.

  3. Dear Dr. Talageri,

    Thank you for bringing another brilliant piece of research . Regarding what Daniel was suggesting Regarding Atharva veda being older in tradition , I now remember what Asko Parpola Suggested in his book The Roots of Hinduism : The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, in P. 131 we read :
    '' This partial adoption of Rigvedic traditions cannot,however, hide the fact that the Atharvaveda goes back to a separate, and in many respects more archaic,Indo-Aryan tradition. The language of the Atharvaveda, continued in the Brāhmaṇas and other later Vedic texts, as well as in epic and classical Sanskrit, cannot be directly derived from the Rigvedic language.
    This is clear above all from the fact that the “Atharvavedic” language has preserved the Proto-Indo- European distinction between the sounds l and r in many words. The original Rigvedic language, on the other hand, had completely lost the PIE *l as a result of so-called rhotacism, which merged every *l with *r; and this change must have happened in southern Central Asia, before the migrants entered South Asia,
    because the *l/*r distinction was also lost in Mitanni Indo-Aryan (chapter 8) as well as in Avestan and Old Persian (Mayrhofer 2002 [2004]). Words with PIE *l start to infiltrate the Rigveda in Books 1 and
    10, in which l occurs eight times more frequently than in the “family” books, while in the AV l occurs seven times more frequently than in the RV. In the “family” books, l occurs mainly in foreign loanwords and proper names (see chapter 9), but no verbs preserve PIE *l (“to hear” is śru- against Greek klúō, Latin cluēre, Russian slušat’) and only a few nouns (uloka-/loka-, śloka-, -miśla-), which have crept in when the text of the Rigveda was finally fixed around 700 BCE (Pinault 1989:36–37).
    The dialectal difference between the Rigvedic language on the one hand and the Atharvavedic
    language and classical Sanskrit on the other was proposed by Maurice Bloomfield (1899:46–47) and seconded by M. B. Emeneau (1966) and a number of other scholars. The loss or preservation of the *r/*l distinction is paralleled in other linguistic traits. In the declination of the nouns with a-stems, the Rigvedic dialect has innovated in the masculine plural nominative by adding a second plural nominative marker -as (used in consonantal stems) to the ending -ās, which continues the original PIE ending; the
    resulting double ending -āsas is parallelled in Avestan (-āηhō), Old Persian (-āha), and Pāli (-āse).

    1. (continued ...)
      Besides this innovated double ending, the original -ās is also found in the Rigvedic language (though -ās is often to be read as -āsas to mend defective meter) as it is found in Avestan (-ā) and Old Persian (-ā). While -ās is about twice as frequent as -āsas in the Rigveda, in the Atharvaveda it is twenty-four times as frequent, and classical Sanskrit knows only -ās. Similarly, in the instrumental plural of the a-stems, the
      Rigvedic language has the innovative ending -ebhis (paralleled by Old Persian -aibiš) besides the slightly more common inherited ending -ais (Avestan -āiš); while Rigvedic -ebhis is continued in Pāli -ehi and Prakrit -ehiṃ, in the Atharvaveda -ais is five times as common as -ebhis, and classical Sanskrit knows only -ais. In the verbal conjugation, the innovative ending -masi of the first-person plural present active
      (paralleled by Old Iranian -mahi) is about five times as common as the inherited ending -mas, while in the Atharvaveda -mas is commoner than -masi, which is no longer used in classical Sanskrit. There are many further differences, not least in the lexicon.'',however,+hide+the+fact+that+the+Atharvaveda+goes+back+to+a+separate,&source=bl&ots=EWn0ciBDwx&sig=4m6lrogmU5fKGdpJ-awZO4PgpO0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwingvC64o3OAhXKq48KHW93A0MQ6AEIHzAA#v=onepage&q=This%20partial%20adoption%20of%20Rigvedic%20traditions%20cannot%2Chowever%2C%20hide%20the%20fact%20that%20the%20Atharvaveda%20goes%20back%20to%20a%20separate%2C&f=false
      Sir, I would love to know your opinion, regarding the Linguistic arguments he proposes there.

    2. i examined all these variations during my research (-mas vs. -masi, -ās vs -āsas, -ebhis vs. -ais, etc.). However, the distribution of these forms in the Rigveda is absolutely arbitrary and does not exhibit any kind of pattern, and seem to lead to no systematic conclusion.

      There are grammatical forms, metres, maybe words also, which arose in some middle period, became popular for a period of time and then died out. Their distribution therefore shows no pattern. It is the provenance of words which is important, not grammatical or phonological appearances. Thus, an article on Mahatma Gandhi laboriously written in the Vedic language today would still not put the date of the article in the Vedic period: the telltale name of the historical Gandhi would give us the date of the article.

    3. Sir,
      About the un-rhotacised words attested in Atharva Veda , I 'am not very confident, but I think E Indian IE languages do have this trait of preserving the so called *l words even today! ( I will inform after digging more). We without going to the dogmatic interpretation of Dr. Parpola, can imagine that perhaps, this shows there were other IE languages in India which had different linguistic traits?. There is also Bangani , which can represent the almost extinct Kentum dialect , which was probably more numerous in the past.

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    5. Parpola probably wants to imagine that book ten is older because is more cosmopolitan and then breaks apart into families, like a group that grows and splits. But in order for to that to be true, he'd have to selectively choose what to consider or not true to an exagerated degree.

      The distinction between l/r can be explained by its origin further to the east, where retroflex influence is weaker. Also, atharvaveda is closer to classical sankrit than other pali, which shows its use as a basis to compose a lingua franca that could comprehend the largest number of people around. Given that atharvaveda was used as recipes for the every day use of common people, and that Pali was part of more restricted territory, it seemed more wiser the choice of -ais.

  4. Dear S. Talageri, I am an Italian Indologist, formed in the AIT theory, but I have abandoned it during my PhD also thanks to your books, where I found very useful your detailed analysis of Rigvedic hymns.

    However, I have a different opinion about the use of ārya in the RV, I think it should be referred also to Anus, Druhyus, Yadus and Turvaśa, recognized as Ārya in the Puranic tradition, the passages that you cite do not explicitly say that only Pūrus were ārya, to prove that we would need the mention of Anus and so on as dāsa.
    Besides that, I would like to remark that archaeologically in the Harappan period the territory of the Anus described by Pargiter (involving Panjab and Sindh) corresponds to the Kot-Diji culture, while the Puru area (Haryana-UP) to the Sothi-Siswal, and the Yadu area (especially Gujarat) to the Sorath Harappan. To see more in detail my parallel of Vedic-Puranic tradition and archaeology, please read my article:

    I have also a blog:


    Giacomo Benedetti

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sear S. Talateri, I got to the same conslucion of Giacomo, working independently, by only reading your book. Only Koti-Diji culutre offers the massive cohexistence you proposed after the Purus expansion and the same geographical area that you proposed to exist between Anus and Purus. But I should exchange Arya by Vedic Aryans.

      The Amri-Nall corresponds to the Panis, due their early trade with Sumer and that they would be described as rich.

      Here's a map a did

  5. I don't think you have examined minutely all the points about the word "arya" mentioned in the above part. The other four tribes also may be referred to as "arya" in the Puranic tradition (though I would be interested in knowing the exact reference and the exact Puranic text which specifically and explicitly describes any of the five as "arya"!), but the above part was about the Rigvedic references and not the Puranic ones.

    If you accept that the Iranians were Anus, then you may also have read in my book about how the only references in the whole of the Rigveda which speak benevolently about the "dasas" are danastutis in which the names of the donor kings have been identified by a consensus of western scholars as "proto-Iranian" names.

    1. I appreciate your philological rigour, unfortunately I cannot give you exact references from Puranas and I had the same doubt after writing the comment, but we must use also anumāna and not only pratyakṣa. I guess that there is no Puranic scholar ready to deny that the kṣatriyas descendants of Yayāti in the five tribes are to be considered as ārya.

      About the RV, what I do not find compelling is that only Pūrus were ārya because this term appears close to persons belonging to the Pūrus. The reason is not sufficient, we need also to find the mention of non-Pūrus as dāsa or not ārya. Actually, ārya is often cited without a clear reference, and not necessarily for a person following the Vedic religion: in X.38.3, we find: "The godless man, much-lauded Indra, whether he be Dāsa or be Ārya" (yo no dāsa āryo vā puruṣṭutādeva indra).
      We must also consider that in Sanskrit ārya could be applied to the mere language spoken (e.g. Manu X.45).

      About Anus, actually I do not accept that they were Iranians, although probably their language was very close to Iranian because of their position. I think that Pakthas of RV VII.18 for instance were Iranians, and possibly also the dāsas with apparent proto-Iranian names. I remember that Iranian tribes were defined as śūdra (but coming from degraded kṣatriyas) in some post-Rigvedic texts.
      Iranian of course is a modern linguistic or national concept, in the Avesta there are also non-Airyas (Tuiryas) with linguistically 'Iranian' names.

    2. Let me try to explain the use of the term "arya" in the Rigveda and Avesta with an analogous example. I am a Chitrapur Saraswat by community (you can see my blog article about this subject). Then there is the related GSB community in Karnataka. There is a word in our language: "amchigelo" meaning "belonging to our community". Formerly when a CSB used the word "amchigelo", he would mean a CSB and expressly not a GSB, and when a GSB used it he would mean a GSB and expressly not a CSB. (Now, caste/community identities have broadened, and at least when speaking with each other, GSB and CSB people use the word to include each other). The term "aryan", as well as the terms "Iranian" and "Indo-Aryan", as used today are linguistic terms, but in the Rigveda and the Avesta, the people (call them the Rigvedic IEs and the Avestan IEs) used the word "arya" in the sense of "amchigelo" and therefore excluded others including each other as well as other "Indo-Aryans" and "Iranians" from the scope of the word. As I have shown in the above part (and in my books), the Rigvedic data shows that the Rigveda uses the term to mean "Purus" including non-Bharata Purus, non-religious Purus, enemy Purus, etc. but not to mean non-Purus, even friendly or revered ones.

    3. I have to *partially* agree with Giacomo here. According to Pargiter, Bhraspatia Bharadjava trained to be a priest among the Marutas. There are 3 disagrements:

      1.The disagreement comes that they could be an early split from an eponymous king called Maruta.

      2.Another thing the word purus is indeed very close to purusha and it is very usual that neolithic tribes name themselves as merely "humans".

      3. Book X represents a stage where nearly all SSVC was conquered, so there is a tendency of opting for peace. Also, the names which the enemies of the Bharata's are called resemble the description of monkeys. But that is also like how people of Hanuman territory, Kishindha probably worshiped monkeys "Sugriva is mentioned as the ruler of the forest-kingdom Kishkindhya and the king of the Vanaras (forest-dwellers), installed on throne by Raghava Rama and to whom all foresters and apes, monkeys and bears owe allegiance. (3,280)", it could be that they used monkey masks for wars.
      The monkey cult could well be widespread during SSVC times, take a look at this seal:

    4. I mean, the name calling of their color, nose, etc, resembling a monkey

    5. After my first book in 1993, and after I started my first hand study of the Rigveda, I have stopped using the much-interpolated and redacted Puranas (let alone the Epics) as source materials for interpreting Rigvedic history, except where they supplement, complement, amplify or explain the Rigvedic data.

      Incidentally, I am editing the above article to add the following point:

      Note: There are only 19 hymns in the Rigveda (out of a total of 1028 hymns) composed by composers from the Bharata family. But 3 out of 34 hymns in the Rigveda which use the word ārya, 2 out of 9 hymns in the Rigveda which refer to "both ārya and dāsa enemies", 1 out of 7 hymns in the Rigveda which refer to "jāmi and ajāmi enemies", and the only hymn which refers to "sanābhi and niṣṭya enemies", are by Bharata composers.

    6. This would show that Bharatas particularly liked that word, but we need clear hints that the word ārya was used by them for Bharatas or Pūrus only. This conclusion does not appear to be supported enough by the texts themselves. For instance, RV I.59.2 says that the gods produced Agni as a light for the Ārya. Why should we think that it means a specific person here and not anyone who belongs to the Āryas, fire-worshippers? And when the Sun in X.43.4 is called the jyotir āryam 'Aryan light', does it mean that the Sun belonged to the Bharatas or Pūrus?
      I don't think that ārya meant simply 'belonging to our community', because there is no etymological justification for that, and the evolution of the term towards 'noble' could not be explainable. The fact itself that ārya is contrasted to dāsa (that we should interpret as 'slave, servant') as later it is opposed to śūdra reveals that there is already an idea of social superiority, typical of IE societies, where the freemen were opposed to the slaves. In Greece, the nobles were called aristoi, probably from the same root ar-.

      If ārya was used only for Pūrus, moreover, we would have no term in the RV to indicate collectively the other Indo-Aryans, that in the later tradition were the speakers of the āryavāc and belonging to ārya varṇas. To suggest such a radical change of use of ārya we would need very explicit attestations.

    7. 1. If the references show that "Bharatas particularly liked that word" and therefore it is used only for them in the Rigveda, dooesn't that itself show that it is the Bharatas who were the composers of the Rigveda and could impose their "likes" on the text?

      2. Incredibly, you write: "For instance, RV I.59.2 says that the gods produced Agni as a light for the Ārya. Why should we think that it means a specific person here and not anyone who belongs to the Āryas, fire-worshippers?".

      Did you read my above article where I refer to this specific verse (and then did you check it): "And the Rigveda even clearly specifies that ārya means Pūru, in I.59.2 (vis-a-vis I.59.6) and VII.5.6 (vis-a-vis VII.5.3)"?

      The same sentence in I.59.2 is repeated in I.59.6 (in the same hymn) substituting "Puru" for "arya". A similar substitution in VII.5.6 and VII.5.3. What more do you want: a direct statement in the hymns: "we, the composers of the Rigveda are Purus and we call ourselves aryas"?

      3. I find that everyone has some personal likes and dislikes and simply refuses to accept facts which go against their desires, and insists on demanding why a situation not shown by the recorded facts should not be treated as being as valid as the situation depicted by the facts. I have just been reading a querulous discussion on a site where people keep insisting that PIE is a fake concept and Vedic itself is the original language. I have given a massive amount of evidence showing that the Purus are the composers of the Rigveda and that the word "arya" is used in the Rigveda only for Purus. Can you disprove this? Or alternately provide a similar range of references from the Rigveda showing that anus, druhyus, etc. are also called "aryas" in the Rigveda? If not, then why not just accept the evidence of the data and be on the right track of interpretation, instead of saying "I don't think" and thinking "I don't want"? And what is there to particularly "not want" in this?

      4. As you yourself pointed out those called tuiryas or "non-aryas in the Avesta also had Iranian names? So clearly, the word "arya" means "belonging to our community.

      5. And if "arya" in the Rigveda does not mean "belonging to our community", does it mean "linguistically Indo-European as opposed too linguistically non-Indo-European"? The word literally meant "noble" or "pure" and, as I pointed out, is used in the politically relatively neutral book in that sense in one hymn. And where does it specify that "arya" means "fire worshippers"?

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    9. It's important to follow the movement of conquest of Bharatas. By book X nearly all of SSVC was conquered, so it was political move to say that these former foes could be accepted into the new tribe, as long as he worships or follows the same religious principles:

      in X.38.3, we find: "The godless man, much-lauded Indra, whether he be Dāsa or be Ārya" (yo no dāsa āryo vā puruṣṭutādeva indra).

      This does not mean Bharatas or Vedic Purus did not write it, but that they were accepting non Purus into the creed.

    10. Kurus, a Zoroastrian, did the same politics when conquering other people. He last a strong legacy on Judaism:

      "Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered.[12] It is said that in universal history, the role of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects.[7] In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus.[13] What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration (actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion, where, because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the Jewish Bible as Messiah (lit. "His anointed one") (Isaiah 45:1),[14] and is the only non-Jew to be called so:[15]

      So said the Lord to His anointed one, to Cyrus

      — Isaiah 45:1-7"

    11. Arya do mean "our community", the word noble, in the greek sense, since it implies that some people, citizens (On Plato's The Republic, the puts Aristocracy as the superior form of government and democracy as the second worst, a gateway to tyrany). were above others. Thus we get our modern, well, more medieval, meaning of aristocracy.

      There is the Eire etymology for Ireland, but the racial problems of 19th made it derive from Erin, which would would ultimately come from fat. But I would not discard that Eire as meaning Arya.

    12. Greek aristos is a superlative, it means 'best, noblest':

      About RV I.59.2 and 6, dear Talageri, I do not understand where is the repetition, in 2 we have: taṃ tvā devāso ajanayanta devaṃ vaiśvānara jyotir id āryāya
      in 6: pra nū mahitvaṃ vṛṣabhasya vocaṃ yaṃ pūravo vṛtrahaṇaṃ sacante.

      The ārya can even be Indra, as in V.34.6 (indro viśvasya damitā vibhīṣaṇo yathāvaśaṃ nayati dāsam āryaḥ). I don't think that this can be explained with the idea that Indra was belonging to the Pūrus.

      In IV.30.18 we find Arṇa and Citraratha as āryā, being slain by Indra beyond the Sarayu. Now, that was not a Pūru territory, and interestingly one Citraratha king is in the Puranic list of the Eastern Anavas, who reigned beyond the Sarayu. I suppose he must be the same as the king of the Angas mentioned in MBh. The other Citraratha found in the Puranic lists is a famous Yādava king, Pargiter cites no Paurava Citraratha, and in the Rigvedic hymn there is no mention of them as Pūrus, it can be interesting that in the previous stanza we find Yadu and Turvaśa helped by Indra.

      So, we have here a hint that the use of ārya was quite extensive also in the RV, in a family book.

    13. The political meaning is not merely the best, the best government. But the government of the best, superior people. What is being discussed is the political meaning of words, not what can mean in general.

      As for Indra belonging to A,B,C, that is a non issue. It is like the different sects of Abrahamic religions claiming that their god is exclusive, or behave in a way, which is exclusive to them. And it is not an issue that a god helping or blessing allies, just like Cyrus was blessed by YHWH God, even though he was not even Jew, or that he didn't even worship YHWH.

    14. I am sorry, in my above article, I had written "And the Rigveda even clearly specifies that ārya means Pūru, in I.59.2 (vis-a-vis I.59.6) and VII.5.6 (vis-a-vis VII.5.3)", and, in my hurried reply to you, I carelessly and erroneously wrote "The same sentence in I.59.2 is repeated in I.59.6 (in the same hymn) substituting 'Puru' for 'ārya'. A similar substitution in VII.5.6 and VII.5.3.".

      Actually, the two "ārya" references in I.59.2 and VII.5.6 talk of Agni bringing light to the "ārya", and I.59.6 and VII.5.3 talk of Agni destroying the ememies or their castles for the Pūrus. Both the hymns show that the "ārya" refered to therein are the Pūrus. It is in this sense that I had written "ārya means Pūru, in I.59.2 (vis-a-vis I.59.6) and VII.5.6 (vis-a-vis VII.5.3)". Out of 34 hymns which refer to "ārya", is it a coincidence that two hymns should use such parallelisms?

      Moreover, this is part of the entire mass of evidence given in my above article which shows that "ārya" in the Rigveda means "Pūru". As I said, can you provide a similar mass of evidence to show that the term is applied even for anus, druhyus, yadus or turvasus? Please note that I have also pointed out in the above article the nature of the references to these four tribes!

      In your earlier mail, you once wrote that "ārya" is used in the Puranas for Anus, etc. when it is not specifically used in the Puranas in a tribal sense even for Pūrus. Then you said that "ārya" means "fire-worshipper". You did not produce a single reference to prove either assertion. The only common thread in all your assertions seems to be that you will accept or suggest anything but will not accept the evidence for "ārya" meaning "Pūru" in the Rigveda.

      About IV.30, the hymn talks about Citraratha being killed beyond the Sarayu. And he is called "ārya". Yes, it means he was a Pūru. Please read TALAGERI 2000, p.219-220. The use of the word ārya in the RV was only in respect of Pūrus.

    15. Further, you write: "I don't think that this can be explained with the idea that Indra was belonging to the Pūrus".

      But the whole point is that he did belong to the Pūrus. The whole point is that Indra is a purely "Indo-Aryan" God within the IE branches, and Indo-Aryan (or Vedic Aryan) means the Pūrus. If Agni can belong to the Bharatas as per the Rigveda (see my above article "Agni is described as belonging to the Bharatas: III.23.2; V.11.1; VI.16.45 and VII.8.4."), Indra definitely belongs to the Pūrus.

    16. The idea is interesting, but unless he is called a Pūru, it is not proved. What I contest is exactly that Indo-Aryan means Pūru, and not also the other four tribes.
      And you have not explained why the Sun has an ārya light in X.43.4.

      I don't say that ārya means fire-worshipper, but it is well known that the two self-defined ārya peoples, Iranians and Indo-Aryans, were fire-worshippers, and I make the hypothesis that the concept of ārya could be connected with Agni because the fire cult was a distinctive aspect of the āryas.

      But returning to RV I.59.2, the expression jyoti- āryāya is found also in I.117.21, II.11.18, and VII.5.6 that you cite. So, it is a formulaic phrase, that has different contexts and no clear reference to a tribe.
      I.117.21 says: Ploughing and sowing barley, O ye Aśvins, milking out food for men, ye Wonder-Workers,
      Blasting away the Dasyu with your trumpet, ye gave far-spreading light unto the Ārya.
      The only parallel here is with a generic human being (manuṣāya).

      I do not contest that the Rigveda belongs mainly to a Bharata environment, I cited you about that in my article, I remark that we do not have definite evidence that ārya=pūru. I don't have evidence to say that Anus or Yadus were ārya in RV, but Arṇa and Citraratha because of their geographical position and the epic-puranic tradition about Citraratha, I think they were not Pūrus, to prove that they are because they are called ārya is circular reasoning.

      As I already said, we would need Anus and Yadus defined as dāsa to say that they were considered not ārya. It would be interesting to see how is the situation in other Vedic texts.

      But I don't want to convince you. We have different views, and that's OK. Anyway, I am realizing that the topic could be a good subject for a research...

    17. Arya means someone that is blessed, as an ally. One is, of course, ally of himself. I guess that's clear from what Talageri wrote. It's the same idea regarding Indra.

    18. Though that wouldn't make Citrarathra a Puru, but an ally. In any case, I just want you to notice that the latter the text, the more widespread is the use of Arya, which means an expansion of the Puru territory.

    19. It is clear that you do not feel it necessary to read the full evidence in the above article, nor to show how it is wrong or how the other four tribes could also be "arya" in the Rigveda. Remember, the point is not whether they also called themselves "arya", since I have made it clear that all of them, in their own texts would call themselves, but not the Purus, "arya". The point is that they are not "arya" in the Rigveda.

      So, let me give my final answer: No, the Rigveda does not contain the following express declaration "we the Bharata Purus and the Purus call ourselves 'arya' in this text, but not the Anus, Druhyus, Yadus and Turvasus and Ikshvakus, although thry may call themselves 'arya' in their texts while excluding us from the ambits of that term". And if the absence of this declaration in he Rigveda makes all the above evidence defective, incomplete or null and void, I close my case. I will move on and leave everyone free to draw their own conclusions.

      Incidentally, it is clear that Daniel has not read TALAGERI 2000:219-220, cited by me above.

    20. Your book online, which is the one I have with me, printed, has not numbered pages. Would you refer to the section you are pointing out?

    21. It is in chapter 6 "The Indo-Iranian Homeland", Section IV.C. "The Middle Period of the Rigveda", which starts on p.214 of the printed book, and the reference is on p.219-220, beginning: "4. The reference to the battle beyond the Sarayu' in IV.30.18....".

    22. This is the text:

      4. The reference to the battle �beyond the Sarayu� in IV.30.18 refers to ArNa and Citraratha, �both Aryas�, who were killed in the battle by (the grace of) Indra.

      There are eight other verses in the Rigveda (VI.22.10; 33.3; 60.6; VII.83.1; X.38.3; 69.6; 83.1; 102.3) which refer to Arya enemies; but in all those cases, the references are general references to both Arya and DAsa enemies, and no specific persons identifiable as Aryas are named as such. In this unique reference (IV.30.18), however, we find two specific individuals named as Arya enemies.

      By the logic of the situation, these two persons should then be two prominent Vedic Aryans (PUrus) who had aligned with the enemy Iranians (Anus) in this battle.

    23. This is the Hymn: [04-030] HYMN XXX. Indra.
      1. O INDRA, Vrtra-slayer, none is better, mightier than thou:
      Verily there is none like thee.
      2 Like chariot-wheels these people all together follow after thee:
      Thou ever art renowned as Great.
      3 Not even all the gathered Gods conquered thee, Indra, in the war,
      When thou didst lengthen days by night.
      4 When for the sake of those oppressed, and Kutsa as he battled,
      Thou stolest away the Sun's car-wheel.
      5 When, fighting singly, Indra. thou o'ercamest all the furious Gods, thou slewest those who strove
      with thee.
      6 When also for a mortal man, Indra, thou speddest forth the Sun,
      And holpest Etasa with might.
      7 What? Vrtra-slayer, art not thou, Maghavan, fiercest in thy wrath?
      So hast thou quelled the demon too.
      8 And this heroic deed of might thou, Indra, also hast achieved,
      That thou didst smite to death the Dame, Heaven's Daughter, meditating ill.
      9 Thou, Indra, Mighty One, didst crush Usas, though Daughter of the Sky.
      When lifting up herself in pride.
      10 Then from her chariot Usas fled, affrighted, from her ruined car.
      When the strong God had shattered it.
      11 So there this car of Usas lay, broken to pieces, in Vipas,
      And she herself fled far away.
      12 Thou, Indra, didst. with magic power resist the overflowing stream
      Who spread her waters o'er the land.
      13 Valiantly didst thou seize and take the store which Susna had amassed,
      When thou didst crush his fortresses.
      14 Thou, Indra, also smotest down Kulitara's son Sambara,
      The Dasa, from the lofty hill.
      15 Of Dasa Varcin's thou didst slay the hundred thousand and the five,
      Crushed like the fellies, of a car.
      16 So Indra, Lord of Heroes, Powers, caused the unwedded damsel's son,
      The castaway, to share the lauds.
      17 So sapient Indra, Lord of Might, brought Turvaga and Yadu, those
      Who feared the flood, in safel o'er.
      18 Arpa and Citraratha, both Aryas, thou, Indra, slewest swift,
      On yonder side of Sarayu,
      19 Thou, Vrtra-slayer, didst conduct those two forlorn, the blind, the lame.
      None may attain this bliss of thine.
      20 For Divodasa, him who brought oblationt, 1ndra overthrew
      A hundred fortresses of stone.
      21 The thirty thousand Disas he with magic power and weapons sent
      To slumber, for Dabhiti's sake.
      22 As such, O Vrtra-slayer, thou art general Lord of kine for all,
      Thou Shaker of all things that be.
      23 Indra, whatever deed of might thou hast this day to execute,
      None be there now to hinder it.
      24 O Watchful One, may Aryaman the God give thee all goodly things.
      May Risan, Bhaga, and the God Karulati give all things fair.

    24. So, Arya did not really mean nobleman. Maybe superior people, just like the meaning Plato meant in arystocracy. Not that this is bad in itself, this is not a nazi thing, but a characteritic that ancient people thought of themselves superior, the center of mankind, even hunter and gatherers show this.

      So, I think puru comes from purusha, not the other way around.

    25. Dear Daniel D Franca,
      I would not like to intrude into the debates of experts but just wanted to share my view on your last comment.

      Perhaps in the Euro-centric view Europeans "thought of themselves superior, the center of mankind" - it does not necessarily mean that European experiential challenges should be applicable to the Indian context.

      During and after the ice-age, the violent European experiences in a stark, cold, frigid and brutal environment, were significantly different from that of gentler Indian experiences in a bounteous and plentiful, much warmer environment.

      The idea of domination, whether people or creature (which later became racism and Nazi) is thus a direct outcome of the brutal beginnings of humans in Europe. And thats why Europeans (and Americans) see a class struggle/ superiority/ domination everywhere, even when there is no sign of it.

      My point being, we should look to the meaning of Arya in RV in an RV context, and let the text speak for themselves. In other words, Arya=Puru-Bharata is the only scientifically valid explanation given the mass of evidence available in front of us.

      More specifically, from RV data, Arya being anything but Puru-Bharata is a statistically remote. As Talageri-ji has rightly said, unless anyone can statistically demonstrate with hard evidence that Arya also refers to Anus, Druhyus or that Arya does not mean Purus, the entire debate is somewhat directionless, is it not?

      Regards and please continue.

    26. I am not sure if cold environment causes people to be violent . What makes that is relative scarcity. England needed more raw materials for the industry, thus, the colonized many people. Brazil lived off agriculture, mostly, thus, they were the largest importer of black slaves in the world, by far. Yamomamis were having their resources destroyed by illegal miner, sustained by military dictatorship, so they became violent against each other. Each one with their excuse, England with civilizatory function of the white man, Brazil with, well, superiority of white people, so let the brutes work. Yamomami blamed other associated tribes, since it was the other totem bringing disgrace.

    27. Dear Daniel De Franca,

      Thank you for sharing your view, but I am talking especially on the Eurocentric view of the world, and how it impacts Indological studies.

      The impact of exterme climate on violence is not my theory. A lot of anthropologists, environmentalists and social scientists have been working on this.

      Burke (2013) says: "Our findings show that the relationship between extreme temperatures and violence is observed in both rich and poor populations alike .. Similarly, in our meta-analysis of the literature we find the magnitude of the effects of climate anomalies on intergroup conflict to be over three times larger than the magnitude of the effects on interpersonal conflict".

      Europe, from earliest times through all the lithics till present day, has extreme climate. So does Saudi Arabia and other middle-east countries. The Neanderthals adapted themselves to the harsh climate and resorted to extreme violence, and eventually became extinct - but not before contributing genetically to modern Europeans. Anatomically modern humans in Europe also had to struggle to survive - especially in the more northern parts. Food was scarce, hence hunting and killing was the only way to survive - this also explains why Indians are naturally vegetarians, food was never a problem and weather was quite benign.

      Hence Europe (and modern America) and middle-east are naturally prone to violence and domination, explicit or implicit. Whether it is the world wars, or modern terrorism or Nazism, facism, communism, slavery, societal hierarchy - each and every one of these have originated in these two lands.

      In other words, violence and hierarchy are ingrained in the European and middle-eastern lens, whether directly or indirectly. Incidentally, six months would go without proper sunlight in northern Europe, and thus the early Europeans would be filled with amazement when the sun came out. Even this idea has been applied to the RV, although India has a full solid 12 months of sunlight, and an early Indian had no reason to get excited about sun and rain - he had plenty of it.

      This drishti has a serious impact on Indology - perhaps eminent people like you and Shri Talageri could investigate and perform a meta-analysis on how this Euro-centric lens of "violence" and "hiererachy" vs a Indic model has impacted Indological studies.

      Warm Regards

    28. I am not sure if cold environment causes people to be violent . What makes that is relative scarcity. England needed more raw materials for the industry, thus, the colonized many people. Brazil lived off agriculture, mostly, thus, they were the largest importer of black slaves in the world, by far. Yamomamis were having their resources destroyed by illegal miner, sustained by military dictatorship, so they became violent against each other. Each one with their excuse, England with civilizatory function of the white man, Brazil with, well, superiority of white people, so let the brutes work. Yamomami blamed other associated tribes, since it was the other totem bringing disgrace.

    29. I am also not sure, but what I find curious is thinking that Europe has an extreme climate. In Europe we think rather that India has an extreme climate, because of the extreme heat in the summer and the monsoon season. Europe has a temperate climate, the opposite of extreme. Of course in Northern Europe there are cold winters, but in Southern Europe where I live the climate is quite mild, and nonetheless there was a lot of violence in ancient Rome, but not in all periods. And about Middle East, I guess that it is not cold the problem, rather the opposite...
      Also Japan was quite violent in the past, but not today, and the climate in the most populated areas is rather warm than cold (Kyoto has the latitude of Northern Africa).

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  7. Pargiter suffers from a very bad fault. He should reconstruct king lists beginning with the Kurukshetra war, since it involved the largest numbers of actors, and then going up. He does the wrong thing, he begins with mythology stage of history, Manu. The point is that any given tribe that wants to integrate with the SSVC could claim ancestry to Manu and integrate one of the major groups, so, it would yield a false ancestry, specially when trying to synchronize groups. This may justify the excessive number of repeated names and odd stuf like WHEN the progeny of Sudas lost its power fast. What we actually see it is that see that he is a great conqueror and unified most of SSVC.

    Also, Puranas, should not only checked with Rig Veda, but with the Bramanas. Their relative antiquity should be helpful to clean much of the mistakes.

  8. Its hard to extract reliable history from the epics. I wanted to draw Shri Talageri's attention to neglected works like the Bhil Mahabharata. Can we extract more by comparing the differing versions of the Epic?

    It shows signs of of being an independent tradition unpolluted by vyasa's version and mainstream hinduism. First of all krishna is regarded in negative light, a most valuable trait. There are many departures and strange morphings and corroboration of key events.

    The dice game and Draupadi's disrobing is different here. She willingly copulates with Vasuki the naga king over a series of nights and plays dice games with him while Arjuna is tied helpless to the bedpost. What is common is the helplessness of the pandavas and the element of dice. Vasuki apparently has desgns on draupadi from before her marriage.

    Vyasa's lakshagraha episode has the burning of a Nishada family. The Bhils record it thus. Krishna invited the ancestors of the Bhils to a big feast, confined them to a magic cage and burnt them alive. Abhimanyu survived in the form of a bee and impregnated subhadra his sister. Subhadra already pregnant is married off to arjuna.

    We should note that in Vyasa's abhimanyus seems to have faculties of an older child in being able to learn the intricacies of the vyuha "while still in the womb". Perhaps Vyasa's attempt at cleansing references to what may be a foster child.

    krishna kills abhimanyu after he sucessfully breaks out of the vyuha in the bhil version.

    ignoring the intricate details and the concocted mythical/magical portions we still get a sense of shared memory of momentous events, a sense rivalry and long standing enemity between the progeny of the kurus and nagas and Nishada's like the Bhils.

    I am quoting from memory and some of the references I read online seem to have gone from the net. If someone can point me to a ref it would be good

  9. There was a film "Sampoorna Ramayana" in the sixties, which shows Rama searching for Sita in the forest and then a fruit falls at his feet from a tree and breaks open. He sees Sita's face in it. At the same time, Sita in the Ashokavan in Lanka opens a fruit and sees Rama's face in it. That, the film suggests, is why the two fruits are called "Ramphal" and "sitaphal" respectively. Should we seriously be discussing this episode (about fruits brought to India by the Portuguese from the Americas) as a historical one in the life of Rama?

    There are hundreds of local Ramayana and Mahabharata versions all over India. They all contain stories and myths concocted, by local people from every part of India from every period of time, to embellish the popular all-India tradition of the two Epics. But ultimately, the two epics, the official Valmiki Ramayana and the official Mahabharata are the "original" ones. These two "original" epics also contain massive numbers of interpolations and added stories, including many unedifying ones added by writers trying to promote vested interests, but, so far as it goes, these two texts are still more "original" than local versions written in the last thousand years or so. Of course these local versions form a rich part of our lore and folk performing arts, but they certainly can not and should not be used to derive "history" or draw political paradigms (when, in my opinion, even the two original texts should not be misused in that way).

    1. But it is possible to see some truth in the tales. For example "Kishkindha (Kannada: ಕಿಷ್ಕಿಂಧೆ Kiṣkindhe; IAST:Kiṣkindhā, Devanagari: किष्किन्‍धा) is the monkey (Vanara) kingdom of the Vanara King Sugriva, the younger brother of Bali, in the Indian theology of Ramayana times. This was the kingdom where he ruled with the assistance of his friend, Hanuman.

      "This kingdom is identified to be the regions around the Tungabhadra river (then known as Pampa Saras) near Hampi and belongs to Koppal district, Karnataka. The mountain near to the river with the name Rishimukha where Sugriva lived with Hanuman, during the period of his exile also is found with the same name."

      In this region, you find the arcehological site of Hallur:

      "Hallur is an archaeological site located in the Bagalkot district (which was carved out of Dharwad district), in the Indian state of Karnataka.[1] Hallur, South India's earliest Iron Age site,[2] lies in a semi-arid region with scrub vegetation, located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. The site is a low mound about 6.4 m high.[3] The site was first discovered by Nagaraja Rao in 1962, and excavated in 1965. Further sampling was carried out in the late 1990s for the recovery of archaeobotanical evidence and new high precision radiocarbon dates [4][5]"

      The upper date is around 19th century BC, which coincides with a final expansion, at least of ellites, searching for new lands.

      I compare Hallur site and its distance to the traditional site. It seems it overlaps with the traditional Kishikinda kingdom.

  10. Sir,

    A friend wanted know, thats why I am asking this , Which river in you view is the original Rig Vedic Sarayu. Avestan Haroiiu i.e Herat in Afghanistan or Sarayu of UP or some other river?.

    1. The Sarayu in the Rigveda is the Siritoi, a tributary of the Indus. The Sarayu in later Indian texts is of course the S(h)arayu of Avadh. The Herat is the third river to get the name. Between the Sarayu of Avadh and the Siritoi, the former is certainly the first one on record (in the Rigveda) but in earlier pre-Rigvedic history, the name of the Avadh river may be older.

  11. There are hundreds of local Ramayana and Mahabharata versions all over India. Yes they should all be mined for data. Only when you combine multiple signals can you filter out noise. Otherwise if you are left with the single junk signal (Vyasa's epic)

    There is no vested interest that would demonize krishna in India. It has to be a genuine trait and not some late interpolation. I suspect that Bhils were genuine adversaries of a historical krishna.

    Its only when you average multiple sources that the noise can be filtered out. The bhilas are outside the vedic and puranic fold yet they record enimity between nagas and bharatas. Some thing thats evident in Vyas's epic(parikshit, janamjaya) but not the core of its story.

    It records the nagarjuna legend of Arjuna hunting a rhinoceros. This is not part of Vyasa's epic but something that links Bhils, garwhalis and jats from rajasthan. THese are disparate far flung communities. This is not some random junk but a genuine genetic linkage and shared memory.

  12. Dear Shrikant,Giacomo

    Is it conceivable , that the Word Arya is also related with a strict social structure ?. I mean for a society with specified segmentation?. In RV we do find references of Vipra, Ksatra and Vis .
    In Avesta there is a suggestion of presence of parallel Atharva , rathaêştå and vastryo fsuyant.

    See here :
    They refer to Yasna 19.17.
    There is also a fourth one paralleling Shudra and was called Huites ..

    A translation is here :
    "What constitutes the four social classes among the citizens? These are the priests, the warriors, the husbandmen rendering prosperity to the country and the artisans.”

    So, perhaps Arya also meant belonging to a particular social structure?. The generalization to noble and hospitable happened later.

    1. In the edition I know, that passage is Yasna 19.16:
      And the translator of my Avesta, Alberti, observes that the fourth class is not mentioned in the Gathas, and so it was emerging in the Young Avesta. There is the theory of Dumezil that the IE system was originally tripartite, with three 'functions' (sacral, war, production), so the fourth class would be a later addition. Also in the RV, we have three elements (brahman, kṣatra and viś), but in the late X.90, the Puruṣasūkta, we have 4, including śūdras. However, I suspect that the same position was occupied by the dāsas in the old RV, as is suggested also by the use of "dāsa varṇa".
      In the Indian tradition, ārya is clearly referred to the three higher varṇas, and so the meaning noble, freeman (I don't believe much in the meaning hospitable), fits in this social structure.
      In the Avesta, instead, Airya seems more an ethnic term, with a distinction of Airya, Tuiryas and Sairimas, that are not social classes but different tribes, in particular Tuiryas appear to be nomads contrasted to the sedentary Airyas. I suspect that they identified as 'noble' because they were more civilized. This term could even be developed in the Neolithic to designate the farmers and their rulers and priests contrasted with the foragers and later other nomads.
      In India, ārya had both a social and ethnic meaning, because people could be out of the ārya varṇas because they were śūdras (often assimilated tribals) or because they were foreigners.

    2. Thank you . These Tuiryas the as you also said before , matches the description of the Andronovans , we also know with some archaeological evidence, that around the time of BMAC's disintegration, some Andronovan tribes did come to the area and by Yaz their presence was well felt .
      Now, About the fourth class Shudra and Huites . I know Shudra don't have any agreeable etymology , do you see any possible cognate wise relation between Shudra and Huites?.

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    4. War captures were sources of slaves in in all world. So, you cannot equate Dasa, as captured people, from those which are merely free enemies. And neither compare with Sudras.

      The tri partide system is a logical devision in nearly all class societies. Dumezil was just being ethnocentric, seeing a patter particular to IE, but which is shared through out the world.

    5. This is a common criticism, he replied saying that IEs were more conscious of that tripartition, which is quite ethnocentric. Anyway, the importance of his work is in the reconstruction of the tripartite ideology in IE cultures, something quite fascinating and various.
      Free enemies were often considered śūdras by ancient Indians, so why not the same with dāsas, since dāsa means slave or servant in Sanskrit? The element -dāsa is also often found in names of śūdras.
      Possibly the root is IE, in Greek slave is doulos from *dos-elos (Greek o: Aryan ā).

      Nirjhar, about Shudra and Huiti/hūtay 'artisans', there cannot be a relation, because Avestan h- corresponds to Skt. s and not ś (sh), and also d and t do not correspond.
      I agree about the possible identification of Andronovans as Tuiryans.

    6. But do the Avestan word has any clear etymology?. If not , we perhaps can suggest this is a name of a tribe ? , a loanword?.

    7. According to Bartholomae, the root is 2.hav= Skt. sū 'to set in motion , urge , impel , vivify , create , produce'. Somewhat related is Skt. sūta 'charioteer, bard, carpenter'.

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    9. I find this suggestive , though its not certain or clear .

      I was thinking if this Shudra and Huiti/hūtay had the same connection, as of Dasa and Dahae ( the Iranian equivalent) .

      It is suggested that the name Dasa/Dahae was originally a tribe , a group of Iranic people. Then later the word was applied in meaning slave-servant/ Non-Arya etc. In Early Rigvedic books we do find Divodasa,Sudasa , perhaps like the case of Asura , the name went in negative and degraded sense due to some unknown sociopolitical happenings?.

    10. Hmm interesting , I just found a similar proposal to my comment :

      Dasa and related terms have been examined by several scholars.[50] While the terms Dasa and Dasyu have a negative meaning in Sanskrit, their Iranian counterparts Daha and Dahyu have preserved their positive (or neutral) meaning. This is similar to the Sanskrit terms Deva (a "positive" term) and Asura (a "negative" term). The Iranian counterparts of these terms (Daeva and Ahura) have opposite meanings.

    11. So, In Early Books names like Sudasa,Divodasa are remnants of the term Dasa in positive sense, but already in their time, we see the conflict against the Dasas . The positive figure of Asura was preserved in most of the Rigveda , except some ( though not very clear) verses in the late books.

      So, why the early degradation of Dasa/Dasyu? but a later one for Asura?.

    12. Let me clarify a very common mistake: Divodasa contains the word dasa, but Sudas (not Sudasa) does not: the actual name is सुदाः (good giver)not सुदास (good dasa). Hence Sudas not Sudasa.

      Remember: the Druhyus were far to the west, beyond the Anus, while the Yadus and the Turvasus were in the far interior of India, and the Ikshvakus were far to the east, beyond the eastern (non-Bharata) Purus. Hence, the only direct neighbours of the Bharata Purus were other Purus and the Anus. Dasa was the name of a particular Anu tribe (see the next part, part 3 of this article, which I will upload in a few days). It came to be used generically for all Anus and then even more generally for all other non-Purus as well.

      For the word asura (see end of part 2, quote from HUMBACH)

    13. Sudāsa actually in RV was Su-dās, meaning 'bestowing rich gifts' according to the commentator Sayana, and modern scholars agree in deriving it from dā- 'to give' with -s suffix, cp. dāsvat 'disposed to give , liberal'.
      Divodāsa instead should mean 'servant of Heaven', maybe referring to the gods in general or Dyaus himself. It seems a sort of proto-bhakti name, as you know bhaktas normally use names with -dās 'servant' of God.
      The relation with Iranian is more complex as normally thought with the speculations about the Dahae. See here:
      Also in Persian, dāh means servant, and in Sogdian d'y(h) (written without short vowels) is a slave woman, like dasī in Skt.
      And in Khotanese daha means man. A theory that I remember is that a name for man became a name for servant, as it can happen: also puruṣa in Skt. can mean servant!

      On the other hand, in Avestan dahaka- describes demonic creatures, and Aži Dahāka is the name of the Dragon-king, very evil figure.
      It reminds me how in English villain, originally 'inhabitant of the farm, peasant', became a vulgar person and then the evil character:
      In an aristocratic culture, to be 'vulgar' is very negative and derogatory. So, also the Dahae could be originally barbarian foreigners called with that name by the others, or a people who, like Khotanese, preserved daha as a name for 'man'.

      dasyu 'barbarian, robber' maybe comes instead from das- 'to exhaust', but Avestan dahyu 'land, province' does not seem related and I find strange that scholars continue to identify the two only because of the phonetic parallelism.

    14. Sorry, I replied together with Talageri, so I have repeated the right remark about Sudās.

    15. Thank you Dr. Talageri . I now remember this etymology of Sudas was also proposed by Rahul Sankrityayan, in his popular book Volga Se Ganga ( ). I think it is quite suggestive the etymology .

      Thank you for the explanation. I am eager to read the next part!.

    16. Thank you Dottore . I understand your reasoning and suggestion.
      Now, Since you put Sudās at 2000 BC and also bulk of RV to 2000-1500BC , do you think Dasa/Dasyu can be related to the same people like of Pakthas , who came and formed the ''mix'' Cemetery H tradition?. If I'm not wrong Dr.Talageri also puts the cult of Yama, which becomes prominent in late RV books to be a result of Iranian influence.

    17. I think dāsa/dasyu can refer to all non-Indo-Aryan peoples, I guess the Pakthas could be considered dāsa enemies because they did not belong to the five tribes. In RV VII.18.7, they are mentioned with Bhalāna, Alina, Viṣānin and Ṡiva, and the king Sudās is said ārya. So, maybe they were all non-āryas. Only Śivas (śivāsaḥ in the text) have been identified with the Śibis/Śivis, an Ānava race, but the name is not identical. Moreover, the Anus are cited later with the Druhyus, in st.14. The other names are unknown, so they could be non-Indo-Aryan. Bhalānas have been connected with the Bolan pass.

    18. ''I think dāsa/dasyu can refer to all non-Indo-Aryan peoples''.

      I agree .
      ''The other names are unknown, so they could be non-Indo-Aryan. Bhalānas have been connected with the Bolan pass''
      There is Bhrigus,Panis also . The first are connected with Iranian in tradition. The Case of Bhrigus is particularly interesting , if they are a tribe , then its remarkable ,that their descendants ( with Bhargava gotra) occupy, the place as an established Brahmin group. Or I am making a mistake here?.

    19. I think Dasa refer just to non puru enemies. It was already cited that Anus were reffered as Dasas. And I highly doubt that Sudas can be placed around 2000BC. It's more like 2900BC. There is no logic there. How can someone desire something that is in decay. How could Indra be invoked if he was failing at his job?

    20. None has shown that Anus are explicitly referred as dāsa, the problem is this for the theory dāsa = non-Pūru.
      About Sudās, the war is very likely in a period of environmental problems and invasions, what was remembered as the beginning of Dvāpara Yuga, as I proposed in my article.

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  13. It's not just environmental problems= conflict. It happens because someone wants to use natural resources, or was England decaying in the XIX century? When the Roman Empimre was expanding, and other empires, it was trying to expand the hegemony. The situation that follows Sudas is the domination of the sindhus sarasvati basin it is because it provides and abundant source. The vedic area becomes almost equal to the SSVC, while what we have, in the period you mention, is a large decay, centered on smaller domains. It is display of the cultural hegemony of the hakra culuture.

    What we have is the imposition of a common culture besides different cultural horizons, as it happens in the early Harappan stage, in a period of 150 years or so. The kind of conflict you are looking for is the mahabharata war, were fighting followed by societal decay is the norm.

    The period around 2000BC is better described in a diplomatic war, like the Ramayana, where someone reaches for collaboration far away kingdoms in search for help or support (which is the actual begining of Dvapara Yuga). You can see that in the archeological domain that, while the link between north and south SSVC weakens, it expands towards South India, with the appearance of larger sites around the usual SSVC sites, down to what is traditionally considered Hanuman terrritory, like the site of Hallur.

    As for Dasa=non purus, the problem it is that none has convinced you, not that no one has shown. The name puru shows a typical ethnocentric point of view, where they call themselves humans (shortened from purusha) vs. the others. Like civilized vs. barbarians (the dasa).

    1. If you have seen that someone has shown, give me a shown example where Anus or Yadus are called dāsa.

      About the war of Sudās, in the Late Harappan period after 2000/1900 BC we find exactly a concentration of sites in Haryana, the land of the Bharatas, which shows that the region had still resources while the western and southern areas were abandoned. So, we can imagine how the kingdom of Sudās had to face a pressure from many parts. But this context is incidental in my reconstruction, the chronology is based on the dating of the Mahabharata war and the dynasties. Rāma is very close to Sudās(a) in Pargiter's genealogies, they have the position 65 and 68.
      As to Dvapara Yuga, the tradition said that Kurukshetra (Haryana) was sacred then, again the area of Late Harappan concentration.

    2. Pargiter made a grave mistake: he picked up an imaginary entity, Manu, to start his king list. The correct would be anchor his king list in the rig veda era and what could be inferred from that. Also, starting from Mahabharata war would be a good thing since many puranas converge on that. There is also a dubious split between Divodasas, king of Kashi, and the ancestor of Sudas. The point it is that Bhraspati Bharadvaja was Purohita to that Divodasa and is also assigned the first hymns of book VI, tho oldest, where Ganges, named Javani, is mentioned.

      Drishadvati was a tributary to the Saraswati and it head was quite close to Kashi. That was also the place where the Hakra ware, which became the characterisitic of SSVC, appeared. The battle of the ten kings was an initial expansion from that small enclosure to dominate the whole nearly the west Indian subcontinent. If Sudas progenity lost power so fast, we wouldn't have Vedas, nor the Indian culture we know it, simply because there would't be time to compose anything. So, what is likely is that Sudas is right among close toe the begining of treta yuga, the satya yuga being very unclear, and mostly marked by the political vacuum led by the expulsion of the Druhyus and the wining brought by that war, which very likely helped Sudas win.

      Druhyu Anus and Purus were likely a confederation of tribes moving away from the Kurukushetra, along with Yadus and Turvasus. Purus were the weaker, until the others lost their power and were trashed by the Purus, specifically the Bharata branch. That the Ayodhya didn't seem to conflict, and more over, help the Bharatas, make me thing that the sun/moon division was a later invention to overcome to pacify different people leaving together, and overcome the idea that the Purus had with the other tribes, during the Mature and Late Harappa period. It's the same with the idea of a purusha be transformed into an abstract idea of a cosmic entity rather than meaning an ethnocentric affiliation with the non Puru Bharatas.

      The end of trade with Sumer, caused the begining of dvapara yuga, with the expansion towards South India. Note that hunter and gather cultures or very incipient neolithic made a fast transition to chalcholithic or a very advanced neothilithic, with the use of kilns to fire bricks, use of wheels to make scuptures, that is all around 2000BC. Note Daimabad and Hallur and others. Only Kerala and Tamil Nadu did not seem to develop so soon.

      Kurukushetra is inedeed very important. It was the less desiccated place and with the most developed resources at the time, around 1500. So, in this time of urban decay, it was indeed a cause for a fratricide war. The collapse caused the war made the commerce really stall, and trade routes to the south were cut. This is very exemplified by the fall of Dwarka (exemplified by the death of Shree Krishna), a port city (I think it is Dholavira).

    3. But Dholavira was not submerged, what Rao found under the sea near Bet Dwarka is more suitable, also because it is close to the historical Dwarka.

      Pargiter could not choose from where to start his lists, because the Puranas started from Manu, but he did not think he was a real person. His chronology, instead, starts from the coronation of Chandragupta, placed in 322 BC, and through the Kaliyuga genealogies that he studied earlier, arrives at 950 BC for the
      the Mahabharata battle, a date much later than what I have chosen, for the reasons given in my article (Puranic statements and astronomical observations in the Mahabharata), of 1432 BC.

      It was a period of change, the end of the Harappan civilization according to archaeological classifications and the passage to PGW,
      which is centred in the Kuru-Panchala kingdom.
      If you admit that the period of the Mahabharata is around 1500 BC, you should admit that also the RV was not much before, because two of the characters of late RV (X.98), Devāpi and Śantanu, are placed just 5 generations before the war by the Paurava genealogy.

      Enjoy the inauguration of the Olympics in your Rio! :)

    4. It was not submerged, on the contrary, the land dried. But, given that these were consecutive gulfs, one got confused with the other due people that imigrated (like places which are named Danu and Saraswati after emigration), and given that these one there was no city, the legend become that it submerged.

      No, Pargiter did not start from Chandragupta. He started the king list from, in Major synchronizatios, with the most important events in his opinions. But then, you can see how he pairs the early kings, setting Manu as an generation 1 in the order of the lists. Then, later, in the Mahabharata war he descends to chandragupta and calculates the dates in the end.

      Book X is way too late, Talageri gives parts of it the date of 1400BC, because of the language change.

      I am more inclined to make a thinner list. Also, you can check Sumerian king lists where the distance of kings increases to 20-30 years among the first ones, some of them are ignored. The same happens in the king lists of China, in the Xia dinasty. If you go deeper, and try to make something out of Mythologies (5 kings and 3 sovereings), you get a generation per century . With only the most important kings listed.

      The problem with the PGW it is that it starts in the 22nd century BC, but becomes more numerous later after the Kurkushetra war. I am not sure if it is only a sign of decay, but of minor cultures that "got stronger" and moved down the Ganga Basin.

    5. The above case is similar to the South Case I mentioned above. But the South could be more easily "conquered".

    6. What is the South Case? About submersion, I accept the tradition, that apparently conforms with what Rao has found. Also in historical times the port was submerged:

      About Pargiter's chronology, I mean the absolute dates, he has to start with the historically reconstructed date of Chandragupta.
      His genealogies start from Manu, because this is how they are given, then he places on the same generation the kings that are mentioned together in the tradition (synchronisms), accepting many 'holes' in the list but showing a consistent picture.
      The comparison with China and Sumer is interesting, but the Indian situation can also be very different.

    7. The South Case is the expansion of the Aryan culture, or ate least technological advances towards The south.

      I did not question counting years begining with Chandragupta, the problem, is that, as you said, using lists begining with Manu just because they were given like this. Manu is an imaginary character, many tribes or people could begin linking their ancestors to him at their own particular, random way. This is bad, since you might end up ignoring what Pargiter calls spurious genealogies or multiplying characters more than necessary.

  14. Dear Sir, As usual, an amazing work. Looking forward to the entire series.


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  16. Sir my query is did the tribes such as anu,puru etc constituted of people of same lineage ? or did they constituted of people of different lineages ? And if they were composed of different lineages then were they ruled by a single lineage ? and was the tribe named after that ruling lineage ?

    1. This is really a very intelligent question. It is difficult to know exactly what the situation was in those ancient times. As I have put it in my books, the "Five Tribes" must have been loose "conglomerates" of related tribes, with many divisions and sub-divisions among them. They must have been collectively known by the names of their mythical ancestors, and must have been linked by being speakers of related dialects. The individual sub-tribes within the larger conglomerates may have been named after the ruling clans, or perhaps by names of other mythical or ancient historical or quasi-historical kings (regarded as ancestors of the ruling clans or the sub-tribes as a whole), e.g the Bharatas within the larger Puru conglomerate. This much is certain that the Bharatas were the westernmost (in Haryana) sub-tribe of the Purus, and the Anus and Purus were the ancestral speakers of the proto-forms of other eleven present-day "branches" of Indo-European languages (and therefore the two "tribes" had many sub-divisions within them).

    2. We always read them as Vamsha. not as tribe

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  18. As per Dr.Ambedkar Dasas & Dasyus were lived in big forts with huge wealth in the cattles in hundreds. It indicates the origin of IVC. Also according to him, Dasas in rigvedas & dahyu in Zend avesta are the same, because the physical explanations of their respective gods resembles the same.i.e having 3 heads & 6 eyes namely " Aazi dhagaka". There is also a symbol excavated in Harappa was an animal with 3 heads & 6 eyes as like "Aazi dhagaka".So probably Dasas & Dasyus were more civilized than aryans who were the founder of IVC. Also Ambedkar referred Dasas also called as aryans and later the Aryan name was brought down from Dasas by rigvedic aryans.

  19. Dear Mr. Talageri,

    You mentioned that the Indo-Aryans are just a part of the 12 Dialects of the original ancestral language, and that the tribes of the Anu, Drhuyu and the Purus had similar religion.
    So does this mean that if they expanded out of India,They carried an early form of Hinduism too or just the language, Because i see lot of similar comparisons in Ancient Greek and Hindu Mythologies,in fact a lot of mythologies.

  20. And by Hinduism i mean only the Rig vedic texts ,such as you proposed about the Mittani Indo aryans, who carried the new books of the rig veda with them.

    1. The religion of the Anu, Druhyu and Puru tribes was similar: consisting mainly of worship of the elements, primarily fire-worship, and the composition of hymns. This is the religion in the Rigveda, also (as seen in the Parsee or Zoroastrian religion) the religion of the Anus, and also of the Druhyus (as Winn puts it: the religion of the "Celtic Druids [….] involved years of instruction and the memorization of innumerable verses, as the sacred tradition was an oral one" WINN 1995:54; and the Celtic priestesses maintained eternal fires in the temple to Brigit at Kildare).
      What we call Hinduism today is the pan-India religion which evolved with the spread of the Vedic traditions all over India, in which the religious beliefs and practices of the other tribes (Yadus, Turvasus, Ikshvakus, etc.), which were just as old as or even older than the Druhyu-Anu-Puru religion, got absorbed. Thus, philosophical thinking and ethical ideas like vegetarianism from the Ikshvakus of the east (the Upanishads in the court of Janaka, Buddhism, Jainism), the tantric practices from further east, idol-worship and temple culture from Central India and the South, etc.etc.
      Of course, there are countless similar themes in the mythologies of all these people: for example, the Mahabharata story of Duryodhana acquiring immunity except in his thighs is similar to the story of Achilles acquiring immunity except in his heels.

  21. Talagari ji, in Section 1: The Puranic Tribes, point 4 and in it section d) where you have mentioned reference VII.18.3 which talks about conquering “in sacrifice” the scornful Pūru-s. I think the reference is typed wrong. It should be VII.18.13.

    1. Thank you very much. I have now made the correction in this article.

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