[This is the longest, heaviest and most tedious of the four parts, made more so by my regrettably incurable (and irritating to many people) habit of repeating some fundamental points (to leave no room for ambiguity) and my over-use of bold and underlined letters. Please bear with these things. The evidence is, of course, unchallengeable and irrefutable]
The Rigveda was presumptuously dated by Max Muller at 1000 BCE (giving a period of composition 1200-1000 BCE). On facing severe criticism from some other German Indologists of the time, he later recanted: "I need hardly say that I agree with almost every word of my critics. I have repeatedly dwelt on the entirely hypothetical character of the dates I ventured to assign to the first three periods of Vedic literature. All I have claimed for them has been that they are minimum dates" (Preface to the text of the Rigveda, Vol.4, p.xiii). Further: "It is quite clear that we cannot fix a terminum a quo, whether the Vedic hymns were composed 1000 or 2000 or 3000 years BC, no power on earth will ever determine" (Collected Works, Vol.II, p.91).
Nevertheless, this is still the date officially held by most Indologists and historians.
The basic fact is that the linguistic consensus, based on the evidence of linguistic data, places the beginnings of the separation of the IE branches from each other in and around the homeland around 3000 BCE. As Witzel puts it: “The date of dispersal of the earliest, western IE languages […] can be estimated in the early third millennium BCE. Further dates can be supplied by a study of important cultural features such as the common IE reconstructed word for copper/bronze, or the vocabulary connected with the heavy oxen-drawn wagon […] They point to the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third millennium as a date ad quem, or rather post quem for the last stage of commonly shared PIE” (WITZEL 2005:370). He also points out (WITZEL 2005:371-372) how different linguistic innovations among different Indo-European branches, many shared by the Vedic language also, can only have taken place around 3000 BCE.
If the Indo-Aryan speakers left the area of the assumed South Russian homeland well after 3000 BCE, travelled all the way (along with the speakers of proto-Iranian) in stages to Central Asia and developed a specifically "Indo-Iranian" culture there, and then migrated into the Punjab region and composed the Rigveda (a text which shows no memories of migrations from outside), the whole chain of events would require a considerable span of time. Hence there is a need to bring the Indo-Aryans into India as late as possible. However two factors (the well-recorded Buddhist period from around 600 BCE, which was clearly posterior to the period of what Max Muller called "the first three periods of Vedic literature", and the advent of the Iron Age in India before 1200 BCE, with the Rigveda clearly reflecting a pre-Iron Age culture) prevent the postulation of a date later than 1200-1000 BCE for the Rigveda. Hence this, the barest possible "minimum date", is the date now universally accepted as the official date for the Rigveda.
Needless to say, this is a very flawed way to date the Rigveda. But the problem with dating ancient Indian historical events and eras is that there are no datable and readable records before the Ashoka pillars. Hence the dating of ancient pre-Buddhist events in India has been a speculative free-for-all.
However, there are certain records available both within and outside India which make it possible to date parts of the Rigveda with remarkable accuracy, but which have been ignored by the Indologists because they were labouring under certain pre-conceived prejudices. And an examination of the evidence of these records shows that the early parts of the Rigveda go back far beyond 3000 BCE.
We will examine this evidence under the following heads:
Section 1. The Historical Records.
Section 2. The Old Books vs. the New Books of the Rigveda.
Section 3. The Mitanni Evidence.
Section 4. The Avestan Evidence.
Section 5. The Chronological and Geographical Picture.
Section 1. The Historical Records:
There are two (or rather three) independent sets of records which help us to conclusively date the Rigveda.
1. Outside India, far to the west in the archaeologically dated areas of West Asia, we have the Mitanni kingdom in Syria-Iraq after 1500 BCE. The Mitanni kingdom was a (non-IE) Hurrian language speaking kingdom, but it was founded and ruled by a clan of kings, the Mitanni kings, who were originally of linguistically Indo-Aryan stock. The Indo-Aryan (Vedic) element was already a residue of their ancestral culture, and is reflected in the names of the kings of the Mitanni dynasty and in many key words in their extant documents and inscriptions. This kingdom lasted for more than 200 years, and records of the Mitanni kings are found as far west as in Palestinian and Egyptian records ̶ the Egyptian queen Nefertiti is originally believed to have been a Mitanni princess.
Michael Witzel, for example, notes that the Indo-Aryan elements in the Mitanni records are “attested by a number of OIA loan words (Mayrhofer 1979, EWA III 569 sqq.) in the non-IE Hurrite language of the Mit. realm of northern Iraq/Syria (c.1460-1330 BCE). The loans cover the semantic fields of horses, their colors, horse racing, and chariots, some important ‘Vedic’ gods, and a large array of personal names adopted by the ruling class” (WITZEL 2005:361).
A few hundred years before the Mitanni were the Kassites, who may have represented earlier remnants of, or elements influenced by, the proto-Mitanni ancestors: “The Kassite conquerors of Mesopotamia (c.1677-1152 BCE) have a sun god Šuriiaš, perhaps also the Marut and maybe even Bhaga (Bugaš?), as well as the personal name Abirat(t)aš (Abhiratha); but otherwise the vocabulary of their largely unknown language hardly shows any IA influence, not even in their many designations for the horse and horse names (Balkan 1954)” (WITZEL 2005:362).
The Mitanni evidence is very important because they are clearly remnants of the Indo-Aryan (Vedic) people. And, while the absence of datable and readable inscriptions and written records in India inhibits the exact chronological dating of the Vedic data on the basis of Indian data, the Mitanni Indo-Aryan data lies in an area (West Asia) overflowing with datable records, and thus provides a comparative sheet-anchor for dating the Vedic data.
2. There is also the Avestan data, that is the data contained in the text of the oldest Iranian text available, the (Zend) Avesta, which represents an independent source of data outside India, very closely related to the Rigvedic data. This text shares the historiographical characteristics of the Rigveda described below.
3. Finally, we have the Rigveda itself. The Rigveda is the oldest text in the Indo-Aryan language, and indeed, in the IE languages as a whole, as we will see. The text was orally memorized and preserved through the generations, through the centuries and millenniums, without the change of a word, a tone or a syllable, and is as good as an inscription. The unparalleled importance of the Rigveda as an inscription can best be described in the words of Michael Witzel:
“Right from the beginning, in Ṛgvedic times, elaborate steps were taken to insure the exact reproduction of the words of the ancient poets. As a result, the Ṛgveda still has the exact same wording in such distant regions as Kashmir, Kerala and Orissa, and even the long-extinct musical accents have been preserved. Vedic transmission is thus superior to that of the Hebrew or Greek Bible, or the Greek, Latin and Chinese classics. We can actually regard present-day Ṛgveda recitation as a tape recording of what was composed and recited some 3000 years ago. In addition, unlike the constantly reformulated Epics and Purāṇas, the Vedic texts contain contemporary materials. They can serve as snapshots of the political and cultural situation of the particular period and area in which they were composed. […] as they are contemporary, and faithfully preserved, these texts are equivalent to inscriptions. […] they are immediate and unchanged evidence, a sort of oral history ― and sometimes autobiography ― of the period, frequently fixed and ‘taped’ immediately after the event by poetic formulation. These aspects of the Vedas have never been sufficiently stressed […]” (WITZEL 1995a:91).
“[…] the Vedas were composed orally and they always were and still are, to some extent, oral literature. They must be regarded as tape recordings, made during the Vedic period and transmitted orally, and usually without the change of a single word.” (WITZEL 1997b:258).
“It must be underlined that just like an ancient inscription, these words have not changed since the composition of these hymns c.1500 BCE, as the RV has been transmitted almost without any change […] The modern oral recitation of the RV is a tape recording of c.1700-1200 BCE.” (WITZEL 2000a:§8).
“The language of the RV is an archaic form of Indo-European. Its 1028 hymns are addressed to the gods and most of them are used in ritual. They were orally composed and strictly preserved by exact repetition through by rote learning, until today. It must be underlined that the Vedic texts are ‘tape recordings’ of this archaic period. Not one word, not a syllable, not even a tonal accent were allowed to be changed. The texts are therefore better than any manuscript, and as good as any well preserved contemporary inscription. We can therefore rely on the Vedic texts as contemporary sources for names of persons, places, rivers (WITZEL 1999c)” (WITZEL 2006:64-65).
The Rigveda has one big advantage: it is the longest inscription from the ancient world, with 1028 hymns and 10552 verses. It has one disadvantage: not being in a datable material form, it cannot be exactly dated. However, this disadvantage vanishes on comparison of the Rigvedic data with the related data from the Avesta and the Mitanni records (the latter of which are scientifically dated records in material forms).
If the advantage of the Mitanni evidence is the fact that it is datable by scientific means, the advantage of the Rigvedic evidence is that the internal chronology of the Rigveda has been well researched by Indologists over the last two centuries and more, and this internal chronology, dividing the Rigvedic into three Rigvedic periods, is vital to its comparison with the Mitanni evidence. It is therefore necessary to first understand this internal chronology of the Rigveda, and its ironclad nature, in merciless detail.
Section 2. The Old Books vs. the New Books of the Rigveda:
The internal aspect of the Rigveda which helps us in this comparative study is that the text has been internally analysed over a period of two centuries by Indologists into its internal chronological divisions. The Rigveda consists of 10 Manḍala-s or books (containing 1028 hymns and 10552 verses), chronologically classified as follows:
To begin with, the western academic scholars themselves, from Oldenberg through Michael Witzel to Theodore Proferes (see TALAGERI 2008:132-135 for details), have classified the books of the Rigveda into two groups: the family books (2-7) and the non-family books (1, 8-10), and testified, on the basis of their own analyses, that the family books were composed and compiled before the non-family books. Further, they have detached book 5 from the other family books and concluded that it agrees with the non-family books rather than with the other family books. By their analysis, the books of the Rigveda can be classified into three categories: the earlier family books (2-4, 6-7), the later family book (5), and the even later non-family books (1, 8-10).
The central essence of their classification is:
1.The original or first Rigveda consisted of the (presently-numbered) family books 2-7: “The structure of the text has been more extensively studied, already by Bergaigne (1878-83) and Oldenberg in the 19th century. From the latter’s Prolegomena (Oldenberg 1888), it appears that the Ṛgveda was composed and assembled in the following stages, beginning ‘at the centre’ with books 2-7” (WITZEL 1995b:309).
2. Then non-family books 1 and 8 were added on either side of the family books. Later Book 9, and much later book 10, were added: "At a later stage, Books 1 and 8 were added to the case like book ends. It was likely at this stage that Book 9 was added as well. Lastly, the heterogenous material in Book 10 was appended to the entire collection” (PROFERES 1999:10).
Witzel even provides a graph, vividly showing this order of composition and assembly, with Books 2-7 as the earliest core of the text, parts of 1 and 8 forming the second layer, the rest of 1 and 8 forming the third layer, followed by Book 9, and finally by “the great appendix to the Ṛgveda” (WITZEL 1995b:310), Book 10.
3. But Book 5, though a family book, shares all its characteristics with the later non-family books rather than with the earlier family books. As Proferes notes after detailed analysis of the data: “there were important interactions between the priestly groups represented in Books 1, 5 and 8. As Oldenberg [1888b:213-215] has shown, evidence from the hymns themselves supports this conclusion” (PROFERES 1999:75).
“The pavamāna collection consists primarily of late authors, those from Books 1, 5, 8 and in a limited number of cases, 10” (PROFERES 1999:69).
In a more recent paper, he repeats the above point:
“The clan book composers, except those from Book 5, are not well represented among the pavamāna composers of Book 9” (PROFERES 2003:12).
“These circles are represented by the Kāṇva, Ātreya and Āngirasa authors from Books 1, 5 and 8, as well as by descendants of these authors” (PROFERES 2003:16).
“The breakdown of the strict separation of the ritual poetry of different clans and the preservation of that poetry together in a single collection began with the Kāṇva, Ātreya and Āngirasa poets of Books 1, 5 and 8” (PROFERES 2003:18).
[Most significantly]: “The connections of Book 5 with Books 1 and 8 and not with the other clan books (2-4, 6-7) is interesting.” (PROFERES 2003:16, fn).
4. The scholars have also identified some hymns in each of the family books which were redacted (modified) at the time of addition of books 1 and 8. These may be called the Redacted Hymns.
The basis of this classification is:
1. The family books are distinguished from the non-family books in two main ways:
a) Each book generally belongs to one family (out of a total of ten families) of rishis, while the non-family books are more mixed and general.
b) The hymns are arranged in a specific order: first according to deity (first Agni, then Indra, etc.), then within each deity according to decreasing number of verses in the hymns (e.g. 13, 11, 9, 8, etc), then within the same number of verses according to the metre (jagati and trishtubh followed by anushtubh and gayatri, etc.). The non-family books however do not follow this order; and, within the family books, neither do the Redacted Hymns.
2. The New Books (Book 5 and the non-family books) are distinguished from the Old Family Books in their language. These New Books contain many new words and grammatical forms which a) are not found in the Old Books except sometimes in the Redacted Hymns, b) are not generally found in the Indo-European (Aryan) languages of Europe, c) but are commonly and abundantly found in all (post-Rigvedic) Vedic and Sanskrit texts and in the later Classical Sanskrit language.
This fully agrees with my own classification into Early books (6,3,7), Middle books (4,2) and Late books (5,1,8,9,10); except that the Early and Middle books are clubbed together in one category in the western classification, and the internal order within the Family Books is not analyzed.
In sum, we get four categories:
A. Early family books 6,3,7
B. Middle family books 4,2
C. Late family book 5
D. Late non-family books 1,8,9,10.
It will be seen that every other analysis of the data reinforces this classification:
1. An analysis of the (ancestor-descendant) relationships between the composers of the hymns establishes the chronological order 6,3,7- 4,2 - 5,8,9,10 (1 alongside 4-10) (TALAGERI 2000:37-50).
2. An analysis of the references within the hymns to earlier or contemporaneous composers (TALAGERI 2000:53-58) and to the kings and (non-composer) ṛṣis mentioned within the hymns (TALAGERI 2000:59-65) confirms the above chronological order.
3. An analysis of the (adherence to ‘purity’ of the) family identity of the composers of the individual books (TALAGERI 2000:50-52) confirms the exactitude of the above chronological order, with a steady progression in dilution of the family identity of the composers from book 6 (in which every single hymn and verse is composed by composers belonging to one branch of one family) to book 10 (where every single family has hymns, and a large number of hymns are by composers who are either unaffiliated to any family or whose family is unidentifiable).
4. An analysis of the system of ascriptions of hymns to composers (TALAGERI 2000:52-53) shows a quantum change from the Early and Middle books (6,3,7,4,2), where hymns are composed by descendant ṛṣis in the name of their ancestor ṛṣis, to the Late Books (5,1,8,9,10), where hymns are composed by ṛṣis in their own names. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
5. An analysis of a large category of personal name types shared in common by the Rigveda with the Avesta and the Mitanni (TALAGERI 2008:20-43) shows a fundamental distinction between the Early and Middle books on the one hand and the Late books on the other, with these name-types being found in 386 hymns in the Late books (and in all other post-Rigvedic texts), but found in the Early and Middle books in only 8 hymns which have been classified by the western academic scholars as Late or interpolated hymns within these books. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
6. An analysis of another category of personal names shared by the Rigveda with the Avesta (TALAGERI 2008:16-20, 47-48) shows a fundamental distinction between the Early books on the one hand and the Middle and Late books on the other, with these names being found in 60 hymns in the Middle books and in 63 hymns in the Late books (and in all other post-Rigvedic texts), but completely missing in the Early books. (i.e. A vs. BCD).
7. An analysis of the geographical names and terms in the Rigveda (TALAGERI 2000:94-136, TALAGERI 2008:81-129) (found in all other post-Rigvedic texts) reinforces the above chronological order. It shows a progression from east to west. The eastern names are found distributed throughout the Rigveda, but the western names appear in the books in chronological progression:
a) The rivers of the Middle Region (the Punjab, Saptasindhava or present-day northern Pakistan) appear in the Early Books (A) as part of a historical narration showing a movement from Haryana in the east to Punjab to its west.
b) The Indus and rivers to its west are found named in the Middle and Late books, but are missing in the Early books. (i.e. A vs. BCD).
c) The names of western animals, places, mountains and lakes are found in the Late non-family books, but are missing in the family books (Early, Middle and Late). (.i.e. ABC vs. D).
8. An analysis of other important and historically significant words (TALAGERI 2008: 48-49, 189-200) again reinforces the above chronological order: for example, spoked wheels, or spokes, invented in the late third millennium BCE, and camels and donkeys, domesticated in Central Asia around the same time, are found in the Late books, but missing in the Early and Middle books. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
9. An analysis of the meters used in the composition of the hymns of the Rigveda (TALAGERI 2008:54-80) again reinforces the above chronological order. The dimetric meters used in the Rigveda clearly developed from each other in the following order: gāyatrī (8+8+8), anuṣṭubh (8+8+8+8), pankti (8+8+8+8+8), mahāpankti (8+8+8+8+8+8) and dimeter śakvarī (8+8+8+8+8+8+8). Gāyatrī and anuṣṭubh are found throughout the Rigveda; pankti is found in the Late (family and non-family) books, but missing in the Early and Middle books. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
Mahāpankti and dimeter śakvarī are found in the Late non-family books, and are missing in the family books (Early, Middle and Late). (i.e. ABC vs. D).
10. An analysis of the sacred numerical formulae in the Rigveda (HOPKINS 1896b) shows that the use of certain numbers, in sacred numerical formulae used as phrases in the hymns, is commonly found in the Late books, but missing in the Early and Middle books. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
11. A detailed and path-breaking analysis (HOPKINS 1896a) shows large categories of words found in the Late books (1,8,9,10, and often 5), but missing in the Early (6,3,7) and Middle books (4,2) except in a few stray hymns classified by the western academic scholars as Late or interpolated hymns within these books. These include such categories as words pertaining to ploughing or to other paraphernalia of agriculture, words associated with certain occupations and technologies (and even with what could be interpreted as the earliest references to the castes), words where the r is replaced by l (playoga and pulu for prayoga and puru), a very large number of personal names (not having to do with the name types, common to the Rigveda, Avesta and Mitanni records, analyzed by me), various suffixes and prefixes used in the formation of compound words, certain mythical or socio-religious concepts (Sūrya as an Āditya, Indra identified with the Sun, the discus as a weapon of Indra and the three-edged or three-pointed form of this weapon, etc), various grammatical forms (cases of the resolution of the vowel in the genitive plural of ā stems, some transition forms common in later literature, the Epic weakening of the perfect stem, the adverb adas, etc.), particular categories of words (Soma epithets like madacyuta, madintara/madintama, the names of the most prominent meters used in the Rigveda, etc.), certain stylistic peculiarities (the use of reduplicated compounds like mahāmaha, calācala, the use of alliteration, the excessive use of comparatives and superlatives, etc.), and many, many more. Also, Hopkins notes many words which are used in one sense in the earlier books, and in a different sense in the later books: words like muni, tīrtha, vaiśvānara, hita, etc., or which are only used as adjectives in the earlier books, but figure as names in the later books (he cites śaviṣṭha, svarṇara, durgaha, prajāpatin, adhrigu as examples). Note also words like atri, kutsa and auśija (TALAGERI 2000:79-88), which have a different sense in the earlier books as against the later books, and even the word trita, which is a name in the later books but occurs once with the meaning ‘third’ in book 6. (i.e. AB vs. CD).
In short, the two broadest categories (by a consensus among the major Indologists) are: the Old Books 2,3,4,6,7, and the New Books 5,1,8,9,10. Within the Old Books, we get, as per my analysis (on the basis of all the above evidence), the Early Old Books in the chronological order 6,3,7, and the Middle Old Books (not actually necessarily in chronological order) 4,2.
It must be noted at the very outset that this classification into Old and New Books has been the ultimate basis of analysis of the Rigveda since at least two centuries. That newer and newer vocables and grammatical elements enter into the Rigveda only from the New Books onwards is the accepted conclusion of Indological, philological and linguistic analysis.
[An example is the old word for "night", Vedic nakta, found in all the other IE languages: German nacht, modern Greek nukhta, Latin nocte, Old Russian noshti, Old Irish nnocht, Albanian natë, Lithuanian naktis, Tocharian nakt, Hittite nekuz. A new word, rātri, not found in any other IE branch, appears only in the New Books and in a late Redacted Hymn in book 7:
I.35.1; 94.7; 113.1; 115.4; 116.24.
X.10.9; 68.11; 95.16; 127.1,8; 129.2; 190.1.
Later, this word, rātri, is found hundreds of times in the Atharvaveda (and scores of times even in the Yajurveda) and is the common word in all later Vedic texts, in Classical Sanskrit, and in all later and modern Indo-Aryan languages and in other non-Aryan languages which have borrowed from Sanskrit, while the original word nakta is almost unknown].
Hence any attempt to reject the following evidence, which is total and complete in its sweep, and which fits in completely with the accepted chronological division, can only be attributed to utter dishonesty, a sore-loser mentality and a pathological refusal to accept the truth.
Section 3. The Mitanni Evidence:
As per the original theory, the proto-Indo-Aryans and proto-Iranians jointly migrated eastwards from an original homeland in South Russia, and settled down for a considerable period in Central Asia (to the north of Afghanistan), where they developed a common Indo-Iranian culture. Later, around 1500 BCE, they separated from each other and migrated southwards in two different directions: the proto-Indo-Aryans towards the south-east (the Greater Punjab or "Saptasindhava" region, i.e. present-day northern Pakistan) where they composed the Rigveda, and the proto-Iranians to the south (Afghanistan) where they composed the Avesta.
In the early twentieth century, the documents pertaining to the Mitanni kingdom in Syria-Iraq were discovered and deciphered, and it became clear that the royal dynasty of the Mitanni kingdom (dated from around 1500 BCE) were of Indo-Aryan descent, and even that their Indo-Aryan ancestors were present in West Asia as early as 1700 BCE at least. This threw the whole time schedule of the AIT into a tail-spin: if the Rigveda was composed well after the Indo-Aryans had entered India in 1500 BCE, how is it there was an Indo-Aryan kingdom in West Asia already being established (and by descendants of Indo-Aryans, though this particular point was not stressed) around 1500 BCE?
However, this problem was solved by retrofitting the Mitanni Indo-Aryans into the Central Asian theory: as per the new theory, a common Indo-Iranian culture developed in Central Asia. But, well before 1500 BCE, one section of the proto-Indo-Aryans migrated westwards from Central Asia into West Asia. By the time, around 1500 BCE, that the proto-Indo-Aryans (still remaining in Central Asia) migrated south-eastwards into present-day northern Pakistan and the proto-Iranians migrated southwards into Afghanistan, the Mitanni Indo-Aryans were already establishing their historical kingdom in West Asia.
As per this theory, the culture common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni Indo-Aryan records is a pre-Rigvedic culture.
Without indulging in too much rhetoric, let us see whether an examination of the elements of the common culture (common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records) proves it to be a pre-Rigvedic culture. If it is pre-Rigvedic, these common elements should be found in the highest proportion in the Old Books, and should be found in lesser and lesser numbers and proportions in the New Books, and even more pronouncedly so in the post-Rigvedic literature.
The major common elements consist of the personal names of the Mitanni kings. As Witzel points out, the common elements "cover the semantic fields of horses, their colors, horse racing, and chariots, some important ‘Vedic’ gods, and a large array of personal names adopted by the ruling class” (WITZEL 2005:361)."
The common names consist of names having the following prefixes and suffixes: -aśva, -ratha, -sena, -bandhu, -uta, vasu-, ṛta-, priya-, and (as per the analysis of the Indologist P.E.Dumont), also bṛhad-, sapta-, abhi-, uru-, citra-, -kṣatra, yam/yami-:
1. NAMES OF COMPOSERS OF THE HYMNS: The following is the distribution of names with these prefixes and suffixes among the composers of hymns in the Rigveda:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the five New Books (5,1,8,9,10): 108 hymns:
V. 3-6, 24-26, 46, 47, 52-61, 81-82 (21 hymns).
I. 12-23, 100 (13 hymns).
VIII. 1-5, 23-26, 32-38, 46, 68-69, 87, 89-90, 98-99 (24 hymns).
IX. 2, 27-29, 32, 41-43, 97 (9 hymns).
X. 14-29, 37, 46-47, 54-60, 65-66, 75, 102-103, 118, 120, 122, 132, 134, 135, 144, 154, 174, 179 (41 hymns).
Not a single hymn in the Old Books has a composer with a name with these prefixes or suffixes.
2. REFERENCES WITHIN THE HYMNS: The following is the distribution of names with these prefixes and suffixes in references within the hymns of the Rigveda:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7): 2 hymns, 2 verses and references:
VII.33.9 (1 hymn, 1 verse and reference).
IV.30.18 (1 hymn, 1 verse and reference).
In the five New Books (5,1,8,9,10): 77 hymns, 126 verses and 129 references:
V.19.3; 27.4,5,6; 33.9; 36.6; 44.10; 52.1; 61.5,10; 79.2; 81.5 (9 hymns, 12 verses and references).
I.35.6; 36.10,11,17,18; 38.5; 45.3,4; 83.5; 100.16,17; 112.10,15,20; 116.2,6,16; 117.17,18; 122.7,13; 139.9; 163.2; 164.46 (13 hymns, 24 verses and references).
VIII.1.30,30,32; 2.37,40; 3.16; 4.20; 5.25; 6.45; 8.18,20; 9.10; 21.17,18; 23.16,23,24; 24.14,22,23,28,29; 26.9,11; 32.30; 33.4; 34.16; 35.19,20,21; 36.7; 37.7; 38.8; 46.21,33; 49.9; 51.1,1; 68.15,16; 69.8,18; 86.17 87.3 (24 hymns, 42 verses and 44 references).
IX.43.3; 65.7 (2 hymns, 2 verses and references).
X.10.7,9,13,14; 12.6; 13.4; 14.1,5,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15; 15.8; 16.9; 17.1; 18.13; 21.5; 33.7; 47.6; 49.6; 51.3; 52.3; 58.1; 59.8; 60.7,10; 61.26; 64.3; 73.11; 80.3; 92.11; 97.16; 98.5,6,8; 123.6; 132.7,7; 135.17; 154.4,5; 165.4 (29 hymns, 46 verses and 47 references).
The only references in the Old Books are in hymns VII.33 and IV.30, which are both classified by Oldenberg as Redacted Hymns in the Old Books 7 and 4.
The above evidence is not partial or ambiguous. It is clear and sweeping: the elements of the culture common to the Rigveda and the Mitanni are not pre-Rigvedic (formed during some hypothetical period in Central Asia before the "arrival" of the Indo-Aryans "into" India). They are Late Rigvedic, i.e. they belong to the period of composition of the New Books.
As per all the rules of Rigvedic analysis which have guided Indological studies over more than two centuries, the Mitanni names belong to types which simply did not exist during the earlier period of composition of the Old Books (let alone in any pre-Rigvedic period) and only came into existence as new elements during the period of composition of the New Books.
In fact, this was already noted by the great Indologist E.W.Hopkins as early as 1896, i.e. well before even the discovery of the Mitanni documents or any knowledge of even the very existence of the "Mitanni Indo-Aryans", in respect of compounds (not necessarily only personal names) beginning with Vedic priya- (Mitanni biria-), which constitute one of the two most common types of personal names among the Mitanni (Biria, Biriasauma, Biriasura, Biriawaza, Biriatti, Biriassuva, Biriamasda, Biriasena): “priya compounds [fn. That is, with priya as the first member of the compound] are a formation common in Smṛti [....] Epic [....] In AV, VS, and Brāhmaṇa [....] but known in RV only to books viii, i, ix, x” (HOPKINS 1896a:66).
The evidence of the other common Vedic-Mitanni words (apart from the personal names) does not show any other situation: there is no word in the Mitanni records which is found in the Old Books and becomes rare or extinct later. Take the three Mitanni words for the horse colours: paprunnu (brown), paritannu (gray) and pinkarannu (reddish brown): the first Vedic word babhru is a common Rigvedic as well as a common IE word found in all the other IE branches as well as in all post-Rigvedic and Sanskrit literature, the second, palita, is found five times in the Rigveda (in I.144.1; 164.1; III.55.9; X.4.5; 55.5) although mostly in the New Books, and the third, piṅgala, is not found in the Rigveda at all, but is found once in the Atharvaveda. However, this is not evidence in any direction. The same is the case with most other common words.
However, one very significant Mitanni word mani-nnu (Vedic maṇi, bead/gemstone/ornament) is a very late Vedic word, found only twice and only in the New Book 1 (I.33.8; 122.14) but more than a hundred times in the Atharvaveda, and a common word in all later Vedic texts, in Classical Sanskrit, and in all later and modern Indo-Aryan languages and in other non-Aryan languages which have borrowed from Sanskrit.
The evidence of the common Vedic-Mitanni vocabulary is massively confirmed by the evidence of the common Vedic-Avestan vocabulary.
Section 4. The Avestan Evidence:
The evidence of the Mitanni data is loud and clear: the common Vedic-Mitanni culture is a new culture developed in the later period of the New Books of the Rigveda, and not in any pre-Rigvedic period.
But this common culture is not just a Vedic-Mitanni culture but a Vedic-Mitanni-Iranian culture. So let us examine the provenance of the common Vedic-Avestan names and name types in the Rigveda, to see whether the Iranian evidence also shows this to be a late Vedic culture developed in the period of the New Books of the Rigveda. The Avestan data available is much more massive than the Mitanni data available, and includes other important data including hosts of other common words, as well as metres, etc.:
The common Vedic-Avestan names and name types include not only names with the prefixes and suffixes found in the Mitanni records already considered earlier except -uta (i.e. -aśva, -ratha, -sena, -bandhu, vasu-, ṛta-, priya-, and, as per the analysis of the Indologist P.E.Dumont, bṛhad-, sapta-, abhi-, uru-, citra-,-kṣatra and yam/yami-), but also with the prefixes and suffixes aśva-, ratha-, ṛṇa-, -citra, pras-, ṛṣṭi-, -ayana, dvi-, aṣṭa-, -anti, ūrdhva-, ṛjū-, -gu, saṁ-, svar-, -manas, śavas-, -stuta, śūra-, sthūra-, vidad-, nṛ-, pṛṣad-, prati-, -śardha, pṛthu-, jarat-, maya-, hari-, -śruta, śyāva-, -toṣa, -tanu, -rocis, -vanta/-manta, -kratu, etc., and the following names: Ghora, Āptya, Atharva, Uśīnara, Avasyu, Budha, Ṛkṣa, Gandharva, Gaya, Sumāyā, Kṛpa, Kṛṣṇa, Māyava, Śāsa, Traitana, Urukṣaya, Nābhānediṣṭha, Vṛṣṇi, Vaivasvat, Virāṭ, etc., as well as a few words common to the Rigveda and Avesta which are found only as words in the Rigveda but as words as well as in names in the Avesta or vice versa (such as prāṇa, kumbha, śepa, etc., and the names of certain animals). Also, there are numerous other words, listed by earlier Indologists (like Hopkins) and present-day Indologists (like Lubotsky and Witzel), which are peculiar to only the Indo-Aryan and Iranian branches and are not found in the other IE languages. These include the following prominent words: āśā, gandha/gandhi, kadrū, sūcī, tiṣya, phāla, saptaṛṣi, mūjavat, stukā, ambhas, samā, strī, tokman, evathā, udara, kṣīra, sthūṇa, chāga, kapota, vṛkka, śanaih, pṛdāku, bhaṅga, parṣa, pavasta, dvīpa.:
These are found as follows:
1. NAMES OF COMPOSERS OF THE HYMNS:
The following is the distribution of these words in the names of composers of hymns in the Rigveda:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7): 1 hymn, 3 verses:
III.36.16-18 (1 hymn, 3 verses).
In the five New Books (5,1,8,9,10): 308 hymns, 3389 verses:
V.1, 3-6, 9-10, 20, 24-26, 31, 33-36, 44, 46-49, 52-62, 67-68, 73-75, 81-82 (39 hymns, 362 verses).
I.12-30, 36-43, 44-50, 99-100, 105, 116-139 (61 hymns, 710 verses).
VIII.1-5, 10, 14-15, 23-38, 43-51, 53, 55-58, 62, 68-69, 75, 80, 85-87, 89-90, 92, 97-99 (52 hymns, 878 verses).
IX.2-3, 5-24, 27-29, 32-36, 41-43, 53-60, 63-64, 68, 72, 80-82, 91-92, 94-95, 97, 99-103, 111, 113-114 (61 hymns, 547 verses).
X.1-10, 13-29, 37, 42-47, 54-66, 72, 75-78, 90, 96-98, 101-104, 106, 109, 111-115, 118, 120, 122, 128, 130, 132, 134-135, 137, 139, 144, 147-148, 151-152, 154, 157, 163, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174-175, 179, 186, 188, 191 (95 hymns, 892 verses).
The only hymn in the Old Books is III.36 (in fact, only the last 3 verses out of 18 in this hymn), classified in the Aitareya Brahmana VI.18 as a late addition into the Old Book 3.
2. REFERENCES WITHIN THE HYMNS:
The following is the distribution of these words in references within the hymns of the Rigveda, to which we can add the references to two additional words in the Rigveda, gāthā (the name of the oldest part of the Avesta, composed by Zarathushtra himself) and bīja, both central to the oldest part of the Avesta but found only in the New Books:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7): 14 hymns, 20 verses, 21 references:
VI.15.17; 16.13,14; 47.24 (3 hymns, 4 verses and references).
III.38.6; 53.21 (2 hymns, 2 verses and references).
VII.33.9,12,13; 55.8,8; 59.12; 104.24 (4 hymns, 6 verses, 7 references).
IV.30.8,18; 37.7; 57.7,8 (3 hymns, 5 verses and references).
II.32.8; 41.5,12 (2 hymns, 3 verses and references).
Compare these meagre references with the following flood of references in the New Books. (Verse numbers are underlined where there are more than one of such references, usually different ones, in the same verse):
In the five New Books (5,1,8,9,10): 225 hymns, 434 verses, 500 references:
V.10.3,6; 18.2; 19.3,3; 27.1,4,5,6; 30.9,12,14; 31.10; 33.9,10; 34.8; 35.4; 36.3,6; 41.5,9; 44.5,10,10,10,11,11,12,12; 45.11; 52.1; 53.13; 54.13; 61.5,6,9,10,18,19; 62.6,7,8; 64.7; 74.4; 75.8; 79.2; 81.5 (23 hymns, 42 verses, 47 references).
I.7.1; 10.2; 18.1; 22.14; 23.22; 24.12,13; 25.15; 30.3,4; 33.8,14,15; 35.6; 36.10,10,10,11,17,17,18; 38.5; 39.3; 42.9; 43.4,6; 44.6; 45.3,3,3,4; 51.1,3,13; 52.1; 59.1; 61.7; 66.1; 80.16; 83.5,5; 88.1,5; 91.6; 100.16,17; 104.3; 112.7,9,10,10,11,12,15,15,15,19,20,23,23; 114.5; 116.1,2,6,6,12,16,16,20,21,23; 117.7,8,8,17,17,18,18,20,22,24; 119.9; 121.11; 122.4,5,7,7,13,14; 125.3; 126.3; 138.2; 139.9; 140.1; 158.5; 162.3,7,10,10,15; 163.2,2; 164.7,16,46; 167.2,5,6; 169.3; 187.10; 188.5; 190.1; 191.16 (50 hymns, 95 verses, 113 references).
VIII.1.11,30,30,32; 2.1,9,37,38,40,40,41; 3.9,10,12,12,12,16; 4.1,2,2,19,20; 5.25,25,37,37,37,38,39; 6.6,39,45,46,46,48; 7.23; 8.18,20; 9.7,10,15; 12.16; 17.8,12,14; 19.24,37; 20.4; 21.17,18; 23.2,16,23,24,24,28; 24.7,14,18,22,23,28,28,29; 25.2,22; 26.2,9,11; 27.19; 32.1,2,30; 33.4,17; 34.3,16; 35.19,20,21; 36.7; 37.7; 38.8; 45.5,11,26,30; 46.21.21,21,22,24,24,31,33; 47.13,14,15,16,17; 49.9; 50.5; 51.1,1,1,1,1,2,2; 52.1,2,2,2,2; 54.1,2,2,8; 55.3; 56.2,4; 59.3; 62.10; 66.8; 68.10,15,15,16,16,17; 69.8,18; 70.15; 71.2,14; 74.4,4,13,13,13; 75.6; 77.2,5,10,10; 80.8; 85.3,4; 87.3; 91.3,5: 92.2,25; 93.1; 97.12; 98.9 103.8 (55 hymns, 128 verses, 157 references).
IX.8.5; 11.2,4; 43.3; 58.3; 61.13; 65.7; 67.32; 83.4; 85.12; 86.36,47; 96.18; 97.7,17,38; 98.12; 99.4; 107.11; 112.4; 113.3,8; 114.2 (18 hymns, 23 verses, 23 references).
X.8.8; 9.8; 10.4,7,9,13,14; 11.2; 12.6; 13.4; 14.1,1,5,5,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15; 15.8; 16.9; 17.1,1,2,5; 18.13,13; 20.10; 21.5,5; 23.6,7; 24.4; 27.7,10,17; 28.4; 31.11; 33.7; 34.1,11; 39.7; 47.3,6; 48.2; 49.5,6; 51.3; 52.3; 55.8; 58.1,1; 59.6,8,10; 60.5,7,10,10,10; 61.13,17,18,21,26; 62.8; 63.17; 64.2,3,8,16,17; 65.12,12; 67.7; 72.3,4; 73.11; 80.3; 82.2; 85.5,6,37,37,40,41; 86.4,6,23,23; 87.12,16; 89.7; 90.5,13; 91.14; 92.10,11; 93.14,15,15; 94.13; 95.3,15; 96.5,6,8; 97.16; 98.1,3,5,6,7,8; 99.6,11; 101.3; 103.3; 105.2; 106.5,6; 109.4; 115.8,9; 120.6,9; 123.4,6,7; 124.4; 129.1; 130.5; 132.7,7; 135.1,7; 136.6; 139.4,6; 146.6; 148.5; 150.3; 154.4,5; 159.3; 164.2; 165.1,2,3,4,4,5; 166.1; 177.2; 189.2 (79 hymns, 146 verses, 160 references).
3. THE DIMETRIC METERS: To round off the evidence, see the distribution in the Rigveda of the meters known as dimetric meters (i.e. having 8 syllables per line):
a) the oldest, gāyatrī (8+8+8) and anuṣṭubh (8+8 +8+8), are found throughout the Rigveda.
b) the next in line, pankti (8+8+8+8+8) is found as follows:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7): 1 verse:
VI. 75.17 (1 verse).
In the five New Books (5,1,8,9,10): 178 verses:
V. 6.1-10; 7.10; 9.5,7; 10.4,7; 16.5; 17.5; 18.5; 20.4; 21.4; 22.4; 23.4; 35.8; 39.5; 50.5; 52.6,16-17; 64.7; 65.6; 75.1-9; 79.1-10 (49 verses).
I. 29.1-7; 80.1-16; 81.1-9; 82.1-5; 84.10-12; 105.1-7,9-18 (57 verses).
VIII. 19.37; 31.15-18; 35.22,24; 46.21,24,32; 56.5; 62.1-6,10-12; 69.11,16; 91.1-2 (24 verses).
IX. 112.1-4; 113.1-11; 114.1-4 (19 verses).
X. 59.8; 60.8-9; 86.1-23; 134.7; 145.6; 164.5 (29 verses).
The only verse, in the five Old Books, VI. 75.17, is in a Redacted Hymn in the old book 6.
c) The next two in line, mahāpankti (8+8 +8+8 +8+8) and dimeter śakvarī (8+8+8+8+8+8+8) are found in the Rigveda as follows:
In the Non-redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the Redacted Hymns in the five Old Books (2,3,4,6,7):
In the one New family Book (5):
In the four later (non-family) New Books (1,8,9,10):
I. 191.10-12 (3 verses).
VIII. 36.1-7; 37.2-7; 39.1-10; 40.1-11; 41.1-10; 47.1-18 (62 verses).
X. 59.9; 133.3-6; 134.1-6; 166.5 (12 verses).
There is a clear chronological evolution of the dimeter meters in the Rigveda: the pankti evolved in the period of the early New Book 5, and the mahāpankti and dimeter śakvarī in the period of the later New Books. All three meters are totally missing in the Old Books (except for one late pankti verse in a Redacted Hymn).
But the pankti is common in the Avesta, and two of the five gathas of Zarathushtra (the oldest hymns in the Avesta) are already in the mahāpankti meter.
To summarize all the above data, the 1028 hymns of the Rigveda can be classified as follows: the Non-redacted Old Hymns (280 hymns with 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2), the Redacted Old Hymns (62 hymns with 890 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, redacted at the time of composition of the New Books), and the New Hymns (686 hymns with 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10).
The names, name types, words and meters common to the Rigveda and the Avesta, listed above, are found as follows:
1. In not a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2: i.e. in 0 % of the hymns and verses.
2. In 15 of the 62 Redacted Old Hymns and 23 of the 890 Redacted verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2: i.e. in 24.19 % of the hymns but only 2.58 % of the verses.
3. In 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10: i.e. in 61.95 % of the hymns and 50.50 % of the verses).
The overpowering nature of the evidence is self-evident from this data: the evidence is absolute. The "Indo-Iranian" culture common to the Rigveda and the Avesta is not pre-Rigvedic, because if it had been pre-Rigvedic, the picture should have been exactly the opposite. The common elements should have been found in the Old Books, hymns and verses more than in the New Books, hymns and verses. But here they are not found at all in the Old Books, hymns and verses, while they are overflowing in the New Books, hymns and verses and continue to be common in different degrees in the post-Rigvedic texts (Vedic, Puranic, Epic, Classical, and later right down to the present day). It means only one thing: the common Vedic-Avestan-Mitanni vocabulary and culture developed in the late period of composition of the New Books of the Rigveda, and it was during this Late Rigvedic period that the three separated from each other.
Whether the AIT supporters (including the racist-casteist elements from within the "Hindu" side) like it or not, the above conclusion is unchallengeable and irrefutable. However, honesty and scholarly integrity is not something we can expect from them: with utter disregard to the provenance of the data (and in fact deep contempt for the data itself), Lubotsky and Witzel, for example, classify many of these words (listed earlier) as "non-Aryan" words jointly borrowed by the Indo-Aryans and Iranians from some unknown, unrecorded and purely hypothetical "non-Aryan" languages of the "BMAC" (Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex) sites in Central Asia during their hypothetical stay in that region in a pre-Rigvedic era before the Vedic Aryans "entered" India and started the composition of the Rigveda! Their list of such "BMAC" words even includes many that are found for the first time in post-Rigvedic texts: these include important words like iṣṭi, godhūma, ṣaṇa, sasarpa, khaḍga, vīṇā, khara, liṅga, and many, many more!
IRREFUTABLE CONCLUSION: the elements of the culture common to the Rigveda, the Mitanni and the Avesta are not pre-Rigvedic (formed during some hypothetical period in Central Asia before the "arrival" of the Indo-Aryans "into" India). They are Late Rigvedic, i.e. they belong to the period of composition of the New Books. The Vedic Aryans, the proto-Mitanni Aryans, and the proto-Iranians were together when they developed the common culture and vocabulary which is found in the three independent sources of data (the Rigveda, the Mitanni records and the Avesta), after which the three people separated from each other and left us these independent records. But the period during which this common culture and vocabulary were formed and developed was not any pre-Rigvedic period but the late Rigvedic period of composition of the New Books of the Rigveda.
[For good measure, I will add many more important points, greatly enhancing this evidence for the late provenance of the Avesta vis-à-vis the Rigveda, in the APPENDIX at the end of this part].
The history, geography and chronology of this common period is therefore a matter of record and can be elucidated from the Rigvedic data.
Section 5. The Chronological and Geographical Picture:
The evidence of the common Vedic-Mitanni-Avestan data inexorably leads to certain unavoidable, unchallengeable and irrefutable conclusions about the chronology and geography of their joint culture. Please note the inexorable logic of each of the following points carefully:
1. The Vedic Indo-Aryan, the proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryan and the proto-Iranian people were together with each other for a large part of the period of composition of the New Books of the Rigveda (which came after the period of composition of the Old Books of the Rigveda). This common culture and vocabulary was formed and developed during this second period (i.e. the period of the New Books), and it was only after being a part of this common culture that they separated from each other and went their separate ways. This period of togetherness was, therefore, not in some unrecorded pre-Rigvedic era but in the latter part of the recorded Rigvedic era.
2. The Avesta, like the Rigveda, cannot itself be precisely dated chronologically by scientific methods, but the Mitanni records are scientifically dated ones.
3. The geographical horizon of the Rigveda as a whole, and certainly of the the New Books, extended from Afghanistan in the west to Haryana and westernmost U.P. in the east. So this was the area from which the proto-Iranians and the proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans migrated to their historical habitats.
4. The Mitanni kingdom in Syria-Iraq was formed around 1500 BCE, but the names of Mitanni Indo-Aryans are found in West Asian documents from the 17th century BCE: "Proper names of the dynastic rulers of the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in northern Mesopotamia and Syria are mentioned in written documents of the 17th-16th centuries" (KUZ'MINA 2007, Intro. p.xi). Further, their presence in West Asia is confirmed by the Kassite invasion of Babylon around 1750 BCE. The Kassites, exactly like the Mitanni, were speakers of a non-Indo-European language, but they worshipped Vedic Indo-Aryan Gods like the sun-god, Šuriaš, the war god Maruttaš, and another god, Bugaš (perhaps also an Inda-Bugaš?), and one king had the personal name Abirattaš. So the Mitanni Indo-Aryan presence in West Asia is confirmed at least as far back as 1750 BCE.
5. But the Mitanni kings, who had Indo-Aryan names, had not retained their original Indo-Aryan language. They already spoke Hurrian, an ancient non-IE language of West Asia. Witzel tells us: “Other evidence, from Mitanni and neo-Hittite sources, indicates that the names of Mitanni kings were traditionally Indo-Aryan, even though the Mitanni belonged to the Hurrian-speaking peoples. We therefore surmise that the Mitanni once lived close to an early Indo-Aryan group, that had perhaps taken a dominant position over the pre-Mitanni population, and then became quickly acculturated as Hurrian speakers” (WITZEL 1995a:110). Elsewhere, Witzel classifies these Indo-Aryan elements in the Mitanni data as the “remnants” of IA in the Hurrite language of the Mitanni (WITZEL 2005:361).
As J.P.Mallory puts it: “Our dating of the Indo-Aryan element in the Mitanni texts is based purely and simply on written documents offering datable contexts. While we cannot with certainty push these dates prior to the fifteenth century BC, it should not be forgotten that the Indic elements seem to be little more than the residue of a dead language in Hurrian, and that the symbiosis that produced the Mitanni may have taken place centuries earlier” (MALLORY 1989:42).
Likewise, the Kassites, exactly like the Mitanni, were speakers of a non-Indo-European language: as Witzel tells us, “the Kassite language belongs to an altogether unknown language group” (WITZEL 2005:380, fn.12), and, apart from the names of three (/four?) gods (the sun-god, Šuriaš, the war god Maruttaš, and another god, Bugaš: perhaps also an Inda-bugaš?), and one personal name Abirattaš, “the vocabulary of their largely unknown language hardly shows any IA influence, not even in their many designations for the horse and horse names” (WITZEL 2005:362). The Indo-Aryan elements in the Kassite data, in 1750 BCE, also represented the "remnants" or " the residue of a dead language".
In short, the Mitanni Indo-Aryan elements, in 1750 BCE, already represented "remnants" of a far earlier Mitanni Indo-Aryan culture in West Asia. As per many scholars, the Mitanni-Kassites were in the area of the Zagros mountains in West Asia around 2000 BCE.
6. If the ancestral proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans were in or on the borders of West Asia from around 2000 BCE, they must have left their ancestral land, in the geographical area of the New Books of the Rigveda, at least 200-300 years earlier at the barest minimum: i.e. at least 2300 BCE.
7. When the ancestral proto-Mitanni ancestors left the geographical area of the New Books of the Rigveda in at least 2300 BCE, the new culture of the New Books, which they took with them, was already well developed. The distinctive new culture of the Late Rigvedic Period (i.e. the period of composition of the New Books) must have started developing (again at the very barest minimum) at least 300 years earlier: i.e. in at least 2600 BCE.
We have two important chronological markers that support this:
Spoked wheels were invented (supposedly around Central Asia) in the second half of the third millennium BCE.
Likewise, the “Bactrian camel was domesticated in Central Asia in the late 3rd mill. BCE” (Witzel). The following is the distribution of references to camels and spokes in the Rigveda, all exclusively in the New Books:
I.32.15; 141.9; 138.2; 164.11,12,13,48.
VIII.5.37; 6.48; 20.14; 46.22,31; 77.3.
The five Old Books of the Rigveda (6,3,7,4,2) clearly belong to a period earlier to the invention of spokes and the domestication of the Bactrian camel, and the second half of the third millennium BCE is the period of the New Books of the Rigveda.
8. The Late Rigvedic Period was prededed by the Middle Rigvedic Period (i.e. the period of composition of the Middle Old Books 4,2), and this, in turn, was preceded by the Early Rigvedic Period. (i.e. the period of composition of the Old Books 6,3,7). At a bare minimum, the beginnings of the Early Rigvedic Period must go back into the late 4th millennium BCE, ie., before 3000 BCE.
9. And what was the situation depicted in the Rigveda in this period of the Old Books before 3000 BCE? And what is the geography of these Old Books at that point of time: does it lie to the west of the geography of the New Books (i.e. in, for example, Afghanistan or Central Asia)? On the contrary:
a) The geographical area of the Early Old Books (6,3,7 in that order) from a period before 3000 BCE covers only the eastern parts of the Rigvedic area. These Early Old Books show complete ignorance of western areas, but easy familiarity with and emotional attachment to the eastern areas (in VI.61.14, the composer begs the river Sarasvatī: "let us not go from thee to distant countries"):
These three oldest books mention the eastern rivers Gaṅgā/Jahnāvī, Yamunā, Dṛṣadvatī/Hariyūpīyā/Yavyāvatī, Āpayā, Sarasvatī, Śutudrī, Vipāś, Paruṣṇī, Asiknī, but they do not mention the western rivers Marudvṛdhā, Vitastā, Ārjīkīyā, Suṣomā, Sindhu and its western tributaries Triṣṭāmā, Susartu, Anitabhā, Rasā, Śveti, Shvetyāvarī, Kubhā, Krumu, Gomatī, Sarayu, Mehatnu, Prayiyu, Vayiyu, Suvāstu, Gaurī, Kuṣavā, all of which are mentioned in the New Books.
They mention the eastern place names Kīkaṭa, Iḷāspada (also called vara ā pṛthivyā or nābhā pṛthivyā, i.e. "the best place on earth" or "the centre of the earth") but they do not mention the western place names Saptasindhava, Gandhāri, both of which are mentioned in the New Books.
They mention the eastern lake Mānuṣā, but they do not mention the western lake Śaryaṇāvat(ī) and the western mountains Mūjavat, Suṣom and Arjīk, all of which are mentioned in the New Books.
They mention eastern animals like the buffalo, the gaur (Indian bison), the elephant, the peacock and the spotted deer, but they do not mention western animals (whose names are found in common with the Avesta) like the uṣṭra, varāha, mathra, chāga, vṛṣṇi, urā and meṣha, all of which are mentioned in the New Books.
b) Further, the western place names, lake name, mountain names and animal names are missing not only in the Early Old Books (6,3,7), but also in the Middle Old Books (4,2) and in the New Book 5: in short, in all the family books. And the river names appear from east to west in historical contexts:
i) The oldest Book 6 refers only to the Sarasvati (which is deified in three whole hymns, VI.61, VII.95-96, and in 52 other verses in the three Early Old Books) and to the rivers east of it: in VI.45.31 the long bushes on the banks of the Gaṅgā figure in a simile (showing their long acquaintance and easy familiarity with the topography and flora of the Gaṅgā area).
ii) The next Book 3 refers in III.58.6 to the banks of the Jahnāvī (Gaṅgā) as the "ancient homeland" of the Gods. In III.23.3-4, it remembers the establishment of a perpetual sacred fire by Devavāta, a far ancestor of the Rigvedic king Sudas, at Iḷaspada (in Haryana) on the eastern banks of the Sarasvatī. In III.33, it refers for the first time to the first two easternmost rivers of the Punjab, the Vipāś and Śutudrī, in the context of the militarist expansion in all directions by Sudās, and the reference is to his moving from Haryana into the Punjab and crossing the two rivers with his warriors.
iii) The next book 7 (which refers to the Yamunā in VII.18.19) describes (in VII.18, and also 19,33 and 83) the dāśarājña battle (the Battle of the Ten Kings) in which Sudās, fighting from the east on the banks of the third easternmost river of the Punjab, the Paruṣṇī, fights the coalition of ten Anu tribes who are described (in VII.5.3) as the Asiknī people (as they are fighting from the west, from the direction of the fourth easternmost river of the Punjab, the Asiknī).
The three Early Old Books (6,3,7) do not refer to rivers further west.
iv) The Middle Old Book 4 (but not yet the Middle Old Book 2, whose riverine references are restricted to the Sarasvatī) for the first time refers to the Indus (Sindhu) and rivers to its west (Sarayu and Rasā), in clear continuation of the earlier westward movement: it refers (in IV.30.18: which, incidentally, is a Redacted Hymn) to the battle fought by Sahadeva and Somaka, descendants of Sudās, in an area "beyond the Sarayu".
In short, the geography of the Rigveda in the period of the oldest book 6 and in the pre-Rigvedic period, before 3000 BCE, is completely restricted to the area to the east of the Sarasvatī river, in Haryana and western U.P., which is regarded as "the ancient homeland". Needless to say, there is not the faintest trace in the Rigveda, even at this point of time before 3000 BCE, of any extra-territorial memories or migrations from the totally unknown far western areas.
c) Even in this period before 3000 BCE, there is not the faintest reference in the Rigveda to any non-Indo-European language speaking (let alone specifically Dravidian or Austric language speaking) people or entities, friend or foe, in the Rigvedic area, past or present, let alone any reference to the "Aryans" having invaded and displaced them.
d) Even in this period before 3000 BCE, the rivers in the Rigvedic area have (undeniably or arguably) purely Indo-European names, with no indication that there ever were any other names. [This is a powerful indication of the indigenous nature of the Vedic Aryans. As Witzel points out: “In Europe, river names were found to reflect the languages spoken before the influx of Indo-European speaking populations. They are thus older than c. 4500-2500 B.C. (depending on the date of the spread of Indo-European languages in various parts of Europe).” (WITZEL 1995a:104-105). But, in sharp contrast, “in northern India rivers in general have early Sanskrit names from the Vedic period, and names derived from the daughter languages of Sanskrit later on". (WITZEL 1995a:105). This is "in spite of the well-known conservatism of river names. This is especially surprising in the area once occupied by the Indus Civilisation where one would have expected the survival of older names, as has been the case in Europe and the Near East. At the least, one would expect a palimpsest, as found in New England with the name of the state of Massachussetts next to the Charles river, formerly called the Massachussetts river, and such new adaptations as Stony Brook, Muddy Creek, Red River, etc., next to the adaptations of Indian names such as the Mississippi and the Missouri”. Witzel describes this as a “failure to preserve old hydronomes even in the Indus Valley” and tries to attribute it to “the extent of the social and political collapse experienced by the local population” (WITZEL 1995a:106-107). However, this, as we have seen, is the situation before 3000 BCE!].
10. The different parts of the Rigveda were composed over a period from a point of time before 3000 BCE to a point of time after 2000 BCE (actually, it was given its final shape around 1500 BCE). Note two humongously important facts:
a) The Rigveda was composed by native people in the same geographical area as the Harappan Civilization during the same period of time as the Harappan Civilization.
b) The Rigvedic people were in northwestern India from before 3000 BCE. As per all the linguistic evidence accepted by a general consensus among linguists, this was a point of time when all the 12 branches of Indo-European languages were still together in contiguous areas in and around the Original Indo-European Homeland.
In short: the Original Indo-European Homeland was in India, and the Harappan Civilization (in linguistic terms) was an "Indo-Iranian" Civilization.
If the Original Homeland was in India in a period recorded in the Rigveda and in Indian historical tradition, then, as we will see in the next two parts, the emigration of the speakers of the other (than Indo-Aryan) branches of Indo-European languages will also be found as recorded history.
APPENDIX: ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE FOR THE LATE PROVENANCE OF THE AVESTA and the MITANNI.
We have seen the humongous mass of evidence which shows that the overwhelming mass of names, name types, words and metres common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records are not found in a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2 but found in 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10 (and, equally significantly, found in 15 of the 62 Old Hymns and 23 of the 890 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, which have been singled out by the Indologists as late, interpolated or Redacted Hymns and verses). And we have also seen that this conclusively proves that the proto-Iranian and the proto-Mitanni people were with the Vedic Aryans in the geographical area of the Vedic Aryans (Haryana to Afghanistan) till the period of composition of the New Books, during which they separated from them.
To forestall petty quibbling by those who refuse to accept this evidence, and in order to leave (as far as possible) no t-s uncrossed and i-s undotted, this appendix will examine numerous other evidence and points which show that the above evidence cannot be challenged, and, in fact, that we have actually understated the evidence in the article above: this evidence is just the tip of the iceberg.
A. Can this evidence be refuted?
B. Is this evidence all that there is, or is there more?
Appendix A: Can this evidence be refuted?
Can this evidence, showing that the overwhelming mass of names, name types, words and metres common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records are not found in a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2 but found in 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10 (and, equally significantly, found in 15 of the 62 Old Hymns and 23 of the 890 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, which have been singled out by the Indologists as late, interpolated or Redacted Hymns and verses) be refuted?
Firstly, this evidence is based on the criteria, rules and principles on which more than 200 years of Indological scholarship is founded and based. The western Indologists and other academic scholars themselves, from well before Oldenberg through Michael Witzel down to Theodore Proferes (see TALAGERI 2008:132-135 for details), have:
a) classified the books of the Rigveda into two groups: the family books (2-7) and the non-family books (1, 8-10), and testified, on the basis of their own analyses, that the family books were composed and compiled before the non-family books. Further, they have detached book 5 from the other family books and concluded that it agrees with the non-family books rather than with the other family books, and they have identified certain hymns in the family books as Redacted Hymns.
b) classified the Rigveda as the oldest Vedic Samhita, the Yajurveda as the second oldest (along with the Samaveda, which largely consists of verses extracted from the Rigveda itself), and the Athrvaveda as the chronologically last one.
c) classified the Samhitas as the oldest Vedic texts, the Brahmanas as the next in line, the Aranyakas and Upanishads as following them, and the Sutras and other Upa-vedic and Vedanga texts as the chronologically last in the line.
d) classified the Puranas, Epics and other Classical Sanskrit texts as much later to the entire Vedic literature.
The data that we have just examined is completely missing only in the Old Hymns of the Old Books (6,3,7,4,2) of the Rigveda. It is abundantly found in the New Books of the Rigveda, in the other Samhitas, in the later Vedic texts, and in the post-Vedic and Classical Sanskrit texts - and in the Avesta and the Mitanni records.
To deny all this evidence, we must now assume that the chronological order charted out by over 200 years of Indological study is completely wrong, and that the Old Books of the Rigveda are later than the New Books and the Redacted Hymns. And, as the argument goes forward, later than the other three Vedic Samhitas, the other Vedic texts, the Puranas and Epics, and the Classical Sanskrit literature. Right down to this day? In fact, do the Old Books exist at all, or are they just a figment of someone's imagination as in some science-fiction movie?
The great Indologist E.W.Hopkins, as far back as 1896, before the discovery of the very existence of the Mitanni Indo-Aryans, without wanting to promote (and without even any idea of) an OIT theory or a PIE Homeland in India theory, had pointed out that the Avesta shared everything in common with the New Books, and that the Avesta must therefore be placed after the Old Books: “[....] to point to the list of words common to the Avesta and viii with its group, and say that here is proof positive that there is closer relationship with the Avesta, and that, therefore, viii after all is older than the books which have not preserved these words, some of which are of great significance, would be a first thought. But this explanation is barred out by the fact that most of these Avestan words preserved in viii, withal those of the most importance, are common words in the literature posterior to the Rik. Hence to make the above claim would be tantamount to saying that these words have held their own through the period to which viii (assuming it to be older than ii-vii) is assigned, have thereupon disappeared, and then come into vogue again after the interval to which the maker of this assumption would assign ii-vii. This, despite all deprecation of negative evidence, is not credible. Take, for instance, udara or uṣṭra or meṣa, the first is found only in viii., i., x.; the second in viii., i.; the last in viii., i., ix., x. Is it probable that words so common both early and late should have passed through an assumedly intermediate period (of ii.-vii.) without leaving a trace? Or, again: is a like assumption credible in the case of kṣīra, which appears in the Iranian khshīra; in RV. viii., i., ix., x.; disappears in the assumedly later group ii.-vii.; and reappears in the AV. and later literature as a common word? Evidently, the facts are not explained on the hypothesis that the Avesta and RV. viii. are older than RV. ii.-vii. We must, I think, suppose that the Avesta and RV. viii. are younger than RV. ii.-vii.” (HOPKINS 1896a:80-1).
There is no way this evidence can be refuted:
1. Is the evidence really relevant or important?: If the common Rigvedic-Avestan-Mitanni data examined above covers 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10, and 15 of the 62 Redacted Hymns and 23 of the 890 redacted verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, but is totally missing in the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, isn't this relevant and important?
If it is not, then the data in the Rigveda must be completely ignored, all serious study completely abandoned or banned, and everyone must be left free to sit down and concoct their own stories: the Rigveda was composed in Maharashtra/Assam/Tamilnadu/China/America/..., around 1000/100000/... years ago, by Hammurabi/Nefertiti/Aristotle/...!
The data does not consist of irrelevant words (the very scale and number excludes this possibility): the data is vital data. The names with the suffixes –aśva and -ratha, the prefix-priya-, the suffix -atithi, for example, are very important ones in the New Books, the Avesta, the Mitanni records, and in all post-Rigvedic texts, including all the other Vedic and Puranic texts and the Epics. The only common name among the Kassites is a -ratha name. The largest number of common names among the Mitanni are with the prefix priya- and the suffix -atithi. In the Avesta, names with the suffixes –aśva and -ratha are found in abundance among the closest associates of Zaraθuštra (the composer of the Gathas, the very oldest part of the Avesta): Pourušāspa (the father of Zaraθuštra), Haēčātāspa (ancestor of Zaraθuštra), Dəjāmāspa (a close relative of Zaraθuštra), Vištāspa (the patron king of Zaraθuštra), Arəjatāspa (the enemy of Zaraθuštra, reported in some traditions to have been the person who killed Zaraθuštra), Aγraēraθa , Dāraiiat.raθa, Frāraiiat.raθa, etc. The common Vedic-Avestan suffix -ayana is rampant from the New Books on: in the New Books, we find Gaupāyana, Yāmāyana, Dākşāyaņī, Nārāyaņa, Kāmāyanī, Vātāyana, Kāṇvāyana and Ukşaņyāyana, all restricted to the New Books of the Rigveda. The Atharvaveda has composers like Bādarāyaņī, Jāţikāyana and Kānkāyana Then we have the Samaveda Samhita of Rāņāyana, the Yajurveda Samhita of Maitrāyaņa, the Brahmana texts of Śānkhāyana and Śātyāyana, the Mahānārāyaņa Upanishad, and the Āśvalāyana, Śānkhāyana, Drāhyāyaņa, Lāţhyāyana, Kātyāyana and Baudhāyana Sutra texts. One of the most prominent Upanishadic sages is Vaiśampāyana. Later we have Krishna Dvaipāyana (i.e. Vyāsa, redactor of the Mahabharata and mythically of the Vedas themselves), Vātsyāyana (author of the Kamasutra), and Bādarāyaņa (author of the Vedanta Sutras), among many others. Such names are common in the Avesta as well: Friiana, Gaoraiiana, Jīşţaiiana, Frāšāoštraiiana, etc. All these names and name types are vital and central to all these texts - to all except to the Old Books of the Rigveda, which stand apart.
[In respect of the prefix priya-, Hopkins had pointed out long ago (referring not just to names but to words as a whole) that “priya compounds [fn. That is, with priya as the first member of the compound] are a formation common in Smŗti [....] Epic [....] In AV, VS, and Brāhmaņa [....] but known in RV only to books viii, i, ix, x” (HOPKINS 1896a:66).]
2. Can this pattern of references be due to chance or coincidence?: Can this pattern of references, where the common Rigvedic-Avestan-Mitanni data examined above covers 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10, and 15 of the 62 Redacted Hymns and 23 of the 890 redacted verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, but is totally missing in the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, be due to chance or coincidence? Obviously such an argument would constitute extra-ordinarily special pleading.
3. Can this pattern of references be due to interpolations or deletions?: Again, can there have been interpolations or deletions on this scale and magnitude? And it is not a question of interpolations: the point is not only that all these references are found in the New Books and the Redacted Hymns, but that they are at the same time not found at all in the old (unredacted) hymns and verses in the Old Books. So it has to be a question of deletions: all the common Rigvedic-Avestan-Mitanni names, name types, words and metres now common in the New Books were originally common in the Old Books as well, but they were all systematically deleted!
But how could such a grand scale operation (so minutely planned, coordinated and executed) have been conducted: something like the situation in Orwell's "1984"? And when was it done, and by whom? By a late (ancient) group of redactors of the Rigveda? And why? Perhaps an ancient group of Aryan invader ṛṣi seers peered into their crystal balls, found out that an AIT-vs-OIT debate was raging in this age, wanted to perpetuate the lie that the AIT is wrong and the OIT is right, found out that I was analyzing the common Vedic-Avestan-Mitanni data, decided to help me by doctoring the text of the Rigveda, and sat down and meticulously deleted all the common names, name-types, words and metres from the Old Books (while perhaps adding some more into the New Books and the Redacted Hymns)?
Obviously, there can be no doubt at all that the data is indeed as it is given in the main body of this part of the article above, and that it does indeed lead inexorably to the conclusions drawn here.
Appendix B: Is this evidence all that there is, or is there more?
The evidence given above (that the overwhelming mass of names, name types, words and metres common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records are not found in a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2 but found in 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books 5,1,8,9,10, and, equally significantly, found in 15 of the 62 Old Hymns and 23 of the 890 verses in the Old Books 6,3,7,4,2, which have been singled out by the Indologists as late, interpolated or Redacted Hymns and verses) is absolutely conclusive in itself. But there is more:
1. THE MIDDLE OLD BOOKS: We saw the absolute evidence of the common Rigvedic-Avestan-Mitanni names and name types, which shows that this common heritage was formed or developed during the Late Rigvedic Period (the period of composition of the New Books).
But the question may arise: if the New Books developed after the Old Books, then some or most of the culture (including names, name types and words) of the Old Books must have carried over into the New Books. And if the culture of the proto-Mitanni and proto-Iranians was a part of this common culture of the New Books, the elements from the Old Books (which got carried over into the New Books) must also have got carried over as common cultural elements into the proto-Mitanni and proto-Iranian data. So how is it that none of the common elements (examined by us above) are found in the Old Books?
The answer is simple: the overwhelming mass of Late elements which developed in the period of composition of the New Books is found in the Avestan and Mitanni data, which proves that they did not separate from each other before the period of the New Books, and it is those Late elements that we examined above. That many Early and Middle elements carried over from the earlier periods (the Middle Rigvedic Period in which books 4,2 were compose, and the Early Rigvedic Period in which books 6,3,7 were composed) should also be found in the New Books, and therefore also in the Avesta and the Mitanni records, is to be expected, and makes no difference to the chronological picture.
But what are these elements? And do they confirm the above picture? As we can see, they do:
Early name types: The Early elements in the common names and name types consist only of names with the prefixes su- ("good"), deva-/diva- ("divine"), puru- ("many", "much") viśva- ("all") and pra- ("forward"), and the name of the ancient (pre- or early Rigvedic) ṛṣi Uśanā Kavi. These are found in the Early Old Books (6,3,7) and the Middle Old Books (4,2) in the names of Su-dās, Su-mīḷha, Su-hotra, Deva-vāta/Deva-vat, Deva-śravas, Deva-ka, Divo-dāsa, Puru-panthās, Puru-mīḷha, Viśvā-mitra, Pra-tardana, Pra-tṛda, Pra-stoka, (and Pra-maganda?). However, these name types continue to be productive in the New Books (5,1,8,9,10) with the following new names: Su-śravas, Su-bharā, Su-rādhas, Su-nītha, Su-dakṣa, Su-deva, Su-dīti, Su-medhas, Su-mitra, Su-bandhu, Su-parṇa, Su-kakṣa, Su-hastya, Su-kīrti, Su-vedas, Deva-atithi, Deva-la, Deva-āpi, Deva-rāta, Deva-muni, Deva-gandharva, Deva-jāmaya, Puru-ṇītha, Puru-māyya, Puru-mitra, Puru-medha, Puru-hanman, Purū-ravas, Purū-vasu, Viśva-manas, Viśva-ka, Viśva-sāman, Viśva-vāra, Viśva-vārā, Viśva-carṣaṇi, Viśva-karmā, Viśvā-vasu, Pra-pathī, Pla-yoga, Pra-yoga, Pra-yasvanta, Pra-gātha, Pra-bhū-vasu, Pra-jā-pati, Pra-cetas. Naturally, these name types (including names with the suffix -śravas in the above early name Deva-śravas) are found in the Avesta as well: Haosrauuah, Haošiiaŋha, Hučiθrā, Hufrauuač, Hugu, Huiiazata, Humaiiaka, Humāiiā, Hušiiaoθna, Hutaosa, Huuarəz, Huuaspa, Daēuuō.ţbiš, Pouru.baṇgha, Pouručistā, Pouruδāxšti, Pouru.jira, Pourušti, Vīspataurušī, Vīspa.tauruuarī, Vīspa.tauruuā, Vīspa.θauruuō.ašti, Fraŋhād, Frasrūtāra, Fratura, Haosrauuah, Bujisrauuah, Vīδisrauuah (apart from Kavi Usan).
Middle name types: The Middle elements in the common names consist of names with the comparatively rarer prefix Soma-, found in the Middle Old Books (4,2): Soma-ka, Soma-āhuti. and the Avesta: Haomō.xvarənah. More significantly, there are four ṛṣis/persons (Turvīti, Gotama, Trita, and Krśānu) who first appear in the Middle Old Books and are found in the Avesta as pre-Avestan persons (Tauruuaēti, Gaotəma, Θrita and Kərəsāni). These names are found in the Middle Old Books (4,2) and the Late Books (5,1,8,9,10), but are completely missing in the Early Old Books (6,3,7), thereby again confirming the chronological picture showed by the Late common names and name types. Specifically, while:
a) these four names are not found at all in the Early Old Books (6,3,7),
b) they are found as composers of 30 hymns and 295 verses, and are mentioned in 44 hymns and 56 verses, in the New Books (5,1,8,9,10).
Therefore, the evidence stands consolidated: the Early Old Books (6,3,7) have only old names (but no middle or new names), the Middle Old Books (4,2) have only old and middle names (but no new names), and the New Books (5,1,8,9,10), as well as the Avesta (and the Mitanni data, and sometimes the Redacted Hymns), have all the names: old, middle and new.
2. ADDITIONAL WORDS: we had a tally of common Rigvedic-Avestan names, name types, words and metres covering 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 verses in the New Books (5,1,8,9,10) as against not a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 verses in the Old Books (6,3,7,4,2). But note:
a) A more detailed study will add many more hymns, verses and references in the New Books which contain common Rigvedic-Avestan words not found in the Old Books. Already, after giving all the data above, I found a few more possible words (cited by various early Indologists, like Hopkins) not included in that data: yahu, jāmātar, śvātra, takva, galdā, tanūkṛta, marka, odana, vidveṣa, veśman.
b) A study of the other three post-Rigvedic Samhitas will add many more common Vedic-Avestan words showing the late provenance of the Avesta. Witzel and Lubotsly themselves provide the following examples: √nikṣ, iṣṭakā, jahakā, sikatā, puccha, śarva, kapāla, nagnahu, dūrśa. Also vidyā. (A study of the Brahmana texts will produce some more: e.g. Lubotsky's cātvāla).
c) We have just seen the value-addition of the four common Vedic-Avestan names and name types found from the Middle Old Books onwards (and therefore found in the Middle Old Books 4,2 and the New Books 5,1,8,9,10, but expressly not found in the Early Old Books 6,3,7) in demonstrating the dichotomy between the Early Old Books and the New Books. A study of other common Vedic-Avestan words (as distinct from names and name types) found from the Middle Old Books onwards will further add to this dichotomy between the Early Old Books and the New Books. [As I have not undertaken this study, I cannot give specific examples here].
3. THE REDACTED HYMNS: We have seen the scale, number and magnitude of the common Rigvedic-Avestan-Mitanni names, name types found only in the New Books, and occasionally in the Redacted Hymns., but missing in the non-redacted parts of the Old Books.
For this purpose, we only counted as Redacted Hymns the 56 hymns classified as such by the Indologists (II.32,41-43; III.26-29,51-53,62; IV.15,30-32,37,48,50,55-58; VI.15-16,44-52,59-61,74-75; VII.15-17,31-33,55,59,66,74,81,94,96,101-104) and the 6 hymns specifically described in the Aitareya Brahmana VI.18 as late additions into book 3 (III.30,31,34,36,38,48). Names, name types, words and metres found only in the New Books and the Redacted Hymns are clearly new elements in the Rigveda.
However, it is possible that there may have been other minor redactions which took place in some other hymns in the Old Books before the Rigveda was frozen into its final form. These redactions, since they were not so easily identifiable as redactions (and nor were they noted in any ancient text as redactions or late additions), may have escaped the classification of the Indologists. Hence there may be many more late or new words common to the New Books and the Avesta which have not been counted above since, although they are found overwhelmingly in the New Books and the Redacted Hymns, they also happen to be found in some other hymns in the Old Books not suspected to be redactions. Certainly, there are certain other hymns and verses in the Old Books which individual Indologists have classified as possibly late (i.e. redacted) ones: Arnold, for example, classifies III.8,33,37; IV.13,24,39; VI.28; VII.5 as containing late added elements. Grassmann, in his German translation of the Rigveda, also classifies certain hymns and verses in the Old Books as late, interpolated or redacted hymns. Hopkins, in his discussion of late words also refers to the late character of certain other hymns or verses in the Old Books.
One example of such a word will suffice: the word gāthā is a pre-Avestan word in the Avesta: the oldest part of the Avesta consists of the five hymn-groups called gāthā-s composed by Zarathushtra himself, and they are not only called by that name but the word already occurs within those hymns as well. As we have already seen, in the Rigveda, gātha/gāthā is a late word found only in the New Books:
I.7.1; 43.4; 167.6; 190.1
VIII.2.38; 32.1; 71.14; 92.2; 98.9
But what is more, the very root √gai, from which the word gāthā is derived (and the words gīta, pragātha, gāyatra and gāyatrī), is found overwhelmingly in the New Books and the Redacted Hymns, but also in two other hymns in the Old Books: VI.40.1; 69.2 :
In the five Old Books 6,3,7,4,2 (8 hymns 10 verses, 11 references):
II.43.1,1,2 (1 hymn, 2 verses, 3 references).
VI. 16.22; 40.1; 45.4,22; 69.2 (4 hymns 5 verses and references).
VII.31.1; 96.1; 102.1 (3 hymns, 3 verses and references).
In the five New Books 5,1,8,9,10 (59 hymns, 75 verses, 84 references):
V.44.5; 68.1 (2 hymns, verses and references).
I.4.10; 5.1,4; 7.1; 10.1,1; 12.11; 21.2,2; 27.4; 37.1,4; 38.14,14; 43.4; 79.7; 97.2; 120.6; 142.12; 164.23,24,25; 167.6,6; 173.1; 188.11; 190.1 (19 hymns, 23 verses, 27 references).
VIII.1.7,7,8,10; 2.14,14,38,38; 5.34; 15.1; 16.9; 19.22; 20.19; 27.2; 32.1,13,17,27; 33.4; 38.6,10; 45.21; 46.14,17; 61.8; 66.1; 71.14; 81.5; 89.1; 92.1,2,25; 98.1,9; 101.5; 103.8 (22 hymns, 33 verses, 36 references).
IX.11.1,4; 13.2; 60.1,1; 65.7; 86.44; 96.23; 97.4; 99.4; 104.1; 105.1 (10 hymns, 11 verses, 12 references).
X.14.16; 67.3; 71.11,11; 85.6; 107.6; 130.4 (6 hymns and verses, 7 references).
The way the verb and its derivatives are distributed in the New Books as well as in the Redacted Hymns, except for these two references, makes it clear that the verb and its derivatives are late words in the Rigveda. But these two verses, VI.40.1; 69.2 (which are in hymns not classified as Redacted Hymns) are the odd men out, and it is clear that they must be redacted verses, though not suspected as such. There must be many such cases, which camouflage the full extent of the dichotomy between the Old hymns and the New Hymns.
4. ARCHAIC PHONOLOGY AND MORPHOLOGY: As per the AIT, and standard history taught all over the world, the Indo-Aryans and Iranians came to Central Asia from an original homeland in South Russia, and formed and developed a common Indo-Iranian culture in Central Asia. They then separated from each other and migrated in three different directions: the proto-Vedic Indo-Aryans southeastwards into the Punjab (present-day northern Pakistan), the proto-Iranians southwards into Afghanistan, and the proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans southwestwards into West Asia (via Iran). They then respectively composed the Rigveda in the Punjab and the Avesta in Afghanistan, and left us the Mitanni records in West Asia, all three containing the elements of this common culture. The Rigveda and the Avesta (and for that matter, the Mitanni records in West Asia) are therefore assumed to be equally archaic in the family tree, and almost contemporaneous with each other.
In fact, some Indologists and AIT enthusiasts even claim that the Mitanni words show a "pre-Rigvedic" stage of language (from the phonological point of view). Witzel, for example, repeatedly cites three points:
a) “These remnants of IA in Mit. belong to an early, pre-Rgvedic stage of IA, seen in the preservation of IIr –zdh- > Ved. –edh-, IIr. ai > Ved. e” (WITZEL 2005:361).
b) “the Rgvedic dialect features (ai > e, zdh > edh) not yet in place” (WITZEL 2005:363).
c) “sazd- > sed [....] post-Mitanni, which keeps the sequence azd. In other words, Rgvedic is younger than the Mitanni words preserved at c.1450-1350 BCE” (WITZEL 2005:364).
d) “note –zd- in Priyamazdha (Bi-ir-ia-ma-as-da) [....] retention of IIr ai > Ved. e (aika: eka in aikavartana) [....] retention of j’h > Ved. h in vasana(s)saya of ‘the race track’ = [vazhanasya] cf. Ved. vahana-” (WITZEL 2005:389, note 112).
In respect of Avestan also, some AIT enthusiasts use the same two or three above points, "(ai > e, zdh > edh)" and "retention of j’h > Ved. h", to argue that the Avestan language represents an "earlier" stage, closer (from the phonological point of view), to the reconstructed "proto-Indo-Iranian" form, inspite of the massive evidence (some of which I will now list below) showing that the Vedic language is infinitely more archaic than the Avestan.
However, these arguments only represent special pleading:
1. As Thieme points out: “The fact that proto-Aryan *ai and *au are replaced in Indo-Aryan by e and o, while in Iranian they are preserved as ai and au and that ai and au regularly appear on the Anatolian documents (eg. Kikkuli’s aika), is unfortunately inconclusive. It is quite possible that at the time of our oldest records (the hymns of the Rigveda) the actual pronunciation of the sounds developed for *ai and *au spoken and written by the tradition as e and o, was still ai and au. The e and o can be a secondarily introduced change under the influence of the spoken language or the scholastic recitation” (THIEME 1960:301-2).
Deshpande, an AIT supporter and close associate of Witzel himself, also points out: “While The Mitanni documents, the Old Persian documents and the Asokan edicts, coming from inscriptions as they do, are frozen in time, that is not the case with the Rgveda or the Avestan texts. These have been subject to a long oral tradition before they were codified, and the texts available to us represent a state of affairs at the end of this long oral transmission, rather than at the starting point of their creation” (DESHPANDE 1995:68). [Deshpande, in this article, even suggests that the cerebral/retroflex sounds in the Vedic language may not have existed at the time of actual composition of the hymns, and retroflexion must have been a later phonetic development which influenced the pronunciation of pre-retroflex hymns as well: “the time gap between the composers of the hymns and the collectors, editors and collators was quite large. This gap must have been quite enough to lead to a kind of homogenisation.” (DESHPANDE 1995:69)].
2. Witzel himself argues as follows about the phonological forms of the Mitanni words that the particular forms depicted in the inscriptions could be: “due to the peculiarities of the cuneiform writing system” (WITZEL 2005:362), or “be due to the exigencies of cuneiform writing and Hurrite pronunciation in the Mit. Realm” (WITZEL 2005:362).
He argues this, rather inaptly, in order to counter the argument that the Mitanni form "satta" for the Vedic and Sanskrit "sapta" is a Prakritization (although, a few lines later, he admits that “sapta could easily be written in cuneiform”), and he even makes the incredible claim (also made by Hock in an earlier article) that the word sapta “has been influenced by Hurrite šinti ‘seven’” (WITZEL 2005:362), to produce the exact Prakritic form satta, and repeats and elaborates this claim in his note (WITZEL 2005:389, note 121)! But all his arguments are more applicable to his own dubious "retention of j’h > Ved. h" argument.
3. Witzel himself, in many of his articles, points out that, as in “an ancient inscription”, the words of the RV “have not changed since the composition of these hymns c.1500 BCE, as the RV has been transmitted almost without any change”, but in certain “limited cases certain sounds — but not words, tonal accents, sentences — have changed” (WITZEL 2000a:§1). Witzel, of course, usually refers to phonetic changes in “minor details such as the pronunciation of svar instead of suvar, etc”, but (as in Deshpande, above) changes from azd to edh, ai/au to e/o, and j’h to h could very logically have been among the changes affected in the phonetic redactions.
As Witzel makes very clear, the final redactions resulted in changes in the sounds in the original hymns, but not changes in the words. So any comparison of the Vedic and the Mitanni IA or Avestan data should be on the basis of words and not sounds.
Moreover, it must be remembered that Indo-Aryan and Iranian are two distinct branches of IE languages (Iranian even sharing some isoglosses or innovations, not shared by Indo-Aryan, with Greek, Armenian and Albanian). It is perfectly logical that different branches, different sub-branches within the same branch, different languages within the same sub-branch, or even different dialects within the same language, should have preserved mutually different aspects of the immediate or near-immediate parent speech and carried them forward in later times. Modern Lithuanian has preserved to this day the dual number (found in ancient Greek and both Vedic and Classical Sanskrit), which is lost in modern Greek and modern Indo-Aryan languages, and, in fact, which was already extinct in ancient Latin! If Avestan preserved a stray phonological or morphological aspect which was not preserved in Vedic, this says nothing about the relative chronologies of the two languages let alone of the two texts. As pointed out above, any comparison of the Vedic and the Mitanni IA or Avestan data should be on the basis of words and not sounds.
In any case, the Vedic archaisms even in phonology and morphology show it be far more archaic than the Avesta. Just three examples:
a. There are of course, all the well known phonological changes in Avestan, where Vedic has the older sound or its closer equivalent: s becomes h (or in certain cases ŋh); tt becomes st; the aspirated voiced stops gh, dh and bh become g, d and b; ṛ becomes ǝrh or ǝrǝ; ṛt becomes š; etc.
b. The pitch accent in Vedic (and ancient Greek), which became extinct even in Classical Sanskrit (let alone Modern Greek), is already extinct in the Avesta.
c. There are three much debated Rigvedic morphological endings which arose in the Rigvedic period by innovating on the original IE morphological endings. The original IE endings were of the masculine plural nominative -as, the instrumental plural of the -ā stem, -ais, and the first person plural present active, -mas, which were retained in the Rigveda along with the innovated forms -āsas, -ebhis and -masi respectively. However, the new or innovated forms, which arose in the Rigvedic period, were temporary innovations which died out by the end of the Vedic period, and the original and older forms alone continued into Classical Sanskrit. While the Avesta, like the Rigveda, has the innovated forms for all three endings, it has the original IE forms only for the first two: the original IE ending -mas is already extinct in the Avesta.
5. ARCHAIC VOCABULARY: In respect of vocabulary, the Vedic language is definitely much more archaic than the Avestan. In fact, the archaic vocabulary of the Rigveda makes it the bedrock of Comparative Indo-European studies. As Griffith puts it in the preface to the first edition of his translation of the Rigveda: “The great interest of the Ṛgveda is, in fact, historical rather than poetical. As in its original language we see the roots and shoots of the languages of Greek and Latin, of Kelt, Teuton and Slavonian, so the deities, the myths, and the religious beliefs and practices of the Veda throw a flood of light upon the religions of all European countries before the introduction of Christianity.”
The study of Vedic/Sanskrit roots provides, or gives clues to, the etymology for the words in almost all the different branches of IE languages. Further, Vedic words have cognates in most old Indo-European languages. For example, take the words for "water": Sanskrit uda-/udan/udaka ("water") is cognate to Germanic (English) water, Italic (Umbrian) utur, Hellenic (Greek) hudor, Albanian ujë, Celtic (Irish) uisce, Slavonic (Russian) voda and Baltic (Lithuanian) vanduo. Sanskrit vāri/vār- ("water, rain") is cognate to Tocharian war, Iranian (Avestan) vairi ("sea") and Germanic (Old Icelandic) vari. Sanskrit āpa-/apsu ("water, river, stream,") is cognate to Iranian (Avestan) āpo-/afšu, Tocharian āp ("water, river"), Hittite hap ("water, stream"), Baltic (Lithuanian/Latvian) upe ("water, stream") and Celtic (Old Irish) ab ("stream").
A similar exercise would not yield similar results in Avestan: already, Avestan seems to have lost the commonest word uda- for "water" and uses a secondary word āpa- (Vedic āpa-, modern Persian āb). Likewise, the common old word for "night" (Vedic nakta-) is almost extinct in the Avesta, and replaced by a new word xšap (Vedic kṣap, modern Persian shab). Likewise, it seems to have lost many old kinship words common to most other older Indo-European languages, like the words for "brother-in-law", "daughter-in-law" and "mother-in-law" (Vedic devar-, snuṣā-, and śvaśru-).
A more detailed study of the archaic Vedic-Avestan vocabulary will make this point clearer.
5. ARCHAIC MYTHOLOGY AND RELIGION: Griffith, as already quoted above, points out very clearly that "the deities, the myths, and the religious beliefs and practices of the Veda throw a flood of light upon the religions of all European countries before the introduction of Christianity." In this respect, Avestan mythology represents a state of deities, myths, religious beliefs and practices which does not throw more than a small beam of light (and that too only reflected through the Rigveda) upon the religions of other IE cultures:
1. The mythology of the Rigveda represents the most primitive form of Indo-European mythology: as Macdonell puts it, for example, the Vedic gods “are nearer to the physical phenomena which they represent, than the gods of any other Indo-European mythology” (MACDONELL 1963:15).
In fact, in the majority of cases, the original nature myths, in which the mythological entities and the mythological events are rooted, can be identified or traced only through the form in which the myths are represented in the Rigveda.
On the other hand, the Avesta represents a highly evolved, highly anthropomorphized and highly transformed state of religion and mythology, which shows very few connections with the natural phenomena that they represent, except through analogical comparison with the Rigveda.
2. All the other Indo-European mythologies, individually, have numerous mythological elements in common with Vedic mythology, but very few with each other; and even these few (except those borrowed from each other in ancient but historical times, such as the Greek god Apollo, borrowed by the Romans) are ones which are also found in Vedic mythology (see TALAGERI 1993:377-395).
The following, for example, is an almost exhaustive list (I have not used phonetic spellings for the non-Vedic names) of common Indo-European deities found in the mythologies of more than one branch. Note that every single one of these deities is found in the Rigveda:
Dyaus Pitar (Vedic), Zeus Pater (Greek), Jupiter (Roman), Dei Patrous (Illyrian), Dievs (Baltic).
Uṣas (Vedic), Eos (Greek), Aurora (Roman), Aushrine (Baltic).
Varuṇa (Vedic), Odinn/Wodan (Germanic), Ouranous (Greek), Velinas (Baltic).
Asura (Vedic), Aesir (Germanic), Ahura (Avestan).
Marut (Vedic), Ares (Greek), Mars (Roman).
Parjanya (Vedic), Perkunas (Baltic), Perunu (Slavic), Fjorgyn (Germanic).
Traitana (Vedic), Thraetaona (Avestan), Triton (Greek).
Aryaman (Vedic), Airyaman (Avestan), Ariomanus/Eremon (Celtic).
Saramā/Sārameya (Vedic), Hermes (Greek).
Pūṣan, Paṇi (Vedic), Pan (Greek), Vanir (Germanic).
Rudra (Vedic), Ruglu (Slavic).
Danu (Vedic), Danu (Irish).
Indra (Vedic), Indra (Avestan), Inara (Hittite).
Śarvara (Vedic), Kerberos (Greek).
Śrī (Vedic), Ceres (Greek), Freyr/Freya (Germanic).
Bhaga (Vedic), Baga (Avestan), Bog (Slavic).
Apām Napāt (Vedic), Apām Napāt (Avestan), Neptunus (Roman), Nechtain (Celtic).
Ṛbhu (Vedic), Elbe (Germanic).
Yama (Vedic), Yima (Avestan), Ymir (Germanic).
The tally (out of 19): Vedic (19), Greek (9), Avestan (7), Germanic (7), Roman (4), Baltic (4) Slavic (3), Celtic (2), Hittites (1), Albanian (1). And in all the deities which are shared by the Avesta, it is clear that the connection is to and through the Rigvedic deity.
Not only are Vedic deities the only one to have clear cognates in all the other branches, but in many cases, it is almost impossible to recognize the connections between related mythological entities and events in two separate Indo-European mythologies without a comparison of the two with the related Vedic versions. Thus, for example, the Teutonic (Germanic) Vanir are connected with the Greek Hermes and Pan, but it is impossible to connect the two except through the Vedic Saramā and Paṇi (see TALAGERI 2000:477-495 for details).
The main Vedic myth which relates to the Saramā-Paṇi theme is found in the Rigveda in X.108, and it is found in later developed forms in the Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa (II.440-442) and the Bṛhaddevatā (VIII 24-36). And it is found in both the Teutonic and Greek mythologies in versions which bear absolutely no similarities with each other, but which are both, individually, clearly recognizable as developments of the original Vedic myth.
The myth, as it is found in X.108, incidentally, is itself an evolved and anthropomorphized form, located in the latest of the ten Books of the Rigveda, of an original nature-myth, found referred to at various places in earlier parts of the Rigveda, according to which “Saramā is the Dawn who recovers the rays of the Sun that have been carried away by night” (Griffith’s note to I.62.3) or by the Paṇis who are “fiends of darkness” or “demons who carry away and conceal the cows or rays of light” (Griffith’s note to I.151.9).
Thus while the mythology and religion of the Rigveda shows three distinct levels: an Indo-European level (going further back to the "roots and shoots"), an Indo-Iranian level, and a purely Vedic level (in hymns composed in eastern areas), the Avesta basically shows two levels: an Indo-Iranian level and a purely Avestan level.
The common deities shared by the Rigveda and Avesta are many. A few prominent examples:
Nāsatya (Vedic), Nāonghaitya (Avestan).
Mitra (Vedic), Mithra (Avestan).
Vāyu (Vedic), Vayu (Avestan).
Aramati (Vedic), Aramaiti (Avestan).
Vṛtrahan (Vedic), Verethraghna (Avesta).
Apart from deities and myths, the Indo-Iranian level of mythology and religion shared by the Rigveda and the Avesta includes innumerable religious concepts, rituals, etc. consisting of a large common religious vocabulary: e.g. yajña/yasna, atharvan/āthravan, soma/haoma, hotar/zaotar, ṛta/aša, mantra/manthra, etc.
It may be noted that some of these common elements are expressly found only in the New or Redacted Hymns: e.g. atharvan.
Also, some of the common elements found in the Avesta are clearly late mythical developments within the Rigveda: thus, Vṛtra, derived from the root √vṛ "to cover, encompass, encircle" is the name given in the Rigveda to the demon who, in the form of a snake, covers or encompasses the waters (the rain clouds) and has to be destroyed by the rain-God or thunder-God (in the Rigveda, this is Indra) in order to release the waters for the good of mankind. This nature myth, in a developed form, is found in the distant Germanic, Greek and Hittite mythologies, where the destruction of a Great Serpent is the particular great deed performed by the thunder-God (respectively Thor, Zeus and Inara: see TALAGERI 1993:379-383). In the Rigveda, Indra gets the epithet Vṛtrahan "killer of Vṛtra". In the course of composition of the Rigveda, the word Vṛtra acquires the general meaning "enemy", but an enemy killed by a God. The word Vṛtrahan, found in all the books of the Rigveda, gets the particular form Vṛtraghna in some references in the New Books. This word is found in the Avesta as Verethraghna (Persian Behram) the "God of victory".
But the most significant part of "Indo-Iranian" religion, and one that has attracted the attention of most scholars examining this heritage, is that while the Rigveda and the Avesta share a close relationship, and have a religious and socio-culturo-historical heritage in common, there is one peculiar dominant aspect in this relationship: the two traditions, Vedic and Avestan, seem to represent two entities sharing a common tradition, but as rival entities within this common tradition. And echoes of this rivalry persist down to the later forms of these two traditions, Puranic Hinduism and Pahlavi Zoroastrianism: e.g. in the Epic-Purāṇic mythological traditions of the battles between the devas (gods) and the asuras (demons). In the Avesta and in later Zoroastrianism, Ahura stands for god, and Daēva for demon.
What is most significant is that Helmut Humbach, the eminent Avestan scholar, makes the following very pertinent observations: “It must be emphasized that the process of polarization of relations between the Ahuras and the Daēvas is already complete in the Gāthās, whereas, in the Rigveda, the reverse process of polarization between the Devas and the Asuras, which does not begin before the later parts of the Rigveda, develops as it were before our very eyes, and is not completed until the later Vedic period. Thus, it is not at all likely that the origins of the polarization are to be sought in the prehistorical, the proto-Aryan period. […] All this suggests a synchrony between the later Vedic period and Zarathuštra’s reform in Iran.” (HUMBACH 1991:23).
Note the Freudian slip: although (being a supporter of the conventional Steppe Homeland and AIT theory) he places it "in Iran" (meaning perhaps Afghanistan, which is described by most Iranologists as "eastern Iran"), he describes "Zarathuštra’s reform" (i.e. the earliest part of the Avesta) as being in "synchrony" with the "later Vedic period".
On this note, we can move on to the recorded evidence of the emigrations of the speakers of the (other than Indo-Aryan) branches of Indo-European languages from their Original Indo-European Homeland in India.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (for all the four parts):
CHILDE 1926: The Aryans: A study of Indo-European Origins. Childe, V. Gordan. Kega, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.Ltd., London, 1926.
DESHPANDE 1995: Vedic Aryans, non-Vedic Aryans, and non-Aryans: Judging the Linguistic Evidence of the Veda. Deshpande, Madhav. pp. 67-84 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin, 1995.
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.
MACDONELL 1963: Vedic Mythology. Macdonell, A.A. Indological Book House, Varanasi. 1963 (reprint).
PROFERES 1999: The Formation of Vedic Liturgies. Proferes, Theodore. Harvard Thesis, April 1999.
TALAGERI 1993: The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism. Talageri S.G. Voice of India, New Delhi, 1993.
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.
THIEME 1960: The ‘Aryan’ Gods of the Mitanni Treaties. Thieme, P. in JAOS (Journal of the American Oriental Society).
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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).
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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.
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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 http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/ejvs0702/ejvs0702a.txt
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.