Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Recorded History of the Indo-European Migrations - Part 3 of 4 The Anu Migrations

As we saw in the first two parts of this article, on the basis of the data and evidence in the Rigveda:

1. The Pūru Bharata-s of the Puranas were the Vedic "Indo-Aryans".

2. The Early Old Books of the Rigveda go back in time to 3000 BCE and beyond, and the "Vedic Aryans", even at that period of time in and around 3000 BCE:
a) were native inhabitants of the eastern half of the Rigvedic area, closely familiar with and emotionally attached to these eastern areas,
b) were completely ignorant of any western areas, but only just starting to become acquainted with the western areas within the geographical horizon of the Rigveda, which start appearing from east to west in clear historical contexts and as part of a historical narrative,
c) did not have even the faintest consciousness of any extra-territorial memories or migrations from the totally unknown far western areas outside the geographical horizon of the Rigveda,
d) do not make the faintest reference 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 they themselves having invaded and displaced them),
e) and happen to be living in an area with (undeniably or arguably) purely Indo-European names for the rivers in the Rigvedic area with no indication that these rivers ever had any other names.

As we concluded:

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 the emigration of the speakers of the other (than Indo-Aryan) branches of Indo-European languages has to be found as recorded history. And it has to be found as recorded history extractable from the Rigvedic and (where it supplements, complements, amplifies or clarifies the Rigvedic data) from other Vedic and Puranic data.

There were basically two waves of emigrations, and in this part, we will examine this unambiguous evidence for the second wave of emigrations from India, as follows:

Section 1. The Five Tribes.
Section 2. The Linguistic Case.
Section 3. The Northern Anu-s..
Section 4. The Anu-s = The Proto-Iranians.
Section 5. The Migrations of the Southern Anu-s.
Section 6. Dāśarājña: The Oldest Record of PIE Migrations.

Section 1. The Five Tribes.

The Vedic Indo-Aryans constitute speakers of just one out of twelve branches of IE languages, hence if they are the Pūru-s, one out of many tribes of people native to northern India as per Puranic accounts, speakers of the other eleven branches must be found among the other tribes.

Which other tribes?

The descriptions in the Puranas about the original locations of the Five Aiḷa (Lunar) tribes in northern India clearly place them as follow:
a) the Pūru-s as the inhabitants of the Central Area (Haryana and adjacent areas of western U.P.),
b) the Anu-s to the North (Kashmir and adjoining areas to the west),
c) the Druhyu-s to the West (present-day northern Pakistan),
d) and the Yadu-s and Turvasu-s to the South-west (south-western U.P, Rajasthan, Gujarat, western M.P.) and South-east (east of the Yadu-s) respectively.
[The Solar race of the Ikṣvāku-s are placed to the East (eastern U.P, northern Bihar)].

Later historical events described in the Puranas see the Anu-s expanding southwards and occupying the erstwhile territory of the Druhyu-s (present-day northern Pakistan) while the Druhyu-s move out into Afghanistan.

The Yadu-s, Turvasu-s, as well as the Ikṣvāku-s, lived to the east of the Pūru-s, in the interior of India, and play a major role in the history of India, Hinduism and Classical Indian/Hindu culture and civilization. So it is unlikely, at the least, that the speakers of the other IE proto-dialects, which became the other eleven branches of IE languages, could have been from these eastern tribal conglomerates.

The Anu-s and the Druhyu-s, on the other hand, lived to the west of the Pūru-s on the northwestern frontiers of India. and it is therefore more likely that the speakers of the other IE proto-dialects, which became the other eleven branches of IE languages, could have been from these western tribal conglomerates.

As we saw above, the Puranas record two geographical locations of the Anu-s and Druhyu-s:
a) The original locations, with the Anu-s in the North (Kashmir and adjoining areas to the west), and the Druhyu-s to the West (present-day northern Pakistan).
b) The latter locations, with the Anu-s expanding southwards and occupying the erstwhile territory of the Druhyu-s (present-day northern Pakistan), while the Druhyu-s move further out into Afghanistan.


1. The Druhyu-s, as we see, move out from the central area into Afghanistan in very early times, and their historical narrative, even in the Puranas, slowly peters out. The Anu-s, on the other hand, in the form of their sub-tribes, like the Madra-s and Kekaya-s, continue to make waves in Puranic narrations and remain a force to reckon with in the northwest till historical times. The Anu king Śivi Auśīnara is a renowned figure in the Puranas, the Mahabharata and even in the Buddhist Jatakas. He is renowned as a Cakravartin in the Puranas, and there is even a famous tale in the Mahabharata where he shows his nobility and selflessness by carving out flesh from his own thigh to save Agni (disguised as a dove) from Indra (disguised as a hawk), both of whom have come to test his reputation for justice, truth and compassion.

2. In the Rigveda also, the Druhyu-s are more or less only a distant memory: outside the verses which contain enumerations of tribes or directional references, the Druhyu-s are only mentioned thrice in a single hymn (VII.18), and there they are enemies of the composers of the hymn. And what is more, even in this hymn, they seem to be remnants of the original Druhyu-s and figure only as subsidiary allies of the Anu-s, since the hymns describe the dāśarājña battle, which, as we will see, was a battle between the Bharata Pūrus on the one hand and ten tribes from among the Anu tribal conglomerate (led by an Anu king and an Anu high priest) on the other, fought on Anu territory. The Anu-s, even after this battle, are mentioned elsewhere (outside the verses which contain enumerations of tribes or directional references) in V.31.4; VI.62.9 and VIII.74.4. Two of these references are clearly to the Bhṛgu-s, who are basically the priests of the Anu-s (see TALAGERI 2000:142-143), but a branch of whom later aligned with the Pūru-s and became the single most important family of ṛṣis-s in Indian tradition (see TALAGERI 2000:164-180, etc.).

The evidence clearly shows that there were two separate waves of emigration of tribes from India:
a) An earlier one of the Druhyu-s, which had already commenced its first steps in a pre-Rigvedic period, since the Rigveda from its earliest point shows the latter geographical locations of the Anu-s and Druhyus (noted above). So this wave of emigration may not be found unambiguously recorded in the Rigveda.
b) A later one of the Anu-s, which commenced well within the Rigvedic period and within the bounds of Rigvedic record, and should be found unambiguously recorded in the Rigveda.

Before moving to the recorded evidence of the Rigveda, let us see what the linguistic theory has to say about the migrations of the different branches from the Original Homeland, wherever that Original Homeland were to be located.

Section 2. The Linguistic Case.

According to linguistic analysis, the distribution of the isoglosses (linguistic features common to two or more of the twelve IE branches) shows that the first branches migrated out from the Homeland, wherever that Homeland is to be located, in the following order: Anatolian (Hittite), Tocharian, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic.

As Winn puts it: “After the dispersals of the early PIE dialects […] there were still those who remained […] Among them were the ancestors of the Greeks and Indo-Iranians”. These branches, and (although he does not mention it) Albanian, shared many common linguistic features (not found in the earlier emigrant branches) "also shared by Armenian; all these languages it seems, existed in an area of mutual interaction.” (WINN 1995:323-324).

These five branches (Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Armenian, Greek and Albanian) share the following linguistic features which developed among them after the other branches had left the Original Homeland:
a) a “complete restructuring of the entire inherited verbal system” (GAMKRELIDZE 1995:340-341,345), in the Albanian, Greek, Armenian/Phrygian, Iranian and Indo-Aryan dialects, with the formation of athematic and thematic aorists, augmented forms and reduplicated presents.
b) a new formation of "oblique cases in *-bhi-" (GAMKRELIDZE 1995:345).
c) the "prohibitive negation *me" (MEILLET:1902/1967:39).

[The four Anu dialects (Albanian, Greek, Armenian and Iranian), in fact, developed an isogloss in common: an original PIE sound *tt (which remained tt in Indo-Aryan) changed in these dialects to st. Three of them, (Greek, Armenian and Iranian) underwent another innovation: *s (which remained s in Indo-Aryan) became h from initial *s before a vowel, from intervocalic *s, and from some occurrences of *s before and after sonants, and remained s only before and after a stop (MEILLET 1908/1967:113)].

Vocabulary-wise also, these five branches seem to fall in one group separate from a second group consisting of the five European branches (Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic).

As these five branches were the last to remain in the Homeland, they should be found represented among the Anu tribes which remained in India after the Druhyu tribes had, by and large, moved outside the horizon of Rigvedic geography.

Section 3. The Northern Anu-s.

As per the Puranas, the original geographical location of the Anu-s was to the north of the Pūru-s: i.e. to the north of the Haryana region: effectively in Kashmir and the western Himalayas.

However, the Puranas describe a series of events which leads to a massive migration of Anu-s southwards from this region into the Greater Punjab. This first major movement of the Anu-s took place in a tumultuous era of conflicts recorded in traditional history: the Druhyu-s started conquering eastwards and southwards, and their conflicts brought them into conflict with all the other tribes and peoples. This led to a concerted effort by the other tribes to drive them out, and the result was that they were driven out not only from the east but also from their homeland in the northern half of present-day Pakistan. This area was occupied by the Anu-s who moved southwards and westwards: “One branch, headed by Uśīnara established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab […] his famous son Śivi originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner” (PARGITER 1962:264). Thus, the Anu-s, after first moving into the easternmost part of the Punjab, expanded westwards and now became inhabitants also of the areas in present-day northern Pakistan originally occupied by the Druhyu-s, while the Druhyu-s were pushed out further west into Afghanistan. This resulted (in pre-Rigvedic times) in two distinct groups of Anu-s: the northern Anu-s (in the original area, Kashmir and the western Himalayas), and the southern Anu-s (in the Greater Punjab or northern Pakistan).

Even today, a group of languages of the northern area (stretching from Kashmir to the adjacent parts of northernmost Pakistan and northeastern-most Afghanistan) constitute a distinct group of languages referred to by Grierson as the "Dardic" or "Pishacha" languages. These languages (the most important of them being Kashmiri) constitute an enigma to most linguists, since they seem to be a cross between Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages. Now, most linguists bifurcate them into two major groups (Dard and Kafiri/Nuristani) and treat the first group as being ultimately a part of the Indo-Aryan branch, and the second group (six languages - Ashkun, Bashgali or Kamkata-viri, Wasi-veri or Prasun, Tregami or Gambiri, Waigali or Kalasha-ala, and Zemiaki - all together spoken by around 100,000 people in isolated mountainous tracts in the western parts of this region) as constituting a separate "third" branch of a hypothetical earlier "Indo-Iranian" branch. This what the Wikipedia article has to say about the Nuristani languages:

"There are three different theories about the origins of the Nuristani languages and their place within the Indo-Iranian languages:

·         following the studies of Georg Morgenstierne, Nuristani has generally been regarded as one of three primary sub-groups of Indo-Iranian (alongside Iranian and Indo-Aryan);
·         suggestions that Nuristani may instead be a branch of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, due to the evident influence of Dardic languages, and;
·         it has also been proposed that Nuristani originated within the Iranian sub-group, and was later influenced by an Indo-Aryan language, such as Dardic."

The first theory is obviously based on the concept of a "proto-Indo-Iranian" language from which both "Iranian" and "Indo-Aryan" are descended. However, this is disproved by the fact that Iranian shares isoglosses (not shared by Indo-Aryan) with some other branches. Clearly, the present state of ambiguity about the entire "Dardic" languages is due to the continuous waves of Indo-Aryan and Iranian influences during the last at least 3000 years, and these languages represent the earlier forms of the Iranian branch.

The isolated Nuristani languages retain the following clues:

1. In the first palatization of the PIE (Proto-Indo-European) palato-velars, these palato-velars ḱ, ģ, ģh became lamino-alveolar sounds č (tš), ǰ (dž), ǰh (džh) in many IE branches, including Indo-Aryan and Iranian. These further became palatals c, j, jh in Indo-Aryan, but became dental affricates ć (ts), ź (dz), ź (dz) in proto-Iranian.

The Nuristani languages retained the proto-Iranian dental affricates ć (ts), ź (dz), ź (dz), but the oldest Iranian languages changed them in two opposite directions: Avestan de-dentalized the sounds into affricates s, z, z, while Old Persian de-affricated the sounds into dentals t/θ, d, d.

2. As may be noticed above, the Iranian languages (both Nuristani and Iranian proper) merged the voiced aspirated sound into the voiced unaspirated sound: thus ǰ (dž), ǰh (džh) both became ź (dz) in proto-Iranian and Nuristani, and later z in Avestan and d in Old Persian. Likewise, the original velars g, gh and the labials b, bh (all of them retained in Indo-Aryan) were merged into g and b respectively in all the Iranian languages (including Nuristani).

3. A third major change in the Iranian languages was the merger of PIE l into r. Linguists often make the mistake of assuming that this is an isogloss covering both Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages. However, the Rigveda does contain many words with the sound l, and it is clear that the merger of r and l is an isogloss covering only the Iranian languages. The westernmost dialects of the Pūru-s (i.e. the "Vedic Aryans") also shared this isogloss due to the influence of the Anu-s (proto-Iranians), but the eastern dialects of the Pūru-s retained the l, and this (in spite of the anomalous situation it creates for the AIT) is now accepted by most linguists: "the paucity of /l/ in the Rigveda may be explained as a characteristic of the Northwestern dialect, which has undergone a development parallel to Iranian, and the distinction between proto-Indo-European *l and *r is preserved in the Eastern dialects (Meillet… Bloch…. Misra…. Burrow…. Cardona…. Deshpande…. Parpola…. Meier-Brügger)" KOBAYASHI 2004:144-5.

Richard F Strand, one of the foremost experts on the Nuristani languages, in his internet article "The Evolution of the Nuristani Languages", divides this evolution into 6 stages: 1. The Aryan phase (common to Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani), 2. The Early Iranian phase (restricted to the Iranian and Nuristani languages), 3. The Transitional phase (with a break between the Nuristani and Iranian languages, but still out of the direct influence of Indo-Aryan), 4. The Indo-Aryan phase (where "the proto-Nuristânis subsequently entered the Indo-Âryan sphere, where they acquired many IA loanwords and participated in many of the Middle Indo-Âryan (MIA) changes that characterize the northwestern IA languages"), 5. The Nuristan phase (where it developed many new characteristics in isolation in the Nuristan area), and finally the last,  6. The Afghani-Islamic Stage (with large scale borrowings from Arabic, Turkish and modern Persian).

It is clear therefore that the (Dardic and) Nuristani languages represent the earlier phase of proto-Iranian, and they represent remnants of the northern Anu-s recorded in the Puranas.

Section 4. The Anu-s = The Proto-Iranians.

Before examining the stages in the migrations of the Iranians, who constitute the main body of the Anu-s, it will be in order to first examine the actual vital recorded evidence showing the identity and/or close connections between the Anu-s, their priestly class the Bhṛgu-s/Atharvan-s, and the Iranians:

a) In the Old Books of the Rigveda, the Anu-s are depicted as inhabitants of the area of the Paruṣṇī river in the centre of the Punjab (the Land of the Seven Rivers): in the Battle of the Ten Kings, fought on the banks of the Paruṣṇī, the Anu-s are the inhabitants of the area of this river who form a coalition to fight the imperialist expansion of Sudās and the Bharata-s, and it is the land and possessions of the Anu-s (VII.18.13) which are taken over by the Bharata-s after their victory in the battle. This point is also noted by P L Bhargava: “The fact that Indra is said to have given the possessions of the Anu king to the Tṛtsus in the battle of Paruṣṇī shows that that the Anus dwelt on the banks of the Paruṣṇī” (BHARGAVA 1956/1971:130).
The area, nevertheless, continues even after this to be the area of the Anu-s., who are again shown as inhabitants of the area even in the Late Books: “The Anu live on the Paruṣṇī in 8.74.15” (WITZEL 1995b:328, fn 51).
And even in later historical times, it continues to be the area of the Madra-s and the Kekaya-s, who were Anu-s.

The Avesta (Vd. I) mentions the Haptahəndu (Saptasindhavah) as one of the sixteen Iranian lands, past and contemporary.

b) The Anu tribes who fought Sudās in the Battle of the Ten Kings include at least the Parśu or Parśava (Persians), the Pṛthu or Pārthava (Parthians), the Paktha (Pakhtoons) and the Bhalāna (Baluchis): all names of historical Iranian peoples in later times. The king of the Anu coalition is Kavi (Avestan name Kauui, name of the dynasty which included Vīštāspa, contemporary and patron of Zaraθuštra) Cāyamāna, and the priest is Kavaṣa (a proto-Iranian and Avestan name, Kaoša). The two most prominent Anu tribes in later texts are the Madra (the Madai or Medes) and the Kekaya (a typical Iranian sounding name). 

c) In later historical times, the name Anu is prominently found at both the southern and northern ends of the area described in the Avesta: Greek texts (e.g. Stathmoi Parthikoi, 16, of Isidore of Charax) refer to the area and the people immediately north of the Hāmūn-ī Hilmand in southern Afghanistan as the Anauon or Anauoi; and Anau is the name of a very prominent proto-Iranian or Iranian archaeological site in Central Asia (Turkmenistan).

d) The conflict between the deva-s (gods) and the asura-s (demons), which is a central theme in Purāṇic mythology, is recognized (e.g. HUMBACH 1991, etc.) as a mythologization of an earlier historical conflict between the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians. There is also a priestly angle to this conflict: the Epics and the Purāṇas depict the priest of the deva-s as an Angiras (Bṛhaspati), and the priest of the asura-s as a Bhṛgu (Kavi Uśanā or Uśanas Kāvya, also popularly known in the Puranas and Epics as Uśanas Śukra or Śukrācārya).

Robert P. Goldman, in a detailed study entitled “Gods, Priests and Warriors: the Bhṛgus of the Mahābhārata”, points out that the depiction of the Bhṛgu-s in the Epics and Purāṇas “may shed some light on some of the most basic problems of early Indian and even early Indo-Iranian religion” (GOLDMAN 1977:146), and that the Bhṛgu-s may originally have been the priests of the Iranians, and that certain elements in the myths about the “ultimate disillusionment with the demons [of one branch of the Bhṛgu-s] and their going over to the side of the gods may also be viewed as suggestive of a process of absorption of this branch of the Bhṛgus into the ranks of the orthodox [i.e. Vedic] brahmins” (GOLDMAN 1977:146). [For full details of the peculiar position of the Bhṛgu-s in the Rigveda, see TALAGERI 2000:164-180].

An examination of the evidence shows the close connection between the Anu-s and the Bhṛgu-s on the one hand, and the Iranians and the Bhṛgu-s on the other:

The Anu-s and the Bhṛgu-s: the Anu-s are referred to in only four hymns, apart from the neutral directional references, and these four hymns fall into two categories: the hostile references (in VI.62 and VII.18) and the neutral references (in V.31.4 and VIII.74.4). The close connection between the Anu-s and the Bhṛgu-s is clear from both the categories of references:

a) The hostile references, which treat the Anu-s as enemies, are in VI.62 and VII.18, and in VII.18, verse 14 refers to the Anu-s and Druhyu-s, while verse 6 refers to the Bhṛgu-s and Druhyu-s, thus making it clear that the Anu-s are somehow equivalent to the Bhṛgu-s (actually the latter as the priests, and a subtribe, of the former).
b) The neutral references are in V.31 and VIII.74, and V.31.4 describes the Anu-s as manufacturing a chariot for Indra. In IV.16.20, it is Bhṛgu-s who are described as manufacturing a chariot for Indra, thus again reiterating the equivalence. [In the other neutral reference, in VIII.74.4, which refers to the sacrificial fire of the Anu-s., the reference is to an Anu king named Śrutarvan Ārkṣa (son of kṣa). Both the prefix Śruta- and the name kṣa are found in the Avesta (Srūta- and Ərəxša), and, in this case, the king could be a proto-Iranian king (although the Avestan connection of the names, in itself, could also be due to the common culture of the Late Rigvedic period)].

[It is significant that the two neutral references appear in the more cosmopolitan Late Books, in which the conflicts of the earlier period have become a thing of the past, and the composers occasionally have some nice things to say about the Dāsa-s (the non-Pūru-s). Significantly, of the three hymns which have nice things to say about Dāsa-s, VIII.5, 46 and 51, the first two are hymns which have camel-gifting kings with proto-Iranian names].

Griffith has the following to say about the above reference to the Anu-s in V.31.4, in his footnote to the verse: “Anus: probably meaning Bhṛgus who belonged to that tribe”.
The Iranians and the Bhṛgu-s: Kavi Uśanā is the priest of the asura-s, who is nevertheless treated with great respect in both the Rigveda and the later texts, and often treated (in the later mythology) as even superior (in, for example, his knowledge of the sanjīvanī mantra, which could bring the dead back to life) to Bṛhaspati, the priest of the deva-s or gods. He is found in the Avesta as Kauui Usan. And the fire-priests of the Iranians are called Āθrauuan (Atharvan, the son of Bhṛgu, the archetypal fire-priest of the Vedic texts).

Goldman (see above) writes about one branch of the Iranian priests “going over to the side of the gods” and about the “absorption of this branch of the Bhṛgus into the ranks of the orthodox [i.e. Vedic] brahmins” (GOLDMAN 1977:146). This refers to a branch led by Jamadagni, who, in later Indian tradition, is treated as the patriarch of the Bhṛgu gotras among Vedic brahmins, and consequently, often even referred to as “Bhṛgu”. As we have seen in detail in our earlier book (see TALAGERI 2000:164-180), the Bhṛgus are treated with disdain in the earlier parts of the Rigveda, and it is only in the later parts of the Rigveda that they are accepted into the Vedic mainstream; and later on, in post-Rigvedic Hinduism, the Bhṛgus (descended from Jamadagni) actually go on to become the single most important family of Vedic ṛṣis.

An examination of the names of the Bhṛgu composers in the Rigveda shows that most of them contain name-elements in common with the Avesta, but as this is a feature found in a large number of names (whatever the family of the ṛṣis) in the Late Books (where almost all the hymns composed by Bhṛgus are found), this does not signify much. But the same cannot be said for the names of the first Bhṛgu ṛṣi of the Rigveda, Jamadagni (who belongs to the Early period), and of his son Rāma:

The name Jamadagni is clearly a proto-Iranian name: not a name containing a name-element common to both the Rigveda and the Avesta, but a name which is linguistically Iranian rather than “Indo-Aryan”. (This is in spite of the fact that the word agni for “fire” is found in the Vedic but not in the Avestan language: in opposition to this is the fact that we find the suffix -agni as a name-element in another name only in the Avesta: the name Dāštāγni): “Iranian simply lacks the many innovations that characterize Ved.” (WITZEL 2005:367). One of these innovations is “the Ṛgvedic normalization in g- of the present stems beginning in j/g […] Avest. jasaiti:: Vedic gacchati. Note that j is retained only in traditional names such as Jamad-agni and in the perfect ja-gām-a, etc.” (WITZEL 2005:392:149). Witzel assumes that the initial j-, instead of g-, in the name Jamadagni is an exception to the rule because it is a “traditional” name; but actually the initial j- is found in the name Jamadagni because it is a proto-Iranian name.

The name of Jamadagni’s son is Rāma: he is called Rāma Jāmadagnya as the composer of X.110. However, he is also known as Parśu–Rāma in later times; and, consequently, Epic-Purāṇic mythology, in the belief that the word parśu means “axe” or “battle-axe”, creates an enduring range of mythical tales centred around the idea of an axe-wielding Parśurāma. However, the word parśu in the sense of “axe” (which is actually paraśu) is not found in the Rigveda at all: it is a much later word. The original sense of the word parśu, as an appellation in the name of Rāma Jāmadagnya, was in respect of his identity as a member of the Anu (Iranian) tribe of the Parśu.

Section 5. The Migrations of the Southern Anu-s.

The Puranas record the migrations of a major section of the Anu-s from the western Himalayan region into the Punjab region, and the early migrations occurred in the following stages:
Stage 1: To begin with, the Anu-s lived in the northern region: i.e. the western Himalayan region.
Stage 2: In the first migration, an important section migrated southwards into eastern Punjab.
Stage 3: In the second migration (or rather expansion), these Anu-s expanded westwards and occupied the whole of the Greater Punjab region.

The evidence for these three stages is recorded in the Puranas, the Rigveda and the Avesta:

Stage 1:
a) The Puranas record that the Anu-s were originally (in a pre-Rigvedic age) occupants of the region to the north of the central area occupied by the the Pūru-s, i.e. they lived in the western Himalayan region (extending westwards from Kashmir) to the north of the Haryana region.
b) The Avesta records that the ancestors of the Iranians originally lived in a land which they called Airyana Vaējo, known for its extremely severe winters.
[That Airyana Vaējo was the western Himalayan region, and not the "Arctic" as speculated by Tilak and some Zoroastrian writers, is clear from the list of sixteen Iranian lands given in the Videvdat (a late book of the Avesta). The list (covering only the areas of Afghanistan and present-day northern Pakistan) is arranged in rough geographical order, in an anti-clockwise direction which leads back close to the starting point. The sixteen evils created by Angra Mainyu in the sixteen lands created by Ahura Mazda start out with “severe winter” in the first land Airyana Vaējo, move through a variety of other evils (including various sinful proclivities, obnoxious insects, evil spirits and physical ailments), and end again with “severe winter” in the sixteenth land, Raηhā, which shows that the sixteenth land is close to the first one. And since Gnoli identifies the sixteenth land, Raηhā, as an “eastern mountainous area, Indian or Indo-Iranian, hit by intense cold in winter” (GNOLI 1980:53), it is clear that Airyana Vaējo is also likely to be an eastern, mountainous, Indian area].

Stage 2:
a) The Puranas record that “One branch, headed by Uśīnara established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab” (PARGITER 1962:264). [It may be noted that Uśīnara, with its patronymic form Auśīnara, is an Iranian name, Aošnara, also  found in the Avesta].
b) The Rigveda records that in the period of the oldest Book (Maṇḍala) 6, the Anu-s were on the eastern borders of the Punjab to the west of the Vedic Aryans: In VI.27, Abhyāvartin Cāyamāna (called a Pārthava, i.e. Parthian, in verse 8) is an ally of the Vedic Aryan (Pūru Bharata) king Sṛñjaya, son of Devavāta, in a battle fought in the Haryana region.
c) The Avesta records that the ancestors of the Iranians, to escape from the severe cold of their ancestral homeland, built an enclosure called Vara in the centre of the Earth and lived safely within that enclosure. This is clearly a reference to their migration into the Haryana/eastern-Punjab area: the Haryana region is referred to in the Rigveda by two descriptive names: Vara ā Pṛthivyā (the best place on earth) and Nābhā Pṛthivyā (the navel/centre of the Earth).
Further, the Avesta shows its early ancient associations with the Haryana region by the reference to Manuša (the lake Mānuṣa referred to in the Rigveda, III.23.4, as being located at the vara ā pṛthivyāh, “the best place on earth”, in Kurukṣetra. Witzel also identifies it as “Manuṣa, a location ‘in the back’ (west) of Kurukṣetra”: WITZEL 1995b:335): Darmetester translates the verse, Yašt 19.1, as follows: “The first mountain that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama Zarathuštra! was the Haraiti Barez. That mountain stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east. The second mountain was Mountain Zeredhō outside mount Manusha: this mountain too stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east”. Note that the “first” mountains that rose up out of the earth (i.e. the earliest lands known to the Iranians) for the Avesta are “towards the east”. Darmetester interprets the word Manusha as the name of a mountain, but the verse specifies that it is referring only to two mountains, the “first” and the “second” mountains, close to “land washed by waters”, so the reference to Manuša (which, in the original text, is not specified as a "mountain", and which both Iranologists and Indologists identify as an Indo-Aryan and not an Iranian word) is definitely to lake Mānuṣa, and the word Haraiti is again a reference to the Sarasvati. The word barez means "mountain", but here it clearly also means "river bank", and the Russian word bereg cognate to the Avestan barez actually means "river bank", so the line can also be translated: The first river bank that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama Zarathuštra! was the Haraiti Barez [the land on the banks of the river Haraiti]. That river bank stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east

Stage 3:
a) The Puranas record that the Anu-s expanded westwards from the "eastern border of the Punjab”: “his famous son Śivi originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner” (PARGITER 1962:264).
b) The Rigveda, as we saw earlier, shows the Anu-s as the local inhabitants of the Punjab region in both the Old Books (during the dāśarājña battle) as well as the New Books, and they continue to be the inhabitants of the Punjab (as Madra-s and Kekaya-s) even in later historical times. That these Anu-s were Iranians is clear from the names of the Anu tribes who fought Sudās in this battle, e.g. the Parśu or Parśava (Persians), the Pṛthu or Pārthava (Parthians), the Paktha (Pakhtoons) and the Bhalāna (Baluchis); and of the king of their alliance, Kavi (Avestan Kauui); and of their priest, Kavaṣa (Avestan name, Kaoša).
c) The Avesta (Vd. I) mentions the Haptahəndu (Saptasindhavah) as one of the sixteen Iranian lands, past and contemporary.

While the evidence for the three earliest stages of the Anu migrations, which took place within Indian territory and Indian traditional memory, is recorded in the Puranas, the Rigveda and the Avesta, the next stage, which moves out of India, is recorded only in the Avesta. The Rigveda only records that the people of the Asiknī (i.e. of the western Anu territory of the Asiknī or Chenab river, to the west of the Paruṣṇī or Rāvī river which was the scene of the dāśarājña battle) left their territories and were "scattered abroad" after their battle with the Pūru-s (GRIFFITH VII.5.3). And in the very next hymn, that they were driven "westwards" from "the east" (GRIFFITH VII.6.3):

Stage 4:
The Avesta, which was also recorded over a long period of time, clearly records a very late or post-Rigvedic situation, in which the Iranians (the major section of the Anu-s who migrated westwards) were now centered in and around Afghanistan.

That it was a late or post-Rigvedic period, and the next stage (stage 4) of the Iranian migrations, is clear from the chronological position of the Avesta vis-à-vis the Rigveda (given in detail in Part 2 of this article series). To give the salient points:
1. The dāśarājña battle took place during the period of the Old books of the Rigveda, and the earliest parts of the Avesta were clearly composed during a very late part of the period of the New Books, as is clear from the evidence of the name-types common to the Rigveda and the Avesta (which are older than the oldest part of the Avesta, since the ancestors of Zarathuštra - who is the composer of the Gāthā-s, the oldest part of the Avesta - already have names of these types), the meters in which the Gāthā-s are composed (found only in the New non-Family Books of the Rigveda), and the fact that certain personalities belonging to the period of the Middle Old Books of the Rigveda (4 and 2) are ancestral to Zarathuštra.
2. There is a consensus among most Iranologists that the common elements in Vedic and Iranian mythology and rituals show a late Vedic correspondence. 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).

That the bulk of the proto-Iranians, after moving westwards from the Punjab region, had still spread only as far west as Afghanistan is clear from the geographical evidence in the Avesta:

The Vendidad or Videvdat, a late book of the Avesta, gives a list of the sixteen Iranian lands past and present: Gnoli identifies fifteen of the sixteen Iranian lands named in the Vendidād list  (he declines to try to identify "the first of the countries created by Ahura Mazda, Airyana Vaējah", since "this country is characterized, in the Vd. I context, by an advanced state of mythicization" GNOLI 1980:63): "From the second to the sixteenth country, we have quite a compact and consistent picture.  The order goes roughly from north to south and then towards the east: Sogdiana (Gava), Margiana (Mourv), Bactria (Bāxδī), Nisaya between Margiana and Bactria, Areia (Harōiva), Kābulistān (Vaēkərəta), the Gaznī region (Urvā), Xnənta, Arachosia (Haraxvaitī), Drangiana (Haētumant), a territory between Zamin-dāvar and Qal'at-i-Gilzay (Raγa), the Lūgar valley (Caxra), Bunēr (Varəna), Pañjāb (Hapta Həndu), Raƞhā … between the Kābul and the Kurram, in the region where it seems likely the Vedic river Rasā flowed" (GNOLI 1980:63-64).

All these regions are centered around Afghanistan and present-day northern Pakistan. Gnoli notes that India is still very much a part of the geographical picture: "With Varəna and Raƞhā, as of course with Hapta Həndu, which comes between them in the Vd. I list, we find ourselves straight away in Indian territory, or, at any rate, in territory that, from the very earliest times, was certainly deeply permeated by Indo-Aryans or Proto-Indoaryans" (GNOLI 1980:47).

However, western areas (including present-day Iran!) are still not part of the Iranian area. Gnoli repeatedly stresses "the fact that Avestan geography, particularly the list in Vd. I, is confined to the east" (GNOLI 1980:45). Elsewhere, he again refers to "the entirely eastern character of the countries listed in the first chapter of the Vendidād, including Zoroastrian Raγa, and the historical and geographical importance of that list" (GNOLI 1980:59). The horizon of the Avesta, Gnoli further notes, "is according to Burrow, wholly eastern and therefore certainly earlier than the westward migrations of the Iranian tribes" (GNOLI 1980:161).

Likewise, the Avesta does not know any area to the north, or west, of the Aral Sea.  The northernmost area, the only place in northern Central Asia, named in the Avesta is Chorasmia or Khwārizm, to the south of the Aral Sea. However, Gnoli points out that Chorasmia "is mentioned only once" (GNOLI 1980:110) in the whole of the Avesta.  Moreover, it is not mentioned among the sixteen Iranian lands created by Ahura Mazda listed in the first chapter of the Vendidad.  It is mentioned among the lands named in the Mihr Yašt (Yt.10.14) in a description of the God Miθra standing on the mountains and surveying the lands to his south and north.

Gnoli emphasizes the significance of this distinction: "the countries in Vd.I and Yt.X are of a quite different nature: the aim of the first list is evidently to give a fairly complete description of the space occupied by the Aryan tribes in a remote period in their history" (GNOLI 1980:44-45). Clearly, Chorasmia is not a part of this space.

As a matter of fact, Chorasmia is named as "practically the very furthest horizon reached by Miθra's gaze" (GNOLI 1980:110), and Gnoli suggests that "the inclusion of the name of Chorasmia in this Yašt [….] could in fact be a mention or an interpolation whose purpose, whether conscious or unconscious, was rather meant to continue in a south-north direction the list of lands over which Miθra's gaze passed by indicating a country on the outskirts such as Chorasmia (which must have been very little known at the time the Yašt was composed)" (GNOLI 1980:89). The suggestion that the inclusion of Chorasmia in the Yašt is an interpolation is based on a solid linguistic fact: the name, Xvāirizəm, as it occurs in the reference, is "in a late, clearly Middle Persian nominal form" (GNOLI 1980:110).

So, by the time of composition of even the latest parts of the Avesta, the Iranians were still confined to an area no further west than Afghanistan and the bordering areas to its north. The earliest historical Iranian groups made their appearance only in Stage 5.

Stage 6:
Recorded evidence for "Iranians" of any kind in the post-Avestan period is totally missing till the first millennium BCE: "Evidence either for the history of the Iranian tribes or their languages from the period following the separation of the Indian and Iranian tribes down to the early 1st millennium BC is sadly lacking.  There are no written sources, and archaeologists are still working to fill out the picture" (SKJÆRVØ 1995:156).

The earliest historical Iranians make their appearance in a very much post-Avestan period: "The earliest mention of Iranians in historical sources is, paradoxically, of those settled on the Iranian plateau, not those still in Central Asia, their ancestral homeland.  'Persians' are first mentioned in the 9th century BC Assyrian annals: on one campaign, in 835 BC, Shalmaneser (858-824 BC) is said to have received tributes from 27 kings of Paršuwaš; the Medes are mentioned under Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727 BC); at the battle of Halulê on the Tigris in 691 BC, the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704-681 BC) faced an army of troops from Elam, Parsumaš, Anzan, and others; and in the Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) and elsewhere numerous 'kings' of the Medes are mentioned (see also, for example, Boyce 1975-82: 5-13) [….] There are no literary sources for Iranians in Central Asia before the Old Persian inscriptions (Darius's Bisotun inscription, 521-519 BC, ed. Schmitt) and Herodotus' Histories (ca. 470 BC). These show that by the mid-Ist millennium BC tribes called Sakas by the Persians and Scythians by the Greeks were spread throughout Central Asia, from the westernmost edges (north and northwest of the Black Sea) to its easternmost borders" (SKJÆRVØ 1995:156).

We find no evidence of the future ‘Iranians’ previous to the ninth century BC. The first allusion to the Parsua or Persians, then localized in the mountains of Kurdistan, and to the Madai or Medes, already established on the plain, occurs in 837 BC in connection with the expedition of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. About a hundred years afterwards, the Medes invaded the plateau which we call Persia (or Iran) driving back or assimilating populations of whom there is no written record” (LAROUSSE 1959:321). 

And all these Iranian groups were moving from east to west: By the mid-ninth century BC two major groups of Iranians appear in cuneiform sources: the Medes and the Persians. [….]  What is reasonably clear from the cuneiform sources is that the Medes and Persians (and no doubt other Iranian peoples not identified by name) were moving into western Iran from the east” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974, Vol.9, 832).

The Iranians clearly spread out from Afghanistan, in the post-Avestan period, into Iran to the west and Central Asia to the north. Their expanding geography, in the course of time, spread them all the way out to eastern and Central Europe.

Section 6. Dāśarājña: The Oldest Record of PIE Migrations.

The migration of the Iranians from their Original Homeland in India, including the various chronological and geographical stages in that migration, is, as we saw, fully recorded history. However, this is only because we have available with us the oldest recorded texts, the Rigveda and the Avesta, whose traditional records and memories go back to those periods. If Indian and Iranian records had started with the earliest texts of the Mauryan period for India and the earliest texts of the Persians, Parthians and Medes for the Iranians, we would have continued to remain in the dark about this early history, and the fabrications of western Indologists and linguists would have faced no challenge.

In the case of the other "last" branches of Indo-European languages, i.e. of Albanian, Greek and Armenian, the earliest records commence late in their historical habitats with no memories of Proto-Indo-European times. So we do not have the same degree of corroboration from diverse sources that we have in the case of "Indo-Aryan" and Iranian. Nevertheless, we still have the recorded evidence in the Rigvedic hymns. And incredibly, this evidence is sufficient in itself:

The great historical incident recorded in the Rigveda is the dāśarājña battle, or "the Battle of the Ten Kings". This was a battle (or, as some western scholars prefer to downplay it, a "skirmish") between the Bharata Pūru king Sudās on the one hand and a coalition of ten "kings" (or more properly, ten tribes) from among the Anu-s on the other. Sudās, after letting loose a horse, set out on a campaign of conquest "east, west and north" (III.53.14). The main thrust of his expansionist drive was towards the Punjab area, the area of the Anu-s. He expanded westwards after crossing (in III.33) the two easternmost rivers, the Vipāś and Śutudrī (present day Beas and Satlej) of the Punjab, under the priestly stewardship of Viśvāmitra. Later, after a change of priests (with Vasiṣṭha replacing Viśvāmitra), he continued his forays westwards. However, ten tribes of Anu-s from the Punjab, along with some Anu-ized remnants of the original Druhyu population of the Punjab, formed a coalition to halt his advances, and confronted him on the banks of the Paruṣṇī (present day Ravi) in the heart of the Punjab. The ensuing battle, called the dāśarājña battle, or "the Battle of the Ten Kings", is the subject of a handful of hymns in the Rigveda: mainly VII.18 and VII.83, but with some important references in some other hymns in Book 7.

The importance of this great historical event is that these handful of references in just a couple of hymns of the Rigveda (both in Book 7) provide us the names of the different Anu tribes who united to fight against Sudās and the Bharata-s:

VII.18.5 Śimyu.
VII.18.6 Bhṛgu.
VII.18.7 Paktha, Bhalāna, Alina, Śiva, Viṣāṇin.
VII.83.1 Parśu/Parśava, Pṛthu/Pārthava, Dāsa.
Puranic Anus: Madra.

A few words on some of these names:

1. Dāsa is a word which refers to any non-Pūru (i.e. non-"Vedic Aryan"), but particularly to Iranians: it is found in 54 hymns (63 verses) and the overwhelming majority of these references are hostile references. But there are three verses which stand out from the rest: they contain references which are friendly towards the Dāsa-s:
a. In VIII.5.31, the Aśvin-s are depicted as accepting the offerings of the Dāsa-s.
b. In VIII.46.32, the patrons are referred to as Dāsa-s.
c. In VIII.51.9, Indra is described as belonging to both Āryas and Dāsa-s.

As all these three hymns are dānastuti-s (hymns in praise of donors), it is clear that the friendly references have to do with the identity of the patrons in these hymns. Two of these hymns (VIII.5,46) have camel-gifting patrons (and it is very  likely that the third hymn has one two: this dānastuti does not mention the specific gifts received, and merely calls upon Indra to shower wealth on the patron), and the only other hymn with a camel-gifting patron is another dānastuti in the same book: VIII.6.48. These four hymns (VIII.5,6,46,51) clearly belong to a separate class from the other Rigvedic hymns: 3 of them (VIII.5,6,46) gift camels, 3 of them (VIII.5,46,51) speak well of Dāsa-s, and 3 of them (VIII.5,6,46) have patrons whose names have been identified as proto-Iranian names: A range of western Indologists (including Hoffman, Wilson, Weber, Witzel and Gamkrelidze) have identified Kaśu (VIII.5), Tirindira Parśava (VIII.6), and Pṛthuśravas Kānīta (VIII.46) as proto-Iranian names. Ruśama Pavīru, the patron of VIII.51, is not specifically named as Iranian by the scholars.  However, the Ruśama-s are identified by M.L.Bhargava (BHARGAVA:1964) as a tribe of the extreme northwest from the Soma lands of Suṣomā  and Ārjīkīyā.  This clearly places them in the territory of the Iranians.

Now the word dāsa, though used for non-Pūru-s and mostly in a hostile sense in the Rigveda (and meaning "slave" in later Sanskrit), is clearly a word with an originally benevolent connotation. It is derived from the root √daṁś- "to shine" (obviously with a positive connotation), is found in the name of Divo-dāsa in a positive sense, and is used to describe the patrons of the hymns in the above references. Clearly, it was a tribal name among the Anu-s (the Iranians: note that the word "daha" means "man" in Khotanese), first used by the Bharata Pūru-s for the Anu-s in general and later extended to all non-Pūru-s.

2. Śimyu: This word is found only in the Rigveda, and only twice in the Rigveda: once in VII.18.5 in reference to the enemies of Sudās and later once more in I.100.18, in the hymn which describes the Varṣāgira battle (the "battle beyond the Sarayu") in Central Afghanistan, in reference to the enemies of the descendants of Sudās.

3. Madra: The Madra-s are not referred to in the Rigveda, in the descriptions of the battle between Sudās and the Anu tribes, but they were one of the most prominent Anu tribes of the area even in much later post-Rigvedic times.

4. Viṣāṇin: This may seem the only weak link in the identifications of the Anu (Iranian) tribes. However, it seems to complete the picture if they are identified with the Piśācin-s or Piśāca-s (the Nuristanis): note the interchangeability between "p" and "v" in "Paṇi" and "vaṇi", and the change of "n" in "bhalāna" (Bolan) to "Baluch".

These tribal names are primarily found only in two hymns, VII.18 and VII.83, of the Rigveda, which refer to the Anu tribes who fought against Sudās in the dāśarājña battle or "the Battle of the Ten Kings". But see where these same tribal names are found in later historical times (after their exodus westwards referred to in VII.5.3 and VII.6.3).  Incredibly, they cover, in an almost continuous geographical belt, the entire sweep of areas extending westwards from the Punjab (the battleground of the dāśarājña battle) right up to southern and eastern Europe:

(Avestan) Afghanistan: Proto-Iranian: Sairima (Śimyu), Dahi (Dāsa).
NE Afghanistan: Proto-Iranian: Nuristani/Piśācin (Viṣāṇin).  
Pakhtoonistan (NW Pakistan), South Afghanistan: Iranian: Pakhtoon/Pashtu (Paktha).
Baluchistan (SW Pakistan), SE Iran: Iranian: Bolan/Baluchi (Bhalāna).
NE Iran: Iranian: Parthian/Parthava (Pṛthu/Pārthava).
SW Iran: Iranian: Parsua/Persian (Parśu/Parśava).
NW Iran: Iranian: Madai/Mede (Madra).
Uzbekistan: Iranian: Khiva/Khwarezmian (Śiva).
W. Turkmenistan: Iranian: Dahae (Dāsa).
Ukraine, S, Russia: Iranian: Alan (Alina), Sarmatian (Śimyu).
Turkey: Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian: Phryge/Phrygian (Bhṛgu).
Romania, Bulgaria: Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian: Dacian (Dāsa).
Greece: Greek: Hellene (Alina).
Albania: Albanian: Sirmio (Śimyu).

1. It cannot be a coincidence that every single one of these tribal names, from only two hymns describing a single event, fits in so perfectly with the roster of Iranian, Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian, Greek and Albanian tribal names. Nor can it be branded as a P.N. Oak-like set of correspondences. Note that many of these correspondences (Parśava, Pārthava, Paktha, Bhalāna, Bhṛgu) are so obvious and undeniable that they have been accepted by many prominent western Indologists (including Witzel).
2. The above named Iranian tribes include the ancestors of almost all other prominent historical and modern Iranian groups, such as the Scythians (Sakas), Ossetes and Kurds, and even the presently Slavic-language speaking Serbs and Croats! The reader can check up the relevant encyclopedias (including Wikipedia) for the historical importance and geographical locations of all these different groups.
3. We also see here an important historical phenomenon: the tribal group which migrates furthest retains its linguistic identity, while those of that tribe who remain behind or on the way get absorbed into the surrounding linguistic group:
a) The Śimyu who migrated furthest retained their Albanian identity and dialect (Sirmio), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranians (Avestan Sairima, later Sarmatians).
b) The Alina who migrated furthest retained their Greek name and dialect (Ellene/Hellene), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranians (Alan).
c) The Bhṛgu who migrated furthest retained their Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian name and dialect (Phryge/Phrygian), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranians (their priestly class the Āthrauuan-s), and those who remained behind got linguistically absorbed into the Indo-Aryans (as the priestly class of Bhṛgu-s). [The Armenians, in the Caucasus area, lost the name, but retained their language much influenced by Iranian].
d) The Madra who migrated furthest retained their Iranian name and dialect (Mada/Mede/Median), while those who remained behind got linguistically absorbed into the Indo-Aryans (Madra).

All in all, the two Rigvedic hymns (VII.18 and 83), which describe the dāśarājña battle or "the Battle of the Ten Kings", provide us with the oldest recorded evidence of the presence of the Last Dialects (Albanian, Greek, Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian, Iranian and Indo-Aryan) in the Original Indo-European Homeland, and of the events which led to the second Great Indo-European Migration or Expansion involving four of these five groups.

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WITZEL 1986: Tracing the Vedic Dialects. Witzel, Michael. in “Dialectes dans les Litteratures Indo-Aryennes”, Paris (Fondation Hugot), 16-18 Septembre, 1986.
WITZEL 1987: On the Localization of Vedic Texts and Schools. Witzel, Michael. in “India and the Ancient World –History Trade and Culture Before AD 650” ed. by Gilbert Pollet, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, vol. 25, Departement Orientalistiek, Leuven.
WITZEL 1991: Notes on Vedic Dialects. Witzel, Michael.  in ZINBUN, Annals of the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, 67(1991).
WITZEL 1995a: Early Indian History: Linguistic and Textual Parameters. Witzel. Michael.  pp. 85-125 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin, 1995.
WITZEL 1995b: Rgvedic History: Poets, Chieftains and Politics. Witzel, Michael. pp. 307-352 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin.
WITZEL 1997a: Sarama and the Panis – Origins of Prosimetric Exchange in Archaic India. Witzel, Michael. pp. 397-409 in Joseph Harris and Karl Reichl (eds.), “Prosimetrum: Crosscultural perspectives in Narrative Prose and Verse”. D. S. Brewer. Cambridge.
WITZEL 1997b: The Development of the Vedic Canon and Its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu. Witzel, Michael. in “Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts”, ed. by M.Witzel, Cambridge 1997 (being the proceedings of the International Vedic Workshop, Harvard univ., June 1989).
WITZEL 1999: Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan. EJVS 5-1, 1999.
WITZEL 2000a: The Languages of Harappa. Witzel, Michael. Feb. 17, 2000.
WITZEL 2000b: The Home of the Aryans. Witzel, Michael. in “Anu-s.antyai, 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.


  1. sir, you made us wait almost a year for part 3 !!! eagerly waiting for this post.... i hope part 4 will come soon as well... god bless....

    1. Thank you very much for your very encouraging response. It was mainly my vertigo problems which caused the delay. I will try to start and finish the next part within a month or two. There is also my other half-finished article "The Elephant and the PIE Homeland".

  2. Wow, it's been a while, I thought you forgot to write! Glad to see this article!

    Three questions:

    1) When did battle of ten kings happen?
    2) What Puranas did you reference?
    3) Where can I read "The Elephant and the PIE Homeland"


    1. 1. The battle must have taken place around 3000 BCE+/-.
      2. The basic historical data in the Puranas has been given in detail by Pargiter, Pusalker and others with references, quoted in my books.
      3. I will complete and upload "The Elephant and the PIE Homeland" on this blog, hopefully by at least two weeks.

  3. Dear Sir,

    Your article as anyone can see is full of information !. Thank you for this hard worked and long awaited article! . BTW I want to suggest something , Anau is not an ancient name, and means 'new water':

  4. Sir I request you to read Bernardo D'souza's The Last Prabhu. He is a Saraswat Brahmin Christian. He took a genetic test and the test concluded that his ancestors migrated from Mesopotamia to Saraswati River region and then to Kashmir and then to the Konkan via Gujarat most likely.

    Bet Dwarka is also known as Kushasthali! It is likely that the migrant Saraswats decided to name the location of the Gaudapadacharya Math as Kushasthali or decided to build it in Goa's Kushasthali.

    The book is available on Amazon. I have the Kindle version.

    1. This is an interesting piece of information. I hope it is backed by authenticated data. We need to be careful in analyzing and interpreting historical data, since rigorous & objective analysis only will help us to arrive at the truth.

  5. The conclusions drawn by Shri Talageri regarding the Vedic civilization should also be backed by linguistic and archaeological evidence.
    The excavations at the sites of the Harappan civilization reveal the presence of structures made of baked bricks, with which the Vedic people were not familiar.
    I am told that there is no word for brick in the Rigveda.
    The horse is central to the Rigvedic people and finds frequent mention in the poems.
    No horse bones have been found at the sites of the Harappan civilization.
    The language of some portions of the Rigveda is in an old form of Sanskrit and the later poetic compositions in this text show that the Sanskrit language itself underwent an evolution in the Indian sub-continent with the passage of time.
    Another point to be remembered is that the Harappan script awaits decipherment.
    If these are the material evidences on record, how can we conclude that the Vedic people occupied the same geographical area and the time period as those the Harappan civilization?
    Archaeology and linguistics are rigorous sciences which will deepen our understanding of the Vedic people, their origins and language.
    We must await further findings which will add to our knowledge of these people.

    1. The question "how can we conclude that the Vedic people occupied the same geographical area and the time period as those of the Harappan civilization" frankly leaves me floored. Am I expected to quote the entire text of part 2 of this very article series posted on this very blogspot in reply to this question? The tactic of ignoring all the evidence that is given (since it is unanswerable and unchallengeable), and in fact acting as if no evidence has been given at all, and then raising quibbling objections is a very very stale and defeatist attitude. Every single one of the "points" you have raised has been answered in detail in my books,and I am sorry I cannot quote the entire texts of my books in reply to this question. Have you any argument, logic or data to show that the evidence given by me is wrong? You are of course free to "await further findings" which you will accept as "adding to your knowledge" only if they turn out to be convenient to your predetermined prejudices.

    2. They found Swastika seals dating back to 3000 BC in the indus valley civilization. These are one of the oldest seals in archaeological record. "Swasti" also occurs in the Rig Veda and is a prominent Hindu symbol.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. @Ganesh Iyer:
      You say, "I am told that there is no word for brick in the Rigveda."

      I don't know of the Rig Veda but the word "brick" occurs several times in the Satapatha Brahmana of the Sukla Yajur veda, in reference to brick-built altars for yajnas or sacrifices.

      Look here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe43/sbe4361.htm#fn_666

  6. Dear Shri Talageri,

    My submission to you is to objectively look at history and events related to our past.
    The debate on the origins of the Vedic civilization will remain inconclusive till hard evidence based on facts emerge.
    A lot of work has been done in this regard by our archaeologists belonging to the ASI.
    Material evidence of the Vedic period can give us proof of the culture of that age.
    Linguistics is another area where work has been done on the subject.
    It requires many years of hard work to arrive at the right conclusions.
    If we close our minds,I am afraid, our past will be hijacked to serve ends which are political in nature.

  7. You are right, life is too short to waste time repeating the same things over and over again to people whose minds are closed and whose ends are political in nature.

  8. One thing I don't understand is why the western indologists disregard the Puranas, the traditional history of India, but they accept the Rig Veda? Why is this the case?

    1. Aryan invasion theory is simply foreigners writing the history of a colonized country. Who gave them that right or authority? Shouldn't be taken seriously.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Talagari ji, in Section 6. Dāśarājña: The Oldest Record of PIE Migrations. You have wrote that hymn VII.83.1 mentioned the Parśu/Parśava, Pṛthu/Pārthava tribes/people. But in Griffith traslation of the hyms says

    "LOOKING to you and your alliance, O ye Men, armed with broad axes they went forward, fain for spoil.
    Ye smote and slew his Dāsa and his Āryan enemies, and helped Sudās with favour, Indra-Varuṇa."

    However the actual Sanskrit version says

    "yuvāṃ narā paśyamānāsa āpyaṃ prācā ghavyantaḥ pṛthuparśavo yayuḥ |
    dāsā ca vṛtrā hatamāryāṇi ca sudāsamindrāvaruṇāvasāvatam || "

    the word "pṛthuparśavo" represent this.

    so why didn't Griffith used those terms and which terms he had used in place of them?

  10. Dear Sir

    Pardon me if I have missed it, but can we expect the final part of this series sometime soon?

    My apologies if you have already published it - I was unable to find any reference.

    Thanks and Regards

  11. Hi,
    I wanted to know if IVC was Indo aryan civilisation then why there are not any close relationship between two cultures. Except one teracota horse and one spooked wheels, no remains are there to prove cultural continuity.

  12. Shrikanth Talageri, people are saying that Avestan culture is older than Rig Veda and that Jarathu of book 7 of Rigveda is the same as zarathustra of Avesta. What do you think of claims that the Battle of Ten Kings took place in Afganistan?