Saturday, 4 July 2020

A Reply To Prof. Narahari Achar's Critique of my article "The Rigveda and the Aryan Theory: A Rational Perspective THE FULL OUT-OF-INDIA CASE IN SHORT"





A Reply To Prof. Narahari Achar's Critique of my article
"The Rigveda and the Aryan Theory: A Rational Perspective
THE FULL OUT-OF-INDIA CASE IN SHORT"

Shrikant G. Talageri


I have presented the full Out-of-India case for the Indo-European languages in as short as possible in my article "The Rigveda and the Aryan Theory: A Rational Perspective. THE FULL OUT-OF-INDIA CASE IN SHORT". It is impossible that any supporter of the AIT (Aryan Invasion Theory) will have the guts to try to honestly examine my case, including every single piece of the humongous evidence given by me in that article, and disprove it, since it is irrefutable, at least on the basis of data, facts, logic and evidence. Of course, abusive hate-writers, hecklers and trolls will always be there, but they are inevitable and deserve no attention. 

The noted scholar Narahari Achar, who is no supporter of the AIT, has written a critique of my above article, and I feel it is incumbent upon me to note his criticism and reply to the points raised by him. Some of the points represent some common objections to my case from the OIT side.

It may be noted at the outset that the critique, entitled "Revisiting the Chronology of Rigveda and the exact identity of Vedic Aryans" was in fact sent to me by Achar himself for my reactions, and in fact, on my requesting a word document rather than the original pdf sent by him (since a word-document is easier to quote from, by copy-paste, as I will frequently be having to do in this reply), he readily and courteously sent me a word-document of his critique. Needless to say, the critique and my reply to it will make it clear that our viewpoints differ on many basic points, but also that differences can be aired in an atmosphere of mutual respect. In case my style of writing, especially when I am compelled to point out some unfortunate tendencies among my non-AIT critics, gives any impression of boorishness on any point, I sincerely apologize in advance.

While presenting a critique, Achar writes: "A formidable amount of data is presented by Talageri and an analysis that is almost impossible to refute", and    
gives it as his opinion: "Except for questions of chronology, the rest of Talageri's monumental work is held in very high regard", and even "thanks to the efforts of scholars like Talageri, there is a paradigm shift in Indological studies".
But the points on which he disagrees (the Pūru identity of the "Vedic Aryans", and the internal chronology of the Rigveda, for example) are so fundamental that it is difficult to understand which part of my work he holds in high regard and finds impossible to refute, since these two points constitute the very basis of the OIT case presented by me.

But let me go to the specific points raised by him, under the following heads:
I. The chronology of the Rigveda.
II. The Pūru identity of the "Vedic Aryans".
III. The significance of the aprīsūktas.
IV. Other minor points.

I. The chronology of the Rigveda.

Achar's objections to the chronology of the Rigveda, as proved by me, has already been the subject of another critique by him and reply by me some years ago (see my blog article of 2017, actually written in 2009, entitled "The Use of 'Astronomical' Evidence in Dating The Rigveda and The Vedic Period").

Here, he writes: "In the opinion of the author, the chronology developed does not agree with the traditional view that the Vedas were compiled by Vedavyasa  at one time before the beginning of Kaliyuga, generally taken to be about 3100 BCE. The fully compiled text of ten mandalas must have been available at this time.  The ṛgveda Samhita referred to in śatapatha brāhmaṇa (dated to be at about 3000 BCE) agrees with the current text available. There is no mention anywhere that a Samhita of less than ten mandalas was current anytime. However, as enumerated in Talageri's work, there was a Samhita of only seven mandalas, which grew in stages finally to a text of ten mandalas reaching down to 1400 BCE.  Again, the chronology certainly does not agree with the chronology based on astronomical methods going back several thousand years such as those of Tilak, Jacobi, and others".
[A slight amendment: I have not enumerated seven original maṇḍalas or books, but six: the family-books 2-7].
Further: "It is to be noted that there is no chronological order in the arrangement of the maṇḍala-s. It is recognized that ṛṣi-s belong to different periods, there are older ṛṣi-s and newer ṛṣi-s and ones who are in between. There is certainly no mention of earlier or later maṇḍala-s in a temporal sense".

[Important note: Achar, like most of these "traditionalist" objectors, seems to think it an unanswerable and  scoring argument that "there is no mention" in the Rigveda of many of the things that I have uncovered in my analysis. Of course there isn't, or there would have been no necessity of my having to uncover them in my analysis of the Rigvedic data. It must be remembered that all this historical discussion on the Rigveda is necessitated by the modern discovery of the fact that the languages of Europe and northern India are related to each other, and from the subsequent quest for the Original Homeland of these (Indo-European) languages, leading to the formulation of the AIT and the resultant assault on the history of Hindu Civilization. Obviously the ancient composers, commentators and analysts of our texts were not aware of all these modern developments, so they neither found it necessary to "mention" innumerable things, nor to prepare methodologies to study these future developments. Things that we uncover will very necessarily be things not "mentioned", and not even envisioned, by those ancient scholars, and the methodologies that we use will naturally be ones unknown to the ancient scholars. The objectors, more on them shortly, seem more determined in sabotaging investigation from our side and allowing the AIT writers a free leeway and complete monopoly on the debate, under cover of being protectors of our "traditions",  rather than to examine and uncover the truth and defeat the AIT.

Further, it does not even seem to strike (or matter to) these objectors that most of their own assertions on the Rigveda are also not "mentioned" in the Rigveda. Where, for example, does the Rigveda "mention" Achar's pet theory that "There is a strong correlation between the textual organization of ṛgvedasaṃhitā and somayajña"?
Also, when these objectors give quotations from other ancient texts, definitely composed long after the period of the Rigveda, to put obstacles in our research, or to object to certain points made by us, they totally fail (or refuse) to understand that:
a) all these texts (even the Brahmanas) represent later periods to the period of the Rigveda,
b) the purpose of these texts was only to expound on matters of faith, ritual and religious and mythical beliefs, and not on history.
c) all these ancient writers were totally unacquainted with the Indo-European question or the AIT, and with the principles of modern linguistics and historical studies, and could never have possibly intended that their religious views be misused as weapons by present-day "traditionalist" Hindus to sabotage research on ancient history and to disarm other Hindu researchers from dealing with the (for example, AIT-promoting) opponents].       

I have already dealt with the "astronomical" evidence in my above-mentioned blog article, and will not go into it again here. Further, I will not go into the untenable dates of 3100 BCE for the "beginning of Kaliyuga" (i.e. and therefore also for the Mahabharata war, for Vyāsa, and for the completion of the Rigvedic text) either, since that would be a very major diversion. In fact, I will not argue on any point in this context. I will simply present the relevant data and ask a question which must be answered by Narahari Achar or anyone else who disputes my chronology. Any honest scholar will have to admit that the only answer to my question is that my chronology is right.
So here are the facts (already given in the very article being critiqued by Achar, but it seems to require repetition):
1. The western Indologists (Oldenberg to Witzel and Proferes) over a century and a half have classified the family books 2-7 (yes, in spite of Achar's objections, I will use the word "books" here, more convenient for typing out than the word "maṇḍalas" every time. After all, this article is in English and not in Sanskrit, and the equivalent word used for the maṇḍalas of the Rigveda―or, for that matter, the Kāṇḍas of the Ramayana or the Parvas of the Mahabharata―is "books" in English) as the older layer of the Rigveda, and the non-family books (1,8,9,10) as the later layer. They have a long list of linguistic and literary criteria for this classification.
Further, they have also testified that book 5, though a family book, is closer to the non-family books than to the other family books. So that we get an older set of five books 2-4,6-7 and a newer set of five books 5,1,8-10.
2. I have independently shown, in my books and blogs, another long list of criteria leading to the same above classification, and in fact, given the exact order of the books: 6,3,7,4,2,5,1,8,9,10.
All this massive evidence certainly cannot be discarded on the basis of the myth (yes, myth) that an individual person named Vyāsa compiled all the Vedas in one go. It is perfectly possible that Vyāsa gave the final canonical form to the collection, but to say that the books were all composed and compiled together at one point of time (I will ignore here the date of this point of time: Achar says 3100 BCE, I say 1500-1400 BCE) against all the evidence, and then further use this to deny any internal chronology to the Rigveda, is a joke. These mythical beliefs would be valid in the field of keertans and religious discourses, but they are not valid as criteria to brush away all the massive evidence in the field of serious historical research.

In any case, see the following data, already given in my article critiqued by Achar, but apparently needed to be reiterated here. There is a huge mass of vocabulary common to the Rigveda and the Avesta which clearly shows the chasm between the five Old Books and the five New Books:
The common Vedic-Avestan names and name types include not only names with the prefixes and suffixes found in the Mitanni records 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 yama/yami-) and the word maṇi, but also names 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. Also the words gāthā and bīja.
The following is the distribution of this vocabulary:
To summarize the data only in the Old Hymns in the Old Books vs. the hymns in the New Books respectively, leaving aside as a distraction the Redacted Hymns (Old hymns edited during the New period), we get an absolutely uni-directional picture:

TOTAL HYMNS AND VERSES:
1. Old Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7:  280 Hymns, 2351 verses.
2. New Hymns in Books 1,5,8,9,10:  686 Hymns, 7311 verses.

COMMON RIGVEDIC-AVESTAN-MITANNI NAME TYPES IN COMPOSER NAMES:
1. Old Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7:  0 Hymns, 0 verses.
2. New Hymns in Books 1,5,8,9,10:  309 Hymns, 3389 verses.

COMMON RIGVEDIC-AVESTAN-MITANNI NAME TYPES AND WORDS WITHIN THE HYMNS:
1. Old Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7:  0 Hymns, 0 verses.
2. New Hymns in Books 1,5,8,9,10:  225 Hymns, 434 verses.

COMMON RIGVEDIC-AVESTAN NEW DIMETRIC METERS:
1. Old Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7: 0 Hymns, 0 verses.
2. New Hymns in Books 1,5,8,9,10:  50 Hymns, 255 verses.

I would like to add here another point: all the above data pertains to the common Indo-Iranian vocabulary: an examination of other internal Rigvedic vocabulary (not necessarily common with the Avesta or Iranian languages and hence not undertaken by me in my books and articles) will again reveal a huge mass of very important new words found only in the New Books but not in the Old Hymns of the Old Books, most of which have been noted by the western Indologists, e.g. the words candramā, loka, ājya, kalyāṇa, vijaya, kāla, rātri, maṅgala, apsarā, tīrtha, gātra, aṅkuśa, ambhas, ambara, etc., etc., grammatical words like adas, verbal roots like √aṇ, √lubh, √labh, √pūj, √klp, √gup, ā√rabh, etc. There is no vocabulary of the opposite kind (i.e. found in the Old Hymns of the Old Books, and in post-Rigvedic texts, but not found in the New Books).           

Examining the western geographical data in the books, again we get the same situation. The following is the distribution of the western geographical data (excluding the rivers) in the Books of the Rigveda:

1. Old Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7: 0 Hymns, 0 verses.
2. Redacted Hymns in Books 2,3,4,6,7:  0 Hymns, 0 verses.
3. New Hymns in Books 1,5,8,9,10:  44 Hymns, 52 verses, 53 names.

And the distribution of the river names (along with the relevant historical data in each book) gives the following graph:


Why should any person who is not a determined exponent of the AIT want to negate the importance of all this massive evidence which puts the Old Books of the Rigveda at least 1500 years before the Mitanni records of 1500 BCE and deeply within India at that date?
But this question is only to be pondered, not answered.

My question to be answered is as follows: if all the books of the Rigveda were compiled at one time, and if the classification of the books into two eras (Old and New) is wrong, then why do we find this kind of distribution of names, words, grammatical forms, verbal roots, etc. which are found massively in the New Books and in post-Rigvedic texts, but completely absent in the Old Books 2-4,6-7? All in keeping with the chronological order of the books as arrived at by the Western Indologists, and independently arrived at by me (in more specific detail)?

Is it all a super-massive super-coincidence?
Or did the Old hymns in the Old Books also originally contain all these names, words, grammatical forms, verbal roots, etc. and these were meticulously searched out and deleted from them by some unknown villains in the distant past (before the brahmins all over India started memorizing by heart and chanting the present Rigveda by complicated ghana-pāṭha methods)?
Or, alternately, did some other unknown villains in the distant past (before the brahmins all over India started memorizing by heart and chanting the present Rigveda by complicated ghana- pāṭha methods) deliberately add all these names, words, grammatical forms, verbal roots, etc. (which were totally missing in the entire Rigveda earlier) only into the hymns of the five New Books?
If the chronological division into Old Books and New Books is wrong, then what is the reason for this absolute dichotomy in the language of the two sets of Books?

The trouble is (please note that all this is a general observation based on my very huge experience in this matter, and is not aimed at Achar personally) that there is a huge crowd of "traditionalist" Hindus in India who hate logical studies and seek to reject (and vehemently reject) all research methods and conclusions which do not fit in with their fond childhood ideas of Indian tradition. In the case of many of them, it could also be because these conclusions go against what they themselves may already have written or spoken on the matter for years, or, alternately, out of envy for discoveries made by others than themselves. But more often, it is just a misguided idea of tradition, a loyalty to fantastic childhood ideas, and a stick-in-the-mud attitude. They couch their objections in "traditionalistic" religious terms, make pompous and bombastic (and totally unwarranted) use of Sanskrit terms like dharma, adhikāra, pramāṇa, etc., and violently attack the motives, allegedly "western" orientation, and scholarship of writers like Koenraad Elst and myself who hold truth above petty personal biases and prejudices. They prefer to lose the  war of historiography to their external enemies by their intransigent hatred for us, rather than to win it by upholding the truth and accepting facts.
I (and Koenraad Elst) have very consistently faced virulent attacks by such elements, to whom I am a greater enemy than the actual AIT writers. Let me also add here that I also genuinely have a greater respect for "enemy" AIT scholars who want their side to win than for these compulsive losers who claim to represent the Hindu side but are its worst internal saboteurs.

All this had to be said. I respectfully request Narahari Achar, whose courteous behavior in this matter I have already referred to earlier (and therefore to whom all of this should not really apply), to honestly answer my question: why do we find this kind of distribution of names, words, grammatical forms, verbal roots, etc. which are found massively in the New Books and in post-Rigvedic texts, but completely absent in the Old Books 2-4, 6-7, if not because of the chronological division into Old and New?


II. The Pūru identity of the "Vedic Aryans"

The "Vedic Aryans" of the Rigveda were the Pūrus, and the Pūrus alone, among all the different people in the Purāṇas. I have proved this in such detail that I find it really incomprehensible why anyone should want to refuse to accept it if they are really interested in the truth.
Achar objects as follows: "this model excludes rāma (an ikṣvāku) and kṛṣṇa (a yadu) from the ārya dharma. It casts a cloud on the two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as pillars of ārya-Dharma and the heroes rāma and kṛṣṇa as representatives of the ārya-Dharma. How can these two who are not even ārya-s represent ārya-Dharma, let alone act as its protectors?
Therefore it needs to be examined from the data whether ikṣvāku-s and yadus are really non Aryans."

In my article (the same article that Achar is reviewing) I have given all the evidence for the Pūrus, and the Pūrus alone, being the "Vedic Aryans" in great detail. It would be ridiculous for me to again repeat the whole mass of evidence in reply to his review! Just because the data (not this model, but the data) shows that Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, not being Pūrus, were not part of the "Vedic Aryan" complex, and this fact is not liked by someone who always thought since childhood that they were, is no reason to reject the solid data and evidence. Scholars cannot expect to get away with throwing a tantrum and saying: "No, I don't care about the evidence: I want them to be 'Vedic Aryans', so they must be 'Vedic Aryans'".
Let us examine the many points (apart from his complete refusal to accept the data and evidence) where logic fails Achar:

1. Firstly, Achar seems to not understand what is meant by the phrase "Vedic Aryans". He writes: "the very question "Who were the Vedic Aryans ?" smacks of a hangover from the AIT days when a group of invaders were thought to come to India and to establish themselves there. So, the questions were asked, who were the Vedic people? Where did they come from? How does Talageri define 'Vedic people'?"
The definition of "Vedic people" is very simple: it means "the people of the Rigveda", or "the people among whom the Rigveda (and later the subsequent three Veda Samhitas) were composed". It has nothing to do with any hangover from the AIT days.
If one asks: "who are the people of the Old Testament?", the answer would be "the people among whom the Old testament was composed: the ancient Jews of Palestine". If one asks: "who were the people of the Sangam literature?", the answer would be "the people among whom the Sangam literature was composed: the ancient Tamilians of Tamilnadu". If one asks: "who were the people of the Iliad and Odyssey?", the answer would be "the people among whom the Iliad and Odyssey were composed: the ancient Greeks of Greece". 
The answer to the question "who are the people of the Rigveda?" is not that simple: it does mean "the people among whom the Rigveda (and later the subsequent three Veda Samhitas) were composed" but this does not imply "the ancient Sanskrit-speaking people of India" because the Rigveda does not (however desperately anyone may want it to) pertain to the whole of India: it very emphatically pertains only to a limited northwestern  area centered on Haryana and extending westwards to Afghanistan and eastwards to the neighbouring areas of western Uttar Pradesh. Huge parts of India are completely outside the boundaries of the geographical horizon of the Rigveda.
This would not have been a problem if the ardent advocates of Vedic religion and culture had simply accepted the Rigveda and the Vedic texts as the oldest and therefore most revered Hindu texts containing the oldest recorded form of Hinduism. Unfortunately they don't: they insist that the whole of Hindu and Indian religion and culture (in extreme cases the whole of world religion and culture) stems from the Vedas! They insist that the Vedic texts are "apaurusheya" which they take to mean "not created by man", timeless and eternal. In these circumstances, they find the hard facts unpalatable.
The hard facts are that the Vedic Samhitas were composed among the Pūrus, and the other people (including the Ikṣvākus and Yadus) were originally non-Vedic people. The Vedic religion and culture of the Pūrus is just one of the many branches of the banyan tree that is Hinduism, it is not the root of this banyan tree, and other aspects of Hinduism are other branches of Hinduism which are as old as the Vedic branch, only they were not recorded at so early a point of time with the organized rigor with which the Vedic religion was preserved, and many of these branches made their appearance in the records only with the geographical spread and development of the Vedic religion and culture and Vedic/Sanskrit literary tradition.

2. Achar writes: "A simple definition of the Vedic people would be those who follow the Vaidika Dharma. Vaidika Dharma implies the performance of yajña. It is stated that 'vedāhi yajñārthamabhi pravṛttāḥ' 'Veda-s are engaged (or oriented towards) in the performance of yajña.' Hence the importance of yajña in Vaidika Dharma. Vedic people are those who perform yajña. We will see that the same definition is implied in Talageri's work also….. He uses certain criteria to declare that Pūru-s are the only Vedic ārya-s to the exclusion of all other tribes and these are described in detail in his article. We will show in particular that yadus and ikṣvāku-s are also Vedic ārya-s using the very same criteria."  
I have nowhere claimed or even "implied" that "Vedic people are those who perform yajña". That is, the ancient Vedic people did perform yajña, but then so did the ancient Avestan people (they even called it yasna, modern Persian jashna) and the ancient Druids, and the ancient Lithuanians (the ancient religion has been revived by modern Lithuanian Pagans), and so did the ancient Phleguai of Greek records: were they all "Vedic people"? But, in contrast, the non-Vedic people (despite many of them being speakers of other Indo-European languages) within India farther east and south of the Rigvedic area did not perform yajña in the ancient period: they had different other forms of religion all of which are today other major branches (aspects or features) of the Hindu banyan tree.

The only criterion for deciding who are the "Vedic Aryans" of the Rigveda is an analysis of the Rigvedic data (including the  term ārya as it occurs in the Rigveda), and I have done a full analysis of this in my books and my article being critiqued by Achar and will not repeat it all again here.

I will only point out, and it is really painful to have to do so again and again, the word ārya does not mean "Pūru". It simply means "belonging to our community". Many ancient Indo-European language speaking people used the term for themselves in the sense "belonging to our community". The Iranians called themselves airya and those of other communities (originally the "Vedic Aryans") tuirya: the "Vedic Aryans" called themselves ārya and those of other communities (originally the proto-Iranians or Anus) dāsa. To a "Vedic Aryan" he himself was an ārya, but a proto-Iranian was not, and to a proto-Iranian, he himself was an airya, but a "Vedic Aryan" was not. So ārya does not automatically mean "Pūru": it means "Pūru" only in the Rigveda because the "Vedic Aryans", who were Pūrus, referred to themselves by this word in the text (which was composed among them), in the sense of "belonging to our community". The word has nothing to do with yajña, or even with the Vedic language. An analysis of the word ārya, as it occurs in the Rigveda, shows that it refers only to Pūrus, thus confirming the massive evidence that the "Vedic Aryans", the People of the Book, were Pūrus.
[An analogical example is the word amchigelo, "belonging to our community", among the Saraswats, or maybe all Konkani speaking communities, of Karnataka. Although the word has now acquired a less narrow and more inclusive usage in the discourse of many Konkani speakers, formerly at least a Chitrapur Saraswat, for example, would use the term only for other Chitrapur Saraswats: a Gaud Saraswat would be called konknyancho (strangely so, since even Chitrapur Saraswats themselves speak Konkani). And a Gaud Saraswat would use the term only for other Gaud Saraswats: a Chitrapur Saraswat would be called shenapayancho (a pun on the term shenaipanch)].

3. Achar introduces the Mandhātā motif: "ikṣvāku occurs in RV(X.60.4), but the descendant mandhātṛ is well known. He is referred to in RV (I.112.13)…..In another reference in RV (VIII.39.8), ṛṣi nābhāka kāṇva…. (and) in another reference, RV(VII.40.12), the same ṛṣi nābhāka kāṇva….make(s) it clear that mandhātṛ is the foremost performer of yajña-s, offers oblations to Agni, Indra, Aśvins and other gods and is an enemy of Dasyu.  mandhātṛ is also a ṛṣi of a sūkta, RV(X.134). He is unquestionably an ārya. Hence his descendants, ikṣvāku-s, who also follow the ārya-dharma are all ārya-s."
The word Ikṣvāku occurs only once in the Rigveda as a name for the sun, while the omnipresence of the Pūrus in the Rigveda need not be repeated here.
About Mandhāta and the Ikṣvākus in the Rigveda, I have dealt with this in detail in my books, and more recently and more comprehensively in my blog article "The Ikṣvākus in the Rigveda":


Incidentally, the Puranas record that Mandhātā was an Ikṣvāku king whose mother was a Pūru princess, and who moved westwards to aid his maternal relations against western enemies. Yet none of the Ikṣvākus (and not Manu himself, either!) are referred to in the Rigveda as ārya, which could have been a criterion for being a "Vedic Aryan". That he performed a yajña (when among his maternal relations) is no criterion, as already pointed out.
Also, the phrase ārya-dharma does not occur in the Rigveda (and certainly not in reference to Mandhātā), nor have I used it even once in any of my writings.

Then he goes on to give two more naïve arguments (against all the heavy evidence in the text) to "prove" that the Ikṣvākus and Yadus were also "Vedic Aryans":

1. He tells us: "According to the Puranas the traditional history begins with Manu (whom Talageri calls the mythical ancestral king), Manu Vaivasvata, who ruled over the whole of India. The puranas concentrate mainly on the history of the descendants of two of his sons, ikṣvāku and iḷa. As Talageri himself describes, the tribes descended from ikṣvāku are said to belong to the solar race and those descended from iḷa are said to belong to the lunar race.. As Vaivasvata Manu is regarded as the founder of ārya-Dharma, his descendants are followers of ārya-Dharma. Hence ikṣvāku-s are ārya-s. So are the yadu-s, who are also Manu's descendants through Yayati."
To begin with, there is no statement anywhere in the Rigveda giving us all these Puranic lineages. Nor does the phrase ārya-dharma occur even once in the Rigveda, let alone any claim that "Manu is….the founder of ārya-Dharma" or that Ikṣvāku (a name occurring only once in the Rigveda, where it only means "Sun") is his son or that the Yadus are his descendants (or Yayāti's).

2. Quoting the two verses (I.108.8 and VIII.10.5) which refer to four or five of the Five Tribes, Achar misinterprets them to argue that all the Five Tribes were "Vedic Aryans" who performed his pet "somayajña":
a) I.108.8: "oh indrāgni, whether you are with yadus, turvashus, druhyus, anus, or purus, come hither to drink soma"
Achar's argument: "If indrāgni is with the yadus (or purus), then the yadus (or purus) must be performing somayajña and offering soma to indrāgni. It follows therefore that the yadus are Vedic ārya-s just as the purus. Extending the same argument to all the other tribes, it follows that yadus, turvashus, druhyus, anus, and purus are all Vedic ārya-s".
b) VIII.10.5: "Ashvins, whether you abide today in the west, whether you abide in the east; whether you sojourn with Druhyu, Anu, Turvasha or Yadu, I invoke you. Therefore come to me".
Achar's argument: "The inference, therefore, is that Druhyu, Anu, Turvasha and Yadu must all be following Vedic dharma and must be Vedic ārya-s". 
In view of the massive and direct evidence given by me that leaves no room for any doubt that the Pūrus alone are the "Vedic Aryans", this indirect and "inferred" evidence is a big zero. If all these tribes are "Vedic Aryans" that evidence makes no sense at all: at least one piece of direct evidence should have been found.
Do the phrases Jagannāth and Viśvanāth (both meaning "Lord/God of the Whole World/Universe") indicate that that the particular God called by that name or worshipped by that name is worshipped by all the people of the world?

As per Achar's logic, the details in the Old Testament, which make all the ancestors of mankind from Adam to Noah worshippers of Jehovah, and then specifically give the genealogies of most of the nations of the world as known to the Jewish composers (including the Persians, Armenians, Greeks, Romans, Scythians, etc.) from the sons of Noah, must be treated as evidence that the earliest ancestors of all these Indo-European people were worshippers of Jehovah!
If an indirect inference from a verse in the Pūru Rigveda can be treated as evidence that various other non-Pūru people were worshippers of the Pūru God Indra, then direct statements to that effect in the Hebrew Old Testament can definitely be treated as evidence that various other non-Hebrew people (including the ancestors of Indo-Europeans) were worshippers of the Hebrew God Jehovah!

To sum up, I can only say: sorry if you don't like it, but the Yadus and Ikṣvākus were not part of the Rigvedic "Vedic Aryan" culture. But all of them are part of the larger Indian=Hindu culture. It does not cast any "cloud on the two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as pillars of ārya-Dharma and the heroes rāma and kṛṣṇa as representatives of the ārya-Dharma". Both these epics are pillars of Indian=Hindu Dharma, there being no such thing as "ārya-Dharma" (except in the eyes of Arya Samajis and others who reject other non-Vedic aspects of Hindu Dharma as anārya), and Rama and Krishna are representatives of our Hindu Dharma.

And here we come to the very big problem―or rather, two very big problems―created by people who insist on treating Vedic religion and culture as the origin of all Indian=Hindu religion and culture:

Problem No. 1: Whether anyone likes it or not, the geographical horizon of the Rigveda basically extends eastwards only so far as western Uttar Pradesh. The later three Samhitas take the horizon eastwards as far as Magadha and Vaṅga, as Pūru kingdoms expanded eastwards.
So, when Veda-centric Hindus treat the Vedas as the original and sole source and origin of Indian=Hindu religion and culture, and all other non-Vedic aspects of Indian=Hindu religion and culture as "later" developments from the Vedic religion and culture itself, what does this basically imply?
Unless they insist, against the evidence of all the data, that the Rigveda was composed all over India and not only in the northwest (and many people do make this stupid assertion), it basically implies that the whole rest of India, to the east and south of the Rigvedic geographical horizon, was originally a barren, uninhabited land which was first populated only by descendants of the Vedic people as they expanded over this land.
[A similar fallacy results from the gleeful pronouncements of many ardent Hindus who mistakenly interpret certain recent genetic findings as showing that "all Indians are descended from the Harappans" of the northwest!] 
Or else, it implies that the whole rest of India was populated by other non-Vedic people who were completely annihilated and replaced by the expanding Vedic people.
Most Veda-centric Hindus don't care for facts, data and logic, so they usually simply ignore this implication of their Veda-centric paradigm.
However, occasionally the stray Veda-centric scholar has tried to explain this geographical situation in the Rigveda in some roundabout way after understanding its implications, and ended up with even more insane theories: A.C Das, in his book "Rigvedic India", tells us that parts of the Rigveda pertain to a period "tens of thousands of years ago, if not hundreds of thousands or millions" (DAS 1921:7-8) at a point of time when the entire area to the east and south of the Rigvedic horizon was under the sea and did not exist as land (until the sea receded from the area in much later epochs), and hence all the other parts of India did not even exist at the time of composition of those hymns, which is why they are not mentioned in the Rigveda!
Problem No. 2: Again, the Rigvedic religion (largely like the religion of the ancient Avestan Iranians and of the oldest Druids of Europe) consisted only of the worship of Nature and the Elements (and a limited number of Gods associated with them), fire-worship (yajña), also for a period of time the Soma rituals, and primarily the composition, memorization and chanting of hymns.
Most of the most prominent features of Hinduism are totally missing in the Rigvedic religion: idol worship and temple culture in their myriad forms, asceticism, concepts of rebirth/reincarnation, the literally thousands of Gods in the Epics, Puranas and in every nook and corner of the country, and countless more.
According to Veda-centric thinking they are all later developments in an originally Vedic religion: according to extreme Veda-centric thinking, like that of the Arya Samaj, they are all impurities which have crept into an originally pure ārya religion as depicted in the Vedas.

These two problems arise only because of Veda-centric ideology. The fact is that there is no "original" religion, culture or civilization in India ancestral to all the rest: the "Vedic" religion and culture depicted in the Rigveda is the religion and culture of the Pūrus, just one of the many branches of our great Hindu religion, culture and civilization from just one part of our land. All the other aspects and features of Hinduism are equally old and equally Indian: being aspects and features of our great Hindu religion, culture and civilization from other parts of our land. The Rigvedic religion, because it was the most systematically organized, because it was recorded in detail at the oldest point of time, and because its hymns and texts were preserved by means of the most incredibly meticulous form of oral recitation in the world (known as the ghana-pāṭha) and became the starting point of a literary tradition, which, as it expanded and developed, incorporated all the other traditions of other parts of India  into itself; and it became the nominal "upper" layer of the great all-India religion known today as Hinduism.

Therefore it is those who try to derive the whole of Hinduism and Indian culture (i.e. including those elements which are not present in the Rigveda and the other Samhitas) from an "original" Vedic religion, who are "casting a cloud" on all those other aspects of Hinduism, and disrespecting their antiquity. No Hindu hero from our ancient texts needs to be "Vedic" (there is no such thing as an ārya) in order to be our hero: his being a Hindu hero is sufficient.


III. The significance of the aprīsūktas

For some totally incomprehensible reason, Achar strongly objects to my description of the aprīsūktas. Perhaps nothing illustrates his failure to understand what I have written as his long diatribe on this point:
"The āprīsūkta-s and Chronology
We will now consider the arguments for the chronology based on the āprīsūkta-s only. As is well known, the āprīsūkta-s are ten in number and are considered to "belong" to ten 'original' families, one per family. In ritual gatherings (in performing yajña-s) the priests of a given family were required to recite the āprīsūkta-s belonging to their own family. Even though, the āprīsūkta-s belong to different 'families' and are 'composed' by different ṛṣi-s, they all have a similar structure and address the same eleven deities with eleven oblations. The main concern is with the eighth oblation offered to the triplet deities, 'tisro devyaḥ' and the following hypothesis is advanced about the āprīsūkta-s in explaining the chronology of ṛgveda. "The composers of ṛgveda are divided into ten families, and these ten families are identified by the fact that each family has its own āprīsūkta. According to this hypothesis, āprīsūkta-s are then divided into three categories on the basis of the references to the goddess bhāratī, among the 'tisro devyaḥ'". It is then declared that this grouping matches "with a classification of the periods of the books of ṛgveda into early, middle and late periods as summarized earlier"
"As per this chronology, the āṅgirasa-s, bhṛgu-s, viśvāmitra-s, vasiṣṭha-s and agastya-s, are the oldest families which originated in the early period of ṛgveda and refer to the three goddesses, bhāratī, iḷā, and sarasvatī in that order (I.142.9, X.110.8, III.4.8, VII.2.8, and I.188.9). Two families originated in the middle period, who refer to the three goddesses with a changed order: the kaśyapa-s referring to as bhāratī, sarasvatī, and iḷā (IX.5.8) and the gṛtsamada-s, referring to sarasvatī, iḷā and bhāratī (II.3.8). Three families originated in the late period and they do not refer to bhāratī at all: the atri-s, the kaṇva-s who use the more general name mahī (V.5.8, and I.13.9) and the bharata-s, who simply use only one name iḷā for all the three goddesses (X.70.8). "  Based on this classification, a model is arrived at  wherein mercenary motives are attributed to the ṛṣi families and it is asserted that some families were militarily associated with the bharata-s, some were not, and some were 'aloof' from the main stream of ṛgveda and this leads to the identification of 'puru's as the people of ṛgveda.
A closer examination of the āprīsūkta-s shows something quite different. Traditionally according to niruktaand other such texts, the āprīsūkta-s are classified into three groups also, but this has nothing to do with classification Talageri introduced. Although the ten āprīsūkta-s were 'composed' (envisioned) at different times, by different ṛṣi-s belonging to different 'families', they all have a very similar structure. They all address the same eleven deities (except as explained below) and contain eleven ṛca-s for eleven oblations, except for RV (I.13) which contains 12 ṛca-s and RV (I.142) which contains 13 ṛca-s. The sūkta-s are classified into three groups based on the deity worshipped for the second oblation (and not the eighth oblation which Talageri imagines).  In the following four, (VII.2), (V.5), (X.70) and (II.3), the deity addressed for the second oblation is narāśaṃsa, and these four sūkta-s are called narāśaṃsavantī sūktāni (also known as āprasūktāni). The following four, (I.188), (III.4), (IX.5) and (X.110) address tanūnapāt as the deity for the second oblation, and are called tanūnapātvantī sūktāni (also known as āprīsūktāni). The remaining two, (I.13) and (I.142) address both narāśaṃsa and tanūnapāt and are called ubhayavantī as they address both deities and hence contain additional ṛca-s for oblations as noted. There is no basis for the classification proposed by Talageri. Of the three sūkta-s he selects, which according to him 'belong to the late period, and do not refer to bhāratī at all', (V.5) and (X.70) belong to the narāśaṃsavantī group and (I.13) belongs to the ubhayavantī group. Furthermore, among the tisro devyaḥṛca-s (I.13.9) and (V.5.8) are in gāyatri and (X.70.8) is in triṣṭup. It should be noted that in eight of the ten āprīsūkta-s, including the ones that Talageri selects, the three goddesses are referred to collectively as tisro devyaḥ and no special attention is paid to the order of the deities (despite what he states). Furthermore, in (X.70), while only iḷā is explicitly mentioned, the other two are supposed to be referred by 'devī and ghṛtapadī' respectively.  However, in the two exceptions, (I.142) and (I.188) all the three goddesses are listed explicitly, but the collective name, tisro devyaḥ, is not used. This fact has not received any attention .The three goddesses are referred to in the 'original' order bhāratī, iḷā, and sarasvatī in (II.1.11), but this has been explained  as due to the gṛtsamada-s making some kind of amendment for their infraction. The three goddesses are referred to in taittirīya brāhmaṇa (3.6.2.2)
"'tisrodevīrapasāmapastamā', and explained asiḷā sarasvatī bhāratītyevaṃ rāpāstisro
aṣṭamaprayāja devyaḥ tadrūpamagniṃ daivyo hotā yajatu"  The three goddesses are the deities for the eighth 'prayāja' oblation and reflect forms of agni . Furthermore, bhāratī is explained as "bharataḥ ādityaḥ tasya bhāḥ", 'bharata' is the Sun and bhāratī refers to sun's effulgence.
Thus the classification based on three goddesses and the chronological inference have no basis and are misleading.
Incidentally, the āprīsūkta-s can be classified into three groups in at least two more ways on the basis of the tisrodevyaḥ ṛk:
a)Based on meter: (i) gāyatri,  I.13, I.188, V.5;
(ii) triṣṭup, II.3, III.4, VII.2, X.70, X.110,
(iii) anuṣṭup, I.142, IX.5
b)Based on the rank of the tisrodevyaḥ ṛk in the āprīsūkta : (i) rank #8  I.188, II.3, III.4,
(ii)rank  #9:  I.13, I.142,
(iii) rank #11: V.5,  VII.2, IX.5, X.70 and X.110
It is not necessary to hypothesize political motives forthe ṛṣi-s based on such groupings.
In fact, the 'original' families, each of which characteristically "owned" a specific 'āprīsūkta', as per this model, have very little to do with the so-called 'family' in the 'family books'. Table 1 gives the list of āprīsūkta-s and the ṛṣi-s and the associated families and the meter of the tisrodevyaḥ  ṛk and the traditional classification based on the deity for the second prayāja āhuti. Thus the assertions about the ṛṣi-s and the families in connection with 'āprīsūkta-s' and the conclusions regarding the alleged chronology are also without a basis.
Table 1.āprīsūkta-s, the ṛṣi-s (families) and classification

maṇḍala  and sūkta
No. of ṛca -s
ṛṣi
family
rank and meter of thetisrodevyaḥ ṛk 
I.13
12
medātithi kāṇva
ubhayavantī
9   gāyatri
I 142
13
dīrghatamā aucathyaḥ
ubhayavantī
9   anuṣṭup
I.188
11
agastyo maitrāvaruṇaḥ
tanūnapātvantī
8  gāyatri
II.3
11
gṛtsamadaḥ
narāśaṃsavantī
8triṣṭup
III.4
11
gādhino viśvāmitraḥ
tanūnapātvantī
8triṣṭup
V.5
11
vasuśṛta ātreyaḥ
narāśaṃsavantī
11  gāyatri
VII.2
11
maitrāvaruṇa vasiṣṭhaḥ
narāśaṃsavantī
11 triṣṭup
IX.5
11
kaśyapo asito devalo vā
tanūnapātvantī
11 anuṣṭup
X.70
11
sumitovādhryaśva
narāśaṃsavantī
11 triṣṭup
X.110
11
jamadagnirbhārgavaḥ
tanūnapātvantī
11 triṣṭup
  
I totally fail to understand what Achar's problem is and what exactly he is objecting to.
I have given two basic facts about the aprīsūktas:

Fact 1: There are 10 aprīsūktas, one for each of the nine composer families (Aṅgiras, Bhṛgu, Viśvamitra, Vasiṣṭha, Agastya, Kaśyapa, Atri, Kevala-Aṅgiras=Kaṇva and Kevala-Bhṛgu=Gṛtsamada) and one for the only royal family of composers (Bharata).

Strangely, Achar seems to object even to this: "the concept of 'family' or 'clan' associated with the sūktā-s is an anathema. The 'family' is not a guild or trade union to which members can be admitted and licensed", though at another point he himself admits: "As is well known, the āprīsūkta-s are ten in number and are considered to 'belong' to ten 'original' families, one per family. In ritual gatherings (in performing yajña-s) the priests of a given family were required to recite the āprīsūkta-s belonging to their own family".
Even a casual glance at any text dealing with gotras, e.g. the gotra-pravara-mañjarī, will confirm that there are seven rishi families and two "kevala" families. The Rigveda has exactly one āprīsūkta for each one of these nine priestly families; and one more for the composers (of kingly origin) from among the Bharatas, who are distributed in the gotra lists among the Bhṛgu and Aṅgiras families.

Achar seems, in any case, to be a bit confused about the concept of "families". He has the following objection even to the division of the books of the Rigveda into "family" and "non-family": "The more familiar labeling used by Western scholars (as well as many Indian scholars) refers to two broad groups: 'family books' (maṇḍala-s 2-7) where the hymn-s have been 'composed' by one particular ṛṣi or his successors or disciples, and 'non-family' books (maṇḍala-s 1,8,9 and 10). In each of the 'books' belonging to this 'non-family' group, there are many ṛṣi-s, more than a hundred in some. The ninth maṇḍala is special in that all the hymns are addressed to one single deity, soma .This grouping and the terminology used in it as 'family- and non-family- Books' (or clan- and non-clan books) has caused some confusion and will be discussed later."
Once it is clear that there are ten families of composers (confirmed by both the gotra lists as well as the āprī sūktas), there should be no confusion about certain books being called family books: each family book  has an overwhelming number of hymns in it composed by only any one family, while the non-family books have a generous mixture of hymns composed by different families. Further, the two groups are distinguished by other factors: language, arrangement of hymns, etc. Book 5 falls between the other family books and the non-family books in respect of many of these factors, but it is still majorly the book of one family.    

Fact 2: The verse in each of these āprīsūktas which refers to the Three Goddesses indicates the period in which the family (to which that āprīsūktas belongs) originated:
a) the five old families which originated in the Old period of the Bharatas name the Three Goddesses in the order Bhāratī-Iḷā-Sarasvatī,
b) the two families which originated in the Middle period change the order to Bhāratī-Sarasvatī-Iḷā and Sarasvatī-Iḷā-Bhāratī respectively.
c) and the three families which originated in the New (post-Bharata) period omit Bhāratī altogether, naming only Iḷā-Sarasvatī or only Iḷā.

Achar objects to this and tells us: "It should be noted that in eight of the ten āprīsūkta-s, including the ones that Talageri selects, the three goddesses are referred to collectively as tisro devyaḥ and no special attention is paid to the order of the deities (despite what he states)".
If Achar is banking on the hope no-one will bother to check the actual verses, and will go by what "he states", here are the actual ten verses. It will be seen that the order of the names of the Goddesses (highlighted in yellow) is exactly as "stated" by me:
A. Bhāratī-Iḷā-Sarasvatī:
I.142.9 (Aṅgiras): śucirdevesvarpita hotrā marutsu bhāratī
iḷā sarasvatī mahī barhih sīdantu yajñiyah.
X.110.8 (Bhṛgu): ā no yajñam bhāratī tvīyam etviḷā manusvad iha cetayantī
tisro devīr barhir edam syonam sarasvatī svapasah sadantu .
III.4.8 (Viśvāmitra): ā bhāratī bhāratībhih sujoṣā iḷā devair manuṣyebhir agnih
sarasvatī sarasvatebhir arvāk tisro devīr barhir edam sadantu.
VII.2.8 (Vasiṣṭha): ā bhāratī bhāratībhih sujoṣā iḷā devair manuṣyebhir agnih
sarasvatī sarasvatebhir arvāk tisro devīr barhir edam sadantu.
I.188.8 (Agastya): bhāratī-iḷe sarasvatī yā vah sarvā upabrave
tā naś codayata śrīye.

B. Bhāratī-Sarasvatī-Iḷā:
IX.5.8 (Kaśyapa): bhāratī pavamānasya sarasvatī -iḷā  mahī
imam no yajñam ā gaman tisro devīh supeṣasah.

C. Sarasvatī-Iḷā-Bhāratī:
II.3.8 (Gṛtsamada=Kevala Bhṛgu): sarasvatī sādhayantī dhiyam na iḷā devī bhāratī viśvatūrtih
tisro devīh svadhayā barhir edam achidram pāntu śaraṇam niṣadya.

D. Iḷā-Sarasvatī:
V.5.8 (Atri): iḷā sarasvatī mahī tisro devīr mayobhuvah
barhih sīdantvasridhah.
I.13.9 (Kaṇva=Kevala-Aṅgiras): iḷā sarasvatī mahī tisro devīr mayobhuvah
barhih sīdantvasridhah.

E. Iḷā:
X.70.8 (Bharata): tisro devīr barhir idam variyā ā sīdata cakṛmā vah syonam
manusvad yajñam sudhitā havīmṣi iḷā devī ghṛtapadī juṣanta.

So clearly, Achar is not being truthful in saying that I have given wrong data.

The fact that the verses referring to the Three Goddesses are chronological indicators of the period of origin of the family to which the respective āprīsūktas belong is conclusively proved by an examination of the āprīsūktas of the families known to have originated around the same time. There are two such pairs of families: the Viśvāmitas and Vasiṣṭhas (both originating in the period of Sudās), and the Atris and Kaṇvas (both originating in the New Period and having common vocabularies and even many common patron kings).
Incredibly the Viśvāmitras and Vasiṣthas have not only the same order of naming the Three Goddesses, but share exactly the same verse (check above)! The two families are not known to be even friendly towards each other!
And the Atris and Kaṇvas are not only the only two priestly families to omit Bhāratī and name the other two Goddesses, but they also share exactly the same verse (again, see above)!
Clearly the names and order of naming of the Three Goddesses is based on the period of origin of the family.

So what is Achar's objection?
Firstly, he protests that this is not the traditional classification. But then it was not claimed by me to be any kind of "traditional classification" of the āprīsūktas at all: it is part of my historical analysis which shows how the verses naming the Three Goddesses indicate the period in which the family originated.
Then, he gives long and irrelevant descriptions of the different ritual "oblations" in the āprīsūktas, and presents what he claims are the "traditional classifications" based on other verses.
Thus:
1. He tells us that the Gṛtsamadas, Atris, Vasiṣṭhas and Bharatas make the second oblation to Narāśaṁsa. The Agastyas, Viśvāmitras, Kaśyapas and Bhṛgus make the second oblation to Tanūnapāt. And the Aṅgirases and Kaṇvas make the second oblation to both Narāśaṁsa and Tanūnapāt. This, he tells us is the three-fold "traditional classification": narāśaṃsavantī, tanūnapātvantī, and ubhayavantī.
2. He provides another classification: he tells us that the Three Goddesses verse of the Kaṇvas, Agastyas and Atris is in the gāyatrī meter. The Three Goddesses verse of the Aṅgirases and Kaśyapas is in the anuṣṭup meter. And the Three Goddesses verse of the Gṛtsamadas, Viśvāmitras, Vasiṣṭhas and Bharatas is in the triṣṭup meter.
3. For good measure, he gives one more two-fold classification which "has not received attention": the Angirases and Agastyas do not refer to the word "tisrodevī" at all, while all the other eight āprīsūktas do.

Now let us get down to some common-sense talk: there is such a thing as statistical data which is important because it shows something, as opposed to pointless "statistical data" for the sake of statistical data. I could pick up a printed copy of a novel, say "Gone With the Wind", and prepare "statistical charts" as follows: first a list of all the page-numbers of the pages which mention the name "Scarlett", then of all the pages which mention the name "Rhett", then of all the pages which mention the name "Ashley", then of all the pages which mention the name "Melanie". Then I could proceed to pages which mention any two of these names, then any three, then all four. Having produced all this significant "statistical data", would this qualify me for anything and would the lists be of any use for anything?

Achar refuses to accept the logical implications of my "classification" of the āprīsūktas, in spite of the fact that this "classification" actually shows something: it shows that the order of the names of the Three Goddesses fits in with the period (Old, Middle, New) in which the concerned family originated.
Then he proceeds to give alternate "classifications" which are nothing but pointless statistical data:
If the Aṅgirases and Agastyas alone omit the word "tisrodevī" while all the other eight families use it, what does it show about what distinguishes these two families from the other eight? Achar does not bother to tell us.
If the Kaṇvas, Agastyas and Atris use the gāyatrī meter, the Aṅgirases and Kaśyapas use the anuṣṭup meter, and the Gṛtsamadas, Viśvāmitras, Vasiṣṭhas and Bharatas use the triṣṭup meter, does it fit in with any significant other data which distinguishes these three groups of families from each other? Again, Achar does not bother to tell us.
What are the implications of the threefold "traditional classification" which divides the ten āprīsūktas into narāśaṃsavantī, tanūnapātvantī, and ubhayavantī? Is this threefold classification of any use in historical or chronological study? Again, Achar does not bother to tell us.
Clearly, all these so-called "classifications" have no meaning in any historical analysis, whatever their ritual worth if any may be. Citing them is nothing but an attempt to trivialize the discussion.

Footnote: Incidentally, Achar also writes: "We will now consider the arguments for the chronology based on the āprīsūkta-s only….. the following hypothesis is advanced about the āprīsūkta-s in explaining the chronology of ṛgveda…..a model is arrived at  wherein mercenary motives are attributed to the ṛṣi families and it is asserted that some families were militarily associated with the bharata-s, some were not, and some were 'aloof' from the main stream of ṛgveda and this leads to the identification of 'puru's as the people of ṛgveda."  
I have nowhere based my arguments for the chronology of the Rigveda on the āprīsūktas: the massive evidence for the chronology is given by me in detail in many of my books and articles, and I will not repeat it here, and the āprīsūktas do not constitute part of this evidence. After the evidence is fully established on other grounds, I only point out that the order of naming of the Three Goddesses in the āprīsūktas also fits in with this chronology.
And it is not I who am "asserting" that "some families were militarily associated with the bharata-s": those families themselves assert it in their hymns. The hymns were composed by human beings and not dictated by divine forces.


IV. Other minor points

Finally, I will examine and comment on two other minor points made by Achar. Some things are so pointless and utterly irrelevant, at least as far as this discussion on the chronology and history of the Rigveda are concerned, that I will not deal with them here. As for example the long expositions on yajñas and the different types of yajñas. 

A. The Soma Yajña: First, a point which is very minor: but in Achar's eyes it is the most central feature of the Rigveda, and in my eyes (and on the evidence of the data) it has zero value in the matter.
Achar writes: "There is a strong correlation between the textual organization of ṛgvedasaṃhitā and somayajña and has been treated in our paper referred to in a footnote earlier. A brief summary of this is given in the appendix. In agniṣṭoma, the number of stotriya ṛca-s in the beginning iṣṭi (prāyaṇīya) is the same as that in the concluding iṣṭi, (udayanīya), which is 190. Together with a +1 for the yajamana, the number of sūkta-s in maṇḍala I (corresponding to prāyaṇīya iṣṭi) is the same as the the number of sūkta-s in maṇḍala X(corresponding to udayanīya iṣṭi), both being 191. Because of this ṛgveda saṃhitā has a structure similar to the śākala serpent just like the agniṣṭoma. It is a maṇḍala, with no beginning or end. This is what is meant by 'anantā hi vai vedāḥ'. This significance is completely lost when we use the terminology 'Book 1', 'Book 10' etc."
The "paper referred to in a footnote earlier" referred to by Achar above is a paper entitled "Soma yajña and the structure of ṛgveda" written by Achar and published in Prācī Prajñā, Vol. IV., 2017. In this paper (which I had read in detail at the time), Achar claims that the soma yajña is the very basis of the organization of the entire text of the Rigveda.
In spite of my resolve to maintain the same courtesy that Achar shows in his article, I must (even while profusely apologizing for being compelled to say so) state that the above article is one of the most vague, senseless and meaningless articles I have ever read on the subject of the Rigveda. I totally failed to see even the slightest bit of evidence in the article to prove his claim that the entire textual organization of the whole Rigveda is correlated to the somayajña, and therefore I had decided to respectfully refrain from making any comments on the article at the time.
Achar on the one hand tells us "In order to perform, the somayajña the entire ṛgveda saṃhitā of more than 10500 mantra-s must have been available", and then―instead of understanding that this shows that the particular "somayajña" he is referring to thereby automatically stands out as definitely very much post-Rigvedic―Achar actually seems to think, by some twisted anti-logic, that this fact shows that this "somayajña" is in fact the basis on which the Rigveda was organized. This shows the kind of logic involved in his reasoning.
I will therefore not discuss that theory of Achar's here. But I will state that I am willing to discuss the issue in detail with anyone (Achar himself or anyone else suggested by him) who can explain to me in terms simple enough for me to understand:
a) how that article of his shows or proves that the entire textual organization of the whole Rigveda is correlated to the somayajña, and
b) how, in any way, it invalidates any part of my analysis of the chronology and the historical and geographical contents of the Rigveda.
Till then, I must request that any further comments by me on his above theory must be allowed to remain pending.

However, I cannot refrain from pointing out here the utter incomprehensibility of a Hindu scholar, who is supposed to be opposed to the AIT, promoting so obsessively (against all the evidence) the theory that the religion and culture of the Rigveda came from Central Asia and the northwestern parts of India adjacent to it.   
Because, like it or not, the Rigveda itself makes it clear that the Soma plant (which is actually ephedra) is native to the extreme northwest: to the areas of the rivers Suṣomā and Ārjīkīyā (Sohan and Haro),  and Swat, and areas beyond. The Soma plant was a foreign import in the Old Rigveda, and the Soma areas (and the Soma maṇḍala) make their appearance only in the very late New Rigveda. If the fundamental organization of the entire text of the Rigveda and of the Vedic religion is claimed to be based on a plant of Central Asia, then why should this not be taken as suggesting that Central Asia was indeed the earlier home of the "Vedic Aryans"?

B. Faith versus Facts, Data, Evidence and Logic: I know many people will not like what I am going to say here. But I am tired of pussyfooting around to avoid alienating people or "hurting their religious sentiments". So let me put it bluntly here. If people don't like the truth, then they might as well not like me also for speaking the truth.
Discussion of historical aspects of the Rigveda (as opposed to spiritual, mystical, religious, ritualistic and "faith"-related aspects of the Rigveda) cannot be based on fondly held religious beliefs. When people fall back on such arguments or statements, it is pointless to continue any kind of "discussion".
Here are a few examples of such statements or arguments in Achar's article, based on "faith" or fondly held religious beliefs, rather than on facts, data, evidence and logic:
"the Vedas were compiled by Vedavyasa  at one time before the beginning of Kaliyuga, generally taken to be about 3100 BCE".
"Each ṛk, (translated as 'verse') is a mantra and not ordinary poetry".
"The mantra is revealed to a human sage, a ṛṣi, in or during a state of deep concentration, tapas, the ṛṣi then gives a formal expression to it. The ṛṣi is referred to as mantradṛṣṭā (one who envisioned the mantra). A ṛk is thus characterized by a ṛṣi, who gives a formal expression to the revelation".
"any study of ṛgveda saṃhitā without reference to yajña, must be considered incomplete".
"A ṛṣi in ṛgveda is a person to whom at least one ṛk mantra is revealed. The ṛṣi literally hears the mantra by supra physical methods".
"One becomes a ṛṣi by performing intense tapas and by the grace of Cosmic Powers (devatas)".
"Agni is said to create a ṛṣi".
"The Vedas are revered as the source of all knowledge and were revealed to the ṛṣi-s".
"according to Nirukta, one who is not a ṛṣi, or one who does not perform tapas, he cannot 'see' the mantra".
"ṛca-s exist in supreme ether, imperishable and immutable, in which all the gods are seated. One who knows not that, what shall he do with the ṛk?" [translation of RVI.164.39].
"ṛṣi is the one who is beyond the mundane because of his knowledge".
"ṛgveda saṃhitā has a structure similar to the śākala serpent just like the agniṣṭoma. It is a maṇḍala, with no beginning or end. This is what is meant by 'anantā hi vai vedāḥ'. This significance is completely lost when we use the terminology 'Book 1', 'Book 10' etc".
"Somayajña has been performed since the times of Manu, as recorded in the ṛgveda saṃhitā itself.  Thus there is no 'soma-cult' separate from 'fire-cult' which was brought later to the 'vedic aryans'".
"As Vaivasvata Manu is regarded as the founder of ārya-Dharma, his descendants are followers of ārya-Dharma".
"Manu offered the first oblations in the yajña….Since yajña is traced to Manu and essentially the creation, there was no time when yajña was not there and hence the concept 'pre-Vedic' does not arise"
As I wrote earlier above, discourse of this kind would be valid in the field of keertans and religious discourses, but is not valid in the field of serious historical research based on data, facts, logic and evidence. It is not conducive to an objective study of the evidence. We must learn to distinguish between our religious traditions and heritage, and the facts of history. Both have an important place, but separately.

In the case of Rigvedic history, let me make it very, very clear, the Rigveda is the only primary source. Firstly because this source pertains directly (with contemporary data) to the Rigvedic religion and culture, and secondly the hymns of the Rigveda have been preserved for millenniums in the identical form in which they were originally composed, without the change of a word or a syllable. Other texts, certainly the Epics and Puranas and all other later texts, have been finalized in the post-Ashokan period―they often contain countless changes, interpolated references and new ideas, even references to Greeks and Romans, and to the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas of the South―and cannot be blindly accepted except where they confirm and elaborate the evidence in the Rigveda.

In fact, even the evidence of later Vedic texts―and even sometimes from the latest parts of the Rigveda itself―cannot be accepted when they contradict the data in the older parts of the Rigveda: the chronological gap was so large that it resulted in ambiguities. As Witzel, for example, points out: "It is interesting to note that later texts show confusion about the participants in the battle, notably JB 3.245 which speaks of Kṣatra Prātardana and his purohita Bharadvāja instead of his descendant Sudās and his purohita Vasiṣṭha". These "later texts" include the other Samhitas: "Note the shifting of the tradition already in the early YV Samhitas: MS 3.40.6, JB. 3.244, PB 15.3.7 have substituted other names for Sudās and Vasiṣṭha" "even these relatively early texts manage to garble the evidence. Thus the JB (3.245: §205) calls Sudās Kṣatra, while KS 21.10: 50.1 has Pratardana and MS 37.7 Pratardana Daivodāsī….In light of these problems one could hardly expect the later, heavily inflated, Epic and Puranic traditions to be of help. Clearly Ṛgvedic history will have to be reconstructed primarily from the Ṛgveda itself" (WITZEL 1995b:335-340).

Likewise we have a late hymn in the Rigveda, X.70, composed by a Bharata composer, attributed in the indices of the Rigveda itself to his ancient ancestor Sudās Paijavana (and likewise the other late hymn, X.134, referred to by Achar, attributed to the far ancestral Mandhātā by a descendant who had migrated to the west and become a part of the Vedic culture―as I have shown in my blog article "Dravidian Connections With the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda", some of the hymns in the Rigveda in the New Rigvedic Period=Mature Harappan Period, include those by an immigrant from the Kerala area, Irimbiṭhi, and by immigrant descendants of the great Dravidian-speaking muni, Agastya of the Tamil area).

Therefore, I suggest that things written in later texts, and ideas and impressions contained in later texts, should not be cited in attempts to invalidate the original historical data in the Rigveda.


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

DAS 1921: Rig-Vedic India. Das, Abinas Chandra. University of Calcutta, 1921.

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.








35 comments:

  1. Sir, you wrote "Mature Harappan Period, include those by an immigrant from the Kerala area, Irimbiṭhi, and by immigrant descendants of the great Dravidian-speaking muni, Agastya of the Tamil area"



    I am sorry and obliged to inform you, what you said was not true at all.



    Here is a passage from Wikipedia

    >"The Tirumantiram describes Agastya as an ascetic sage, who came from the NORTH..."



    >"There are similarities and differences between the Northern and Southern (Tamil) traditions about Agastya. […] both traditions state that Agastya migrated FROM NORTH TO SOUTH."



    >"Southern legends place him as the Caṅkam (Sangam) polity and is said to have led the migration […] from DVĀRAKĀ TO THE SOUTH"



    The following passage may be mythical but it is still it is valuable given the fact, the already above-quoted passages corroborates with this below passage.

    "In some scriptures, it is stated that during Lord Shiva’s marriage, everyone in the universe went to witness the event in the Himalayas, in the North. Bhūmi Devi or the Earth Goddess was not able to bear this misbalance and prayed to Lord Shiva for help, who then told AGASTYA TO GO TO THE SOUTH END. Rishi Agastya went to the south and the earth’s balance was restored. On one side there was the entire universe and on the other side was Agastya, whose austerity power and aura balanced the earth!"





    Since more than one sources say the respected sage "Agastya" came to the south from North and given the fact that North is TOTALLY Indo-European which is evident from the place names and river names(Hydronym)[Even Witzel accepts this], there is absolutely no chance for the revered sage "Agastya" not to be an Indo-European.



    One more evidence is Etymology which proves his Indo-European origin." through the Iranian word gasta which means "sin, foul", and a-gasta would mean "not sin, not foul"."



    All the facts corroborate with each other.

    Moreover you yourself accepted that "Saraswat Brahmin community lived in the Kashmir-Haryana " later migrated to the south, given this FACT, why we should find it difficult to comprehend the highly revered sage too migrated to South.

    Thank You

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    Replies
    1. Clearly, you have not bothered to read my blog article "Dravidian Connections With the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda". Or the suggestion in the last part of this article that "things written in later texts, and ideas and impressions contained in later texts, should not be cited in attempts to invalidate the original historical data in the Rigveda".

      Could you, incidentally give me the sources for your claim about the Indo-European etymology of Agastya's name, and for the legend about him moving from Dearka to the South?

      There is evidence for the Saraswat brahmins coming from the North, and for Agastya being a muni from the South. These are two separate and unrelated events.

      I think we should let facts speak for themselves and not let wishful thinking rule our conclusions. As I wrote above, "If people don't like the truth, then they might as well not like me also for speaking the truth."

      If I write the truth, both praise and criticism makes me feel proud of myself, and if I write convenient falsehoods both praise and criticism will make me feel ashamed of myself.

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    2. "Could you, incidentally give me the sources for your claim about the Indo-European etymology of Agastya's name, and for the legend about him moving from Dearka to the South?"

      >Indo-European etymology: Edwin Bryant and Laurie Patton (2005), The Indo-Aryan Controversy, Routledge, pages 252–253



      > from DVĀRAKĀ TO THE SOUTH:

      1) Journal of Tamil Studies, Issues 29-32. International Institute of Tamil Studies. 1986.

      2) Romila Thapar (1978). Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations. Orient Blackswan. p. 224.



      " These are two separate and unrelated events."

      >Sir, I just used it as an analogy, it is not difficult to comprehend a single person moving from North to South, when a whole community has done that. We should also not overlook the fact that Sinhalese(which does not come under IA language but an IE on its own right which moved from North to South), incidentally S.Paranavitana says "All this evidence goes to establish that the original Sinhalese migrated to GUJARAT from the lands of the Upper Indus, and were settled in LATa for some time before they colonised Ceylon",

      Now these sources

      1) Journal of Tamil Studies, Issues 29-32. International Institute of Tamil Studies. 1986.

      2) Romila Thapar (1978). Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations. Orient Blackswan. p. 224.

      too says the revered sage "Agastya" moved from DVĀRAKĀ(i.e. Gujarat) TO THE SOUTH. It cannot be a coincidence, even if the revered sage "Agastya" moved from south to north as you claim in spite overwhelming sources corroborating to each other, still, it doesn't mean the connection of any foreign language as you claimed in your "Dravidian Connections With the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda" but it means [to paraphrase M.W.S. de Silva] "these are features in IE which are not known in any other Indo-Aryan language", so it is not the IE language which loaned from the foreign language rather it is the other way around, that too if we accept your claim that revered sage "Agastya" moved from South to North.

      Thank You

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    3. I will only repeat: please read my article "Dravidian Connections with the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda". Obviously you have not bothered to do so, or you would not have made such a weird statement as "if we accept your claim that revered sage 'Agastya' moved from South to North". Please quote my exact sentence where I have made such a claim. Agastya was always in the South, he never went to the North, but his descendants did.

      And what "foreign language" are you talking about? Tamil?!! I am speechless.

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    4. (1/2)


      "please read my article "Dravidian Connections with the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda" "

      Sir, I read it, there are too many objections on my part to a lot of points in the articles, just to give a example you say the words "vaila, kiyāmbu, vriś, cal-, bila, lip, kaṭuka, kuṇḍṛṇācī (?), piṇḍa, mukha, kuṭa, kūṭa, khala, ulūkhala, kāṇuka, sīra, naḍa/naḷa, kulpha, kuṇāru, kalyāṇa, kulāya, lāṅgala.” as loans I propose they are not loans but innovation, which were loaned to the other language in discussion.

      I would like to cite quotes from your book.

      “P. Thieme (1994) examined and rejected Kuiper’s list(i.e. 380 words from the Rigveda) in toto, gave Indoaryan or Sanskrit etymologies for most of these words, and characterized Kuiper’s exercise as an example of a misplaced “zeal for hunting up Dravidian loans in Sanskrit”. In general, THIEME SHARPLY REJECTS THE TENDENCY TO FORCE DRAVIDIAN OR AUSTRIC ETYMOLOGIES ONTO INDOARYAN WORDS, AND INSISTS (1992) that “if a word can be explained easily from material extant in Sanskrit itself, there is little chance for such a hypothesis”. (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)

      The etymology for the name “Agastya “from IE was already given to you in my earlier comment.





      “it is clear that claims regarding Dravidian loan-words in Vedic Sanskrit are totally

      BASELESS.” (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)



      A detailed study conducted by Massica (1991), […] Massica’s study found that only 4.5% of the words have Austric etymologies, and 7.6% of the words have Dravidian etymologies, and, even here, “a significant portion of the suggested Dravidian and Austroasiatic etymologies is UNCERTAIN”. (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)



      “As T. Burrow notes, even the most liberal Dravidian and Austric etymologising MAY NOT SERVE in explaining words which (in his opinion) are non-Aryan, since “it may very well turn out that the number of such words which cannot be explained will outnumber those which can be. This is the impression one gets, for example, from the field of plant names, since so far only a minority of this section of the non-Aryan words has been explained from these two linguistic families.” (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)

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    5. (2/2)
      “Caldwell (1856), who was the first to produce lists of words “probably” borrowed by Sanskrit from Dravidian, rejected this substratum theory.” (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)





      “Bloch (1929), who rejected the substratum theory completely, pointed out that the Dravidian languages of the South, even at the level of common speech, contain a massive amount of BORROWED SANSKRIT VOCABULARY” (The Rigveda A Historical Analysis)





      Moreover there are a number of sources that assert the revered sage “Agastya” did come from North.



      It seems there is also a text called text “Purananuru”, dated to about the start of the common era, or possibly about 2nd century CE, in verse 201 mentions Agastya along with many people migrating south.



      So given this mountain of sources, I find it hard to think the revered sage Agastya just like all other sages were not an IE.



      Even if It all he was from the South, I would propose to connect him with other IE language like Sinhalese which might have moved from North to South, later linked up with the mainstream.

      In this regard the sources which I have given already, too say the revered sage "Agastya" moved from DVĀRAKĀ(i.e. Gujarat) TO THE SOUTH, corroborating with this, the scholar S.Paranavitana also says "All this evidence goes to establish that the original Sinhalese migrated to GUJARAT from the lands of the Upper Indus, and were settled in LATa for some time before they colonised Ceylon". So my proposition is tenable.



      Also moving away from the topic in discussion, there is really a huge probability for the Sumerian Ruler to be Indo-Europeans.

      This blog list a huge number of words with similar cognates with Sumerian, I hope you write about it someday.

      https://new-indology.blogspot.com/2015/05/sumerian-and-indo-european-surprising.html

      This may open many unknow mysteries.



      Thank You





      Delete
    6. I am not on facebook or twitter because I don't want to be troubled by hecklers and trolls, so I will not be answering repetitive comments. But for a last reply:
      1. Agastya and the Sinhalese language (which, incidentally contains pre-Rigvedic IE words like watura for water)have no connections. I don't know why there is this aversion to him being Tamil.

      2. Quoting from my earlier writings is not valid. I have written in my fourth book as well as in my article on Dravidians as follows: "perhaps we protested a bit too much in our earlier books, due to the implications sought to be drawn from such alleged 'non-Indo-Aryan' words in Classical or even Vedic Sanskrit. The word kāṇa 'one-eyed', in the RV, for example, is obviously derived from the Dravidian word kaṇ 'eye'. Other, not implausible suggestions include the words daṇḍa and kuṭa".
      Further, there is a difference between adstatrate and substrate which I have emphasized from ny first book itself.

      3. I repeat, later books cannot give us the history of the Rigvedic age unless corroborated by the Rigveda. The Rigveda knows nothing about Agastya, but only about his descendants, who use Dravidian words.

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    7. Perhaps that was a bit abrupt. The reference to Agastya was not a part of this article. I added it at the last moment before uploading. One thing is certain, Agastya is only associated with the south, and it is his descendants who migrated northwards taking some Dravidian words with them.

      Let us not argue about whether Agastya himself originally came from the North (as later traditions assert) or, as I now feel, was a Southern muni (most linguists are unanimous that the name is of Dravidian origin)as many other traditions also assert.

      Delete
    8. ~“most linguists are unanimous that the name is of Dravidian origin”

      >Regarding the word “Muni”

      “…in India, is known as mauna. This SANSKRIT WORD is generally translated as “silence”, but it conveys much to native speakers of Sanskrit. It stems from the same verbal root as the word manas, meaning “mind”. The root is man, meaning “to ponder” but also to meditate. …”

      ~ The Deeper Dimension of Yoga: Theory and Practice By Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.

      Now the word “manas” has cognates in all IE languages.

      Here is a few pages from the the book “Studies in Baltic and Indo-European Linguistics: In honor of William R. by Philip Baldi (Editor), Pietro U. Dini (Editor)”

      https://imgur.com/a/7T2gPqR

      ~”~“most linguists are UNANIMOUS? that the name is of Dravidian origin”

      To take up one example, the name agastya is a NORMAL SANSKRITIC DERIVATIVE of the tree name agasti, “Agasti grandiflora” (Kuiper 1991: 7 sees the derivation as a case of totemism). This word is proposed to be a loanword, related to Tamil akatti, acci, as if the invaders borrowed the name from Dravidian natives. That non-Indian branches of IE do not have this word, says nothing about its possible IE origins: THEY DIDN’T NEED A WORD FOR A TREE THAT ONLY EXISTS IN INDIA, so they may have lost it after emigrating. IT IS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE THAT THE TAMIL WORD WAS DERIVED FROM SANSKRIT AGASTI(which is what really happened), AND BY LOOKING HARDER WE JUST MIGHT DISCERN AN IE ETYMON FOR IT, for example, Pirart (1998: 542) links agastya with Iranian gasta, “foul-smelling, sin.”

      Same is the case with the words "kāṇa", "daṇḍa ", "kuṭa".

      Delete
    9. From “Sanskrit poetry, from Vidyākara's Treasury Book by Vidyakara, Editor: Daniel H. H. Ingalls Sr.”

      "The sage Agastya, who was born miraculously from a water jar, is said in ancient times to have drunk up the ocean in order to help the gods against a race of demons who had hidden themselves there. The myth is used usually to exemplify greatness overcome by greater greatness: cf. 1025, 1058, 1128. In 1128 reference is made to another myth concerning Agastya, that, wishing once to travel south, he demanded that the Vindhya mountain lower its head to allow him passage.
      [Note: Agasti (A-ga means a mountain, and Asti means thrower) literally means 'thrower of mountains', IT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE]
      This is said to be the reason that the Vindhya is lower than the Himalaya. After his death Agastya was immortalized as the star Canopus (« Argus). It is, of course, appropriate that the sage who so dramatically opened a path to the south should be canonized as the brightest star of a southern constellation.[Note: Canopus=agasti, AGAIN THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE] But in northern India Canopus is either invisible or low on the horizon, a fact which the poets use to show how a man who was once great can become insignificant."

      Delete
    10. F.B.J. Kuiper (1991) made a list of 380 words, which he claimed were of non-Aryan (primarily Dravidian) origin did include the word "AGASTYA".
      P. Thieme (1994) examined and rejected Kuiper’s list, he insist “if a word can be explained easily from material extant in Sanskrit itself, there is little chance for such a hypothesis”.

      So Talageri Ji, the word "AGASTYA" is “explained easily from material extant in Sanskrit('thrower of mountains ; Canopus /IE(i.e Iranian not sin, not foul) itself” .

      This what Rahul Peter Das had to say about F.B.J. Kuiper (1991) list “not a single case(it includes "AGASTYA") in which a communis opinio has been found confirming the foreign origin of a Rgvedic (and probably Vedic in general) word”

      Also in “Dravidian Connections with the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda" you included the word “ulūkhala”
      exotic-sounding ulûkhala, ‘mortar (for soma)’, may well be analyzed, following Paul Thieme, into IA uru, ‘broad’, plus khala, ‘threshing-floor’, or even khara, ‘rectangular piece of earth for sacrifices’ (with Greek cognate, eschara).

      Delete
    11. You are wrong about the word Agastya, and I consider the discussion closed.
      But I want to make an important point here. One of the reasons why established academicians refuse to consider my case is because if they are honest enough to accept it, it will render years of their own writings and earlier-asserted views wrong.
      I have never made that mistake. If something I had written is wrong, and even if an enemy points it out, or subsequent research points it out to be wrong, I amend it. Which is why my case is only becoming stronger book by book and article by article, and as far as possible, there will be no loopholes for future analysts to point out after I am dead and gone. Truth is permanent, while pandering to the prejudices of present-day Hindus will gain me only their temporary and unjustified approval which I don't care for.
      In my first book 1993, while pointing out the identity between Indian pani and Germain vanir, I had written: "It is not, as we have seen, merely a similarity in names (else we could have tried to identify the Greek Pan with the Panis due to the chance resemblance of the names)" (p.390). But as further research showed the opposite, I had to include an entire chapter on "Sarama and the Panis" in my second book (2000) where I showed the deep connection between Pan and the Pani.

      This example, in fact shows the truth about all that I had written (some of which you have quoted) about the western tendency to hunt out Dravidian and Austric etymologies or origins for Vedic words.

      But in reaction to that I had earlier gone to the other extreme, and I admitted this in my third book in 2008 (see my earlier mail, "perhaps we protested too much..." etc. not in my fourth book as I stated there).
      Later Classical Sanskrit which became the intellectual lingua franca of India contains many Dravidian (and Austric and even some Greek) borrowings: neer (water), meen (fish), heramba (buffalo) are of Dravidian origin.

      Because of its time and geography, Old Rigvedic cannot contain Dravidian words, but if the language of the mature Harappan traders civilization was Indo-Iranian or New Rigvedic, it can and does. Hence the two Babylonian words and the few Dravidian words brought in by immigrants.

      If you cannot accept the very obvious Dravidian origin of the root pooj and the word kan, you must be a Tamil-hater who thinks Tamil words "pollute" the Vedic language. I cannot endorse such sentiments.

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    12. A second different point. I never said "muni" was a Dravidian word. It is a purely Rigvedic word, but it refers to the non-Vedic priests of the east and south who lived in forests. They were indeed "silent", or "maun", in respect of Vedic hymns and rituals.

      A very major paradox is that today we visualize the ancient rishis Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, etc. like present-day sadhus: growing long hair, eschewing possessions and undergoing physical austerities, meditating in forests and mountains (Himalayas) and acquiring spiritual powers, etc. This is also how we depict them in our later literature and Pauranik films.
      But they were not: the original Vedic rishis were like latter-day brahmins (as we visualize, for example, Chanakya): with shaved heads and chotis, living in urban and rural populations, performing yajnas for dakshina, learning the scriptures and teaching them, etc. Their "spiritual powers" came from the yajnas and mantras.
      It is the munis of the east and south that we have combined with our perceptions of the Vedic rishis, after the Vedic culture spread out all over the country and combined with the religious culturea all over India to become our grand religion: Hinduism.

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    13. Thanks for replying sir,

      I deeply revere and respect all your work, but in the case of “Agastya”, I take the words of P. Thieme Rahul Peter Das, Eric Pirart.

      And regarding the word “kan”, which you propose to be non-IE.

      I found some similar words in IE languages.

      -Armenian akn, gen. akan (an eye)

      -Common Germanic *augan (an eye), *agwian- (to see)

      -Tocharian A ak (an eye), Tocharian B ek

      Regarding the word “pūj”

      According to the Indologist Giacomo Benedetti,

      “So, we must accept that pūj- is a root with that meaning, like kūj-, maybe as an extension of pū- 'to make clean or pure' (which can be connected with the act of washing idols). The -j could even come from a form of yaj- 'to worship', which has a 'zero grade' ij- like in 'ijya' 'to be honoured'. So from pū-ij 'to worship by cleaning' > pūj. We have at least another compound with -ij, ṛtv-ij- 'sacrificing at the proper time, priest'. …. it is also interesting that English 'to pour' probably comes from the same root: http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=pour&searchmode=none.... I do not mean that 'purare' and 'to pour' are directly the same as pūj-, but that the root pū- which I propose to be the base of pūj- could be connected also with the idea of pouring liquids. As you can see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puja_(Hinduism), the first steps of the Puja ritual according to the great Indologist Jan Gonda, after the sitting of the deity (as a guest) are all related to water and washing.”

      Thank You

      Delete
    14. Pooja is not a part of Rigvedic or even Vedic worship. It is associated with idol-worship with flowers, Tamil poo. The root occurs once in a hymn by Irimbitha and then nowhere else in the four Samhitas or Brahmanas.

      The extremely far-fetched Indo-European equivalences you give for kaana show how a person loses all logic when determined to prove an untenable point: all those words are known cognates of the Vedic-Sanskrit aksh- (eye), and there is no way you can derive kaana from aksh-.

      Anyway, this is my last contribution to this agenda-driven discussion. I have recently even stopped writing anything in discussion groups of which I am a member, because I am extremely tired of pointless and endless discussions where people have predetermined agendas, and where no-one is interested in examining facts logically. or even reading your replies, and want to force-fit round facts into their pet square holes.

      You will notice that all the 15 comments (including my replies) pertain to a few last words, unrelated to the rest of the article, added by me just before uploading the article, in elaboration of the idea of immigrant composers!

      Delete
    15. Skt. aknas [gen.sg.] (Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages By Michiel de Vaan)
      If Skt. aknas is cognate to *augan(Ger) , *agwian(Ger), akan(Armnian), I don’t find it difficult to comprehend it was later transformed to “kaṇ” by dropping a “a”, also it cannot be overlooked that “kaṇ” is so similar to the Armenian (akan), Germanic(*augan) counterparts, so I would call the “kaṇ” as late innovation not a loan.

      कन् [ kan ] [ kan ] Root ( [ kā ] in Veda) cl. [1] P. [ kanati ] , [ cakāna ] , [ cake ] , [ akānīt ] , [ kanitā ] , Lit. Dhātup. xiii , 17 ; (aor. 1. sg. [ akāniṣam ] , 2. sg. [ kāniṣas ] Lit. RV.) , to be satisfied or pleased Lit. RV. iv , 24 , 9 ; to agree to , accept with satisfaction Lit. RV. iii , 28 , 5 ; to shine ; to go Lit. Dhātup. : Intens. P. (Subj. [ cākánat ] ; Pot. [ cākanyāt ] ; pf. 1. sg. [ cākana ] ) ; Ā. (Subj. 3. pl. [ cākánanta ] and [ cakánanta ] Lit. RV. i , 169 , 4) , to be satisfied with , like , enjoy ( with loc. gen. , or instr.) Lit. RV. ; to please , be liked or wished for (with gen. of the person) Lit. RV. i , 169 , 4 ; v , 31 , 13 ; viii , 31 , 1 ; to strive after , seek , desire , wish ( with acc. or dat.) Lit. RV. ; ( ( cf. [ kā ] , [ kai ] , [ kam ] , [ kvan ] , and [ can ] : cf. also Zd. (-kan) ; Gk. 1 ; Angl.Sax. (hana) ; Lat. (canus) , (caneo) , (candeo) , (candela) (?) ; Hib. (canu) , " full moon. " ) )
      https://sanskrit.inria.fr/MW/56.html#kanaa

      The very name “Irimbiṭhi” has a root biṭ[sounding, swearing / ākroṣa ](which is a IE)
      https://www.sanskritdictionary.com/?q=bi%E1%B9%AD&iencoding=&lang=
      https://www.sanskritdictionary.com/?iencoding=iast&q=swear&lang=en&action=Search
      Moreover the verdict was already passed by majority of the scholars, all I can do is quote
      “not a single case in which a communis opinio has been found confirming the foreign origin of a Rgvedic (and probably Vedic in general) word”. ~ Rahul Peter Das( This was a reply to F.B.J. Kuiper’s list which contained all the word which you claim to be non-IE)
      So as I said before I will just take the words of P. Thieme Rahul Peter Das, Eric Pirart.

      Delete
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  3. Off topic but noteworthy.

    Alexendr Semenenko has released two new Russian books about what he calls "pseudo chariots" of Eastern Europe and other SSC archaeological stuff in favor of the OIT. English language videos available here.

    https://twitter.com/Vritrahan2014?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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    1. Thanks for sharing this info,

      In regards to Chariot, Prof. Nicholas Kazanas in his "ṚV IS PRE-HARAPPAN N. Kazanas" says this

      “The usual objection is that there are no chariot remains from that period. Here, there is the double assumption that RV chariots are necessarily like near-eastern ones of, say, 1500, or the Androvo c1900, and that there should be remains. But why assume that the RV chariots are like the near-eastern ones? THE ONLY REAL-LIFE VEHICLE IN A RACE THAT WE KNOW IS IN 10.102 AND THIS IS PULLED BY OXEN NOT HORSES (KAZANAS 2002) while 1.123.1 alludes to a ‘BROAD CHARIOT’ prthi rathah ! Elsewhere in the RV the chariot ratha is described as being brhat ‘TALL, BIG’ (6.61.13), also varistha ... vandhura ‘WIDEST... SEATED’ (6, 47,9), TRIVANDHURA ‘THREE SEATED’ (1.41.2; 118.2; 7.71.4; 8.22.5; etc) and once even ASTAVANDHURA ‘EIGHT-SEATED’ (10.53.7)! THESE ARE ALL RATHAS and HARDLY like the near-eastern BATTLE-CHARIOTS. Then again, there are no remains of chariots in India from 1500 or 1000 or 700. So we shall say no chariots were brought in by the alleged IE entrants either.”

      Delete
    2. Hi Babu:

      You are most welcome. Semenenko has also written several articles in English about horses and chariots. Ashva initially meant something that moves fast. He shows pictures of "chariots" pulled by birds also. People read the RV very literally when it suits their agendas.

      Delete
  4. I have made this objection on your previous articles as well. But you did not respond. Hope you do this time. If 'aarya' means 'our people' and 'daasa' means 'other people' what explains an aarya being named sudaasa, which would mean the good/best of the other people as per your logic. Why would an aarya name her son as such, linking him to 'other people'. It would be a scandalous remark at someone as per the meaning of 'daasa' and 'aarya' that you propose. A more straightforward meaning would be emperor for 'aarya' and feudatory for daasa. Kings would be named daasa to project themselves as feudatories of Gods. This also explains why Persians would project themselves as aarya, in all likelihood claiming to be the seat of power of an empire under contestation, like the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantine empire both claiming to be the inheritor of Roman empire, one viewing the other as upstart. I am hopeful you consider this objection to your conclusions on 'aarya' and 'daasa' worthy of a response.

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    1. Please write your own book explaining all the facts better than I have done.

      If you do not know the very basic fact, in spite of it being mentioned repeatedly in my blogs (which of course you did not bother to read) that there is no such person as "sudaasa" in the Rigveda, I don't know how you expect to be taken seriously. The name is Sudaah/Sudaas, from the root "daa"="to give".

      There is of course the name "Divodaasa". but (again, if you had bothered to read, you would have seen that the word "daasa" is from a positive root, which is why it has a positive meaning in both the name "Divodaasa" as well as in Iranian). There is no reason why the name of the "other" people should not have a positive meaning, especially if it is a name by which they also call themselves (which you would have known they do, if you had bothered to read all the references to this in my books and articles).

      Do you mean the word "Konkani" when Konkani-speaking Chitrapur Saraswats call the "other" Gaud Saraswats "Konknyanche" is because they think the word has a bad meaning? But of course you did not bother to read the above article also!

      I am sure your forthcoming book will be the last word on the subject. I only hope it does not attract hecklers and trolls with repetitive objections of this level.

      Delete
    2. Can you please explain the etymology of the name Divodaasa and what it means? TIA

      Delete
    3. I am not a Vedic language etymologist, but according to most scholars (quoted in my books) it is from the root damsh "to shine". So Divo-daasa should mean "Light of the Heavens".

      In any case, etymology is secondary. The fact is that the word is there in the name Divodaasa in the Rigveda and the name Dāoŋha in the Avesta and daha means "man" in many old Iranian languages.
      It is also a fact that it is contrasted with the word Arya everywhere in the Rigveda. And the fact that it is even used in a positive sense in three verses (in book 8), which have donor-kings with proto-Iranian names who donate camels, proves that it originally referred to the proto-Iranians as the main "Others" to the Puru Vedic people.

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    4. To derive a meaning of shining seems like confusing the word 'daasa' with 'daaha' meaning fire as in 'daaha-sanskaara'. Are the two related? 'Daaha' meaning man in Ianian languages is certainly interesting, but 'daasa' being spoken of in contrast with 'aarya' or in positive connotation can be accounted for - specially in core geography of Vedas - as emperor and his kin (aarya) talking about feudatory (daasa). I would try to educate myself more on this, but if you have not considered this in your analysis, a non-ethnic emperor-feudatory connotation for aarya-daasa can possibly have a semblance. It's a humble suggestion of direction from me in case you want to look at evidence in fresh light as you are certainly more equipped to draw conclusions due to your years of work on the subject.

      Delete
    5. Now I find you are even equipped to write a book on etymology to show the direction to the generations of etymologists who have wrongly classified damsh as a root "to shine", from which the word daasa is derived.

      Also (like Sudaah/Sudaas=Su-daasa), this discovery that the Sanskrit root daah "to burn"=daas will also be quite revolutionary. Till now, linguists have only held that Sanskrit s = Iranian h.

      There is no need to look at the evidence in a "fresh light", if by that you mean in a light which will fit in with our childhood beliefs about the meanings of words.

      Delete
    6. Do you see why you are not taken seriously?

      Delete
    7. I don't mind not being taken seriously, troll-bhai. I am sure your forthcoming book will revolutionize the whole "Aryan" debate.

      Delete
  5. Sir this piece of your writing are the golden words which should be amplifide.
    "The fact is that there is no "original" religion, culture or civilization in India ancestral to all the rest: the "Vedic" religion and culture depicted in the Rigveda is the religion and culture of the Pūrus, just one of the many branches of our great Hindu religion, culture and civilization from just one part of our land. All the other aspects and features of Hinduism are equally old and equally Indian: being aspects and features of our great Hindu religion, culture and civilization from other parts of our land. The Rigvedic religion, because it was the most systematically organized, because it was recorded in detail at the oldest point of time, and because its hymns and texts were preserved by means of the most incredibly meticulous form of oral recitation in the world (known as the ghana-pāṭha) and became the starting point of a literary tradition, which, as it expanded and developed, incorporated all the other traditions of other parts of India into itself; and it became the nominal "upper" layer of the great all-India religion known today as Hinduism.

    Therefore it is those who try to derive the whole of Hinduism and Indian culture (i.e. including those elements which are not present in the Rigveda and the other Samhitas) from an "original" Vedic religion, who are "casting a cloud" on all those other aspects of Hinduism, and disrespecting their antiquity. No Hindu hero from our ancient texts needs to be "Vedic" (there is no such thing as an ārya) in order to be our hero: his being a Hindu hero is sufficient."

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    1. Thank you, I really appreciate your appreciation!

      Delete
  6. Hi Shrikant Talageri, I have recently read a blog which discusses the speculations of the Druhyus. In this post he mentions you. Please have a look at it:

    https://aryanthought.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/speculations-about-the-druhyus-part-2/

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    1. I read through the article. I found this pointless, stupid and unsubstantiated statement about me: "unfortunately his overall work lacks scientific and objective claims, and his argument for OIT is far removed from a proper appreciation of linguistics"! Who is this writer, or is he anonymous? I did not read part 1 of his article. I notive he puts Trasadasyu as olfer than Sudas!!!

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    2. From Part 2 of the above article:

      "Coming back, Trasadasyu must have been groomed for greatness with Angirasa influence, in order to prepare him for an assault against the Druhyus. However, it remains pertinent to determine the identity of the ‘Dasyu’ referred to in the name of our Iksvaku prince. If, chronologically speaking, this is the first ever use of a personal name that refers to the “Dasyus” in a hostile sense, we could hypothesize that the Dasyus most probably stood for the Druhyus and that it was probably a perjorative rendition of ‘Druhyu’ in a Vedic dialect that we no longer have access to. "

      That is quite a leap of faith there.

      From Part I of the same article

      "So, we can safely assume that the Druhyus and their culture managed to survive in Madra, Kekeya and Gandhara."

      This can align well with Talageri's work:


      Vedic Druhyu
      Iranian Druj
      Celtic Drui
      Lithuanian Drugas and Russian Drug (meaning friend)
      Gothic druigan (do military service) and ga-drauhts (soldier)
      Old Nors/Icelandic drott
      Old English dryht
      Old German truhth

      English troops (not mentioned by Talageri).

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  7. Sir have you made any historical analysis for the buddhist tripitaka?

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  8. Please watch this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyeJ5aUaw0o&list=PLz1CArJa5-p43lXPv_4EkCHPLXuXjS6Gb

    ReplyDelete