According to the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), propogated by the Westerners, northern India was invaded and conquered by nomadic, light-skinned race of a people called ‘aryans’ who supposedly descended from central Asia (or some unknown land?) around 1,500 BC, and destroyed an earlier more advanced civilization of the people habited in the Indus Valley, and then imposed upon them their culture (Vedas) and language (Sanskrit). These Indus Valley people were supposed to be Dravidian.
This ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ challenges the very raison d’etre of Indian culture and nationhood. In this article, the myth of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), as propagated by the west, is exposed by quoting scriptural, historical and archaeological evidences, and presenting proper interpretation of Vedic literature.
For thousands of years the Hindu society has looked upon the Vedas as the fountain-head of all our knowledge, Hindu culture, heritage and its existence. Even western and far eastern travelers who have documented their experiences during their prolonged stay in India have testified the importance of Vedic literature and its indigenous origin. Nowhere in any of the ancient Indian scriptures or epics or Puranas, etc. is there any mention of Aryan migration or invasion or Aryan race.
A nomadic, barbaric horde of invaders cannot from any stretch of imagination produce the kind of sublime wisdom, pure and pristine spiritual experiences of the highest order, a universal philosophy of religious tolerance and harmony for the entire mankind, one finds in the Vedic literature. While wandering, these Europeans came to the Sapth-sindhu (Indus) civilization and were so much in awe with the richness of culture and knowledge of Indians, that they copied our ideas and (Sanskrit) language back to their homeland!
Origin of Aryan Race Theory
Max Muller, a renowned Indologist from Germany, popularized the Aryan racial theory in 1853. Though later on when Muller’s reputation as a Sanskrit scholar was getting damaged, and he was challenged by his peers, since nowhere in the Sanskrit literature, the term Arya denoted a racial people, in 1888, he recanted and pronounced that Aryan meant only a linguistic family and never applied to a race, “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow, in some parts a very paradise on earth, it should point to India.”
But the damage was already done. The German political and nationalist groups exploited this racial phenomenon to propagate the supremacy of an assumed Aryan race of white people, which culminated in the holocaust of millions of innocent people.
In Vedic literature, the real meaning of the word ‘ARYA’ is: gentleman, good-natured, righteous person, noble-man, and is often used like ‘Sir’ or ‘Shree’ before the name of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc. In Ramayan (Valmiki), Rama is described as an Arya in the following words: (Aryah sarvasamashchaivah sadaiv priyadarshan) – who cared for the equality to all and was dear to everyone.
Excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro
It is argued that in the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro the human skeletons found do prove that a large scale massacre had taken place at these townships by invading armies of Aryan nomads. Colin Renfrew, Prof. of Archeology at Cambridge, in his famous work, “Archeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins” and also Prof. GF Dales (Former head of department of South Asian Archaeology and Anthropology, Berkeley University, USA) in his “The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-daro”, Expedition Vol VI,3: 1964 state the following about this evidence:
“Nine years of extensive excavations at Mohenjo-daro (1922-31) – a city of three miles in circuit – yielded the total of some 37 skeletons, or parts thereof, that can be attributed with some certainty to the period of the Indus civilizations. Some of these were found in contorted positions and groupings that suggest anything but orderly burials. They were all found in the area of the Lower Town – probably the residential district. Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel where one could reasonably expect the final defense of this thriving capital city to have been made. Where are the burned fortresses, the arrow heads, weapons, pieces of armour, the smashed chariots and bodies of in the invaders and defenders? Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites, there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as unconditional proof of an armed conquest and the destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan invasion.”
MS Elphinstone, first governor of Bombay Presidency, 1819-27, in his magnum opus, History of India, writes:
“…To say that it (Hinduism) spread from a central point is an unwarranted assumption, and even to analogy; for, emigration and civilization have not spread in a circle, but from east to west. Where, also, could the central point be, from which a language could spread over India, Greece, and Italy and yet leave Chaldea, Syria and Arabia untouched? There is no reason whatever for thinking that the Hindus ever inhabitated any country but their present one, and as little for denying that they may have done so before the earliest trace of their records or tradition.”
Origin of Siva-worship
The advocates of AIT argue that the inhabitants of Indus valley were Siva worshippers and that Siva cult is more prevalent among the South Indian Dravidians, therefore the habitants of Indus valley were Dravidians. But, was South India un-inhabitated prior to the pushing of the original population of Indus Valley? If not, who were the original inhabitants of South India, who accepted the newcomers from North without any hostility or fight?
Also, Shiva worship is not confined to South India only. Most important symbols of Shaivites are located in North India like Kashi, Kailash mountain, Kedarnath etc. There are passages in Rig Veda which mention Siva and Rudra and consider him an important deity. Indra himself is called Shiva several times in Rig Veda (2:20:3, 6:45:17, 8:93:3). So Siva is not a non-Vedic god.
The proponents of AIT also present terra-cotta lumps found in the fire-alters at the Harappan and other sites as an evidence of Shiva linga, implying the Shiva cult was prevalent among the Indus valley people. But these terra-cotta lumps have been proved to be the measures for weighing the commodities by the shopkeepers and merchants. Their weights have been found in perfect integral ratios, in the manner like 1 gm, 2 gms, 5 gms, 10 gms etc. They were not used as the Shiva lingas for worship, but as the weight measurements.
References in Rig Veda
The voluminous references to various wars and conflicts in Rig veda are frequently cited as the proof of an invasion and wars between invading ‘white-skinned’ Aryans and ‘dark-skinned’ indigenous people. But they are actually conflicts between the forces of nature. An example of such distorted interpretation is made of the following verse of Rig Veda, I.32.10-11:
“The body lay in the midst of waters that are neither still nor flowing. The waters press against the secret opening of the Vrtra (the coverer) who lay in deep darkness whose enemy is Indra. Mastered by the enemy, the waters held back like cattle restrained by a trader. Indra crushed the vrtra and broke open the withholding outlet of the river.”
This verse is a beautiful poetic and metamorphical description of clouds as dark mountains where the life-sustaining water to feed the rivers flowing in the Aryavarta is held by the hardened ice caps (vrtra demon), and Indra, the rain god by allowing the sun to light its rays on the mountains makes the ice caps break and hence release the water. The invasionists interpret this verse literally on human plane, as the slaying of vrtra, the leader of dark skinned Dravidian people of Indus valley by invading white-skinned Aryan king Indra. This is an absurd and ludicrous interpretation from those who have not understood the meaning and purport of the Vedic culture and philosophy.
Conflict between Vedic and Iranian people:
Another category of conflicts in the Rigveda represents the genuine conflict between the Vedic people and the Iranians. At one time Iranians and Vedic people formed one society and were living harmoniously in the northern part of India practicing Vedic culture, but at some point in the history for some serious philosophical dispute, the society got divided and one section moved to further north-west, now known as Iran.
However, the conflict and controversy were continued between the two groups often resulting into even physical fights. The Iranians not only called their God Ahura (Vedic Asura) and their demons Daevas (Vedic Devas), but they also called themselves Dahas and Dahyus (Vedic Dasas, and Dasyus). The oldest Iranian texts, moreover depict the conflicts between the daeva-worshippers and the Dahyus on behalf of the Dahyus, as the Vedic texts depict them on behalf of the Deva-worshippers. Indra, the dominant God of the Rigveda, is represented in the Iranian texts by a demon Indra. What this all indicate that wars or conflicts of this second category are not between Aryans and non-Aryans, but between two estranged groups of the same parent society which got divided by some philosophical dichotomy. Vedas even mention the gods of Dasyus as Arya also. This conflict between various indigenous tribal groups in no way suggests any war or invasion by outsiders on the indigenous people.
Presence of horses at Indus-Saraswati sites
It is argued that the Aryans were horse riding, used chariots for transport, and since no signs of horse was found at the sites of Harappa and Mohanjo-daro, the habitants of Indus valley cannot be Aryans. Well, this was the case in the 1930-40 when the excavation of many sites were not completed. Now numerous excavated ‘Mature Harappan’ and ‘Late Harappan’ sites along Indus valley and along the dried Saraswati river have produced bones of both domesticated and combat horses. This simply debunks the non-Aryan nature of the habitants of the Indus valley and also identifies the Vedic culture with the Indus valley civilization.
Saraswati River discovered
It is well known that in the Rig Veda, the honor of the greatest and the holiest of rivers was not bestowed upon the Ganga, but upon Saraswati, now a dry river, but once a mighty flowing river all the way from the Himalayas to the ocean across the Rajasthan desert. The Ganga is mentioned only once while the Saraswati is mentioned at least 60 times.
Extensive research by the late Dr. Wakankar has shown that the Saraswati changed her course several times, going completely dry around 1,900 BC. The latest satellite data combined with field archaeological sites have shown that the great pre-historic, the Rig Vedic Saraswati was over 7 kilometers wide. The great Saraswati that flowed “from the mountain to the sea” is now seen to belong to a date long anterior to 3,000 BC.
A lot of hyms in the Vedas indicate that the composers of the Vedic literature were quite familiar with the Saraswati river, and were inspired by its beauty and its vastness that they composed several hymns in her praise and glorification. This also indicates that the Vedas are much older than Mahabharata period, which mentions Saraswati as a dying river. This means that the Rig Veda describes the geography of North India long before 3,000 BC. All this shows that the Rig Veda must have been in existence no later than 3,500 BC.
Discovery of the submerged city of Krishna’s Dwaraka
The discovery of this city is very significant and a kind of clinching evidence in discarding the Aryan invasion as well as its proposed date of 1,500 BC. Its discovery and similarity with the Harappan civilization, not only establishes the authenticity of Mahabharat war and the main events described in the epic, but clinches the traditional antiquity of Mahabharat and Ramayana periods. So far the AIT advocates used to either dismiss the Mahabharat epic as a fictional work of a highly talented poet or if not fictional would place it around 1,000 BC. But the remains of this submerged city along the coast of Gujarat were dated 3,000 BC to 1,500 BC. In Mahabharat’s Musal Parva, the Dwarka is mentioned as being gradually swallowed by the ocean. Krishna had forewarned the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city before the sea submerged it.
Dr. SR Rao and his team in 1984-88 (Marine Archaeology Unit) undertook an extensive search of this city along the coast of Gujarat where the Dwarikadeesh temple stands now, and finally they succeeded in unearthing the ruins of this submerged city off the Gujarat coast.
New Archaeological findings
Since the first discovery of buried townships of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro on the Ravi and Sindhu rivers in 1922, respectively, over 2,500 settlements (like Ropar in Punjab, Lothal and Dhaulavira in Gujarat) stretching from Baluchistan to the Ganga and beyond and down to Tapti valley, covering nearly a million and half square kilometers, have been unearthed by various archaeologists. And, the fact which was not known 70 years ago, but archaeologists now know, is that about 75% of these settlements are concentrated along the now dried up Saraswati river. This calamity – the drying up of the Saraswati – and not any invasion was what led to the disruption and abandonment of the settlements along Saraswati river by the people who lived a Vedic life.
The drying up of the Saraswati river was a catastrophe of the vast magnitude, which led to a massive outflow of people. Around the same time (2,000-1,900 BC), there were constant floods or/and prolonged draughts along the Sindhu river and its tributaries which forced the inhabitants of the Indus valley to move to other safer and greener locations, and hence a slow but continuous migration of these highly civilized and prosperous Vedic people took place. Some of them moved to south east, and some to north west, and even towards European regions. For the next thousand years and more, dynasties and rulers with Indian names appear and disappear all over the West Asia confirming the migration of people from East towards West.
The discovery of the archaeological remains of Vedis (altars) and Yupas connected with Vedic Yajnas (sacrifices) at Harrapan sites like Kalibangan, decipher-ment of the Harappan/ Indus script by many scholars as a language belonging to Vedic Sanskrit family, archaeologists like Prof. Dales, Prof. Allchin etc. concluded that the Harappan civilization ended because of a series of floods.
South Indians v/s North Indians
The difference between the so-called Aryans of the north and the Dravidians of the south or other communities of Indian subcontinent is not a racial type. Biologically all are of the same type, only when closer to the equator the skin gets darker, and under the influence of constant heat the bodily frame tends to get a little smaller. And these differences cannot be the basis of two altogether different races.
A September 2009 path-breaking study by Harvard School of Public Health and India’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology on ancestral Indian populations says there is a genetic relationship between all Indians and more importantly, the hitherto believed ‘fact’ that Aryans and Dravidians signify the ancestry of north and south Indians might after all, be a myth, thus re-writing history. The study analyzed 500,000 genetic markers across the genomes of 132 individuals from 25 diverse groups from 13 states. All the individuals were from six-language families and traditionally ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ castes and tribal groups. It was impossible to distinguish between castes and tribes since their genetics proved they were not systematically different. The researchers, are now keen on exploring whether Eurasians descended from Indian.
Aryan Migration Theory (AMT) – In absence of archaeological evidence for AIT, now AMT was being promoted, stating that Aryans migrated peacefully into India and pushed the native Dravidians southwards. But journals like Nature and American Journal of Human Genetic state that there was no significant addition to the Indian gene pool in the past 3,500 years.
If the Aryan Hindus were outsiders, why don’t they name places outside India as their most holy places? Why should they sing paeans in the praise of India’s numerous rivers crisscrossing the entire peninsula, and mountains – repositories of life giving water and natural resources, nay even bestow them a status of goddesses and gods. If Aryans were outsiders why should they consider this land as the ‘holy land’ and not their original land as the ‘holy land’ or motherland? For the Muslims, their holy place is Mecca. For the Catholics it is Rome or Jerusalem. For the Hindus, their pilgrim centers range from Kailash in the North, to Rameshwaram in the South; and from Hingalaj (Sindh) in the West to Parusuram Kund (Arunchala Pradesh) in the East. The seven holy cities of Hinduism include Kanchipurum in the south, Dwarka in the west and Ujjain in central India. The twelve jyotirlings include Ramashwaram in Tamil Nadu, Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Somnath in Gujarat and Kashi in Uttar Pradesh. All these are located in greater India only.
No Hindu from any part of India has felt a stranger in any other part of India when on a pilgrimage. The seven holy rivers in Hinduism, indeed, seem to chart out the map of the holy land. The Sindhu and the Saraswati (now extinct) originating from the Himalayas and move westward and southwards into the western sea; the Ganga and the Yamuna also start in the Himalayas and move eastward into the north-eastern sea; the Narmada starts in central India and the Godavari starts in western India, while the Kaveri winds its way through the south to move into the southern sea.
So, how can all these obvious anomalies and serious flaws be reconciled? By accepting the truth that the so-called Aryans were the original habitants of the townships along the Indus, Ravi, Saraswati and other rivers of the vast northern region of the Indian subcontinent. And no invasion by nomadic hordes from outside India ever occurred and the civilization was not destroyed but the population simply moved to other areas, and developed a new syncretic civilization and culture by mutual interaction and exchange of ideas.