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How Vedic Culture was Introduced to India?

Updated on June 24, 2015


Vedic culture is not the starting point of Indian cultural history as is assumed by the Vedic scholars to shower undeserved praises upon it. It is evidenced from Rig Veda that the Vedic religion did not originate in present day India. Moreover almost 60% of the Rig Vedic corpus was already composed by the early Rig Vedic seers in the Gandhar region. Zoroastrian religion predates Vedic religion and most of the deities, demons and religious concepts have been borrowed from it. Many personal names also are similar in both the scriptures. It is not possible without geographical closeness between two societies in which the distinct by shadow religions have emerged. Though the linguistic similarity between Vedic and Avestan language is well marked by the scholars, it is misassumption that the Vedic language as is found in present Rig Veda is original and unchanged since its first expression. This is not the fact. The present Rig Veda linguistically has been restructured (translated) in present form. There are influx of Dravidian, Munda, and many other untraceable to any living language but foreign words to Vedic language, as traced by Witzel and other scholars. Presence of various letters in Rig Veda those are alien to the so called Indo-European language groups like La, Ta, Da, Dha, Na, Tha (retroflexes)and many more but present in Indian Prakrit languages shows that the original language of the Rig Veda couldn’t be the same in which present Rig Veda is presented.

Tarkateerth Laxmanshastri Joshi in his “Vaidik Sanskriticha Itihas” (History of Vedic Culture) states that the Rig Veda has been composed in India when the Sanskrit language was improvised. We cannot agree with this in totality because the geographical and socio-historical elements those are present in Rig Veda clearly proves that most of the part of Rig Veda was originally composed in the vernacular language of southern part of the Gandhar region and to the north of the Sindhu River. We have seen that the present Ghaggar River on any count and even by extreme stretch of the imagination cannot be the River Sarasvati which lavishly is praised by the Vedic people. All the geological evidences go contrary to the claim that Ghaggar was once known as Sarasvati. Actually trying to prove Aryans as an indigenous race and to attribute them the credit of Indus civilization, some scholars like Michael Danino, M. K. Dhawalikar etc. are distorting or misrepresenting the geological proofs which is nothing but murder of the history!

We have seen that the Aryan never ever was a race to which some fanatic classes of the people taken so much so fascination. They want to believe what did not exist ever! The mankind has been socially and psychologically been suffering because of such fanatics. We have to take what appears to be a fact and nothing else.

The language of Avesta is original and preserves its archaic form whereas Vedic language seems to be further polished to make it intelligible to the people living afar, speaking the different dialects. Avesta too in later course of the time was translated to Pahlavi as well as in later Persian language. The surviving part of the original Avesta, Gathas of Zoroaster and its language shows the clear difference in vocabulary and grammatical structure with Rig Veda. The Rig Veda has more polished words and, though not as rich as classical Sanskrit, improvised syntax and morphology. It doesn’t appear the language of early stage of humanity. Also, unlike Avesta, it does not show the progressive nature of the language in course of the time. It is almost agreed by the scholars that the Rig Veda was being composed over the period of 300 years but it doesn’t reflect on what we can call is almost uniform linguistic structure of the Rig Veda. Avestan language though considered to be similar with Vedic Sanskrit, still the fact is the language of Rig Veda is far improvised, modified and seems to have to be developed by not only loan words but grammatical peculiarities as well.

So the present similarity of Rig Veda and Avesta is limited to the few features.

We have seen that the Bhrigus, once enemy of Sudasa clan, after 10-12 generations actively participated composition of Rig Veda along with kanvas and Agastyas. They not only contributed to Rig Veda but spread the Vedic religion in India.Let us not forget here that the Rig Vedic geography had shifted from Gandhar (Hemand) region to Gangetic region because of these clans. They sought help from yadu, Turvasas and Ikshvakus whenever in trouble and lavishly praised them in Danastutis for their assistance. These clans too were rivals of Sudasa clan. They followed different (Shaivait) religious practices.

When these clans (Bhrigu, Kanva, Agastya etc.) entered Vedic tradition, Sudasas clan was almost vanished from the pages of the history. We do not find even his mention in the Puru clan’s genealogy given in Mahabharata, though the last edition of Mahabharata is attributed to the Bhrigus. This fact can be attributed to the very reason that Purus too had fought against Sudasa as an enemy in the battle of ten kings along with Yadus and others. Rather when Sudasa clan was no more existent Yadus, Turvasus and even Iskvakus provided military aid to the Vedic people on Kanvas appeal.

Also the fact must be noted that the Puru in Eigveda and Puru of Mahabharata are not one and the same. Puru appears as a personal name in Mahabharata whereas it is a tribes name in Rigveda. Same thing is with Yadu an dTurvasa.

Early bulk of Rig Veda was transferred to central India from South Afghanistan to North India by Videgh Mathava, who found refuge on the banks of Sadanira river. The myth appearing in Satapatha Brahmina gives indication of transfer of the Vedic seat from Helmand to Sadanira.

Is is so clear from Rig Veda that on the face of it Shrikant Talageri’s out of India theory sounds ridiculous and insane. The references to Ganga-Yamuna in later parts of the Rig Veda clearly indicates the travel of Rig Veda from west to east and not otherwise as Talageri believes. The travel of Rig Veda cannot be attributed to the mass movement of Aryans or Vedic people to India. The credit goes to Videgh Mathava who, in order to survive from the onslaught of the Persian faith ventured to seek refuge in India. From there he and his disciples started collecting scattered hymns of the Rigveda and also transformed the language of the Rigveda to make it intelligible to the local converts.

From the known linguistic history we know that the Prakrits of different forms, such as Maharashtri, Shaurseni, Gandhari, Magadhi, Ardhamagadhi etc. had occupied the north India whereas Dravidian languages dominated southern India. Agastya, as we know, was the first Vedic seer to introduce Vedic religion to South India. Interestingly the etymology of Agatsya in Sanskrit is very much artificial and forcibly derived. (He, who forbade Vindhya Mountain from rising, Agastya.) Naturally this etymology is derived from the later mythical event connected with some other Agastya, most probably from the Rig Vedic Agatsya clan. The popularity of Agatsya in southern mythologies makes us believe that the presence of Dravidian elements in Vedic language can be attributed to Agatsya.

“In fact, the proposition that Sanskrit was a purposefully formulated language is not new. Rather, awareness dates back to the Rigvedic period. Rig Veda 10.71.1-2 explicitly states that the Vedic seers formulated the speech….” States Pramod Pathak in his paper Rig Veda, Indus Culture and the Indo-Iranian Connections.

This does indicates that the new speech was formulated which is called as Chandas or Vedic Sanskrit. The portion that was composed at the original habitat of early Rig Vedic seers was in different language is evident from the Rig Vedic geography itself. Also the assumption of the various scholars that the Vedic Aryans invaded or migrated to India have no support whatever from the Rig Veda itself. Nor Vedic Aryans were migrated from East to West to spread Vedic religion or languages in western world. Iranians were stronger and they already had established their religion in Iran and other western regions. Non-Vedic seers became patrons of Rig Veda and the religion and promulgated the new faith among Indians of those times.

Also let us not forget here that the Tenth Mandala is proven to be the latest in the chronology of Rig Veda. From Nadistuti Sukta appearing in this mandala mentions Ganges and Yamuna prominently suggests clearly that the geography of the Rig Veda had shifted from Helmand to East India.

We can surmise that the present Vedic people of India are converts and no biological affinity with the original composers of the Rigveda. Why there is religious duality in the practices of Vedic people is because though they adopted Vedic religion they could not abandon their ancient faith as well!

The history that has been built on the false premise cannot stand forever. We need to look at Vedic religion from very different perspective and try to understand how it could have reached to its prominence though the adherents of that faith were always limited!

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    • sanjay-sonawani profile image
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      Sanjay Sonawani 3 years ago from Pune, India.

      Kalpatraman, thanks for your kind words and voting up.

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      Kalyanaraman Raman 3 years ago from NOIDA

      I consider this a useful hub and have voted accordingly. Makes nice reading. Congratulations!