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Very clever: Sanjay Sonawani’s hypothesis for the RV/Sanskrit culture & the Indus Valley “script”

Rarely do I come across much sense in the various writings on ancient Indian history (particularly the OIT-AIT etc. theories). When you read most of the writings, it appears that people are looks at things from fairly pre-conceived perspectives, and they are merely TWISTING the facts to suit their preferences. 

At least that's the impression I got with most OIT "theorists". I've not paid much attention to alternative hypotheses (since there are too many of them). I've merely rejected OIT as being a bunch of nonsense.

But Sanjay Sonawani has no preconceived ideas and is willing to think more deeply. He is not content to debunk OIT but aims to find the truth. That's a far more ambitious project than what I started (a couple of weeks) to undertake. I'm not sure I'm going to spend much more time on these issues, since I don't intend to waste time on ancient history, but let me make a few notes on the broader issues, while I'm on the topic.

Sonawani is not a trained historian or scholar but jurors don't need to be trained criminlogists or forensic scientists. Jurors need to ask questions and make sure the facts fit the story being advocated. Sonawani asks sharp and pointed questions, and dismisses evidence that doesn't stack up. That's what I like about his work. Then he TENTATIVELY offers alternative possibilities. That's another good sign. Not the boor Talageri whose writings are littered with arrogant challenges to everyone in the world. Sonawani is the exact opposite of Talageri – even though both are untrained in any relevant discipline.

I won't comment on Sonawani's entire thesis till I've reviewed it carefully, but from what I've understood of his work so far (I've only reviewed a small bit), this is his deduction:

– Indo-European (or whatever these are called) languages came to India tens of thousands of years ago, along with the very early migrations that are well documented.

– Rig Vedic CULTURE (which is an offshoot of Zoroastrian culture) came into India from south Afghanistan in around 1500 BC through a SMALL group of preachers.

– These preachers settled in north India, in small pockets, but kept their proselytising momentum towards the East.

– Rig Vedic leaders absorbed a number of local language Prakrit influences and composed RV in around 1000 BC. Sanskrit was invented to combine the old Afghan language and the local prakrit.

– The Indus Valley civilisation is TOTALLY distinct to the RV culture, and was a major trading culture, with extensive roots in the middle-East. 

– Indus Valley seals are labels for goods that were exported. They contain three pieces of info: the corporate brand/ logo, the product name and quantity. The seals contain NO evidence about the IV culture.

– It is FUTILE to try to link IV culture either with Dravidian or with RV/Sanskrit. It was a robust PRAKRIT culture, the SAME as what prevails TODAY in these regions. There is total continuity of culture/ artefacts (even names) and we should look at the UNDERLYING folk culture of these places to make deductions about the IV people. They didn't disappear – they continue exactly where they are.

Maybe Sonawani is on to something.

One thing is clear: OIT is RUBBISH. So also AIT (particularly the "invasion" bit).

Buddhism didn't influence the East through invasions. It spread through proselytisation. 

It appears RV preachers found themselves a niche as Brahmins and became politically influential. They were also very clever and absorbed whatever local culture/s they found. Hence they spread their RV religion.  

Apart from his book (which I've linked earlier, separately), you should download and read his article on the IV script, here.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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17 thoughts on “Very clever: Sanjay Sonawani’s hypothesis for the RV/Sanskrit culture & the Indus Valley “script”
  1. Prem Chand

    All IE languages, whether Prakrit or Sanskrit, Latin or English, have cognate words for horses and chariots. Hence the ancestor of ALL IE languages is thought to be associated with horses and chariots. This means that Prakrit could not have entered India before chariots were invented around 2000 BC. This is where Sanjay Sonawani’s theory runs into trouble.

    RV Sanskrit was a living, organic language. Only Panini’s Classical Sanskrit was artificial to some extent, the same way shudh Hindi or upper class British English is artificial. The idea that “Sanskrit was invented to combine the old Afghan language and the local prakrit” would be quickly dismissed by any competent linguist. Any theory using this assumption is on shaky foundations.

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    This is truly a fascinating mystery story. I’m trying to compile the set of “facts” (most of which people don’t seem to agree with, anyway) that all theories must explain. Do you know of any such compilation?

     
  3. Prem Chand

    I think Edwin Bryant is as objective a scholar as we can get on this debate. But I suppose you have already read his compilation titled “Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History” and his original work, “The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate”.

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Yes, Bryant’s work is a good starting point. But he is outdated now. Sonawani is quite up to date, although I’ve not read his entire thesis yet (and given various workloads, may not do that for a while). You can read his work and comment, if you have time. On Kindle.

    So far I wasn’t paying attention to prakrits, merely the RV/ Sanskrit language in relation to OIT. That was easy to refute.

    Now I’ll start thinking about the Prakrit issue, as well. So the issue is how to explain prakrits, really, not just Sanskrit/RV.

     
  5. Prem Chand

    I read Sonawani’s article “A Way to Decipher the Indus Script”. He has represented well all the major viewpoints on the Indus seals. However, I can’t say I agree with his opinion here:

    “There is not even a single specimen inscription available that would indicate existence of even Vedic language prior to third century BC. Vedic language presence in ancient times is moreover a myth based on the hypothetical ideas of language evolutions. Existence of Vedic language prior to Prakrits is mere a hypothesis, presented by PIE migration theorists, to substantiate their theories of origin, but they do not present any physical proof of its existence in support.”

    Linguistic reconstruction is a solid academic discipline which has reaped rich dividends in the past decades. I hope Mr. Sonawani will pay more attention to this discipline since in the absence of written inscriptions, we must rely on hypothetical albeit rigorous methods.

     
  6. Sanjay Sonawani

    Dear Mr. Prem Chand,
    I have given due thought to the linguistic issues, especially associated with Horse-Chariots. Recently Kazanas and Vishal Agarwal are denying that the RV knew the spokewheeled chariots to support their OIT theory, whereas western scholars have build their whole theory based on the assumption that IE’s spread only because of the speedy war-chariots. Cognates found in so-called IE languages for horse-chariots have become main foundation of their hypothesis. However, both sides are over-rating this issue. Linguists admit that the Rigvedic language is quite close to Prakrits and to the language of Avesta. Still it is quite different language because it clearly seems that the Vedic language is purposefully made using several source languages. The spread of cognate words for technical terms or innovations cannot just be attributed to the movement of the people. It is largely assumed that since Kikkuli’s horse manual and BOgazko treaty mentions some Vedic or Avestan terms, PIE people must be present in that region. But also it is agreed that these so-called IE people got absorbed in the Hurrian population and except for few terms forgot their own language. This explanation is rather untenable. Many mathematical terms have been spread across the globe despite any population movement.Also there is no cognate word to Agni in Avesta, though Vedic and avestan religion were fire centered. The cognate words like Shiva, Asura can be found in the languages those are not at all considered to be IE. It is not at all traceable actually who invented the spoked wheel or chariot and where? The term must have been given by the tribe that invented it first and useful technology alongwith its name could have been shared by many.

    Language reconstruction process is hypothetical, as you admit, and different models produce different results. There are severe anomalies in this process if considered PIE as a whole. Also let us not forget that the history of languages is quite old and has been developed not within a single tribe but by means of exchanges also. Similarities can be attributed to this simple fact instead of requiring necessity of movements of certain stock of the people.

    And about the pre-existence of Prakrits before Vedic language was made, is a only possibility because small number of the people, even AIT is considered to be true, could not be able to eliminate languages of the original inhabitants. Such event, a major one, is not recorded even in any Vedic or Avestan scriptures.

     
  7. Prem Chand

    Dear Mr Sanjay Sonawani,

    Thank you for your response. I think the general opinion among Western scholars today is that IE languages spread because of a combination of conquest (using chariots), peaceful population movement (for example transhumance) and elite dominance (non-IE speakers aspiring for upward social mobility by speaking the IE languages of the aristocrats). Rathas are mentioned in the Rig Veda, and we have plenty of historical evidence where Rathas are described as spoke-wheeled chariots pulled by horses. This strongly suggests that the Vedic people used specifically this type of chariots.

    RV Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language like the Prakrits. Also like the Prakrits, RV Sanskrit has a non- IA substratum which consists of Dravidian, Munda, the Gangetic X-language, and probably other languages. However, the presence of substratum cannot be taken to mean that RV Sanskrit is a constructed, hybrid language. It is possible that some or all of the Vedic people spoke a non-IA language as their native language, and used RV Sanskrit for scholarly purposes. Over time RV Sanskrit may have become their native language, and it evolved into the Prakrits. Grammarians like Aindra and Panini noticed this linguistic evolution and sought to standardize Sanskrit. In this sense, the Classical Sanskrit developed by the grammarians can be called an artificial language.

    I agree with your opinion that the spread of IE languages was not always accompanied by movement of people. We don’t know who the original PIE people where and whether their genes are still left in the human gene pool. Based on various evidence, scholars tentatively think they lived in Southern Russia and Ukraine. The Indo-Aryan speaking warrior elite among the Hurrians may have mixed with the native populace, and their descendants over time may have stopped using the IA language and used the native Hurrian instead. I fail to see how this theory is untenable.

    It is not just IE languages that were spread, but also some aspects of culture. For example, the tripartite ideology of dividing society into three classes (which became four in India), the worship of a sky-father (Dyaus Pita in Sanskrit), the Dragon-slaying myth, Ashwamedha yagna, etc.

    The term used for spoked wheel is clearly a PIE word. Modern linguists have largely agreed on the vocabulary and grammar of the PIE language. The different models only vary in minor hairsplitting details. I am not sure that there are any severe anomalies in the modern reconstruction of PIE. The only handicap is that PIE is not attested historically, hence it remains hypothetical.

    How the Prakrits spread throughout India is truly a mystery which is not satisfactorily explained by any current models.

     
  8. Sanjay Sonawani

    Dear Mr. Prem Chand,

    Thanks for your response. As I have already stated reconstruction of PIE is a tricky subject and needs tenuous efforts, sometimes forcibly to derive proto-IE and its meaning. This link shows how Ratha related cognates have been derived and yet its limitations to indicate enough weakness of the PIE’s and their spread theory.It is not justifiable that
    all IE languages in reality has cognates for Ratha.

    http://armchairprehistory.com/2011/05/25/indo-european-wheel-words/

    Many other words, though superficially look similar doesn’t have the same meaning everywhere. Cultural continuities too are missing. In my book I have shown how many Greek names couldn’t have been derived from PIE at all. We have many cognate words ion non-PIE languages too. As you rightly have pointed out spread of Prakrits is mysterious. Actually, I call it a “Net of the languages” if we look at the branches of Prakrits itself. Prakrit net is spread till Gandhar, in form of the Gandhari language. Beyond that region we can see Dari is still spoken which is called offshoot of the Persian language. We find Rig vedic tribes too continue the similar names even today such as Pakhtuns, Balochis, Turks etc.

    Anthony agrees that there is no proof who invented word for wheel and wool. The language development process is not an isolated factory. Geographical forces too carry much weight on it and how it will be pronounced. Also we are not sure, or rather there is no proof what the original words meant to remote ancestors. Words many a times remain same but same people later on use them for different objects or expressions losing gradually original sense.

    Single location origin theory poses many problems.

     
  9. Prem Chand

    Dear Mr. Sanjay Sonawani,

    Although the etymology and origin of some PIE words like chariot, wheel, circle are in dispute, the vast majority of IE words have been rigorously analysed and confirmed by linguists. The word for chariot may have been coined in a non-IE language, but it looks like the word existed in PIE, borrowed or not. In fact, they have even published dictionaries for PIE although many of these techincal books are available only in German for eg “Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch” by Julius Pokorny. So although we cant be sure about the identity of PIE speakers and their location, we are atleast certain that a PIE language existed, localized in time and space. There is no controversy about that among mainstream scholars. Even most OIT supporters agree that PIE existed, they just erroneously locate it in India.

    In his book “How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics”, Calvert Watkins traces the prevalence of just one cultural trait- the Dragon slaying myth among many IE speaking people. So we cant say that cultural continuities are missing.

    There are many different language families in the world. The existence of cognate words in other languages is a consequence of this fact. Perhaps Greek borrowed some words from non-IE languages. Still it is fundamentally an IE language.

     
  10. Kalicharan Tuvij

    Sanjay has no doubt made a lasting contribution to Indology with positing the antiquity of Prakrits vis a vis Sanskrit.

    This will someday, no doubt, sound very normal – but not before a major reformulation of Internal-reconstructions (IR) theory within Linguistics theory is effected, which could explain Sanskrit as IR of Prakrit in unambiguous terms.

    @Prem Chand,

    quote: “How the Prakrits spread throughout India is truly a mystery which is not satisfactorily explained by any current models.”

    This reminds me of the following:
    Suppose the theory of gravitation said, “all things are repelled by Earth”; then the observation that “apples fall on earth” – will be a mystery, yes?

    I suggest you consult books on Linguistics theory: I hope your friend ysv will help you on that :-)

    I will here lay down some of the relevant points (read carefully):

    1) Terms such as “language family” etc are in reality misnomers. All connotations with genetics and anatomy stand discarded.

    2) There are no “laws” in Linguistics, only “rules”.

    3) Linguistics is a useful tool, especially when operated along with other scientific disciplines, but not more than that. You cannot “prove something” from there alone.

    4) Linguistics in itself doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the “homeland question”, i.e. geography. All that it explains is about archaic features in different languages. For that matter, any language can have any number of archaic features, and still nobody can tell whether that language is even “the oldest or the latest”— simply no way of knowing that.

    I can give many examples of Sanskrit IR paradigms, that not only lead to the Prakrit theory of Sanjay, but also shows fragmented conditions of the words as found to the West. But, as I said, a major and systematic reformulation, and genuine organised research, is what is required, though I doubt if that will ever be possible in India. (Though I still imagine the final chapters will be written someday by Indian and Russian scholars)

    Speaking of which, I come to my final point. I don’t suppose, if either I or Sanjay are “propelling” any of pet theories; instead, a simple point is made that AIT is not the gospel, and there ARE different models that are serious, but overlooked due to whatever reasons, and which need to be given opportunity to compete with each other (even in the school curricula if possible).

    In fact, if you met me in person you will likely find me advocating the AIT – but that is mainly because I don’t understand what good it will do my lazy audience if told the “other thing”.

     
  11. Prem Chand

    @Kalicharan Tuvij

    “Terms such as “language family” etc are in reality misnomers. All connotations with genetics and anatomy stand discarded.”

    Could you please explain why, exactly? A language is roughly a set of words and grammar which can find its way around geographically. Geographically separate languages can undergo evolution whereby the words and grammar changes. Still, the evolved languages are have similarities which they may not share with other languages. This set of related languages is rightly called a language family. I have read a thing or two about linguistics, and most major scholars in this field follow the language family model. Of course in some cases like Germanic languages, a wave rather than tree model is appropriate, but that is the exception, not the rule.

    “Linguistics is a useful tool, especially when operated along with other scientific disciplines, but not more than that. You cannot “prove something” from there alone.”

    We can at the very least prove that two or more languages are related to each other using linguistics. The laryngeal theory in IE linguistics was a paradigm-shifting discovery which had a lot of influence on the reconstruction of PIE and the homeland question. Using this theory, Ferdinand de Saussure actually predicted the occurrence of certain consonants in the Hittite language before they were discovered in the cuneiform script. This is one of the scintillating achievements of linguistics.

    “Linguistics in itself doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the “homeland question”, i.e. geography.”

    The reconstructed PIE has shown that it was spoken in an area where it snowed, where beech trees grew, etc. I’d say that it has some bearing on the homeland question.

    “For that matter, any language can have any number of archaic features, and still nobody can tell whether that language is even “the oldest or the latest”— simply no way of knowing that.”

    If two languages from different time periods but the same geographical area were discovered, it follows that the one with archaic features is either older or deliberately preserved in its archaic state. This is an important clue for reconstruction and the homeland question.

    The Prakrit theory still does not explain why highly inflected, archaic languages similar to Sanskrit eg Latin, Ancient Greek existed in the West. This doesn’t fit the idea that Sanskrit by nature of its inflected morphology needs to be an artificial language. Not to mention that the Prakrit theory is supported by even less archaeological evidence than either AIT or OIT.

     
  12. Kalicharan Tuvij

    @Prem Chand,

    Let me explain more clearly.

    That languages and words can spread without an actual movement of people is well known and accepted today. Accordingly, Linguistics updated its originally racial (read genetics, anatomy, so on) connotation of terms such as “language family”, even if as misnomers they continue in usage – though not without the wrong side effect (with good strategic values btw) on nonspecialists and lay people.

    Linguistics also redeemed itself further by replacing “Aryan” with “PIE”. So, when I said the “family” in Linguistics is actually a misnomer when taken outside the field, I was correct.

    An analogy that comes to my mind is heat transfer between bodies (in Thermodynamics) which takes place via multiple mechanisms : conduction (~borrowing), convection (~migration/ invasion) and radiation (~technological innovation).

    Whereas it will be difficult affirming that neo nazis are not doing any Linguistics anymore, Linguistics (with a hidden prefix, “Western”) as a consistent discipline is slowly converging to some appropriateness – if only due to the weight of evidence – and as of today can be vaguely termed as “efforts of western people in unearthing their pre Greek history”. And, mind you, that is a very, very private affair of theirs.

    Just prior to the Renaissance, the Western visionaries were very clear about their pre Church enlightened past. The whole field of Archeology was invented to corroborate their story. (Confirmed, btw)

    Determination of the archaic-ness of words is basically all that Linguistics stands for. That is, suppose there are words A and B, so Linguistics tells us whether A>B is true or B>A is true.

    In a fundamental sense — just as the forward flow of time is in the direction of lesser energy : like in falling apples there is a decrease in their potential energy — similarly words can be broadly understood as following in that “downwash” trail.

    So patterns were found for assessing A>B relations and were compiled as “rules” (though, again, given misnomers like “laws”- a fact acknowledged by modern linguists). The idea is to formulate the LEAST number of rules that can explain all such relations. There were other complexities, though.

    For example, suppose, using the rules it was found that : A>B, B>C, C>A, then what? In such scenarios, a fourth HYPOTHETICAL word D was invented having a relation : D>A,B,C. No doubt, all that by finding out even more rules.

    So, finally, we had the {D} dictionary (PIE dictionary) consisting of all such hypothetical words. It is quite possible that NONE of these words were actually pronounced like that or existed, or equally possible that ALL of these words actually existed.

    So, historically, more rules were formulated progressively in order to create the total system – you have data, and you use minimum no. of “curves” to fit through that, that’s it.

    Laryngeal theory was successful in fitting data that were outliers to the Ablout theory. Another step in the A>B paradigm, not quite the “eureka” though : just business as usual.

    Now, the question is, in what way this Linguistics can be of use in a multidisciplinary research?

    By corroborating the Archaeology. So, when Sanjay was talking about chariot cognates, he was basically explaining this aspect. Chariot, after all, can be traced archaeologically. Chariot is not JUST another IE.

    This is the framework: make a story, overlap this story on the “radiation model” (~technological innovation) of language-spread, do the Linguistics (along the story line), and corroborate with “digging” from Archaeology, Genetics, so on.

    So the stories that Western historians (note, not linguists) have come up thus far are:
    1) Technology of Agriculture, and 2) Technology of transportation : chariot and horse.

    As we know, the first one is also probable, and probably happened, it the second story that holds more prominence because it is very relevant in the timelines considered. Plus, we have the battle axe in that.

    I am of the belief that the second story has been positively confirmed so far by Archeology and Genetics. That is, the Russian origin.

    Re Sanskrit:

    When I said Sanskrit was not natural, I didn’t mean it was never a spoken, dat to day, language. In fact, Sanskrit is told to be the most natural language for better people.

    In the reconstruction theory of Sanskrit, it is the nominal inflection (noun cases) that holds the key (even if merely because verbal systems are way too complex to make any attempt at).

    This inflection system is not natural, even though it must have been transmitted to children rather by the use of standard templates (of examples) than a proper algebraic teaching.

    Just like how children learn using iPhone, otherwise a complex device.

    Only Sanskrit and Tamil have the full range of eight functionally exhaustive system of declensions. The next in line are the Russian languages that retain many, but not all, of these varieties.

    This is the third story, yet to be told, though.

    Archaeology and Genetics have to follow suite, but the story is still important and need telling before other things are taken up.

    RV has only Prakrits as the substratum, since the other words – of Munda and Dravidian origin – are no more than 8% of RV corpus, and must therefore be called borrowals (~conduction model). Saying otherwise is deliberate obfuscation.

    I said before that Linguistics as of now is a very private affairs of the Westerners. That Sanskrit is always seen as an odd man out in their analyses, is evident, and is used primarily in “stamping” whether a word A is IE or not (to give the foundation).

    I think with this I’ve addressed all the points, and will like to end here (not my research/ interest area), if no other clarifications are required.

    Thank you,

    KT

     
  13. Prem Chand

    @Kalicharan Tuvij

    It is quite true that languages can spread without movement of people. 19th century linguists mistakenly thought that language families are firmly tied to racial identities. However, that doesn’t mean that the term ‘language family’ is a misnomer. If a set of languages are deeply interconnected (as IE languages are), they can be called a language family. 19th century linguists like Heinrich Schliemann believed that Sanskrit is the origin of all IE languages while a few racialist contemporaries of his felt that Germany is the PIE Urheimat. Modern Western scholarship has largely moved on from its biases and prejudices, hence we can safely assume that their research is trustworthy. Obviously, Westerners are interested in their prehistory but I dont see why they have to invent and obfuscate evidence to prove that the PIE Urheitmat was somewhere in Southeastern Europe when there are so many ideal candidates, aesthetically speaking.

    The word Aryan is still used in linguistics, although it is applied only to the Indian branch of IE.

    “It is quite possible that NONE of these words were actually pronounced like that or existed”

    That is quite a bold statement, considering the absence of any good competing theories.

    “Another step in the A>B paradigm, not quite the “eureka” though : just business as usual.”

    The eureka is the part where A>B paradigm was predicted in paper first, and several decades later confirmed in the cuneiform tablets unearthed through archaeology. This provides confirmation that the Western linguists were on the right track after all.

    Sanjay’s theory cannot be corroborated through archaeology because we have no idea whether the Prakrit speaking migrants coming to India were indeed speaking Prakrit.

    “This inflection system is not natural, even though it must have been transmitted to children rather by the use of standard templates (of examples) than a proper algebraic teaching.”

    What do you mean by the inflection system not being natural? And what does natural mean here, anyway? None of the languages are ‘natural’ since they were all invented by humans for their communication. If Sanskrit, Latin, Russian etc have a complex infection system, Native American languages have a complex pronoun system. This way, we can show that none of the human languages are ‘natural’.

    “Only Sanskrit and Tamil have the full range of eight functionally exhaustive system of declensions. The next in line are the Russian languages that retain many, but not all, of these varieties.”

    Tamil is an agglutinative language, hence it has no declensions and cannot be compared to Sanskrit at all. Russian being commonly used by lay people shows that the complex system of inflections were not artificially constructed, but a normal part of everyday language.

    “RV has only Prakrits as the substratum, since the other words – of Munda and Dravidian origin – are no more than 8% of RV corpus, and must therefore be called borrowals (~conduction model).”

    What are the Prakrit words in RV? There is no lower limit to the number of borrowed words that needs to be in RV for those words to be considered as part of the substratum. Besides, it is not just the words but also some aspects of grammar and phonolgy that were borrowed from the substratum languages.

    “I said before that Linguistics as of now is a very private affairs of the Westerners. That Sanskrit is always seen as an odd man out in their analyses, is evident, and is used primarily in “stamping” whether a word A is IE or not (to give the foundation).”

    Linguists don’t have any special status reserved for Sanskrit. It is just another daughter language in the IE family tree. Sanskrit is odd inasmuch as it is preserved tone-perfect by the oral Vedic tradition which is greatly useful to modern linguists.

     
  14. Sanjay Sonawani

    Dear Mr. Kalicharan Tuvij , thanks for your helpful elaborated analysis. I have to agree with your sentence “I said before that Linguistics as of now is a very private affairs of the Westerners.” Languages are mostly influenced by the psychological patterns of the people living in certain geographies over the long period. Rather geographies influence general psychologies of the people which are reflected in languages and material cultures. With geographic pattern change we find the change in the language structures, vocabulary, no matter even if of same so-called language family and how it will be pronounced. Geographical patterns may include mineral distribution, rock formations, geo-magnetism, geological faults etc. However, generally similar adjoining or secluded geographies may have equal process of the language formation, which can resemble in the certain similarities in their morphological structures. However for now this is mere hypothesis and I am working hard on this to have alternative theory. Presence of Dravidian language group adjoining to so-called IE group can be solved by these means. I will share the observations/findings soon so that we can discuss more on it.

    I also thankyou Mr. Prem Chand for raising many points those needs to be answered. Hopefully, with new model we may be able to solve the mysteries. “Land Determines” may be one answer.

     
  15. Sanjay Sonawani

    Dear Mr. Prem Chand,
    PIE dispersals are mostly associated with Chariot/horse issue and you too agree that the words associated with the chariot are in dispute. So far Vritra slaying myth is concerned it certainly is very antique and must have its origin when human being was still in savage state. However, the myth too can be disputed. For example Verethragna is thought to be associated with “Vritrahan” of Rigveda. Rather the similar myth is associated with Traitana. Both words seem to be closely related, but the myths associated with them are not. In Greek mythology it appears in the form of Hercules-Cacus form. What this would mean that the myth has travelled across the regions taking its own forms. The same would also appear true with the myths from Katha Saritsagar. In the preface M. Gaster states that, “Happily there are no geographical, religious or National boundaries in that land of imagination. The whole mankind dwells therein……..” Further he elaborates that finding the provenance of the fantasies, legends or myths may be impossible for many a places people think alike or the stories travelled from word of mouth by the bards, travelers or soldiers retold in advanced or modified forms. Vritra slaying myth could be poetic imagination of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Interestingly Vritra of Veda is son of Danu, which means water or fog. This myth stands apart from the other myths, though similar in the struggle of a god or man with dragon. World mythologies are filled up with similar mythologies though the details may differ. Trying to connect them with hypothetical movement of some stock of the people may be wrong as there wouldn’t have been so difference in details and persons/deities associated with the same myth.

     
  16. Prem Chand

    Dear Mr. Sanjay Sonawani

    The exact PIE words used for horse, chariot, wheels, circle etc are in dispute, yes, but not the fact that PIE culture and its dispersal were intimately connected to chariot technology. Evidence strongly indicates that the PIE culture consisted of pastoral nomads in the Pontic Caspian steppe who heavily relied on horses for their daily sustenance.

    There is a certain version of the dragon-slaying myth that is found predominantly in IE speaking cultures. The myth involves a dragon that is guarding water or some important life force and a hero who slays the dragon to release the water and save the day. This tale is told in a poetic version with a certain formula. The hero could be Indra, Krishna, Thraetona, Thor, Hercules etc and the dragon could be Vrtra, Kaaliya, Azi Dahaka, Jormungandr, Cacus etc. It doesn’t matter that the names are not always cognates. We are talking about prehistoric cultures separated by thousands of miles. The innumerable similiarities in these myths and poetry and their prevalence in IE speaking cultures strongly suggests that this is a uniquely IE idea that originated in PIE culture, wherever it was situated. What is more, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the unique similarities found among IE speaking cultures.

    The connection between dragon vs hero and metaphysical dualism found among contemporary world religions is tenous at best. Either way, it doesn’t detract from the main point about the myth formula being unique to IE speaking cultures.

     

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