Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: History

English came out from nowhere to become so important, because of its enormous absorptive power

While browsing around for things related to Indo-European language, I came across a fascinating BBC documentary (of 2003) regarding the English language. I’ve seen much of it (not all) and must say I’ve been enormously benefited by this knowledge. [DVDs available on Amazon, but only a few copies left; on Netflix]

English is the biggest hodge-podge one can imagine – and hence its great success. It has had the greatest absorptive power of any language in human history. And a lot of that was just random chance.

But expansion of language DOES require conquest and/or migration. And a fair bit of power of the king. This has significant implications for the Sanskrit language’s growth in India. I’m less and less inclined to discount the arguments of one or more “invasions”, given the history of a widely known language. Kingly power MUST have been pivotal to the development of Sanskrit.





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Entering into a debate with a Vedic scholar re: OIT theory of Sanskrit/ Rig Veda #2

Continuing my debate with Kalicharan Tuvij:

Here is Kalicharan Tuvij's response:

S.S. Ji,

Thanks for the response.

Your openness is praiseworthy, and I fully support your idea of keeping it for all to read. However, I don't see this as more than an exchange of ideas: the OIT/ AIT is not the core focus of my area, but I did form a calibrated opinion on this issue starting from there. So, the OIT/ AIT is not a matter of life and death to me, yet I have have every reason to believe in what I believe.

Again, you took pains to clarify upon – also with the the post dated 9th June – the main idea (out of many) that is the most important factor in your mind. This makes it easier for your readers, as well as your correspondents, to follow the thought stream.

So let me address the point; that is,

1) Vedic text isn't to be found outside BhArata. Hence there is no migration of the Vedic tradition outwards.

2) Within BhArata, for the rote transmission of the Veda down the generations, processes similar to Industrial methods were employed. Like: Job creation, training, etc.

3) Veda is a system, and also "technology" (your words).

(I found the words "transmission", "industrial" and "technology" very interesting)

Answers to these are very straightforward:

1) To use the "Industry language", we know how industries do everything in their capacities to retain, maintain, and preserve their core competencies in the respective business. Yet, the market – which could be the world market or could be the very next village – is inundated with their products.

Products are only the "holographic images" of the core competency.

To cut to the chase, the Veda is the core competency and everything else seen outside are products. The pArsu people (Zoroastrians later) were the "closest" to us- knew enough of us on the inside – and tried to take away the core competency (Avesta) to form an "Industry" of their own.

2) I will prefer using "preservation of Vedic system within India" rather than "transmission of Vedic system within India".

3) Yes, Veda is a system and a technology: this precisely is my research area. I wished I could share some of that here, but space and scope will be the problem.

On a lighter note, the term "Industry", "India" as well as "Indigo" and most importantly, "Indigenous" – are all rooted in the term "Indu"/ "Hindu".

Indigenous = indu + gena (जन).

So the Indu jana (lit., "Indu people") are considered as indigenous, i.e., "original". That is why the Westerners named all the native peoples – wherever they went – as "Indians". And, "Indu" इन्दु is a very important Vedic term and jargon, and we were the first to utter this word, master and propound it in the fullest ramification.

An example of the "core competency" vs. "product" contradistinction that I can think of mentioning is the history of Zero. The Western world got it from the Arabs, that is, only in the product form, but it took geniuses like Hilbert, Noether and Weyl – only as late as in the 19th century- to understand to SOME DEPTH it's true meaning, and this is still the cutting edge of research in Maths as well as in Physics (ongoing as Lie Algebra, Gage theories, etc).

To come to the point, they got it from the Arabs in the product form (and committed the same mistake, calling it even to this day as "the Arabic numeral") and not in the competency form. So the question is : when did BhArata discovered first this core competency, this technology? See here on my blog https://goo.gl/YUD1mQ for answer.

Now for my response to Kalicharan Tuvij's response.

I'm sorry, but you're now making some not so good allegations about other people. The pArsu people (Zoroastrians later) were the "closest" to us- knew enough of us on the inside – and tried to take away the core competency (Avesta) to form an "Industry" of their own.

So you are effectively alleging that the Zoroastrians slunk in at night, listened to the Rig Veda, and went off to Iran, distorting the Vedas in an attempt to "sell" their new "product"? In particular, it seems you are alleging that Zoroaster himself was the the thief.

So this is no longer an "Out of India" argument but "Stolen from India" argument.

But such an argument is entirely untenable. Let me show you why.

RV IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STEAL

It is impossible to have stolen the RV in 1500bc. The document was not available in print. It was not available as an audio-tape or CD. It was never recited in full anywhere, with only excerpts from it being recited on specific religious occasions. It was only found inside the head of highly trusted people who had been trained from their childhood in the mantras. It could only be extracted from a person’s head, and no such technology exists – even today.

The only way to steal it (in 1500bc) would be to either be a trusted child who is imparted the training, or to kidnap someone who had been trained.

Option 1: In this option, Zarathustra (Z) was fully trained in RV from childhood, in which case he would have known the whole RV word by word. So we need to know why he would mix up the language (a more primitive form of Sanskrit) and also the hymns; and also mix up the gods. There are some commonalities between RV and Avesta, but too many differences. RV training is foolproof. No errors/ confusions are possible. Unless you can explain what motivated Z to distort RV so badly, this option can be ruled out.

Option 2: Zarathustra kidnapped a brahmin (B) and forced him to regurgitate the RV. This raises two questions: how did he do it, and why did he do it.

How could Z possibly have learnt the RV in this manner? Let’s say Z – who never learnt Sanskrit or RV in his childhood – captured B and tied him up. He then forced B to recite RV. Here’s a problem: no adult can easily learn, leave alone recite the RV. It takes well over a decade of practice by a malleable brain (child’s brain) to learn the sounds and structure of the RV. Full mastery takes much longer. If you recite RV to me, I’d never be able to comprehend it, or reproduce it. It would have taken the adult Z at least 25 years of torturing B to learn the RV – assuming B kept supplying him the information despite the torture. But If B refused to supply the info, Z could never have learnt the RV.

Now, at age 50, having somehow squeezed RV out of B, Z then presumably decided to distort it and create a mess called Avesta. But why would Z want to do all this? What possible incentive did Z have to learn RV through force, only to go to Iran and distort it +invent new hymns and try to find followers – at a really old age? This is merely one impossibility added to another. The story can't work.

Z therefore was NOT a thief. He was a great original thinker, and created the Avesta on his own merit, using his own mind and knowledge/ insights.

I still leave this thread of possibility open, though. The onus is on Out of India theorists to prove that Z was a thief, and to show precisely how he stole RV. It should be clearly understood that “stealing” RV is not the same as stealing the idea of zero. Zero is a simple, single concept. It is used in day-to-day life. It can be readily “stolen”. But RV is not a trivial thing. Giving the example of zero to suggest that’s how RV got stolen is not going to work with me. I need the full details of how RV can be stolen/ was stolen. And why.

But not just Z, there’s the Mitanni kings

These Mitanni “thieves” are found not anywhere near India but in North Syria. What chances are there of these people stealing RV? And why? And why did they “forget” most of it, leading to a spotty "recollection" of "vedic" gods?

Finally, consider “theft” by Hittites and Kassites

These people didn’t “steal” RV but (allegedly) spoke (and wrote in) elements of the proto-Sanskrit language. How? And why? And why did they use a script, even though RV had no script (till nearly 1000bc)?

Thus, the idea of stealing RV is beyond ridiculous. It just can’t be done. A lot of traders came by to India. NONE could “steal” the RV. Because it can’t be stolen.

Kalicharan Tuvij’s objection to “TRANSMISSION”

All evidence points to a very resource intensive method of transmission of the Vedas. It definitely didn’t magically “emerge” all across India, as Kalicharan Tuvij is attempting to suggest. It had a PHYSICAL pathway. It needed resources and political support to be transmitted. It involved a very expensive way of transmission.

There is clear evidence that the Rig Veda has ABSOLUTELY no knowledge of South India. It doesn’t mention tigers and has no clue about rice. RV is a purely WEST/NORTH INDIAN document. It is clearly a natural flow of ideas from the middle east to India. The spread of the RV technology across India was towards south and east.

RV never managed to spread to east India properly (brahmins came in only around 800 years ago to Assam; I doubt if anyone of them knows the RV. I’m informed that even Bengal did not know the RV properly. Vivekananda did not know the original Sanskrit RV, etc. but had read Max Muller’s translation).

IT WAS JUST TOO COSTLY TO SPREAD RV TO CENTRAL ASIA/ THE WEST.

All religion requires resources for its spread. Financial resources can be marshalled either by big businessmen or by powerful politicians. There is a lot of evidence for the well-resourced spread of Hinduism within India (e.g. ferocious battles against Buddhists) but no evidence of any spread of Hinduism outside India.

Why did RV not spread to central Asia? Because it was too hard for Indians to defeat the horse-riding warriors of the central Asian plateau. Any attempt to garner financial support would need the ability to directly influence the political leadership, but the political leadership of the central Asian region has been chronically fickle, with no particular able to hold on to its leadership for a significant stretch of time. RV based Hinduism therefore took the easy path: of spreading within India (that, too, incomplete till today). It was much easier for the “aryan speakers” to win against the domestic crowd than to fight against central Asian warriors.

WHY DID “OUT OF INDIA” RV NOT SPREAD TOWARDS JAPAN?

Note that there is no evidence of any RV’s gods (Indra etc.) to the east of India (e.g. in Japan). The sequence of movement in the data is: North Syria > Iran > North India > East and South India. Why did a Zarathustra not arise to the East of India and "steal" it to Japan?

WHY IS AVESTA LANGUAGE SO SIMILAR TO OLD SANSKRIT?

Why is there such a high level of similarity between early Sanskrit (i.e. in early books of Rig Veda) and Avesta? Avesta has been dated to around 1500bc. If RV had been present 5000 years ago, its language should not be the same as the language found all across the middle east in around 2000-1500 bc. Instead, it would have used some much older version of indo-aryan. But RV uses a proto-aryan form of Sanskrit that’s commonly found in the middle-east around 3500 years ago. RV also displays ancient technologies that are also similar to those used in the middle-east. Its language, its tehnology is MIDDLE-EASTERN. And there's no way it could have been transmitted backward (as a Sanskrit RV).

When a thing looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

All evidence fits when we look at proto-aryan ideas flowing into India. But NOT A SINGLE piece of evidence fits when we think of “out of India” theory.
 

 

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Entering into a debate with a Vedic scholar re: OIT theory of Sanskrit/ Rig Veda #1

I've received some superficial comments from one YSV Rao to my blog post refuting the OIT theory of the recent Hindutva crowd. His last comment was a personal attack, no reasoning, no evidence. I do not wish to discuss with such people, and suggest he debate with evidence, not personal attacks. And his evidence can't be for me to read this or that (I've read key arguments on all sides, and thought through them carefully, before forming a view). 

On the other hand, the following comment is more reasoned, and I'm willing to discuss with this gentleman.

My response to his comments, later.

First, who is the commentator? His name is Kalicharan Tuvij. He is author of Kalicharan's Veda. He runs  a blog on the Vedas, here.

======KALICHARAN TUVIJ'S COMMENT=====

Sabhlok ji,

Jai Hind.
 
I am a Vedic scholar and independent researcher. I don't belong to any flock, auch as Hindutva, Left, Right etc.
 
I am a regular visitor at yout blog, and admire your standing up for liberal values. But on other subjects I request you to be a bit more circumspect (and skeptical), moderate and suspend any sure sounding judgment on an issue that is more like the "theory of everything" of the Humanities and thus at best an evolving filed of knowledge.
 
As I said I don't belong to the Hindutva type yet my own research has led me to incline towards the OIT. Here is a link (https://goo.gl/JY9SU5to one of the related blogs at my site, that I request you go through.
 
The Rsis were "cow crazy", and not "horse crazy".
 
No where it is shown that they were verse with horse riding.

Horse the species has origins in the Indian subcontinent (scientific evidence), so we don't know about the Aryans but Horse for sure certainly did migrate out of India.

One can make a joking remark here that, just like how NRI's become more super-efficient, the Indian Horse too became better once there in suitable climes.
 
The whole point of India has been the purpose of preserving VARIETY, and that generally comes at the expense of EFFICIENCY which require optimisation of somewhat homogenous group of people, behaviours, norms, etc.
 
The purpose of RgVeda is to syncretise the variety into a liberal unity which has the potential of achieving hundredfoldth performance compared to the optimised narrow class (western model).
 
I don't expect to have conveyed my ideas here with full clarity, bit I hope you will get something out of it.
 
Om Aditaye NamaH.
======END COMMENT=====
 
My response
 
I've not formed my view without reading alternative views. But it is something not found in various views, but which I have direct experience of, and which is the very foundation of the Vedic culture, that put the final nail in the "coffin" of OIT.

That is my argument No. 1. The Rig Veda was transmitted only within India. Why did its transmission fail everywhere else?

Please explain why significant elements of the Vedic gods are found in the middle east, properly documented as at 1380bc, and in a distorted form in Iran.

The point is very simple. The Rig Vedic culture is nothing without its rote memorisation and transmission. Anything that existed before it was rote memorised as a poem is irrelevant to the Vedic culture, since it could have either come from outside or been found inside India. So that levels the playing field for pre-Rig Vedic culture in India: i.e. no one conclusively knows anything about its source.

But this we conclusively know: that the moment Rig Veda was created as a poem, it was transmitted WITHOUT LOSS OF SINGLE LETTER for 3500 years. I've personally listened to a Brahmin teaching Vedas to his son at his home in Melbourne. The method is fascinating but foolproof. The technology of the Vedas is the technology of verbal reproduction.

Wherever ANYONE who has learnt the Vedas goes, that person's family carries on the Vedas without the slightest deviation, or slightest change. This has happened millions of times over the past 3500 years, and explains why the Vedas are found, unaltered, in every corner of India (and now, in Melbourne).

So please explain that if the mythology of the Rig Vedas was first invented in India, why do we have SEVERELY DISTORTED OR FRAGMENTARY versions across the middle East? Tell me why these people managed to "forget" the basic technology of the Vedas.

The contradiction is this: that Rig Vedic people were super-competent (as good as a digital record) in transmitting the Vedas within India, but super-incompetent when it was "transmitted" outside. That is an impossibility. I can attest to it myself. The system is absolutely fool proof: if any one person ever took it out of India, it would have been found in the same shape and form, 100%, no exception.

The only explanation that works: that they did NOT take these ideas out of India. Instead, they documented and froze the ideas that had come into India.

Just an explanation of this basic fact, will do. Only after you can explain this in the light of the OIT hypothesis, will I deal with other issues, such as horses and the lot.

You are welcome to respond either on this blog or by email. All your comments will be public, since this is not a private issue I'm discussing but something that is both an academic issue and an issue with political ramifications. For instance, it would well mean that Rama was from the middle East, as has been speculated by some people, including by an IITian who has studied this issue for a very long time. If any of that is true, then the idea of Ram janmabhoomi becomes even more confounded.

addendum

I'll write more about this, but here's a further comment.

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My analysis disproves the “Out of India” theory of the recent Hindutva fanatics

I knew the Hindutva people are wrong. ALWAYS wrong. Without fail.

But like any good scientist, I went into the question with an open mind. However, within 3 days of reading/ thinking it has become clear that the Out of India theory is blatantly wrong.

In other words, Sanskrit was NOT indigenous to India. Nor was the Rig Veda/its gods/moral concepts.

I’ve assembled my proofs in a little booklet called Into India or Out of India? Did Rig Vedic gods and Sanskrit come to India or go out of India? You can download it here. (right click, save link as)

Key proofs are listed below. Details in the booklet.

Proof 1: The Rig Veda was transmitted only within India. Why did its transmission fail everywhere else?               

Proof 2: All linguists have identified the proto-Indo-Aryan language in the steppes/ Turkey

Proof 3: “Rig Vedic gods” make their first written presence in North Syria– Its gods are ancient middle-Eastern gods

Proof 4: Rig Vedic poets were natural born horse riders, but the Indian horse is no better than a donkey

Proof 4A: How can a weaker culture – without the horse – dominate a stronger one?

Proof 5: No genuine war chariots in India: only carts.

Proof 6: Rig Vedic gods soon disappear in India 

Proof 7: Rig Vedic gods and people loved soma, but that’s only found in central Asian highlands

Proof 8: Rig Veda does not know about ceramic (fired) bricks, but Indus valley civilisation had discovered them. It had nothing, therefore, to do with the Indus Valley civilisation

Proof 9: Rig Veda knows about colder region plants and animals, but eastern forms of indo-Aryan have no idea bout India’s tropical plants and animals          

Proof 10: Rig Vedic Sanskrit has been significantly amended, and its gods have changed, as Vedic people moved into mainland India

We are now back to where Swami Dayanand Saraswati and even Tilak thought about the issue: that the Hindu religion is an import from somewhere in the West of India. Even the older Hindtuva fanatics did not make such assertions, about an Out of India theory.

Where precisely did all this start? I don’t think I have an answer. That’s a debate for scientists. For me the only question was: Are Hindutva fanatics right? And the answer is a resounding NO.

How did this language/ culture come into India? Was it an “invasion”, a “migration” or “assimilation”? I don’t know. Nor is that my area of interest – for now.

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