QUOTE (angrezi @ Jan 6 2007, 07:27 PM)
QUOTE (rhapsodieff @ Jan 6 2007, 02:03 PM)
QUOTE (۞ ۞ ۞ @ Jan 6 2007, 05:55 PM)
This is from some dude named bangli back in Feb 2002 on GD...
Most scholars agree that The Mahabharata has undergone several recensions over time, additions which took place over hundreds of years from the time of the original text.
The original poem simply called the 'Jaya' consisted of a mere 8,800 verses.
Next appears the 'Bharata' or 'Jaya Bharata' which was expanded to 24,000 verses.
The final text is somewhere between 90,000 to 100,000 verses and became the 'Mahabharata'.
It should be noted that Madhva himself said that the text of Mahabharata during his lifetime was heavily interpolated covering most of the original text.
This was actually banglis first post on GDhere
And in the last 30 years the whole Arayan migration myth has been dismissed, so much of the discussion is way out of line with the currrent state of Archaeological knowledge. Further excavations at harappan sites have shown depictions of humans in yoga asanas. There are scholars who are now suggesting that the harappan civilisation was the arayan civilisation. It would be nice to know if there is anything more recent that fitted in with present knowledge.
I am not aware the Aryan migration has been dismissed. There are a lot of people who wish it was. There was genome mapping done on north Indian Brahmans that turned up European DNA features that did not exist in Dravidian people of the south. This was done recently, I don't know the details but I know a guy who wrote a paper recentlt that looked at some of the latest data. I'll send his paper to anyone interested, if I can find it.
An Indian Harappa expert I. Mahadevan I think his name is , is convinced Harappa and the other settlements were Dravidian, and has been tryiong to prove the seal codes are versions of Tamil pictographic wrtiing. Also there is an isolated Pakastani tribe in Baluchistan that speaks a Dravidian dialect. I have never heard Harappa claimed to be Aryan as they simply lack proof either way. If you can point me where you read this please do. The problem persists that if Sanskrit, in various scripts was extant for so long why is there no sign of it there. Also there was lack of weaponry and battle scene art that some say would be indicative of a Vedic civilization in Harappa and Mohenjo daro.
In a forum of scientists in 1999 I quoted this text and each scrambled to refute it, personally I was not impressed by them.
First Argument: The Aryan invasion model is largely based on linguistic conjectures, which, in turn, are founded in archaeological speculations that have been shown to be misguided. As Sri Aurobindo, one of the great spiritual luminaries of modern India, noted in his thoughtful book On the Veda:
The hypothesis, invented to fill the gap, that these ideas [of the secret teachings of the Upanishads' were borrowed by barbarous Aryan invaders from the civilised Dravidians, is a conjecture supported only by other conjectures. It is indeed coming to be doubted whether the whole story of an Aryan invasion through the Punjab is not a myth of the philologists.
Aurobindo was right, of course, as is clear from the following remarks by the British archaeologist Colin Renfrew:
In the Indo-European field, linguists have been willing to follow the archaeological orthodoxy of nearly a century ago, while archaeologists have taken the conclusions of the historical linguists at their face value, failing to realize that they were themselves based upon archaeological assumptions which had not been questioned, yet which were not in some cases justifiable.
Recognizing that languages develop far more slowly than previously thought, linguists have pushed the Indo European family of languages much further back in time. Thus Renfrew made it plausible that Indo European speakers may have lived in Anatolia as long ago as 7000 B.C., which is at the very dawn of the Neolithic era, or, according to some scholarly reckonings, in the middle of the Mesolithic age, which followed the long Paleolithic age. Even more conservative scholars now assign the earliest Indo European speakers to at least 4000 B.C. In light of this we need not assume that the Aryans were necessarily foreign to Indian soil until they allegedly invaded it and soaked it in blood around the middle of the second millennium B.C.
The Aryans could just as well have been native to India for several millennia, deriving their Sanskritic language from earlier Indo-European dialects. In fact, this alternative assumption makes better sense of many of the facts known about that time and the early Sanskrit speakers.
Second Argument: It has been widely argued that Indo Europeans invaded the Middle East in the second millennium B.C. and that these invasions were part of a general migration that also led to the conquest of northern India by the Aryans around 1500 B.C. Especially the famous treaty between a Hittite and a Mitanni ruler, which makes reference to Vedic deities, has frequently been cited as supporting this hypothesis. However, Middle Eastern scholarship now inclines to the view that the Hittites—an Indo European speaking people— were in Anatolia by 2200 B.C. Also, the Indo European Kassites and Mitanni had great kings and dynasties by 1600 B.C., which suggests that the Indo Europeans had a well established and ramifying culture in that region, giving rise to the further conclusion that they must have been present in the Middle East for a considerable period of time before then. They certainly were no nomadic barbarians, as popular belief would have it.
Third Argument: The descendants of the Aryans—the Hindus—have no memory whatsoever of having invaded India! There is no record of such an invasion in the ancient scriptures of the Hindus, nor in those of non Vedic religions like Jainism and Buddhism. The most archaic document in any Indo European tongue—the Rig Veda composed in an early form of Sanskrit—does not look back on a homeland outside India. The geography, climate, flora, and fauna recorded in the Rig Veda match those of northern India. Nor do we have any record of such an invasion in the collective memory of the Dravidian speaking peoples who supposedly inhabited India before the Aryans arrived.
Fourth Argument: There is a striking cultural continuity between the archaeological artifacts of the Indus Sarasvati civilization and subsequent Hindu society and culture. This continuity is evident in the religious ideas, arts, crafts, architecture, writing style, and the system of weights and measures. How can we explain this if the Sanskrit speaking Aryans were supposedly foreign invaders who leveled the native civilization of the Indus Valley? The suggestion, made by some scholars, that the Aryans adopted lock, stock, and barrel the culture of the Indus people is equally preposterous because in that case the Aryans would presumably have adopted the native language or languages as well. This position is similar to the fanciful creationist belief that when God placed the first human being on Earth, God also simultaneously created the fossil evidence that now misleads evolutionists into believing that humans have descended from animals in a long chain of development.
Fifth Argument: Archaeologists have argued that their digs in the Indus Valley, home of the great civilization that was allegedly destroyed by the invading Aryans, brought no typically Vedic artifacts to light. Many of them have emphasized the marked difference between the nomadic culture they believe to have discovered in the Rig Veda and the urban culture so vividly preserved in the ruins of Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, and other sites along the mighty Indus River. However, the archaeological site of Mehrgarh, which has been dated to 6500 B.C., brought to light evidence for the use of copper, barley, and cattle at a very early time—all items that resemble the culture of the Vedic people. Additionally, many Harappan sites have yielded fire altars constructed in the same manner as those of the Vedic people, as well as sacrificial implements corresponding to those used in the soma sacrifice, central to the Vedic religion. Meanwhile the literary interpretation of the Vedic people as nomadic has also been revealed as an assumption of the invasion theory that is not warranted by a more critical reading of the texts, which show cities as an integral part of the Vedic culture.
Sixth Argument: The Aryan invasion of India was widely thought to have been made possible by the use of horse drawn chariots, as in the case of the invasions of the Middle East by other Indo European speakers in the late second millennium B.C. It was also thought that horses were unknown in the Indus civilization. This later assumption has meantime been proved wrong, for there is evidence for the presence of horses in a number of Harappan and pre Harappan sites. In addition, recently discovered depictions of horses in Paleolithic caves show that the horse was present in India even before the Indus towns were built. Horseback riding has until recently been deemed a relatively late invention. However, evidence from the Ukraine proves that riding was practiced as early as 4300 B.C. Thus, we can dismiss the whole idea that the Aryan invasion, which supposedly depended on the use of horses, could only have occurred about the middle of the second millennium B.C., which is the date of the earliest available depictions of horse drawn chariots in the Middle East. The whole idea of nomads coming down the passes of Afghanistan in war chariots is anyway fanciful. Chariots are not the vehicles of nomads but of an urban elite, as is dear from their usage in ancient Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia. They are hardly appropriate for travel through difficult terrain such as mountain passes.
Seventh Argument: In addition to the cultural continuity between ancient and modern India, there is also a striking racial continuity. The excavations at Harappa have brought to light skeletons belonging to members of various racial groups—all of which are still present in India today. It appears that the cities of the Indus Valley were cosmopolitan centers in which different ethnic groups lived together relatively peacefully or came together for commerce. There is no evidence that a new race intruded into north India during Harappan times and that the Dravidian inhabitants of the region were driven to the south. Rather, all the facts point to the continuity of the same people who have generally regarded themselves as Aryan.
Eighth Argument: The Rig Veda of the Aryans describes an environment and particularly river systems that prevailed prior to 1900 B.C. (in the case of the Sarasvati River) and even 2600 B.C. (in the case of the Drishadvati River). The Harappan civilization was therefore located in the same riverine region as the Vedic culture. The Vedic literature, moreover, shows a population shift from the ancient and now dried up Sarasvati River (extolled in many hymns of the Rig Veda) to the Ganges (as reflected in the subsequent literature of the Brahmanas and Puranas)—a shift that is faithfully reflected in the archaeological record.
Ninth Argument: Recent research has shown that the sacred Rig Veda is based on an astronomical system and calendar that hark back to the Pleiades Krittika (Taurean) era of 2500 B.C., or the Harappan era, and still earlier. Vedic astronomy and mathematics were well-developed sciences, which attests to an advanced civilization, not a primitive nomadic culture. This point will be discussed at some length in Chapters 11 and 12.
Tenth Argument: The renowned British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler suggested that the Harappan cities were destroyed by violence—a speculative comment that was treated as absolute fact by many subsequent scholars. Further excavations have disproved Wheeler's notion. Most archaeologists now believe that the Harappan cities were not destroyed by invading Aryans but were abandoned by their citizens because of major geological and climatic changes. There is no evidence of any Harappan cities having been systematically plundered, destroyed, or burned at any layer. The abandonment of towns along the Indus, as a result of dramatic changes in the flow of the river and related environmental conditions, was not unheard of even in much later times. Thus the Greek geographer Strabo, who died a decade or so before Jesus, reported in his famous Geography (XV. 1.19) that when Aristobulus was on a mission in India, he saw a country of a thousand towns and villages that had been deserted because the Indus had changed its course to the ocean. The Indian peninsula continues to be a very active tectonic zone.
Eleventh Argument: It has frequently been asserted that the Rig Veda describes battles between the Aryan invaders and the native Indians. However, careful study of the relevant Vedic hymns shows that these battles were largely fought between people of the same culture. Reading an invasion into them is a leap of faith that is quite unsupported by the transmitted Sanskrit text. Such racial wars were part of the milieu of nineteenth century thinking, which invented the Aryan invasion theory. Modern archaeology considers culture to be a more complex and pluralistic phenomenon that cannot be so easily stereotyped.
Tvelfth Argument: Recent excavations at the Dwaraka site, a port city in Gujarat larger in size than the largest Harappan city of Mohenjo Daro and dated to about 1500 B.C., have revealed architectural structures similar in style to the traditional city of the same name in which the God man Krishna is said to have lived. The archaeological Dwaraka corresponds to the Dwaraka described in the Mahabharata epic as the city of Krishna. The evidence includes the use of iron and the employment of a script that is intermediate between the Harappan glyphs and the Brahmi alphabet of later India. According to the traditional view, Krishna lived at the conclusion of the Vedic period.
Thirteenth Argument: There is a strong morphological link between the Harappan glyphs, as found on numerous seals, and the later Brahmi script, which subsequently gave rise to the deva nagari script in which Sanskrit is mostly written today. This continuity in alphabets reinforces the argument about the cultural continuity between the Harappan civilization and later post Vedic Hinduism in general.
Fourteenth Argument: The Vedic Aryans have been credited with the use of iron, and it has always been maintained that their use of iron weapons and horse drawn chariots guaranteed their supremacy over the Indus people. However, the Sanskrit word ayas, thought to denote "iron," appears to have stood for "copper" or “bronze." Earliest evidence for iron in India dates back to before 1500 B.C. in association with Kashmir and the newly excavated city of Dwaraka and is considered to be an indigenous development. Vedic ayas is associated with a culture of cattle and barley, such as we encounter in pre-Harappan sites.
Fifteenth Argument: Contrary to popular scholarly opinion, the genealogies found in the Puranas, which list over a hundred and twenty kings in one Vedic dynasty alone, do fit into the new model of ancient Indian history. The Puranic records are far more trustworthy than has hitherto been assumed. They are the distillate of countless generations of remembered knowledge, especially knowledge concerning the vicissitudes of royal houses. They date back to the third millennium B.C. and earlier. Greek accounts point to the existence of Indian royal lists (perhaps coinciding with those of the Puranas) that are reported to go back to the seventh millennium B.C.
Sixteenth Argument: The Rig Veda, the sacred fountainhead of later Hinduism, shows an advanced level of cultural and philosophical sophistication, suggesting a long antecedent development. The Vedic language itself is highly sophisticated, and the Vedic pantheon is as complex as that of later India. In other words, the Rig Veda is by no means the product of a primitive culture but of a people enjoying the fruits of a mature civilization based on age old traditions—a civilization that could not have been delivered to India on horseback. Whatever the original homeland of the Aryans may have been, they seem to have lived in India long before the alleged invasion occurred, apparently for several millennia.
Seventeenth Argument: The Painted Gray Ware (POW) culture in the western region of the Ganges has frequently been referred to in support of the Aryan invasion theory. However, carbon 14 tests have yielded dates of little more than 1100 B.C., which is too late for the modified date given for the Aryan invasion, though Max Muller's proposed date of 1200 B.C. would roughly fit if it were not out of sync with the Harappan evidence. At any rate, recent research has revealed connections between the PGW culture, the Northern Black Polished Ware culture, the Black and Red Ware culture, and the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. Moreover, as archaeologist James Shaffer has pointed out, all these labels based on pottery styles are ill defined and rather confusing and therefore best abandoned.
When we integrate the above arguments and other additional evidence not specifically cited here, we obtain a picture of ancient India that diverges considerably from the inherited Aryan invasion model. It is a picture that is at once more credible and exciting than the infelicitous hypothesis of an Aryan invasion. It removes the heavy, near impenetrable curtain of ideology that has prevented us from seeing ancient India more clearly and faithfully, and it opens up to our modern vision at least some of the splendor of that early era of human civilization. From this new perspective we are now able to turn our historical imagination upon specific aspects of ancient Indian history and culture.
This selection os from:
In Search of the Cradle of Civilization
1995 by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, and David Frawley