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Theory of Aryan Invasion and Interpretting Scriptures

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NOTE: This is a response to post # 1066 of Happyhindu from the discussion in page 107 of the thread "Is the caste system weakness of Hinduism?"

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@ Sri Happyhindu

"I would love to hear from you reg the translations. Please either make a new thread or you can explain the translations to me on this thread itself. No debate please, i wud like to learn from you."

You flatter me by saying you would like to learn from me :) By debate I mean we share points, nothing unfriendly.

I will be honest, I myself find out bits from what I have read from the English translations (by T.H. Griffith) of the Vedas in www.sacred-texts.com (go to 'Hinduism' from the lefthand column and find out).

I will type briefly what I have come across and what conclusions. From what I have observed the "arya" or "dasa" are not distinguished by skin, eye or nose at all (all these make up racial identity), but translations done by British were made in that way because British wanted to suit the idea that the brahmins in India are descendants of the white people. They did this because they had to fit the idea of how brahmins could have had such a legacy in ideas of white supremacy. So they made the theory of Aryan Invasion.

This became reasonable because many of the brahmins were lighter skinned. The real reason of course was because they migrated from many places. Brahmins migrated the most. My own origins as an Ashtasahasram Iyer is from Ennaiyram, where legend goes that 8000 Jains (not brahmins) existed. We probably came from Jainism to Astika schools like Advaita later on. Many south brahmins also migrated south in later eras when empires like Vijayanagar became centers of Hindu learning and tradition. The fact that on a whole brahmins in south are lighter skinned, is thus hardly surprising.

Many of the early Indians (inc. brahmins) believed what the British told on Aryan Invasion too - like Bal Gandadhar Tilak. Some others rejected the theory, like Vivekananda; even others like Dr. Ambedkar rejected the theory because what they had read in India literature was contrary to what the British were telling indirectly (through their translations) and directly. You can read their quotes on it in the web.

Today, despite the fact that Aryan Invasion theory is taught from schools to history college degree in India, serious doubts have come over the theory, and while the Indian education boards have not revised their syllabus, many foreign universities teach it not as a full theory, but a study which includes even its inconsistencies.

Some of the many reasons "arya", nor "dasa", "dasyu" relate to skin colour is because:

1. There is no reference of these people having a skin colour, except in T.H. Griffith's translation.

2. People learned in Sanskrit can tell how one word could have numerous meanings of interpretations. Ideas like "children of black womb" could actually mean something else, like "of obscure/unclear origins", it could be metaphorical etc.

3. The Vanars of the Ramayana are called aryas, so to equate them to a race of humans raises doubts. In the Mahabharata, Pandavas were called Anarya (not Aryas) after they killed Dronacharya by deceit. In all instances, arya, like dasyu has been likened to character, the former to good character and the later to bad. Aryas, nor Dasyus have a
geographical origin, nor physical feature.

Even the anasa, or nose-less is a direct translation, and when it comes to the Rig Veda, things are hardly as direct as that.

Some time ago I used to go through the translation of picked out verses and keep them in a word document. I still have the document. From what I read in T.H. Griffith's translation, I can itself say that taking things at direct value will make things in the Vedas sound absurd.

For instance, Agni is said to be the child of water (Rig Veda 3.9.1). Even a caveman knows water extinguishes fire, nor can fire be produced by water by any conventional means. What sense does it make?

This is what lead me to understand that there is something more profound in the Vedas - none of the verses should perhaps be assumed as talking of people, or tribes, or anything "earthy" of that sort. It could have well been composed with those words for analogy, but the meaning may be something radically different.

Our tradition has held that the Vedas are apurusha (not of human agency), and are the store house of all knowledge. While tradition also holds it that certain knowledge (like Marmam, or Nadi) did come from the Vedas, and we ourselves are not in a point to explain how exactly they did that, a good question arises: How is it possible for some hymns to hold "all the knowledge"?

Our forefathers knew the depth of nature, and how vast knowledge is, hence its silly to assume their "science textbook" was something as small in volume as the Vedas. The answer to the question in bold IMO is the Vedas may not themselves have knowledge printed, but rather they are a composition on the nature of epistomology or on gaining knowledge. Epistomology is the study of the extent and nature of human knowledge. Clearly, when we understand the nature of knowledge in complete depth, any knowledge we seek - be it of emotion, anatomy, of Earth etc. can be studied by the method. So that is what I feel, I may be wrong, this is just my primitive opinion. What would be good of course is to go on a journey and meet sages learnt in the Vedas and ask them questions about what it is. But of course, this would require us taking time off, perhaps even many years together.

All in all, T.H. Griffith's ideas are ridiculous in speaking of "aryas" and "dasas" because the interpretation (and not just translation) of the Vedas is itself a profound matter.

For that matter, numerous Vedic scholars have come in India, how did none of them interpret the Vedas like Griffith did ?! The British turned the Vedas into something as shallow as describing a racial war. We (Indians) accepted it that time because we had turned from traditional education to that of Maculay's system of Western education, so had lost touch with the language of Sanskrit or the method of interpretting the Vedas.

In this they took their own liberties to try and tell us that a European invasion is what lead to our glorious Vedas. The reasons for doing that hardly needs to be explained given that they believed in their supremacy as a people and civilization at the time.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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Vivek Ji,

Some notes below:

1) Am not talking about aryan invasion when i mention aryas and dasyus.

2) Definitions of "Race" remain ambigous. Phenotype (skin, eye or nose, etc) need not denote a "race". So am not talking of racial identity either.

3) The dasyus were most likely the kolarian / mundari / austroasiatic (naga) people who were into phallic worship. They were pre-dravidian people. The dravidian speakers are said to have killed off mundari speakers and used the women as prize booties to mate with. Tribal fights, cattle raids (and treating women like cattle) have existed in many tribes all over the world. There is no necessity to feel a 'birth propriety' wrt such things. The vedas do reflect the tribal times, i feel. Anyways, when it comes to nagas versus dravidians, it can be expected that the resulting offsprings took on the facial features of both sides. It is not possible to say if the nagas or the dravidians were a "race". At best they may have been composite tribes who were already very varied and derived from older tribes.

3) There is no need to demoralise Western education / western writers. Not all had / have negative intensions. Atleast we can give them credit for forcing indians to take a look at our own history.

4) All brahmins are not light skinned. Perhaps it is only the tamil brahmins who have such a opinion. And i suppose it is because they compare themselves to other tamil speakers. One need not go up north -- even in karnataka and andhra you can find non-brahmins lighter skinned than brahmins.

5) Am aware that sections of the vedas contain profound truths or stuff about metaphysical dimensions. Am told that even within one mandala one can find verses conveying varying meanings. However, we are talking about verses reg fights with enemies which are mentioned across all the vedas (and do tally with one another). Not all can be taken metaphorically. In the next post (tomorrow) we shall discuss the translation of these verses.

6) Vanaras were called aryas because mahabali (the one who got killed by Rama) was son of Indra. The vanaras were supposedly sons of 'devas'. This Indra was a blatant characterless womaniser, and i wonder what was the necessity to offer hymns to him (possibly he was so power hungry that he wud kill off those who did not offer hymns to him).

7) When we examine the terms arya and dasyu we shall take only the vedas into account, and not the itihaasas (ramayana, mahabharat). Btw, the yadus (and hence pandavas) may not have been 'aryas'.

8) I do not share your "belief" that Vedas are apourusheya. The names of the authors are known.Nor do i think they are the store house of all knowledge. There is a lot more to the world and in the world besides the vedas.

More later tomorrow.

Regards.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Am not talking about aryan invasion when i mention aryas and dasyus."

Okay then, clarify. From my observation of the way the words are used, dasyu, dasa, arya are not speaking of ethnic groups or of a geographical people. Race has only one definition and that is people of similar bloodline, and it is tied with appearance. This is why we have "white" race, "black" race.

"The dasyus were most likely the kolarian / mundari / austroasiatic (naga) people who were into phallic worship. They were pre-dravidian people. The dravidian speakers are said to have killed off mundari speakers and used the women as prize booties to mate with. Tribal fights, cattle raids (and treating women like cattle) have existed in many tribes all over the world. There is no necessity to feel a 'birth propriety' wrt such things. The vedas do reflect the tribal times, i feel."

This painting of our past is just a stride of assumption. If we go my words used, even people who were Vedic rishis have been called dasyus (like Vishwamitra, and his "aryan" allies in the battle of Ten Kings).

The assertion that Vedas reflect tribal times comes from the observation that cities, nor things relating to urban setup are described.
But just because it is not mentioned, it doesn't necessarily mean it reflected tribal times - because the Vedas are themselves called "Aranyakas" and were supposedly composed in the wilderness. If that is true, nothing of city life would be mentioned.

"However, we are talking about verses reg fights with enemies which are mentioned across all the vedas (and do tally with one another). Not all can be taken metaphorically. In the next post (tomorrow) we shall discuss the translation of these verses."

Yes, but are those fights relating to actual incident/events or are they metaphorical? How are we to say? You can bring those translations, no harm, but point is we are not in a position to interpret the Vedas from its translation from little knowledge.

Despite knowing nothing then, I can still cast doubt on Griffith's translation and interpretation because a good question comes - how is it that not one of the millions of people who studied the Vedas in India's history interpretted it the way T.H. Griffith did?

This is not something I am saying against Europeans or white people, it is a good question if you consider it. After all, everyone who learnt the Vedas went through the same verses, how come they didn't come to conclusions that Griffith did?

The fact also remains that British took facts and tried to turn them in a way to justify their invasion - by saying that the Vedas of our past came through invasion too. I am not a whitie-hater or someone, I say what I have after much deliberation and understanding of government propaganda prevalent in those times in certain European nations.

I mentioned western education not to demoralize. I agree it was necessary for us to change our education system in order to cope up with technological times. I mentioned change in education system, to point out how and why we came to accept the British theory of an aryan race (viz. because we lost knowledge of the language, so were not in a point of ourselves interpretting against their misinterpretations). Nowadays, there is a slow renewed interest in our scriptures - which is why we are discussing this.

"When we examine the terms arya and dasyu we shall take only the vedas into account, and not the itihaasas (ramayana, mahabharat).Btw, the yadus (and hence pandavas) may not have been 'aryas'."

Why? The Vedas are the most metaphorical text in our scriptures, on the other hand clear meaning of arya is very much present in other literature (including Buddhist and Jain) and had nothing to do with physical appearance like nose, eyes or skin colour or a geographical group living somewhere.

"Vanaras were called aryas because mahabali (the one who got killed by Rama) was son of Indra. The vanaras were supposedly sons of 'devas'. This Indra was a blatant characterless womaniser, and i wonder what was the necessity to offer hymns to him"

But pandavas were also sons of the devas, it cotradicts what you are saying. Vali (or Mahabali) isn't called arya, Ram calls Sugreeva "arya". Vanars are called "aryas" as per their virtue. The very word "arya" has also been defined on that basis - it is also used in Buddhism and Jainism, with the same meaning. The idea that aryas were a race or a particular ethnic group starts with European interpretation of our accounts - like that of the Thule society (in 1800s), of the British Empire and of the Nazis. This was a misinterpretation and continues that way. It is not the fault of ALL Europeans (I am not saying that), the interpretation reflected the thinking of the times in European government propaganda.

Whether the hymns are speaking something metaphorical in the references to Indra (like personification), or whether they are a form of worship is all, itself a question. This is why I posted the apparent absurdity of a verse like RV 3.9.1 - to indicate that our interpretations from the translations may most likely be misleading and false.

"I do not share your "belief" that Vedas are apourusheya."

It is not my view. To me the question of what the Vedas are, what are their origin, or purpose is very much an open question. What I said, was that the idea that Vedas being apurushya is the traditional view.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Am not talking about aryan invasion when i mention aryas and dasyus."

Okay then, clarify. From my observation of the way the words are used, dasyu, dasa, arya are not speaking of ethnic groups or of a geographical people. Race has only one definition and that is people of similar bloodline, and it is tied with appearance. This is why we have "white" race, "black" race.
Sorry Vivek Ji, often bloodlines are self-identified. Previously anthropologists used to designate ‘race’ based on appearances. However today there are many definitions of “Race”.

According to the American Association of Physical Anthropologists:
"Pure races do not exist in the human species today, nor is there any evidence that they have ever existed in the past." You can read more here
AAA Statement on "Race"

This webpage also offers some of the many definitions of “race”: Race (classification of human beings)

I like the definition offered by Livingstone the best. He said, "There are no races, only clines" (Livingstone 1962: 279).

So before we being i request you to

1) Put aside all ideas of racial differences in the vedas. Kindly do not use the terms “Aryan” and “dasyu” to designate races.

2) Please do not bring Griffith’s translation again and again into the picture. The verses are there for ourselves to read. If we cannot translate them ourselves we can always seek help from those who know sanskrit to translate them.

3) Please do not assume the non-aryas (dasyus) had no religion / belief system or occupational divisions like warriors / artisans / shamans (however, kindly note there was no jaati system as we know it today in vedas). If research by Staal is to be believed then we would only have one “vedic” group fighting with another “vedic” group.

Example: Two people A and B fight. A self designates himself “arya” (or the noble one) and criticizes the worship ways of B. B also criticizes the ways of A. But that in no way makes either A or B people of “aryan race” or “dasyu race”.

4) Kindly take into consideration that a good many shakhas are lost. It is assumed that currently available shakhas do not differ in content matter from the lost shakhas. However, this is an assumption and no one really knows what was mentioned in those lost shakhas.

And yes there is no need to glorify vedas blindly. There is no need to venerate the ancients blindly too. There is nothing called perfection. And if everything about the past was "perfect" nobody wud look forward to the future.

As for the rest of your post, it requires a detailed reply. I shall do so by next weekend. But am replying to some of the points below for now.


The assertion that Vedas reflect tribal times comes from the observation that cities, nor things relating to urban setup are described.
But just because it is not mentioned, it doesn't necessarily mean it reflected tribal times - because the Vedas are themselves called "Aranyakas" and were supposedly composed in the wilderness. If that is true, nothing of city life would be mentioned.
Sorry Vedas are not called Aranyakas. The Aranyaka texts are part of the Vedas. And if the Lokaayata (charvaka) view is to be believed, then the texts of Brahmanas (sacrifices) and Aranyakas (forest texts) were added to the Vedas at a later time. Vedas to begin with consisted of just the Samhita hymns.

"When we examine the terms arya and dasyu we shall take only the vedas into account, and not the itihaasas (ramayana, mahabharat).Btw, the yadus (and hence pandavas) may not have been 'aryas'."

Why?
Because the itihaasas were written long-long after the vedic period and do not reflect the vedic times exactly.

The Vedas are the most metaphorical text in our scriptures, on the other hand clear meaning of arya is very much present in other literature (including Buddhist and Jain) and had nothing to do with physical appearance like nose, eyes or skin colour or a geographical group living somewhere.
Again, please do not bring other literature (such as Buddhist and Jain) apart from the 4 vedas into the picture.

"Vanaras were called aryas because mahabali (the one who got killed by Rama) was son of Indra. The vanaras were supposedly sons of 'devas'. This Indra was a blatant characterless womaniser, and i wonder what was the necessity to offer hymns to him"

But pandavas were also sons of the devas, it cotradicts what you are saying. Vali (or Mahabali) isn't called arya, Ram calls Sugreeva "arya". Vanars are called "aryas" as per their virtue. The very word "arya" has also been defined on that basis - it is also used in Buddhism and Jainism, with the same meaning. The idea that aryas were a race or a particular ethnic group starts with European interpretation of our accounts - like that of the Thule society (in 1800s), of the British Empire and of the Nazis. This was a misinterpretation and continues that way. It is not the fault of ALL Europeans (I am not saying that), the interpretation reflected the thinking of the times in European government propaganda.

Whether the hymns are speaking something metaphorical in the references to Indra (like personification), or whether they are a form of worship is all, itself a question. This is why I posted the apparent absurdity of a verse like RV 3.9.1 - to indicate that our interpretations from the translations may most likely be misleading and false.
Kindly note that Srinivasa Iyengar mentions in his book "History of Tamils from earliest times to 600AD" that Sugreeva was coronated as a king by Dasyu rites (he quotes the savara rite of offering food to a deity accompanied by ritual singing and dancing). However, from valmiki ramayana we understand that Sugriva was anointed king using gandhas (essences / scents) and aushadhis (herbal anointments). The ceremony wud be akin to the present day abhishekham / thirumanjanam and there was a fire ritual (homam) which was possibly performed by brahmins / dvijas. More here.

Also wrt your post #1 reg equating vanaras to a race of humans, please note that the vanaras may not have been monkeys at all. Perhaps they just happened to resemble monkeys. Till date the pre-dravidian jungal tribe lambo saoras wear a long loin cloth that hangs behind like a tail. Its just their traditional dressing style. And as nimble jungle hunters they cud easily swing or jump off from tree to tree. If you see some of their photos, they can resemble monkeys (with due respect to saoras / savaras). Btw, the kampu saoras frequently claim to be kaapus. The Sabaras / Savaras are an interesting group (and get mentioned across various texts including the aitatreya brahmana).

But anyways again, please note that the itihaasas were written long after the vedic period, and therefore by that time usage of terms (like arya, dasa) may have become modified (and so also the culture). Also, i request you not take the conversation to vanaras, itihaasas, buddhist or jain literature, etc.

I shall soon post on the verses on aryas and dasyus from the vedas. If you think the verses have other meanings kindly provide them.

"I do not share your "belief" that Vedas are apourusheya."

It is not my view. To me the question of what the Vedas are, what are their origin, or purpose is very much an open question. What I said, was that the idea that Vedas being apurushya is the traditional view.

Regards,
Vivek.
The apourusheya view need not be considered a traditional view. Vedas were propagated to be "apurusheya" by the purvamimansa school.

Regards.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Put aside all ideas of racial differences in the vedas. Kindly do not use the terms “Aryan” and “dasyu” to designate races."

There is nothing about "racial differences" in the Vedas - just that Griffith fabricated them in is translations. I never said arya or dasyu designate races, you are saying that when you speak of dasyus having so and so skin colour, nose, or lips.

Neither of these words have got to do with appearance, nor location, but that the British erraneously used them like they were races to push their propaganda. When you yourself are saying dasyus had noseless, bull-lipped, dark skinned you are refering to them by their appearance (which was the meaning of race in Griffith's time, and even today). Truth is that is an erraneous translation and interpretation.

"Please do not assume the non-aryas (dasyus) had no religion / belief system or occupational divisions like warriors / artisans / shamans (however, kindly note there was no jaati system as we know it today in vedas)."

Please do not assume the aryas or dasyus were names of tribes or clans. It was used for people (from everywhere) based on their character of peity, status, behavior etc.

The thing about Sanskrit language is many words can have dozen words equivalents in English. And these may be unrelated. Example: Vajra means diamond, and also thunderbolt.

For instance, people quote the verses were Indra is described as golden haired - then say he was a N. European with blond hair. Fact is, other verses speak of Indra with golden nails, body, teeth etc. Again, "gold" itself has a metaphorical meaning perhaps. This is what I am saying, we are not in a position to interpret it because we don't know the method of how it should be done. Read query 1. below to understand what I mean.

"And yes there is no need to glorify vedas blindly. There is no need to venerate the ancients blindly too. There is nothing called perfection."

The "veneration" is because I have seen things like Nadi, Marmam, which are actually existing being quiet unexplainable. How are we to explain how it happens or how people millenia ago could have found such things? It is something to ponder.

Nadi for instance, which I have myself had first hand experience in someone taking my thumb print and telling my name. The first thing that entered my mind is, if this man could tell my name, could this have any implication in foresics? Another is Marmam, which tells us of the pressure points - and these are not some fictitious tales, people who have carried on these knowledge since long exist today.

If you ask them, they will say Vedas was the source. So the obvious question that exists is: If Vedas were the source of this (as claimed) by what method did they deduce knowledge from mere hymns?

"Sorry Vedas are not called Aranyakas. The Aranyaka texts are part of the Vedas. And if the Lokaayata (charvaka) view is to be believed, then the texts of Brahmanas (sacrifices) and Aranyakas (forest texts) were added to the Vedas at a later time. Vedas to begin with consisted of just the Samhita hymns."

Perhaps its true additions were done. This also can only be investigated if we study the Vedas, not going by translations.

"And if everything about the past was "perfect" nobody wud look forward to the future. "

You quote "perfect" like its a word I used. Where did I use it? I never did say we were perfect. Infact, I am saying the contrary that we need to change present superstitious tradition by a method of question, thinking and inquiry.

"Please do not bring Griffith’s translation again and again into the picture. The verses are there for ourselves to read."

No, it Griffith's English translations are "there for ourselves to read". Point here is Vedas were read for many years, its obviously raises a question as to how others didn't bring out such meanings from it as Griffith insinuates through his translation.

That isn't strange indeed, and asks for a deeper probe on how he did his study. In analogy, its like all the Englishmen who have studied Sheakspear's works in English come up with a meaning, while someone who translates the works to Tamil, comes up with another meaning.

We are free to approach men learned in the Vedas through the traditional method and ask them questions. But assuming that our translated interpretation is the basis of attesting a theory is just ignorant, I would say. Because the Vedas were composed with a specific method of study. To understand the message would mean to study it in that way.

"Sugreeva was coronated as a king by Dasyu rites (he quotes the savara rite of offering food to a deity accompanied by ritual singing and dancing)."

How is this a "dasyu rite". Can you point to me a tribe called Dasyu? There is no tribes called arya or dasyu. This is the custom of a tribe perhaps sometime ago, probably the very tribe you mentioned. References to any dasyu, is based on character. Dasa also is used in the same way and not always in negative connotation. Things written by various authors (like Iyengar) aren't hard-nailed facts because this study is filled with up coming facts and present theories (like aryan invasion) are filled with inconsistencies.

"And again, note that the itihaasas were written long after the vedic period and therefore by that time usage of terms (like arya, dasa) may have become modified"

We can claim anything got modified. But are you in a position to attest that through a reason? Or give proof of usage of an early original meaning? The fact remains that wherever this word "arya" is used in our scriptures its meaning relates to conduct, behaviour, status etc. Nowhere is it mentioned so and so people are dasyu or arya because of a nose-shape or skin colour.

"Again, please do not bring other literature (such as Buddhist and Jain) apart from the 4 vedas into the picture."

Why shouldn't it be brought? After all the usage of the word "arya" is universal in Indian literature. If you assume it changed in meaning, you are left to explain why or how. References of vedic deities also exist in Buddhist canons. So how does it become irrelevant?

The first reference of it relating to skin colour came from Europe. The first reference of linking dasyus to "noseless, dark" people (a hint at 'blacks') also came from Griffith's translation. Clearly, any proponent to those views, is left to explain how these words weren't interpretted the same way anytime before, ever.

"I shall soon post on the verses on aryas and dasyus. If you think the verses have other meanings kindly provide them."

I am in no position to explain the Vedas. My basis of reasoning against the translations of men like T.H. Griffith (whose English translation is probably the most prominent on the internet) is based on the query I have put in bold.

We will have to go and ask people learned in the Vedas itself for their explainations.

"Because the itihaasas were written long-long after the vedic period and do not reflect the vedic times exactly."

But with what proof can you say the meaning of the word changed? The references to aryas as a race comes only from Europe in the modern era, never once in India's entire history did this wrong meaning exist. Indian usage of the word also predates all others.

"Till date the pre-dravidian jungal tribe lambo saoras wear a long loin cloth that hangs behind like a tail."

The term vanar also alternatively means forst-dweller. If these people have a similar tale like the Ramayana kept in their tradition it could offer us the clue that the references are indeed made to them.

"please note that the itihaasas were written long after the vedic period"

I am aware that numerous interpolations and changes have been made. But throughout history of India, the word arya has only one meaning. Even in the vedas there is no other meaning. To go by Griffith's translation is questionable for the following reasons:

1. It raises doubts as to how so many others through history never even came near interpretting the verses in that manner. And they read the Vedas in the manner it was supposed to read. If someone translate Sheakspearean playwrites to Tamil, and create crossword puzzles and point out racism exists in it, it would only be the wrong method of studying it.

2. Race identity, segregation, racism, were hugely part of British ethos around the time at the time Griffith translated the vedas. How you define race is not important for the simple reason that no interpretation of the Vedas by any scholar before, says dasyus are people with so and so nose, so and so lips, or skin. But you mentioned these from Griffith's translations in previous posts.

3. A single word in Sanskrit could have numerous translations, so we will have to know the original sanskrit text to understand the context.

4. We need to understand the method of how the Vedas were supposed to be studied, in order to understand its composition.

For now I will be looking forward for you to explaining these four points.


"The apourusheya view need not be considered a traditional view. Vedas were propagated to be "apurusheya" by the purvamimansa school."

That also makes it the traditional view. What I mean by "traditional view" is anything that has been agreed upon by past people, in contrary to the western, secular or our own (forming) ideas of the Vedas based on present day study.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Put aside all ideas of racial differences in the vedas. Kindly do not use the terms “Aryan” and “dasyu” to designate races."

There is nothing about "racial differences" in the Vedas - just that Griffith fabricated them in is translations. I never said arya or dasyu designate races, you are saying that when you speak of dasyus having so and so skin colour, nose, or lips.

Neither of these words have got to do with appearance, nor location, but that the British erraneously used them like they were races to push their propaganda. When you yourself are saying dasyus had noseless, bull-lipped, dark skinned you are refering to them by their appearance (which was the meaning of race in Griffith's time, and even today). Truth is that is an erraneous translation and interpretation.
I thot i made it amply clear that looks does not amount to race. Anyways Vivek ji, please go ahead and provide the metaphorical meanings of the verses from the vedas whereever the term "dasyu" occurs. I shall wait for your explanations before i proceed with anything else.

"Please do not assume the non-aryas (dasyus) had no religion / belief system or occupational divisions like warriors / artisans / shamans (however, kindly note there was no jaati system as we know it today in vedas)."

Please do not assume the aryas or dasyus were names of tribes or clans. It was used for people (from everywhere) based on their character of peity, status, behavior etc.
If the terms aryas and dasyus did not refer to tribes or clans, please provide the basis / references for it.

The thing about Sanskrit language is many words can have dozen words equivalents in English. And these may be unrelated. Example: Vajra means diamond, and also thunderbolt.
Everyone knows that.

For instance, people quote the verses were Indra is described as golden haired - then say he was a N. European with blond hair. Fact is, other verses speak of Indra with golden nails, body, teeth etc. Again, "gold" itself has a metaphorical meaning perhaps. This is what I am saying, we are not in a position to interpret it because we don't know the method of how it should be done. Read query 1. below to understand what I mean.
It is imperative to provide appropriate meaning for each of the verses where the description of terms like deva, arya, and dasyus are provided. It is NOT correct to claim we are not in a position to interpret it. That is totally ridiculous. It just means we do not want to accept an other person's translation; even if it is correct, just because that is not what we "want to" hear. If we wish to make others understand the correct meaning of the verses, it is our duty and responsibity to provide the appropriate meanings.

"And yes there is no need to glorify vedas blindly. There is no need to venerate the ancients blindly too. There is nothing called perfection."

The "veneration" is because I have seen things like Nadi, Marmam, which are actually existing being quiet unexplainable. How are we to explain how it happens or how people millenia ago could have found such things? It is something to ponder.

Nadi for instance, which I have myself had first hand experience in someone taking my thumb print and telling my name. The first thing that entered my mind is, if this man could tell my name, could this have any implication in foresics? Another is Marmam, which tells us of the pressure points - and these are not some fictitious tales, people who have carried on these knowledge since long exist today.

If you ask them, they will say Vedas was the source. So the obvious question that exists is: If Vedas were the source of this (as claimed) by what method did they deduce knowledge from mere hymns?
Nadi astrology is not known in the vedas (atleast not in the currently known shakhas). Please provide references for your claim. Am now beginning to suspect that perhaps you have not even made an attempt to read the vedas starting from rig (??).

Nadi astrology pariharams are full of temple visits. The whole culture of temple worship (idol worship) is not there in the first 3 vedas. Even the rite of tying the thali (mangalsutra) is not known in the first 3 vedas. It is only the atharva which barely alludes to the presence of such a rite. If research by PT Srinivasa Iyengar is to be believed then tying thali was a dasyu rite. Infact a lot of rituals we follow today are rites of dasyu origins. And IMO the dasyus were most likely the old aryans.

"Sorry Vedas are not called Aranyakas. The Aranyaka texts are part of the Vedas. And if the Lokaayata (charvaka) view is to be believed, then the texts of Brahmanas (sacrifices) and Aranyakas (forest texts) were added to the Vedas at a later time. Vedas to begin with consisted of just the Samhita hymns."
Perhaps its true additions were done. This also can only be investigated if we study the Vedas, not going by translations.
Vivek, there are very many historians and indologists who research the vedas without a prefixed bias. Unfortunately some indians do not like hear what they say because they are so attached to their caste-identity that they cannot bear anything which goes against their pre-conceived notions of their own caste. It is unfortunate.

Regards.
 
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Vivek ji,

According to you the terms ''arya'' and ''dasyu'' do not refer to warring factions (groups of people). Have you read the rigveda? What do you think it contains wrt ''aryas'' and ''dasyus''? If 'arya' refers to good character, why indra is called an arya despite his miserable character (wrt killing brahmins and violating women) ? Is there any one place in the vedas where indra is called dasyu for his bad behavior ? Kindly note this is about the vedic period only. In vedic period puranas, itihaasaas, buddhism did not exist. So do not compare usage of the terms ''aryas'' and ''dasyus'' with the terminology / usage in post-vedic period.

Since you do not like westerners, you can avoid them and read works by Indian writers / translators instead. You cud try Kashyap and Sadagopan's work also. For a transliterated version you can try Rigveda in Devanagari and Transliteration with Translation into English and German If you google, you can find quite a few resources. You cud even read up some works on this topic on google books.

Unless you read something on or from any of the 4 vedas, say a few kandas of the rig, it wud be difficult for you to converse on it...let alone providing any metaphorical meaning of a verse. However, if you wish you can also consult traditional priests and provide the suitable meaning of the verses.

Even in the smrithis the word used for slave is 'dasa'. Why ? Why a dasa is treated so badly in the smrithis?

After reading the rig, please let us know what do you think 'arya' and 'dasa' mean? And also what does the term dasa mean in manusmrithi ?

Indians have an attitude of attributing anything even remotely 'divine' or 'supernatural' to the vedas. Even Nadi astrology. Yet they have not read even a single kanda of the vedas and live in ''blind belief''.

Regards.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu (1)

"I thot i made it amply clear that looks does not amount to race."

Then why would you say that the dasyus had so and so nose-shape, or lip or skin colour through reference?

"If the terms aryas and dasyus did not refer to tribes or clans, please provide the basis / references for it. "

All of Indian literature is the basis/reference for it. Can you point to me one "dasyu" tribe or "arya" tribe? We have assumed a line in between and then go around saying "dasyu" rituals are being done by "arya" preists. There are texts which define who is an arya - they speak nothing of origins, or which tribe a person comes from.

"Infact a lot of rituals we follow today are rites of dasyu origins. And IMO the dasyus were most likely the old aryans. "

Yes, and the whole stream of researchers who say that look at aryas and dasyus as separate sects or tribes.
If ever of your assumption is true, how did brahmins all of a sudden do dasyu rites, and yet keep the Vedas sacred?

"According to you the terms ''arya'' and ''dasyu'' do not refer to warring factions (groups of people). Have you read the
rigveda? What do you think it contains wrt ''aryas'' and ''dasyus''? If 'arya' refers to good character, why indra is called an
arya despite his miserable character (wrt killing brahmins and violating women)?"

Yes, Indra killed Vritra and asura, a dragon who was also a brahmin. And there are tales of him violating women. It does
raise question, but we are not in a position to interpret them because we haven't probed it in the manner required
Now if a verse (from Griffith's English translation) seems to say something - like the description of dasyus, or of Indra, we
can only get its meaning clarified from someone who has learnt the Vedas. If their interpretation agrees with our interpretation, our questions have their place in the research, otherwise its just a misinterpretation and doesn't amount to a valid question.

Indra is one deity against whom the biggest "criminal record" if I can say exists, but the stories of those aren't probably recorded to show that was his character, rather that even he (king of the devas) is flawed (more as a remainder of position and power). The many places, written of as Indra, may not even be references to one particular (actual living) entity/person.

But all this apart, my desire for probing into the Vedas and what they contain is because of the supposed knowledge that got derived from them (as per the claim). My interest in it is completed surrounded around this deduction of knowledge for practical use - if ever such a deduction is known by anyone today or even exists/existed.

"Even in the smrithis the word used for slave is 'dasa'. Why ? Why a dasa is treated so badly in the smrithis?"

The word definitely seems to be associated with servile nature. But it is also used in a good manner - as in devotee of a
certain deity.

The smritis like Manusmriti seem particularly harsh in their tone and seem to be the establishment of casteism as we know
it. It speaks of lower castes not sitting with upper castes, it says a brahmin of 10 years and a king of 100 years, share the
relation of father and son. The brahmin being the father!

One good thing about India is there has been a hetrodoxical tradition - from where other schools popped up, so we can
very well question what we disagree about anywhere and incept a inquiry, debate into it. But what is important before
that is proper understanding of the particular scripture.
 
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Sow. Happyhindu (2)

"For a transliterated version you can try Rigveda in Devanagari and Transliteration with Translation into English and
German If you google, you can find quite a few resources. You cud even read up some works on this topic on google
books. "

Thank you, I will do that maybe. But now that I have done the study in this (unorthodox) manner though translations, I am thinking I should
give the orthodox method a chance. I have a view based on this method of study, which also incorporates Altaic mythology, and Zoroastrian scriptures - the second of which have references to daevas, and also Indra. But for an orthodox study of the Vedas I need to learn Sanskrit, which I don't know. That is why its a thing I am leaving for the future.

"After reading the rig, please let us know what do you think 'arya' and 'dasa' mean?"

The rig is in Sanskrit which I don't know. We have read Griffith's translations. What we can do now is inquire to those who have learnt in Sanskrit and in the method required. This would make us realize where both the methods of study relate. For this we should make visits to places where they teach vedas.

"Indians have an attitude of attributing anything even remotely 'divine' or 'supernatural' to the vedas. Even Nadi astrology.
Yet they have not read even a single kanda of the vedas and live in ''blind belief''. "

It was the claim of the Nadi readers that it came from the vedas (not mine). My interest is just in finding out how it all came out.

"Nadi astrology is not known in the vedas (atleast not in the currently known shakhas). Please provide references for your
claim."

A thing that derives another needn't contain it. This is why my first post I told my guess, that Vedas may be about epistimology. Take for example: Newton wrote nothing about crank shaft, or cogs of clocks but they uses his principles. The people who made those did it from his laws or othe basic principles. Under all the hymns, vedas may well contain a method of knowledge deduction. That is why it is attributed to knowledge and named after it. This can be one possibilty of why the people attribute it to the vedas or why it is named only as "vedas" (knowledge).

An easy assumption is that people of our past were ignorant and attributed some hymns to deities as "all knowledge". But if its indeed true that details of marmam, or nadi were derived from the vedas, our assumption would be ignorance. More so, because neither of us know the method of study of the Vedas, what we have read is its translation in English by Griffith or others.

Its true that certain indologists would have done unbiased research, but I am unsure how many of them even explored, what is considered the proper method if its study, traditionally.

"The thing about Sanskrit language is many words can have dozen words equivalents in English. And these may be
unrelated. Example: Vajra means diamond, and also thunderbolt.

Everyone knows that."

Then what sense is there in trying to interpret an English veda? We could very well have already translated diamond striking from the sky. How should one interpret it? As someone getting richer? Its entirely misleading. Even the word for cow in sanskrit means earth etc. "Gopala" could mean "Earth protector", or "cow protector" - the ambiguity/equivocal may very well be intentional.

"It is imperative to provide appropriate meaning for each of the verses where the description of terms like deva, arya, and
dasyus are provided. It is NOT correct to claim we are not in a position to interpret it. That is totally ridiculous."

So you walking into an operation theatre and saying "it is NOT correct to claim we are not in a position" to do this surgery. The point is none of the indologists who revel in adding their interpretations ever gave the correct method of study a chance. After we do give it a chance, we can always interpret or see what it says.

Reagrds,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu (1)

"I thot i made it amply clear that looks does not amount to race."

Then why would you say that the dasyus had so and so nose-shape, or lip or skin colour through reference?
Simply because it happens to be mentioned in the Rig. Btw, the description is merely that of "asian looks". A lot of southeast asians wud fit the dasyu looks category apart from indians..

"If the terms aryas and dasyus did not refer to tribes or clans, please provide the basis / references for it. "

All of Indian literature is the basis/reference for it. Can you point to me one "dasyu" tribe or "arya" tribe? We have assumed a line in between and then go around saying "dasyu" rituals are being done by "arya" preists. There are texts which define who is an arya - they speak nothing of origins, or which tribe a person comes from.
No sir all indian literature is no basis to such things. Am talking of the vedic period which most probably began around late mesolithic / early neolithic. So locating the "arya" tribes or "dasyu" tribes today is not possible -- too much admixture. Am not sure on what basis you wud think priests were aryas alone.

"Infact a lot of rituals we follow today are rites of dasyu origins. And IMO the dasyus were most likely the old aryans. "

Yes, and the whole stream of researchers who say that look at aryas and dasyus as separate sects or tribes.
If ever of your assumption is true, how did brahmins all of a sudden do dasyu rites, and yet keep the Vedas sacred?
Some say the term "brahmana" was used for the atharvan priests alone (the rig priest was a hotr, sama priest was an udgatr and yajur preist was an adhvaryu). Some speculate Ravana was an atharvavedi brahmana. Atharva veda surfaced in srilanka long before any other veda did. But at some point of time there was "the rise of Yajurvedis". And knowledge of the atharva passed on to the yajurvedis (the yajurvedis "took over" the atharvana priests). Today you hardly find atharvavedi brahmanas. It is very possible that most southern indian brahmins were atharvans (dasyu) priests once upon a time (who changed allegience to the yajur or got absorbed into the yajurvedis stream). However, no one is able to locate the connection b/w present day brahmins and the brahmins of vedic period concretely yet.

"According to you the terms ''arya'' and ''dasyu'' do not refer to warring factions (groups of people). Have you read the
rigveda? What do you think it contains wrt ''aryas'' and ''dasyus''? If 'arya' refers to good character, why indra is called an
arya despite his miserable character (wrt killing brahmins and violating women)?"

Yes, Indra killed Vritra and asura, a dragon who was also a brahmin. And there are tales of him violating women. It does
raise question, but we are not in a position to interpret them because we haven't probed it in the manner required
Now if a verse (from Griffith's English translation) seems to say something - like the description of dasyus, or of Indra, we
can only get its meaning clarified from someone who has learnt the Vedas. If their interpretation agrees with our interpretation, our questions have their place in the research, otherwise its just a misinterpretation and doesn't amount to a valid question.
Kindly let us know in what manner should the verses be probed? Btw, vritra is not the only brahmana that Indra killed.

Indra is one deity against whom the biggest "criminal record" if I can say exists, but the stories of those aren't probably recorded to show that was his character, rather that even he (king of the devas) is flawed (more as a remainder of position and power). The many places, written of as Indra, may not even be references to one particular (actual living) entity/person.
Why do you think so?

But all this apart, my desire for probing into the Vedas and what they contain is because of the supposed knowledge that got derived from them (as per the claim). My interest in is completed surrounded around this is deduction of knowledge for practical use - if ever such a deduction is known by anyone or even exists.
Good luck to you in your desire.

"Even in the smrithis the word used for slave is 'dasa'. Why ? Why a dasa is treated so badly in the smrithis?"

The word definitely seems to be associated with servile nature. But it is also used in a good manner - as in devotee of a
certain deity.
There is no "devotee of a deity" idea in the smrithis when the word dasa is used.

The smritis like Manusmriti seem particularly harsh in their tone and seem to be the establishment of casteism as we know
it. It speaks of lower castes not sitting with upper castes, it says a brahmin of 10 years and a king of 100 years, share the
relation of father and son. The brahmin being the father!
Finally you are beginning to see it.

One good thing about India is there has been a hetrodoxical tradition - from where other schools popped up, so we can
very well question what we disagree about anywhere and incept a inquiry, debate into it. But what is important before
that is proper understanding of the particular scripture.
Proper understanding was / is / will continue to be attempted by many. Am beginning to think there is nothing at the end of the tunnel.

Regards.
 
Yeah in the Smrithees there is no "devotion to deity".

The Dasyu is a clan (race) of fair skinned Persians (dahyu). Look at the Aveastan Ahura and Aryan Asura. In the Parsee system, the Asura is benevolent and Indra is bad. The good Asuras caught hold of heaven from evil Indra, the Parsees used to say. So this shows the animosity between the people in Hapta Hindu (Sapta Sindhu) and people in Persian country.

The parsees used to worship the fire, the bridegroom sports the Kum Kum on his forehead before marriage. The baptism is also like that of Aryan Janeu function viz., Navjote. For more info go to Navjote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


So this makes clear. The dahyus are fair skinned Iranians and Aryans are dark skinned (relatively) Indians. Thus the dahyus are a diffrent race and Aryans are a different race.

Lastly, the Moslem invaders used to call the Parsees as fire pagans. They also noted a superficial difference between the Brahmins and the parsees, viz. the Havan worship by Brahmins. Reg the Caste system as a racial discrimination, there are a lot of matters and proofs to it. I'll post them after a some time.
 
Happy New year to all,A friend wrote Muslims are brought from pakistan and bangladesh,it shows he dont know history,paksitan and bangladesh are separated from india after independence.so know the history after that talk...
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Simply because it happens to be mentioned in the Rig. Btw, the description is merely that of "asian looks". "

You don't seem to have understood the point I was making - read query 1. of post #5 here. When I ask: "Why didn't anyone who learnt the vedas before make the interpretation as Griffith?" I am saying Griffith's translation, which gives the insinuation of describing "aryas" with european appearance, and "dasyu", "dasa" with "asian looks" or even black, was intentionally put in place to spread that very idea that India's history began in the same manner as British invading us - this was the propaganda to justify their invasion and rule over India.

By that query 1. in post # 5, I am saying his translation is misleading at worst, or questionable at least because it is then surprising how the text didn't get interpretted that way by anyone else - which brings you to explain that.

"Why do you think so?"

About Indra:

This seems to generally be the case regarding mentions of Indra to me. Assuming that the events in the epics have some relevance to real events, epics like Mahabharata are written as stories that follow a timeline. Even Hanuman appears in the Mahabhrata and Ramayana, but the events follow a chronological order of a "life". In short: Hanuman is old by the era of the Mahabharata. Stories of Indra, however, are everywhere, with no references to one another, nor details of the person Indra.

"Am talking of the vedic period which most probably began around late mesolithic / early neolithic. So locating the "arya" tribes or "dasyu" tribes today is not possible -- too much admixture. Am not sure on what basis you wud think priests were aryas alone."

The point is there is no account of a tribe/tribes named arya or dasyu tribe ever named. These two words have always only be used in the reference to a trait. We can assume anything saying its not possible to locate it, point is there is nothing pointing in the direction said by you. What was done is the erraneous (continued) use of these terms as a clan, or race.

By "arya" preist I mean the brahmins, and the reference (as "arya") was a sarcastic one. Read it again, you will see my point. To explain it again - the proponents of your view generally view that the varna system is "arya" and used to destroy the "dasyus".

But when they see brahmins doing some of the so-called "dasyu" rites, they assume it was borrowed. Underlying point here is that, we, with our English reading of vedas see a paradox in the vedas and present tradition, but other's who understand the vedas by the traditional method don't. Clearly there is something not understood in between. It would be necessary for us to probe that, rather than jump to conclusions like admixing of dasyu and arya tribes happened. Why then did nobody ever associate dasyus with bull-lipped, or dark skinned? After all this is what you started with assuming Griffth's verses.

"There is no "devotee of a deity" idea in the smrithis when the word dasa is used. "

I was speaking of early literature - my point to you was that dasa was not always used in derogatory manner.

"Finally you are beginning to see it."

I always held that there was a corruption that happened down history in our traditions. I have read the manner in which discourses were done in India. You fail to get my point of what I think we as a community should do.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sri Srikrish85

There is no reference as you say. Even in the Persian usage, the word Aryan is similar to the Sanskrit one - it speaks of character, trait. But they made the term synonymous with being a devotee of Ahura Mazda (ie. a Zoroastrian). This is similar to the sense in which the term gentleman was synonymous with having "Christian" ideals.

Underlying point is nothing related to appearance, or race is ever associated with being arya or aryan ever (not even in the Behistun inscription) - this was a later connotation from Europe (no offense to Sow. Happyhindu or anyone, I am not blaming white people), which started from the era of Thule, British Raj, and Nazi regime. You can see early references to arya and just compare how the idea changes.

What I have said is from my reading for which I can provide you the source of how I came to see it that way. Would like to read your point of view too.

Regards,
Vivek.

As far as I knew the idea of dasyu in Iranian (Persian) scripture means "man" - this is what I remember correct me. I will discuss the references to the Iranian daevas, as evil beings. There definitely seems to be an idea of conflict between Vedas and Zoroastrian scripture, but no direct mention of each other - however, Indra is mentioned, which requires us to ponder on it.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
The Brits were not entirely wrong about the Aryan "Invasion" Theory. Maybe there was no invasion, but a migration is an irrefutable fact. These migrants were initially only confined to Northern India but made their way to Southern parts a few centuries back. And most probably you and I are descended from those people.

Is there possibly any other theory that can explain who so many brahmins of southern India have parrot like sharp nose, full lips(as opposed to oversized ones) ,fair complexion, and a high incidence of R1A1, the prime Indo-european marker? Don't tell me you can't tell a TB from a horde of TNB's.

I'm not casteist in any way but I don't see any reason not to acknowledge these things, that too in a TB forum!
 
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sudeshwer

Guest
I being an Ashtasahasram Iyer wish to know from Mr Vivek as to how he is that 'an Ashtasahasram Iyer is from Ennaiyram, where legend goes that 8000 Jains (not brahmins) existed and probably came from Jainism to Astika schools like Advaita later on'. what sort of reference he has!. thanks
 
@ Sow. Happyhindu

"Simply because it happens to be mentioned in the Rig. Btw, the description is merely that of "asian looks". "

You don't seem to have understood the point I was making - read query 1. of post #5 here. When I ask: "Why didn't anyone who learnt the vedas before make the interpretation as Griffith?" I am saying Griffith's translation, which gives the insinuation of describing "aryas" with european appearance, and "dasyu", "dasa" with "asian looks" or even black, was intentionally put in place to spread that very idea that India's history began in the same manner as British invading us - this was the propaganda to justify their invasion and rule over India.
I was not talking about Griffith's translation at any point of time. But you have been mentioning Griffith, his translation and british-talk in almost every post on this thread. Nowhere have i mentioned the looks of aryas either. There was only one reason i mentioned looks of the dasyus. Because one member, Kunjuppu ji wanted to know why amongst brahmins there is a mix of fair and dark skinned people (such a mix or odd assortment happens to be the case for NBs too). And thru these posts i wanted to convey that the dasyus were mentioned as dark skinned people. And that there were tribal fights in vedic time itself. So the rest is left to others to dig into if not for speculation. Am saying no more on this topic.

By that query 1. in post # 5, I am saying his translation is misleading at worst, or questionable at least because it is then surprising how the text didn't get interpretted that way by anyone else - which brings you to explain that.
You are free to hold your POVs. You are mistaken in thinking only Griffith interpreted things in a certain way. Which is why i asked you to atleast make an attempt to read works by indian writers / translators. Holding POVs merely for the sake of holding one without any background study makes no sense.

"Why do you think so?"

About Indra:

This seems to generally be the case regarding mentions of Indra to me. Assuming that the events in the epics have some relevance to real events, epics like Mahabharata are written as stories that follow a timeline. Even Hanuman appears in the Mahabhrata and Ramayana, but the events follow a chronological order of a "life". In short: Hanuman is old by the era of the Mahabharata. Stories of Indra, however, are everywhere, with no references to one another, nor details of the person Indra.
Sorry Vivek ji, again you are moving to the itihaasa period and make no sense wrt Indra.

"Am talking of the vedic period which most probably began around late mesolithic / early neolithic. So locating the "arya" tribes or "dasyu" tribes today is not possible -- too much admixture. Am not sure on what basis you wud think priests were aryas alone."

The point is there is no account of a tribe/tribes named arya or dasyu tribe ever named. These two words have always only be used in the reference to a trait. We can assume anything saying its not possible to locate it, point is there is nothing pointing in the direction said by you. What was done is the erraneous (continued) use of these terms as a clan, or race.
Obviously there was a set of people who called themselves arya. Please read the rig before you venture to speak on the subject.

By "arya" preist I mean the brahmins, and the reference (as "arya") was a sarcastic one. Read it again, you will see my point. To explain it again - the proponents of your view generally view that the varna system is "arya" and used to destroy the "dasyus".

But when they see brahmins doing some of the so-called "dasyu" rites, they assume it was borrowed. Underlying point here is that, we, with our English reading of vedas see a paradox in the vedas and present tradition, but other's who understand the vedas by the traditional method don't. Clearly there is something not understood in between. It would be necessary for us to probe that, rather than jump to conclusions like admixing of dasyu and arya tribes happened. Why then did nobody ever associate dasyus with bull-lipped, or dark skinned? After all this is what you started with assuming Griffth's verses.
Sorry Vivek, the first para makes no sense to me. Reg your underlying point, nobody can assume, or persume anything without studying things. But obviously we have people who go on talking about Griffith and go on elaborating their POVs without even reading a few riks or any other verses from the vedas.

"There is no "devotee of a deity" idea in the smrithis when the word dasa is used. "

I was speaking of early literature - my point to you was that dasa was not always used in derogatory manner.
Dasa was used positively only by a specific set of people at one time (some say these people are now 'people of the east'). In Bengal there were no brahmins in the past. So also even for Kashmir at one point of time. I feel these places had philosophers (anthanar type) and shamans (ritualists) who were not considered brahmins from the ""vedic" POV.

Regards.
 
Yeah in the Smrithees there is no "devotion to deity".

The Dasyu is a clan (race) of fair skinned Persians (dahyu). Look at the Aveastan Ahura and Aryan Asura. In the Parsee system, the Asura is benevolent and Indra is bad. The good Asuras caught hold of heaven from evil Indra, the Parsees used to say. So this shows the animosity between the people in Hapta Hindu (Sapta Sindhu) and people in Persian country.
The dasyu are mentioned as dark skinned people in the rig. It is true that Indra is evil in Zoarashtrian religion (an exact opposite to the vedas).

The parsees used to worship the fire, the bridegroom sports the Kum Kum on his forehead before marriage. The baptism is also like that of Aryan Janeu function viz., Navjote. For more info go to Navjote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


So this makes clear. The dahyus are fair skinned Iranians and Aryans are dark skinned (relatively) Indians. Thus the dahyus are a diffrent race and Aryans are a different race.
Srikrish, am confused, what makes it clear that dasyus were fair skinned iranians and aryans were dark skinned?

The Brits were not entirely wrong about the Aryan "Invasion" Theory. Maybe there was no invasion, but a migration is an irrefutable fact. These migrants were initially only confined to Northern India but made their way to Southern parts a few centuries back. And most probably you and I are descended from those people.

Is there possibly any other theory that can explain who so many brahmins of southern India have parrot like sharp nose, full lips(as opposed to oversized ones) ,fair complexion, and a high incidence of R1A1, the prime Indo-european marker? Don't tell me you can't tell a TB from a horde of TNB's.
There may be other theories for the admixture and variation across all "castes". R1A1 is found in indian tribes and adivasis in high frequencies. And do note the R1a line in india is the oldest so far at around ~36,000ybp while that of europe is younger (this may suggest a migration of R1a from the sub-continent into europe).

Regards.
 
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sudeshwer

Guest
being an Ashtasahasram Iyer wish to know from Mr Vivek as to how he says that 'an Ashtasahasram Iyer is from Ennaiyram, where legend goes that 8000 Jains (not brahmins) existed and probably came from Jainism to Astika schools like Advaita later on'. what sort of reference he has!. thanks
 
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@ Sri Sudeshwer

I found this from the internet. If it was a mistyping, do clarify. I was going to visit the place myself and find out but never got the time till now.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sri Harish23

"The Brits were not entirely wrong about the Aryan "Invasion" Theory. Maybe there was no invasion, but a migration is an irrefutable fact. These migrants were initially only confined to Northern India but made their way to Southern parts a few centuries back. And most probably you and I are descended from those people.

Is there possibly any other theory that can explain who so many brahmins of southern India have parrot like sharp nose, full lips(as opposed to oversized ones) ,fair complexion, and a high incidence of R1A1, the prime Indo-european marker?"


The British misinterpretted the idea of aryan, and equated it to race which is why you find the necessity to speak of a genetic theory. Aryas had nothing to do with fair skin, or anything today thought of, nor did dasyus of "dark skin, bull-lipped, noseless" (as Happyhindu quoted). These interpretations were placed to insiniuate that idea - and all these are a first in the interpretation of our scriptures, despite the fact that all our scriptures have been learnt for millenia. That is exactly what puts doubt on such an interpretation.

There is no doubt that foreigners came and became part of our society - it is exactly what happened. The features of certain south Indian brahmins comes from the fact that they did migrate (north to south) when in later history empires like Vijayanagar became centers of our literature, study etc. It was hardly due to an "Aryan Invasion" in some early era. Besides that numerous migrations have happened from everywhere. I have even come across north Indian brahmins who were dark skinned (in a wedding between a UP brahmin boy and Tamil brahmin girl, whose mother was my mother's friend), though I agree that most I have seen are light skinned.

The "theory" of Aryan invasion passes off conveniently because such a distant history to which it is attributed to doesn't have any written records. Point is not once was brahmin or arya, or status by any means in our past society given relation to skin colour. I don't mean to accuse any Brits in the present day, but what I say of their past (British Raj) government is true - take time and get to read quotes of people from the time to get a picture of what I am saying.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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sudeshwer

Guest
Dear Sri Vivek,
ref. No.21, I never heard about this place. if it is in north I would like to visit since I will be going to Delhi (where I live for the last 50 years) from US in feb2011. I also place that name on Google; let me see what it says - srinivasan
 
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@ Sow. Happyhindu

"There was only one reason i mentioned looks of the dasyus. Because one member, Kunjuppu ji wanted to know why
amongst brahmins there is a mix of fair and dark skinned people (such a mix or odd assortment happens to be the case for
NBs too). And thru these posts i wanted to convey that the dasyus were mentioned as dark skinned people."

But are they mentioned as dark skinned? If so why didn't others of the past interpret it that way? Your efforts to explain to Kunjuppu are fine, it doesn't mean you explained it right. The idea of skin colour "mix" is itself a western one, where there existed a concept of race.

Read this carefully - there is a mix of straight noses, blunt noses, and all noses in between, curly hair straight hair and everything in between, light skin, dark skin and everything in between. Were these features by which brahmins as a community "identified" themselves? NO. Your assumption then is silly when you speak of "mix", having to assume we started as a single race or something. A mix is based on mixing of those aspects of identity which a community identifies itself by. "white people" are called so because THEY identified themselves with skin colour.

"You are free to hold your POVs. You are mistaken in thinking only Griffith interpreted things in a certain way. Which is
why i asked you to atleast make an attempt to read works by indian writers / translators."

Show me translated verses from Indian writers or translators. It still doesn't answer query 1. of post # 5 because that query
is connected to the reasonable question as to why no one else came with the same interpretations of "bull lipped, black
skinned, noseless" dasyus.

"again you are moving to the itihaasa period and make no sense wrt Indra."

References to Indra are throughout Indian scriptures! You posted this in my response to you which explained why I think
Indra may not refer to a particular person. Your argument is incoherent to me. To you vedas seem like they are
"worshipping" Indra, they do to me too. But any person read in the vedas would hardly tell you those hymns are worships
to Indra - it again points to what I have been trying to say - our interpretation based on Griffith's English Vedas are a
misunderstanding, which is why we come to the apparent contradictions/paradoxes.

"Obviously there was a set of people who called themselves arya. Please read the rig before you venture to speak on the
subject. "

I have read it (Griffith's translation). Maybe you can explain which people called themselves "arya" as a clan or tribe name.
There exist none. The only references to such usage come from the studies on Indology that started in the 19th
century under the British Raj. The nature of the study was criticized since then, because the British tried to interpret our history from their world-view point.

"Me: By "arya" preist I mean the brahmins, and the reference (as "arya") was a sarcastic one. Read it again, you will see my
point. To explain it again - the proponents of your view generally view that the varna system is "arya" and used to destroy
the "dasyus".

But when they see brahmins doing some of the so-called "dasyu" rites, they assume it was borrowed. Underlying point here
is that, we, with our English reading of vedas see a paradox in the vedas and present tradition, but other's who understand
the vedas by the traditional method don't. Clearly there is something not understood in between. It would be necessary
for us to probe that, rather than jump to conclusions like admixing of dasyu and arya tribes happened. Why then did
nobody ever associate dasyus with bull-lipped, or dark skinned? After all this is what you started with assuming Griffth's
verses.

Happyhindu: Sorry Vivek, the first para makes no sense to me. Reg your underlying point, nobody can assume, or
persume anything without studying things. But obviously we have people who go on talking about Griffith and go on
elaborating their POVs without even reading a few riks or any other verses from the vedas."
Read it again. What I am saying is pretty simple - the people who read the Vedas (from long ago, till today) and who also
do "idol/dasyu" rites in temples see no contradiction as you do. So your apparent contraditions will be answered when you
ask them. As I said earlier, things that later came out and are not mentioned in the vedas may not be "dasyu", very well
derived in times later.
"Dasa was used positively only by a specific set of people at one time (some say these people are now 'people of the east').
In Bengal there were no brahmins in the past. So also even for Kashmir at one point of time."

Whatever the case it still means Dasa did have a positive connotation in some place contrary to what you said. The answer to "why?" is
replied less convincingly by our guesses, than it is by a detailed research on the word or its usage.

"The dasyu are mentioned as dark skinned people in the rig. It is true that Indra is evil in Zoarashtrian religion (an exact
opposite to the vedas)."

Yes, and do you mind to keep the Zoroastrian text chronology in mind? The role of the Daevas in Zoroastrian scriptures is one of "misled beings, freezers of man's brains" to being "demons" in Zoroastrian scriptures, the role of Asuras in Indian scriptures seems to be that of "powerful beings" to later "power hungry" and "evil, wrongdoers". I am well aware of the Ahura-Asura cognate as well as the Deva-Daeva cognate and opposite meanings. Dasyus however are not called "dark skinned" anywhere, and Dahae (cognate of Dasa) means "man" in Iranian scriptures from what I know. If Dasyus were dark skinned, and all that was the case numerous dark skinned people would have been dismissed as "Dasyus". The reason for such translations from the British, German Indologists at the time was to show that a race war is what established our civilization.

You probably didn't understand my line of reasoning, which is why I am left to make you answer the question you keep skipping: Why is it that others who actually learnt (and had discussion) in the Vedas for centuries didn't get the same meanings as Griffith's English translation or any translations whish speak of "bull lipped, noseless, dark skinned" dasyus did?

Don't accuse me of "venerating" anyone because the logic of the question is independent of what I think of the vedas. Further, neither of us has actually seen the way the vedic verses are studied or how (by what method) and interpretation is made on it. In the meantime, it makes perfect sense to speak of meanings of the word "arya" in texts that are more direct in their explaination.

Why am I to assume that there was some sudden jump and change in meaning of this word from one supposed era to another? Further, there is really no reason to even assume the meaning changed because throughout Indian literature (even in the Vedas, if you don't rely on Griffith's propaganda translation) it has the same meaning.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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@ Sri Sudeshwar

"Dear Sri Vivek,
ref. No.21, I never heard about this place. if it is in north I would like to visit since I will be going to
[COLOR=#da7911 !important][COLOR=#da7911 !important]Delhi[/COLOR][/COLOR] (where I live for the last 50 years) from US in feb2011."

No it is in Tamil Nadu in the Villupuram district. It was one website that mentioned that it had 8000 Jains. You can type "Ennaiyram" in google and search this. If I made a mistake, clarify. Thanks.

Regards,
Vivek.
 
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