A Page from History: How Old is Hindu Culture
Of all the injustices perpetrated by the British or the Western races generally on India, the worst, though in a subtle way, is the wrong and fabricated history of our country with which our children have been fed continuously for two centuries. Our ‘Indian’ history begins with the Aryans who were said to have migrated from Central Asia into the Punjab about 4000 years ago and our Aryan civilization is supposed to have commenced from that time only.
The ‘Oriental’ scholars of Europe in the 19th century observing the close resemblance of Sanskrit and Zend to the principal languages of Europe hit on the theory of a common original home in Central Asia. Professor Max Muller who was the first to fix a date for the Vedas said that there was a time “when the first ancestors of the Indians. Persians, the Greeks, the Romans the Salvs, the Celts and the Germans were living together within the same enclosures, nay under the same roof”. This theory was based on philological grounds only.
Writing about the movements of these tribes Mr Charles L. Brace in his book, “A Manual of Ethnology or Races of the Old World” published in 1869 says: “All these ever-moving streams of people it should be remembered flowed from the mountain plateaus of Central Asia long before the historical period. The only evidence of them lies in the structure and terms of their languages. Neither tradition nor song nor monument or historical record has preserved any mention of these primeval wanderings of the first race of Turanian men and women.”
Even the discovery of well-built towns by archaeologists in Mohenjo Daro in Sind exhibiting “the Indus peoples of the fourth and third millenniums BC in possession of a highly developed culture’ did not daunt the enthusiasm of the advocates of the theory of migration of Indo-Aryans in the 2nd Milleium BC. They tried to argue that the Indus-Valley civilization wherein people lived in well-burnt brick-built houses with all ideas of modern town planning as regards roads and covered and paved drains, knowing use of precious metals, of wheelmade modern pottery, etc., was pre-Vedic and that there was no trace of Aryan culture in their civilization. Sir John Marshall who was the Director-General of Archaeology connected with this discovery says: “In my own view nothing has yet been found either at Mohenjo Daro or Harappa that conflicts with the orthodox theory that the ‘Indo-Aryans’ entered the Punjab about the middle of the second millenium BC (i.e. 1500 BC) but from the picture we get in the Vedas of the pre-Aryan population. I incline to think that the Indus civilization could have been but a mere shadow of its former self.”
The bias about the antiquity of Aryans has been carried by Indologists to absurd lengths, taking advantage of our political subjection when we find the famous author Mr Edwin Arnold, suggesting in his preface to the ‘Sogn Celestial’ the verse translation of Bhagwad Gita has the Gita itself may have as its source the teachings of Jesus Christ! Mr BG Tilak has given a reply to this in his translation of Gita. To such Orientalists there is no place or space in their ‘Indian’ history for Ramayan or Mahabharat which are dismissed as works of pure imagination! Is it ever possible, apart from other events, that meticulous details about the rules of Dharmic warfare are given in the Mahabharata without a battle being ever fought!
Our Vedas were handed over from father to son not in engraved stone or papyrus fibre or leaf or book which could be lost but engraved in the wonderful memory of man, which preserved the original without the least harm even to the accent. To the Western mind such feats of memory and knowledge are ununder-standable and unbelievable and it naturally questions the possibility of Lord Krishna and Arjun having dicussed Yoga in Bhagwad Gita all in verse ex tempore.
The late Babu Bhagwan Das in his “Science of the Sacred Word” refers to the remarkable powers of memory of an old Pandit Dhanaraja in Gorakhpur who could give a complete list of all old Sanskrit extant works and could recite from them. The gigantic mental powers which our ancestors displayed cannot but be belittled by the Westerners who even now are the ruling powers when all these years we were a subject nation. It is one of the prices we have to pay for our slavery. By SY Ramaswamy