A book titled The Afghan Connection authored by Dr Pramod V Pathak, a professional chemical engineer from The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Mumbai) and a Ph. D. in Vedic Literature from Mumbai University, is a phenomenal work and can be considered a “magnum opus” by the reader. It has been published by Bhishma Prakashan, a prominent publishing house from the city of Pune in Maharashtra.
The author has been a visiting professor at the University of Houston, United States of America, and a consultant to the Government of Goa on the Plastic Free Goa Mission. The book has been well appreciated by Nitin Gokhale, a well-known national security analyst, media trainer and founder of Bharat Shakti.
This treatise by Dr Pathak draws a parallel between the ancient Vedic civilisation of India and the Vedic culture prevalent in ancient Afghanistan. The first part of this book deals with the five archaeological divisions of Afghanistan and the names of reputed British and American scholars and diplomats associated with excavations of various sites in Afghanistan. The most famous ones are Mundigak and Shahr-i-Sokhta.
The author has forged a strong connection and striking resemblance between various antiquities and symbols of Vedic Culture and artefacts obtained from archaeological excavations in Afghanistan. Some examples include Sacred Bull seals, fire temples, priest-king heads and altars and the import of Lapis Lazuli from Badakhshan in Afghanistan to India.
Other symbols such as Gandabherunda, and Indra Killing Vritra (Serpent Demon) have spread all across Europe and Russia. These symbols have inspired Christians and they have depicted their saints such as St George and St. Michael killing dragons. They wore lockets and necklaces depicting the same.
The author believes that Indus Culture was identical to Vedic Culture. The tectonic movements and subsequent drying up of the Sarasvati River have been the cause for the devolution of Indus Culture. Due to the presence of many deities, some factions adopted Monotheism and others adopted polytheism. One group went eastwards whereas the other group went westwards towards Afghanistan and Iran.
The book describes the major modern-day Afghan tribes and their relations with Rigvedic tribes dating from the historical Battle of Ten Kings. The word Afghan comes from the word Avagana in Vedic literature (Brihatsamhita). A new concept that came to my mind while reading this book was that Elphinstone, a British scholar, had linked these Afghan tribes with the lost ten tribes of the Old Testament in the Bible also called Ben-i-Israel.
According to Dr Pathak, the cyclonic storms in Afghanistan and their relation with the to three Rigvedic deities namely Apam Napat, Ahirbudhnya and Aja Ekpad. The Rigveda also mentions Maruts (wind gods) and they are always considered a plural entity.
The resistance put forward by the people of Vamasthana (Kapisa) against repeated coercive Islamic conversion attempts is mentioned in the 4th chapter of the book. This is very commendable. The inhabitants followed Vedic culture. The most popular deity of their pantheon was Imra (identical to Vedic Indra). It eventually fell to the rulers of Kabul, who renamed it Nuristan/ Kafiristan.
The 5th chapter mentions the location, geography and topography of the land of the Dasas which is identical to that of present-day Sistan. The author has described the formation of mounds (Butt formations) and how they are influenced by the soil erosion caused by the Bad-I-Sad-o-Bist (strong winds that blow in Afghanistan from May to September).
Dr Pramod V Pathak hopes that peace will be restored soon in Afghanistan. He openly declared that zealots, extremists, radicals and bigots such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network can never unite people and achieve prosperity
The most revered freedom fighter from Maharashtra Lokmanya Tilak had summarised the various stages of Vedic literature into four periods in his monumental work ‘The Orion’. The two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are closely connected to ancient Afghanistan. (Gandhara and Kekaya). The author then describes the historical reign and period of Persian, Greek, Buddhist, Sakas and Hindu Shahi rulers in Afghanistan.
In the 7th Chapter, the author describes the Golden period of Afghanistan, which began in the Rigvedic era and ended after the defeat of Jayapal, the last Hindu Shahi ruler of Afghanistan at the hands of Mahmud of Ghazni. After the Islamisation of Afghanistan, the golden heritage went on a downward slide.
The book then narrates the modern history of Afghanistan from consolidation by Ahmed Shah Abdali, Soviet occupation and till the 2nd Taliban occupation on August 15th 2021 and the brutal punishments meted out to the Afghan people during their malevolent regime.
Towards the end, Dr Pramod V Pathak hopes that peace will be restored soon in Afghanistan. He openly declared that zealots, extremists, radicals and bigots such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network can never unite people and achieve prosperity.
The book is a marvellous piece of work which is a must-read for anyone interested in Vedic Research, Indology and Indic Studies.