New findings on Rig Veda (Post No.9504)


Post No. 9504

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Hyderabad, August 1, 1993, Times of India dated 3-8-1993

The Rigveda contains a high degree of astronomical knowledge according to the recent studies conducted by the Hyderabad based B H M Birla Science Centre.

The Rigveda and related Vedic Literature contained accurate and sophisticated calendric astronomy pointing not to an illiterate semi nomadic tribal society but a well settled agrarian and scholastic population, Dr B G Siddharth, Director General of the centre, who led the study, told UNI.

Once the astronomical content of the Vedic literature is recognised several dates emerge contradicting the prevalent picture of pre -history, he said, claiming that there was no archaeological basis for the theory that Indo- Aryans invaded India around 1500 BCE

Rigveda was not compiled by the tribe around 1500 BCE as was now supposed but was the product of a well settled civilisation going back to 8000 BCE and beyond on the basis of astronomical dating. This was supported by recent archaeological excavations in South Eastern Turkey, Dr Siddhartha said.

Even around 2000 BCE a vast belt from Turkey to India, including Central Asia had a civilisation derived from the earliest Rig Vedic civilisation. This was the period of latest Brahmanas books.

He disputed the theory that Aryans overran the Indus Valley civilisation. This view was based on the interpretation of the Rigveda whose hymns were supposed to be invocations to several deities, for aid in their battles to conquer the original inhabitants.

Dr Siddartha claimed that the more antique date of 10000 BCE proposed for Rigveda or Vedic culture seemed more plausible in view of the epi Palaeolithic agricultural or proto agricultural civilisations going back to similar period or earlier.

If at all, as the European scholars had supposed , Rig Vedic descriptions of invasions on the circular forts of the Dasas were to be taken literally, couldn’t these forts to be identified with the circular dwellings of the Neolithic people in and around the Anatolian region, he asked.

On the other hand, the Rigvedic and others Vedic literature showed a level of astronomy and science far ahead of that seen around 2000 BCE on wards, he asserted.

Stating that the linear model of progress adopted by historians had not always been true , Dr Siddharth said there has been eras of regression in human civilisation or knowledge. Very advanced but camouflaged astronomy in the Rig Veda seemed to lose its way decayed, as its purport was lost, he added.

A number of dates showing a continuous astronomical tradition from before 10000 BCE tumbled out of Vedic literature. Many of these dates were couched in the typical allegorical style of Vedic and  other ancient Indian literature, but there were explicit dates as well.

Even the earliest of Brahmanas or expository texts in the Vedas like the Aitareya Brahmana (6000 BCE) had started speculating on the possible meanings of Rigveda, he said, adding that this text referred to the asterism Punarvasu (Castor and Pollux) presided over by the deity Aditi also being exactly at the east point. This happened around 6000 BCE and was in a different sense, noticed by Tilak.

The Satapata Brahmana, one of the latest Brahmana s ,refers to the asterism Krittika or Pleiades rising from the east point which yields the date of about 2300 BCE, he claimed.

Citing the nearly unknown excavations at Nevali Cori in Anatolia dating back to 7500 BCE, he said that there seemed to be a well developed civilisation with megalithic elements and meticulous architecture. Several beautiful limestone sculptures found there indicated that the inhabitants were an artistic lot.

The current excavations concealed even older structures on which these were built, showing an even older civilisation. All these contradicted the current view that civilisation began in Egypt and Sumeria around3000 BCE, he claimed.

Neveli Cori was an isolated oasis within the

framework of current knowledge as it did not relate to any culture or civilisation of its period.

However, he said, recent excavations at Mehrgarh in Baluchistan dating back to between 7000 BCE and 6000 BCE, paralleled Nevali Cori in terms of economy agriculture, domestication of animals and layout of large settlements.

Dr Siddharth said there had been instances of cultures of Aryans in Anatolia like the Mitanni, the Hittites, and the Kassites , of about the middle of the second millennium BCE.

Vedic deities like Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Nasatya were invoked in the Bogazkoi Oath inscription near Istanbul.


 tags – Nevala cori, Birla Institute, Date of Vedas

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