The India outside India – I

July 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm 42 comments

A note on Sanskrit pronunciation: please glance through this image before proceeding. My reproduction of Sanskrit is somewhat restricted due to my keyboard, but I tried my best to follow these conventions.

The Vedas and the vedic knowledge were born in India. As time has flown by, many natural calamities and socio-political upheavals have modified the picture of this landmass to a large extent. But, in spite of this external transformation, there continues to flow in the heart of this land a thin yet strong current of rich collective heritage. One particular distributary of that current is the ancient Iranian (Zoroastrian) text Zend Avesta. The religion propagated by Zarathustra in ancient Iran was a branch of Vedic knowledge. Only the language differs: Iranian (sometimes called Avestan or Old Iranian) instead of Sanskrit. A search into the religious foundations of ancient Iran will lead us to believe that their ancestors were the very same people who propagated Vedic knowledge. In other words, ancient Iranians were from ancient India.

Due to lack of productive work, they travelled to what we now called Iran. The very word Iran is only a spacio-temporal distortion of the word Aryan. As proof of this statement, I would like to present the following sloka from ManuSamhita:

shanakaistu kriyaalopaadimaah kshatriyajaatayoh
vrishalatvam gataaloke braahmanaadarshanena ca
poundrkaashcodradaavidaah kambojaah yanaashokaah
paaradaa pahlavaarshceenaah kiraataah daradaakhashaah

(Translation: The ancient name of Persia (Paarasya in Sanskrit) was Paarada. On breaking down of the family and other social structures, a section of kshatriyas came to be called as shoodra at first and yavana later. The inhabitants of Persia belong to that group.)

Max Müller, too, in his Lectures on the Sanskrit Language infers, albeit without any proof, “The Zoroastrians were a colony from Northern India.”

A few more accounts of the Avestan language (called Zend-bhaashaa by many contemporary Sanskrit scholars), and the reader shall be able to independently deduce that this language was born from Sanskrit.

Iran, as we all know, is yet another ancient name for Persia. The Iranians sometimes pronounce it as “Airan”. Airan is also how Iran is mentioned in Ferdowsi’s Shahname. Now let us study the warriors of ancient India for further understanding of the matter at hand. The kshatriyas were broadly divided into two classes: candravamsheeya (of the lineage of candra) and suryavamsheeya (of the lineage of surya). Several puraanas, including Markandeya Puraana and Vaayupuraana mention a candravamsheeya King Pururavaa and his Queen Ira. In Sanskrit, Airan means “from Ira” (just like Aindra means “from Indra”). The same puraanas also describe a battle waged among the kshatriyas with the two aforementioned dynasties pitted against each other. It was as a result of this war that part of the cadravamsheeya kshatriyas had to immigrate to the modern Iran. Among linguists, a certain view holds that Sur and Suran are mere phonetic variations of Tur and Turan, and that the Puraanic war between candra and surya kshatriyas are the same as the legendary wars between Iran and Turan (these wars are described in Ferdowsi’s Shahname too).

On a comparative analysis of the rituals, names of Gods and Goddesses, names of warrior kings and religious advices, extremely surprising revelations in the form of similarities begin to appear. At places, the Avestan language is similar to the extent of being a mere dialect of Sanskrit. Even the notoriously anti-Indian historian and numismatist Col. James Tod, while writing about the ancient Median empire, talks of King Aja Medha of Brahmaavarta-varsha (the name of India before it came to be called Bhaarata-varsha) and his five sons. Two of those sons left India and travelled towards the north-west and in memory of their clan, name their north-western kingdom Medha-desha. This Medha-desha gradually got converted to Medes. Col. Tod concludes, “The country from which Persians are said to have come, can be no other than the North-West part of Ancient India.”

In Zend Avesta, it is written in details that a group from ancient India had reached Persia through Afghanistan and Baluchistan. In the section of Zend Avesta titled Vendidad, Ahura Mazda tells Zarathustra of the sixteen perfect lands, and the penultimate in that list is hapta-hindu, or sapta-sindhu. The first of the perfect lands has been incorrectly translated as “Eastern Iran” in available English editions. The actual phrase is “east of here”, which should be better translated as “east of Iran”. It is also mentioned that under the leadership of Jamshed, the people of that eastern land came down from higher mountains to a plain devoid of animals and human beings. Keep the map of our earth in your mind, and put together the inferences of aforementioned historians, the sloka penned down from ManuSamhita, follow the descriptions in Zend Avesta … and the reader shall stumble upon India.

Now let us start studying the linguistic, socio-cultural and religious similarities of the ancient Iranians and the ancient Indians. First of all, the names and divisions of religious texts. The oldest religious texts of India: Veda. Veda comes from vid, which means “to know”. Zend Avesta is “Zend + Avesta”. Different languages differ slightly in its pronunciation. In Bengali, for instance, it is called “Jend Abhesta”. Many call it “Jendaabhesta” or “Zendaavesta”. In English it has been translated and spelled as Zend Avesta. Zend or jend comes from the Iranian jan, which, too, means “to know”. Also notice the similarity between Iranian jan and Sanskrit jna. jna and vid are synonymous in Sanskrit.

Another school of linguists infer that jend could be a distortion of chanda [please do not read this as the Hindi name Chandaa], meaning “rhythm” in Sanskrit. We find such distortions in Sanskrit plays. For example, in Kaalidasa’s Abhignaana Shakuntalam, the pure Sanskrit word “shakuntale” becomes “sha-undale” when  the female protagonist is called by her friends. A similar colloquial distortion can result in “jend” from “chanda”, especially in light of Panini’s reference to vedic Sanskrit as “chanda”. Panini’s description is quite apt due to the divine nature of the sriptures. The Sanskrit word for God, devataa, explained as yaha dyotanam karoti saha devataa, means that which vibrates or oscillates. The second word avesta or abhesta is an obvious cousin of Sanskrit avastha, which comes from “ava sthiti” or “residing in that” (here, as in all Vedic desciptions, that should be interpreted as “the universe” or “parambrahma“). Thus, Zend Avesta, meaning “study of the avesta”, takes the meaning “residing orstaying in universal divinity” in Sanskrit. A detailed study of the Zend Avesta will assure the reader that this meaning is very much in the spirit of the monism in this book.

Now let us inspect the divisions of the religious texts. Zend Avesta is divided into three parts: (a) yashna, (b) vendidad and (c) yashta. Yashna is a colloquial distortion of yagna. The rituals involving fires and invocations of Gods in the Zend Avesta bear uncanny resemblance to the vedic yagna. Moreover, yashna is also called gatha, and the exact same word is used in Sanskrit for the vedic prayers.

Vendidad, again, is a (possibly diachronic) modification of the Sanskrit word vanditaata, meaning “(I) worship (you) O Supreme Father”. What will a reader call the portrait of Ahura Mazda in Zend Avesta if not the Supreme Father? The book is full of worships and offerings to Him. The last and the third part, yashta, deals with social and cultural rules and regulations, much like the last and least ancient of the vedas, the atharva veda. The division of Zend Avesta into three parts, too, reflects the division of vedas. Before the time of Vyaasa, the author of Mahabharata and a great many other books, atharva veda did not exist as a seperate veda. Thus, in many places one still finds the vedas being referred to as trayi or “three”.

Moreover: in India, even today a religious Hindu believes that all rites and rituals must be performed in Sanskrit. One does not find a Hindu cremating a loved one while reciting poems in Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Gujarati or Marathi. Every Hindu believes that the vedic chants hold some special power. Even the Zoroastrians share this faith. One will never find a ceremony where Ahura Mazda is being worshipped in a language other than the one in Zend Avesta. Just like the Indian Hindus, they too believe in a special divine power of that language. Is this not a heredity complex mirroring the vedic belief system?

Lastly, let us analyze the grammar of the two languages. The Sanskrit words asmai, kasmai and yasyaam mean “to them”, “to whom” and “in which” respectively. The Zend words amhai, kamhai and yesyaam carry the exact same meanings as their Sanskrit counterparts.

From Atharva Veda: kasmai devaaya vidhema.

From Zend Avesta: kamhai devaaya vidhema.

Both mean “to which God should I sacrifice?”

In Sanskrit, shvan means dog. In Zend, dog is called span. When used in singular as a predicate, the two languages use shvaanam and spaanam respectively. Used as the primary subject in a sentence: shvaa and spaa respectively. The phrase “to the dog” become shune and sune respectively.

Even more proof of Zend Avesta being an offshoot of Atharva Veda: In the former, the word pathan means “path” or “method”. The corresponding word in Sanskrit is pathin. As singular subject in a sentence: panthaa (Sanskrit) and pantaa (Zend). As plurals: panthaanah (Sanskrit) and pantaano (Zend). A detailed comparison of these highly respected books, the Atharva Veda and Zend Avesta, establish that their philosophical, spiritual and religious statements are not just strikingly similar, they are exactly the same. Many indologists have arrived at the lightning quick conclusion that many parts of Atharva Veda have been lost due to wars, etc. To them my only request is that please not declare some random text as the “missing veda” …. the parts that are missing from India are present in an ancient India outside India and they go by the name of Zend Avesta. The Persian Zoroastrians are none other than long lost brothers of Vedic Hindus from India.

It is highly possible that, in spite of the many many linguistic proofs and the frequent parallels drawn at every level of the argument, somebody claims, “Well, great men think alike, and great sages realize alike!” For those readers, I present the following tables of Vedic Sanskrit and Zend. Even if great sages had, indeed, thought alike, it is impossible for them to come up with two different languages where there are thousands of homonyms and many of them have the same modifications for singularity-plurality, same modifications for subject-predicate, same modifications for active and passive voice, etc.

(a) Words where ‘s’ in Sanskrit has changed to ‘h’ in Zend:

asura — ahura
soma — homa
sapta — hapta
maasa — maaha
senaa — henaa
[i am] asmi — ahmi
[they are] santi — hanti
vivaswata — vivahnata

(b) Words where ‘h’ in Sanskrit has changed to ‘j’ or ‘z’ in Zend:

hridaya — jardaya
hasta — janta
varaaha — varaaja
hotaa — jotaa
aahuti — aajuti
him — jim
hve — zve
vaahu — vaaju
ahi — aji

(c) Words where ‘shva’ in Sanskrit got modified to ‘spa’ in Zend:

vishva — vispa
ashva — aspa
shvan — span
krishaashva — krishaaspa

(d) Words where “t” (the soft ‘t’) in Sanskrit got modified to ‘tha’ (soft ‘th’ like in ‘thank’) in Zend:

mitra — mithra
trita — tritha
traitaal mantra — thraitaan mantra

All the listed words carry the same meanings in both the languages. Such astonishing resemblance cannot be called a mere coincidence. This resemblance is possible if and only if there is a common root or a common culture in the background. Cerain geographical and temporal changes in pronunciations are bound to occur. Such changes occur even within a single in modern India. The Bengali language of Darjeeling is not at all like the language in Kolkata which is nothing like the language in Dhaka. Tamil in Chennai is very different from Tamil in Madurai which is again very different from Tamil in Thirunelveli.

The list of common words goes on and on: pitara (father), maatara (mother), duhitara (daughter), pashu (animal), go (cow), makshi, (housefly) sharada, (spring season) vaata, abhra (mica), vaidya (physician), ritwija, namaste, manas (mind) , yama (God of death), varuna (God of clouds and water), aryaman, armati, ratha (chariot), rathastha (placed in or sitting in a chariot), gandharva, prashna (question), atharvana, gatha, indra, deva (God), jana, vajra, aja, jaanu …. so on and so forth. In every case, the meaning is shared by the two languages.

In spite of being away from their ancestral homeland, the ancient Iranians did not forget their heritage for a long long time. Let me present more examples to show the reader that the claim that Zend Avesta is a part of Atharva Veda is not something I have built out of my dreams:

(a) vishva duraksho jinavati [Zend: vispa drakshu janaiti]

(b) vishva duraksho nashyati [Zend: vispa drakshu naashaiti]

(c) yadaa shrinoti etaam vaacaam [Zend: yathaa hanoti aisham vaacam]

Moving on from language and grammar and even common phrases (as above comparisons show), let us analyze some social and cultural resmeblances. All historians agree that division of society along the four casts: brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shoodra is a uniquely Hindu creation that is to be found nowhere else. But we find this division in Zend Avesta. From purushasukta in Rig Veda:

braahmanosya mukhamaaseed vaahu raajanya kritaha
oorutadasyayadwaishyaha padbhyaam shoodraohajaayataha

(Translation: Brahmins came from the mouth of the Supreme father, Kshatriyas came from His arms, Vaishyas from his thighs and Shoodras from his feet.)

It is from this description that Hindus started creating heirarchies and divided the society in an indescribably rigid manner. However, these divisions were not decided by birth in the Vedic age. These were occupational divisions. Zend Avesta shares this with Hindu texts as the four divisions in Zoroastrianism. These are: (a) atharva, the priest (b) ratheshtan, the warrior (notice the inclusion of rath here, which means ‘chariot’ in Sanskrit) (c) vastriyoksiya, the agricultural labourer and lastly (d) huits, the labour. Is this division any different from the Hindu division into brahmins (priestly cast), kshatriyas (warriors), vaishyas (bussiness people) and shoodras (labourer)?

The famous translator of Zend Avesta, Prof. James Darmestater had exclaimed, “We find in it a description of the four classes which strikingly remind one of the Brahminical account of the origin of casts and which are certainly borrowed from India.”

In Hinduism, all casts with the exception of shoodra can wear a sacred thread called yagnopaveetam. Same is the case with ancient Persians. With the exception of huits, everyone may wear a sacred thread called kushti in Zend.

Finally, I would like to show the reader that there are entire slokas common between the Vedas and Zend Avesta:

mahaantaa mitraa varunaa samraajaa devaav asuraaha sakhe
sakhaayaam ajaro jarimne agne martyaan amartyas tvam nah

Rigveda: 10:87:21

(Translation: O Supreme Being, you are fire, you are the sun, you are water. You have appeared to us as Father, as our ruler, as our friend and as our teacher. O Great Father, you are beyond aging but we are not. You are beyond death but we are not. In spite of that you have given us the great fortune to call you our friend.)

mahaantaa mitraa varunaa devaav ahuraaha sakhe ya fedroi vidaat
patyaye caa vaastrevyo at caa khatratave ashaauno ashavavyo

Gatha 17:4 Yashna 53:4)

(Translation: O Ahura Mazda, you appear as the father, the ruler, the friend, the worker and as knowledge. It is your immense mercy that has given a mortal the fortune to stay at your feet.)

In the 46th yashna Zarathustra worships thus:

rafedhram cagvaatta yatapriyopraaya darhaddeet

Gatha 10:2 Yashna 46:2

(Translation: O Ahura Mazda, give me that joy which given to a loved one by a loved one.)

In the Vedas, one supreme being is worshipped who takes on several forms for the creation and sustainence of this universe: ekam sad vipraaha bahudhaa vadanti

This ideology of monism is present throughout Zend Avesta.

Veda: majadaah sakritva smarishthah [Only that supreme being is worthy of worship.]
Zend: madaatta sakhaare marharinto (Gatha 17:4 Yashna 29) [Only Ahura Mazda is worthy of worship.]

There are several such hymns where the meaning is shared between the Send Avesta and the Vedas with very similar words being used. There are several occasions where we find the same rules being described in both. Vedas, for instance, forbid a person to take up the dharma of a sanyaasi (a hermit). Zend Avesta, too, forbids a person to leave a home behind. Such innumerable examples point to the fact that Zend Avesta is the glorious disclosure of a forgotten part of the Vedas, and thus a part of Hindu and Indian history. This final sloka will manage to silence all those who are still not convinced. Not a single syllable is different:

yadi antareekshe yadi vaate aasa yadi vriksheshu yadi bolapashu
yad ashravan pashava ud-yamaanam tad braahmanam punar asmaan upaitu

Atharva Veda 7:66; Zend Avesta Prishni, Chapteer 8, Gatha 12

Translation: O Lord! Whether you be in the sky or in the wind, in the forest or in the waves. No matter where you are, come to us once. All living beings restlessly await the sound of your footsteps.

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Staring into the night Ritualistic Animal Sacrifice in Ancient India

42 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamshed R. Udvadia  |  July 21, 2009 at 3:54 am

    According to Parsi hostorical documents, the Aryans were nomads that descended from the North, and somewhere around 4000 B.C. they split: one branch going to Persia and the other to India. The Persian branch later became Zarathushtis (followers of Prophet Zarathushtra). This common heritage accounts for the similarity of Avesta and Sanskrit. It also accounts for some commonality in customs. However it is incorrect to say that Parsis (anglicised to Persians) or Zarathushtis were from India and travelled later to Persia.

    Both Sanskrit and Avesta are derived from an ancient (some say Indo-European) lanauage the parent of them both. Avesta does not derive from Sanskrit but from an older common language.

    • 2. Ritwik Banerjee  |  July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm

      I am afraid to say, “Parsi historical documents” is not proof enough. Name the documents, give the references, and I shall be happy to correct myself if your claim is true. My claims are supported by ManuSamhita and several other texts, and every reference is mentioned in detail. I request you to do the same.

      Moreover, I have mentioned that one school of thought considers the Puranic war between the kshatriya clans are the same as the legends of Turan wars mentioned in Ferdowsi’s Shahname. Please see for yourself the geographical location of Turan.

    • 3. kk prasad  |  October 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      i would like to ask jamshed (persian for Yama shreshtha) bhai how would he explain the similarity of the names of gods in both the texts- vedas and avesta? The mithras, varuna, vivaswan, yama are the same in both the texts with similar power/roles and even their relationships are similar. Like vedas, avesta too describe yama as god of dharma and son of vivaswan (sun).

    • 4. Vijay Kumar Mishra  |  March 29, 2015 at 3:48 am

      First of all could you tell me the name according to which historical documents?
      Could you tell me…..
      Saying according to is no one will agree….
      If they were nomads….
      According to you…
      Then why Zend Avesta is similar to Rigveda??
      Rigveda itself mentioned the Name of Sarasvati river where it was composed.
      And tells it flows from Mountain…
      So even you talk within Asia in Afghanistan the Haraxvati river is Sarasvati river then it’s not flow from mountain and it’s too small.
      And other Puranas tells us that it’s dried now…
      And according to so many researchers you can search the names of them Sarasvati dried in the year before 1900 B.C….
      Then rigveda was composed before 1900 B.c.
      And if it is true Then we are residing on this land only more then 4200 years…
      And Dwarka city which is dated as atleast 12000 B.C And Mehragargh which is dated as 7000 B.C…
      then how could we came from Nomads….
      And what happened to them why they all are not well developed as we or they don’t have any proof of civilisation or any Texts like us…
      If you believe on any theory you have to believe that before 5000 B.c. everything started but now we have discovered more older places then 5000 B.C.
      So I still don’t know why you people don’t understand…
      Our rigveda gives clear picture of North where we used to reside.
      There culture is similar like us because they are only a part of us…
      Nothing else…
      For further information you can search About Guru Shukracharya and Pro – Indo Iraninan religion and you can see which text is older Zend Avesta or rigveda…..
      Though they always put rigveda on third place because of eurocentric nature and still the theories are debunked but they never changed….
      But for me Rigveda is the oldest text in the world.
      So saying anything is just not enough…..
      You has to tell proof…
      Just like me…
      Dwarka and all..
      And I am completely agree with this post…
      Thanking you….

  • 5. Tia Verma  |  October 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with this article completely. The Vedic Texts are the oldest, older than any other scriptures in the world. Everything stems from the Vedas. The proof is in the Holy Book. The Aryans are only mentioned in the Ancient Indian Holy Book, which originated in Ancient India, which extended beyond what is India now, therefore Aryans born in India migrated to other parts of the world and took part of their heritage with them, hence the similarities. The birth of the Gods in the Vedas was in India and the areas mentioned in it were present before the Avesta, therefore proves taht everything originated India, the Sanskrit language is the oldest language in the world and thats where everything stems from.

  • 6. kurush  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    This type of debates, who came first and what originated from whom are endless, it gives just an intellectual satisfaction to so called scholars, even science has not been able to prove precisely where originally life form evolved, every era has a different analysis and will keep on changing in the future.

    The fact is all religion, scriptures leads to one God, the Creator, all humans need oxygen to inhale, land to stand, one sun to give energy, all dead bodies decay and changes into organic matter, the life of everything in this universe comes to an end, time for things are different.

    Teachings in all religious scriptures teach of a simple preaching, do unto others as you would have others do unto you, happiness to those who give happiness to others. Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds.

    • 7. Ritwik Banerjee  |  April 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Yes Kurush, these arguments are so unscientific that I am ashamed of not only my endeavors, but those of the entire scholarly community. I thank the single God for you to come out with the actual scientific “truth” in this comment of yours. (I smell sarcasm somewhere, do you?)

  • 8. Charley Horn  |  May 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    You’ve done it once again! Incredible writing!

  • 9. Sagar  |  June 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Very scientifically written. I have one more thing to point – Apart from Avesta, one more language which bears resemblance to Sanskrit is Latin, which was pointed out by William Jones. It appears as if Sanskrit is indeed the root of languages. Avesta is linked closely to the Vedas, yet Marxist Historians claim that Rig Veda, not Avesta, originated from Aryans who travelled from Iran into India. Looking at all facts, and references, it seems the Aryan civilization originated in India, and spread from there. Unfortunately, even with such evidence, school books and other literature mention such theories such as Aryan Invasion,or the Aryan Migration theory.

    • 10. Ritwik Banerjee  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you for the delightful comment, Sagar. I will certainly look into the similarities between Sanskrit and Latin. But, as with Zoroastrianism and Sanskrit, I will need extensive help from a scholar (who, in this case, should have a firm grasp of Latin grammar). I intend to shortly write an exposition depicting cetrain similarities between Sanskrit and Russian …. if you enjoyed this article, I assure you, you will love the one that’s coming.

      The note with which you end your comment is a sad picture indeed. The scholarly community of contemporary India has been doing a better job of hiding evidence than of providing it. The only way people can look past the lop-sided enlightenment of school and college education is to ask their own questions, and seek their own answers. After all, the only way any kind of science makes progress is by questioning the science itself, isn’t it?

      • 11. Sagar  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm

        There is an extremely informative book called the “The Quests for Origin of Vedic Culture” – which sheds a lot of light onto why Sanskrit is considered a sister language and a derivative of supposedly existing PI European language – the main argument been used against Sanskrit is that law of palatals and guttarals i.e sanskrit apparently lacks sounds which are seemingly well preserved by Hittite – another language resembling closely to Sanskrit. Could you provide a persepective on this?

        I am currently working on a ppt on Sanskrit and its relation to other languages as well as on history of India – it has some material sourced from your site as well. Could I expect certain help from you in this regard? Please let me know on my personal email id – I would be thankful for this. I can send the recent deck which I have made if requested.

  • 12. Beda Ranjan Ghosal  |  February 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    The only next step is to translate whole Zend Avesta in Vedic Sanskrit ( as far as possible, I mean since Vedic Sanskrit is not alive and may not be available in full form as it was).

    • 13. Avhyut Vishwarupe  |  January 4, 2015 at 11:56 am

      My dear friend who tole that Vedic language is no more.Rig _veda isin Vedic language.

  • 14. Noufal.V  |  August 29, 2011 at 11:21 am

    The first language is the Arabic.The very clear proof for this statement is its first letter,ie the Alif. It’s very simple to write,it’s a stright line as the number 1.Naturally man starts with simple, then only goes to complex.Brother,please think how much complexity is there with the structure of Sanskrit’s first letter “अ” and that of Arabic’s “l”.Surely you will find the alif(“l”) is very humple and simple to write.

    • 15. Ritwik Banerjee  |  August 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Man starts with simple and then goes to complex? Really? So, I guess the discovery of zero should have been the first in the field of mathematics. But it wasn’t. The roman numerals are insanely complex and inelegant, but they, too, were being used for hundreds of years by the Europeans before the current system came to them through the Arabic traders. Simplicity is elegant, and it takes a civilization to be mature in order to reach that stage.

      Having said that, I also understand that you have absolutely no knowledge of Sanskrit, or of the history of languages in general. The first letter you have pointed out is in the devanagari script, which is a relatively modern script. Ancient Sanskrit was never written using devanagari.

      Most importantly, please do not post comments that have nothing to do with the article.

      • 16. Trueman  |  May 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Sanskrit never had its own script and was just a spoken language. The vedic sanskrit spoken around 1700 BC was never written down and the earlist known written Sanskrit dates from 11th century AD. And the gap is more than 2500 years from spoken vedic sanskrit to modern sanskrit by which time it truly gone out of common use in Northern India.

  • 17. Noufal.V  |  September 1, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Why did you remove my two responces?.Are you trying to hide the truth?.

  • 18. Noufal.V  |  September 1, 2011 at 6:27 am

    If you are a good man,please don’t erase this responce.”0″ requires more time to appear while “1” requires less time.Because of this degree of comlexity,”1″ invented earlier & “0” invented later.

  • 19. Ritwik Banerjee  |  September 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Because you took a mere example I gave, turned it upside down, and made an entire story out of it. I had only one request: “do not post comments that have nothing to do with the article.” But you want to carry on with your own agenda… this is not the place. I am keeping both your comments for some time so that you can (hopefully) see this reason for yourself.

  • 20. Noufal.V  |  September 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Please read Lokamanya balagangathara thilak’s books about Ariyan history.Then you may realize that those comments from my side wasn’t from my own agenda.Thank you brother,you can re-think many times about my those comments in which i have been shown that those are not irrelative on your article.And here after i don’t want to stay with you.Wish you God bless. *IF YOU ARE WILLING,PLEASE RE-ENTER MY THOSE RESPONCES*.

    • 21. Mahesh  |  October 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      What nonsense. Sanskrit is much older than Arabic. When Sanskrit was already developed, Arabs were learning how to draw straight lines. There is no comparison between an ancient advanced civilisation like India and nomadic tribes of Arabia. Arabs were just middlemen in trade between India and the west.

  • 22. valsaraj  |  November 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Nice article ritwik…….It is very nice to see that people are working on these kind of matter……In my view the entire so called history looks something like a fairytale…….just see the history of tajmahal….in that we havebeen taught a fairytale under the title HISTORY,ie, The love story between shahjahan and mumtaz…..
    It is very simple…… can one believe that shahjahan loved mumtaz so deeply. Just analyse shajahan’s lifestyle……

  • 23. Govind  |  January 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Dear Ritwik, there seems to be one logical fallacy in your argument! If A resembled B it does not mean A came from B!! With due respect to you, B could have come from A too. hence, one may need further proof to settle the issue far beyond linguistics. What about a dash of archaeology? How come no one mentioned a painstakingly written, more scientific work called Vedic People? I am sorry to say, your slant of language reeks of bias. Science does not work that way, my friend.

  • 24. Neeta Raina  |  May 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

    ‘Aryan’ is not a race and it never was. In our scriptures ‘Arya’ is used to call or refer to ‘a noble person’. For example “Sita’ addressed Sri ram as ‘Hey Arya’.

    I think Iran is derived from the Sanskrit ‘Irina’ ( ईरिण ) which means ‘desert’. The eastern half of Iran which is closest to India is a desert. And hence the name.

    In the name ‘ Rann of Kutch’ the word ‘Rann’ is also derived from the Sanskrit ‘Irina’.

    • 25. Tama Shah  |  December 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I did not know the Sanskrit word irina. Thank you for pointing it out.

  • 26. Anandamoy Ghatak  |  May 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    The write up is extremely interesting. I am happy if Avesta has been derived from Atharva Veda and origin of Persians is from India. However, to conclusively prove we need more documented evidence. Perhaps more research is required. Until then I keep an open mind. Thank you for all the information given,

  • 27. Realtors  |  June 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm

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  • 28. cialis  |  November 28, 2013 at 4:38 am

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  • 29. yaohfslHimmat  |  August 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    If you include Transoxania, Balkh in your ‘India’ map, you could be right. That’s where the split took place. Another thing, can you explain why most Indians look like an admixture of caucasian and dravidian races, while Iranians mostly look caucasian? Doesn’t this visual proof say something?

  • 30. Asteri  |  November 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

    So it mean south Indians are following a Indo-Iranian religion….Language ,dieties,rituals ,culture are commin between old avestan people and early rigvedic people …Meaning they belong to same stock later divided…one shifted to Iran other one is in North India…Even geneticall speaking north Indians share some genes which is present in people of central asian and iranian people which is not present in souther portion of India…Some of the genes we all of the Indians commonly share may be indigeneous one…some genes are exclusively present in south…

  • 31. Pavel Kladivák  |  December 26, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    That’s interesting … “sloka” means “verse” in Czech.

    • 32. Tama Shah  |  December 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Sanskrit and the Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian) are strikingly similar. Sanskrit is often considered to the mother-language that gave way to these other languages. I was not aware of this until I started reading some pretty serious work in the field of linguistics.

  • 33. Shrey Tewari  |  May 16, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Hey Ritwik,

    Good article, you seems to have a lit of understanding if vedic sanskrit. Its always good to meet people who are not part of the “Europeans are/were better” brigade Or “I know more about European history than indian ” brigade.

    I have one question for you: why is Sanskrit classified under Indo-European languages. From what I can understand sanskrit along with some Mesopotamian languages and latin were the oldest. I fail to understand why it will be called as Indo-European. Can you elaborate on this.


  • 34. pratima puranik  |  July 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

    i have red many books & articles regarding ancient history. Now i have come to the opinion that nature of ancient india was also complex like today’s india.Many tribes having different religious faiths & gods were leaving here at that time you can’t say that vedic religion was only religion of ancient india & vedic people formed Hadappa culture.
    It is certain that vedic & avestan people were living in neighbouring region & this region must be around today’s afganistan & pakistan border. In both Rigved & Avesta rivernames & tribe names in this area are mentioned. Vedic religion spread from this area to east & zartustrian to west.
    Artefacts in Hadappa sites show that religious concepts of them were different from vedic. why can’t two different religious traditions exist in same region at same time. Today’s Hindu religion is mixture of these different traditions.

  • 35. Nagesh Kumar  |  December 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Most scholars pointed out that the original homeland of the Aryans may Caspian belt , Anatolia (present day turkey ) or Central Asia . So on the route of Iran comes first .The way they called their gods suggests that these two groups may be hostile to each other and settled seperately.So calling the Persian groups as yavanas or shoodras by the hostile group is but natural.
    The Puranas have very limited historical context and mention of migration of kshatriya clan after a puranic war is not a proof enough and does not mean that entire Iranian population evolved from that clan.The cultural boundary between India and Iran can not be defined.The Iranian origin people inhabit Larger part of Afghanistan ,Baluchistan and Khyber Phukthunwa which are considered as part of Rigvedic India.
    Iran has lost its valued scriptures during various invassions of the various rival civilisations and later on by Greeks and subsequently by islamisation whereas indian texts were preserved by voral traditions primarily by the Brahmins.So the knowledge Aryans carried may not be entirely indegenous to India but gained during their longer premigration history and influenced by Sumerian and Hittite civilisations which are much older.Remember the oldest writings of Egyptians and Sumerian writings predates Vedic literature by nearly 2000 years.The Aryan language and life was highly influenced by the pre-exitisting Harappan civilisation and adopted Harappan Gods.It is evident by the fact that our main deities or to say many a Gods we worship in our temples today find no mention in the Rigvedas.
    The quest for truth is the true intention of learning and all Cultures ,Languages and Relegions are great

    • 36. Gokul Paravoor  |  March 10, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Dr. Nicholas Kazanas has shown by comparing more than 400 lexemes (nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs) with a common stem in three IE languages that of these Sanskrit lack about 50 (and most of these are of doubtful IE descent as they are found only in Italic, Celtic and Germanic tongues and are of recent usage); Germanic and Greek lack about 150 and the others 200 and more. Thus, Sanskrit has more of the common stock of vocabulary than any other IE language.
      If you compare Sanskrit and Avestan, you’ll find that S in Sanskrit gets replaced by H in Avestan. For eg – Sapta – Hapta. Now look at Latin Septem, Roman Sette, Slovenian Sedem. Obviously it has to be Sanskrit first, Avestan later (to match with other IE lang)

      Kazanas further asks that would it not to absurd to claim that the Indoaryans came from Persia, bringing the name Haraxvaitī and changing it to Saras-vaitī (one who has rapids, whirlpools) so that saras would engender other cognates with √sṛ ! On the other hand, it is quite rational to say that the Avestan people moved out of Saptasindhu taking with them the name Hǝptahǝndu and the river Haraxvaitī.

      • 37. Gokul Paravoor  |  March 10, 2016 at 7:18 am

        Expert archaeologists of the area, Possehl and Bridget Allchin, tell us that Sarasvatī stopped flowing down to the ocean at about 3800 BC. Consequently, the hymns that praise Sarasvatī as “best-river, best mother, best goddess” etc. must have been composed before that date. Otherwise, the Indus would have been the best river! Harappans started leaving that area in around 1700 BC since the river started drying up not because Aryans started trickling in that period. Why would Aryans settle in dessicated lands?!
        Words like Ishtaka – brick are absent in the Rigveda, but present in the Yajurveda as well as in the Zend Avesta (as Ishtya) which shows that Avesta corresponds to a period after the Rigveda.

  • 38. ขูดหินปูน พัทยา  |  December 29, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Excellent blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m
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  • 39. SpyRos  |  March 26, 2016 at 5:42 am

    I have just begun reading these entries on the “Avesta” & “Vedic” similarities and they are very interesting. I have noted that none of the blogs speak about the so called reversal of meanings of God (Devas) between Avesta & the Vedas. I.e. Devas are Demons in Avesta but Gods in the Vedas. Any thoughts??

    • 40. Chris  |  March 21, 2017 at 6:18 am

      From my study in the Vedas especially the Rig Veda both the Asuras and Devas are considered holy.

      • 41. Caspian  |  March 21, 2020 at 10:05 pm

        Nicely written. Have read the learned S D Kulkarn’s essay ‘Bharat Desh As Seen By Rigveda’, in Itihas Patrika a quarterly Journal from Thana, Maharashtra, 31 March 1984 issue.This would be educational for all Indologists.

  • 42. lopamudra  |  July 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    We need more research on the matter.For that matter who were Asuras and who were Devas.In ancient Iranian texts Asuras are worshipped and Devas are condemned.Contrast situation in indian texts.We in India no longer worship Vedic gods like Indra,Agni,Varun.But both Hindus and Zorastrians consider fire sacred.Mind boggling mystry.


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