Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by iBrian, Jun 14, 2004.
Sure you can put it up where ever youlike. Thanks for the compliment.
Thanks for that - it's now up:
I am from South India and I love my Tamil.
I do not fall for the false propaganda by the anti-Brahmin parties.
I also don't believe in the Aryan Invasion Theory.
I have one question: "Can anyone show me a substantial proof for the existence of an ethnic race called ARYAN" from VEDIC sources?"
Expletives aside, there's a thread of truth in your correspondent's note. Or rather, there could be if he actually made a positive point.
It's now a little bit difficult to know exactly how people of the Indian subcontinent will have internally conceived of themselves religiously, or self-represented themselves phenomenologically. Because the idea of a 'religion' called 'Hinduism' is a quite recent Western construction (as I think someone above hints at already).
Westerners, arriving in and populating other lands, felt a need to internally and verbally represent 'others' to Western Christians. In India, not perceiving the huge variety of beliefs and practices, all came to be placed under one umbrella term. "Hindooism" first appears in print, in a pamphlet of 1808. ["Vindication of the Hindoos" by a Bengal Officer (Colonel Stewart)] Most of the religions were "ismed" like this by the West around that time - Taoism, 'Boudhism' etc. As opposed to there not being a "Christianism" say.
Formerly of course there was no concept among Indian peoples that they all belonged to one 'religion' (outside of Islam). One wonders if there was even a concept of 'religion' as we now have - probably not as it was just life as naturally lived.
Ironically Indian peoples only themselves took to using the word "Hindu" or "Hinduism" as nationalism grew and in order to internally self-represent themselves as 'others' to the white Christian occupiers. If you are not of them, you are 'others', so what do you call yourselves? Well - the word was there waiting - you call yourself Hindu. This began with the Brahmo Samaj and a little with Ramakrishna in the late 1800s, and by the early twentieth century non-Muslim Indians began getting used to the idea of collectively calling themselves Hindu.
But it's a construction of the West, as is, in many cases, the idea of 'world religions', but that's another story. (But it questions whether the religions are equal or parellel as thoughwe can choose between them as between colours, say - rather they are quite distinct and qualitatively so in some cases.) That's why it's so hard to speak of Hinduism to a newcomer but then have to explain that it isn't after all anything like one thing! It never was, it just never was one unified world religion...
And welcome to CR, Hyksos.
Brian, and all et al,
I know virtually nothing about Hindusim, but I do know this. They don't speak like that, not even to the ignorant, the uninformed, the arrogant, and/or the uneducated. I said I know virtually nothing about the religion, but I do know this, those that search are never flatulent, and those searching would never be told not to, not by a true Hindu (i).
You've got the patience of Job, Brian...oops my ignorance is showing.
That is one rude email you were sent - personally, I'd have used more colourful language in response .
As pointed out on this thread, there is a lot of new thought around Indian history/pre-history, and I guess that the emailer was referring to that.
It does highlight some issues around Indian history / religion / mythology however.
As a brief bit of background, I was born in India but raised in the UK; I feel affinity to the teachings of Hinduism (specifically the doctrine espoused by the Gita) but don't practise it as such (my family is, in any case, Jain). I have read around this area, but my knowledge is broad/shallow and I'm no expert.
My understanding is that Indian History / Pre-history / Mythology has been prone to a lot of bias. From the 'scholarship' that lead to the AIT, to the modern day influences of fundamentalist hindus, muslims, marxists and dalits (I'm not sure if this is the current PC name; if not, please forgive my ignorance), its no wonder that the field hardly seems to deserve the label of serious academia.
What does appear to be true is that there is a growing body of empirical evidence, from archaelogy, population genetics, and linguistics, that could be used to reappraise the theories in vogue. This process could lead to confirmation of the current view, or to an entirely different view of Indian history.
There seem to be several key issues that could use resolution.
i. did Indian civilisation flow West to East (per AIT) or East to West (the David Framley view, I guess).
ii. how old is the Vedic civilisation? AIT dates it to 1500BC, whereas other evidence, e.g. dried up river beds, astronomical evidence suggests a much earlier date - possibly 3500BC or earlier.
iii. is the Harappan / Indus Valley civilisation the same as the Vedic civilisation? This ties in to ii., as an earlier date for Vedic civilisation would mean co-existence of the two in India, and without obvious signs of conflict could well indicate equivalence.
iv. what is the status of other ancient texts, in particular the Puranas. I've read articles suggesting that these should actually carry the same status/weight for Indian history as the historical books of the OT do for Western history (i.e. the Puranas are a historical, not mythological record).
Potentially, the answers to these questions could have huge ramifications. The hardcore Hindu view, that Vedic civilisation is 6000 years old, that migration went East to West and so on would mean that ancient India would need to be considered similarly to Ancient Egypt and the Euphrates/Tigris Valley civilisations. In addition, it would suggest that much of modern western culture is founded in ancient Indian culture.
Alternatively, a variation of the AIT may be correct, and Vedic culture originated elsewhere than India.
The consequences of this knowledge could change (hopefully for the better) politics in modern day India (and Pakistan).
The important thing however, is that we would all understand a bit more about our past and how it created our present.
From what I've read, Aryan as used in the context of Aryan Invasion Theory is a purely linguistic construct.
That is, there is no such thing as an Aryan race. The name is used to provide a label for a family of languages and associated speakers of those languages.
This makes the label 'AIT' particularly strange, as it actually means the supplanting of native (Indian) languages [in particular, its assumed the Dravidian languages] by Aryan languages such as Sanskrit. In theory, this could occur without an actual invasion of people coming into India as an invading force - and in fact, with the breakdown of evidence supporting an actual invasion of India (principally at Indus Valley sites), this is the fallback view for supporters of AIT.
To understand this a bit more, I guess its a bit like English. When you travel in Europe today, English is commonly used in most countries. You can go to Eastern European countries, and get by without knowing a word of Hungarian or whatever. English has 'invaded' Europe without there having been an actual invasion by English people.
The big problem with this, however, is that you'd expect the primary transmission mechanism to be based on culture - e.g. for English, the reason for its spread to Europe is American culture dominating the media (films, tv and music) and trade (arguably a function of culture).
The AIT would therefore require (in my opinion) the presence of a strong originating culture, which spread the language. However, I'm not aware of Central Europe having such status at the time period proposed.
So its a bit of a puzzle, really - either you spread the language by invasion/assimilation, or you spread it via culture. AIT to India is unlikely to be culturally vectored, and it doesn't appear to have been as a result of invasion either.
Some well-thought and interesting comment, Enkidu - and welcome to CR.
I use a lot of Hinduism in my comedy acts ? Is that OK ? It is a quite funny subject isn't it ? I mean what were you before came to earth ? An elephant, Donkey, maybe even a Monkey ?
Its endless comedy. Devastating too.
welcome to the forum.
generally speaking, we are interested in encouraging constructive and respectful dialog between beings of various faiths. as such, posts that ridicule and denigrate other religious views are not well received.
as regards to your questions... there would be no issue with using aspects of the Sanatana Dharma in your comedy act, that i am aware of.
it is as humorous as anything else is. it rather depends on ones disposition, in my view.
with regard to reincarnation, however, your formulation is incorrect. if you are a human now.. then there is a very great chance that you were a human before. the Sanatana Dharma understanding of reincarnation does include the idea that one can move up or down, relatively speaking, the reincarnation scale.
Very interesting post. Thankyou Enkidu.
Personally I don't even think that a group of languages got a upper hand over other group of languages.
Why can't Sanskrit be compared to, say, Java?
Maybe Sanskrit had spread to each and every corner of India without having to supplant the regional languages or dialects.
In Tamil Nadu, during the Chola period, many Hindu temples were erected and the kings patronized the Brahmins but still Tamil language never lost its importance.
No one can say what his/her previous birth was because memory is also destroyed along with the body and mind at death.
No matter whether you are born a monkey or a dog, "you" are always the same.
Enkidu, and Traphalga (sp)...interesting metaphors. sorry Tat, good point. English is in every corner of the United States and Canada, but does not supplant (as you state), the local dialects within certain areas. It augments their ability to communicate with the world (beyond their own).
However, there was a first written/spoken language, that had a major impact on the rest of us. As a linguist (amateur), I see basic syntax in every language on earth, that is the same. That can't be coincedence? Can it?
(shut up Q, ok)
Some historians say that Hinduism had its roots over 3,500 years ago in a wave of migration that brought a pale-skinned, Aryan people down from the northwest into the Indus Valley, now located mainly in Pakistan and India. From there they spread into the Ganges River plains and across India. Some experts say that the religious ideas of the migrants were based on ancient Iranian and Babylonian teachings. One thread common to many cultures and also found in Hinduism is a flood legend
Yes, I can see the humor in it too albeit it wouldn't be so funny if you were to become a worm or a cockroach yourself in your next life.
according to Spencer Wells in the Journey of Man, the first language was the "clicking" language of the African Bushmen, from which all male humans on this earth are, ultimately, descendent from.
provided that one accepts DNA evidence and so forth as valid evidence
should that not be the case, then, who knows?
while i dont supprt the aggro nature or the language of the letter, i agree with what he said, save in some areas.
AIT is "based on Judeo-Christian ignorance" - RIGHT
Hindus did not get their religion from Persia - RIGHT
there is nothing in common between Hinduism and Zorastras teachings = WRONG !!!
Aryan theory is *** designed to show that the world's oldest religion could not have come from a region they had to destroy and colonise! - RIGHT. the AIT was designed to belittle hindus and hinduism. only thing wrong there is that hnduism isnt a religion.
That you hold on to such c*** is indicative of your Christian ignorance - WRONG. that the world holds on to such a canard is indicative of their ignorance and/or willingness to hold on to euro centric canards. enlightened ones like stephen oppenheimer, koenraad elst, francois gautier etc etc amongst westerners have debunked it ofcourse.
and the master race's continued intention to turn everyone into one of them. - WRONG. though it was spot on when AIT was made.
Gian <--- that doesnt sound like a hindu name. do you have his/her ip.
If you're Hindu I'm Shvia.= SHIVIA??? is that an allusion to something khemyr?
Read some history. You obviously know nothing about Hinduism. = WRONG. though its apparent that he/she knows little of manners, he does know a few things about the AIT and hindu, and hence in a roundabout way, hinduism.
As for the roots of Hinduism - my impression is that there was indeed a movement of Aryans into the Indus Valley == YES. sakas or eastern iranians came into india - thats about buddha's time - 2 to 3 thousand years after Rg Ved was written.
(Aryans here meaning Iranian plainsmen, rather than Caucasian blue-eyed blondes) == YES iranian are aryans. its in iran that the chronologically 2nd orrurance of the word "arya" orrurs - the oldest being in india.
and that a big part of this movement is evidenced by various sources: == HAHAHA. its precisely because its evidenced by NO source, that AIT has been trashed.
in archaeological terms by the cessation of the Harappa civilisation, and the ruins of the Indus Valley; == YES. the civilization wound up. but they found not a single trace of any invasion - no damaged/broken bones, no arms, no destroyed or gutted homes,, no indication of a fight that could wipe out the biggest (in area) of the 4 ancient civilizations. and now see here -
it was abondoned and people left the place in one piece. no one died there.
culturally, by the Hindu scipture's assertion of Arayan values being foremost == YES. hindus are aryans. you dont expect them to put mongolian values as foremost do you.
(principly, Krishna's rebuke to Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita: "Don't be so un-Arayan!"),== yes. in case you dont know, the word ARYA (of whgich aryan is a bastardisation) means noble. krishna asked arjun to continue to be noble. but this book (mahabharata) was written looooong after Rg Ved.
and also the fact that went I put the Vedas up on this site I could help but read a lot of it, and there is an overwhelming focus on fire worship. == YES. so. not fire worship. but rituals/ "yagnas" in which a fire had to be lit as part of the rites.
I found this very strange - that the earliest Hindu texts were so different - even brutal - === earliest hindu texts were NOT brutal. did you know that the earliest hindu text is the RG VED, before i told you?? i am assuming hee that the "vedas" you read, are the english translations - was it the one done by bishop cladwell that you read or who's??
compared to what I would have expected on what is an otherwise highly intellectualised and spiritualised center of culture. === NOT REALLY. neither are hindus totally "intellectualised and spiritualised" - and nor were their lives devoid of wars. their 2 greatest epics for example centre about wars.
I considered a link to Zoroastrianism and their "eternal flame" concept, === YES. the language of the Avesta (old persian/avestan) has a parallel in sanskrit, but the language of the RG VED has no parallel (i mean here in linguistic terms. english that was spoken during shakespeare's time is different from today's is different from king james bible etc. the language of RG VED is clearly a lot less mature and lot more young than that of avestan. avestan is cognate with later sanskrit, but vedic sanskrit has no parallel in persian. they are like two lines -
only to then read a thesis by a Hindu professor describnig the links and parallels between Hinduism and Zoroastrianism!=== SURE. zorastrianism is the sister religion of hinduism. as is persian the sister language of sanskrit.
As for "invasion" vs "migration" - it's all a matter of semantics, really, isn't it? <<<<---- NO. far more is involved. if you know anything about iranian history, they have clearly mentioned that have migrated from the east. for the Nth time, i'll paste from that one site. if you are really interested in iranians then read 4.6.6 from here - http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/books/ait/ch46.htm
you will be surprised with some facts (croats are iranians)
My reading of the ancient world suggests that whenever any single cultural group moves into any other inhabited area, then one or the other with usually be evicted. ==== YES. or absorbed. like scythians/sakas were absorbed by hindus.
In other words, migrations can be particularly violent, but suggestions that these were events of complete genocide do not seem to be being borne out in the genetic record. === migration that are violent are INVASIONS. hitler didnt not migrate into belgium for example.
Either way, something - almost certainly Aryan - pushed east into India. === yes iranians are aryans (ie., they speak a aryan language. the name Arya means "noble" - can be any race. only nazis think of it as a race.)
And at some point, these people established the literary foundations of Hinduism as we know it. ==== LMAO. is that why RG VED and other hindu religious literature is a lot more ancient than avestan ?? RG VED btw is "anchored in space and time.". i mean there's little doubt about the time and geographical area of its writting. sort of like the bible. they mentioned in the bible about the star that the magi saw. also about the city of nineveh and the recently unearthed bath in jerusalem. so there's no ambiguity as to when it was written (since we can back calculate and verify when that star was in that position) and also where. same with RG ved. which sort of sends your "established the ... " theory out of the window.
Would there be assimilation of information? Certainly there would be - but it would be remarkably surprising if the Aryans took on an alien faith to their own, and wrote about that, rather than added to their own evolving sense of faith. ====== hinduism isnt an alien faith wrt zorastrianism.
FAKE (for the lack of a better four letter word).
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