Indian civilization: The Untold Story | Raj Vedam

Indian civilization: The Untold Story | Raj Vedam

Thank you all for attending this talk today.
So I will be talking about the Indian civilization and provocatively I have a title that there
is an untold story there and I hope as I progress through the talk it will become clear that
there is indeed something like that. Before I start Indian History Awareness & Research..,
this is loosely a think-tank of professionals who are based in Houston, in Singapore, in
Bangalore as well as Columbus Ohio. So I will start off my talk by pointing out some paradoxes
of Indian history. So these paradoxes, we are a pretty ancient civilization and I hope
I’ll make a case for that today but we are positioned otherwise, whether it be in media,
in text books, in popular thinking and so on. We have been knowledge producers but we
are positioned otherwise. We have very strong Indic sources and references; but these are
ignored, devalued and discredited in today’s discourse. So we need a critique of methods
and some mechanism to validate the narratives. Now, I have a science background so I bring
a science bias to the discourse, so that is where I come from. I would like to also point out that one of
the greatest dishonesties of our times. We are told that the Indian civilization impacted
every country and civilization to its east including China, Korea, Japan and all of these
countries, however, it did not step one foot outside Afghanistan. So this is one more of
those very interesting paradoxes that we have to live with and I will show how this is a
consequence of some of the discourses that have been thrust on us. So in order to understand
some of the problems that afflict us in our understanding of history today, we need to
go to the roots of some these narratives and those are the colonial Indology because they
set the stage for erasure, distortion, errors widespread devaluation/discrediting of Indic
sources, led to a loss of continuity with our past and also loss of history of our civilization. I have just put 2 or 3 gentlemen over here
but there were a whole lot of who’s who in this who are complicit in this narration
of history. William Jones he came to India to found the Asiatic society. He found common
roots between Sanskrit, Greek and Latin and he proposed that they probably have some kind
of a relationship. He was not very sure about it, but he suggested that the Aryan people
are all related. He introduced that idea of Aryans. He was also the first person who distorted
the Puranic genealogies when he attempted to write the history of India. He found that
India had a Puranic genealogy spreading to about 5000 years and he being the very good
Masonic scholar, that he was from the Anglican church of those days, presumed that God created
the world in 4004 BCE as any self-respecting Englishman of that era would think, and he
also thought that God destroyed the world through Noah’s flood at around 3000 BCE
and nothing could have survived that flood so any history should be post dated from that
period. When confronted with enormous chronologies
in the Indian context, these people took it on themselves to correct what they called
were the distortions in the Indian calendar. So they infantalised the Indian context and
saw themselves as having the white man’s burden of having to correct some of the chronological
problems in the Indian calendar. So they cherry picked certain dates out of the calendar and…
you know when you take a 5000 year old genealogy and put it into 1600 years you can’t do
that with a lot of distortions and that is where the first set of distortions came in. Bentley was a very interesting gentleman,
he was a missionary and he was one of the strongest critics of Hindu astronomy. One
of his contentions were that the texts were all forged in later periods to pretend great
antiquity. Max Muller, we all know, he dated Vedas to the first millennium BC on linguistic
analysis. Early in his career he proposed that Aryans were a race but later in his career
he recanted and said that Aryans should be seen as a linguistic category rather than
as a racial category. Herbert Risley was an anthropologist and he
used the discredited race science using the ratio of the length and breath of the nose
as a metric they could use to classify the races of people and he managed to come up
with the color coded map of India of those days where he saw so many races in India.
He was also the census commissioner in 1901 the census in British India. So he entrenched
the notion of Aryans as a race, he also entrenched caste in the census of 1901. He created, yes
I use the word created, because that’s what he did, he created 2378 castes. Contrary to
what one might think, when you are confronted with 2000 list  when you write it in gazette
you probably would write in an alphabetical order for easy retrieval of information. However,
he ordered them in social preference and the social preference is again a reflection of
the biases that he brought into the discourse and he entrenched certain things into that. Bottom line, the narrative for the quest for
the Indian identity is that Aryans invaded India around 1500 BCE, the Dravidians are
driven south. Aryans impose Vedic religion. Oppression of Dravidians by Brahminical priesthood.
Oppression caused Dravidian poverty and backwardness and that the Dravidians are a separate race
and religion. So I see this as a failure to inculcate a national identity due to a failure
of positive narration of Indian history. The inability to connect to the past. So almost
all of us unfortunately have internalized certain values from our education system and
we are all connected and not connected and rudderless. So this is what I call the great Indian quest
for an identity. Many of us cant identify with the underlying unity that is existing
in this country as a civilization for thousands of years. So today you find discourses where
people find a religious identity for themselves. The so called caste identity, regional identities,
language identity, or the Aryan-Dravidian identity. Some people, youngsters these days
go about saying I only have a corporate identity I work for Facebook, I work for Google, that
is who I am. A few more enlightened youngsters go around saying that I dont believe in any
of this. I am a global citizen. So all of this I believe is a failure, its
a failure of the education system to allow young people and others to connect to the
past and acquire a healthy identity. That inability has caused people to express themselves
in these ways and I say that each of these distorts and undermines the underlying framework
of unity of the people and some of these are utterly spurious. So I am going to talk about
the Aryan-Dravidian identity also because it goes to the root of who we are as a people
and as a consequence of this, we also have a young chronology for India. Indic sources
are disregarded or trivialized and an entrenched, divisive narrative unfortunately stays in
place. So I am still setting up the problem. I have not come to the crux, the thrust of
my talk. So can we validate the current narratives using science? Like I told you my biases are
science and I am asking these questions. Can we bring in Archaeoastronomy, Archaeogenetics,
Archaeology, Geology, climate studies., in an effort to uncover some of the truths, if
so, in our narratives. So here’s my case for the untold story of
the Indian civilization. I’d like to pose it along these 4 questions : Is the Aryan Invasion/migration theory valid?
How ancient is the Indian civilization? What did the ancient Indians know?
Was India a source or a sink for knowledge? You must understand that there is an allegation
that most of the Indian knowledge came from the Greeks or the Babylons and so on. I would
like to position to ask was it a source or a sink for knowledege? So I will highlight
the untold story in each of these. The very first story, Is the Aryan invasion/migration
theory valid? So when we pose a problem we need to first define the contours of the problem,
that is, what a scientist does, good scientist, tries to pose the contours of the problem.
So, here the problem states that the current narrative of the Aryan invasion theory, bands
of male warriors from central Asia invaded or migrated to India around 1500 BCE. They
effectively replaced the existing civilizations and brought an entirely new Vedic religion,
Sanskrit language and Vedic ecosystem. So we might think today that the Aryan invasion
theory that started from colonial times only impacts the Indian people, but unfortunately
what we find is that it has become a much bigger problem. It has evolved into a quest
for the western identity. The western people ever since William Jones saw the commonality
of languages would like to address the question, who are they as a people? Because they speak
something called Indo-European language and this is supposed to have an ancestral language
which they called the Proto-Indo European language and in order to find who they are
as a people, they first need to address who are the Indians? Once they talk about who
the Indians are, then they can talk about who the westerners are. So today we find that
it is entrenched in the quest for the western identity. So early scholars used a mechanism called
comparative linguistics. Comparative linguistics involves if I suspect there is a relationship
between a basket of languages, they would take about a dictionary of about 100 to 200
common words, universal words like hand, mouth, face, eat, sleep, you know, common words that
we use in a language and they try to see the cognates or where a phoney might change from
one to another in a language and try to see the distance between one language and any
other language. Once they find two languages statistically close, then they’ll place
them next to each other. So this is how you eventually have a tree model appearing out
of looking at how close one language is related to another language and the context of this?
200 words or so. So you have this so called proto-Indo European
which is supposed to be the ancestor of all these languages and the categories like Balto-Slavic,
Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Hellinic, Indo-Iranian and over here you have the Indic and the Iranian,
then you have Sanskrit in all of these languages. Like to point out as an engineer and a scientist
that, this is a static model which we can use something called similarity transformation
for transferring to any other origin. What do I mean by all that jargon? What I mean
is there is, no context of chronology here, there is only a context of nearness, a measure
of nearness. So if I write a matrix of these things, language and nearness to everything
else, then I might be able to use instead of proto-Indo-European use Sanskrit as a root
and transform, with a new matrix transform everything to Sanskrit. The results will be
100% valid still, mathematically. So its an incomplete method in other words. The tree
model is an idealization. So the criticism that people levied at linguistic
methods, led them to say why dont we try to fortify our linguistic methods with archaeology?
If we can find some archaeological artifacts that corroborate what we are seeing in linguistics,
maybe we will have a more powerful theory. So once again the quest for western identity
continues with archaeology. Indian identity is key in the positioning of the western identity.
AIT is both the centerpiece as well as the tail-end of the western narrative. And I will
explain why. Today, we have two main narratives. These are the thought leaders in those narratives.
Marija Gimbutas – she proposed the Kurgan or the Steppe hypothesis in 1950s and she
said that Indo-European expansionism happened in three waves between 4000 BCE – 1500 BCE,
the domestication of the horse and those kinds of things. Prof. Colin Renfrew from Cambridge
in 1987, when he proposed the Anatolian hypothesis. Anatolia is in Turkey and he proposed that
the invention of agriculture and its spread throughout the world was the impetus for the
Indo-European languages also. That was his proposal. Today there are some people who
say genetics favours the Kurgan hypothesis and even if you have notion of time, that
can come into comparitive linguistics, these models are valid for only 3000 years, you
cant push it bewyond 3000 years. So 6500 is too old for any kind of analysis you can do.
So people favor this, but time to time you still find papers that call out the Anatolian
hypothesis. So, what is this Kurgan/Steppe hypothesis?
Here we are Caspian Sea, Black sea. The people called the Yamna culture existing over here.
At the same period of time 3500 BCE, you had people like the Harappa, Bhirrana, Mehrgarh,
Bhimbhetka in central India, Lothal in western India, Edakkal in Kerala, all of these people
existing over here. And here you have Sumeria and here you have Egypt. So its not as if
its a story of civilization. Civilization existed. It is only a story of quest for the
western identity. Who were the European people? Their origins are supposed to be the Yamna
culture emanating from the domestication of the horse and stone idols is claimed to be
the archaeological finds over there, which are trying to tie-up to a theory. By 2500 BCE these people had spread to the
west becoming the corded ware people and to the east the andronovo culture. Indus valley
civilization consolidation here, the Elamites, the Sumerians, the Egyptians and so on. By
1500 BCE you see that these people have become more specialized into the Mycenian people,
the Hippities, the Babylonians and so on and you find the people called the BMAC – Bactria-Margiana
archaeological complex and the tail-end of this, you see, enters into Sind and into India
and this is the beginning of the Aryan invasion theory for us. But what I would like to point
out is that there is a huge theory behind it. So if we attempt to debunk the AIT as
scientists, we must also debunk the rest of it, otherwise it will be an incomplete piece
of work. So let us see, where we can take this. By 500 BCE, the common narrative states that
the Indo-Aryans are entrenched into this part of India, and the appearance of a people called
the Dravidians. They appear in the context over here. So here is an example of the archaeology.
This one is a burial mound from Kazakistan 500 BCE, and this one is a Kurgan burial from
Urals in around 500 BCE. Here is a, 4000 years ago a chariot burial in Georgia and this one
shows, for those of you who are astute and observant, you see, that these wheels dont
have spokes. They are solid wheels. They dont have spokes on them. So, one more example,
the corded ware; when I talked about the corded ware it refer to these pottery and you see
these tryations in these pots. So when the pots are being made and they are still wet.
The innovation was to tie a rope around it and those ropes would leave its marks as a
decoration. So that advancement in technologies identified in the archaeological record were
corded ware people. So what I have done over here is to present
to you the problem. I presented to you the Aryan invasion theory model, I have shown
to you its much bigger than what we Indians are exposed to. It is the quest for the western
identity and if we are to debunk AIT, we need to debunk a whole lot of other things here
also. Now I go to the main part of this discussion where I want to examine the evidence using
archaeogenetics. Each of us is a walking archeo-genetic artifact.
Because we contain the sum total of mutations of a lot of our ancestors from the past provided
they are not eradicated from our genetic record into noise and other such thing. We still
have a lot of mutations over there. So the methodology is people take maternal mitochondrial
DNA field data or the Y-chromosomal field data, they do some mathematical analysis on
this and finally the results, the inferences are mapped back into the real world in some
kind of narrative. So we are going to examine some of these things. We first need to pay homage to this professor
because he is the one who started this whole line of thinking, Prof. Luca Cavalli-Sforza
who in 1994 wrote this book ‘The history & Geography of Human Genes’. Very, very influential book
that set people to work on these things. He studied the differences between the genomes
of different people of the world and he said differences helped infer which people are
more closely related to which other people and he studied the human evolution and the
human population history. We should also recollect that the human genome was only decoded sometime
within this time frame. It was very expensive to decode this in those days. The cost is
falling today. Today you can go to 23 and me and other such places and $99 and get a
genetic profile of who you are. in those days the tests were so expensive that only universities
and a few people could do that. I would like to talk to you about the work
of Stephen Oppenheimer who in 2003 worked on the maternal mitochondrial DNA in an effort
to establish who are we as a people, the homo sapiens. His story begins somewhere in 150,000
years ago but I prefer to start the story about 85,000 years ago when a group of individuals
left Africa and walked along the coastal areas, Sindh, Iran-Sindh and the triangular part
of India all the way to Sumatra all the way to Taiwan. So Stephen Oppenheimer states that
all the non-African people of the world are related to this group of people of Africa.
Two questions. What was their migration model? Why did they not head westwards? Why did they
come eastwards? The migration model was never one of people saying, hey lets walk all the
way to Australia. It was never one of those things. Rather the situation was that a group
of people living in a place after maybe a few years after the waters are polluted or
the resources have run dry or some issues are there. The whole family goes just 1 km
down the road and starts a new life. So it is a generation by generation movement. It
never was a continuos, focused walking, walking, walking till they find some place. Generatio
by generation migration. The best model we have is the bushman society. Bushman do not
have possesions. We are all tied to the land because we have a house or a flat or land
or something, you have a car, your kids go to school somewhere. So we cant uproot ourselves
and go to another place. We are tied over here. But ancient society they had nothing.
They could easily move from one place to another, no big deal at all. They could easily do things
like that. So this is the model. Why did they not head westwards? Well, in
the time frame under question, there was one more species of human living in Europe as
well as upto Iran upto Chagai hills and this species is called Neanderthals. Today the
Homo sapiens after generations of good nutrition, we are about 6 ft. tall, about 70 kgs and
those kinds of things. But the early homo sapiens was about 4 ft. – 4.5 ft. tall maybe
about 40 kgs – 50 kgs. He did not want to confront the more bigger Neanderthal. So they
head along the beach and they walked on this path and Stephen Oppenheimer provides some
archaeological evidence also to support such an assertion. 74,000 years ago there was a super volcano
in Sumatra. It was called the Mount Toba event. It caused a 6 year nuclear winter and an instant
1000 year ice age with a dramatic population crash to less than 10,000 breeding individuals.
Volcanic ash from this eruptions covered an area of India and Pakistan upto 5 meters.
If you can imagine 5 meters of ash all over India and Pakistan and extincting the human
race. This picture over here shows you an excavation in Jwalapuram in Andhra Pradesh
where even today they find the ash layer and here is the most exciting piece of news. Under
the ash layer they find human artifacts showing that humans had lived before the Toba event
and then you find the ash layer and then later artifacts and so on, The researcher who works
on this is Ravi Korisetta. He is the one who works in this. 65,000 years or so the ice ages have ended
and warming of western Europe took place and that warming coincided with the extinction
of the Neanderthal. It just disappeared from the fossil record. You dont find them. You
dont find them anymore. We dont know whether they died by disease, or war or what happened,
but they left a vacuum and that vacuum was filled in by the homo sapiens. Homo sapiens
from this part of the world approximately Sindh and Gujarat they are the ones who apparently
left and crossed the Bosphorous and moved on and became the future Europeans. Approximately
40,000 years ago groups of people from this part of India, from Sumeria, from eastern
part of India and from other regions, they joined in Siberia and crossed the land bridge
at that time the Bearing Strait through the north and south America who became the later
native Americans. So this is the story of the ancient human migration according to the
maternal mitochondrial DNA as laid out in a very early time frame 2003 by Stephen Oppenheimer. However, I am no where close to talking about
Aryans. Aryans are a much more recent invention. Till now we have talking about 70,000 years,
60,000 years and those kinds of things. So lets fast forward to 12,000 years. I would
like to present a very influential paper in 2013 from the American Journal of Human Genetics.
This is by Priya Moorjani and Prof. Kumaraswamy Thangaraj, these are all from CCMB in Hyderabad,
a very famous institute. They took one of the largest samples of Indians from across
different regions, different backgrounds and so on, to try to identify the question of
who we are as a people. So their research methodology., they used a genome wide data..,
not X or Y chromosome, but genome wide data. They postulated an ancentral north Indian
and an anscestral south Indian population and their interest was to show how was the
current populations derived from these ancient populations. What is the relationship between
them and us? That is the question they set out to answer. Well, they say that the ancestral north Indian
and south Indian diverged from a common ancestor 60,000 years ago, co-relating very well with
what Stephen Oppenheimer has been saying that ancient man came at a certain time in India.
They also found that they existed side by side for an exceedingly long period of time.
Until about 2000 BCE, 4000 years ago there was some event that caused a very great amount
of mixing not topical mixing, not very small regional mixing but pervasive mixing of the
Indian population. That took place for a period of 2000 years where they were marrying between
each other and then from the turn of this current era they have been endogamous more
or less endogamous. I caution you not to jump to conclusions and think that is because of
the caste system and things of that nature. Because later on we will disprove that also.
Just interesting to note some of these things that are present in the genetic record. That
is what they are bringing on. Their conclusion. They tried to address the
question of when in the genetic record do we have any trace of central Asian genes because
there is an allegation that Aryans came to India in the 1500 BCE so they must have left
some genetic imprint in the current populations. So they said to find any evidence of central
Asian genes they looked 2000 years back, 3000 years back, 4000 years back, 5000 years back,
6000 years back, no trace at all. They had to go all the way to 12,500 years before they
found any evidence of central Asian genes in the ancestral north Indian population.
A very, very powerful conclusion that says that if you think Aryans left some genetic
content around 1500 BCE atleast this research says they did not find any evidence of shared
ancestry between ANI and groups in west Eurasia for the past 12,500 years. I would like to point out one more paper to
you. This paper is from 2012 by Prof. Ramasamy Pichappan of the National Genographic Consortium.
He studied 1680 individuals from Tamil Nadu in various castes and tribal societies and
he showed that endogamy in the south, if we can think of endogamy as a proxy for the caste
system, he says that endogamy is 6000 years old in southern India atleast. What does this
mean? We have been told from that narrative that Aryans entrenched themselves in India
in 500 BCE that is when the Dravidians appeared in the record, then they imposed their Vedic
structure and caste system on the Dravidians. So any endogamy as a result of caste system
must be present in the genetic record from a long time 200 BCE or 300 BCE and so on.
However in southern India atleast it is 6000 years old according to this professor. It
pre-dates the so-called Aryan Invasion theory by more than 2000 years. A lot of people come and tell me ‘Dr. Vedam
this is all well and good, but look at me, I am so dark, look at this guy, he is so fair,
so surely we are not the same people, we are two races, we are different people’ and
so on. So how do we address issues like that. It turns out that this paper in 2013 says
that the light skin Allele of SLC24A5 in South Asians and Europeans shares identity by descent.
In common language, what it is saying is, this mutation appeared in the genetic record
approximately 30,000 years ago and this mutation is common with Europeans and South Asians.
It controls the expression of Melanin, it is there in the 15 chromosome of he human
body. So it basically controls expression of melanin and what kind of skin tone we will
take as a result of absorbing sunlight and so on? This 30,000 year old framework also
puts it perhaps in the vicinity of India where this mutation might have taken place during
the early migration periods and it is mostly in the ancestral north Indian population but
also in the southern Indian population and mostly also present in Europeans. That is
the skin tone issue. There is some evidence for outward migration. This paper in 2013,
they basically found some skeletons in Syria belonging to the Roman period. When they analysed
these skeletons they found that the genetic content in those skeletons is related to northern
Indian population. Very interesting piece of work over here. So it turns out that Prof.
Subhash Kak talks about the drying up of the Saraswati river, and he says, that led to
an outward migration. If we take that as a hypothesis, it appears that there is atleast
one data point that seems to be collaborating with the said time frame. So far I also promised that we will look at
this genetic evidence that people have been talking about for the Aryan invasion theory.
So in 2015 there were 3 papers that came out in Nature, in the journal Nature and caused
great excitement in media because people were going around saying that these papers show
the final support for the Aryan invasion theory, here in India the Tony Joseph of the who had
an exuberant write-up saying the Aryan invasion theory is settled based upon these papers
and so on. So this deserves closer scrutiny. What did those papers actually say and what
is going on over here? Now the works are based on R1a. R1a is from
the Y chromosome and we need to understand the origins of the R1a. R1a is supposed to
have appeared in the genetic record about 25,000 years ago and this researcher Peter
Underhill in 2014, based on 16,000 samples from 126 population. They came to the conclusion
that the mutation appeared somewhere near Iran. That is where the R1a appeared into
the mutation record. Now if you are going to talk about the story of the Aryans, you
cant use a mutation that is 25,000 years old. You would like to have data that is more resolution
in the time frame that you are interested in. The time frame that we are interested
in is around 2500 BCE to 1500 BCE. So they use a subclade Z282 and Z93 which appeared
into the record, the mutation record about 6000 years ago. Now it turns out that a whole
lot of research by Kivisid, Mascarenhas, Mirabel as an example when they say where did these
things enter into the record. Macarenhas says it appears in the south or West Asia, this
person says both South Asia and Central Asia. This person says Z93 appeared in West Asia.
In other words there are a whole lot of researchers out there where there is no consensus still
where did the R1a even come into the record, let alone the subclades.  The consesus if
we look at what the researchers are saying, even the R1a also seems to have appeared in
the South Asian record and perhaps gone out from there. Nevertheless the genetic hunt
continues. People continue to look at data in various ways to try and address this particular
issue. So conclusion from the genetic studies is
that the results are not of primary evidence and it can only serve as supporting evidence.
Why do I say this? I say this because like I told you earlier the methodology in genetics
is, you first get the field data, saliva swabs, sequencing and you get the data, get all the
mutations and so on. So far so good. Then next you do is mathematical analysis. Clustering
and trying to get the principle component analysis or if it is ad-mixture of a problem.
You do another set of operations called SQP analysis and all those kinds of things. After
you have done all of these fantastic field work as well as mathematical work, you are
left with a bunch of numbers. Now you are left with the unenviable position of saying,
you have got two candidate numbers, let say one of them is 0.1 and the other one is 0.101.
You are now in a position by saying that the difference between these two numbers provide
me the resolution to make some call into something in social theory. You see, in a situation
where you have to interpret the numbers and then map it back into a narrative, that is
when the subjective bias enter into the process, that is where people have got to do great
diligence. Is the data valid? What will happen if I take a few pieces of data out and put
some other data? How sensitive are your results? Composition of your population valid? Are
the numbers that you have taken that valid? Second, the methodology that you used, is
that the best in class methodology? Third, the inference that you made is that correct?
So many critiques can be made in the genetic papers that I have been reading. So that is why I come finally to the statement
that they are not primary evidence. It can only serve as supporting evidence. One has
got to see the sensitivity of the results, the population size, the composition and assumptions.
We need to be careful in attempting to align mathematical numbers alongside a narrative
to avoid subjective biases that can creep into the results. Bottom line from what we
have examined, there is no evidence of a genetic inflow into India following a postulated European
language expansion. There is neither an Aryan gene nor a Dravidian gene. We are essentially
the same. Ok. So far I presented to you the archaeo-genetics
evidence. I am going now to an entirely new area. We are talking about the archaeological
evidence that we have. If you look at the archaeological artifacts found in India from
40,000 years ago, all over India, you have got artifacts of different periods of time.
I don’t like these words stone age, metal age and all these kind of things, because
they conjure up imaginations of a romantic era, where people were uncivilized and brutish
and those kind of cartoonist images. Unfortunately I took this map from a secular source and
I have to go with that terminology, but I wouldn’t have called it this. So all over
India you find evidence of settlements and those kinds of things. Here is an example
from 35,000 years ago in Jwalapuram rock shelter, some of the artifacts they found over there.
Here, Bhimbetka 35,000 years ago, rock art and you also see in the same place a horse
with a rider. Very intriguing considering all the brouhaha in Harappa and horse and
those kinds of things. There are also some noises that this is a later period. This is
not belonging to the same period as this. Nevertheless that is still an ancient piece
of art. In Kerala, Edakkal caves 9000 years ago you have something that appears to be
like writing and what is more intriguing is that there appears to be a sign that is used
in Edakkal that is common with the Harappa signs. A man with a jar, that appears in Harappa,
and it appears in Edakkal. So people are speculating, could there have been some kind of a connection
between these two cultures. Bhirrana, Rakhigarh, all of us know, in Haryana
up to 10,000 years ago, now we have found excavations and artifacts. Ketavaram, Andhra
Pradesh, 8000 years ago, Ramachandrapuram, Telangana, 12,000 years ago… This is the
paper from ASI in 2008 that talks about all the artifacts found in Bhirrana and the various
periodisations that they have made. Calendar year before present. About 2750 years all
the way to 9550 years when they found incised pottery and other things. I put these things,
two seals from Mohenjadaro – Seal number 420 and seal number 430. This is the work of Prof.
Abhyankar and it is reported in the bulletin of the Astronomical society of India, 1993.
He says these two seals appear to show evidence of astronomical encoding in these things.
He calls out these four figurines over here at the sides of the Shiva kind of Pashupati
kind of symbol over here and he says these represent the equinoxes and solstices the
four cardinal positions. Four cardinal positions of astronomy are the two solstices and the
equinoxal position; so there are four of them. So, he says that these represent this. What
does that mean? Typically when a solstice occurs it might be in a certain constellation.
Remember the rashis are represented by animals and so on. So it would only be true for a
period of time because of a phenomenon called precession. I’ll talk about that later on. So these are animal figurines, he points out
could be the rashis around that time, constellations around that time and he brings in the idea
that this seal 430, 3000 years ago shows this kind of a scenario. The other seal shows a
very rare planetary alignment, these standing seven figurines show planetary alignment,
these standing seven figurines in 3102 BCE, and I’ll point out this one also a little
later on. Very intriguing. This appears to show a continuity of thought. A continuity
of thought from Harappan times into the Vedic times if you can call it that. Today we are
led to think was that Harappa was there and then Vedic period came and so on and so forth.
But these two seals appear to show a continuity of thought. This is from a paper in Episodes in March
2003 from the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai, India. So, they took
a ship off the west coast of India and Dwaraka and equipped it with sonar and decided to
map the ocean floor with sonar. So they found a 9 km long feature, 40 meters below the sea
level which they expect as the remnants of a city wall or a fortification and those kind
of things. What is more exciting is they dredged up a piece of wood which they were able to
send it to the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad as well as the Institute
of Earth Sciences in Hanover, Germany and they came back with carbon dating of 8500
years to 9300 years before present as a date of this artifact, showing very great antiquity
for this artifact at least. In recent times we have been told about the
story of Keezhadi. Keezhadi has got an exciting story behind it. Archeologists had wanted
to dig in Madurai. However, Madurai is like any other Indian city; settled, very expensive
land, no place to obtain land for archaeology and so on. So he uses intuition and said that
in ancient Madurai if the supply chains coming in, where were the highways and where is one
day’s worth journey from outside of Madurai? That is where a camp might have been. Well,
he went to Keezhadi and said, that’s where it might have been and he struck gold over
there. Because he found an urban settlement right there in Keezhadi. Outstanding methods
used by this archaeologist. And they found several artifacts over there. However, the
real story is not there. The real story is, in this new site and that came out saying
that they excavated up to 4.5 meters depth at Keezhadi. However they sent samples from 2 meter depth
to Florida, USA for carbon dating and they came back with a date of around 300 BCE, everybody
was happy. They were happy because it fits into the common narrative beautifully and
nobody questioned this. However, I scratched my head and said what on earth is this? ASI
reported 4.5 meters depth of excavation and if you think that the top layer is 2017 then
2 meters down by their own carbon dating is 2200 years. Therefore every meter in depth
should correspond to 1100 years by a liners scaling which means 4.5 meters should correspond
to approximately 5000 years before present i.e 3000 BCE. So why would ASI only report
the middle layer result? Why would they not say we found a range of artifacts from the
bottom most layer to 3000 BCE to around 500 BCE? that would have been a much more honest
representation of what was found. Well it is not very surprising to think what’s going
on because you see in October 2017 the Tamil Nadu government took over the Keezhadi excavations
and also the archaeologists involved in the Keezhadi project was transferred  out of
there. So there is clearly an attempt to control the narrative coming out of Keezhadi. If people
were to come out saying that Keezhadi is 3000 years old, sorry 3000 BCE, then they are in
an uncomfortable position to try and explain what are we teaching our school children?
Why are our school children still learning that 500 BCE is when Dravidians appeared in
the record, and Vedic structure was imposed on them. So any urban settlement in south
is only 300 BCE and older, they have to explain that. I believe they have taken the easy way
out. I honestly hope that I am mistaken. But this is a very strong piece of date jumping
out at us. The glass factories of Arikamedu. Arikamedu
is one of the most well kept secrets of Puducherry. If you go to Pondicherry and ask a rickshaw
driver, please take me to Arikamedu, he’ll scratch his head. He’ll have no idea. But
I was lucky to find a local living there and he happened to know where it was, and so we
took off in his car and after searching for sometime. There are no roads to go there.
You have to cross some fields and so on. We were able to go to Arikamedu. There is a picture
of me over there. This is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. Periplus of
the Erythrean Sea is a port sailors document that says where are the trading ports for
Roman sailors? In that it finds a mention. They traded in muslin and glass beads. Mortimer
Wheeler, he was the first guy to excavate over here. He dated it to 100 BCE to 100 current
era. He did this because he found a bust of Augustus Ceaser there and when he found a
bust of Ceaser he said 30 CE. So lets put the date to 100 BCE to a 100 CE, that was
the way he dated it. Vimala Begley was one of the archaeologists
from 1989-1992 and she said the date must be 200 BCE to 700 current era. Now all over
the Indo-Pacific you find glass beads. If you Google for Indo-Pacific glass beads you’ll
find enormous numbers of papers out there. These glass beads have been found in Japan,
Koreas, China, Bali, Indonesia all of these places and they all bear the chemical signature
of the factories in Arikamedu. In other words the metallurgy, sorry, the minerals used in
making the silica and other things bear the signature of Arikamedu. So that’s one. So
these have been dated upto 300 BCE and so on. So that gives us the cause to wonder whether
it is older than what they are telling us? Well, I found this diary by Vimala Begley
and she says that trench seven yielded the oldest artifact uncovered back to the 2 century
BCE. We had to stop working because we were under the water table and even a large pump
could not keep the water out. In other words it was not the terminus of finding artifacts
that is 200 BCE, but rather a technological issue that did not allow them to go deeper.
So today the ASI has covered it up once again with mud and all this. So behind me there
is a wall, you see a coconut grove growing, it is under the coconut grove that Arikamedu’s
remains are. You cant see that today. If you look at the map of our, of India with
places named in the epics, this map is from Jeejit Ravi. You find that all over India
you find instances of habitation, the epics are deeply tied to the geography of the land.
Unfortunately epics are ignored as history and the text book narratives. This is what
we are teaching our children. We teach our children that here we had Harappa and commenced
about 5700 years ago and declined 3.6 thousand years ago. An empty lands over here. So you
can see the irony of what we have seen just in a very few slides over here and what we
teach our children. It is very, very unfortunate. So the Aryan invasion theory…, The genetic
evidence shows great antiquity of the Indian people. All non-African people are descended
from, if we can call it Indian stock, because there is no identity as India in those days.
Anyway we’ll call it that, that geographical region Indian stock. No evidence of genes
from Central Asia from at least 12,500 years ago, evidence of differentiation more than
6000 years old in Tamil Nadu. So there is no invasion. I didn’t talk about this, but
climate change, collapse of IVC. Archaeology shows ancient artifacts that predated the
so-called invasion period, whether you look in north India, western India, southern India
or central India, every place we find evidence of a great antiquity. So, the question is if invading Aryans are
supposed to have destroyed the Indus valley civilization. If there is no AIT, then what
caused the collapse? Very obvious question to ask. This paper from Nature 2014 says that
a 200 year drought doomed the Indus valley civilization. And if you dig deeper, you will
find several such events in the past where 8.2 kilo-year event, 300 year dry event, 5.9
kilo-year event is intense drought, 4.2 kiloyear is 100 year severe drought event which caused
the colllapse of Mesopotamia. Migration of IVC and Subash Kak also points out the drying
up of the Saraswati which terminated finally in 3.9 thousand years ago. One more thing to think about in the Indian
context. We are told that the Aryans came, impressed the southern Indians, the Dravidians
to go to the south, imposed the caste system on them and the Vedic social structures caused
oppression of the Dravidian people and caused widespread poverty. That is the narrative,
that many have internalized. So we want to find out what caused poverty in India? I would
like to point out 2 works, this is Angus Madison who is a historical economist in Netherlands.
He studied the economies of the world from the turn of the current era. One all the way
to 2003, he shows that the Indian GDP as a percentage of the world GDP, India had one
of the highest percentages, around 33% of the share of the world GDP. Followed by China
around 25% or so and western Europe was all the way down here about 15 % or so. India
went through a period of decline during through the invasion periods, the Muslims periods
and so on reaching a bottom over here and rising somewhat at this inflection point which
corresponds to the colonialists coming to India 1700 current era. After that what he sees is a rapid decline
in the fortunes of India, the same time at which western Europe went up. Also United
States went up with slavery and other such thing. You can also see this. Now this is
not incidental to our talk. This is more than incidental. This downfall correlating with
this shows a transference of wealth from India into western Europe caused widespread poverty.
I would like to point out the work by Will Durant, he has written an excellent book called
‘Case for India’. So I strongly urge everybody in this audience to get this from Google,
its a free book, and try to read it. He came to India around 1930 and he was not
sympathetic to the British cause. He was an American. So he came and saw what the British
had done and he was horrified and he wrote this powerful book, ‘The Case for India’.
So he shows, he tells what we already know, Robert Clive who traded money for guns and
favor, East India Company, forcing Indians to sell cheap, buy exorbitantly. Extracted
hundreds of millions of dollars, Indians were taxed at two times the people in England and
three times in Scotland. All the costs of British conquests, developments and administration
in India was charged to Indians, including the first World war, second world war, all
the French battles that they had, everything was charged to Indians. The British incurred a debt for Indians of
35 million in 1792. I believe these, the dollar figure is as of 1930, when Will Durant wrote
this book. By 1860, it would become 500 million dollars by 1929 when Will Durant left India
it was 3.5 billion dollars. After that was second world war and so on. So, this figure
had doubled or tripled by the time the British left India. So this is the debt that the British
left India with. So one of, any of us have got any doubts about what caused poverty in
India. These two graphs very powerfully show us what happened to India in the recent times
in the last 300 years or so. So I am now going to the second part of my
talk. How ancient is the Indian civilization as part of ‘the untold story of India’. So
I am going to be using archaeoastronomy as my key tool to study this. Now archaeoastronomy
research is, what they do is, they look for instances of astronomical observations in
our ancient texts and they try to see when was such an observation true and they use
some tools and modern planetarium software and mathematics and so on into it. Before I do that I need to talk to you about
precession. So our earth is tilted at an axis of 23° or so and it is pointing the northern
hemisphere, the axis is rotation appears to point to a position in the sky and it is pointing
at something called the Polaris. It spins from the west to east, once in 24 hours. But
in addition to the spin it is also doing something else. If you have played with a top as a child,
you know the top, you tie a rope and you do that and the top spins very, very fast. You
can visualize that sometimes when the top is spinning very very fast, it has got a slow
wobble, can you visualize that? A fast spin, a slow wobble. So our earth is doing that.
Our earth has got a fast spin is 24 hours, the slow wobble is a 25,500 year cycle. So
as a consequence of that today we are pointing at Polaris, this is our Dhruva today, in 3000
BCE we were pointing at Trugan and about 14,000 years from now, we will be pointing at Abhijit
or the star called Vega, and that will be our Pole star. This is just a consequence
of precession. This is a very important phenomenon for us to understand when we talk about Indian
astronomy. Because this is what will help us to date events in Indian astronomy. We need to first set the stage, The Indian
astronomical model. The model was one of nakshatra-s and raasi. Our ancient Indians they divided
the sky into several segments of 30 1/3° segments. They started from the eastern horizon
said ‘let me divide the first 30 1/3° into the first nakshatra, the second 30 1/3° as
the second nakshatra, the third and the fourth all the way to the western horizon’. But they
didn’t stop there. If this was night sky they knew there was a day sky. They divided that
portion, also, of the sky into 30 1/3° degree segments and they formed 27 of them. These
are the 27 nakshatras. If you multiply 27 by 30 1/3 you will get 360°. Full 360°. Now it is not enough to divide it into nakshatras.
You must also be able to recognize them tomorrow. So what they did was the first 30 1/3, they
said ‘what is the brightest star in that segment of the sky?’. That brightest star for example
might have been Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the Arabic name. The Indian name is Rohini. So
they said because Rohini is there, I am going to call it Rohini nakshatra. The next segment
maybe the brightest star was Spika. Spika is the star which in India we call Chitra
– Chitra nakshatra. Next we have perhaps Zeta Piscean. Zeta Piscean is Revati nakshatra.
So this way every nakshatra was identified by the principle brightest stars present in
that segment of the sky and identified accordingly. So those are the 27 nakshatras that you see
in this outer circle over here. They straddle the month, what you see over here is the nakshatra
Chitra and below there is the Chaitra masa. So when the full moon appears over the Chitra
nakshatra that month is the Chaitra month. That is how ancient Indians observed months
and so on. Similarly for Falguni the Falguna masa, Magha and other ones. They also divided
the sky in 30° segments called the raasi and these are all the familiar raasi-s that
we know. So, here is the listing of all the nakshatra-s
in two of our ancient books the Vedanga Jyotishya and the Surya Siddhanta. Vedanga Jyotishya
is conservatively dated to 1400 BCE because of the phenomena contained there. So that
has got a listing of all the nakshatra-s. And these are those nakshatra-s. Surya Siddhanta
is conservatively dated to 700 BCE or 400 current era. Take your pick, there is a lot
of controversy over there. And they too contain a list of nakshatra-s which seem to match
each other. And here are the principle stars. Kritika is Eta Tauri, Rohini is Alpha Tauri,
Mrigashira is Landa Orionis and so on, all the way to Revati Zita Piscean and so on. How did Indians date, how can we use Indian
astronomy and do dating? As an example if somebody says Rama was born in the Chaitra
masa, it means the full moon was in Chitra nakshatra. Let me go back to this picture
over here. If the full moon is here, that means that, 180° away the sun would have
been here. So the sun is in Ashwini. So just by one statement that Rama was born in Chaitra
masa, two data points jump out at me. The full moon was in Chitra nakshatra, the Sun
was in Ashwini nakshatra. You see what I am saying. So that is one way of talking about
things. Another example, varsha ritu began in ashada
masa. If somebody says that, varsha ritu means rainy season. It means the full moon was in
ashada nakshatra and the Sun was in Punarvasu nakshatra 180° away. At present, however,
in India rainy season happens when the Sun is in the Mriga nakshatra. So there are two
nakshatra difference between the time when this was written and today. Now, we know that
this happened because of precesssion. Some writer when he was writing rainy season happened
in ashada nakshatra. So he notes that, however, today because of precession that I talked
to you about, we are no longer in that constellation.., things have moved on. The precession rate
we can compute at 960 years/nakshatra. Therefore approximately 2000 years ago that statement
was true. The statement was Kalidasa’s Meghadoota. That is how today we will be able to take
any ancient observation and by studying its impact, and studying the picture as of today,
we’ll be able to predict what was the precession effect between the time that was valid and
today. That is how we date some of the events. Here is a graphic that I put to understand
the night sky with Indian lens. This is the day I started giving talks in this series.
This is November 30 in Bangalore, this is the eastern horizon, sorry the east, north
and west. The ground is over here. So this is all the night side and this is all the
day side. So whenever ancient Indians talked about nakshatra, it was always in relation
to when the moon appears in the eastern horizon, whether it is the full moon, half moon, quarter
moon or even new moon. When it appears over the eastern horizon what section of the sky
was it in? That defines the nakshatra for the day. Ok? So whenever the moon appears
in the eastern horizon, what nakshatra is it in? So here in this case, I am not sure
if you can read it on November 30 the moon appears in the eastern horizon approximately
at 3’o clock in the afternoon, 15 hours and it appears in the Revati nakshatra, so
that day the nakshatra was Revati because of that phenomenon. I would like to point out to you the Pole
star over here. I would like to point out to you Abhijit. Abhijit is over here and these
circles that you are seeing over here, these are projections of the earth’s latitudes
and longitudes on the sky. Ok? Earth’s latitudes and longitudes projected to the sky become
celestial co-ordinates. So this one here corresponds to the celestial North pole. This is now the
latitudes right, 90°, 80°, 70°, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20,10 and 0. Zero refers to the celestial
equator. On the day of the equinox the Sun would be exactly on the celestial equator.
The remaining time the Sun would appear to go northwards upto 23.2° and go six months
southward -23.3° crossing the equinox. These are the cardinal positions that our ancient
Indians knew about and whenever they commemorated any event like starting of a temple, some
grant or some auspicious thing they would start it on such an auspicious day and they’ll
note when the solstice was here it was in Kritika nakshatra or it was in revati nakshatra
and those kinds of things. Today we can quote those statements to see when was it true? I would like to talk to you about the start
of Kaliyuga. People at this point wonder what on earth am I doing, why am I talking about
Kaliyuga? Well, it turns out that Kaliyuga is an absolute marker for all the Indian calendars.
So, for example Aryabhatta gives his age with respect to Kaliyuga. Many temple epigraphy
talk about their age with respect to Kaliyuga. Badami, for example, is another place. So,
Surya Siddhanta says, Kaliyuga was the rare planet conjunction of  Saturn, Jupiter, Mars,
Venus, Mercury, Sun and Moon in the Revati nakshatra. It turns out that this date was
18 February 3102 BCE. I simulated this in the Planetarim software and what you see is
Revati nakshatra is over here, this is the sun, Chandra moon, Shukra Venus, Jupiter Guru
and here you see Mars Mangala deva is over here, and I cant read from here, I think it
is Budhan and this is Shani. So you see Merury and Shani. All of these things are clustered.
It is spread over a few nakshatras but the least and the greatest at this point. They
seem to be clustered in the Revati nakshatra. So this is only possible for one time in the
last 25,000 years because of precession and that date corresponds to February 18, 3102
BCE. There appears to be an ancient observation
encoded in the Mahabharat in this particular reference. A dialogue between Indra and Skanda,
contesting against Abhijit, Vega the nakshatra, Kritika Pleiades went to vana, the summer
solstice to heat up the summer. Then the star Abhijit slipped down in the sky. This caused
a lot of angst in people because they said that stars don’t slip down the sky. Here is
an example of an Indian text taking flights of fantasy, maybe they are high on Soma, or
whatever, and they have done these kinds of works; stars don’t slip in the sky. Then Prof. Vartak came along and said – ‘Wait
a minute, wait  a minute, it is actually an encoding of an astronomical phenomenon’.
He said that more than 15,000 years ago Abhijit was the Pole star. Some, somebody in the Indian
context remembers the time when Abhijit was the Pole star and the cultural memory is being
passed on from generation to generation until such time the Mahabharata was written down
and they noticed that, at that time Abhijit was no longer the Pole star, it is away from
the pole, from 90° it was at 40° almost. It has slipped down in the sky. So it is an
amazing instance that we remember an incident that happened 15,000 years ago approximately.
Next Kritika was at the summer solstice approximately 24,000 years ago. So bottom line of these
two is that rishis have been observing the skies for almost 24,000 years. Here I have shown a graphic where 14,000 years
ago, Abhijit was over here. You remember in my earlier slide I showed it was somewhere
here 40° or so, but now it is over here 90°. Shatapata Brahmana has got a statement that
Kritika never swerves from the east. April 15 2982 BCE is the only date it would have
been possible. This is the prescriptive statement done by sage Yajnavalkya who tried to say
how do you construct a Vedic altar, how do you find the east direction? In order to tell
the Vedic practitioner the east direction is under Kritika. So come out when it is still
dark, do your ritual bath, see where Kritika is and the Sun will appear soon over there
so align your Vedic altar along Kritika for maximum auspiciousness and do your ritual,
that is what he meant. Unfortunately Kritika is on the celestial
equator only on this day when it is true east, on every other day it is far away, so that
date corresponds to this particular one. I have an entire paper coming up on this one,
because I am using this to date Sushruta. You can use this phenomenon to date Susruta,
and I’ll be doing that soon. Taittriya Samhita refers to Kritika in the winter solstice and
this corresponds to the date of 28921 BCE. One more instance of Agastya on the extreme
south. Now, Prof. Abhyankar drew this particular graph. Agastya is the star called Canopus.
Canopus is the star in the southern hemisphere. India is in the northern hemisphere, because
we are to the north of the equator. Right. So we are northern hemisphere. Normally we
would not be able to see Canopus from India. But because precession has dipped in a certain
direction it has given us a view of that portion of the sky. Ok? That is the interpretation. So Prof. Abhyankar drew a map of when would
Canopus have been visible in India? This is 10,000 BCE all the way going to 10,000 current
era. He says the visibility started here in Kanyakumari approximately 10,000 BCE, in Madras
approximately 8500 BCE, in Vindhyas about 5000 BCE, in New Delhi around 3000 BCE. We
are somewhere here now, maximum visibility all over India. We can see Canopus. However,
there is also a disappearing cycle. It will disappear because of precession approximately
10,000 years from now, it wont even be visible from Kanyakumari. So he interprets that if
Agastya was the first to cross the Vindhyas and see Canopus the date should be 5200 BCE.
However, I caution that data may not be true because we also have a Puranic story that
Agastya drank up the ocean because he wanted the Devatas to come and kill the demons who
lived under the ocean. So that could be an allegory for the last glacial maximum which
happened approximately 12,000 years ago, 10,000 BCE when most of the water was locked up in
ice and you could have seen coastal areas far beyond today’s coastal areas. So if Agasthya went to coastal India, Kanyakumari
that date should actually correspond to 10,000 BCE and not 5200 BCE. Just an example of how
archaeoastronomy can sometimes throw up instances when multiple interpretations can be there. There is a phenomenon called the Rohini Shakata
Bheda. Very, very intersting. Rohini is a star called Aldebaran, It appears in the Brishya
nakshatra. There is a triangle that is formed, sorry Brishya raasi forms a triangle over
here. This phenomenon is recounted in all these books – Surya Siddhanta, Brihat Samhita,
Maha Bhaskariya, Khanda Katakaya everybody, in this chapter, sloka they refer to this.
What they say is, for example, the Bruhat Samhita says, when Saturn, Mars or a comet
cuts the vein of Rohini “what shall I say, alas for the whole world will perish being
plunged in the ocean of misery”. This is the phenomena they said. In other words cataclysm
could happen if Mars, Mars coming in over here, were to cut this triangle. In TIFR these
researchers tried to see when would Mars cut this triangle, when would it be possible?
They found these dates – 5000 BCE, 9000 BCE and so on, and they attempted to make an interpretation
of it. They tried to correlate it with the minimum of the ice age, the last glacial minimum,
when most of the ice would have melted, water levels would have gone up, coastal civilizations
would have been flooded and maybe that cataclysmic event was remembered along with Mars also
cutting this particular triangle of Rohini, remembered in this manner. Very interesting
phenomenon. Conclusion from astronomy evidence, many instances
of interested can be dated with the astronomical observations encoded in the texts. Date of
Kaliyuga reveals a Vedic concept in place in India much earlier that alleged Aryan migrations.
Dates preserved in the Brahmanas and Upanishads reveal great antiquity. Observation of Abhijit
shows very ancient knowledge of star positions including Rohini Shakata Bheda. There is evidence
of great antiquity of Indians and this is backed by archaeological finds. Just 10 years ago, I couldn’t have made
statements like without looking like a fool, because people will say this is archaeology,
nothing is there. But now, in Bhirrana now, we have gone up to about 8000 BCE, 9000 BCE.
So right now archaeology has matured to a point, where these dates are no longer fantastic.
They are within the range of archaeology. Unfortunately this evidence is ignored in
today’s scholarship due to the Euro-centric idea that Indian astronomy  borrowed from
the Greeks after 300 BCE and to align it with proto-Indo-European narratives. What we talked
about earlier. In other works, I critiqued the works by David Pengri and by Sadenberg
and other Euro-centric scholars who tried to use reconstructed ideas of Babylonian mathematics,
Greek mathematics and based on the current diary constructions they tried to make a claim
that those ideas came into India. I critiqued some of these things and shown that that is
not the case at all. So, I come to the third part of my talk. How
old is the Indian civilization? Sorry end of the second part, investigation of genetics
shows a very ancient people, living continuously in India since 85,000 years ago. Investigations
in archaeology now shows artifacts from at least 10,000 years ago. Investigations in
astronomical observations shows artifacts from 24,000 years ago. All of these things
are now adding up to an untold story that we are a very ancient people that we have
not been diligent with ourselves in talking about this. Now there is an allegation of inflow of knowledge
from Greeks and Babylons. So I posed the question; what did the Indians know, before we go these
allegations itself. We know our traditional kanowledge sources, Sruti – that which is
heard, Vedas, Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads which are mantras, sense, prayers,
commentaries and hymns, rituals, philosophy and so on. Smriti – that which is remembered,
the six vedangas (grammar, meter, astronomy, rituals), Ithihasas, texts on dharma, artha,
kama, moksha, Puranas, poetic works, commentaries on srutis, sutras and sastras of various schools
of philosophy, the nibandhas, politics, medicine, culture and art, Jain and Buddhist works and
so on. Why I pointed out all these things is to show
a matrix of ideas, a bedrock within which the Indian learning existed. There is a very,
very strong ecosystem of learning in India and my colleague Sahana has also brought out
this book, that talks about ancient Indian universities starting from forest universities
to brick and mortar universities to other universities. All these things point out to
us that we had a very strong ecosystem of formal learning as well as informal learning.
I don’t have a slide on informal learning but all over India we know the artisans had
enormous knowledge of their systems, whether it was metallurgy, whether it was architecture,
whether it was anything else, any other kind of works, artisans also had great amount of
knowledge in addition to the formal knowledge sources. Here’s an example, what did the Indians
know? I just put down some schools and gurus and one-line descriptions. The nyaya school,
one line description – all knowledge is not intrinsically valid. Most knowledge is not
valid unless proven and truth exists whether we human beings know it or not. Greatest exponent
is Rishi Akshapada Gautama. Yoga we know yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and so on. Patanjali
codified these things. Vaiseshika works on perception and inference and Kanada is the
famous rishi who did that. Samkhya which works in systematic and enumeration and rational
examination of Kapila. Purva Mimamsa which requires reflection, consideration, profound
thought, investigation, examination and discussion, Jaimini is one of the rishis. The Uttara Mimamsa
/Vedanta there are up to ten schools now with Advaita and other such things. I’d like to point out these things to tell
people who say that it is the Britishers who brought in a very formal way and rational
way of thinking after their own discovery of the age of reason, age of rationalism and
these kind of things. They are the first people who brought us the scientific way of thinking
and I say ‘whoa! wait a minute. Have you even looked at some of the Indic systems that existed?’.
Even today as a scientist when I work, I do a systematic enumeration of all the facts
known in the case. I put down everything that is known, then deep reflection, consideration,
profound thought and investigation, rational examination. Then I come to a conclusion on
what is this all about. So even today we subconsciously use methods of our Rishis, even though we
might not know it. And we rarely attribute it to our own Indic knowledge systems. We
appear to be very quick to grant the westerners that they brought a rational way of thinking
to the sub continent, whereas this is very endemic to our systems. I dont think I want to talk about this. Too
much talk over here. Some ancient texts. We had the Vedas and Upanishads, vedanga Jyotishya
which is an appendix to the Rig Veda, authored by Lagada. The dating hinges on the phenomenon
described therein. Winter solstice position suggests 1400 BCE. However, Michel Witzel
the Sanskrit professor from Harvard, he says final centuries of BCE, hinting that it copied
earlier Harappan and Babylonian data. This had me flabbergasted because here we
had somebody who said he knew how to interpret Harappan data. We should find out what script
the Harappans used and how they decoded that and how they wrote the Vedanga Jyotishya based
upon that. So this is the way the goal posts are changed.
Whenever there is any kind of indication of antiquity that cannot be contested, they come
about these convoluted ways of talking where they copied from these things and so on. Surya Siddhanta show the Vedic, sorry, show
traces of Vedanga Jyotishya. These the texts is lost, the Vasishtha Siddhanta, Paitamaha
Siddhanta, Romaka and Pulisya Siddhanta. Varahamihara who wrote commentaries on that says that the
calculations had become obsolete even in his own time. That shows how ancient those things
were. Why did they become obsolete? Because of precession, because of precession some
of the calculations they made were no longer valid. Nakshatras were not where they were
supposed to be. So Varahamihira said he could not use those things. Then you have works
by Bhaskara I and Bhaskara II and others. Some selected discoveries. Rigvedic calendar
360 days, 12×30, but average is 365 days over 6 years because of correction month. Jyotishya
Vedanga records astronomical data 4000 BCE. Sage Yajnavalkya 3000 BCE, propounded the
heliocentric model. Satapata Brahmana, he measured the distance from earth to sun, earth
to moon at 108 times diameter of the Sun and Earth. Modern figures are these. Surya Siddhanta
has got lot of complex astronomical and time measurements. 2000 years ago Indians proposed
stars were like the sun, but further away. Aryabhatta had something that looked like
a partial heliocentric model. He knew that the shadows of the earth, shadows of the moon
because of the sun shining on it. He also had formulas to compute the length of the
shadows and if an eclipse will happen and all those kinds of things. Varahamihira said
the same force that holds object to the earth also holds celestial bodies in its place.
Brahmagupta calculated earth’s circumference at 36,000 km. Bhaskara II calculated Precession
of Equinox at 25461 years. The same Precession that I have been talking about. Bhaskara II
put it down to 25441 years. Very, very accurate figure that has not bettered upon until European
science around 19 century. Sayana who is the minister, the prime minister in Vijayanagara,
he in his commentary on the Rig Veda computed the speed of light. Subash Kak shows that
his 2202 yoganas and ½ nimisha translates to this figure, very modern figure. Surya Siddhanta. Amazing book, you can download
this from Google and read it. It contains chapters on astronomy, time cycles and planetary
diameters. Yup, you heard me right. It talks about planetary diameters. Not only were the
ancient Indians observing these planets as blobs of light moving in the sky, but they
also knew those blobs of light have got a diameter, a physical dimension associated
with it. And they were able to compute it. So Surya Siddanta lists Mercury at not in
miles obviously, these are modern interpretations 3008 miles. The true figure is so much. Saturn
at 73,882 miles this is a true figure. Mars at 3772 miles this is a true figure Venus
and Jupiter, they made some mistakes in getting those things. Now you may wonder how on earth did they do
that? Whether it is 700 BCE or 480 current era. How on earth did they do that? They didn’t
have telescopes. How did they do that? Well it turns out that they used Trignometric ideas.
One idea if you have the half moon directly overhead of you, you know that the illuminated
face of the moon comes 180° away from the sun. You know that if this distance from you
to the moon is 1 then the angel is 1/7 of a degree. Then this is 400 a right angled
triangle property. Using these ideas and using ideas that everybody has done integration
in high school knows about. If you did Reman integration, you know that you had to draw
a lot of lines over there in your graph paper and summing the area under the curve, the
lines help you to get a better and better figure. Similarly the ancient Indians in order
to compute tithi, they needed to compute tithi, when a particular tithi would pass and so
on and as accurately as possible. So they would divide the nakshatra from one to other
by finer lines of resolution which will allow them to map the movement of heavenly bodies
in a much finer way. So by making use of how quickly the bodies are moving and by using
Trignometric ideas they were able to estimate this planetary diameters. That is the ingenuity
of our anscestors that we need to connect to. This is lost in the popular discourse
completely. We have no idea. We dont even talk about these things. A collection of some of our greats, Brahmagupta
who studied the works of Aryabhatta, Latadeva, Varahamihira and others. He wrote the Brahmasputa
Siddhanta and Khanda Katkaya transmitted by the Arabs. I’ll show that later. Solutions
of linear and quadratic equations and the rules for zero operations, positive and negative
numbers. Trignometric tables and in Astronomy he said that Moon is closer to the Earth than
the Sun. And he solved this equation which is a very famous equation in literature. More
than in this time frame he had the complete solution to the set of equations which the
westerners refer to as the Pell’s equation. And even greats like Oiler and others were
clueless on how to solve this and eventually after about a 100 years of trying Europe was
able to solve this 1000 years after Brahmagupta had already solved it. Bhaskara-I who wrote these works. Zero, positional
arithmetic, approximation for sine. There is a very famous approximation that Sin x
can be represented by this kind of expression. Very, very famous. Even today we use this
and he is the one who invented that. Bhaskara II lived in Bijapur, Bijapur northern Karnataka
and he went to Ujjain and became the Head of Department of Astronomy over there. An
instance of people moving across the country and working in different places. He wrote
Siddhanta Shiromani and he appears to have also got the elements of differential calculus.
He computed precession like I told you. This statement he made. “At the highest point
the instantaneous speed is zero”. This is an assertion of the Calculus of variation,
where at the highest point the rate of change is zero. That is a property I use even today
for living in optimization and fields like that. So I owe it all to this very famous
scientist. One of my most famous favorite scientists from ancient India – Bhaskara II. Madhava of Sangamagrama (Trissur), all these
expressions that you see, this infinite series are attribute to him. So he is the one who
invented this and much, much more. Founder of Kerala school of Astronomy and Mathematics.
Infinite series, Calculus, Trignometry. Iterative solution of nonlinear equations, something
I do for a living even today, originated with him. We typically think Newton is the one
who talked about iterative solution for nonlinear equations. But it turns out that he was the
one who did these things. George Joseph Geevarghese, professor and he says that Madhava’s math
was transmitted to Europe a century before Newton by the Church and these are some of
the alumni of the school. So I have come now to the next part of my
talk. I think it is the final part. The allegation that India was the receiving end of Greek
and Babylonian knowledge. So I would like to address the question did Indian knowledge
flow out of India or into India? And  my assertion is that it is an out of India untold
story. Before I do that I need to talk about the routes for knowledge transfer. People
say ok knowledge went, but how did it go? And this is one of the routes, the Silk route
also included India. And one of the most famous works of Indian medicine called the Bover
manuscript, Bover manuscript contained the Bela samhita part of Punarvasu Atriya’s
works of Charaka Samhita. All of those things are found in Kashgar. Kashgar is in the Xinjiang
province and they found Bover manuscript there, somewhere in the 18 century or so. That is
an instance of Indic knowledge finding itself on a trade route, which means that Indic knowledge
is also trade routes from all the way from China, Mediterranean and Europe. Another route for knowledge transfer was trade.
The Periplus of the Eritrean sea talks about in the first century all these ports in the
western coast of India and the eastern coast of India from where ships could land, take
goods and go through Red sea on to Mediterranean lands and so on, was another route for knowledge
transmission. It doesn’t mean that it started in the first century, it is just that this
map is dated to first century. Let me go from that to the third route for
knowledge transfer. After the Macedonian Alexander came to the frontiers of India, he left behind
several Indo-Greek kingdoms and the Seleucid empire was one of them that formed the buffer
between the Mauryans and the Greek parts and that also formed a conduit where Indic knowledge
to transfer from this point to another. I would like to show you knowledge outflows
from India in everytime period. Pre-Pythagoras – 2000 BCE – 500 BCE, Pythagoras – 500
BCE, Post Alexandar – 300 BCE, Buddhists and the Hindu outflows and the Muslim period
: Abbasid, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal periods as well as colonial period upto present times.
I’d like to show in every period of time Indic knowledge went out of India and seeded
the corpus of knowledge in the rest of the world. This is the map of the world from approximately
1300 BCE and what you see is in Africa you have a lot of simple people, hunter gatherers
and nomadic people and so on and all of Siberia, Russia you have simple people, same thing
with Europe you have simple cultures living there, Iran pastoral people, Australia and
elsewhere. So only in China you have the Chiang civilization. I don’t like these words Dravidian
and Aryan, but unfortunately again the secular source, so I was forced to take this. I like
to call them Indian civilization which existed here. Over here in Greece you had the Greek
civilization and you had a little bit of activity in Sumeria and that it is exploded over here,
the Hittites. The Hittities were where today’s Turkey is and they are actually called the
Hutti people, Anglicization of that is Hittities. The Hutti people are known to have a city
called Purushottama, city of man, so very Indic knowledge sitting over there and.. let
me go back by one.. The Mittanis who lived in this part of the
world, they were known to be Sanskritic people who invoked the Vedic Gods Indra, Varuna,
Ashwinis in their peace treaties with the Pharaohs. In other words, in the name of Indra,
in the name of Varuna, I promise not to attack you, those kind of peace treaties they had
with the Egyptian Pharaohs. Then you had the Kassaites, the Babylonians who lived here
at the tail end of this place in Dilmun. You see Dilmun over here? It is approximately
where Bahrain is, where even today they found Indus valley seals and Lothal and other places,
showing contact from those days itself in those parts of the world. So Indic thought
was prevalent in this area of the world, in this area of the world and this area of the
world. We should not go looking for an actual artifact
or a record saying these things. So to reconstruct this past we are going to look for echos of
Indian thought in these very, very early periods of time when we cannot physically be expected
to get direct evidence. That is what we are applying as a methodology over here. So in
another talk, I talk about the knowledge of medical exchange, in my talk on Antiquity
of Indian Medical Systems on IR channel, I explain these things in great detail and show
what thought existed here, here, here and here, that shows reflections of Ayurvedic
knowledge. Unfortunately I can’t include that also in today’s talk, that’s too
detailed over here. Pythagoras who lived in this time frame, these
gentlemen who are all westerns, Albert Burki and A. N. Marlow and G. R. S. Mead, each of
them says that Pythagoras went to India where he learnt his philosophies, knowledge and
other things. These are not Indic people saying this. These are western sources saying these
things. So Pythagoras was the gentleman who came a suggestion that he learnt in southern
India and I postulated the question, could that have been Kanchipuram? Kanchipuram today
we are told was the capital of the Pallavas. So perhaps entered a record from then, but
it’s far more ancient than that. Far more ancient than the Pallavas, so could he have
learnt at Kanchipura? When Pythagoras went back to Greece he was
called a madman because he had become a vegetarian. They said he only ate nuts, fruits, corn and
these kind of things and people said something crazy about this guy, not eating meat. He
also started a gurukulam style of school where he was the teacher-in-charge and the bachelor
students his closest pupils were readied to get revealed his wisdom around him, and in
the outer circle were the outer students on the way coming to, coming in this inner circle.
This gurukulam style of teaching was inherited by his successor Socrates, Plato as well as
Aristotle. All of them followed the same gurukulam style of teaching. Finally he also believed
in transmigration of the soul. Here is a paper that talks about the doctrine of transmigration
from the Royal Asiatic Society. So he believed in reincarnation. So very clearly there is
a very strong element of Indic thought in Pythagoras works. You need to ask a question why did Pythagoras
even come to India? How did he know that India was a source of knowledge? If we go even further
beyond Pythagorean time frame, we look at the similarities in the Greek stories and
the Indian Puranic stories. There is enormous, enormous overlap in these two stories, hinting
at a much more ancient contact. And the contact in fact goes back to the Mycenaean period.
The Mycenaean period was the time when the Greeks had contact with the Mittanis. The
Mittanis and other populations and they learnt their knowledge the Hittites and others, that’s
where the knowledge transmissions happened. I’d like to talk to you about Kanada. Kanada
conservatively dated to 600 BCE and Democritus who lived in this time frame. Kanada was an
exponent of the Vaiseshika sutra. He said to understand Brahman you should understand
the natural world. He said 9 classes of reality and infinity. Creation is made up of atoms.
Atman pervades all material. 7 classes of experience, substance, quality, activity,
generality, particularity, inherence, non-existence. Traits of substances colors, tastes, smells
and so on. In other words to understand the physical world, he said there is deeper philosophy,
in order to understand the source of Vidya and Avidya. That was his goal. What is vidya and what is avidya in the context
of Brahman? The study of avidya is also vidya. So here was his attempt at studying the world
which is vidya over here. Democritus on this side who was called the father of modern science.
He is known to have travelled to Asia and India and Ethiopia and returned with something
called natural philosophy. He said creation is made up of atoms of different types that
degenerate. Two types of knowing, legitimate with intellect and illegitimate with sense
objects. Does this sound familiar to Vedanta to anybody in this audience. So this is what
he said. Earth is a sphere, universe made up of atoms in chaos colliding to make a bigger
world. Very, very interesting connections how Democritus has internalised Vedantic knowledge. Post-Alexander 330 BCE we talked about Seleucid
empire, we talked about these things in this time frame. Heliodorus Pillar, proof of Krishna
worship. We know that Alexander ordered the translations of astronomical works in Persia
and Mesopotamia for Aristotle and this was transmitted to Hipparchus via the library
at Alexandria which was set up for transmission of Indic knowledge and others from the east
to the west. I would like to talk about Hipparchus and
Trigonometry. Before that Surya Siddhanta contains chord tables. Aryabhatta composed,
there should be only one ‘t’ over here, I apologize, it is a mistake, composed sign
tables in 3.5° segments the Gian sine and cosine. Pingala and Chandasastra in 400 BCE
worked on combinatronics and binomials. Vriddhigarga 500 BCE, he proposed precession of Equinox.
He said 1° for 100 years the same thing I said 25,500 years. Vriddhigarga had proposed
it as 36,000 years. So very strong schools of propositional logic among Jains, Sanskrit
scholars and Vedanta and this knowledge transmission route is via Aristotle and Alexandria. Hipparchus
who lived between 190 and 120 BCE worked on chord tables in 7.5° segments. He proposed
the same rate of precession as Vriddhigarag as 36,000 years. Plutarch shows that Hipparchus
was able to do something called enumerative combinotrix which Pingala had already done
a long time ago. Same thing as Pingala’s work. This propositional logic is in stoicism
and stoicism is an offshoot of Plato. It is rooted in thoughts of Vedanta, Brahman and
so on. So once again you see echos of Indic thought in Hipparchus. The western position
is that Hipparchus thought his astronomy, sorry, trignometry to the Indians. So Aryabhatta
learn this Trigonometry from the works of Hipparchus. That is the statement. Ptolemy is also supposed to be one of the
sources for Aryabhatta’s work and in this book by Robert Newton, he says that every
observation of Ptolemy was allegedly fabricated. He alleges that Ptolemy was liar and a plagiarist
and he suggests that the Trigonometric tables calculated by him were actually done by Eratosthenes
of Egypt. So we need to understand who this Eratosthenes is? Eratosthenes is this person
who is a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, poet, music theorist and his day job was he
was a chief librarian at Alexandria. He had a lot of time on his hands to read manuscripts
from India and learn a lot about India and what’s going on. So library at Alexandria,
well before that, he worked on the circumference of the earth, tilt of earth’s axis, distance
from earth to sun, measure of the diameter of the sun, diameter of the earth, same thing
Yajnavalkya had done in 3000 BCE, same thing. He worked on Stoicism of Plato. This library
was destroyed by Julius Ceaser in 40 BCE and then by the Pope when Europe became Christian
in 341 current era to stamp out all of Pagan works. Destroyed by the Muslims in 690 CE
current era and this library essentially facilitated sourcing knowledge from the east and transmitting
it to the west. From that I would like to move on to the Abbasid
empire. The Abbasid era is from 700 CE to 1000 CE. So they ruled a great empire all
the way from Sind, through the northern part of Africa, Arabia and so on up to Spain. So
in Spain, you had Muslim Spain and you had Christian Spain that is the division of Spain
at that time. Al-Fazari is known to have translated Brahmagupta’s Brahmasputa Siddhanta and
Khanda Katakaya in Arabic which was brought by pandits from Sind to Baghdad. They called
it Sind Hind and Arakan. Manka or Kanka, an Indian physician in the court of Haroon Al-Rashid,
he translated Sushruta Samhita to Persian used by Avicenna. His medical texts were the
foundation of European medicine. Abid Allah ibn Ali, he translated Charaka Samhita to
Arabic and Persian and this was transmitted from Baghdad all the way upto Spain. Al Kindi
was  a very famous Arabic scientist and he translated Greek and Indian works and wrote
many works on mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, music and philosophy. We know that in this time frame, 1000 – 1700
enormous transfers of scientific works, maths, medicine, astronomy, chemistry, toxicology
were done. We know about Al Birouni, Al Birouni accompanied Gazni. He came with a recommendation
letter to the Sultan of Baghdad, who identified him as a scholar and told Gazni, when you
are going to Hindustan to raid over there, please take him along because he is a scholar,
he will copy down the textbooks and all those kinds of things. So he knew Persian, Arabic.
He learnt Sanskrit in India. He knew Greek and Hebrew, he was in an enviable position
of having read the Greek works and encountered Indian works. So he was able to do comparative
analysis on these things too. He wrote Kitab Tarik Al Hind, translated many works, Mahabharata,
Ramayana, Pancatantra. Sultan Firuz ibn Tughlaq has been known to plundered Nagarkot and acquired
a library on 1300 books in Sanskrit translated to Persian. Zain ul Abedin from Kashmir had
a bilateral translation department. Not only did he translate Sanskrit to Persian, but
he also translated Persian to Sanskrit for the first time in Indic thought you have evidence
of outside knowledge coming into India over here. There is no other record in any other
period of time where knowledge came from outside India to there. It was here in this time frame
when he had a bilateral translation, some works came in. Akbar did the same, Dara Shikoh
the unfortunate brother of Aurangazeb, he had Persian translations of Upanishads, 50
works, the Europeans got the taste of the Upanishads after Plato and other works through
Dara Shikoh’s translations. I would like to talk to you about transmission
of this knowledge to Medieval Europe. In Toledo, if you remember there was a Christian Spain
and Muslim Spain. Muslim Spain Cordoba was the capital; in the Christian side Toledo.
At Toledo there was a monastery whose only job was to translate texts from Arabic into
Latin. So Gerard of Cremona is the name that has come to us from the past. He translated
87 Arabic works from Latin. Math, astronomy and medicine. And Constantine the African,
he is a Christian monk in Italy who translated Arabic medical works. Here I have shown a
small graphic. This graphic shows Indic knowledge that first went to the Greeks and Romans.
Most of it was destroyed in Byzantine kingdom by the Christian rulers who did not want Pagan
knowledge to exist over there. So it died over there. However some of that knowledge
existed in Islamic lands, Arabian lands before they became Islam also in Lebanon, Syria and
all these kinds of places. Muslims inherited these works along with knowledge that was
destructively obtained from India and they were consolidators they consolidated all of
the information and it was injected into Europe into Latin by this translation school that
I talked about. Also there were travelers in every period of time including colonial
people who directly took Indic knowledge to Europe and all of this knowledge today has
come back to us bereft of any citations, and repackaged with obviously much more refined
knowledge systems and so on. Unfortunately we have lost track of where did this knowledge
come from? And we are left in awe of the western civilization which could have built such an
enormous edifice of knowledge without acknowledging that they stood on the shoulders of your ancestors
to understand and how to take it from there to the next point on. Here’s an example of transmission of knowledge
in 1200s to 1300s Marco Polo, Jordanus Catalani and all these people. This book you can download
in Google. It shows you transmission of some Indic knowledge in this period of time. 1400s
Europeans Niccoloc Da Conti very famous because he visited Vijayanagara and found eye witness
accounts to how Vijayanagara was at that period of time. His works were very influential in
15 century cartography. Afanasy Niktin of Russia, Vasco da Gama are these were visitors.
This book over here, India in the 15 century, he talks about voyages to India, knowledge
transmissions. 1500s the Portuguese had come relatively with armies 13 ships of 1500 men
and so on. There were several visitors some of them not visitors, conquerors and other
such things. Some of them for example were Portuguese scientists. Pedro Nunes, this De
Castro, he was the fourth Viceroy to India. So these are scientists also who came to India
and studied Indian works, translated them and took it back with them. This Frieze or
statue in Lisbon shows these prominent people of the Portuguese society who are looking
outward to the ocean because that is where they got their knowledge from, from India.
So this monument that is there in Lisbon, I think Sahana you took this picture when
you went over there shows this fact, even today. Now when Europe finally got its acts together,
got the Knights and the soldiers and the Pope’s blessings and everything, they finally went
and reconquered Spain. They went through a period of Inquisition, when they were stamping
out the Moorish influence. The Muslim influence in Spain. At that time any Muslim knowledge
was seen as seeking knowledge from Satan inviting savage retribution. Until that period of time
the nobility of Europe would send their eldest sons to Muslim Spain to learn at the feet
of the Moors. Because the Moors had got better knowledge than us so they would go there and
learn. But from then on it was the Inquisition period. In Renaissance European scholars hid
their sources and passed off Greek and Indic works as original knowledge. All of a sudden
you had people coming out of dark ages and disease and illiteracy and the oppression
of the Church and coming out and saying I invented this and I invented that and so on.
And we barely questioned the veracity of these claims. However this is what was going on
over there. So European works in astronomy, math, medicine was greatly predated by Indian
and Greek works however they ignored citations to Indian sources, therefore I call them plagiarizing. In colonial period you had a gold rush literally
by every colonial occupier. Missionaries were at the head of leading the collection and
translation. The Dutch in Tranquebar. Bartholomaus Ziegenberg for example, I picked up this book
in the French Institute of Pondicherry. It is just a book on the number of books copied
by this gentleman, Ziegenberg, just a bibliography. A 200 page book of bibliography of all the
books he had collected. Portugese in Goa, Father Xavier French in Tamil Nadu collected
an enormous numbers of work. They have the greatest collection of Shaiva Siddhanta manuals
under their control now, which they took when they arrived in, rather conquered Tamil Nadu.
The British collected works all over India and we have information of that too. So with that I know I have taken a long time
in this talk. But this is my closing remarks over here. I hope I have established evidence
for an untold story of ancient India. I hope I have shown you there was no Aryan invasion
or migration of or to India. Indian civilization as cultural memory going back to 24,000 years.
Indians produced knowledge within many fields, enormous knowledge transfers from India in
every time period. We have examined the evidence from genetics, astronomy, archaeology, literary
sources as well as knowledge transfers to come to our conclusions. Thank you very much. You have been a very
patient audience. Thank you.

99 thoughts on “Indian civilization: The Untold Story | Raj Vedam

  1. The people in northern eastern states of India as it was totally neglected for last 75 yrs now they are totally BRAIN WASHED and think GREEKS are leaders of civilisations . In Nepal the missionaries have n are converting villages after villages to Christianity ! Now Nepal is no more Hindu country! It is declared secular ! A band of Students of science,archeological , geological who are great orators needs to understandthat it is imp to spread the wordto the world in schools universities , academia , UN religious groups .

  2. Fascinating and seems well-reasoned. His arguments about Keezhadi seem testable. Does anyone here know if there is or going research there to look at the deeper layers?

  3. I have an idea…. I feel that you and your team needs to do presentations to selected universities outside India, say Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Russia, Australia. You need to have a media coverage at the same time. This will give you some International exposure. In the UK there is a large number of Indians living, so you can get few contacts and ask them to organise to do public presentations and at the same time try few Universities as well. The TV and social media coverage must be used. You will need funds and a support group, may be Indian businessmen. I remember watching Sashi Taroo’s debate at Oxford, it went viral, that is exactly what you need to do and you need to get the Indians living in other countries to get involved in this. Time is right I feel to stir this world societies a bit, Indian Government will change its attitude to rebuild the image. When the news hit the masses it will not be easy for those who try to discredit you to prove you wrong.

    1. Ancient Indians were developing their minds spiritually to seek salvation when the other nations were invading countries for greed. This is where I see the vast difference in the Ancient Indian civilisation and the other.

  4. Some or many of these claims could be true (or not). Making the assumption that all humans are endowed with approximately similar abilities, were there conditions in ancient India that were unique from any where else? That is, conducive to continuous settlement and allowed escape from hunting gathering life style to a more leisurely life that allowed growth of knowledge earlier than anywhere else in the world?

  5. I agree with most of the arguments put up but I can't understand the link between the Indus valley civilization and the then civilization of India which gave us Vedas.

    While the Ramayana and Mahabharata is a part of our history, why we are unable to decipher the language of the Indus Valley Civilization.

  6. If elephants can share cultural memory – of burial grounds, and salt licks and watering holes – across generations, how far back might human cultural memory go, with a (supposedly) more sophisticated neural apparatus? May parts of human folk lore derive from a memory of fantastical sights and events that stretch back not just thousands of years, but tens of thousands of years?

  7. Raj Vedam explains v logically. Now it's time to move to the next step that is of correcting school history textbooks.

  8. I feel the Dravidian culture was much much older than Aryan and our technology was much better than Aryan. Like Tamil is only language which can be understood even if you could takeout sanskrit words from it and naturally all south language is derived from Tami, why are you saying we feel inferior and we agree on western theory, we are saying brother don't claim North Indian languages as older it is Tami .

  9. We need Chankyas teachings in our books to make India rise again. Only his thoughts can unite us against European, Americans and Islamic countries.

  10. Narrated eloquently, but, there is no new / undisputed fact coming out here. To quote an example, Hancock and Bauval had a more compelling case for Egyptian history hypothesis, than this.
    My wishes to you on uncovering a stronger and cohesive find to prove your point.

  11. Rakhigarhi (Indus Valley Civilisation) DNA showed the similarity with people of South India (Dravidians) and Tribe of Nilgiri. There is no trace of R1a1 Haplogroup present in this DNA which is common among North Indians.

  12. He has such a broad understanding of different subjects..wonderful talk Sir.
    I was wondering why you did not speak about the submerged ruins of Dwarika?

  13. Question for you mr Raj in this video and couple other videos you say these cast division came after British put poverty on us but there is in history when Shiva ji first declair him self as a king brahan refuse to raztilak him not only these Brahman some time refuse Shiva ji to enter in tempel couples off time that time British not even start rulling even smalist part off India

  14. Excellent talk. Congratulations. It shows Indians are doing something. But this has to be in a major scale.'s view

  15. There is nowhere Indian or hindu civilization. It was Tamil civilization.. For northern indian people, tamil bitters a lot as they are successors of aryan migrators.. they call it as in other names as Indian or hindu civilization… India the word termed by brithishers and hindu the term coined by outsiders they cant spell sindu and it becomes hindu , hindustan… tamil was spoken all over the bharatam lived as nagas and after aryan intrusion sa sanskrit mixed with tamil and gave birth to many new languages and people forget their roots.. even today tamil brahmi scripts scultures , temples are found across the world

  16. Lots and lots of respect for your efforts and research sir our government should do complete changes in our history books for our coming generation….it will be a huge gift from our government to us…. hats off to you sir from the bottom of my heart…. Jai Bharat 🇮🇳🙏🙏🙏🇮🇳

  17. No amount of words to express the gratitude for making us so prooud of our roots .Keep going, Dr. Raj Vedam

  18. Hello sir, you have done a great work, but why you didn't consider Continental drift in it, millions of years continents like this according to it

  19. The fruit of Independence of India is beginning to ripen as is evident from the most illuminating talk of the Learned Professor. Destiny is beginning to smile at last on the tragic figure of Bharat Mata! Why cannot the present disposition of the Govt of India take it upon themselves for making this knowledge as the foundation course for all academic Schooling Systems in this Country, irrespective of the diversities of Humanities and Science Studies?

  20. How is Hindu astronomy dealing with the fact that the world is solar centric, instead of earth centric? Also that Pluto is not a planet and hence you do not have 9 planets in your solar system? I haven't heard of new treatises in astrology coming out taking into consideration these scientific discoveries, thus basing their calculations in these old and erroneous assumptions. So are they still based on old, antiquated and now disproved ideas?

  21. this is just SO CALLED INDIAN CIVILIZATION , because Harappa and Mohenjodaro are in Pakistan.
    Also where is prove for any bhagwan murti. And 3rd, you guys are shouting so loud with adding in your team people who know Veda's.
    Well Harappa and Mohenjodaro have nothing to do with Sanskrit. 4th And your people still not know what to call the land of India..
    Is it Bharata or India ? chandergupta and chanayak both are terrorists, they wanted conquer the complete world, which is according to Indians they small country India, with having many languages. And Chandra just saw other bush people just as jungle bush nations
    Stupid Indians want the world to believe that Chandra knew 10000s of languages, first you guys need to fix your fake history of Alexander the GREAT. poor Dananand just was like Surya Putra Karn, the Greatest 2 names of your fiction and reality historical figures… You people from high class are so called high class. Dananand "the best there was / is / ever will be" who gave poor and low class to be called humans.

  22. sir u are a true jewel in India's crown, please let's keep & revive ancient Indian heritage. A long life to u & all the others out there who are fighting to keep India Indian & not influenced by any outside factors. We were a great prospering nation back then before the invasions, it is befitting to return to that era once more.

  23. I live in europe but i wanna say smth , honestly when i watch this video , what reich says looks like a joke to me ! That presession event is mind blowing ! Its intressting that nobody can deny that cuz it happened 14000 years ago !!!! Aryan thing is smth to impact on people in a political way , however they define that , they are all under effect of indian civilization . Super impressive !

  24. Raj Vedam is trying to establish theory that IE people and language spreaded from India to all the way to Europe. But they didn't go to next door neighbor in the east to Burma.

  25. British has written the world history in and have declared order to show the Europeans and British superior… There is no evidence of the existence of Aryans or the group Dravidian , and many other facts too which declare that our civilization is way older than any existing culture in the world , you should know the pot which has been found in India 1000 years old which pours the water from the top

    the Iron pillar in Delhi which didn't get rust on it still now
    We have made so many ancient study centres like Nalanda , Takshila, etc. where people went to learn peace and value education ..
    There was no caste in core hinduism, it was a made up part by Brahmins …
    The scientist declared that the mahabharata was chemical war, that's why in Kurukshetra, plants don't grow properly and the soil has an unusual chemical content…

    We being Indians should trust our culture rather than calling them myths, or we will forever forget our true, real culture , why should we trust the History written by these British who made so many people poor by their unreal laws , who invented the divide and rule policy to seperate us from our from our Brother nations, tried to turn Hindus and muslim living in the country into Christian, griefed our temples, looted everything
    We need to do something and stop living in the feet of these racist British people.

    Then only we can call ourselves Independent from the British …..

  26. Get em! You tell em. These Europeans want to discredit everyone in favor or putting themselves in the middle of all human achievement and advancement. Civilization began WAY before Sumer. Take your history back. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  27. It's Christians and Muslims damaged Hindu civilization as they were criminal. Even Alexander was unable to damage Hindu civilization. But these 2 criminal Abrahamic people and hindu kuriti ghastly damaged India. Aryans were natural inhabitants. Aryans (Good people) .

  28. The problem with all these claims . is even people who were even far away had made all the "same" achievements in Maths and astronomy.. such as the maya.. just because one or 2 things are similar, it isn't enough to claim "disrespecting copyrights".. following this logic, Ferrari company in Italy is totally copying indian ox carts, since they all got wheels. The video is the hindu version of fascism and scientific racism .. "all your culture belongs to us"

  29. How the historical failure of Indian Educational system can be corrected to revive our grand India narrative in the near future?

  30. In India,Tamilnadu Excavation :
    *keeladhi கீழடி−excavation under process now.(2600yrs min)
    **Athichanallur ஆதிச்சநல்லுர்−not started still(3000yrs min)
    ***Arikamedu அரிக்கமேடு−not started still(more than 3000yrs)
    *****Kodumanal கொடுமனல்−not started still(more than 3000yrs).
    once we finish all excavation.lot of people will get heart attack.
    என் உயிர் மொழி
    காலம் கடந்த வரலாறு
    கவிதை தொடங்கிய வரலாறு
    ஞாலம் வியக்கும் வரலாறு -எம் தமிழ் மொழியின் வரலாறு

    மாந்த இனத்தின் முதல்மொழி
    மண்ணில் பிறந்த முதல்மொழி
    ஏந்தும் இலக்கண முதல்மொழி
    எழுச்சி இலக்கிய முதல்மொழி

    சொற்கள் கிடக்கும் சுரங்கமொழி
    சோதி மிக்கப் புதியமொழி
    நிற்கும் வளமை நிறைமொழி
    நீண்ட வரலாற்று பெருமைமொழி

  31. 1:01:40 prove of kumari kandam in this talk….please observe this..although we have evidence, i mean notes in Tamil literature that first sangam existed during 10000 bce and there was landmass beyond kanyakumari and it was sunk beneath the ocean….no north indians were bothered.

  32. There is a lot of information here.. I propose a different form of presentation.. that of the Indian civilisation from the Indian perspective first.. let those who want to disprove it do their best and they will still fail

  33. Sir, I got an important question, as I saw your presentation which is less biased and with proof, although the regression of dna and projection of Indian antiquities is based on puranas, astronomy of north indian systems which do not really take into the equation of systems in literate ancient south….(not racial charge, just wanted to know how south of India will fit in this equation) you mentioned agastya crossed vindhya, went to kanyakumari and possibly saw shores beyond current shores as the sea were in Ice form. In Tamil literature, we have notes that first sangam started during 10000 bce, and there was landmass beyond kanyakumari where first sangam took place which later sunk into ocean. We also had record of agastya crossing South in Tamil literature as well. Can i take your study as a point of reference of sunken Kumari Kandam. Because it is in Tamil, no Indians cares and labelled it as hoax.

  34. Agar yeh bath sahee hai toh kyon Nahee batadeteo Ho Oxford University Kyun india ma bath kate ho sara world ma batedeo so we Aryan will blive

  35. I really appreciate your work, but sir you omitted tamil or old tamil brahmi scripts which is present both in harrapa site and in keeladi site , dont you think that the may be a connection between harppa and keeladi.

  36. Brilliant presentation and you are no less than a warrior who gives it all to save his motherland .and its glory and identity

  37. Excellent and informative speech. If we don't have this pride within us how can we pass it in to our future generations. Or else Tamil will get extinct.

  38. This presentation should be shown on national television and all Indians should be forced to see it. Very powerful! Thank you sir.

  39. It is pretty amazing that you found a stanza from Kalidas's Meghdoot and connected it with the scientific dating using the information about the constellation
    I wish I could know more of such instances from our rich and comprehensive history

  40. Very beautiful and scientifically explained video I can find over internet. Thanks to srijan foundation to organize these talks.

  41. Many thanks respected Raj Vedam for dedicating your time and truly presenting facts with chronological evidence. Done like a real science person. You have presented my thoughts back to me with a lot of evidence that I have now to backup my conversation with. Be well and good luck. An Indian in NY 😊.

  42. Fascinating talk by Dr Raj Vedam on Indian Civilization from prehistoric times. While most of his reference material is from Western texts, there are enough ancient Indian texts which give a fairly credible account of Indian civilization as it existed then. Over the centuries, both Mughal invaders and British colonisers destroyed native Indian civilizational works, including our temples and ancient texts, so that they could peddle their own narratives that it's they who have been the superior race / civilization, and Indians were primitive n had to be 'civilized' by the invaders / colonizers. We know how Thomas Babbington Macaulay ruined India's education system replacing it with English education thru Christian missionaries since 1835 or so. Wo der why no Govt in India since 1947 has cared to reverse this and revert to our rich vedic education system which imparted a more holistic education n knowledge to newer generations, based on ancient Indian texts. Sadly, thanks to India's subservience to the British for over 200 years, Indians remain docile and unable to challenge the impositions by the British. It's shameful that English speaking folks in India command higher respect than those who are proficient in vernacular languages n Indian culture.

  43. Brillant and very high quality scholar research on Indian archaeology, etymology, scriptures astronomy based dating. Favorited, and i am going to watch it again to study it. I am not Indian but my worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient civilizations has lead me to India. I have studied some general material on India's extended history and I am now getting in the more archaeological side. This lecture is mind boggling and perfect timing. This may surprise but your conclusions do not surprise me, i have been anticipating them. After having studied Sumerian, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hittite, Mycean, Greek, Phoenician, Etruscan, Chinese, Khmer civilizations all of them flourished in a way that was not organic. There always seem to have been knowledge imported from outside. India was the only major civilization i had not looked at. I had a hunch now confirmed that India is the craddle of all ancient civilizations. As a side comment I wish you had talked about evidences that the Shan east asian (chinese ancestors ?) took all their knowledge from India as well. You dedicated a great amount of effort and persuasion on greeks, maures copying babylonians manuscript from, europeans but said nothing about Chinese. I am sorry if i missed it. I am certain, the ancient chinese copied and learned everything they knew from Hindu civilization to emerge out of primitive life and into a society. Chinese are great copiers, even today.

  44. Mr Vedam, I am amazed by the extent of your knowledge in the various fields of study that you refer to, by how you co-relate this knowledge in coming to your conclusions and by the pleasant way you have presented this topic. So far this is the most comprehensive presentation that I have seen on the topic. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Please write a book on this subject so that your knowledge can be appreciated by future generations.

  45. Fentastic Dr. Keep it up gentleman. We can prove we are really ancient and an intellectual nation, time immemorial. Knowledge is Power.

  46. What all dr. Vedam said about Indian knowledge from India to West is also well known as per Dr. Amartya Sen in his book titled “Argumentative Indian”.
    With current evidences nobody in west deny this. And it is difficult to agree that all went from INDIA to west. Indians have taken knowledge from west as well. For example “Brihadisvara temple” in Thanjour, 1000 year temple was built with the help of Egyptian architectures. So there was a knowledge transfer from both sides. May be more from India to west in past and from west to India in recent past. So, do not buy that we are great and others are fool.
    I always tell my friends, if you want to understand what is Indian contribution to world, read Argumentative Indian. At the same time cast system is a big black spot on our culture.


  48. Indian Communists Leftists are those Inferiority Complexed, Negative Thinking & Low Mentality lazy freeloaders whom the British gave their Coats while fleeing India.. now these BROWN Anglicized Buffoons think themselves as White Europeans..

  49. Very much disappointed that from school whe have been taught that Aryans invaded and imposed vedic culture…the Nexus of church ,communist are becoming successful in spreading their propaganda to divide this ancient civilization….connecting it to Nazis is another propaganda….the western people are very much cleaver …they disconnected us to our culture ,desanskritised Indian education and started sanskritization of europe

  50. @1:13:05
    Jupiter and Saturn weren't mistakes.. they are gas giants amd and hence the variations.. They don't have a solid core..

  51. Thank You, Real Son Of India, bringing glory back where it belongs. Is it a mere coincidence IBM, Google, and Microsoft are headed by Indians? They are all Rishis from the Past. Look at them. Their aura is that of those.

  52. I can't believe that it's Indians from West who want India to be Indic based knowledge while here in India Bas4tard Commies have always prevented the same .

  53. I want kids to watch these videos for their education rather than NCERT and other commie books .
    These gives us enormous knowledge

  54. schools run by missionaries must be shut down and and new ear must come up in the education system. this must happen now…

  55. Some time back I had read that during the crusades books were a valuable loot that the crusaders took back to Europe, only to be bought by the Christian monasteries. A treasure that the dacoits along the route did not care for.

  56. Only thing to be proved conclusively now is whether Tamil is much ancient than Sanskrit or not? North Indians are a little afraid to find whether Tamil is indeed older than Sanskrit. I do sincerely hope that this puts an end to this question which language came first.

  57. Brahmins literature like vedas, puranas, shrutis, Ramayana, Mahabharata are NOT real or true history, it us all distorted history written by different cult of Sanatani bhrahimns.. as per their whims xnd fancies.
    If world want wish to study Indian history, historian and intellectuals must, MUST read the Writings and Speeches of Dr BR AMBEDKAR as well as Revolution and Counter Revoluyion
    It this book is not understood or studied we cannot understand the true Indian history..! Outer researches are always being missguided by local filthy minded brahmins… i.e. the recent book written by a German fellow "Hindu king in Muslim kingdom" was totally distorted story of King Shivaji Maharaj..!

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