Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Myth Of The Aryans

This post is an attempt to tackle the Aryan Myth, that still holds as true in some Indians; in the post below, I have attempted to tabulate all the known points about this theory’s rebuttal in an attempt to spread the word among Indians - at least the ones that I have come across, as one body of reading; references are provided at the end of the article. 

I have also attempted to place a logical extension- that the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization {Indus Valley Civilization} may also have been the Vedic Civilization, although a lot more needs to be investigated and revealed if that needs to be commonly accepted as fact. 

1.   Literature: First, the RigVeda. The geographical area of the Rug Veda (Rig Ved) is clearly delineated as North West India; there is no room for any doubt. It specifically mentions the Saraswati as between the Yamuna and the Sutlej, That can only be the Ghaggar river bed. Satellite imagery has established that this used to be a massive river system in the old days. The Rugved does not mention a drying Saraswati, clearly meaning that it must have been written well before 1900 - 2600 BC. There is no mention of either invasion or Migration in the Rugved; if any migration occured, it happened before 3000 BC - if at all. There is also no mention of a central asian landscape in the RugVed; it is specific in that it mentions the Kabul river to the west and the Ganga to the east. There is awareness of the Himalayas.

2.   A Radio Metric Dating of the Indus Saraswati places the real age of this civilization to 7200 BC or thereabouts. This was announced by the ASI in an international conference on 5th November 2012. This also suggests that migration did not happen 3500 years ago, or even 9000 years ago.

3.   Second, Genetics. a 2006 study clearly identifies that the Indian population has been generally stable for a very long time, and that there has been no major injection of Central Asian Genes for over 10000 years at least. So, if any migration did happen, it was long before settlements emerged, before domestication of the horse, before the Iron or Bronze ages. We are talking about hunter gatherers, small bands of nomads etc. The latest dating of the Indus Saraswati Civilization is 9000 years - as per Radio Metric Dating; the genetic evidence is older by this than 1000+ years at least.

4.   The R1a1a gene mutation is found in North India and East Europeans, South Siberia, Tajikistan and North Eastern Iran, A study on this conducted in 2010 found that the oldest strain of the R1a1a branch was concentrated in the Gujarat-Sindh-Western Rajasthan region of India, suggesting that this was close to the origin of the genetic group. A mutation M458 is found in Europeans, but is not found at all in Asians. This M458 mutation is at least 8000 years old, thus lending credence to the observations above

From this we can see that the Aryan Migration never happened; Literary, Archeological as well as genetic evidence all points to the reverse. There is no longer any room for any doubt whatsoever...

There are 2 prominent theories of the Aryans. The first and the older one places the aryans as people from Western Asia - specifically Iran. The newer theory places the Aryans as residents of Afghanistan, Northwest India. The newer is now gaining prominence, with the only disagreement being Afghanistan or India? Central to the second theory is the identification of the river referred to in Vedic scriptures as Saraswati or Ila. Some people refer it to Northwest India, citing satellite research (which is to me pretty convincing), while others place it as a river system in Afghanistan. 

 Let us now look at the evidence regarding the above. This rests on scientific, archeological, scriptural and linguistic basis. The scientific evidence is the identification of The Saraswati as flowing nearly parallel to the Indus, which has now been identified by satellite imagery to be the Ghaggar Basin. The scriptural evidence has to do with the Vedas, which represent the Ila (Saraswati) as initially being a massive river, which subsequently dried up. There are other descriptions in Vedic literature regarding the flora and fauna etc which identify the place as Northern India - or Afghanistan upto Iran borders.

Archeological evidence  has to do with sites around the Indus - most critically, 70% sites of the civilization have been found to be precisely along the banks of the Saraswati River bed. Further evidence are the pottery, the seals, the water baths, the ritual fires etc. The linguistic evidence is the clincher in that if you compare the Avestan language with Vedic sanskrit, the similarities are simply too uncanny to be ignored, The Gods in Vedas are the bad ones in Avesta, for ex. There are many such similarities which make it crystal clear that if you are to identify the Aryans, we can only look to Eastern Iran, Afghanistan and Northwestern India. 

The Aryans were a people living along the banks of a massive river system (let us leave which one for the time being to avoid argument); as the river dried up, there was a natural migration. The people on the west bank migrated to Iran and regions west, while the people on the east bank migrated to the Gangetic plains of India. This satisfies the critical  linguistic evidence, as it is the only explanation that holds water for the similarity between Avestan and Vedic language. It also fits in with the scriptural evidence, as well as the archeological evidence on all points

Next, consider migration out of Africa - starting 75000 - 60000 years ago. A small band of hunter migrated to Arabia; all modern Humans in Eurasia are thought to be from this group. 

In those days, the sea level was much lower; which meant a low-lying and rich path to India. This is also an established scientific fact. Thus, there was no European link at all even in the initial stages. At the most, there may have been some inward drifting during the ice-age - the last of which was in 18000 BC. This is 16500 years before the supposed Aryan Invasion Theory. After this time, there was no inward migration or invasion. 

This is also borne out by archeological, linguistic and scriptural evidence. The Rugved is specific: the landscape is Northwest India. The Rugved is known to be prior to 3000 BC, as it mentions a flowing and mighty Saraswati. It is now a known  scientific fact that the Saraswati flowed precisely where the Rugved says; that it was one of the mightiest rivers known; and that it dried up in 1900BC, with a reduced flow from 2500BC. The Rugved does not mention any invasion or inward drift; it does not mention a shift; it does not mention anything. The description is specific: North-West India. All mentioned places have been found - including Dwarka. 

Further, the cultural contiguity of the Rugvedic traditions also confirm the above; by no stretch of imagination would a conquering tribe have completely converted to Sanaatani thoughts. If the Rugevedic people were in India from 3000BC-plus, who were they?  The wide prevalence of linguistic lineages in India from Sanrkrut and Prakrut also indicate an origin in India. All evidence from Genetics to Archeology point to an Indian origin; migration - if any - must have been prior to 40000 years ago - as evidenced in the genetic studies above. All 4 cant be wrong!

References {The ones I have studied so far in my hunt to understand my lovely nation: 
·      The Land of the Seven Rivers - A Brief History of India's Geography;
· : Article on Separating the post-Glacial coancestry of European and Asian Y chromosomes within haplogroup R1a; Refer the bibliography of the book for Genetics research papers references
· : The Ghaggar River Basin
·      What India Should Know – Laxmikanthan and Devi

·      I have also looked through :
 Reconstructing Indian Population History - David Reich et al – 2009
 Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distribution in India Sengupta at al – 2006
 A Prehistory of Indian Y Chromosomes Evaluating Demic diffusion scenarios - Sanghamitra Sahoo et al
 Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1 S Sharma at al 2009

Underhill is not the only 1; second, sample size has almost nothing to do with accuracy; it is the representativeness of the sample components that holds greater weightage.

The study above does not challenge that the the mutation does not occur is Asians ; the Underhill study specifically states that the mutation, thought to be 8000 years old, is not found in Asians.

Further, Sengupta study specifies that the Indian gene pool has been stable for 10000 years at least. In an interview, geneticist Thiagarajan specifically stated that ASI and ANI groups may date to 60000 and 40000 years. The combination of the 3 is unmistakable: that there was no migration or invasion since at least 8000BC

An unsolicited word of advice; avoid internet resources totally. Start with a book, go to its bibliography, do a google search; read the articles (prefer PDF files as they can be saved onto disk as well as the fact that generally pdf files are reproductions of actual research papers). This will enable a deep understanindg of the subject matter as well as deal with any questions the book might leave


  1. Kindly read the paper published by Mr. Sengupta again.
    His studies clearly state that Central Asian Tribes have contributed heavily to North Indian Upper Caste people (Aryans) but they haven't contributed at all to Lower Caste or Indian Tribes.

    1. No one is claiming the absence of Migration; India was populated as a result of two, perhaps 3 waves; one is around 65000BC, the other around 20000 years later, and the last through the Africa-Persian Coastline-NorthWest India route. Other genetic studies have established these factors; the debate is now slowly moving on from the Aryan Myth.

    2. Genomic study claims that first wave is claimed to have arrived ( 45000 plus minus 25000 )YBP ( so somewhere between 68000 BC - 18000 BC ). This is the wave that contributes heavily to Nicobar, AA and Dravidians.
      Could you please provide reference to the second wave as around 20000 years ago?

    3. Recd other comment... Good one. Shall publish Sunday. Pl go through books and links above, given there... Shall give detailed reply later.. More later. Objections also there, just not the ones you state. Have asked queries to an author... Who has replied.

      Stay in touch, just getting book on Indus seals. Shall review that here as well... Ongoing study for me... Weekdays a but hard to be detailed. Article above penned on 3 places an year and a half ago... More on Subday.

    4. There were 2 or 3 major waves of population into Asia - 65000-45000BC, 28000-35000BC and one other. This is an established fact, and has general agreement with both Aryan theorists as well as the others. The only bone of contention is the time of these waves.

      I did not mention this on the main article since I read this on the internet, and this is a continuing field of study for me; I shall update on my blog when I do read up on that aspect in a book, This has been covered in many science articles, and can be easily found.

      Most references mentioned, please read in detail. l shall update as I keep finding other sources, ideally books