Srijan Foundation organized a talk of Mrugendra Vinod, at INTACH, New Delhi. Here is the first part of the Talk.
Namaskar, I am Mrugendra Vinod. From AnandavanSamudaya.
We have been working as introduced. We have been studying Vedas in the traditional way. And, when we saw that the present-day scholarship which basically needs to have known traditional ways, and then if dissatisfied they could have undone the traditional way of Vedic learning. But, what we find was there is a pathetic state of the real understanding of the Vedic studies and hence the internal evidences which were actually sufficient to establish most of the debatable issues. The debates have been going on sort of unendingly, undecidedly. Everyone has his own speculations. But, subject for which you have no evidence, you may speculate. But, subjects where you have evidences are very strong, there should be no opportunity for a speculative environment where debates simply go on.
So, we found the situation right enough and entered into it. If we, say we bring out the facts, our people ready to debate over it, critically analyze it and if found correct are ready to accept it. So, this medium I hope we will be able to raise a debate which till now which we believe is ignoring the age-old wisdom, which was all prevalent, but slowly becoming obscure for us. So now the topic is as we see “Geography of Sarasvati and Aryavarta in the epoch of Vedic Ritualistic manuals” and we will be talking.
Basically, geography needs to be about a period which we are talking about. So, we are talking about the geography in Vedic ritualistic manuals. Now the significance of this title would be clear to those who have already indulged into these studies. We often hear what we say Rigvedic Saraswathi, so general whenever people start talking about Vedic, whatever then they would start with their assumption that Rigveda is the oldest. So if we want to study whatever Vedic then we should study the Rigvedic part. and that is sort of you know really called (indistinctive).
If we assume something which is against us, then we are never going to be able to really show what we need to show. So, here we will first establish the epoch of Vedic ritualistic manuals through the internal evidence, so that will be our first part of the talk.
What has happened to Bharata? So basically, we are looking at the problem. Let us look at the problem statement. Bharata has lost to foreign invaders lastly to europeans. Bharata is a deliberate usage and we know a list of all those attackers, you know attackers, always surpassed Bharata in technology prevalent at that time. Then they had a superior hand but last invaders, the Europeans, they did something wonderful, something which was never done before. They dazzled Indian minds, and then what they could do was, you know, the stories of supernatural, which were so prevalent in India at that time. Then they became, you know, what we call mythology, and then whole credibility of the system.
Now this is a very important attack and as we see later on absolute power (indestinctive) absolutely. So, who had the facts on their side and they attacked the Bharatiya way of thinking. they again succumbed to the same speculative ways and what they have done is, I am suggesting their mischief of Aryan invasion, who paid the price, they themselves paid the price. 6 million Jews were killed with a speculative theory which had no real basis. The law of nature, it does not leave anybody.
So what happens is now we see further mischief is going on, which is a very serious mischief, and we hope that the kind of solid evidence based internal evidence based thing that we are proposing would at least deter people from having furthered such speculative ways, which is I am referring to genetic theory, genetic theory. Being a computer scientist myself, I have basically a suggestion to Indian scientist working in the same area as to question the presumptions, the tacit assumptions underlying an algorithm which is run on a very scanty data and big extrapolated results are being arrived at. Now this is a very tragic situation when you have very less of evidence and lot of speculation. you are going to harm the truth. So, I suggest that we do it otherwise where we have lot of evidence. Let us disallow speculation, so that is what we are trying to do.
What Bharatiya scholars did when these Aryan invasion theories were being floated in the late 19th century? Swami Dayananda, we see, he talks of Rigveda, basically he comments on Rigveda and Atharvaveda. He writes Satyarthprakash, where he refutes the suggestion of Aryan invasion etc. But what he does? He also disowns the Vedic ritualistic manuals and he himself accepts they are a late Vedic aberration. Now I will show why this is a sort of, you know, self-destructive step.
Lokmanya Tilak he also wrote Orion. Very nice. He showed the internal evidences where the epoch of Veda, the antiquity of Vedas could be established, But again he entered into a speculative world where he started talking about Rigveda Suktas, and he brought the home of the arctic home of Vedics. So that is again making speculations, where what you needed was strong evidence-based approach.
Then of course, we know Yogi Aravinda, he took the Vedic interpretation to mystical heights. That is good, but then this does not help us in that area at least, and now, then, we see modern scholars like Dr Subhas Kak, and many others. What they are doing is, they are believing that these Vedic rituals should not be taken at their face value, they should not be taken in the traditional way, but they should be treated as theatres and what we will treat them as astronomical labs, which they themselves are not claiming. We will look into astronomical discoveries through some, you know, what we call figurative meanings. Again making a speculation into the Vaidik studies. Now nobody seems to like that the Vedas, Vedaa hi yagnyaartham abhipravruttaah.
That is the basic theme. What appears is modern scholarship is abhorrent of yajna, that is basically the rituals and hence there is an apathy towards studying the Vedic ritualistic manuals which is actually a storehouse of evidence upon which all these things could be put to a solid footing. So now ultimately, what we can say is, we seem to have a visual thinking approach to the Vedas. One side, they want to see everything in Vedas and the other side wants that it is a superstition of some primitive people. Now this is just depending upon faith they are having this basic bias.
Now what are the ordinary Bharatiyas doing, which is a great problem. We have real apathy for all these. Scholars are doing something and what do ordinary Bharatiyas do. They keep going to Bhagvat katha, Tulsi Ramayan, Akhandapatha and so on. And what they do is they are feeding Ganesh with milk and that milk is flowing down the drain. This is one side. Now the school side teaching you rationalism, scientific approach to life. Now on the other side kathaakar are telling you all the supernatural superhuman stories, and people are very happy about it, and nobody wants to distinguish between the myth and facts, facts and fictions, you know they, they are going hand in hand and nobody has dared to, you know, sieve them. Textbooks are shouting that Ramayana and Mahabharata are myths with no proof of their existence, and government is declaring that there is no papa-punya especially in the kushtha andolana. They have stated this while they have not defined papa-punya.
Now these are all dangerous things actually, but then ultimately, what has happened is, we are in a world of hi-tech, we are users of hi-tech and not leaders of hi-tech and then we have some strange belief system where we think there is freedom to fiction in the name of religion. They say jaa ki rahi bhavana jaisi prabhumurat dekhit aisi, those kinds of things. So, there is no need of any fact-based thing that is what is being said. That’s a very unfortunate situation and scholars are actually trying. Mahabharata hundreds of efforts are going on, there is no decidability. Some scholar says something while the other scholar doesn’t agree.
Now but is this the same case with epoch of vedashakha pravachana. I say no. It is decidable, that is what I basically invite the scholars to do. Epigraphy riddle, we see there is a great ray of hope and it is about to be solved at least and there is a definite lead that there is an epoch which is now forgotten. 583 BC was another shaka era and this is very important to resolve all the puzzle of the Indian history. The radio carbon dates 4000 BC, they are established there is no doubt about it anymore and the gap of history from harappa to Asoka which is one of the most conspicuous things, they are completely assuming that there is nothing in between these two, the archaeology, the historians and they are getting away with it, something is wrong with your methods, how can it be that such a whole land, whole track is devoid of human inhabitation. It is simply very stupid, but then that is what they are selling and we are buying. But it is overcoming, things are improving. Riddle of Ganga Yamuna being uninhabited in the Harappan times that is also getting solved, and the modern archaeology has better tools available to them. Till now they were forced to follow, if takshasila has been excavated by Marshall, if he says Kushan coin has been found, then it is third century BC, then if you find some similar coin in Koushambi, you are forced to say its third century BC.
Regardless of all the circumstantial evidences which point to around 1700 BC, no, you ca’nt take such a step. But now with radio carbon facility, this is going to be solved soon. Of course, Sindhu script is undeciphered yet but happily the iconography of Sindhu is, if time permits we will show that, it has yielded, definitely yielded and scholars are welcome to critically analyze this.
Now, what we Anandavan scholars have been doing in last 30 years is, we have been toiling to comprehend Vedas. We don’t want to teach Vedas as to what they should have, we want to know what Vedas have, regardless of any bias. and then we wanted to sieve sacred literature, facts and fiction. We wanted to separate them and relate physical antiquities with literary references. that has been our task and what would be the purpose, to derive the ancient picture of Bharata geography history and practices. So, this is our task which we, it is a self proclaimed task and we are a, you know, self sort of and these are some of our thumb rule which scholars can agree, most probably we hope. This is our starting point.
People talk of Rigveda, we want to as to why we should talk of Rigveda, plain to somebody’s speculation. What is our unanimous condition? See Vedas are not coming through books, we should forget. Vedas have been brought by an unbroken tradition of guru shishya oral heritage. It is an oral heritage, and if they are saying something about themselves, how are others having any liberty to say otherwise. When they are saying, we are not studying Rigveda, nobody says that. what we are studying is shakala Samved, we dont study Yajurveda. I am a student of Yajurveda myself, but how do I say myself, I am a taittiriya sakhaadhyaayi. Where is Yajurveda?
There is no Yajurveda. People should understand this. These are fundamentals but people fail to understand and you play in the hands of Europeans saying that Rigveda was composed in 1200 BC, and then he gives a chronology. It doesn’t make any sense. Atleast all these texts which he also has access to and we also have access to the same texts, all of these texts are coming from a single tradition of teaching originating with the names of the vedaachaarya like the taittiriya Samhita. It originates with tittiri and tittiri and shaakal, kouthum, and Ranaayaneeya are all contemporaries, within few generations. So that is the situation and all of them, who is the pivotal person, he is Krishnadwaipayana Vyaasa, and we are not going by hearsay, and we are not referring to Mahabharata as such, but we know such a strong unanimous tradition is also supported by secondary evidence of all the itihasa-purana and Mahabharata that Krishnadvaipaayana is also, he began a new epoch where the Vedas were studied in a specialized way.
Now I will not go in much details but you should understand that originally the vedikadhyayana was in a liquid form like need based studies, like you can understand physics, when it was taught. Let us say in the 19th century, people would take up, you say somebody wanted to study electromagnetism, he would study it right. There is no course of physics but now when we are teaching physics now, how are we teaching? we will start in a definite way, we will teach mechanics first, and then we will bring magnetism, now what is this tradition? The one followed by ncert books. Actually that tradition is a, these are not unanimous tradition. Russia is teaching in a different way, but what we are studying is from resnikhaliday etc. So like that Krishnadvaipayana way of teaching, he divided the way of learning into this ways that you can see and these are the texts which we are now taking as a, we have an assumption on it, that these oral tradition are stronger than even a rock inscription because a rock inscription found at a single place, it is prone to forgery and damage, but this oral tradition going along the whole country. Whatever is being recited in the Maharashtra is also being recited in Tamil Nadu. Their local dialects are all different, they also dont generally understand the meaning of the texts but their texts are all unanimous. Ok this is a very strong tradition and this is what we are banking upon as the evidence and in this the secondary evidence is the smritis, the Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. But they are all open to spurious additions, any book which, any text which is dependent on a manuscript, it is prone for additions. and there is a very curious phenomena of what we call pretention of rishihood. Nowadays we do plagiarism, other’s book we write on our names. We want our name to come up. Here, there is a very curious phenomenon. We are writing on somebody’s name. We dont want to take our own name and that is curious, but that has left these smritis in a pathetic state.
Now the mantra and brahmana are sacred, that is one of our assumptions, so we do not want to doubt or question them in their own sphere of dharma and brahma. athato dharma jijnasaa, thato brahma jijnasa. This is in their own terms by what we call swayampramaana. There we cannot doubt or question them, but we are not in that arena at all, because we are interested in something what we are basically knowing, we are interested in geographical, which are basically physically verifiable details, and they are found only in the what we call bhutaarthavaada.
What are our insights? after these preliminaries, why am I mentioning preliminaries is any scholar, anyone who wants to work in this area, if we do not agree on some minimum level, minimum basis, then arguments are futile, I already done few discussions. and that is why I impose the scholars to agree on first few fundamentals and now I come to the real insights which are very important for establishing the epoch of Vedic ritualistic manuals, they are the agnyadhaanya, chaaturmasa, gavamayana-samvatsara-satra and they give a decidable description of the epoch of vedashakha pravachana. Again the tool is because of the scientific -leap periodic table phenomena of precision of axis of earth.
Second and third are subjects of our next topics. Sarasvat-satra and darshadvata-satra giving verified description of the geography of Saraswathi and then we have Harappan seals and tablets, their animals’ motifs, iconography and how we have been able to Vedic ritualistic manuals. Now all this has been done by defying the dogmatic position of the Vedic studies. Right.
Actually, it is a dogma of not ours, it is a dogma of somebody else as I was saying, and they have missed the truth and or 90 years, they have been predicting they have wanting harappan ritual in the iconography, it is plainly available to all of them. 3000 seals and tablets are there, but nobody could find out. In whatever tradition, whatever speculation you are having, they are saying dravidian, this that then we are saying, come out with a solution if you have and they have been refusing to see somewhere by overcoming that refusal. It was a cakewalk to find it. Ok, we will come there in the third section.
What are the internal evidences of epoch of vedashastra pravachana, these are technical issues and I hope you will be patient to follow them because ultimately critical analysis needs to be done, people need to verify what I am saying. I dont want anybody to take it for granted. The sentences people say are very confusing. When i talked to some astronomers, they said Vedas they don’t have unambiguous passage. It are all ambiguous, they cannot be decided. But then i welcome them to see whether it is decidable for themselves.
You can understand, the first of season is vasanta, first of nakshatra is kritika., the first of samvatsara is falguna-pouranamaasi. Now apparently these are all three sentences, but they all have an unanimous epoch to be focused upon. Now this is a whole of passages. These are not scanty material as I had said in the beginning where you have scanty evidence, lots of speculation, thats the dangerous situation, where we have lots of evidences and no speculation, that is what is science. This is what is science. I am not talking about rituals and their effects. I am talking about something they are saying. This is a passage which is describing the, it is merely a record of observations. What I am taking it as, record of observations and that to a frozen imprint. If the text would have been in you know re-addition or re-compilation, then it would have been lost, but this is like a fossil imprint It is just lying there because nobody has changed the text after Tittiri. After him nobody dared to change, because that is their sacred text.
So what we see, we see the imprint of that period. There is a description of that season, there is a description of month, those who are not able to follow I am saying in layman’s language, what it is having is, it is describing a season and it is describing a lunar month. This is a sure way of deciding its epoch. It can’t go a miss because once we are able to fix, falgun-pouranamaasi is happening in the beginning of winter. We are not talking about winter solstices, Vedas don’t describe them, they don’t describe vernal equinox, that many scholars are arguing. That is speculation, that you are reading from the text, text is not self-proclaiming, text is self-proclaiming something, which is they are all welcome to study and this is not a single passage.
In fact, it is a very interesting thing, we have a taandya-brahman, same subject, a different version, with little more details to add, we have jaiminiya-brahman, and when you see the passages you will wonder as to the way they are having same description in their own original way, this is all fresh, remember Vedas don’t have any instruments, all they are describing is a very ordinary humanly, we don’t need any rishi, to see all these lakshana because this is meant for human beings to perform something, the stress is to be laid upon this is a prescriptive text, something which is to be followed by ordinary human beings to perform a ritual which is done by ordinary physical elements, one of them is time, which is being prescribed here, meant to begin samvatsar-satra, that is the subject. They are describing and the resultant is very obvious.
This is the Kaushitaki Brahmana, the fourth and you will wonder people have been knowing these passages and do you think they are very difficult to interpret. No, they are easy once you understand the rituals, but there is professor Sengupta writing a book in 1947, professor Tilak writing in 1890 about this passage. But they don’t want to know the rituals. Now, why such obstinacy. Why don’t you want to know the ritual and once one understands the ritual, it’s a simple, you don’t need interpretations, people are afraid of interpretations, they say Vedas have multiple interpretations, how can we figure out that is what you are saying is only correct. That is what Mimamsa is meant for.
Come discuss the sentences, that is what I am proposing. Let us take it to supreme court lawyer, to supreme court, to parliament committee. Let them ask any scholar, let them discuss the words, and let us discuss whether these words can be brought to a single meaning or not and the simple meaning is, this is the scenario, this is the epoch of vedashakha pravachana and I will not go to the discussion, I will come to the result. What we see is the winter solstice, the result, it is not saying so. But the resultant is, the winter solstice is happening around falgun-poornima. This gives us the upper limit of epoch of vedashakha pravachana – 3940 BCE, and no ambiguity in this. This is precise as far as the science goes, our confidence level, of course, depends on only the amount of precision, that science has to predict, and we are just using it. Then lower limit of the epoch is winter solstice at magha-amaavasya, it gives us the lower limit as 2860 BCE. No mincing the words, Krishnadwaipayana-Vyasa occurred into the second evidences. We know that he is a contemporary of the Bharat war. So the corollary is Bharata age must have been in between these two 3940 and 2860 BCE.
You cannot escape from such a conclusion. that is inference plain. Then we need another tool to fix up that Bharata age because we need a year which such a description cannot give us. So, for that we need some more aid, I am suggesting that if we see at this eye whole inscription in its own original. you know people are speculating it is not 3735, it was 3135 only because we have some assumptions because we have presuppositions of some Bharata age.
You wanted to read eyehole inscriptions as 3135. Somebody wanted to read 556 shaka as 78 AD. ok. I say once we assume that 583 BCE is the shaka and if I put this 3735 as the Bharatiya age, I have an inescapable conclusion that 3762 BCE is the Bharata age. and it is also secondarily supported by the Aryabhatta school. Again, of course, the confidence level in these two things are less. So, one has to, scientifically when I talk, I understand that confidence level is less because Aryabhatta school saying 3600 Bharata age is 421 shaka, if it is the same shaka it matches with this. So, what I am saying is you have multiple evidences pointing to the same thing, and there is, it should be, you know, it is a very strong way of coming at the conclusion that Bharata age is 3762 BCE. But we will not be very much bothered because anyways we are talking about geography which does not change within few hundreds or thousand years very sharply.
So, we will be interested in further talks on the epoch of vedashakha pravachana. Remember, what I am talking about, vedashakha pravachana epoch. I am not talking about composition of Veda, I am not talking about Rigveda, Yajurveda. All the shakhas in the tradition of Krishnadwaipayana and after him all the way upto Yajnavalkya paramparaa, all the shakhas have this epoch of 3940 to 2860. There is not a single instance within this Veda, which will be able to shown to be outside this epoch, it will be of course before, one can speculate. But, after we cannot show authentically, this is just a wise saying and this is or all of us, that he who wishes to win must seek truth, right is might, but might is not necessarily right. This is actually my guru’s saying. He used to say this. ‘Satyameva Jayate’, chosen by whatever constitution committee or Nehru or whoever. Proverb he used to say that they never understood this sentence. They thought because Europeans have won they are right, which is a wrong way of looking at the thing, we want to win. So we must establish the truth. we must understand the truth and follow it.