Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Geography of River Saraswati (Indus-Saraswati Civilization)

Srijan Foundation Organized a talk of Mrugendra Vinodh at INATCH, New Delhi. Here is the second part of the talk.

So, now let us come to the internal evidence of geography. I will be I’m, if you can again the passages ultimately, you understand. I have limitation. I am basically dealing with passages which most of us are not used to, are familiar with, dealing with. But then, that is how the subject is.

So, basically this is a passage in Satapatha brahmana, this is Brihadaranyaka. Now you’ll wonder what Brihadaranyaka has it to do with geography? It is supposed to be a book what they call you Upanishad, and generally I am, of course, you will remember always Upanishads in 600 BC. Remove it from your mind. They’re all part and parcel of the same tradition coming from the same Vedic epoch. Okay. And I will not repeat it often, but then you would keep it in mind. It is 3940 BCE to 2860 BCE, which I will just, you now, make it clear statement. It is pre-Harappa, whatever people call pre HARAPPAN, we are not even talking about contemporary urban, get pre, here upon. But not too far removed from the Harappans.

So now this is very interesting. We have a description here, you know, this UPANISHAD prakarana, we have a question being asked by Bujhurahyayini to Yajnavalkya, in the Shastrartha which is going on in the sabha of Janaka Vaideha. But most probably the Shastrartha is happening in a  bahu dakshni yana, which is actually happening in Kurukshetra that is not very important for us. But then what is being discussed there Bhujjurayayani asks, do you know where the paarikshita janmejjeya, parikshita’s son, janmejeya, and his brothers., where did they go? The answer is, they went where the ashwamedha yajis go again. He asks where do the ashwamedha yajis go now?

These are very important to establish the geography. I am not telling a story. Actually what I am doing is I am sieving facts out of fiction. There is a story going on but it has a verifiable content, physical evidence is there lying out for us and what is it to describe where they have gone. He says ———————- this simply means this loka, this loka, this is a pronoun and which is being used you know he says this loka is 32 dev rathaanya now what is this 32 dev rathaanya? Like if somebody asks how big is delhi you are going to say it is 20 kilometers by 20 kilometers or something like this. So, what do we need to know to understand what actually, how big would be Delhi? We understand that we need to know the unit if they have used kilometer or they have used mile or they have used kosha. We need to know that unit, then only we will have an idea of what they are talking about. Now here he has used 32 devrathaanya, now 30 years I have been reading this text and I’ve been wondering is, why is this 32, why not 30, why not 28? The 32 is a significant one and then later only says twice of that is the earth around it. Now this is a very interesting thing this loka is 32 devrathaanya, and twice around it is earth and twice around it is sea.

Now this generally is taken as a fabulous account like the Puranas. Then you describe jambudvipa, then they talk about saptadwipa vasundharaa, then they talk of, you know, they talk of Kshira-Samudra, they talk of the dadhi Samudra. Is this something fabulous like that, or is it a fact? Now that was a challenge. Now here we had Shankaracharya. Of course, Shankaracharya is there. They read out every Shankaracharya ,is commenting upon this what he says, there is devrathaanyam.

Now, this is what we want to know we have lost the tradition of this meaning, the meaning tradition is lost world is coming through tradition. Now we have to establish that lost tradition, now it is a very crucial world because if we understand that word, we know, what geography they are talking about, whether they are talking about Central Asia or they had to do something else. It’s a cakewalk once you understand this sentence. Now what is it he says, deva, adityaa ha devrathaanyam? He is describing. he says deva is Aditya, tasya ratha ha tasya rathasya gatyaa ahanyaa, yaavat parichhid yate desh parimmaanam, taavad devarathaahanyam. Its that way appears to be an interesting definition. What he says is the passage of Sun, the distance that the Sun moves, in a day is devrathaanyam.

Now, anybody who has studied little of science is now naturally going to question because the Sun doesn’t move, it’s an apparent motion and it depends upon, what it depends upon, the height of the observer. If you do not understand, how to, what to take, but then that is where the ritualistic understanding comes in it, we know that in all the way Vedic text, when you say angula, whose angula is it? is it elephants? No. It is the yajmaana’s angula. We say prakramaa the foot or the step whose? the yajmaana’s. So the same paribhaasa we have used, and then we got a definition, a nice beautiful scientific definition of a unit, which would fit into any 20th century definition of, let’s say, meter or kilometer or whatever you wanted to define, and what is it? It’s a beautiful, elegant definition. It is the curvature of Earth which gives us devrathaanyam for a height of a human observer, whatever he sees the eastern horizon to the western horizon.

Of course, that’s another story as to how does one go find about it, how does a vaidik find about it? Well that’s a different story, but then this definition gives us a very fair measure devrathaanyam is 9.6 kilometres, and then not only the story doesn’t end here, but we map when we map devarathaanyam, onto some known topologies, what we get 32 devarathaanyam before, that I am just giving you a, you know, I’m jumping ahead what actually, you see, do you see Lothal here. That is, in the one of the janapadas of Veda. I will show later, then we have the dholavira, we have mohen-jo-daro, we have Harappa, we have kalibangan, we have rakhigarhi, very interesting. Okay.

Now all these sites which we see and what we see is when we map these, bathrooms of devarathaanyam, we get an area which is nothing but the Kurukshetra. It is the dimension of Kurukshetra, the sacred land of bathings. It is the land, where they throng to do their Yaga’s, their rituals, whether you are Videha king or, whether you are a Gandhara king, you would be coming for your rituals to the bank of Saraswathi in Kurukshetra. It’s a sacred land common to all, dharma kshetre Kurukshetra. It is prajaapataye uttar vediya kuruksetra. Now we have this Kurukshetram vaidevaanaam, deva yajanam sarveshaam bhutaanaam, brahma sadanam.

So like that there are, this is a ubiquitous place. Nobody can deny this and that is that Kurukshetra is 300 kilometers in its dimension, Interestingly and then twice of that is earth. So we add 600 kilometers to that and we map from Kurukshetra if you take Thanesar as centre 900 kilometres is almost grandeur, that is the  northernmost janapada, and then if you go east towards Videha, it is again 900 kilometer, if you go west, then you reach Dholavira, again it is 900 kilometers, you are ending the land known to them as Aryavarta. So that is the end of -Aryavarta————-for them.

And the story again doesn’t end here. It’s a very, –further the sentence is, Dvistaavat prthvi paryati, I got it I was very, surprised myself when I saw if I double this 600 I get 1200 kilometers. If I go from this Dholavira par 1200 kilometres ,where do I go surprisingly? I go to Oman Muscat. That is precisely the place, which is very well known in later Harappan sea trade, the interestingly there it is, describing something aakhon dekhaa haal, right he is not talking about, anything fabulous this, okay. That is what I wanted to show through a passage in shatpath brahmana.

And then we will relate this and I will show you the geography of janapadas through the internal evidence of Veda. People generally believe whenever somebody talks of janapada, they say ‘oh you are talking about the bouddha kaala’. Where is Janapada in Veda? Then, say, I say what are these all sentences doing. Let us see the sentences along with the Kurukshetra, of course, is the center and then we have kuru and Panchala in between Ganga-Yamuna. We have Kuru and across Ganga you have Panchaalas, you can see the sentence is quoted below and this is just what we call dig-Maatram. Okay, and then we have, srnjaya on to the north and matsya to the south.

Then we have northern janapadas – Gandhar, Kekeya, Madra, and we have eastern janapadas – Kosala, Videha, Kashi, and then we have a very interesting sentence here, we can see the bhaalavi gaathaa there quoted in the so called Boudhayana Dharma Sutra. People say, it is a late Vedic text. But nothing doing, it is actually part of this, part and parcel of the same ethic, ritualistic manual. What it says is, you can read it there, it is gatvaa punastomena yajeta sarvaprsthayaa vaa. It is actually in some portion some prescription of a ritual, if you go somewhere, what is it Sindhu sauvira saurashtra aanarta, Avanti vidarbha Magadha anga,. What are they? These are the Sankirna yonayaa, these are the boundary janapadas of aryavarta. Very interesting.

And then, there is a further sentence saying, aarattaan kaaraskaraan pundraan sauviraan, bangaan kaalingaan cha, gatvaa punastomena yajeta sarvaprsthayaa vaa. You need to do praayaschita if you go to aaratta. What is this Aaratta? You again wonder this aaratta does not find any mention in literally Indian literature. But it is the south west Iran. It is that portion which has been talked by Sumerian epics in 3000 BC. That is aaratta, and it is talked by this Vedic texts as a janapada. He should not go, if you go there, you do penance, and then we are talking about kaarashkara, most probably, Kashgar. Of course, now if we map those things, that we saw in the last this thing, very interesting, you see the boundary Janapada. They are really, on the boundary of this Aryavarta and all the outside Janapada, they are really outside this boundary. Now this is what is internal evidence of the Vedas. Right.

Now with this, now we will go to the Saraswati. People talk of Vedic Saraswathi, is a very favorite of many people, Vedic Saraswathi and then they have rigvedic Saraswathi is a mighty river, flowing all the way from some speculated, some glacier flowing all the way to the Seas and it is this and that. Well nothing doing, we don’t have such speculative effort. We have a passive, it’s a very elaborate passage and we will see the wonder as to how detailed the ritual is there. In fact, let me tell you a very interesting point here. Vedas describe their rituals to be practiced, generally whenever you want like, you want to do agnihotram, you want to do, let’s say, darsha poornamaas, are you want to do, soma yaga, you want to do this and that. You should be doing it wherever, generally, you are, but of course not in your house, nor in your inhabitation, not in the village, not in the town, you will be going out near some river or some forest, and then you will be doing it.

But now, throughout these Vedic texts there are only two rituals which are speaking of a particular location and this is a real challenge to even those people who traditionally, believe that Vedas are all-time, all-time teachings sanatana, they say, you know, abortion for them also this is, a great challenge because here we are finding a description, where they say, Sarasvatya vinashane dikshante. Categorical sentence. Do your initiation, procedure of Saraswat satra at saraswati’s vinashanaa. What is vinasanaa? Where the Saraswathi disappears. Again then the procedure goes on somehow some me, I am. Porosity will be using this. if time permits I will be able to show you, how actually Saraswat Satra is being done. You have also seen the video where I was trying to explain as to how actually that Saraswat satra is done and there, interestingly here in this saraswat satra, this is a moving ritual. Again this is also one of the unique specialties.

All general rituals otherwise are static, wherever used there is a static what we call vedi and there we’d perform here, the whole vedi is on wheels, it’s vedi on wheels. It is like the jagannatha ratha and it is being pushed on the bank of Saraswati. Just imagine how flat the bank of Saraswathi is and what they do is, they throw a stick wherever it falls. The next day for the whole this VRI shifted to the next location and there is a categorical saying where they say, yadi vishame nipate. It is like the gilli danda game of that we Indians play. If the gilli falls into some uneven place, the next chance is wasted. So what they did, do you get one more chance to throw it again, so that it falls on an even place where it can be again hit. So, like that this —shamya—————— falls in water or somewhere else you have to take it out and then you have to move there and so on.

So it’s a very interesting ritual well described and again very, interestingly there is a distance describer here, there is a again a unit used to describe the distances of —dinshana to pakshaprasravana–, Confluence of Drishyavati which are such measures that they have brought for me at least this Saraswati from a fictitious Vedic devata to saraswathi is. First of all, Rigveda Saraswati is not actually a river at all, but then we have these Vedic ritualistic manuals showing us and without any doubt that it is a river, not only a river, it has definite parameters as we will show just now, the unit used here was… there are certain, small difficulties here. The unit used is ashvina. We know last time, we saw, the unit, they were devrathaanyam.

But another interesting thing was, tandya brahman had a passage which actually initially I didn’t know and I just made a leap of intuitive faith and then I could connect this Ashwina, I’m speaking historically. Last year I have published this result in Lucknow conference. But it has been, not yet talked of in the scholarly circles. They are probably afraid of talking such things and then there, what I see is Ashwinam. I get a very clear understanding of it. It is the movement of this yaga in six months of time and that is around nine kilometers. It is in fact mentioned in the same passage. All these three Yojana, Ashwin and anyam, you can see the relation yojana is less than Ashwin, is less than devarathaanya and we get a fair measure of Ashwin which is verifiable by other secondary means also.

So now coming to the geography of Kuruksetra. I have mentioned certain things actually this is a refutal of many of the presumptions that people have about Saraswati. You can read some of them. Shatudri definitely joins vipas. The Vedic literature is absolutely clear that Shutudri is not a tributary of Saraswati at all. Then we have Yamuna. Yamuna is not a tributary of Saraswati at all. It is joining Ganga right in this complete epoch. So if somebody wants to talk of something and you know, some other glaciation period when Ganga is not there and the Himalaya is not there, we are not holding them accountable. But, at least in this epoch nothing doing.

Saraswathi is a rain water fed River, having an origin not in the hills but in plains of Kurukshetra. So this is I will can, I’ll show, it is confirmable. Now look at this. It is a Google map image the things have not changed much. The syrup is still visible as you have already seen in the video, but of course, the remnants the water is not there, but the dry bed is unmistakable and it’s five kilometers wide generally and well, if you see this is Saraswati, this is not. We did not decide it. Okay.

By the way let me be clear, this is already decided on many basis, you know, geography, the people have studied geologically hydrologically, archaeologically, and so on, and then they decided the course. We have used this as a base map on which we have mapped our distances and we are trying to find out, whether these places, particular locations, which are now lost, where tradition is lost, we do not know where vinashanam  is, we do not know where plaksha prasarvana is.  That is what we are interested in finding.

So now this is Saraswati. This is drishawati as shown by them, and of course this is the Kurukshetra, between saraswati and drishadwati and, we have this praccchi sthali which is the present day town of Thanesar, brahma sarovar etc, and then we have the Khaandav, We are also sitting in it. We are in Khaandavprasth. Right. And then we have this turghana which is to Haana, Patiala district and this is the parinat, this is near Suratgarh. Now this description, again this is description in the veda, okay.

The internal evidence only is pointing towards such a description. It’s a quite a fabulous description, where well lot many details are there and then what we saw there is an interesting issue there. If somebody would say this is all extrapolation on somebody, you know, later period has gone into that extrapolation. Then there is a counter evidence. They are saying Marava is to the north of Saraswathi. Now who in the right sense would leave this Thar desert and instead of saying Thar desert is the maru, why should they say their maru is to the north of Saraswathi and it is somewhere near hanuman garh. It is in fact, the dabwaali town dubwaali Mundi is in that old sand dunes are being referred as Maru. They do not refer to this Vinasanam in the maru. That’s a green pasture line for them. It is not a maru at all.

Remember that is, that epoch and their Maru is to the north of Saraswathi. Now these are very interesting things, details. How did we get a confidence into it? Now note this confluence of the Saraswathi with drishadwati. Okay, unmistakably we can see the northern. Okay, this is the confluence of Saraswathi and what we wanted to know was, what is the distance? That passage, I have not commented, but then actually that passage says once we start from vinashanam, start throwing the stick go upstream towards Saraswathi, then what happens is, after crossing 8 ashwinas you reach a river called drishadwati, that drishadwati might have water, or might not have water. In both cases, you have to cross it and then proceed towards saraswati and then you have to proceed further 36 ashwina and then you will reach a place called plaksha prasarvana, where the yaga ends, and from there, you take your final bath in Yamuna, not in saraswati.

We are not supposed to take bath ever in saraswati, but 22 years, you are walking on saraswati with me and you are not taking bath. Funny. They are very primitive people probably anyway, the point is, it’s very interesting yaga, and what they do is, what we have to do, I am NOT going to do that yaga, what I am going to do is, I am just going to map 72 kilometers from that confluence and what do I see? If you see it along with me, you will wonder that it is coming to a place, where there is a bifurcation of Saraswati dry bed, already known to the scientists. They have been already talking that, this is an inland Delta they are not aware of the Vedic scripts. They have not manufactured this. This is their plain evidence, physical evidence and what I do get when I map at nearly 72 kilometers? You can see that google map and you can do it here. Everybody can do it, that experiment again and what do we get? We get a place where the Saraswati’s bifurcating, its stream is widening to 11 kilometers and more and they call it a depression which caused the demise or disappearance of Saraswathi.

Scientists have been talking about this without knowing the Vedic reference and now what I get is no reverse engineering, frankly speaking this gave me the confidence that the distances are right and then I could get the other side of the picture that, that is what I am banking upon when I map this 32 yojanas, which was also the 32 devrathaanya, you can say the same, we reach prachi sthali from bifurcation from this saraswati-drishadwati sangam. Iif we come to 32 devrathaanyam, we get to prachi sthali and if we get to further, four yojanas are remaining, four asvanams are remaining. I made it Arc, just a blind arc. I wanted to know, what all things are there, and then I saw a place a village named phoksa. Now that set mind working, phoksa and what I was searching for plaksha. It gave me straight clue, that is, it apabhramsa, Let me go and verify.

So, when I actually went and verified because I show you few images of what we do. But actually we found, but before that, I would explain that Saraswat Satra. How it is actually done? This is that general vidhi vihara, this is just for people, who want to know more. Later on, they can study this is sado mandap, havirdhan mandapa on wheels, and the fire that agnidhra mandap is on the ground only, and then there is a yupa. Generally this yupa  is to be dug into the earth in normal Yaga. Here what we do is there is a wide base to it and it is just dragged, and just it stands on its own. So that kind of a stuff is there and then what they do is, this is the shamya. It is to be thrown wherever it falls and then you move name. It is not moved the way it is, just a convenience the whole thing is moved one by one to the next place and then what they say all the description is there. How much is the vihaara and how much is the throw? Is that actually we experimented and found and we came to a figure 50 meters a day? How much we progress 50 meters a day. So how much will you progress in a, let’s say, six month? One Ayana basically nine kilometers, that is the aswina and in a, it will take to cover from the vinashanam to plaksha prasarvana.

It will take 22 years now if we actually try to see an animation of how the yaga is to be done. You started vinashana. At vinashana what you do is, you do initiation process or of 24 days and then you do your atiratra and start then you start it will take four years for you to reach this drishadwati Sangam. There you will cross it and then I will remind you, there is a sentence there. If drishadwati has water, what it says that drishadwati is not always, it is already a seasonal stream in that time of vedic people. Another testimony that in the Vedic epoch, drishadwati is a seasonal stream, while sarasvati is a perennial stream, but only up to vinashana, national.

Now these are very interesting things. Then we start from there, there are actually many many like, just like those saraswat satra, if somebody really studies, you know, there is no escape from what conclusions are derived and actually what they do is they leave 100 cows with one Rishabha. Now hundred cows with one Rishabha are left to graze freely and they have to become thousand. So now there is a race between two alternatives either you reach plaksha, prasarvana or those cows multiply, to thousand in either case the Yaga ends successfully. So for hundred cows to become thousand and only female cattle, the male cattle has to be culled, it takes we calculated it comes to around sixteen years and if you throw this Shammya, you will take 18 years in the best way to reach plaksha prasarvana.

Again it tells that all these distances are right the geography is right and there is no mistaking as to what we are finding. So now this is the Vinashanam and of course after reaching plaksha prasarvana, all these yaga vihara is to be left there and then one is asked to go to yamuna in a single day, 30 kilometres you walk in a single day, from there because you are no more throwing the shamya, you just walk there take your ablution. You already gifted those thousand cows or whatever they have happened and then interestingly this is an evidence that plaksha prasarvana cannot be in the heels because this whole twenty square meter vihara, 20 meter by 20 meter vihara, has to be pushed in the even ground where is the question of plaksha prasarvana being in the hills and plaksha is a name of a tree and, mind you, Vedas don’t have conventional, merely conventional names. Vedic terms are at the best what we call yoga Rudha. Their meaning has to have a anvartha (anvayartha), we don’t find dhana daasa in veda, being a popper we don’t, we will not find such a thing.

So we, plaksha prasarvana, it has to be a plaksha tree from which that trickle is coming out and forming a pond which becomes Saraswatyaa saishavam and the story of Chyavan, if have you heard of, chyavan rishi aakhyaana, if you have heard of Sukanya and Chyavan, that is part of Jaiminya Brahmana. In the same, it is actually being taking place at the Saraswatyaa saishavam but that is another story because that is it far of epoch, that is not in the epoch of veda shakha pravachana. So now coming to the few illustrations of as to how what we found there at the Vinashana are very interestingly the bifurcation place right in the saraswati. We have a harappan mound right in the bed of Saraswati. So Saraswati, it is not flowing beyond what more do you need right in the bed of saraswati. We have these harappan mound of 3000 BC. This is Berar and then we have beautiful, you can see the land in the track, in the River Bed is fertile after coming up the Sutlej, these canals, it is wonderfully fertile and then both sides, what we see is sand dunes brackish water anywhere, anywhere you drill in this riverbed the water is sweet. So these are the ways that they have already decided.

Actually, we have not dug the well. We just ask the villagers we confirmed whether the water is sweet or not. How this is that confluence and the Ghaggar, still floods. It’s very interesting. They say Saraswathi is no no, Saraswati is perennially ————. No, it still floods. If all these canals are removed, Saraswathi will still flow, but it will be the Ghaggar which will be flowing and not the real Saraswati. Southernmost stream and I’ll show later on and this is the prachi sthali and then this is what we have some images from phoksa and then this is as we showed the winter bath that we took in Yamuna and then these are some FAQs. But I will leave it to you to ask the questions and I will not answer them. Anyways I am finishing my time and I like to be within time.

So, these are some of the questions. That’s the end of my topic. I covered it and I just have a summary and internal evidence of the Vedic, ritualistic manual shows the geography of aryavarta  in the epoch of the veda shakha pravachana and Saraswathi is perennially flowing up to vinashana, near anupgarh  Rajasthan. Kurukshetra of Haryana is the sacred land of Vedics from time immemorial. It also is the cradle of civilization from which all the Brahminical culture of yajnya radiates.

I am NOT talking about the secular culture, then may be superior in secular ways as even today they are but we call it asuri Maya. I will not elaborate on it, but, not me the Vedic texts call them as asuri Maya and this is what is called daivi sampatti. Okay. So in the daivi sampatti, yes it radiates from here only and then further studies actually we will be covering in the next topic. So we should not be showing them, here I was thinking that if I don’t have the opportunity I would have brushed it here, touched it here. So that is how, it is then.

Then I have these ancient migrations are out of kuruksetra are, shown in Vedas. I am talking about the migration eastward by Vidhegamathava in satpath brahmana recorded very copiously and that is a migration out of Kurukshetra. We don’t see any migration into kurukshetra nowhere, not even a single hint anywhere, and then stories of ancient times, this is another interesting thing, people, you know, generally have a habit of mixing up things anything in Veda is not of the same epoch something which is happening in their times. Naturally it is all the ritual when you are asking to perform something it is of naturally you are performing in the present time if they say something like you may write proper and  there are sentences like this you may write proper mahavirsh janapradeshu akhyayanti, what it means in the Mahavrsha janapada, these are the ————. Now naturally this sentence means it is something in the present times, but if they say Manu, he added that arc, you know, Arc of Noah, that Manu’s boat, it landed on a northern hill, when it is not in this epoch. So that one needs to distinguish such things and when we talk about something very solid based on evidences, I need to talk of something in this epoch that geography, that is I am discussing.

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