Vedic Civilization History

Creation: According to Vedas and very well explained in Satyarth Prakash, the Creation is 15 Billion years old, Earth is 4 Billion yr. old. Kalpa is one rotation of our galaxy around the super galaxy and is of 4 billion years. This is also called one day of Brahama.  Life on earth is 2 Billion years old and Human life may have been 120 million years old. This period of creation has been further divided in 14 Manvantara (this is so named because it is the time the sun takes to go around once in galaxy in this time period, which is further divided in 71 Chaturyugas (4 million years each).  Yuga cycle is divided in 4 parts. Satyuga (1.6 million years), Treta (1.2 million years), Dwapar 0.8 million years and the Kala Yuga 0.4 million years (This is for the sake of simplification to remember). At present we are in the Kalayuga of the 28th Chaturyuga of 7th Manavantar called as the Vaivasvata Manavantar.

Arya/Aryavrata: The ancient name of the Indian subcontinent was “Aryavrata”. The word Arya expresses a particular ethical and social order of well-governed life, candor, courtesy, nobility, straight-dealing, courage, gentleness, purity, humanity, compassion, protection of the weak, liberty, observance of social duties, eagerness of knowledge, respect for the wise and the learned and the social accomplishment.

Hindu: Original name was Vedic Dharma, which later on became known as Sanaatan Dharma and then Hindu Dharma. Hindu word is not found in ancient literature. The origin of this word may be from one of 3 different reasons.  It could have originated from a combination of 2 words-H from Himalaya and Indu from the ocean, People living in the area of Sindhu river and S then mispronounced as H by travelers or this is the name given to the people living in the area of Hindukush mountains. This is similar to people of Caucasus mountain range, who became known as the Caucasians. Vedic Sanskriti extended to include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Vietnam (Champa), Thailand, Indonesia etc.

Scriptures: Vedas have been accepted almost universally as the oldest knowledge known to humanity, at least to the people who originated from Indian subcontinent.

There are 2 points of view about the creation of Vedas.

1.Vedic view: According to this view, Vedas are the ultimate source of all knowledge and were given to 4 rishis while they were in deep state of meditation at the inception of humanity.

  1. Reformed view: This view essentially concludes that Vedas were created by early civilization and may be one of the oldest if not the oldest source of knowledge of the mankind.

The sequence of scriptures following Vedas are: The Brahman Granths,  Aranyaka, Upanishads, the 6 schools of philosophy or the Darshan Granths. Manusmriti probably followed the Vedas before the other scriptures. Subsequent scriptures were Ramayan and Mahabharat (Bhagvad Gita is part of it).

Vedas are 4. These are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. First disciple of these Rishis was Brahama. So, this knowledge was first passed on to Brahama, who is also called the creator, subsequently passed on by memory only from Rishis to Rishis from generation to generation. This is why these scriptures are called Shruti. All other subsequent writings are called Shastras. There are total of about 20000 hymns in Vedas, out of which Rig Veda contains 10000 hymns. Vedas deal with all aspects of knowledge. Primarily Rig Veda has Jñāna—ज्ञान (Knowledge), Yajurved Karma, Sama Veda pure devotion to God and Atharva Veda knowledge of nature.

Rama/Krishna period: Ramayana and Mahabharat including Geeta have played a great role in shaping up the lives of Hindus. Sage Valmiki lived during Ram’s life and therefore Valmiki Ramayan has been considered to be the only Authentic Ramayan from historical perspective. According to Vayu Purana reference, the war between Rama and Ravana was fought during 24th tretayuga, that is 18 million years ago. The other view is that Rama’s period was about 0.9 million back. Hanuman ji saw four tusked mastodons during his secret visit to Lanka. These animals existed at that time.

Mahabharat war was in Dwapara Yuga, which was 36 years before beginning of Kaliyuga, in 3138 BC

  • There are some other dates of importance:
  • Taxila University established in 5th century BC till 5th century AD.
  • Nalanda University was a seat of knowledge from 5th century AD to 1200 AD.
  • Buddha and Mahavir were contemporary and around 6th century BC.
  • King Ashoka lived from 304 BC to 232 BC.
  • Shankaracharya lived from 788 AD to 820 AD.
  • 57 BC Start of Vikrama Era.

The theorem bearing the name of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus is found in the Shatapatha Brahmana as well as in the Sulba Sutra, the Indian mathematical treatise, written centuries ago. The Decimal system, based on powers of ten, where the remainder is carried over to the next column was first mentioned in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Black Yajurveda.

Homeland of Aryans, the Saraswati Civilization: There is no evidence of an Aryan homeland outside of India mentioned anywhere. Saraswati had 2 branches. One flowed to east and is now named as Brahamputra. The one flowed west and is the only one really known as the Saraswati liver. It was a mighty flowing river  from about 10000 years ago to 4000 years back (2000 years before the common era), when it dried up due to major tectonic movements with plate shifts in the Earth’s crust leading to major ecological changes. This has been confirmed archaeologically. This brought about the end of the Harappan civilization around 1900 BC.  Sarasvati dried up because its tributaries namely the Drishadvati and Satluj changed their course. Drishadvati river flowed westward in past and now it can be identified mainly as Yamuna. Present day Ghaggar does seem to have some relationship to the Saraswati river. Mohanjodaro and Harrapa and other civilizations flourished along the Saraswati route until it dried up.  There is evidence in Tandya Brahaman—Panchvinsh Brahman (Samved school) that the agriculture may have started on the banks of Saraswati river.

Theory of Aryan Invasion: This theory was formulated by the British at the meeting of Royal Asiatic Society on Apr. 10 1866 in London. Basically, it stated that the original inhabitants of the land now called India, which included Afghanistan Pakistan, were Dravidians. Somewhere in 1200 to 1500 BC, light colored nomads called Aryans invaded and took over the area. They destroyed everything what was there before and spread their language, which was Sanskrit and Vedas came in to being. This then became the basis of all that existed subsequently.  Dravidians were pushed to the south India. They had horses, chariots and iron tools used as weapons. Here are some of important events regarding the theory of Aryan Invasion and British desire to westernize India and justify occupation.

  • William Jones, who founded the Asiatic Society on 15 January 1784 in Calcutta, proclaimed that Sanskrit, Greek and Latin had a common source which no longer exists. In 1836 Thomas Macaulay introduced the Western system of education with the intention of changing the minds of Indian youth in order to eliminate the glorious past of Vedic heritage and firmly establish British superiority and rule. Max Mueller was sent by British to achieve the same goal. He studied Vedas and Vedic scriptures in the 1860s. Mueller misinterpreted our scriptures to some extent with the intention of proving the superiority of British rulers. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stated to the House of Commons in 1929 that Indians and British were two long lost brothers. Since they have forgotten their glorious past, we have to raise them back to their glory by introducing the British system of education.

Proofs against this theory:

  1. None of the Sanskrit literature states that Aryans came from outside.
  2. The theory was put together purely on the linguistic basis before any excavations were done. The thousands of seals found in Indus Valley excavations and Sarasvati excavations show that the language of the seals was Vedic Sanskrit.
  3. The images of the seals are often symbolic representations of Vedic themes. One famous seal shows two birds sitting on a tree, one testing a fruit and the other just watching. The famous mantra is —

“द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते।

तयोरन्य: पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति॥” Rg. 1.164.20

This mantra provides clear evidence that the concept of 3 eternal entities existed in India much before the so-called Aryan invasion, which never happened.

  1. Absolutely no evidence of any destruction of property or massacre of people was found at the sites. The injuries found showed evidence of healing, suggesting that these were old.
  2. Horse bones were found in many sites. Post Harrapan city of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka, including the submerged Dwarka are evidence of continuity of the Vedic culture in post Harrapan period.
  3. Fire Alters found in the sites as well

In conclusion, Vedic civilization had had a glorious past and was based on living the life peacefully by following the principles of Dharma, achieving prosperity, fulfillment of desires and attainment of moksha, the Dhrama, Artha, Kama and Moksha. It is the responsibility of followers of Arya Samaj to bring the society back to its glory.

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