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A homage to Hindu civilization.

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    MAY 30, 2018

    Wars and clan structure may explain a strange biological event 7,000 years ago, Stanford researchers find

    Genetic data suggest there was a collapse in male, but not female, genetic diversity starting 7,000 years ago. The reason may be wars between clans structured around male ancestry.
    BY NATHAN COLLINS
    Starting about 7,000 years ago, something weird seems to have happened to men: Over the next two millennia, recent studies suggest, their genetic diversity –specifically, the diversity of their Y chromosomes – collapsed. So extreme was that collapse that it was as if there were only one man left to mate for every 17 women.
    from left to right: Tian Chen Zeng, Marcus Feldman, Alan Aw
    Undergraduates Tian Chen Zeng, left, and Alan Aw, right, worked with Marcus Feldman, a professor of biology, to show how social structure could explain a genetic puzzle about humans of the Stone Age.(Image credit: Courtesy Marcus Feldman)
    Anthropologists and biologists were perplexed, but Stanford researchers now believe they’ve found a simple – if revealing – explanation. The collapse, they argue, was the result of generations of war between patrilineal clans, whose membership is determined by male ancestors.
    The outlines of that idea came to Tian Chen Zeng, a Stanford undergraduate in sociology, after spending hours reading blog posts that speculated – unconvincingly, Zeng thought – on the origins of the “Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck,” as the event is known. He soon shared his ideas with his high school classmate Alan Aw, also a Stanford undergraduate in mathematical and computational science.
    “He was really waxing lyrical about it,” Aw said, so the pair took their idea to Marcus Feldman, a professor of biology in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. Zeng, Aw and Feldman published their results May 25 in Nature Communications.

    A cultural culprit

    It’s not unprecedented for human genetic diversity to take a nosedive once in a while, but the Y-chromosome bottleneck, which was inferred from genetic patterns in modern humans, was an odd one. First, it was observed only in men – more precisely, it was detected only through genes on the Y chromosome, which fathers pass to their sons. Second, the bottleneck is much more recent than other biologically similar events, hinting that its origins might have something to do with changing social structures.
    Certainly, the researchers point out, social structures were changing. After the onset of farming and herding around 12,000 years ago, societies grew increasingly organized around extended kinship groups, many of them patrilineal clans – a cultural fact with potentially significant biological consequences. The key is how clan members are related to each other. While women may have married into a clan, men in such clans are all related through male ancestors and therefore tend to have the same Y chromosomes. From the point of view of those chromosomes at least, it’s almost as if everyone in a clan has the same father.
    That only applies within one clan, however, and there could still be considerable variation between clans. To explain why even between-clan variation might have declined during the bottleneck, the researchers hypothesized that wars, if they repeatedly wiped out entire clans over time, would also wipe out a good many male lineages and their unique Y chromosomes in the process.

    Computing clans

    To test their ideas, the researchers turned to mathematical models and computer simulations in which men fought – and died – for the resources their clans needed to survive. As the team expected, wars between patrilineal clans drastically reduced Y chromosome diversity over time, while conflict between non-patrilineal clans – groups where both men and women could move between clans – did not.
    Zeng, Aw and Feldman’s model also accounted for the observation that among the male lineages that survived the Y-chromosome bottleneck, a few lineages underwent dramatic expansions, consistent with the patrilineal clan model, but not others.
    Now the researchers are looking at applying the framework in other areas – anywhere “historical and geographical patterns of cultural interactions could explain the patterns you see in genetics,” said Feldman, who is also the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor.
    Feldman said the work was a unusual example of undergraduates driving research that was broad both in terms of the academic disciplines spanned – in this case, sociology, mathematics and biology – and in terms of its potential implications for understanding the role of culture in shaping human evolution. And, he said, “Working with these talented guys is a lot of fun.”
    The research was supported by the Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics, the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies and a grant from the National Science Foundation.
    https://news.stanford.edu/press-releases/2018/05/30/war-clan-structubiological-event/

    Contact

    Nathan Collins, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-9364, nac@stanford.edu
       

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    Email: news-service@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 723-2558

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    "According to the astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata the Kali Yuga started in 3102 BCE. He finished his book “Aryabhatiya” in 499 CE, in which he gives the exact year of the beginning of Kali Yuga. He writes that he wrote the book in the "year 3600 of the Kali Age" at the age of 23. As it was the 3600th year of the Kali Age when he was 23 years old, and given that Aryabhata was born in 476 CE, the beginning of the Kali Yuga would come to (3600 - (476 + 23) + 1 (As only one year elapses between 1 BCE and 1 CE) = ) 3102 BCE." ( H.D. Dharm Chakravarty Swami Prakashanand Saraswati. Encyclopedia Of Authentic Hinduism The True History and the Religion of India, Hardbound, 2nd Edition, 2003 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Yuga

    I do not understand why some astronomers claim the date of Mahabharata war to be in 18th cent. BCE in the face of this Arbhayatiya date for Kaliyuga (at times using shaky archaeological evidences, e.g. the find of a chariot in Baghpat reported in June 2018). 


    I think it is the reponsibility of such claimants to reconcile the date of Kaliyuga which has been specified by Aryabhata.

    Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Centre

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    I suggest further detailed archeometallurgical investigations on Baghpat chariot.
    Does the solid wheel of the chariot have a lynch-pin on the axle? Is it made of an alloy metal?
    The serendipitous find of Baghpat should lead to intense multi-disciplinary studies, starting with analyses of associated archaeometallurgical finds like the axle-pin of any wheel. See the chariot-lynchpin-head found in the Smithy of nations -- solving an archaeological mystery. https://web.archive.org/web/20100705114906/http://newmedia-eng.haifa.ac.il/?p=3309 Archaeological evidence for the expression Haosheth hagoyim, smithy of nations (Hebrew) is achieved through goya, gotra 'guilds' formed of khār, कर्मार blacksmith artisans of Sarasvati Civilization evidenced on Epigraphia Indus Script which now total over 8000 inscriptions. See: 

    https://tinyurl.com/yc3zndc6

     This find helped resolve the famous statement in tbe Book of Judges about Harosheth-hagoyim'smithy of nations'.

    The suffix -prastha to explain the city's name (Baghpat). Indra-prastha and bhaga-prastha are cities in the MBh historical tradition on the banks of Yamuna river, not far from Rakhigarhi which is the largest site (over 500 hectares) of the Sarasvati Civilization.Is the name Baghpat derived from वाक्यप्रस्थ vākyaprastha‘city of delivering speeches’? The old form may be bhagaprastha.प्र-स्थ m. a level expanse , plain (esp. at the end of names of towns and villages ; cf. इन्द्र- , ओषधि- , करीर-प्र्° and » Pa1n2. 4-2 , 110); going on a march or journey , going to or abiding in (cf. वन-प्र्°भग   m. (ifc. f( and ). g. बह्व्-ादि) " dispenser " , gracious lord , patron (applied to gods esp. to सवितृRV. AV.
     (Monier-Williams)

    Surya worship may explain the fascination with chariot by the aristocracy, the gaṇa of 3rd millennium BCE Baghpat. 

    The detailed imagery on Bronze Daimabad chariot provides a comparator to the Baghpat chariot. The shape and the solid wheels compare with reconstructed Baghpat chariot. (Dating of Daimabad artifact is tough because it is a surface find together with other bronze artifacts of Indus Script hieroglyphs of elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros signifying metalwork repertoire). karibha, ibha'elephant' rebus: karba, ib'iron'; kaṇḍa'rhinoceros' rebus: kaṇḍa 'metal equipment'; rango'buffalo' rebus: rango'pewter alloy.'
    Image result for daimabad chariot


    A four-hooded cobra hovers over membrum virile of the charioteer. This is an Indus Script hypertext to signify phaḍa, 'cobra hood' rebus: phaḍa'metals manufactory' (cognate paṭṭaḍa, 'goldsmith's workshop'). See the decipherment of Indus Script hypertexts of Daimabad chariot at 

     https://tinyurl.com/ybzbb2mc



     

    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2018/06/discovery-of-2000-bce-chariots-of.html

    2000 BCE chariots set to redefine Mahabharata Age

    Tuesday, 05 June 2018 |  | Baghpat ome 60 km drive from Delhi, at Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stumbled upon “royal burials” with remains of chariots dating 2000BC-1800BC.
    The first-of-its-kind findings in the Indian sub-continent dating back to the Bronze Age suggest that people of that era belonged to the warrior class and were living a highly sophisticated lifestyle.

    Archaeologists involved in the excavation that started three months ago are excited about the findings. They said the recovery is set to give new dimension to our history and date of the Mahabharata period, and further into the origins of chariots and horses in the Harappan age.

    SK Manjul, director of Institute of Archaeology under the ASI, and co-director Arvin Manjul, who led a team in excavating the site, said, “The new findings will shed light on India’s place in the ancient world history. Previously, chariots were found to be a part of Mesopotamia, Georgia, Greek civilisations. But, the Sanauli recovery shows we were on par with them.”

    He said that though in the past, burial pits were excavated at Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, and at Lothal, this is the first time that chariots have been discovered alongside the burial pits.  “This is also for the first time in the Indian sub-continent that we got royal burial pits,” he added.

     “It is confirmed that they were a warrior class. The swords have copper-covered hilts and a medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. We have also found shields, a torch and daggers,” said Manjul, adding at least three burial pits have highly decorative coffin covers bearing floral designs and anthropological figures like horned and peepal leafed crown.

    Some of the graves contained full skeletal remains while others have a few human bones along with pots (secondary burials); in yet others, only pots were found (symbolic burials that suggest that the person died elsewhere, and was symbolically brought here).

    On being asked whether bull or horse was used in chariots, Manjul said, “This is debatable, it could be a bull or a horse, but having said that the preliminary understanding points to the horse. The chariot is a lookalike of the ones found in its contemporary cultures like Mesopotamia. It is a solid wheel with no spokes. In one of the pits, crown or helmet worn by the rider of the chariot has been recovered.

    The other noteworthy finds were four copper antenna swords, two daggers, seven channel-like objects, shield, comb, mirror, torch, hundreds of small cylindrical paste beads, steatite beads and triangle and rectangular inlays, semiprecious and gold beads, etc.

    The excavations at the Sadiqpur in Sanauli is the extension of the ASI’s excavation in 2005 when around 116 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation were found. These graves, dated 2200-1800 BC, were a fairly recent addition to the list of Indus Valley Civilisation sites in India.

    “We wanted to take the research and investigation in that region further and conducted excavations just 120 metres away from the earlier site, as a trial dig, and discoveries are also set to unravel entire new history,” Manjul added.

    “This throws light on the lifestyle and cultures of the people who lived in the pre-Iron Age — there are mirrors with copper, the elaborate burials, all this show the society was technologically advanced, aesthetic and had the sense of art and craft. They were warrior clans, and had a sophisticated lifestyle,” he said.

    While it was difficult to ascertain the exact race of the latest buried remains, the experts feel that the chariots and coffins did not belong to the Harappan civilisation.

    But again this is the subject of further investigation, Manjul said.

    पांच हजार साल पुरानी कब्रगाह क्यों है एतिहासिक खोज? Baghpat (NDTV)

    Pre-Iron Age relics excavated in UP district June 5, 2018Archaeologists at the site in Baghpat. (Photo: G.N. Jha)

    Excavations at Baghpat
    The excavation that began in March 2018 at Sanauli was conducted by a 10-member team with S. K. Manjul of the Institute of Archaeology.

    Lucknow: Chariots dating back to the pre-iron age have been found in an excavation in Sanauli in Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh.

    The excavation by a team of archaeologists was unveiled on Monday, showing burial pits with chariots in the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze). This is the first time that a chariot has figured in the excavations.

    The excavation that began in March 2018 at Sanauli was conducted by a 10-member team with S. K. Manjul of the Institute of Archaeology.

    Talking to reporters, Mr Manjul said, “We have the place in the ancient global history. To name a few of our contemporary cultures, chariot appears in Mesopotamia, Georgia, Greek civilisations, and with this finding we can say that among our contemporary cultures in the Pre-Iron Age, we too had chariots”.

    Chariots figure prominently in the Rig Veda, which gives evidence of their presence in India in the 2nd millennium BCE.

    Mr Manjul informed that in the past, there has been evidence of horse in the Chalcolithic period. This discovery is an added thrust to inquire further into ancient Indian history. If we go by the world history, there is evidence of wheeled vehicles only from the mid-4th millennium BCE in Mesopotamia, the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture Bronze Age) and Central Europe. The question, concerning which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle, remains unresolved.


    In a First, Chariot From Pre-Iron Age Found During Excavation in UP's Sanauli

    In the past there has been evidence of horse in the Chalcolithic period. This discovery is an added thrust to inquire further into ancient Indian history.

     Updated:June 4, 2018, 12:58 PM IST






    Baghpat: For the first time in the Indian sub-continent, burial pits have been found with chariots that date back to the Pre-Iron Age(Bronze). This new finding is set to create space for further investigation on dating of the Mahabharata period and further inquiry into the origins of the horse in the Harappa age, as per the experts involved in the three-month trial dig Uttar Pradesh's Sanauli.
    The excavations that the team of archaeologists conducted was unveiled on Monday showing burial pits with chariots in the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze).

    The burial pits have been found in the past excavations at Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, and at Lothal, but the chariot has figured for the first time. 

    The excavation started in March 2018 at Sanauli and was conducted by a 10-member team with SK Manjul, of Institute of Archaeology, established in 1985, heading it. The co-director was Arvin Manjul.

    Speaking on the development, Manjul said, “We have the place in the ancient global history. To name a few of our contemporary cultures, chariot appears in Mesopotamia, Georgia, Greek civilisations, and with this finding we can say that among our contemporary cultures in the Pre-Iron Age we too had chariots.”

    He added, “This is giving our history and our past a new dimension – we have to rethink our past and approach it with a fresh perspective – with the elements found in the burial pits it shows we were a warrior clan in the Pre Iron Age.”

    Who rode the chariot in the Bronze Age?

    If there was a chariot in the Bronze Age, would it not need a beast to run it? Was it a bull or a horse? Manjul said, “This is debatable, it could be a bull or a horse but having said that the preliminary understanding points at the horse. The chariot is a lookalike of the ones found in its contemporary cultures like Mesopotamia, it is a solid wheel with no spokes.”

    The chariot is with solid wheel and pole; in one of the pits the excavators have also found crown or helmet worn by the rider of the chariot.

    Chariots figure prominently in the Rigveda, which gives evidence of their presence in India in the 2nd millennium BCE. Among Rigvedic deities, notably Ushas (the dawn) rides in a chariot, as well as Agni in his function as a messenger between gods and men).

    Manjul added that in the past there has been evidence of horse in the Chalcolithic period. This discovery is an added thrust to inquire further into ancient Indian history.

    If we go by the world history, there is evidence of wheeled vehicles only from the mid-4th millennium BCE in Mesopotamia, the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture Bronze Age) and Central Europe. The question concerning which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle remains unresolved. 

    The objective of the research

    In 2005, excavations around 116 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation were found. These graves, dated 2200–1800 BC were a fairly recent addition to the list of Indus Valley Civilisation sites in India.

    The archaeological experts wanted to take the research and investigation in that region further and conducted excavations just 120 meters away from the earlier site, as a trail dig, and found chariot in the excavation. They dug eight burials and each tells a different story of the life and style prevalent in Post Iron Age period. These decomposed wooden coffins were decorated with copper but with time have turned green due to patina.

    “The challenges were many – we had to dig in a way that the structure standing tall does not get damaged in further deeper digging. This is the first time we used the X-Ray, CT scan to find the nails embedded in the wooden coffins,” added Manjul. 

    There are eight burial pits – which have skeletons, beads, pottery, chariot, sword, torch. These are wooden decomposed coffins with copper decorations that made the spotting of the coffin easier. There are eight anthromorphic figures having horned and peepal leafed crown decorated on cover of coffin. The designs are aesthetic and say a lot about the society in Pre-Iron Age.

    “This throws light on the lifestyle and cultures of the people who lived in the Pre Iron Age – there are mirrors with copper, the elaborate burials, all this shows the society was technologically advanced, aesthetic and had the sense of art and craft. They were warrior clans, and had a sophisticated lifestyle,” added Manjul. The evidence found here is important to conduct further investigation in finding “horse skeletons”.

    In one of the burials, one can find the dog being buried; in Hindu mythology, dog is the vehicle of Yama. There are symbolic burials with just objects buried without a body, maybe in reverence of the deceased not found and twin burials showing two skeletons in one grave.

    Counterview

    The horse driven chariots are known in the Vedic period, said historian DN Jha. “However, iron makes appearance in the post Vedic or not earlier than the late Vedic period. This find cannot be dated to the pre-Vedic/Harappa phase,” said Jha.

    Several scholars have written on the dating of the Mahabharata, but Jha said that he is not aware of who has used the evidence of chariots for dating the text of Mahabharat.

    Some archaeologists like B B Lal have argued for the 8th century BC, on the basis of the silt deposited at Hastinapur, which was flooded following the Great War. “But this hardly inspires confidence. In fact the text is so full of interpolations that it cannot belong to one point of time,” said Lal. 

    According to V S Sukthankar, whose work on the chronology of the text is authoritative, Mahabharata’s composition spreads over several centuries. “The general consensus is that the text was composed over a period of about a millennium - roughly between 400BC to 400AD. However, there are some scholars who argue for a shorter period. In any case the Mahabharata in its present form cannot be the work of single author and that is one of the reasons which make its dating difficult,” Jha added.
    https://www.news18.com/news/india/in-a-first-chariot-from-pre-iron-age-found-in-excavation-in-uttar-pradeshs-sanauli-1768085.html

    Chariot from Pre-Iron Age found during excavation in Uttar Pradesh's Sanauli

    Chariot from pre-Iron Age was found in Uttar Pradesh's Sanauli after a three-month-long excavation. It is expected to provide a new perspective on Indian history.


    Jun 4, 2018 15:48 IST

    When archaeologists stumbled upon the burial pits at Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, no one would have thought of discovering a chariot from the Pre-Iron Age. It has been found after a three-month-long excavation, according to News18.


    Led by SK Manjul, director of Institute of Archaeology, and co-director Arvin Manjul, the 10-member team unveiled the chariot from the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze) for the first time in one of the burial pits, which were found earlier in several places. The excavation first began in March at Sanauli.

    According to Manjul, this new finding will shed light on India's place in the ancient global history. Previously, chariots were found to be a part of Mesopotamia, Georgia, Greek civilizations.

    He also told the publication, "This is giving our history and our past a new dimension – we have to rethink our past and approach it with a fresh perspective – with the elements found in the burial pits it shows we were a warrior clan in the Pre Iron Age."

    Aside from the chariot, another significant finding during this excavation was a crown or helmet, which is normally worn by the rider of the chariot during the journey.

    Asked whether the chariot was run by a bull or a horse, Manjul said that the answer still remains unknown as it is a very debatable topic.

    "it could be a bull or a horse but having said that the preliminary understanding points at the horse. The chariot is a lookalike of the ones found in its contemporary cultures like Mesopotamia, it is a solid wheel with no spokes," the director added.

    Speaking of the time when the first evidence of the wheeled vehicle was found in the world history, the archaeological experts shared their insights into the matter. Chariots figure were prominently mentioned in the Rigveda. During their presence in the 2nd millennium BCE, a few eminent Rigvedic deities including Ushas and Agni used to ride a chariot.

    The Sanauli excavation is a further effort to find out more significant findings adding to 116 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation, which were found in 2005. Among which, the archaeologists dug out eight burials and found out that each has a different story of life and style and shed light onto the lifestyle from the Pre-Iron Age. "This throws light on the lifestyle and cultures of the people who lived in the Pre Iron Age – there are mirrors with copper, the elaborate burials, all this shows the society was technologically advanced, aesthetic and had the sense of art and craft. They were warrior clans, and had a sophisticated lifestyle," added Manjul.



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    Pins in the shape of clenched fist signify Indus Script Hypertexts. Such pins may have been used as alloy metal lynch-pins on chariot axles.

    A remarkable terracotta object was found in Lothal and reported by SR Rao. This shows a person with clenched fists which is an Indus Script Hieroglyph Sign 358 raised, closed fists. 20 out of 32 occurrences of Sign 358 are on Mohenjodaro copper tablets. Indus Script Hypertext and rebus reading: मुष्टिक 'fist' rebus: मुष्टिक goldsmith. 
    Detachable perforatedarms of an alabaster statue. Source: Lothal, Vol. II: Plate CCLXIIB. Image inverted to show fisted hands. "The object is interpreted by us as the physical basis of the Indus Ideogram, depicting a pair of raised hands with folded fingers, conveying the intended meanings 'dexterity, skill, competence'. "
    http://www.iiserpune.ac.in/userfiles/files/Evidence_for_the_Artisan_in_the_Indus_Script.pdf

    mẽḍha'ram' Indus Script hypertext rebus mẽḍh 'iron', meḍho'helper of merchant' signified on (chariot?) lynch-pins

    Fig.2 (Mackay 1937: pl. C3)
    Bactria; metal pins; fig 2.10 is a pin with a head in the shape of two sitting rams; this resembles a pin was found in Mohenjodaro with a head in the form of seated goats with helically bent horns (Mackay 1937: pl. C3). Pins with zoomorphic heads is typically noticed in southwest Iran and the Near East. Fig. 2.11-12 show pins with heads in the shape of clenched fist with parallels of similar pins in Mesopotamian royal tombs of Ur (Maxwell-Hyslop 1971: 13, fig.11). Good examples of Iranian-Afghan-Indian ties.

    A bronze hairpin with "cartwheel" design as the head from Tepe Yahya, Iran
    (note the incised circled cross or "X" in the center) (Potts 2001: 64). (Image after Diwiyana)

    Image result for chariot axle linchpin

    Bronze. Chariot axle cap linchpin (xia) with kneeling human figure.Source: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. H x W x D (overall): 11.5 x 4.9 x 4 cm (4 1/2 x 1 15/16 x 1 9/16 in) Accession Number S2012.9.617

    https://www.freersackler.si.edu/object/S2012.9.617/  China. late Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty, ca. 1100-1050 BCE Mirror: https://learninglab.si.edu/resources/view/236341#more-info

    Antique Chinese bronze axle cap with a lynchpin decorated as a tiger attacking a buffalo. Bronze axle cap which dates from the ‘Spring & Autumn’ period (770 – 476BC). The axle cap is obviously corroded and has some tiny holes in line with its stay underground for a few thousand years but the linchpin is in perfect condition. This particular linchpin is exceptional because it depicts a small tiger sitting on top of a buffalo head. This is quite rare and we havenot seen a similar subject on a linchpin before. Axle cap length 13.5 cm. Linchpin length 10 cm. For an almost identical set see the January – February 2011 edition of ‘Arts of Asia’ (page 85). Last mentioned set is in the Long County Museum in Shanxi. Acryllic glass
    http://vanderwerf-collection.nl/product_info.php?products_id=2473&osCsid=61f45bc7961b3e3ad493d0a3a185808e
    Image result for chariot axle linchpin

    Bronze. Pair of chariot wheel linchpins. Early Western Zhou dynasty (about 1050-771 BCE) H: 12.7 cm. https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/cv_collections/pair-chariot-wheel-linchpins/

    Ekron example is the first wheeled cult stand found in Israel. It is also the closest in time (11th century B.C.E.) to Solomon’s Temple (mid-tenth century B.C.E.).
    Lynch-pin? "And this inventory raises anew the question of the Philistines’ role in the introduction of ironworking technology." https://members.bib-arch.org/biblical-archaeology-review/16/1/2
    Face on a lynch-pin is an Indus Script Hypertext: mũh 'a face' in Indus Script Cipher signifies mũh, muhã'ingot' or muhã 'quantity of metal produced at one time in a native smelting furnace.'https://members.bib-arch.org/biblical-archaeology-review/16/1/2
    Image result for nagaraja erapattra bharhutTop register shows a chariot. A hypertext on the field is cobra hood with multiple hoods. 

    फडphaa 'hood of cobra' rebus: फडphaa 'metalwork artisan guild in charge of manufactory'

    Nāgaraja, Erapattra worshipping at the smelter and tree. kuṭi 'tree' rebus: kuṭhi 'smelter. Bharhut, 100 BCE. The cobra hood is an Indus Script hypertext:




    Wagon wheel, with forged linchpin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linchpin

    A 3,200-year-old round bronze tablet with a carved face of a woman, found at the El-ahwat excavation site near Katzir in central Israel, is part of a linchpin that held the wheel of a battle chariot in place. This was revealed by scientist Oren Cohen of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. “Such an identification reinforces the claim that a high-ranking Egyptian or local ruler was based at this location, and is likely to support the theory that the site is Harosheth Haggoyim, the home town of Sisera, as mentioned in Judges 4-5,” says Prof. Zertal.

    The El-ahwat site, near Nahal ‘Iron, was exposed by a cooperative delegation excavating there during 1993-2000 from the Universities of Haifa and Cagliari (Sardinia), headed by Prof. Zertal. The excavated city has been dated back to the end of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age (13th-12th centuries B.C.E.). The city’s uniqueness - its fortifications, passageways in the walls, and rounded huts - made it foreign amidst the Canaanite landscape. Prof. Zertal has proposed that based on these unusual features, the site may have been home to the Shardana tribe of the Sea-Peoples, who, according to some researchers, lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, Sisera’s capital city. The city is mentioned in the Bible’s narratives as Sisera’s capital, and it was from there that the army of chariots set out to fight the Israelites, who were being led by Deborah the prophetess and Barak, son of Avinoam. The full excavation and its conclusions have been summarized in Prof. Zertal’s book “Sisera’s Secret, A Journey following the Sea-Peoples and the Song of Deborah” (Dvir, Tel Aviv, 2010 [Hebrew]).

    One of the objects uncovered at the site remained masked in mystery. The round, bronze tablet, about 2 cm. in diameter and 5 mm. thick, was found in a structure identified as the “Governor’s House”. The object features a carved face of a woman wearing a cap and earrings shaped as chariot wheels. When uncovered in 1997, it was already clear that the tablet was the broken end of an elongated object, but Mr. Cohen, who included the tablet in the final report of the excavations, did not manage to find its parallel in any other archaeological discoveries.

    Now, 13 years later, the mystery has been solved. When carrying out a scrutinizing study of ancient Egyptian reliefs depicting chariot battles, Mr. Cohen discerned a unique decoration: the bronze linchpins fastening the chariot wheels were decorated with people’s faces - of captives, foreigners and enemies of Egypt. He also noticed that these decorations characterized those chariots that were used by royalty and distinguished people.

    “This identification enhances the historical and archaeological value of the site and proves that chariots belonging to high-ranking individuals were found there. It provides support for the possibility, which has not yet been definitively established, that this was Sisera’s city of residence and that it was from there that the chariots set out on their way to the battle against the Israelite tribes, located between the ancient sites of Taanach and Megiddo,” Prof. Zertal concludes.

    Photos:

    Chariot linchpin (Moshe Einav)
    See: 

    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2011/11/archaeological-mystery-solved-site-of.html
    The inscription on the m557 copper plate is deciphered:)  ḍāṅgā 'mountain' rebus: dhangar 'smith'. N. ḍāṅro ʻ term of contempt for a blacksmith ʼ (CDIAL 5324); khaṇḍa 'division' rebus: kaṇḍa .'fire-altar','equpment'; 
    dula 'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS muka 'blow with fist' (Sindhi)(CDIAL 10150). Rebus: mũhe 'ingot' (Santali) kanda kanka 'rim of jar' Rebus: कर्णिक m. a steersman (Monier-Williams)karaṇī 'supercargo, a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.' (Marathi).

    Thus, together, the rebus Meluhha reading is: dhangar mũhe kanda kanka 'blacksmith furnace ingot (from) goldsmith (for) supercargo/steersman'. Thus, the catalogue (samgaha) entry of wealth accounting ledger related to metalwork is documented on the inscription. Meaning of 'goldsmith' is validated by the etyma which are semantic expansions of the Bhāratīya sprachbund word: muka 'blow with fist' (Sindhi) rebus: mũhe 'ingot' (Santali)मुष्टिक partic. position of the hands rebus: मुष्टिक a goldsmith L.; (pl.) of a despised race (= डोम्बास्) R.;N. of an असुर Hariv.  अ-क्षर--मुष्टिका f. the art of communicating syllables or ideas by the fingers (one of the 64 कलाs) वात्स्यायन

    The etyma Kur. muṭkā ʻfistʼ Prj. muṭka ʻblow with fistʼ are cognate with phonetic forms: Ku. muṭhagī
    muṭhkī f. ʻblow with fistʼ, N. muṭkimuṛki, M. muṭkā (CDIAL 10221). This suggests the basis for a hypothesis that an early spoken form in  Bhāratīya sprachbund is: muka 'blow with fist' (Sindhi)(CDIAL 10150). This is read rebus: mũhe 'ingot' (Santali) mũhã̄ = the quantity of iron produced at one time in a native smelting furnace of the Kolhes; iron produced by the Kolhes and formed like a four-cornered piece a little pointed at each end; mūhā mẽṛhẽt = iron smelted by the Kolhes and formed into an equilateral lump a little pointed at each of four ends;kolhe tehen mẽṛhẽt ko mūhā akata = the Kolhes have to-day produced pig iron (Santali). 

    *mukka1 ʻ blow with fist ʼ. [Prob. ← Drav., Prj. muṭka ʻ blow with fist ʼ, Kur. muṭkā ʻ fist ʼ, DED. 4041]
    K. muköli f. ʻ blow with fist ʼ, (El.) mukāl m. ʻ fist ʼ; S. muka f. ʻ blow with fist ʼ, L. mukk°kī f.; P. mukk m. ʻ fist ʼ, °kī f.; WPah.bhal. mukki f. ʻ blow with fist ʼ; N. mukkā°ki ʻ fist ʼ, H. mūkāmukkā m., °kī f., mukkhī f. (X muṭṭhī < muṣṭí -- ); G. mukkɔ m., °kī f. ʻ blow with fist ʼ.(CDIAL 10150).

    muṣṭí m.f. ʻ clenched hand, fist ʼ RV., ʻ handful ʼ ŚBr. Pa. Pk. muṭṭhi -- f. ʻ fist, handful, handle of an instrument ʼ; Ash. mušt ʻ fist ʼ NTS ii 267, mūst NTS vii 99, Wg. müṣṭ, Kt. muṣṭmiṣṭ; Bashg. "misht"ʻ hilt of sword ʼ; Pr. müšt ʻ fist ʼ, muṣ (?) ʻ hilt of knife ʼ; Dm. muṣṭ ʻ fist ʼ, muṣṭi ʻ handle ʼ; Paš. uzb. muṣṭī ʻ fist ʼ, lauṛ. muṭhīˊ; Gaw. muṣṭ ʻ handle (of plough) ʼ, muṣṭāˊkmuṣṭīke ʻ fist ʼ, muṣ -- kaṭāˊrī ʻ dagger ʼ; Kal.rumb. muṣṭí ʻ fist ʼ; Kho. muṣṭi ʻ fist, grip ʼ; Phal. muṣṭ ʻ a measure of length (elbow to end of fist) ʼ, múṣṭi f. ʻ fist ʼ, muṭṭi f. ʻ arm below elbow ʼ (← Ind.?) → Bshk. mut (= *muṭh?) ʻ fist ʼ AO xviii 245; Sh.gil. muṭ(h), pl. muṭí m. ʻ fist ʼ, muṣṭí ʻ handle of plough ʼ, jij. mv́ṣṭi ʻ fist ʼ, koh. gur. mŭṣṭăkf., pales. muṭh ʻ arm, upper arm ʼ; K. mŏṭhm&obrevdotdot;ṭhü f. ʻ fist ʼ; S. muṭhi f. ʻ fist, fistful, handle ʼ; L. muṭṭh ʻ fist, handle ʼ, muṭṭhī f. ʻ handful ʼ, awāṇ. muṭh; P. muṭṭhmuṭṭhī f. ʻ fist ʼ, muṭṭhā m. ʻ handle, bundle ʼ; Ku. muṭhī f. ʻ fist, handful ʼ, muṭho ʻ handle ʼ; N. muṭh ʻ handle ʼ, muṭhi ʻ fist ʼ, muṭho ʻ handful ʼ; A. muṭhi ʻ fist, handful, handle ʼ, muṭhan ʻ measure of length (elbow to middle joint of little finger) ʼ; B. muṭhmuṭi ʻ fist, handful ʼ, muṭ(h)ā ʻ handful ʼ; Or. muṭhi ʻ fist ʼ, muṭha ʻ hilt of sword ʼ, muṭhā ʻ clenched hand ʼ; Bi. mūṭhmuṭhiyā ʻ knob on body of plough near handle ʼ, mūṭhāmuṭṭhā ʻ the smallest sheaf (about a handful) ʼ; Mth. muṭhā ʻ handle of mattock ʼ; Bhoj. mūṭhi ʻ fist ʼ; OAw. mūṭhī f. ʻ handful ʼ; H. mūṭh f., mūṭhā m. ʻ fist, blow with fist ʼ, mūṭhīmuṭṭhī f. ʻ fist, handful ʼ, muṭṭhā m. ʻ handful, handle (of plough), bundle ʼ; G. mūṭh f. ʻ fist ʼ, muṭṭhī f. ʻ handful ʼ; M. mūṭh f. ʻ fist ʼ, Ko. mūṭ; Si. miṭa, pl. miṭi ʻ fist, handful ʼ, miṭiya ʻ hammer, bundle ʼ; Md. muři ʻ hammer ʼ: the forms of P. H. Si. meaning ʻ bundle ʼ perh. rather < *muṭṭha -- 2 s.v. mūta -- ; -- in Gy. wel. mušī, gr. musī ʻ arm ʼ loss of  is unexpl. unless -- ī is secondary. -- Poss. ← or infl. by Drav. (Prj. muṭka ʻ blow with fist ʼ &c., DED 4041: see *mukka -- 1): Ku. muṭhagīmuṭhkī f. ʻ blow with fist ʼ, N. muṭkimuṛki, M. muṭkā m. nimuṣṭi -- .Addenda: muṣṭí -- : WPah.kṭg. mvṭ -- (in cmpd.), múṭṭhi f. ʻ clenched hand, handful ʼ; J. muṭhā m. ʻ handful ʼ, Garh. muṭṭhi; A. muṭh (phonet. muth) ʻ abridgement ʼ AFD 94; Md. muř ʻ fist, handle ʼ, muři ʻ hammer ʼ.(CDIAL 10221). Pa. muṭṭ- to hammer; muṭkablow with fist. Ga. (P.) muṭa fist. Go. (Mu.) muṭ, (Ko.) muṭiya hammer; (Mu.) muṭka a blow (Voc. 2874). Pe. muṭla hammer. Manḍ. muṭla id. 
    Kuwi (Su.) muṭla id. Kur. muṭga'ānā to deal a heavy blow with the fist; muṭgā, muṭkā clenched hand or fist, hammering with the fist; muṭka'ānā to hit or hammer at with the fist. / Cf. Skt. muṭ- to crush, grind, break; Turner, CDIAL, no. 10186: root,  muṭáti ʻ *twists ʼ (ʻ kills, grinds ʼ Dhātup.) . (DEDR 4932) Muṭṭhi (f.) [Vedic muṣṭi, m. f. Does defn "muṭ=mad- dane" at Dhtm 125 refer to muṭṭhi?] the fist VvA 206.; Muṭṭhika [fr. muṭṭhi] 1. a fist -- fighter, wrestler, boxer Vin ii.105 (malla˚); J iv.81 (Np.); vi.277; Vism 31 (+malla). -- 2. a sort of hammer J v.45.(Pali) मुष्टि the clenched hand , fist (perhaps orig. " the hand closed to grasp anything stolen ") RV. &c; a compendium , abridgment सर्वदर्शन-संग्रह (Monier-Williams).
    See: 

     


    Clenched fist as an Indus Script Hypertext which signifies 





    Evidence from Anatolia. 

    Drinking vessel in the shape of a fist

    Near Eastern, Anatolian, Hittite
    Hittite New Kingdom, reign of Tudhaliya III
    14th century B.C.
    Place of Manufacture: central Anatolia
    This ceremonial drinking vessel is shaped in the form of a human fist with a procession of musicians in relief along the cuff.

    0 0

    This is an addendum to  Indus Script Hypertexts on chariot lynchpins: मुष्टिक 'fist' rebus: मुष्टिक goldsmith, ram animal heads, rams signify metalwork https://tinyurl.com/ya22wmd2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZOQKNqu0NE बागपत के सोनौली में 5000 साल पुरानी कब्रगाह मिलीNDTV India Jun 4, 2018 पहली बार किसी राजा की कब्रगाह मिली है. कब्र के साथ तांबे का रथ और तलवार भी मिली जो इसे मेसोपोटामिया की सभ्यता के बराबर खड़ा करती है. बागपत के सनौली गांव में पांच हजार साल पुरानी शाही कब्रगाह मिली है. इस कब्रगाह में मिले ताबूत और यहां रखी एतिहासिक चीजों को भारतीय पुरातत्व विभाग एक महत्वपूर्णखोज बता रहा है जो कई ऐतिहासिक मान्यताएं बदल देगा. दिल्ली से करीब 60 किलोमीटर दूर बागपत का सोनौली गांव, जहां जमीन के नीचे दफ्न 126 कब्रगाहें मिली हैं. ये कब्रें करीब पांच हजार साल पुरानी हैं.

    ASI unearths ‘first-ever’ physical evidence of chariots in Copper-Bronze age

    TNN | Updated: Jun 6, 2018, 10:16 IST

    HIGHLIGHTS The excavation, which began in March, has also unearthed eight burial sites and several artefacts, including three coffins, antenna swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments

    • The discovery of a chariot puts us on a par with other ancient civilizations, like Mesopotamia, Greece,etc.  ASI                                                                   
    Remains of one of the chariots found in the excavation.

    MEERUT: In a first, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stumbled upon the remains of a chariot that dates back to “Bronze Age” (2000-1800 BC) at Sinaulivillage of Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh. Decorated with copper motifs, the findings of the Copper-Bronze age have opened up further research opportunities into the area’s civilisation and culture.



    The ASI team, which has been excavating the archaeologically rich site for the past three months, unveiled the new finding on Monday.

    meerut2




    The swords and daggers confirm the existence of a warrior population.




    The excavation, which began in March, has also unearthed eight burial sites and several artefacts, including three coffins, antenna swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments, among others. The three chariots found in burial pits indicate the possibility of “royal burials” while other findings confirm the population of a warrior class here, officials said.

    The discovery of a chariot puts us on a par with other ancient civilizations, like Mesopotamia, Greece, etc. where chariots were extensively used. It seems a warrior class thrived in this region in the past,” said SK Manjul who is co-director of Excavations and ASI’s Institute of Archaeology in Delhi.


    Burial

    A coffin found at one of the ‘royal burial’ sites
    Manjul termed the digging drive a “path-breaking” one, also because of the copper plated anthropomorphic figures – having horns and peepal-leafed crowns – found on the coffins, that indicated a possibility of “royal burials”.



    “For the first time in the entire sub-continent, we have found this kind of a coffin. The cover is highly decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. The sides of the coffins are also decorated with floral motifs,” Manjul said.




    While coffins have been discovered during past excavations in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Dholavira (Gujarat), but never with copper decorations, he added.




    The findings also shed light on the noteworthy progress the Indian civilsation had made at the time, making it at par with the 2000 BC Mesopotamia.



    “We are now certain that when in 2000 BC, the Mesopotamians were using chariots, swords, and helmets in wars, we also had similar things.”




    burial1

    The ASI team is excavating the archaeologically rich site for the past three months and unveiled this new finding only on Monday




    The swords, daggers, shields and a helmet confirmed the existence of a warrior population, and the discovery of earthen and copper pots, semi-precious and steatite beads, combs, and a copper mirror from the burial pits point towards a “sophisticated” craftsmanship and lifestyle.



    “It is confirmed that they were a warrior class. The swords have copper-covered hilts and a medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. We have also found shields, a torch and daggers,” the archaeologist said.


    The current site lies 120 metres from an earlier one in the village, excavated in 2005, where 116 burials were found along with antenna swords and pottery.


    meerut7
    Experts termed the digging drive a “path-breaking” one.




    While it was difficult to ascertain the exact race of the latest buried remains, Manjul asserted that the chariots and coffins did not belong to the Harappan civilisation.





    “The findings of the 2005 excavation – pottery, beads and other cultural material – were similar to those of the Harappan civilisation.”




    Manjul said the similarities could have been an outcome of the migration of the Harappans to the Yamuna and the upper planes during the late mature Harappan era.


    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/asi-unearths-first-ever-physical-evidence-of-chariots-in-copper-bronze-age/articleshow/64469616.cms

    ASI unearths 'first-ever' physical evidence of Copper-Bronze age chariots

    Press Trust of India  |  Sanauli (UP) 



    The "first ever" physical evidence of chariots dating 2000 BC - 1800 BC have been found by the Archeological Survey of (ASI) during a trial excavation in village near here.
    Decorated with copper motifs, the findings of the Copper-Bronze age have opened up further research opportunities into the area's civilisation and culture.
    The three-month long excavation, which started in March this year, has unearthed eight burial sites and several artifacts including three coffins, antenna swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments, among others.
    The three chariots found in the burial pits could remind one of the familiar images of horse-drawn carriages from mythological television shows.
    The relics suggest the existence of a two-wheeled open vehicle that may have been driven by one person.
    "The wheels rotated on a fixed axle linked by a draft pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. The axle was attached with a superstructure consisting of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard," S K Manjul, of Delhi-based Institute of Archaeology, said.
    The wheels and the pole have been found decorated with copper triangles, symbolic of the rays of the sun.
    termed the digging drive a "path-breaking" one, also because of the copper plated anthropomorphic figures -- having horns and peepal-leafed crowns -- found on the coffins, that indicated a possiblity of "royal burials".
    "For the first time in the entire sub-continent we have found this kind of a coffin. The cover is highly decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. The sides of the coffins are also decorated with floral motifs," said.
    While coffins have been discovered during past excavations in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Dholavira (Gujarat), but never with copper decorations, he added.
    The findings also shed light on the noteworthy progress the Indian civilsation had made at the time, making it at par with the 2000 BC Mesopotamia.
    "We are now certain that when in 2000 BC, the Mesopotamians were using chariots, swords, and helmets in wars, we also had similar things." 

    The swords, daggers, shields and a helmet confirmed the existence of a warrior population, and the discovery of earthen and copper pots, semi-precious and steatite beads, combs, and a copper mirror from the burial pits point towards a "sophisticated" craftsmanship and lifestyle.
    "It is confirmed that they were a warrior class. The swords have copper-covered hilts and a medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. We have also found shields, a torch and daggers," the said.
    The current site lies 120 meters from an earlier one in the village, excavated in 2005, where 116 burials were found along with antenna swords and pottery.
    While it was difficult to ascertain the exact race of the latest buried remains, asserted that the chariots and coffins did not belong to the Harappan civilisation.
    "The findings of the 2005 excavation -- pottery, beads and other cultural material -- were similar to those of the Harappan civilisation." 

    Manjul said the similarities could have been an outcome of the migration of the Harappans to the Yamuna and the upper planes during the late mature Harappan era.

    However, the recent findings were "completely different" from the ancient civilisation.

    0 0

    https://tinyurl.com/y7aefz2h

    This monograph deciphers the eight copper anthropomorphs shown in bas-relief on the lid of a coffin discovered in Sinauli, Baghpat archaeological site on the banks of Yamuna river.

    In Kisari Mohan Ganguly's English translation of Mahābhārata the word gaṇa is translated as 'aristocracy'. Such an aristocrat is signified in the Indus Script Hypertexts of Sinauli, Baghpat discovery of remarkable artifacts which included three chariots, apart from swords, shields and other armour. Clearly, the eminent person venerated at the site in a wooden coffin is an armourer who also controlled eight mint metal workshops.

    To present the significance of Baghpat finds in perspective, the following map shows the location of Rakhigarhi close to Yamuna river. Rakhigarhi is the largest site of Sarasvati Civilization of over 500 hectares.


    Related imageRakhigarhi on the banks of Yamuna river (earlier phase of ancient channel as tributary of River Sarasvati).
    Related image
    Image result for sinauli baghpat


    The recent discoveries of chariots and swords have to be evaluated for their significance in the context of a find in 2015 of a metal crown jewel of breath-taking beauty shown below in a computer reconstruction.

    :A computer reconstruction of the copper crown found in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in 2015 (See Annex II report) Photo: PTI  

    An explanatory note in Annex I details the significance of 'ficus glomerata' (Sign327 Indus Script) as an Indus Script Hypertext. The hypertext reads: lohkarṇīka'metal (guild) helmsman (master)'. It may also signify lohkarṇī 'metal supercargo(a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.).'


    The top lid of the wooden box (referred to as kabragah, 'coffins or samādhisthal') has eight identical copper anthropomorphs in bas relief. I suggest that these are read as Indus Script hypertexts, composed of human faces with with a head gear (crown) composed of curved horns holding a pipal leaf in the middle. Sanjay Kumar Manjul explains in Hindi in the video cited above: "इस लकड़ी में बनी है इस के ऊपर जो मानव आकृति बने हैं  इस में  आप देखेंगे सिंग, बीच में  पीपल लीफ, जैसा उनका क्राउन है, बाड़ी, और उनके पास सम्भवता कुछ आयुध उसके पास...ऐसे आठ डेपिक्शन जो कॉफिन के ऊपरी लिड में डेपिक्ट हुए हैं ..." Translation: "coffin made of wood. Lid is decorated with anthropomorphs (bas-relief) with horns, pipal leaf in the middle,making it a crown, body of the seated person and perhaps some weapon beside him...like this there are eight anthropomorphs depicted on the lid."


    Another view of two anthropomorphs: taambe ki nakkāśī   नक्काशी 'copper hieroglyphs (art work)'




    See how a long inscription is signed off by a 'squirrel' hieroglyph: The guild-master signs off on the inscription by affixing his hieroglyph: 
    palm squirrel,Sciurus palmarum' 

     https://tinyurl.com/y9ug5h9y


    The horned crown (head gear) with a 'ficus' leaf in the middle PLUS perhaps a 'squirrel' hieroglyph signifies: khār'blacksmith'śrēṣṭhin'guild-master' 

    Hieroglyph: squirrel:  *śrēṣṭrī1 ʻ clinger ʼ. [√śriṣ1]Phal. šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ?(CDIAL 12723) Rebus: guild master khāra, 'squirrel', rebus: khār खार् 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)*śrēṣṭrī1 ʻ clinger ʼ. [√śriṣ1] Phal. šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ? (CDIAL 12723) Rebus: śrēṣṭhin m. ʻ distinguished man ʼ AitBr., ʻ foreman of a guild ʼ, °nī -- f. ʻ his wife ʼ Hariv. [śrḗṣṭha -- ] Pa. seṭṭhin -- m. ʻ guild -- master ʼ, Dhp. śeṭhi, Pk. seṭṭhi -- , siṭṭhi -- m., °iṇī -- f.; S. seṭhi m. ʻ wholesale merchant ʼ; P. seṭh m. ʻ head of a guild, banker ʼ,seṭhaṇ°ṇī f.; Ku.gng. śēṭh ʻ rich man ʼ; N. seṭh ʻ banker ʼ; B. seṭh ʻ head of a guild, merchant ʼ; Or. seṭhi ʻ caste of washermen ʼ; Bhoj. Aw.lakh. sēṭhi ʻ merchant, banker ʼ, H. seṭh m., °ṭhan f.; G. śeṭhśeṭhiyɔ m. ʻ wholesale merchant, employer, master ʼ; M. śeṭh°ṭhīśeṭ°ṭī m. ʻ respectful term for banker or merchant ʼ; Si. siṭuhi° ʻ banker, nobleman ʼ H. Smith JA 1950, 208 (or < śiṣṭá -- 2?) (CDIAL 12726) I suggest that the šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ? is read rebus: śeṭhīśeṭī m. ʻ respectful term for banker or merchant ʼ (Marathi) or seṭṭhin -- m. ʻ guild -- master ʼ(Prakrtam)


    Eight anthropomorphs khār खार् 'blacksmith' seṭṭhin 'blacksmith guild-master' so depicted on the lid of the wooden box signifies that the person venerated was guild-master of eight metalsmithy mints of Sinauli, Baghpat.

    The horns of the anthropomorphs: Kannada. kōḍu horn, tusk, branch of a tree; kōr̤ horn.(DEDR 2200) rebus: kōḍ 'workshop'; thus, togethr with 'ficus glomerata', the headgear signifies :loh kōḍ 'metals workshoop'.

    Frames excerpted from the Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZOQKNqu0NE&t=70s (4:08) with an oral explanation provided by Sanjay Manju, the archaeologist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71jfGCi-e0k (14:39) News 24 Published on Jun 5, 2018

    यूपी के बागपत जिले में सिलोनी गांव वालों ने अचानक से जमीन उठने का दावा किया.और जब ऑर्कियोलॉजिकल सर्वे ऑफ इंडिया ने 2 फीट नीचे खुदाई की.तो पांच हजार साल पुरानी सभ्यता के सबूत मिले.शाही कब्रगाहे मिली और ताबूत में एक राजा की कब्र थी तांबे का रथ और ताबें के हथियार थे.

    Significance of artifacts found at Sinauli, Baghpat

    A decorated comb was found (with dotted circles). Another comb had a peacock signified.

    126 burials have been found.


    Bronze Age 'Chariots’ Found, Claims ASI



  • TNN
  • Publish Date: Jun 6 2018 12:03PM
  • |
  • Updated Date: Jun 6 2018 12:03PM
  • The excavation, which began in March, has also unearthed eight burial sites and several artefacts, including three coffins, antenna swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments, among others.The three chariots found in burial pits indicate the possibility of “royal burials” while other findings confirm the population of a warrior class here, officials said. The discovery of a chariot puts us on a par with other ancient civilizations, like Mesopotamia, Greece, etc. where chariots were extensively used. It seems a warrior class thrived in this region in the past,” said SK Manjul who is co-director of Excavations and ASI’s Institute of Archaeology in Delhi.

    https://toistudent.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/top-news/bronze-age-chariots-found-claims-asi/34474.html

    Annex I

    'ficus glomerata' (Sign327 Indus Script) as an Indus Script Hypertext

    Seal m0296 Two heads of young bulls, nine ficus leaves)


    m0296 Two heads of one-horned bulls with neck-rings, joined end to end (to a standard device with two rings coming out of the top part?), under a stylized pipal tree with nine leaves. Text 1387 
     dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'cast metal' dhAv 'string/strand' rebus: dhAv, dhAtu 'element, ore'.


    Mohenjo-daro Seal impression. m0296 Two heads of one-horned bulls with neck-rings, joined end to end (to a standard device with two rings coming out of the top part?), under a stylized tree-branch with nine leaves.

    खोंद [ khōnda ] n A hump (on the back): also a protuberance or an incurvation (of a wall, a hedge, a road). Rebus: खोदणें [ khōdaṇēṃ ] v c & i ( H) To dig. 2 To engrave. खोद खोदून विचारणें or -पुसणें To question minutely and searchingly, to probe.गोट [ gōṭa ] m (H) A metal wristlet. An ornament of women. 2 Encircling or investing. v घाल, दे. 3 An encampment or camp: also a division of a camp. 4 The hem or an appended border (of a garment).गोटा [ gōṭā ] m A roundish stone or pebble. 2 A marble (of stone, lac, wood &c.) 3 fig. A grain of rice in the ear. Ex. पावसानें भाताचे गोटे झडले. An overripe and rattling cocoanut: also such dry kernel detached from the shell. 5 A narrow fillet of brocade.गोटाळ [ gōṭāḷa ] a (गोटा) Abounding in pebbles--ground.गोटी [ gōṭī ] f (Dim. of गोटा) A roundish stone or pebble. 2 A marble. 3 A large lifting stone. Used in trials of strength among the Athletæ. 4 A stone in temples described at length under उचला 5 fig. A term for a round, fleshy, well-filled body.
    Rebus: गोटी [ gōṭī ] f (Dim. of गोटा A lump of silver: as obtained by melting down lace or fringe. 
    Hieroglyph: lo = nine (Santali); no = nine (B.)  on-patu = nine (Ta.)

    [Note the count of nine fig leaves on m0296] Rebus: loa = a species of fig tree, ficus glomerata,
    the fruit of ficus glomerata (Santali.lex.)
        Epigraph: 1387 
    kana, kanac =
    corner (Santali); Rebus: kan~cu
    = bronze (Te.)  Ligatured glyph. ara 'spoke' rebus: ara 'brass'. era, er-a = eraka =?nave; erako_lu = the iron axle of a carriage (Ka.M.); cf. irasu (Ka.lex.)[Note Sign 391 and its ligatures Signs 392 and 393 may connote a spoked-wheel,nave of the wheel through which the axle passes; cf. ara_, spoke]erka = ekke (Tbh.of arka) aka (Tbh. of arkacopper (metal);crystal (Ka.lex.) cf. eruvai = copper (Ta.lex.) eraka, er-aka = anymetal infusion (Ka.Tu.); erako molten cast (Tu.lex.) Rebus: eraka= copper (Ka.)eruvai =copper (Ta.); ere - a dark-red colour (Ka.)(DEDR 817). eraka, era, er-a= syn. erka, copper, weapons (Ka.)Vikalpa: ara, arā (RV.) = spokeof wheel  ஆரம்² āram , n. < āra. 1. Spokeof a wheel.See ஆரக்கால்ஆரஞ்சூழ்ந்தவயில்வாய்
    நேமியொடு (சிறுபாண்253). Rebus: ஆரம் brass; பித்தளை.(அகநி.) pittal is cognate with 'pewter'.
    kui = a slice, a bit, a small piece (Santali.lex.Bodding) Rebus: kuṭhi
    ‘iron smelter furnace’ (Santali) kuhī factory (A.)(CDIAL 3546)
    Thus, the sign sequence
    connotes a copper, bronze, brass smelter furnace
    Ayo ‘fish’; kaṇḍa‘arrow’; rebus: ayaskāṇḍa. The sign sequence is ayaskāṇḍa ‘a quantity of iron,excellent iron’ (Pāṇ.gaṇ) ayo, hako 'fish'; a~s = scales of fish (Santali); rebus:aya = iron (G.); ayah, ayas = metal (Skt.) kaṇḍa‘fire-altar’ (Santali) DEDR 191 Ta. ayirai,acarai, acalai loach, sandy colour, Cobitisthermalis; ayilai a kind of fish. Ma. ayala a fish,mackerel, scomber; aila, ayila a fish; ayira a kind ofsmall fish, loach.
    kole.l 'temple, smithy'(Ko.); kolme ‘smithy' (Ka.) kol ‘working in iron, blacksmith (Ta.); kollan-blacksmith (Ta.); kollan blacksmith, artificer (Ma.)(DEDR 2133)  kolme =furnace (Ka.)  kol = pan~calo_ha (five
    metals); kol metal (Ta.lex.) pan~caloha =  a metallic alloy containing five metals: copper, brass, tin, lead and iron (Skt.); an alternative list of five metals: gold, silver, copper, tin (lead), and iron (dhātu; Nānārtharatnākara. 82; Man:garāja’s Nighaṇṭu. 498)(Ka.) kol, kolhe, ‘the koles, an aboriginal tribe if iron smelters speaking a language akin to that of Santals’ (Santali)
    Zebu and leaves. In
    front of the standard device and the stylized tree of 9 leaves, are the black
    buck antelopes. Black paint on red ware of Kulli style. Mehi. Second-half of
    3rd millennium BCE. [After G.L. Possehl, 1986, Kulli: an exploration of an
    ancient civilization in South Asia
    , Centers of Civilization, I, Durham, NC:
    46, fig. 18 (Mehi II.4.5), based on Stein 1931: pl. 30. 
    poLa 'zebu' rebus; poLa 'magnetite'

    ayir = iron dust, any ore (Ma.) aduru = gan.iyindategadu karagade iruva aduru = ore taken from the mine and not subjected to
    melting in a furnace (Ka. Siddha_nti Subrahman.ya’ S’astri’s new interpretationof the Amarakos’a, Bangalore, Vicaradarpana Press, 1872, p. 330) DEDR 192  Ta.  ayil iron. Ma. ayir,ayiram any ore. Ka. aduru native
    metal.
     Tu. ajirdakarba very hard iron
    V326 (Orthographic variants of Sign 326) V327 (Orthographic variants of Sign 327)
    loa = a species of fig tree, ficus glomerata, the fruit of ficus
    glomerata
     (Santali.lex.) Vikalpa: kamaṛkom ‘ficus’ (Santali);
    rebus: kampaṭṭam ‘mint’ (Ta.) patra ‘leaf’ (Skt.); rebus: paṭṭarai
    ‘workshop’ (Ta.) Rebus: lo ‘iron’ (Assamese, Bengali); loa ‘iron’ (Gypsy) lauha = made of
    copper
     or iron (Gr.S'r.); metal, iron (Skt.); lo_haka_ra = coppersmith, ironsmith (Pali);lo_ha_ra = blacksmith (Pt.); lohal.a (Or.); lo_ha = metal, esp. copper or
    bronze
     (Pali); copper (VS.); loho, lo_ = metal, ore, iron (Si.) loha lut.i = iron utensils and implements (Santali.lex.) koṭiyum = a wooden circle put round the neck of an animal; koṭ = neck (G.lex.) kōṭu = horns (Ta.) kōḍiya, kōḍe = 
    young bull (G.) Rebus: koḍ  = place where artisans work (G.lex.)
    dol = likeness, picture, form (Santali) [e.g., two tigers, two bulls, duplicated signs] me~ṛhe~t iron; ispat m. = steel; dul m. = cast iron (Santali) [Thus, the paired glyph of one-horned heifers connotes (metal) casting (dul) workshop (koḍ)]

    PLUS

    śã̄gaḍ ʻchainʼ rebus: sanghāta 'vajra, metallic adamantine glue'. Thus, the metallurgist has achieved and documented the alloy of copper, as adamantine glue.

    The chain hieroglyph component is a semantic determinant of the stylized 'standard device' sã̄gaḍa, 'lathe, portable brazier' used for making, say, crucible steel. Hence the circle with dots or blobs/globules signifying ingots.

    Annex 2

    Digging up historyBAGHPAT:, JANUARY 14, 2015 00:00 IST 

    When labourers were digging farmland to collect clay for making bricks in Uttar Pradesh, they stumbled upon a habitation of late Harappan era

    When brick kiln workers stumbled upon human skeletal remains at Chandayan village, some 100 km from Delhi, no one had any inkling that it could be the first ever habitation from the later phase of Harappan civilisation to be found in the state. The early Harappan phase lasted from 3300 BC to 2600 BC, the mature phase from 2600 BC to 1900 BC and the late phase from 1900 BC to 1600 BC.
    “The artefacts came to light when labourers were digging farmland to collect clay for making bricks,” Superintending Archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India A K Pandey told PTI.
    “This is for the first time that a habitation of late Harappan era has been found in UP...though a burial ground was found in Sinauli in the past,” he said. “It was a chance discovery when some labourers found a skeleton with copper crown on his head while digging mud for bricks,” Pandey said. “The crown indicates that the skeleton was probably that of a local chieftain or village head. We have discovered terracotta pottery too. But these are crudely crafted and not of very fine quality,” Pandey said.
    The ASI then began extensive exploration of the site in the second half of last year in Baraut tehsil of Baghpat district on the plains of river Hindon, he said.PTI
    First observatory
    A group of scientists identified two circular structures at Dholavira in Kutch district of Gujarat, which they said was the first identification of a structure used for observational astronomy during the Harappan Civilisation. The discovery by M N Vahia from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Srikumar Menon from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning (Karnataka) is crucial, said scientists, as it was the first direct indication of intellectual capacity of people in the context of the civilisation and their relation to astronomy.
    It is highly implausible that such an intellectually advanced civilisation did not have any knowledge of positional astronomy. These (structures) would have been useful for calendrical (including time of the day, time of the night, seasons, years and possibly even longer periods) and navigational purposes apart from providing intellectual challenge to understanding the movement of the heavens.
    Vahia said Dholavira, assumed to be an island at that time, is almost exactly on the Tropic of Cancer and was an important centre of trade. "Hence, keeping track of time would be crucial to the city. So far, there had been no positive identification of any astronomy-related structure in any of the 1,500-odd sites of the Harappan Civilisation known today. The two structures identified by us seem to have celestial orientations inbuilt into their design. So, we have concluded that the two rooms in the structure were meant for observations of the sun," he said.
    He said the discovery will enable scientists to measure the intellectual growth of people of the Harappan Civilisation. It could give valuable insights on how the mentalities of the civilisation developed, in what ways they used the astronomical data to conduct business, farming and other activities.
    The scientists simulated, what is now left of the two rooms, for response to solar observations and have concluded that important days of the solar calendar could easily be identified by analysing the image inside the room.
    The simulations were conducted for summer and winter solstice. The study says the narrow beam of light from the entrances would also enhance the perception of the movement of the sun over a year.
    "The interplay of image and its surrounding structures seem to suggest that the structure is consistent with it being a solar observatory to mark time. The west-facing circle has two flanking walls outside the exit, whose shadow touches the entrance on winter and summer solstice. The two square well-like structures at the southern end would provide an excellent location to observe zenith transiting stars even in the presence of city lights," says the study.
    Image result for sinauli baghpat

    0 0


    The Indus Script continuum is vivid on Baghpat discoveries of artifacts.

    This monograph explains the significance of the horned figures shown as eight copper anthropomorphs in bas-relief on the top lid of the wooden coffin discovered in Baghpat.

    Thanks to Jijith Nadumuri Ravi for the following elucidation of the prastha suffix in the place name Baghpat: See: 

     https://tinyurl.com/y7aefz2h

    An explanatory note in Annex I details the significance of 'ficus glomerata' (Sign327 Indus Script) as an Indus Script Hypertext. The hypertext reads: lohkarṇīka 'metal (guild) helmsman (master)'. It may also signify lohkarṇī 'metal supercargo(a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.).'


    The top lid of the wooden box (referred to as kabragah, 'coffins or samādhisthal') has eight identical copper anthropomorphs in bas relief. I suggest that these are read as Indus Script hypertexts, composed of human faces with with a head gear (crown) composed of curved horns holding a pipal leaf in the middle.

    mũh 'a face' in Indus Script Cipher signifies mũh, muhã'ingot' or muhã 'quantity of metal produced at one time in a native smelting furnace.'.

    "Prasta seems to be a popular placename - suffix in the Kuru Rashtra region during the Kurukshetra War period. We have Indraprasta which is also known as Shakraprasta and Khandavaprasta. Then there are Paniprasta (Panipat), Yamaprasta, Bhagaprasta (Bhagpat), Svarnaprasta (Sonipat), Tilaprasta (Tilpat) and so on in this same region (Western UP + Eastern Haryana = Kuru Rastra). Then there is the prefix sthali/sthala in the place names like Vyasasthali (Bastali), Karnastali (Karnal), Vrkastali, Kushastali, Achyutastala and so on.  Other names in Kururastra  like Makandi, Pramanakoti, Vardhamana etc stand out as odd. We also have the most polular 'pura' / puri suffix for Hastinapura and 'vata' / vati suffix for Varanavata which is popular in the whole of Bharatavarsha.  (The 'puram' suffix is interestingly a placename suffix in southern India as well with its own meaning along with the akam/ aham suffix. The ahi in Ahichatra with the meaning associating it with the Nagas (ahi=naga=snake) is also interesting. Nag/naka in various regional languages have connotations of locality.) The names Indraprasta, Bhagaprastha (taken to be named after the Aditya Bhaga) as well as the tirthas dedicated for Varuna, Indra, Aryaman, Vishnu, Vivasvat etc along Sarasvati river passing through Krurukshetra, make this region heavuly associated with the Aditya devatas."

    The ancient name of Baghpat is likely to be Bhagaprastha. The word bhaga perhaps is cognate with bonga (Santali) as in sim bonga 'boundary divinity', sing bonga 'the sun'.

    It is indeed a stunner to see 8 anthropomorphs atop the lid of the wooden box discovered in Baghpat. They are emphatic blacksmith hieroglyphs as in Mesopotamia.

    British Museum number103225 Baked clay plaque showing a bull-man holding a post. 

    Old Babylonian 2000BC-1600BCE Length: 12.8 centimetres Width: 7 centimetres Barcelona 2002 cat.181, p.212 BM Return 1911 p. 66 

    On this terracotta plaque, the mace is a phonetic determinant of the bovine (bull) ligatured to the body of the person holding the mace. The person signified is: dhangar ‘blacksmith’ (Maithili) ḍhangra ‘bull’. Rebus: ḍhangar ‘blacksmith’.
    Mth. ṭhākur ʻ blacksmith ʼ (CDIAL 5488) N. ḍāṅro ʻ term of contempt for a blacksmith ʼ "... head and torso of a human but the horns, lower body and legs of a bull...Baked clay plaques like this were mass-produced using moulds in southern Mesopotamia from the second millennium BCE. British Museum. WCO2652Bull-manTerracotta plaque. Bull-man holding a post. Mesopotamia, ca. 2000-1600 BCE." 
    Terracotta. This plaque depicts a creature with the head and torso of a human but the horns, lower body and legs of a bull. Though similar figures are depicted earlier in Iran, they are first seen in Mesopotamian art around 2500 BC, most commonly on cylinder seals, and are associated with the sun-god Shamash. The bull-man was usually shown in profile, with a single visible horn projecting forward. However, here he is depicted in a less common form; his whole body above the waist, shown in frontal view, shows that he was intended to be double-horned. He may be supporting a divine emblem and thus acting as a protective deity.
    Old Babylonian, about 2000-1600 BCE From Mesopotamia Length: 12.8 cm Width: 7cm ME 103225 Room 56: Mesopotamia Briish Museum
    Baked clay plaques like this were mass-produced using moulds in southern Mesopotamia from the second millennium BCE. While many show informal scenes and reflect the private face of life, this example clearly has magical or religious significance.
    Hieroglyph carried on a flagpost by the blacksmith (bull ligatured man: Dhangar 'bull' Rebus: blacksmith') ḍhāla 'flagstaff' Rebus: ḍhāla 'large ingot'
    Note: Indus Script Corpora signifies bull as a hieroglyph: dhangar 'bull' rebus: dhangar 'blacksmith'
    Image result for dhangar bharatkalyan97Harappa prism tablet

    Field Symbol Figures 83 to 89

    Field Symbol codes 50 to 53:

    50. Personage wearing a diadem or tall head-dress Slanding between two posts or under an ornamental arch.
    51. Standing pe rsonage with horns and bovine features (hoofed legs an d/or tail).
    52. Standing personage with ho rns and bovine features. hold ing a bow in one hand and an arrow o r an un ce rtain
    object in the other.
    53. Standing pe rsonage with horns and bovine features holding a staff or mace on his shoulder.

    Stone seal. h179. National Museum, India. Carved seal. Scan 27418 Tongues of flame decorate the flaming pillar, further signified by two 'star' hieroglyphs on either side of the bottom of the flaming arch.

    The canopy is visually and semantically reinforced by a series of decorative canopies (pegs) topped by umbrella hieroglyph along the arch.

    The hypertexts are read rebus in Meluhha Bhāratīya sprachbund (speech union): 

    1. The adorned, horned person standing within the canopy:  karã̄ 'wristlets' khār 'blacksmith'  kūṭa, 'horn'kūṭa 'company'

    2. Headdress: kolmo 'rice plant' rebus: kolami 'smithy, forge'. Vikalpa: Vikalpa: kūtī = bunch of twigs (Skt.) Rebus: kuṭhi = furnace (Santali).Thus the standing person with twig headdress is a khār blacksmith working with khār smelter and furnace.

    3. Canopy:  M. mã̄ḍav m. ʻ pavilion for festivals ʼ, mã̄ḍvī f. ʻ small canopy over an idol ʼ(CDIAL 9734) rebus: 
    maṇḍā 'warehouse, workshop' (Konkani)  maṇḍī 'market' karã̄ n. pl.wristlets, banglesRebus: khār 'blacksmith, iron worker' (Kashmiri).कर्मार m. an artisan , mechanic , artificer; a blacksmith &c RV. x , 72 , 2 AV. iii , 5 , 6 VS. Mn. iv , 215 &c (Monier-Williams)  karmāˊra m. ʻ blacksmith ʼ RV. [EWA i 176 < stem *karmar -- ~ karman -- , but perh. with ODBL 668 ← Drav. cf. Tam. karumā ʻ smith, smelter ʼ whence meaning ʻ smith ʼ was transferred also to karmakāra -- ]Pa. kammāra -- m. ʻ worker in metal ʼ; Pk. kammāra -- , °aya -- m. ʻ blacksmith ʼ, A. kamār, B. kāmār; Or. kamāra ʻ blacksmith, caste of non -- Aryans, caste of fishermen ʼ; Mth. kamār ʻ blacksmith ʼ, Si. kam̆burā.*karmāraśālā -- .
    Addenda: karmāˊra -- : Md. kan̆buru ʻ blacksmith ʼ.(CDIAL 2898)

    4 Decoration on canopy: umbrella on pegs: Hieroglyph: canopy, umbrella: Ta. kuṭai umbrella, parasol, canopy. Ma. kuṭa umbrella. Ko. koṛ umbrella made of leaves (only in a proverb); keṛ umbrella. To. kwaṛ 
    id. Ka. koḍe id., parasol. Koḍ. koḍe umbrella. Tu. koḍè id. Te. goḍugu id., parasol. Kuwi (F.) gūṛgū, (S.) gudugu, (Su. P.) guṛgu umbrella (< Te.). / Cf. Skt. (lex.) utkūṭa- umbrella, parasol.Ta. kūṭāram(DEDR 1881) Rebus: kūṭa 'company' (Kannada)

    5. The canopy is flanked by a pair of stars: Hieroglyph:मेढा [ mēḍhā ] 'polar star' Rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meḍ 'iron' (Santali.Mu.Ho.) dula'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting' Thus, signifying a cast iron smelter.
    6. Text message on the obverse of the Harappa tablet h179:

    Signs 47, 48khāra 2 खार (= ) or khār 4 खार् (L.V. 96, K.Pr. 47, Śiv. 827) । द्वेषः m. (for 1, see khār 1 ), a thorn, prickle, spine (K.Pr. 47; Śiv. 827, 153)(Kashmiri) Rebus: khār  खार् 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)
    Sign 8 käti ʻwarrior' (Sinhalese)(CDIAL 3649). rebus:  khātī m. ʻ 'member of a caste of wheelwrights'ʼVikalpa: bhaa 'warrior' rebus: bhaa 'furnace'. bhāthī m. ʻ warrior ʼ bhaa 'warrior' Rebus: bhaTa 'furnace', thus reinforcing the smelting process in the fire-altars. Smelters might have used bhaThi 'bellows'. bhástrā f. ʻ leathern bag ʼ ŚBr., ʻ bellows ʼ (CDIAL 9424)
    Sign 342 karṇaka, kanka 'rim of jar' rebs: karṇī  'scribe, supercargo' कर्णिक m. a steersman(Monier-Williams)


    Ka.  kūṭa joining, connexion, assembly, crowd, heap, fellowship, sexual intercourse; ku·ṭï gathering, assembly. Tu. kūḍuni to join (tr.), unite, copulate, embrace, adopt; meet (intr.), assemble, gather, be mingled, be possible; kūḍisuni to add; kūḍāvuni, kūḍisāvuni to join, connect, collect, amass, mix; kūṭuni, kūṇṭuni to mix, mingle (tr.); kūḍa along with; kūḍigè joining, union, collection, assemblage, storing, mixing; kūṭaassembly, meeting, mixture. Te. kūḍu to meet (tr.), join, associate with, copulate with, add together; meet (intr.), join, agree, gather, collect, be proper; kūḍali, kūḍika joining, meeting, junction; kūḍa along with; kūḍaniwrong, improper; kūḍami impropriety; kūṭamu heap, assembly, conspiracy; kūṭuva, kūṭuvu heap, collection, army; kūṭami meeting, union, copulation; kūṭakamu addition, mixture; kūr(u)cu to join, unite, bring together, amass, collect; caus. kūrpincu; kūrpu joining, uniting. Kol. (Kin.) kūṛ pāv meeting of ways (pāv way, path). Pa. kūṛ er- to assemble. Go. (S.) kūṛ- to join; (Mu.) gūḍ- to assemble (Voc. 833); (M.) guṛnā to swarm (Voc. 1160). Konḍa kūṛ- (-it-) to join, meet, assemble, come together; kūṛp- to mix (cereals, etc.), join or put together, collect; kūṛaŋa together. Pe. kūṛā- (kūṛa ā-) to assemble. Kuwi (Su.) kūṛ- id.; (Isr.) kūṛa ā-to gather together (intr.); kūṛi ki- to collect (tr.); (S.) kūḍi kīnai to gather; kūṛcinai to collect. Kur. xōṇḍnā to bring together, collect into one place, gather, wrinkle (e.g. the nose), multiply in imagination; xōṇḍrnā to meet or come together, be brought into the company of.(DEDR 1882)


    Obverse: Pictorial motif

     khā'blacksmith' emerges out of the tree or flaming pillar (skambha) identified by the 'star' hieroglyph'. The wristlets he wears and headdress signify that he is khāworking with kuṭhi 'tree' Rebus: kuṭhi 'smelting furnace'. He is a smith engaged in smelting.

    Hieroglyph:मेढा [ mēḍhā ] 'polar star' Rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meḍ 'iron' (Santali.Mu.Ho.) dula'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting' Thus, signifying a cast iron smelter.
    Santali glosses.

    Hieroglyph: karã̄ n. pl. wristlets, bangles' rebus: khā'blacksmith'
    Hieroglyph: head-dress:  kūdī, kūṭī bunch of twigs (Sanskrit)  kuṭhi 'tree' Rebus: kuṭhi 'smelting furnace' (Santali) (Phonetic determinative of skambha, 'flaming pillar', rebus:kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage'). Skambha, flamiung pillar is the enquiry in Atharva veda Skambha Sukta (AV X.7,8)
    Scan 27419. 


    Reverse Text message:


    Hieroglyphs: backbone + four short strokes  

    Signs 47, 48: baraḍo = spine; backbone (Tulu) Rebus: baran, bharat ‘mixed alloys’ (5 copper, 4 zinc and 1 tin) (Punjabi) + gaṇḍa ‘four’ Rebus: kaṇḍ ‘fire-altar’. Thus, Sign 48 reads rebus: bharat kaṇḍ ‘fire-altar’, furnace for mixed alloy called bharat(copper, zinc, tin alloy), Pk. karaṁḍa -- m.n. ʻ bone shaped like a bamboo ʼ, karaṁḍuya -- n. ʻ backbone ʼ.( (CDIAL 2670) rebus: karaDa 'hard alloy'. Vikalpa: 


    Hieroglyph: khāra 2 खार (= ) or khār 4 खार् (L.V. 96, K.Pr. 47, Śiv. 827) । द्वेषः m. (for 1, see khār 1 ), a thorn, prickle, spine (K.Pr. 47; Śiv. 827, 153)(Kashmiri) Pk. karaṁḍa -- m.n. ʻ bone shaped like a bamboo ʼ, karaṁḍuya -- n. ʻ backbone ʼ.*kaṇṭa3 ʻ backbone, podex, penis ʼ. 2. *kaṇḍa -- . 3. *karaṇḍa -- 4. (Cf. *kāṭa -- 2, *ḍākka -- 2: poss. same as káṇṭa -- 1]1. Pa. piṭṭhi -- kaṇṭaka -- m. ʻ bone of the spine ʼ; Gy. eur. kanro m. ʻ penis ʼ (or < káṇṭaka -- ); Tir. mar -- kaṇḍḗ ʻ back (of the body) ʼ; S. kaṇḍo m. ʻ back ʼ, L. kaṇḍ f., kaṇḍā m. ʻ backbone ʼ, awāṇ. kaṇḍ°ḍī ʻ back ʼ; P. kaṇḍ f. ʻ back, pubes ʼ; WPah. bhal. kaṇṭ f. ʻ syphilis ʼ; N. kaṇḍo ʻ buttock, rump, anus ʼ, kaṇḍeulo ʻ small of the back ʼ; B. kã̄ṭ ʻ clitoris ʼ; Or. kaṇṭi ʻ handle of a plough ʼ; H. kã̄ṭā m. ʻ spine ʼ, G. kã̄ṭɔ m., M. kã̄ṭā m.; Si. äṭa -- kaṭuva ʻ bone ʼ, piṭa -- k° ʻ backbone ʼ.2. Pk. kaṁḍa -- m. ʻ backbone ʼ.(CDIAL 2670) కరాళము karāḷamu karāḷamu. [Skt.] n. The backbone. వెన్నెముక (Telugu) Rebus: khār  खार् 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)

    bhāthī m. ʻ warrior ʼ bhaTa 'warrior' Rebus: bhaTa 'furnace', thus reinforcing the smelting process in the fire-altars. Smelters might have used bhaThi 'bellows'. bhástrā f. ʻ leathern bag ʼ ŚBr., ʻ bellows ʼ Kāv., bhastrikā -- f. ʻ little bag ʼ Daś. [Despite EWA ii 489, not from a √bhas ʻ blow ʼ (existence of which is very doubtful). -- Basic meaning is ʻ skin bag ʼ (cf. bakura<-> ʻ bellows ʼ ~ bākurá -- dŕ̊ti -- ʻ goat's skin ʼ), der. from bastá -- m. ʻ goat ʼ RV. (cf.bastājina -- n. ʻ goat's skin ʼ MaitrS. = bāstaṁ carma Mn.); with bh -- (and unexpl. -- st -- ) in Pa. bhasta -- m. ʻ goat ʼ, bhastacamma -- n. ʻ goat's skin ʼ. Phonet. Pa. and all NIA. (except S. with a) may be < *bhāsta -- , cf. bāsta -- above (J. C. W.)]With unexpl. retention of -- st -- : Pa. bhastā -- f. ʻ bellows ʼ (cf. vāta -- puṇṇa -- bhasta -- camma -- n. ʻ goat's skin full ofwind ʼ), biḷāra -- bhastā -- f. ʻ catskin bag ʼ, bhasta -- n. ʻ leather sack (for flour) ʼ; K. khāra -- basta f. ʻ blacksmith's skin bellows ʼ; -- S. bathī f. ʻ quiver ʼ (< *bhathī); A. Or. bhāti ʻ bellows ʼ, Bi. bhāthī, (S of Ganges) bhã̄thī; OAw. bhāthā̆ ʻ quiver ʼ; H. bhāthā m. ʻ quiver ʼ, bhāthī f. ʻ bellows ʼ; G. bhāthɔ,bhātɔbhāthṛɔ m. ʻ quiver ʼ (whence bhāthī m. ʻ warrior ʼ); M. bhātā m. ʻ leathern bag, bellows, quiver ʼ, bhātaḍ n. ʻ bellows, quiver ʼ; <-> (X bhráṣṭra -- ?) N. bhã̄ṭi ʻ bellows ʼ, H. bhāṭhī f.Addenda: bhástrā -- : OA. bhāthi ʻ bellows ʼ .(CDIAL 9424) bhráṣṭra n. ʻ frying pan, gridiron ʼ MaitrS. [√bhrajj]
    Pk. bhaṭṭha -- m.n. ʻ gridiron ʼ; K. büṭhü f. ʻ level surface by kitchen fireplace on which vessels are put when taken off fire ʼ; S. baṭhu m. ʻ large pot in which grain is parched, large cooking fire ʼ, baṭhī f. ʻ distilling furnace ʼ; L. bhaṭṭh m. ʻ grain -- parcher's oven ʼ, bhaṭṭhī f. ʻ kiln, distillery ʼ, awāṇ. bhaṭh; P. bhaṭṭhm., °ṭhī f. ʻ furnace ʼ, bhaṭṭhā m. ʻ kiln ʼ; N. bhāṭi ʻ oven or vessel in which clothes are steamed for washing ʼ; A. bhaṭā ʻ brick -- or lime -- kiln ʼ; B. bhāṭi ʻ kiln ʼ; Or. bhāṭi ʻ brick -- kiln, distilling pot ʼ; Mth. bhaṭhībhaṭṭī ʻ brick -- kiln, furnace, still ʼ; Aw.lakh. bhāṭhā ʻ kiln ʼ; H. bhaṭṭhā m. ʻ kiln ʼ, bhaṭ f. ʻ kiln, oven, fireplace ʼ; M. bhaṭṭā m. ʻ pot of fire ʼ, bhaṭṭī f. ʻ forge ʼ. -- X bhástrā -- q.v.bhrāṣṭra -- ; *bhraṣṭrapūra -- , *bhraṣṭrāgāra -- .Addenda: bhráṣṭra -- : S.kcch. bhaṭṭhī keṇī ʻ distil (spirits) ʼ.*bhraṣṭrāgāra ʻ grain parching house ʼ. [bhráṣṭra -- , agāra -- ]P. bhaṭhiār°ālā m. ʻ grainparcher's shop ʼ.(CDIAL 9656, 9658)

    Hieroglyph: canopy: nau -- maṇḍḗ n. du. ʻ the two sets of poles rising from the thwarts or the two bamboo covers of a boat (?)(CDIAL 9737) maṇḍapa m.n. ʻ open temporary shed, pavilion ʼ Hariv., °pikā -- f. ʻ small pavilion, customs house ʼ Kād. 2. maṇṭapa -- m.n. lex. 3. *maṇḍhaka -- . [Variation of ṇḍ with ṇṭ supports supposition of non -- Aryan origin in Wackernagel AiGr ii 2, 212: see EWA ii 557. -- Prob. of same origin as maṭha -- 1 and maṇḍa -- 6 with which NIA. words largely collide in meaning and form]1. Pa. maṇḍapa -- m. ʻ temporary shed for festive occasions ʼ; Pk. maṁḍava -- m. ʻ temporary erection, booth covered with creepers ʼ, °viā -- f. ʻ small do. ʼ; Phal. maṇḍau m. ʻ wooden gallery outside a house ʼ; K. manḍav m. ʻ a kind of house found in forest villages ʼ; S. manahũ m. ʻ shed, thatched roof ʼ; Ku. mãṛyāmanyā ʻ resthouse ʼ; N. kāṭhmã̄ṛau ʻ the city of Kathmandu ʼ (kāṭh -- < kāṣṭhá -- ); Or. maṇḍuā̆ ʻ raised and shaded pavilion ʼ, paṭā -- maṇḍoi ʻ pavilion laid over with planks below roof ʼ, muṇḍoi°ḍei ʻ raised unroofed platform ʼ; Bi. mã̄ṛo ʻ roof of betel plantation ʼ, mãṛuāmaṛ°malwā ʻ lean -- to thatch against a wall ʼ, maṛaī ʻ watcher's shed on ground without platform ʼ;  karã̄ 'wristlets' khār 'blacksmith' kūṭa, 'horn' kūṭa 'company'ʼ, mã̄ḍvɔ m. ʻ booth ʼ, mã̄ḍvī f. ʻ slightly raised platform before door of a house, customs house ʼ, mã̄ḍaviyɔm. ʻ member of bride's party ʼ; M. mã̄ḍav m. ʻ pavilion for festivals ʼ, mã̄ḍvī f. ʻ small canopy over an idol ʼ; Si. maḍu -- va ʻ hut ʼ, maḍa ʻ open hall ʼ SigGr ii 452.2. Ko. māṁṭav ʻ open pavilion ʼ.3. H. mã̄ḍhāmāṛhāmãḍhā m. ʻ temporary shed, arbour ʼ (cf. OMarw. māḍhivo in 1); -- Ku. mã̄ṛā m.pl. ʻ shed, resthouse ʼ (or < maṇḍa -- 6?]*chāyāmaṇḍapa -- .Addenda: maṇḍapa -- : S.kcch. māṇḍhvo m. ʻ booth, canopy ʼ(CDIAL 9734)

    maṇḍa6 ʻ some sort of framework (?) ʼ. [In nau -- maṇḍḗ n. du. ʻ the two sets of poles rising from the thwarts or the two bamboo covers of a boat (?) ʼ ŚBr. (as illustrated in BPL p. 42); and in BHSk. and Pa. bōdhi -- maṇḍa -- n. perh. ʻ thatched cover ʼ rather than ʻ raised platform ʼ (BHS ii 402). If so, it may belong to maṇḍapá -- and maṭha -- ]
    Ku. mã̄ṛā m. pl. ʻ shed, resthouse ʼ (if not < *mã̄ṛhā < *maṇḍhaka -- s.v. maṇḍapá -- ).(CDIAL 9737)

    maṇḍa2 m. ʻ ornament ʼ lex. [√maṇḍ]Pk. maṁḍaya -- ʻ adorning ʼ; Ash. mōṇḍamōndamūnda NTS ii 266, mōṇə NTS vii 99 ʻ clothes ʼ; G. mã̄ḍ m. ʻ arrangement, disposition, vessels or pots for decoration ʼ, māṇ f. ʻ beautiful array of household vessels ʼ; M. mã̄ḍ m. ʻ array of instruments &c. ʼ; Si. maḍa -- ya ʻ adornment, ornament ʼ.(CDIAL 9736)maṇḍana n. ʻ adorning ʼ MBh., maṇḍaná -- adj. Pāṇ. [√maṇḍ]
    Pa. maṇḍana -- n., Pk. maṁḍaṇa -- n. and adj.; OMarw. māṁḍaṇa m. ʻ ornament ʼ; G. mã̄ḍaṇ n. ʻ decorating foreheads and cheeks of women on festive occasions ʼ. (CDIAL 9739) *maṇḍadhara ʻ ornament carrier ʼ. [maṇḍa -- 2, dhara -- ]N. maṛhermaṛer ʻ one who carries ornaments &c. in the marriage procession ʼ. (CDIAL 9738) maṇḍáyati ʻ adorns, decorates ʼ Hariv., máṇḍatē°ti Dhātup. [√maṇḍ]
    Pa. maṇḍēti ʻ adorns ʼ, Pk. maṁḍēi°ḍaï; Ash. mū˘ṇḍ -- , moṇ -- intr. ʻ to put on clothes, dress ʼ, muṇḍaāˊ -- tr. ʻ to dress ʼ; K. manḍun ʻ to adorn ʼ, H. maṇḍnā; OMarw. māṁḍaï ʻ writes ʼ; OG. māṁḍīiṁ 3 pl. pres. pass. ʻ are written ʼ, G. mã̄ḍvũ ʻ to arrange, dispose, begin ʼ, M. mã̄ḍṇẽ, Ko. mã̄ṇḍtā.(CDIAL 9741)

    Konḍa maṇḍi earthen pan, a covering dish. Pe. manḍi cooking pot. Kui manḍi brass bowl. Kuwi (S.)
     mandi basin; (Isr.) maṇḍi plate, bowl. Cf. 4682 Ta. maṇṭai(DEDR 4678)Ta. maṇṭai 
    mendicant's begging bowl, earthen vessel, head, skull, cranium, brain-pan, top portion as of palms, a standard of measure. Ma. maṇṭa skull; similar objects. Ko. maṇḍ head. To. maḍ id. 
    Ka. maṇḍe id.; (Hav.) maṇḍage a big jar. Koḍ. maṇḍe head. Tu. maṇḍè large earthen vessel, skull, head. Kor. (M.) maṇḍa, (O. T.) manḍe head. Cf. 4678 Konḍa maṇḍi. / Cf. Skt. (lex.maṇḍa- head. (DEDR 4682)

    Ta. maṇṭu (maṇṭi-) to blaze up, glow; maṭu (-pp-, -tt-) to kindle. Te. maṇḍu to burn, blaze, flame, cause or produce a burning pain, be angry, be in a fury or violent rage, be envious; maṇṭa flame, blaze, burning pain, anger, wrath, fury, envy; maṇḍincu to burn (tr.), inflame, provoke, irritate; maḍḍu great heat, redhot iron, brand; very hot; (K.) mrandu to be consumed by fire, burn. Kol. (Pat., p. 167) manḍeng to burn, scorch(intr.). Nk. manḍ- to burn (intr.). Go. (M.) maṛgānā to blaze; (Ma.) maṛg- to burn (intr.) (Voc. 2745); (Tr.) maṛūstānā to cook in oil (Voc. 2743); (ASu.) maṛū- (curry) to be charred. Kui mṛahpa (mṛaht-) to consume by fire, burn; n. destruction by fire.(DEDR 4680)

    Grain market: OAw. māṁḍa m. ʻ a kind of thin cake ʼ, lakh. maṇḍī ʻ grain market ʼ(CDIAL 9735) 

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    Published on May 5, 2018 

    BBC Documentary very vary rare on Swami Vivekananda

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwzDKKKOfcE&feature=youtu.be&t=45

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    The golden anthropomorph discovered in Sanauli in 2006-7 excavations, compares with four types of bronze anthropomorphs found in many parts of Sarasvati Civilization, including Lothal. 



     The gold anthropomorph dated to ca. 2000 BCE signifies a standing person with spread legs. This is an Indus Script hieroglyph read rebus:  कर्णक kárṇaka, कर्णकm. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3 Rebus:  कर्णिन््  karn-ín having ears; barbed; m. helmsman. कर्ण kárna â, î) -dhâra, m. helmsman; sailor: -tâ, f. helmsmanship (Monier-Williams) karṇadhāra m. ʻ helmsman ʼ Suśr. [kárṇa -- , dhāra -- 1] Pa. kaṇṇadhāra -- m. ʻ helmsman ʼ; Pk. kaṇṇahāra -- m. ʻ helmsman, sailor ʼ; H. kanahār m. ʻ helmsman, fisherman ʼ. (CDIAL 2826)

    See: Continuum of Indus Script (ca. 2000 BCE) on eight copper anthropomorphs discovered in Baghpat, signify wealth accounting metalwork ledgers https://tinyurl.com/y7f3k8q4 The hypertexts read rebus: dhangar 'bull' rebus: dhangar 'blacksmith'; lohkarṇīka 'metal (guild) helmsman (master)'. It may also signify lohkarṇī 'metal supercargo(a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.).' mũh 'a face' in Indus Script Cipher signifies mũh, muhã 'ingot' or muhã 'quantity of metal produced at one time in a native smelting furnace.'


    The gold anthropomorph of Sanauli, Baghpat compares with eight copper anthropomorphs proclaimed in bas-relief on the lid of a wooden coffin (a discovery reported in 2018 by the team of Sanjay Kumar Manjul).


    See: 



    All types of anthropomorphs are metalwork professional calling cards, dhamma samjñā responsibility signifiers to create the wealth of the nation, the commonwealth.

    Type I Anthropomorph: fish inscribed on chest of ram with curved horns, human body, spread legs


    Sheorajpur (Inv. No O.37a, State Museum of Lucknow. 

    ayo 'fish' mẽḍhā 'curved horn' meḍḍha 'ram' rebus: ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' karṇika 'spread legs' rebus: karṇika कर्णिक'steersman'.

    Thus, Type I anthropomorph signifies a steersman (of seafaring vessel), metals expert, metals merchant.


    Type II Anthropomorph. Seated position of Anthropomorph.


    Seated position if signifying penance, the rebus reading is: kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage.


    meḍh 'iron' mRdu 'iron' med 'copper' (Slavic) PLUS meḍh 'merchant' mēdhā 'expert' 

    PLUS kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage'. '


    Thus, Type II anthropormph signifies a copper/iron merchant with mint. Photograph of one of the 6 Madarpur anhropomorphs (After Fig. 1 in: R. Balasubramaniam, et al, 2002, Studies on ancient Indian OCP period copper, in: IJHS 37.1, pp. 1-15). http://www.dli.gov.in/rawdataupload/upload/insa/INSA_1/2000616d_1.pdf


    Type III Anthropomorph seated with upraised arm

    eraka 'upraised arm' rebus: eraka 'copper'.


    ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' 

    PLUS kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage'. 


    Type IV Anthropormorph standing inscribed with one-horned young bull and ligatured with head of a boar

    Type III anthropomorph with Indus Script hieroglyphs signifies a copper worker, metals merchant with mint  A composite copper anthropomorphic figure along with a copper sword was found by Dr. Sanjay Manjul, Director, Institute of Archaeology at the Central Antiquity Section, ASI, Purana Qila in 2005. This composite copper anthropomorph is a solitary example in the copper hoard depicting a Varaha'boar' head. The Anthropomorphic figure, its inscription and animal motif that it bears, illustrate the continuity between the Harappan and Early Historical period.


    Hieroglyph: mẽḍhā 'curved horn', miṇḍāl 'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep; mē̃ḍh 'ram' Rebus: Медь [Med'] (Russian, Slavic) 'copper'.


    मृदुमृदा--कर'iron, thunderbolt'  मृदु mṛdu 'a kind of iron' मृदु-कार्ष्णायसम्,-कृष्णायसम् soft-iron, lead.

    Santali glosses.

    Sa. <i>mE~R~hE~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mE~RhE~d</i>(M).

    Ma. <i>mErhE'd</i> `iron'.

    Mu. <i>mERE'd</i> `iron'.

      ~ <i>mE~R~E~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mENhEd</i>(M).

    Ho <i>meD</i> `iron'.

    Bj. <i>merhd</i>(Hunter) `iron'.

    KW <i>mENhEd</i>

    @(V168,M080)


    — Slavic glosses for 'copper'

    Мед [Med]Bulgarian

    Bakar Bosnian

    Медзь [medz']Belarusian

    Měď Czech

    Bakar Croatian

    KòperKashubian

    Бакар [Bakar]Macedonian

    Miedź Polish

    Медь [Med']Russian

    Meď Slovak

    BakerSlovenian

    Бакар [Bakar]Serbian

    Мідь [mid'] Ukrainian[unquote]

    Miedź, med' (Northern Slavic, Altaic) 'copper'.  


    One suggestion is that corruptions from the German "Schmied", "Geschmeide" = jewelry. Schmied, a smith (of tin, gold, silver, or other metal)(German) result in med ‘copper’.


    ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' 

    PLUS  karṇika 'spread legs' rebus: karṇika कर्णिक'steersman'.

    barāh, baḍhi 'boar' vāḍhī, bari, barea 'merchant' bārakaśa 'seafaring vessel'.

    eka-shingi 'one-masted' koḍiya ‘young bull’, koṭiya 'dhow', kũdār 'turner, brass-worker'.


    Thus, Type IV anthropomorph with Indus Script hieroglyphs signifies a steersman/helmsman, metals expert, metals turner (brass worker), metals merchant with a dhow, seafaring vessel.













    Sanauli Excavations – 2006-2007
    hdr_exc_sanauliSanauli, tehsil Barot, district Baghpat, U.P. is under excavation by the ASI since September 2005. The site was a chance discovery while locals undertook levelling operation for agricultural purposes. Subsequently, ASI identified the site as a prominent cemetery site of late Harappan period (early 2nd millennium B.C.).

    The excavations have so far brought to light 125 burials all in north-south orientation; most of them are primary burials. Evidence for secondary and multiple burials have also been noted. In some burials, animal’s bones are also found next to the human bones. The burial goods consisted of vases (often placed near the head, and in odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc.), bowls, dish-on-stand (mostly placed below the hip), antenna swords and sheath of copper, TC figurines, etc. A good number of personal jewellery in the form of gold and copper bangles, beads of semi-precious stones (two necklaces of long barrel shape) and steatite, etc. are also found. The antenna swords from these burials have a striking resemblance with that of the copper hoards specimens.

    Remains of a brick wall (50 X 50 X 24 cm) along with two dish-on-stands and a flat copper container (violin shaped) with nearly 35 arrow-head shaped copper objects placed in rows are among the important finds. Similar to the copper container, another symbolic burial yielded a careful arrangement of steatite beads in the shape of violin with a copper sheath placed across. These specimens may represent actual human beings. http://121.242.207.115/asi.nic.in/sanauli/
    undefined
    Skeletal remains of an individual with the upper body turned towards the left
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    Skeletal remains along with burial pots, second millennium BCE
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    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BCE
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    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BCE
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    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BC2
    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BC
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    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BC
    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BC1undefined
    General view of the excavated Burials, Sanauli, second millennium BC
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    Faience beads, second millennium BC02
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    Faience beads, second millennium BC
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    Faience bead, second millennium BC
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    Bone point, second millennium BC
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    Beads of semi-precious stones from various burials, second millennium BC
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    Association of an antenna sword and sheath of copper along with burial
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    Association of an antenna sword and sheath of copper along with burial 3
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    Association of an antenna sword and sheath of copper along with burial 1


    0 0

    https://tinyurl.com/y9mj2qkh 

    Sanauli gold & four types of bronze anthropomorphs of Sarasvati Civilization are professional calling cards, Indus Script metalwork dhamma samjñā responsibility signifiers https://tinyurl.com/y9uext8p




    The gold anthropomorph dated to ca. 2000 BCE discovered in Sanauli signifies a standing person with spread legs. This is an Indus Script hieroglyph read rebus:  कर्णक kárṇaka, कर्णकm. du.
    the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3 Rebus:  
    कर्णिन््  karn-ín having ears; barbed; m. helmsman. कर्ण kárna â, î) -dhâra, m. helmsman; sailor: -tâ, f. helmsmanship (Monier-Williams) karṇadhāra m. ʻ helmsman ʼ Suśr. [kárṇa -- , dhāra -- 1] Pa. kaṇṇadhāra -- m. ʻ helmsman ʼ; Pk. kaṇṇahāra -- m. ʻ helmsman, sailor ʼ; H. kanahār m. ʻ helmsman, fisherman ʼ. (CDIAL 2826)
    The gold anthropomorph of Sanauli, Baghpat compares with eight copper anthropomorphs proclaimed in bas-relief on the lid of a wooden coffin (a discovery reported in 2018 by the team of Sanjay Kumar Manjul).


    See: 

    Anthropomorphs four types on Indus Script signify metal-, mint-worker, seafaring merchant, karṇika 'supercargo, helmsman', koṭiya 'dhow' http://tinyurl.com/zgzv5e5

    Four types of anthropomorphs have been discovered so far from the Sarasvati-Ganga River Basins. 


    All types of anthropomorphs are metalwork professional calling cards, dhamma samjñā responsibility signifiers to create the wealth of the nation, the commonwealth.

    Type I Anthropomorph: fish inscribed on chest of ram with curved horns, human body, spread legs


    Sheorajpur (Inv. No O.37a, State Museum of Lucknow. 

    ayo 'fish' mẽḍhā 'curved horn' meḍḍha 'ram' rebus: ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' karṇika 'spread legs' rebus: karṇika कर्णिक 'steersman'.

    Thus, Type I anthropomorph signifies a steersman (of seafaring vessel), metals expert, metals merchant.


    Type II Anthropomorph. Seated position of Anthropomorph.


    Seated position if signifying penance, the rebus reading is: kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage.


    meḍh 'iron' mRdu 'iron' med 'copper' (Slavic) PLUS meḍh 'merchant' mēdhā 'expert' 

    PLUS kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage'. '


    Thus, Type II anthropormph signifies a copper/iron merchant with mint. Photograph of one of the 6 Madarpur anhropomorphs (After Fig. 1 in: R. Balasubramaniam, et al, 2002, Studies on ancient Indian OCP period copper, in: IJHS 37.1, pp. 1-15). http://www.dli.gov.in/rawdataupload/upload/insa/INSA_1/2000616d_1.pdf


    Type III Anthropomorph seated with upraised arm

    eraka 'upraised arm' rebus: eraka 'copper'.


    ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' 

    PLUS kamaDha 'penance' rebus: kammaTa 'mint, coiner, coinage'. 


    Type IV Anthropormorph standing inscribed with one-horned young bull and ligatured with head of a boar

    Type III anthropomorph with Indus Script hieroglyphs signifies a copper worker, metals merchant with mint  A composite copper anthropomorphic figure along with a copper sword was found by Dr. Sanjay Manjul, Director, Institute of Archaeology at the Central Antiquity Section, ASI, Purana Qila in 2005. This composite copper anthropomorph is a solitary example in the copper hoard depicting a Varaha'boar' head. The Anthropomorphic figure, its inscription and animal motif that it bears, illustrate the continuity between the Harappan and Early Historical period.


    Hieroglyph: mẽḍhā 'curved horn', miṇḍāl 'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep; mē̃ḍh 'ram' Rebus: Медь [Med'] (Russian, Slavic) 'copper'.


    मृदु, मृदा--कर 'iron, thunderbolt'  मृदु mṛdu 'a kind of iron' मृदु-कार्ष्णायसम्,-कृष्णायसम् soft-iron, lead.

    Santali glosses.

    Sa. <i>mE~R~hE~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mE~RhE~d</i>(M).

    Ma. <i>mErhE'd</i> `iron'.

    Mu. <i>mERE'd</i> `iron'.

      ~ <i>mE~R~E~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mENhEd</i>(M).

    Ho <i>meD</i> `iron'.

    Bj. <i>merhd</i>(Hunter) `iron'.

    KW <i>mENhEd</i>

    @(V168,M080)


    — Slavic glosses for 'copper'

    Мед [Med]Bulgarian

    Bakar Bosnian

    Медзь [medz']Belarusian

    Měď Czech

    Bakar Croatian

    KòperKashubian

    Бакар [Bakar]Macedonian

    Miedź Polish

    Медь [Med']Russian

    Meď Slovak

    BakerSlovenian

    Бакар [Bakar]Serbian

    Мідь [mid'] Ukrainian[unquote]

    Miedź, med' (Northern Slavic, Altaic) 'copper'.  


    One suggestion is that corruptions from the German "Schmied", "Geschmeide" = jewelry. Schmied, a smith (of tin, gold, silver, or other metal)(German) result in med ‘copper’.


    ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' 

    PLUS  karṇika 'spread legs' rebus: karṇika कर्णिक 'steersman'.

    barāh, baḍhi 'boar' vāḍhī, bari, barea 'merchant' bārakaśa 'seafaring vessel'.

    eka-shingi 'one-masted' koḍiya ‘young bull’, koṭiya 'dhow', kũdār 'turner, brass-worker'.


    Thus, Type IV anthropomorph with Indus Script hieroglyphs signifies a steersman/helmsman, metals expert, metals turner (brass worker), metals merchant with a dhow, seafaring vessel.

    Eight Copper anthropomorphs on lid of wooden box of Sanauli
    In Kisari Mohan Ganguly's English translation of Mahābhārata the word gaṇa is translated as 'aristocracy'. Such an aristocrat is signified in the Indus Script Hypertexts of Sinauli, Baghpat discovery of remarkable artifacts which included three chariots, apart from swords, shields and other armour. Clearly, the eminent person venerated at the site in a wooden coffin is an armourer who also controlled eight mint metal workshops.

    The top lid of the wooden box (referred to as kabragah, 'coffins or samādhisthal') has eight identical copper anthropomorphs in bas relief. I suggest that these are read as Indus Script hypertexts, composed of human faces with with a head gear (crown) composed of curved horns holding a pipal leaf in the middle.

    The rebus reading of Hypertext of copper anthropomorphs of Sanauli

    The hypertexts on the eight copper anthropomorphs signify: kampaṭṭa  ‘mint’ PLUS khār 'blacksmith' śrēṣṭhin 'guild-master'; lohkarṇīka 'metal (guild) helmsman (master)'. They may also signify each of the eight anthropomorphs as lohkarṇī 'metal supercargo(a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.) Thus, the guild-master led a gaṇa,  śreṇi of eight metalwork mints.

    The person (anthropomorph) is seated in penance. Hypertext decipherment: kamaḍha ‘penance’ (Pkt.) Rebus: kampaṭṭa  ‘mint’ (Ma.) 
    kamaṭa = portable furnace for melting precious metals (Te.)

    An explanatory note in Annex I details the significance of 'ficus glomerata' (Sign327 Indus Script) as an Indus Script Hypertext. The hypertext reads: lohkarṇīka 'metal (guild) helmsman (master)'. It may also signify lohkarṇī 'metal supercargo(a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.)'
    The horned crown (head gear) with a 'ficus' leaf in the middle PLUS perhaps a 'squirrel' hieroglyph signifies: khār 'blacksmith' śrēṣṭhin 'guild-master' 

    Hieroglyph: squirrel:  *śrēṣṭrī1 ʻ clinger ʼ. [√śriṣ1]Phal. šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ?(CDIAL 12723) Rebus: guild master khāra, 'squirrel', rebus: khār खार् 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)*śrēṣṭrī1 ʻ clinger ʼ. [√śriṣ1] Phal. šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ? (CDIAL 12723) Rebus: śrēṣṭhin m. ʻ distinguished man ʼ AitBr., ʻ foreman of a guild ʼ, °nī -- f. ʻ his wife ʼ Hariv. [śrḗṣṭha -- ] Pa. seṭṭhin -- m. ʻ guild -- master ʼ, Dhp. śeṭhi, Pk. seṭṭhi -- , siṭṭhi -- m., °iṇī -- f.; S. seṭhi m. ʻ wholesale merchant ʼ; P. seṭh m. ʻ head of a guild, banker ʼ,seṭhaṇ°ṇī f.; Ku.gng. śēṭh ʻ rich man ʼ; N. seṭh ʻ banker ʼ; B. seṭh ʻ head of a guild, merchant ʼ; Or. seṭhi ʻ caste of washermen ʼ; Bhoj. Aw.lakh. sēṭhi ʻ merchant, banker ʼ, H. seṭh m., °ṭhan f.; G. śeṭhśeṭhiyɔ m. ʻ wholesale merchant, employer, master ʼ; M. śeṭh°ṭhīśeṭ°ṭī m. ʻ respectful term for banker or merchant ʼ; Si. siṭuhi° ʻ banker, nobleman ʼ H. Smith JA 1950, 208 (or < śiṣṭá -- 2?) (CDIAL 12726) I suggest that the šē̃ṣṭrĭ̄ ʻ flying squirrel ʼ? is read rebus: śeṭhīśeṭī m. ʻ respectful term for banker or merchant ʼ (Marathi) or seṭṭhin -- m. ʻ guild -- master ʼ(Prakrtam)


    Eight anthropomorphs khār खार् 'blacksmith' seṭṭhin 'blacksmith guild-master' so depicted on the lid of the wooden box signifies that the person venerated was guild-master of eight metalsmithy mints of Sinauli, Baghpat.

    The horns of the anthropomorphs: Kannada. kōḍu horn, tusk, branch of a tree; kōr̤ horn.(DEDR 2200) rebus: kōḍ 'workshop'; thus, together with 'ficus glomerata', the headgear signifies :loh kōḍ 'metals workshoop'.

    taTTHAr 'buffalo horn' Rebus: taTTAr 'brass worker' 

    The horns signify hypertext for a bull. The bul-man hieroglyph-multiplex is thus an artisan working in metal and with smelters/furnaces. Mth. ṭhākur 
    ʻblacksmithʼ (CDIAL 5488) N. ḍāṅro ʻ term of contempt for a blacksmith ʼ S. ḍhaṅgaru m. ʻ lean emaciated beast ʼ ;  L. (Shahpur) ḍhag̠g̠ā ʻ small weak ox ʼ(CDIAL 5324) These words in the Proto-Prakritam lexis provide the rebus-metonymy renderings leading to bull-men orthography.

    On Pict-103, a decrepit woman with hanging breasts is ligatured to the hindpart of a bovine signifying a blacksmith. dhokra 'decrepit woman' Rebus: dhokra 'cire perdue metalcasting artisan'.

    Hieroglyph: eṛaka 'upraised arm' (Tamil); rebus: eraka = copper (Kannada) eraka 'molten cast' (Tulu) 'metal infusion' (Kannada)

    kuTi 'tree' Rebus: kuThi 'smelter'

    kamaDha 'archer' Rebus: kampaTTa 'mint'
    Hieroglyph: ḍhaṅgaru, ḍhiṅgaru m. ʻlean emaciated beastʼ(Sindhi) Rebus: dhangar ‘blacksmith’ (Maithili) 

    Hieroglyph: karava 'pot with narrow neck' karNaka 'rim of jar' Rebus: kharva 'nidhi, wealth, karba 'iron'; karNI 'supercargo' karNIka 'scribe'.




    Mohenjo-daro seal (2500-2000 BCE) showing a seated yogi with horns of a buffalo showing a twig (pipal branch?) growing out from between them. http://www.harappa.com/indus/33.html
    clip_image032Another example of a seal with curved horns + twigs + two stars.


    Here is a backgrounder to the discovery of a turbinella pyrum seal in Dwaraka by SR Rao.
    सांगडणें (p. 495sāṅgaḍaṇēṃ v c (सांगड) To link, join, or unite together (boats, fruits, animals);  सांगड (p. 495) sāṅgaḍa m f (संघट्ट S) A float composed of two canoes or boats bound together: also a link of two pompions &c. to swim or float by. 2 f A body formed of two or more (fruits, animals, men) linked or joined together. 

    An example of सांगड (p. 495sāṅgaḍa 'joined animals to form a body is a Dwaraka seal in turbinella pyrum.This seal has a bovine body with  attached heads of antelope, one-horned young bull and an ox. Each animal head is a hieroglyph. 


    barad, balad 'ox' rebus: bharata 'alloy of copper, pewter, tin'; 

    ranku 'antelope' or melh 'goat' rebus: ranku 'tin' milakku, mleccha 'copper'; 

    konda 'young bull' rebus konda 'engraver, sculptor'; खोंड (p. 216) [ khōṇḍa ] m A young bull, a bullcalf. Rebus: खोदणी (p. 216) [ khōdaṇī ] f (Verbal of खोदणें) Digging, engraving &c. 2 fig. An exacting of money by importunity. v लाव, मांड. 3 An instrument to scoop out and cut flowers and figures from paper. 4 A goldsmith's die.खोदणें (p. 216) [ khōdaṇēṃ ] v c & i ( H) To dig. 2 To engrave.खोदींव (p. 216) [ khōdīṃva ] p of खोदणें Dug. 2 Engraved, carved, sculptured. खोदणावळ (p. 216) [ khōdaṇāvaḷa ] f (खोदणें) The price or cost of sculpture or carving. Rebus: kō̃da -कोँद ।'kiln' (Kashmiri); kundana 'fine gold' (Kannada).

    Thus by the device of sāngaa'joined animal' rebus: sangara'trade' is signified in copper, tin and alloy metal of copper, pewter, tin.

    Similarly, other animal hieroglyphs signify other sangara, 'trade' categories.


    "It was the discovery of a seal (photo, right) that convinced Dr. Rao he had found Krishna's city. The seal is engraved with the images of a bull, a goat and a unicorn in an unmistakable style--a motif he says is no doubt of Indus origin and goes back to the 16th or 17th century bce. It is a small, flat artifact, no bigger than the palm of your hand, carved from a conch shell. This, Rao believes, is a seal of free pass: only those carrying it were allowed to enter the fabled city. "There is a reference in the Mahabharata, " he explains, "that when Dvaraka was attacked by king Shalva, Krishna was not there. Upon his return, Krishna takes certain measures to defend the city. One of them is described to be a mudra seal, an identity that every citizen of Dvaraka must carry. It was the duty of the gatekeepers to make sure that absolutely nobody without this seal would have entered the city. This gave us reliable evidence to identify these ruins, where we found the seal, as Krishna's Dvaraka. Finding this mudra was very exciting." Skeptics point out, however, that the discovery of a single seal, which could even have come from another area, is not irrefutable evidence of the city's identity." (Behold the Holy City Where Krishna Was Prince, Mark Hawthorne (March 2008)

    https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1585 



    0 0

    https://tinyurl.com/yc6up4dp


    Rotating left 45% and enlarging to 150%, the photo-shopped image of the Sanauli gold anthropomorph looks a little more life-like, as a dance-step of a person wearing a round hat. I suggest that the anthropomorph signifies 1. a goldsmith, working with metals (iron, copper). 2. ingots
    3. supercargo, helmsman

    I also present evidence of a metals manufactory guild in the shape of the hat signified on the Sanauli gold anthropomorph. It appears that the Lady of the Spiked Throne rides on a bull-boat/chariot which has cobra-hoods painted on the shoulders and thighs of the bull. This renders the hypertext: फडा phaā cobra hood’ rebus:  फडा phaā 'metals manufactory’.

    कर्णक 'spread legs' rebus: 'helmsman', karī 'supercargo, a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale'; meed 'iron' rebus: meh 'merchant' ayo 'fish' rebus: aya 'iron' ayas 'metal'; 2. कर्णक 'spread legs' rebus: 'helmsman', karī 'supercargo'  Indicative that the merchant is seafaring metalsmith. karadhāra m. ʻ helmsman ʼ Suśr. [kára -- , dhāra -- 1]Pa. kaṇṇadhāra -- m. ʻ helmsman ʼ; Pk. kaṇṇahāra -- m. ʻ helmsman, sailor ʼ; H. kanahār m. ʻ helmsman, fisherman ʼ.(CDIAL 2836).  

    me 'step, dance step' rebus: mẽṛhẽt, me 'iron' med 'copper' (Slavic). Thus, the entire bull-boat is a ride by metalworkers of a फडा phaā 'metals manufactory'.







    Sanauli gold & four types of bronze anthropomorphs of Sarasvati Civilization are professional calling cards, Indus Script metalwork dhamma samjñā responsibility signifiers 

    https://tinyurl.com/y9uext8p






    Since the round hat signified on the Sanauli gold anthropomorph is comparable to the round hats worn by 'smiths' of the bull-boat/chariot discussed by Massimo Vidale, I suggest that the Sanauli gold anthropomorph with a round hat signifies a smith in a फडा phaḍā 'metals manufactory’ (For discussion by Massimo Vidale, see: https://www.harappa.com/content/lady-spiked-throne 

    This monograph identifies the shape, form and message of Sanauli Gold anthropomorph.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
    The Meluhha rebus readings of hypertexts on the artifact with a characteristic dance-step and a round hat, suggest that the Sanauli gold anthropomorph is a  dhamma samjñā responsibility signifier of a helmsman/supercargo (with) an ingot metalsmithy. The characteristic shape of the hat points to a Zhob-type figurine. 
    Zhob (Pashto and Urdu: ژوب‎), formerly known as Fort Sandeman or Appozai, is a city and district capital of Zhob District in Balochistan province of Pakistan. It appears that the Sanauli gold anthropomorph belongs to a Balochi artificer. (cf. Baloch cognate Valacha Mleccha, Meluhha). "An earliest Sanskrit reference to the Baloch might be the Gwalior inscription of the Gurjara-Pratihara ruler Mihira Bhoja (r. 836–885), which says that the dynasty's founder Nagabhata I repelled a powerful army of Valacha Mlecchas, translated as "Baluch foreigners" by D. R. Bhandarkar. The army in question is that of the Umayyad Caliphate after the conquest of Sindh."(Bhandarkar, D. R. (1929). "Indian Studies No. I: Slow Progress of Islam Power in Ancient India". Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute10 (1/2): 30The identification of a (Baluch) Valacha Meluhha of Sarasvati Civilization explains the nature of the coffin burial discovered in Sanauli archaeological site. The most famous Indus Script uses a lexeme of Baluch (Brahui) dialect to signify the goat (antelope) held by Meluhhan merchant on Shu-Ilishu cylinder seal.


    The rollout of Shu-ilishu's Cylinder seal. Courtesy of the Department des Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre, Paris. The cuneiform text reads: Shu-Ilishu EME.BAL.ME.LUH.HA.KI (interpreter of Meluhha language). Apparently, the Meluhhan is the person carrying the antelope on his arms. Shu-ilishu cylinder seal narrates a trade transaction with a Meluhha speaker. Meluhha speaker (who carries a goat or antelope to signify his identity: melh,meka 'goat or antelope' rebus: milakkhu 'copper trader', cognate mleccha 'copper') accompanied by a lady who carries a ranku 'liquid measure' rebus: ranku 'tin'; thus, a trader in copper and tin. Ka. mēke she-goat;  the bleating of sheep or goats. Te. mē̃ka, mēka goat. Kol. me·ke id. Nk. mēke id. Pa. mēva, (S.) mēya she-goat. Ga. (Oll.) mēge, (S.) mēge goat. Go.(M) mekā, (Ko.) mēka id. ? Kur. mēxnā (mīxyas) to call, call after loudly, hail. Malt. méqe to bleat. [Te. mr̤ēka (so correct) is of unknown meaning. Br. mēḻẖ is without etymology; see MBE 1980a.] / Cf. Skt. (lex.) meka- goat. (DEDR 5087)

    The Shu-ilishu cylinder seal is a clear evidence of the Meluhhan merchants trading in copper and tin. The Meluhha merchant carries melh,meka 'goat or antelope' rebus: milakkhu 'copper and the lady accompanying the Meluhhan carries a ranku 'liquid measure' rebus: ranku 'tin'. 


     rotated left  

           


    This sign is shown on the chest of the anthropomorph. Sign 373 has the shape of oval or lozenge is the shape of a bun ingotmũhã̄ = the quantity of iron produced atone time in a native smelting furnace of the Kolhes; iron produced by the Kolhes and formed likea four-cornered piece a little pointed at each end; mūhā mẽṛhẽt = iron smelted by the Kolhes andformed into an equilateral lump a little pointed at each of four ends; kolhe tehen mẽṛhẽt komūhā akata = the Kolhes have to-day produced pig iron (Santali). Thus, Sign 373 signifies word, mũhã̄ 'bun ingot'. 


    The round hand compares with the hats worn on the Chariot of the Lady of the Spiked Throne dicussed by Massimo Vidale.

    https://tinyurl.com/y8me6tze 


    For a detailed discussion of the bull-shaped object (chariot or boat), see: https://cogniarchae.com/2016/08/02/the-lady-of-the-spiked-throne-decoding-the-symbols/

    On the shoulders and thighs of the bulls are representations of snakes – cobras with inflated hoods. It has been noted that cobra hood is an Indus Script hypertext:  फडा phaḍā 'cobrahood'  फडा phaḍā 'metals manufactory' phaṭā फटा(Samskrtam), phaḍā फडा 
    (Marathi), paṭam (Tamil. Malayalam), paḍaga (Telugu) have the same meaning: cobra hood. Rebus words/expressions which signify 'manufactory, metals workshop' are: bhaṭṭh m., °ṭhī f. ʻ furnaceʼ, paṭṭaṭai, paṭṭaṟai 'anvil, smithy, forge', paṭṭaḍe, paṭṭaḍi 'workshop'.




     

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    Alexander’s invasion of India is regarded as a huge Western victory against the disorganised East. But the largely Macedonian army may have suffered a fate worse than Napoleon in Russia. In Part 1 we discuss the stubborn Indian resistance to the invasion; Part 2 will examine whether it was Alexander or Porus who won the Battle of Hydaspes.
    In 326 BCE a formidable European army invaded India. Led by Alexander of Macedon it comprised battle hardened Macedonian soldiers, Greek cavalry, Balkan fighters and Persians allies. Estimates of the number of fighting men vary – from 41,000 according to Arrian to 120,000 as per the account of Quintus Curtius. (1)
    Their most memorable clash was at the Battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum) against Porus, the ruler of the Paurava kingdom of western Punjab. For more than 25 centuries it was believed that Alexander’s forces had defeated the Indians. Greek and Roman accounts say the Indians were bested by the superior courage and stature of the Macedonians.
    More than a thousand years after Alexander’s death, the myth-making reached absurd and fantastic proportions with the arrival of a new genre known as the Greek Alexander Romance (2), a fictional account of Alexander’s Asian campaigns composed of a conglomeration of the rumours surrounding his rule. The destruction of the Persian Empire and the defeat of the Indian kingdoms were the highlights that drove the popularity of the Alexander Romance in Europe. A version of this story was included in the Koran in which Alexander is called Dhulkarnain.
    During the colonial period, British historians latched on to the Alexander legend and described the campaign as the triumph of the organised West against the chaotic East. Although Alexander defeated only a few minor kingdoms in India’s northwest, in the view of many gleeful colonial writers the Greek conquest of India was complete.
    In reality much of the country was not even known to the Greeks. So handing victory to Alexander is like describing Hitler as the conqueror of Russia because the Germans advanced up to Stalingrad.

    Zhukov’s view of Alexander

    In 1957, while addressing the cadets of the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, the great Russian general Georgy Zhukov (3) said Alexander’s actions after the Battle of Hydaspes suggest he had suffered an outright defeat. In Zhukov’s view, Alexander had suffered a greater setback in India than Napoleon in Russia. Napoleon had invaded Russia with 600,000 troops; of these only 30,000 survived, and of that number fewer than 1,000 were able to return to duty.
    If Zhukov compared Alexander’s campaign in India to Napoleon’s disaster, the Macedonians and Greeks must have retreated in an equally ignominious fashion. The WW II commander would recognise a fleeing army if he saw one; he had chased the Germans over 2000 km from Stalingrad to Berlin.

    No easy victories

    Alexander’s troubles began as soon as he crossed the Indian border. He first faced resistance in the Kunar, Swat, Buner and Peshawar valleys where the Aspasians (Iranian Aspa, Sanskrit Asva = horse) and Assakenoi (Sanskrit Asvakas or Asmakas, perhaps a branch of, or allied to, the Aspasioi), challenged his advance. Although mere specks on the map by Indian standards, they did not lack in courage and refused to submit before Alexander’s killing machine.
    The Aspasians hold the distinction of being the first among the Indians to fight Alexander. The Roman historian Arrian writes in ‘The Anabasis of Alexander’ that with these people “the conflict was sharp, not only from the difficult nature of the ground, but also because the Indians were….by far the stoutest warriors in that neighbourhood”. (4)
    The intensity of the fighting can be measured from the fact that during the siege Alexander and his two of leading commanders were wounded. Alexander was hit by a dart which penetrated the breastplate into his shoulder. But the wound was only a slight one, for the breastplate prevented the dart from penetrating right through his shoulder.
    In the end the guile and superior numbers of Alexander’s army won the day. The Macedonians captured 40,000 men and 230,000 oxen, transporting the choicest among the latter to their country for use as draft animals.
    Alexander next attacked the hill state of Nysa, which probably occupied a site on the lower spurs and balleys of the Koh-i-Mor. It was governed by a body of aristocracy consisting of 300 members, Akouphis being their chief. The Nysaens readily submitted to the Macedonian king, and placed at his disposal a contingent of 300 cavalry. According to Rama Shankar Tripathi (5), the Nysaens claimed descent from Dionysius. “This gratified the vanity of Alexander, and he therefore allowed his weary troops to take rest and indulge in Bacchanalian revels for a few days with their alleged distant kinsmen.”

    Greek guile defeats Massaga

    Alexander’s next nemesis was the Assakenoi who offered stubborn resistance from their mountain strongholds of Massaga, Bazira and Ora. Realising the gravity of this new threat from than West, they raised an army of 20,000 cavalry and more than 30,000 infantry, besides 30 elephants.
    The fighting at Massaga was bloody and prolonged, and became a prelude to what awaited Alexander in India. On the first day after bitter fighting the Macedonians and Greeks were forced to retreat with heavy losses. Alexander himself was seriously wounded in the ankle. On the fourth day the king of Massaga was killed but the city refused to surrender. The command of the army went to his old mother, which brought the entire women of the area into the fighting.
    Realising that his plans to storm India were going down at its very gates, Alexander called for a truce. Typical of Indian kingdoms right through history, the Assakenoi agreed to their eternal regret. While 7,000 Indian soldiers were leaving the city as per the agreement, Alexander’s army launched a sudden and sneaky attack. Arrian writes: “Undaunted by this unexpected danger, the Indian mercenaries fought with great tenacity and “by their audacity and feats of valour made the conflict, in which they closed, hot work for the enemy”.
    When many of the Assakenoi had been killed, or were in the agony of deadly wounds, the women took up the arms of their fallen men and heroically defended the citadel along with the remaining male soldiers. After fighting desperately they were at last overpowered by superior numbers, and in the words of Diodoros “met a glorious death which they would have disdained to exchange for a life with dishonour”. (Hindu women like Rani Padmini, who preferred to jump into the fires of jauhar rather than become captives, can trace their tradition of self-sacrifice and valour to antiquity.)
    After the fall of Massaga, Alexander advanced further, and in the course of a few months’ hard fighting captured the important and strategic fortresses of Ora (where a similar slaughter followed), Bazira, Aornos, Peukelaotis (Sanskrit = Pushkaravati, modern Charsadda in the Yusufzai territory), Embolima and Dyrta. (Due to the peculiar Greek orthography most of these cities are now impossible to identify or decipher.)
    However, the fierce resistance put up by the Indian defenders had reduced the strength – and perhaps the confidence – of the until then all-conquering Macedonian army.

    Faceoff at the river

    In his entire conquering career Alexander’s hardest encounter was the Battle of Hydaspes, in which he faced king Porus of Paurava, a small but prosperous Indian kingdom on the river Jhelum. Porus is described in Greek accounts as standing seven feet tall.
    In May 326 BCE, the European and Paurava armies faced each other across the banks of the Jhelum. By all accounts it was an awe-inspiring spectacle. The 34,000 Macedonian infantry and 7000 Greek cavalry were bolstered by the Indian king Ambhi, who was Porus’s rival. Ambhi was the ruler of the neighbouring kingdom of Taxila and had offered to help Alexander on condition he would be given Porus’s kingdom.
    Facing this tumultuous force led by the genius of Alexander was the Paurava army of 20,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry and 200 war elephants. Being a comparatively small kingdom by Indian standards, Paurava couldn’t have maintained such a large standing army, so it’s likely many of its defenders were hastily armed civilians. Also, the Greeks habitually exaggerated enemy strength.
    According to Greek sources, for several days the armies eyeballed each other across the river. The Greek-Macedonian force after having lost several thousand soldiers fighting the Indian mountain cities, were terrified at the prospect of fighting the fierce Paurava army. They had heard about the havoc Indian war elephants created among enemy ranks. The modern equivalent of battle tanks, the elephants also scared the wits out of the horses in the Greek cavalry.
    Another terrible weapon in the Indians’ armoury was the two-meter bow. As tall as a man it could launch massive arrows able to transfix more than one enemy soldier.

    Indians strike

    The battle was savagely fought. As the volleys of heavy arrows from the long Indian bows scythed into the enemy’s formations, the first wave of war elephants waded into the Macedonian phalanx that was bristling with 17-feet long sarissas. Some of the animals got impaled in the process. Then a second wave of these mighty beasts rushed into the gap created by the first. The elephants either trampled the Macedonian soldiers or grabbed them by their trunks and presented them up for the mounted Indian soldiers to spear them to their deaths. It was a nightmarish scenario for the invaders. As the terrified Macedonians pushed back, the Indian infantry charged into the gap.
    In the first charge, by the Indians, Porus’s son wounded both Alexander and his favourite horse Bucephalus, the latter fatally, forcing Alexander to dismount. (6) This was a big deal. In battles outside India the elite Macedonian bodyguards had provided an iron shield around their king, yet at Hydaspes the Indian troops not only broke into Alexander’s inner cordon, they also killed Nicaea, one of his leading commanders.
    According to the Roman historian Marcus Justinus, Porus challenged Alexander, who charged him on horseback. In the ensuing duel, Alexander fell off his horse and was at the mercy of the Indian king’s spear. But Porus dithered for a second and Alexander’s bodyguards rushed in to save their king.
    Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer, says there seems to have been nothing wrong with Indian morale. Despite initial setbacks, when their vaunted chariots got stuck in the mud, Porus’s army “rallied and kept resisting the Macedonians with unsurpassable bravery”. (7)

    Macedonians: Shaken, not stirred

    The Greeks claim Porus’s army was eventually surrounded and defeated by Alexander’s superior battle tactics, but there are too many holes in that theory. It is acknowledged by Greek and Roman sources that the fierce and constant resistance put up by the Indian soldiers and ordinary people everywhere had shaken Alexander’s army to the core. They refused to move further east. Nothing Alexander could say or do would spur his men to continue eastward. The army was close to mutiny. These are not the signs of a victorious army, but a defeated group of soldiers would certainly behave in this manner.
    Says Plutarch: “The combat with Porus took the edge off the Macedonians’ courage, and stayed their further progress into India. For having found it hard enough to defeat an enemy who brought but 20,000 foot and 2000 horse into the field, they thought they had reason to oppose Alexander’s design of leading them on to pass the Ganges, on the further side of which was covered with multitudes of enemies.”
    The Greek historian says after the battle with the Pauravas, the badly bruised and rattled Macedonians panicked when they received information further from Punjab lay places “where the inhabitants were skilled in agriculture, where there were elephants in yet greater abundance and men were superior in stature and courage”.
    Indeed, on the other side of the Ganges was the mighty kingdom of Magadh, ruled by the wily Nandas, who commanded one of the most powerful and largest standing armies in the world. According to Plutarch, the courage of the Macedonians evaporated when they came to know the Nandas “were awaiting them with 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8000 war chariots and 6000 fighting elephants”. Undoubtedly, Alexander’s army would have walked into a slaughterhouse.
    Hundreds of kilometres from the Indian heartland, Alexander ordered a retreat to great jubilation among his soldiers.

    Partisans counterattack

    The celebrations were premature. On its way south towards the sea via Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, Alexander’s army was constantly harried by Indian partisans, republics and kingdoms.
    In a campaign at Sangala in Punjab, the Indian attack was so ferocious it completely destroyed the Greek cavalry, forcing Alexander to attack on foot.
    In the next battle, against the Malavs of Multan, he was felled by an Indian warrior whose arrow pierced the Macedonian’s breastplate and ribs. Says Military History magazine: “Although there was more fighting, Alexander’s wound put an end to any more personal exploits. Lung tissue never fully recovers, and the thick scarring in its place made every breath cut like a knife.”
    Alexander never recovered and died in Babylon (modern Iraq) at the age of 33.
    The Battle of Hydaspes was Alexander’s last major open-field battle. Everything else was a skirmish compared with it. The Macedonians and Greeks were not the same tough guys anymore; always on the retreat; constantly being harried by Indian kingdoms. If ever there was a defeated army, this one certainly behaved like one.
    (Part 2: The concluding part will analyse who really won the battle.)

    Sources

    1. Quintus Curtius, ‘History of the Wars of Alexander’, (Book XIII, 17)
    2. ‘Greek Alexander Romance’, https://www.britannica.com/art/Alexander-romance
    3. S. Rajaram, ‘Porus’s Defeat of Alexander at the Battle of Hydaspes’, https://voiceofindia.me/2016/10/05/porus-defeat-of-alexander-at-the-battle-of-hydaspes-jhelum-n-s-rajaram/
    4. Arrian the Nicomedian, ‘The Anabasis of Alexander’ (Book IV, 25), https://archive.org/stream/cu31924026460752/cu31924026460752_djvu.txt
    5. Rama Shankar Tripathi, ‘History of Ancient India’, p 118
    6. Arrian (Book 15, 14, 4)
    7. Plutarch, ‘The Life of Alexander’, http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alexander*/8.html
    Rakesh Krishnan Simha
    Rakesh is a journalist at New Zealand’s leading media house. He mostly writes on defence and foreign affairs.
    His articles have been quoted extensively by universities and in books on diplomacy, counter terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south; and by international defence journals.
    Rakesh’s work has been cited by leading think tanks and organisations that include the Naval Postgraduate School, California; US Army War College, Pennsylvania; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; State University of New Jersey; Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris; BBC Vietnam; Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk; Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi; Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia; International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia; and Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy, Berlin.
    His articles have been published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw; and the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.
    Comment:
    Excellent article, Rakesh Krishna Simha. A vivid testimony to the victory of Porus over Alexander is in a painting at Steel Authority of India Institute, Ranchi The painting shows Porus gifting to the departing Alexander a steel, ukku, urku, utsa (wootz) sword for which Bharatavarsha was famous the world over. Read on at A treatise on gaṇa who contribute wealth accounting ledgers of Indus Script Corpora of 8000 inscriptions, व्रातं व्रातं गणम् गणम् (RV 3.26.6) 
    https://tinyurl.com/yc9lhmd5

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    Svādhyāya: Studying our Holy Books -- Vishal Agarwal


    Indology | From 25-12-2017 to 31-05-2018 Vishal Agarwal

     


    The Hindu tradition lays great stress on the study of scriptures-svādhyāya. It is considered a religious duty for Hindus to study and recite their scriptures on a daily basis, if possible.


    The Hindu tradition lays great stress on the study of scriptures. It is considered a religious duty for Hindus to study and recite their scriptures on a daily basis, if possible. In particular, Hindu priests are required to recite their own designated group of scriptures (called ‘svādhyāya’) every day, and even multiple times every day because that is what grants them the status of priesthood.

    Shruti and Smriti are the two eyes of Brahmanas. He who is bereft of one is one eyed, and if bereft of both, is completely blind – thus it is said.” Vādhūla Smriti, verse 197

    Hindu scriptures assign five great daily duties for all householders, and the very first one of them is the Brahmayajna, or the daily study and recitation of scriptures, in particular, the Vedas.

    Lord Krishna enunciates the study of sacred scriptures as one of the 26 attributes of one who is endowed with divine wealth.

    “Absence of fear, Purity of heart and Mind, Steadfastness in the path of Spiritual Wisdom, Charity, Control over one’s senses, Performance of Vedic sacrifices, Study of Holy Scriptures, Austerity and Straightforwardness” Gita 16.1


    “Ahimsa, Truth, Absence of Anger, Renunciation, Peacefulness, Absence of Backbiting or Crookedness, Compassion towards all Creatures, Absence of Covetousness, Gentleness, Modesty (Decency), Absence of Fickleness (or immaturity).” Gita 16.2

     “Vigor and Energy, Forgiveness, Fortitude, Cleanliness (external and internal), and Absence of too much pride – These belong to the One who is born to achieve Divine Wealth, O Bhārata!” Gita 16.3

    Millions of Hindus recite ‘Om’, the Gayatri Mantra, the Purusha Sūkta (Rigveda 10.90), Stotras (hymns in praise of different deities), or sing devotional hymns, or study their holy books on a daily basis as an act of piety and to earn religious merit.

    During the convocation ceremony, the Vedic teacher, therefore exhorts his student to continue studying and teaching the scriptures everyday even after they have graduated and have left the school. The Upanishad says that while performing various religious duties and practicing virtues, we must at all times continue svādhyāya and pravachana (teaching to others).

    Righteousness, and study and teaching (are to be practiced). Truth (should be adhered to), and study and teaching (are to be practiced). Austerity, and study and teaching (are to be practiced). Control over senses, and study and teaching (are to be practiced). Control over the mind, and study and teaching (are to be practiced). The Vedic ceremonial fires (are to be kept lit), and learning and teaching (are to be practiced. The Agnihotra or Vedic twilight worship (is to be performed), and study and teaching (are to be practiced). The guests, scholars, and the needy (are to be served), and study and teaching (are to be practiced). Humans (should be served and interacted with appropriately), and study and learning (are to be practiced)…..Taittiriya Upanishad 1.9

    Hindu scriptures themselves equate the study of scriptures to acts of worship, and the fruit of studying and reciting scriptures is said to be considerable. They say: They studied the Riks and thereby offered milk to the Devas. The Devas then manifested. With the study of Yajus, the Rishis made the offerings of clarified butter; with Samans, made an offering of Soma; with the Atharva Angiras, the made the offering of honey. With the study of Brahmanas, Itihāsa, Nārāshaṃsī, Gāthā, Kalpa and Purāṇa, they offered animal fat to the Devas. When the Devas manifested, they destroyed hunger and other evils, and then returned to heaven. By means of this Brahmayajna, the Rishis attained proximity to the Supreme Being. (Taittirīya Ārayaka 2.9.2)

    If a twice born recites the Rigveda daily, he offers milk and honey (so to speak) to the Devas and honey and Ghee to his ancestors. If he studies the Yajurveda daily, he offers Ghee and water to the Devas, and Grains and honey to his ancestors. If he studies the Samaveda daily, he satisfies the Devas with Soma and Ghee, and satisfies his ancestors with honey and Ghee. If he studies the Atharvaveda daily, he offers butter to the Devas and honey and Ghee to the ancestors. He who studies the Vākovākya, Purāas, Nārashamsi (ballads), Gāthās, Itihāsas and different sciences offers meat, milk, honey and porridge to the ancestors. Satisfied with these offerings, the Devas and ancestors bestow desired fruits to the regular student of the scriptures. He who is ever devoted to the study of scriptures obtains the fruit of whatever yajna (Vedic religious ceremony) he performs, the fruit of donating the entire earth filled with treasures and food thrice, and obtains the fruit of performing numerous austerities. Yajnavalkya Smriti 1.41-48

    Chanting the Scriptures:

    This study of the sacred Hindu literature can occur in many ways –

    1.  Japa or chanting of ‘Om’ and selected passages (such as the Purusha Sūkta from the Rigveda), stotras (devotional hymns to various Deities) from holy books with attentiveness and reverence, and paying attention to the meaning and significance of the words recited. In most cases, the focus is on chanting as an act of devotion, without paying much attention to the meaning although the latter too is strongly recommended.

    2.  Svādhyāya: In ancient times (and to a limited extent even today), different families studied a specific set of scriptures from the entire corpus of Hindu sacred literature. For example, a family belonging to the Deshastha Brahmana community in Maharashtra (India) could chant a specific group of 10 scriptures related to the Rigveda (the Rigveda Samhitā, Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, Aitareya Āraṇyaka, Aitareya Upanishad, Āshvalāyana Shrauta Sūtra, Āshvalāyana Grhya Sūtra, Panini’s Așhtādhyāyī, Pingala’s Chhandasūtra, Yāska’s Nirukta and Kātyāyana’s Sarvānukramaṇī) during their lifelong study of scriptures. This same set of scriptures was studied by the members of the family as their primary focus generation after generation and constituted their traditional scriptural study or Svādhyāya. In this form of study too, the focus is on the recitation of the sacred texts, and not necessarily on their meaning.

    3.  Adhyayana or study of scriptures in general to imbibe their teachings, and reflect upon their meaning. There may or may not be any chanting involved. The student may study them privately, or under the guidance of a Guru.

    The three terms are however used interchangeably. For example, the word ‘adhyayana’ is often used to denote the corpus of texts that are recited during ‘Svādhyāya’. Likewise, Japa is also often used to denote svādhyāya.

    A lot of times, Hindus recite and study scriptures without reflecting upon their meaning. This method of reciting scriptural passages from memory mechanically as a ritualistic or a devotional act, without pondering over their meaning, is a good preliminary step towards studying them and acquiring familiarity with their contents. But we must not stop at that.

    Importance of Knowing the Meaning of our Scriptures:

    Hindu scriptures criticize those who merely chant the scriptures like parrots without trying to understanding their meaning. They say –

    He, who having learned the Veda does not know its meaning is like a pillar which merely carries a burden, because only he who knows the meaning attains the auspiciousness and the holy, having got rid of all his sins through wisdom (contained in the meaning of the words).Sage Yāska’s Nirukta 1.18; Rigveda’s Shānkhāyana Ārayaka 14.2


    An ignorant man has eyes to see but sees nothing, has ears to hear but hears nothing, has a tongue to speak but speaks nothing. The ignorant can never understand the hidden mysteries of knowledge. But it is to the learned alone that knowledge reveals its true nature, just as a woman longing to meet her husband, dresses in her best and puts on her finest jewelry, so as to display her charms to him. Rigveda 10.17.4


    Only he who knows (and not merely recites) the Vedic mantras knows the Deities because the Deity does not accept the ceremonial offering that is made without knowledge. Rishi Shaunaka’s Brihaddevatā 7.130,132

    Therefore, one must try to understand the meaning of scriptural passages too. But even and chanting and knowing the meaning of the scriptures is not sufficient. Hindu tradition states that the study of our holy books involves five activities:

    Fivefold is the practice of Vedas: First is learning it from a teacher, second is contemplation, third is their practice (acting per their teachings and performing the rituals taught by them), fourth is their recitation (Japa) and the fifth is teaching them to one’s own disciple. Daksha Smriti 2.31


    Knowledge is acquired and mastered in 4 steps – during the period of study, during the period of self-reflection on what is taught, during the period of teaching it to others, and while practicing it. Mahābhāshya of Patanjali

    In other words, the learning of the letter and the meaning of scriptures must be followed by self-reflection, teaching it to others, and application of the teachings in our daily lives. The daily study of scriptures, and the performance of our daily duties are closely inter-related, and they illuminate and reinforce each other.

    Benefits of Studying our Scriptures

    1.  Means of attaining all the goals of our Life

    Hindu Dharma states that every human being should have four aims in life: Artha (material possessions), Kāma (gratification of senses), Dharma (piety, performing one’s duty) and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths). These goals might seem mutually irreconcilable, but the scriptures provide ways and means and frameworks for our lives and the society so that all of them can be achieved in a harmonious manner.

    With the eyes of knowledge, a wise man should closely examine all the sources of Dharma, and then determine and practice that Dharma which is in accordance with the Vedas. Manusmriti 2.8Following the Dharma taught in the Shruti and the Smriti, one obtains great fame in this life, and attains a state of great happiness upon death. Manusmriti 2.9

    By Shruti is meant the Veda, and by Smriti is meant the Dharmashāstra. Dharma has originated from these two main sources, and therefore one should not find fault in them unnecessarily. Manusmriti 2.10

    The four varnas, the three worlds, the four ashramas, the past, present and future are all known well through the Vedas alone. Manusmriti 12.97

    The Vedas sustains all creatures and promotes their success/progress – therefore I consider the Vedas as the best means of attaining one’s goals. Manusmriti 12.99

    “… A young man working in Indian Army could not find any meaning in life and so contemplated suicide while sitting on a bench at Delhi Railway Station. But, suddenly he remembered that his sister was to get married shortly. So, he decided to postpone his suicide mission until the marriage or his sister. Next day, he went to a book shop to purchase newspaper when he came across a book by Swami Vivekananda which contained many inspiring thoughts like – ‘This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient. They alone live who live for others; the rest are more dead than alive.’ He made up his mind to live for others. Afterwards he took premature retirement from Army and received Rs. 65,000/ – as retirement benefits. He went to his village in Maharashtra and utilized this money to repair the village temple. With the temple as the focal point, he mobilized public opinion and stopped all liquor outlets in the village despite stiff resistance from the vested interests. He educated the villagers, both young and old, and started many economic projects. In a few years, his village was declared an ideal village by the Government. The Maharashtra Government then released grant for transforming some more villages. The name of the village is Ralegaon Siddhi and the person’s name is Anna Hazare. He was awarded Padmasri and then Padma Bhushan for his work. Just a small book by Swami Vivekananda gave a new direction in Anna Hazare’s life.”[1]

    2.          Golden Standard for judging Good from Evil

    Scriptures, and especially the Vedas, are the yardstick by which we measure the morality of our actions and judge whether we are right or wrong.

    With the eyes of knowledge, a wise man should closely examine all the sources of Dharma, and then determine and practice that Dharma which is in accordance with the Vedas. Manusmriti 2.8By Shruti is meant the Veda, and by Smriti is meant the Dharmashāstra. Dharma has originated from these two main sources, and therefore one should not find fault in them unnecessarily. Manusmriti 2.10

    In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna censures those persons who act without regard to scriptural directives:

    He who, having cast aside the commandments of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains neither spiritual powers, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal. Gita 16.23
    Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority, in determining what should be done and what should not be done. You should perform your actions in this life only after knowing what is said in the commandments of the scripture. Gita 16.24

    When we read our scriptures, we learn how we can live a virtuous life and why doing evil does not benefit us in the long run.

    3.          Provide Supra-sensuous Answers to difficult Questions about Life and Universe

    Hindu Dharma seeks to address core questions related to our being – Who are we? What are we here for? Where do we go? What happens when we die? And so on. The answers to these questions are supra-sensuous, and cannot be determined through logical reasoning, or scientific experimentation. Hindus believe that our Holy books contain the wisdom of spiritually enlightened Rishis, Saints and Sages who had realized and understood these supra-sensuous or paranormal truths and therefore a study of these scriptures can help us answer our fundamental questions and doubts. In fact, Hindu schools of philosophy maintain that scriptures are the only perfect means of finding the true nature of Dharma and God because their true nature cannot be ascertained beyond doubt through other means such as perception by senses, or by logical inferences.

    The Vedas are the eternal eye of the ancestors, devas and humans. Vedic teaching is beyond perception by senses and beyond logic – this is the established rule. Manusmriti 12.94Sense perception results when a person’s senses come into contact with an object that is present and can be perceived. But perception cannot be a means for knowing eternal Dharma because it is not a material object that can be perceived. On the contrary, the Vedas are an independent and infallible means of knowing imperceptible Dharma, and the relationship between the letters and meaning of Vedas is eternal – so says Bādarāyaṇa. Jaimini’s Pūrva Mimāmsā Sūtras 1.1.4-5

    Brahman (Supreme Being) is not known from perception by senses or by logical inferences because he can be understood only through scriptures. Vedānta Sūtra 1.1.3

    4.          Collected Wisdom of Several Millennia

    We can all eventually learn the principles of Physics, Chemistry etc. on our own if we spend ages trying to observe things first hand without the benefit of using any texts on these subjects or study under any teacher. But no one wastes time and energy in learning first hand through endless experimentation when one can conveniently learn from reliable books. Likewise, Hindus should consult and study the scriptures that contain collected wisdom on Dharma and Moksha instead of trying to figure it out again, and re-invent the wheel.

    5.          Substitute for other Dharmic Practices

    Certain acts of Dharma such as charity, construction of temples, rituals and so on require wealth. So what should a poor person do? Hindu scriptures state that a person who is unable of performing rituals should still not abandon practices such as study and recitation of the Vedas.

    Even if a Brahmana stops performing Vedic rituals, he should nevertheless exert to study the Vedas, acquire spiritual wisdom and control his senses. Manusmriti 12.92

    6.          Save us from Sins

    Reflection upon and recitation of specific hymns from holy books helps us in reducing the burdens of our sins.

    Regular study and recitation of scriptures, performance of the five great daily duties and forgiving others – these save a person from the greatest sins. Manusmriti 11.245

    By studying the Rigveda, Yajurveda and Sāmaveda together with their Brāhmaṇas and Upanishads three times with a focused mind, one becomes free from all sins. Manusmriti 11.262

    Good deeds to not necessarily cancel the results (or fruit) of bad deeds, and therefore, one must reap their fruits independently. However, there are a few good deeds that are exceptions and can cancel the results of bad deeds. Scriptural study is one of these exceptional good deeds.

    Story: Ekanath’s son-in-law overcomes his bad habits with the help of Bhagavad Gita

    Svādhyāya Sant Eknath Bhagavad Gita.jpgSant Eknath was a renowned saint of Maharashtra. He married his daughter to a famous scholar (Pandit) of the region. Unfortunately, this scholar fell into bad company. He started going out of his home late in the night, leaving his wife alone. Eknath’s daughter became very worried about her husband’s behavior and she spoke to her father about it.

    Eknath then called his son in law and said, “Look here my son in law. You are a learned man, but my daughter is not. Do her a favor. Before you leave your home every night, please read to her a verse or two of the Bhagavad Gita. This will benefit her greatly. Then, you can go out wherever you please.” The Pandit agreed. So every night before he stepped out, he would read a couple of verses of the Bhagavad Gita to his wife, and explain the meaning to her. Slowly and slowly, the Pandit realized how beautiful the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita were. They started having an influence on how own mind. After some time, with the effect of the Gita, the Pandit stopped going out at the night. He had not intended to study the Gita for his own benefit. But nevertheless, the study of the holy book for the sake of his wife impacted him too in a positive way, and he became a virtuous man.

    A traditional story is narrated from the times of the virtuous and scholarly king Raja Bhoja, who ruled central India in the 11th century CE. In his kingdom, there lived a virtuous Brahmana who was very learned in Hindu scriptures, but was very poor. The Brahmana was too proud to beg for food. But one day, he was so overcome by the hardships of poverty that he decided to rob Raja Bhoja’s palace.

    He somehow entered the palace on a dark night, and reached the chamber in which the King was sleeping with his queen. Expensive jewels, gold jewelry and other costly items were scattered all across the room. The Brahmana could have stolen some of them, but just at that moment, he recalled the teachings of scriptures that one must not steal. Heeding the teaching, he refrained from the evil act. But now, he was realized that the sun was rising on the horizon and darkness was vanishing rapidly. There was no way he could free from the palace in daylight. Scared, he quickly hid under the bed of the King.

    Soon thereafter royal attendants arrived to awaken the King and the Queen with song and music. The King got out of the bed in a good mood, and said three quarters of a verse that praised the joys and pleasures of his life.

    When the Brahmana heard these words, he could not restrain himself and uttered the fourth quarter of the verse, “But none of these remain when the eyes are shut.”

    Startled the King bent down and saw him. His guards rushed to arrest the Brahmana. The King asked him the reason for his hiding. The Brahmana narrated how he wanted to rob the palace but that he recalled the words of shāstras at that very moment and therefore stopped himself. The King was pleased to hear the truthful Brahmana and said, “Since you have practiced the teachings of our scriptures, I will not let you go away empty handed. You certainly seem to be a scholar because you completed my verse. And I value scholarship and give gifts to poets in my kingdom.” Saying this, Raja Bhoja ordered that the Brahmana be sent away with costly presents.[2]

    7.          Help us in knowing the truth about our multiple Lives

    Hindus also believe that an intensive study of scriptures assists in recollection of our past lives. And when we learn about our former existences in different forms, we get less attached to this material world, and become inclined towards the path of spirituality, eventually resulting in Moksha.

    Through constant study of the Vedas, austerities, purity (of mind and body) and absence of any hatred towards other creatures, a person comes to recollect his former lives. Recollecting one’s previous lives, such a person then becomes devoted to Brahman, and as a result, he attains the blissful state of Moksha. Manusmriti 4.148-149

    When we remember our previous lives, we see the futility and the triviality of our current life in the larger scheme of things. And therefore, we start getting drawn towards the more real, and permanent entities, such as our soul, which survives multiple bodies; and God, who transcends the entire creation in space and time.

    8.          Provide a Starting Point for one’s Spiritual Journey

    Reading scriptures is one of the means by which we can purify our bodies and minds, and make it a fit receptacle for spiritual enlightenment.

    Practice of Tapas (austerity and forbearance), svādhyāya and Ishvara-prāṇidhāna (resigning oneself to God’s will, and offering him the fruits of all of one’s actions) are recommended as a starting point for those who desire to progress along the path of Yoga, but whose mind is unsteady…. svādhyāya means recitation of ‘Om’ and other sacred purifying scriptural statements, and study of spiritual scriptures.Patanjali’s Yogasūtra 2.1 and Vyāsa’s commentary on it (paraphrased)

    Through recitation of scriptures, performance of religious vows (vrata), performance of homa (daily Vedic ritual), study of the Vedas, daily offerings, birth of children, five great daily sacrifices and Vedic sacrifices, one’s body becomes Divine and holy. Manusmriti 2.28

    Practice of Dharma does not necessarily have to involve grand and great deeds. One can do great deeds in a small way every day, and this is the basis of the performance of the five great daily sacrifices. Studying a portion of the scriptures every day is one of these five great daily sacrifices.

    9.          Assist Practice of Spiritual Disciplines such as Yoga

    Study of scriptures has a synergistic relationship with the practice of Yoga and aids in attainment of Moksha-

    The mind of the Yogi who constantly repeats ‘Om’, and reflects on its meaning and significance simultaneously becomes very focused and attentive. And so it has been said- “Let the Yoga be practiced through svādhyāya and let svādhyāya be facilitated through the practice of Yoga. By practicing Yoga and svādhyāya together, the Supreme Ātman (God) shines (in the heart of the Yogi).”Vyāsa’s commentary on Patanjali’s Yogasūtra 1.28

     Rishis, Brahmanas and householders can enhance their wisdom and austerity, as well as purify their body by studying the Vedas and the Upanishads. Manusmriti 6.30 

    Study of the Vedas, austerity, spiritual enlightenment, control over one’s senses, service towards one’s Guru and Ahimsa, these six lead to the greatest good (Moksha). Manusmriti 12.83

    10.       Result in Spiritual Visions, help in Divine Interventions

    Study of Scriptures is indeed known to be productive of good results. It gives one the peace of mind, and leads to a direct vision of the Devas.

    The Devas, Rishis and Siddhas (spiritual masters) become visible to who is given to svādhyāya, and they assist him in his tasks.

    Vyāsa’s commentary on Patanjali’s Yogasūtra 2.44

    Therefore, a regular study of scriptures accelerates our spiritual growth.

    11.       Beneficial effect on Minds and Body

    The very act of recitation of Vedic scriptures is said to have a beneficial effect on our minds due to the combination of the sounds involved, and their soothing teachings. Study of scriptures gives peace to one’s mind and directs us towards the path of virtue and happiness.

    He who studies all the Vedas is freed of all sorrows before long. He who practices purifying Dharma is worshipped in Heaven. Brihaspati Smriti 79

    Therefore, in times of great sorrow (such as the death of a family member); it is a common Hindu practice to organize a public recitation and sermon of Hindu scriptures.

    12.       Means for Worshipping Rishis and Repaying our Debt to them

    Hindu scriptures are a sacred inheritance of all human beings. They are the wisdom of the Rishis and have been passed on from generation to generation to our present times by a devoted and continuous string of teachers and students. Therefore it is our duty to continue the tradition of their study and teaching. Many saints and sages have recommended the study of scriptures and Hindus should feel obliged to follow their advice.

    Hindu scriptures say that we are all born with a triple debt – the debt towards Devas, debt towards the Rishis and debt towards our elders. The debt towards Rishis is repaid only by reading the scriptures. Therefore, Hindu scriptures state that study and recitation of Vedas is a form of worshipping the Rishis themselves.

    Do not neglect the study and teaching of scriptures. Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11.1

    And for in as much as a person is bound to study the Veda, for that reason he is born with a debt owed to the Rishis. Therefore, he studies the Vedas to repay that debt, and one who has studies the Vedas is called the guardian of the treasure of Rishis. Shukla Yajurveda’s Mādhyandina Shatapatha Brāhmaṇa 1.7.2.3

    Rishis are worshipped through svādhyāya. Manusmriti 3.81

    13.       Pleasing to the Lord

    Hindu scriptures also state that recitation of the Vedas and other scriptures are pleasing to Lord Vishnu and other Deities, due to which their devotees should do the same regularly.

    Story: Ravana chants the Samaveda to get his Freedom

    When the arrogant Ravana tried to uproot and lift Mount Kailash (the abode of Shiva) in his hands, Shiva taught him a lesson by pressing the mountain with a toe and crushing Ravana below it. Ravana was trapped, and was not able to extricate himself out of the mountain. The Rishis advised him to chant the Samaveda, as Bhagavān Shiva loved to hear its chanting.

    Ravana followed their advice and started chanting Mantras from the Samaveda. Soon, Shiva was pleased and He released Ravana from the mountain. Shiva also granted him a boon.

    14.       Teaching of Scriptures to Others earns Religious Merit

    We should study our scriptures so that we can teach them to others. Teaching scriptures to others is an act of charity or gift, and in fact this gift is more exalted than many other forms of charity:

    The gift of Vedic learning is the best of all gifts because the Vedas are the repository of all Dharma. The donor of Vedas dwells in Brahmaloka (the Supreme Abode) forever. Yājñavalkya Smriti 1.212

    15.       Non Religious Reasons for Studying Hindu Scriptures

    It is fruitful to study Hindu scriptures for several other reasons:

    §  The doctrines and logic of Pūrva Mimāmsā related scriptures are the basis of the Hindu personal law in India. Likewise, a study of the Nyāya Sūtras and other associated scriptures is beneficial for acquiring skills of logic and debating.

    §  Hindu scriptures are amongst the oldest surviving and living religions traditions in the world. As such, a study of these texts is essential for understanding our past, and the development of religious ideas of the entire humanity as a whole.

    §  Hindu scriptures can also be studied to gain insights into historical linguistics, history, and ancient mathematics, music, grammar etc.

    §  Several Hindu scriptures are a delight to study from the perspective of appreciating good poetry.

    §  There is an astonishing amount of information on medicine, statecraft etc., in Hindu scriptures and scholars are still unraveling bits of this knowledge.

    John Hanning Speke, who discovered the source of the Nile river in Lake Victoria in 1862 CE, wrote “The Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile” a year later. In his Journal, the British explorer claims that he discovered the location of the source of the river in descriptions of the region in the Skanda Purāa, a Hindu scripture!

    References

    [1] Swami Nikhileshwarananda (2015), pp. 17-18

    [2] Chaitanya and Chakra, pp. 662-663

    Featured Image: Wikipedia


    Svadhaya 3
    In this part we discuss the relative importance of scriptures vis-à-vis Dharma and Moksha.

    Scriptures and Dharma- Their Relative Importance

    With all the benefits of studying scriptures, it must be clarified that even the study and recitation of scriptures is no substitute for good conduct and pious living. One cannot wash his hands off goodness and perform evil actions thinking that his scriptural learning will save him.

    The Vedas cannot help a man who does not have a virtuous conduct, even though he may have studied them together with the six Vedāngas. At the time of his death, the Vedas abandon such a man, just as birdlings fly out of their nest when they become adults.

    Indeed, all the Vedas together with the Vedāngas and the Yajnas, can bring no joy to a man devoid of good conduct, just as a blind husband derives no joy on seeing his beautiful wife. Vasishtha Smriti 6.3-4

    A Brahmana whose conduct is evil does not reap the fruit of Vedic study. Conversely, a Brahmana who shows appropriate conduct reaps the entire fruit of his Vedic study. Manusmriti 1.109

    Study of scriptures is only one of the virtues of acts of Dharma. Dharma is much more than studying scriptures. They who are masters of scriptural learning but are evil in their conduct have merely wasted their time in studying the holy books. Therefore, scriptures are a means to knowing the difference between Dharma and Adharma, and not a substitute for practicing Dharma.

    Scriptures and Moksha (The Final Goal) – Their Relative Importance

    Hinduism also does not consider study of scriptures as the final goal. Unlike Abrahamic faiths, Hindus are not strictly a ‘book-religion’. Although long revelatory and other sacred texts exist in hundreds (‘Mahabharata’ in 100,000 verses is the longest poem in the world), they are merely considered as a guide to experience and realize the Supreme Reality, which is beyond all books and intellectual enterprise.

    What good can the Vedas do unto him who does not know that Great Being, who is All-pervading and Eternal, Holiest of all, Who sustains the Sun and the Earth, and is the support of the learned, the method of Whose realization is the chief aim of Vedic teaching? But they alone enjoy eternal bliss who study the Vedas, live a righteous life, become perfect Yogis and realize God. Rigveda 1.164.39.

    The purport of all Scriptures is Brahman (Supreme Being) indeed, and this is known when their passages are considered harmoniously. Vedānta Sūtra 1.1.4

    After studying the scriptures, the wise person who is solely intent on acquiring spiritual knowledge and realization, should discard the scriptures together, just as a man who seeks to abandon rice discards the husk. Amritabindu Upanishad 18

    As is the use of a pond in a place flooded with water, so is that of all Vedas for a Brahmana who is enlightened spiritually. Gita 2.46

    The mere study of the letter of the scriptures does not have much benefit. One should first study the scriptures, try to understand their essence and finally practice the same to achieve the final goal of their teaching – spiritual realization. Moksha is the final goal of our life, and therefore also the final goal of scriptural study. If scriptural learning does not advance one’s understanding of God and lead us closer to Moksha, then it is of no use. And when the goal is achieved, the scriptures have no value left because the means of reaching the goal are of no further use once the goal itself is reached.

    How to and How not to Study the Scriptures

    As state above, a study of scriptures and following their teachings is a pre-requisite to advancing in Dharma and Moksha. However, many people study the scriptures with the wrong intentions, or they believe that they are very Dharmic and are entitled to Moksha just because they have mastered the scriptures. The following parables from the Hindu tradition teach the correct and the wrong ways of studying the holy books.

    1.  Live the Scriptures, do not just memorize their Words

    Svadhaya 3 - 01Studying the scripture is not an end in itself. Once, a man came to Swami Chinmayananda and said, “I have gone through the Gita fifteen times.” Swami-ji asked, “But has the Gita gone through you even once?” The story below illustrates this message very aptly-

    “While touring South India, Chaitanya encountered a certain Brahmin in the temple of Ranga-kshetra. This man daily sat in the temple turning over the pages of the Bhagavad-gita, but his constant mispronunciation of the Sanskrit made him the object of general mirth and derision. Chaitanya, however, observed signs of genuine spiritual ecstasy on the Brahmin’s body, and he asked him what he read in the Gita to induce such ecstasy. The Brahmin replied that he didn’t read anything. He was illiterate and could not understand Sanskrit. Nevertheless, his guru had ordered him to read the Gita daily, and he complied as best he could. He simply pictured Krishna and Arjuna together on the chariot, and this image of Krishna’s merciful dealings with his devotee caused this ecstasy. Chaitanya embraced the Brahmin and declared that he was an “authority on reading the Bhagavad-gita.”[1]

    2.          Do not study scriptures to show-off, but for self-transformation

    Svadhaya 3 - 02The story of Vāmana Pandit below shows how mere learning of Gita and other scriptures does not benefit us spiritually. We become ‘alive’ only when we give up our ego and pride, when our heart is filled with devotion, and when we are able to teach the scriptures to the common man in a simple language out of love and compassion.

    “Vāmana pandit was born in a Brahmin family of Bijapur, which was under Muslim rule. Even as a young boy he could compose Sanskrit verses. When the ruler Adil Shah heard of this child prodigy, he offered to support the boy, if he embraced Islam, so the family sent him secretly to Varanasi to study under some scholars. After studying there for about twenty years, Vāmana became quite famous for his knowledge and skill at debating. He used to go on tours and challenge other pandits to a debate. Hearing of Ramadasa, he decided to visit him and challenge him also to a debate. When he arrived near the place where Rāmadāsa was staying, Vāmana pandit sent a messenger to get Rāmadāsa. Vāmana waited and waited under a tree, but by midnight Rāmadāsa had still not come. At that time, he happened to see two ghosts, and overheard them talking about him. The ghosts were saying that Vāmana would soon be joining them. Vāmana pandit became very afraid. He thought about what the ghosts had said and gradually understood that his egotism and pride of scholarship was leading him to hell. In fact, he became so repentant that he decided he would approach Rāmadāsa for spiritual instructions.

    Soon after, at dawn, Rāmadasa arrived and Vāmana pandit bowed down at his feet. Rāmadasa blessed the pandit and after giving him some spiritual instructions, told him to go to Badarika Ashrama, in the Himalayas, and meditate on Vishnu. After practicing sadhana whole-heartedly there for a long time, Vāmana pandit had a vision of the Lord, who blessed him and told him to go back to Rāmadāsa for further instructions. When Vamana pandit met Rāmadāsa again, Rāmadāsa gave him more instructions and told him to go to Shri Shaila Hill to meditate on Shiva. Again Vāmana did as he was told, practicing intense sādhanā for several years. Here also he was blessed by the Lord and told to return to Rāmadāsa. This time (in 1668 CE) Rāmadāsa described to the pandit how the common man needed religious education in their own language. Thus far the pundit had written only in Sanskrit. His learning was learning only among other Brahmin pundits like himself. It was of no use to ordinary people. So Rāmadāsa requested Vāmana pandit to write religious books in Marathi for the common people, and Vāmana agreed. Besides some very beautiful poems, Vāmana pundit also wrote a Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, entitled Yathārtha Dīpikā.”[2]

    3.          There are no Short-Cuts to Studying the Scriptures, it takes Hard Work

    Svadhaya 3 - 03Sage Bharadvāja and his son Yavakrīta were neighbors of Sage Raibhya and his sons. The latter were all great scholars. Many people travelled long distances to study under Raibhya and his children. This made Yavakrīta jealous. But he did not like to study. So, he started praying to Lord Indra. Pleased with Yavakrīta’s penance, Lord Indra appeared in front of him and offered him a boon. Yavakrīta asked that he become a great scholar, so that people should come to study under him, just as they went to study under Raibhya and his scholarly sons.

    But Indra replied, “If you want to become knowledgeable, you should focus on your studies, rather than trying to please me and get the boon of wisdom from me.”

    But Yavakrīta would not listen. He resumed his austerities and penance, hoping that Indra would eventually get impressed and bless him with knowledge. One day, Yavakrīta went to the River Ganga to take a bath, when he noticed an old man throwing handfuls of sand into the river current. When Yavakrīta asked him the reason for doing so, the old man said, “People have a difficulty crossing the river. Therefore, I am constructing a bridge across it by throwing sand into the water.”

    Yavakrīta was amused, and said, “But you cannot construct a bridge this way because the water will keep washing away the sand that you throw. Instead, you need to work harder and put in more effort and materials to construct the bridge.” The old man replied, “If you can become a scholar without studying, I too can construct a bridge with just handfuls of sand.”

    Yavakrīta realized that it was Lord Indra who came disguised as the old man to teach him that worship alone cannot result in scholarship. He therefore apologized to Lord Indra and started studying diligently.

    4.          Scriptural Learning is not a Substitute for Practical Wisdom & Wisdom

    Svadhaya 3 - 04“Once several men were crossing the Ganges in a boat. One of them, a Pandit, was making a great display of his erudition, saying that he had studied various books – the Vedas, the Vedanta, and the six systems of philosophy. He asked a fellow passenger, “Do you know the Vedanta?” “No, revered sir.” “The Samkhya and the Patanjala?” “No, revered sir.” “Have you read no philosophy whatsoever?” “No, revered sir.” The pandit was talking in this vain way and the passenger was sitting in silence when a great storm arose and the boat was about to sink. The passenger said to the pandit, “Sir, can you swim?” “No”, replied the pandit. The passenger said, “I don’t know Samkhya or the Patanjala, but I can swim.”

    What will a man gain by knowing many scriptures? That one thing needful is to know how to cross the river of the word. God alone is real, and all else is illusory.”[3]

    5.          Scriptural learning is not a substitute for common-sense

    A Sanskrit proverb reads – “Just as a blind man has no use for a mirror, what will he do with scriptural knowledge if he lacks common-sense?” The following story from the Panchatantra illustrates the truth that in addition to mastering the Holy Scriptures, one must also have commonsense.

    Svadhaya 3 - 05The Four Pandits and the Lion: There were four childhood friends. Three of them studied a lot in different schools and became very learned scholars. The fourth was not that learned, but he had a lot of wisdom and commonsense. One day, the three scholars met with each other and said, “What is the use of our knowledge if we are not able to make any money out of it? Let us go to the royal palace and get a job with the King. This will make us rich.” The first scholar said, “The fourth among us is not really a scholar. What is the use of taking him with us? Let us leave him behind.’

    But the third of them was a kind hearted person. He said, “We have been friends since our childhood. Therefore, it is not fair to leave him behind.” So all the four got together and started walking towards the palace. On the way, there was a jungle. There, they saw a pile of bones lying on the ground. They immediately recognized that these bones belonged to a dead lion.

    Svadhaya 3 - 06The first scholar said, “I know how to put these bones together and complete the skeleton of the lion.” He used his knowledge, and within a few minutes, the skeleton was ready.

    The second scholar said, “I know how to put blood, skin and muscles into the skeleton.” He too worked for some time, and soon, the skeleton had muscles, eyes, blood and skin on it.

    The third scholar said, “I can give life to this animal and make it alive!” Everyone seemed impressed. But, the fourth friend, who was not very scholarly, immediately stopped them and said, “Do not be foolish. A lion eats human beings. If you make it alive, it will pounce on us and eat us.” But the three did not listen to him. However, he begged them to allow him to climb a tree before they make him alive. They agreed.

    When the lion came alive, it immediately pounced on the three scholarly friends and killed them. The fourth friend on the tree looked at the dead bodies of his friends and wept. He waited for the lion to go away, and then got off the tree and went back to his village. He said, “I wish that my scholarly friends also had some common-sense.”

    6.          Scriptural learning is useless if it does not make you a better Human Being

    Once, a gathering of Rishis took place at Mt Kailash, where Bhagavan Shiva lives. Rishi Durvasa too walked in with a bundle of books in his hand. But he did not greet any of the other Rishis present, and went up to Bhagavan Shiva’s throne, sitting right next to him. Bhagavan Shiva asked him, “Rishi, how is your study progressing?” With pride on his face, Rishi Durvasa replied, “I have studied all the books that I am carrying and have learned them by heart.”

    Rishi Narada got up and then said, “Pardon me Rishi Durvasa, but you are just carrying these books like a donkey that carries burden on its back.” When Rishi Durvasa heard these words, he became red with anger, and threatened Rishi Narada, “How dare you ridicule me? I will curse you. Why did you compare me to a donkey?”

    Rishi Narada replied, “True knowledge gives humility, forgiveness and good manners. You walked in without greeting others, and sat right next to Bhagavan, instead of sitting at His feet. Does this not show that you have not learned anything even after memorizing your books?”

    Rishi Durvasa realized that Rishi Narada was saying the truth. He realized that his behavior had been foolish. In repentance, he discarded his books in the ocean, and left the assembly to do meditation to atone for his inappropriate behavior.

    7.          At the Time of Death, it is not Scriptural learning, but Bhakti that will save you

    Svadhaya 3 - 07Once, Shri Shankaracharya was walking along the banks of the Ganga River in Varanasi with his disciples. He saw a very old Pandit, almost on his death bed, trying to master and teach the rules of Sanskrit grammar. Out of compassion, the Acharya composed a stotra of 13 verses, in which he asks humans to seek refuge in Krishna because only He can save us at the time of death. Learning rules of grammar for mere intellectual satisfaction will not save us from death. The 14 disciples of Shankaracharya added a verse each, and collectively, it became a Stotra of 27 verses. This beautiful stotra is called Bhaja Govindam, or Moha Mudgara (a Hammer to shatter delusion).

    The stotra teaches the worthlessness of worldly desires and ego and asks us to seek refuge in Bhagavān by chanting His names, reading the Gita, and becoming dispassionate towards worldly pleasures.

    References

    [1] Rosen, Steven. 1988. The Life and Times of Lord Chaitanya. Folk Books: Brooklyn (New York). pp. 163-164

    [2] Parivrajika, pp. 199-200

    [3] Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna Math. Mylapore: Madras, pp. 58-59

    Featured Image: Wikipedia

    Svādhyāya 4 Purana Bhagavata 
    Why do Hindus have so many Scriptures?

    Most religions have one holy book. The Sikhs have the Adi Granth, Christians have the Bible (which is a collection of 66 books plus a few more in the Catholic version), Muslims have the Koran and Jews have the Torah. But Hindus, Buddhists and Jains seem to have an abundance of scriptures – literally hundreds of them. Why don’t Hindus have just one Holy Book?

    Story: Rishi Bharadvaja realizes that there is no end to studying Scriptures

    Svādhyāya 4 01A beautiful story in the Yajurveda (Taittiriya Brahmana 3.10.11) narrates the infinite extent of the Vedas themselves. Some Rishis in the Hindu tradition are said to have lived a very long life. One of them was Rishi Bharadvaja. A beautiful story is narrated on his love for the study of the Vedas. He spent his extra-ordinary long life of 300 years studying the Vedas. Pleased with his devotion to the scriptures, Indra appeared before the Rishi and asked: “If I were to increase your life by another 300 years, what would you want to do?”

    The Rishi replied, “I would spend the next 100 years again in studying the Vedas.”

    Indra then created three mountains of sand in front of the Rishi, and said, “These three mountains represent Rik, Yajus and Samans, the three types of Vedic mantras. And from each mountain, your study is but a fistful of sand because endless are the Vedas (anantā vai vedāh).”

    Rishi Bharadvaja was amazed, and asked Indra to show him the true path. Indra recommended him to worship the Divine in the form of the Sun through a special religious ceremony. He said that worshipping Bhagavān was equivalent in merit to mastering the three mountains of sand worth Vedic knowledge.

    Rishi Bharadvaja followed Indra’s advice, and attained Moksha. He realized that there is no end to studying the scriptures. At a certain point, we should focus more on applying their teachings.

    There are many answers to the question why we Hindus have thousands of scriptures:

    1.  There is a lot of wisdom in Hindu Dharma, and this requires many books. Hindus have been blessed with a continuous string of saints and sages for several thousands of years. These great men and their disciples have collected their teachings resulting in a vast number of sacred writings. It is similar to the fact that the entire knowledge of Physics cannot be captured within a single book these days. So also, the entire wisdom of Hindus cannot be incorporated in just one holy book.

    2.  Hindu Dharma is the most ancient faith in the world. It is expected then that it has had the longest period of time to churn out more holy writings than others. This is another obvious reason why Hindus have so many scriptures.

    3.  The core scriptures of other religions originated in a very small area whereas the core scriptures of Hindus were compiled in a much larger region, resulting in Hindus having a lot more holy writings than many other faiths. To get a perspective, most Hindu writings originated in different parts of the Indian subcontinent, a region that is dozens of time larger than Israel (where the Jewish and Christian writings arose) or Hijaz (where the Koran originated). This too has resulted in the large number of Hindu scriptures.

    4.  Hindu Dharma recognizes a diversity of beliefs, doctrines and practices. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ or a ‘my way or the highway religion’. To reach these diverse perspectives, Hindus have multiple books. This explains why Hindus have multiple schools of philosophy, each with their own set of scriptures.

    5.  Hinduism also permits the worship of God in many different forms and also as a Formless Supreme Being. Many different scriptures contain instructions on the proper procedure for worshipping these different forms of the Divine. For example, the Vaishnava Pancharatra texts have details on worshipping Lord Vishnu, whereas the Shaiva Agamas contain instructions on worshipping Lord Shiva. The multiplicity of worship amongst Hindus has also contributed to the diversity of Hindu scriptures.

    6.  Hindus recognize the fact different people are at different levels of mental capacity, spiritual attainment and temperaments. To cater to people of different calibers, Hindus have different scriptures. For example, the Purāas are more user-friendly and are geared towards Hindus who might not have the competence or temperament to study the more difficult Vedas. This is just like the fact that students use different textbooks for the same subject (say, Chemistry) in different grades in their schools.

    7.  Hindus also tend to have different scriptures to discuss different topics instead of lumping all topics and branches of learning into a single book. For example, just as students have different textbooks for Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Hindus too have different scriptures to explain to them the principles of ritual, devotion, wisdom and so on in separate books. If the wisdom of Hindus were not great in extent, it would have been possible to combine all these different writings into one collection. But individual Hindu scriptures can also tend to be very vast. E.g., the Vedic literature is six times the length of the Bible.

     

    Svādhyāya 4 02

    8.          Hindus do not have a central authority that regulates what is scripture and what is an ordinary writing. In other religions such as Islam and Christianity, there too existed many versions of scripture in the past, but central councils of scholars met to stamp out diversity of holy writings and mandated only one particular version of their scripture as authorized or acceptable. For example the Council of Nicea in 325 CE suppressed several alternate versions of the Bible and approved only one that is similar to the version available these days. Similarly, the second Islamic Caliph Othman ordered destruction of several divergent versions of the Koran and allowed only one to circulate. In contrast, Hindus accept diversity and the original four Vedas developed into hundreds of different branches that differ slightly from each other. Hindus consider all these versions as authoritative because of the realization that all these branches teach the same principles, even though in a slightly different language. Hindus explain the multiplicity of our scriptures through the dictum that “The Truth is One, but the wise teach it in many different ways” (Rigveda 1.164.46).

    9.  Hindu Dharma is not tied to a particular period of time, or to a particular founder of the Hindu religion, or to a last Prophet or the only son of God. Hindus believe that although the Vedas are held to be the gold standard because they were intuited by spiritually realized Rishis, there are many other writings that contain the teachings of Saints, Sages and scholars who were also divinely inspired. Hindus believe that at any given point of time in history, it is possible for a spiritual person to attain great heights of realization which the Vedas talk about, and the writings of such great men then assume the form of scripture, because they reflect the spirit of the Vedas and other holy books.

    10.               Hinduism relies a lot on personal teaching by a Guru. Much of Hindu scriptures have been passed on from generation to generation through the medium of instruction from Guru to his disciples. Several Gurus have added their own commentaries and explanations to the scriptures to explain their meaning more effectively. Or they have compiled their own versions of the scripture to cater to the needs of their own disciples better. This has lead to several versions of the same scripture, and Hindus do not have a problem treating these different versions and commentaries as sacred writings.

    11.               Hindus also believe that several scriptures such as the Dhamashastras do not have eternal validity because of changed social conditions. Therefore, new scriptures are codified to apply the Vedic principles so that they suit the new conditions better. For example, it was believed by some Hindus that the Manu Smriti was applicable in more ancient times whereas the Parashara Smriti is applicable in the present age according to some Hindus.

    12.               In many cases, one holy book of the Hindus has been split into many for the convenience of the readers. For e.g., Hindus believe that the Vedas were one holy book which was split into four Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda) for the convenience of students by Veda Vyasa. In contrast, Christians have combined 66 books written by different people and during different times into a single book called the Bible.

    13.               The final reason for such a large number of scriptural texts in Hinduism is the fact that Sanskrit, in which the most ancient writings of Hindus were composed, ceased to be a popularly spoken language in the last 2000 years or so. Therefore, Saints who were filled with compassion wrote versions of several popular ancient Sanskrit scriptures in the vernacular languages prevalent amongst Hindus in their region. E.g. the Rāmāyaa of Vālmīki has been rendered into Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu and numerous other languages by Saint Poets and is widely read with reverence by Hindus today.

    Can we Read all these Scriptures? Choosing One Scripture for Studying

    Svādhyāya 4 03
    Having multiple scriptures can sometimes make the task of reading them daunting for most Hindus. Therefore, there are some scriptures that are believed to contain the main teachings of all the other scriptures. E.g., the Gita is said to be the essence of teachings of spiritual scriptures such as the Upanishads. It is recommended that if one can read only one Hindu scripture, then let it be the Bhagavad Gita. Or Ramayana. Or Bhāgavata Purāa. Intellectual minded Hindus also like to read the Upanishads today.

    In the chart below, the scriptures that are commonly read by ordinary Hindus are shown in the red font.

    Featured Image: The Hindu Portal

     

    Svādhyāya: Studying our Holy Books- VThe Hindu tendency to see all faiths through their own spiritual viewpoint is patronizing and insulting to other faiths, whose followers openly reject the Hindu interpretations of their own doctrines which they have understood in a different manner traditionally.

    Hindu Scriptures and the Proverbial Hindu Tolerance: Interfaith Perspectives


    Hindu Dharma is not a ‘One Book, One Prophet, One God’ religion. The very fact that there are thousands of sacred books within our own tradition, and that thousands are Saints and Sages are associated with revealing and compiling them has made Hindus take it for granted that diversity of scriptures is a fact of nature. The existence of so large a number of scriptures within our own tradition makes it easier for Hindus to accept that religious traditions outside our own also have their own scriptures, and that these non-Hindu scriptures are also worthy of study, respect and reverence.

    Hindu Dharma encourages us not just to get a well-rounded knowledge of all our scriptures (or as many as possible), but also study the Holy Books of other religions with respect. A scripture which says that it is itself is ‘the only true book’ and everything else is not worthy of study and respect is actually the product of the limited spiritual vision and world view of its author. This is why Hindus have not indulged in bouts of burning and destroying books of other religions. In contrast, the followers of ‘One Book, One Religion, Last/One Prophet, One God’ faiths have frequently burned the scriptures of other religions and continue to cause bloodshed and destruction even in our own times.

    Instead of telling us to prove ourselves different from other peoples so that we can set ‘up our own prophetable shop’ for potential customers, Hindu Dharma advises us to look for common spiritual themes or the common essence of all these diverse scriptures. Therefore, instead of seeing these different holy books as disconnected and discrete pieces of knowledge, we should seek their underlying higher teachings.  For example, the Upanishad says:


    Truth is One, but the realized Poets with spiritual vision describe it in many different ways. Rigveda 1.164.46

    Cows are of different colors but their milk is the same color. Similarly, (the wise person) regards spiritual wisdom as the milk and the many branched Vedas as different cows. Amritabindu Upanishad 19

    Just as the bee extracts the essence from several flowers (to make the nectar like honey), a clever man should also take the essence from all sources and scriptures, whether they are short or long. Bhāgavata Purāņa 11.8.10

    This does not mean however that Hindus should accept any writing considered as sacred by any community as a holy scripture. The rule still remains that the Vedas are the golden standard by which all other scriptures are judged. Unfortunately, Hindus have carried the spirit of inclusivism and acceptance of diversity to such an extreme that they have ceased to see the genuine differences in the doctrines of different religions, and also fail to see the faults in various religious scriptures. Likewise, they have also started assuming that the Prophets and Saints of all religions were also spiritually realized souls in the Vedāntic and Yogic mold of Hindu tradition. However, when we actually read the sacred texts of other religions, and study the biographies of prophets and saints, the results are not always flattering. In fact, the Hindu tendency to see all faiths through their own spiritual viewpoint is patronizing and insulting to other faiths, whose followers openly reject the Hindu interpretations of their own doctrines which they have understood in a different manner traditionally. Therefore, instead of considering scriptures and important figures of all religions as equal, Hindus ought to use ‘viveka’ and try to discriminate between what is false, and what is true.

    Classification of Hindu Scriptures

    The two major categories in which all Hindu scriptures are divided are the Shruti and the Smriti.

    Shruti: The Vedas constitute the Shruti, a word that means ‘that which has been heard (from God) by the Rishis’ and are considered of Divine origin[1]. The principles of Dharma that are taught in the Vedas are called the ‘Vaidika Dharma’ or ‘Shrauta Dharma’ and are considered to be infallible (without error), universal and eternal.

    Smriti: The word Smriti word literally means ‘that which is remembered’. Human culture advances when the collected wisdom of the society is passed on from one generation to another (‘societal memory’), and each new generation adds to its inherited wisdom.

    Whereas Shruti is considered of Divine origin or inspiration, Smriti is considered the wisdom of Saints and Sages who were pious, virtuous and had understood the Vedas. It is believed that the teachings of Smritis are derived from the Vedas itself. The Hindu tradition says that although the Saintly authors of the Smritis were enlightened souls, yet it is still possible that they had some imperfections. For this reason, the Smriti scriptures have a lower authority than the Shruti scriptures, which are directly revealed by or inspired by the perfect God. Smritis which openly conflict with the Veda are rejected.

    “Smriti or ‘remembering’ is an eminently personal experience. One remembers what one has done or what has happened to one. Through memory one can appropriate and relive one’s past, and learn from experiences. These marks – appropriation, reliving, learning, and guidance – are all included in the sense of smriti. Smriti refers to that store of group experiences by which the community appropriates and relives its past, learns from it and is guided by it, and in the process shapes its identity. In so far as smriti has to do with personal experience, it is humanly authored (paurusheya in contrast to shruti proper, which is apurusheya or ‘not humanly produced.’ This is a crucial distinction for the ongoing life of a community. The non-personal Veda, received by the seers, which is religiously sacrosanct, linguistically immutable, culturally perfect…. Needs to be made accessible and humanized. Smriti probes, interrogates, debates, offers answers, mediates. It makes the impersonal personal. It allows the shruti to shape the world in which we live, and so to shape lives. For what may be smriti to you or your community, may not function as smriti for me or my community. Or it may weight this authority differently according to the particular traditions that nurture us, or the demands of our situations. Smriti is the medium through which we hear the voice of the shruti; it is interpretive, selective, collaborative, pliable. Shruti and smriti – or their equivalents, namely the primary scripture and tradition – are the co-ordinates by which the religious authority of Hinduism has been transmitted.

    For Hindus, smriti recalls exemplary figures and events that have shaped their past, the universe they inhabit. These figures may be human or non-human, benevolent or hostile, virtuous or malign. Smriti pronounces on the origination and transmission of almost every branch of human expertise. Its concerns include how to use words, how to read the heavens, how to care for elephants, how to make love, how to make war, how to make temples, how to worship, how to go on pilgrimage (and where and why), how to dance, how to sing; how to classify men, women, horses, gems, snakes, herbs, dreams….how to curse and how to heal. Smriti deals with the founding of ancient dynasties and their ending; with the origination and destruction of the world; with rites of passage, the goals and stages of life, and cremation rites.

    Smriti prescribes and cautions in all matters of dharma or right living: in the dharma of husbands, in the dharma of wives….of eating, drinking….worshipping, purifying: in a word, in the dharma of living and in the dharma of dying. Smriti is a great story-teller, myth-maker, codifier, teacher, punisher, rewarder, guide.”[2]

    “Smriti can support primary scripture directly or indirectly through stories about gods, saints and sacred events, cautionary tales, graphic descriptions of heavenly and hellish realms, didactic discourses, the elaboration of codes of dharma, the sanctioning of reward or punishments for observing or violating these codes, and by recording the development of human expertise in prosody, phonetics, astronomy, love-making, war-waging, temple building, icon-shaping, philosophy and theology and so on. The amount of accumulated material that counts for smriti over the past 4000 years is immense, and in the more articulate world in which we live this material is increasingly rapidly all the time….”[3]

    “….implementing smriti is a subjective exercise. What may be suitably corroborative material for my grasp of primary scripture may not be so for you; or you may use the same material in a different way. For smriti to function as smriti, what matters is the intention seen to underlie the material in question. An item of smriti may not seem to focus on primary scripture at all, e.g. a treatise on erotics, or grammar, or astronomy, but it is regarded as smriti because it is seen as intended to further – or is made by those in appropriate authority to bear upon – the aims of the shruti or primary scripture. For instance, it may do this by enabling an appropriate lifestyle to be followed, for it is only on this basis that scripture would be efficacious.”[4]

    Although the word Smriti may be used in general to denote all the non-Shruti literature, it is often used in a more restricted sense to denote only the Dharmashāstra scriptures. Traditionally, the Dharmashāstras are considered the second only to Shruti in terms of authority. Therefore, they are more authoritative than the Purāas, Itihāsas and all the other non-Shruti classes of scriptures.

    Āgamas:

    There is a class of Hindu scriptures called the Āgamas which are accepted only by the sampradāya or the tradition to which they belong. For e.g., the Vaishnava Āgamas are followed only by worshippers of Vishnu, and the Shaiva Agamas are accepted only by worshippers of Shiva.  The Āgamas are also referred to as Tantras, especially those belong to the Shākta and Shaiva traditions. Sometimes, the followers of these Āgamas consider their own Agama text as at par with Shruti. It is for this reason that Hindu traditions sometimes says that the Shruti is of two types – Vaidika and Tāntrika. However, this view that the Āgamas are of equal authority as the Shruti is not accepted by all Hindus.

    Shruti as the Supreme Authority for Hindus:

    Practically all Hindus accept the supreme authority of the Shruti literature, with a few exceptions such as the Lingayyata Shaivite Hindus, who consider the Shaiva scriptures as more authoritative. Acceptance of the Vedic authority is often considered a hallmark of being a Hindu. For this reason, Jains and Buddhists are not sometimes considered as Hindus, even though they share their history, cultural heritage, ethical values etc., with the Hindu community. The case of Sikhs is more complicated, because their own supreme scripture (the Ādi Grantha) seems to accept the Divine origin and authority of the Vedas in matters of Dharma. However, modern Sikhs by and large do not accept the Vedas and do not consider themselves as Hindus.

    Sometimes, the Agamas and Tantras are considered a second type of Shrutis in addition to the Vedas (Samhitā, Brāhmaa, Āranyaka and Upanishads). This is because according to some Hindu traditions, the Āgamas and Tantras were also directly revealed by Bhagavān.

    Some Hindus also believe that the Bhagavad Gita is Shruti, because Bhagavān in the Form of Krishna revealed it to Arjuna. A majority of Hindus however believe in the chart displayed above.

    Similarly, the school of Indian philosophies (Darshana Shastras) that accept the authority of the Shruti, even if for the sake of formality, are considered as Āstika (or ‘Believer’, ‘orthodox’) Darshanas; whereas those which reject the Shruti are called the Nāstika (heretical) Darshanas. The latter includes the Buddhist, Jain and the Chārvāka/Bāhrsapatya (atheist and materialistic) Darshanas.  The former includes the Hindu Darshanas of Sāmkhya, Yoga, Vedānta, Pūrva Mīmāmsā, Nyāya and Vaisheshika Darshanas.

    The chart below shows the major categories of Hindu sacred literature.

    Svadhyaya Hindu Scriptures

    Notes

    [1] The word ‘Rishi’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Drish’, or ‘to see’. In other words, the Shruti is the record of the spiritual vision, or insight into the Divine of the Rishis.  The Rishis were pure hearted and spritually advanced individuals who devoted their entire lives to Dharma and Moksha. Women Rishis are called Rishikas.

    [2] Lipner (2010), p. 89

    [3] Lipner (2010), p. 90

    [4] Lipner (2010), p. 90

    Svādhyāya-6 VedaTraditionally, the Vedic literature as such signifies a vast body of sacred and esoteric knowledge concerning eternal spiritual truths revealed to sages (Rishis) during intense meditation. They have been accorded the position of revealed scriptures and are revered in Hindu religious tradition.

    The Vedas or Shruti

    Importance of the Vedas

    As explained above, the Vedas are considered the supreme scriptures, or the gold-standard by most Hindus. The word ‘Veda’ is often derived from 5 Sanskrit roots these days:

    §  Vid jnaane: To know

    §  Vid sattaayaam: To be, to endure

    §  Vid labhe: To obtain

    §  Vid vichaarane: To consider

    §  Vid chetanaakhyaananiveseshu: To feel, to tell, to dwell

    To these roots is added the suffix ‘ghaw’ according to Ashtādhyāyī 3.3.19, the celebrated text of Sanskrit grammar of Panini. Accordingly, the word Veda means ‘the means by which, or in which all persons know, acquire mastery in, deliberate over the various lores or live or subsist upon them.’

    Traditionally, the Vedic literature as such signifies a vast body of sacred and esoteric knowledge concerning eternal spiritual truths revealed to sages (Rishis) during intense meditation. They have been accorded the position of revealed scriptures and are revered in Hindu religious tradition. Over the millennia the Vedas have been handed over generation to generation by oral tradition and hence the name “shruti” or “that which is heard”. According to tradition they are un-authored (apaurusheya) and eternal, and are considered the revelation of God to the Rishis. This is the other reason for calling them Shruti.

    Theoretically, the Vedic corpus is held in deep reverence in the Hindu society. It constitutes the most authoritative genre of Hindu scriptures. Any other Hindu scripture must agree with the Vedas in order to be considered an authority. Schools of philosophy which reject the authority of the Vedas are considered ‘Naastika’ or heretical, while schools which accept Vedic authority, even if nominally, are considered ‘Aastika’ or orthodox, from a Hindu perspective. While most Hindus never see Vedic texts in their lifetime, the term ‘Veda’ is used as a synonym for authoritativeness in religious matters. The Vedas are considered full of all kinds of knowledge, and an infallible guide for man in his quest for the four goals – DharmaArtha(material welfare), Kāma (pleasure and happiness) and Moksha (Salvation). In sacred Hindu literature, they are considered the very manifestation of God, and the ultimate source of all wisdom and of all Dharma.

    Hindu priests were exhorted to study them regularly, recite their sentences, practice their sacraments and memorize their words. In practice however, this has been restricted to a dwindling minority of the Brāhmaa caste, despite recent attempts to revive Vedic study, ritual and recitation in the traditional manner. On the other hand, the Vedic texts are now widely available in print, and this has lead to a greater dissemination of their knowledge amongst Hindu masses, than say, a century back. Even here however, the popularization largely concerns the spiritual treatises called the Upanishads – the texts par excellence of Hindu spirituality. In fact, for several centuries now, the word ‘Veda’ has been used by Hindu teachers to indicate the Upanishadic texts in particular.

    How Were the Vedas Revealed?

    Svādhyāya-6 Vedas
    According to Hindu tradition, Bhagavān Brahmā created the Universe and then revealed the four Vedas to numerous Rishis at the beginning of this creation. Since then, an unbroken chain of students and teachers have been transmitting the Vedas down to our time. The four faces of Brahmā represent these four Vedas as well as the four directions.

    The Vedas are also associated with his consort Devi Sarasvati, who is the Devi of all wisdom and knowledge.

    The Vedas however are not the creation or composition of the Brahmā because they are eternal. Bhagavān Brahmā is merely their caretaker of this Divine knowledge, which really belongs to the Supreme Being (Brahman). However, Brahmā also composed some original works, which initiated many other branches of Hindu knowledge – like Ayurveda, Dharmashāstras etc. All these works whose tradition started from the original compositions of Brahmā are called Smritis; whereas the Vedas which were revealed by Brahmā but not authored by him are called Shruti (‘that which are heard from Brahman’).

    As time progressed, the capacity of human beings to study scriptures declined. Sometimes, the Vedas even got lost. Therefore, a Rishi appeared periodically to re-arrange them and even rediscover them. The current version of the four Vedas is said to have been given their present form by Rishi Veda Vyasa, who was the son of Rishi Parāshara, and a fisherwoman named Satyavatī. Veda Vyāsa then taught the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda to his four students: Rishi Paila, Rishi Vaishampāyana, Rishi Jaimini and Rishi Sumantu respectively. They in turn taught them to numerous disciples and so on, leading to slightly differing versions of the four Vedas. These versions are known by the names of the last Rishis after whom no other modifications were made to the texts of the Vedas.

    However, another viewpoint is that hundreds of very ancient Rishis (mainly on the banks of the river Sarasvati which dried out by 1500 BCE or even earlier) received the hymns and sections of the four Vedas from Brahman. Brahmā has no role to play in this viewpoint. A big chunk of these revelations were lost with time, and Veda Vyāsa compiled whatever remained, to preserve it for posterity. Even the existing Vedic literature is 6 times the length of the Bible, and is much older!

    There is a third, modern viewpoint proposed by Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1873 CE). According to this view, the Supreme Being revealed the four Vedas respectively to Rishis Agni (Rigveda), Vāyu (Yajurveda), Āditya (Samaveda) and Angirasa (Atharvaveda).

    Several modern scholars have proposed different dates for the Vedas:[1]

    §  Tilak       4000 – 2500 BCE

    §  Jacobi    4000 BCE

    §  Wilson  3500 BCE

    §  Hough   2500 – 1400 BCE

    §  R C Dutt 2000 – 1400 BCE

    §  Roth      1000 BCE

    §  Max Mueller 1500 – 1200 BCE

    Classification of the Vedic Scriptures

    The Vedas are four in number – Rigveda, Yajurveda, Sāmaveda and Atharvaveda. According to tradition, each Veda can be divided into two parts – Mantras and Brāhmaas. A collection of Mantras is typically called a Samhitā, although they can also occur in the Brāhmaa texts. Currently, and often in ancient Hindu tradition as well, it is often the Samhita portion alone which is referred to as the Veda. For instance, the word ‘Rigveda’ would typically mean the Rigveda Samhitā. The Ārya Samāj school of Hindus, responsible for the modern revival of Vedic study in northern India, and founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 CE, in fact rejects the Brāhmaas as portions of Vedas. For them, the Vedas include only the four Samhitās Rigveda Samhitā( Shākala version), Atharvaveda Samhitā (in its Shaunaka version), Yajurveda Samhitā (Mādhyandina version) and the Sāmaveda (Kauthuma version). All other Samhitās and the rest of the Vedic literature is considered by them to be outside the Veda proper.

    The Brāhmaas have their own names and are more like theological treatises of the Vedas. The ending portions of many Brahmanas have an esoteric content, called the ‘Ārayaka. Embedded in these Ārayakas, or normally at their very end, are deeply spiritual treatises called the Upanishads. For several centuries now, Upanishads are the mainstay of Hindu spiritual traditions, and are held in the highest esteem.

    In the case of the Rigveda, Samaveda and the Atharvaveda, there is a clear-cut separation of the Mantra collection from the Brahmana portions. In contrast, the Yajurveda is of two types: Shukla (or ‘white’) Yajurveda and Krishna (or black) Yajurveda. In the former, the Mantra and Brāhmaa collections occur separately from each other. But in the latter, the Mantra and the Brāhmaa portions are intermixed. Thus, the Taittiriya Samhitā’ belonging to the Krishna Yajurveda has Mantras interspersed with Brahmana portions. Even the Taittiriya ‘Brahmana’ has both Mantras and Brāhmaa passages mixed with each other.

    Coming to the Brāhmaa texts, there is often no clear-cut distinction between the Brāhmaas proper and the Ārayakas, or between the Ārayakas and the Upanishads. The Brāhmaa text proper often merges into the Ārayakas and many old Upanishads are actually embedded in the Ārayakas.

    There are a few exceptions even to the above generalizations on the internal distinctions in the Vedic texts.

    What are Mantras? What are Samhitās?

    The mantras are basically hymns sung to the Devas or Deities – the devotional outpourings of the souls of poets. The Samhitās of the four Vedas were compiled for the smooth performance of Vedic ceremonies. Four types of priests are needed to perform a Vedic sacrifice:

    §  The Hotr priest who sings hymns to Gods inviting them to preside over the sacrifice.

    §  The Udgātā priest who sings sweet hymns in musical tones for the entertainment of the Gods

    §  The Adhvaryu priest who performs the sacrifice according to strict ritualistic code and makes the offering to the Gods

    §  The Brahmā priest well versed in all the Vedas who supervises the sacrifice.

    The four Samhitas are said to have been compiled to fulfill the needs of these four main priests: Rk-Samhita for the Hotr, Sama-Samhita for the Udgātā, Yajurveda Samhita for the Adhvaryu and the Atharvaveda Samhita for the Brahma priest. Initially however, there was no special connection of the Brahmā priest with the Atharvaveda, as this Veda was and is not as closely integrated with Vedic ritual as the other three Vedas are.

     Mantras are basically of 3 major types, when classified according to their physical form: Riks, Yajus and Sāmans. Riks are versified mantras. Yajus are prose mantras whereas Sāmans are melodies set on Rk.

    §  The Rigveda is so called because it is comprised of Riks.

    §  The Yajurveda is so called because it is composed predominantly of prose mantras (Yajus) although it has hundreds of Riks as well. However, even the Riks in Yajurveda are recited as if they were prose passages.

    §  The Sāmaveda Samhitā is composed of melodies called Sāmans, and also the underlying Riks which are set to these melodies.

    §  The Atharvaveda is comprised of Riks (5/6 portion) as well as Yajus (1/6). Some adept Vedic scholars can set even the mantras of Atharvaveda to melodies.

    In many ways, the Samhitā of the Rigveda constitutes the basis of other Samhitās. Not only is it the most ancient Vedic text, it also contributes hundreds of verses to the other Samhitās. The poetical beauty of the Rigveda and the depth of its meaning are described in the following words by a modern scholar:

    “The fact that the verses of the Vedas are poetic in form and liturgical in function warns us against trying to reduce them to strictly rational forms or literal meanings. This sacred wisdom goes far beyond mere intellectual knowledge; it is the wisdom heard and felt in the hearts of the great seers and expressed by them in poem and song so that it might resound in the hearts of all people, awakening them to the tremendousness, mysteriousness, and joy of their own being as they participate in cosmic creation.”[2]

    Theoretically, the Mantras have a higher authority than the Brahmanas.

    What are the Brāhmaas?

    The word ‘Brāhmaas means through which we can know Brahma, where Brahma is another name for the Vedas. Therefore, the Brāhmaas are texts which expound the Vedic mantras and Vedic ritual ceremonies (Yajñas). These scriptures are characterized by statements of eulogy, censure, exposition and (ritual) application (of mantras). Many scholars, modern and ancient, have tried to define the Brāhmaas by stating their characteristics. The reality however is that there is no sharp difference in the characteristics of the Mantra and the Brahmana portions of the Vedas. The only thing that we may state safely is this – Mantras are those portions of the Vedas that are designated as such traditionally. And the rest is Brāhmaa.

    Unlike the mantras, which are mostly in verse, the Brāhmaas are predominantly prose. The Brāhmaas contain formulas for rituals, rules and regulations for rites and sacrifices and also outline other religious duties. The formulas and rules for conducting extremely complex rituals are explained to the minutest detail. And every ritual is performed for a specific purpose for which a specific effect/benefit is expected. It was felt that there was nothing that could not be achieved by sacrifices – the sun could be stopped from rising and Indra, the chief of Deities, could be deposed from his throne. The duties of men professing different occupations, the eternity of the Veda, popular customs, cosmogony, historical details, and praise of ancient heroes are some other subjects dealt with in the Brāhmaas.

    What are Ārayakas? [3]

    The Brāhmaas which deal predominantly with Vedic Yajnas fade gradually into more spiritual treatises called the Ārayakas. These scriptures contain several techniques of meditation and they explain the esoteric and mystical meanings of Yajñas. In short, the symbolic and spiritual aspects of the Vedic religion are meditated upon in the Ārañyakas.

    The word Ārayaka means belonging to the wilderness” that is, as Taittiriya  Ārayakas says, from where one cannot see the roofs of the settlement. According to some scholars, the other reason for their name is that this portion of the Vedas was the primary focus of study during the Vānaprastha’ (forest hermit) state of one’s life, when the person retired from active life in his old age to lead a sedentary lifestyle devoted to study of scriptures and performance of specific Vedic Yajñas.

    Ārayakas are also called Rahasya-Brāhmaa or the secret portion of the Brāhmaas. The Ārayakas are secret in the sense that

    1.     They are restricted to a particular class of rituals that nevertheless were frequently included in the Vedic curriculum that was primarily conveyed individually from teacher to student.

    2.     They convey the non-apparent spiritual meanings of the Vedic ceremonies.

    The Ārayakas are associated with and named after individual Vedic shākhās or branches.

    1.     Aitareya Ārayaka belongs to the Shākala Shākhā of Rigveda

    2.     Kaushitakī Ārayaka belongs to the Kaushitakī and Shānkhāyana Shākhās of Rigveda

    3.     Taittiriya Ārayaka belongs to the Taittiriya Shākhā of Krishna-Yajurveda

    4.     Maitrayaniya Ārayaka belongs to the Maitrayaniya Shākhā of Krishna-Yajurveda

    5.     Katha Ārayaka belongs to the (Charaka) Katha Shākhā of the Krishna-Yajurveda. Only fragments of it survive and are being still published.

    6.     Brihad- Ārayaka in the Mādhyandina and the Kāva versions. The Mādhyandina version has 8 sections, of which the last 6 are the Brihadarāyaka Upanishad.

    7.     Talavakāra Ārayaka or Jaiminiya Upanisadbrāhmaa belongs to the Talavakāra or Jaiminiya Shākhā of Sāmaveda.

    8.     The first three of the eight chapters of the Chhāndogya Upanishad have the nature of a Ārayaka.

    9.     Ārayaka Samhitā The Pūrvārchika of the Sāmaveda Samhitās have a section called the ‘Ārayaka Samhita on which the Āranyagāna Sāmans are sung.

    10.The Atharvaveda has no surviving Ārayaka, though one may regard the Gopatha Brāhmaa as its Ārayaka, a remnant of a larger Atharva (Paippalāda) Brāhmaa.

    What are the Upanishads?

    The Vedas have highly philosophical portions called the Upanishads, that form the bedrock of Hindu spirituality and theology. The Upanishads typically occur towards the end of the corpus of their respective Vedic Shakha and therefore they are often also called ‘Vedānta’. For example, the Taittiriya Shākhā of Yajurveda is arranged in the following manner: Taittiriya Samhita, Taittiriya Brāhmaa and Taittiriya Ārayaka. The last 4 of the 10 chapters of the Taittiriya Ārayaka comprise the Taittiriya and the Mahānārāyaa Upanishads. The presence of the Upanishads towards the end of their respective Vedic corpus indicates that they represent the final conclusion (Siddhānta) of the Veda. This is another reason why they are called Vedanta (Veda + Siddhānta).

    Traditionally, the 10 Upanishads on which Ādi Shankarāchārya wrote his commentary are considered the major Upanishads. These 10 Upanishads are:

    §  Aitareya Upanishad belonging to the Rigveda

    §  Ishāvāsya and Brihadārayaka Upanishad belonging to the Shukla Yajurveda

    §  Taittiriya and Katha Upanishads belonging to the Krishna Yajurveda

    §  Chhāndogya and Kena Upanishads belonging to the Sāmaveda

    §  Mudaka, Mādukya and Prashna Upanishads belonging to the Atharvaveda.

    In addition, the following Upanishads are also considered very ancient and authoritative:

    §  Kaushitaki Upanishad belonging to the Rigveda

    §  Mahānārāyaa, Kaivalya, Shvetashāvatara and Maitrāyaīya Upanishad belonging to the Krishna Yajurveda

    Tradition lists 108 Upanishads as the major Upanishads, and close to 200 Upanishads survive. However, the above 15 Upanishads and some others (such as Nīlarudra, Chhāgaleya, Ārsheya, Shaunaka, Bāshkalamantra) alone are the ancient Upanishads. Several portions of the Samhitā proper (e.g., the Brahmasūkta of the Atharvaveda), Brāhmaa proper (e.g., the first few sections of the Jaiminiya Brāhmaa or the Agnirahasya portion of the Shatapatha Brāhmaa) and Ārayakas (e.g., Chapters 9-10, 14-15 of the Shānkhāyana Ārayaka) are also similar to Upanishads.

    Many of the newer Upanishads propound doctrines related to Sannyāsa, Yoga, Sāmkhya, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shāktism, worship of Gaapati and also summaries and expositions of the newer school of Vedānta such as Advaita Vedānta. Such sectarian Upanishads have been utilized to the hilt by later Hindu teachers to provide the Shruti based proof that their sectarian ways are exalted above the other sectarian ways. While doing so, they quote the Upanishads selectively but never reject the other Upanishadic texts directly or indirectly since the Shruti cannot be rejected at all. For example, the Vaishnava Vedantists quote the Nārāyaa Upanishad and similar Upanishads profusely to prove that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Lord and all other Deities are lesser, explaining away the Shaivite Atharvashīrsha Upanishad. The Shaivite Vedantists do the opposite.

    “…Some have referred to the Upanisads as the ‘philosophical’ section of the Vedas. If by ‘philosophical’ one understands a systematic, coherent body of knowledge derived from inferential argument based on an analysis of experience, then these ancient texts are not ‘philosophical.’ In that case, one cannot criticize them for having a plurality of views that are not always mutually compatible, for being mystical and therefore non-rational in places, or for being didactic, that is, bent on teaching and instruction. The nature of philosophy in the modern Western sense is to be a form of public knowledge, its rational credentials available to the scrutiny of all. But the Upanisads, which ask questions and offer answers on the prigins of the universe and the production of being, on the nature of human existence and its goals, the relationship between beings and the source of being etc., attempt this task by continuing the Vedic tradition of private instruction based on personal initiation and passed down from teacher to disciple, by exploring perceived hidden correspondences between the human microcosm and the cosmic macrocosm, by plumbing the depths and searching the heights of conscious experience, by interiorizing the solemn ritual still further and understanding the role of speech and speech acts in this process, by giving instruction about the good life, by offering teaching about the mystery of death and the after-life, by trying to unify inner and outer being. They are a plural and pluralistic exercise in solving the conundrum of existence for the initiated; they are not systematic philosophical treatises. Nor can they be described as ‘speculative’ as is sometimes asserted; at least not from their point of view. They generally profess to give accredited insights based on experience and inquiry (whether one accept these or not); they do not claim to be guesswork. This is one reason why they exerted, and still exert, an unparalleled authority among large sections of the Hindu tradition, once their secretive teachings were recorded for posterity and opened up to increasingly wider public.”[4]

    Oral Nature of Vedic Scriptures

    Svādhyāya-6 02 Oral

    The Vedic texts were traditionally transmitted orally (or at least predominantly without the aid of manuscripts, which might have been used sparingly as memory aids). This was essential because the texts were ‘accented’, or in other words the different words or letters therein were recited according to different pitch/tones. Very elaborate mnemonic devices were developed to preserve the texts with great fidelity, and harsh Divine vengeance and evil repercussions were promised to those who deformed or mutilated the text in any manner. As a result, several Vedic texts were indeed transmitted over several millennia with utmost fidelity, together with accent. It took several years for a student to memorize one or more Vedic texts, word for word, letter for letter, with the correct accent, under the personal supervision of a competent teacher. The texts that are used for aiding the memorization and recitation of the Vedas with utmost fidelity, are called ‘Lakshaa Granthas. These texts include Anukramaīs, Padapāthas, Ghanapāthas, Kramapātha and other Vikrtis or modifications of the root text, phonetic treatises like Shikshās and Prātishākhyas and so on.