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A homage to Hindu civilization.

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    Igor Tonoyan-Belyayev has posted some monographs on the portal I invite attention of these monographs to those interested in the evolution of Indo-European languages with possible links to Tibetan and in the writing system of Indus Script. Igor Tonoyan Belyayev suggests that it is possible to differentiate the Harappan phonemes from Rigvedic.
    Without any comments, I provide below some links to Igor Tonoyan-Belyayev's monographs:

    S. Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Centre

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    Message on one cuneiform text: "In the account of Selmun Ea-nasir, one huge shipment from Dilmun weighed more than 

    13,000 minas of copper (~18 metric tonnes, or 18,000 kg, or 40,000 lbs)."

    I suggest that researchers of Sarasvati Civilization should get involved in the study of the most authentic documentary evidence provided by over 8000 Indus Script inscriptions. Of these, as many as 2000 are from the Persian Gulf sites, west of Dholavira and Lothal. Indus Script hypertexts are also found on Dong Son/Karen Bronze drums evidencing emphatic links of Ancient India with Ancient Far East. Did the four pure tin ingots weighing ca. 25 kgs. each found in a shipwreck in Haifa (three of which had Indus Script inscriptions) come from the largest belt of the globe, Ancient Far East? The inscriptions on tin ingots read rebus in Meluhha: ranku, 'antelope'ranku'liquid measure' PLUS datu'cross' PLUS muh'face' which together read rebus: ranku'tin'dhatu'mineral ore'muh'ingot'. This is an example of mlecchita vikalpa (lit. alternative messaging by mleccha, meluhha), i.e., 'Indus Script Cipher' mentioned by Vātsyāyana as one of the 64 arts to be learnt by youth (vidyā samuddeśa'objective of education').


    Tin mineral was highly valued in trade transactions during the ancient Tin-Bronze Revolution, from ca. 4th millennium BCE. Tin-Bronzes replaced the arsenical bronzes which were in short supply. The largest tin belt of the globe is in the basins of Himalayan rivers Mekong, Irrawaddy, Salween which ground down granite rocks and created abundant placer deposits of cassiterite (tin) ores.

    A Harappa potsherd with Indus Script inscription is dated to ca. 3300 BCE. The hypertext reads: kolmo'three' rebus: kolimi'smithy, forge' PLUS tagaraka'tabernae montana' (hair fragrance flower) rebus: tagara'tin'


    Dilmun: Mesopotamian Paradise on the Persian Gulf

    The Paradisaical Trade Center in Bahrain

    Main Courtyard, Dilmun Culture, Fort Bahrain
    Main Courtyard, Dilmun Culture, Fort Bahrain. Chris Price

    Dilmun is the ancient name of a Bronze Age port city and trade center, located in modern-day Bahrain, Tarut Island of Saudi Arabia and Failaka Island in Kuwait. All of these islands hug the Saudi Arabia coastline along the Persian Gulf, an ideal location for international trade connecting Bronze Age Mesopotamia, India, and Arabia.
    Dilmun is mentioned in some of the earliest Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform records from 3rd millennium BCE.
    In the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, probably written in the 2nd millennium BCE, Dilmun is described as a paradise, where people lived after surviving the Great Flood.


    While praised for its paradisiacal beauty, Dilmun began its rise in the Mesopotamian trade network during the late 3rd millennium BCE, when it expanded to the north. Dilmun's rise to prominence was as a trading center where travelers could obtain copper, carnelian, and ivory which originated in Oman (ancient Magan) and the Indus Valley of Pakistan and India (ancient Meluhha).
    • 2200–2000 BCE (Period I)—social elites emerge
    • 2150–2050 BCE (Ia)—copper industry begins, Qala'at al Bahrain grows to a city with a stone wall
    • 2050–2000 (Ib)— the emergence of vast mound cemeteries with elite tombs, strong influence from Indus Valley, ~34% population increase in Dilmun
    • 2000–1800 (Period II)—abandonment of Magan's large central settlements, increase in Barbar temple, large public buildings, city wall around the capital, connection with Amorites (contemporary political power in Mesopotamia)
    • 1800–1650 (Period III)—Bahrain mostly abandoned, Failaka in Kuwait continues

    Debating Dilmun

    Early scholarly debates about Dilmun centered around its location. Cuneiform sources from Mesopotamia and other polities in the region seem to refer to an area of eastern Arabia, including Kuwait, northeastern Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
    Archaeologist and historian Theresa Howard-Carter (1929-2015) argued that the earliest references to Dilmun point to al- Qurna, near Basrah in Iraq; Samuel Noah Kramer (1897–1990) believed, at least for a while, that Dilmun referred to the Indus Valley. In 1861, scholar Henry Rawlinson suggested Bahrain. In the end, archaeological and historical evidence has agreed with Rawlinson, showing that beginning about 2200 BCE, the center of Dilmun was on the island of Bahrain, and its control extended to the adjacent al-Hasa province in what is today Saudi Arabia.
    Another debate concerns the complexity of Dilmun. While few scholars would argue that Dilmun was a state, evidence of social stratification is strong, and Dilmun's location as the best port in the Persian Gulf made it an important trading center if nothing more.

    Textual References

    Dilmun's existence in Mesopotamian cuneiform was identified in the 1880s, by Friedrich Delitzsch and Henry Rawlinson. The earliest records referring to Dilmun are administrative documents in the First Dynasty of Lagash (ca. 2500 BCE). They provide evidence that at least some trade existed at the time between Sumer and Dilmun, and that the most important trade item was palm dates.
    Later documents suggest that Dilmun held a key position on trade routes between Magan, Meluhha, and other lands. Within the Persian Gulf between Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Magan (present-day Oman), the only suitable harbor is on Bahrain island. Cuneiform texts from southern Mesopotamian rulers from Sargon of Akkad to Nabonidus indicate that Mesopotamia partially or completely controlled Dilmun beginning about 2360 BCE.

    Copper Industry in Dilmun

    Archaeological evidence indicates that there was a substantial copper industry operating on the beaches of Qala'at al-Bahrain during Period 1b. Some crucibles held as much as four liters (~4.2 gallons), suggesting the workshop was substantial enough to require an institutional authority operating above the village level. According to historical records, Magan held the copper trade monopoly with Mesopotamia until Dilmun took it over in 2150 BCE.
    In the account of Selmun Ea-nasir, one huge shipment from Dilmun weighed more than 13,000 minas of copper (~18 metric tonnes, or 18,000 kg, or 40,000 lbs).
    There are no copper quarries on Bahrain. Metallurgical analysis showed that some but not all Dilmun's ore came from Oman. Some scholars have suggested the ore originated from the Indus Valley: Dilmun certainly had a connection to them during this period. Cubical weights from the Indus have been found at Qala'at al-Bahrain from the beginning of Period II, and a Dilmun weight standard corresponding to the Indus weights emerged at the same time.

    Burials at Dilmun

    Early (~2200–2050 BCE) Dilmun burial mounds, called Rifa'a type, are shaped like a pill-box, a crudely built central chamber covered with rock fill forming a low, tabular mound at most 1.5 meters (~5 feet) in height. The mounds are primarily oval in outline, and only vary in that the larger ones had chambers with recesses or alcoves, giving them an L-, T- or H-shape. Grave goods from the early mounds included late Umm an-Nar pottery and Mesopotamian vessels of late Akkadian to Ur III. Most are located on the central limestone formation of Bahrain and the Dammam dome, and about 17,000 have been mapped to date.
    The later (~2050–1800) type of mound is generally conical in form, with a stone-built chamber with capstone slabs covered by a high, conical mound of soil. This type is 2–3 m (~6.5–10 ft) in height and 6–11 m (20–36 ft) in diameter, with a few very large ones. About 58,000 of the later type of mound have been identified so far, mostly in ten crowded cemeteries containing between 650 to over 11,000 interments.
    These are spatially restricted, on the western side of the central limestone dome and a rise between the cities of Saar and Janabiyah.

    Ring Mounds and Elite Tombs

    Some ob both burial mound types are "ring mounds," encircled by a stone wall. Ring mounds are all limited to the northern slopes of Bahrain's limestone dome. Early types are found alone or in groups of 2-3, located on elevated plateaus in between wadis. Ring mounds increase in size over time between 2200–2050 BCE.
    The latest type of ring mound is only found on the northwestern side of the Aali cemetery. All of the late mounds with rings are larger than the regular mounds, with mound diameters ranging between 20–52 m (~65-170 ft) and outer ring walls 50–94 m (164–308 ft) in diameter. The original height of the largest known ring mound was 10 m (~33 ft). Several had very large, two-story inner chambers.
    Elite tombs are in three separate places, eventually merging into one principal cemetery at Aali. Tombs began to be built higher and higher, with outer ring walls and diameters expanding, reflecting (possibly) growth of a dynastic lineage.


    The earliest excavations on Bahrain include those of E.L. Dunnand in 1880, F. B. Prideaux in 1906–1908, and P. B. Cornwall in 1940–1941, among others. The first modern excavations were undertaken at Qala'at al Bahrain by P.V. Glob, Peder Mortensen and Geoffrey Bibby in the 1950s. Recently, Cornwall's collection at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology has been a focus of study.
    Archaeological sites associated with Dilmun include Qala'at al-Bahrain, Saar, Aali Cemetery, all of which are located in Bahrain, and Failaka, Kuwait.

    Geoffrey Bibby was a Cambridge-educated oil executive, who got caught up, against-all-odds, with the tiny Danish Prehistoric Museum of Aarhus, with barely any resources, that nonetheless has emerged as a powerhouse in ancient Dilmun studies, thanks in part to Bibby's initial efforts. As he writes in this book from 1969, "Four thousand years ago the "Lost Civilizations" of Dilmun dominated the road to the Indies, the tradeways between Mesopotamia and the civilizations of the Indus Valley. And for fifteen years it has dominated my life."
    He tells of days when Landrovers were borrowed from oil companies, when Aramco staff went "pot-picking" in the desert along ancient mounds, well before the great oilfields were discovered. Tiny teams and planes scoured vast deserts, unexpectedly turning up once flourishing ancient towns from a civilization, Dilumn, only known from Mesopotamian texts. He describes the excitement of finding the buried snake pots and bones that corroborated myths about Dilmun in these texts, or turning up seals with Indus signs. The first Indus archaeologists did not leave these kinds of personal memoirs behind (with the exception of Sir Mortimer Wheeler's Still Digging in 1956), so it is a pleasure to read this volume, and share in the author's discovery. Then the ruling Sheikhs lived in tents, and sometimes went along on archaeological expeditions; they knew little of a pre-Islamic past but still managed to set up the first authorities and archaeology departments, often with Bibby's advice, that are leading continuing discoveries in the area rapidly changing Bronze age studies. Imagine, as Bibby did, watching movies projected with a generator on a screen in the desert with Sheikh Zayid of Abu Dhabi, until 2 a.m., "when they begged to show a second film we threw in our hands, and begged Sheikh Zayid that we be excused. We were to be up early the next day, we explained, in order to see what Buraimi had to offer of archaeological remains. Zayid smiled and nodded. 'I shall come fetch you at seven o'clock,' he said. That was in less than five hours time [and] . . . promptly at seven two open jeeps roard up before our ziggurat, with Zayid himself, looking spruce and wide awake, driving the leading vehicle." Bibby went on to excavate in the mounds of Buraimi, outlining the Umm An-Nar culture whose pottery shows marked similarities with that of southwestern Iran, Balochistan and the ancient Indus valley.
    There is a lot connecting Bibby's story of discovery with the ancient Indus, including finding the first local round seals with Indus letters and figures, or another seal from Falaika of a man holding a monkey, imported as pets from ancient Meluha as it was known then [Image 2]. Easy to read, with many illustrations and reflections on Dilmun that are still being sorted out, but will likely cast much light on the Indus civilization with whom the ancient Dilmunians see to have had a lot in common. The tight economic bond that seems to be forming again today between the Gulf and South Asia is nothing new.
    Bibby concludes Looking for Dilmun with the pointers others have taken up since then: "The tale of our search for Dilmun ends in mid-air. We have found Dilmun. Where fifteen years ago there was only the mystery of the hundred thousand undated burial mounds of Bahrain there are now cities and temples, dated and documented, along 250 miles of cost and islands from Kuwait to Bahrain and (a discovery of the 1969 campaign, added during printing) extending sixty miles into the interior of Saudi Arabia, to the oasis of Hofuf" (p. 381).
    Image 2 below: Right: A single Seal from Falaika Bears an Inscription in the Unread Indus Script. Left: From one of the Falaika Seals. A Man Holds a Monkey at Arm's Length; Monkeys were Imported as Pets from Meluha. (Bibby, pp. 253, 211).

    The Story of the Gulf Type Indus Seal

    A very interesting paper by Steffen Terp Laursen, an expert on Dilmun, or the civilization in Bahrain contemporaneous with the ancient Indus civilization, suggests that the round, so-called [Arabian] "Gulf seal", often found with Indus signs and creatures like the short-horned bull and standard, developed from ancient Indus seals and representatives moving westward. Later these types of seals followed their own development trajectory and their Indus iconography. The westward transmission of Indus Valley sealing technology: origin and development of the ‘Gulf Type’ seal and other administrative technologies in Early Dilmun, c.2100–2000 BC is a fascinating example of how, once again, very careful analysis, indeed microanalysis of even small objects like seals, can indicate different styles and traditions that speak to larger issues like different maker communities or craftsmen. They shed light on how a technology and style moves across place and time, changing along the way to fit a different cultural equation. It also reinforces the great likelihood that seals in the ancient Indus, just like in neighbouring civilizations in Mesopotamia and Dilmun with whom Indus traders interacted, were primarily economic instruments.
    Laursen writes of the Gulf seal, which "come from a vast geographical area encompassing Bahrain, the Indus Valley (Mohenjo-daro and Chanh-Daro), Iran (Kerman, Luristan, Susa and the eastern Iranian plateau), Kuwait (Falaika), Mesopotamia (Ur, Girsu, Babylon and others unspecified) and the U.A.E. (Tell Apraq)," that "the Indus inscriptions on the seals are investigated with particular emphasis on the abnormal occurrence of prefixed ‘twins’ signs in the western inscriptions. The hypothesis that a language different from that of the Harappans was used on these seals is reconfirmed on the basis of a newly found seal with a particular instructive pseudo-inscription. The writer "concludes that breakaway Harappans operating in the western orbit invented the Gulf Type seals but that the type from around 2050 BC became practically synonymous with the merchant communities in Dilmun."
    The paper lists all of the Gulf seals found, including a number of new ones, and meticulously goes through the research, the facts known about them and how this could fit into the political and economic trajectory of the area. Laursen is the co-author of the forthcoming (this month!) Babylonia, the Gulf Region and the Indus, which looks like it will be a new, comprehensive study of the evidence around Indus contacts with sister civilizations.

    Archaeological and Textual Evidence for Contact in the Third and Early Second Millennia BC

    by Steffen Laursen and Piotr Steinkeller
    Eisenbrauns, 2017 
    List Price: $59.50


    During the third millennium BC, the huge geographical area stretching between the Mediterranean in the west and the Indus Valley in the east witnessed the rise of a commercial network of unmatched proportions and intensity, within which the Persian Gulf for long periods functioned as a central node. In this book, Laursen and Steinkeller examine the nature of cultural and commercial contacts between Babylonia, the Gulf region, and Indus Civilization. Focusing on the third and early second millennia BC, and using both archaeological data and the evidence of ancient written sources, their study offers an up-to-date synthetic picture of the history of interactions across this vast region. In addition to giving detailed characterizations and evaluations of contacts in various periods, the book also treats a number of important related issues, such as the presence of Amorites in the Gulf (in particular, their role in the rise of the Tilmun center on Bahrain Island); the alleged existence of Meluhhan commercial outposts in Babylonia; and the role that the seaport of Gu’abba played in Babylonia’s interactions with the Gulf region and southeastern Iran.

    Product Details

    Publisher: Eisenbrauns
    Publication date: 2017
    Bibliographic info: Pp. x + 141
    Language(s): English
    Cover: Cloth
    Trim Size: 7 x 10 inches
    ISBN: 1-57506-756-0
    ISBN13: 978-1-57506-756-8

    Write-up about the book

    This is a very important book by two scholars who have spent years studying ancient Mesopotamian cultures (Steinkeller, Harvard University) or leading explorations of more recently discovered Gulf Arab cultures (Laursen, Moesgaard Museum Denmark). The authors summarize and integrate previously-known textual data, primarily from ancient Mesopotamia, with “the dramatic increase of archaeological data, in particular on Tilmun and Makkan [ancient civilizations contemporaneous with the ancient Indus in the Arabian Gulf], in recent decades.” In their words, “following many e-mail exchanges about various points related to the archaeology and history of the Persian Gulf region during the third millennium BC, we concluded that, because of the great accumulation of new data and persistence of many misconceptions, there was a pressing need to produce an up-to-date synthetic evaluation of this subject” (p. 1, ix).

    Laursen and Steinkeller rigorously review textual and archeological data. One comes away with a sense of how delicate the ebb and flow of trade between Oman [Makkan], Bahrain [Dilmun], Marhasi [southeastern Iran], the Indus civilization [Meluha], and Mesopotamia was in the 3rd millennium. Intense periods of contact and exchange were followed by fallow ones. One can infer that trade relationships were dependent on political, religious, tribal, or navigational ties that were fragile and subject to disruption. For example, Laursen points out that “sometime in the late ED III or early Sargonic period (ca. 2350 BCE), the trading post on Umm an-Nar island was abandoned, possibly after a fire had destroyed the ‘warehouse’ for the second time.” (p. 28).

    Connections between Makkan [Oman] and Marhasi [southeastern Iran] seem to have been stronger than between the latter and Dilmun [Bahrain] despite their greater proximity. With such small populations on all sides of the Gulf, connections between places would have been transformative as well as tenuous. There is no doubt about how important trade was to these early civilizations; the authors show that the goal of the Sargonic kings of Babylonia was not so much annexation and conquest as “the control of critical nodal points . . . [and] to set the terms of trade and to provide protection for Babylonian traders, who lived in extra territorial commercial settlements in the periphery or simply conducted business there . . .. The main function of the empire’s political and military apparatus was to ensure that the entire commercial network worked smoothly, with the merchandise flowing from one end of the system to the other without any disturbances or interruption” (pp. 31-32). Across such large areas, this kind of integration was a big step in human history.

    Indus civilization may have had similar trading objectives though the homogeneity across its territory seems to have been greater.

    If we know what Meluha exported to Mesopotamia, we know little about what was sent in return. Nothing definitive from the region has turned up in graves (of which there are precious few Indus ones), where Bronze Age civilizations tended to hoard goods from other cultures.

    Most archaeologists assume goods exported to the Indus valley were perishable. The items listed in Appendix I as exports from Babylonia to the Gulf region based on textual records would bear this out if the same goods were also exported to Meluha. These most often consisted of oils (including sesame and perfumed oils), wool and textile garments, leather objects and barley. Interestingly, while we think textiles were important economic products of Indus civilization, the book reminds us that this was also the case in ancient Mesopotamia, with many pages on the major textile production center and port of Gu’abba. Did the two civilizations exchange distinctive textile products? The fact that Mesopotamian ruling clans liked to be buried with Indus goods like carnelian and lapis suggests that foreign goods were important prestige objects.

    Nowhere do cultural linkages appear as clearly as in the Indus contributions sketched both here (and in other papers by Laursen) to the rise of civilization in the area centered on what is now Bahrain island. “Approximately halfway through the 21st century BC,” write the authors, “Tilmun society suddenly underwent a series of major reorganizations that are concordantly suggestive of an explosion in both social complexity and economic prosperity. . . . The temporary segregation from the Meluha trade, which Tilmun had been subjected to, comes to a conspicuous end. Most important in this respect is the introduction in Tilmun of major urban innovations associated with the organization and administration of trade, each of which clearly are inspired by the mercantile protocol of the Indus Valley civilization.”

    “The first Indus-inspired circular stamp seals of “Gulf-type” appear in the layers at Qala’at al-Bahrain concurrent with the construction of the city wall ca. 2050 BC. The synchronous introduction of Indus “writing” is suggested by the occasional presence in the Gulf seals of short inscriptions written in the characters of the Indus script. The distribution of this class of inscribed ‘Gulf Type’ seals ranges as far as Babylonia in the west to Sindh and Gujarat (Dholavira) in the east. By all appearances, this first series of stamp seals native to the Gulf is connected with a league of Tilmun-associated merchants that was now actively involved in the Meluha trade.”

    “The introduction of sealing technology was accompanied by the introduction of a formal weight system, as evidenced in the cubical and spherical stone weights that correspond perfectly to the standard weight units of the Harappans. In Babylonia, Tilmun’s newly adopted Meluhan weight system became known as the Tilmun norm (na Tilmun) (UET 5 796)” (p. 50).

    It may be worth noting that this flowering of Indus cultural influence was followed by the decline of Indus civilization in both in the homeland and in the Gulf. Could its blossoming in Dilmun have been associated with some population of Meluhans trying to get away and establish a new presence in another place?

    There are hints of Meluha participating in external conflicts – the authors note that “the conflict with Marhasi continued into the reign of Sargon’s son Rimus, who successfully fought a major Marhasian coalition, one of whose members was, very revealingly, Meluha” (p. 35). There are tantalizing references to the ancient land of “Kupin,” which may have been present-day Balochistan and the Makran coast, between Meluha and Marhasi, and could  be related to the so-called Kulli culture that preceded the Indus civilization.

    However inconclusive the evidence is, there is much to be learned about the ancient Indus civilization outside of the region directly, in its relationships with other civilizations. There are many Mesopotamian texts in archives that still remain to be read that may have clues to, for example, Meluhan rulers, as all the areas around them seemed to have rulers, and why should Meluha be an exception? This book is an excellent and critical marker on the long journey of discovery ahead.

    Indus Seals (2600-1900 Bce) Beyond Geometry: A New Approach to Break an Old Code by [Talpur, Parveen]

    Indus Seals (2600-1900 Bce) Beyond Geometry: A New Approach to Break an Old Code Kindle Edition

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    An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. One case in point is the necropolis at Rakhigarhi site (Haryana, India), one of the largest cities of the Harappan Civilization, where most burials within the cemetery remained uninvestigated. Over the course of the past three seasons (2013 to 2016), we therefore conducted excavations in an attempt to remedy this data shortfall. In brief, we found different kinds of graves co-existing within the Rakhigarhi cemetery in varying proportions. Primary interment was most common, followed by the use of secondary, symbolic, and unused (empty) graves. Within the first category, the atypical burials appear to have been elaborately prepared. Prone-positioned internments also attracted our attention. Since those individuals are not likely to have been social deviants, it is necessary to reconsider our pre-conceptions about such prone-position burials in archaeology, at least in the context of the Harappan Civilization. The data presented in this report, albeit insufficient to provide a complete understanding of Harappan Civilization cemeteries, nevertheless does present new and significant information on the mortuary practices and anthropological features at that time. Indeed, the range of different kinds of burials at the Rakhigarhi cemetery do appear indicative of the differences in mortuary rituals seen within Harappan societies, therefore providing a vivid glimpse of how these people respected their dead.


    Harappan Civilization, named after the first site discovered close to the village of Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan), has been examined and appreciated since the early twentieth century because this is the earliest complex society known from ancient South Asia. The cultures of the Harappan Civilization can generally be subdivided into Early (3300~2600 BCE), Mature (2600~1900 BCE), and Late (1900~1700 BCE) periods [1]. Recent excavations in the Ghaggar Basin (or RgVedic Saraswati) sites, including Bhirrana, Girawad, Farmana, and Rakhigarhi, have pushed the date for the beginning of the Harappan Civilization back to 5500 BCE [2]. The significance and geographical extent of this civilization are now clearer than ever as it encompassed a vast area spanning southeastern Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the northwestern and western states of India [3].
    According to the relevant previous literatures [3,4], this civilization was originally formed as the result of the gradual development of indigenous farming communities. Their eventual unification was the beginning of a complex urban society. Because of extensive inter-community trade networks, Harappan people shared a common cultural tradition characterized by life in well-planned and organized towns or cities. They boasted multiple hallmarks of an advanced civilization such as copper-bronze metallurgical techniques, a standard measurement system, shared ceramic idioms, a written language and so on. To date, five major urban sites (Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala, Rakhigarhi, and Dholavira), each originally surrounded by a vast rural landscape and small settlements, have been identified as regional centers of Harappan Civilization [3,5].
    Over the last 100 years, archaeologists have uncovered a number of Harappan cemetery sites (Fig 1), including Harappa [6,7], Kalibangan [8], Farmana [9,10], Rakhigarhi [11], and Sanauli [12]. However, the data from these sites are currently too incomplete to describe how the Harappan people treated their dead in the cemeteries [1315]. Archaeological efforts on known Harappan cemeteries have also been limited because of their remote locations and the apparently random nature of sites. A further complicating factor has been the action of hydrological and wind erosion flattening the soil pits of burial mounds. As a result, the majority of the archaeological surveys completed on more than 2,000 sites so far have been focused mainly on Harappan cities and towns, while relatively few cemetery sites have been addressed [3].
    Fig 1. Harappan sites where skeletons were discovered (indicated by dots).
    Red dot: Rakhigarhi site; dashed dot: skeletons from non-cemetery area; black dots: cemetery sites other than Rakhigarhi.
    Despite these difficulties, some pioneering interdisciplinary studies successfully reconstructed the people’s lives of Harappan Civilization, with the data from mortuaries and skeletal remains of particular interest to archaeologists and anthropologists [1618]. Briefly speaking, the biological relationships between Harappan societies and their neighboring civilizations were revealed in previous works [19,20]. Isotopic analysis elucidated individual migration life histories linking city populations to hinterland groups [21]. Dietary [22,23] and pathological [2427] features have also been the subject of interdisciplinary researches. Paleopathological studies were done on the teeth and mandibles of the Harappan people [26,27]. Schug et al. [24] compared the cranial traumas seen in historical populations at Harappa burials to evaluate whether the society was characterized by a peaceful heterarchy [24]. Schug [28] speculated that the presence of non-normative burials as well as traumatic injuries and leprosy in skeletal remains might have related to differences among the dead at Harappa. Other recent publications have dealt with the significance of mortuary behavior in the sociocultural dynamics of Harappan Civilization [21,2630].
    Excavations over three consecutive years (between 1997 and 2000) carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) uncovered the evidences of a well-established road, drainage system, large rainwater storage facility, and additional city infrastructure in Rakhigarhi site [3133]. The ASI thus established that Rakhigarhi, once surrounded by fertile cropland and numerous settlements, was the provincial capital of the eastern region of the Harappan Civilization [34]. Although this preliminary ASI fieldwork paved the way for future investigations, the majority of graves within the cemetery still remained untouched except for 11 burials in a trench within the cemetery area (RGR 07) [11]. This subsequent lack of archaeological and anthropological focus on the cemetery area has been unfortunate, especially since the Rakhigarhi site was one of the greatest political and economic centers of the Harappan Civilization.
    Our investigations carried out between 2013 and 2016 at Rakhigarhi cemetery might therefore prove meaningful. By the excavation of a salvage trench in 2013–14, we were able to reveal the general features of this cemetery. We continued our excavation in the following year (2014–15), and extended its range further in the year after (2015–16). The results of this three-year study have enabled us to conjecture how the people of Harappan Civilization were buried and how their graves were managed within the necropolis. The numerous novel aspects about Harappan mortuary customs are also discussed in this paper.

    Materials and methods


    Rakhigarhi is an ancient megacity site located about 150 kilometers from Delhi in India’s Haryana state. Its necropolis area (N29°17′52.9″/E76°06′51″) is situated in what is now an agricultural field (ASI designation: RGR 07) (Fig 2). We differentiated the area into three distinct localities: RGR 7.1 (for salvage-trench), RGR 7.2 (northern section), and RGR 7.3 (southern section) (Fig 3). In each locality, we numbered trenches and burial pits in their order of excavation (S1 Fig). We put one salvage-trench (S1 Fig) in RGR 7.1, and three (A1 to A3) and two (B1 to B2) trenches in RGR 7.2 and 7.3, respectively.
    Fig 2. Aerial view of Rakhigarhi.
    Mounds 01–06: Archaeological mounds of Harappan city; Mound 07: cemetery area. The blue and green rectangles indicate the currently excavated trenches (2014–16) and salvage investigation area (2013–14), respectively.
    Fig 3. Distinct localities of Rakhigarhi excavation site.
    The investigation was conducted under the permission of the Archaeological Survey of India (approval number: F/15/1/2010 EE). During the excavation of the necropolis area, very large numbers of potsherds and animal bones, as suggestive of the complex mortuary activities in the cemetery area, were found around burial pits. Outside the burial pits within the trenches, common Harappan objects like hopscotch, sling balls and shell objects were collected though in small quantities. It is quite likely that these are indications of the rituals practiced by the Harappans as part of their burial ceremonies. Photos and videos were taken during and after the excavation of each burial pit. Two drones (Phantom3 Standard; Professional, DJI, Shenzhen, China) were deployed for acquisition of the aerial views of the site.
    After unearthing of skeletons at the excavation site, we recorded the relevant archaeological information. During the fieldwork, we wore protective gloves, masks, gowns and caps in order to reduce sample contamination to the minimum (Fig 4S2 Fig). We also took steps to prevent damage to skeletons, especially by limiting access to them. For future bio-anthropological experiments, the genetic profiles of every researcher’s hair sample were obtained to compare with those of ancient specimens. The human and cultural remains retrieved from each burial pit finally were transported to the Laboratory at the Department of Archaeology, Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute (Deemed University), Pune, India.
    Fig 4. Fieldwork.
    Note the protective clothing worn to minimize contamination of samples.
    The specimens discussed in this paper are housed in the collections of the Department of Archaeology, Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, India. For the skeletons, access is available to bona fide researchers on request. The review of Institutional Review Board (IRB) for this study was exempted by Seoul National University Hospital (exemption number: 2013–004; 2017–001).

    Choosing the burial classification system

    Classification is the basis of archaeological analysis. Mortuary excavation, for example, yields a wide variety of evidence reflective of practices that have to be classified systematically in terms of shared attributes and differences [35]. Concerning the archaeological aspects of disposal of the dead, early studies on ancient South Asia employed ambiguous terminology based on the assumption of the duality of burial, either inhumation or cremation [36]. We had to reject this protocol for classification of burials discovered at Harappan cemeteries, as inhumation and cremation were not mutually exclusive in practice.
    Singh [37] suggested the following system of burial-type classification for South Asia: (1) burial of complete body: inhumation in pits or urns; (2) burial of selected bones after cremation: post-cremation burial, and (3) burial of selected bones after excarnation: post-excarnation burial. Although an improvement on the former protocol, this classification system cannot be considered the standard for field archaeology either, as it neglects some burial cases (e.g. a cenotaph or empty grave for commemoration of the deceased) due to the technical limitations at the time. Next, Sprague [38,39] classified body disposal into simple (primary inhumation irrespective of aquatic, superterranean or subterranean disposals) and compound (involving a reduction process before final disposal) cases. Although these definitions are consistent with primary and secondary burials, respectively, they are nonetheless too ambiguous for classification of every grave in the archaeological context of South Asia.
    Nowadays, Harappan archaeologists prefer a classification system accounting for primary, secondary, and symbolic burials, each sub-categorized by the difference in the means of disposal of the body (full, fractional or absent body) [9,10,40]. This classification yields a comprehensive set of mutually exclusive categories. Primary burial indicates any method whereby the full body is interred (e.g., underground pit, built-grave, ship-burial, hanging burial, etc.) as the final stage of burial. Secondary burial represents burial of a fractional part or parts of the body that were collected after artificial or natural decomposition. Symbolic burial covers the practices whereby the grave is built at a location other than the burial place of the dead body. This classification system is beneficial to field archaeologists, as it is also applicable to other historical mortuary-archaeological contexts of the Indian subcontinent (e.g. Iron Age megalithic burial) [41]. In consideration of the aspects and advantages above-noted, we adopted this system for classification of mortuary customs evidenced in our study of Rakhigarhi cemetery.
    Specific individuals, communities and societies have their own normative methods of burial. What was or were the Harappan Civilization’s normative form or forms of body disposal remains unclear to us. And indeed, we have to allow for the possibility that diverse groups within the broader Harappan society had distinctive mortuary customs [3,5,18,42]. Such uncertainty as to what practices were normative for the Harappan Civilization make our classification fundamentally etic. We thus sub-categorized the Rakhigarhi cemetery’s primary burials into typical and atypical cases. Typical cases, entailing burial of supine-positioned bodies inside of a plain pit (Fig 5A), were found in much greater numbers than were atypical, exceptional cases such as brick-lined graves (Fig 5B), multiple bodies or prone-positioned burial. The Harappan people’s common practice was, at least as far as Rakhigarhi cemetery indicates, the burial of the body without any process of reduction.
    Fig 5.
    (A) Primary typical interment (A2/BR 36) at Rakhigarhi cemetery. (B) Primary atypical burial (A2/BR 22) with brick-lined grave architecture.
    As for secondary burial, the term is somewhat problematic due to its ambiguous usage among archaeologists. Darvill [43] defined it as involving a grave dug into a pre-existing barrow or burial at any time after its initial construction. Knüsel [44] defines secondary burial as the relocation of the body of a primary burial to another site. South Asian archaeologists, meanwhile, have their own definition of secondary burial: the final disposal of the body parts long after death, regardless of inhumation or cremation, decomposition, or earlier relocation [9,10,40]. In our study, we adopted this South Asian definition of secondary burial.
    We also categorized as symbolic burials cases in which the body was not placed inside the burial at the time that the grave was first constructed. An example is a cenotaph, a type of monument that functions as a symbolic burial to commemorate an individual whose body was missing (e.g. who died far from home) [45]. We performed careful examinations to rule out the possibility that the body had disappeared due to taphonomic agents or processes. We classified cases as symbolic when human bones were not discovered whereas sacrificed-animal bones or other grave goods were (Fig 6). Also, we classified cases as unused pit chamber when the grave had been elaborately built but absolutely no bones or artifacts were found.


    Anthropological studies were conducted on skeletal remains obtained from respective burial pits in order to shed light on some of the bio-anthropological characteristics of the Rakhigarhi population. During the analyses at Deccan College, archaeologists and anthropologists exchanged opinions with each other for more comprehensive understanding of the data. While the archaeologists analyzed the characteristics of each burial and grave artifacts, the anthropologists assigned the information obtained from the individual skeletons to the burial inventory archaeologists summarized.
    Sex and age estimations were performed on the skeletal remains using methods described in Standards for Data Collection [46]. The sex estimation of the individuals was carried out by macroscopic assessments of the pelvis and skull. The primary indicators included the greater sciatic notch and pre-auricular sulcus of the pelvis. When the pelvic elements were not dispositive, the glabella, supraorbital margin, nuchal crest, and mastoid process of the skull and mandibular mental eminence were examined [46,47]. Age at death was estimated with reference to degenerative changes of the auricular and pubic symphyseal surfaces of the pelvis [48], the degrees of palatal and ectocranial suture closure [49,50], and dental wear [51]. All of the adult individuals were categorized into three age groups: young adult (18~35 years), middle-aged adult (36~50 years), and old adult (over 50 years). For immature individuals, approximate age was determined based on dental development and epiphyseal closure [52].


    The individual’s sex, age and burial type as well as the number of votive pots were tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis using R version 3.4.0 (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). To determine statistical difference between two independent groups, we first tested all data for normality (Shapiro-Wilk test). Next, to compare variances, we performed an F test for normally distributed groups, using Welch's t-test when the variances were not equal to each other and, in cases where they were equal, the pooled estimate of the variance. The Wilcox rank sum test for non-parametric statistical hypothesis was applied to non-normally distributed data. A P value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant (confidence interval: 95%). We drew boxplots to visualize the results by group. We also utilized Strip Charts for drawing of individual variables in a single plot. In order to detect burial outliers by the number of votive pots, we defined the inner fence as follows: Q3 + 1.5 x interquartile range (IQR). When a burial’s pot number was outside the inner fence, we regarded it as an extreme case (i.e., too divergent from the others).

    Results and discussion

    Information on excavation site

    We performed a series of archaeological and anthropological analyses on the Rakhigarhi cemetery area for three consecutive seasons (2013–2016): the first season (2013–2014) for RGR 7.1, and the next two seasons (2014–2016) for full-scale excavations of RGR 7.2 and 7.3. Radiocarbon dates (determined by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) for charcoal samples from different depths at the Rakhigarhi site were previously reported by the Inter University Accelerator Center (Delhi, India). The carbon dating of the samples at the depths of 9.1 and 20.6 meters yielded calibrated dates of 2273±38 years BCE and 2616 ±73 years BCE, respectively [53].
    By surface survey and interview with village seniors (April, 2014), we were able to obtain stratigraphic information on the RGR 7.1 site. We learned, for example, that the local people had already leveled much of the mounds (about 1 meter) for farming purposes. We estimated, by surface survey of the area and its remaining portions of mounds, that the present extent of the cemetery was approximately 1 ha. In the following season (2014–15), we resumed systematic excavation of a trench (A1–10 × 10 m) in RGR 7.2, finding 6 burials (A1/BR 01–06) therein. In 2015–16, we extended the excavation area, designating a large trench (A2; 20 × 20 m) next to A1, and discovering a total of 36 burials. A small trench A3 (5 × 5 m) was assigned to check the stratigraphy of the locality. By this means, we were able to determine that the cemetery inclined from north to south at the time that the Harappan people were actively constructing graves there. The burials in the trenches within the northern locus generally remained closer to the soil surface. In the B1 to B2 trenches assigned to the southern locality (RGR 7.3), we found 11 burials: 3 in the RGR7.3 B1 trench and 8 in the B2 trench. The general information is summarized on the conceptual map of the excavation site (Fig 7).
    Fig 7. Map of excavation site at Rakhigarhi necropolis.
    Most of the burial pits were rectangular in shape, with vertically cut sides and flat bottoms. We also found some oval or square pits specially used for non-primary burials. Although each primary burial pit had a slightly different orientation, all were generally arranged on the north-south axis with the head to the north. The pottery and any other artifacts from all of the excavated graves belonged to the Mature Harappan period. Because the shapes of the graves and typologies of the burial goods did not much differ from each other, detailed burial chronology proved difficult.
    Even so, from the information obtained by the archaeological excavations, we could classify the Rakhigarhi burials into three distinct groups (I, II and III). Group I, the earliest burials, included only two graves (BR 16 and 36) within the A2 trench. Both were found around 1.1 meters below our Datum Point. We speculate that the A2 locality might have been chosen by the Rakhigarhi people at the initial stage when the surface of the area was around -1.1 meters. There was no evidence of anthropogenic activity below this phase. The localities A1 (BR 02) and A2 (BR17A/B, 19, 22, 30, 31 and 34) became a cemetery when the surface layer was between -0.75 to -1.0 meters, at which time Rakhigarhi people were increasingly buried there. The Group II graves were found to be neatly arranged, becoming the possible ritualizing place that was constructed elaborately.
    Lastly, within the A1 and A2 as well as B1 and B2 trenches and above the Group II burials, the Group III graves were found. These Group III burials showed that the cemetery had been extended to other localities (B1 and B2) beyond the earlier, focal locality (A1 and A2) where the Groups I and II burials were found. Haphazard encroachments against previously built graves (BR08 and 09 against 07, BR 13 and 15 against 14, BR 20B and C against A, BR 10A against B, BR 25 against 29, BR 18A against B) was observed to have occurred during this phase. Such carelessness, according to previous reports on other Harappan cemeteries at least, was not uncommon [7]. In summary, we conjecture that the A2 locality was chosen during the Group I phase as the first burial place, and that subsequently, during the Group II phase, the same locality (A2) became the site of greater ritualization. In the Group III phase, a well-established necropolis covering a much wider area extending beyond the A2 locality was established by the Harappan people in Rakhigarhi.

    The burials at Rakhigarhi

    In the course of our three-season excavation of Rakhigarhi burials (n = 53), we deemed cases to be primary burials when the full skeleton was discovered inside a grave and there were no signs of any reduction process. These primary burials were the most commonly identified type (n = 41, 77.4%) at the Rakhigarhi necropolis.
    Among the primary interments, we found both typical (34/53, 64.2%) as well as atypical (7/53, 13.2%) burials. The typical burials had one characteristic in common: a singular individual buried supinely inside a simple (plain) grave. Among the primary atypical burials, on the other hand, unique patterns were exhibited, such as brick-lined grave architecture, and multiple or prone-positioned individuals inside a pit. The present study’s box plots of votive pot numbers (Fig 8A) revealed that atypical graves had significantly more votive pots than did typical graves (Wilcoxon rank sum test, W = 173.5, p = 0.0009399). Similar atypical cases were also reported from the cemetery at Harappa [7] (R-37, Mature Harappan period).
    Fig 8.
    Box and scatter plots of votive pot numbers for (A) primary typical and atypical as well as (B) primary typical, secondary and symbolic graves from Rakhigarhi cemetery.
    We also found, at the same cemetery, uncommon burials including secondary (5/53, 9.4%) and symbolic (6/53, 11.3%) graves (Table 1). Good examples of secondary burial at Rakhigarhi cemetery are bones inside pots buried in a circular pit (A2/BR 21) (S3 Fig). They must not have been cremated prior to burial, as they exhibited no burn marks. In most of the secondary burials, animal bones (buffalo or cattle, goat or sheep etc.) were found, either in a dish-on-stand or some other arrangement, suggesting that meat might have been offered to the dead. Additionally, there was also one unused pit chamber (1/53, 1.9%).
    Table 1. Classification of the Harappan burials discovered in Rakhigarhi cemetery.
    The votive pot numbers found in each burial group are depicted in a box plot (Fig 8B). The difference in pot numbers between the primary typical and secondary burials was statistically insignificant (Wilcoxon rank sum test: W = 66.5, p-value = 0.2341). However, we found that the pot numbers for symbolic burials were significantly higher than those for primary typical graves (Wilcoxon rank sum test: W = 158, p-value = 0.007606).
    Unlike the cases of symbolic burials, nothing was discovered inside A2/BR30: no human or animal bones, and no grave goods. We suspected that A2/BR30 might have been built in preparation for a funeral but was eventually abandoned for reasons as yet unknown. If this actually is as we conjecture, an unused pit chamber, it is a very rare case in the field of Harappan archaeology. Only one similar case, from Farmana cemetery, previously has been reported [10].


    Among the various graves excavated in Rakhigarhi cemetery, human remains were found only in primary and secondary burials, not in any presumptive symbolic or unused pit chambers. Well-preserved bones were found, as is typical, mainly in primary graves; skeletons were found also in cases of secondary burial, though their conservation status was generally poor.
    Overall, our excavation at Rakhigarhi cemetery revealed at least 46 sets of complete or partial skeletal remains. Of them, 41 (89.1%) were discovered in primary burials, and 5 (10.9%) in secondary burials. In the primary burials, though the individuals were generally placed in supine positions, prone-positioned individuals were also found in a few exceptional cases (A2/BR33, B1/BR01A and B2/BR02A1).
    After excluding the cases of only fragmentary or incomplete skeletal remains, only 37 individuals were finally subjected to anthropological examination. Overall, there were 9 individuals with more than half of the skull preserved; in 14 individuals meanwhile, the pelvic bones remained. In the age estimation, we found 8 subadults (under 18 years old) and 17 adults; fully 12 cases were indeterminate due to skeletal incompleteness or poor preservation. Among the 17 adults, 5 seem to have died at young age, 11 at middle age, and only one at old age (Table 2). We also sub-divided the age at death of the children. Two children (A2/BR10A and A2/BR17A) seem to have died at 2–4 years and one child (A1/BR03) at 3–5 years. For A2/BR20B, though the skeleton was judged to be that of a child, the age could not be estimated (Table 2).
    Table 2. Anthropological profile of the skeletons from Rakhigarhi cemetery.
    As for the individuals’ sex, we estimated that there were 7 males and 10 females. For all of the children (n = 4), some of the adolescents (n = 2) and adults (n = 4) and most of the age-indeterminate individuals (n = 10), we could not estimate the sexes. In the light of the anthropological information obtained, we tried to interpret the archaeological data collected from Rakhigarhi cemetery. The data are summarized in Table 3.
    Table 3. The archaeological and anthropological details of the burials in Rakhigarhi cemetery.

    Graves for subadults

    When we depicted the votive pot numbers of subadult (under 18) and adult graves, the former's burials included significantly fewer votive pots than did the latter (Fig 9). The difference between them was statistically significant by Wilcoxon rank sum test (W = 58.5, p-value = 0.03874). In general, according to particular cultures, subadults’ deaths are dealt with quite differently. Some cultures did not make graves for their dead children at all, while others constructed children’s graves as good as or even better than adults' [54]. As fewer votive pots were found in the subadults’ burials than in the adult graves, the Rakhigarhi people might have treated their children's deaths in a somewhat different way from adults’.
    Fig 9. Box and scatter plots of votive pot numbers found in subadult and adult graves.

    Graves for women

    The votive pot number found in atypical graves was higher than in typical graves (Fig 8A). As the number of votive pots in those graves somewhat differed by sex (higher in males’ graves than females’) (Fig 10), there might have been, among some Rakhigarhi people at least, discriminatory attitudes toward women with respect to the construction of graves. In a statistical analysis of the votive pots from atypical burials, however, we failed to find any significance for difference by sex (Pooled variance t-test, t = -2.5266, df = 4, p-value = 0.0649), possibly due to the insufficient sample size. Our estimates will be firmer as reports from similar cases become available.
    Fig 10. Box and scatter plots of votive pot numbers in typical and atypical graves according to sex.
    M_ and F_ means male and female, respectively.

    Multiple individuals inside the pit

    While the great majority of interments in Rakhigarhi cemetery contained only one individual, interestingly enough, five individuals (A1/A2/B/C1/C2 of B2/BR02) were found to be have been placed together inside the same pit. According to the archaeological context, we conjecture that all of those individuals had been buried together at the same time. Among them, B2/BR A1 and C1 were primary burials, whereas B2/BR A2, B and C2 were secondary. While only bone fragments were found inside the secondary burials, the skeletons discovered in primary burials showed an excellent preservation status. The skeletons from the primary burials were determined to be males; the age estimations were 21–35 yrs for B2/BR A1 and 16–18 yrs for C1 (Fig 11). In this multiple-individual grave, the number of grave goods was far numerous than in any of the other primary graves; moreover, various types of bowls rarely found in other burials were discovered here.
    Fig 11. Five individuals buried together inside the same pit.
    A prone-positioned male (B2/BR 02A1) and a supine-positioned male (B2/BR 02C1) were found together.
    In two primary burials (B2/BR A1 and C1), we found the same kind of small pot positioned in the same way under the knees (S4 Fig). In Rakhigarhi cemetery, there were two other graves very similar to B2/BR A1 and C1. In the A2/BR13 and 15 burials, we found that a similarly shaped shell spoon had been placed in the same way inside the small pots (S5 Fig). The manner of arrangement of grave goods is very important, as it sometimes suggests that the two individuals buried together had a close relationship in life. Even so, as there have been very few reported parallels in the Harappan funerary context, this kind of burial remains enigmatic to us.

    Ornaments of the buried bodies

    Among the anthropologists’ sex-determined cases, we found that only the females (n = 7) wore bangles. These ornaments were also found in burial A2/BR35, for which we discovered a young individual (12–16 years old, sex not determined) wearing necklaces and bangles made of copper, shell and gemstones (Fig 12A and 12B). Initially, we conjectured that this individual might have been of a high social class. However, this hypothesis had to be abandoned later, as the grave architecture of A2/BR35 was too humble to be comparable to other, elaborate graves found in Rakhigarhi cemetery. This case is a good example of how care must be exercised when making social-status determinations for Harappan burials based on only a limited number and/or variety of artifacts.
    Fig 12.
    (A) Young individual (A2/BR35) discovered wearing necklaces and bangles. (B) The necklace worn by the A2/BR35 individual.

    Brick-lined graves

    Actually, exotic items, such as inscribed seals or ritual objects (e.g. terracotta Mother goddesses) have never been found in any Harappan-period graves, not even in elaborate ones [7,8,10,11]. Likewise, the burial structures and grave goods of the Rakhigarhi necropolis have all been determined to be generally humble in nature. It was easy for us to conjecture as to a common pattern among primary typical burials in the cemetery: for example, only one individual was interred supinely in a plain grave. Even so, when we come to the details of each burial, differences possibly reflective of ritual status and/or the dynamic situation prevailing at the time of the individual’s death seem to have determined grave structures or offering goods discovered in various burial cases. Among the atypical primary interments, we noted brick-lined graves (A2/BR19, 22, 31, and 33) as an example of such unique burials found in Rakhigarhi cemetery. Our box and scatter plots show that the brick-lined graves included more votive pots than did typical interments. This difference was found to be statistically significant (Wilcoxon rank sum test, W = 111.5, p-value = 0.01074) (Fig 13).
    Fig 13. Box and scatter plots depicting votive pot numbers from primary typical, brick-lined and prone-position graves.
    The brick-lined graves showed the following features.
    A2/BR19: A rich variety of grave goods was identified. We discovered the skeletons of a young woman (21–35 years old). The bricks had been crushed into small pieces and mixed with lime for strengthening. The brick-lined wall was found only at the head of the buried individual.
    A2/BR22: This grave was made with great care. A young woman (21–35 years old) was found inside. The individual wore copper bangles on both arms. A brick-lined wall was confirmed to be present near the head of the individual.
    A2/BR31: The burial wall was made with a mixture of burnt bricks and lime. A large number of pots was found inside the grave. The individual was estimated to be an old female (> 50 years) (Fig 14).
    A2/BR33: Bricks were found in the burial wall. A large amount of pottery was found inside. The individual was a female (21–35 years old).
    Fig 14. Brick-lined burial at Rakhigarhi cemetery.
    A large quantity of grave goods was found inside A2/BR31.
    Brick-lined graves also have been reported for other Harappan cemeteries (i.e., Harappa, Kalibangan, Farmana, and Lothal) [7]. These burials were assumed to have been for important men and to be representative of the intra-variability of social and ritual status, due to their impressive and unique elaborateness [7,8]. Correspondingly, at Rakhigarhi cemetery, the brick-lined burials were among the most elaborately constructed graves, implying a high social or ritual status for the deceased. Notwithstanding the many similarities, there were also some differences between the brick-lined burials in Rakhigarhi and similar graves of other Harappan cemeteries. While the former used a mixture of crushed burnt bricks and lime, the latter were made mainly of mud bricks; and whereas the Rakhigarhi graves built the brick-lined wall only near the head of the individuals, the other, similar cases at other cemeteries had walls constructed that completely surrounded the graves.
    We note that every individual discovered in a brick-lined burial was likely, by anthropological examination, to have been female. Therefore, if we accept the hypothesis that the people buried in the brick-lined graves actually belonged to the dominant group in Rakhigarhi society, we must reconsider the social role of some Harappan females at that time.

    Prone-positioned individuals

    Although approximately 600 prone-positioned cases have been reported from archaeological sites over the past several decades [55], such individuals remain very rare. Then, what was prone-positioning for? It has been thought that, traditionally, prone-positioned burials represented a way to treat the bodies of individuals who had been shamans (or witches), disabled individuals, and/or those who had been ostracized for any reason (e.g., criminality, religious nonconformity) from the community [5659]. Most prone-positioned individuals have been revealed to be males, and the grave goods found inside such graves have been very few [55].
    In our study, we found prone-positioned individuals in some of the graves of Rakhigarhi cemetery (A2/BR33, B1/BR01A and B2/BR02A1). Details on each burial are summarized as follows.
    A2/BR33: A brick-lined, atypical burial. A large amount of pottery was found inside the grave. The individual was a female (21–35 yrs.). She was buried in a prone position while looking left(Fig 15A).
    B1/BR01A: Traces of funeral rituals (burnt ashes, animal bones, a large jar) were identified inside the grave at the northeast. Fine silt soil had been piled up as if for a makeshift bed. The young adult male (aged 21–35 yrs.) was in the prone position, facing to the left side. The quantitative and qualitative features of the votive pottery (Fig 15B) were more remarkable than in typical interments.
    B2/BR02A1: A male (aged 21–35 yrs.) was found prone-positioned and facing to his left side. The disposers had arranged large numbers of votive pots inside the grave (Fig 11). Next to him, upon a higher elevation, a male individual (B2/BR 02C1, aged 16–18 yrs.) also lay in the supine position. We wondered why the two individuals had been placed in different positions. Arcini [55] speculated that the prone position might have symbolized a submissive posture. If this was the case, the prone-positioned B2/BR 02A1 individual might have been arranged in such a way as to pay homage to the supine-positioned C1 individual. Although this seems a strong hypothesis, we will need to reconsider the present case, particularly because in the same Rakhigarhi cemetery, there were other prone-positioned individuals (A2/BR 33 and B1/BR 01A; Fig 15) who had been buried alone, in the absence of higher status individuals.
    Fig 15.
    Prone-positioned individuals in (A) A2/BR33 and (B) B1/BR 01A.
    In Rakhigarhi cemetery, what stands out in prone-position graves is that the individuals appear unlikely to have been social deviants. We could not find any evidence of physical restraint such as intentional bending at the knees and/or tying of the feet to the buttocks. Neither were there any signs that any of the individuals had been social deviants. It is also interesting that among the Rakhigarhi individuals that were found lying in prone position, some were not, as is typical around the world, facing down [5559] (so as to block their view of the sky and indeed to prevent their ever breathing again), but rather looking to the left.
    We conjecture that those prone-positioned individuals might actually have belonged to the upper classes of Rakhigarhi society, principally because they were given elaborate burials and interred with a large number of grave goods. Our box and scatter plots clearly depict that the votive pot quantity in the prone-positioned burials is significantly greater than in the primary interments of the same cemetery (Wilcoxon rank sum test, W = 93, p-value = 0.005024) (Fig 13). However, we admit that in order for this hypothesis to be generally accepted, more research into similar cases from other Harappan cemeteries is required.

    Burial on bed of pottery

    We finally comment on the presence of burials on beds of pottery. In Rakhigarhi cemetery, we found graves (A2/BR33 and B2/BR02C1) wherein the soil had been built up with pots like a bed upon which the body was laid. Considering the grave architecture and amounts of grave goods inside them, burials A2/BR 33 and B2/BR 02C1 seem to have been of high-ranking people in Rakhigarhi society.
    A similar burial on bed of pottery was reported for another Harappan grave. In Kalibangan cemetery, the prone-positioned individual of No. 29 grave had been laid down on stacked votive pots [8]. This report did not attract much attention at the time of the report. However, we noticed that this Kalibangan No.29 burial (S6 Fig) shared many features (grave structure, votive pots, and prone-positioned posture) with our Rakhigarhi grave A2/BR33 (Fig 15A). The similar finding was also reported at Harappa, the type site of the Harappan Civilization [7]. A recent report from a 7th century Anglo-Saxon cemetery is also suggestive to us, because it indicates that a real bed had been put in the grave, not a platform made of soil and pots, and that the individual had been a high-ranking female [60]. Although the discovery of similar burials has been very rare to date, we could not rule out the possibility that such a funeral custom might have been followed over a much wider area than we had initially considered.


    In principle, there was always a high probability and expectation that cemeteries would be discovered in the vicinity of Harappan cities or towns. However, with respect to Harappan megacity sites, Harappan cemeteries have not been reported in sufficient numbers to date. The lack of a cemetery within the Mohenjo-daro area, for example, represented a serious inconsistency between the archaeological data and the literature. The only relevant discoveries there were a disorganized scattering of 43 skeletal remains within the city district [18] and a few isolated graves and skeletons at construction sites outside of the city [7]. Ganweriwala, another large Harappan city, has not been properly excavated yet, as it is situated in a volatile area near the India–Pakistan border. A large cemetery area was identified at the Dholavira site, but only a few graves have been excavated so far [61].
    Of the five megacities of the Harappan Civilization, an actual cemetery district (area: ca. 0.8–1.2 ha) has been discovered only at the Harappa site. Several excavations in recent years have provided extensive data on approximately 280 burials [7]. In the cemetery (R-37) at Harappa, archaeologists have found many unique cases [7] that were matched in our current report on Rakhigarkhi cemetery. Reports on cemeteries have also been made from the smaller Harappan towns of Lothal [62], Kalibangan [8], and Farmana [9]. While this archaeological data, in sum, still falls short of a comprehensive accounting of Harappan cemeteries, we can summarize it as follows.
    In brief, Harappan-period cemeteries were generally built on the periphery of residential settlements. Most burials included only one individual. The body was fully extended in the supine position, with the head to the north. A number of votive pots were placed in the graves at the head end. While some graves had no or few pottery, certain burials included various kinds of pots. Overall, people over vast areas covering the Northwestern parts of South Asia might have shared common burial practices and heritages during the Mature Harappan period.
    Like the other cemetery sites in the Ghaggar Basin, Rakhigarhi cemetery is representative of the Mature Harappan period, date-estimated to 2,500–2,000 BCE. By our three-year survey, we obtained scientific information from the graves of the cemetery. We found that various types of graves co-existed in different proportions. Primary interments were identified most commonly in the cemetery, followed by secondary, symbolic, and unused (empty) graves. There were significant differences in mortuary rituals especially between primary typical and atypical graves. Prone-positioned individuals are another noteworthy finding for Rakhigarhi cemetery, because we need to reconsider the validity of the common pre-conception about prone-positioned burials in archaeology, at least as far as the Harappan Civilization is concerned.
    In this study, systematic analysis of Rakhigarhi cemetery was successfully achieved by close collaboration between archaeologists and anthropologists. Although the general patterns of burial and mortuary practice at the Rakhigarhi necropolis look similar to those of other Harappan cemeteries, there was also much concrete information acquired that is unique to the present investigation. All in all, the current report provides a rare glimpse into the Harappan people’s practices and rituals relating to burial of their dead. But more work remains to be done.

    Supporting information

    S1 Fig.jpg
    1 / 6
    Examples of naming of burial pits at RGR 7.2/A2.

    S1 Fig. Examples of naming of burial pits at RGR 7.2/A2.


    S2 Fig. Investigations ongoing at Rakhigarhi cemetery.


    S3 Fig. Secondary burial (A2/BR 21) at Rakhigarhi cemetery.

    The pot burial was placed in a circular pit. Adult human skull and a few long bones were kept inside a jar. The skeletons might have been buried temporarily in one place before finally being moved for a pot burial. Note the animal bones placed on the dish.

    S4 Fig.

    Same kind of small pots was found in the same way under individuals’ knees at two different primary burials: (A) B2/BR A1 and (B) B2/BR C1.

    S5 Fig.

    Pottery set for one individual’s grave was similar to those of two adjacent burials: (A) A2/BR13 and (B) A2/BR 15. The shell spoons were found inside the small pots.

    S6 Fig. Drawing of burial No. 29 found in Kalibangan cemetery.

    The grave structure of this burial is very similar to our Rakhigahi A2/BR33 case. The figure is here redrawn from the original of the previous report [8].


    First four authors (VSS, YJK, EJW, NJ) contributed equally to this study. VSS and DHS were in charge of every academic or related work in India and South Korea, respectively, under the MOU between Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute (Pune, India) and Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University (Seoul, South Korea).


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    Robin Bradley Kar concludes that people of Sarasvati Civilization spoke dialects of Proto-Indo-European. I infer that the Indus Script Corpora of 8000+ inscriptions are rendered in such dialects. Hence, the Corpora constitutes mlecchita vikalpa, cipher writing by mleccha,Meluhha-speakers, who spoke dialects of Proto-Indo-european. The Corpora of Inscriptions in Indus Script are wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues.

    S. Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Centre

    On the Proto-Indo-European Language of the Indus Valley Civilization (and Its Implications for Western Prehistory)

    The Sindhu-Sarasvati Civilization: New Perspectives (Essays in Honor of Dr. S.R. Rao) (2014)
    Posted: 6 Aug 2012 Last revised: 22 Nov 2017 Read the full article in the book cited below:

    Robin Bradley Kar

    University of Illinois College of Law
    Date Written: August 4, 2012


    Many of our attempts to understand the basic causes and conditions of legal, social, political and economic development in the West have been shaped by a particular view of human prehistory, which places the origins of certain key traditions in ancient Greece, Rome and Israel. The developments in ancient Greece and Rome are, moreover, typically pictured as phylogenetically distinct from some of the very first human transitions from hunter-gatherer forms of life into larger-scale urban civilizations that have been found in the archaeological record. Although the so-called "Indus Valley" Civilization (a.k.a. the "Harappan" or "Sindhu-Sarasvati" Civilization) represents one of the very first such successful transformations in our natural history as a species, and although the Indus Valley Civilization long predates similar developments in ancient Greece, Rome or Israel, most scholars deem these early developments irrelevant to Western prehistory because of a specific linguistic proposition: they believe that the Indus Valley Civilization spoke a non-Indo-European language and that its traditions are therefore phylogenetically unrelated to the larger family of Indo-European civilizations that show up in the subsequent historical record (first in ancient Persia, Greece, Rome and India - and then much later in Western Europe and Russia). If this traditional linguistic assumption is wrong, however, then many of our modern attempts to understand the basic causes and conditions of Western development are being shaped by a fundamental misunderstanding - and often to their detriment.

    This article argues that, despite certain well-known and long-standing controversies over the issue, we are already in a good enough position to conclude - and with a very high degree of confidence - that the Indus Valley Civilization spoke dialects of Proto-Indo-European. My arguments for this conclusion will be new, and will draw upon a body of evidence that has so far been overlooked in these discussions. A growing number of people have, however, begun to acknowledge this possibility, and I will be suggesting that there are sufficient signs now of a coming paradigm shift with regard to our understanding of early human prehistory to warrant serious attention. If - as I believe - we are in the midst of such a paradigm shift, and if this paradigm shift is like any other, then we should also expect many fruitful discoveries to be emerging from this new perspective.

    The arguments in this article have been split into five sections. Section 1 develops a contemporary model of prehistoric linguistic expansion (the "riverine-agricultural model of linguistic expansion"), which suggests that certain major riverine topographies have played a critical role in producing all of the world's major language families - including the Indo-European language family. This model suggests that, during the height of the Indus Valley Civilization, the languages spoken in this region would have almost certainly represented one of the most important and monumental linguistic phenomena ever to have arisen within our natural history as a species. Section 2 then argues that if we assume (plausibly) that significant pockets of this language family should therefore remain in the northwestern portions of the Indian subcontinent, then the Indus Valley Civilization must have spoken dialects of Proto-Indo-European.

    Section 3 then considers the objection that tries to reject this last conclusion by rejecting its guiding assumption (i.e., that significant pockets of the Indus Valley Civilization’s language family should still remain in the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent). According to this objection, small groups of Indo-Aryan invaders or migrants from the steppes could have simply eradicated the pre-existing language (or languages) of the Indus Valley Civilization by converting the prior populations to Indo-Aryan languages beginning in about 1500 BC. In order to assess this possibility, Section 3 engages in a comprehensive examination of patterns of linguistic replacement from around the world and over the course of world history. This examination reveals an important fact: once a major linguistic phenomenon has reached equilibrium around a major riverine topography in accordance with the riverine-agricultural model of linguistic expansion, there is not one recorded case anywhere in this extensive world historical record where the language family in question has been completely replaced in one of these riverine regions by a different language family through a process of linguistic conversion. We therefore have strong empirical reasons to reject this objection.

    Section 4 discusses another common source of resistance to the claim that the Indus Valley Civilization might have spoken dialects of Proto-Indo-European. This objection is based on the perception that this linguistic claim carries with it certain necessary implications about Indo-European prehistory that can be hard to square with the broader body of evidence relevant to this larger topic. In order to address this concern, Section 4 embeds the linguistic claim within a broader narrative concerning Indo-European prehistory that is - I argue - actually better able to explain (or at least render coherent) this broader body of evidence than its main competitors. Hence, the current linguistic proposal - once properly construed - can be understood as the beneficiary of a much broader and more extensive form of evidentiary support.

    Section 5 ends, finally, with a direct response to some of Michael Witzel’s important and influential work, which purports not only to establish that Indo-European languages and cultures were first brought to the Indian subcontinent from the Eurasian Steppes sometime between 1500 to 1200 BC but also to trace with some precision the exact timing and path of the Indo-Iranian groups who (in his view) carried these languages and cultures with them. Witzel is one of the most pre-eminent Indologists alive today, and he has collected an important body of evidence relevant to these topics. I will nevertheless argue that Witzel's evidence ultimately underdetermines the choice between his traditional theory and the newer one developed here. In construing his evidence to support his theory uniquely, Witzel has therefore, in effect, mistaken a failure of theoretical imagination for a set of inferences that are required by his evidence. Once our full theoretical options have been made explicit, Witzel's evidence can, moreover, be seen to slightly favor the current theory. The choice between these two theories will, however, become even clearer once Witzel's evidence is harmonized with all of the other evidence relevant to these topics (including all of the new considerations discussed in this article). Based on this entire combined body of evidence, we now have compelling reasons to think that the Indus Valley Civilization spoke dialects of Proto-Indo-European.
    Kar, Robin Bradley, On the Proto-Indo-European Language of the Indus Valley Civilization (and Its Implications for Western Prehistory) (August 4, 2012). The Sindhu-Sarasvati Civilization: New Perspectives (Essays in Honor of Dr. S.R. Rao) (2014). Available at SSRN:

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    Meluhha:The device1.sangada ‘lathe’ rebus: sangarh ‘fortification’;2.kamaṭa ‘portable furnace’rebus:kammaṭa ‘mint’ Animal bos primigenius indicus kõda 'young bull' rebus:konda ‘furnace’, kõdā 'turner' kundaṇa'fine gold'. Fortified mint,goldsmithy guild.


     The field symbol has two composite hieroglyphs called hypertexts: 1.Young bull with pannier, rings on neck, one horn; 2. lathe/gimlet upon portable gold furnace. Such a composition is called सांगड sāṅgaḍa m f (संघट्ट S)  f A body formed of two or more (fruits, animals, men) linked or joined together. Rebus sangarh 'fortification' samgaha 'collection, catalogue'.

    Dotted circles are hypertexts


    dhāī˜ (Lahnda) signifies a single strand of rope or thread.

    I have suggested that a dotted circle hieroglyph is a cross-section of a strand of rope: S. dhāī f. ʻ wisp of fibres added from time to time to a rope that is being twisted ʼ, L. dhāī˜ f. Rebus: dhāˊtu n. ʻsubstance ʼ RV., m. ʻ element ʼ MBh., ʻ metal, mineral, ore (esp. of a red colour)ʼ; dhāūdhāv m.f. ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ(Marathi) धवड (p. 436) [ dhavaḍa ] m (Or धावड) A class or an individual of it. They are smelters of iron (Marathi).  Hence, the depiction of a single dotted circle, two dotted circles and three dotted circles (called trefoil) on the robe of the Purifier priest of Mohenjo-daro.

    The phoneme dhāī˜ (Lahnda) signifying a single strand may thus signify the hieroglyph: dotted circle. This possibility is reinforced by the glosses in Rigveda, Tamil and other languages of Baratiya sprachbund which are explained by the word dāya 'playing of dice' which is explained by the cognate Tamil word: தாயம் tāyamn. < dāya Number one in the game of dice; 
    கவறுருட்ட விழும் ஒன்று என்னும் எண்.


    The semantics: dāya 'Number one in the game of dice' is thus signified by the dotted circle on the uttariyam of the pōtṟ पोतृ,'purifier' priest. Rebus rendering in Indus Script cipher is 

    dhāˊtu n. ʻsubstance ʼ RV., m. ʻ element ʼ MBh., ʻ metal, mineral, ore (esp. of a red colour)ʼ; dhāūdhāv m.f. ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ(Marathi) dhatu 'ore' (Santali)

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    The hypertext inscribed on scores of Indus Script tablets (many in bas-relief on copper tablets) is a high frequency message of three hieroglyphs. 

    The metalworker called kã̄sāri ʻpewterer, brazier, coppersmithʼ (Bengali) is of such profound significance in Ancient India that many heroes in narratives carry metalwork connotations in the context of explaining the daśāvatāra, ten incarnations of Viṣṇu, Supreme Divinity. Matsya is related to aya 'fish' rebus: aya 'iron' ayas 'alloy metal'. Turtle relates to kamaṭha'turtle' rebus: kammaṭa 'mint, coiner, coinage'.  Varāha is related to barāh 'boar', baḍhia = a castrated boar, badhia 'rhinoceros' , a hog; rebus: badhoe 'worker in wood and iron' baḍhi 'carpenter, 'a caste who work both in iron and wood' bari, barea 'merchant' బత్తుడు battuḍubáḍḍhiवर्धकि, vaḍlaṅgi, baṛhaï, baḍaga, baḍhi, bāṛaï, varāha, 'title of five artisans'. 

    Metalwork, furnce-work in particular with purification of minerals/metals is seen as a metaphor for battle. daśāvatāra narratives include metalwork metaphors in the names of heroes like kamsa, 'bell-metal', hirayakaśipu,'gold litharge', hiraṇyākहिरण्याक्ष, 'golden-eyed'. A synonym for Gaṇeśa, the guild-master is tri-dhātu'three minerals'. The cobra hood which adorns  Śiva and Gaṇeśa is फडा phaḍā f (फटा S) The hood of Coluber Nága Rebus:phaḍa फड, paṭaḍa 'metals manufactory, company, guild'. panja'feline paw' rebus: panja'furnace, smelter,kiln'. A descriptive name of Skanda in Swamimalai (a place renowned for cire perdue metal castings of five metals) is Eraka Subrahmaya; the word eraka signifies 'molten cast'; eraka, arka'copper, gold'.

    The message signifies kasērāʻmetal workerʼ kãsārɔkas° m. ʻ coppersmith (Gujarati); P. kaserā m. ʻ worker in pewter ʼ (both ← E with -- s -- ); N. kasero ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; Bi. H. kaserā m. ʻ worker in pewter ʼ.kāṁsyakāra m. ʻ worker in bell -- metal or brass ʼ Yājñ. com., kaṁsakāra -- m. BrahmavP. [kāˊṁsya -- , kāra -- 1]N. kasār ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; A. kãhār ʻ worker in bell -- metal ʼ; B. kã̄sāri ʻ pewterer, brazier, coppersmith ʼ, Or. kãsārī; H. kasārī m. ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; G. kãsārɔkas° m. ʻ coppersmith ʼ; M. kã̄sārkās° m. ʻ worker in white metal ʼ. kancu kantsu. n. Bell metal.కాంస్యము kāṃsyamu kāmsyamu. [Skt.] n. Bell metal. కంచు. (Telugu)

    karṇaka 'scribe, karṇī'supercargo  responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale'. kharaḍa खरडें 'daybook, wealth-accounting ledger.'

    A vivid example of the wealth creation by Bronze Age Meluhha artisans and seafaring merchants, is provided by a unique hieroglyph string of three hieroglyphs on Indus Script Corpora inscriptions. 
    This is the most frequently used hypertext expression (with an occurrence on over 50 inscriptions) on Indus Script Corpora. This string is composed of three hieroglyphs: 1. currycomb; 2. rim of jar'; 3. backbone, spine (of four strokes) to signify: 
    1. kharādī 'turner' 

    2. kanka, karaka ‘rim of jar’ Rebus: karaka ‘account scribe’; 

    kārṇī  m. ʻsupercargo of a ship ʼ(Marathi) 

    3. gaṇḍa'four' rebus: kaṁḍa 'implements'. Thus, bell-metal implements.

    Rebus reading of h1827A: khareḍo = a currycomb (G.) Rebus: kharādī ' turner' (Gujarati) karNika, kanka 'rim of jar' rebus: kaṇḍa kanka 'smelting furnace account (scribe), karṇī , supercargo'

    Pk. kaṁḍa -- m. ʻ backbone ʼ(CDIAL 2670) is the Meluhha word for 'spine, backbone' given the semantics registered in the lexical repertoire of Bharatiya sprachbund. Hieroglyph: karaṁḍa -- m.n. ʻ bone shaped like a bamboo ʼ, karaṁḍuya -- n. ʻ backbone ʼ (Prakrit) Rebus: करडा [karaḍā] Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c. (Marathi)Rebus signifies 'implements in general' as in the reduplicated expression:  கண்டானுமுண்டானும் kaṇṭāṉumuṇṭ- āṉumn. Redupl. of கண்டானும். Household utensils, great and small, useful and useless; வீட்டுத் தட்டுமுட்டுகள். கண்டானு முண்டானும் இத் தனை எதற்கு? Loc.

    The specification that the metal ingots were made of alloyed hard metal was signified by hieroglyphs which were shaped like a skeleton-backbone:

     Rebus-metonymy layered readings of these hieroglyphs are: 

    Hieroglyph: dōkkū skeleton (Kuwi) ḍogor peṛeka backbone (Go.)

    Text 4589 points to the possibility that two distinct glosses are associated with two distinct hieroglyphs . Orthographically, Sign 47 may signify a 'skeleton' while Sign 48 may signify a 'backbone' or rib cage.
    khareḍo 'a currycomb' (Gujarati) rebus: kharaḍa, 'daybook'; खरडें 'daybook, wealth-accounting ledger' kharaḍa f (खरडणें) A hurriedly written or drawn piece; ...खरडें 'daybook, wealth-accounting ledgerkharaḍa f (खरडणें) A hurriedly written or drawn piece; a scrawl; a mere tracing or rude sketch.  खरडणें (p. 113) kharaḍaṇēṃ v c To scrape or rub off roughly: also to abrade or graze. 2 To rub up; to grub up; to root out (grass, weeds &c.) by pushing the instrument along. 3 To shave roughly, to scrape: also to write roughly, to scrawl: also to jot or note down; to make brief memoranda: also to draw roughly; to plough roughly; to grind roughly &c. &c. 4 To break by rubbing between stones; to bruise (peppers &c.) 5 (More frequently खरड काढणें) To abuse or revile vehemently and coarsely.  खरडनिशी  kharaḍaniśī f Scrawling, scribbling, bad writing.  खरडनीस kharaḍanīsa c खरडनिशा a (खरड & P) A scrawler or bad writer. खरडा  kharaḍā खरडें n A rude sketch; a rough draught; a foul copy; a waste-book; a day-book; a note-book.A spotted and rough and ill-shaped pearl: also the roughness or knobbiness of such pearls.खरड्या  kharaḍyā a (खरडणें) That writes or shaves rudely and roughly; a mere quill-driver; a very scraper. 

    kanda kanka 'rim of jar' कार्णिक 'relating to the ear' rebus: kanda kanka 'fire-trench account, karṇika 'scribe, account' karṇī 'supercargo',कर्णिक helmsman'.
    Note: Hieroglyph: कर्ण [p= 256,2] the handle or ear of a vessel RV. viii , 72 , 12 Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ix (कात्यायन-श्रौत-सूत्र)&c Rebus: कर्ण the helm or rudder of a ship R. कर्णी f. of °ण ifc. (e.g. अयस्-क्° and पयस्-क्°) Pa1n2. 8-3 , 46" N. of कंस's mother " , in comp. Rebus: karṇī, 'Supercargo responsible for cargo of a merchant vessel'. Sign 48 is a 'backbone, spine' hieroglyph: baraḍo = spine; backbone (Tulu) Rebus: baran, bharat ‘mixed alloys’ (5 copper, 4 zinc and 1 tin) (Punjabi) 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 ʼH. kã̄ṭā m. ʻ spine ʼ, G. kã̄ṭɔ m., M. kã̄ṭā m.; Pk. kaṁḍa -- m. ʻ backbone ʼ.(CDIAL 2670) Rebus: kaṇḍ ‘fire-altar’ (Santali)
    bharatiyo = a caster of metals; a brazier; bharatar, bharatal, bharata = moulded; an article made in a

    mould; bharata = casting
     metals in moulds; bharavum = to fill in; to put in; to pour into

    (Gujarati) bhart = a mixed metal
     of copper and lead; bhartīyā = a brazier, worker in metal; bha,

    ra = oven, furnace (Sanskrit. )baran, bharat ‘mixed alloys’ (5 copper, 4 zinc and 1 tin) (Punjabi)
    Sign 48. kaśēru ‘the backbone’ (Bengali. Skt.); kaśēruka id. (Skt.) Rebus: kasērā ʻmetal workerʼ (Lahnda)(CDIAL 2988, 2989) Spine, rib-cage: A comparable glyptic representation is on a seal published by Omananda Saraswati. In Pl. 275: Omananda Saraswati 1975. Ancient Seals of Haryana (in Hindi). Rohtak.” (I. Mahadevan, 'Murukan' in the Indus Script, The Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies, March 1999). B.B. Lal, 1960. From Megalithic to the Harappa: Tracing back the graffiti on pottery. Ancient India, No.16, pp. 4-24. 
    Image result for nisha yadav triplet indus script
    Source: Yadav, Nisha, 2013, Sensitivity of Indus Script to type of object, SCRIPTA, Vol. 5 (Sept. 2013), pp. 67-103

    The associated hypertexts are: Hieroglyph: baṭa'rimless pot' rebus: bhaṭa 'furnace' PLUS two linear strokes: dula 'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting'; three linear strokes: kolmo 'three' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge'; four linear strokes: gaṇḍa 'four' rebus: kaṇḍa 'implements'. Thus, the message signifying daybook of brazier, metalworker, scribe, supercargo gets sematically expanded by suggesting the types of cargo: 1. furnace output (ingots of metal); metalcasting (perhaps cire perdue) output; metal implements. 

    The wealth-accounting ledger as a daybook related to metalwork catalogues thus explains the raison d'etre for almost all the Indus Script Inscriptions.
    Image result for nisha yadav triplet indus script
    Clustering Indus Texts using K Means

    Semantic expansions
    Sign 17 Hieroglyph: warrior: kṣatríya ʻ ruling ʼ RV., m. ʻ one of the ruling order ʼ AV. [kṣatrá -- ]Pa. khattiya -- m. ʻ member of the Kṣatriya caste ʼ, °yā<-> f., Pk. khattia -- m., °ti -- m.f., °tiṇī -- , °tiyāṇī -- f., L. khattrī m., °rāṇī f., P. khattrī m.; Si. käti ʻ warrior ʼ.(CDIAL 3649) Rebus:  khātī m. ʻmember of a caste of wheelwrightsʼ.

    Hieroglyph: spinner  karttr̥2 m. ʻ spinner ʼ MBh. [√kr̥t2]H. kātī f. ʻ woman who spins thread ʼ; -- Or. kãtiā ʻ spinner ʼ with  from verb kã̄tibā < *kr̥ntati2.(CDIAL 2861)  Ta. katir spinner's spindle. Ma. katir id. Ka. kadir, kadaru, kaduru id. Tu. kadůrů, kadirů, kadrů id. Te. kaduru id. Ga. (S.3) kadur an instrument used to spin threads from cotton.(DEDR 1195)

    Rebus: carver,wheelwright: kṣattŕ̊ m. ʻ carver, distributor ʼ RV., ʻ attendant, door- keeper ʼ AV., ʻ charioteer ʼ VS., ʻ son of a female slave ʼ lex. [√kṣad]Pa. khattar -- m. ʻ attendant, charioteer ʼ; S. khaṭrī m. ʻ washerman, dyer ʼ; H. khātī m. ʻ member of a caste of wheelwrights ʼ; G. khātrī m. ʻ do. of Hindu weavers ʼ.(CDIAL 3647)
    खातें khātēṃ n An account (with an individual or of the outlay upon any concern or business) as appearing upon or as drawn and framed from the daybook: also the paper or leger exhibiting such distinct account. 2 fig. The range or reach, the sphere or compass (of rule, sway, government, inclusion, comprehension). Ex. किल्ल्याचे खात्यांत मुलूक आहे; हा गांव मुंबईखात्याखालीं मोडतो. 3 Province; proper office or business: also department; particular sphere of labor or work: as बिगारखातें, खैरातखातें, खर्चखातें; also गांवखातें or मुलकीखातें Civil department; लशकरीखातें Military department; पैमाशखातें Survey-department; न्यायखातं Judicial department;  खातें पोतें  khātē mpōtēṃ n (खातें & पोतें The account and the purse.) Dealings with; business with (of buying and selling).खातेवही khātēvahī f The book framed from the daybook, containing the distinct accounts of individuals.(Marathi) kṣatrá n. ʻ might, rule ʼ RV. [√kṣi1]Pa. khatta -- n. in cmpds. ʻ rule, authority ʼ; A. khāt ʻ estate administered at a distance ʼ, khātā ʻ account book ʼ; B. khātā ʻ plot of agricultural land, party, account book ʼ; Or. Bi. H. khātā m. ʻ account book ʼ (→ Ku. N. L. khātā m., S. khāto m., P. khāttā m.); G. khātũ n. ʻ administrative department, subject, account, account book ʼ, M. khātẽ n.(CDIAL 3684)

    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'. 

    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)

    The following examples are of 8 copper tablets recovered in Harappa by HARP project. A third glyph on these tablets is an oval sign -- like a metal ingot -- and is ligatured with an infixed sloping stroke: ḍhāḷiyum = adj. sloping, inclining (G.) The ligatured glyph is read rebus as: ḍhālako = a large metal ingot (G.) ḍhālakī = a metal heated and poured into a mould; a solid piece of metal; an ingot (G.) The inscription on these tablets is in bas-relief:
    Copper tablet (H2000-4498/9889-01) with raised script found in Trench 43. Slide 351

    Copper tablets with Indus script in bas-relief, Harappa. The three glyphs on the ingots are read in sequence: ḍhālako kasērā kaṇḍa kanka 'metal ingot, metal work, furnace scribe'. 

    H94-2177/4999-01: Molded faience tablet, Period 3B/3C

    kanka, karaka ‘rim of jar’ Rebus: karaka ‘account scribe’.

    kārṇī  m. ʻsuper cargo of a ship ʼ(Marathi) 
    khareo = a currycomb (Gujarati) खरारा [ kharārā ] m ( H) A currycomb. 2 Currying a horse. (Marathi) Rebus: 1. करडा [karaā] Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c. (Marathi) 2. kharādī ‘ turner’ (Gujarati)

    Hieroglyph: 1. dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS mũh 'face' (Hindi) 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) muhA 'the quantity of iron produced at one time in a native smelting furnace' (Santali. Campbell) 

    A pair of 'lozenges infixed with spots or notches' together with a skeleton-backbone hieroglyph: They may signify a pair of खडा [ khaḍā ] m A small stone, a pebble (Marathi) rebus:  kaṁḍa 'implements' -- a semantic determinant of the central hieroglyph 'spine, backbobe' which is . kaṁḍa ʻbackbone' rebus: 'implements'.Dotted oval hieroglyph: goTa 'round' rebus: khoTa 'ingot' PLUS  baraDo 'spine' rebus: bharata 'alloy of pewter, copper, tin' PLUS karṇī  'supercargo'  PLUS third hieroglyph (illegible, could be karNaka 'rim of jar' rebus: karṇī 'supercargo' ).

    1. hālako ingots were signified by the ox-hide shaped ingots

    2. mũhe ingots were signified by the cargo of cast metal out of a furnace

     Sign 176 + Sign 342 + Sign 48 khareḍo = a currycomb (G.) Rebus: kharādī ' turner' (G.) 

    karNika, kanka 'rim of jar' rebus: kaṇḍa kanka 'smelting furnace account (scribe), karṇī, 'supercargo,a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.'
    baraḍo 'spine' Rebus: भरत 'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'. (Frequency of occurrence 41) Note: Frenquency is in reference to Mahadevan corpus. The occurrences will be more if HARP discoveries are reckoned. The string of three hieroglyphs signifies भरत 'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'.ready as supercargo (for seafaring merchants) and for turners in smithy.

    Many examples of such smultiple inscriptions on Harappa tablets have been noted by Meadow and Kenoyer (Meadow, Richard H. and Jonathan Kenoyer, 1997, The ‘tinysteatite seals’ (incised steatitetablets) of Harappa: Some observations ontheir context and dating in: Taddei, Maurizio and Giuseppe de Marco, 2000, South Asian Archaeology, 1997, Rome, Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente.After Fig. 3, p.12 Harappa 1995-1997: Mounds E and ET; molded terracotta tablets)

    kāˊṁsya ʻ made of bell -- metal ʼ KātyŚr., n. ʻ bell -- metal ʼ Yājñ., ʻ cup of bell -- metal ʼ MBh., °aka -- n. ʻ bell -- metal ʼ. 2. *kāṁsiya -- . [kaṁsá -- 1]1. Pa. kaṁsa -- m. (?) ʻ bronze ʼ, Pk. kaṁsa -- , kāsa -- n. ʻ bell -- metal, drinking vessel, cymbal ʼ; L. (Jukes) kã̄jā adj. ʻ of metal ʼ, awāṇ. kāsā ʻ jar ʼ (← E with -- s -- , not ñj); N. kã̄so ʻ bronze, pewter, white metal ʼ, kas -- kuṭ ʻ metal alloy ʼ; A. kã̄h ʻ bell -- metal ʼ, B. kã̄sā, Or. kãsā, Bi. kã̄sā; Bhoj. kã̄s ʻ bell -- metal ʼ, kã̄sā ʻ base metal ʼ; H. kāskã̄sā m. ʻ bell -- metal ʼ, G. kã̄sũ n., M. kã̄sẽ n.; Ko. kã̄śẽ n. ʻ bronze ʼ; Si. kasa ʻ bell -- metal ʼ. 2. L. kã̄ihã̄ m. ʻ bell -- metal ʼ, P. kã̄ssīkã̄sī f., H. kã̄sī f.*kāṁsyakara -- , kāṁsyakāra -- , *kāṁsyakuṇḍikā -- , kāṁsyatāla -- , *kāṁsyabhāṇḍa -- .Addenda: kāˊṁsya -- : A. kã̄h also ʻ gong ʼ, or < kaṁsá -- . *kāṁsyakara ʻ worker in bell -- metal ʼ. [See next: kāˊṁsya -- , kará -- 1]L. awāṇ. kasērā ʻ metal worker ʼ, P. kaserā m. ʻ worker in pewter ʼ (both ← E with -- s -- ); N. kasero ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; Bi. H. kaserā m. ʻ worker in pewter ʼ.kāṁsyakāra m. ʻ worker in bell -- metal or brass ʼ Yājñ. com., kaṁsakāra -- m. BrahmavP. [kāˊṁsya -- , kāra -- 1]N. kasār ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; A. kãhār ʻ worker in bell -- metal ʼ; B. kã̄sāri ʻ pewterer, brazier, coppersmith ʼ, Or. kãsārī; H. kasārī m. ʻ maker of brass pots ʼ; G. kãsārɔkas° m. ʻ coppersmith ʼ; M. kã̄sārkās° m. ʻ worker in white metal ʼ, kāsārḍā m. ʻ contemptuous term for the same ʼ.*kāṁsyakuṇḍikā ʻ bell -- metal pot ʼ. [kāˊṁsya -- , kuṇḍa -- 1]N. kasaũṛi ʻ cooking pot ʼ.kāṁsyatāla m. ʻ cymbal ʼ Rājat. [kāˊṁsya -- , tāla -- 1]Pa. kaṁsatāla -- m. ʻ gong ʼ; Pk. kaṁsālā -- , °liyā -- f. ʻ cymbal ʼ, OB. kaśālā, Or. kãsāḷa; G. kã̄sāḷũ n. ʻ large bell -- metal cymbals ʼ with ã̄ after kã̄sũ ʻ bell -- metal ʼ; M. kã̄sāḷ f. ʻ large cymbal ʼ; -- Si. kastalaya ʻ metal gong ʼ (EGS 40) is Si. cmpd. or more prob. ← Pa.*kāṁsyabhāṇḍa ʻ bell -- metal pot ʼ. [kāˊṁsya -- , bhāṇḍa -- 1]Pa. kaṁsabhaṇḍa -- n. ʻ brass ware ʼ; M. kāsã̄ḍī°sãḍī f. ʻ metal vessel of a partic. kind ʼ.(CDIAL 2987 to 2992)

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    A tour de force. A tribute to Sukthankar is also a tribute to the dedication with which the great epic has been studied by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee. जीवेम शरदः शतम् protecting dharma. You are Bharata Nidhi.

    Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee is now available !

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    K. Venkatagiri Gowda Memorial Lecture at the Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, on 27-6-2018.delivered by VR Panchamukhi; 1. Slides of Power Point Presentation; 2. Text of lecture; 3. Article by VR Panchamukhi titled, "Meemaamsa Rules of Interpretation". 

    Panchamukhi makes a distinction between Western Economic Science (WES) and Indian Classical Economic Science (ICES) with the following:framework:

    Focus of WES is on a rational economic man, maximization of materialistic economic benefits (self-interests) only.

    ICES is a blend of materialism and spiritualism; the latter stands for values, ethical norms, contentment, and faith in the divinity, commitment to traditions and culture. Focus of ICES is on a Holistic man, Economic benefits and Non-economic rewards.

    Mimamsa Rules of Interpretation

    Vachaspati. Dr. V.R.Panchamukhi

    Chancellor, Sri Gurusarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Mantralayam.

    and Former Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth  (Deemed University), Tirupati.


    The purpose of this article is to describe as to how the Mimamsa Principles of interpretation are useful in the Judiciary system, in addition to its usefulness for interpretation of Vedic Texts and Vedantic discourses and also in the context of the interpretation of the Smriti prescriptions, of injunctions and prohibitions (Vidhis and Nishedhas).

    The article is divided into four parts. In the first part, the preamble of Vedas, Brahmasutras, Madhva Bhashya, TatvaPrakashika and its commentary Tatva Prakashika and the sub-commentary of Tatparya Chandrika are described, to set the context of discussion of the Mimamsa Rules. The second Part describes in brief, as to how the Mimamsa Principles are utilised in the Tatparya Chandrika, for deriving the interpretations of Madhva Siddhanta and for refuting the interpretations of the opponent schools of Thought.  The Third Part sets the Mimamsa Principles of Interpretations, in their general setting and gives some practical illustrations of the use made in the Judicial System in India, for interpreting the Legal Rules and for giving Judgments by quoting the use of the Mimamsa Principles.  

    The last part  gives some concluding remarks on the Subject.

    BrahmaSutra Bhashya, Tatva Prakashika and Tatparya Chandrika:

    BrahmaSutras constitute the most important Treatise in the domain of Brahma Mimamsa Shastra. Their main aim is to facilitate correct interpretation and understanding of the meanings of the Vedas. They are regarded as an aide for VedarthaNirnaya. They have Four Adhyayas, each Adhyaya categorised into four Padas and a number of Adhikaranas.  There are 564 BrahmaSutras. The four Adhyayas are termed  respectively, as, Samanvayaadhyaya, Avirodhadhyaya, Sadhanadhyaya, and Phaladhyaya, as per their contents. In Samanvayaadhyaya,it is argued that allthe words are supposed to ultimately describe the attributes of Paramatma, thus depicting Him as Sarvagunaparipurna. The Avirodhadhyaya is aimed at removing all apparent contraditions in the different parts of the Shrutis. Thus, it is demonstrated that Paramatma is sarvadosha vidura. The third Adhyaya is supposed to spell out the instrumentalities for realising the Ultimate Goal, viz.Mukti. these instrumentalities include, the modalities, such as, Vairagya, Bhakti, Upasana and Jnana,Finally, the last Adhyaya is supposed to describe the contours of the Ultimate Goal, viz. Moksha. After understanding the modality of Sadhana Marga, one is supposed to follow them and realise the same.

    Sutras are enigmatic statements, giving some clues for interpretation of a particular portion of the Shrutis. (अल्पाक्षरमसंदिग्धं  सारवद्विश्वतोमुखमस्तोभमनवद्यं च सूत्रं सूत्रविदो विदुः) They are 564 in number. 

    Inthe ancient literature, the approach of Sutras is common. There are Panini's Vyakarana Sutras, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Jaimini's Nyaya Sutras, etc.  Brahma Sutras are the only Sutras which are referred to as simply Sutras, without anyspecifications, i.e. mention of the authors.(निर्विशेषितसूत्रत्वं ब्रह्मसूत्रस्यचाप्यतः)।

    To understand the meanings of the Brahmasutras, we need Bhashyas. Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya had composed Bhashyas on the Brahmasutras and presented their own interpretations. That is how Advaita, and Visishtaadvaita schools of thought originated. There are supposed to be 21 Bhashyas on the Brahmasutras, giving different Variants of interpretations of the Shrutis. Madhvacharya wrote the 22nd Bhashya, after refuting the contents of the earlier 21 wrong Bhashyas (कुभाष्य).After Madhva Bhashya was written, the Vedavyasa's true interpretation became known and it has been termed as Dwaita Siddhanta, or Tatva Vaada.

    Madhva Bhashya is very crypt, short and suggestive. In any case, it is difficult to be understood by the uninitiated and the less scholarly. Therefore, further Commentaries (Tikas) and Sub-Commentaries (Tippanies) have become necessary. Such Tikas and Tippanies are written by many celebrated scholars of Madhva Lineage. 

    Jayatirtha Muni- commonly called as Tikacharya, came on the space of Madhva Philosophy, as an illustrious Commentator on Madhva Granthas, and thereby, illuminating the many subtle hidden meanings of Madhvacharya. It is often stated that if Tikacharya had not come on the scene, Madhva Granthas would have remained like a riddle.           

    Tikacharya wrote a comprehensive commentary on Madhva Bhashya on Brahma Sutras, which is called as Tatvaprakasika. Tikacharya's commentaries- or Tikas are quite elaborate and insightful. But some more elucidation is required to comprehend the inner meanings of TatvaPrakashika also.

    Sri Vyasatirtha wrote the famous Tatparya Chandrika as a sub-commentary on Tatva Prakasika. And Raghavendra Tirtha also wrote a sub-commentary on Tatva Prakasika, called Bhavadipa.   There are many other sub-commentaries on Tatva Prakasika.

    Tatparya Chandrika:

    Vyasaraya wrote three major treatises on Madhva Philosophy. They are: Nyayamruta, Tarka Tandava and Tatparya Chandrika. In Guruguna Stavana of Vadindra Tirtha, these three Treatises are described as the three eyes of Lord Narasihma named Madhva Siddhaanta for understanding Madhva Siddhanta:

    मायातंत्रारिस्मयमपनयतो मध्वसिद्धांतनाम्नो 

    नेत्राणीव त्रयोऽपि त्रिजगति नृहरेरिंधते यत्प्रबंधाः 

    यद्वागद्वैतविद्याचलकुलकुलिश प्रौढिमाढौकते सः ।

    श्रेयो भूयो विदध्यात्सुमहितमहिमा संप्रति व्यासराजः ॥

    Tatparya Chandrika is distinct from Nyayamruta and TarkaTandava, in so far as the latter two have specialised in refuting oppenents schools of Thougts, Tatparya Chandrika has the feature of elucidating the meanings of the different Sutras, compiling at one place the viewpoints expressed in many other important Treatises, refuting the Advaitins, Visishtadvaitins, Using Mimamsa Rules extensively to refute the othe other's viewpoints and asserting Madhva Siddhanta etc.

    In the Mangala slokas of Bhavadipa, Raghavendra Tirtha writes as follows:

                                   तत्वप्रकाशिकाकूतं चन्द्रिकातः प्रकाशितम्।

                        अपि मंदकृते सर्व विषया च कृतिर्मम ||

                        नूतनैरुदिता ये तु दोषास्तेषामलग्नताम् ।

                        संप्रदर्शयितुं चातः प्रसन्नाः संतु सज्जनाः ॥

    The inner meaning of Tatvaprakaasika has been brought out by the Tatparya Chandrika of VyasaTirtha; but for the sake of the intellectually less endowed persons, this work- Bhavadipa  is meant for providing insights into all the subjects of Tatva Prakaashika.Further, many new objections and blemishes are imposed by some new critiques and this Bhavadipa  is meant to  refute all these new allegations and demonstrate that Tatvaprakasika is a blemishless commentary.

    Thus, Raghavendra Tirtha, clearly states that Tatparya Chandrika is a profound Treatise, not easily understood by the common students of Philosophy.

    Somnath Kavi, the illustrious Poet, who was contemporary of Sri Vyasatirtha and who was honoured by Vyasatirtha in his Gurukula, writes a very charming sloka, in his famous Champu Kavya- Vyasa Yogi Charitam- the most celebrated Sanskrit Composition, as follows:

    ...भगवान् स तपोनिधिः........सकलधर्मजीवातवे तत्वमतस्थापनाय  तात्पर्यचन्द्रिकातर्कतांडवन्यायामृतप्रमुखानि ...महनीयार्थगर्भितानि द्रूढपदबंधनानि .....अलीकवादिमर्मभंजनानि भूयांसि क्रमेण व्यरीररचत् ।

    विसृमरजगन्मिथ्याज्ञानांधकारभिदाकृता ।

    महितविभवं संतन्वत्या च मध्वमतांबुधेः ॥

    विमलितमभूद्योगिव्यासाननेंदुसमुत्थया ।

    सपदि भुवनं सर्वं तात्पर्यचंद्रिकया तया ॥

    One question comes to my mind, incidentally. Somanath Kavi, the contemporary of Sri Vyasatirtha, categorically mentions that the compositions of Vyasatirtha, were Tatparya Chandrika, Tarka tandava and Nyayamruta, in that order. The traditional belief is that Nyayamruta was composed before Chandrika, since references are there to Nyayamruta, in Chandrika.  Without commenting anything further, this raises a debatable point. Are the so-called references to Nyayamruta, interpolations? Anyway, this issue is besides the main theme of our article.

    Mimamsa Nyayas in Chandrika:

    Sri Vijayindra Tirtha has done an invaluable service to the students of Philosophy by compiling at one Place the Mimamsa Nyayas quoted in Nyayamruta and Chandrika, in the Treatises, named, respectively as"Nyayamrutodahruta Jaiminiya NyayaMala" and "Chandrikodahruta Jaiminiya Nyaya Mala".

    In the beginning ofChandrikodahruta Nyayamala, Sri Vijayindra Tirtha states as follows:

    ये न्यायाः पूर्वतंत्रीयाः चंद्रिकावागुदाहृताः ।

    गुरुपादैः क्रमात्तेषां विषयाद्यंगपूर्वकम् ॥

    शरीरं विजयींद्राख्यभिक्षुणेह प्रदर्श्यते ।

    सुखेन प्रतिपत्यर्थमतत्तंत्रविदामपि 

    Those purva Mimamsa Rules, that are quoted in the Tatparya Chandrika, are being presented in this grantha, by Vijayindra Tirtha,  in their details, for the benefit of easy  understanding by the students.

    We have no intention of going into the details of the applications of Mimamsa Nyayas in resolving some issues of Philosophy. We will only illustrate only with 1-2 examples.

    In the beginning itself, the issue that the Vedas have the blemish  of being anuvadaka, since they describe the Siddha Chaitanya, who is already established. is taken up. By taking the Purva Mimamsa Nyaya, it is argued that anuvadakatva is no problem. वायुर्वै क्षेपिष्टादि वाक्यवत्, ,  विद्वद्वाक्यवत्.

    In the context of establishing that रूढिis superior to यौगिकार्थ or लाक्षणिकार्थ; that ओंकार is applicable in जन्माद्यस्ययतः,  and onwards; thatउपसंहारis superior to उपक्रम; and establishing many such  Theses useful in Vedanta, Mimamsa principles have been utilised. Vijayindra Tirtha has done greatest service to the students of Tatparya Chandrika, by bringing these  usages of Nyayas in Chandrika. Those, who are interested in this subject should study "चंद्रिकोदाहृत जैमिनीयन्यायमाला"under the guidance of a Guru.

    The Mimamsa Principles -General Setting and Examples of Applications in the Judiciary*:

    The Mimamsa Principles distinguish between obligatory statements and non-obligatory statements. The main obligatory rule is called a Vidhi (or a Pratishedh, if it is in negative form). Vidhis are of 4 types, (1) Utpatti Vidhi, or a substantive injunction (e.g. 'perform the agnihotra'), (2) Viniyoga Vidhi, or applicatory rules (e.g. 'with curdled milk perform the agnihotra'), (3) Prayog Vidhi, or rules of procedure, and (4) Adhikara Vidhis (rules regarding rights and personal competence). Apart from these Vidhis proper (mentioned above) there are also certain quasi Vidhis called niyamas and parishankhyas, but it is not necessary to go into details here. Vidhis are found in Brahmanas.

    The main non-obligatory statement is known as an Arthavada. An Arthavada is a statement of praise or explanation. Most of the Vedas proper consist of Arthavadas as much of the Vedic hymns are in praise of some god, and do not lay down any injunction. Arthavada is like the preamble or statement of objects in a statute.  Six axioms of interpretation have therefore been developed for the interpretation of shastras. They are:

    (1) The Sarthakyata axiom, which means that every word and sentence must have some meaning.

    (2) The Laghava axiom (Gauravah doshah), which states that that construction which makes the meaning simpler and formation shorter is to be preferred.

    (3) The Arthaikatva axiom, which states that a double meaning should not be attached to a word or sentence occurring at one and the same place. Such a double meaning is known as a Vakyabheda, and is a fault (dosh).


    * The material in this and the next sections is drawn from the Tagore Memorial Law Lectures delivered by K.L.Sarkar, entitled " Mimamsa Rules of Interpretation" delivered in Calcutta, in 1905 and from the Introduction to a Book entitled with the same caption edited by Justice Markandeya Katju.

    4) The Gunapradhan axiom, which states that if a word or sentence purporting to express a subordinate idea clashes with the principal idea the former must be adjusted to the latter, or must be disregarded altogether.

     (5) The Samanjasya axiom4 which states that all attempts should be made at reconciliation of apparently conflicting texts. Jimutvahana has applied this principle for reconciling conflicting texts of Manu and Yajnavalkya on the right of succession.

    (6) The Vikalpa axiom, which states that if there is a real and irreconcilable contradiction between two legal rules having equal force, the rule more in accordance with equity and usage should be adopted at one's option. Thus where one of the rules is a higher legal norm as compared to the other, e.g. a Shruti in relation to Smriti, by the Badha principle5 the former prevails.

    It may be mentioned here that the Mimamsakas made every effort to reconcile conflicts, and held that Vikalpa was to be resorted to only if all other means of reconciliation failed, for Vikalpa had eight faults (dosh).

    Apart from the above mentioned axioms of interpretation there are the four well-known general principles of interpretation in Mimansa, viz.:

    (1) the Shruti Principle, or the literal rule. This is illustrated by the well-known Garhapatya maxim. There is the Vedic verse "Aindra garhapatyam Upatishthate" (with the Indra verse one should worship Garhapatya). Now this Vidhi can have several meanings e.g. (1) One should worship Garhapatya (the household fire) with a verse addressed to Indra, (2) One should worship both Indra as well as Garhapatya, (3) One should worship either of the two. The correct interpretation, according to the Shruti principle, is the first interpretation.

    (2) the Linga principle (also called Lakshana artha) or the suggestive power of words or expressions. This principle can be illustrated by the decision of the Supreme Court in U.P. Bhoodan Yagna Samiti v. Brij Kishore, where the words "landless person" were held to refer to landless peasants only and not to landless businessmen.

    (3) the Vakya Principle, or syntactical arrangement, and

    (4) Prakarana, which permits construction by referring to some other text in order to make the meaning clear.

    The first principle (Shruti) is to be resorted to if (1) the meaning of the text is clear, and (2) it accords with the intention. But there are texts whose meaning seems to be clear, but to give that literal meaning would totally undermine its intention.  The modern method of interpretation is to seek the intention rather than to follow the literal rule.  The Mimamsakas were great intention seekers, and the Linga, Vakya and Prakarana principles all aim at finding the intention of the law.

    Only the broad outlines have been indicated above, but it has to be noted that the Mimamsa Principles go into minute details and systematically arrange the principles of interpretation into categories and sub-categories with all their ramifications. For example, the Vakya principle (mentioned above) include adhyahara and anusanga (supplying of missing words and expressions), upakarsha and apakarsha (transference of clauses up or down in the sentence), etc.

    To give an illustration of the anusanga principle  (elliptical extension) it is interesting to see how Jimutavahana interpreted the text of Manu which states "Of a woman married according to the Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Gandharva and Prajapatya form, the property shall go to her husband, if she dies without issue. But her wealth, given to her on her marriage in the form called Asura, Rakshas and Paisacha, on her death without issue shall become the property of her parents". Jimutavahana employing the anusanga principle interpreted this text to the effect that the words "wealth given to her on her marriage" should also be inserted in the first sentence after the words "the property".

    Utilization of Mimamsa Principles in the Judiciary:

    Knowledge of Mimamsa Principles enables one to creatively develop the law. A few examples of utilization of Mimamsa Principles in some of the judgments is given below:

    1. In Sardar Mohammad Ansar Khan v. State of U.P. the controversy was as to which of two clerks appointed on the same day in an Intermediate College would be senior, and hence entitled to promotion as Head Clerk. Now there is no rule to cater to this situation. However, Chapter 2, Regulation 3 of the U.P. Intermediate Education Regulations states that where 2 teachers are appointed on the same day, the senior in age will be senior. Using the Atidesh Principle of Mimansa,  it was held that the same principle which applies to teachers should be also applied to clerks, and hence the senior in age would be senior. The Atidesh principle originated in the practical difficulty of performing certain yagyas. There are some yagyas (e.g. agnihotra, darshapurnamani, etc.) whose method of performance is given in detail in the Brahmanas. These are known as prakriti yagyas. However, there are other yagyas whose rules are not given any where, and these are known as vikriti yagyas. The question arose how these latter are to be performed. The atidesh principle was created to resolve this difficulty, and according to this principle,  the vikriti yagya is to be performed according to the rules of the prakriti yagya belonging to the same genus.

    2. In Tribhuwan Misra v. D.I.O.S. (supra) the Samanjasya principle was used to reconcile 2 apparently conflicting Division Bench rulings. This technique avoided reference to a Full Bench which would have tied up 3 or more Judges for several days in resolving the conflict. No doubt this decision (as a Single Judge) curtailed the full effect of the 2 Division Bench decisions, but that was done on the authority of the maxim of the lost horse; and burnt chariot (Nashtashva Dagdharatha Nyaya). This is based on the story of two men travelling in their respective chariots. One of them lost his horses and the other's chariot was burnt through the outbreak of fire in the inn, where they were spending the night. The horses that were left were harnessed to the remaining chariot, and the two men pursued their journey together. Its teaching is union for mutual advantage, which has been quoted in the 16th Vartika to Panini, and is explained by Patanjali. It is referred to in Kumarila Bhatta's 'Tantravartika'.

    3. The Anusanga Principle of Mimansa has been used in a case in UP.   The conclusion reached in this decision could not have been reached by any principle of Western Jurisprudence, and this illustrates the great use which can be made of Mimansa Principles to make the statute more democratic and equitable.

    4. The Laghava Principle has been used in Vinay Khare v. State of U.P.  The controversy in this case was that if in a competitive examination two candidates got equal marks whether the candidate who got more marks in the oral interview should be placed higher in the select list or the candidate who got more marks in the written test. It was held in this case that the candidate who got more marks in the written test should be placed higher because to interpret general suitability on the basis of marks in the written test is a short and simple interpretation and provides a clear objective test, whereas the criteria in the oral interview involves consideration of the candidate's personality, dress, physique, etc. which is complicated and in which there are more chances of favouritism and arbitrariness. 

    5. Laxana Principle. In yet another Legal Battle, Laxana Principle has been utilised for issuing Judgement. That is the case concerned with the matter of controversy in interpreting the Rules of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in giving Compensation for a person whose right leg and hand was paralysed in an accident. The rule stated that Full Compensation should be given only when the person is disabled due to the   amputations. The LIC had refused the compensation on the ground that paralisation was not included in the Compensation Rules. The Court took the stand that with Laxana Principle,Paralysis should also be included in the meaning of disability, in addition to imputation, and then ordered Full compensation to the Victim.

    Concluding Remarks:

    Mimamsa has been categorised as Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa. The latter is often referred to as Brahma Mimamsa or Vedanta. The former , viz. Purva Mimamsa is concerned with Karma Kanda viz. performance of Yajnas and other Karmas. Jaimini muni, disciple of Lord Vedavyasa, composed the famous Nyayas, or principles, useful in resolving the conflicts in the interpretations of the rules of performance of Yagnas. These Rules are so universal, that their applicability to interpret the Shruti Vakyas was discovered by Vedantins. In the Smriti granthas, such as ManuSmriti, Yajnavalkya Smriti, also their applications are found useful

    In recent years, the Jurists in India have found their usefulness in interpreting the Legal Acts, and given judgements by quoting the Mimamsa Principles in their Judgments.

    The purpose of this article is to provide the insights into the use of the Mimamsa Rules made in Vedanta, in particular in Chandrika and to bring out, with some illustrations as to how they are used in the Judgments in the Indian Judiciary system. The scholarly Judiciary has discovered that Mimamsa Rules/Principles of Interpretations are superior to the Western rules, of Maxwell etc, and more comprehensive than the latter.

    I hope that the inquisitive Sanskrit students, who are normally, not familiar with the applications in the Judiciary system, would get interested in this wider perspectives and appreciate the relevance of Sanskrit Shastras, to the problems of the  modern times.    

    Development Paradigm: Where we should go?



    Dr. V.R.Panchamukhi

    Former Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research,

    (ICSSR) New Delhi

    And Former Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth

     (Deemed University), Tirupati;

    Currently Chancellor, Sri Gurusarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Mantralayam.

    Professor K. Venkatagiri Gowda Memorial Lecture

    At the Conference Hall of

    Institute of World Culture, Bangalore

    27th June, 2018

    Development Paradigm: Where we should go?



    Dr. V.R.Panchamukhi

    Former Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research,

    (ICSSR) New Delhi

    And Former Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth

     (Deemed University), Tirupati;

    Currently Chancellor, Sri Gurusarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Mantralayam.


    I consider it as my proud privilege for having got the opportunity of delivering this year’s, Dr. Venkatagiri gouda Memorial Lecture, at the prestigious Venue of the Institute of World Culture. I feel doubly honoured by this occasion. First Honour is the Invitation for delivering the Dr. Venkatagiri Gouda Memorial Lecture. The Second Honour is that this event is being presided over by the most venerable personality, viz. Justice Venkatachalaiah, former Chief Justice of India, whom I hold in the highest esteem.

    I am privileged to have had close contact with Justice Venkatachalaiah, while he was judge, Supreme Court of India and later Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi. Justice Venkatachalaiah, is known for his knowledge of the Laws and the Judiciary Systems, of different countries of the world, and also for his knowledge of the Indian Heritage and Culture, in particular, the Haridasa literature of the Indian Philosophical System.  Justice Venkatachalaiah, was also known for his uprightness, perceptive insight into and comprehensive over-view of the judicial cases that come for his scrutiny.

    Dr. Venkatagiri Gouda has been a personality of unique capabilities and strong convictions. Though a Teacher by profession and genuine interest, he has had stints as Member of Loka Sabha, and member of political Parties. He was prolific writer and frank and spirited advocate of his convictions and crusader against corruption and pettiness in public Life. What I have appreciated in his career, is his genuine love for mother land and serving the mother land, even though he had many opportunities to go abroad and settle on a cosy life there.

    Even though so much has been said about my career, I would like to describe myself as a totally indigenous product and a genuine efficient import-substitute. I have never failed in competition with the so called foreign-trained scholars. I have a special respect for those who have lived in India, to serve the profession, even though they could have had many opportunities for settling abroad. To name only some such scholars, I could mention, the names, of Professors V.K.R.V Rao, D.M. Nanjundappa, P.R.Brahmananda, S. Chakrabarty, D.T.Lakdawala, A.K.Dasgupta, and of course, Venkatagiri Gouda.

     I am grateful to the organizing committee of this Memorial Lecture, in particular,Dr. Ramu B.K, Chairman, Dr. R. Nisarga, , Secretary and  Dr. Rekha Jagannath, Member of this committee, whose persuading power did not leave any scope for me to deny the Invitation despite my indisposition. I hope that I would prove worthy of the faith that they have reposed in me.

    I had had a dream of delivering a lecture or attending a lecture at the Institute of World Culture. I feel delighted that my dream is coming true today by the opportunity of delivering a lecture at IWC.

    Choice of a Theme for my Lecture:

    I have chosen a Theme concerned with the Development Paradigm pursued in India, in its historical and future perspectives. I am sorry that I have deviated from the field of Monetary and Fiscal Economics, which was the main field of interest of Professor Venkatagiri Gouda. Since policies are in a way part of the Development Paradigm, I decided to deal with the more fundamental Issue of the Choice of Development Paradigm.

    In this brief paper, I raise the basic question as to whether the Development paradigm that is normally pursued in India or elsewhere, is based on the framework of Economic Science, which truly reflects the world in reality.

    Since I am speaking in the Conference Hall of the Institute of World Culture, I would like to relate my presentation to the roots of our cultural heritage, which has been heralded as the Guru for the World Culture.

    Civilization and Culture:

    I make a distinction between Civilization and Culture. The former refers largely to the material progress while the latter refers to the Values and Ethical foundations of a Society.  To possess a high-tech car, is a symbol of Civilizational progress, while observing the traffic rules is the symbol of Culture. Possessing the most sophisticated Watch is the sign of civilizational advancement, while maintaining timeliness is a symbol of Cultural nicety. Thus we have to blend the Values of life with Materialistic Progress. This idea provides the conceptual foundation for my lecture today*.

    This perception highlights the supremacy of the Indian Thought Heritage to that of the rest of the world, because India has always conceived the supremacy of Values and Ethical Norms to the materialistic development. The paper begins by recounting some of the Development Paradigms, that are pursued in the past years. It raises the question as to whether the development processes have raised the welfare levels of the people.

    *Some quotes on the distinction between Civilization and Culture: Defining civili­zation MacIver and Page (1962) said, ‘by civilization we mean the whole mechanism and organization which man has designed in his endeavour to control the conditions of life’.

    Culture relates to the inner qualities of society like religion, customs, conventions, etc., while civilization relates to the outer form of society such as TV, radio, fans, etc.

    Culture is more stable than civilization—cultural change takes place in years or in centuries but civilization changes very rapidly.

     William F. Ogburn (1964), in his theory of social change, pointed out two aspects of culture, viz., material and non-material. For him, material aspect represents civilization and the non-material aspect is the culture proper. Gillin and Gillin (1948) designated the material or tangible part of culture as civilization or culture equipment which man in his endeavor has modified from environment. Mukund Hambarde; National Informatics Centre Culture is the set of values that shapes the behavior of the society at different levels while civilization is apparent in the physical development in form of man-made environment. Culture is the mind of society and civilization is the body.

    Information, Knowledge and Wisdom:

    I make a distinction between Information, Knowledge and Wisdom. Information refers to vast mass of materials that becomes available to us, when we sit before the computer and open the Net, or when we read a common News Paper, or when we last heard a learned Man’s Lecture. We are now in an Information Age where flood of Information of all sorts is submerging us. We are wrongly calling this period as Knowledge Age.

    To convert Information into Knowledge, we need special skill development efforts. In the absence of the skills to convert Information into Knowledge, the vast Information is of no use. We have created a society where such vast unused and unusable Information becomes a burden on the mind.

    In contrast to Information and Knowledge, we identify Wisdom, which refers to the faculty of sifting the right from the wrong, and separating the good from the bad, desirable from the undesirable. This is called as Viveka inthe vernacular jargon.   What we need to do today is to create a society of Wise people and not just Information-Loaded or Knowledge-Loaded people as is happening today.

    We experience that the world has been moving from one Crisis situation to the others, with the mirage of Improvement of welfare of the people, at large, when Paradigms shift with focus on Materialistic advancement!! We start doubting as to whether the Economic Science which provide the basis for these paradigms is the correct one reflecting the realities of the worldly life.

    Thus we should move towards a Paradigm of Development, which creates materialistic Growth along with fostering of Culture and Wisdom, in the people of the nation.  

    The listeners of my lecture or the readers of my paper, would realize the import of my statement, only after full listening to my lecture or full reading of my paper.

    Holistic Development:

    Let me introduce the concept of  Holistic Development to make clear as to what is the main message of my lecture.

    The Holistic Development consists of three Components:

    (i)           Optimum level of Growth of GDP;

    (ii)                       Social Aspects of Development, including, goals of   employment creation, reduction of inequities, increase in empowerment of deprived sections of the society, etc.;

    (iii)                    Fostering of Values and Ethical Standards of life.

    In recent times, we are giving excessive focus on Growth of GDP alone as the target. I advocate in this lecture that the most desirable Development Paradigm, to which we should move is one of Holistic Development.

    Let me now elaborate on my propositions.

    I would first present the Development Paradigms and the Global Monetary and Financial order, in their historical perspective to bring home the point that shifts in them have generated a series of new crisis situations, instead of  fully resolving the earlier crisis situations.

    Development Paradigms: Historical Perspective:

    If we consider the shifts in Development paradigms, pursued in India since independence, we find lot of varieties. We started our development paradigm, with focus on import-substitution and quantitative restrictions on imports and industrial activities. It was in 1962, that we inducted some focus on export promotion and adoption of price-based policies, explicit in the devaluation of Rupee in 1966 and relaxation of some quantitative restrictions. It was in 1977-78 that we moved towards a paradigm of liberalization in trade policies and removal of industrial licensing and quantitative restriction on economic activities. This shift was prompted by the recommendations of the Alexander Committee (for which I had had the privilege of being Member-Secretary and that of drafting the Report) and it was recognized as the beginning of the Liberalisation Era. Many initiatives were launched, to remove the paradigm of quantitative restrictions and adoption of that of price-based policies. It was in 1991 that the second phase of liberalization was launched with complete elimination of quantitative interventions and the elimination of quotas and physical controls in the framework of trade and industrial Policies. This phase also coincided with the emergence, globally, of Market-based Policies, heralded as a policy package of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG Paradigm).   It was perceived that with the adoption of LPG Paradigm, all countries would experience rapid increase in Growth Rates of GDP, reduction of intra and inter-countries inequalities, spread in industrial development culture, reduction in un-employment rates, increase in the efficiency in resource use, improvement in the empowerment of deprived sections of the society. Financial Liberalisation at the national and the Global Levels, etc. also accompanied, the policy package LPG. This was expected to ease the supply of Funds for Investment.

    In contrast to these perceived outcomes, in practice, the opposite results have emerged, after initial spurt of the perceived results. The nation and the world have been experiencing slowing down of the Growth process. Both, intra-national and international inequities have widened. There is no substantial increase in employment rates. Efficiency increase has been at the cost of employment expansion, since efficiency is measured in terms of efficiency of Capital. Perceived expansion of Industrial activity has been at the cost of small and medium industries, which were employment-intensive. Further, the expansion of industrial activity and urbanization have taken place, at the cost of environmental factors, thereby causing non-sustainability of the development process. The over-emphasis on Growth alone strategy has been such as to destroy the indigenous life styles and traditional Values of the Society. Empowerment of the deprived sections of the society has not occurred satisfactorily.

    In view of these failures of the perceived results, the paradigm of LPG has been discredited and a search for a new paradigm of development has now been launched all over the world. Instead of outright Globalisation, limited extent of Globalisation is being advocated. Reversal of the strategy of total trade liberalization and adoption of selective protectionism, so as to suit the domestic interests, are being pursued by the very countries, which were strong advocates of Trade Liberalisation.  It is now being increasingly recognized thatsome sort of regulation of the private industry and the private capital flows is required to avoid the uncertainties of the Private sector’s behavior, in regard to the goals of fostering of social welfare. Further, volatility in private capital flows introduces lot of uncertainty in the foreign investment scenario of the host country, thereby adversely affecting the monetary and financial stability, as also the exchange rate stability of the economy. Thus, unrestrained liberalization and privatization are not cherished as desirable policy options.

    Global Monetary and Financial Order:

    Along with the shifts in the framework of Development Policies, there have been radical shifts in the Global Monetary and Financial Order.

    The first major disturbance in the global order began with the two oil-price hikes in 1973 and 1979. With the beginning of the Petrodollars, the financial center shifted to OPEC countries, in particular, to the Middle East Countries. Europe entered the unprecedented stagflation situation.

    It was in 1974 that there was a UN resolution to evolve a new International Economic Order, (NIEO), with the renewed focus on the development of the developing countries. But this Resolution was never implemented due to the vested interests.

    There was a strong demand for a New Financial Architecture, in response to the failures of the established Institutions of the Global Financial Institutions, like IMF, IBRD, Asian Bank. Since there was growing demand for regulating the uncontrolled flow of private Capital Funds, due to the instabilities that such a phenomenon was creating, there was a proposal to have Tobin Tax on the indiscriminate Transaction of foreign Exchanges.* Tobin Tax, though a brilliant idea, was never implemented.

    The world is still gripped with financial instabilities, due to inaction of the identification of a new Financial Architecture, due to the prevalence of Vested Interests.

    It was in the early part of the 1980’s that the Asian developing countries became the Growth-leaders of the world. The survival of the developed countries was possible with the increasing import-demands in the Asian countries,

    *Tobin suggested his currency transaction tax in 1972 in his Janeway Lectures at Princeton, shortly after the Bretton Woods system of monetary management ended in 1971.[2] Prior to 1971, one of the chief features of the Bretton Woods system was an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained the exchange rate of its currency within a fixed value—plus or minus one percent—in terms of gold. Then, on August 15, 1971, United States President 

    Richard Nixon announced that the United States dollar would no longer be convertible to gold, effectively ending the system. This action created the situation whereby the U.S. dollar became the sole backing of currencies and a reserve currency for the member states of the Bretton Woods system, leading the system to collapse in the face of increasing financial strain in that same year. In that context, Tobin suggested a new system for international currency stability, and proposed that such a system include an international charge on foreign-exchange transactions.

    In 2001, in another context, just after "the nineties' crises in Mexico, Southeast Asia and Russia,"[3]which included the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and the 1998 Russian financial crisis, Tobin summarized his idea:

    The tax on foreign exchange transactions was devised to cushion exchange rate fluctuations. The idea is very simple: at each exchange of a currency into another a small tax would be levied - let's say, 0.5% of the volume of the transaction. This dissuades speculators as many investors invest their money in foreign exchange on a very short-term basis. If this money is suddenly withdrawn, countries have to drastically increase interest rates for their currency to still be attractive. But high interest is often disastrous for a national economy, as the nineties' crises in Mexico, Southeast Asia and Russia have proven. My tax would return some margin of manoeuvre to issuing banks in small countries and would be a measure of opposition to the dictate of the financial markets.[4][5][6][7][8]

    Though James Tobin suggested the rate as "let's say 0.5%", in that interview setting, others have tried to be more precise in their search for the optimum rate.

    in particular, Asian Tigers- (Korea, Hongkong, Singapore China Taiwan) and the Asian Cubs ( Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia).  But this scenario soon got frustrated due to economic and financial crisis in the Asian Economies. Indonesian Crisis, South-East Asian Crisis, Japanese Property Market crisis etc.

    The nature of Capital flows shifted from official transfers to private capital flows. There was intensive debate on the   need for evolving a system of global free trade and the result was the creation of World Trade Organisation with pressure for similar free flow of Capital through an Global Agreement on Investment Flows.  (Multilateral Agreement on Investment).

    Now the time has come for discrediting all these initiatives and looking for some new Paradigm of International Trade and Capital Flows.

    The Underlying Economic Science is Faulty:

    In view of the above-given reflections, I would argue that not just the Economic Policy framework or the Policy paradigm is faulty but that the Economic Science, on which the choice of policies is based, is also faulty.

    I have to make a distinction between, Western Economic Science, (WES) on which all the received paradigms are based and what one may call as Indian Classical Economic Science (ICES), which provides an alternative premises. In the following paragraphs, I would elaborate on these premises to bring home the point that the Indian Classical Economic Science provides hitherto more appropriate premises for making choice of appropriate Development or Policy Paradigms. The sources of Knowledge about the Indian Classical Economic Science/Thoughts are couched in Sanskrit. Since we have lost touch with Sanskrit, we are unable to perceive the contours of ICES and benefit by its more relevant thoughts and paradigms for Human Welfare. Forgive me if I occasionally give quotations from the original Sanskrit Literature

    This is what Macaulay wanted the Indians to be reduced to. He wanted that the Indian should lose their contacts with their own rich Cultural and Knowledge Heritage and become subservient to the British Supremacy. The following quote from his famous speech in British Parliament, in 1835,  is worth recalling: (I am aware that the genuineness of this quote, though viral on social media and quoted by even Honourable Abdul Kalam ji is sometimes questioned!!!)  

    Lord Macaulay’s address to the British Parliament in 2 February, 1835:
    "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."


    I would like to bring out the distinctions between the two premises, under the following heads or Themes: (i) Economic Man vs Holistic Man; (ii) Holistic Goals of Development; (iii) Determinants of Activities, in a Holistic Framework; (iv) Focus on Human Resources as against that Capital and Technology;(v) Attitude Towards Consumption; (v) Growth Rates of GDP alone is not sufficient; (vi) Gross National Welfare Product as against Gross National Materials Product; (vii) Foundations of Socialistic Principles;  (viii) An Integrated View of Environment; (ix) Labour Market and Work Culture;  (x) Classification of Assets;  (xi) Life Style and Resource Balance; (xii) An Integrated Paradigm of  National Welfare.

    Even though these themes are disjoint and unconnected, a brief discussion on them would bring out the distinctive features of ICES in contrast to the features of WES.

    Let me briefly deal with each one of these Themes.

    Economic Man vs Holistic Man:

    WES conceived Man- the focus of analysis as the Rational Economic Man,  there by making materialistic self interest as the basic Goal for Human Behaviour. The ICES has conceived Man in a holistic framework, as a blend of Materialistic Man and what one may call as Spiritualistic Man.  Thus, the goals of life become a blend of materialism and values and ethical norms.

    Holistic Goals of all activities:

    It is worth noting that Goals of activities as per the WES is to maximize or optimize the realization of material Benefits like, Income, Profits, Exports etc. all in the materialistic framework. However, as the ICES, the Goals are mentioned in a four-fold frameworkas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. It should be noted that Dharma  has been wrongly understood as Religion and rituals. Dharma  stands for Values, Ethics, Commitment to one’s own prescribed Duties etc. DharaNaat Dharma ucchyate; Swa Swa vihitavRuttyaa bhaktyaa bhagavadaaraadhanameva paramo DharmaH, tadviruDDhaH sarvo api adharmaH etc. Artha stands for Capital Formation or Materialistic Wealth, Kamameans, fulfillment of one’s basic Needs, Moksha means freedom from all prejudices and biases which adversely affect efficiency. Thus, the four-fold framework, implies, optimum realization of Material wealth and fulfillment of Basis Needs of all the needy ones, in a framework of Values and Ethical Norms and in the premises of maximum efficiency of human behavior. This Holistic Framework of Goals is to be applied in every activity of Human life.

    Holistic Determination of Activity:

    The WES describes the Theory of Activity in the forms of Production Functions with Labour, Capital and Technology as the determinants of an Activity. As against this, the ICES model sets out a Holistic Model on the Determination of Activities. Its contours are laid down in Bhagavadgita as follows: 

    (1)Adhisthaanam- Initial Conditions, (2) Performer, (3) different Instruments or Means of activity, (4) Their interse interactions and (5 The Imponderble factor of Divinity are the five determinants of any activity).

    Focus on Human Resources:                  

    Karta or the Performer holds the key position. There are three types of Performers. Satvika Karta, Rajasa Karta nad Taamasa Kartaa. Of these Satvika Kartaa is the one who possesses the following attributes: Dispassionate commitment, Not appropriating the Credit to Himself, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and equanimity in situations of successes or Failures. All performers should endeavour to possess the attributes of a Satvika Karta. The proper efficiency in a value-based framework would be realized.

    The ICES distinguishes itself from the WES, in so far it focuses on the purity and efficiency of Human Resources. Capital and Technology are secondary inputs, while the attributes of Human Resources determine efficiency of an activity. All Philosophy focuses in advocating the appropriate attributes of Human Resources.

    Attitude towards Consumption:

    WES is based on the premises of Maximisation of Consumption at the individual level. Development Paradigm is such as to ensure maximization of Consumption Demand. As against this, ICES advocates the restraints on personal consumption with a view to making the resources available to a large number of individuals whose basic needs could be fulfilled.   Today’s consumerism is the root cause for adverse consequences, such as Global Warming, un -sustainability   of the development. Sustainable consumption can alone lead sustainability of Development. Sustainable Consumption is advocated in the ICES.

    Five Types of Growth should be avoided:

    The WES advocates maximisation of Growth Rates of GDP. There is a tendency to measure the rate of progress only in terms of GDP Growth Rates, which is very misleading. The UNDP’s Human Development Report had advocated that the following Five types of Growth of GDP should be avoided: (i) Jobless Growth---Growth, which does not generate additional job opportunities; (ii) Ruthless Growth- Growth, which increases income inequalities; (iii) Future-less Growth --- Growth which generates non-sustainability; (iv) Voice less Growth—Growth, which does not enhance the empowerment of the deprived sections of the society; and finally, (v) Root-less Growth –Growth profile, which destroys the roots of culture, traditional faiths, cherished Values of the society.

    The recent tendency to condemn the growth process which implies lower growth rates compared to other countries, has distorted our assessment practices for the development experiences. Moreover, Professor VKRV Rao, the great expert on National Incomes has decried the tendencies to compare the growth rates across countries arguing that such comparisons are not tenable and not advisable.

     Gross National Welfare Product:

    The ICES advocates the need for measuring the Development Experiences, not in terms of Gross National Materials Products, only, as is the case in the WES,  but in terms of a Holistic Framework, as Gross National Welfare Product. Gross National Welfare product= Gross National Materials Product + Gross Values Product. The latter to be measured through parameters of commitment to Values and Moral Standards of the people of the Nation. Gross National Welfare Product is an extension of the approach of Gross National Happiness Index, which is pursued in some countries, such as Bhutan.

    Foundations of the Socialistic Principles:

    The ICES has laid down the foundations of the Socialistic Principles. Isavaasya Upanishad has laid down that ownership of all resources lies with the Almighty and not with any individual. It advocates that that one should have access only to that much of the Resources that are legitimately required for his existential purposes. The rest should be earmarked for the rest of the society. What a wonderful principle of Socialism, denying even the ownership of excess resources of production!!!

    Karl Marx denied only excessive ownership of income or wealth, while ICES denies even ownership of the means of production.

     An Integrated View the Environmental Problems:

    The WES conceives Environment  as consisting of Earth,(prithvi), Water (Up), Fire (Tejas), Air (vaayu), and Ether (AAkaaSa); Pollution of any of these is regarded as the source of environmental Pollution. But the concept of Environment, in ICES, is much wider in scope and content. In addition to the above, the concept of Environment includes Time (kaala), Direction or Space (Dik), Conscience (Atma) and Mind (Manas). If consideration of Timeliness is disturbed then that means that Time as a resource is polluted. If proper concerns for Directions are not shown then, Dik as a factor is polluted. If actions are done against our conscience, then Atma is polluted. If, more than anything else, Mind is polluted, thereby generating perverted Thoughts, then, all the other factors become polluted. Today, we are suffering from the pollution of the Mind. Hence, even if the other five elements of the Nature are freed from pollutions, and if the Mind is polluted, then pollutions of the other factors would be repeated.

    Labour Market and Work Culture- ICES’s Holistic View:

    The most important distinction between WES and ICES arises due to the approach towards Labour and the Work Culture. While the Labour’s response to work is a function of wages and salaries as also of the threats of punishments (Carrots and Sticks), in the WES, but in the ICES it is a function of labour’s commitment to duties and its aptitude to perform his duties, with a mind-set of dispassionate service to God, without expectations about the Rewards. (NiShkamaKarma Approach). This work culture prescribes performance of one’s duties, without any expectations about the rewards or returns. In is unfortunate that the concept of Nishkaama Karma  has been ridiculed as an exploitative Labour Policy. By not recognising the fundamental principles of this approach, we have ended up in a tendency of encouraging the approach of Nishkarma Kaama- i.e. a tendency of expecting to have desires fulfilled without doing any work. By this perversion in thinking our work-culture has been one of laziness, passing on the responsibility to the others, thus not caring for the efficiency in resource use.

    Classification of the Assets by the attributes of the owners of the Assets:

    The WES has the tendency of classifying the Assets or Capital, by the Rate of Returns on the Assets/Capital. As per the WES, the Asset or Capital is considered as a Non Performing Asset (NPA), when the rate of Return on the Asset is low or negative. But as per the ICES, the Assets are classified as Daivi Sampat/Asuri Sampat, 

     ( Divine Capital/Demonish Capital), depending upon the nature of the attributes of the Owners of the Assets/Capital. Bhagavadgita narrates the list of these attributes in great details.

    To give an example, Take for instance, the simple example of a Cell Phone. If it is held by a person with Divine attributes, this asset would be used for communication purposes and hence productive asset. If the owner is having attributes of evil design, he may use it for triggering an explosive device. Then the same asset becomes a destructive Asset.

    One can predict about the nature of the assets by examining the attributes of the owners of the assets- as potentially productive or potentially unproductive or non-performing. Thus ICES provides a more meaningful classification of the Assets.

    If the owners have tendencies of corruption and evil designs of using the assets for their personal benefits (For example, the software Company of Hyderabad, which became non-performing, due to corrupt practices of its owner),, the asset becomes non-performing.

    Life Styles and Resource Balance:

    The ICES provides an interesting approach to structural transformation of a Society, which ensures Resource Balance.

    The society is classified into a four*four matrix classified by Four Professional categories, as Brahmana (Those engaged in Learning, Knowledge and Research), Kshatriya (Those engaged in defence and police activities), Vaisya (Those engaged in trading, production and commerce activities) and Sudra (Those engaged in Service activities). And Four Life Style Systems, viz. Brahmacharya (Initial situations of life of discipline and Restraint on claim on resources), Grihastha (Married and Household Situation, implying considerable demand for resources), Vanaprastha  (Situation of withdrawal from normal consumption Situation implying less than normal demand for resources) and Sanyasa (Total Withdrawal from worldly activities, implying negligible demand for resources).

    Ideally, the classifying the population into 4*4 matrix, implied balance between demand and supply of resources.

    In my view, what one called as Varnashrama system, was meant for evolving a configuration of the society, which ensured resource demand match with resource supply. The figures in the enclosed Table give the configuration of Population, at a particular time, in the 4*4 matrix. The figures in the bracket give the net Resource Balance created by the population in a cell of the matrix. The configuration is such that there is a resource surplus of 2 units on the whole. It is possible to have a configuration in such a way that total Net Resource Balance could be negative or Zero, which means that there is a Resource Balance.

    There is a voluntary shift of the Population in such a way that there is a Resource Balance in the Economy as a whole.


    Composition of a population of One Lakh, into professional categories and Life styles

    (figures in brackets in hundreds, the rest in Thousands)

    Profession/Life               Life Style Life Style Life Style Life Style Style_______|______          I________II______III______IV____

    1. Education, Health          2               3              2               3              10  

    And R&D activity:           (1)              (2)           (-1)           (4)          (18)                       

    2. Defence, Adm.n         5              7              6               2            20

    And Governance          (-2)          (0)            (-3)             (0)        (-28)  

    3. Production Trade     10           20           8             2            40

    And Commerce             (-1)        (-2)         (4)           (-1)     (-20)

    4. Service Activities        8           11           10           1           30

                              (0)           (1)              (2)            (1)         (32)

    Total                25              41             26            8           100

                              (-18)       (-23)          (32)          (11)         (2)

    (Figures in the Brackets give per capita Net Resources Rate (resource regeneration rate- resource demand rate) of a particular category of the population). The figures in Brackets in the last column and last Row give the Net Resources generated (in Lakhs) by the particular configuration of the Population.  The figure in the south-east corner gives the total Net resource situation. In this Table, it is Rs. +2 lakhs as the final Net Resource Situation.

    For example, For Profession 1, Net Resources generated =100*2000+200*3000+(-100)*2000+400*3000=1800000 i.e Rs 18 lakhs. Similarly for other Rows, i.e. Professional categories.

    Any other configuration of Population, there could be a situation of Negative or Balanced Resource situation. Thus, by manipulating the configuration of the Population, we can derive the desired results on the Net Resource Situation.

    In the traditional system, there were continuous shifts in the configuration of the Population by free will and conventions. For example, aged persons and even Kings, moving to Vanaprastha, i.e. Life Style III, voluntarily. Hence Resource Balance was ensured by the shifts in the Population structure, and not by taxes and subsidies.

    Thus the Varnashrama System was such that the Resource deficit could be avoided at any cost.

    My argument is the Varnashrama System is not equivalent to Caste System, meant for dividing the society. But it was a system for ensuring Resource Balance without Taxes and Subsidies. Unfortunately, it has been reduced to that derogatory status, by those who have not understood its significance in our lives.

    An Integrated Model of Human Welfare:

    Kautilya’s Artha Sastra gives an Integrated Model of Human Welfare. It runs as follows:

    Sukhasya Mulam DharmaH; Dharmasya Mulam ArthaH; Arthasya Mulam Raajyam; Rajyasya mulam indriya JayaH; IndriyaJayasya Mulam VinayaH; Vinayasya Mulam vRuddhopasewa; vRuddhopasevayaH Mulam vijnaanam; vijnaanen aatmaanam vindet.

    The first factor for generating Happiness and Welfare is the Value System. Dharma does not mean Religion or Rituals. It is a set of Values and Ethical Norms. For being able to generating a good framework of Values, one needs a good Capital formation. Capital or Investment is not the primary Factor for generating the right kind of Happiness. For generating a good System of Capital Formation, one requires a good political System and Governance System. For realising a rewarding Political and Governance System, one requires Leadership, which is selfless and free from corruptive tendencies. For generating such a System, one would need Leaders who are modest and willing to learn from others.  For generating such an attribute, one would need an aptitude of respecting the elders and the knowledgeable. For that aptitude to grow as a natural phenomenon, one would need deeper knowledge of the people and the Nation. It is only through such a Knowledge and Wisdom, One can become truly accomplished and productive.

    The above Model is multi-disciplinary, incorporating Economics, Political Science, Ethics and Morality, Social Principles, and Governance.

    Choice of a Development Paradigm:

    Finally, our message is that we should pursue the prescriptions of the Holistic Principles of Indian Classical Economic Science. Western Economic Science has done the damage of giving stress only on the Materialistic aspect of life, without caring for the value-based spiritual Dimensions of Human Being. This has distorted the path of Development, there by generating forces of Instabilities and sowing the seeds for a sequence of Crisis situations.  There is need for a paradigm of sustainable consumption and over-emphasis on Growth alone strategy, would destroy the very fabric of development for Human Welfare.

    The subtle need for paradigm shift would require deliberate efforts and conscious initiatives, on the part of the Intellectuals, Politicians, Practitioners and the general public at large.  Shall we hope that we would rise to the occasion of New Challenges and seize the opportunity of playing a leadership role, in the present juncture, when we are in search of a New  Paradigm of Development? 

    Finally I would like to thank the organizers of this lecture, for giving me this opportunity. My Thanks are also due to you for your patient hearing. I would like to request you to view the lecture, with a Hamsa-Ksheera Nyaya, by accepting the Milk and discarding the Water in it.

    Om ShantiH, ShantiH, ShantiH.

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  • ttps://
    Here's a thorough book (1896) on the history of the Svastika स्वस्तिक (su+asti, well-being, fortune) around the world. स्वस्तिकः [स्वस्ति शुभाय हितं क]
  • Metawork ledgers. Tiger with open mouth is an Indus Script hypertext व्यो-कार, व्योकरः bogāṟa 'blacksmith' dhollu 'drummer' dul 'metal casting' sattuva 'svastika glyph' sattuva'pewter, zinc' panca 'five' panja 'kiln, smelter' kola 'tiger' kolhe 'smelter' kol 'working in iron'Ta. karaṭi, karaṭi-ppaṟai, karaṭikai a kind of drum (said to sound like a bear, karaṭi). Ka. karaḍi, karaḍe an oblong drum beaten on both sides, a sort of double drum. / Cf. Skt. karaṭa- a kind of drum. (DEDR 1264) rebus: karaḍā खरडें 'daybook, wealth-accounting ledger करडा [karaḍā] Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c. (Marathi) 
  • Wilson concludes that the symbol in ancient times, in Eurasia, signified a is a recurrent Indus Script hypertext, e.g.,five svastika in series PLUS drummer, tiger with open mouth. Continues in Kharavela (khar 'blacksmith' PLUS veL 'king') inscription

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    2. Jain āyāgapaṭa from Kankali Tila, Mathura Dated: ~1st century CE Whole relief is carved in a square frame much like a Mandala. Note spiral Svastika pattern. Its fish-tailed wing is disgorging lotus. Tirthankara is depicted at the centre of Mandala flanked by 4 trishula(?).

    3. (Note by S. Kalyanaraman: Tirthankara is flanked by 4 śrivatsa hypertexts which are composed of fish-fins)

    The central orthograph motif which recurs on the  āyāgapaṭa is the fish-fin which is an Indus Script hypertext. Four śrivatsa hypertexts around Tirthankara.

    A pair of fish-fins with a palm fond on either end
     tāa 'palm frond' rebus: hāako 'large ingot'
    khambhaṛā 'fish-fin rebus: kammaṭa 'mint, coiner, coinage'.
    dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS ayo 'fish' rebus: aya 'iron' ayas 'alloy metal'
    Thus, together, the hypertext Meluhha rebus message is: mint for alloy metal ingots. The expression used in Mahavamsa is:  Mahavamsa, XXV, 28, ayo-kammata-dvara, "gate for iron mint " (of a city), as shown on Sanchi and Bharhut torana-s.

    Four fish-fins disgorge lotus hieroglyph; four associated hypertexts are: 1. pair of fishes; 2. portable furnace; 3. svastika; 4. molluscs+fish+tying rope:
    molluscs + fish+ tying rope


    Portable furnace

    Pair of fishes + disgorged lotus + fish-fin + drop (oval- or lozenge-shaped ingot)
    Variant orthograph on āyāgapaṭa-s

    Comparable hypertext orthographs from Begram ivories

    Hieroglyph on a Begram ivory plaque: a pair of molluscs tied with a chisel.
    Hackin 1954, p.169, figs.18 Ivory? Size: 10.6 x 15.8 x 0.4 cm Begram rectangular plaque depicting three palmettos with curled-up ends, held together by rings made up of lotus petals. Between the palmettos elongated fruit is shown . This scene is bordered by a band depicting a series of four-leaved flowers set in a square frame. In this hieroglyhphic multiplex, there are three distinct orthographic components:

    Mollusc 1. mollusc (snail) pair depicted by a pair of antithetical S curved lines: 
    ̄khī Rebus: ̄kh ʻconch-shell-cutterʼ
    Palmetto or Spathe 2. spathe of a palm or palmetto: sippī f.
    ʻspathe of date palmʼ Rebus: sippi 'artificer, craftsman'. It could also be seen as a chisel:śakula Rebus: sangin 'shell-cutter'.
    Tied together, cord 3. a thread or cord that ties the mollusc pair and spath in the centre together into a composite orthographic unit. dām 
    ʻropeʼ Rebus 1: dhā̆va 'smelter' Rebus 2: dhamma'dharma' dham̄a ʻemployment in the royal administrationʼ.

    khambhaṛā 'fish-fin rebus: kammaṭa'mint, coiner, coinage'.
    dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS ayo'fish' rebus: aya 'iron'ayas'alloy metal'

    mū̃h '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.lex.) kaula mengro ‘blacksmith’ (Gypsy) mleccha-mukha (Skt.) = milakkhu ‘copper’ (Pali) The Sanskrit loss mleccha-mukha should literally mean: copper-ingot absorbing the Santali gloss, mũh, as a suffix.

    kamaamu, kammaamu = portable furnace for melting precious metals (Te.) Rebus: kammaṭīḍu = a goldsmith, a silversmith (Te.) kampaṭṭam coinage coin (Ta.); kammaṭṭam kammiṭṭam coinage, mint (Ma.); kammaṭa id.; kammaṭi a coiner (Ka.)(DEDR 1236)

    Svastika hieroglyph: sattva 'svastika' glyph సత్తుతపెల a vessel made of pewter  
    त्रपुधातुविशेषनिर्मितम्  Glosses for zinc are: sattu (Tamil), satta, sattva (Kannada) jasth जसथ् त्रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas ज्तस), zinc, spelter; pewter; zasath ज़स््थ्or zasuth ज़सुथ्।रप m. (sg. dat. zastas ज़्तस), zinc, spelter, pewter (cf. Hindī jast). jastuvu; रपू्भवः adj. (f. jastüvü), made of zinc or pewter (Kashmiri).