Race for a race, a blond Vyasa Muni?


“Is anyone here aware that Hitler sent an emissary to Tibet in search of pure Aryan blood?” I asked my fellow group members. It was a very cold afternoon in June 2016. With no Mobile services, no electricity and freezing surroundings, 17 of us sat huddled up shivering and staring at each other in a small tin-roofed room at Hilsa, Nepal. Situated between two Himalayan ridges and bordering with Tibet, China, the only possible engagement of entertainment in that ramshackle guesthouse was conversation. We were waiting for the remaining 20 members to join us before proceeding to Tibet for out Kailash-Manasarovar trek.

The handsome and muscular Prasad who was sitting on the cot in lotus position asked me; “Mohan Sir, we never use the word Aryans in our conversations though it is a Sanskrit word. How and when did the Germans start using that to refer to a race?”

He shifted his position and stretched his legs.

“For heaven’s sake, drop the ‘Sir’ Prasad. I told you a million times”, I said. He shifted his position, unfolded his legs and stretched them out resting on his two arms behind waiting for my answer.

“That theory called the Aryan Invasion theory was propagated by western historians in the 19th century. This was accepted and adopted by Indian Historians as well with even our textbooks teaching us that a large tribe of wandering nomads from the steppe region in Southern Europe invaded the Indus Valley civilisation in northwestern India, drove the natives down south, created Vedic Sanskrit and the Early Vedic thought “, I said.

“But Germans say that Sanskrit and German are similar.Why is Sanskrit supposed to be the most suitable language for Computers?” Prasad asked me leaning forward and folding his legs again.

“Because it is the only context-free language in the world which makes it most ideal for algorithms” I said.

“I don’t understand. Could you please explain?” he said sounding like he was making a request.

“There is a famous example. Read these two English sentences;

-Fruit flies like an apple. 

In this sentence the word ‘flies’ refers to insects and is used as a noun. The word ‘like’ refers to fondness.

-Time flies like an arrow. 

In this sentence the word ‘flies’ is a verb and refers to flying and the word ‘like’ refers to similarity. The same words mean different things depending on the context.This never happens in Sanskrit since it is derived from nearly 4000 rules and each word is context free” I explained. 

“While we humans can understand the context, a computer cannot. Its context-free nature comes from its ability to capture an infinite variety of expressions in a finite number of rules” I said.

“What has that got to do with Computers?” he asked wild eyed.

“To communicate with computers in an unambiguous way, two IBM engineers Backus and Naur tried to figure out a language to communicate with computers. What they needed was to find a way to instruct computers in totally unambiguous fashion with either yes or no as answers. So they came up with context-free grammar and were astonished to find out that Panini had anticipated them millennia ago in Sanskrit!” I said.

Prasad shook his head in disbelief and said “incredible.Our ancestors were so advanced. No wonder the Europeans want to stake claim on the origins of Sanskrit”.

I nodded my head in agreement, leaned back on my cot and started reflecting.

My curiosity about my ancestral roots is tied to my reverence and pride for the creators of the concept of Brahman, non-duality, classical Sanskrit language and Vedas. For me to accept and give credit to a few thousand invading European nomads for the creation of Vedic thought takes a lot more than mere linguistic similarities between Sanskrit, Greek and German. 

How did Sanskrit catch the attention of the west in the first place?

In the late 18th Century, the British Colonial rulers started feeling insecure about their dominance of the Indian Colony in the wake of the great war of Indian independence of 1757 that had brought warring Indian Kingdoms together. They felt a need to ‘connect’ with Hindus by understanding their complex culture and get equipped with the tactical and political armory to divide them.  In 1785, William Jones, an English judge was appointed by the British Raj to understand explain Indian culture to the Colonial leaders. Jones began study of Sanskrit, eventually becoming a linguistic scholar. He found Sanskrit to be a marvellous language. After months of study he wrote and delivered a paper in which he said:

“The Sanskrit language, whatever is its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either….”

This discovery shook the European identity. European intellectuals were living with the illusion of the supremacy of their civilisation and culture. They were ruling India and could not digest the fact that their language, culture and science came from India. After noticing many common sounding terms in Sanskrit and several European languages, they postulated that a wandering tribe of highly evolved nomads leading a pastoral life roamed in the southeastern steppe region of modern-day Europe. Western linguists came up with an imaginary language called Proto-Indo-European (famously known as PIE) spoken by these advanced people that was supposedly the mother of Vedic Sanskrit though there was no direct evidence that language like this ever existed. Western scholars reconstructed Proto-Indo-European from its proclaimed present-day descendants using mere phonology and linguistics.

They named theses wandering sophisticated nomads “Aryans” and came out with a hypothesis that these Aryans made their way into north-west India carrying with them Vedic Sanskrit, composed the Vedas and drove the hapless natives into the southern part of present-day India. Rig Veda earliest Vedic text, the does not give even a shred of evidence of any invasion or migration to have taken place from outside or the Rishis of Vedas having been part of expeditions into India from somewhere else.

An expert scholar on the oriental study, Max Muller, a German who lived in England and worked at Oxford came up with a date as late as 1500 B.C.E. (3500 years ago) for this invasion while we in India believed that Vedas were 6000 years old. 

The western Historians further claimed that a part of these P-I-E speaking ‘Aryans’ went and settled in Germany. Nazi regime clung on to this identity and declared their progenitors as the biologically superior “Aryan” or Germanic master race and came out with a new ‘Aryan Identity’. The Nazis advocated that “inferior humans” should be dominated and enslaved for the sake of Germany’s future. Their solution was to execute and bring to end over six million ‘inferior’ human lives, aka the Holocaust and the annihilation of six million Jews. 

For Hitler, the only solution to this mingling of Aryan and lower blood was for the tainted Germans to find people with pure Aryan blood. His deputy Himmler was convinced that Tibet might prove to be the refuge of the original Aryans and their superhuman powers. 

“That is why an emissary visited Tibet during the Nazi regime,” I said.

“I did not know that Mohan,” said Prasad, at last, dropping the ‘sir’.

“Has the Aryan Invasion theory has now been debunked Mohan Sir fully?” he asked me, bit his front tongue apologetically, and said “Mohan?”

“Yes, more or less”, I said.

“Chai, Chai,” entered a Sherpa with a wide grin carrying a steel Kettle in his hand. The noise of the arriving Helicopters with the remaining members coincided with the Sherpa’s yells. 

I settled back with the tumbler of Yak tea in my hand.

In India the Aryan Invasion theory created division in the minds of Indians into two groups; native dark-skinned Dravidians living in south India and fair-skinned Aryans living in north India. 

A recent study conducted by four researchers, including one from I.I.T., Mumbai has proved the existence of a ancient river in North India, with exactly the same features of river Saraswati described in the vedas and Mahabharatha! Today Saraswati is a dried up river today. Before Saraswati dried up, the present Rajasthan was a lush green area! The drying up of Saraswati created the Thar desert in Rajasthan.

This is a death blow to the Aryan Invasion theory andhas put to end the argument that the Saraswati river was just a poetic figment of imagination in the Vedas.

Also the Rakhigarh archaeological survey found no traces of European gene in a 4500-year-old skeleton. Though there is no doubt that many Persian and European groups moved into northwestern India millennia ago, that does not mean that these wandering European nomads brought with them the roots of Sanskrit, and early Vedic hymns. 

So much for Vyasa Rishi, Agasthya and Vishwamitra with blonde beards and blue eyes!


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Inner Trek
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After being threatened by a Bangalore mob boss, retired Indian businessman Mohan Ranga Rao takes a vow to trek around Mount Kailash, a holy Tibetan Mountain revered by over a billion people. What starts out as merely a challenging high-altitude trek soon becomes a life-changing adventure. With a blend of humour, honesty and keen insight, Mohan journeys toward a deeper understanding of the world around him. A memoir of a road less travelled and a true story of self-discovery at 19,000 feet.

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