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Aryan Invasion Theory

Updated: 6 days ago

Aryan Invasion Theory

Harappan civilization was followed by another great civilization known as Vedic civilization (1500-600 BCE). It was established by Indo-Aryans who are supposed to be the composers of Vedic texts. Their origin has been a subject of great dispute and has given birth to various theories. 

European theories

  • Filippo Sassetti (Italian): He lived in Goa for 5 years (1583-1588 C.E), studied Latin and Sanskrit, and was the first to notice the similarities between the two languages. For example, the Sanskrit word matri is similar to mater and pitri to pater.

  • William Jones: By 1786, he had also found striking similarities between the two languages.

  • GP Giles studied all the trees mentioned in the Rig Ved and found all species near Taiga, Siberia Region.

  • Karl Penka is of the view that Aryans were a linguistic group and belonged to Scandinavia (Northern Europe).

  • Other theorists: Shroeder (France), P. Nehring (S. Russia), Morgan (western Siberia)

  • To support their theory they gave the reference to the Boghazkoi Inscription, in which the treaty between Hittite and Mitanni Kings is mentioned in the presence of the Vedic gods Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Nasatyas. However, the critics of this theory argue that the Boghazkoi inscription belongs to 1400 BCE but Rig Veda must have existed before that date.

Aryan Invaders

Central Asian Theory

  • Max Muller- He compared Zend Avesta (Iranian text) and the Vedas and found similarities between various words and concepts. He believes that the alphabet such as ‘h’ and ‘s’ had been interchangeably used such as ‘hapta Hindu’ (sapta sindhu), ahura (asura), daha (dasa), and claim the homeland of Aryans as Central Asia.

  • E- Meyer and Herzfeld also supported the central Asian theory.

  • Criticism: Christian bias (Biblical origin of the earth)-4004 BCE 

Arctic Region Theory

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak is of the view that the northern Arctic region is the homeland of Aryans, as the Vedas speak about 6 months of long days and nights, which happen only in the Arctic region. Wrote ‘Artic Home in the Vedas’ (1903).

This view is subsequently discarded.

Tibet Theory

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati: According to him Tibet is the original home of Aryans. 

Indian Theory

  • Sampurnanand And A.C Das- Aryans belong to the Sapta Sindhu Region and it is written nowhere in the Rig Veda that they were outsiders. Reverse migration (from India to the West) might be a possibility.

  • Ganganath Jha- situated at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna

  • L.D. Kala- Considered the homeland of Aryans to be Kashmir

  • R. B Pandey- Considered the homeland of Aryans to be Madhya Pradesh

  • David Frawley- wrote that Aryans belonged to south India and then settled in Northwest India because Samudra (word mentioned multiple times in rig Ved) water upwelled due to the changing condition of climate after the ice age.



Out of India Theory Map

The supporters of this Indian theory put their opinion and claimed that Aryans were indigenous because the geographical data and river hymns mentioned in the Rig Veda fit in with Punjab and neighboring regions.

Few historians accept the Max Muller theory whereas others believe in the Indian theory and few historians also believe in the immigration of Indo-Aryan from Andronovo culture instead of invasion. The oldest surviving record of the Aryans is the Rig Veda and there is no mention of migration. No Archaeological and Biological evidence could establish the arrival of any new people from outside. Prof. Edmund Leach (Cambridge University) wrote that Aryan invasion is just a tool to justify colonization and Western supremacy. Shri Aurobindo- So great is the force of attractive generalization and widely popularized errors that all the world goes on perpetuating the blunder talking of the Indo-Aryan races, claiming or disclaiming Aryan kinship and building on that basis of falsehood the most far-reaching political, social or pseudo-scientific conclusions.  


References

  • A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, Upinder Singh

  • Ancient and Medieval India, Poonam Dalal Dahiya

  •  Higher Secondary First year, Tamil Nadu Board

  • Prateek Nayak Notes

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