Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Harappans were Vedic People – say the deciphered Indus seals

Harappans were Vedic People – say the deciphered Indus seals

             Skyviews of astronomical references in Rigveda & Ramayan have revealed that these represent the sky observed between 9000 BP and 7000 BP, whereas those of Mahabharata could be observed around 5000 BP. The archaeological excavations along the ancient courses of Saraswati and Indus rivers have reconstructed the history of Harappan Civilization which flourished in Indian Subcontinent between 6000 BP to 3500 BP. These have revealed that Harappans represented post Vedic civilization and there was continuity of culture since the Rigvedic era besides the other evidences.

            In addition to all these evidences which through light on the continuity of culture during the Holocene and since Rigvedic Era, a very large number of seals found from Harappan sites have supported the conclusion that Harappan were Vedic people. Various attempts made earlier to decipher these seals had failed because attempts were being made to decipher these in isolation without taking into account the contemporary or previous language and literature. . In fact the seals could have been deciphered only after reading the Vedic literature and Rigvedic Sanskrit because a script cannot be independent of language.

            Dr. S.R. Rao & Dr. N. Jha appreciated the point that a script can’t be deciphered by using a non-existent language. That is why they made most successful attempt at deciphering the Harappan seals as they read these in the context of Vedic words & Vedic language. Dr. N.Jha referred to Nighantu, a concise glossary of key vedic words compiled by sage Yaska, referred to in Shanti parva in epic Mahabharata and to Nirukta (Shanti Parva.342.73, 93, 89).

            After comprehensive analysis of script on the seals and its consistency with Vedic wsords and expressions, he concluded that the language of the seals represented the Vedic Sanskrit while the writing itself is proto-alphabetical, representing an intermediate stage in the evolution from a primitive consonantal (syllabic) system to the scientific alphabetical writing, which is the unique achievement of the Indian civilization.

            In Indus writing, a word consists of a string of consonants, whereas vowels were to be supplied keeping the context in mind. Where ever the word was to begin with vowel, a ‘U’ shaped symbol was provided. In this way Dr. N. Jha very convincingly deciphered most of the seals. The details of such decipherment given in his books e.g. ‘VEDIC GLOSSARY ON INDUS SEALS’ reflect that Harappans were Vedic people, who combined the Aryans an well as the Dravidian culture, which has continued in India till date. Some of the examples are given below:
Swastika figurines:

The swastika on a Harappan tablet (left), and on pottery of the early historical era (top right: Rupar; bottom right: Ahichchhatra). (@ASI)



                                                                  Seals from Harappa

          The Swastika symbol is an apt example of link between Vedic & Harappan cultures. The word swastika stands for svasti-ka i.e. ‘maker of welfare’. Both of the above signs appeared in Vedic literature and were also used in many Vedic ceremonies. The right figurine in particular represents sacred panca-svasti mantra found in Yajurveda (25.18-19), where the word ‘Svasti’ appears five times as:

तमीशानं जगतस्तस्थुषस्पतिं धीयञ्जिन्वमवसे हुमहे वयम्।
पूषा नो यथा वेदसामसद् वृधे रक्षिता पायुरदब्ध: स्वस्तये।। यजुर्वेद (25.18)
स्वस्ति नs इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवा: स्वस्ति न: पूषा विश्ववेदा:।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमि: स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु।। (25.19)

We invoke him who may bring us welfare,
May the respected Indra guard our welfare,
May the omniscient Pushan guard our welfare,
May the Universal Creator guard our welfare,
May the Great Protector bring us welfare.

            Similar invocations are found in Rigveda as well. It is important to take note of the fact that such Swastika seals were found during excavations from several Harappan sites including Harappa, Mohenjodero, Lothal and Kalibangan.

The Pranavakshara / OM & Ashvattha sign:
One look at these seals depicting Om combined with Ashvattha leaves will bring before our minds eye several references in Vedas. The maker of these seals obviously was a tremendous designer and had good knowledge of Vedas


                Fig.1                                                                                                       Fig.2

 (Mohenjodero “seal with motif of a two headed Unicon & the pipal tree in OM Shape after S.R. Rao)

         Such seals have been found from several Harappan towns. When viewed from different angles, these convey different Vedic Expressions. In Fig.1 the seal represents the couplet of Mundakopanishad (2.2.4) which says that “Om is the bow, the soul is the arrow, and Brahma is the target. With full concentration, aim at the target and strike, to become one with Brahma, just as the arrow becomes one with the target”.

It also represents a stanza (shloka) of Bhagavadgita (15.1). “The Ashvattha tree has its roots above and branches down; this symbolizes the Vishva Vriksha with branches below and God above. One who understands this has understood the Vedas.

In Fig.2 the Sanskrit/ Devnagari ‘Om’ apparent.

Bull seals representing Indra

    Fig.1                                                                                              Fig.2

                                                           Seal from Harappa

          In Vedic literature God Indra is associated with the bull as the symbol of strength. (Rigveda.1.7.8 & 1.139.6). In Fig.1 the script engraved was decephered as Indra by Dr. N.Jha. Such seals have been excavated from several Harappan towns, perticularly Harappa and Mohenjodero.

Pashupati seal and Shivlinga

 (from Harappa & Kalibangan)

 (Indus seal © ASI)                     

                             Mohenjodero ‘seal 420’ after ‘S.R.Rao’

         It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The above two figurines do not need much explanation. Both represent Lord Shiva, who is worshipped by Vedic Aryans, by Harappans as well as by modern day Indians in the same shape and form. These should be adequate enough to establish the connection between Harappan & Vedic civilization and continuity till date.

        The inscriptions on 2nd seal need some explanation. To decipher the inscriptions one need to understand the Niruktas and Nighantus. The inscription is deciphered by N Jha as ‘ishaadyattah maaraah’, which means ‘Evil adversaries controlled by Isha (Pashpati Seal) 

                   0308 Mohenjodaro seal

Seal with a motif of a man holding or keeping apart two tigers. This seal reminds us of king Bharata, son of Shkuntala & Dushyant and ancestors of kauravas & pandavas of Mahabharata.

            There are many more such instances of Indus seals having inscriptions of Vedic expressions. Thus there is no doubt that Harappans represented the post Vedic civilization and artifacts as well as the seals found were similar to the descriptions in Rigveda

Saroj Bala, Kulbhushan Mishra. 2012. Historicity of Vedic and Ramayan Eras
N.S. Rajaram. 2006. Sarasvati River and the Vedic Civilization
Michel Danino. 2010. The Lost River (on the trail of the SARASVATI)
K. S. Valdiya. 2002. SARASWATI (The River that Disappeared)
Bhagwan Singh. 1995.  THE VEDIC HARAPPANS
श्री राम शर्मा. आचार्य. 2003. ऋग्वेद संहिता


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  4. Shiva n linga were merged into Vedic culture. Shiva n linga n yoga (pasupathi seal) is supposed to predate Indus civilization.