Mythos 24 – Dravidian Civilization

 

Recently there has been a trend to make the Ṛigveda seem less like the description of a war between two races by reinterpreting all references to the words translatable as black, to simply mean evil or good, depending on the context. Nevertheless, there are several clear references to krsna (or ashikni) tvac (skin) found in the Ṛigveda, which would translate literally as black (or dark) skin.(1)Ṛigveda 1.130.8, 9.41.1, 9.73.5 Dasa is a word that initially had the connotation of enemy, but later acquired exalted religious connotations. It translates as approximately “servant of god” or “devotee,” however the Ṛigveda describes the Dasa as brahma-dvisah,(2)Ṛigveda 5.42.9; 8.45.23; 10.36.9; 10.160.4; 10.182.3 which translates as “prayer haters.” Regardless of skin colors of the combatants, the main cause of contention between the Aryas and the Dasas in the Ṛigveda is documented as being a difference of religion.(3)R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker, editors (1922) “The Vedic Age” The history and culture of the Indian people, Volume 1, Page 253

As stated by the eminent Indian epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, who is known for his successful decipherment of Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and for his expertise on the epigraphy of the Indus Valley Civilization also known as the Harappa or Mohenjo-daro civilization:

It is not a migrant civilization, it is not that a handful of settlers came and settled on the sea coast. This is a large, native, indigenous civilization. It is surprising that people hardly realize the extent of the Harappan civilization. It was more than a million square kilometers in area, much larger than modern Pakistan, much larger than all the other ancient civilizations, excepting China of course, put together. The Sumerian, the Akkadian, the Egyptian, Hittite and so on. Over such a large and fairly populous area, judging from the number of villages and cities. Several estimates of the population of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have been made and they seem to have been very large cities by ancient standards. This only goes to confirm our supposition that you must look for a local language as a candidate for the Harappan script…

…the scale and the magnitude of the Harappan civilization speaks against its total extinction. As all scholars who have studied the problem agree, the incoming Aryans were relatively a very small minority and they were able to dominate only culturally and ultimately, in the assimilated Indo-Aryan or north Indian people, the indigenous racial element must have slowly surfaced. That is why we have no such thing as early Aryan pottery, because the pottery continued to be made by the local people. As someone has said jokingly, archaeology knows of no Aryans, only linguistics knows of Aryans. This is true. The answer to this is that the incoming Aryans were small in number. In this respect there was no cultural discontinuity. The real discontinuity was in language, principally, and in religion and ritual in the earliest levels, but in later levels, modern Hinduism as we know it is a composite of both pre-Aryan, native, animistic and tribal religions and the incoming Aryan religion. Perhaps when the Indus script is deciphered, I would not be surprised to find that the greater part of modern Hinduism has a Harappan lineage.- Iravatham Mahadevan (4)Iravatham Mahadevan (1998) Ancient Indus Valley Script Interview by Omar Khan
Traditional depiction of Vyasa dictating the Mahābhārata to Ganesha

Traditional depiction of Vyasa dictating the Mahābhārata to Ganesha

The Ṛigveda also describes Krishna as being an Asura waiting on the banks of the Amshumati river to fight with Indra. The Asura were the enemies of the Devas (gods) such as Indra. In the later epic the Mahābhārata, Krishna is the primary focus, and is a deva (god), not the enemy of the devas (gods). This implies that the Mahābhārata could have been a Dravidian story that was simply compiled into its current form circa 2,400 years ago. The authorship of the Mahābhārata itself is traditionally attributed to a sage named Vyasa who dictated it to Ganesha, around 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.(5)William R. Levacy (2007) Vedic Astrology Simply Put: An Illustrated Guide to the Astrology of Ancient India, Page 18 Vyasa’s complexion was described as being krishna (black), which implies he was a dark-skinned Dravidian. He was also called Dwaipayana, which means island-born as he was believed to have been born on an island in the river Yamuna,(6)Arvind Sharma (2011) Essays on the Mahābhārata, Page 205 which would place him in both the time and territory of the Indus Valley Civilization. This indicates a high probability that the Mahābhārata was first written by a Dravidian in the Indus Civilization.

References   [ + ]

1. Ṛigveda 1.130.8, 9.41.1, 9.73.5
2. Ṛigveda 5.42.9; 8.45.23; 10.36.9; 10.160.4; 10.182.3
3. R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker, editors (1922) “The Vedic Age” The history and culture of the Indian people, Volume 1, Page 253
4. Iravatham Mahadevan (1998) Ancient Indus Valley Script Interview by Omar Khan
5. William R. Levacy (2007) Vedic Astrology Simply Put: An Illustrated Guide to the Astrology of Ancient India, Page 18
6. Arvind Sharma (2011) Essays on the Mahābhārata, Page 205