Tag Archives: veda myth and reality


development or decoy


Author : Pt Dharmdev Vidyamartand 

Three is a word of difference between the Vedic language and the Classical Sanskrit of the epics, sastras, kavyas….. At times the meaning of a word may undergo a sea change !


The word sachí for instance, is used in the classical Sanskrit for ‘lndra`s wife’, whereas in the Vedic Lexicon Nighantu, it is en-joined for ‘speech, wisdom, action’ (vide Nigh.)-


The words vrtra, asum are used in Sanskrit as the name of a Raksasa (and for ‘raksasa‘ in general), but in Vedic they are two epithets, usually, of ‘cloud’-


The word ‘ahí‘ is used in Sanskrit for serpent, while in Vedic, it stands for cloud again.


The word adri, parvata, giri are used in Sanskrit for mountain, but in Vedic they again denote cloud-


The word ghrta is used in Sanskrit for clarified butter, in Vedic for water-


In Sanskrit, the word visa is used for poison but, according to the Vedic Nighantu, it is one of the many names ofwater-


ln Sanskrit, the Word varaha is used for ‘boar’, but in Vedic it is given for cloud-


In Sankrit asman and gravan are used for stone, but in Vedic they are shown as denoting cloud-


The word dhara is used in Sanskrit for flow or current but in Vedic it is used for speech-


The word ghrtací is used in Sanskrit for dancing girl, but in Vedic it denotes night-


The word gaya is used in Sanskrit for a particular place where oblations are offered, but in the Vedic Nighantu, gaya means progency, wealth, home.



On the score of grammar, Vedic naturally differs from Classical Sanskrit in extension as well as in depth. Panini’s Astadhyayi refers to this vedic freedom of scope through aphorisms like.


bahulam 1

Quite a few among Western linguists and philosophers hold that there has always been a growth, a development and an evolution in language :

T. Burrow, for instance, says in Sanskrit Language, “Many [of the changes of meaning] occured in the natural growth of the language.”

F. Bopp, in Comparative Grammar 0f Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and Other Languages, vol. l, has used the word ‘development’, in this connection; “[Of] language in its Stages of being and march of development.”

A.B. Keith has also opted for the view ‘development’, saying: “From the language of the Rigveda one can trace a steady development to Classical Sanskrit.” (History of Sanskrit Literature.)

Some Indian philologists, too, who have followed Western Writers, have held the same view. For instance : “From the cry and onomatopoeia with their various combinations, by means of association and metaphor, we arrive at a Vocabulary, sufficient for the purpose of the primitive man”…”The small original stock is improved upon and added to by manipulation of various kinds, based upon the association of various kinds, and on metaphor”.

But, when we compare the most ancient Vedic language with the modem Classical Sanskrit, we find that, instead of ‘growth’ or ‘development’, there has been ‘decay’.

For instance : (1) in the Vedic Lexicon Nighantu, at 1.2 we find 57 synonyms of vac (speech) like-

shlok 1

shlok 2

Very few of them have survived in classical Sanskrit : Amara Kosa, for instance, gives only the following-


lt is growth or decay ? Let the reader on his own decide.

To give yet another illustration, in Vedic 101 names are listed for ‘water’, including-


But in the Amara Kosa only 27 remain ;




There are 37 names of megha (cloud) in Nighantu, in the Amara Kosa only 15-


Among the 26 names of karma (action, work), including-


-only 2 (karma and karyam) are found in the Amara Kosa.

Many more examples could be given to show how, down the centuries, it has not been a case of growth or development, but rather one of decay in language.

lt is gratifying to note that some distinguished western linguists also are opposed to this theory of growth or evolution in language. We cite four of them :

V. VENDRYES in his book Language observes :

‘Certainly, modern languages, such as English and French, rejoice in an extreme suppleness, ease and flexibility; but [accordingly] can we maintain that the classical tongues, like Greek or Latin, are inferior to [any of these] ? It [Greek] is a language whose very essence is godlike.. If we have once acquired the taste for it, all other languages seem harsh after it… The outward form of the Greek language is itself a delight to the soul. Never was a more beautiful instrument fashioned to express human thought.

WILLIAM JONES : ‘The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure-more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin, and more exquisitely refined than French or Spanish.’

MAX MULLER : says they have reduced the rich and powerful idiom of the poets of Veda to the meagre and impure jargon of the modem sepoy’.

He adds : “We are accustomed to call these changes ‘growth’ of language, but it would be more appropriate to call this a process of phonetic change or decay. ”

‘On the whole, the history of all the Aryan languages is nothing but a gradual process of decay.’

‘Lecures on the Science of Language, vol.l

And GRAY, lastly, has to say this (Foundations of Language) :

‘In lndo-European, we find 8 distinct case-forms in Sanskrit; Greek and Lithuanian have 7, Hittite and Old Church Slavic 5, Old French and Modem English only 2, Albanian 4. And American and Old English 3. This reduction in the number of case-forms-with  the result that some of them take over the functions of one or more others-gives rise to the linguistic phrase now known as syncretism. The reason for this seems to be phonetic decay of the characteristic case-endings.’

‘the mother of languages’


From the study of many of the historical languages of the world we have been driven to the inevitable conclusion that it is not Classical Sanskrit (which of course is the first daughter of the mother), but Vedic, that is the mother of all languages of the world.


1. Vasra-in Vedic and, in its slightly different or corrupt forms, in different languages of the world :

The word [vasra] has been used in the Rigveda on the following occasions-vasra 1O.119.4; vasra’iva 1.33.2, 1.28.8; 2.34.15; 7.149.4; 1.37.11, 1.96.6; 6.7.7, 9.1.37, 10.75.4.

In the other Vedas also the word is used frequently. All commentators of Veda are unanimous in holding that the word is derived from V vasr ‘sabde‘ and stands for cow (lowing, ‘making sound’.


Now, it is to be noted that there is no mention of this word in the Amara Kosa, or in any other lexicon of Sanskrit; nor do we find it generally used in the classical literature. Withal, the word is used for `cow’ in the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian languages in slightly different (corrupt) forms.

ln French it is vache; in Spanish vaen : in Portugese vaca ; and in Italian la vaces. [Also, likewise, in the languages of Europe the words derived from go are used for English cow : Swedish ko ; Danish ko ; Dutch koe ; German kuh].

2. To take another example, we may examine Vedic ‘irman ‘ for ‘arm’.

lt is from this (irman) alone that the word ‘arm’ is derived. With its Swedish, Danish, Dutch and German variants in COD, for Apisali states in his Siksa (as also Bharate in his Natyasatra) that ‘sarva-mukha-sthaniyan a-varnam’ ! agni : ignis (Lat.).

3. Another very common word, which may be mentioned in this connection, is dama. According to Nighantu 3.4, it is a grhanama (home)-


But in Sanskrit literature and in classical lexicons, like the Amarakosa, dama occurs nowhere in the sense of ‘home’ or ‘wife.’

And so we should not be surprised to find the word, with slight changes, used in several languages of Europe-English, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, German in the sense of ‘lady’ : dame, dane, dem.

4. mira (ocean) ‘submarine fire’ and also vadavagni ! ; German meer ; French la mer ; Spanish and Portugese mar.

5. apa’ ítí-‘karma’-nama (Nighantu. 2.1) ; opus (Latin), operation (English).

These five exmples should suffice to show that Vedic is the most ancient-and accordingly, the mother-of all languages.


lf, Vedic is the universal mother (or foster-mother as some would like to call it), the question naturally arises : how these hundreds and thousands of languages and dialects have sprung up from that one source. How to explain their multifurcation ?

The answer may be briefly given as follows (taking into consideration what native and foreign scholars have written on the subject) Some probable causes suggested are :


(l) Physiological causes– when some people cannot pronounce some difficult sounds on account of some defect in the anatomy;

(2) Geographical surroundings-sometimes making it difficult to pronounce words correctly (due to severe cold.);

(3) Communication and Correspondence (difficulties)- people of distant lands also sometimes cause pidgin-like change(s) in the language and its pronunciation ;

(4) Change of model-e.g., a new king may ascend the throne and his subjects begin copying his style ;

(5) Association-also causes change,



(6) Analogy-is defined (by Vendryes) as “the power of other words in a languages to exempt any special word from the operation of phonetic laws or to compensate it for changes which those laws may press or produce.”

0ne clear instance of this change by analogy is cows. ln Old English it was spelt (inflected) as kine ; but, as table, book, boy and other words are formed by just adding an “s” at the end, so the plural of cow also became cows-(though foot did not become foots such as.

(7) Economy of effort-with regular vagaries-

(a) varna-viparyaya or ‘metathesis’ :


(b) varna-lopa (dropping out of a letter, usually owing to inadvertence) :


(c) samikarana-(assimilation) :

yasya 1

cf. Edward Sturtivant (Introduction to linguistic Science : “Of great linguistic importance is the assimilation of contiguous consonants”

(d) viprakasa-(dissimilation) :


(e) svara-bhakti (hiatus) :


(f) agro’pajana-(prothesis)


(g) sthana-viparyaya-(interchange) :


The following verse, quoted by Durgacarya in his ‘gloss’ on the Nirukta(Ch. 1), gives in brief most of these ‘rules’ :


(1)    pro/epen/post-thesis ; (2) interchange ; (3) distortion ;

(1)(4) elision; (5) ‘sense suggesting = engendering another sound!’.

(1)In various fonns of P/’akrta and in English, Greek, Latin,Russian and other languages ‘changes’ have taken place according to the above ‘rules’. It is thus that words actually become corrupt and new languages spring up. Defective and imperfect scripts also have helped in the distortion of a ‘pure` language no less :

(1)In Tamil (script) there are only k and n ; c and n ; t and n ; t and

(1)n ; p and m. [In Arabic script there is no p.]

(1)In English there is no provision for t, th, d dh, n ;

(1)In French there is no room for t, th, d, dh, n.


Pashto is the language spoken by Pathans and allied tribals of the North-Western Frontier. The author learnt from a letter, received from the Vice-Chancellor of Peshawar University, some years back, that “here Sanskrit is compulsory for all students of languages, as it is thought here, said the letter that, abounding in Sanskrit Vocabulary as it is, Pashto cannot be mastered without a good

grounding in Sanskrit.”

Following is the list of some Sanskrit words, with their Pasto variants, to stress the point :


sanskrit 1

Also, for ‘grandfather’ the Pashto is Nikoh-derived from ‘niskrodha’-free from anger and, therefore., loving ; likewise, for grandmother anniya ‘anna-datri“,? But, we are just suggesting ; nothing more.


There are some words in the South Indian languages, which have their origin in Sanskrit.

On studying Kasakrtsna-Dhatupatha-Vrtti with the gloss of Channa-Vira Kavi, we have come to know of these ‘suspected origins’ ever more clearly-ever more surely. It should be borne in mind that Kasakrtsna had been a South-Indian grammarian centuries before Panini, recording some 800 more roots, i.e., in addition to the 2000 found in Panini !

(1) amma / avva, tayi-mother : These are the words used for ‘mother’ in different parts of the country.

Of these amma-(1) is considered by some a corruption of ‘amba’ ; but according to Kasakrtsna’s Dhatupathavrtti, it is derived from V amm ‘gatau’ (1.224) ; avva (2) from V avv-bandha-ne-palane (1-226) ;t’yt (3) from V tayr, ‘santana-palanayon’(1.493).

[In Tamil the word used for mother, tadar, too appears to have come from the same root] In Marathi, the word used for ‘mother’ is dyt V ay gat au (1.485)

(2) appa = pitar (in Kannada, Tulgu and some other South Indian languages) from V app palane !

(3) ammi-putrí from V amm gatau (Kannada).

(4) akka ‘elder sister’ (Kan.) from V akk bandane + palane.

(5) atta, mother-in-law ; attika, sister-in-law (Kan.) from V at gatau.

(6) appa-‘elder brother’ (Kan.) from V ap sabde (1.206).

(7) nathi, dog (Kan., Tam.) from V nin ‘prapane’.

(8) dana, animal (Kan.) from V dhan ‘calane’.

(9) hana = wealth, woman (Kan.) from V han sabde. (niskasya dasamo bhagah.)

(10) duddu, money (Kan.) from V duddu dharane.

(11) gíni, parrot (Kan.) from V gin sabde.

(12) gande, wall (Kan.) from V gadi bandhane.

(13) vayí, mouth (K. and Ta.) from V vay gatau.

(14) ane, hand (K., Ta.) from V an prapane.

(15) avu, cow (Tel.) from V av palane. cf. ava-ni=’gau’ (earth)!

(16) nalla, good (Tam.) from V nall palane.

(17) ganda-pati, husband (Kan.) from V gadí vadaníkadese (sahayyam karoti)-cheek-by-j owl.

(18) guli, bull (Kan.) from V gul bhaksane.

(19) gulle, bubble, foam (Kan.) from V gull bhavane(vivarte).

(20) hammu, pride (Kan.) from V hammu gatau (brain-wave)

(21) pandu, fruit (Tel.) from V padí gatau.

(22) jenu, honey (moon face ?), Kan. from V jin sambhaktau !

(23) channa, honey, fair lady (Kan. et al) from V cann sambhaktau!

(24) havu, serpent from V havva (ghost) Kan.

(25) hedi, coward (Kan) from V hedr calane ?


Comparative lists of words of different European languages clearly establish the affinity of these languages to Sanskrit. The question remains to be answered is : what relationship Sanskrit bears to the different languages of the world ? Is it Sister/aunt/mother of them? It is here that scholars widely differ. Max Muller : “Sanskrit, no doubt, has an immense advantage over all the other ancient languages of the East. lt is so attractive and has been so widely admired that it almost seems at times to excite a certain amount of feminine jealousy.. We are ourselves lndo-Europeans. In a certain sense we are still speaking and thinking Sanskrit ; or, more correctly, Sanskrit is like a dear aunt to us and [vasudhaiva kutumbakam] she [responsibly] takes the place of a mother who is no more. [Chips from a German Workshop] vol. 5.

It (Sanskrit) is the most regular language known, and is especially remarkable-as containing the roots of the various languages of Europe-Greek, Latin, German, Slavonic, says Baron Cuvier in Lectures on the Natural Sciences.”

And here is what Adelung has to say in “Sanskrit Language”. “The great number of languages, which are said to owe their origin – or bear a close affinity-to Sanskrit, is truly astonishing and-is yet another proof of the latter’s high antiquity. Rudiger avers it to be the parent of upwards of a hundred languages and dialects among which he enumerates l2 Indian, 7 Median Persic, 2 Austric Albanian, 7 Greek, 18 Latin, 14 Slavonic, and 6 Celtic Gallic. The various vocabularies, which we now possess as a result of laborious and learned investigations, render it pretty evident that Sanskrit has not only furnished words for all the languages of Europe, but forms a main feature in almost all those of the East. A host of writers have made it the immediate parent of the Greek and Latin and German families of languages [no less]

Bopp in Edinburgh Review, vol. 33, expresses his opinion that “At one time, Sanskrit was the one languages spoken all over the world.”

And lastly, to quote from W.C. Taylor’s “India in Greece” :

It was an astounding discovery that Hindustan possessed a language of unrivalled richness and variety, a language the parent of all those dialects that Europe has fondly called classical-the source alike of the Greek flexibility and the Roman strength, a philosophy compared with which lessons of Pythagoras are but of yesterday [in point of age, in point of enduring speculation], Plato’s boldest efforts [sound] tame and commonplace…a poetry more purely intellectual than any of which we had before any conception, and a system of science whose antiquity baffles all powers of astronomical calculations. This literature, with all its colossal proportions, which can scarcely be described with-out [a] semblance of bombast and exaggeration, claims of course, a place for itself-it stands alone, [has been] able to stand alone. Its literature seems exhaustless. The utmost [of] stretch-of-imagination can scarce comprehend its boundless mythology. Its philosophy, far from shunning, has touched upon every metaphysical difficulty [and has much to contribute on each and every issue].

lt is, thus, clear that many impartial linguists and philologists of the West also admit that Sanskrit is the mother (not sister or aunt) of all the important languages of the world. It is unfortunate that, even in India, not much attention is being paid to the study and spread of Sanskrit either by the people or by the Government. It is high time the study of Sanskrit is made compulsory at schools and in colleges, throughout the country.





Author : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand

Besides discussing the notions of transmigration of soul and theory of action, we will discuss in this chapter, whether there was magic, drinking, gambling, and polygamy during the Vedic Age.


An impression is sought to have been created by the authors of the Vedic Age that the Vedic Aryas had neither definite knowledge of the transmigration of soul nor were they interested in its theoretical aspects.

For instance it is written in this book:-

“ As the Rigvedic Aryas were full of the “Joíe de viver” (joy of life), they were not particularly interested in the life after death, much less had they any special doctrines about it. We can, therefore , glean only a few notices of life beyond, that are scattered throughout the Rigveda. In our search for any reference implicit or explicit, to rebirth or transmigration, we come across only a few doubtful passages. According to R.V.1.164.30, the soul (Jivah) of the dead one moves in its own power; the immortal one having a common origin with the mortal one (the body). But this transmigration is not certain.”

“So we may conclude that only the germs of the conception of rebirth were there, and those developed either naturally or through the influence of ideas current among the original tribes with whom the Aryans came into contact”

But careful perusal of the text will show that there are clear references to soul and its transmigration in the Vedas.

In Rigvedas it is clearly stated that the soul which inhabits this ephemeral body, is eternal, permanent and true:

rig 6.9.4

(“Behold this (individual spirit) the first being which enjoys (consequence of his actions) as it is the immortal light placed within the mortal frame. That has manifested itself. This immortal soul is staying (in the body) while it seems growing with the growth of its body.”

The theory of rebirth also finds expression in the following mantra from the Rigveda:-

rebirth in rigveda

(May I have glance at the indestructible Lord of the sense organs (i.e. the individual soul) which ever walk, through the pathways of coming (birth) and departure (death); it traverses its path with its body and even without it and having covered itself with its actions (i.e. in accordance with its good and evil actions), it comes (takes birth) again and again in the various worlds.”


The relation of soul with God and difference between the two have been clearly enunciated in the following mantra:-

rig 1.64.20

(Like two birds, there are two spirits i.e. the finite and the Supreme which, knit with the bonds of friendship, reside on the same tree (of the material universe). One of the twain (i.e. the finite spirit)

enjoys the sweet ripe fruit (and also the bitter one) produced by his good or bad actions, whereas the other (i.e. the Supreme Spirit) simply looks all around without enjoying its fruitage.”


There is clear description of the soul incarnating itself in different bodies according to one’s own actions:-

soul 1

“O individual soul! in accordance with thine actions, thou assumes the form of a woman and that of a man, sometimes thou becomes a virgin, thou walkest with the help of 21 staff when thy body becomes old and frail, thou takest birth again and again as thy face is turned towards all directions (in accordance with thy actions).

soul 2

(This individual soul, sometimes it becomes their father and sometimes their son too, and sometimes becomes their elder brother and sometimes it even becomes their younger brother. Verily, the one self of luminous soul dwelling within the mind, has taken birth before and verily it again enters the womb of the mother.)

soul 3

(O God of life, please give us eyes again in our future life and give us breath, in this world and confer on us all necessary objects of enjoyment; O most Gracious Being! May we see the rising sun for  a long time, be kind upon us and give us blessings,)

In the following mantra from Yajurveda (4. 1 5), a devotee plays to God for a good life in the birth to come:

yajurveda 4.15

(May I receive, through the grace of God, my mind again in future life, may I have life again, may I get breathe again, may my soul return again and may I be the possessor of eyes and ears again in future life; may Self Refulgent God, keep us safe from misfortune and dishonor.)

In Atharva Veda, the use of स उ जायते पुन: most certainly confirms the Vedic theory of transmigration of soul:

soul 4

(The individual soul wanders within the womb of mother and takes birth again and again in bodies of intelligent persons. It exists in past, present and future; when it becomes a father, it again enters into the body of a son with the powers of his actions.)

Reproduced below are two mantras from Atharveda in this connection:-

soul 5

(May the earth give us birth again and may the shining heavenly region and the atmosphere restore the same to us; may Soma, All Creating God, give us body again (after our death) and may the All Nourishing God, lead us on the path of peace and happiness.)

And also:-

soul 6.1

soul 6.2

(May I again receive my sense organs in my future life and may I receive my spirit, together with worldly possessions and knowledge Divine so that I may perform fire-offering on the altars and may ever attain prosperity.) `


In Vedas there is a great emphasis on action and industry. lt is clearly mentioned in the vedas that one cannot achieve progress and prosperity through mere performance of yajnas, singing euologies to God or offering prayers to him.

The Vedic Age, however, seeks to create an impression that devotees have been instructed in the Vedas to seek more and more gifts from God by flattering songs and ritualistic sacrifices.

But this is not true. For instance, it is clearly mentioned in the Rigveda that God never befriends a person Who avoids hard work or industry :

rig 4.33.15

ln Yujurveda, there is clear instruction to desire a long life full of action:

soul in yajur


In Vedic Age, very serious allegation has been made against the Rishis :-

“Absence of evil is not what they pray for. Their supreme desire is to triumph over poverty and resistance”

In the 97th  hymn of the First mandala of the Rigveda, there are 8 mantras, each of which ends with अप न: शोशुचदघम (O God destroy our sins). Some of these mantras are reproduced below:-

prayer 1

(O God, may we become yours. Destroy our sins.)

prayer 2

(May with Thy mercy, O Omnipresent Lord, all our sins be destroyed -may we never commit sins again).

prayer 3

(Just as sea is crossed through ship, may we cross this miserable world through Thy Grace – May our sins be destroyed.)


Of many misconceptions about the Vedas propagated by the authors of Vedic Age, one pertains to polygamy.

It is written in the Vedic Age:-

“The Rigveda certainly permits polygamy, though monogamy may have been the rule. Whether monogamy developed from polygamy in the Rigvedic Age as Zimmer thinks in “Altindísche Leben “, or whether polygamy is secondary as Weber believes in “Indische Studeíern” cannot be decided-Probably polygamy, though allowed, was practically confined to the “Rajanya” class. Polyandry is not referred to anywhere in the Rigveda.”

It may be stressed that monogamy is considered best in the Vedas. Some of the mantras indicating this ideal have also been referred in the Vedic Age which also acknowledges that monogamy was the rule though polygamy was allowed. For instance, in Rigvedas 1.124.32 and 1O.74.4  जायेव पत्य उशती सुवासा: means knowledge reveals itself to the scholars, just as a woman draped in her best attire, presents herself before her husband. It may also be mentioned here that the words जाया and पत्या are both singular in number and, therefore, clearly indicate monogamy.

In the following mantra from the Rigveda God has been compared to a “chaste woman” of a noble character :

rigvedic god

(He who is like the sun, the supporter of the universe, who abides on earth like a king with good friends, who is like heroes at home- and who is like the irreproachable Wife, beloved of her husband.)

In the following mantra from Rigveda, one of the four comparisons which have been made to express a devotee’s desire for God to turn to him is that of a husband for wife :-

rigveda god 1

“As kine turn to the Village, as warriors to their steeds, as loving milk-giving cows to their calves, a husband to the Wife, so may the Deity, the Upholder of the heavens, Lord of all Bliss, turn towards us”.

In the hymn about marriage in Rigveda (10.85.30) a bride is enjoined to work for the happiness and pleasure of her husband :-

rig 10.85.30

(Shining like the sun, oh, bride, full of tapas, ascend this chariot and go to thy husband”s home to add to His pleasure and happiness.)

In the following mantra, the bride has been blessed to live with her husband and never be separated :

rigveda god 2

(May you always live together happily in your home-may you lead a happy, prosperous married life.)

In the following mantra both husband and wife make a declaration that their hearts will be united with each other like water which is cool and peaceful.)

rigveda god 3

ln the following mantra, the Wife says to her husband :

rigveda god 4

(Establish me firmly in your heart. May our hearts be united.)

rigveda god 5

(May you be mine entirely. May you never even praise other women in my presence.) ‘

The following mantras may also be quoted in support of this Vedic ideal of polygamy :

rig 14.2.64

In these mantras also, there is an instruction to the couples to love each other like “chakva-chakvi ” (love birds) and use sweet words for each other.)

Because of a few similies in the Rigveda, the authors of the Vedic Age have tried to establish the existence of polygamy during the Vedic period which is very erroneous. A large number of quotations against polygamy in the vedas render such interpretations infructuous.

For instance, take the following mantra, in which a person, tortured by the worldly agonies, has been compared to a person annoyed or troubled by co-wives :-


And also in the following mantra, it is written that a person, having two wives, is pressed from both sides like a neighing horse driving a chariot which is pressed between two spokes :-

two spokes

While there is provision for only one marriage in the Vedas, in exceptional cases, “Niyoga” (temporary alliance of wife with a stranger), is permitted with a limited purpose.


Vedic Age describes dice playing as one of the principal amusements of the Vedic period. It says :-

“Dice was another amusement. The number of dice, the method of dice playing and the names of the throws are all described in detail in the various texts of this (Yajur Veda) period A ritual game of dice is played at the Agnyadheya and the Rajasuya  cennonies – so gambling is probably sought to be restricted by elevating racing and dicing to the rank of religious ceremonies.”

The book has, however, failed to mention where the details of dice playing have been given in Yajurveda. We cannot believe in what they say unless they produce some evidence in support of their contention. Such an evidence is impossible to produce. (because it is not there at all.)

Moreover there is another reason for not believing them because what they have said is quite contrary to the injunctions against gambling in the hymn l 0.34 of the Rigveda (which is entirely devoted to this subject). ln some of the mantras of this hymn, it is clearly stated that gambling bums the heart of a person like the charcoal which though apparently cool from outside, is potentially destructive.

lt is also said that the family members of a gambler-his parents, Wife, brother etc, also disown him when he runs into debt because of this game :

gambling 1

In the end there is clear instruction against gambling in the most unequivocal terms : अक्षौर्या दिव्य (O man, no gambling.)

A gambler is told that he would enjoy the blessings and pleasures of the family life only when he earns money by industry, by such work as agriculture :


It there is a provision anywhere for gambling or dice playing on the occasion of some Yajnas, it should be considered only as an interpolation without the sanction or authority of the vedas; it is, therefore, unauthentic and without merit.

One might say that even a highly religious man like Yudhistira used to gamble. But does it go to prove that gambling is a meritorious thing? We may recall what Lord Krishna had told him: if he were in Dwaraka he would never have let him indulge in this game asserting that its consequences are disasterous :

mahabharat 5

mahabharat 6

In these shlokas he counts gambling among the four vices which destroy a man’s beauty and his wealth (the other three being women, hunting and drinking).


Vedas have clearly instructed against drinking in the same way as against gambling.

Among the seven vices (even one of which makes a man sinner) is also drinking :

drinking 1

Yaskacharya has described these seven vices as follows in Nírukta :

drinking 2

(Theft, corruption, killing of righteous persons, abortion, falshehood, repeating a bad action and drinking.)

In Rigveda there is a mantra which described how the men who drink do not feel ashamed even in undressing themselves and looking at each other in naked bodies.

drinking 3

Drinking and gambling have been described in Rigveda as actions which lead to अधर्म (unrighteousness).

drinking 4

In Atharva Veda (6.7O. 1) meat eating, drinking and gambling have been placed in the same category and described as condemnable and prohibited :-

drinking 5

It is alleged in the “Vedic Age” that the risis remained intoxicated under the influence of “soma” which was misunderstood as a kind of a liquor.

In fact, the word Soma सोम: which occurs in the following mantras stands for God, who is described as the producer of all herbs, water, firmament, earth, sky, fire, sun and air illuminator and Master of the whole universe and Omnipresent.

Addressing God a devotee says; “King of this entire Universe, O Lord, Thou who art, Omniscient and Knower of everything and Repository of all virtues and Father of all “devas° purify me :

drinking 6

Can even an idiot take the word “Soma ” for a herb or a medicine in this context? There is not an iota of doubt that this word has been used only for God because He alone is and can be Omnipresent, Omniscient and the Master of the universe.

While the word ‘Soma ‘ has been used for God, at times it is also meant to denote affectionate devotion to God which is coupled with the true knowledge of His attributes. For instance, in Rigveda’s 9.108.1, it is stated:

rig 9.108.1

Here ‘soma ` is described as spiritual intoxication induced by true devotion(इन्द्राय क्रतु वितभो ).

This spiritual intoxication is naturally different from the intoxication induced by liquor or drinks.

In Rigveda and Samveda, the word soma has been described thus :-

drinking 7

(This soma which is full of sweetness ( मधुमान) is purifier( पावक: ) inducer of virtues ( देवावी ) and destroyer of all impure sentiment’s ( अधं शंसहा )

lt is clear from the above that this soma is not used for simple liquor but Spiritual intoxication which results from devotion, knowledge and purification.

In the same Vedas, Soma has been invoked for purification, strength and intellects :

drinking 8

Such a description of the ordinary liquor, which pollutes the intellects, is quite incongruous.

The following mantra, which occurs both in the Rigveda as well as Samaveda, gives a very clear cut account of Soma :

drinking 9

(O, Soma, the Illuminater  and Purifier, Thou proclaim-est immortality for all.)

This mantra leaves in no doubt about the true meaning, rather nature, of Soma-which is a declaration of Conquest over death (i.e., immortality).

The following mantras, from Rigveda also confirms that besides God, the word “Soma` means spiritual intoxication :-

drinking 10

ln the above mantras the word `soma’ has been described as giver of Peace, purifier, born of Truth and embodiment of knowledge etc.

Hundreds of mantras can be quoted to prove that the meaning of the word ‘ Soma” as interpreted by contributors to the Vedic Age is completely wrong. Their contention that the Risis remained drunk all the times is, therefore, completely baseless.





meaning of arya


Author : Pt Dharmdev Vidyamartand 

Western scholars have repeatedly said in their works that Aryas came from outside (most probably from Middle Asia) and committed a lot of atrocities on aborigins (Dravidians) who were called by Aryas as “Das “ or “Dasus ” or Anaryas.

Their view also finds its echo in the “Vedic Age” in which it is stated : “The Aryan invaders or immigrants found in India two groups of people, one whom they named the ‘Dasas ‘or ‘Dasyus ‘, and the other, ‘Nishadas ‘.”

Who are Aryans? Do Aryans form any race? First of all we will try to find out the real meaning of the word Arya. This word has been defined thus in Rigveda’s 10.65.11 :

rig 10.65.11

(Aryans are those, who practice on this earth, the vows of truth, non-violence, purity etc.) The word आर्य comes from the root ऋ which means गति प्रापणयो. According to this root, Aryas are those who have acquired knowledge, who are ever marching towards the path of progress and properity and who are actively engaged in God realisation.

sanskrit dictionary

(i.e. Arya means one who is respectable, revered, religious minded, a generous person, who is above the considerations of caste, creed and colour, who is self-poised and quiet because of implicit faith in God, who always follows the righteous path and never swerves from what is just and right, who is conscientious in performance of his duty and who avoids all that is sinful and unethical or immoral.)

Mahabharat has thus defined the “Arya”:

mahabharat arya

(He is Arya who does not inflame the hatred or jealousy once subsided, who is neither egoistic nor depressed, who does not commit sin even in misery, who does not show too much happiness even in prosperity or gets out of control; who never takes delight in others” troubles and who never regrets after giving anything in charity.)

It is clear that anybody who embodies these qualities is, आर्य irrespective of what family, society or country he belongs to or Whether his colour is black, white or wheatish.

According to Maharshi Vyas, an Arya manifests eight qualities which are :

vyas and arya

(That man is Arya who is a man of knowledge, ever-contented, self-controlled, truthful, disciplined, charitable, kind hearted and polite.)

In Nirukta Maharshi Yashka has defined the word आर्य as ईश्वरपुत्र (the son of God). The word आर्य means स्वामी (Master) परमेश्वर (God). (अर्य, स्वामी वैश्ययो: ) Thus, one who is the real son of God and obeys His commands, is आर्य. In Vedas, Upanishadas, Ramayana, Mahabharat and Gita, the word आर्य is used for a gentleman and dasyu दस्यु for the wicked.

ln Balmiki Ramayana, Narada uses the word Arya for Rama :

valmiki ramayan and arya

(Rama was religious minded, a man of pure living, looking at everybody with equal eyes and lovable like moon.)

Keeping all this in view Sri Aurbindo said :

“The word Arya expresses a particular ethical and social order of well-governed life, candour, courtesy, nobility, straight dealing, courage, gentleness, purity, humanity, compassion, protection of the weak, liberality, observance of social duties, eagerness for knowledge, respect for the wise and the learned and the social accomplishments.

“There is no word in human speech that has a nobler history. The Arya is he who strives and overcomes all outside him and within him that stands opposed to human advance. Self-conquest is the first law of his nature. He overcomes mind and its habits and he does not live in a shell of ignorance, inherited prejudices, customary ideas, pleasant opinion, but knows how to seek and choose, to be large and flexible in intelligence even as he is firm and strong in his will, for in everything, he seeks truth and freedom.

“The Arya is a Worker and a warrior. Always he fights for the coming of the kingdom of God within himself and the world.”


The word dasyu दस्यु has its root as दसु  उपक्षये Giving its deravative meaning Yaskaracharya writes in Nirukta (7.23) :

nirukta 7.23

(He is Dasyu who has very few virtues and who causes obstruction to good actions like the performance of the Yajnas)

In the Vedas, Dasyu has been described as follows :

veda and dasyu

(Dasyu is one who is cruel, hard,selfish, and who entertains thoughts of falsehood, violence, theft, deception etc.)

In Rigveda 10.65 .11  Dasyu has been stated as one who has no faith in the existence of God; but is dacoit, a thief, on betrayer of confidence, foolish, licentious, aggressor, obstructor of good deeds, selfish etc :

veda and dasyu 1

There is a great emphasis in the Vedas on the elimination of such Dasyus as they are a great threat to the society.

In Rigveda l.ll7.3 the adjective used for Dasyus is आशिवस्व (who creates trouble and causes misery). In Rigveda 4.l 6.9) दस्यु, has been described as मायावान अब्रह्मा दस्यु: (who indulges in deception and self-deception) who has no faith in the teachings of the Vedas and who is narrow-minded.

It is clearly stated in the Vedas that the difference between the Aryas and Dasyus is mainly because of their respective actions. No discrimination is, otherwise, made on the ground of caste or creed etc.

There is also instruction इन्द्र (or a king) to purify the Dasyu and uplift him forgiving his past sins.

In the followqing mantra from Rigveda (6.22. lO) for instance, it is clearly stated :

rig 6.22.10

(O. Indra, you have the power to uplift the Dasyus engaged in obstructing the religious acts and make them Arya i.e. noble, religious minded, dutiful and men of noble character.)

In the Vedas the idea of uplifting of the impure and converting all the people of the world into Aryas occurs repeatedly at several places, Here are three mantras embodying this idea :-

veda and dasyu 2

(In the first mantra righteous truthful scholars have been asked to uplift( उन्नयथ) those who are fallen

( अवहितम) and to inject new life ( पुनःजीवयथ ) in those who have committed sins or crimes ( आग: चक्रुषम् ) In the second mantra, God ordains the righteous to convert the whole universe into Arya by increasing their own will power and acquiring knowledge and wealth, by being active and freeing themselves from all selfishness and narrowness. कृण्वन्तोविश्वमार्यम is the motto of all the Aryas.

In accordance with this motto, it is the duty of all Aryas to make every effort to tum Dasyus into Aryas.

In the third mantra, a devotee prays to God, “O the preserver of noble persons, either you keep away from us those who are वृजिनम (sinners), स्तेनम(thieves) or let them also tread the righteous path.”

From these instructions and prayers, it is clear that Aryas tried to bring even Dasyus into their fold, but if they found them to be too wicked and harmful for the society as a whole, they considered it to be their duty to eliminate them. while defining Arya or Dasyus Vedas never took into consideration the lineage of a person as is clear from the following mantra :-

veda and dasyu 3

(O, the noble among the people, Indra, you destroy both the types of enemies- first, who by nature, put obstruction to performance of good deeds or those who, though born in good families, deviate from the righteous path and start indulging in low actions.

It has been rightly observed in Mahabharata that Dayus belong to all Varnas and Ashramas:-

mahabharat and dasyu

lt is thus clear that to regard Dasyus, Dasas and Panins to be of different race from Aryas and to believe that they were the original inhabitants of India, is absolutely without foundation. There is also no truth in the contention that Vedas express any feeling of animosity towards them.

If at some places such words as असिक्नीत्वचम्  have been used for them, they are not meant to be taken literally. If we take them in their proper context, they would be found to have a figurative meaning.

Even when the word “black” has been used for Dasyus the  reference is to those who are पाणी (पणव्यवहारे) selfish, अक्रतून (who have no faith) and अयज्यून(who do not perform Yajna (Rjgvedas 7.6.3).

Zardushta says in Ustavaiti :-

“That I will ask thee, tell me it right, thou living God, who is religious and who the impious, after who l wish to inquire, who of the two has the black spirit and who the bright one? Is it not right to consider the impious man who attacks me and thee, to be a black one.”

Now in the above quotation, the wicked persons have been firstly described as ‘black spirit’ and later indentified as black. Such figurative use of the word “black” “convinces us that it does not always denote colour of one’s skin rather his character.

The difference between the “Aryas` and the “Dasyus” was based on their qualities, actions and temperament and not on “racial differences”. Even Dasyus could become Aryas by reforming themselves.

Such admission has also been made atleast once in Vedic Age” itself:

“Atleast one Dasa Chief, however, named Balbuth had adopted Aryan culture and even patronised Brahmín singers and risis.”

We do not agree with the historical aspect of this episode. We have given this quotation only to drive home the point that Aryans had not come from outside.

In this context the authors of the Vedic Age comment :

“It is significant that as a rule, Indra himself has been made to combat the Dasa priest on his own initiative and not in the course of rendering merely routine assistance to Aryan chiefs. For it shows

that even in the heyday of Rigvedic culture, there was no longer a living memory of the first encounter with the aboriginal races”

The truth of the matter is that there were no such racial wars between India and dasyus or dasas. Aryans had not come from outside. They were the inhabitants of this country.

Says Swami Dayanand in his book “The Light of Truth.”

“No name had been given to this country (India) before and no one lived in it till the Aryas came to it from Tibet soon after the creation”

Dealing with the beliefthatflryas had come from Iran and the Rakshas lived in jungles before and that Aryas used to consider themselves as Devatas and there were battles between Aryas and Asuras (known as “Devasur Sangram), he further asserts :

“This is absolutely incorrect because Aryas and Asuras have been depicted in the Rigveda as :-

rig 1.51.8

(i.e. Aryas are those who are religious minded, learned and noble while Asuras or Dasas are those who are wicked, irreligious and ignorant.)

P.T. Srinivas, a well-known South Indian scholar, has also maintained in his book “Dravídian Studies ” that the “Difference between the ”Aryas” and “Dasyus’ is not racial out based on their respective qualities, actions and temperament”

He writes :-

“The Aryas and Dasyus or Dasas are referred to not as indicating different races ……… ..The words refer not to race but to cult ……. . .The Dasyus are without rites, fireless, non-sacrificers, without prayers, without rites, haters of prayers. Thus the difference between Aryas and Dasyus was not one of race, but ofcult.”

V.R. Ramachandra Dikshitar, another South Indian scholar, says :

“The fact is that the Dasyus were not non-Aryans. The theory that the Dasyus – Dravidians inhabited the Panj ab and the Ganges valley at the time of the so-called Aryan invasion of India, and overcome by the latter, they fled to South India and adopted it as their home cannot stand. To say that all India was a wild country once, and that it was civilized by the invading Dravidians first and by the invading Aryans next, cannot carry conviction home ……….. .

“In the same way we have to took upon the theory of the Dravidian race. If the Aryan race theory is a myth, the theory of the Dravidian race is a greater myth. The word Dravida is the name for the speakers of a group of South Indian languages, Tamil, Malayalam, Kanarese and Telugu.”

Muir is among the Western Scholars who have written quite a lot on “Aryas” “Dasyus” or Dravidians.

In Original Sanskrit Texts (Vol. II p. 387) Muir writes :

“I have gone over the names of Dasyus orAsuras mentioned in the Rigveda with the view of discovering whether any of them could be regarded as of non-Aryan or indigenous origin, but I have not observed anything that may appear to be of this character.”

German scholar Max Muller writes about Dasyus :-

“Dasyu simply means enemy; for instance, Indra is praised because he destroyed the “Dasyu” and protected the Aryan colour.”

At another place writing about मातुधान and राक्षस he writes :-

“They (the epithets) are too general to allow us the inference of any etymological conclusions.”

The expression “Aryan” was also given currency by him but in the later years of his life in 1888, he writes :-

“I have declared again and again that if I say Aryan, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language ………… . To me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar”

Famous compiler of the Sanskrit Dictionary Roth says :-

“lt is but seldom, if at all, that the explanation of ‘Dasyu’ as referring to the non-Aryans, the barbarians, is advisable.”

In his book “Brief View of the Caste System of the North West Provinces and Oudh”, another Western scholar Nesfield clearly writes :-

“There is no division of the people as the Aryan conquerors of India and the aborigines of the country; that division is modem and that there is essential unity of the Indian races. The great majority of

the Brahmins are not of lighter complexion or of finer or better red features than any other caste or distinct in race and blood from the scavangers who swept the roads.”

Likewise many other quotations can be given to prove that some Western scholars themselves have contradicted the theory of racial differences between the Aryas and the Dravidians.


Most people hold the view that South Indian languages like Tamil, Kannda, Malyalam, and Telugu, which are collectively known as Dravidian languages, have no genetic connection with the Sanskrit language; that they are completely two sets of independent languages. This view supported and encouraged by many Western scholars for extraneous reasons, is not true. This view in fact had been mostly propagated by those who wanted to create misunderstanding and animosity among the people of the North and the South, between Dravidians and the Aryas.

For instance, South Indian scholar Tamby Pillai quoting Dr. Taylor, writes in “Tamilían Antíquary” (Vol. II No. 2)

“It was proved years ago by Dr. Taylor that a TAMILIAN Language now represented by its most cultivated branch in the South Tamil constituted the original staple of all the languages of India. The existence of a Tamilian substratum in all the modem dialects of India and of the profound influence, which the classical Tamil has exercised on the forrnation and development of both the Vedic and classical Sanskrit, is gradually coming to be recognised by students of Indian philosophy.”

Almost similar view has been expressed by Dr. Gundert and other Western scholars like Rhys Davids.

T.S. Shesh Iyangar, writes in his book “The Ancient Dravidians”:-

“Prof. Rhys Davids in his book “Buddhist India” commenting on the evolution of the Aryan languages of India maintains that the Vedic Sanskrit is largely mixed up With primitive Dravidían.”

But we consider such views to be thoroughly incorrect and ridiculous. With so many Sanskrit words to be found in Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Panjabi and Pali, we think it is unnecessary to prove that the mother of all these languages is Sanskrit. It is no less blasphemous to consider any of the South Indian languages, even Tamil, to be the origin of these languages.

I had the opportunity of living in South for over 20 years.

During the course of my stay there, I applied myself to the learning of these languages.

On the basis of my study I have no hesitation in saying that so many words in these languages have their origin in Sanskrit.


Some of the Kannad words which are purely Sanskrit words are :-

kannad and sanskrit

There would be no exaggeration in saying that 75% of words in Telugu version of the Mahabharata are originally Sanskrit words. Some of the Telugu words which have actually been taken from Sanskrit are :

telagu and sanskrit

To call such a language (which is full of Sanskrit words) as an independent Dravidian language and to say it has no links with Sanskrit, is very erroneous. Unfortunately people in North India,

who are not acquainted with South Indian languages, are easily misled by such false notions.


In Malyalam language there are more Sanskrit words than even in Kannad and Talugu.

Former speaker of the Lok Sabha the late Anant Shayanam Ayanger, had once rightly obseved :-

“The Sanskrit was the fountain head of all Indian languages. All Indian languages were offshoots of Sanskrit. Bengali and Telugu have about 75% Sanskrit words, while Malayalam about 90 percent. The only change was that the Sanskrit words have been absorbed with slight changes here and there.”

Some of the Malyalam words, which have their origin in Sanskrit, are :-

malyalam and sanskrit

It is also said that Tamil has an independent language having no relation with Sanskrit. To illustrate this, reference been has been Kamban Ramayana.” But it is merely an illusion. Not only in modem but also in old Tamil literature, there are many Sanskrit words. The colloquial Tamil language is also full of Sanskrit words. If we read “Kamban Ramayan ” carefully, we will find that there are many Sanskrit words in their distorted form.

In the ancient Tamil Sastra “विरूधवे”, there are many Sanskrit words like नीराह (which means to take bath etc) In नालार तिरुवाम भाषी which is considered to be Tamil Veda, there are many Sanskrit words like नैटटेकरने तिरुवाम माषी etc.

प्रकाश (light) आनंद (happiness) पूर्ति (fulfilment) are all pure Sanskrit words. In daily language also जलम{(for water) and आम(for yes) are actually Sanskrit words. Likewise many more such words can be added.

Because of shortage of alphabets in the Tamil language, Sanskrit words which find their place it it, cannot be written. This is why separate script has come into existence for Sanskrit words.

In Tamil words like नगर (town) शिव धनुष (Shiva’s arrow) अतिशोध्र(very fast)  जनकपुत्री(Janak’s daughter)  विवाह(marriage) प्रजा (subject) दम्पोती  (couple) संतोष (contenment) have their origin in Sanskrit.

These illustration sufficc to contradict the view that Tamil has nothing to do with Sanskrit. According to some Tamil as well as Sanskrit scholars, at least 50% words in Tamil have been taken from Sanskrit.

Thus we see that क is made to serve the purpose of

This is the reason why some purely Sanskritised words are found in their corrupted form in Tamil.

For instance अग्निम{cannot be pronounced in Tamil because it does not occur among the alphabets o this language as क serves the purpose क, ख, ग,घ | “अग्नि” therefore, will be written and pronounced in Tamil as आवनि.

Even भगवान is spoken in Tamil as पकवान because प  is used for प,फ,व,ग,घ . EI’ and E5 for H-7, E, ’11, U. Those who know little Sanskrit can easily find the Sanskrit origin of such Tamil words.

Likewise Sanskrit word मंडलमis Written and pronounced in Tamil as मण्डलं and अग्रजन्मन as आक्कर जन्मन  (It is because in Tamil ट is used for ट,ठ,ड, ढ  and च for च, छ,ज,झ |

The main ancient grammar of Tamil was written by Telkappíyanar, a son of Jamadagni and a disciple of Agastya. His contemporary पनम्वनार I has made it clear in the introduction to his grammar book that Telkappiyanar (whose second name was Trinadhaymagni, has full command over lndia’s Sanskrit grammar.

T.R. Shesh Ayyangar, has written in his book “The Ancient Dravidians” that this grammar was written not later than 4th century B.C. German scholar B.C. Burnell writes in his book the “Aindra school of Sanskrit Grammaríans “published in 1875, that this Tamil Grammar was based on the tradition set by Sanskrit grammar by lndra.

Telkappiyanar”s grammar Was translated by Dr. P.S. Subrahmaniam Sastri. In his introduction, he says about this ancient scholar :- “Telkappiyanar was conversant with Vedas, Dharma Sastras, Kama Sutra, early Alankara literature, the source book of Natya Sastra, Pratisakhya works and Nirukta in Sanskrit literature and made use of them in planning his grammar book.”

Thus we see that it is not because of a few sanskrit words in Tamil but because of similarly in Sanskrit and Tamil in respect of grammar, sound, sentence structure etc. that a close relationship exists between the two.

The author of Kannad a Grammar, Naga Varma “belonging to l2th century) has described Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages as the daughters of Mother Sanskrit. The author of the Telugu grammar (belonging the 13th century), Ketana, has stated that Sanskrit is the Mother of all languages. The author of the Malayalam grammar belonging to the 14th century writes :-

kannad grammer and sanskrit

(Sanskrit is eternal and all other languages have their beginning and an end. Sometimes, the words in other languages can be easily traced to their Sanskrit origin and sometimes it is difficult to find out their origin. Examples of this have been given by the author of Malayalam Grammar in “Sanskrit Lilatilakam”

The authors of “A history of Telugu Literature” in the “Heritage of India” series have stated :-

“An analysis of Telugu, as it has been for centuries, confirms the traditional view that Telugu is derived from Sanskrit”

Dr. Narayan Rao has also expressed the same view in “History of the Telugu Language” :-

“Telugu is one of the descendants of a main Aryan Dialect.”

L. Ravi Venna has, in his book “आर्य द्रविड़ भाषा कलूटे परक्पर संबंधम” given a list of 700 Malayalam words with their Sanskrit origin.

This relationship between Sanskrit and other Dravidian languages shows how ridiculous is the view of the authors of the Vedic Age and others, who have tried to depict these languages as completely independent.

In this context it will not be out of place, to stress relation between Tamil Veda with Vedic Scriptures. It is not known with any certainty as to when The Tamil Veda was written. It is, however, believed that it was written by a Tamil Saint Tiruvalluvar in the First Century. It contains teachings on spiritual, social, political matters which appear to have been drawn from Vedic Scriptures.

We are bound to be reminded of many Sanskrit verses and passages while reading Tamil Veda. We are sure that the author of the Tamil scripture would have certainly known and read the Indian scriptures and derived inspiration from them”

In the “Vedic Age” attempt has been made at several places to establish the superiority of Dravidian civilization over the Vedic civilization. For instance, it says that Dravidian speaking mediterranean people in India were responsible for cities and city culture for a real civilisation in the true sense of the word including international trade.”

First of all, it is still doubtful that the Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilisation was influenced by Dravidians, because their script is still difficult to decipher and even these authors themselves are not sure about it.

This is a very controversial subject. Several scholars are of the view that Aryas themselves were responsible for building these cities. We, who consider Dravidians as the offshoots of Aryas, consider this whole controversy to be meaningless.

Moreover it should not be forgotten that even people in the Ramayana era were very competent in building big houses and cities. There are descriptions of big and palatial bungalows and palaces in Vedas too.

rig 2.4.3

Here there is mention of thousand pillared places in which the King and Prime Minister took their seat along with the ministers of the assembly.

ath 9.3.21

(Here there is reference to the ten roomed dwelling houses.)

Those who have read about the cities in Ramayana with their big expansive broadways, palatial storeys pirched with jewels, and fitted with thousands of canons, big gardens and trees etc., find it impossible to believe in the theory that Aryans learnt the architecture or building houses from the Dravidians. lt is mentioned that ambassadors and traders from different countries used to live there. There were also theatre houses exclusively for women.

Even description of Indraprastha falsifies the contention of the authors of the ‘Vedic Age” that the art of city building and civilisation were the contributions of the Dravidians. It is claimed that Dravidians were so advanced that they used to undertake Voyages on the ship and do trade transactions with others.

Description of such ships already exists in the vedas :-

veda and ship

As pointed out by Dr. Radha Kamud Mukaerjee in his book “Shipping in Ancient lndia”, “Aryas used to travel by ships and transact business with people from other countries”



VEDAS & Interpolation

interpolation in vedas

VEDAS & Interpolation

Author : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand

Authors of the Vedic Age have asserted that several parts of Vedas are no more than later additions or interpolations.

Asserting that the tenth Mandala is manifestly an earlier addition, they argue in favor of their contention that: (1) the language of this mandala is different from that of other mandalas. (2) the content of this mandala with such philosophic hymns as श्रद्धा,दान and नासदीय is also different from that of others.

Some western scholars also hold the view that the entire Kandas 15,17,18,19 and 20 have been interpolated in Atharva Veda. Even the whole of Atharva Veda was composed leter and added to the Vedas.

They say in Yajurveda also, only तैतिरीय सहिंता or कृष्ण यजुर्वेद is ancient, the वाजसनेय सहिंता which is also known as शुक्ल यजुर्वेद is comparatively modern.

In their opinion the whole of Samaveda has been stolen from the Rigveda; there is nothing original or new in it. Likewise there are many other parts of the Vedas which the authors of the “Vedic Age” have tried to show as later additions or interpolations.


Describing the 10th Mandala as “Atharvedic in character” the authors of the Vedic Age claim:

“That the Tenth mandala is later in origin than the first nine, is, however, perfectly certain from the evidence of the language”

But illustrations given by these authors to prove their contention are highly illogical and irrational.

It is a common observation that at times one and the same author uses two different styles on two occasions in accordance with the subject he is dealing with. Sometime his language appears to be difficult and at the other very simple. Vedas were revealed for the benefit of the mankind including both the intellectuals and ordinary persons. This is the reason why in some mantras like the विश्वानि देव सवितर्दुरितानि परासुव, the language is so lucid and simple while in others, it is so abstruse and difficult.

The modernity or antiquity of a passage cannot be determined by the presence or absence of particular words. But the authors of the Vedic Age have asserted that some of the words used in the 10th mandala of Rigveda such as  लोक, मोघ, विसर्ग, गुप् do not occur in the Vedas except in the interpolated portions or Balhilya Hymns. They have no evidence to show what is interpolated and what is not. The distinction made by them is imaginary.

THE WORD “लोक “

Besides in the previous Mandals, the word ‘लोक” occurs at several places in the Rigveda; for instance, it is there in 1.93.6, 2.30.6; 3.2.9; 4.17.17; 5.4.11; 6.23.3; 7; 6.47.8; 6.73.2; 7.20.2; 7.33.5; 7.60.9; 7.84.2; 7.99.4; 8.100.12; 9.92.6; ‘लोका:’ Rig. 9.113.9; ‘लोके’ Rig. 329.8; 5.1.6; 9113.72;

Even the authors of the “Vedic Age’ do not consider these portions to be interpolated and, therefore, it is surprising how they included this word among those which, according to them, occur only in the 10th  Mandala or the interpolated portions.

The word मोघम also occurs, (besides the l0th Mandala,) in the following mantras from the Seventh Mandala :-

rig 7.104.15

The word `विसर्ग also occurs in the 103th hymn of the seventh Mandala of Rigveda तप्ता धर्मा अश्नुवते विसर्गम ln the 10th  Mandala also, this word occurs though only once.

Proving modernity of l0th  Mandala on the basis of the occurrence of the word विजय as done by the authors of the “Vedic Age`, is simply absurd as the word, in its various forms, occurs many a time in Rigveda.

For instance the word  विजय has been used in Rigveda 2. 1 9.9 in यस्मान्न ऋते विजयन्ते जनास:

lt occurs in other forms in the following places :-


About the word सोम the authors of the Vedic Age say that while it occurs 50 times in the Ninth Mandala, it is used only once in the 1Oth  Mandala.

ls it important for this word to occur many times there even if it be not needed in the context? We fail to understand how the existence of separate subjects in different Mandalas and use of different words accordingly go to prove modernity? The authors of the “Vedic Age” have said that the words सर्व, भगवान, प्राण, हृदय etc. mostly, though not exclusively, occur in the Tenth Mandala. If they also occur in the other Mandalas, how do they, even according to their theory, show the modernity of the Tenth Mandala ?

We consider Vedas to be the Voice of God and therefore, the words used there are inevitable and indispensable:

vaisheshik darshan 1

We have absolutely no business to ask why particular words did not occur in this or that Mandala. It will be only impertinence on our part to raise this question. Even the ordinary writers know that the use of words changes in harmony with the content of a write up.

We can give many illustrations to show how one writer has resorted to different styles in different books in keeping with the spirit, the temper and the mood of their content.

For instance, it is well-known that the language of Panini`s अष्टाध्यायी is different from his जाम्बवती विजय महाकाव्य. There is also a lot of difference between the language of Jaimini”s Mimansa and his “Brahmana”.

The language of Katyana’s श्रौतसूत्र and स्मृति also varies widely.

Among the modem writers also Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Life Divíne ‘ differs very much from his “Basis of Yaga ” in respect of language.

We do not think that it matters very much if words like पृत्सु, गिवर्ण:, विचर्षनि:, वीती do not occur in the Tenth Mandala even when they are frequent in the preceding Mandalas. As we have pointed out earlier, it is not at all important to use the same words everywhere. What great difference does it make after all if instead of ` विचर्षनि the word प्रचेता or विश्ववेदा: has been used in the Tenth Mandala ?

The word ‘ विचर्षनि is also not to be found in the Seventh Mandala. Does it prove the modernity of this Mandala also on this count?

In fact the whole bogey of interpolation in the Vedas was raised by Western scholars like Macdonald. They raised this issue because they could not imagine that ”barbarous” people could express their thoughts so clearly on the spiritual, philosophical and psychological subjects as found in such hymns as हिरण्यगर्भ सूक्त,नासदीय सूक्त,श्रद्धा सूक्त, मन्युसुक्तादी.

The Western scholars, in fact, stressed the distinction of language to prove that the l0th  mandala is an appendix of the Rigveda. They have contended that the language and the content of the mantras contained in the mandala are different from those of preceding mandala. We, however, beg to differ with their view.

The seers of many hymns of the Tenth mandala and those of the first and several others are the same. Only the scholars who are impartial and objective can decide on how is this in keeping with the belief of those who advocate the theory of appendix?

As pointed out earlier, the Western evolutionists and the Christian scholars, were greatly surprised to note enunciation of the theory of monotheism and other philosophical concepts in such hymns as हिरण्यगर्भ सूक्त.

In their perception the entire hymns containing such concept was “modem.”

But they fail to see that the idea of the oneness of God occurs in many other mandalas. For instance, this idea of monotheism is also expressed in the first, second and the fourth manandalas.

Even the concept of monotheism found in the Tenth Mandala has been earlier expressed in the Second mandala. Dr. Macdonald, who is one of the advocates of the theory of interpolation of the l0th  mandala in Rigveda, has contradicted himself in regard to this issue.

For instance, while, on the one hand, he has tried to show that the Tenth mandala was added later and, therefore, considered it to be modern comparatively, on the other, he maintains “Nevertheless, the supplements collected in it (Tenth mandala) appear for the most part to be older than the additions which occur in earlier books.”

Thus he demolishes his own argument regarding interpolation (in the Tenth mandala) on the basis of the distinctions in language. We may also mention here that some of the Rishis of the Tenth Mandala as for instance, Aditi…. Janshayane, Vaivastan, Yama Vaivaswat, Yami Vaivaswat Yama Yami etc. are very ancient-almost contemporaries of Manu Vaivasta.

ls it not ridiculous to call a hymn to be of recent origin or modem when its Rishis who revealed them are so ancient?

The word नत्युoccurs three times in the First mandala, two times in the Fourth, two times in the Fifth and Sixth, four times in the Seventh and one time in the Ninth mandala.

विश्वदेवा: is the ‘devata’ (subject matter) of three hymns of the First Mandala, two of the Sixth and Ninth mandalas, and of three hymns of the Tenth Mandala.

The word उषसalso occurs 32 times in the First mandala, nine times in the Second mandala, 16 times in the Third, 27 times in the Fourth, 9 times in the Fifth, 14 times in the Sixth, 29 times in 14, two times in the Eighth mandala, 8 times in the Ninth and 23 times in the Tenth mandala.

lt is, therefore, illogical to prove the modernity of 10th mandala on the basis of such words.

In अनुवाकानुक्रमणी and चरण व्यूह it is stated :-

mantra 2

(There are 64 chapters and 18 Mandalas in Rigveda)

It is because of its comprising 10 mandalas that Rigveda has been described as दाशतयी by Yaskaracharya in his Nirukta.

We will now discuss the Balkhilya hymns.


Eleven hymns in the Eighth mandale of Rigveda– from 49 to 59-are called बालखिल्य सूक्त named after their preacher Balkhilya.

Some Western scholars and their followers like the authors of the Vedic Age hold the opinion that these hymns were later added in the Eighth Mandala. Not only that, they have even made some contradictory statements in regard to theses hymns.

After showing its distinction from other mandalas, the authors of the “Vedic Age” write about the Eight mandala:-

“This peculiarity of the Eighth mandala does suggest-by no means proves, that the Eighth mandala was subjoined at a later date to the kernal constituted by the family mandalas. But there is positive reason to believe that there was a time when the Eighth mandala was actually considered to be the last in the Samhita, for why else, should the Balkhilya hymns be thrust into the Eigth mandala and not added after the Tenth.”

This whole chain of arguments seems to be incongruous. First of all, the authors themselves have given only suggestion or indication but no proof that this mandala was added later. Then why to state this uncertain thing as a fact? Moreover to say that the Rigveda ended definitely with the Eighth mandala demolishes the argument that it was added later on – and it also presupposes that the Balkhilya hymns were interpolated, the fact which itself has not been proved by any strong evidence.

One of the arguments advanced in support of the theory of interpolation of Balkhilya Sukta is the existence of the following in the Aiterya Brahmana :-

aitreya brahman

Explaining it, writes Sayanacharya:-

sayancharya commentary

(i.e. there was a Rishi called Balakhilya whose 8 hymns were compiled in a book called “बालखिल्य”.

It appears that some of the hymns, which Rishi Balkilya popularized, were compiled and were available in the form of a booklet, possibly with explanation just as some such hymns of the Rigveda संगठन सूक्त ( Rig. 10.191) स्वराज्य सूक्त (1.80),शिवसंकल्पमंड ( Yaju. 34.10 ) were separately available. This does not show any evidence of any interpolation but only popularity of these particular hymns.

lt may be stressed here that the portion, from which the above sentence has been quoted from Taittireya Brahmana, is itself considered interpolated as stated in the chapter on “AncientSanskrít

literature ” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Therefore, a doubtful and interpolated statement cannot be given as evidence of interpolation of the Balkhilya Hymns.

These hymns which are not different from others in respect of their language or content were also included by Max Muller in his European edition of the Rigveda.

Referring to the antiquity of these hymns, Wintenitz writes in his book “A History of Indian Literature :-

“The word khilya means ‘supplement’ and this name in itself indicated that there are texts which were collected and added to the Samhita only after the latter had already been concluded; this does not exclude the possibility that some of these khilyas are of no less antiquity than the hymns of the Rigveda Samhita, but for some reason unknown to us, were not included in the collection.”

While we do not agree even with the sentiments expressed by Wintenitz (because we do not see any difference in these hymns from 49th  and others in Rigveda), his remark on their antiquity, however, deserves the attention of the readers.

Winternitz has also acknowledged that these hymns, available in the form of a hand written manuscript, are found at the end of the book.

lt was very improper on the part of Griffith to take out these hymns from the middle of the Eighth mandala and to publish them at its end. He had no right to do so. lt will not be proper to call them

interpolations only because they are preceded with अथ and ended with इति.  It seems that “अथ “, “इति” were added to them when they were compiled separately for the benefit of the the common man.

The Aryas had made arrangements since the beginning to preserve the Vedas in their purest form leaving no scope for interpolations. One of such arrangements was devising eight forms of their recitation known as :-

जटा पाठ (Jata path), माला पाठ (Mala path), शिक्षा पाठ (Shiksha path), लेखा पाठ (Lekha path), ध्वजा पाठ (Dhwaja path),दंड पाठ (Dand path), रथ पाठ (Rath path), धन पाठ(Dhan path) I

In view of the prevalance of these different modes of recitation, it was difficult to make any addition without their immediate detection.

Another devise to preserve the accuracy of the text of the Vedic mantras was to prepare many indices of the number of metres, of words and the seers and devatas (subject matter) of different mantras.


The authors of the Vedic Age have advanced the view that कृष्ण यजुर्वेद{ (Black Yajurveda) is more ancient than than  शुक्ल यजुर्वेद(White Yajuweda.)

The Black Yajurveda consists of the original mantras and the Brahmanas (which consist of explanatory notes and commentaries of the text of the mantras).

The Vedic Age authors are of the view that the mantras and the Brahmanas (which were separate in the White Yajurveda) were mixed up in the Black Yajurveda at a later date.

These authors say that listing the first words of the White Yajurveda in the Black Yajurveda might give the impression that the White Yajurveda represents the original tradition of which the Black Yajurveda (with all its variation) is a later version.

But, they assert, “Truth should rather be just the opposite, it is hardly possible that the mantras and Brahmnas kept separate in the white Yajurveda tradition, should have got mixed up at a later date.”

They hold the view therefore, that the Black Yajurveda is older than the White Yajurveda.

Despite whatever these authors might say, we are clear that Brahmanas (which are explanatory data and commentaries on the text) cannot come before the text.

The very definition of the Brahmana (given below), presupposes the existence of the text before the commentaty.

brahman commentary

Vedic commentator Patanjali’s assertion along with Swami Dayananda’s explanation go to prove beyond doubt that the Brahmanas were written and added afterwards:

patanjali 1patanjali 2

(The explanatory notes by learned Brahamins and Risis, added to the Vedas for elucidation of the Vedic hymns, are called Brahrnanas. Because of the mixture of the mantras and the explanatory notes, the Taitteriya Samhita is considered of later origin. To consider a Brahmana to be more ancient than the original text, is illogical.

It is a matter of great regret that the authors of the Vedic Age failed to see this small matter and committed the blunder of imagining  the White Yajurveda as of later date than the Black Yajurveda.



Western scholars like Bloomfield hold the view that Atharvaveda was composed much later than the other three Vedas. ln fact, they do not regard it as a Veda at all.

Perhaps such scholars formed this view on the basis of the use of the word त्रयीविद्या, which they thought denoted the existence of three Vedas.

But the fact is that this word actually denotes three subjects that the Vedas deal with – knowledge, action and devotion and the three styles ‘साम (musical) ऋक्(metrical) and यजु (prose).

Says Mimansa Shastra :

mimansa 1

(i.e., where there is metrical composition, it is called  ऋक्where there is music, it is साम and the rest is यजु. (prose)

In his introduction to `सर्वानुक्रमणी’, Sadguru Darshan, following Mimansa, has rightly observcd :-

mimansa 2

(Though there are four Vedas, they have been divided into three categories on the basis of metre, music and prose.)

Bloomfield and many other Western scholars believe Rigveda to be the original Veda. Other Vedas are supposed by them to have been composed with mantras from the Rigveda with a few more additions. But this belief is also wrong. Many mantras from this Veda (which is considered to be the most ancient) give evidence of the existence of the four Vedas.

In the following mantra from Rigveda itself, it is clear that there are four and not three Vedas :-

rigveda 21

ln this mantra a devotee offers prayers for his protection through एकया (Rigveda) द्वितियया (Yajurveda), तिस्रूभि: (Samveda) चतुस्रुभि: (Atharveda).

This mantra is repeated in Yajurveda (20,43) and also in Samaveda (mantra 36 and 1554). The word अथर्वा means a person with equilibrium of mind who is well-versed in the knowledge of the Atharvaveda                    .

The word अथर्वा or अंगिरा occurs in many mantras in the Rigveda.

For instance :

rig 1.83.5


rig 10.21.5

Thus there is no doubt that Atharvaveda is as ancient and authentic as Rigveda.

The same is also true of the Yajurveda and the Samveda because they have also been mentioned in the above mantras.

Besides Vedas, there is also clear reference to the Atharvaveda in other Scriptures.

For instance, the importance of the repetition of the mantras from the Atharvaveda has been stressed in Kanva Samhita :

atharva 1

Many such quotations can be given from scriptures to prove the authenticity and antiquity of the Atharvaveda. However those given above are, for the time being, sufficient to show how absurd are the views of Bloomfield and others on this subject.


On the one hand Bloomfield and his followers like the authors of the ‘Vedic Age”, regard Atharva Veda to be modem and on the other, they try to show that l5th , 17th , l9th  and 2Oth  Kandas were later additions. They have advanced very strange arguments in support of their contention, Their main argument is that some of these Kandas are absent in the Paíppalada recension. But their argument becomes weak in view of the fact that some of these kandas (which they say were interpolated) are present in this recension. Only a few mantras have been omitted.

Absence of some mantras in these recensions does not go to prove that they were added later or are unauthentic.

But without taking this into account, the authors of the “Vedic Age” blindly follow Bloomfield when they write :-

“Of the 20 Kandas of the Atharva Veda, the last one is manifestly a later addition manufactured almost wholly out of the borrowings from the Rigveda to serve as a manual for the priest called Brahmanacchamsin who had a definite though minor role to play at the Soma sacrifice. Moreover, the Kuntapa Suktas of this kanda are without any Pada Patha and nothing parallel to them can be found in the Paíppalada recension – showing that they had been given a place in this late kanda of the Samhita at a very late date.

“In fact, the 19’“ Kanda ends with significant prayer which strongly suggests that the Samhita, at one time, was considered to end with it.”

But how can the fact that many mantras in the 20th  Kanda of the Atharva Veda had been taken from the Rigveda, prove the modernity of the former? On the other hand, it should only show antiquity of these mantras because the authors regard Rigveda to be oldest of all the Vedas!

lt is also wrong to presume that the 20” Kanda was added only to emphasise the role of a priest because the kanda contains many other important hymns such as इन्द्र सूक्त and स्वराज्य सूक्त. etc.

Even where there is repetition of some mantras from other Vedas in this Kanda, they serve some definite purpose.

On the repetition of mantras in different Vedas, Swami Dayananda writes in his “Introduction to Rígveda: ”

“By the Rig verses, we define objects, by the Yaju verses we apply them to use and by the same verses in Sama, we sing them.”

What Swami Dayanand observes becomes clear when we examine the following mantra which occurs in all the four Vedas :

shano devir

When the mantra occurs in the Rigveda, it deals particularly with the properties of water; In Yajurveda, its application is for achmana (sipping of water). It is to be taken for God in Samaveda, which mainly deals with devotion and contemplation.

In Atharvaveda the utility of water for different technical purposes is stressed. lt also symbolises peace of which women are embodiment.

The last mantra of the 19″‘ kanda (which the authors of the Vedic Age consider to be indicative of the end of the Atharvaveda) is as follows :-

atharva 2

(We are putting the veda in the bag from which we had taken it out for preservation and safety etc.)

There is nothing to indicate the end of this Veda in the above mantra. This can as well denote the end of a particular chapter or a Kanda, in this case, of the conclusion of the 19” Kanda.

But most ridiculous is their remark which again seems to have been influenced by Bloomfield.

“But there are reasons to believe that the 19th  kanda itself is a late compilation, for its hymns, though found in the Paippalada recension, are scattered throughout that text.”

This cuts at the root of their presumption that the Atharvaveda ends at the 19th  kanda. If it is a late compilation, how could it be taken to mark the end of Atharva Veda?

Then it also falsifies their assumption that this hymn is not present in the Paippalada recension because they have themselves admitted that “these hymns, though found in the Paippalada recension, are scattered throught that text.”

As we have pointed out that in such recension, it is quite natural to find change in the order of the mantras. The new order is guided by the special purpose of such compilations.


The authors of the Vedic Age hold the wrong notion that most of the mantras contained in Samaveda had been taken from Rigveda and that it has no separate existence. If it were so, there would have been no specific reference of Samaveds and its psalms at many places in Rigveda itself as for instances, in the following mantras-

samveda 11

(In these mantras, there is a clear mention of one who sings the songs of the Sama Veda.)

The following mantra, mentions the hymns of the Sama Veda side by side with Rigveda :-

rigveda 22

ln the mantra given below the word  सामगा has been used for one who sings the hymns of the Sama Veda and separately for the knower

of the Atharva Veda thus clearly pointing out to the separate existence of the two :

atharva 3

There is an injunction for singing the hymns of Sama Veda to glorify God in the following mantras :

samveda 12