A myth we have inherited – the notorious Aryan Invasion theory
The Aryan theory of invasion gave us a false sense of history and identity, but modern historians and Indic scholars have completely annulled and rejected this false theory.
Let’s take the history lesson most of us learnt in our school days. Though we come to understand that we have inherited a lot of good stuff from our deep cultural heritage, there is however one myth about the ‘?ryan’ theory of invasion into India that has been shoved down our throats. According to this theory, the so-called ?ryans, the original people behind the Vedas (the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), were reinterpreted not as sages and seers – the rishis and yogis of Hindu historical tradition – but as primitive plunderers. Naturally this cast a shadow on the Hindu religion and culture as a whole.
We need to know more about this myth as this comes in the way of who we really are and the source of our deep culture. Due to this myth perpetrated by colonial historians, it been thrust on us we are ‘Dravidians’ subjugated by the ‘?ryans’. Correcting this myth thereby will alter the very fabric of how we interpret ourselves and our ancient civilization.
In fact the word ‘Dravid’ refers to the geographical ‘Panch Dravida area’ extending from central India down south i.e. Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Konkan and also Gujarat. So the term Dravid is used in Indian literature to denote lands to the south of Vindhya ranges.
The Deccan Herald on 25 June 2010 reports that “The intelligentsia and even the politicians were in for shock at the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, when a Finland-based Indologist Prof Asko Parpola turned the spotlight on a Dravidian-?ryan continuum while demolishing the ?ryan-Dravidian divide as a myth”.
Even the previous head pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Math ~ Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal confirms that “It is wrong to classify the people of this land into ?ryan and Dravidian.
In Sanskrit, ?rya means, worthy of respect, and anaarya means, not worthy of honour or worship. Whoever is worthy of respect or honour is ?rya, and therefore, ?ryans are not people belonging to any particular part of the country”. He often used to say that this ?ryan-Dravidian divide was a canard created by the erstwhile British rulers of India in their ongoing efforts to explore and exploit all the avenues of continued differences between the people of India, so as to sustain themselves in power.
‘?ryans’ does not refer to a particular race but rather refer to characteristics that are common to a broad set of people belonging to the Indian civilization. ‘?ryan’, literally, is nothing but an anglicized form of addressing the ?rya. The root word is only ?rya which means ‘noble’.
The ?ryan invasion theory has been used for political and religious advantage in a way that is perhaps unparalleled for any historical idea. Dr.David Frawley a famed Vedic scholar who runs the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico remarks that “one of the main ideas used to interpret and generally devalue the ancient history of India is the theory of the ?ryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-100 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture.”
In his book ‘Demise of the ?ryan Invasion Theory’ he mentions that ”This idea totally foreign to the history of India, whether north or south has become almost an unquestioned truth in the interpretation of ancient history. Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it in question.”
But today, the ?ryan invasion or migration into India have been annulled and completely rejected by modern historians and Indic scholars, obviously based on evidence. Based on such new evidence an entire group of scholars has arisen from both India and the West who categorically reject this invasion theory on various grounds and evidences in archeology, skeletal remains, geography, mathematics, astronomy, linguistics and so on that was given no credence by the proponents of the ?ryan invasion.
From the works of modern Indic scholars authors like Subhash Kak, Dr.N.S.Rajaram and George Feuerstein, we learn that there was no such thing as an ‘?ryan invasion’ of India. Try googling these authors to read some of their preliminary works. It’s really interesting, if not simply enlightening.
?ryan invasion theory is being now classified as a myth based upon a few idle conjectures of Max Muller along with a couple of scraps of misinterpreted evidence, an ideology masquerading as historical ‘fact’ because it fitted in so well with the Imperialist ambitions of the West. This could be disturbing to those without tenable evidence or who lack the open-mindedness due to a colonial hangover of the Eurocentric historians and professors who are now struggling to explain new evidences with their outdated theories.
Today there is no real evidence for any ?ryan invasion – whether archeological, literary or linguistic and no honest scholar working in the field accepts this invasion. This so-called invasion misrepresents Hindu-Vedic culture, which has traditionally been peaceful. To quote Swami Vivekananda:
“There is not one word in our scriptures, not one, to prove that the ?ryans ever came from anywhere outside India…. The whole of India is ?ryan, nothing else.”