Saraswati Valley Civilization

“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the motherof history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition"(Mark Twain).

I haven't been able to write since last one week, the reason,pre-occuppied with reading and analysing the read with reference to River Saraswati.The river was evoked as an auspicious river as well as the deity of knowledge.

Our parents and grandparents have always referred to it as goddess and a spiritual river on the banks of which Rig Vedas was written.As a child I was fascinated by the mythological tales, however would always trust my text books for information. Unfortunately by the time I completed my school education, could not find any reference of Saraswati in the NCERT syllabus nor was there much to read on Harappa.

So, here I was believing firmly in the early British Raj discoveries of the "Ancient India".

We need to thank those archaeologists ,may be Max Muller(though i know who was paying him) to have helped us give a window of our past,but since we were a colony, the way those discoveries were presented it gave us a totally different picture of how our past was.

It did help us come out from a thousand year slumber, but with that also came British raj's own interpretations and the way those things needed to be taught to the public.(Maculley education system). Saraswati river was once only talked about in our mythology stories and in Rig Veda,but now it is apparent from Satelllite images that there was a river flowing in the region which is now Rajasthan/Bikaner all the way to runn of Katch.

One section of study stays, that Harappan culture was formed initially within the Sarswati region as per the excavated sites of Kalibangan and Dholavira and couple of them in Haryana.

Slowly it expanded towards Indus, with sites like Mohenjodaro, developing on its own.

We were told about Harappan civilization, but then it was highlighted as -of little consequence to modern India.

When the excavations were done, though ideally we should have marveled at our ancestors achievements, but then we were left with more questions than answers. When I read about this civilization,I have to admit that Harrapan was the most advanced civilization of its time.More advanced and mature than the ones in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Couple of points would like to highlight: Harappans traded with Sumerians(Mesopotamians) and countries like modern day Oman,Harappan porcelean beads and other forms of pottery are found with them,however there is no evidence of Harappans getting anything back from Mesopotamians, Egyptians,central Asian people or people from Oxus valley.Harrapans -Saraswati valley people were great exporters. Harappans originated the decimal system, geometry,pythagoras theorem(Pythagoras was Greek). Remember that song from Mr.Bharat Movie.

Harappans were non-violent people,archaeologists could not find any weapons or swords,apart from couple of spears - to say that there was Aryan invasion and massacre -which probably were used by gate keepers of the town. Harappans did not have any King,there was equality, though there were rich people but all in all state took good care of every one.

Rich people were living next to modest homes.

Harappans-Saraswati people did not build monuments like Pyramids for ruling class,but built great cities, with amazing buildings, they had made bath rooms on the first floor of a 3 floor structure.

Rigveda was written during Saraswati- Harappan times,with Yoga, Shiva as the symbols found from the excavations of Harappan sites. Harappan were perfect in calculations, the streets and dimensions of lanes which Harappans took, similar ratios were taken a thousand year later in the early half of BC.(This shows that Harappans were very advanced and also that their system of measurement was in practice even during the so called Aryan times).

The dancing girl statue recovered from Harappa has similar kind of ornaments being worn by Rajasthani women even today.

The measurements used by Kautilya(Chanakya) in Arthashastra are described exactly similar to Harappan times and so was the weight system. While reading, I also realised that Aryan Invasion theory is seriously in question now,with arrival of Aryans being proved by nothing.

Disappearance of Harappan cities cannot be attributed to an invasion.We haven't found any dead bodies no armour,absolutely no evidence of mass destruction or killing,In fact according to Michel Danino and many other scholors there has been no invasion.It is because of the drying up of Saraswati river that civilization moved eastwards towards Gangetic plain! But you know, there are divergent views depending on the school of thought.

Inspired by Michel Danino book- The Lost River.

I hope we all get to read about the common agreed thought sometime soon and the language used by Harappans gets deciphered as well. But what we see today, of the country, we find it difficult to say that our land had the most advanced civilization of its times.Our modern day civic sense absolutely gives away,the so called cultural heritage.

University of Chicago lecture

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