An Aryan Journey (Know Your Roots Through "An Aryan Journey")
Author :
Harsh Mahaan Cairae, retired IAS.
Category :
History
Publisher :
Rupa Publications India
Available On :
Available on Amazon and eBay,Available on- Amazon
Quote By Author :
"A storyteller can only sit back and say 'Neti'. That is not all".
Publish Date :
14-Oct-2014


Review :

Through “An Aryan Journey”, Harsh Mahaan Caire has put forth a meticulous analysis of Indo Aryans’ bequest with the evidences in the scriptures. Aryans invaded India in trade ships and became a part of the Indus Valley community, who further helps in settling down there. It is all mentioned in the Veds and Avestha. Harsh M Caire has tried to decipher all the basic concepts of the very existence of our own culture. It is a must-read for all those who have a keen acumen to learn about the history of Aryans’ foray.

 

The reader requires to adapt with different approaches taken by the author to understand all that is tallied. Two ancient Aryan religions, the Vedic and the Zoroastrian religion have left behind a rich collection of scriptures. Initially, these scriptures give an impression of the wars between gods and demons, but a close, then closer, and a microscopic look at it clarifies that both the religions are telling the story of the same people who followed same religious practices once, but gradually developed some differences and fought among themselves as enemies.

 

The story is written in a simple language with all the necessary references to prove the concluding statements or derived impressions. The scriptures don’t tell the readers about the dates. Since the scriptures are actually the source of information for the religion of the Aryan group, it is essential that they are mentioned, and understood. The entire book revolves around several concepts around this.

 

The first chapter says that Aryans believed in “One God”. The analysis flows to an extent of understanding the creation of the greatest concept on the planet, or probably, in the universe, i.e. God. It further explains that when human gets trapped in deconstructing the real meaning of various phenomena existing in the universe, of which many are beyond comprehensions and also driven with uncertainty, they try to sum it up or squeeze it to one-simplified derivative: God or due to God’s wish.

 

It is obvious that they might have faced uncertainties like sometimes with  little efforts they can reap good crops, but at times with a lot of efforts and with apt conditions, they fail to get the expected amount of crops. Uncertainty prevails and exhales out of the people as the belief in God, the Supremo. The chapter further unwinds the theory of relativity with God. Like we like those who are of good nature, submissive, praise us and render us gifts, and hate those who are bad, the same was linked to God. The echelon of human’s understanding of the natural phenomena and uncertainties is directly proportional to the man’s faith in God. As the uncertainties were not understood by the Aryans, especially in case of agriculture, “Ribhus” decided to have four Gods instead of one. This event is concretely expressed in the Veds and the “Avestha” only provides the evidence.

 

The Ribhus have divided into four new ladle, the work of the divine Tvasta. (Rig Ved. M-1, S-20, R-6) This is the main theme of the Richas and tenth, eleventh and twelfth Richas give an impression of this divine ordain.

 

“Agni” (as called in Veds) was considered as the messenger of the Gods, and referred as “Atar” in Avestha. The book also tells that gods first generated the words of hymns, then Agni, and then oblation.  He is the (object of the) sacrifice of these deities, the protector of the body; him the earth and the waters, know. (Rig Ved. M-10, S-88, R-8)

 

Through Veds, Richas tell how Ribhus brought in changes in the religious practices. Like Rudras and Vasus, Ribhus are different classes of divinities in the vedic concepts. At some stage Ribhus were deified as Vaja, Vibhavan and Ribhu (mentioned in fourteenth Richa). Eighteenth Richa talks about the objectives of creation of the Gods: water, fire, and “Vardhayanti Bahubya” (text), all are the requirements of agriculture. “Vardhayanti Bahubya” literally means, “multiplier of many” and the quality of a seed that produces a good crop.

The term, “Productivity”, which has become a common word in the corporate world is also mentioned here as “Pushan” (in Veds) and “Peshan” (in Avestha). There are some Richas addressed to this.

 

Varun and Agni were considered as the natural forces not under anyone’s control were meant to be kept happy. Through offerings. 34th Richa taken from Sukta gives an idea about how those religious practices evolved amongst these people. A certain situation also evolved when people felt a direct connection with the almighty, and gradually, the most learned (as considered) i.e. the priest told them that the god is sitting in front of them and laid down rules. One of the rules is to make the parents of the gods young again. With so much of context built in the first chapter, the author moves on with the next one. Second chapter is about the homeland of the Aryans, named as “Arjika” in Ved, and “Airyana” in Avestha. Their stay in the Central Asia was for a long period, and was eventful.

In Avestha, Aryans are called as “Devs” and later on as “Dev Worshippers”.

 

“Ashwins, you raised up like Som in a ladle, Rebha, who for ten nights and nine days had lain in a well, bound with tight bonds, wounded, immersed, and suffering distress from water. (Rig Vded. M-1, S-116, R-20 to 24) It is mentioned about Devs.

 

It is also mentioned that, “You gave (relief) to the imprisoned Atri (quenching) the scorching heat, and fed him with grateful food, solicitous of worthy praise, you gave sight to Kanva, blinded (by darkness).” (Rig. Ved. M-1, S-118, R-7)

 

37 hymns mentioned in the first phase of this chapter signify that the deity that invoked and credited to protect the devotees are “Ashwins”. It is so, as Lord Indra had not emerge by then. Veds repeatedly use the word, “Kavi” (means poet in later Sanskrit, king in Avestha). These Kavis were considered to be the intellectual leaders (men). The author also talks about the changes brought by the Angiras Rishis. Bit ved and Avestha show that “Fire” was a key feature in the practices of sacrifices. And, seven priests were required to perform the sacrifices, mentioned in both Avestha and Ved. The roll call of Avestha and second Richa of Rig Ved has all the seven names: Adhavary, Brahman, Udgatri, Hotri, Pratiprasthatri, Neshtri and Potri. Sukta 107 is attributed to them.

 

Chapter three mentions about how the first war between Devs and Asuras shook their homeland. Devs and Asuras (children of the same father, Prajapati). “These sons of Bharat, Indra, understand severance, not association. They urge their steeds as against a constant foe; they bear a strong bow in battle.” (Rig. Ved M-3 S-53 R-24)

 

In the fourth Richa “Pitra” (mans forefathers) was used for Asuras. This chapter also talks about the first war, which is said to be fought between Indra and Vritra in Veds and have different versions. Indra is considered as “Vitrahan” (slayer of “Vitra). Third Richa says Indra clove the clouds to cast water.

 

The story now rolls to the existence od Dadhichi (also called as Dadhyanga and Dadhichanga) and also throws light on the concept that Yim became the sovereign after ending the rule of the Devs, and blessed with sovereignty of all countries.

 

“Sharyanavat”, a huge lake in Arjika; river Parushni (where Vritra was thrown into); are mentioned in the fifth chapter. Airyana Vaego has a major mountain called as “Hukairya”. “Vouru Kasha” river flows down from there. River “Daitya” is mentioned in other places as  “Ardvi Sura Anahita”. The landscape description is given there vividly.

 

Devs were forced to leave Arjika, after defeating Asuras at the hands of Divodas and Sudas. This is what chapter six starts with. Towards tenth chapter, the readers will get to know that Indo-Aryan were living with Harappa community.

 

“An Aryan Journey”, explores the answers of Indo-Aryans’ origin, authenticity, legacy and expansion, and serves as a classic literary work that takes us back to the point where religion emerged. And, gets us back to the present situation, to compare and understand how it all began and why the people have been doing something in a specified manner since ages. Basically, this literary work tosses the readers between various epochs of the Aryans so that we, history aficionados, comprehend the logic and the process behind these religious beliefs and acts that we are following even till date. There is a lot more to be unfolded in th chapters. Each concept is historical or old and existing, related and based on an in-depth and thoughtful research.