The Vedic Fathers of Geology, Part 11


Saptarishi Cave
Kailash Manasarovar, Himalayas

Sep 16, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation on Vedic discoveries in Geology, from the book by Narayan Bhavanrao Pavgee.

The Vedic Rishis were immeasurably in advance of the times, and had anticipated the Western geologists and scientists, in the deep researches they had made even at that distant date, not to say in the remotest period of time, when all the other ancient nations, including even the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians, were still in the dark.

For, says Thornton in his History of India, "Ere yet the pyramids looked down upon the valley of the Nile, when Greece and Italy those cradles of modern Civilization, housed only the tenants of the wilderness, India was the seat of wealth and grandeur."

I had, in the second chapter (pp. 35 @ 83) made passing reference to the Aryan cradle in Aryavarta from the geological point of view, and shown therein that the origin of life was in the region of the sacred river Sarasvati, situated in Aryavarta the Land of the Seven Rivers.

Besides a careful glance at the Vedic works, and especially a perusal of the Rig-Veda, will convince the Reader that the Sarasvati was not only deemed by the Rig-Vedic Rishis to be the most sacred river, but was actually supposed to be specially their own. As they often used to say with extreme delight, "Our sacred Sarasvati" (R.V. I, 3.10), evidently establishing thereby their exclusive claim on her, even debarring others from participation in her favours, and enjoying themselves the privilege denied to others by Nature herself. It was obviously for this reason that the river Sarasvati was ever associated with the utmost sanctity, and as such, sacrifices were always performed in the regions and on the banks of the said river: (Aitreya Br. I, 19; Kaushitaki Br. XII, 3). While in the Rig-Veda, the said river was even eulogised as the best of Mothers, the best of Rivers, and the best of Goddesses (R.V. II, 41.16).

And all these praises seem to have been lavished on her, evidently for the reason that she was supposed to be the site not only of the Aryan Home and the Human Cradle, but was moreover considered to be the very region of the Origin of life, or of vitality itself. Because, the river appears to have been thus addressed:

    "Sarasvati, all life is in thee, who art divine."
    (R.V. II, 41.17)

Now, this poetic effusion of the Bard does not seem to be an out-pouring of some hackneyed theme, or a common-place thought, or any meaningless expression, but appears to be an original idea in the researches of geology, as the poet had apparently hit upon some geological discovery, that vitality had first come into play in the region of the river Sarasvati. This idea, therefore, being of great moment and practically of primary importance, I beg to give the translation of the verse (R.V. II, 41.17), as rendered into English by Oriental and Occidental scholars of note:

    "All life is in thee the goddess, Sarasvati."
    (S.P. Pandit)

    "In thee, Sarasvati, divine, all generations have their stay."
    (B.T.H. Griffith)

    "In thee, Sarasvati, who art divine, all existences are collected."
    (H.H. Wilson)

The import speaks for itself, and to all intents and purposes, as also from the previous context (vide R.V. II, 41.16, ante p. 99), and the Vedic researches in geology (pp. 12-24), it conveys the idea that the river Sarasvati was supposed, from the geological point of view, to be the scene of vitality and the region where life had first commenced after the Earth cooled down, as the verse says that 'all life, or generations, or existences, are in the river Sarasvati.'

For, it seems from the keen investigations in geology, continued during the Vedic period (ante pp. 12-22), that the Rishis had probably come across some fossils in the beds and region of the river; and as these were considered to be the earliest life-types, it was naturally thought that vitality had its origin in that region, and that, therefore, the very source of life was considered to be in the river itself (R.V. II, 41.17).

Let us, however, turn for a while to modern investigations in the matter, and see whether there is any foundation for the Vedic supposition in respect of the origin of life having been in the region of the river Sarasvati, or thereabouts. There is hardly any doubt that the most ancient life-types are found, as observed hereafter (vide next p. 102), in Aryavarta or Northern India, and even Western geologists bear testimony to, and throw their weight of evidence in support of the fact. For, in this respect, Mr. Medlicott, Superintendent, Geological Survey of India, says: "And the most ancient form of life occurs (in India) near the Eastern end of the hills", viz. the Salt Range of the Punjab (Manual of Indian Geology, p. XXIV). Moreover, subsequently, and a little later, the same authority states, "still further East too, in the North of Kumaun, Silurian fossils have been discovered in considerable quantities." (Ibid. p. XXV)

But more than this, "Noetling has recently described a series of strata as underlying beds containing (the remains of the genus called) Olenellis in North West India"; and he confirms the conclusions of Waagen that this series of strata contains fossils. He also asserts with confidence that these are of very ancient epoch, and even of older age than the Lowest Cambrian, that is Pre-Cambrian, meaning thereby to say that the fossils belong to the Vindhyan Era. (vide The Students' Lyell, edited by J. W. Judd, 1896, p. 438; The Imperial Gazetteer, Indian Empire, Vol. I, p. 55, Ed. 1907)

Thus, the researches of our hoary ancestors that describe Aryavarta to be the scene of mitive vitality and the region where life had first originated, seem not only within the mark, but marvellously correct in the main, as they have stood the test of ages, and the facts have been corroborated by independent testimony, not to say matter-of-fact foreign evidence. We shall, therefore, turn our attention to other particulars which are of greater moment, and as such, demand our close observation.

In the first chapter, I had occasionally referred to the various rock formations, which included also the different vital gradations. But, as it is intended in the present chapter to institute comparison between geological researches of the East and the West, I shall here endeavour to show in brief the principal points of resemblance, and introduce four statements, for the elucidation of my allegation and the argument that our Vedic Fore-fathers were acquainted with the science of geology, as they seem to be aware of the Earth's primary gaseous condition, its subsequent liquid state, its final solid form, nay, its Paleontology and successive periods of animate creation in the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic or Tertiary Epochs.


"He who fixed firm the moving Earth; who tranquillised the incensed mountains." (Wilson's translation, Ed. 1854, Vol. II, p. 236)

The verse, however, refers beyond doubt, to the molten state of the Earth, and its subsequent solid condition and hard crust.

To purchase soft-cover copies of Vedic Fathers of Geology, please contact the author's grand-grandson, Sanjiv Pavgi at or


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