The Vedic Fathers of Geology, Part 5
BY: SUN STAFF
VRITRA TRIUMPHANT: The Waters and Sun Confined
(Varuna's Tree and Waters)
Illustrations from 'The Artic Home in the Vedas' by L.B.G Tilak
Nov 24, 2011 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation on Vedic discoveries in Geology, from the book by Narayan Bhavanrao Pavgee.
Professor Bloomfield, while reviewing Tilak's Orion or the Researches into the Antiquity of the Vedas, had, in his address on the occasion of the eighteenth Anniversary of John Hopkins University, very rightly observed that, "The language and literature of the Vedas is, by no means, so primitive as to place with it the real beginnings of Aryan life."
Inasmuch as he says that, "These, in all probability, and in all due moderation, reach back several thousands of years more," and naturally, therefore, he argues that, it was "needless to point out, that this curtain, which seems to shut off one vision at 4500 B.C., may prove in the end a veil of thin gauze."
And this gives rise to a series of questions, which therefore cannot be left unnoticed:
(1) How old are the Vedas, and to what Geological Epoch does their antiquity extend?
(2) Were our (Indo-Aryan) ancestors of the Rig-Veda times older than the Quaternary Period?
(3) Did they belong to the Tertiary Era?
(4) Had they seen the Great Ice-Age?
(5) If so, is there any evidence in the Rig-Veda or other Vedic and Avestic works to support the statement and fortify the conclusions?
(6) Is there any scientific evidence to prove the existence of the Tertiary Man?
It will be perceived that an answer to the last question would serve as a key to the solution of the second, third and the fourth. I shall, therefore, try to do justice to it first, in view of making our task simpler and easier, in respect of the rest of the aforesaid queries.
Now, Messrs. Medlicott and Blanford of the Indian Geological Survey by the Government of India made the following observations in respect of the Miocene deposits and Shiwalik Mammalia of India: "The valley gravels of the Indian, Peninsula, and especially some fossiliferous beds in the Narbada Valley, contain a few Shiwalik Mammalia, associating with species more nearly allied to those now living. Remains of human implements have also been detected in these gravels, which are probably of Post Tertiary or Pleistocene age." (Vide Manual of the Geology of India, p. LV)
But, the fact that man has been in existence from the Tertiary Period seems now to be an acknowledged fact, as the same has been proved by scientific evidence. For, Professor Ernst Haeckel of Germany says, "The first appearance of man, or 'to speak more correctly the development of man from the most nearly allied ape-form dates probably either from the Miocene or the Pliocene period, from the middle or the latest section of the Tertiary Epoch." (Evolution of Man, Vol. II, p 16, 1879).
Dr. Noetling also had, in 1894, discovered the works of Pliocene Man in Upper Burma. (Keane's Ethnology, p. 454, Edition 1899)
Moreover, Professor Keane has stated in his other work, Man Past and Present, that, "Flints" (worn and polished by human action) have been found in Situ associated with the remains of such extinct fauna as Rhinoceros * * * assigned to the Lower Pliocene." (p. 5, Ed. 1899)
Dr. Frederick Wright also maintains that relics of Man are found in the Tertiary Epoch, and declares that, "the expectation of finding evidence of Pre-Glacial Man in Ohio was justified soon after this," that is, in 1855. (Vide his work Man and the Glacial Period, p. 249, Ed. 1892)
And above all, even Sir Charles Lyell, the great authority in Geology, has admitted the existence of the Tertiary Man. from the facts available and the evidence placed before him, which he had personally scrutinized and sifted, and very ably discussed in his interesting work entitled, The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with all the requisite care which the subject demanded. (Vide ante p. 5, Note)
Besides, relics of Miocene Man were also found in Further India, and therefore, in regard to this, Edward Clodd, President of the Folk Lore Society stated that, "Quite lately, there have been discovered in an Upper Miocene deposit in Further India, some clipped flint flakes, of undoubted human workmanship." (The Story of Primitive Man, p. 23, Ed. 1895)
Thus, the Tertiary Man having been proved, the solution of the second and the fourth question has naturally become simpler. The answer thereto is evidently in the affirmative, since both the Ice Age and the Quaternary Era were preceded by the Tertiary Epoch; while, our Rig-Vedic Rishis had seen the last and the Great Ice Age, and were older than the Quaternary period, as we shall presently show.
Now, we shall for a while turn our attention to the remaining questions, and see if there is any Vedic evidence in support of the facts alleged, and referred to above. In my work entitled, The Aryavartic Home and the Aryan Cradle in the Sapta Sindhus, or From Aryavarta to the Arctic and from the Cradle to the Colony, and in my larger work in Marathi with still greater details (both now in the Press), I have endeavoured to prove, by all sorts of evidences, Vedic and non-Vedic, Scriptural and profane, scientific and demonstrative, historical and traditional, that we are autochthonous in India; that we were born in Aryavarta on the banks or in the region of the reputed and the most sacred river, the Sarasvati, which was deemed by our very ancient Vedic ancestors of the Tertiary Period to be the scene where life had first commenced; that our Colony of young adventurers, having emigrated from and left Aryavarta, had colonised distant lands of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America, and settled in the Arctic and Circum-Polar regions, during the Tertiary Epoch, at a time when the climate of the Arctic regions having been genial, these were fit for human habitation; that at the sight of the new phenomena of everlasting Dawns, as also of the unusual long days and nights of the Arctic Regions, to which our colonists from India (Bharata-varsha) were not accustomed while living in their Mother Country Aryavarta, their astonishment and fear knew no bounds; and that at the advent of the great Ice-Age, the once genial climate of the Arctic Regions having been replaced by extreme, not to say unbearable cold, and the higher latitudes having been covered with ice-caps of enormous thickness, such of our colonists as had made settlements there, were compelled to retrace their steps back to their Mother-land Aryavarta, by the direction of the Snow-clad Himalaya, which was ever in their minds, and which they always remembered and cherished with fondness, as the Northern Boundary of their Beloved Bharata-varsha. I shall, therefore, venture to recapitulate some evidence here, in brief, to save reference, for our present purpose.
Manu, our very ancient, famous, and well-informed Law-giver (Vide ante p. 8), has in his Samhita, or the Code of Laws, declared Brahmavarta to be the God-created region, situated in Aryavarta and between the two divine rivers, the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati (II. 17). Evidently, this was supposed to be the scene of creation (Vide Muir's Original Sanskrit Texts, Vol II. P. 400, Second Revised Edition), and the pronouncement appears to have been made by Manu, not in the least without strong grounds. For, it surely rests upon solid facts, traditional evidence, and even Vedic authority which, therefore, we shall proceed to examine presently.
In the first place, the traditional impressions seem to have been current and even engraved on the hearts of the Indian Aryans of the Manu-Period, that Aryavarta has been their cradle; that this region was the source of pure usage, handed down from generation to generation; that as such, it "was even thought worthy of being copied and learnt by other nations on Earth, from the Brahmans; and that the country beyond the limits of the sacrificial Region, viz. Aryavarta, belonged to foreigners.
Moreover, if at all, we ourselves were foreigners in Aryavarta and had immigrated into the Land of the Seven Rivers, Manu certainly would never have said that, "the country beyond the confines of Aryavarta was of the mlechhas." Because, evidently enough, there could have been no propriety in using the expression.
Now, as to the further traditional testimony, I may here briefly observe that it is not only the Hindus or rather the Indo-Aryans that think themselves to be autochthonous in India in consequence of the hoary traditions received from father to son, but it is also the foreigners that consider India as the cradle of the Hindus. For, while discussing this question Elphinstone in his History of India says: "It is opposed to their foreign origin, that neither in the Code (of Manu), nor, I believe, in the Vedas, nor in any book that is certainly elder than the Code, is there any allusion to a prior residence, or to a knowledge of more than the name of any country out of India. Even mythology goes no further than the Himalaya chain, in which is fixed the habitation of the gods." (History of India, Vol. I, p. 97, Second Edition)
Besides, in regard to the deep-rooted traditions of us Indians in respect of Aryavarta having been our cradle, I cannot do better than quote the words of the great commentator. For, Kulluka is the name of the exegetist who has written his commentary on the Code of Manu, and he declares in no equivocal language to the effect that, "Aryavarta is the region where Aryans were born, and are born, and re-born, over and over again."
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