The Vedic Fathers of Geology, Part 10
BY: SUN STAFF
Kuluta, Himalayas series
Nicholas Roerich, 1936
Nov 29, 2011 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation on Vedic discoveries in Geology, from the book by Narayan Bhavanrao Pavgee.
Now, from the mention of these rivers in the Vendidad, the Sacred Scripture of the Iranians, the latter seem to have been intimately acquainted with the rivers, the mountains, the surroundings, in fact the whole face of Aryavarta where, owing to religious schism, two parties having been formed, the weaker (the Iranians) had to leave Aryavarta and go to the northern regions, pursued by the stronger party, the Indo-Aryans, who ruled the country, and as such, were in a position to dictate terms to the former.
And the flight of the Iranians from the Mother-Country Aryavarta to Iran, which they subsequently adopted, and from which they derived their name, could be distinctly traced in the Parsi Scriptures -- the Avesta, the Zend, the Vendidad, and the Grathas -- with the graphic description in lively colours.
For, in the Gatha (Ustanvaiti), the leader of the party (Zarathustra) says: "Two armies have been gathered for a combat, in silence." (2 (44)-15)
In the combat, however, the leader and his party having been defeated, he was compelled to leave Aryavarta with his camp and followers. And then, very naturally enough, he had given vent to his innermost feelings, and cried aloud, "To what country shall I go? Where shall I take my refuge? What country is sheltering the master (Zarathustra) and his companions? None of the servants pays reverence to me, nor the wicked rulers of the country" (i. e., the Indo-Suryans of Aryavarta, who had expelled the leader of the defeated party from Aryavarta, the once common Mother-Country, after the schism). (4 (46) –1)
"I know that I am helpless. Look at me being amongst few men. For, I have few men as I have lost my followers or they have left me. I implore thee (Ahurmazd the wise) weeping, thou living god".
"The sway is given into the hands of the priests and prophets of idols, who, by their atrocious actions endeavour to destroy the human life." (4 (46)-11) (vide Dr. Martin Haug's Religion of the Parsees, Edition 1862, pp. 152, 155, 156, 157, from which these extracts have been taken).
All this evidently refers to the religious schism, the subsequent fight, the persecution, and finally the expulsion from Aryavarta of the leader and his followers, who thereafter took shelter in Iran and had even gone as far as the Arctic Regions, which they had colonized along with us (the Indo-Aryans), in the latter part of the Tertiary Period and before the advent of the Great Ice Age, when the climate of the place was mild and genial. For, the (Vendidad expressly says: (40) "Once a year, one sees there (i.e. in the Arctic Regions) Stars, Moon, and Sun, rising and setting."
(41) "And they think a day what is a year." (vide Vendidad, Second Chapter, and Dr. Haug's Parsee Religion, Edition 1862, p. 205).
But, six months' day and six months' night is the sure characteristic of the Arctic Region. It seems, therefore, that the Indo-Aryans, as also Iranians and other Aryan branches of the parent Indo-Aryan stock had, after leaving Aryavarta their cradle, once remained in the Arctic Colonies for a considerable time in the Pre-Glacial Period, when all of a sudden, thick sheets of Ice having spread all over the northern regions, and especially occupied the higher latitudes, the Indo-Aryans returned to their Mother-Country, Aryavarta, keeping before their view the highest Himalayan Mountain, from which they had marched in all directions, as the chief Guiding Mark in the great Ice-floods; the Iranians retraced their steps to their adopted country Iran; while the other Aryan branches settled in countries which were free from the ravages of Ice, or where they could find refuge. (vide ante pp. 74- 77, 80, 81, and next p. 82).
Now, it appears from the Avestic evidence, that long before the advent of the Glacial Period or the Pleistocene Epoch, clear signs were already perceived of the approach of hard winter, deadly frost, and heavy floods of Ice, at no distant date; and even a prophetic announcement was in due course made, to the effect that a destructive frost would ensue, which would cover mountains and the face of the Earth.
For, the Vendidad says, "Ahurmazda spoke unto Yima: "O happy Yima Vivanhana! Upon the world of animated beings, the evils of winter will come, and consequently a strong deadly frost." (Vendidad, Ch II, vide Dr. Haug's Religion of the Parsees, Edition 1862, p. 204) And evidently, this hard winter or deadly frost was nothing more than the advent of the Glacial Period at the close of the Tertiary Epoch, of which we have given particulars in the fifth chapter.
Thus, both the Rig-Vedic and the Avestic evidence, coupled with the scientific testimony derived from hard geological facts, sufficiently proves that our hoary Rig-Vedic ancestors lived during the Tertiary Epoch; that they were autochthonous in Aryavarta, had colonized the Arctic regions, and made extensive settlements there, as also elsewhere; that they had witnessed the Great-Ice-Age; that at the advent of this Glacial Epoch, they were compelled to abandon the once genial Arctic colonies, owing to sheets of Ice and snow having capped the mountains and spread over the higher latitudes; that it was then that the Indo-Aryans, who belonged to, and were born in Aryavarta, and had also kept uninterrupted communication with this their Mother-Country, during their sojourn in the genial Arctic Colonies, finally returned Home; that the Indo-Iranians remained in their adopted country Iran; and that other minor Aryan branches endeavoured to settle in the regions which could afford them shelter.
We shall now return for a while to the several queries mentioned before (ante pp. 30-31), and try to answer them one by one. The irrefragable evidence cited in the preceding pages, conclusively proves, (1) that the oldest of our Vedas, the Rig-Veda which by the bye is also the most ancient document in the world, seems to be as old as the Tertiary Epoch, at any rate a portion of it, since some of the utterances of the Rig-Vedic Bards appear to show, beyond all manner of doubt, that our Rig-Vedic Rishis had personally seen all the Arctic phenomena viz. the long Dawns, the long days, as also the long, dreadful, and tiresome nights, that continued for months together; (2) that our Rig-Vedic ancestors were older than the Quaternary Period; (3) that they belonged to the Tertiary Era; (4) that they had seen the Great-Ice-Age; (5) that the fact seems to have been supported and fortified by the Rig-Vedic and Avestic evidence; and (6) that, above all, even the testimony of the science of Geology has proved (ante pp. 5,6,32,33) the existence of the Tertiary Man.
Before concluding, I may with advantage make some observations and give opinions of eminent geologists and Savants, in view of giving to the Reader some idea as to the time that has elapsed since the close of the Tertiary Epoch and that of the Glacial Age.
Nanda Devi, Himalayas series
Nicholas Roerich, 1944
According to Dr. Croll, the Glacial Period must have begun 240,000 years before, and ended, followed by the Quaternary or Post-Glacial period, about 80,000 years ago, having lasted for nearly 160,000 years, with alterations of milder and even tropical temperature. (vide Dr. Croll's Climate and Time and Climate and Cosmology). Many American geologists, however, are of opinion that the close of the last Glacial Epoch must not have taken place at such an earlier date, and assign a period of only 8,000 years to the close of the last Glacial Epoch. But, Professor Geikie and other reputed geologists think otherwise, as they consider that there were five Glacial and four inter-Glacial Epochs, and that the total duration thereof must have extended to about 80,000 years.
Lyell, who had visited the Niagara Falls in 1841, after studying and carefully reconsidering all the data in the matter of investigations by which geological time could be measured in years, concluded that the time since the close of the Glacial Epoch was probably 31,000 years. And, curiously enough, Professor J. W. Spencer arrives at the result, apparently almost identical with that of Sir Charles Lyell, viz. 32,000 years.
While, as regards the time that has elapsed since the commencement of the Post-Vindhyan or Cambrian Epoch, John W. Judd says, "Indeed, the results actually arrived at, by different observers, for the period of time which has elapsed since the commencement of the Cambrian to the present day have varied from 70,000,000 years (Walcott) to 6,000,000,000 years (McGee)." (Vide The Student's Lyell by John W. Judd, p. 592, Edition 1896)
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