Two Cultures of Ancient India?
The Indus and the Aryan


1. The Indus Civilization and the Aryan Civilization
History and Controversies

a. John Marshall, Mohenjo Daro and the Indus Civilization (1931)
b. Mortimer Wheeler, Civilizations of the Indus and Beyond (1961)
c. Possehl, G.L, The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective (2002)
d. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization (1998)
c. Michael Witzel, "Horseplay in Harappa," Frontline, Volumbe 17, Issue 20, 2000
http://www.flonnet.com/fl1720/17200040.htm
d. Harappa Megasite: http://www.harappa.com/welcome.html
e. Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate (2001)

2. Legacies of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro

a. Ordered Cities
b. Sewers; The "Great Bath" at Mohenjo Daro
c. Seals and Sealings: animals, religious symbolism
d. Small Figures and Figurine
e. The Indus Script
Asko Parpola, University of Helsinki (Deciphering the Indus Script, 1994)
N.S. Rajaram and N. Jha (The Deciphered Indus Script, 1999)


3. Aryan Invasion, Aryan Migration, Indo-Aryan Origins, Cultural Transformation?

Rig Veda VI.18

Indra, Who whirls the dust on high, alone over-thrower,
Hath made all races of mankind his subject.
Thou, thou alone has tamed the dasyus,
Singly, thou has subdued the people for the Arya.
Skilled in all manly deeds, the God terrific
Hath with his weapons mastered these opponents,
Indra, in rapturous joy, shook down their castles:
He slew them with his might, the thunder-wielder.

4. Legacies of the Aryans

a. The Vedas, "Wisdom" Shruti, what is "heard"

Rig Veda
Sama Veda
Yajur Veda
Atharva Veda

b. Language: Vedic and Sanskrit

c. The Gods of the Vedas

Agni Fire
Varuna Rta, Order
Indra Poweful, the Thunderer, Destroyer of Vritra
Soma The drink of the Gods

d. The Yajna, Ritual, "Sacrifice"
Agnichayana, the "Altar of Fire"

 

Rig Veda X.90 Purusha Sukta

1. A thousand heads had Purusha,
A thousand eyes, a thousand feet:
Encompassing the earth on every side,
He exceeded it by ten fingers' breadth.

2. Purusha is this whole universe --
What was and what is yet to be,
The Lord of immmortality
Which he outgrows by (eating) food.

3. This is the measure of his greatness,
But greater yet is Purusha:
All beings form a quarter of him,
Three-quarters are the immortal in heaven.

4. With three-quarters Purusha rose up on high,
A quarter of him came to be again (down) here:
From this he spread in all directions,
Into all that eats and does not eat.

5. From him Viraj was born
From Viraj, Purusha again:
Once born, --behind, before,
He reached beyond the earth.

6. When with Purusha as their oblation
The gods performed the sacrifice,
Spring was the melted butter,
Summer the fuel, and autumn the oblation.

7. Him they besprinkled on the sacrificial strew,
Purusha, born in the beginning:
With him (their victim), gods, Sadhyas, seets
Performed the sacrifice.

8. From this sacrifice completely offered
The clotted ghee was gathered up:
From this he fashioned beasts and birds,
Creatures of the woods and creatures of the village.

9. From this sacrifice completely offered
Were born the Rig and Sama Vedas;
From this were born the metres,
From this was the Yajur Veda born.

10. From this were horses born, all creatures
That have teeth in either jaw:
From this were cattle born,
From this sprang goats and sheep.

11. When they divided Purus,
Into how many parts did they divide him?
What was his mouth? What his arms?
What are his thighs called? What his feet?

12. The Brahman was his mouth,
The arms were made the Prince,
His thighs the common people,
And from his feet the serf was born.

13. From his mind the moon was born,
And from his eye the sun,
From his mouth Indra and the fire,
From his breath the wind was born.

14. From his navel arose the atmosphere,
From his head the sky evolved.,
From his feet the earth, and from his ear
The cardinal points of the compass:
So did they fashion forth these worlds.

15. Seven were his enclosing sticks,
Thrice seven were made his fuel-sticks,
When the gods, performing sacrifice,
Bound Purusha, (their sacrificial) beast.

16. With sacrifice the gods
Made sacrifice to sacrifice:
These were the first religious rites (dharma),
To the firmament these powers went up
Where dwell the ancient Sadhya gods.

R.C. Zaehner, translator.