Aryans of Bharat Varsha in Europe- 5,005 BCE
Selected extracts from Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani, published by Penguin Books, India, ISBN 0-14- 024053 – 5
(Main Reference: Page 709 to 721 from Return of the Aryans)
To the Aryans in Iran, Sumeria and Assyria, the realization came quickly that those lands were not the sacred destinations of their seeking. Their minds were assaulted by images of the cruelty all around.
Purus, who led the Aryans in Iran, had already recovered from his initial shock and his mind was crystal clear – that there was no land of purity anywhere except when man made it so by his own effort.
Many Aryans would come to agree with Purus and they would stay back – their wandering days over – and their only dream to return to Bharat Varsha. But often it was only a dream. They feared that the journey back would be as perilous as their journey out.
But not everyone heard the voice of Purus. To some it did not reach at all. True, the Aryans from Iran, Sumeria and Assyria met and mingled – but not as much or as often as would be expected in the day and age of fast, unlimited communications. Different events as they occurred in one area rarely came to be known in another.
Besides, Purus did not lay down the law. He himself was no longer torn by doubt or perplexity. His mind was set on remaining in Iran or returning to Bharat Varsha when the opportunity arose. But that was a personal decision. To the pilgrim Aryans who wished to go forward in faith, he said, ‘I hope I am wrong, though for myself, my journey is over; yet I honour your footsteps that go out to seek the land of pure. . . . .’
Thus it was that even those who were of Purus’s view, assisted huge contingents that left for the land that would come to be known as the Kingdom of Ajitab and later, as Egypt.
One request was always made to those that left – ‘Somehow send us word of where, how and what you reach.’ But it was an impossible request. Certainly, no news came from Egypt while the entire Arya contingent was forced to labour on the King’s temple there. But absence of information did not deter the faith of many; and in wishful hope they said – surely all is well as none has rushed back here to seek help.
Meanwhile more Aryan teams arrived in Sumeria from Sindhu; and the stream of Aryan pilgrims from Bharat Varsha through Avagana to Iran continued. Right until his death, Purus and his men saw to it that, as far as possible, these Aryan bands were assisted to reach areas of safety, throughout Iran, Sumeria and Assyria. After his death, this task was taken over, even more zealously, by his wife. Her own view was similar to her husband’s though differently expressed – ‘Be proud, Noble Aryans! With God’s help and yours, Hari Haran Aryan is the land that we shall make the Land of Pure! Be with us; though honoured be your footsteps, wherever they lead.’ (Note: The present-day Iran was called Hari Haran Aryan during the sojourn there of the Aryans of Bharat Varsha)
But many who came to Iran from Bharat Varsha were prisoners of their own dream. What Purus and his wife said, meant little. To them, the whisper of their dream spoke louder than any warnings. That there was grim brutality and bestiality in Iran and Sumeria, compared to Bharat Varsha, actually strengthened them – it has to be total darkness to lead to total light, they said. No, we shall not stop in our quest for the Land of the Pure; the dream shall not die.
Some even had contempt for those that held Purus’ view – ‘All they have is the triumph of being alive; but what is life, if the dream dies!’
Yet those that wished to leave were not without apprehension over what dangers lay ahead. Their dream was large but otherwise they felt small, afraid and ignorant. The land-routes, they knew, were littered with savages who robbed, murdered and enslaved. Besides, Nilakantha had already led a large caravan by land; so why duplicate the effort; hopefully later, there would be continuous mutual enrichment, as each group was able to send information out to the other.
Thus it was that several groups decided to leave from Iran by sea. Among those who encouraged this decision were seamen of Sapta Sindhu, who had reached Sumer, the Persian Gulf and Iran by sea.
Blessed as these seamen were with a familiarity with the long, navigable rivers and deep harbours opening to the Sindhu sea, the sea-route did not hold much terror for them. Shipwrecks there had been, but those were due to faulty planning and haste. This time they would plan and build better; even slower; and all the boats would leave together so that any boat in trouble had instant help.
A river entrance to the Caspian sea in Iran became the centre of boat-building. Locals watched the Aryan flotilla of boats in wonder. It was not the number of boats, but the size of each boat that they viewed with awe. Hundreds of Aryans, with no intention of going themselves, had assisted the sea-going Aryans in building those boats. Their massive size only increased the fear that they would sink rather than sail.
But sail they did, beautifully and majestically, at the initial trials. And many more Aryans then – including locals in Iran – conquered their fear and began to join the flotilla.
Each boat had its own commander. The entire flotilla, however, was under the joint command of two brothers, Atul and Atal, who were the grandsons of Dhrupatta, the twentieth Karkarta of the Sindhu clan. Actually they were not his natural grandsons but were among the eighteen children adopted by Dhrupatta’s son who had immersed himself in the task of the welfare of the tribe which was responsible for Dhrupatta’s death in tragic circumstances.
Thus they sailed into the Caspian sea where none had gone before. Perhaps the first mistake arose from the command-ship itself. Dhrupatta’s grandsons, in their enthusiasm, wanted it to go faster; the broad, open sea fascinated them and they were not content to hug the coastline as originally planned. Other boats tried to keep pace; but soon because of the vagaries of the wind and waywardness of the command-ship, the flotilla split into groups.
A boat, looking in vain for those that went ahead, ran around on the coastline. A few boats slowed down in order to assist.
Ahead, the flotilla went on through fog, thunder and lightning. The winds were more in command than the crew. They were committed to the unknown – and even if they wished to return, they could not.
But the fact is that their faith that God would grant it to them to reach their goal remained as unshakeable.
Meanwhile, the floundering ship needed help. Four ships rallied to its assistance. And in horror witnessed one of those ships scattered by a sudden gust of storm; it then hit some rocks and sank. And although it was near the coastline, more than half the persons on the ship were cast into the abyss of the sea, never to be recovered.
Nor was there any hope of saving the ship which had floundered earlier. Unseen rocks had damaged its bottom. Everyone had to swim to the coastline, with many later trips to bring out the food and supplies. Thereafter, all energies were diverted to towing the three undamaged ships to the shoreline.
Far in the distance, two more ships were coming towards them. There was no way to warn them of the treacherous coastline. One of them hit the hidden rocks and capsized. However, no one was hurt and they all swam ashore.
The second ship saw the danger and veered away from the coastline. It slowed down. Its commander, Sakaru, jumped into the sea and swam to assess the assistance needed by the stranded Aryans. But with dismay he saw that his won ship could not wait for him to return. Strong winds sent it forward. ‘My own son exiles me,’ he said ruefully.
His son Rohrila was his next-in-command on the ship and was an excellent seaman. Only that morning Sakaru had complimented his son, ‘You are a better seaman than I am,’ and the son had cheekily replied, ‘But I always knew that!’
Sakaru was certain that his son would bring the ship back to pick him up as soon as possible. But even so, there was no possibility that with two ships already lost, all the stranded Aryans could be taken on the remaining ships. Each ship had sailed with a full load.
They all waited at the mountainous coastline for days on end. No ship passed by. Even Sakaru’s hope for his son’s return dimmed. Food and essentials they had, from their ships. For fresh water, there was rain and mountain-depressions serving as reservoirs. Weeks went by.
They tied and secured their ships. Carrying all their supplies, they first moved northward, to avoid difficult mountains, and then circuitously to the west. Somewhere, they hoped, the mountainous region would end and perhaps then there would be trees from which they could build boats.
At last, on a day that was bright with sun, the high cliffs were behind them and they moved to the grasslands.
They got their first shock when they heard a thunderous roar like that of a fast approaching hurricane. But it was simply a herd of thousands of wild horses stampeding. The Aryans, now, had no doubt – if there were horses here, people could not be faraway! They went on – a little carefully though – for, their experience in Iran had taught them that people could be hostile too.
The area they had reached was below what is now known as Stavropol, beyond the northern boundary of the Russian Caucasus, between two rivers, Kuma and Kuban, though those rivers have changed their course, somewhat since then.
They had their first casualty there. Aryan Dhramavir died from no apparent cause, though they spoke of his age, exhaustion and the ‘hurt of his heart as his daughter died in the capsized ship.’ The area in which Aryan Dharmavir died in now known in Russia as Armavir (map reference : 45.0n; 41.08e)
After trudging along, the Aryans reached a settlement which was friendly and curious. Its entire population lived under on roof, that went on and on, in undivided sections, made up of dry grass, supported by poles. The locals had hardly any utensils or articles of day to day use, apart form the horse-skins they wore and the patches of dry grass on the mud floor on which they slept. It looked more like a camp than a settlement, but that is how they lived.
The locals generously made place for their Aryan visitors. Many rushed to add extensions to the grass-roof; but that was for themselves, as they gave up their own places on the mud floor with the dry grass for their visitors’ comfort.
Sakaru had a quarrel with the local chief, all of it in gestures, as the Chief wanted to give up his own place to Sakaru. The Chief was the only one to have a canopy over his head, made up of the horse-skins and supported on poles.
The language barrier prevented the Aryans from learning much. They wondered why the locals were all cramped together when there was so much land around. Wild animals, the locals explained, did not attack when they were all together; and if they did, it was easier to resist. They pointed to the mounds of stones around their sleeping areas. Those were the only weapons for attack and defence.
But the Aryans, as they rested there recovering from their bruises and exhaustion, found that it was not a village as such – simply a huge extended ‘family’ that kept growing. Their customs, as the Aryans slowly began to understand, were vastly different from those of the Aryans.
There were no marriages at all. Each person was free to have sex with the other and there were no bars on a man sleeping even with his daughter – as no one knew who was whose daughter. There was however a customary prohibition against sleeping with the mother, though there was nothing against having sex with a sister. A person could co-habit with the same woman for any length of time, but it was open to any woman to seek sex from any man or vice versa.
Sex was a ritualized affair – a bath before and a bath after; a perfumed paste of flowers to be applied on the body; and except on full-moon day, the booking of partners had to made a day in advance and the act itself could begin only after the couple slept side by side ‘in love for an eighth part of the night’. Nobody was really counting, but all these guidelines meant that one did not simply give in to sudden, momentary urges.
Thus exclusiveness in sex was frowned upon and even group sex was favoured, in order to give the entire village a large family feeling of togetherness. To them, the idea of a man and wife, solely for each other, and having children identifiable as their very own, was too ridiculous even to think about – apart from the fear that it could lead to the formation of separate families, hostile to each other.
They had a complicated calendar whereby nobody could have sex on certain days and it was connected with the size of the moon, except that when it rained and the moon was covered by clouds, the prohibition was off. Practically, it meant that sex was available for about eight days out of every twenty-eight.
Everyone in the settlement loved children; they never raised their voices and were rarely angry. They had no art other than making crude toys for children. They loved round stones which would be covered by layers of horse skin. Young and old played games with this ‘ball’. Every victory with the ball would be punctuated by dances – vigorous rather than artistic.
Their season of youth was short. They were not a healthy lot. To Aryans it seemed that it was due to their sole reliance on horse-meat.
There were wild horses all over. But they were not partners of friends of humans. Nor was the horse domesticated. The villagers would hurl stones at selected horses. When the horse was disabled, more stones would be pelted at the horse until it was helpless and unmoving and finally a rock would be used to smash it to death.
To the locals a horse provided flesh to eat, skin for clothing and manure for fuel. But horses were killed not for this purpose alone.
Over the pit in which a dead person was buried, the head of a pure white horse would be kept, to be replaced from time to time. If a child died, there would be five horse-heads and, if the Chief died, ten horse-heads, and all these were to be replaced regularly. The flesh of these horses would not be eaten nor their skin used.
The customs of the locals shocked the Aryans although they realized sex, marriage and family were personal or social affairs and there was no one true way of dealing with them.
But the brutality to the horses revolted the Aryans. When the locals next met to stone a horse, Sakaru, with a heavy heart, aimed arrows at the horse, killing it. Better to kill it outright than have it stoned – he thought.
The locals were fascinated with the Aryan bows and arrows and surprised that only two arrows were sufficient to kill a horse. Yet they left that dead horse alone and started on another because they thought it was unsporting to kill a horse with a distant arrow. What chance did the horse have against the unseen, distant arrow! What chance did he have against stones? Why, he could bolt, leaving the other horses as victims – ‘and sometimes, we even come away without killing a single horse, as they all flee faster than our stones.’
Sakaru remained with the sorrow of having needlessly killed a noble animal.
The locals domesticated not cattle. They drank no milk, except for breast-feeding during their infancy. They killed no animals other than the horse, for food. If wild animals ever came, they were stoned but never eaten.
As it is, wild animals kept away from man. For them too, there were enough horses to go around and horseflesh was certainly tastier than human flesh. Besides, men made the task of wild animals much easier; horses, wounded and fleeing from stones hurled by men, were easy prey for wild animals. In fact it so came to pass that whenever men began throwing stones at horses, wild animals collected expectantly. At times, jackals and foxes would be eating a horse, injured by stones, unable to move, yet not dead.
Why did they kill and eat only horses? They had a myth to support it – ‘When Goddess gave birth to human children, all the animals gathered to admire them. The largest among the female animals quickly ate two human children. The Goddess cursed the animal and the animal crashed to earth from heaven; but it takes forty million sunsets for a crashing body to reach earth from heaven; and meanwhile, as the animal was pregnant, it gave birth to two animal-children on the way and they too fell, but the mother fell before and the animal-children landed on her soft belly though later that soft belly hardened to become the mountains behind. Meanwhile, the animal-children, unable to feed on the long way to earth, had become smaller and smaller and they are the present-day horses. So when human beings came to earth, they had permission to eat horses, who were descended from the dreaded female-animal who ate the first two human children.’
There was no hatred for the horses. They were not at fault for the original sin of their First Mother. But that original sin was enough to justify man’s killing and eating horses. What did man eat before he ate horses, the Aryans asked. Funny question! Humans, they said, came after all animals and certainly after the horse.
Wistfully, Sakaru said to his Aryans, ‘I would give up my quest, if only I could show them the way to understand and love a horse.’
They agreed, though their most pressing concern was to locate areas where trees for boat-building could be found. They had very little food saved from the ship. But the vegetation around had roots, even wild fruits and mushrooms to offer. Why did the locals not eat them? ‘That food is for horses. We eat as man should,’ they said. The Aryans had no idea of the lifespan of these people but it was obviously no more than thirty-five years though their boast was that they lived longer than any animal and certainly longer than horses.
The Aryans left behind much of their gear to look for the right trees. They came across another settlement. Customs, rituals and even man’s relationship with horses were the same there too. They found suitable trees, not too far away. They would be right for the small boats, but that is all they had hoped for.
The Aryans returned with the wood for their boats, to the first settlement. Their shock was great. The locals had killed innumerable horsed to provide skins for the roof under which the Aryans slept and a skin-canopy, specially for the Aryan leader Sakaru.
The locals gave up everything to assist the Aryans in carrying wood and building boats. They had never seen a boat before but were helpful in many ways.
Sakaru gave up everything to capture horses. He wanted to show the locals that the horse was a wonderful friend who could carry man above others, give man power and speed, haul goods, and was also good for sport.
Sakaru even created a myth of his own – that ‘the horse, sad at his First Mother’s original sin of eating human children, is keen to do penance and support man in every way.’ But old myths die hard.
Sakaru had difficulties in capturing and training horses. For many centuries, the horses had had no enemy greater than man. If the horses had a conception of evil, man obviously ranked as the most malignant of all the devils. Yet with patience and gentleness, Sakaru trained the horses which he captured and earned their respect and affection. He would need them to haul boats to the coastline but meanwhile he was more keen on developing an understanding between horse and man, among the locals.
The Aryans were gathering and planting food too. They could not offer it as food to the locals. But they did serve it as medicine for those who were in bad health – and many were. To the children, mare’s milk was being served not as food but medicine. Often, the locals found the ‘medicine’ to be tastier than the monotony of everyday horse-flesh. But what was more dramatic was the improvement in their health.
It took the Aryans over two years to return to the Caspian coastline. Patiently they had worked on the boats. Now with these boats and the ships they had left, tied and secured at the coast line, they could go on.
Sakaru had mixed feelings about leaving; somehow he felt needed here. But he was the best seaman among the Aryans. He had led them on form the coastline, kept up their morale and taught them boat-building. He saw the appeal in their eyes. He would leave too – he decided. The Aryans were his first responsibility.
Their goal? Back to Hari Haran Aryan – and then, God willing, back to Bharat Varsha. What of the land of pure then! Maybe Purus was right. Maybe it was only high up in heaven!
A cry of despair rose in the Aryan hearts as they inspected their ships which they had left on the coastline. The wind and weather had not harmed them as much as the worms had. They had almost eaten the timbers. The boats were no longer seaworthy and were beyond repair.
They went back to the settlement.
Meanwhile Sakaru’s son, Rohrila, took over command after his father jumped out to assist the stranded Aryans. But the wind was merciless. His ship lurched forward, unstoppable, buffeted by storms. All he hoped was to steer clear of the coastline and avoid rocks, seen and unseen. Then came the time when he could neither go forward nor back but had to circle around.
When the winds cleared, there was a roar of joy, as Rohrila and his companions saw another ship ahead, and the feeling of loneliness, in the vast expanse, was gone. But tragically, the ship ahead was breaking up on the coastline, bit by bit. Rohrila would not stop to assist it and was later called hard-hearted. He was. His first responsibility was his own ship.
Later, when the winds calmed and he returned, the ship was nowhere to be seen. Everyone was keen that he go where Sakaru had left the ship. He did that, circling the sea. He even saw the abandoned ships lined up on the coastline but no sign of life. He dared not take his ship to the rocky coastline. He dared not leave his ship to less experienced men. For days he remained moving up and down but had no luck.
Now, everyone on Rohrila’s ship wanted to go back to Hari Haran Aryan and thence back to their own homeland.
What of the Land of Pure, then? If they could not reach it, maybe God would bring it to them. Was it any different from what Purus had said – that man makes his own land pure?
They had chosen to travel by sea to avoid robbers and thieves. But nature was no less cruel. They had seen ships broken up on the way, with their men drowning and their commander even unable to rescue his own father!
Rohrila safely guided his ship back to Hari Haran Aryan.
But then he was single-minded in his purpose. He had to take the ships, he insisted, with the Aryan warriors, to the land where his father was stranded. He pleaded – not his father alone but so many Aryans were there and no one knew in what condition!
But the ships were already being built, not for the Caspian sea, but for the journey back to Bharat Varsha. Why, he asked. By all means, give up your quest for the Land of Pure, but surely you do not go with the impurity of deserting your own Aryans in distress! Are you Noble Aryans then?
When someone slyly remarked that Rohrila was not thinking of saving stranded Aryans but rescuing his father, he simply said, ‘Very well, I shall not bring my father back even when I find him.’
Rohrila’s words proved prophetic. He led a flotilla of seven ships to find Sakaru and the others. They were found. A touching reunion between father and son took place. All the Aryans left except for Sakaru and sixteen others.
How could Sakaru leave! He was in the thick of his programme of domesticating horses, cattle, fowl and even wild dogs. How strange, he thought, in his own land it was the dog, then cattle, fowl and later the horse that were domesticated. Here, the horse came first.
Once he had said that to the local Chief who had laughed, ‘No Sakaru. You were the first to be domesticated by us and thereafter, you domesticated us all. Everything good then follows.’
At first Sakaru had not understood and attributed it to his insufficient understanding of the Chief’s language. Late, he knew that the Chief had spoke carefully and purposefully.
The Chief was nearly forty years old and he had suddenly called everyone to declare his last will. He said, after him, Sakaru would be the Chief.
Sakaru had laughed and in bravado he said that if they agreed to eat what he prescribed and never stone horses, and have no horse-heads over their graves, he would accept to be their chief. The Chief quickly responded, ‘I knew you would so ask. I come ready to say yes.’ They all stared at the Chief – how could he give up horse-heads on his burial! The Chief had died three days before Rohrila arrived to pick up his father. Sakaru was now the new Chief.
Does a Chief desert his people?
In Sakaru’s time itself, many nearby settlements merged to form a tribe. Horse and man became the best of friends. The horse ploughed fields, brought in harvest and tracked cattle. Above all, it proudly carried them above those who trudged on foot. Men and women of this tribe became accomplished archers, shooting arrows from horses for sport.
Later they would become talented artists too, but that was after Rohrila came six years later, bringing his wife Rausini and daughter Pamira and a group of twenty-two artists to settle down there.
Sakaru’s introduction of a system of ‘marriage’ had limited success even though he created the myth that the children they all loved would live longer and healthier with such a system.
After him, Rohrila tried but far more success was achieved during the time of Pamira – Sakaru’s granddaughter.
Thus it was that new tribe composed of hundreds of settlements was formed under Sakaru – this man whose mother came originally from Saketa (next to modern-day Ayodhya) and father from Sukkur or Sakkar (presently in Sind, Pakistan).
Sakaru wanted to call it the ‘Tribe of the Horse’. But the tribe came to call itself Sakaru’s tribe or Saka tribe. In later centuries, archaeologists would call them Scythians or Seythians. However in Bharat Varsha their name would always be what they called themselves – Sakaru or Saka.