THEME 30 – Epilogue
Selected extracts from Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani, published by Penguin Books, India, ISBN 0-14- 024053 – 5
(Main Reference: page 939 to 944 from Return of the Aryans)
Around 5000 BC
‘Here, in this land, walked one who was purer than us all. Make this again then, with your effort, the land of pure,’
(Dharmalila appeal to Aryans in order to to dissuade them from leaving for foreign, distant regions in a vain search for the land of pure)
‘You can acquire all you want and still feel empty if you are uprooted from your home and land. That ache remains – and for ever it remains!’
(Observation by Sage Durgan’s wife, Sitavati, herself a Sage in her own right)
‘Go, learn to write about our land, people, their music, poetry, culture, aesthetics, philosophy, hopes, aspirations — and even their courage to stay back, to fight evil, rather than flee to far regions in the vain search for the Land of Pure, as you did. Yes, write about their capacity to suffer and meet it with courage, instead of escaping.’
(Observation by Sage Durgan to Kamalpati, the returning Aryan)
The Aryans had left from many parts of Bharat Varsha but not from Dravidham.
Many groups of Aryans came from the lands of Sindhu, Ganga and Saraswati to Dravidham, hoping to find routes which would lead them to distant destinations.
Dharmalila, the headman of Dravidham, was astounded.
Note: Dharmalila was the son of Dharmadassa, the Tamala Aravalu (speechless Tamala) who was left in charge of Dravidham by Sindhu Putra as Periyar. Dharmadassa retired as a hermit and by decision of the Dravidham Nagara Councils, the office of Periyar went to Dharmalila.
‘But why brother, why?’ asked Dharmalila. To him the idea of people leaving for the unknown in search of a new home seemed ridiculous. He said so.
The groups of refugees told their story. It was a familiar tale of deceit, greed and plunder by the lords of the land.
‘Help us,’ they pleaded with Dharmalila. ‘We must join the other Aryans. Many have already left.’
‘Help you, I shall,’ promised Dharmalila. ‘But be with us in this land that is yours and mine.’
‘No master, others have departed long ago to find the land that is safe, blessed and pure.’
‘Here walked one who was purer than us all. Make this again then, with your effort, the land of pure,’ said Dharmalila. He did not know it, but his words echoed the thought of Purus, the Aryan leader in Iran.
Much more was said by many. Dharmalila silenced their doubts, ‘Yes, be with us for six months — a year. If you don’t like us, I will help you to leave. I promise.’
Several groups came thereafter, all intent on leaving. Again Dharmalila cried, ‘Brothers, sisters, what madness is this! Here you have lands waiting to be made fertile, long valleys, coastal ranges, spectacular sea-shores. But they matter not so much. Here you will enjoy the fruits of your labour and you will live with us as our own.’
Many of them too stayed in Dravidham.
A series of strange messages also reached Dharmalila then. They came from Karkarta of Sindhu, Gangapati of Ganga and many other mighty lords and chiefs. None of them was aware that Dharmalila was dissuading groups from leaving. These messages simply requested Dharmalila to help various groups, that might reach Dravidham, to depart. The messages spoke of everlasting gratitude for such help and even promised to share with Dharmalila the information on the wealth and lands eventually found by these stragglers.
Dharmalila’s response to these messages was polite, even enthusiastic. From this some concluded that he would assist the Aryans to depart from his land. But this was not so. He simply welcomed groups that came and encouraged them to stay back.
But there was little that Dharmalila could do to discourage the flow of Aryans from other parts of Bharat Varsha. He sent a few of his men out, to Ganga, Sindhu and elsewhere. His men came back to report that the Aryan movement and migration was widespread. ‘Like a tidal wave,’ said some; but they were exaggerating as messengers and envoys often do.
‘But why,’ asked Dharmalila, ‘why were so many Aryans leaving?’ The reasons, he was told, were many and varied and his people did not even understand most of them. But mostly, it was a cry in their souls.
‘Nonsense,’ retorted Dharmalila. But then some said — how could Dharmalila understand such a reason! His was the deep-seated joy of wrestling with the soil rather than the soul.
But Dharmalila did understand. He sent messages to many, including Rishi Newar (Nepal), Manu Sachal (who now led Yadodhara’s ashram), Ekantra, Baldana (Sage Bharadwaj’s spiritual successor), Sage Kundan and poetess Chitra. He wanted them all to stop the Aryan migration.
Dharmalila was a young man and his messages had the anger of a warm-hearted youth. What was his plea to these learned men? Declare that he who leaves for lands for elsewhere betrays his land; and the waters he crosses to reach there are not auspicious….’
Some laughed. But many understood Dharmalila’s anger and anguish. Yet what could these philosophers, sages, rishis and poets do? Their congregations and disciples heard them, but they had never intended to leave with the Aryans, in any case.
It was Rishi Newar who travelled to meet Dharmalila.
He complained to Dharmalila, ‘How can you speak of betrayal by those that flee! You are calling the victims the culprits. The crime is committed by the mighty lords of the land; and corruption lies in the uncontrolled urges of our rulers.’
Dharmalila heard all this silently; and Newar challenged, ‘You, who are virtually the Periyar of this land, will naturally find it difficult to accept that rulers are corrupt.’
‘No,’ Dharmalila said. ‘These lords are a hundredfold more evil than they appear to be.’
‘Why do you then blame the people?’
‘Because the fault is with the people. The rulers do what they have to do. But the failure is not theirs, nor does it lie in the land but in ourselves. The fight should have begun here. You do not forsake your land for the evil of a few!…’
‘Few?’ Rishi Newar interrupted.
‘All right, many. You yourself did not abandon Newar and they say only twelve of you were left, but your spirit kept them on, fighting, until the evil was rooted out.’
‘You exaggerate my role, son. It was the spirit of my men that kept them fighting.’
‘Exactly. What else am I seeking in Bharat Varsha except the spirit of a man who would fight!’
It is said that Rishi Newar, always thoughtful, was even more thoughtful when he left Dravidham.
But it was too late. Most of the Aryans had already left from various parts of Bharat Varsha. Those that were still leaving were far beyond the reach of Dharmalila’s words. Only the stragglers who found their way to Dravidham could be persuaded to remain.
In a complex, mysterious way, and even totally out of context, Dharmalila’s words would ring through the ages — ‘Declare that he who leaves for lands elsewhere, betrays his land; and the waters he crosses to reach there are not auspicious.’
Many spiritual personalities then repeated Dharmalila’s words, so much so that later, in the post-Vedic era, long after the Rig Veda, there were those who said that the religion of the Hindu prevented him from travelling abroad and crossing the seas — and some spoke of smrti-rules against crossing the ocean, foreign travel and contact with foreigners, abroad.
Thus it was that many centuries later, long after the Aryans had departed and returned, Dharmalila’s words would echo mindlessly, irrelevantly and unconnectedly with the purpose he then had in mind.
Priests of the post-Vedic era embraced these words with delight and fervour and in effect, said, ‘Truly, it is inauspicious to travel over waters and oceans; but fear not; with special prayers performed by us (for a suitable fee), all such sins are washed away.’
Historians — amazingly, even some Indian historians, writers, thinkers, opinion-makers trained in the best schools and universities of England — pointed to this ‘age-old’ ‘religious’ prohibition against foreign travel, and said — ‘Surely, then the Aryans could not originate from Bharat Varsha. How could they violate the age-old, religious law!’
The fact, however, is that this taboo was neither ‘age-old’, nor ‘religious’ nor a ‘law’. In the Rig Veda there are references to marine navigation, including many references to ‘the treasures of the oceans,’ ‘gains of sea-trade,’ ‘ships with hundred oars,’ and ‘shipwrecks’. Clearly, these and many such references in the Rig Veda and elsewhere prove that the ancients of Bharat Varsha knew the oceans and sailed in ships to distant lands.
In any case, the doubts of the historians should have vanished with the finds in the Indus Valley. These excavations indicate ports, naval dockyards and harbour works which presuppose a sound knowledge of hydrography and marine engineering in pre-Vedic times, long before the emergence of the Aryans. Also, there is evidence from numerous seals, artifacts, implements and even anchor stones, that show the familiarity that the pre-Vedic ancients had with ocean-going ships which they used for long voyages for settlement abroad and trade.
It is true that the historians were taken unawares by the finds of the Indus valley, as they had already pronounced their hasty judgments, well before those excavations, that the Aryans came from ‘anywhere, everywhere, elsewhere, but not from here.’ With the evidence of the Indus (Sindhu) valley finds facing them, the historians said little, except that some of them simply added that the Indus valley was pre-Aryan. Thus they restated what was obvious, but after recovering from their initial surprise, their imagination soared and they added that the Aryans sprang neither from Sindhu, nor Ganga, nor Saraswati, nor the Dravidham civilizations nor from anywhere in Bharat Varsha but came from somewhere else. They did not say from where. They kept pointing successively and alternatively to various regions of the world from which the Aryans ‘might’ have come. By the last count, twenty-two such regions have been mentioned by the historians, any one of which, they say, could possibly be the home ground of the Aryans. They admit, though, that none of those regions had the level of civilization that the finds of the Indus(Sindhu) valley reveal; even more clear is their admission that at that time, none of those regions had the high level of literature, music and aesthetics of the Aryans of Bharat Varsha. The only evidence that the historians offered was that the language of those regions had many words common to Bharat Varsha. Obviously, it had to be so. The Aryans that went out from Bharat Varsha to all those regions, naturally influenced those languages and were influenced in turn.
The final argument left with the Indian writers was that ‘all the western historians have concluded that the Aryans did not emerge from India.’ And they named those eminent historians, one after another, in an impressive list. And the argument of the western historians was that ‘Indian historians, writers, thinkers and high-level opinion-makers of India, also agree with our assessment.’ This spirit of international accord is no doubt touching, but it neither recreates history nor reveals the life and times of the Aryans.
Poets of Dravidham may be correct in saying that Dharmalila even sent emissaries to Lord Kush of Avagana and Rishi Bongla of Gangasagarsangam. He requested both of them to dissuade the Aryans from departing for the ‘pathless wild’, and even to advise those that had already left, to return.
But the poets exaggerate the effect of these messages. Long before Dharmalila’s messengers reached, the Aryans had left.
Long thereafter, the Aryans would return.
Yet the Aryans returned not because they heard Dharmalila’s cry. No, it was the cry that rose in their own hearts — in Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Scythia, Turkey, Spain, Assyria, Sumer, Egypt, Lithuania, Italy, Iran — everywhere. The dream had vanished.
Thousands of these gentle, frightened souls had forced themselves, in joy, and pain, to yield to the obscure urge to search for the land of pure. Now they knew; there was no land of the pure, anywhere, except where they themselves made it so, by their own toil and effort. Having come this far, they wanted to go back to the healing power of their home, heritage and roots.
From all over Europe, the Aryans of Bharat Varsha travelled back. Most of them gathered in Iran. Many locals too joined them. And they all built boats, though some of them returned by land too, from Avagana.
In Iran, Purus’s wife — who later would be known to some, as the Queen of Persia — was the guiding spirit who helped them to leave.
The ships of the Aryans sailed home.
‘Did you bring the world with yourself?’ asked Sage Durgan with heavy irony.
‘No, Sage, we brought ourselves back,’ said Kamalpati, the Aryan leader in Spain.
‘But I am told you and your Aryans claim that you discovered many lands and people!’
‘No Sage, it would be ludicrous for us, and insulting to them, to claim that we discovered them. They were there for thousands of years before we showed up.’
‘Yet I am told they honoured you, respected you and bathed you in all their love and devotion.’
‘No, Sage, we slaved and suffered, at least in the beginning. Later, they realized we meant no harm and that we were their friends, out to help them. That is how we parted; and a few of them have even come with us.’
‘But then you could have had all the power, wealth, and attention from those people there. Who will bother about you here? Why return then?’
The Sage’s wife, Sitavati, herself a Sage in her own right, interrupted, ‘You can acquire all you want and still feel empty if you are uprooted from your home and land. That ache remains; and for ever it remains!’
‘Why do you interrupt a conversation, Sitavati?’ asked the Sage.
‘I learnt that from you.’ she said with a smile and turned to Kamalpati, ‘But then why did you leave your home in the first place?’
‘As Sage Durgan often says, we all have to lose ourselves sometimes, to find ourselves.’
The Sage asked, ‘Did I say that? I must guard against such foolish utterances that are misconstrued and misapplied by the ignorant.’
‘What will you and the other Aryans do now?’ Sitavati asked.
‘Each of us has a dream,’ Kamalpati said.
‘Each of you?’ Sitavati said. ‘What each of you dreams remains a dream. Only when you all dream together, does reality begin.’
Sage Durgan said, ‘Forget about your dreams. Learn all you can; learn first to read the seen (written) language.’
‘But Sage, I began to learn that in your ashram before I left.’
‘Yes I remember now; you were not one of my gifted pupils. Still, go out, learn to write about our land, people, their music, poetry, culture, aesthetics, philosophy, hopes, aspirations — and even their courage to stay back, to fight evil, rather than flee at the first whiff of smoke, as you did. Yes, write about their capacity to suffer and meet it with courage, instead of escaping.’
Kamalpati smiled at the Sage’s caustic words and asked, ‘Am I the right person to write about the courage of these people?’