The Rig Veda, A History Showing how the Phoenicians had their earliest home in India.
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The Rig Veda
A History Showing how the Phoenicians had their earliest home in India, A
Bengali Essay on the Subject by Rajeswar Gupta, 1902

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Many truths lie buried in the dark depth of the past covered over by numerous strata of forgotten events. I propose to dig up one of them, one that would have to combat the history of the primitive ages as it is commonly accepted and also the cherished theories of the scholars of the east and the west, both old and new. What I fear is that the importance of the discovery may fail to attract the attention of the learned world through my own insignificance, utterly unknown to fame as I am. But I consider the task I have set upon myself to be of great moment, and nothing undaunted I intend to strike out the path, for diligence in the cause of truth is destined to bring its reward and recognition of the truth

I begin by recapitulating first the results of my investigation to create, if possible, an interest in the subject at the outset. They are the following:

  1. A great war broke out in the remote old days between the Indian Aryans and the Phoenicians in which the latter were defeated and compelled to leave wholly or partially the land of the Aryans.
  2. Most of the Suktas of the Rig Veda either describe or refer to this and many other wars.
  3. The Rig Veda, therefore, is not a poem only but a history. The current meanings of most of the Suktas will accordingly have to be altered and the Rig Veda SANHITA itself explained in a way different from the accepted one.
  4. The Phoenicians were the first of the civilized nations of the world. The civilization of Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece and other ancient countries owed its origin to the union of the civilization of the Aryans with that of the Phoenicians.
  5. The Phoenicians originally lived in Afghanistan or in some part of India, whence driven out they migrated gradually westwards. While still residing in the neighbourhood of India they colonized and traded with Arabia and the countries bordering on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
  6. The Phoenicians had colonies in many countries from each of which they were driven away by the natives after severe struggles. In this way they were expelled from India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, or they mixed with the natives when they lost their supremacy in those countries.
  7. The primitive civilization of the world was born long before the time known to us.
  8. In ancient time the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea were connected together by a strait through which the Phoenician and Aryan trading ships entered the Mediterranean Sea and Indian goods were taken to Europe. As that passage gradually silted up the connection between India and Europe broke off.

These conclusions will lead on to many others which it is neither the place nor the time to dilate upon. They are sure to revolutionize the history of the world, chalk out a new path for linguistic researches, and recast the classification of the human races when the agitation caused by their novelty has calmed down and they have found acceptance with the learned world. A careful investigation, I am confident, will reveal the truth of these statements to honest enquirers, and the feeble track I lay out will before long turn to a high road in skilled hands of willing labourers in the cause.

The Panis

The word Pani occurs in not less than 36 riks of the Rig Veda It is used in one form or another in all the Mandalas except the fifth and the ninth, the forms being Panih, Panim, Paneen and Panayah. In the Sukta no. 108 alone of the tenth mandala the word is employed eight times. There are 11 riks in the 108th Sukta of the tenth mandala, and ill six of them Pani is the god. In some of the books the god is mentioned as Panayah and in other as Panayásura

It should be noted here that the names of the gods and the Rishis with which each Sukta begins were selected long after the collection of the VEDAS. These were determined in the Index known as the Anukramanee. The Anukramanee which has been followed in the Rik-Sanhita in adopting the names of the gods and the rishis, was composed by Katyayana Katyayana came after Yáska and it is therefore evident that the names were invented many centuries afterwards without having any historic truth in them. There is nothing in the Suktas themselves which can throw any light in elucidating these words. Moreover in some of the riks two or three names are mentioned of which only one is to be taken as the god. It is clear the commentator himself was at a loss to decide the point. It would not have been the case had the composer of the Sukta made the selection himself. Had he done so he would surely have mentioned only, one god instead of many. Take for example the 58th Sukta of the fourth mandala. The gods named therein are: -- Agni (Fire), Surya (the Sun), Ap (Water), Gabo (the Cows), or Ghrita (clarified butter). The same remarks apply to the use of the names of the rishis, vide the 2nd Sukta of the fifth mandala in which the names of the rishis are: -- KUMÁRA the son of ATRI, or KRISA, the son of JAR, or both. The inference therefore is that the names of the rishis, the gods arid the chandas heralding each Sukta, were inserted many years after the composition of the Sanhita itself, and must accordingly, be taken at their proper worth. Pani and Asura are two different words with different meanings. The Panis were not Asuras. The application of the word Panyásura as the name of the god in the 168th rik, quoted above, is to be taken to date from the Pauranic period and not the Vedic.

The Stealing of Cows

The stealing of cows by the Panis forms one of the most important factors of the Rik-Sanhita. The Suktas in which the Panis are mentioned, in which allusion is made to cows, or in which Indra is the god, are mostly related, directly or indirectly, to the stealing of cows. The commentator Sáyanáchárya admits this to be the case almost everywhere. Mr. Romesh Chunder Dutt, following the footsteps of Professor Max Muller, finds those of the Suktas or riks to contain the story of the stealing of cows in which the word Pani occurs, and considers the views of Sáyana as far fetched with regard to other Suktas and riks

In the commentary Sáyana makes reference to the Panis in explaining Sukta 33 of the first mandala (Vide page 79 of Mr. Dutt's edition), which runs . "Desiring to get back the cows, stolen by the Asuras known as the Panis, &c." Mr. Dutt rejects, this allusion to the Panis on the ground that they are not mentioned in the Sukta. The list I have prepared will. however, show that the word Pani does occur in rik 3 of the Sukta and it may be noticed that Mr. Dutt has made no attempt to prove Sáyana wrong in his explanation there In my opinion Sáyana's exposition appears to be the correct one when we study the Sukta as a whole. Sáyana refers again to the story of the stealing of cows when he begins his commentary on Mandala 11, Sukta 24, rik 6, and states how the homes of the Asuras of the Pani tribe were burned by the messengers of the Devas (gods) when they were discovered with the stolen cows by the hound Saramá. Sukta 108 of the tenth mandala will bear this out as nowhere else is the story related more fully and clearly. But Mr. Dutt, on the authority no doubt of European scholars, sets down this simple affair as merely an allegory without having any underlying historical basis.

Prof. Max Muller says . "It is a reproduction of the old story of the break of day. The bright cows the rays of the Sun or the rain clouds, for both go by the same name, have been stolen by the Powers of darkness, by the Night and her manifold progeny. Gods and men are anxious for their return. But where are they to be found? They are hidden in a dark or strong stable, or scattered along the ends of the sky, and the robbers will not restore them. At last, in the furthest distance the first signs of the Dawn appear, she peers about and runs with lightning quickness, it may be, like a hound after a scent, across the darkness of the sky. She is looking for, and following the right path, she has found it. She has heard the lowing of the cows, and she returns to her starting place with more intense splendour. After her return Indra arises, the God of light ready to do battle in good earnest against the gloomy Powers, to break open the strong stable in which the bright cows were kept, and to bring light and strength and life back to his pious worshippers." Science of Language, Vol II PP. S 13-514.

The following points. however, require elucidation before we can accept the theory of the Western scholars:

  1. The Dawn never returns after it has once disappeared, before the same Sun-rise.
  2. The allegory as described does not correspond with the story as related in the original.
  3. If by the God of light the Sun is meant, what becomes of Indra?


To ascertain the meaning of a Vedic word it is necessary to have some acquaintance with the expounders of the Vedas. If I hold that at to know the Vedas correctly we need not follow the Western scholars, it must not be inferred that I disregard them. I am not however prepared to honour them before the scholars of my own country. To put without rhyme or reason a different construction on the exposition of the Vedic scholars of India, is to ignore them and as it were to persecute the M.

The writers of the Niruktas were the first expounders of the Rig Veda. The works of three of them, out of four whose names are available, are not forthcoming. Yáska, whose writings have been preserved, was the fourth writer of the series. According to Mr. R. C. Dutt Yáska flourished in the 9th century B.C., and if it be admitted that the Rig Veda was composed two thousand years before the birth of Christ, Yáska must have had to elucidate the Vedic words tracing their evolution through the history of the country for eleven hundred years. But it is impossible that he could have done so, and I do dot think I need adduce any reasons for my assertion. He had to explain the unintelligible riks with the help of tradition and the dictionaries extant. Achárya Sáyana also followed the same course for the purpose, only that his profound wisdom and valuable researches shed a brighter lustre on it. Prof. H. H. Wilson thus speaks of Sáyana: "He undoubtedly had a knowledge of his text far beyond the pretension of any European scholar, and must have been in possession either through his own learning or that of his assistants, of all the interpretations which had been perpetuated by traditional teaching C. 1 earliest time.

The Western scholars take the Rig Veda to be a collection of hymns in praise of nature. This theory they have consistently followed without looking to history for the correct exposition of the Vedas. In fact they have gone the other way of deducing history from the Vedas. But I would follow the scholars of my own country who did not try to create a history out of the Vedas. I would make history my guide in opening up the secrets of those sacred books. I must however at the outset say that my acknowledgments are due to the scholars who have already taken the lead in unfolding the mysteries of the Vedas, as also to Mr. R, C. Dutt in particular.

The dispute is in regard to the correct meaning of the three words, Pani, saramá and go. For the meaning of the first Prof. Max Muller depends on the meaning of the second. According to Prof. Kuhan, Saramá means storm. He says that Saramá is only a different form of the Teutonic Storm and the Greek herme. The word Saramá is derived from the root Sar with the suffix amá and Sar means to go. Saramá therefore means a runner or one who goes quickly. But storm or wind does not appear to be the correct meaning of the word Saramá as used in the Vedas. There Saramá is a messenger of Indra; she seeks out the lost cows and goes about to distant places. For her services she is rewarded with food for her son, (I. 62. 3) and she gets a large quantity of milk from Indra and others (1. 72. 8). So Saramá cannot mean the storm or the wind.

Prof. Max Muller would think that saramá and the early dawn were one and the same thing. He says: "There can be little doubt that she (Saramá) was meant for the early dawn, and not for the storm. In the ancient hymns of the Rig Veda she is never spoken of as a dog, nor can we find there the slightest allusion to her canine "nature. This is evidently a later thought." Science of Language, Vol. II. R 5 51. I agree with the learned Professor in holding that

Saramá was not a dog. The Panis concealed the cows: Saramá discovered them and informed Indra. It would appear that in those days whoever found out a lost thing after a careful search -- an informer -- was called Saramá and naturally the word came to mean a dog long after the Vedic days. To reconcile the meaning of the word in the Vedas, Sáyana ascribes to her supernatural powers, or how could a dog speak? Nothing, was impossible in the land of the gods.

In the Rig Veda Saramá has been given a number of attributes. She is the messenger of Indra (X. 108 2); she is beautiful, fortunate (X. 108 5); she is fair-footed or swift-footed. Surely these cannot be attributed to a dog.

Prof. Max Muller says. "It is Ushás the Dawn, who wakes first (I 123. 1); who comes first to the morning prayer (1. 123. 2). The-, sun follows behind as a man follows a woman (Rv I. 115. 2). Of whom is it said, as of Saramá, that she brings to light the precious things hidden in darkness? It is Ushás, the Dawn, who reveals the bright treasures that were covered by the gloom (1. 123. 6). She crosses the water unhurt (VI. 64. 4); she lays open the ends of heaven (1. 92 11); those very ends where, as the Panis said, the cows were to be found. She is said to break the strongholds and bring back the cows (VII. 75. 7; 79. 4). It is she who, like Saramá, distributes wealth among, the sons of men (1. 92. 3; 123. 3). She possesses the cows (1. 123. 12. &C.) she is even called the mother of the cows (IV. 52. 2). The Angiras, we read, asked her for the cows (VI. 65. 5), and the doors of the dark stable are said to be opened by her (IV. 5 1 2). In one place her splendour is said to be spreading as if she were driving forth cattle (1. 92. 12); in another the splendours of the Dawn are themselves called a drove of cows (IV. 51. 8; 52. 5). Again, as it was said of Saramá that she follows the right path, the path which all heavenly powers are ordained to follow, so it is particularly said of the Dawn that she walks in the right way (1. 12 4. 3; 1 13. 12). Nay even the Penis, to whom Saramá was sent to claim the cows, arc mentioned together with Ushás, the Dawn. She is asked to wake those who worship the gods, but not to wake the Panis ( ( 1 124. 10). In another passage (IV 51. 3) it is said that the Panis ought to sleep in the midst of darkness while the Dawn rises to bring treasures for man.

It is more than probable, therefore, that Saramá was but one of the many names of the Dawn "

From these the Professor concludes that Saramá and Ushá or the dawn are the same thing. But I am unable to subscribe to this view. If Saramá could not be the storm, it could neither be the dog. It is absurd that such epithets as fair-footed and beautiful should qualify a dog, or that such expressions as returning to Indra and crossing a stream should be predicated of a storm.

The learned Professor was so charmed with the Greek stories of the light, the darkness 1 a and the dawn, that he was led to trace the allegory in the Vedas even. And it was very natural. The son of a famous German poet he was taught from his infancy to look upon the world with the eyes of a poet as full of poetry. He loved poetry and saw it everywhere in nature all around. To him the Rig Veda therefore was nothing but a poem, a book of hymns, and hence the allegorical expositions. Thus what was meant to be a history was taken to be a poem. Let me however point out that the Rig Veda is not a poem but a history, the first and the most ancient history of the world. It is impossible for a nation to have a poem without having a history of its own. Prof. Max Muller would even trace the origin of the Trojan war in the epic of the immortal HOMER to the stories of the Panis and Sarainá in the Rig Veda. To discover the original meaning of old and obsolete words it is necessary to know (I) the condition or history of the then society, (2) the intellectual progress attained by the men of the time, and (3) the changes in the meaning which the words themselves have undergone from time to time. I would only point out here that at least the first two requisites were not fulfilled by the Western scholars in ascertaining the meaning of the Vedic words. In fact the allegorical explanations they have given to various words and passages of the Rig Veda would point to an intellectual state of our forefathers which it was not possible for them to have attained in those early days. Development of the Imagination must follow, and not precede the maturity of the Intellect.

The misconceptions of the Western scholars are more-over largely due to their acceptance of the current meanings ideas and of the Vedic words in explaining long-forgotten usages. It should be remembered that the modern meanings of words have reference to the modern state of the human society. An attempt to explain the Vedas, which are four or five thousand years old, in the light of present day signification of words is undoubtedly vain and useless. In two or three hundred years even many words and their meanings as well become obsolete and antiquated. What wonder, therefore, that a large number of words of an ancient work like the Vedas should be entirely forgotten after the lapse of so many centuries? The use of many words in their original Vedic sense has been forbidden even after the days of Sáyana. The dictionaries which are the repositories of words and their meanings were themselves compiled long after the Vedas when a great many of the words had lost their etymological signification; and the grammar has only puzzled the scholars in arriving at the correct import of the Vedic words, as it deals with but a few of the various meanings which particular words conveyed. Hence it is that the principal Vedic words have been made to mean what was not contemplated by the sages of old who used them first. The words Sarainá, Pani, Go, Indra, Soma, the twins Asvi, etc., are of this class and difficult to unravel.

The Meaning of the Word Pani

I wish Prof. Max Muller had taken the same pains to ascertain the meaning of the word Pani as he had done for Saramá. To get at the correct meaning of the latter it is desirable that we should first know the correct meaning of the former. And so I begin with the word Pani.

I have already said that the word Pani is mentioned no less than 36 times in the Rig Veda. The word Pani forms as it were the backbone of the Rig Veda: it is the key that unfolds the meaning of the sacred book, Not only do the stories of Saramá and Pani, but also good many riks depend for their proper interpretation upon the correct meaning of the word Pani itself. The rules of grammar relating to numbers and inflections have not been observed in the Rig Veda and it is not unusual for a word in the singular number to denote plural ideas or objects.

  1. The expression Revatá Paniná (4. 25. 7) shows that the Panis were rich.
  2. The expression Paner maneeshán (3. 58. 2) shows that the Panis were wise.
  3. Abasam Panim (6. 61. I) would show that the Panis were given to introspection.
  4. The rik 7-6-3 tells us that the Panis did not perform any Yajnas or sacrifices; were garrulous, arrogant or haughty; had no respect for Yajanas and were Dasyus i.e., idlers or robbers. According to Sáyama they were usurers also.
  5. In 1. 33. 3 the word Pani is used for traders. Mr. Dutt, evidently following the European scholars, adopts the meaning of the term as traders in this rik. It is therefore clear that the Panis were a trading people and sold things for their value.
  6. The rik 6. 5 1 14 represents the Panis as gluttons. For their voracious eating they were regarded as monsters. The word is also explained to mean illiterate traders.

All these would go to show that the word Pani could never mean darkness. It must mean men or some creatures akin to men. They were indeed a nation of traders without sacrifices, selfish, illiterate and usurious.

A nation of traders of those ancient days recalls the Phoenicians of old, for they were the only trading people then. In those days the Phoenicians were known as the Panis. The Aryans spoke of them as the Panih and the Romans as the Punic.

The question now is, how did the Panis come to be the neighbours of the Aryans?

Prof. Keightly says that the Phoenicians called themselves Kedmus In the Semitic language Kedmum means the East. it is probable that the Phoenicians came from the East and so gloried in the name of Kedmus, i.e., an Eastern people. This again would show that civilization had travelled from the east and had not its origin in Egypt.

Herodotus, known in the West as the father of History, was born in Asia Minor in 434 B.C. He travelled over many countries and recorded the experiences of his travels. He says: "The more learned of the Persians assert the Phoenicians to have been the original exciters of contention. This nation migrated from the borders of the Red Sea to the place of their present settlement, and soon distinguished themselves by their long and enterprising voyages. They exported to Argos, amongst other places, the produce of Egypt and Asia." Chapter I. Book 1.

Prof. Larchar of Ireland says: "Some authors make the Phoenicians to have originated from the Persian Gulf." And in Pockock's 'India in Greece' we have (vide page 218), "There to the north dwelt the singularly ingenious and enterprising people of Phoenicia Their first home was Afghanistan

I could multiply such quotations in support of my views. These lead me to conclude that from Afghanistan the Phoenicians went to the coast of the Persian Gulf, from the Persian Gulf to the borders of the Red Sea in Arabia and thence to Phoenicia, their last colony and home. I should like to observe here that they had, before their occupation of Phoenicia, colonized Egypt and the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. They had colonies in Greece and in the adjacent countries even. In fact with the Phoenicians or Panis the light of civilization travelled from the cast to the west.

The Phoenician held their own civilization to be the most ancient and declared it to be thirty thousand years old. There is however no doubt that they were one of the first civilized nations of the world, if not the first, and that Phoenicia was not their first home. Instead of tracing them to their first settlements on the coasts of Arabia or Persia or in Afghanistan the historians of Europe have located them at once in Phoenicia, and hence the mistake that points to the origin of all civilization in Egypt. I would not discuss here the question whether Afghanistan was the first home of the Phoenicians or not. But I would affirm that the Panis or Panih of the Rig Veda were the same people as the ancient Phoenicians of Afghanistan.

The Meaning of the Word Go

After ascertaining the meaning of the word Pani I take up next the Vedic word Go Saramá will be the last word of my investigation.

The word go occurs in almost all the riks in which the word Pani is used, and also in those Sutras in which Indra is the god or Ushá is the goddess. Prof. Max Muller has generally explained go as the rays of the Sun. I have not yet been able to know how other Western scholars explain the word. Mr. Dutt has followed Prof. Max Muller and has presented his view as shared by, a number of Vedic scholars. Sáyana interprets the word as water in certain passages, and as the re rays of the Sun in others, vide 4. 5 1. 3 and 4. 52. 2. There are, again, places where he gives no synonym for the word at all

Sáyana flourished in the fourteenth century A.D., when the Sanscrit vocabulary had been almost perfected. The word go then had for its synonyms Heaven, ray, thunder, the moon, the sun, animal, the cow-sacrifice, cow, water, organ or sense, word, etc. And yet with all these before him Sáyana did not try to explain away the word go when he came across it in the incidents relating to the theft of the go by the Panis. A reference to the various passages will show that in such cases he has taken the word go to mean the cow or cows and not the rays of the sun.

Let us see how the Rig Veda can itself help us in ascertaining the meaning of the word go.

It is said in 4.58.4 that the Panis kept concealed in the go three kinds of butter and the gods came to know of it. It is absurd to suppose that go which produced milk, curd and butter were rays of the sun and not cows. There cannot be the least doubt that go meant cows.

'The conversation between the Panis and Saramá in the 108th Sukta of the tenth mandala, as translated into Bengali by Mr. Dutt, convincingly shows that the word go could not mean any thing but cows, that it meant some animal and not rays of the sun.

I quote below the passage as rendered in English by Professor Max Muller

  1. The Panis said: 'With what intention (did Saramá reach this place! for the way is far, and leads tortuously away. What was your wish with us? How was the night? How did you cross the waters of the Rasá?'
  2. Saramá said: 'I come, sent as the messenger of Indra, desiring, O Panis, your great treasures; this preserved me from the fear of crossing and thus I crossed the waters of the Rasá.'
  3. The Panis: 'What kind of man is I Indra O Saramá? What is his look, he as whose messenger thou camest from afar? Let him come hither, and we will make friends with him, and then he may be the cowherd of our cows.'
  4. Saramá: 'I do not know that he is to be subdued, for it is he himself that subdues, he as whose messenger I came hither from afar. Deep streams do not overwhelm him; you, Panis, will lie prostrate, killed by Indra.'
  5. The Panis: 'These are the cows, O Saramá which thou desirest, flying about the ends of the sky, O darling. Who would give them up to thee without fighting? For our weapons too are sharp.'
  6. Saramá: 'Though your words, O Panis, be unconquerable, though your wretched bodies be arrowproof, though the way to you be hard to go. Brihaspati will not bless you for either.'
  7. The Panis: 'That store, O Saramá, is fastened to the rock furnished with cows, horses, and treasures. Panis watch it who are good watchers; thou art come in vain to this bright place.'
  8. Saramá: 'Let only the Rishis come here fired with Soma, Ayasya (Indra) and the ninefold Angiras; they will divide this stable of cows; then the Panis will vomit out this speech
  9. The Panis: 'Art thou, 0 Saramá, come hither driven by the violence of the Gods? Let us make thee our sister, do not go away again; we will give thee part of the cows, 0 darling.'
  10. Saramá: 'I know nothing of brotherhood or sisterhood; Indra knows it and the awful Angiras. They seemed to me anxious for their cows when I came therefore get away from here, 0 Panis, far away.'
  11. 'Go far away, Panis, far away; let the cows come out straight the cows which Brihaspati found hid away, Soma, the stones, and the wise Rishis.'

The Meaning of the Word Saramá

If Pani means the Phoenician merchant and go the cow, it can easily be understood that Saramá cannot mean either the (she) Dog of the gods or the Dawn. Professors Max Muller, Monier Williams and others have taken the Vedic story of the theft of cows as an allegorical representation of the conflict between light and darkness or day and night Hence they have explained a good many riks as hymns in praise of Nature I am sure these scholars have not at every step followed the proper meaning of the Vedic words but have adopted what they themselves thought to be their plausible meaning.

Saramá introduces herself to the Panis as the messenger of Indra. I can safely affirm without stopping to enquire who Indra was, that Saramá is neither a dog, nor the Dawn, but she is human and she is a woman. It may be of interest to note that the Panis do not ask her who she is, but who Indra is, by whom she is sent to them. It is evident she is already known to them. The very conversation between them shows that they are not strangers. This leads me-to infer that by Saramá is meant those Pani-women who with their children had been imprisoned by the Angiras.

The Angiras and their party had compelled these Saramás or messengers to capitulate for them with the Panis. They could not leave their children without making due provisions for them (1-62-3) as they were afraid of being detained by the Panis. Or it may be that the Angiras forced the mothers to go out to the Panis as their messengers and kept the children as hostages for the successful performance of their duty.

It would seem that for some reason or other the study of the Rig Veda was for many centuries forbidden, and so the present confusion about the meaning of the Vedic words. The age of the Puranas evidently had its origin in an attempt to discover the original meaning of those words. In their ignorance of the proper signification of the epithets the commentators thought out gods and goddesses hoping to give a rational explanation of the sacred books. Thus they were led to ascribe to inanimate objects desires and functions which they could never exercise or possess, forgetting that the words in question in the Vedas related to men and their actions. And thus did the age of the Puranas or Mythology come into existence clothing the Vedas with absurdities. Still however in the hands of the Indian scholars like Sáyana and others the Vedas were not wholly divested of their historical garb. But the Western scholars, on the other hand, led by Professor Max Muller, have gone a step further -- they have declared the Vedas to be nothing more than hymns in praise of Nature. Hence the difference in the interpretations of the Rig Veda by the savants of the East and the West. Investing the Vedas with mythical ideas Sáyana has interpreted Saramá to be the Dog-messenger of the gods, while to Max Muller and his followers she is only the storm or the Dawn to suit their theory that the Vedas are but a collection of hymns. In the latter is lost the vestige of historic worth of the Vedas that is still traceable in the former. I am led to discard both these views . I accept the Vedas as a history recording the actions of men-that this -- view is correct will be amply demonstrated in this treatise .

Sukta 108, quoted above,' if properly interpreted, will show that Saramá could have been nothing but a woman. In fact the expressions used therein cannot be correctly and rationally explained except in relation to man. For this and various other reasons I have interpreted Saramá as an imprisoned (or prisoner) Pani (Phoenicians) woman.

Another point worthy of notice in this connection is that all primitive words originally meant objects or things. Abstract or metaphorical meanings, as they implied intellectual development, came in long afterwards. The Rig Veda was composed in the primitive age of words and it was almost impossible for them to have been used metaphorically at that stage. The metaphorical and allegorical interpretation of the Vedas by the Western scholars cannot therefore be considered sound and reasonable.

The Cause of the War

I may now say with Sáyana that the Panis stole the cows of the Angirás or of their friends. The Angirás defeated the Panis with the help of Indra and other powerful allies and regained their cows. I must however admit here that I am not yet certain whether the Panis stole the cows of the Angiras or the Angiras attempted to take by force the cows belonging to the Panis, for the Angiras and their partisans would not unoften seize the cows of others: vide Suktas 6-45-24 and 6-45-32. This shows that the Angiras would ask for cows from Kavitsa and Bribu. Some of the owners would part with their cows without any objection to continue their friendship with the Angiras, but some would object and a fearful strife would ensue. The Angiras would ask the Panis to give them their cows, but they would not do so willingly. So the Angiras sometimes took their cows by force -- vide 1-93-4. Many of the Aryan families were afraid of the Angiras and they would not oppose them. But the Panis were 'rich and powerful and possessed many hill forts and fortified towns: 6-45-9. So they were not afraid to defy Angiras.

In riks 4-93-1 and 1-39-6 the cow is mentioned as in article of food. It is therefore evident that the Angiras were in the habit of taking beef and other meat. I have shown before elsewhere in my Bengali journal the Anjali, (Part 12, Vol. 1) that the Indian Aryans used to take animal food and intoxicating drinks, for which they fought amongst themselves I am not yet sure if the Panis were Aryans, but there is no doubt that they had a terrific quarrel with the flesh eating Angiras and their party for their cows and other cattle

It is now necessary to determine who the Angiras were. They were the principal branch of the Aryans. Rik 2-24-6 describes them as learned. Brahmanspati or Brihaspati was their leader or headman. In rik, 5-101-1 Sáyana interprets Brahmané in relation to the caste or the family. of the Brahmans or the Angiras. This would show that the Brahmans of the later days were no other than the Argiras of the Vedic period. The word Brahmavih occurs in rik 9-33-1 . Sáyana explains it as Mantraíh that is by incantations or the sacred words. According to Pandit Ramanath Sarasvati the word means by the worshippers. Mr. Dutt however following Professor Wilson (and perhaps accepting the reading Nibrahmavih) makes it mean by those who were tenable to accept the mantras, but says in the note that the meaning of the passage is not clear. I think the meaning would be clear enough if the word were taken to denote the Angiras. It should be remembered that according to Sáyana the Brahmans are the descendants of the Angiras.

The Angiras were flesh-eaters whilst the Panis were cowherds. That the flesh-eaters would often oppress the herdsmen can easily be understood. The Panis prepared three kinds of articles of food from the milk of their cows. Sáyana has described them as Ksheer or condensed milk, Dadhi or curd and Chrita or Clarified butter. I think the Persian Panir (cheese) is one of these three preparations. Most probably it is a modification of the first condensed milk. The article was first prepared by the Panis and so the name Panir The Panis not only made these preparations but also traded in them, and hence their love and care of cows and other cattle. Their rivals the Angiras, however, would kill the animals for the sake of their meat. Their interests were thus diametrically opposed and they fought for the cows. I hold the Angiras to have been the aggressors.

I should mention here that to make the various preparations of milk the Panis required earthen pots and therefore knew the art of pottery and other kindred arts for making the requisite tools, etc. They also knew the art of cooking. The god "Chatuh Sringah" that is, having four horns, was nothing but a rod for churning milk and was used for preparing clarified butter. Another instrument was named the Dasa Yantra Utsa (6-44-24) It must have been a sort of lactometer. Different Vedic scholars have explained it differently though. There is however no doubt that the Panis knew how to cook and used to take cooked food. But the Angiras simply roasted their meat and other articles of food before taking them. This operation of roasting was known by such names as Kratu and Yajna, i.e., sacrifice. It may be that particular terms were applied as the occasions were ordinary or special. The Angiras hated the Panis and called them Akratu and Ayajna (that is men who did not perform the sacrifice), as the latter were not in the habit of roasting their articles of food. On the other hand it can easily be imagined that the Panis treated the Angiras with contempt for their sacrificial observances. Such epithets as vain, arrogant, etc., applied to the Panis would show that the feeling of hatred originated with them. The hatred of the Angiras was merely reciprocal The fact that the Panis were More advanced would only confirm my theory.

The Rivals

In ancient times it was impossible for men to live in villages as at present. If they were afraid of the depredations of wild beasts, they were no less afraid of the outrages of human enemies which were yet more violent. For this the custom then was to live in Gosthis that is clans or communities. The Panis formed one such clan and they were further subdivided into houses or families. Each clan or house in those days lived in what is now called a Busti in the Upper Provinces of India. The bustis or localities were known as nagars or towns. The towns were protected by walls or trenches around them. I have already said that the Panis had many towns and forts and also an army. The clans of the Asuras, the Ilbis, the Ahis, the Bals, etc. were friends of the Panis and were opposed to the Angirás, the Agnis, the Bayûs, the Marûts, etc. The war they were engaged in might fittly be called the first Kurukshetra war, I believe all the rising families of ancient India took part in this great fight siding with one or the other party. and I have no doubt that branches of the Dása or the primitive families also had their share in it.

I take Agni, Bayû, Marût and others to represent different families or clans like the Panis. This I could prove not only, from the Rig Veda but from various other ancient works also. It is easy to see that the terms as used in the Suktas of the Vedas refer to men. Their present interpretation to denote natural phenomena or the elements in the various passages in which they occur in the Vedas, is more modern: the words originally meant families of men, but underwent a change in the course of time to acquire their present meaning. Professors Max Alluller, Kuhan and others have tried to fix their meaning tracing them to their root., It should be remembered that the Vedic words had already lost their original impart when their roots were formulated, and an attempt to explain them in the light subsequently obtained could not meet with unqualified success.

The Panis and their party have been mentioned as Adevas (a=no or not, and devas = gods). It is therefore not strange if their animals, and their friends have been called Devas. The word Arya is of comparatively modern origin though it, like the word Dása occurs in several Suktas, and so I cannot agree with those who hold the Vedic war 'to have been a war between Aryans and non-Ayans. The word Arya came to be applied to all the clans including the Panis, the Asuras, the Bals the Angiras and others, at a later period.

The frequent application in the Plirva (old) and nûtana (new) the Rig Veda of the words is worthy of notice, as also the mention of Indra as Yuvá -- a word used to qualify other gods also. According to Mr. Dutt, yuvá in several places young. But I think it means new to distinguish the Indra of later days from the Indra of old. The constant use of these three words -- purva, nútana and yuvá leads me to infer that the Rig Veda contains a description not of one but of two great wars one the Panik or Phoenician and the other the Asúrik or pertaining to the Asúras. The Phoenician war was the earlier of the two and it was in the days when the old rishis or sages flourished: the Asúrik war came after when new rishis appeared. The Indra who figured in the Panik war had riot the distinctive term yuvá which characterised the Indra of the Asurik war. There may be Suktas relating to other wars, but these two lasted long and were the most terrible in those old Verdic days. The Panis were not, however, the only trading people hose old Vedic days. Many other nations and races either singly or jointly all or most traded with the Panis in various parts of the then known world while some families espoused the cause of the Angiras. Perhaps vide 31, 32 and 33 of Sukta 45, mandala 6, relate regarding the Bribus. These Bribus, I think, were no other than the modern Brahui or Brahoe of Beluchistan for which reference may be made to Chamber's Encyclopaedia Vol II, or Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. III. They were skilled carpenters. The Tvastas were a branch of these Bribus, Professor Max Aluller has given an account of the Bribus in Vol. 11 of his "Chips from a German Workshop" According to him they were a family of carpenters from whom the Rhiblús also learnt the art. I think the Rhiblús who were allies of the Angiras learnt the art of carpentry from the Bribus who sided with the Panis. The fact is that all of them were men and not gods. vide Suktas 20 and 40 of the first mandala.

The word Pûshá is mentioned in Sukta 42 of the first Mandala and also in several other Suktas. The Angiras were not acquainted with the whereabouts of the Panis and so sought the help of the Pushas in finding them out. The Pushas were thus the guide of the Angiras. If we eliminate the more modern and the special Suktas we shall find that the Rig Veda is a history of the Panik and the Asurik wars. The gods mentioned in them were friends of one or other of the parties engaged in the wars. They were all different branches of the ancient human race and not gods of the elements, nor deified powers of Nature.

Mutual Hostility

I have already said that the Angiras were hated by the Panis for their sacrificial rites. In fact the hatred was carried so far that the Panis appeared wherever the Angiras performed their sacrifices and caused great disturbances. The Angiras retaliated by seizing and destroying the commodities of butter and cheese of the Panis. The practice of offering up ghee or clarified butter to the sacred fire may be traced to the attempt of the Angiras to burn the ghee they obtained by Plunder from the Panis. In this act the Angiras had had the support of their friends Mitra and Varuna: vide 1-2-7 in which they invoked the latter to their help. Mercilessness in the treatment Of the fallen enemy characterised the spirit of vengeance in those "remote old days. I cannot say that the humanitarian civilisation the present day is without any trace of it. The captives were then kept in dark dungeons strongly bound in chains or cords, in the custody of the Varunas who acted as gaolers and were known as Pasees or Binders. It was the duty of the latter to secure the enemies in the field of battle When conquered and put them in chains. Sometimes they would go out as pirates and surprise their enemies whom they would bring away in chains or cords. In the Suktas 24 and 25 of the first mandala the rihsi is mentioned as Súnah Sep would Sep which would appear to have been used as a general term for the Phoenician prisoners These Suktas describe how they were secured by means of pás, that is, chain or cord. The following passages will help to make me clear: -- "Of the gods of various orders whose graceful name shall I utter? Who will again set me free in this wide world: that I may see my parent "May he (Varuna) chastise the enemy who has pierced my heart." 1-24-28. I pray to you for long life." May the king set us at liberty." 1 24-12.

Unfasten from above, O Varuna, the upper cords that bind us down and the lower ones from below. Loosen also the ties in the middle. We shall then, 0 thou son of Aditi, live sinless without breaking thy vows." 1.24-25.

The above extracts show that those who were thus lamenting and asking for mercy did not know the gods well They only besought him for clemency who they thought could release them. It is therefore clear that lamantations who arose parties of the Adevas (no-gods) were subjected to the cruellest torture when imprisoned by their enemies.

The enemies and their houses were burnt down in retaliation: They (the Angiras) made fire with their own hands and hurled it on to the hills (the hill forts of the Panis), for the destroying fire was not there before." 2-24-7.

"Thou hast burnt to ashes the robber captured from the land of the Deva." I-33-7.

Jealousy and envy brought about a difference in the customs and usages of the opposing parties. I would trace the different modes of writing from right to left and from left to right to the mutual enmity of the Devas and the Adevas -the latter writing from right to left and the former from left to right. The Panis as traders had learnt early the art of writing for which the Devas disliked them. Even the Vedas remained unwritten for many centuries and continued as Srutis being committed to memory and thus handed down from generation to generation. From an aversion to writing anything written was scorned or ridiculed as after the fashion of the Panis or Panisads. Panisad would appear to be the Greek name for Pani. Hence the name " U-Panisad " or " Upanisad" derived from a dislike to writing. In very many riks the term "U" or "Uh" has an interjectional use and is expressive of an emotion of pain or scorn. I think the word Upanisad (Upanishad), is born of scorn for the Panis. It is remarkable that the derivation of this word Upanishad is not yet satisfactorily traced A reference to the authorities extant will bear me out.

The Date of the Panik War

On the date of the civilisation of the world must count from that date. It would at present appear, that history has not recorded any event earlier than this war, and as our early civilisation is mainly related to the Panis and their times the date of this war must be a very important factor in our researches.

I hold with the Panis that they are the first of the a civilised nations of the earth. If they were the first to see the light of civilisation, they did also, under the guidance of Providence; spread that light among various peoples in the ancient world; in fact they carried it from one country into another either to be expelled in the end or to merge themselves in the nationality of the people with whom they came in, contact. The Panis had colonies in Afghanistan, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Greece, and their supremacy gained ground in one when it declined in another. It will be enough for me to say for the present that facts are on record which conclusively prove that the Panis at least visited all these countries for purposes of trade and they introduced India to other ancient countries of the world in those days.

Many are the adherents of the theory propounded by the Western scholars that from Central Asia the Aryans migrated to India and the other countries. It is not easy to determine exactly who these Aryans were. I am inclined to think that originally there was no nation bearing that name. The word as used in some of the riks of the Rig Veda does not appear to refer to any particular nation. The word "Aryan" came to be used after the Phoenician War. It is probable that the Angiras and their allies were given that name for their agricultural pursuits. This would nullify the theory of their migration from Central Asia. After the Great War the survivors of the rival parties who were left together formed into a new nation under the name of the Aryans. The word Asura has been repeatedly used in the Rig Veda, and I have already shown elsewhere that

Assyria was named after them to denote the country they lived in. After the war a branch of the great Asura clan passed over into Asia Minor and founded Assyria, In India they as well as their country had been known by the name of Asura This leads me to conclude that it was from India and not from Central Asia that the Aryans -migrated into different lands using the trading ships of the Panis in their travels- a conclusion which dispenses with the theory of their migration overland also.

The Phoenician ships sailed from the coasts of India and entered direct the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Suez, for in those remote days Suez was a strait and not an isthmus as it afterwards became through the silting up of the channel. The subsequent closure of the passage not only broke off the communication between the East and the West but also separated the Panis inhabiting the two quarters. Hence it was that long afterwards India appeared as a dream land to the ancient Greeks and other nations. The Panik War had taken place long before the strait of Suez was closed. That Suez was originally a strait will be evidenced by the facts here adduced. The present isthmus is sandy, which shows that there was a time when it formed part of the sea. Geology will bear testimony to this. The following extracts also support my view:

"From hence inland to Heliopolis the country of Egypt is a spacious plain, which, though without water, and on a declivity, is a rich and sandy soil."

Herodotus. Book 11, Chap. VII.

Again: "The greater part of the country (Egypt ) described above, as I was informed by the priests, (and my own observation induced me to be of the same opinion) has been a gradual acquisition to the inhabitants. The country above Memphis, between the hills before mentioned, seems formerly to have been an arm of the sea!'

Ibid. Book II, Chap X Heliopolis forms the basis of the great delta of the Nile in Egypt. To the east and the west of Heliopolis the soil is soft and clayey which conclusively proves that it has been formed by the alluvia of the Nile and that the cities of Heliopolis and Memphis stood in the olden days on the shores of the sea. It is therefore patent -that the entire land to the east and the west in a line from Heliopolis to Memphis was under the sea, the Mediterranean and the Red Seas being connected together by the Strait of Suez. In support of this I quote Prof. Pocock who says, "The soil of Egypt, except what it has received from the overflowing of the Nile, is naturally sandy, it is full of nitre and salt."

I am further confirmed in my statement by Prof. Larcher, for he says: "If it be true, all the country from Memphis to the sea must have been formerly a gulf of the Mediterranean parallel to the Arabian gulf, the land must have been raised up little and little from a deposit of the mud which the water of the Nile carry away with them."

All this would show that there was a time when Suez was under water through which the Phoenician vessels sailed to the Mediterranean, and Heliopolis was an important port of the Panis. It was when Suez was a branch of the sea with Heliopolis on it, or before that age even, that the great Phoenician war broke out. The union between the east and the west broke off as Suez turned into an isthmus.

The Strait of Suez had nearly silted up when Moses crossed the Red Sea and the Israelites safely passed over the shallow water. According to many Moses flourished two thousand years before Christ, and it must have taken two thousand years more for Suez to have filled up. The fact that Heliopolis had then fallen into decay before the growing fame of Memphis, would support this theory. It is said that Menes, the first king of Memphis, founded the city more than four thousand years before Christ, and according to the Greeks the gods of the name of Helios reigned in Egypt long before that date extending over a period of about fourteen thousand years. There can be no doubt that these rulers of Heliopolis, the so called gods Helios, were none other than the Pani of old Heliopolis therefore must have fallen into ruins at least four thousand, if not six thousand years before Christ. It should be noted here that Heliopolis was the cradle of the Egyptian civilisation of which, the Panis were undoubtedly the originators.

According to the Western scholars the Rig Veda was composed in 2000 B.C. As I have already shown the Phoenician war to have taken place in 4000 BC the Rig Veda may safely be assumed to have been 'composed about that time. It should be remembered that the great Book took many years to compile and it is not improbable that a number of the Suktas were composed in 4000 B.C. I would even say that the Pauranic or Poetic Age began two thousand years before Christ. It is not therefore unlikely that the historical part of the Rig Veda was anterior to the Pauranic age by another two thousand years. Mr. Tilak, the well known Mahratta scholar, has, in explaining the astronomical import of a particular Sukta, demonstrated that the Rig Veda was composed six or seven thousand years before Christ. The Phoenician war, as recorded in the Rig Veda, may therefore be referred to a date at least six or seven thousand years before the Christian era, if not earlier.


With a few words more I shall conclude the subject. In every nation or race, old or new, civilised or uncivilised, war-songs have been handed down from generation to generation. The small stock of songs that the wild hill tribes possess is only a collection of war-songs Colonel Todd's history of Rajasthan is based on such songs. In fact the songs of Bháts or eulogists, so well known in this country were current even in the Vedic age, and I have no hesitation in affirming that in war-songs and songs of victory the Rig Veda had its origin, at least they form the bulk of the great work. The old war songs of ancient India composed the true Rig Veda and many other songs on various subjects came to be added to them I subsequently The Rig Veda is thus not a collection of hymn and anthems but of war songs recording the primitive history of the world. It may therefore be concluded that the first history of each nation or race of man began with war songs.

I have in the previous section already mentioned the city of Heliopolis of Egypt. In Greek "Heliopolis" means "the city of the sun. In India also there was an ancient city of that name which would appear to have belonged to some family of the Panis. A city or town in those days would be named after the family or clan that inhabited it, and so the clan of the Heliopolis named their towns after their own wherever they went. This I conclude from the name Ilibis which occurs in the Rig Veda, the word being only another form of Heliopolis. All the towns of the name of Heliopolis -in India, in Egypt, or elsewhere were founded by the llibis.

Modern Morea in Greece had for its ancient name Peloponnesus which I think originally meant palli or residence of the Panis. That Greece was not unknown to the people of ancient India has been very ably shown by Prof. Pococke in his work "India in Greece." In fact the fame of India was carried throughout the ancient world by such races as the Ilibis, the Panis, the Bals, the Asuras and others.

If may be safely affirmed that Balkh, Baalbek and other ancient cities bearing similar names were founded by the Bals. We know from the Rig Veda itself that the north west of ancient India was inhabited by these races who used to fight amongst themselves. The Rig Veda is therefore not only a history of ancient India but of the antire ancient world, and so the whole human race is interested in its correct and proper exposition. And as more light is thrown on the subject new truths will be discovered in the various branches of human knowledge. For this purpose it is necessary that the great work should be translated in the different languages of the world.

When in the old days the isthmus of Suez was a strait connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean not only was there an exchange of merchandise between the countries on either side but also of thoughts and experiences. With the closing up of the passage such exchange ceased and the nations and races grew up independently each in its own way, the western nations making rapid progress in material prosperity and the eastern in spiritual. Many centuries after Suez has again been opened up to renew the lost connection between the east and the west to fulfil the purposes of a beneficent Providence.

As Bháts or eulogists in the present days sing in praise of heroes and dynasties, so in the old days the Rig Veda was sung by the Rishis or sages and the assembled people heard with rapture the glories of their forefathers. In explanation of the discontinuance of the Vedic songs and psalms in India I can only say what I myself think on the subject. In many places of the Rig Veda mention is made of bovine food which the antagonists of the Panis were in the habit of taking. I am not sure if the word at first meant cattle generally, but it is certain that subsequently it represented the cows only. And it is easy to conceive how the study of the Rig Veda came to be interdicted as containing obnoxious passages when cow-killing was considered a great sin at least in the Pauranic age. In fact the Rig Veda fell into disuse with the introduction of the worship of the cow, nay the unfortunate householder who dared to possess the work was cursed to death from thunder and lightning. The result was that at last not only the doomed Rig Veda, but the entire Vedas fell into oblivion leaving behind only an unshaken veneration for them in the minds of people of the country.

Professor Sergi holds that the ancient civilisation of Europe is derived from the coasts of Mediterranean and he doesn't accept the theory that the Aryan civilization was the first and most ancient in the scale. I believe I have been able to show in this examination of the Rig Vida -- which is a repository of facts not action -- that it was not from Central Asia, as is ordinary supposed, but from India -- the land of Ilibis, the Panis, the Asuras, the Angiras and others -- that the light of civilisation spread far and wide to wake up the whole world to progress and enlightenment.


The Phoenicians derived their name from Phoenicia, meaning the inhabitants of Phoenicia. The diphthong oe in the word shows that with the sound of o (as in order) it should read as Phonicia and with the sound of e as Phënicia. It is thus clear that by some the word was pronounced as Phënicia, and Phonicia had its origin in Phonis. The pronunciation of P and Ph are so closely allied that it is not unoften that the one takes the place of the other Ph is P hard. The conclusion therefore is that Panis is only a different form of Phonis and the Panis of old were known as the Phoenicians in later days. In fact the word Phoenician has sprung from the word Panis which was the original name of the race. The country inhabited by the Panis came to be known as Pânisé Pânisia -- transformed into Phönicia or Phoenicia, and as time went on the inhabitants of Phoenicia were called Phoenicians instead of Panis.

Two eminent scholars of the day have already expressed their opinion off the subject of this treatise regarding the historical aspect of the vedas. I append them below as they may encourage others like me in this interesting study.

1. Translation of a letter in Bengali addressed to the author by Mr. R. C. Dutt, member of the Indian Civil Service:

I have read your assay on the Panic War. I am glad to see the scholarship and research you have brought to bear on the subject.

I see nothing improbably in the theory that there was a race called Pani or Panis, that the Indian Aryan seized their cows and that many of the suktas of the Rig Veda were composed to record historical events. In fact your exposition seems more plausible than that of Prof. Max Muller. But I am unable to decide which of these two expositions is correct: indeed I cannot say if it is possible to come to a decision on the subject after so many thousand years.

To what nation or race did the Panis belong, if they were really men? You say they were Phoenicians. A good many proofs are wanted before the statement can be accepted. That the Phoenicians always came to ancient India by the land route: that they quarreled and fought with the Indian Aryans, and that the latter knew them as Panis: or, that the Phoenicians have in their own works mentioned the Aryans living on the banks of the Indus -- these are conclusions which require to be amply demonstrated. I do not say that your theory is a groundless one, but still it is only a theory for the present. Hundreds of hill tribes inhabited Afghanistan, and it s not improbable that they quarrelled with the Indian Aryans for cattle (cows), and that some of them were referred to as the Panis in the Suktas of the Vedas.

I cannot accept your meaning of the word Saramá as correct. It may be taken to mean the Dawn even if the word Pani signifies some hill tribe or a trading people -- "at dawn of day the Aryans discovered the concealed cows and recovered them with the help of Indra."

There can however be no doubt that the word go means cows if your interpretation of the word Pani be correct.

Sd. Romesh Chunder Dutt
May 1, 1902

[The Phoenicians dwelt in some part of Afghanistan long before they colonised Phoenicia, and the wars described in the Vedas refer to those days. Defeated in those wars or for some other reasons they migrated westward and founded the colony of Phoenicia. Or it may be that Phoenicia was their principal colony in those remote Vedic days, and after their defeat in the wars referred to in the sacred books they removed there for good. Mr. Dutt's suggestion, therefore, that the Phoenicians came to India by land, is not borne out by my conclusions -- Author.]

2. The following appeared in the columns of the Indian Mirror (Calcutta), of the 22nd May 1902, from the pen of the eminent Sanscrit scholar Prof. Satis Chandra Acharya Vidyabhusan M. A. of the Presidency College (Calcutta):

" It was nearly ten years ago that I marked with surprise several passages in the Rig Veda (as for instance, in Mandala VI, Sukta 53) where the word Pani repeatedly occurred. Looking into the commentary of Sayanacharya, I found the word Pani interpreted as Vaninj, a merchant. In the Chapter on Unádi suffixes in Panini's Sanskrit Grammar, the word Vanij was found to be derived from the root Pan. I then suspected that the word Pani, meaning a merchant and occurring in the Rig Veda, might refer to the Phoenician race. Eventually I gave expression to the fact in several places, and lately in the introduction to my edition of Kachchayana's Pali Grammar. I expressed my view on the subject With great diffidence. Now I am very glad to find my view confirmed by our learned friend; Babu Rajeswar Gupta, Head Master of the Rangpore Normal School, and Editor of Anjali, who has published a long and interesting article on the subject in the Chaitra number of his journal. The article is an admirable one and is a product of deep researches into the Vedic literature. It reflects great credit on the scholarship of the writer and has brought to light some very important facts of earliest history."

Published by Jogendra Mohan Guupta, 1904.
Printed by Sanyal and Co. at the Bharat Miihir Press
25, Roy Bagan Street

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