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:
- 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.
- Most of the Suktas of the Rig Veda either describe or refer to this and many other wars.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The primitive civilization of the world was born long before the time known to us.
- 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 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
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
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:
- The Dawn never returns
after it has once disappeared, before the same Sun-rise.
- The allegory as described
does not correspond with the story as related in the original.
- 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
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.
- The expression Revatá
Paniná (4. 25. 7) shows that the Panis were rich.
- The expression Paner maneeshán
(3. 58. 2) shows that the Panis were wise.
- Abasam Panim (6. 61. I)
would show that the Panis were given to introspection.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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?'
- 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.'
- 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.'
- 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.'
- 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.'
- 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.'
- 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.'
- 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
- 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.'
- 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.'
- '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.
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
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 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.
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
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
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.
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."
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,
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
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
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.
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."
by Jogendra Mohan Guupta, 1904.
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