The Civilized Demons: The Harappans in Rigveda

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Abhinav Publications, Jun 1, 2003 - 456 pages
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Myth and mysticism have reigned supreme in Rgvedic interpretation for more than two millennia and a half. Even now, it cannot be said to be free of these. This study aims at completing the process of rational inquiry in Rgveda begun two centuries ago. It leaves behind myths and mystic experiences, simultaneously drawing the line between fact and fancy, which has eluded the scholars.

Two types of evidence - literary and archaeological - have been used. Literary evidence ranges from Rgveda to the Brahmanas. The Archaeological material covers pre-Harappan , Harappan and post-Harappan levels. Through the interdisciplinary approach consisting of linguistic, anthropological and symbolical analysis of the material, the study emphasizes a consistently rational attitude to the study of Rgveda. In fact, as the study amply demonstrates, the fresh air of reason may change our understanding of Rgveda and also of ancient Indian history. Rgvedic hymns from this viewpoint may probably prove to be a valuable source of information of the historical events, which led to the downfall of the pre-Aryan Indus civilization. This is correlated to the archaeological material available on the Harappan sites.

This is the first investigation of its kind and the conclusions of the study are no less original. Besides establishing the rationality of the Rgvedic narratives, it shows the events and their agents to be historical in the light of available archaeological material.

The theory and the approach hold out a promise and may transform our understanding of these ancient compositions from myth to history.
 

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Contents

II
11
III
49
4 Gandharva the first born
100
5 Yaksas
114
6 Raksas
124
7 Piśācas
131
8 Pańcacarsanī
135
9 The fortresses and their ruins
139
10 Why the Aryans?
151
11 Introductory
184
PART III
288
12 Introduction
289
13 The affinities of the Asuras
381
Notes
397
Illustrations
419
Index
421

PART II
150

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