Problems of the Aryan Invasion Theory

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What is the Aryan Invasion Theory?

Definition of the Aryan Invasion Theory

“Aryan Invasion Theory” (AIT) originated during colonial times to align the history of India to the European history. Since Europeans immigrated from the Steppe Region in Central Asia into Europe, the historical project wanted to trace common ancestry of both Europeans and Indians. Terms like Indo-European came into existence due to this effort. To align the two kinds of histories, the Aryan Invasion Theory postulates that the present residents of India came from the Steppe Regions similar to the Europeans who had immigrated earlier.

At this juncture, similarities between Sanskrit and European languages is used to suggest that the Vedic texts authored in Sanskrit are not native to India, nor is the Vedic civilization natively Indian. It was rather created by invaders who came from other parts of the world into ancient India. The linguistic differences between North and South Indian languages is then used to sow a cultural, linguistic, religious, and civilizational divide between parts of India.

Why AIT Is Problematic At Present

Factually, whether the Vedic texts were authored by natives or invaders should not matter if they are true. The proof of truth should be the primary goal and how that truth was discovered could be an accident of history (there are other ways in which it could have been discovered).

However, most people have already concluded either that there is no truth in the Vedic texts or that such truth is beyond their reach. They might not have spent the time discovering and confirming truth or might consider it something that others should be doing. When the process required for discovering and confirming the truth are not followed, then the claims about the absence of truth become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is by far the situation all over the world, including in India, where the Aryan Invasion Theory is currently opposed.

AIT would not be a problem if we focused on the truth in the Vedic texts before trying to establish their ancestry or historicity. It becomes a problem when ancestry and historicity are prioritized over the truth, because the absence of truth is now the dominant claim.

AIT’s Historical-Cultural Implications

The Vedic texts are thus transformed into mere historical-cultural artifacts used to construct people’s “identity”. That shift ensures that the problem would live longer because even if we establish the nativity of the Vedic texts, we still haven’t established their truth. After we finish winning the battle of nativity, we will still have to fight and win the battle for truth. But if we had focused on establishing the truth prior, the question of nativity would be irrelevant.

Given that so few people are interested in the truth of the Vedic texts, we might say: The battle for historical identity is not exclusive to the battle for truth. We can win the battle for historical identity even through the presentation of the truth, thereby winning two battles at once.

That is what I intend to do here—challenge the philosophical and methodological assumptions of AIT by presenting the truth. If the axioms are false, then the conclusions are false. It may be disappoint that those fighting the identity battle don’t use the Vedic ideological lens to argue against the invasion theorists. They accept the assumptions of their opponents and argue with them on their turf and terms. But disappointing doesn’t solve the problem at hand. An alternative approach does. Hence, my approach could be novel and refreshing to some.

Bad Motives in Invasion Narratives

For those who might already know about the motivations of the invasion theory, I will provide a short summary in the beginning. I will talk about the axioms of historical research today and illustrate their problems. I will talk about how these attempts are part of a larger civilizational crusade that Western academics have been waging on the Vedic civilization for centuries.

Crusading against other cultures, religions, and societies is indisputably proven by the historical records of colonialism on five continents. AIT emerged during colonial rule based on the skin colors of Indians and Europeans. Hence, when I talk about AIT as an extension and continuation of racism, I’m only saying: What has been proven to be a quacking duck many times, must be a duck as we hear it quacking now. If someone thinks that this quacking thing is not a duck, although it sounds just like the earlier quacking ducks, then the burden of proof is on them. Until that evidence is supplied, the racist ideology is default and justified.

Science is not immune to racism. It has been used over and over for fulfilling and advancing racist agendas. Hence, the idea that this is not racist because it is science doesn’t cut it. Racism and science are not mutually exclusive. We define the distinction between the two by saying: A racially discriminatory conclusion that comes after unbiased data collection is science; but that data collection that is driven by the desire to arrive at a racially discriminatory conclusion is racism. We don’t have to be too eager to call someone racist. And we should not be too shy to call someone racist. The criterion above decides it. AIT was formulated before there was evidence for it. Hence, unless someone proves it otherwise, AIT is just racism.

Origin and Intent of Aryan Invasion

Origins of the Aryan Invasion Theory

According to AIT, a central Asian race—that lived in roughly the region of Kazakhstan at present—invaded India from its North-Western frontiers about 4000 years ago and pushed the native Indian race—Dravidians—down south, creating an Aryan-Dravidian racial divide. The same invading race went to other parts of Europe. AIT concludes that Aryans and Europeans have common ancestry while Aryans and Dravidians do not.

The original basis of AIT was the skin colors of Indians. On average, north Indians have fairer skins than south Indians although many south Indians—especially Brahmins—are exceptions. To account for these differences, it was postulated that those with fairer skins must have migrated from outside India and those with darker skins must be natives. That idea expanded with the passing of time and is used by present-day Christian missionaries to claim that north Indian fairer-skinned Brahmins immigrated into south India to oppress darker-skinned south Indians, and the discriminatory Vedic system that enabled them to oppress others must be rejected as an alien religion and replaced by egalitarian Christianity. These claims would be totally laughable if people were familiar with history. Unfortunately, most people are not.

Despite all the reservations people might express over racism, everyone knows that it is alive, well, and kicking. It is used as a tool to divide Indians and convert them to other religions. It was the basis for the presumed Western cultural and ideological superiority for centuries of colonialism. Race is still the cornerstone of historical narratives, and it is certainly the core focus area for AIT. Under a racist lens, people distinguish between minds based on their bodies, because it is easier to study the body than the mind. Within the study of the body, skin color is the easiest. Accordingly, if two minds are similar, then they must have similar bodies—beginning with and primarily in their skin colors.

Foolish Religious Ideas in Racism

The religious origins of racism can be understood through a silly turn of phrase in which there are “forces of light” and “forces of darkness”, those with lighter skins are the forces of light while those with darker skins are the forces of darkness, the forces of light are “good” while the forces of darkness are “evil”, and thus, the light-skinned people are forces of good while dark-skinned people are forces of evil. Centuries of colonial and racial exploitation can be attributed to this one silly turn of phrase. It also cannot be separated from religion.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniśad states: Om asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya, mṛtyormā’mṛtaṃ gamaya. Om śānti, śānti, śānti. It means: “O Lord, take me from falsehoods to truth, from darkness to light, from death to eternity. O Lord, peace, peace, peace”. Thus, Vedic texts also accept the equivalence between light and dark, truth and falsehood, eternity and death. However, the Vedic concept of “light” and “dark” is clarity and unclarity. Standing in a lighted room means that you can distinguish all the colors clearly. However, standing in a dark room means you cannot tell the difference between colors.

Light is the carrier of information about color. The carrier can be present or absent, and the color can be any of the shades. When all shades are being illuminated, we call that white light. When a blue or red shade is illuminated, we call that red or blue light. If nothing is illuminated, we call that darkness. If we know atomic theory, then we will equate light to clarity and darkness to unclarity. If we don’t know atomic theory, then we will say that light means white and dark means black. Racism is the ignorance of atomic theory as it equates light to skin whiteness rather than to perceptual and mental clarity.

Purposes of the Aryan Invasion Theory

AIT originated during colonial times as part of the colonial effort to undermine the sanātana self-description of Vedic texts, by constructing a migratory history from another part of the world. Abrahamic faiths are historical in nature; there is a specific time at which a specific prophet gives a book, which then becomes the basis of a new religion. Vedic texts are not tied to history. Or, more precisely, they are co-created with the universe as the knowledge of reality along with reality. The entirety of reality is treated as knowledge, and Veda is a summary of that reality. We can say that Veda is the zipped-compressed version of reality while the reality is the unzipped-uncompressed version of Veda. A semantic reality affords literally infinite compression and decompression, so these are not problematic or troublesome claims. Brahma, a secondary creator of the universe, gives the summary Veda to his sons, who then expand it in many ways to help people live in harmony with reality, rather than fighting it or struggling against it. The universe is 155 trillion years old, and so is the Veda.

This has always been problematic for historical religions because they would like to claim that their religion is eternal truth, but their historical origin makes it impossible to say that. Therefore, they want to claim that the ancient people practicing the Vedic culture migrated from a place devoid of that culture, and put a date on migration, to then suggest that the Vedic culture cannot go prior to the migration. It would put an upper limit on the age of the Vedic culture and make it non-sanātana. Any invasion or migration out of anywhere but India would work. The migration or invasion must also happen after the Abrahamic origin of the world, and more specifically after Noah’s flood in the Bible.

Noah had three sons, named Shem, Ham, and Japeth. After the flood, Noah gets drunk and lies naked. Ham sees Noah in this state and mocks him, while the other two sons cover Noah. When Noah gets out of his drunken state, he curses Ham by telling him that all his children would be slaves, and would be subjugated by the children of Shem and Japeth. During colonial times, enslaved people of the conquered territories in the Americas, Africa, and Asia were called Hamitic in journals, implying that they were descendants of Ham and they had been foretold to be enslaved by the children of Shem and Japeth. The date of Noah’s flood (which is also disputed) is sacrosanct because it is only after that, that the slavery of Ham’s children has been given a religious sanction. The term “Semitic” is tied to the children of Shem, and anti-semitism is tied to the descendants of Japeth. The descendants of Japeth are superior because they are white, the children of Shem are slightly inferior because they are darker, and the children of Ham are the worst because they are perpetually cursed.

To justify this Biblical rationale of enslavement, historians tried to construct an account of a common region, supposedly where the three sons of Noah would have originally lived, and progressively migrated out of. The Dravidians who were living in India would thus be the direct descendants of Ham. The Aryans who invaded India previously would be a mixed-race produced by the intermarriage of the children of Shem and Japeth to the children of Ham. The semitic Arabs who then invaded India would be the children of Shem. Finally, the Europeans who invaded India last would be the pure breed of the children of Japeth. This is not a narrative that came out of scientific research. It is a narrative that is given in the Bible, and history tries to prove the Bible—ensuring that scientific data conforms to Biblical history rather than the Bible conforms to scientific data. This is sheer agenda-driven history.

To prove Biblical history, the universe cannot be more than 6000 years old. Humanity must not have existed prior to Noah’s flood. Racial segregation, the enslavement of some races by others, must be justified based on the narrative of Noah’s children. Every if science says that the universe is billions of years old, the historical narrative of humans must be tailored to fit the Bible. Even if science shows that humans have lived for millions of years, the history of civilized humans must be tailored to fit the Bible. The agenda-driven history is hell-bent on proving the Biblical narrative either by hook or by crook.

The fact is that the Vedic tradition would love to have a religion that claims to be eternal truth because then we can talk about the truth rather than its history. There are many ways to find the truth. How it was discovered isn’t as important as whether it is the truth. But the proponents of Abrahamic religions are not confident of winning the battle of religious truth. Therefore, they concoct battles of history. This is the case of people who cannot lift themselves; so they try to drag others down, neglecting the truth, and focusing on history.

By concocting AIT, they would like to say that the later-day Europeans had migrated from the same region that Aryans had migrated from earlier because you can then claim that the European attacks on India were foretold in the Bible when Hamitic people were prophesized to be slaves. You can call this enslavement of the Hamitic people a well-intentioned civilizing mission meant to take primitive people out of oriental darkness into the light of modernity. The whiter skin Europeans civilizing the darker skin Indians would be a perfect case of going from darkness toward light. By creating parallels between the ancient Aryan invasion of Dravidians and the modern Aryan-European invasion of India, one could dull the criticism of crimes of colonialism by telling its critics that their ancestors were guilty of the same crimes in the past. It could be the perfect counter to Indians claiming that they had never occupied other countries or violently oppressed their citizenry. Europeans could not establish their moral superiority based on their character or actions. So, they tried to prove that non-Europeans are born within a perpetually cursed race.

By advancing the idea that Dravidians were invaded by Aryans, Europeans dreamed of the day when Dravidians would fight Aryans, as an elaborate version of their divide-and-rule strategy. They dreamed of how a civilizing Western mission in India was justified in undercutting Indian traditions, similar to how Christianity had undercut pagans, and just as they claimed Aryans to have undercut Dravidians. AIT was a brilliant scheme to (a) normalize the crimes of colonialism as the necessary duty of a superior society being done for the greater good of the uncivilized people, (b) equate colonialism to previous invasions of India by Aryans, (c) undermine the traditions of India as yet another pagan religion, and (d) use force rather than reasoning to prove their truth. If all the dissenters are dead, then whatever remains is true.

The problem is that you need proof. A scientific approach to studying history is that we collect the data before we construct a theory to explain the data. An unscientific approach is that we construct a theory and then search for data that validates it. AIT is a theory begging for proof because (a) there is no evidence of wars between Aryans and Dravidians to justify an invasion, (b) genetically, both Aryans and Dravidians are the same race, (c) Aryans and Dravidians are genetically different from Europeans, and (d) any similarity between races would as much prove migration out of India as migration into India.

Broadening of the Invasion Theory

When the historical project stops working, then the truth project is revived. For instance, instead of attacking history, people can now attack the Vedic texts morally, culturally, and intellectually: (a) interpreting diverse deities and doctrines as implying the absence of a cohesive thought process, (b) invoking contemporary tropes of caste and gender discrimination to sow seeds of distrust and division in Indian society, (c) lowering the age of Vedic texts by equating the date of a recent manuscript to that of the ancient text, and (d) continuously denigrating Indian people and Indian civilization in various media propaganda. Only the blind would not be able to see what this is really about.

The West has been engaged in a civilizational crusade against India for centuries. The end of colonial rule wasn’t the end of colonialism. History and literature are also weapons of war. A historian cannot be funded simply for finding the truth. He will be funded only if the stories he tells will help his financiers wage a civilizational crusade on others. History is written to empower oneself and intimidate others—it must prophesize that the fair-skinned race is destined to rule the world till the end of time, to make other races submit to its demands because anyone who rebels is foretold to lose the battle, all uncomfortable truths must be suffocated to build a narrative that drives toward the triumph of one race, and if needed, research into the truth must be substituted by fairy tales to demoralize prospective rebels.

Since colonial times, scientific techniques have advanced—we can do genetics, excavate lands, date archeological artifacts, and better analyze texts and records. The history reconstruction project has become multifaceted to include subdisciplines of linguistics, archeology, geology, hydrology, and genetics. A multifaceted project allows cherry-picking of the evidence from different baskets. The historian can magnify the importance of the evidence that supports his theory and disregard the contravening evidence. If there are multiple baskets to cherry-pick data from, then the theory will not die until all the baskets have been exhausted. One counter-evidence will not suffice to disprove the theory because that theory is driven by an agenda, not by data.

Many people are working at present to prove and disprove this idea, and I haven’t been able to keep up with the research on this front. I am of the opinion that either the theory must be formed after the data has been collected or a single strong counterevidence must end further attempts to prove the theory. Since that is not likely—a crusader doesn’t surrender after one defeat—hence, I see this debate as dragging on like a dragon’s tail: It will get weaker over time, but it will not die for a long time. Its advocates will die before the theory.

The Linguistic Branch of Invasion Theory

Assumptions of Linguistic Evolution

In this article, I will focus on the methodological and philosophical problems of the linguistic branch of AIT because this is still the most contested and controversial area of AIT. This subdiscipline traces phonetic and semantic similarities between languages. If similarities between two such languages are found, the linguist claims that they must have a common origin. Of course, there is still no way to say that two similar things must have evolved from each other because they could also have appeared independently. Similarly, there is no way to show that if two similar things exist, one must have evolved from the other, when the evolution could also occur in the reverse direction. Evolution works only when you can prove (a) there is a similarity, (b) an evolution occurred, and (c) one of the two things is definitively superior to the other.

There is a philosophical assumption underlying modern linguistics, under which Shakespeare stated “A rose by another name would smell as sweet”. It means that phonetics and semantics are not connected because language is a human invention. Any meaning can be called by any name, and these naming-meaning mappings are produced by each culture differently. Humanity evolved from primates, and language appeared at a certain point of sophistication among humans when they progressed from primitive sign languages and symbols to formal languages with dictionaries and rules of grammar.

Linguistics is married to a Darwinian model of human evolution in which languages are late inventions, every race or disconnected region of geography invented different languages, and each of these languages created arbitrary mappings between phonetics and semantics, but as the races migrated from place to place, or the disconnected geographical regions were connected through conquests and invasions, the mixing of people speaking different languages caused phonetic-semantic mappings to evolve.

Rejection of Darwinian Evolution

The Vedic civilization is vehemently opposed to these ideas. Against Darwinian evolution, we say: (a) a species is defined by the mind-type rather than body-type, (b) the body-type evolution occurs as a result of mind-type change, (c) all mind-types are eternally possible but a mind-type becomes real if and when individuals incline toward a mentality, (d) mentalities are constantly changing as an effect of time, (e) hence, species appear over time when a potential is manifest, (f) they disappear after a while when the potential is unmanifest, (g) many potentials manifest at once to create Cambrian Explosions, (h) because every species needs to exist in an ecosystem of compatible species, (i) unilateral changes in a species are rejected to destroy deviant species, (j) collective changes in species are mutually reinforced, and (h) this collective evolution of an ecosystem from state to state cannot be explained by the Darwinian theory.

I have outlined this argument, and the precise mathematical counterparts to it, in the book Signs of Life, where I describe an ecosystem as a set of orthonormal states—no state can change individually; they must either change collectively or not at all. To keep this simple for the average reader, we can think of the ecosystem as an organism or body in which various species are the different body parts. The body parts cannot evolve independently; if they do, the evolving body part will be rejected by the ecosystem-body. Instead, an ecosystem-body must evolve as a whole—i.e., many parts must simultaneously co-evolve.

Evolution is a fact because the body—i.e., the ecosystem—is evolving. However, because evolution trickles down from the whole to the parts, rather than trickling up from the parts to the whole, hence, the theory of evolution is false. Alternatively, the ecosystem is also an organism, life-form, or body, not just the individual species and their members. Just as the individual species and their members have self-defense, self-correction, and self-propagating properties, similarly, the ecosystem does too. We do not reject the facts of evolution. We rather reject the reductionist model currently used to explain the facts.

In different kinds of ecosystems, different kinds of humans have existed. They had different kinds of bodies because they had different kinds of minds. They did not have the capacity for language as their minds were closer to primates. However, they did not evolve from primates, nor did primitive humans evolve into sophisticated humans. Advanced humans have always existed, along with the capacity for language, because all mentalities are eternally possible and they are manifest from the potential state into an observable state when suitable individuals inclined toward the mentality are available.

In contrast to evolution, we also like to talk about devolution—i.e., sophisticated humans existed at one time, and primitive ones do at present. The sophisticated human can memorize complete Vedic texts, is capable of thinking for the long term, has advanced perceptual capacities, and focuses on the transcendent purpose of life. The inferior, primitive, and uncivilized human is violent, selfish, incapable of thinking for the long-term, has an underdeveloped intellect, and substitutes a transcendent purpose with materialistic futilities.

Rejection of Linguistic Relativism

It is important to undercut Darwinian Evolutionary Theory to undercut the idea that languages are human inventions. While humans can create personal languages, there is also a universal language that transmits and communicates information from one part of the universe to another. Animals—such as dogs—can understand what humans are saying not because they previously memorized a human dictionary but because there is an underlying semantic substrate that acts like a language translation system. We can pray to God in our language because sounds are translated into meanings, and reconverted into another sound. Our ability to communicate with dogs, and pray to God, necessitates such a translation system; therefore, such a translation is important both for science and religion. However, modern evolutionary linguistics assumes a progressive sophistication of the human mind followed by the appearance of advanced languages that created arbitrary phonetic-semantic mappings. Historical accounts based on similarities between languages are then rooted in the similarities between phonetic-semantic mappings.

Again, like an alternative explanation of evolution, we must provide an alternative explanation of the multitude of languages, and why they have different phonetic-semantic mappings if there is indeed a universal language. Why don’t all minds speak the same language and think in the same language?

The answer is given in Sāñkhya where something called ākāśa which is translated as “space”, and whose property is śabda which is loosely translated as “sound”, is the first sense-perceivable reality manifest from the mind. The mind is semantics and the space is phonetics. In geometry, we can describe the same reality through many coordinate systems. What we mean by “space” at present (following Einstein’s relativity theory), is a coordinate system, not space itself.

We agree with that idea. Every individual carries a linguistic coordinate system attached to a mind through which the mind (semantics) is expressed into sounds (phonetics) to communicate with other minds (semantics) through sounds (phonetics). This is a language translation system in which phonetics can be converted into semantics and then back to phonetics, which allows two minds to communicate without knowing each other’s phonetic-semantic mappings. It is not always used, but it can be used. Two individuals that speak the same language have a shared coordinate system in which the semantic-phonetic mapping is fixed by the choice of a language. Two individuals that speak different languages could have the same mental reality (semantics) expressed through a different coordinate system of sounds (phonetics). Thus, the “reality” is semantic and the “coordinate system” is phonetic.

Let’s illustrate this with a mathematical coordinate system. Suppose we have a space with three entities—A, B, and C. We can describe this space using Euclidean {X, Y, Z} and Spherical {R, ϴ, Ф} coordinates. The entities being described don’t change: They are still A, B, and C. However, the numbers we use to refer to them change with a different coordinate system such as {X, Y, Z} vs. {R, ϴ, Ф}. If the entity A is described as {5, 8, 3} in {X, Y, Z} coordinates, then the same entity would be described using a different set of coordinates—for instance, {2, 7, 5}—using {R, ϴ, Ф} coordinates. These numbers don’t have any relevance unless we tie them to the coordinate system being employed.

In the same way, we can treat the phonetics of a language as a coordinate system that describes a semantic mental reality to create a phonetic-semantic mapping. This mapping is not universal because it is just like a coordinate system in which concepts such as A, B, and C are called by different words. Thereby, the same meanings can be denoted by different sounds, each society and culture can have a different language, and people in that society are situated in a shared coordinate system of semantic-phonetic mapping. This explains how the same meaning can be expressed by varied sounds.

A linguistic coordinate system is constructed as a hierarchical inverted tree (unlike a mathematical coordinate system). For example, when you search your phone address book, you type a few letters in the search box and the phone software will filter the names to those beginning with (or containing) those specific letters. If you add one more letter to the search box, the names would be further filtered to those beginning with (or containing) those specific letters. This is because the names in the address book are stored in an inverted tree structure. This is an example of a hierarchical inverted tree coordinate system, which allows any arbitrary phonetics to be mapped to semantics.

However, all these phonetic-semantic mappings are not necessarily the most precise and concise—(a) by concise, I mean that the fewest number of sounds should be used, and (b) by precise, I mean that these fewest number of sounds should consistently and completely describe all possible meanings. Based on the precision and concision criteria, we can demarcate a human-invented language from a natural-objective language—a natural-objective language is the most precise and concise possible sonic expression of all possible meanings, but a human-invented language is not as precise and concise.

To identify this most precise and concise language, we have to break meanings down into meaning-atoms, and then map these meaning-atoms to atomic phonemes. If we can establish a one-to-one mapping between atomic meanings and atomic sounds, then we have obtained the most precise and concise language. In an earlier article, I described how Sanskrit is such a phonosemantic language in which everything is broken down into 50 meaning-atoms and mapped to 50 phonetic alphabets. Since all complex meanings are constructed from meaning-atoms, and each meaning-atom has a precise sonic counterpart, therefore, there is a one-to-one mapping between sound and meaning. A precise mapping between phonetics and semantics is called phonosemantics. Uttering a sound in such a language is precisely and concisely communicating a meaning because each atomic phoneme being used to communicate is precisely and concisely mapped to one of the atomic meaning-atom.

There is hence a universal, natural, and objective language defined by the one-to-one phonetic-semantic mapping, and there are innumerable possible man-made languages that are also not as precise and concise as the universal, natural, and objective language. In the earlier article, I noted that mathematics is a language in which we cannot map all mental meanings, so it lacks the precision property of a natural language. The absence of mathematical precision in describing meaning is called incompleteness. A semantic language is necessary to overcome this incompleteness, without losing conciseness.

Man-made languages are therefore relative coordinate reference frames while a natural language is an absolute coordinate reference frame. All reference frames are not equivalent because one such frame is the most precise and concise description of reality while other frames are either not precise, not concise, or not either. The evidence for precision and concision is given in the earlier article.

Semantic Methods of Reconstruction

Once we uproot the two philosophical assumptions in modern linguistic studies—(a) that language is a man-made invention that arrived very late in the evolutionary process, and (b) all man-made inventions are necessarily relative to men who invented language in different societies and lands—then we can talk about the proper method of evaluating linguistic diversity. The method involves the measurement of the precision and concision of a language for all possible meanings: The language that is more precise and concise (although not as precise and concise as the natural language) is closer to a natural language than a language that is comparatively less precise and concise. We can express precision and concision as a number, and use it to place languages at varying extents of deviation from the phonosemantic natural language.

We can also construct an inverted tree of languages that deviate from a natural language in different ways. Some language may lack one type of meaning, and expressing it in that language necessarily requires many more words than in another language, which might need fewer words. Since one language can be more precise and concise for one type of meaning and not another, therefore, the different branches of this inverted tree would deviate from the natural language in different ways. Ten feet along one branch isn’t the same as ten feet along another branch due to different kinds of semantic deficiencies.

Similarly, geographical distance doesn’t matter in studying linguistic similarity because people who migrated out of a land to settle in far-off places may continue using a language close to the natural language, while those that migrated out of a land to settle in nearby places may rapidly deviate from the natural language. We are more interested in semantic distance—i.e., proximity to the natural language—than in geographical distance while talking about the evolution of one culture into another. Archeology and genetics can be used to construct an explanation of semantic distance—i.e., why did people move out, how quickly they changed, and how much they changed at different times.

Archaeology, genetics, and linguistics are all useful if we want to reconstruct history. But they are useful only if we start studying reality as the symbols of meaning. The body is one symbol of the mind, utensils, houses, or cities are other symbols of the mind, and inscriptions or texts are yet other symbols of the mind. Gaps in one type of symbolic evidence can be plugged with another type of symbolic evidence because we understand that they are all symbolic expressions of the same type of mind. Conflicts between different symbolic evidences must also be explained based on the mind. For example, if archeology finds skeletons that deviate from the genetic makeup of other skeletons, then we can identify the local skeleton by its semantic consistency with the locally found texts, utensils, houses, or cities while deviant skeletons must be travelers or recent migrants rather than long-term residents.

A semantic method allows us to combine more types of evidence, plug gaps in one type of evidence, and construct a holistic story of the past that peeks into people’s minds rather than just the remnants of their bodies. Isn’t that a better way to explain a culture than a materialistic study of relics? If we cannot read the body like text produced by a mind, then how can we understand their values, motivations, and beliefs? Without those, how will we know whether they were advanced or primitive? Shouldn’t those with simple living and high thinking be contrasted to those with high living and simple thinking? The materialistic method will always conclude that those with high living must be high thinkers. That conclusion will make it impossible to find meaningful cause-and-effect connections because high-living and simple-thinking people act for different reasons than high-thinking and simple-living people.

Examples of False Word-Meanings

False Translation of Dharma

Let’s begin with “dharma”, which is translated as “religion” in English although religion is common for a group of people while dharma is unique for each person. Due to Varṇāśrama, society is divided into four classes and four life-stages. Each class and life-stage has a different dharma. Therefore, we might translate “dharma” as “duty”. Even this isn’t enough because water has a dharma of being cold and fire has a dharma of being hot. This is because water is cold and fire is hot due to the action of a demigod, who acts lawfully in almost all situations although there are exceptions. For instance, fire was not hot for Prahalāda while it was hot for Holika, although both were sitting in the fire. Holika was burnt while Prahalāda was not. This selective and directed action, which acts differently on different people—with the aim to maximize goodness for most possible times, places, situations, and people—is dharma.

Dharma is not universal rules and regulations—as its translation into “religion” would seem to imply. It is rather the duty of an honest, diligent, and sincere person to try to maximize goodness. For instance, a policeman can sometimes be harsh toward criminals while he is kind toward the innocent. If we universalize the duty as rules and regulations, then the policeman must either be harsh toward the innocent or kind toward the criminals. That would not be dharma. Dharma is not just the contextual duty of a person, but it is also specific to each individual. Someone who is unable to do their duty due to handicaps or impossible constraints is not in violation of dharma, although he would be in violation of rules and regulations. When we equate dharma to “religion” we make it common rules for everyone, rather than a contextualized and individualized duty of a person meant only to maximize goodness.

False Translation of Prakṛti

The word “prakṛti” is translated as “nature” in English, but the real meaning is “artificial” and “created”. In European languages, mind, intelligence, ego, and morals are not part of “nature”. They are, in fact, the antithesis of nature. In a Western religious doctrine, the mind is considered spiritual, while nature is material. However, in Vedic texts, both body and mind are parts of prakṛti. The prakṛti comprises three basic qualities from which both mind and body are constructed, which means that the mind and body are not two fundamental kinds of “substances” and there is no mind-body interaction problem.

Therefore, when we translate prakṛti as “nature” people think that it excludes the “mind”. When we talk about prakṛti as “nature”, people think that we are talking about one thing, when we are at least talking about three essential qualities, if not more—there are 8 subdivisions of prakṛti by quality combination, which are also expanded into 24 divisions of prakṛti through even more combinations. Infinite variety is created by these combinations, and all this variety is dissolved simply by the separation of qualities.

The three qualities of nature are logically opposed, which means that prakṛti doesn’t follow binary logic. At the bare minimum, there are three opposites instead of two opposites. These three qualities are also mutually defined such that we cannot define any quality in isolation. Hence, we have to think of prakṛti as the head, tail, and coin, in which neither of the three can be defined without the other two. There is no coin without a head and tail; there is no head without a tail or a coin; there is no tail without a head and coin. The head is not the tail; the tail is not the head; the coin is not the head; the coin is not the tail. And yet, three opposites exist simultaneously because they are mutually inseparable.

By the co-existence of opposites, binary logic is rejected. By the inseparability of one opposite from another, the opposites must co-exist. Modern probability theory accepts two opposites in a coin based on non-contradiction. It rejects the fact that when you get the head, you also get the tail and the coin, although you don’t see them. What we don’t see also exists. Since the thing not being seen is logically opposed to what I see, acknowledging the simultaneous existence of opposites would destroy logic. Therefore, we have to distinguish between truth and fact—facts are one, but the truth is opposites at once. Excluded middle and non-contradiction are about observable facts, but they cannot lead us to the truth. The result of this distinction is that probabilities must be epistemic rather than ontological. Probability is our ignorance about what is going to happen, rather than a factual objective indeterminism within reality itself.

We do immense damage to the understanding of prakṛti when we translate it as “nature” because: (a) thoughts, beliefs, judgments, and morals are excluded, (b) the fact that these can be false and the result is an illusion is seemingly contravened by the objective reality of “nature”, (c) it is assumed that any subdivision of prakṛti must be independent parts when they are inseparable parts, and (d) since nature follows binary logic while prakṛti does not mean that a logical theory of prakṛti—i.e., one that tries to describe ternary opposites in terms of binary opposites—must also become self-contradictory.

False Translation of Graha

The term “graha” is translated as a “planet” when the correct translation is “house”. We live in a house, and we live on a planet. A house has one main door from which we exit it. A planet has no doors. One who doesn’t know about these doors is locked inside the house, but nobody is locked inside a planet. A house has an owner, but a planet is not owned by anyone. To go to someone’s house, we need an invitation. However, no invitation is needed to go to a planet. To live in someone’s house we have to have the same nature as the owner of the house, but no such similarity is needed to live on some planet. Places in a house are meant for different purposes such as cooking, eating, bathing, sleeping, and playing. There are no such distinctions of purpose and usefulness within a planet. Thus, when we translate graha as a “planet” we destroy all the fundamental properties associated with a house to create a falsehood.

In Vedic texts, a graha is just like a mind, and anything inside the graha is just like a thought in the mind. This is necessary to solve the mind-body problem under which concepts applied to the body cannot be true unless the body is also just like the mind. Set-theoretic paradoxes arise if we do not treat the body like the mind, because we apply concepts to the body, and unlike concepts that can simultaneously exist in many minds, parts of bodies can only exist in one place.

Let’s consider the concept of “leg”. We think that both cats and dogs have legs. But if we treat the leg as the name of an object, then it must not exist in any other place: Only one dog or one cat in the entire universe can have a “leg” because “leg” is the name of an object. If we treat the leg as a concept under the mind-body divide, then the concept of “leg” can only exist in the mind because concepts are properties of the mind rather than the body. These concepts also cannot be applied to the body because the concept is applied to many things and hence exists in many places while the body can only exist in one place. Thus the claim that a cat or dog has a leg must be false. We can evaluate every concept like this, and each of these will be falsified because the concept can exist in many places, but the body can only exist in one place.

The solution to this problem is that the body must be treated just like the mind. Just as concepts can simultaneously exist in many minds, similarly, the leg must be a concept that exists in many bodies. This solution to the set-theoretic paradoxes and the mind-body problem entails that even a graha must be treated just like a mind. The bodies produced within a graha would then be just like thoughts produced in the mind. When the body disintegrates after death, we must describe that disintegration just like we describe the dissolution of thought in the mind. The mind is now the model for describing the body.

One result of this change is that energy is no longer conserved. Thoughts can appear and disappear; one thought can create many thoughts; some thoughts put an end to thoughts. This is not unscientific. It is rather the modeling of the body just like the mind. When conservation is rejected, then the entire universe can pop out of some mind in a moment and pop into some mind in a moment. We don’t need millions of years for the big bang to expand a universe. It can happen in a moment. We don’t need forces to push objects. Instead, we can think of changes to the world in terms of the effect of one concept on another. Close your eyes and observe the flow of thoughts. See the thoughts swirling around in the mind, and explain the body movement (which you see with your eyes open) in the same way. If you have a problem with this idea, then just imagine that you are dreaming. Lifting an object in a dream still feels heavy. So, heaviness is not the result of a gravitational law. Develop a system of rationality that will explain the appearance and disappearance of thoughts and how one thought interacts with other thoughts and such an explanation will also work for the body without a mind-body problem. When you can explain both mind and body in the same way, then the explanation can be considered complete. Whatever is a complete description can also be considered true.

When the thought disappears in the mind, the mind doesn’t become ignorant. The thought still exists in an unmanifest form in the mind. Therefore, we can say that the earth-mind is not presently thinking of dinosaurs, but the dinosaurs have become unmanifest. The counter to Darwinian evolution—that we discussed earlier—comes straight out of the treatment of the earth as a mind. There is now no problem in personalizing the earth because the earth is a mind. There is no problem in saying that the earth is a “mother” that feeds the earthly inhabitants as her children. There is no problem in saying that certain living entities are painful thoughts in the earth’s mind that she is eager to get rid of.

There is a central picture of the self in the mind, which constitutes its self-image, which we call a “planet”. Surrounding that self-image are mental pictures of the world, which we call other planets and galaxies. The images of the external reality are not identical to that reality. The self-image is not precisely what the self is. Hence, it is not incorrect to say that everything we see is only an image and it may not be reality. For most people, who don’t have a correct conception of the self, the images surrounding that self-image are also false. That doesn’t mean these images could never be reality. The journey toward the truth involves correcting all the images in the mind—beginning with the self-image—to bring them closer and closer to reality until they become precisely equal to reality. The simplest path to this epistemological method is to simply correct the self-image by becoming an unalloyed devotee of the Lord. When the self-image is corrected, all other images are corrected. Thus, by devotion, we get perfect knowledge. This is the science of image construction: The world image is constructed from a self-image. If the self-image is false, then the world image is false. By correcting the self-image, the world is known perfectly. Devotion is therefore not mere faith. It is also epistemology.

This idea is formulated as atmavat manyate jagat which means “just as one is, he thinks the world is just like that”. An honest person thinks everyone is honest. A cheater thinks that everyone is a cheater. If one becomes an animal, he says that humans are animals. A businessman thinks that the world is constructed out of transactional dealings and contractual agreements. An oppressor thinks that the world is working due to the application of forces. Finally, a devotee says that the world is working based on love. Accordingly, there are many models of science based on self-image; they model the same empirical data in different ways. The present science based on inert particles and forces is the model of an oppressor. If someone acquires a particular type of mentality, then he is transported to a graha suited to his mentality at the point of death.

Like the mind has “doors” to the outer world, which we call the five senses, similarly, a graha has some doors by which we can leave it behind. If we understand Sañkhyā, then there are four successive doors called smelling, tasting, seeing, and touching, that progressively lead the inhabitant to the main door called “space”. When we exit that door, we leave one space behind and enter another space. Since that space is just like a house, this is how we go from one house to another, or one graha to another. At the point of death, the mind leaves the body through the main door that we call “space” (there are nuances to this, which I will not get into right now), and enters another door which we also call “space”. These two spaces are not the same. They are rather different graha or “houses”. Those who don’t know the successive doors that lead to the main door, cannot escape the graha voluntarily. They can keep roaming inside the graha, like a person wandering in his mind, looking at images that have been constructed based on a false self-image, but that type of wandering cannot be equated to reality, nor can we truthfully escape that image-world.

When graha is equated to a “planet” everything else in cosmology becomes incomprehensible. People start thinking that their journey within the graha is a journey to another planet when they are roaming within the graha, although away from the center to focus on the pictures of other things. They don’t realize that there are specific doors from which one can escape the graha. However, each type of escape will lead a person to a different type of reality—akin to how the consciousness can pass through the “doors” of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound at present in order to see a specific kind of external reality.

The earth planet is not the earth “graha”. It is the self-image of the graha. It is most like the graha, but it is not identical to the graha. The graha is the collection of self- and other-images. The earth-graha is everything we can see right now. All those things we call other planets and galaxies are simply pictures in the earth-mind. They may correspond to reality to varying degrees. But they are not real planets or galaxies because we are talking about the pictures situated within a mind, not the reality that exists outside the mind.

One comes to these conclusions after solving the mind-body problem and set-theoretic paradoxes. If those haven’t been attended to prior, then the body is seen as a different kind of thing than the mind. The result will be: (a) we can never explain the mind, (b) we will depersonalize the graha, (c) we will falsely equate the movement within the graha to movement outside it, (d) because this movement doesn’t reveal life on the other planets, therefore, we will conclude that we are alone in the universe, and (e) we will fail to accept the existence of living entities scientifically and technologically more advanced than us.

False Translation of Kāraṇa

The correct translation of kāraṇa is a “choice”, but it is almost always translated as “cause”. A choice can be true or false, good or bad, right or wrong. But a cause will never be any of these things. A cause simply exists or doesn’t exist. A choice, on the other hand, may or may not exist, but when it exists, it can be judged in three ways as true, right, and good. This is because a choice exists in the mind. I can choose to make a statement: “I am hurting you to help you” but it could be false (because I am lying), wrong (I am not supposed to hurt, let alone hurt and lie about it), and bad (nothing good is coming out of this hurting contrary to my claims). We cannot apply any of these judgments to a cause because causes are something outside the mind, such as a push or pull force, and never a choice. A choice is a cause but a cause is not a choice.

Related to kāraṇa is a karaṇa which is mostly translated correctly as an “instrument”. The body is an instrument. It exists as the potential for cognition and conation. By choice, we activate these potentials to know and act. Therefore, the action of the body can be called the effect of a kāraṇa on a karaṇa—i.e., the effect of a choice on an instrument by which a previously inert potential is activated by choice. Matter is potentials, choice activates them.

Thus, when we talk about “causal laws”, everyone thinks that we are talking about laws of force and matter, when we are talking about “choice laws” which are laws of choice and judgment. There is no Sanskrit word for “cause”. There is just a kāraṇa which is incorrectly translated as “cause”. A choice is sometimes called a “reason” because choices can be rational, and both reasons and choices are in the mind. But nobody would understand what we are talking about if we talked about “reason laws”. At most, they will imagine that we are talking about laws of thought, rationality, or reasoning. They might imagine that we are talking about the laws of logical inference since rationality means logical inference. Nobody will come to the conclusion that we are talking about “laws of choice”. Thereby, we create a misrepresentation of what we mean whenever we talk about “causal laws” just as when we talk about “reason laws”.

Then, if we talk about Kāraṇodaka, by calling it the “ocean of choices”, most people will correctly think of a supermarket with an assortment of jams and jellies as the “ocean of choices” to be selected from. This “ocean” is the primordial state of matter into which the soul enters based on its choice to enjoy a specific type of life. It is just like picking a bottle of jam or jelly in a supermarket after reading its summarized description and price printed on a bottle, but without tasting the jam or jelly. A deceptive label easily fools us.

However, since “choice” is not a dictionary meaning of kāraṇa, people will object to the translation of Kāraṇodaka as an “ocean of choices” on grounds of semantics. If we call Kāraṇodaka a “Causal Ocean” then it flies a few meters above everyone’s head. Effectively, we are not left with any good translation—(a) using causal for kāraṇa makes the ocean inconceivable, (b) using reason for kāraṇa makes “reason laws” inconceivable, and (c) the use of choice for kāraṇa is outside the dictionary. A bad dictionary makes it impossible to know.

Problems of Inaccurate Dictionaries

The Creation of Flawed Dictionaries

I have picked some of the simplest examples of ordinary English translations—such as religion, nature, planet, and cause—of the original Sanskrit words dharma, prakṛti, graha, and kāraṇa to illustrate why none of the meanings of the supposed English translations are what they factually mean in Sanskrit. I can go on with more complex words such as knowledge, beauty, wealth, observation, and reasoning, but it won’t strengthen the point that I’m trying to make, namely, that English dictionaries are incorrectly translating Sanskrit.

The main tool in the hand of a linguist trying to trace linguistic connections in history is a dictionary. If the dictionary is good, then the research can find good connections. If it is not, then most of the research is worthless because it is trying to find phonetic and semantic similarities between languages when the dictionary that gives the phonetic-semantic mapping is itself flawed. Unfortunately, present-day dictionaries that map Sanskrit words into European words were produced during colonial times, by people who did not have appropriate words to translate Sanskrit words. They just used approximations. Some of those approximations were accurate; most of them were way off.

The researchers who use these dictionaries haven’t understood that Sanskrit is a phonosemantic language in which each letter of the Sanskrit alphabet is mapped to a precise meaning in philosophy and when we produce words by combining these letters, we cannot deviate from the meaning that would arise as the result of combining phonemes with fixed meanings. The linguists who created Sanskrit dictionaries treated Sanskrit just as they had treated European languages, namely, that the phonetic-semantic mapping is arbitrary.

They could have searched for better meanings while creating dictionaries if they knew the philosophy of language. But they marched ahead without philosophy, and with their cultural assumptions of arbitrary phonetic-semantic mappings to create Sanskrit dictionaries. Those who know philosophy, circumvent some of the dictionary problems by giving better translations, at the cost of spending greater effort, elongating the explanation to unwieldy lengths, while risking the fact that people reading those explanations cannot understand something that may be totally different from their cultural assumptions.

Double Standards on Translations

While the colonialists were building inaccurate dictionaries and using them to produce fictional translations of Sanskrit texts into European languages, they treated Western authors with immense respect. Translators of a German thinker, for instance, were typically (a) students of the thinker, (b) who had studied their ideas under his tutelage, (c) they had appreciation and respect for the thinker and his theories, (d) they were intimate with the original and translated language’s cultures, and (e) they knew the preceding history of reasons that prompted the propounding of a different theory. Similarly, as scientific papers were translated from one language to another, (a) the translator was a subject-matter expert, (b) having studied the subject under the tutelage of other subject-matter experts, (c) had an appreciation for the ideas in the papers they he was translating, (d) knew the preceding history of reasons that led to the claims in the paper, and (e) had intimacy with both original and translated language’s cultures. The standards that Europeans applied to the works of other Europeans were never applied to the Sanskrit works.

When a pupil studies a master’s work only to undermine the master, imagines himself to be more enlightened than the master, pays scant attention to what the master is saying, continuously judges the master from his viewpoint, and argues with the master after distorting and misrepresenting what he is saying, then the light of clarity is withdrawn and the darkness of confusion is given. Bad dictionaries are the curse of darkness. They obscure the truth from an arrogant person. That curse has been inherited by Western academics who learn at the feet of their arrogant predecessors and remain ignorant.

The precondition of learning a subject is called śraddhā, which means respect, although it is incorrectly translated as “faith” and “belief”. A learned gentleman is called śraddheya or a respectable person. When a person leaves his body, his or her eldest child performs a śrāddha—paying his respects. When others offer respect to a person who has left his body, it is called śraddhānjali, which means hands folded in respect. It is not hard to make a dictionary if one is sincere. When śraddheya, śrāddha, and śraddhānjali mean respect in different forms, then how can śraddhā mean faith and belief? And yet, we always find incongruous meanings of words that use the same roots. This is because those who concocted these dictionaries lacked the sincere respect to study the language and the intent to understand it. They have condemned generations of people who use their dictionaries with the curse of their insincerity.

The Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu states: ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ, which means “in the beginning respect, then the association of the saintly person, then bhajana (repeating what was heard), then the destruction of meaninglessness and purposelessness, then there is firmness, and then comes genuine taste”.

But one who has no respect will never associate with a saintly person and will never repeat what has been stated precisely. He will never destroy the sense of meaninglessness and purposelessness in his life. He will never be firm; to reconcile the contradictions in his own claims, he will keep changing, updating, and modifying his falsehoods like a thief tells many lies after being caught. Finally, he will never have a genuine taste for anything, and he will never become happy with his own work. His entire life would be wasted in deceitful miscreant activities only meant to create a disturbance for everyone else.

Using Bad Dictionaries for AIT Linguistics

Academics trying to construct a history of racial migration based on linguistic semblances between Sanskrit and European languages are relying on bad dictionaries, which obscure more than they reveal, confuse more than they clarify, and hamper more than they assist. The tools needed for such a study are absent. The present tools only advance false theories. Those who use these inadquate and misleading tools must therefore have questionable motives. They might not want to see that Sanskrit is a phonosemantic language with one-to-one mapping between phonetics and semantics. They may ignore how other languages break such properties to assign varying meanings to words made out of the same phonemes.

Even casual students of Sanskrit can see that it is an ideal language due to its phonosemantic properties, while other languages aren’t. If we have to trace evolution, then why not trace the evolution from perfect to imperfect languages? Why not study the meanings of phonemes through a comparative analysis of words to understand what these sounds mean? Why not chant mantras to see the effects of such sounds on our minds and bodies to confirm that the sound-meaning mapping is accurate? Why should we assume that language is a late human invention and that every language is an arbitrary phonetic-semantic mapping concoction when we have the contravening evidence and a method to confirm it ourselves?

Why the Debate on AIT is Long-Lived

There are many answers to these questions. First, academia is ideologically committed to Darwinian evolution in which order emerges from the disorder as a result of purely material factors. Second, academia is ideologically committed to European racial supremacy under which the best languages must have been produced by the best race, so byproducts of another race must be necessarily inferior. Third, the West perceives the long-lived Vedic civilization as an exception to its superiority claims—it was able to destroy native cultures almost completely on multiple continents but it hasn’t been able to destroy the Vedic civilization proportionately. Fourth, destruction is the primary way to justify Biblical racial narratives. Fifth, it sees the Vedic tradition as an ideological, cultural, religious, philosophical, and civilizational threat to its continuity, which has to be undermined to ensure the survival of Western values.

Jealousy is a tribute that mediocrity pays to genius. Mediocrity cannot pay a better tribute. This is the best kind of tribute that it can pay. Hence, we accept the tribute. To those perturbed by AIT, I would say: Don’t worry about who came from where, when, and how. Study the books, find the truth, practice the truth, and focus on verifying the truth for yourself to become convinced of it. The rest will take care of itself in time. The truth always triumphs. Satyameva Jayate.

Cite this article as:

Ashish Dalela, "Problems of the Aryan Invasion Theory," in Shabda Journal, January 20, 2023,