This book contains studies by well-known Greek Indologist who repeatedly considers the thorny problem of Indoaryan origins and finds its solution in indigenism. The studies examine various aspects of the Indo-European common heritage and of the Vedic Tradition. One study analyses the position of the early Hittite Culture in relation to the other IE branches and especially Vedic. Another traces the common names of deities in the different IE cultures. Two studies compare Vedic and Mesopotamian and Vedic and Egyptian interconnections respectively. Others examine purely Vedic issues like the religio - philosophical thought in the Vedas and the real meaning of the worlds pur’ defensive structure’ and samudra confluence of waters, ocean.’ In all these studies the Vedic inheritance emerges as the oldest of all IE traditions, older than even the Near eastern cultures; the bulk of the Rgveda hymns appear to have been composed in the 4th millennium; and the Indoaryans are shown to have been residing in North-West India (and Pakistan)since about 5000 BCE. The writer arrives at these conclusions by examining and comparing evidences from the linguistic, literary, anthropological and archaeological fields (and from Genetics).
Dr. Nicholas Kazanas is Greek born. He was educated chiefly in Britain. He read English Literatire in University College; Economics and Philosophy at the School of Economic Science; Sanskrit in the School of Oriental and African Studies – all in London. He did his post-graduate studies at SOAS and in Pune and Varanasi. He taught for some years in London. For more than 20 years now he is the Director of Omilos Meleton, a Cultural Institute in Athens. He has various publications in Greek; several peer –reviewed academic Journals, Western and Indian, have printed his articles on Indology.
The basic theme of the papers in this volume is that much of the RV(-Rgveda) is pre-Harappan, certainly before 3200 and probably before 3800 BCE. A corollary to this idea is that the IAs (=Indoaryans ) who composed and arranged the Rigvedic hymns round the old Sarasvati river were fully indigenous to Saptasindhu, the land of the seven rivers in what is today N-W India and Pakistan. Both ideas go against the grain of the mainstream academic notion that wants the IAs to enter this area c1700-1500 and compose the RV c1200 or after. These ideas are still cherished among Western indologists but there is a distinct change of climate in favour of indigensim in Indian centres of learning. Some scholars in the West are changing too.
Except paper Two the others unfold in two lines of thought. One line is a direct presentation of the evidence for an early RV date and for Indoaryan indigenism and of various issues regarding Rigvedic Studies, like the meaning of pur in paper Four. The other is polemic and attacks the various false arguments marshaled by the adherents of the AIT (=Aryan Invasion / Immigration Theory). Professor M. Witzel receives the brunt of my attacks since he writes on this subject more frequently and vociferously then any other scholar: there is nothing personal. We have met and exchanged views fairly amicably, but I disagree both with his views and methods.
As the papers have an introductory paragraph summing up the issues and argument(s) involved, I shall not write much about each one of them except to indicate the journal or other publication where each appeared.
Like other indigenists I have received attacks and critiques, some of them rather scurrilous (from my priyatamasatru Witzel). Some mainstreamers accuse me of having an “agenda”, which in academic parlance means that I have strong preconceptions and do not heed other views (i.e. those of the accusers) and am therefore incapable of being objective (as the accusers believe themselves to be). This of course is patent nonsense. All scholars without exception are prejudiced to a degree (whether in the political or religious sphere) and to that degree all their views are coloured. Even to say or think “I have no point of view in the matter’ is a point of view or an agenda. All scholars have therefore an agenda in promoting their personal pet theories; that these theories may be shared by others, or even an enormous majority, does not make them correct and does not put the scholars above an agenda. Such writers when tested, appear, I have found, wanting in good scholarship(which entails broad and detailed knowledge of the subject)and sound reasoning. They hide behind a veneer of superciliousness and one upmanship producing heaps of writing, full of irrelevant secondary references and tedious trivia that constitute sheer pedantry and do not advance true knowledge one iota. Things are not much different in the field of positive sciences. ”Much as the fields purports to encourage experimental freedom, the entire structure of science, with its highly competitive grant system, coupled with the publishing and peer review system, largely depends upon individuals conforming to the accepted scientific [=mainstream]view. The system tends to encourage professionals to carry out experimentation whose purpose is primarily to confirm the existing [=received, ’orthodox’]view of things or to further develop technology for industry, rather than to serve up true innovation”(Mc Taggart 2001: 13; square brackets added). Remove this last phrase ”technology for industry” and you have the same situation in the humanities. Or, to cite a slightly different aspect of the same matter; “Good ideas are often very annoying tom people who have built their careers around old bad ones”.(Hancock 2005;214).
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