Who Were The Aryans- Indians, Iranians, or Europeans?

by Daniel Oliver

 aryan

Abstract:  The identity and origin of the historical Aryans need not be a mystery.  However, disabusing oneself of misguided 18th-20th century racialist notions is necessary for reaching understanding.  To do that, the author employs Aryan scriptures, and artifacts, non-Aryan historical accounts, and linguistics to locate, describe, and define the Aryans.  The sources are not new, but a fresh analysis establishes surprising conclusions about heretofore unknown Aryan links to a broader ancient civilization.

WHERE DO ARYANS COME FROM?

According to their scriptures, the homeland of the Aryans was modern day Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India.

Sixteen perfect lands created by Ahura Mazda, and as many plagues created by Angra Mainyu.

Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathushtra, saying:

1: I have made every land dear (to its people), even though it had no charms whatever in it

2: had I not made every land dear (to its people), even though it had no charms whatever in it, then the whole living world would have invaded the Airyana Vaeja.

3: The first of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the Airyana Vaeja, by the Vanguhi Daitya.  (Avesta:  Vendidad: Fargard 1)

The footnote to this translation states that

Airyanem Vaeja, Iran-Vej, is the holy land of Zoroastrianism: Zarathushtra was born and founded his religion there (Bund. 20.3232.3).  From its name, ‘the Iranian seed,’ it seems to have been considered as the original seat of the Iranian race.

It has been generally supposed to belong to Eastern Iran, like the provinces which are enumerated after it, chiefly on account of the name of its river, the Vanguhi Daitya, which was in the Sassanian times (as Veh) the name of the Oxus.

But the Bundahish distinctly states that Iran-Vej is ‘bordering upon Adarbajan [Azerbaijan]‘ (29.12)…   [1]

To settle the confusion of eastern versus northern Iranian plateau, we have Strabo, who in his Geography says that Eratosthenes so defined Ariana:

‘Ariana,’ he says, is bounded on the east by the Indus, on the south by the Great Sea, on the north by the Paropamisus and the succeeding chain of mountains as far as the Caspian Gates, on the west by the same limits by which the territory of the Parthians is separated from Media, and Carmania from Parætacene and Persia. (Strabo’s Geography)

Aryanem-Vaeja / Iran-Vej / Ariana
Aryanem-Vaeja / Iran-Vej / Ariana

In the Vedas, Aryavarta (Land of the Noble Ones) is extended as far as the Bay of Bengal:

The Manusmti (2.22) gives the name [Aryavarta] to “the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern Sea (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)”.[2]

Arya Varta
Arya Varta

Here are the combined Aryan Homelands, covering areas historically or currently known (from east to west) as Khorasan, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Sindh, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal:

Aryan Homelands (Indus River in blue represents border between Aryanem Vaeja and Arya Varta)
Aryan Homelands (Indus River in blue represents border between Aryanem Vaeja and Arya Varta)

This, of course, brings the discussion to the opposing Out of India and Aryan Invasion/Migration theories, in short the debate over whether Aryans originated in Greater India, or came from the north.

If the Aryans were from somewhere else, they would have named that place Aryanem Vaeja or Arya Varta.  This is critical.  It defies logic to claim, or even think, that Aryans forsook the place of their origin for the place of their migration.  Crucially, as mentioned above, one translation of Aryanem Vaeja is ‘Aryan seed’- alluding to birthplace or origin.  No place outside of the mapped homelands has ever been named or thought of as an Aryan homeland, to the author’s knowledge.

Aryans did indeed migrate out of their homelands- most likely not as conquerors, but as people wielding “soft” power- cultural, spiritual and technological influence.  As the more developed culture, their language(s), spiritual systems, and cultural mores dominated the new the new hybrid cultures they fostered by moving north.  According to Indologist Giacomo Benedetti,

If there were ‘cultural ties’, they should have spoken a common language, and why not Indo-Iranian as in the later centuries, the same language of the names of the rivers and mountains of that region, when not substituted by Turkic words? Moreover, if we look at the textual traditions, in the Avesta we have the Airyas as a settled people, living on agriculture and stockbreeding, opposed to the Tuiryas (remained as Turanians in the Iranian tradition), who are nomads (but also bearing Iranian names), exactly the situation that we find in the late Bronze Age and in the Iron Age in Central Asia, with steppe pastoralists in contact with the settled agriculturists of a tradition of millennia of sedentary civilization, well reflected also in the Shahnameh of Firdusi. If the Aryans were the nomads from the steppe, the situation in the Avesta and Firdusi should be completely opposite. Not only, in the hymns of the Avesta (e.g. Yt. 5) the ancient Iranian heroes are often associated with mountains, including the progenitor Yima, who is described as offering a sacrifice on the Hukairya mountain, which is probably in Pamir. Whence came these traditions if they came from the northern flatlands? [13]

So, if we combine Iranian texts and archaeology, we suspect that the Aryans are actually the heirs of the Central-South Asian Neolithic tradition, and not of the steppe nomads, who normally are absorbed by the superior culture of the sedentary civilizations,

The contrast between the southern Aryan culture and that of the steppes- home of the Scythians, for example, who undeservedly show up in Aryan origin hypotheses- and who had the capacity to influence whom is clear in Benedetti’s analysis

“The steppe pastoralists in the Iron Age learned from the agriculturists: for instance, in the Tagisken mausoleums on the Syr Darya, they used bricks, obviously unknown in the steppes, but so typical of the southern civilization, since the Neolithic Mehrgarh in Baluchistan…” [13]

“Around 3800 BC in Baluchistan (where we find the technologically most advanced pottery tradition of Eastern Iran) appeared the earliest grey ware, which spread over the Indus plain but also westward to the whole of the Helmand valley, Bampur and Kerman.” [13]

Baluchi Boy
Baluchi Boy

He adds

The fact that there was trade with BMAC suggests that Bactria-Margiana merchants and metallurgists went north in search of metal sources and maybe of a better climate, in that period of aridification at the end of the third millennium, and started to colonize that region with their fortified settlements with their perpendicular streets, inner square and concentric walls [13]

Finally,

The influences of the pastoralists of the steppe reached the south, but they did not bring a radical change, rather the steppe peoples were influenced by the farmers, as recognized by Askarov about the Iron Age in Transoxiana (op.cit., p.441): “The cultural and economic tradition of the advanced southern communities gradually permeated the stockbreeding population of the steppes.” [13]

Thus, it is clear that Aryans came from Aryan Vaeja- as Baluchistan, in modern southeast Iran-southwest Pakistan, along with the other areas mentioned, is squarely in the historical Aryan homelands- in addition to naming it after themselves.  The elements of Aryan civilization (language, spirituality, symbology) found in the steppes, which later spread west, travelled upwards from Ariana, not the reverse.

Later migrations and diffusion, of peoples Aryan and Anaryans together, would spread languages to the uncivilized peoples of the steppe (whether in the steppe itself or to the places they themselves had migrated- west Asia a/k/a “Europe).

The Scythians are the historical Iranian speakers of the steppe. They should be seen not as the bearers of Indo-Iranian languages from the north to the south, but the opposite, as the nomadic pioneers of the Iranian languages (like the Tuiryas and Sairimas of the Avesta), who brought them up to Siberia in the east and Ukraine in the west.[13]

A parallel scenario is the spread of Islam around the globe.  Initially, majority Arab conquerors spread outwards from Arabia in all directions.  Under their influence, diverse peoples adopted and modified the Arabic script, and added many Arabic words to their lexicon.  They, of course, were not Arabs themselves, but they spread their new hybrid cultures further, including their script and vocabulary.  While some people in these secondary and tertiary waves may have had some Arab ancestry, they would have been in the minority.  Importantly, no one would ever think that any place but the Arabian peninsula is Arabia, and no one claims that Persians, Turks, East Africans and Malays are all Arabs, despite cultural, linguistic and (very sparse) genetic affinities.

With that, the question of Aryan diffusion is solved:  a cultural empire spread out from the Iranian plateau and Indian sub-continent, civilizing and influencing the steppe nomads- who themselves were populating “Europe”- in its wake.

Who is Aryan Today?

Some people in the Aryan Homelands may have some Aryan blood.

The Aryan homelands covered a huge landmass in the middle of the world’s largest continent. It’s been invaded, occupied and ruled by Mongols (multiple times), Turkic peoples, and Arabs.  The Iranian plateau in particular was inundated for centuries by “white” and other slaves [3].  This would have added to and altered the local genotypes and phenotypes.

To complement that, people from the Aryan homelands have also migrated in many directions.  While they would have influenced the genotypes and phenotypes there, theirs would have been influenced in return.

Saying that whoever is in the Aryan homelands now are direct, “pure-blooded” descendants of the Aryans, would be extremely difficult to prove.  To even say that whoever speaks “Aryan” languages is Aryan, is also poor logic.  No one claims that Senegalese are ethnically French just for speaking French, for example.

ARE “EUROPEANS” ARYAN?

No.

Aside from random chance, West Asians “Europeans” do not descend from Aryans.

They either don’t know their origins, or are hiding them:

The desire to have ancestors as illustrious and grand as possible can be found with all European peoples.

  • The Romans believed their ancestors to origin from Troy.

  • The medieval Spanish aristocracy put emphasis on their superior Visigothic blood which not only made them different from their subjects but also put them above them.

  • The French continue to become chronic schizophrenics as soon as they are to decide whether they are descendants either of Vercingetorix and the Gauls (Celts) or of Charles The Great (Charlemagne) and the Franks (Teutons).

  • Some English seemingly not satisfied with their mix of Briton, Anglo-Saxonian, Viking and Norman predecessors still found it necessary to have one lost tribe of Israel driven to their coasts in order to make sure they have even older and religiously more important ancestors.

  • Now the Germans meant to see the roots of their own history in the changes caused by the very migration of the peoples that had caused the illustrious ancestors of their neighbors. Considering that even Tacitus mentioned that the Teutons were “of pure blood”, not at all mixed with other races and (therefore) authochtone, there seemed to be hardly any reason to doubt their Northern European origin.

  • When the Church needed a relation to the bible, Ashkenaz, one of Japhet’s grandsons, was found who discovered a way to Northern Europe and thus established the Teutons even within this frame. Especially during the time of Reformation one was proud to be different from the degenerated and corrupt Roman world. [4]

Essentially, they are inventing their origins as they go along.  It is a peculiar habit of western Asian (“European”) culture that continues today.  In academic discussions, such efforts should be seen as nothing other than absurd.

Under Christian influence, Europeans claimed biblical heritage.  Soon, another group came from the heart of Asia- the steppes- and they, too, had a claim to biblical lineage.  They were the Khazarian converts to Talmudic Judaism. (If you’ve noticed, most Ashkenazi Jews hail back to areas in or around the Eurasian steppes- the same location as Khazaria).  The fact that they were racially similar, but culturally distant from these arriving Jews compounded the problem settled Europeans had had with Jews from pre-Christian days (Roman Empire).  So they expelled them hundreds of times.  And they looked for a new, non-Biblical heritage to attach themselves to:

Thinkers of the calibre of Goethe, Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner found in the Orient a system of philosophy and historiography that allowed them to abandon the unsatisfactory world view of Judeo-Christianity…  Of course, in order to establish and strengthen the link between the Germans and the Orient, Hebrew had to be abandoned as the original language of humanity, to be replaced by Sanskrit, the language of classical Hinduism. [4]

The above quote illustrates the intentional to create a new identity- Aryan- to distance “Europeans” from Jews.  It is the root of Aryan/”white” vs. Jew anti-semitism.

The premier Aryanist thinkers of the time eventually came to this realization, but too late:

By way of illustration, it may be pointed out in this connection that English is spoken at the present day by, among others, the Hong Kong Chinamen, the American Red Indians and negroes, by the natives of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Scottish Highlands, besides the descendants of the ancient Britons, the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, the Norsemen, the Danes, and the Normans in England, but all these peoples cannot be classified in the racial sense simply as Englishmen. Similarly, the varied types of humanity who are Aryan in speech cannot all be regarded as representatives of the “Aryan race”, that is, if we accept the theory of an “Aryan race”, which Virchow, by the way, has characterized as “a pure fiction”. (author’s emphasis)

Max Müller in his closing years, faced this aspect of the problem frankly and courageously. “Aryas”, he wrote, “are those who speak Aryan languages, whatever their colour, whatever their blood. In calling them Aryas we predicate nothing of them except that the grammar of their language is Aryan. . . . I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood, nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language. The same applies to Hindus, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Celts, and Slays. When I speak of these I commit myself to no anatomical characteristics. The blue-eyed and fair-haired Scandinavians may have been conquerors or conquered, they may have adopted the language of their darker lords or their subjects, or vice versa. I assert nothing beyond their language when I call them Hindus, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Celts, and Sla[v]s, and in that sense, and in that sense only, do I say that even the blackest Hindus represent an earlier stage of Aryan speech and thought than the fairest Scandinavians. . . . To me an ethnologist who speaks of an Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar.”[5] (author’s emphasis)

Their voices, unfortunately do not echo down the halls of history as loudly as racialists like Churchill and Hitler whose pseudo-scientific “mashup” of Aryans and Nordics justified incalculable atrocities and theft worldwide.

Here are other proofs that West Asians (“Europeans”) were never Aryan:

  • Greece, and later Rome, were in constant contact and conflict with Iran, and, in the case of Alexander, India.  Why didn’t they notice linguistic similarities then?  Why didn’t they consider themselves brothers in Aryan-hood?
  • Ancient historians were aware of Aryans, yet did not consider themselves part of them.  Even after Renaissance revival of Greek texts, the Europeans did not identify with Aryans for centuries.
  • No part of Europe or Russia was ever listed in the Aryan Homelands, not even by Europeans [Greco-Roman] historians.

In short, the term Aryan has never been, and should never be, applied to other branches of Indo-European people.

ARYANS WERE NOT NORDIC

There is even less basis for the conflation of Aryans and Nordics (blonde hair & blue eyes).

Our knowledge of these “Aryans” is sketchy, and there’s still a lot to be determined about them, both through anthropological and archaeological research. But we can be quite sure that they bore no direct relation to the modern inhabitants of Germany and Scandinavia. [6]

Another distinctive race has yet to be accounted for–the tall, fair, blue-eyed, long-headed Northerners, represented by the Scandinavians of the present day…  How dark eyes became grey or blue, and dark hair red or sandy, is a problem yet to be solved.

The ancestors of this fair race are believed to have been originally distributed along the northern Eur-Asian plateaus; Keane’s blonde long-headed Chudes and the Wu-suns in Chinese Turkestan are classed as varieties of the ancient Northern stock.  [7]

In short, Nordics (blond, blue-eyed) are not from the Aryan homeland.  Only by coincidence did Nordicism and interest in the Aryans arise at the same time.  It was a mistake to ever have merged them.

THEN WHAT WAS THE ARYAN RACE?

The Aryans did have what we now call a “race”, and we know what it is.

However before exploring that, it is important to remember that “race” (skin color, ethnicity) did not matter to the Aryans, and they were not a “master race”.

According to Rg Veda translator Kant Singh, “If you believe Griffith’s or even Jamison and Brereton’s translation (Oxford Univ. Press,2014), the Rigveda is a racist document”.  However, he goes on to argue, this is due to gross mistranslations that are so inaccurate they could only have been intentional.

He offers word-for-word translations and transliterations of relevant passages in his pivotal work “No Racism in the Rigveda”, available free online here.

Looking further into Aryan scripture, though, we do find some accurate information about their appearance.

DESCRIPTION IN HOLY SCRIPTURE

May thy hairs grow as reeds, may they clusterblack, about thy head! (Atharva Veda 6.137.2) 

Brahmins have strong black hair (Atharva Veda 6.137.3) Let him [the Brahmin Priest] kindle the sacrificial fire while his hair is still black. (Dharma-Sutra 1:2)

And in the Avesta we read:

O Zarathushtra! let not that spell be shown to any one, except by the father to his son, or by the brother to his brother from the same womb, or by the Athravan to his pupil in black hair, devoted to the good law, who, devoted to the good law, holy and brave, stills all the Drujes. (Khordha Avesta.Yashts.4.10)

“Reeds”:

reeds 2
Hair that is “strong”, “black” and “grows [i.e. unaided] as reeds”:

 

Hair that is “strong”, “black” and “as reeds” ‘clustered’ “about the head”:

ARYAN LANGUAGE

Linguists have also done much to ascertain the origin of the earliest inhabitants of Aryan homelands.

Most Congolese (Bantu) languages have an a-prefix (or augment) attached to past verbal forms:

  • Kele a-lembe-ke “loved”
  • Poto a-kala-ka “loved”
  • Ngala a-jinga-ka ”loved”
  • Kongo a-tond-ele ”loved” etc.

The augment is thought by Torrend (1891 : 237) to be a reduced form of the verb ya “go”.This feature is quite unusual and very significant. We assume Bantu has preserved a very ancient Niger-Congo characteristic here. The suffix -ke, -ka often cooccurs with this prefix.

Now Greek, an Indo-European language, preserves this augment  as do various other Indo-European languages (Meillet 1950 : 97)

  • Sanskrit a-bharat “he carried”

  • Old Persian a-bara “he was bringing”,

We know that there were once Niger-Congo languages in Iran from the evidence of place names (I-ran, compare I-raq), perhaps also in western India (Pakistan). Iran is nearer to Africa, and like India, has a prominent river system. The early Africans originally travelled by boat.

So Indo-Iranian, … appear to constitute a subgroup within Indo-European, which has Niger-Congo characteristics.  This subgroup extends from Greece in the west to India in the east.[8]

Recent linguistic discovery tends to show that a Cushite or Ethiopian race did in the earliest times extend itself along the shores of the Southern Ocean from Abyssinia to India… it extended from the Indus along the seacoast through the modern Beluchistan and Kerman, which was the proper country of the Asiatic Ethiopians [9]

THE ARYAN “RACE”

AS DESCRIBED BY HISTORIANS

The above linguistic findings, and the Ethiopian connection they begin to establish, are corroborated by the claims of historians about the ancient inhabitants of the Aryan Homelands:  that they were part of a vast religious and cultural empire, the worldwide cultural sphere known in antiquity as Ethiopia.

Classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans. [10]

“Homer and Herodotus call all the peoples of the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and Western Asia and India Ethiopians.”[10]

Herodotus wrote in his celebrated History that both the Western Ethiopians, who lived in Africa, and the Eastern Ethiopians who dwelled in India, were black in complexion…

The vestiges of this early civilization have been found in Nubia, the Egyptian Sudan, West Africa, Egypt, Mashonaland, India, Persia,

in ancient times Southern Asia had a Negro population ranging from the Persian Gulf to Indo-China and the Malay Archipelago.

SPIRITUAL EMPIRE & Legacy

arya dharma 04

The Greek philosopher Xenophanes (572–480 B.C.), pointed out a profound truth when he observed that the gods men worship very closely resemble the worshippers. In the words of this ancient sage: “Each man represents the gods as he himself is. The Ethiopian as black and flat-nosed the Thracian as red-haired and blue-eyed; and if horses and oxen could paint, they would no doubt depict the gods as horses and oxen.” This being the case; when we find the great nations of the world, both past and present, worshipping black gods, then we logically conclude that these peoples are either members of the black race, or that they originally received their religion in toto or in part from black people. The proofs are abundant. The ancient gods of India are shown with Ethiopian crowns on their heads…

yusufvishnuosiris

A study of the images of ancient deities of both the Old and New Worlds reveal their Ethiopic origin.    Most of these black gods were regarded as crucified saviors who died to save mankind by being nailed to a cross, or tied to a tree with arms outstretched as if on a cross, or slain violently in some other manner. Of these crucified saviors, the most prominent were Osiris and Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia

Whatever the Aryan thoughts, if any, about “race”, by today’s standards they had one.  Because “race” in general, and the “race” of the Aryans in particular, has become such a controversial and dogmatic issue in our time, and not to start a new dogma about “the” Aryan “race”, pictures are provided below of how some Aryans chose to depict themselves.

ARYAN APPEARANCE

MONUMENTS AND RELIEFS

Darius_III

“I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds … an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.” (Inscription of Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam)

Artaxerxes III, predecessor of Darius III, from his Tomb at Persepolis
Artaxerxes III, predecessor of Darius III, from his Tomb at Persepolis
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Susa palace
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Artaxerxes II’s palace in Susa
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Susa palace
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Susa palace
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Susa palace
Detail from Darius III's palace
Detail from Susa palace

These, of course, corroborate the hair texture and color given in the scriptural descriptions of Aryans, as well as the connection of the Aryan Homelands to Ethiopian civilization.

CONCLUSION

arya dharma 06

Aryan was a race, but at a time when race was not defined by ethnic relatedness, instead it was by qualitative similarity.  Aryans were people who shared and lived by the same ideals- noble ideals- not who came from the same family.  The very word itself denotes not a place or a family or color, but a value, a code, a standard of conduct.

Aryan, 1601, as a term in classical history, from L. Ariana, from Gk. Aria name applied to various parts of western Asia, ult. from Skt. Arya-s “noble, honorable, respectable… originally originally “belonging to the hospitable,” from arya-s “lord, hospitable lord,” originally “protecting the stranger,” from ari-s “stranger.” Ancient Persians gave themselves the same name (O.Pers. Ariya-), hence Iran (from Iranian eran, from Avestan gen. pl. airyanam).”

This is the true Aryan concept- not that of a certain ethnicity or phenotype, but of a noble way of life:

arya/årya does not mean a particular ”people” or even a particular ‘racial’ group but all those who had joined the tribes speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to their cultural norms (such as ritual, poetry, etc.) — as has been underlined for decades. [15]

It cannot be better stated than the words of Dr. N. S. Rajaram, who says

The word ‘Arya’ in Sanskrit means noble and never a race. In fact, the authoritative Sanskrit lexicon (c. 450 AD), the famous Amarakosa gives the following definition:

mahakula kulinarya sabhya sajjana sadhavah

An Arya is one who hails from a noble family, of gentle behavior and demeanor, good-natured and of righteous conduct

And the great epic Ramayana has a singularly eloquent expression describing Rama as:

arya sarva samascaiva sadaiva priyadarsanah

Arya, who worked for the equality of all and was dear to everyone.

The Rigveda also uses the word Arya something like thirty six times, but never to mean a race. The nearest to a definition that one can find in the Rigveda is probably:

praja arya jyotiragrah … (Children of Arya are led by light)

RV, VII. 33.17

The word ‘light’ should be taken in the spiritual sense to mean enlightenment. The word Arya,according to those who originated the term, is to be used to describe those people who observed a code of conduct; people were Aryans or non-Aryans depending on whether or not they followed this code. This is made entirely clear in the Manudharma Shastra or theManusmriti (X.43-45):

But in consequence of the omission of sacred rites, and of their not heeding the sages, the following people of the noble class [Arya Kshatriyas] have gradually sunk to the state of servants – the Paundrakas, Chodas, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Shakhas, Paradhas, Pahlavas, Chinas, Kiratas and Daradas.

Two points about this list are worth noting: first, their fall from the Aryan fold had nothing to do with race, birth or nationality; it was due entirely to their failure to follow certain sacred rites. Second, the list includes people from all parts of India as well as a few neighboring countries like China and Persia (Pahlavas). Kambojas are from West Punjab, Yavanas from Afghanistan and beyond (not necessarily the Greeks) while Dravidas refers probably to people from the southwest of India and the South.

Thus, the modern notion of an Aryan-Dravidian racial divide is contradicted by ancient records. We have it on the authority of Manu that the Dravidians were also part of the Aryan fold. Interestingly, so were the Chinese. Race never had anything to do with it until the Europeans adopted the ancient word to give expression to their nationalistic and other aspirations. [15]

If, still, a case is to be made on phenotypical similarity, then let the reader take bona fide Aryan artifacts, and not modern fantasy art, as a guide.

—————————-

References

  1. http://www.avesta.org/vendidad/vd1sbe.htm
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80ry%C4%81varta
  3. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/barda-index
  4. Schoz, S. “The myth of the “Aryan tribe”. Translation: Swindirhos.  http://www.rabenclan.de/index.php/Magazin/SvenScholzAryanE
  5. Mackenzie, Donald Alexander.  Indian Myth and Legend.  London:  Gresham Publishing Co., Ltd.  1913.  Retrieved 19.4.2015 at Indian Myth and Legend: Introduction
  6. Jack, Malcolm. “From Nomadic Tribesmen to Nazi Icons: Who Were the Aryans?”  7.2012.  Red Ice Creations.  Retrieved 4.12.2014 from http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=20861 via   http://heritage-key.com/world/nomadic-tribesmen-nazi-icons-who-were-Aryans
  7. “Indian Myth and Legend”. Sacred Texts.  http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/iml/iml05.htm#page_xxix
  8. http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/gc_dunn/Comparative_Linguistics.pdf
  9. Rawlinson, George. “On the Ethnic Affinities of the Races of Western Asia”.  Quoted in Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 from http://2017blackart.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/ethiopia-and-the-origin-of-civilization-by-john-g-jackson/
  10. Budge, E. A. Wallis. “History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface.”  Quoted in Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 from http://2017blackart.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/ethiopia-and-the-origin-of-civilization-by-john-g-jackson/
  11. Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 from http://2017blackart.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/ethiopia-and-the-origin-of-civilization-by-john-g-jackson/
  12. (Reference: Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7-3 (EJVS) 2001(1-115))
  13. Benedetti, Giacomo. “Indo-Iranians:  new perspectives.”  New Indology.  02.2013.  Retrieved 17.10.2015 from http://new-indology.blogspot.com/2013/02/indo-iranians-new-perspectives.html
  14. Witzer, Michael. “Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts”.  Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7-3 (2001).  Retrieved 17.10.2015 from http://www.azargoshnasp.net/history/Aryan/EJVS-7-3.pdf
  15. Rajaram, N.S. “The Aryan Invasion:  history or politics?”  Aryan Invasion Volume 1 (September 1998).   Retrieved 17.10.2015 from http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/aryan-invasion-history

More Muslim Swastikas

To add to the article Muslim Use of the Swastika, here’s one more example, form our friends at Pro-Swastika:

http://proswastika.org/news.php?extend.526.6
http://proswastika.org/news.php?extend.526.6

The embassy of Pakistan at 62 Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karađorđevića in Belgrade

Afrikan Swastika

From the Volta to the Congo to the Nile, from scarification to gold weights to hieroglyphics, the swastika has been used throughout Afriqa for a long time…

When you see hear the word “swastika or see this symbol

swastika

what are the first words that come to your mind?

“Nazis.”

“Hitler.”

“Aryans.”

“Blonde hair and blue eyes.”

Then where would you guess these come from?

gold dust weights akan goldweight ashanti ashanti goldweight

An educated guess would be India.  But no, they are all from Africa.  That’s right Sub-Saharan, “Black” A-F-R-I-C-A.  They are gold dust weights used by the Ashanti, to be more precise.

No, not this Ashanti…

ashanti

These Ashanti:

asantehene

The ones who make kinte cloth…

kinte

They are also called Akan. The Akan occupy a large part of West Africa including parts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and include many sub-ethnic groups such as the Baule and the Asante (Ashanti). [1]  The Akan were producing them to weigh gold dust which was their currency, thus the name ‘gold weights’.  When used on the gold weight, the swastika was a symbol of currency, expressing power, money, wealth and integrity.  The idea and the implementation of gold-based currency came from the Akan people of modern-day Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. [5]

 

The swastika is also one of the Akan people’s famous Adinkra symbols.  Look at number 12 below:

adinkra symbol
https://at37.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/symbols-of-power-adinkras-by-s-james-gates/

According to one source, the swastika is referred to by the Akan as a monkey’s foot. [1]  Another source says it is called Kode Emower Ewa (‘talons of the eagle’), represents devotion and service and is shaved on the back of the heads of the Queen Mother’s servants. [2]  Still another source names it Nkotimsefuopua, claiming similarly that certain attendants on the Queen Mother who dressed their hair in this fashion. [3]

The Asante also weave the swastika into their cloth.  See the top left corner below:

adinkra cloth
https://at37.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/symbols-of-power-adinkras-by-s-james-gates/
apremo
Another Adinkra swastika?

The above is a kinte cloth symbol called Apremo-Canon.  It is a symbol of resistance against foreign domination, and superior military strategy.  This motif represents  the superior military strategy with which Akan nations such as the Asante and Akwamu defeated the West Asians who had superior arms. [6]

But how could this be?  How did Africans learn about the swastika?

If your idea of swastika is the symbol of a Nordic (tall, blonde, blue-eyed) race who conquered India from the north before invading West Asia  (“Europe”), that’s a good question.

The idea is not to decouple the swastika symbol and the Aryans.  Rather, one must decouple the Aryan from Nordic, and race from ethnicity.

No signs of a Nordic Aryan invasion here...
No signs of a Nordic Aryan invasion here…

Arya means pure or good in Sanskrit. In the holy Vedas the good people were called Arya.[2]

So “Arya” means, in short, “noble”.  It appears to be an adjective, and can not refer to a group of people.  If it is a noun, it translates to “nobility”  Either way, it refers to the CHARACTER, NOT the APPEARANCE of certain people.  Note: The word “Aryan” does not appear.

So how did the word Aryan come into existence, and how did it become associated with a blonde, blue-eyed master race?

Fredrich Max Muller, a staunch German nationalist and Christian missionary, was Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford labored for years translating the Vedas into English.
In 1851 Muller wrote his first article in English wherein he used the word “Aryan” for the first time in the sense of a race.

Max Muller’s good friend and fellow Indologist Paul then popularized the word “Aryan” in France. Soon many Christian scholars were seized upon by the theory of Aryan race. In 1859 Swiss linguist Adolph Pictet wrote that the Aryan race was the

“…one destined by Providence to reign one day supreme over the entire earth . . . They were the race of Aryans. …”

The notion of “Aryan” had become, in a few short years, the emblem of European manifest destiny over the world, a signet coined in the language of scholarship which gave Europeans a racial and religious mantle of superiority.[4]

But the people weren’t fooled. Initially

 all attempts to correlate the Aryan language to Aryan race were not only unsuccessful but also absurd”. Even at that time many academics opposed the Aryan invasion theory.[4]

So if Aryan refers to a race, it is not a race in the way we usually think of it.  “Race” to us means people with the same skin color, culture and language.  That is actually ethnicity, though.  Ethnicity means related identity, but race means similar qualities.  And the people with noble character (‘arya’) can be found all over the world.  Maybe they use the same symbols to recognize each other:

Map Showing Distribution of the Swastika - http://www.swastika-info.com/en/historical.php
Map Showing Distribution of the Swastika – http://www.swastika-info.com/en/historical.php

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[1] “Nine Cast Brass Gold Dust Weights, Akan People, Ghana, 16th-18th centuries”.  Michael Blackman, LTD.  Retrieved 10.12.2014 from http://www.michaelbackmanltd.com/1402.html

[2] “Adinkra:  Kode Emower Ewa”. About.com.  Retrieved 10.12.2014 from http://africanhistory.about.com/library/bl/blfreestencil-AdinkraKode-Emower-Ewa.htm

[3] R. S. Rattray, Religion and Art in Ashanti (Oxford, 1927), 265.  Retrieved 10.12.2014 from https://at37.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/symbols-of-power-adinkras-by-s-james-gates/

[4] Kenyatta, Ekowa.  “The Swastika”.  The Stewart Synopsis.  Retrieved 10.12.2014 from http://www.stewartsynopsis.com/swastika.htm

[5] “Swastika Symbol on Akan gold”.  SwastikaShop.com.  Retrieved 11.12.2014 from http://swastikashop.com/swastika-symbol-akan-gold/

[6] “Kente Cloth:  Ghana’s Ashanti Cultural Heritage to the World’s Fashion Civilization”.  Kwekudee- Trip Down Memory Lane.  3.12.2012.  Retrieved 11.12.2014 from http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2012/12/kente-cloth-ghanas-ashanti-cultural.html