Thursday, April 12, 2007

Did Iron Existed in India during the vedic period ...?

This paper deals with the word- ' ayas ' used in the Hindu Scriptures. Many Indologists have concluded that it does not mean iron. They believed that iron found its way into India through the Aryan migration after 11th Century BC . Therefore, they concluded that Vedas and other Scriptures could be as recent as 11th Century BC. Furthermore, many think that the description about iron mentioned in the Mahabharata has been added around 2nd Century BC because it did not exist at the time of the Mahabharata War. This paper contradicts these views and shows that iron was present in the Indian Sub-continent since 2000 BC, and that the Scriptures could date back to the times of the Harappan Civilization.

The meaning of the Sanskrit word > ayas > has been debated for a long time. Many have believed that iron did not exist during the Vedic Period, so >ayas > means non ferrous alloys ( bronze, brass etc ). So far, there was no evidence to prove that iron was known to the sages like Vyas, Valmiki etc. It was also believed that iron was brought by the so called Aryans into India, and the plains ( Ganga - Yamuna ) were inhabited after the cutting off of the forests in the swamps by iron tools. Before this era, the population of the India was first settled along the Indus River, and then along the India - Nepal border.
Are such beliefs true ? The answer, according to the author is - no. We can see this by examining the evidences presented here.
Fig. 1
shows the Bow that was used to select the proper person to marry Sitajee, as described in the Valmiki Ramayana . King Janaka had set the condition that whosoever lifts this Bow, can marry his daughter Sita . Fig. 1 shows Ravana, and Banasura who were trying their luck to lift this Bow ( Ramcharit Maanas by Saint Tulsidas ). The description of how this Bow was brought for lifting is shown in Fig. 3
as mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana . The appropriate verses number from 1 to 4 . These verses are in Sanskrit with their Hindi translation is written below each of the verses. Did the person who translated these verses not realize that iron( Loha ) did not exist in those days ? Fig. 2
shows the Bow in a eight - wheeled box. It was wheeled to the place of contest by the ministers of King Janaka.
Not only this, it is well known that Dhritrashtra embraced a dummy made of iron , instead of Bhima, after the Mahabharata War . Bhima=s mace was made of iron . Similarly there are clear descriptions of iron in the Mahabharata at many places. Many say that these descriptions were written or included many centuries after the Mahabharata War, if that War ever took place.
The word > ayas > has been mentioned in the Vedas many times. The Rig Veda was composed close to the Harappan Civilization. Could some one have known about iron in those days ? How old are the Vedas ? The early Rig-Veda mentions about the Asuras who were described to be nice people in the beginning .

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