Bhartiya History

Reexamining history from a Hindu perspective and exposing the colonial distortion of their Vedic heritage that fails to recognize the spiritual root of Indic civilization.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Trials, tribulations & triumph of a cultural archeaologist

Trials, tribulations & triumph of a cultural archeaologist - I


Barbara Tuchman, the great American woman historian rightly observes: Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilisation would have been impossible. They are agents of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.

These instructive and inspiring words are wholly applicable to 'AN ENTYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF SOUTH ASIAN LANGUAGES' by Dr S Kalyanaraman and published by Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines. In more senses than one this is a landmark book in the world of languages, linguistics and culture. This book is a Multilanguage historical and cultural dictionary of South Asia; it is a lexicon; it is an encyclopaedia. To quote his own words: This is a comparative dictionary covering all the languages of South Asia (which may also be referred to, in a geographical/historical sense as the Indian sub-continent ). This dictionary seeks to establish a semantic concordance, across the languages of numeraire facile of the South Asian sub-continent : from Brahui to Santali to Bengali, from Kashmiri to Mundarica to Sinhalece, from Marathi to Hindi to Nepali, from Sindhi or Panjabi or Urdu to Tamil. A semantic structure binds the languages of South Asia, which may have diverged morphologically or phonologically as evidenced in the oral tradition of Vedic texts, or epigraphy, literary works or lexicons of the historical periods. This dictionary, therefore goes beyond, the commonly held belief of an Indo-European language and is anchored on proto-South Asian sememes.

The great pioneering Indologist Sir William Jones, founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1783, pronounced with authority the underlying genetic relationship between the classical languages, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit in his third Annual Discourse to the Asiatic Society of Bengal on the History and Culture of the Hindus in February 1786 when he made the following epoch-making observation: The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure : more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident, so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from a common source, which perhaps, no longer exists; there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanskrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family.
Long before Sir William Jones in 1786, the 16th century Italian scholar Sassetti apparently studied Sanskrit calling it 'a pleasant musical language' and uniting Deo with Deva. In the 17th century, the Dutch protestant missionary, Abraham Rogerius, published in 1651 the translation of Bhartrihari in Europe for the first time. So we find many Catholic missionaries of South India, French and Belgian, studying a little Sanskrit, and mixing with Tamil, producing the faked Ezour Vedam , the target of Voltaire's criticism; and Anquitil du Perron, visiting India before Sir William Jones, provoked the latter's sarcastic criticism of premature handling of Sanskrit texts. As early as 1725 we find the German missionary (translator of the Bible into Tamil) Benjamin Schultze emphasising the similarity between the numerals of Sanskrit, German and Latin.

Another remarkable Englishman, Horne Tooke, in his 'Diversions of Purley ' in 1786 anticipated Bopp and other pioneers of Comparative Grammar. The German traveller, Pallas, worked out the project of the mathematician-philopher Leibniz (1646 - 1716) and published 'Comparative Vocabularies of all the Languages of the World' in 1787. This uncritical work was soon superseded by the German grammarian-philosopher Adelung's Mithridates or General Science of Languages, published in four volumes between 1806 and 1817.

Dr S Kalyanaraman legitimately belongs to this great tradition of philologists and lexicographers, dictionary-compilers, etymologists, scholars and savants. He has compiled this unique, multilingual dictionary of the Dravidian, Arian and Mundarica language families which he took 18 years to complete. It has been published in three volumes, running to over 2000 pages with nearly 5 lakh words from over 25 ancient languages. This work covers over 8000 semantic clusters which span and bind the South Asian Languages. The basic finding is that thousands of terms of the Vedas, the Munda languages (eg.Santali, Mundarica, Soral), the so-called Dravidian languages and the so-called Indo-Aryan languages have common roots. This dictionary called Indian Lexicon has also been made available on the internet. He declares with humility: The author assumes full responsibility for the semantic and etymological judgements made and the errors that might have crept in with thousands of database iterations in organizing the semantic clusters found in the word lists (the lexicon includes over half-a-million Indian words). The author hopes that with the impossibility of 'dating' the origin of a word, all its inherent limitations, the omissions, intentional or otherwise and errors that will in due course be pointed out by scholars specialized in their fields, the Indian Lexicon will be a tentative, but bold start of a skeleton dictionary of the Indian linguistic area ca. 3000 B.C. and will be expanded further to include modern words.

Dr S Kalyanaraman was born on 20 October 1939. His mother tongue is Tamil. But all his school and under graduate education was in Telugu and Sanskrit in Andhra Pradesh. He is conversant with Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Sanskrit languages. He graduated from Annamalai University in Economics and Statistics. He has a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines and his thesis Public Administration in Asia, a comparative study of development administration in six Asian countries ?? India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines. He joined the Asian Development bank in 1978. Earlier he was a Member of the Indian Railway Accounts Service from 1962.

During the last 11 years, starting from 1995, he has been working on Sarasvati River Research Project through his Sarasvati Sindhu Research Centre in Chennai. Ever since his return to India in 1995 and his presentation of a paper in the 10th World Sanskrit Conference on his research findings, he has devoted himself to promoting projects for the revival of the Sarasvati River.

Apart from the massive multilingual dictionary of South Asian languages, Dr Kalyanaraman has also authored several volumes on Sarasvati Culture and Civilisation. His other notable work is Indian Alchemy: Soma in the Veda. He has also contributed to Professor Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya's multi-volume work on History of Science and Technology in Ancient India

To return to Dr Kalyanaraman's Multilingual Etymological Dictionary of South Asian languages once again. The history of civilization is more than a tally of our dynasties, governments, wars, class struggles and cultural movements. Dr Kalyanaraman proves through this book that it is also the story of how human beings in the South Asian Region have learned to develop and operate systems of reference and information retrieval that are external to the brain. According to current estimates, Homo has been in existence for about 2 million years, although it may not have become Sapiens till around 100,000 years ago. If this estimate is reliable, then for 99.75% of the existence of the species Homo and for some 95% of the time that it has been Sapiens, there were no external systems at all. The brain with its erratic memory was the only apparatus available for knowing, referring and recording??and that was the natural state of things. The bulk of our ancestors would have found anything else unimaginable, and for some aboriginal peoples today, in remote areas, this statement still holds true.

This Etymological Dictionary clearly brings out the fact that language in the region which Dr Kalyanaraman has covered has been the master tool which man, in his endless adventure after knowledge and power, has shaped for himself, and which, in its turn, has shaped the human mind as we see it and know it. It has continuously extended and conserved the store of knowledge upon which mankind has drawn. It has furnished the starting point of all our science. In this context the great words of L.S.Amery come to my mind: 'Language has been the instrument of social cohesion and of moral law, and through it human society has developed and found itself. Language, indeed, has been the soul of mankind'.

We learn from Dr.Kayanaraman's Himalayan effort that language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous works of unconscious generations. Language exists to communicate whatever it can communicate. Language is itself the collective art of expression, a summary of thousands upon thousands of individual intuitions. George Steiner in his great work Language and Silence observed: 'Languages code immemorial reflexes and twists of feeling, remembrances of action that transcend individual recall, contours of communal experience as subtly decisive as the contours of sky and land in which a civilization ripens. Any outsider can master a language as a rider masters his mount; he rarely becomes as one with its undefined, subterranean motion'. Eros and Language mesh at every point. Intercourse and discourse, copula and copulation, are sub-classes of the dominant fact of communication'.

As a learned and dedicated etymologist, Dr Kalyanaraman finds the deadest word in the South Asian Region to have been once a brilliant picture. We are delighted to learn at his feet that every language is indeed fossil poetry.

Trials, tribulations & triumph of a cultural archaeologist-II

'One goes to the potter for pots, but not to the grammarian for words. Language is already there among the people'

-Patanjali in Mahabhashya

In his historic work 'AN ENTYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF SOUTH ASIAN LANGUAGES', published by Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines, Dr S Kalyanaraman states: 'In philology, as in archaeology, the search for 'truth' is an extension of a researcher's imagination. Imagination is not an act of faith, but a statement of hypothesis based on relational entities in linguistic structures identified through painstaking lexical work. Two such entities in linguistic structures are: morpheme and sememe which bind an etymological group. Sememe may be defined as a phoneme imbued with 'meaning'. Morpheme is defined as a 'meaningful' linguistic unit. Sememe constitutes the semantic substratum of a morpheme or simply, 'meaning'. What is 'meaning'? It is a concept closely linked to a social compact for inter-personal communication. The 'private language' of a speaker's brain (with 'personal' experiences embedded in neutral networks) is revealed through sounds uttered by the speaker. Language is formed if these uttered sounds echo the 'private language' of a listener. Such an echo constitutes meaning or the semantic sub-structure of a language. Sememes are the basic semantic structural units of a language which combine to yield morphemes or words. A sememe can, for example, be distinguished from a phoneme or a gesture which does not communicate a message in a social compact. Only those uttered sounds which are heard and accepted in a social compact can constitute the repertoire of a language. Sememes (or, dhatupada' ) are given a variety of phonemic and morphological forms in the lingua franca to constitute semantic expressions, or the vocabulary of an evolving and growing civilization'.

Ramana Maharishi asked the question: 'Who am I?' Likewise Dr S Kalyanaraman asks the introspective question: 'What is the justification for this comparative etymological dictionary of South Asian languages currently spoken by over a billion people of the world?' He says that an answer can be given at a number of levels:

1) The paramount need to bring people closer to ancient heritage of South Asian language family of which the extant South Asian languages (Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Munda language streams ) are but dialectical forms.

2) There is an imperative international public need to generate further studies in the disciplines of a) South Asian archaeology, b) general semantics and comparative linguistics , c) design of fifth-generation computer systems

3) There is a need to provide a basis for further studies in grammatical philosophy and neurosciences on the formation of semantic patterns or structures in the human brain?? neurosciences related to the study of linguistic competence which seems to set apart the humans from other living beings.

Finally Dr Kalyanaraman declares with magisterial clarity: 'The urgent warrant for my etymological dictionary is the difficulty faced by scholars in collating different lexicons and in obtaining works such as CDIAL (A Comparative Dictionary of Indo-Aryan Languages) even in eminent libraries. In tracing the etyma (literally meaning truth in Greek) of the South Asian languages, it is adequate to indicate the word forms which can be traced into the mists of history'.

Dr Kalyanaraman's Dictionary deals with more than 8000 semantic clusters relating to the South Asian Languages. Overarching this vast region??in geographical, linguistic and cultural terms??there is an areal 'South Asian Language Type'. Dr.Kalyanaraman seeks to prove this fact by establishing a semantic concordance among the so called Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Munda languages. This area covers a geographical region bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south and the mountain ranges which insulate it from other regions of the Asian Continent on the north, east and west.

The semantic clustering attempted by Dr.Kalyanaraman in this Dictionary rests on the following hypothesis:

1 It is possible to reconstruct a proto-South Asian idiom or lingua franca of circa the centuries traversed by the Indus Valley Civilization (C.2500 to 1700 BC)

2 South Asia is a linguistic area nursed in the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Operating within this framework, Dr Kalyanaraman summarily rejects the two long standing and earlier assertions:

a) Sir William Jones's assertion in 1786 of an Indo-European Linguistic Family

b) F W Ellis's assertion in 1816 of a southern family of languages.

This cleavage was mischievously created by the Colonial British Rulers as a part of their strategy of Divide and Rule. Dr Kalyanaraman also dismisses the exclusion of the so-called Austro-Asiatic or Munda (or Kherwari) languages. His thesis is that there was a proto-South Asian Linguistic area (C 2500 BC) which included these three language groups. His underlying assumption is that the so-called Dravidian, Munda and Aryan Languages can be traced to an ancient South Asian Family by establishing the unifying elements in semantic terms. This is in keeping with the views of G.U.Pope in another context: ..that between the languages of Southern India and those of the Aryan family there are many deeply seated and radical affinities; that the differences between the Dravidian tongues and the Aryan are not as great as that between the Celtic for instance and the Sanskrit. It is in this spirit that Dr Kalyanaraman has dedicated this great dictionary to Panini and Tolkappiyam

Reading this fascinating book, we understand that each language is only in part an individual instrument. It is in the main, a community instrument used for community purposes. As such each language tends to launch out on a career of its own, to which individuals contribute very much as the coral insect contributes to the growth of a coral reef or island. The essence of language lies in the intentional conveyance of ideas from one living being to another through the instrumentality of arbitrary tokens or symbols agreed upon and understood by both as being associated with the particular ideas in question. In short language in this world is for keeping things safe in their places. Martin Heidegger rightly says that language is the house of being.

Words are but the signs and counters of knowledge, and their currency should be strictly regulated by the capital which they represent. The finest words in the world are only vain sounds, if you cannot comprehend. Words, when written, crystallize history; their very structure gives permanence to the unchangeable past. Francis Bacon said; 'men suppose their reason has command over their words; still it happens that words in return exercise authority on reason'. Words may be either servants or masters. If they are servants, they may safely guide us in the way of truth. If they become our masters, they intoxicate the brain and lead into swamps of confused thoughts where there is no solid footing.

Language is the amber in which thousands of precious thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved. It has arrested thousands of lightening-flashes of genius, which, unless thus fixed and arrested, might have been as bright, but would have also been as quickly passing and perishing as the lightning. Samuel Taylor Coleridge rightly observes: 'Language is the armoury of the human mind; and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future conquests'.

We can infer the spirit of a nation in great measure from the language, which is a sort of monument to which each forcible individual in a course of many hundred years of social history has contributed a stone. And, universally, a good example of this social force is the veracity of language, which cannot be debauched. In this context Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly sums up: 'In any controversy concerning morals, an appeal may be made with safety to the sentiments which the language of the people expresses. Proverbs, words and grammar-inflections convey the public sense with more purity and precision than the wisest individual'.

Language contains so faithful a record of the good and of the evil which in time past have been working in the minds and hearts of men, we shall not err, if we regard it as a moral barometer indicating and permanently marking the rise or fall of a nation's life. No wonder Noah Webster in his Preface to the great AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLIGH LANGUAGE wrote in 1828: 'Language is the expression of ideas; and if the people of our country cannot preserve an identity of ideas, they cannot retain an identity of language'.

Viewed in this light language is the most valuable single possession of the human race. Man does not live on bread alone: his other indispensable necessity is communication. We shall never approach a complete understanding of the nature of language, so long as we confine our attention to its intellectual function as a means of communicating thought. Language is a form of human reason, which has its reasons which are unknown to man. The mastery over reality, both technical and social, grows side by side with the knowledge of how to use a language?more particularly words. A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging. In all senses it is the skin of living thought.

I enjoyed reading this Dictionary by Dr Kalyanaraman. I would pay my tribute to his work in the words of W H Auden: 'Though a work of literature can be read in a number of ways, this number is finite and can be arranged in a hierarchical order; some readings are obviously 'truer' than others, some doubtful, some obviously false and some absurd. That is why, for a desert island, one would choose a good dictionary, rather than the greatest literary masterpiece imaginable, for, in relation to its reader, a dictionary is absolutely passive and may legitimately be read in an infinite number of ways.'

Monday, August 14, 2006

Remnants of temple found in a Mosque washed out in floods

• Attempt by Muslims to rebuild the structure overnight
• Severe tension in Paithan
• Assaults with lathis (sticks) on Shivsainiks

Idol of Nandi in shattered state in the ruins of the Mosque

Paithan: 13th August-In a 'Mosque' situated at the foot of Nathsagar in Jaikwadi, a wall of the Mosque collapsed with the onslaught of massive floods and some remnants of an ancient temple along with 'Nandi' head have been found.. To suppress this evidence of treasure of Hindu culture, Muslims overnight tried to build the structure. (This is the real nature of Muslims of trying to cover up their misdeeds -Editor)

On getting information about it, the Shivsainiks rushed to the spot and stopped the construction. (Congratulations to the Shivsainiks for stopping the construction-Editor) After police assaulted the angry Shivsainiks with lathis, they shouted powerful slogans in the city of,” We will build the temple there only" .As a result of this there is severe tension in the city of Paithan. In the meanwhile the police officer who did lathi assault on the Shivsainiks has been urgently transferred.

As the waters of the massive Godavari floods receded, the remnants of the razed Mosque came to light. The steps constructed of stones were also seen going towards the river. In the morning some of the young fishermen had gone to this area. At that time they found carved pillars of the temple and idol of Nandi in shattered state in the ruins of the Mosque. This news spread quickly like air in the whole city of Paithan. Immediately thereafter along with the Shivsena M.L.A Sandeepan Bhumre, the Taluka chief Arun Kale, Shri Somnath Pardeshi of the Durga Group,Khushal Bhavre, Nandalal Kale, Shivsainiks rushed to the incident spot. Thereafter the Tahsildar Madhav Nilawade was given the news about this. The Police Inspector Balasaheb Khillor and the officers of Archaelogy Department inspected the site.

While the discussion of the discovery of remnants of temple in the place of Mosque was going on the city, later in the afternoon fanatic Muslims starting immediately pulling strings. Hundred to one hundred and fifty Muslims entered the site with construction material. They started building a new wall after excavating the collapsed mud heap. Moment the Shivsainiks came to know about the construction by the Muslims, in the evening, along with 25-30 Shivsainiks, Raju Pardeshi, Deputy chief of the city Sagar Patil, Vijay Acharya again came to the incident site. Seeing the Shivsainiks coming the frightened Muslims fled the scene. The mob of the Muslims directly went to the police station. Then a big force of police appeared on the dispute scene. The police did a severe assault of lathis on the Shivsainiks who stopped the construction. (Would the police have been so prompt if it were Hindus in this place and would they have dared to do such a lathi assault on the Muslims?- Editor)

About 25-30 Shivsainiks were seriously injured in this. On the spreading of news about the inhuman lathi assault by the police, Hindus came on the road .In every square the assembled Hindus gave slogans of 'Har Har Mahadev', We will build the temple there only' and sent the city roaring.

With his background the Sub -Divisional Police Officer Raosaheb Nalabe entered Paithan.He tried to pacify both the assembled mobs. But the tension kept on mounting. The Shivsainiks strongly demanded the suspension of the Police Inspector Balasaheb Khillor, Police officer Somnath Gite.

Later Police Superintendent Sanjeevkumar Singhal urgently transferred police officer Gite.- (The God of Nature has exposed the cruel acts of the Muslims. There were lakhs of temples all over the world which were demolished and Mosques and Churches were built. Now Hindus at least wake up and fight to redeem the lost glory of Hindu Dharma or else it will never be- Editor)

Reference: Daily Saaamana (Marathi)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vedic Mathematicians in Ancient India

Kosla Vepa Ph.D

This compendium of notes planned as a series of essays is dedicated to the memory of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), arguably the greatest number theorist in all of human history

Introductory Remarks

Uncovering the scope of Ancient Indian Mathematics faces a twofold difficulty. To determine who discovered what we must have an accurate idea of the chronology of Ancient India . This has been made doubly difficult by the faulty dating of Indian Historical events by Sir William Jones, who practically invented the fields of linguistics and philology if for a moment we discount the contributions of Panini (Ashtadhyayi)and Yaska (Nirukta) a couple of millennia before him . Sir William, who was reputed to be an accomplished linguist, was nevertheless totally ignorant of Sanskrit when he arrived in India and proceeded in short order to decipher the entire history of India from his own meager understanding of the language, In the process he brushed aside the conventional history as known and memorized by Sanskrit pundits for hundreds of years and as recorded in the Puranas and invented a brand new timeline for India which was not only egregiously wrong but hopelessly scrambled up the sequence of events and personalities. See for instance my chronicle on the extent of the damage caused by Sir William and his cohorts in my essay on the South Asia File .

It is not clear whether this error was one caused by inadequate knowledge of language or one due to deliberate falsification of records. It is horrific to think that a scholar of the stature of sir William would resort to skullduggery merely to satisfy his preconceived notions of the antiquity of Indic contributions to the sum of human knowledge. Hence we will assume Napoleon’s dictum was at play here and that we should attribute not to malice that which can be explained by sheer incompetence. This mistake has been compounded over the intervening decades by a succession of British historians, who intent on reassuring themselves of their racial superiority, refused to acknowledge the antiquity of India, merely because ‘it could not possibly be’. When once they discovered the antiquity of Egypt , Mesopotamia and Babylon, every attempt was made not to disturb the notion that the Tigris Euphrates river valley was the cradle of civilization. When finally they stumbled upon increasing number of seals culminating in the discovery of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa by Rakhal Das Banerjee and Daya Ram Sahni, they hit upon the ingenious idea that the Vedic civilization and the Indus Valley Civilization or the Saraswathi Sindhu Civilization, a more apt terminology since most of the archaeological sites lie along the banks of the dried up Saraswathi river, were entirely distinct and unrelated to each other. The consequences of such a postulate have been detailed in the South Asia File.

The second difficulty was the Euro centricity(a euphemism for a clearly racist attitude) of European mathematicians, who refused to appreciate the full scope of the Indic contributions and insisted on giving greater credit to Greece and later to Babylonian mathematics rather than recognize Indic and Vedic mathematics on its own merits. If this was indeed a surprise revelation, I fail to see the irony, when a similar Euro centricity was exhibited towards the antiquity of the Vedic people themselves.

The contributions of the ancient Indics are usually overlooked and rarely given sufficient credit in Western Texts (see for instance FAQ on Vedic Mathematics ).

The Wikipedia section on Indian Mathematics says the following;

Unfortunately, Indian contributions have not been given due acknowledgement in modern history, with many discoveries/inventions by Indian mathematicians now attributed to their western counterparts, due to Eurocentrism.

The historian Florian Cajori, one of the most celebrated historians of mathematics in the early 20th century, suggested that "Diophantus, the father of Greek algebra, got the first algebraic knowledge from India." This theory is supported by evidence of continuous contact between India and the Hellenistic world from the late 4th century BC, and earlier evidence that the eminent Greek mathematician Pythagoras visited India, which further 'throws open' the Eurocentric ideal.

More recently, evidence has been unearthed that reveals that the foundations of calculus were laid in India , at the Kerala School. Some allege that calculus and other mathematics of India were transmitted to Europe through the trade route from Kerala by traders and Jesuit missionaries. Kerala was in continuous contact with China, Arabia, and from around 1500, Europe as well, thus transmission would have

Furthermore, we cannot discuss Vedic mathematics without discussing Babylonian and Greek Mathematics to give it the scaffolding and context. We will devote some attention to these developments to put the Indic contribution in its proper context

However in recent years, there has been greater international recognition of the scope and breadth of the Ancient Indic contribution to the sum of human knowledge especially in some fields of science and technology such as Mathematics and Medicine. Typical of this new stance is the following excerpt by researchers at St. Andrews in Scotland .

An overview of Indian mathematics

It is without doubt that mathematics today owes a huge debt to the outstanding contributions made by Indian mathematicians over many hundreds of years. What is quite surprising is that there has been a reluctance to recognize this and one has to conclude that many famous historians of mathematics found what they expected to find, or perhaps even what they hoped to find, rather than to realize what was so clear in front of them.

We shall examine the contributions of Indian mathematics in this article, but before looking at this contribution in more detail we should say clearly that the "huge debt" is the beautiful number system invented by the Indians on which much of mathematical development has rested. Laplace put this with great clarity:-

The ingenious method of expressing every possible number using a set of ten symbols (each symbol having a place value and an absolute value) emerged in India . The idea seems so simple nowadays that its significance and profound importance is no longer appreciated. Its simplicity lies in the way it facilitated calculation and placed arithmetic foremost amongst useful inventions. The importance of this invention is more readily appreciated when one considers that it was beyond the two greatest men of Antiquity, Archimedes and Apollonius.

We shall look briefly at the Indian development of the place-value decimal system of numbers later in this article and in somewhat more detail in the separate article Indian numerals. First, however, we go back to the first evidence of mathematics developing in India .

Histories of Indian mathematics used to begin by describing the geometry contained in the Sulvasutras but research into the history of Indian mathematics has shown that the essentials of this geometry were older being contained in the altar constructions described in the Vedic mythology text the Shatapatha Brahmana and the Taittiriya Samhita. Also it has been shown that the study of mathematical astronomy in India goes back to at least the third millennium BC and mathematics and geometry must have existed to support this study in these ancient times.

Equally exhaustive in its treatment is the Wiki encyclopedia, where in general the dates are still suspect. See for instance the Wikipedia on Indian Mathematics

Evidence From Europe That India Is The True Birthplace Of
Our Numerals

The views of savants and learned scholars from a non-Indian tradition about Indian mathematics are presented here. Note that most of these are dated prior to the1800’s, when India was still untainted with the prefix of being a colonized country

Severus Sebokt of Syria in 662 CE: (the following statement must be understood in the context of the alleged Greek claim that all mathematical knowledge emanated from them

"I shall not speak here of the science of the Hindus, who are not even Syrians, and not of their subtle discoveries in astronomy that are more inventive than those of the Greeks and of the Babylonians; not of their eloquent ways of counting nor of their art of calculation, which cannot be described in words - I only want to mention those calculations that are done with nine numerals. If those who believe, because they speak Greek, that they have arrived at the limits of science, would read the Indian texts, they would be convinced, even if a little late in the day, that there are others who know something of value". (Nau, 1910)

Said al-Andalusi, probably the first historian of Science who in 1068 wrote Kitab Tabaqut al-Umam in Arabic (Book of Categories of Nations) Translated into English by Alok Kumar in 1992

To their credit, the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers (3) and of geometry. They have acquired immense information and reached the zenith in their knowledge of the movements of the stars (astronomy) and the secrets of the skies (astrology) as well as other mathematical studies. After all that, they have surpassed all the other peoples in their knowledge of medical science and the strengths of various drugs, the characteristics of compounds and the peculiarities of substances.

Albert Einstein in the 20th century also comments on the importance of Indian arithmetic: "We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made."

Quotes from Liberabaci (Book of the Abacus) by Fibonacci (1170-1250): The nine Indian numerals are ...with these nine and with the sign 0 which in Arabic is sifr, any desired number can be written. (Fibonacci learnt about Indian numerals from his Arab teachers in North Africa) .Fibonacci introduced Indian numerals into Europe in 1202CE.

G Halstead

...The importance of the creation of the zero mark can never be exaggerated. This giving to airy nothing, not merely a local habituation and a name, a picture, a symbol but helpful power, is the characteristic of the Hindu race from whence it sprang. No single mathematical creation has been more potent for the general on go of intelligence and power. [CS, P 5]

The following quotes are from George Ifrah's book Universal History of Numbers

The real inventors of this fundamental discovery, which is no less important than such feats as the mastery of fire, the development of agriculture, or the invention of the wheel, writing or the steam engine, were the mathematicians and astronomers of Indian civilisation: scholars who, unlike the Greeks, were concerned with practical applications and who were motivated by a kind of passion for both numbers and numerical calculations.

There is a great deal of evidence to support this fact, and even the Arabo-Muslim scholars themselves have often voiced their agreement

The following is a succession of historical accounts in favor of this theory, given in chronological order, beginning with the most recent

1. P. S. Laplace (1814): “The ingenious method of expressing every possible number using a set of ten symbols (each symbol having a place value and an absolute value) emerged in India . The idea seems so simple nowadays that its significance and profound importance is no longer appreciated. Its simplicity lies in the way it facilitated calculation and placed arithmetic foremost amongst useful inventions. The importance of this invention is more readily appreciated when one considers that it was beyond the two greatest men of Antiquity, Archimedes and Apollonius.” [Dantzig. p. 26]

2. J. F. Montucla (1798): “The ingenious number-system, which serves as the basis for modern arithmetic, was used by the Arabs long before it reached Europe. It would be a mistake, however, to believe that this invention is Arabic. There is a great deal of evidence, much of it provided by the Arabs themselves that this arithmetic originated in India .” [Montucla, I, p. 375J

3. John Walls (1616-4703) referred to the nine numerals as Indian figures [Wallis (1695), p. 10]

4. Cataneo (1546) le noue figure de gli Indi, “the nine figures from India ”. [Smith and Karpinski (1911), p.3

5. Willichius (1540) talks of Zyphrae! Nice, “Indian figures”. [Smith and Karpinski (1911) p. 3]

6. The Crafte of Nombrynge (c. 1350), the oldest known English arithmetical tract: II fforthermore ye most vndirstonde that in this craft ben vsed teen figurys, as here bene writen for esampul 098 ^ 654321... in the quych we vse teen figwys of Inde. Questio II why Zen figurys of Inde? Soiucio. For as I have sayd afore thei werefondefrrst in Inde. [D. E. Smith (1909)

7. Petrus of Dada (1291) wrote a commentary on a work entitled Algorismus by Sacrobosco (John of Halifax, c. 1240), in which he says the following (which contains a mathematical error): Non enim omnis numerus per quascumquefiguras Indorum repraesentatur “Not every number can be represented in Indian figures”. [Curtze (1.897), p. 25

8.Around the year 1252, Byzantine monk Maximus Planudes (1260—1310) composed a work entitled Logistike Indike (“Indian Arithmetic”) in Greek, or even Psephophoria kata Indos (“The Indian way of counting”), where he explains the following: “There are only nine figures. These are:
[figures given in their Eastern Arabic form]

A sign known as tziphra can be added to these, which, according to the Indians, means ‘nothing’. The nine figures themselves are Indian, and tziphra is written thus: 0”. [B. N., Pans. Ancien Fonds grec, Ms 2428, f” 186 r”]

9. Around 1240, Alexandre de Ville-Dieu composed a manual in verse on written calculation (algorism). Its title was Carmen de Algorismo, and it began with the following two lines: Haec algorismus ars praesens dicitur, in qua Talibus Indorumfruimur bis quinquefiguris

“Algorism is the art by which at present we use those Indian figures, which number two times five”. [Smith and Karpinski (1911), p. 11]

10. In 1202, Leonard of Pisa (known as Fibonacci), after voyages that took him to the Near East and Northern Africa, and in particular to Bejaia (now in Algeria), wrote a tract on arithmetic entitled Liber Abaci (“a tract about the abacus”), in which he explains the following:

Cum genitor meus a patria publicus scriba in duana bugee pro pisanis mercatoribus ad earn confluentibus preesset, me in pueritia mea ad se uenire faciens, inspecta utilitate el cornmoditate fiutura, ibi me studio abaci per aliquot dies stare uoluit et doceri. Vbi a mirabii magisterio in arte per nouem figuras Indorum introductus. . . Novem figurae Indorum hae sun!: cum his itaque novemfiguris. et turn hoc signo o. Quod arabice zephirum appellatur, scribitur qui libel numerus: “My father was a public scribe of Bejaia, where he worked for his country in Customs, defending the interests of Pisan merchants who made their fortune there. He made me learn how to use the abacus when I was still a child because he saw how I would benefit from this in later life. In this way I learned the art of counting using the nine Indian figures... The nine Indian figures are as follows:


[figures given in contemporary European cursive form].

“That is why, with these nine numerals, and with this sign 0, called zephirum in Arab, one writes all the numbers one wishes.”[Boncompagni (1857), vol.1]

11. C. U50, Rabbi Abraham Ben MeIr Ben Ezra (1092—1167), after a long voyage to the East and a period spent in Italy , wrote a work in Hebrew entitled: Sefer ha mispar (“Number Book”), where he explains the basic rules of written calculation.

He uses the first nine letters of the Hebrew alphabet to represent the nine units. He represents zero by a little circle and gives it the Hebrew name of galgal (“wheel”), or, more frequently, sfra (“void”) from the corresponding Arabic word.

However, all he did was adapt the Indian system to the first nine Hebrew letters (which he naturally had used since his childhood).

In the introduction, he provides some graphic variations of the figures, making it clear that they are of Indian origin, after having explained the place-value system: “That is how the learned men of India were able to represent any number using nine shapes which they fashioned themselves specifically to symbolize the nine units.” (Silberberg (1895), p.2: Smith and Ginsburg (1918): Steinschneider (1893)1

12. Around the same time, John of Seville began his Liberalgoarismi de practica arismetrice (“Book of Algoarismi on practical arithmetic”) with the following:

Numerus est unitatum cot/echo, quae qua in infinitum progredilur (multitudo enim crescit in infinitum), ideo a peritissimis Indis sub quibusdam regulis et certis lirnitibus infinita numerositas coarcatur, Ut de infinitis dfinita disciplina traderetur etfuga subtilium rerum sub alicuius artis certissima Jege ten eretur:

“A number is a collection of units, and because the collection is infinite (for multiplication can continue indefinitely), the Indians ingeniously enclosed this infinite multiplicity within certain rules and limits so that infinity could be scientifically defined: these strict rules enabled them to pin down this subtle concept.
[B. N., Paris, Ms. lat. 16 202, p 51: Boncompagni (1857), vol. I, p. 261

13. C. 1143, Robert of Chester wrote a work entitled: Algoritmi de numero Indorum (“Algoritmi: Indian figures”), which is simply a translation of an Arabic work about Indian arithmetic. [Karpinski (1915); Wallis (1685). p. 121

14. C. 1140, Bishop Raymond of Toledo gave his patronage to a work written by the converted Jew Juan de Luna and archdeacon Domingo Gondisalvo: the Liber Algorismi de numero Indorum (“Book of Algorismi of Indian figures) which is simply a translation into a Spanish and Latin version of an Arabic tract on Indian arithmetic. [Boncompagni (1857), vol. 11

15. C. 1130, Adelard of Bath wrote a work entitled: Algoritmi de numero Indorum (“Algoritmi: of Indian figures”), which is simply a translation of an Arabic tract about Indian calculation. [Boncompagni (1857), vol. Ii

16. C. 1125, The Benedictine chronicler William of Malmesbury wrote De gestis regum Anglorum, in which he related that the Arabs adopted the Indian figures and transported them to the countries they conquered, particularly Spain . He goes on to explain that the monk Gerbert of Aurillac, who was to become Pope Sylvester II (who died in 1003) and who was immortalized for restoring sciences in Europe, studied in either Seville or Cordoba, where he learned about Indian figures and their uses and later contributed to their circulation in the Christian countries of the West. L Malmesbury (1596), f” 36 r’; Woepcke (1857), p. 35J

17. Written in 976 in the convent of Albelda (near the town of Logroño, in the north of Spain ) by a monk named Vigila, the Coda Vigilanus contains the nine numerals in question, but not zero. The scribe clearly indicates in the text that the figures are of Indian origin:

Item de figuels aritmetice. Scire debemus Indos subtilissimum ingenium habere et ceteras gentes eis in arithmetica et geometrica et ceteris liberalibu.c disciplinis concedere. Et hoc manifèstum at in novem figuris, quibus quibus designant unum quenque gradum cuiu.slibetgradus. Quatrum hec sunt forma:

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.

“The same applies to arithmetical figures. It should be noted that the Indians have an extremely subtle intelligence, and when it comes to arithmetic, geometry and other such advanced disciplines, other ideas must make way for theirs. The best proof of this is the nine figures with which they represent each number no matter how high. This is how the figures look:

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Al-Khwarismi (783-850 CE) Popularized Indian numerals, mathematics including Algebra in the Islamic world and the Christian West .Algebra was named after his treatise 'Al jabr wa'l Muqabalah'' which when translated from Arabic means 'Transposition and Reduction'. Little is known about his life except that he lived at the court of the Abbasid Caliph al Ma'amun , in Baghdad shortly after Charlemagne was made emperor of the west. and that he was one of the most important mathematicians and astronomers who worked at the house of Wisdom (Bayt al Hikma)


Muhammad Ben Musa aI-Khuwarizmi (circa 783—850.). Portrait on wood made in 1983 from a Persian illuminated manuscript for the l200th anniversary of his birth. Museum of the Ulugh Begh Observatory. Urgentsch (Kharezm). Uzbekistan (ex USSR ). By calling one of its fundamental practices and theoretical activities the algorithm computer science commemorates this great Muslim scholar.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

2,300-year-old artefacts may change Ashoka-Buddhist history

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS) has unearthed some 2,300-year-old artefacts at Jajpur district in Orissa, which, it claimed, could change some historical narratives on the Ashokan period.

The description of Chinese pilgrim Hieun-Tsang about Ashoka that he had constructed 10 stupas in Odra country where Buddha had preached may come true.

Earlier, historians refused to accept the narrative. We have already analysed five stupas and found three more similar structures,” OIMSEAS Director Debaraj Pradhan told mediapersons here. He said a huge inscribed monolithic stupa along with other remnants of Buddhist establishments had been detected on top of Panturi hill in Jajpur district.

The current explorations and excavations are unique since nowhere in India will you find old artefacts in such a small area,” Pradhan said. The stupas were found at Langudi, Tarapur, Deuli Kayama hills, Neulipur, Bajragiri, Kantigadia and Panturi.

The organisation had extensively surveyed the Brahmani-Kelua river valley since 1996 to explore and excavate Buddhist sites. It had excavated Langudi hill site and discovered ancient Pushpagiri Vihara, an Ashokan stupa, two rare statues believed to be that of Emperor Ashoka himself, besides 54 rock-cut votive stupas, five Dhyani Buddha statues and remains of two monasteries.

The excavation of the fort of Radhanagar indicated that it could be the ancient capital of Kalinga, Pradhan, also the curator of state archaeology, said.

Either it could be Dantapura mentioned in Ceylonese literature Datha-Ddhatu-Vamsa or Tosali mentioned in special Dhauli rock edict of Ashoka,” he said.

The artefacts discovered from last year’s excavation established that Radhanagar or Tosali was a fort city. But interesting findings of this year indicated that it could be a port city.

The discovery of Roman Bullae (an earthen ornament) and Roman Rowlletted pottery suggested that the place had connections with Rome. And it could not have happened, had Tosali not been a port city,” Pradhan said. He, however, made it clear that only around five per cent of the total excavation had been completed.

Once we excavate the entire archaeologically-rich area in Jajpur district, we would be able to come to a concrete conclusion,” he said. Besides discovery of Ashokan period artefacts, archaeologists have also stumbled upon many antiques, which implies that the whole area could have been a hub of religious activities.

The current excavation also threw up broken Buddhist images, votive stupas and collection of pottery remains from the surface near Vajragiri.

Pradhan said Vajragiri could have had close cultural relations with Japan because the highest temple of Japan was the Vajragiri temple (Kongobu-Ji) at Kuito, the ancient capital of that country.

Interestingly, at the foot of the present Vajragiri a big ancient village Kotpur was situated, he said and added that more research is necessary to establish the connection.

The Vajragiri excavation had yielded one piece of stone trident, designed religious lamps 12 pieces of heavy iron rods and two pieces of conch in good condition.

Pradhan said most of the inscriptional evidence and its photographs have been sent to Dr K.V. Ramesh, retired director of epigraphy at Mysore, for deciphering.

The present inscriptional evidence may prove the association of Buddha with Kayama hill in Kalinga country in his lifetime,” he said.

Meanwhile, Orissa Culture Minister Suryanarayan Patro has directed Jajpur District Collector Aurobindo Padhi to visit all hills identified by OIMSEAS and involve eminent historians in the research work.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Scientists discover 500 BC sky map

P Revathi
Posted Tuesday , April 25, 2006 at 21:38
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Hyderabad: When the carving of the Great Bear constellation on a stone, made around 500 BC at Mudumala village in Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh were discovered, scientists were suitably astounded.

They began to wonder how ancient Indian astrologers could tell exactly how stars and constellations were grouped without the help of modern devices such as the telescope.

The mystery was unravelled when scientists discovered an ancient sky map in Hyderabad.

The sky map, which is probably the oldest in Asia, was carved out by megalithic Indians with astounding accuracy.

The map represents the seven stars also known as the saptarishi mandal, which have for ages been used to pinpoint the North (for the Pole star, located above the North Pole lies opposite the Ursa Major or the Great Bear).

According to Reader, Department of History, Central University Hyderabad, Dr K P Rao, "The discovery of the sky map indicates that from olden days itself the Indians had adequate knowledge of Astronomical science. In fact they used this knowledge to construct monuments based on the directions denoted by stars and constellations."

According to Historians, this is the only sky map to be unearthed in India, probably even South Asia.

Over ages the stone which has the sky map carved on it, is being protected by the local folk.

Eighty menhirs (standing stones) and several hundred smaller stones surround the map. There is a local folklore, which talks about how these stones are cursed men and cattle.

"With this belief the local people do not even dare to cause any damage to the stones and so the sky map remained intact over ages," says Dr Rao.

A detailed study revealed that the megalithic Indians had good knowledge of solar trajectories and the sky map was used to determine the calendar and the seasons with precise information about sun rise-sun set with exact directions.

This information was expected to be used predominantly for agricultural operations.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gold idols found in Tripura pond

By Indo Asian News Service

Agartala, March 16 (IANS) Two gold idols have been recovered from a pond in Tripura, triggering a debate among experts that Buddhism and Hinduism co-existed in the state in ancient times.

The idols were found by labourers Wednesday at Bishramganj in west Tripura, about 35 km from here. One of the idols is a nine-inch Buddha flanked by two dancing girls while the other is an eight-inch image of Vishnu in a standing position.

The idols are being kept at the local magistrate's office before officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) take possession of them for ascertaining details regarding age and history.

Local historians and archaeological experts say there might have been some relation between Buddhism and Hinduism in Tripura till the 13th century.

A huge number of Buddha and Hindu idols have been recovered from north and south Tripura districts. The ASI is taking steps to protect them as national treasures.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The universality of Sanskrit

By Sudhakar Raje

About 70 purely Sanskrit words have also been included in the Concise Oxford Dictionary with the same meaning. Additionally, there are more than 80 prefixes/suffixes in English that are Sanskrit-based. These are used to form at least one thousand words given in COD. The Sanskrit-based prefix “over” is used in 170 English words according to the Navneet Advanced Dictionary, and in 270, according to COD.

Concerted and continuing research in various fields of scholarship like archaeology, mythology, linguistics, history of religion and so on has conclusively proved that Hindu civilisation had once pervaded the whole ancient world. And as the one vehicle for the worldwide spread of Hindu religion and culture, Hindu science and art, Hindu medicine and mathematics was the Sanskrit language, it also spread internationally. Right from Rigvedic times Sanskrit-speaking emigrants from India had settled in various parts of Asia and Europe, eventually reaching even the so-called New World, the Americas, millenniums ago. This resulted in Sanskrit influence on the local languages of the contemporary world. Conversely, Sanskrit became, in a way, the language of the world.

Credible Claim
Is this much too sweeping a claim to be credible, or does it have a basis in fact? In search of an honest answer to this question this writer waded through about 60 sources, including around 30 standard works in various aspects of ancient history plus more than a dozen dictionaries. On collating the collected information language-wise as well as region-wise he found that the claim of Sanskrit having been the whole ancient world´s language can certainly be sustained, albeit in varying degrees.

This writer found that words based on, or derived from, Sanskrit are present, in one form or another, in 80 languages of the world, from the Far East to the Far West.

Among them four languages, for obvious reasons, need to be mentioned separately—English, Greek, Latin and Arabic.

The English language has a Vedic ancestry. In the aftermath of the Rigvedic Dasharajnya war, the Druhyu community, which had taken part in it and had been defeated, migrated westward, eventually reaching parts of Western Europe. There “Druhyu” became “Druid”, and the Druids later came to be called Celts. Their language was Celtic, which was spoken in large parts of Western Europe, including Britain, during the centuries preceding the Christian era. Modern lexicographers of English admit that some Celtic languages are still spoken in Britain, though they maintain that English falls in the “Germanic”, and not “Celtic”, branch of “Proto-Indo-European” languages. Suffice it to say here that no credible evidence exists of an Indo-European language or language-group.

So far as current English is concerned, according to Dr N.R.Waradpande one-fourth of the total English vocabulary is Sanskritic. Webster´s, the world´s biggest (18-volume) English dictionary, is said to have as many as 40,000 words described as “akin to Sanskrit”. Even in the “Concise” edition of the Oxford Dictionary this writer identified around 400 Sanskrit-based words. About 70 purely Sanskrit words have also been included in the Concise Oxford Dictionary with the same meaning. Additionally, there are more than 80 prefixes/suffixes in English that are Sanskrit-based. These are used to form at least one thousand words given in COD. The Sanskrit-based prefix “over” is used in 170 English words, according to the Navneet Advanced Dictionary, and in 270, according to COD. In the case of the Sanskrit-derived prefix “non” COD says the number of English words using it is “unlimited”. Many Sanskrit-based prefixes are also used in half a dozen languages like Greek, Latin, French and Gothic.

According to the Mahabharat, the descendents of ancient king Yayati´s son Turvasu were called the Yavanas. From Yavana originated the name Ionia. Ionia is a region in Asia Minor, and there is evidence showing that Vedic peoples migrated to Asia Minor after they established themselves in Iran. As Asian Minor is contiguous to Iran the Iranians seemed to have owed their language and culture to a two-fold influence—Indian and Iranian. Greeks from the north-west also came to Ionia, but his was after Vedic influence was well-established and the Ionian Greeks were linguistically and culturally absorbed by the Vedics from India.

The most ancient Greek work, Homer´s Illiad (about 900 to 800 BC) is in the Ionian language, which is influenced by the language of Turvasu, that is Sanskrit, and Avestan, the language of the Zoroastrian scriptures, which is only a phonetic variant of Sanskrit. This Ionian Sanskritic language was the mother of the Greek language.

This writer has identified about 100 Greek words in COD that are derived from Sanskrit. In addition, as mentioned earlier, many Greek prefixes are also Sanskrit-based.

Some Greek words not only have a Sanskrit derivation, they also have a Hindu history. A couple of examples:

Allopathy: Allopathy is an allied development as a branch of ancient Indian medicine, which prevailed in Europe and other parts of the world till about the end of the 18th century. The Greek prefix allos means “other”. So “allo-pathy” is borrowed from “the other”, that is, from the ancient Indian system of medicine—Ayurveda.

Indigo: The English word “Indigo” is derived from the Greek word Indigon, which means “from India”. Proof exits that Indigo was made and used to dye cloth in ancient India.

Prometheus: According to Greek mythology Prometheus was the first fire-giver. He is Pra-manth of the Rig Veda. In the Greek language Prometheus means “fore-sight”. The Vedic Atharvan fire was conceived in the brain (intellect) and actually produced by rubbing (manthana) together two hard substances.

Along with Greek, Vedic Asia Minor was also the cradle of Latin. Probably as a result of the break-up of the Vedic Hittite empire in Mesopotamia, a people later known as Etruscans first appeared in the Etruria region of Italy around 900 BC, from where, during succeeding centuries, they spread to other Italian areas including Latium, the birth-place of Latin. Later, because of the political dominance of the Roman Empire, Latin became the common language for centuries. This in turn spread Sanskrit roots to languages of Europe.

This writer has identified 130 Latin words in the COD that have a Sanskrit base. Also, as pointed out previously, a number of Latin prefixes are derived from Sanskrit.

There is a clear presence of Sanskrit in the Arabic language, albeit in Arabicised forms. This writer has identified 40 such words.

Dr Waradpande says there would be more Sanskrit words in Arabic than in English. In his opinion, there is a close connection between Arabic and Zend, the language of Avesta, which signifies that Arabic should contain more Sanskrit words than English does, as Zend/Avestan is only a phonetic variant of Sanskrit.

Other Languages
Now about the other languages of the world. This writer divided the words he identified into the following global regions: South East, Far East, Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America. Then in each region he subdivided the languages into two broad categories—old and current. On so doing, his findings were as follows:

South East
Current languages: Indonesian (number of words 2), Burmese (3), Balinese (4), Javanese (5), Malaysian (16), Thai (51).

Old languages: Busang (Borneo) (5), Lava (Laos) (10).

Far East
Current languages: Mongolian (3), Japanese (8), Chinese (10).

Old languages: Tagalog (Philippines) (2), Maori (New Zealand) (16).

Middle East
Current languages: Pushtu (Afghanistan) (1), Hebrew (4), Khowari (Afghan region) (15), Kafiri (North Afghanistan) (18), Persian (38).

Old languages: Aramaic (Mesopotamia), Assyrian, Babylonian, Mitanni (Mesopotamia) (1 each), Akkadian (Mesopotamia), Khwarezmian (Iran) (2 each), Sumerian (3), Kashshi (Mesopotamia) (4), Hittite (Mesopotamia) (9), Avesta (18).

Central Asia
Current languages: Armenian (1), Khotanese (2), Tibetan (2).

Old languages: Tungus (Siberia), Phrygian (Asia Minor), (1 each), Tocharian (Region north of Black Sea) (3), Parya (Oxus region) (68), Niya Prakrit (Chinese Turkestan) (71).

Current languages: Swanili (East Africa), Amharic (Ethiopia) (2 each).

Old languages: Yoruba (Nigeria) (1), Egyptian (5).

Current languages: Basque (France/ Spain border region), Finnish (Finland) (1 each), Albanian, Lettic (Baltic country Latvia), Maltese (Mediterranean island Malta), Polynesian (Pacific island group), Portuguese (2 each), Danish (Denmark), Rumanian (4 each), Czech, Polish (Poland) (5 each), Dutch (Holland), Lithuanian (Baltic country Lithuania) (6 each), Norse (Norway) (7), Irish (9), Spanish (12), Romany (Roma gypsies of Europe) (23), German (33), Italian, Russian (34 each), French (46).

Old languages: Cornish (Celtic language of Cornwall in Britain), Gaulish (France), Umbrian (Italian region) (1 each), Welsh (Celtic language of Wales in Britain) (4), Gaelic (Scotland) (5), Gothic (Western Europe) (14).

South America
Old languages: Nahautl (1), Qechua (36).

North America
Old languages: Iroquois (1), O´odham (2).

Names of persons, peoples, deities, rivers, mountains, regions and even whole countries that were derived from Sanskrit (some of which are still in use) can also be found all over the world. This writer has identified the following numbers of such names:

South East (92), Far East (24), Middle East (130), Central Asia (15), Africa (22), Europe (58), South America (24), North America (21).

These numerically meagre identifications in this article are clearly inadequate for qualifying it as serious research. However, even this preliminary collation of available information does indicate the global presence of Sanskrit—at times just a trace, at times quite clear. So perhaps some Sanskritists and linguists could team up to establish beyond doubt the truth of a quote with which the writer would like to conclude:

“Sanskrit was the original language of the earth.”

(Quoted in Indian antiquities, Vol. IV; Ed. Thomas Maurice)
(Digest of Sanskrit Abroad! An International Glossary of Sanskrit-based Words in 80 Languages around the World, compiled and edited by the author, and currently under print.)

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