Archive | January, 2015

Were Zoroastrians and Yazidis of Persia and Iraq once part of a Vedic culture?

27 Jan

The original Zoroastrian people in Persia seem to have had a language (Avestan) and a religion that shared great similarities with the ancient Vedic culture of northern India. The Yazidi people of northern Iraq have peculiar beliefs too which raised the question of whether these communities were once part of the Indus Valley Civilisation under its Vedic culture.

This blogpost postulates that the Indo-Aryan/Iranian split occurred when the administrative headquarters at Mohenjodaro and Harappa was abandoned as the river basin got depleted of soil nutrients and was consequently unable to sustain agriculture to meet the needs of the population of the area. This disaster had the effect of leaving the far western corners of the Vedic culture to their own fates without any central spiritual authority. The Vedic culture diminished in the west consequently. In Persia it eventually took a new turn when the Zoroastrians received divine guidance through their leader Zoroaster or Zarathustra in 625 BCE to a new fate.

Zoroastrians retained a caste system which appears somewhat modified from the original Vedic form of varnas: ‘it is said that ‘there were three categories of fires corresponding to the three original castes of society: priests, warrior, and commoners. In addition, there was the king’s own royal fire.’ http://www.silk-road.com/artl/zoro.shtml. Aupmanyav says of Zoroastrians: ‘they are yajna-performing, Mekhala-wearing (Kushti), Ahura-worshiping (Asura) Aryan brothers. They are most probably of Atharvan descent (Athravan – in the line of Sage Atharva, after whom we have a Veda)’.

Yazidis being much further west lost almost all of their Vedic culture retaining their own type of caste system maintained through endogamy and a belief in reincarnation as common themes with Hindu culture.

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The Racial and Cultural Composition of Indians

19 Jan

I read the following blog today during my research on the racial and cultural composition of Indians: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/08/indo-aryans-dravidians-and-waves-of-admixture-migration/#more-22389. Following this I contacted the author and had the following discussion with him on Twitter at @razibkhan:

Me: In your Gene Expression blog on Indians, do you suggest the appearance of endogamy ~ 4,000 years ago that separated Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI)?
Razib Khan: no, endogamy is probably more recent. ~2000 years. ANI vs. ASI separation basal to out of africa. ~50,000 years ago. ANI is same clade as western eurasians. ASI is same clade as eastern eurasians, though very distant (30-40,000 years BP). Paper to refer to: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929713003248.
Me: When do you estimate the Vedic culture of Hindus spread to places like Kerala and Tamil Nadu according to the varna caste system?
Razib Khan: just check the history for that. seems like last 1-2 thousand years. fwiw, i believe there were several “ANI” pulses; the first probably is shared by all south asians. the ANI ~ similar to west asians from georgia/armenia; second wave indo-aryans. derived from bactria-margiana. secondary effect in north india, and s. indian brahmins.
Me: The sociological evidence indicates that there was never any endogamy keeping ANI and ASI separate from at least 5,000 years ago.
Razib Khan: ok.
Me: Would you say that Homo sapiens 50,000 years ago came on land from Africa and aggregated in the south to become the Dravidians?
Razib Khan: no. dravidians are ANI + ASI mix. i believe the dravidian languages probably came with agriculture 5-8 thousand years ago.
Me: Do you think there are any descendants of Homo erectus alive anywhere on the planet?
Razib Khan: yes. most modern humans; by “descent” you mean genealogical descent. ancestry quanta very low/non-existent outside of oceania. denisovans mediated it.
Me: Would the Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo flouresiensis have descended from Homo erectus out of Africa 1.8 million years ago?

Comment:
There was no reply to my final question that I wished an evolutionary geneticist to clarify. However it seems clear that since ASI is in the same clade as eastern Eurasians, they are the genealogical descendents of the first wave of migrants out of Africa 1.8 million years ago in what is named as Homo erectus, and the ANI are the descendants of Homo sapiens that came out of Africa ~80,000 years ago. They interbred with each other but the language of the Dravidians has its origins in the older of the two humans whereas the language of the North Indian Aryans developed independently in the Indo-Gangetic plains as Vedic Sanskrit. It seems likely that there was considerable interaction between ANI and the inhabitants of the Middle East so that the language developed together with much in common. The ANI developed the Mohenjodaro and Harappa civilisation as the centre of this humanity but it came to an end when the soil was depleted of nutrients and could not sustain the high urban population from the agriculture of the river basins. The Vedic culture originated in the North of India and spread through all of India including into the Dravidian south as the birth of modern Hinduism. Vedic Sanskrit evolved into liturgical Sanskrit from which the regional languages of the present day States evolved over much of India whilst in the Dravidian south their original Brahmi language remained and evolved with time into its regional divisions.

All over India Hinduism was polytheistic and people were free to choose the gods that they were suited to without hindrance from any authority in society. The freedom to choose who to worship was natural because gods were selected from peoples guna consciousness deities. Hindus could therefore worship more than one god, for example a god that might bring them wealth and another that removed obstacles or one that might help them with playing music, etc. Hindus who did not accept the Vedic varna system of social stratification coexisted with those who did and had their own particular gods and associated beliefs.

21 February 2015 Update:
I am now highly dubious about whether Dravidians (ASI) were the descendants of Homo erectus for the reason that the paler skin humans were the direct descendants of the first wave of humans out of Africa 1.4 million years ago in what is known to history as Homo erectus whereas the darker skin relates to Homo sapiens out of Africa 80,000 ago. Thus the Dravidians must have bred prolifically with endogamy thus wiping out any remnants of Homo erectus in southern India, whereas in the north there was considerable admixture of the two populations to generate the North Indians.

Evolutionary significance of the caste system of the Hindus

11 Jan

It occurred to me that what binds the Hindu people together is not any religion that they practice but the caste system. The caste system of the Hindus is an example of how God inspired the evolutionary process in the Indian subcontinent to develop the Hindu people. It was clearly set out in the Bhagavad Gita as a direct advice of Sri Krishna: http://www.eaglespace.com/spirit/gita_castesystem.php.:

Lord Krishna speaks to Arjuna as he clarifies the origin and purpose of the caste system in sanaatana dharma (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4, Shloka 13).
cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ .
tasya kartāramapi māṃ viddhyakartāramavyayam .. 4\-13..
The four-fold order was created by Me according to the divisions of quality and work. Though I am its creator, know Me to be incapable of action or change.
Cāturvarṇyaṃ: the four-fold order. The four varnas are named – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. They constitute the four-fold order. The three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas – and the law of karma – these four elements were divided by Me to create the four varnas.
Sattva guna predominates in Brahmins – and they are assigned the tasks (karma) of sham, dam, tapas (meditation) etc.
Rajas guna predominates in Kshatriyas – sattva guna is secondary. Their karma is to be warriors and show bravery and tejas.
Rajas guna also predominates in Vaishyas – tamas guna is secondary. Their karma is to be farmers and traders.
Tamas guna predominates in Vaishyas – rajas guna is secondary. Their karma is to serve others.

It should be noted that evolution first began with the caste system under what is known as jati divisions of tribal humanity of which there were thousands of communities in the subcontinent of ancient India(http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/301596/jati), but with God’s interjection through the creation of Veda Samhitas which was later reinforced by the Bhagavad Gita, it was gradually replaced by the varna-based caste system with gotra determining sexual reproduction. The former was the process of genetic social speciation that was replaced through religious social speciation, as described here: https://dispersalofhumanityfromhomoegaster.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/the-supplantation-of-genetic-social-speciation-by-religious-social-speciation-in-human-history/. The complexity of the cultural composition of Indian subcontinent relates to adherents of Vedas abandoning their endogamous jati system of tribalism, although numerous clans in existence today still identify themselves by their ancestral jati as well the gotra accorded to them under the Vedic system that accepts the four-fold varna classification of Hindu humanity (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotra). The jati heritage is also retained by many Indian Christians and Muslims indicating that that genetic social speciation pressures of animals that religion attempted to replace was very strong biologically to surmount.

21 January 2015 Update:
I have started a discussion on Twitter and in ‘Religious Forums’ on varna-based caste system, see here: https://www.religiousforums.com/threads/social-transfers-to-different-castes-in-the-varna-caste-system-of-hindus.172926/

24 January 2015 Update
My reasoning and arguments following this discussion are summarised here: https://shantanup.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/the-varna-system-of-social-organisation-of-the-hindus/

Consciousness Energy of the Universe

9 Jan

I have postulated that the energy of the universe is two-fold: physical energy and consciousness energy. The physical energy is the light and heat generation while the consciousness energy describes life and all movement. Matter is produced from a combination of both these energies.

Consciousness energy has two components, that which gives life force and that which gives soul force. The life force is what gives atoms, compounds, cells, organs and organisms their movement. Life force for atoms and compounds is their chemical energy involved in the orbiting of electrons around atoms and the inorganic and organic bonding of atoms of different elements. In living organisms consciousness energy permeates the entire body and is responsible for the organism’s internal and external activities for living. The life force in biological systems is activated at birth and inactivated at death with changes detected by the DNA switching on this consciousness energy for biological living to begin, and similarly, DNA-associated instructions from cellular changes switching the life force off for the organism’s dying. The soul force causes the nerve impulses in the body to respond to external and internal (cellular, tissue and organ) changes as stimuli for protective action to be taken by the body.

In highly evolved animals with a central nervous system the brain detects the soul force of the consciousness energy in the centre called the mind. The soul force imparts thoughts and beliefs by virtue of its guna consciousness energy triad of sattvic, rajasic and tamasic properties. The mind selects the gunas from the soul and is affected by those gunas as directives on the basis of the genetics of the animal and its upbringing to generate thoughts that the body then acts on.


14 January 2015 Update:

For a talk on what the Vedas teach on this subject, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRF9WzyJtWc&feature=youtu.be

The supplantation of genetic social speciation by religious social speciation in human history

6 Jan

It is well accepted that religion is a recent phenomenon in the course of human history that we can trace to Homo ergaster that emerged from Africa. There is no evidence from cave paintings for example of gods and sculptures of gods anywhere in the world before 20,000 years ago indicating that humans that lived before this time had no conception of supernatural forces. There are examples of paintings in caves perhaps 30,000 years ago but these do not appear to impart any religious signficance.

The process of the evolution of human history has therefore been two-phased. The first period relates to the gradual colonisation of the world by the descendants of Homo erectus and later by Homo sapiens, which subsequently mixed to form the modern humans of Homo sapiens sapiens to establish themselves in various parts of the world. During this long process of proliferation the predominant influence on human speciation was the social speciation that took place through genetic changes as described here: https://dispersalofhumanityfromhomoegaster.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/social-speciation-and-genetic-speciation-in-human-evolution/. Before humans settled they were guided mainly by their tamasic guna energy with hardly any sattvic and rajasic influences. It is only when human populations got established and God intervened to bring humanity to a new level of civilisation that sattvic and rajasic influences on humanity became increasingly more prominent. Modern humans are now largely the product of religious influence on evolution with all three guna consciousness energy generating various religions.

Religious thoughts are no more than 10,000 years old and are first believed to have started in the Indian subcontinent and then the Middle East. But simultaneous developments took place whenever a population got established in all parts of the world. This strongly suggests that God was instrumental in getting these populations of humans to start thinking that supernatural forces were in existence in Nature. Once the thought was planted by God into the minds of people everywhere, they were left alone to determine their particular beliefs by themselves under the influence of the guna consciousness forces as described here: https://dispersalofhumanityfromhomoegaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/why-india-should-revert-to-a-dharmarashtra/.