It doesn’t surprise that experts aren’t able to spot the facts, at first or in a 100 years. What amazes is their stubborn refusal to keep their minds open to admit research and evidence pointing to another set of consistent facts.
In a previous tranca, https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/alternate-history-6/ , we left off with the promise of taking up the evidence in the Rig Veda in order to arrive at the true picture of facts about Proto-Aryan homeland, whence the Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan streams supposedly branched off some 4000 – 6000 years ago.
And in the one before, https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/alternate-history-5/ , a detailed intervention was presented on ” Horses And The Aryan Debate ” … a much ado for nothing, as it is, but a cornerstone in the Aryan Invasion hypothesis perpetuated by scholars and historians with European pedigree.
We now take up the evidence in Rig Veda adapted from the most brilliant, insightful analysis ever undertaken by Shrikant G. Talageri available @ http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/rig/index.htm
III THE HISTORICAL IDENTITY OF THE IRANIANS
“The Aryan invasion theory of India is a myth that owes more to European politics than anything in Indian records or archaeology.”
Gnoli points out that the Avesta reflects “an historical situation in which Iranian elements exist side by side with … Aryan or Proto-Indoaryan (elements)”. Turning to the Rigveda, it is natural to expect to find the same situation reflected there as well. And if that is so, it must also be likely that the Iranians have a specific historical identity in Vedic terms.
The historical identity of the Vedic Aryans themselves, as we have seen, is quite specific : this identity does not embrace all the tribes and peoples named in the Rig Veda, but is confined to the PUrus (and particularly the Bharatas among them) who are alone called Aryas in the Rig Veda.
All the other people, i.e. all non-PUrus, are called DAsas in the Rigveda. While it is natural to infer that the term DAsa was a general term for all non-PUrus as well as a specific term for the particular non-PUrus who existed “side by side” with the PUrus (i.e. for the Iranians), there must also have been a specific tribal name for these particular non-PUrus.
The Rigveda (in agreement with the PurANas) classifies the PUrus as one of the five tribes: namely, the Yadus, TurvaSas, Druhyus, Anus, PUrus (I.108.8). Prima facie, the Iranians must be identifiable with one of the remaining four. Of the four, all sources locate the Yadus and TurvaSas together in the interior of India, and the Druhyus are located outside the frontiers of India. The most likely candidates are therefore the Anus who are located “side by side” with the PUrus in all geographical descriptions (and, incidentally, even in the enumeration of the names of the five tribes in I.108.8).
An examination of the evidence demonstrates beyond the shadow of any doubt that the ancient Indian tribes of the Anus are identical with the ancient Iranians:
1. As we have already seen, the Indo-Aryan-Iranian conflict very definitely had an ANgiras-BhRgu dimension to it, with ANgiras being the priests of the Indo-Aryans and BhRgus of the Iranians : a situation reflected in the traditions of both the peoples.
This situation is also reflected in the Rig Veda where the dominant priests of the text, and the particular or exclusive priests of the Bharatas (the Vedic Aryans), are the Angiras : all the generations before SudAs have BharadvAj as their priests (which, perhaps, explains the etymology of the name Bharad-vAja); SudAs himself has the Kutsas also as his priests (besides the new families of priests : the ViSvAmitras and the VasiSThas); and SudAs’s descendants Sahadeva and Somaka have the Kutsas and the VAmadevas as their priests.
The BhRgus are clearly not the priests of the Bharatas, and, equally clearly, they are associated with a particular other tribe : the Anus. The names Anu and BhRgu are used interchangeably in Rig Veda : compare V.31.4 with IV.16.20, and VII.18.14 with VII.18.6. Griffith also recognizes the connection in his footnote to V.31.4, when he notes : “Anus : probably meaning BhRgus who belonged to that tribe.”
2. The Rig Veda and the Avesta, as we saw, are united in testifying to the fact that the Punjab (Sapta-Sindhu or Hapta-HAndu) was not a homeland of the Vedic Aryans, but was a homeland of the Iranians. The PurANas as well as the Rig Veda testify to the fact that the Punjab was a homeland of the Anus :
Pargiter notes the Puranic description of the spread of the Anus from the east and their occupation of the whole of the Punjab : “One branch headed by USInara established separate kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab, namely those of the Yaudheyas, AmbaSThas, NavarASTra and the city KRmilA; and his famous son Sivi originated the Sivis [footnote : called Sivas in Rig Veda VII.18.7] in Sivapura, and extending his conquests westwards, founded through his four sons the kingdoms of the VRSadarbhas, Madras (or Madrakas), Kekayas (or Kaikeyas), and SuvIras (or SauvIras), thus occupying the whole of the Punjab except the north-west corner.”
In Rig Veda, the Anus are repeatedly identified with the ParuSNI river, the central river of the Punjab, as the PUrus are identified with the SarasvatI : in the Battle Of Ten Kings, the Anus are clearly the people of the ParuSNI area and beyond. Likewise, another hymn which refers to the ParuSNI (VIII.74.15) also refers to the Anus (VIII.74.4).
Michael Witzel remarks about the locations of “the Yadu-TurvaSa and the Anu-Druhyu”, that “the Anu may be tied to the ParusNSI, the Druhyu to the northwest and the Yadu with the YamunA”.
3. The name Anu or Anava for the Iranians appears to have survived even in later times : the country and the people in the very heart of Avestan land, to the immediate north of the HAmUn-i Hilmand, was known as the Anauon or Anauoi as late as Greek times (cf. Stathmoi Parthikoi, 16, of Isidore of Charax).
4. The names of Anu tribes in the Rig Veda and the PurANas can be clearly identified with the names of the most prominent tribes among latter-day Iranians. The Battle Of Ten Kings (described in three hymns in the Rigveda, VII.18, 33, 83) was between SudAs on the one hand, and a confederation of ten tribes from among the Anus and Druhyus on the other, which took place on the ParuSNI i.e. in Anu territory; hence, logically, most of the tribes were Anus.
Of these ten tribes, the following six, named in just two verses, may be noted :
a. PRthus or PArthavas (VII.83.1) : Parthians.
b. ParSus or ParSavas (VII .83.1) : Persians.
c. Pakthas (VII.18.7) : Pakhtoons.
d. BhalAnas (VII.18.7) : Baluchis.
e. Sivas (VII.18.7) : Khivas.
f. ViSANins (VII.18.7) : Pishachas (Dards).
Three more tribes, named in adjacent verses, may be noted separately :
a. BhRgus (VII.18.6) : Phrygians.
b. Simyus (VII. 18.5) : Sarmatians (Avesta = Sairimas).
c. Alinas (VII.18.7) : Alans.
A major Iranian tribe which is not named in the Rig Veda, but appears as a prominent Anu tribe in the PurANas and epics is the Madras : Medes (Madai).
Significantly, the Anu king who leads the confederation of Anu tribes against SudAs, and is named in VII.18.12, is common among Zoroastrians even today : KavaSa. Furthermore, this king is also called Kavi CAyamAna four verses earlier (in VII.18.8). This is significant because an ancestor of this king, AbhyAvartin CAyamAna, is identified in VI.27.8 as a PArthava (Parthian). At the same time, Kavi is the title of the kings of the most important dynasty in Avestan and Zoroastrian history, the KavyAn or Kayanian dynasty. In later times, it is the Parthian kings who were the loudest and most persistent in their claims to being descendants of the Kayanians.
If the full name of this king is interpreted as Kavi KavaSa of the line of CAyamAnas, he can be identified with Kavi KavAta, the founder of the pre-Avestan dynasty of KavyAn or Kayanian kings, whose most prominent descendant was Kavi ViStAspa. Incidentally, other descendants of Kavi KavaSa may be the Kekayas or Kaikayas, one of the two most prominent Anu tribes of the PurANas and later Indian tradition (the other being the Madras), who are located in western Punjab, and whose name bears such a close resemblance to the names of the Kayanian kings.
5. The DAsas of the Rig Veda are opposed to the Aryas : since the word Arya refers to PUrus in general and the Bharatas in particular, the word DAsa should logically refer to non-PUrus in general and the Anus (or Iranians) in particular.
The word DAsa is found in 54 hymns (63 verses) and in an overwhelming majority of these references, it refers either to human enemies of the Vedic Aryans, or to atmospheric demons killed by Indra : in most of the cases, it is difficult to know which of the two is being referred to, and in some of them perhaps both are being simultaneously referred to. In any case, since these references are usually non-specific, it makes no material difference to our historical analysis.
There are eight verses which refer to both Arya and Dasa enemies; and in this case it is certain that human enemies are being referred to. As we have already seen in an earlier chapter, these verses (VI.22.10; 33.3; 60.6; VII.83.1; X.38.3; 69.6; 83.1; 102.3) help us to confirm the identity of Aryas of the Rig Veda. However, they offer no additional clue in respect of DAsas.
But finally, there are three verses which stand out from the rest : they contain references which are friendly towards the Dasas :
a. In VIII.5.31, the ASvins are depicted as accepting the offerings of the DAsas.
b. In VIII.46.32, the patrons are referred to as DAsas.
c. In VIII.51.9, Indra is described as belonging to both Aryas and DAsas.
Given the nature and the period of MaNDala VIII, and the fact that all these three hymns are dAnastutis (hymns in praise of donors), it is clear that the friendly references have to do with the identity of the patrons in these hymns. A special feature of these dAnastutis is that, while everywhere else in the Rig Veda we find patrons gifting cattle, horses and buffaloes, these particular patrons gift camels (uSTra) : at least, the first two do so (VIII.5.37; 46.22, 31), and it is very likely that the third one does so too (this dAnastuti does not mention the specific gifts received, and merely calls upon Indra to shower wealth on the patron).
There is a fourth patron too in another dAnastuti in the same MaNDala (VIII.6.48) who also gifts camels. Outside of these three hymns, camel is referred to only once in the Rig Veda, in a late upa-maNDala of MaNDala I (I.138.2), where it is mentioned in a simile.
Now, as to the identity of the patrons in these four hymns:
a. In VIII.5, the patron is KaSu.
b. In VIII.6, the patrons include Tirindira ParSava.
c. In VIII.46, the patrons include PRthuSravas son of KanIta.
d. In VIII.51, the patron (whose gifts are not specified) is RuSama PavIru.
In two of these cases, as we can see, the identity is self-evident: one patron is called a ParSava (Persian) and another has PRthu (Parthian) in his name. But, here is what the Western scholars themselves have to say : according to Michael Witzel, “there are, in the opinion of some scholars (Hoffman, 1975) some Iranian names in Rgveda (KaSu, KanIta, etc.).” More specifically : “An Iranian connection is also clear when camels appear (8.5. 37-39) together with the Iranian name KaSu ‘small’ (Hoffman 1975) or with the suspicious name Tirindira and the ParSu (8.6.46)”
Griffith also notes the Iranian connection in his footnote to VIII.6.46: “From ParSu, from Tirindira : ‘from Tirindira the son of ParSu’ – Wilson. Both names are Iranian (cf. Tiridates, Persa). See Weber’s ‘Episches in Vedischen Ritual’, pp.36-38, (Sitzungsberichte der K.P. Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1891, XXXVIII).”
The only patron whose identity is not specifically named as Iranian by the scholars is RuSama PavIru. However, the RuSamas are identified by M.L. Bhargava as a tribe of the extreme northwest, from the Soma lands of SuSomA and ArjIkIyA. This clearly places them in the territory of the Iranians.
In sum, the Iranians are fully identifiable with the Anus, the particular DAsas (non-PUrus) of the Rig Veda.
IV THE IRANIAN MIGRATIONS
The evidence of Rig Veda and the Avesta makes it clear that Iranians, in the earliest period, were restricted to a small area in the east, and the vast area which they occupied in later historical times was the result of a series of migrations and expansions.
The early migrations of the Iranians follow a clear trail : from Kashmir to the Punjab; from the Punjab to southern and eastern Afghanistan; from southern and eastern Afghanistan to the whole of Afghanistan and southern Central Asia; and finally, in later times, over a vast area spread out at least as far west as western Iran and as far north as northern Central Asia and the northern Caucasus.
The early history of the Iranians may be divided into the following periods :
The details may be examined under the following heads :
A. The Pre-Rigvedic Period.
B. The Early Period of the Rigveda.
C. The Middle period of the Rigveda.
D. The Late Period of the Rigveda.
IV.A. The Pre-Rigvedic Period
In the pre-Rigvedic period, the Iranians were inhabitants of Kashmir.
Iranian Geographical Area
Early Rigvedic Period
Middle Rigvedic Period
Period of GAthAs and early YaSts
Punjab, south and east Afghanistan
Late Rigvedic Period
Proper Avestan Period
Punjab, Afghanistan, southern Central Asia
In the Avesta, this period is remembered as a remote period of prehistory, enshrined in the myth of Airyana VaEjah, the land of severe winters. This period is not remembered at all in the Rigveda, since the Rigveda is a PUru book and is not concerned with the prehistory of the Anus. Hence, in the case of this period at least, one must turn to the PurANas, which have a broader perspective.
In the PurANas, this period is remembered in the description of the original geographical distribution of the five AiLa or Lunar tribes. According to this description, the PUrus were located in the centre (i.e. Haryana-Uttar Pradesh) and the other four tribes, in relation to them, were located as follows :
– the Anus to their north (i.e. Kashmir),
– the Druhyus to their west (i.e. Punjab),
– the Yadus to their south-west (i.e. Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh, perhaps
extending as far south as Gujarat and Maharashtra), and
– the TurvaSas to their south-east (to the east of the Yadus).
To the northeast of the PUrus were the tribes of the IkSvAku or Solar race.
The PurANas also relate a series of historical events which changed the original geographic locations of at least two of the five tribes : The Druhyus, inhabitants of the Punjab, started conquering eastwards and southwards, and their conquests seem to have brought them into conflict with all the other tribes and peoples : the Anus, PUrus, Yadus, TurvaSas, and even the IkSvAkus.
The result was a more or less concerted opposition by the different tribes, which led to the Druhyus being driven out not only from the eastern areas occupied by them, but even from the Punjab, and into the northwest and beyond. The place vacated by them was occupied by the Anus.
This is important here only because it accounts for the fact that the Anus came to occupy the area to the west of the PUrus (i.e. the Punjab), while the Druhyus were pushed further off into the northwest beyond the Anus.
IV.B. The Early Period of the Rigveda
In the Early Period of the Rigveda, the Iranians were inhabitants of the Punjab. In the Avesta, this period is remembered as a period of prehistory, enshrined in the myth of the “Vara” or enclosure which Ahura Mazda asks Yima, the king of Airyana VaEjah, to build as a defence against the severe winters about to befall the land : clearly a metaphorical myth of migration from a severely cold land to a more congenial one.
The “Vara” would appear to be a mythicization of the areas in eastern Punjab occupied by the Iranians after their migration southwards from Kashmir : these areas would have been bordered on the east by the KurukSetra region, which is referred to in the Rig Veda as Vara A PRthivyA (the best place on earth) or NAbhA PRthivyA (the navel or centre of the earth). The Avestan “Vara”, later taken to mean “enclosure”, but originally merely the first word of the phrase Vara A PrthivyA, is also thought of as a kind of Paradise occupying a central position on earth and was, on this basis, identified by Tilak with the North Polar region.
The Avestan concept of a six-month long day and a six-month long night in the Vara is probably an indication of the special and sacred position of the Vara in Avestan mythology : in later Indian tradition, a six-month long period represents the day and night of the Gods; and the KurukSetra region is known as BrahmAvarta (the land of BrahmA or the Land of the Gods) as distinct from AryAvarta (the Land of the Aryas) to its east. The KurukSetra region was thus the common sacred land of the Iranians to its west (the Anus in the Punjab) and the Vedic Aryans to its east (the PUrus in Uttar Pradesh).
The hostilities and conflicts which led to migrations of the Iranians from Punjab is perhaps symbolised as “excessive heat” caused by Angra Mainyu to drive them out of Hapta-HAndu … in the Rig Veda (VII.6.3) the Dasyus were chased westwards by Agni.
The memories of the eastern land in the Avesta are not, however, restricted only to the myth of the Vara : we find a very significant reference in the very first verse of the ZamyAd YaSt (Yt.19.1), the most geographically descriptive YaSt in the Avesta. Darmetester translates the verse as follows : “The first mountain that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama ZarathuStra ! was the Haraiti Barez. That mountain stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east. The second mountain was Mount ZeredhO outside Mount Manusha; this mountain too stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east.”82 In his footnote to the word “outside”, which precedes Mount Manusha in his translation, the author notes that the phrase pArentarem aredhO which he translates as “outside” is of doubtful meaning and probably means “beyond”.
The Manusha of Yt.19.1 (which no one has been able to identify to this day) is certainly the MAnuSa of the Rigveda :
a. The Avestan description specifically states that Manusha is located in the east.
b. The name is identified, even by the Western scholars, as a name alien to the Iranian ethos and connected with the Indo-Aryan ethos : The Cambridge History of Iran, in its reference to the word Manusha, as it occurs in the name of an Avestan hero ManuSCithra, points out that it “means ‘from the race of Manu’, and refers to the ancient mythical figure, Manu, son of Vivasvat, who was regarded in India as the first man and father of the human race. He has no place in Iranian tradition, where his role is played by Yima, and later GayOmard. It appears, though, that we have a derivative of his name in Manusha (Yasht 19.1), the name of a mountain…”
c. The scholars translate the Avestan reference as “Mount Manusha”. However, the reference not only does not call Manusha a mountain, but the context makes it clear that it is definitely not one : the verse clearly states that it is referring to only two mountains, Haraiti Barez and ZeredhO, and Manusha is named only in order to point out the direction of Mount ZeredhO. Haraiti Barez and ZeredhO are the first two in a list of mountains named in the following verses of the YaSt and Manusha, if it had also been the name of a mountain, would have figured in the list as such in its own right. The words pArentarem aredhO precede the word Manusha; and while pArentarem means “beyond”, the word aredhO (whose meaning is not known) probably refers to a river or body of water : a similar word occurs in the name of the Avestan goddess of waters : aredvI- sUrA anAhitA.
And the name MAnuSa as the name of a place associated with a body of water occurs in the Rig Veda, as we have already seen : III.23.4 specifically describes this place as being located between the SarasvatI and DRSadvatI rivers in the Vara A PRthivyA (i.e. KurukSetra), which is literally a “land washed by waters towards the east” of the Iranian area. The Manusha in the Avestan reference (Yt.19.1) clearly represents a residual memory of the earlier eastern homeland.
Information in the Rig Veda about the events in the Early Period is more specific, since this period represents contemporary events in the Early MaNDalas while it represents prehistory in the Avesta. In the earlier part of the Early Period, there appears to have been some degree of bonhomie between the PUrus (Vedic Aryans) and Anus (Iranians) when they shared a common religious heritage in the region stretching out on both sides of KurukSetra. MaNDala VI, in fact, records an alliance between the Bharatas (led by SRnjaya) and the Anus (led by AbhyAvartin CAyamAna) against the Yadus and TurvaSas who were attacking KurukSetra (HariyUpIyA = DRSadvatI) from the south (VI.27).
However, in the course of time, relations deteriorated, and MaNDala VI itself later identifies the Anus as droghas (enemies or fiends) in VI.62.9. The hostilities reached a climax during the time of SudAs, in the Battle Of Ten Kings. This battle is crucial to our understanding of early Indo-Iranian history :
The evidence of the hymns shows that in this period all the major Iranian groups were settled in the Punjab, including those found in later times in geographically furthest areas from the Punjab : the Phrygians (later in Turkey), the Alans (later in the northern Caucasus), and the Khivas (later in Chorasmia), not to mention the major peoples of latter-day Afghanistan (Pakhtoons) and Iran (Persians, Parthians, Medes).
2. The hymns clearly record that this battle saw the defeat of the Anus, the conquest of their territories by SudAs (VII.18.13), and the commencement of their migration westwards.
It may also be noted that the Spitama line of priests also appears to be referred to in the Battle Of Ten Kings hymns, in the form of a special figure of speech which has not been understood by the scholars so far : In VII.33.9, 12, VasiSTha is referred to as wearing the vestments spun by Yama and brought to him by Apsaras.
Yama is identified with the BhRgus and the Iranians; and the Apsaras are mythical beings closely identified with the Gandharvas, who represent the western region of GandhArI or southeastern Afghanistan.
The references in VII.33.9, 12 are the only references to Yama or to the Apsaras in the whole of the Early and Middle MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas i.e. in MaNDalas VI, III, VII, IV, II, and the early and middle upa-maNDalas of MaNDala I, except for one other reference to Yama in I.83.5, which also emphasises his BhRgu identity by naming him with other ancient BhRgus like AtharvaNa and USanA.
VasiSTha wearing the vestments spun by Yama, who represents the BhRgus, who are his enemies in the battle, can be understood only in the sense of a figure of speech indicating victory over his enemies. Therefore, this must also be the meaning of the only other reference in these hymns, to the vestments of the VasiSThas or the Trtsus : they are twice referred to as wearing what Griffith translates as “white robes” (VII.33.1; 83.8). The word Svityanca, which occurs only in these two verses in the whole of Rig Veda, clearly has some unique connotation different from the commonplace meaning of “white”. On the lines of the references to vestments spun by Yama, it is clear that the word Svityanca refers to the identity of the enemies : to the Spitamas, the particular priests of the enemies of SudAs and VasiSTha.
To sum up : In the Early Period of the Rig Veda, the Iranians were inhabitants of the Punjab, and it is only towards the end of this period, in the time of SudAs, that they started on their migration westwards.
IV.C. The Middle Period of the Rigveda
In the Middle Period of the Rigveda, the Iranians were settled in Afghanistan. From the viewpoint of Indo-Iranian relations, this period can be divided into two parts:
The earlier part of this period (MaNDala IV and the middle upa-maNDalas) represents a continuation and culmination of the Indo-Iranian hostilities which commenced in the Early Period. Unlike the Early Period, however, this period is contemporaneous with the period of composition of the earliest parts of the Avesta (the GAthAs and the earliest core of the YaSts) and hence the events of this period are contemporary events for the composers of the Early Avesta, and have a central place in the text. To the Rigveda, however, these events are more peripheral, unlike the earlier events in the Punjab at the time of SudAs.
The later part of this period (MaNDala II) is a period of peace in which the two peoples (the Vedic Aryans in the east and the Iranians in Afghanistan) developed their religions, and the hostilities slowly cooled down and became mythical and terminological memories.
The major historical event of this period is the great battle which took place in Afghanistan between a section of Vedic Aryans led by RjrASva and the descendants of SudAs, on the one hand, and the Iranians (led by ZarathuStra and ViStAspa) on the other.
In the Rig Veda, the correspondences with the early Avestan period of ZarathuStra are all found in the hymns of the early part of the Middle Period :
1. The leader of the Iranians in the battle was Kavi ViStAspa, the patron of ZarathuStra (mentioned by ZarathuStra in his GAthAs: Y.28.7; 46.16; 51.16; 53.2). In the Rigveda, IStASva (ViStAspa) is mentioned in I.122.13, attributed to KakSIvAn Dairghatamas AuSija : kimiStASva iSTaraSmireta ISAnAsastaruSa Rnjate nRn. Griffith translates it vaguely as “What can he do whose steeds and reins are choicest ? These, the all potent, urge brave men to conquest”. And, in his footnotes, he opines that “the whole hymn, as Wilson observes, ‘is very elliptical and obscure’ and much of it is at present unintelligible”.
But S.K. Hodiwala84 points out that SAyaNa translates it as follows: “What can ISTASva, IStaraSmi, or any other princes do against those who enjoy the protection of Mitra and VaruNa ?”, and Wilson, while following this translation, notes that “the construction is obscure and the names, which are said to be those of Rajas, are new and unusual”.
A second Avestan hero, whose name may be noted here, is ThraEtaona. In the Rigveda, Traitana (ThraEtaona) is referred to as being killed by the grace of Indra in I.158.5, attributed to DIrghatamas, the father of KakSIvAn.
2. The VArSAgira battle (referred to in hymn I.100) is identified by many Zoroastrian scholars as a battle between the Iranians and Indo-Aryans at the time of ZarathuStra. The hymn (in I.100.17) names five persons as being the main protagonists in the battle :
a. The leader of the VArSAgiras is RjrASva. He is identified by most scholars with the Arejataspa or ArjAspa who is referred to in the Avesta as the main enemy of ViStAspa and his brothers (AbAn YaSt, Yt.5.109, 113; and GOs YaSt, Yt.9.30). Later Iranian tradition (as in the ShAhname) goes so far as to hold ZarathuStra himself to have been killed by ArjAspa.
b. Sahadeva is one of the four companions of RjrASva in the battle. He is correctly identified by S.K. Hodiwala85 with Hushdiv, remembered in the ShAhname (Chapter 462) as one of the main enemies of ViStAspa in the battle who led ArjAspa’s troops from the rear. Although not mentioned in the Avesta, Hushdiv is a natural development of HazadaEva, which would be the exact Avestan equivalent of the Vedic name Sahadeva.
c. The other three companions of RjrASva in the battle are AmbarISa, BhayamAna and SurAdhas. S.K. Hodiwala points out that “in the Cama Memorial Volume, E. Sheheriarji quotes RV I.100.17 …. (and) tries to identify the other persons mentioned in the said Rigvedic verse by showing that the names of certain persons known to be connected with ArjAspa in the Avesta bear the same meanings as the names of the persons in the said verse. Thus he says that AmbarISa is identical with Bidarfsha (= Av. Vidarafshnik) brother of ArjAspa, since both the names mean ‘one with beautiful garments’. Similarly, BhayamAna = Vandaremaini, father of ArjAspa, both meaning ‘the fearless one’; also SurAdhas = Humayaka, brother of ArjAspa, as both the words mean ‘one with much wealth’…”
Hodiwala, of course, discounts the above identifications by conceding that “the identification of persons in two different languages from the meanings of their names, which are quite different in sound, can have but little weight”.87However, Hodiwala88 correctly identifies Humayaka, ArjAspa’s comrade in the Avesta (AbAn YaSt, Yt.5.113) with Somaka, the son of Sahadeva (IV.15.7-10). S.K. Hodiwala thus identifies Humayaka of the Avesta with the Rigvedic Somaka (IV.15.7-10) while E. Sheheriarji identifies him with the Rigvedic SurAdhas (I.100.17).
Incidentally, there is a strong likelihood that the SurAdhas of I.100.17 is the same as the Somaka of IV.15.7-10. The distribution of the word SurAdhas in the Rigveda (everywhere else, outside I.100.17, the word is an epithet meaning “bountiful”) suggests that the word may have originally been coined by ViSvAmitra as an epithet for his patron SudAs, perhaps on the basis of the similarity in sound between the two words, SudAs and SurAdhas, and later the word was also applied to his descendants :
The word SurAdhas is found only twice in the Early MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas, in III.33.12; 53.12, and these are the only two hymns in MaNDala III which deal with ViSvAmitra’s relationship with SudAs.
In the Middle MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas, the word is found in I.100.17 as the name of a companion of RjrASva and Sahadeva; and elsewhere it is found in IV.2.4; 5.4; 17.8 (all three in MaNDala IV, which is connected with Somaka).
It is found many times in the Late MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas as a general term meaning “bountiful”: I.23.6; VIII.14.12; 46.24; 49.1; 50.1; 65.12; 68.6; X.143.4. In I.100.17, therefore, it is probably an epithet, rather than the name of one of RjrASva’s companions; and as Sahadeva is already named separately as one of the companions, the epithet must be used here for his son Somaka, another participant in the battle.
3. The VArSAgira battle clearly has historical links with the earlier Battle Of Ten Kings :
a. The protagonists in the battle include Sahadeva and his son Somaka, both descendants of SudAs, the protagonist in the DASarAjña battle.
b. This battle hymn contains the only reference (in I.100.18) in the whole of Rig Veda, outside the Battle Of Ten Kings hymns (VII.18.5), to the Simyus, who figure as enemies in both the references.
c. The word Svitnyebhi occurs in this hymn (I.100.18) in reference to the protagonists of the hymns, in the same sense as the word Svityanca occurs in the Battle Of Ten Kings hymns (VII.33.1; 83.8). Incidentally, the only other occurrence of the word Svitnya in the whole of the Rig Veda is in VIII.46.31, in reference to the cows gifted by the camel-donor, PRthuSravas KAnIta, identified by the scholars as an Iranian.
And it is clear that this battle is between the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians :
i) As we have seen, it has historical links with the earlier Battle Of Ten Kings, which was between these same two communities.
ii) As we have also seen, the main protagonists on either side are mentioned in both the Rig Veda and the Avesta.
iii) The geography of the river names in the Rig Veda shows a westward thrust from the time of SudAs, which culminates beyond the Indus in the middle upa-maNDalas and MaNDala IV.
iv) The battle in the Avesta took place in southern Afghanistan : Gnoli points out that the Hilmand delta region is “the scene of the struggle between WiStAsp and ArjAsp”.89In the Rigveda, the battle is referred to as taking place “beyond the Sarayu” (Siritoi) (IV.30.18), placing it squarely in southern Afghanistan.
4. The reference to the battle “beyond the Sarayu” in IV.30.18 refers to ArNa and Citraratha, “both Aryas”, who were killed in the battle by the grace of Indra.
There are eight other verses in the Rigveda (VI.22.10; 33.3; 60.6; VII.83.1; X.38.3; 69.6; 83.1; 102.3) which refer to Arya enemies; but in all those cases, the references are general references to both Arya and DAsa enemies, and no specific persons identifiable as Aryas are named as such. In this unique reference (IV.30.18) however, we find two specific individuals named as Arya enemies.
By the logic of the situation, these two persons should then be two prominent Vedic Aryans (PUrus) who had aligned with the enemy Iranians (Anus) in this battle. That the followers of ZarathuStra must have included some Vedic Aryans is accepted by the scholars : Gnoli points out that “there is no evidence for thinking that the Zoroastrian message was meant for the Iranians alone. On the-contrary, history suggests that the exact opposite is likely, and there are also indisputable facts … which show clearly that Zoroaster’s teaching was addressed, earlier on at least, to all men … whether they were Iranians or not, Proto Indo-Aryans or otherwise…”
The Cambridge History of Iran, as we have seen, refers to ManuSCithra, later ManUchIhr or Minocher, the common Parsee name popularly shortened to Minoo, and notes that his name “means ‘from the race of Manu’, and refers to the ancient mythical figure, Manu, son of Vivasvat, who was regarded in India as the first man and founder of the human race. He has no place in Iranian tradition, where his role is played by Yima and later GayOmard.”
The reference goes on to add that the word Manusha is found in only one other place in the Avesta : in YaSt 19.1 as “the name of a mountain”. In later Pahlavi texts, the word is found only in two contexts: firstly in the genealogies of ManUchIhr and LuhrAsp, and secondly in the identification of the Manusha of Yt.19.1 as the birthplace of ManUchIhr.
ManuSCithra was therefore clearly a Vedic Aryan born in the KurukSetra region. And the reason he is held high in Zoroastrian tradition is also clear : as The Cambridge History of Iran notes : “In the Avesta, ManUchIhr is called Airyana, ‘helper of the Aryans’…”
In short, ManuSCithra was a Vedic Aryan who aligned with the Iranians in the great battle ; and if ManuS is his epithet (indicating his Indo-Aryan identity) and Cithra is his name, he is clearly the Citraratha of IV.30.18.
5. The main priestly enemies of the Iranians are the Angras (ANgiras) who are condemned throughout the Avesta right down from the GAthAs of ZarathuStra. Significantly, the Avesta does not refer to any of the other Rigvedic families : neither the ViSvAmitras and VasiSThas of the Early Period, the GRtsamadas and KaSyapas of the later Middle Period, the Atris, KaNvas and Bharatas of the Late Period, nor the Agastyas. And, of the three branches of ANgiras, it does not refer even once to the BharadvAjas. The Avesta, however, does refer to the two other branches of ANgirases, the Usijs (AuSijas) and Gaotemas (Gautamas), both of which originated in and dominated the early Middle Period and in whose hymns alone we find references to the conflict with the Zoroastrians :
a. The Usijs (AuSijas) are mentioned by ZarathuStra himself in the GAthAs (Y. 44.20) where they are identified with the Karapans, a derogatory word used in the GAthAs in reference to enemy priests.
b. NAdhyAongha Gaotema (NodhAs Gautama) is mentioned in the early YaSts (FarvardIn YaSt, Yt.13.16) as a priest defeated by ZarathuStra in debate. While many scholars ignore or reject the identification of the word NAdhyAongha with NodhAs, the identity of the second word as the name of an enemy priest, Gaotema, is not disputed by anyone.
In sum : any analysis of the Rig Veda and Avesta will make it clear that the main enemies of the Iranians in the Avesta, at least at the time of ZarathuStra, were the “Indo-Aryans” i.e. the Vedic Aryans or Purus.
In later Indian tradition, the Iranians became the asuras or demons of Indian mythology, who ceased to bear even the faintest resemblance to the original Iranian prototypes. Likewise, the angras and other enemies of the time of ZarathuStra were so mythologised in later Iranian traditions in the Pahlavi texts and in the very much later ShAhname, and even in later parts of the Avesta itself, that they ceased to be identifiable with the original Indo-Aryan prototypes. Hence, later interpretations of the Avestan words (e.g. the identification of the tUiryas or Turanians with latter-day peoples like the Turks, etc.) are untenable in any study of the Zoroastrian period.
The Avesta does not appear to refer to the PUrus or Bharatas by those names, but then it is not necessary that they do so : the Rigv Veda refers to the Iranians as the Anus (a term which does not appear in the Avesta); and although SudAs and his descendants are Bharatas, the Battle Of Ten Kings hymns refer to them as TRtsus, and the VArSAgira hymn refers to them as VArSAgiras. The Iranians must have had their own names for Indo-Aryans in the Avesta. And it is not necessary that the names or epithets used by the Iranians for the Indo-Aryans should be found in the Rig Veda.
However, we can speculate as follows :
a. The word TUrvayANa occurs four times in the Rig Veda, and in two of the verses it refers to the person for whom Indra conquered all the tribes from east to west i.e. Kutsa-Ayu-Atithigva.
About TUrvayANa, Griffith notes in his footnote to VI.18.13 : “According to SAyaNa, tUrvAyANa, ‘quickly going’ is an epithet of DivodAsa.” If this is correct, then it is possible that this may have been a general epithet of the Bharata kings, descendants of DivodAsa, particularly in conflict situations; and the Avestan word tUirya for the enemies of the Iranians may be derived from this word as a contrast to the word airya. It may be noted that according to Skjærvø. the “evidence is too tenuous to allow any conclusions as to who the Turas were or at what time the conflict took place”.
b. ZarathuStra refers in his GAthAs (Y.32.12-14) to “grAhma” as the most powerful and persistent of his enemies. Though not exactly cognate, a similar word in the Rigveda, grAma, refers to the warrior troops of the Bharatas in III.33.11, where the reference is to the armies under SudAs and ViSvAmitra crossing the SutudrI and VipAS on their westward expedition; and in I.100.10 it refers to the troops of the VArSAgiras.
These are the only two occurrence of this word in the MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas of the Early Period and the early part of the Middle Period. The word grAma occurs once in the hymns of the later Middle Period, in II.12.7, in its new and subsequent meaning of a “village”. It occurs many times in the Late MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas (I.44.10; 114.1; V.54.8; X.27.19; 62.11; 90.8; 107.5; 127.5, 146.10 149.4) always meaning “village” (except in I. 44.10, where it means “battle”, like the later word saMgrAma.
While the early part of the Middle Period of the Rig Veda represents a continuation and culmination of the Indo-Iranian conflicts of the Early Period, the later part (MaNDala II and corresponding parts of the upa-maNDalas) is a period of peace in which the two people develop their religions and cultures in their respective areas. MaNDala II does not refer to any river other than the sacred SarasvatI.
The first signs of a thaw taking place in Indo-Iranian relations, in this period, are the appearance in the Rig Veda of an Avestan personality, Thrita, who is counted among the important persons (Yt.13.113), and is primarily associated with the Haoma (Soma) ritual (Y.9.10) and with medicines (Vd.20).
Thrita (Rigvedic Trita) is a post-Zoroastrian figure : he is not mentioned in the GAthAs, nor is he mentioned even once in the MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas of the Early Period and early Middle Period (MaNDalas VI, III, VII, IV, and the early and middle upa-maNDalas). He first appears in the hymns of the later Middle Period, i.e. in MaNDala II (II.11.19, 20; 31.6; 34.10, 14), and he is clearly a contemporary figure here : Verse II.11.19, even in the context of a hostile reference to Dasyus, i.e. enemy priests in general, asks Indra to ensure the friendship of Trita (Griffith translates the verse as a reference to “Trita of our party”), and the next verse refers to Trita offering libations of Soma.
Trita appears in all the MaNDalas of the Late Period as a mythical personality. The later part of the Middle Period is thus a transitional period between the earlier period of Indo-Iranian conflicts, and the later period of general peace and religious development.
IV.D. The Late Period of the Rig Veda
In the Late Period of the Rig Veda, the Iranians were now spread out over the whole of Afghanistan and southern Central Asia, and were still present in northwestern Punjab. The late VendidAd, as we have already seen, delineates this area in its description of the sixteen Iranian lands.
This period represents a new era in Indo-Iranian relations, where the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians, in their respective areas, developed their religions independently of each other and yet influencing each other, the hostilities of the past rapidly turning into mythical and terminological memories :
1. The BhRgus, as we have seen, are now completely accepted into the Vedic mainstream in MaNDala VIII, with their old hymns being included in the MaNDala and references to them acquiring a friendly, respectful, and contemporary air.
2. Iranian kings of the northwestern Punjab (KaSu, PRthuSravas KAnIta, Tirindira ParSava, RuSama), now become patrons of Vedic RSis.
3. Geographical names of the northwest now start appearing in the Rig Veda, and most of these are names which are also found in the Avesta.
a. SuSoma/SuSomA, ArjIka/ArjIkIyA, SaryaNAvat and MUjavat, the four northwestern areas associated with Soma (I.84.14 in the middle upa-maNDalas; all the rest in the hymns of the Late Period: VIII.6.39; 7.29; 64.11; IX.65.22, 23; 113.1, 2; X.34.1; 75.5). Of these MUjavat is found in the Avesta: MuZA, Yt.8.125.
b. GandhArI and the Gandharvas (III.38.6, a late interpolated hymn, as we have already seen; all the rest in the hymns of the Late Period: 1.22.14; 126.7; 163.2; VIII.1.11; 77.5; IX.83.4; 85.12; 86.36; 113.3; X.10.4; 11.2; 80.6. 85.40, 41; 123.4, 7-8;. 136.6; 139.4-6; 177.2). Gandarewa is found in the Avesta: Yt.5.38.
c. RasA (IV.43.6 in the Middle Period at the westernmost point of the westward thrust; all the rest in the hymns of the Late Period: I.112.12; V.41.15; 53.9; VIII.72.13; IX.41.6; X.75.6; 108.1, 2; 121.4). RaNhA is found in the Avesta: Vd.1.19.
d. Sapta Sindhu (Sapta SindhUn in the Middle Period: II.12.3, 12; IV.28.1; and later as well: I.32.12; 35.8; X.67.12; crystallizing into Sapta Sindhava only in the Late Period: VIII.54.4; 69.12; 96.1; IX.66.6; X.43.3). Hapta HAndu is found in the Avesta: Vd.1.18.
4. Certain animals and persons common to the Rig Veda and the Avesta appear, or become common, only in the hymns of the Late Period :
a. The camel uSTra (Avestan uStra, found in the name of ZarathuStra himself) appears only in 1.138.2; VIII.5.37; 6.48; 46.22, 31.
b. The word varAha as a name for the boar (Avestan varAza) appears only in I.61.7; 88.5; 114.5; 121.11; VIII.77.10; IX.97.7; X.28.4; 67.7; 86.4; 99.6.
c. Yima (Vedic Yama), first man of the Avesta, is accepted into the Rig Veda only in the latest period (although he is mentioned once, in special circumstances, in VII.33.9, 12; and once, alongwith other ancient BhRgus like AtharvaNa and USanA KAvya, in I.83.5), when the BhRgus gain in importance:
I. 38.5; 116.2; 163.2;
X. 10.7, 9, 13; 12.6; 13.4; 14.1-5, 7-15; 15.8;
16.9; 17.1; 21.5; 51.3; 53.2; 58.1; 60.10; 64.3;
92.11; 97.16; 123.6; 135.1, 7; 154.4, 5; 165.4.
d. The Avestan hero associated with Soma and medicines, Thrita (Vedic : Trita) becomes a popular mythical figure in the Rig Veda in the Late Period. After his first appearance in the Rig Veda in MaNDala II (II.11.19, 20; 31.6; 34.10, 14), he now appears frequently in the Late MaNDalas and upa-maNDalas:
I. 52.5; 105.9, 17; 163.2, 3; 187.1;
V. 9.5; 41.4, 10; 54.2; 86.1;
VIII. 7.24; 12.16; 41.6; 47.13-16; 52.1;
IX. 32.2; 34.4; 37.4; 38.2; 86.20; 95.4; 102.2, 3;
X. 8.7, 8; 46.3, 6; 48.2; 64.3; 99.6; 115.4.
ThraEtaona (Faridun of later texts) is an earlier Avestan hero associated with the Indo-Iranian conflicts and already demonised in the Rig Veda (I.158.5). Hence, features associated with him in the Avesta are transferred to Trita in the Rig Veda : ThraEtaona’s father Athwya is transformed in the Rig Veda into Aptya, a patronymic of Trita (I.105.9; V.41.1; VIII.12.16; 15.17; 47.13, 14; X.8.8; 120.6).
ThraEtaona, in Avestan mythology, is mainly associated with the killing of the three-headed dragon, Azhi Dahaka; just as Indra, in Rigvedic mythology, is mainly associated with the killing of the dragon Ahi VRtra (hence his common epithet VRtrahan, found in every single MaNDala of the Rigveda, which also becomes VRtraghna in the khila-sUktas and later SaMhitAs).
The Late Period sees a partial exchange of dragon-killers between the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians: while ThraEtaona is demonised in the Rig Veda, his dragon-killing feat is transferred to Trita (X.87.8, where Trita kills the three-headed dragon TriSiras), who consequently also appears as a partner of Indra in the killing of VRtra (VIII.7.24) or even as a killer of VRtra in his own right (I.187.1).
Likewise, while Indra is demonised in the Avesta, his epithet is adopted in the late Avestan texts as the name of a special God of Victory, Verethraghna (Yt.1.27; 2.5, 10; 10.70, 80; 14 whole; Vd.19.125; and in the Vispered and Khordah Avesta. Verethraghna is the BehrAm of later texts).
Scholars examining the Rig Veda and the Avesta cannot help noticing that the late parts of the Rig Veda represent a period of increasing contact and mutual influence between the Vedic Aryans and Iranians. Michael Witzel clearly sees MaNDala VIII as representing a period when the Vedic Aryans seem to be entering into a new environment, the environment of the northwest : “Book 8 concentrates on the whole of the west : cf. camels, mathra horses, wool, sheep. It frequently mentions the Sindhu, but also the Seven Streams, mountains and snow.”94 This MaNDala “lists numerous tribes that are unknown to other books”.95 In this MaNDala, “camels appear (8.5.37-39) together with the Iranian name KaSu, ‘small’ (Hoffman 1975) or with the suspicious name Tirindra and the ParSu (8.6.46). The combination of camels (8.46.21, 31), Mathra horses (8.46.23) and wool, sheep and dogs (8.56.3) is also suggestive : the borderlands (including GandhAra) have been famous for wool and sheep, while dogs are treated well in Zoroastrian Iran but not in South Asia.”
In fact, the period of MaNDala VIII is the period of composition of the major part of the Avesta. That is, to the original GAthAs and the core of the early YaSts, which belong to the Middle Period of the Rigveda, were now added the rest of the Yasna (other than the GAthAs) and YaSts (late YaSts, as well as post-Zoroastrian additions to the early YaSts), and the VendidAd. A very eminent Zoroastrian scholar, J.C. Tavadia, had noted in 1950 : “Not only in grammatical structure and vocabulary, but also in literary form, in certain metres like the TriSTubh and in a way GAyatrI, there is resemblance between the Avesta and the Rgveda. The fact is usually mentioned in good manuals. But there is a peculiarity about these points of resemblance which is not so commonly known : It is the eighth MaNDala which bears the most striking similarity to the Avesta. There and there only (and of course partly in the related first MaNDala) do some common words like uSTra and the strophic structure called pragAtha occur. … Further research in this direction is sure to be fruitful.”
That this correlation between the Avesta as a whole and MaNDala VIII, is really a correlation between the period of the Avesta proper and the period of the later parts of the Rig Veda, is not acknowledged by either Witzel or Tavadia, since neither of them admit that MaNDala VIII is chronologically a late part of the Rig Veda.
But the following conclusions of another eminent and recent scholar may be noted. According to Helmut Humbach : “It must be emphasised that the process of polarisation of relations between the Ahuras and the DaEvas is already complete in the GAthAs, whereas, in the Rig Veda, the reverse process of polarisation between the Devas and the Asuras, which does not begin before the later parts of the Rig Veda, develops as it were before our very eyes, and is not completed until the later Vedic period. Thus, it is not at all likely that the origins of the polarisation are to be sought in the prehistorical, the Proto-Aryan period. More likely, ZarathuStra’s reform was the result of interdependent developments, when Irano-Indian contacts still persisted at the dawn of history. With their Ahura-DaEva ideology, the Mazdayasnians, guided by their prophet, deliberately dissociated themselves from the Deva-Asura concept which was being developed, or had been developed in India, and probably also in the adjacent Iranian-speaking countries… All this suggests a synchrony between the later Vedic period and ZarathuStra’s reform in Iran.”
Thus, it is clear that the bulk of the Avesta is contemporaneous with the Late Period of the Rig Veda, while the earliest part of the Avesta (consisting of the GAthAs and the core of the early YaSts) is contemporaneous with the Middle Period.
In sum, the cold, hard facts lead inescapably to only one logical conclusion about the location of the Indo-Iranian homeland :
1. The concept of a common Indo-Iranian habitat is based solely on the fact of a common Indo-Iranian culture reconstructed from linguistic, religious and cultural elements common to the Rig Veda and the Avesta.
2. The period of development of this common Indo-Iranian culture is not, as Humbach aptly puts it, “the prehistorical, the Proto-Aryan period”, but “the later Vedic period”.
3. The location of this common Indo-Iranian habitat must therefore be traced from the records of “the later Vedic period” available jointly within the hymns of the Rig Veda and the Avesta.
4. The records of “the later Vedic period” show that the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians were located in an area stretching from (and including) Uttar Pradesh in the east to (and including) southern and eastern Afghanistan in the west.
This is the area which represents the common “Indo-Iranian homeland”.
The scholars, however, are not accustomed to deriving conclusions from facts; it is their practice to arrive at conclusions beforehand … the conclusion, in this particular case, being based on an extraneous and highly debatable linguistic theory about the location of the original Indo-European homeland … and to twist or ignore all facts which are not in accord with this predetermined conclusion.
The three scholars in question : Witzel, Tavadia and Humbach, in varied measure and in different ways, note the facts as they are but they do not take these facts to their logical conclusion about Indo-Iranian geography and prehistory : all three scholars firmly believe in the theory that, in “the prehistorical, the Proto-Aryan period”, the Indo-Iranians were settled in Central Asia whence they migrated to Iran and India.
This can and has lead to a ludicrously topsy-turvy perspective, as will be evident, for example, from the following observations by Humbach on the subject :
Humbach clearly states that the facts suggest a synchrony between “the later Vedic period and ZarathuStra’s reform”, and that the GAthAs of ZarathuStra were therefore composed at a time when “the Deva-Asura concept was being developed, or had been developed, in India”.99 In short, Humbach concludes that the GAthAs, one of the oldest parts of the Avesta, were composed at a point of time when the Indo-Aryans were settled, and had already been settled for some time, in India.
But, when identifying the Hapta HAndu in the list of sixteen Iranian lands named in the VendidAd list, he chooses to identify it with the “upper course of the Oxus River”.100 Now there is no earthly reason why Hapta HAndu should be identified with the upper course of the Oxus rather than with the plains of the Punjab (as very correctly done, for example, by Darmetester, Gnoli, etc.), and this identification was mooted by scholars who sought to identify the sixteen lands on the basis of the theory that the lands named in the list refer to a period when the (Indo-)Iranians were still in Central Asia, and the Indo-Aryans had not yet migrated southeastwards as far as the Punjab. In short, Humbach concludes that the VendidAd, a late part of the Avesta, was composed at a point of time when the Indo-Aryans had not yet reached the Punjab in their journey into India.
The incongruity between the two conclusions is striking.
Clearly, the theory, that the Indo-Iranians were in Central Asia in any “prehistorical, Proto-Aryan period”, is not conducive to any logical understanding of the Rig-Veda or the Avesta, or of Indo-Iranian history.
The facts show a different picture from the one assumed by these scholars :
1. The development of the common Indo-Iranian culture, reconstructed from linguistic, religious, and cultural elements in the Rig Veda and the Avesta, took place in the “later Vedic period”.
2. Therefore, details about the geographical situation in “the prehistorical, the Proto-Aryan period” must be looked for in the “earlier Vedic period”, i.e. in the hymns of the Early Period of the Rig Veda.
3. The evidence of the hymns of the Early Period of the Rig Veda, as we have already seen, locates the Indo-Iranians further east : i.e. in the area from (and including) Uttar Pradesh in the east to (and including) the Punjab in the west.
It is not, therefore, Central Asia, but India, which is the original area from which the Iranians migrated to their later historical habitats.