By P.Govindarajan

        The quest of both Science and Religion is to find out the Truth about man and his place in the Nature’s scheme of things.  Both Science and Religion have been interested in understanding why the world and man exist and how man should live in this world.  Science postulates that man of today called the Homo sapiens or “clever fellow” evolved from the primeval stock of anthropoid apes sometime during the Pleistocene glacial epoch.  Scientists speculate that the hardships of existence in the ice age might have given the initial impulse for the development of primitive brains of these creatures leading them to the path of discoveries and inventions characterising the entire progress of the human race.
        In spite of the fact that primitive man inhabited the earth more recently than the dinosaurs, the fossil remains left by ancient men are very scarce.  Despite intensive search for human remains, only very few have been unearthed and those often nothing more than a couple of disconnected bones or a fragment of jaw. The ancient human beings whose meagre remains have been discovered are named after the places where their remains were discovered.  Thus, we have the Java or Peking man, the Heidelberg (Germany) man, the Neanderthal (Germany) man and the Cro-Magnon (France) man.  Reconstructing the entire evolution of man from these fossils, scientists believe that the Java or Peking men may belong to 600,000 to 400,000 B.C, the Heidelberg men to 300,000 to 200,000 B.C., the Neanderthal men to 200,000 to 100,000B.C and Cro-Magnon men 100,000 B.C. to present time.  Owing to the scarcity of pre-historic human remains and the problem in establishing their exact age, the evolutionary line of human beings can be drawn only very vaguely and the main stem of Homo sapiens still remain untraced, as what has been discovered so far are considered as some side branches only.
        The rough sketches representing the reconstruction of primitive man drawn from his meagre skeletal remains present him as barbarous, savage-looking human monstrosities. They are called primitive human beings, only because they resembled men more closely than apes.  The fact, however, remains that the brain of great apes had a volume of only 300 cubic centimetres as against that of Java man of 985 cubic centimetres. The belief of the scientists that the human race has been evolving steadily with the size of their brain increasing constantly and reaching between 1300 and 1500 cubic centimetres of present day man is not borne out by available evidence.  Most evolutionist deliberately choose to ignore the fact that the fossil of modern type men have been unearthed in the same strain or even in earlier ones than the fossils listed as pre-historic, as these do not fit in with their pre-conceived idea of evolution of man from beast. Furthermore, the eyes, nose, lips or facial features, skin, hair, complexion etc, cannot be realistically reconstructed from the meagre skeletal remains and the evolutionists have given the fossil remains the brutish features or beastly appearance that suited their pre-conceived notions about the evolution of man.
        There is a vast unbridgeable gulf between the intellectual capacity of ape and man that make some evolutionists to consider man’s brain as virtually new creation in the world and not a product of evolution, as there is no conclusive evidence for the transition from ape to man.  On the contrary, there is some evidence that present day man is a somewhat deteriorated descendent of his ancestors.  The primitive men were not necessarily brute beasts or semi-apish savages, as we are made to believe by evolutionists, and the probabilities are that the early man was no different than the present day man. In fact, since the Cro-Magnon man the human brain seems to be decreasing in size.  According to the scientists themselves, the Cro-Magnon men were known to have been far superior to modern men both physically and mentally in terms of brain capacity.
        The profound wisdom contained in the Vedas, Upanishads and Gita clearly prove that man was not primitive or barbarous, as he is made out to be by the evolutionists.   In real life also we find that brilliant people have mediocre or even mentally retarded progeny, while mediocre parents give birth to child prodigies and geniuses.  The inference that the inherited traits are not always passed on to the offspring may not either be wrong or wide off the mark.   The earliest literature available to mankind clearly proves the fact that early man could think and speak his divine, noble, profound and wise thoughts even in the remotest past.  The evolution of man seems to be at the psychic plane and not on the physical level as the scientists erroneously think.  It will, therefore, be preposterous and unwise to hold that ancient people were primitive, uncivilised, barbarous or bestial.
        Many seem to agree that the first elements of real human civilisation can be attributed to Cro-Magnon men who seem to have flourished in France and the Northern Spain.  The earliest representatives of these ancient pre-historic men may have appeared about 30,000 years ago, in the recent Palaeolithic age.  The last of these men had evidently reached a high degree of progress with pronounced artistic interests.  One of the outstanding phenomenons of the pre-historic era was that the Cro-Magnons began fine arts.  Besides the various implements, these men have left behind engravings, sculptures and paintings in and upon the walls of their caverns that reveal a high degree of mental development.  A variety of tools in stone, bone and ivory made by them have been ornamented. Sculptures, engravings on bone and ivory are superbly decorated; their jewels and ornaments are remarkably ingenious and graceful and compare favourably with the antique remains found in the Indus Valley.  Some experts feel that the height of the Cro-Magnon culture was probably reached 12,000 years ago.
        Himalayas are very important to human history.  The origin of man is itself traced to that momentous geological formation.  Barell first suggested that man and the Himalayas arose simultaneously towards the end of the Miocene period over a million years ago.  In Ramayana there is a mention that Sri Rama was very tall measuring eight feet.  In the Vishnu Purana, there is a similar reference to the tallness of Revathi the wife of Balarma.  The Cro-Magnon men and women were six foot three on an average and those living in the Mediterranean measured six foot five and a half.  Their cranium capacity was more than ours and they were physically and mentally beautiful specimens of humanity.  The remains at the Indus Valley and the description in ancient Historical accounts in the epic Ramayana and Vishnu Purana drive one to the conclusion that the Cro-Magnons could have originated from India.
        The caring for the dead and the idea of survival in another world born in the Vedic times seems to have found acceptance among Neanderthal men and further developed in the caverns of the Cro-Magnon men to spread to all parts of the world.  Man tries to reproduce the beauty of Nature in his engravings, paintings and sculptures and from such copying of what is revealed by the universe, aesthetic desires and artistic ideas are born in him.  The aesthetic, moral and spiritual ideas formulated in very ancient times seem to have reached a state of supreme perfection millennia ago that it has not been possible to alter, amend or improve them by the subsequent generations. Following the unexpected eclipse of the Cro-Magnons, there have been no striking advance in human civilisation and on the other hand there has been definite retrogression in certain respects.
        The profoundest thoughts in the Vedas, the highest wisdom of the Upanishads and the most sublime philosophy of Srimad Bhagawad Gita offer comprehensive explanation of the universe and of man’s place in it and propose a code of morals and justifiable reasons for obeying them.  They also provide help in man’s loneliness offering comfort and relief in sorrow and suffering and suggest the means to strengthen man’s good impulses to overpower and subdue his basic animal instincts.  Out of these elements arise a conception of Deity as the Creator, Lawgiver and Judge who reveals to humanity His moral plan, Spiritual purpose and Divine Will through the Scriptures.
        The Preamble to the American Declaration of Independence reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The Preamble is based on the account of creation of man revealed in the Genesis, believed to be the word of God.  Empirical observation, however, reveals that men are not created equal either physically or mentally and Bible cannot explain the inequalities and differences in inheritance of genes, complexion, gender, nationality, congenital handicaps or retardation, the initial circumstances in the formative and impressionable years of life etc.  Sir William Jones, the Father of Western Indology thought that God created only one pair of human beings of opposite sexes and that all the races in Asia (forgetting the fact that they are brothers and sisters of the same parents) descended from Noah’s family after the flood.
        There are four most ancient accounts of the flood legend, which may be of interest to people both in the East and the West.  The Indian version of the deluge as also of the subsequent creation is found in embryonic form in the most ancient Sathapatha Brahmana of Yajur Veda, which has been elaborated subsequently in the Matsya Purana.  The Sathapatha Brahmana clarifies the deeper and esoteric significance of the episode by referring to the flood waters as the Mother Principle, the boat representing the wisdom of the Vedas and Manu representing the original ego or the “I” consciousness.  The account of creation in the Matsya Purana contains a description of the flood legend, which in many of its details corresponds to the narrative in the Bible.  But it has also enlarged the simple description of a universal flood, probably based on an actual event, which was known more or less throughout the world, into an account of creation and evolution consistent with the account in the more authoritative Vedas.  Any foreign influence in the elaboration of deluge and evolution is not apparent. On the other hand, there are noticeable differences between Matsya Purana and the account of the flood preserved in other countries.  According to the Vedas, the creation of world from the primeval waters shrouded in darkness, its destruction when flood engulfs it and subsequent recreation are events that are repeated time and again in cycles without any beginning or end.
        The Epic of Gilgamesh contains an Assyrian version of the flood, which is perhaps the best known.  According to this account, the revelation of the coming flood was made by Ea, the Lord of waters and of wisdom to Utnapishtin, an ancestor of Gilgamesh.  Utnapishtin constructed a boat into which he withdrew his family and belongings and they were saved from the six days of continuous rain.   Another version of flood legend discovered at Nippur near modern Baghdad reveals the coming of deluge made by Enki, the God associated with fresh waters to Ziusudra the king who was also the high priest of Enki.  The remaining details of the event are more or less the same as others.  At Ur of the Chaldees, on the remains of an ancient Sumerian civilisation, the Chaldean version of the flood has been discovered.  According to this version, the God Cronus appeared to Xiusthros, the last Chaldean king of Babylon and warned him about the forthcoming deluge, commanding him to write out a history of Babylon and to construct a ship, filling it with men, birds and beasts.   Xiusthros followed these instructions and those who were saved in his ship restored Babylon.
        The historical memories of the flood found in these different Middle East accounts are mixed up with theories about the origin of creation of plants, human beings and gods.  The emergence of life from the primeval waters is mentioned in an account of creation, which was current in Thebes in Upper Egypt. There was, however, another version different from the one at Thebes in Hermopolis also in Upper Egypt   In this version, a cosmic egg was deposited on an island by eight original beings represented as frogs and serpents.  The Sun God emerged from this cosmic egg to begin the work of creation.
        In the light of the above, the question to be answered is: Which is the earliest account of deluge and creation?  Louis Langles of the Bibliotheque Nationale held the view that Hinduism was the basis for all religions and that the Pentateuch comprising the first five books of the Old Testament originated in India and was borrowed for the Bible through Egypt.  An oft-quoted passage from one of M.Maeterlink’s books says:    “It is now hardly to be contested that this source (Vedas) is to be found in India.  Thence in all probability the sacred teaching spread into Egypt, found its way to ancient Persia and Chelsea, permeated the Hebrew race and crept in Greece and the south of Europe, finally reaching China and even America.”  Dr. Spiegel held the view that the Biblical theory of the creation of the world was borrowed from the ancient religion of the Persians or Iranians. Rig Veda and Avesta reveal close affinity in language and thought and not only single words and phrases but even whole stanzas can be transliterated from Sanskrit to Avesta of Persia without change of vocabulary or construction.  The Persians were probably the earliest to leave the Indus Valley because their language carried off the largest share of the common Indus inheritance, as traced in roots, grammar, words, myths, gods and legends.
        The Vedas are considered as the earliest available literature of mankind.  Regarding the antiquity of the Vedas Max Muller observes: “ Whether the Vedic hymns were composed 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 years B.C. no power on earth will ever determine.”  The absolute certainty of Muller about the indeterminacy of the age of the Vedas stems from the fact that the Vedas were orally transmitted for hundreds of generations from a period anterior to any date that can be fixed by the dating of artefacts by the carbon 14 and dendro-chronological methods, as these scientific methods are irrelevant for determining the origin of the Vedas that were stored in human memory from time immemorial.  The Vedas are the only available literary evidence to trace the origin of man.
        Unfortunately, the Western Indologists have dated the Vedas between 2000 and 1000 B.C. but their dating is vitiated by their religious bias that all human history can be derived from the Bible.  The Bible is a written historical record of the generations that succeeded Abraham whereas the Vedas are orally transmitted religious scripture committed to memory recalling sacred hymns mostly in poetic form containing very little of history.  Script and language came a very long time after oral communication.  In 1513 B.C. Moses is reported to have compiled the Genesis portion of the Old Testament in the wilderness.  Initial feeble attempts to develop script seem to have been made by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley but their writing has still not been deciphered.  Without knowing the script, early archaeologists erroneously concluded that the Indus ruins belong to the pre-Vedic period.  A picture is a hymn without words.  Painted pictures speak louder than the written words.  Unlike the written down thoughts, the pictures do not conceal anything and reveals the truth in every detail.
        Three Crucial antique remains of the Indus Valley namely seals portraying ascetics practising Yoga, standing four-armed figure of deity and Peepul or Aswatta tree, clearly reveal that Indus Valley belongs to the period when Katha Upanishad and the Srimad Bhagawad Gita that contain a direct and specific reference to Yoga, Vishnu and Aswatta tree must have been very popular among the Indus inhabitants.  The study of the Vedas by Western Indologists was inspired by the search for the original homeland of mankind and the place of origin of an assumed common ancestral language and a universal religious faith.   These pre-Darwinian Western researchers were not free from religious prejudice and they were guided by the assumption that human history can be reconstructed entirely from the Bible.  To the pre-Darwinian generation brought up in the tradition that believed that the world was created in 4004 B.C., the discoveries of the anthropologists taking the advent of man to 600000 B.C. or even earlier was inconceivable, incomprehensible and incredible. Biased intellects with preconceived obsessions result in closed minds and they often miss even the apparent and obvious facts in their anxiety to prove what they have in mind.
        During the post-Darwinian period, Science has shaken the very roots of faith in the Bible account of Creation and the rational-minded many have lost their faith in the scripture.  The crude attempts of pre-Darwinians to preserve the antiquity and sanctity of the Bible at the cost of the Sacred Vedas have miserably failed.  Bible is unable to explain the physical handicaps, mental retardation as also the inequalities and differences right at the time of birth, as the impartial and just Creator cannot be personally held responsible for these deficiencies. These can be rationally explained only by the Vedic concept of Law of Karma (Action and reaction) and transmigration of life and consciousness.  Scientists know next to nothing about the ethereal life and consciousness that guides the process of Morphogenesis, by which a single fertilised cell is transformed over the pregnancy period into a living form.  Evolution has self actualisation as its goal and human life has its definite meaning and purpose in psychic perfection.  Only the Vedas provide a definite answer to the question: “Why the world and we exist” or in other words, the plan and purpose behind creation.
        Though ancient history deals with the remote past, it has its valuable lessons and contribution to make in solving the problems of the present as also to shape the future, by avoiding the mistakes of the past.  The making or marring of man’s destiny is in his own hands.  History records realities, actual events or accomplished facts and distortions of the truths about the past affect posterity and the impact of such deliberate falsification may be felt only in the future.   Western Indologists have done gross injustice to the Sacred Vedas and the earlier the Vedic chronology is rectified the better for the future generations.  The philosophy and the wisdom contained in the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita are a heritage of the whole of mankind and is not the private possession of any one nation, race or caste.

        French scholar Jacolliot called the Bharatha Varsha the Cradle of Humanity.  Voltaire regarded Indians as the most ancient people on earth.  J.Z.Holwell has observed that the mythology and cosmogony of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were derived from the doctrines contained in the Vedas.  Renowned philosopher Will Durant considers India as the motherland of human race and Sanskrit as the mother of European languages.  It is quite natural and normal for every individual to think that the belief or view held by him is the right one but prejudice should not blind people to make them averse to the acceptance of proven truths.  The author has no moral authority or right to ask anyone to reconsider his beliefs or views but at the same time he considers it as his moral duty to bring to others’ notice all relevant facts available to enable them to come to their own conclusions.  This is what the author has attempted in this write-up.

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