Different views are expressed in the world of research on Indus Valley
Civilization. Some say it is of the Aryans while others opine that it
is of the Dravidians.
On the basis of the four Vedas, the theory that the Indus Valley
Civilization is of the Aryans was built up. Hence, the analysation of
the Vedas throws much light on this line.
If Indus Valley Civilzation is of the Aryans, mother goddess worship
that plays an important role in the Indus Valley Civilization should
be described in the Vedas. But in the Vedas only minor female deities
are mentioned. The Indus Valley deities normally have horns, whereas
the deities of the Vedas are not portrayed with horns.1 Sivalinkas
which are found in the Indus Valley Civilization is later on degraded
in the Vedas.
The Vedas describe the wheels of the Chariots with spokes, but the
wheels that are seen on the seals and vehicles of clay in Indus valley
do not have wheels with spokes.2
Following analysation of Sir John Marshall on the Indus Valley
Civilization here are given some clues.
- "The picture of Indo-Aryan society portrayed in the Vedas is that of a partly pastoral, partly agricultural people, who have not yet
emerged from the village state, who have no knowledge of life in
cities or of the complex economic organization which such life
implies, and whose houses are nondescript affairs constructed largely
At Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, on the other hand, we have densely
populated cities with solid, commodious houses of brick equipped with
a adequate sanitation, bathrooms, wells, and other amenities.
- The metals which the Indo-Aryans used in the time of the Rigveda are gold and copper or bronze; but a little late, in the time of the
Yajurveda and Atharvaveda, these metals are supplemented by silver and
Among the Indus people silver is commoner than gold, and utensils and
vessels are sometimes made of stone - a relic of the Neolithic Age -
as well as of copper and bronze. Of iron there is no vestige.
- For offensive weapons the Vedic-Aryans have the bow and arrow, spear, dagger, and axe, and for defensive armour the helmet and coat
The Indus people also have the bow and arrow, spear, dagger and axe,
but, like the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, they have the mace as well,
sometimes of stone, sometimes of metal; while on the other hand,
defensive armour is quite unknown to them - a fact which must have
told against them in any contest with mailed and helmeted foes.
- The Vedic-Aryans are a nation of meat-eaters, who appear to have had a general aversion to fish, since ther is no direct mention of
fishing in the Vedas.
With the Indus people fish is a common article of diet, and so, too,
are molluscs, turtles, and other aquatic creatures.
- In the lives of the Vedic-Aryans the horse plays an important part, as it did in the lives of many nations from the northern grasslands.
To the people of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa the horse seems to have been
- By the Vedic Aryans the cow is prized above all other animals and regarded with special veneration.
Among the Indus people the cow is of no particular account, its place
with them being taken by the bull, the popularity of whose cult is
attested by the numerous figurines and other representations of this
- Of the tiger there is no mention in theVedas, and of the elephant but little.
Both these animals are familiar to the Indus people.
- In the Vedic pantheon the female element is almost wholly subordinate to the male.......
Among the Indus cults...........the female elements appear to be
co-equal with, if not to predominate over the male.
As times goes on, doubtless many other salient points of difference
will be revealed, but for the moment the above will suffice to
demonstrate how wide is the gulf between the Indus and Vedic
Civilizations. Now it may, perhaps, be argued that the difference
between them is a difference of time only; that the Vedic civilization
was either the progenitor or the lineal descendant of the Indus
civilization........ Let us assume, in the first place, that the Vedic
civilization preceded an led up to the Indus civilization. On this
hypothesis the progress from the village to the city state and from
the nondescript houses of the Vedic period to the massive brick
architecture of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa would find a logical
explanation, though we should have to postulate a long interval of
time in order to account for the evolution. But what about other
If the Vedic culture antedated the Indus, how comes it that iron and
defensive armour and the horse, which are characteristic of the
former, are unknown to the latter? Or how comes it that the bull
replaces the cow as an object of worship in the Indus period, only to
be displaced agains by the cow in succeeding ages? Or, again, how
comes it that the Indus culture betrays so many survivals of the
Neolitihic Age - in the shape of stone implements and vessels - if the
coper or bronze and iron culture of the Indo-Aryans intervened between
the two? Clearly these considerations put out of court any solution of
the problem which postulates an earlier date for the Vedic than for
the Indus Civilization. But if it was not earlier, are there any
grounds for supposing that it was evolved out of the latter? In other
words, could the Indo-Aryans have been the authors of the Indus as
well as of the Vedic Civilization?
Here, again, we are faced with a like dilemma. For, though on this
assumption we could account for such phenomena as the introduction of
iron, of the horse, and of body armour, all of which might have
signalized merely a later phase of the same culture, we are wholly at
a loss to explain how the Indo-Aryans came to relapse from the city to
the village state, or how, having once evolved excellent houses of
brick, they afterwards conteneted themselves with inferior sturctures
of bamboo; or how, having once worshipped the linga and the Mother
Goddess, they ceased to do so in the Vedic Period, but returned to
their worship later; or how, having once occupied Sind, they
subsequently lost all memory of that country of the Lower Indus".3
Opinions of Asco Parpolo regarding Indus civilization and the review
of Mahadevan on Asco Parpolo's view are given as follows.
The Survival of Brahui; a Dravidian language, spoken even today by
large numbers of people in Baluchistan and the adjoining areas in
Afghanistan and Iran, is an important factor in the identification of
the Indus Civilization as Dravidian. Brahui belongs linguistically to
the North Dravidian group with several shared innovations with Kurukh
and Malto; no dialectal features connect it with the South or Central
Dravidian languages. Hence Parpola cocludes that Brahui represents the
remnants of the Dravidian language spoken in the area by the
descendants of the Harappan population.4
Survival of place-names is generally a good indicator of the
linguistic pre-history of a region. Parpola points out several
place-names in the north western region like nagara. Palli, Pattana
and Kotta with good Dravidian etymologies.5
Parpolo also points out that syntactical analysis of the Indus
inscriptions has revealed Dravidian like typological characteristics,
especially the attribute preceding the headword.6
It has often been pointed out that the complete absence of the horse
among the animals so prominently featured on the Indus seals is good
evidence for the non-Aryan character of the Indus Civilization.