Ancient India

Origin and Settlement of the Aryans

Central Asian theory

There are various schools of thought regarding the original home of the Aryans. The most important theory which held the field for a long time was that the Aryans originally lived in Central Asia. This theory was propounded by Prof Max Muller a German scholar of comparative languages. He stated that the ancestors of the Indians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Germans and the Celts must have lived together originally. The ‘Pitri’ and ‘Matri’ in Sanskrit are essentially the same as the Persian ‘Pidar’ and ‘Madar’, the Latin ‘Pater’ and ‘Mater’ and the English ‘Father’ and ‘Mother’.

Arctic Theory

Central Asian theory has been seriously challenged by Sri Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his book ‘Arctic Home in the Vedas’. He opined that the original home of the Aryans was a place of extreme cold. The Vedas refer to days and nights lasting for 6 months which are found in Arctic region.

Sapt-Sindhu Theory

According to the eminent historians A C Das, K M Munshi the Aryans originally belonged to the Sapt-Sindhu or Punjab. This point of view was put forward by A C Das in his book Rig Vedic India. He says that all the plants, rivers, crops and animals mentioned in Rig-Veda and other ancient books were found in ancient Punjab. The geographical conditions in Rig-Veda points out to this region. But this theory is not convincing. If the Aryans had been indigenous inhabitants of the Sapt Sindhu area there would have been no need for them to desert such a fertile area and go to other parts. Aryans were unaware of animals such as elephant and lion which were found mainly in India.

Tibetan Theory

According to Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Pargiter the original home of the Aryans was Tibet. This view has been expounded by them in the Satyarth Prakash and Ancient Indian Historical Traditions respectively. According to them Aryans worshipped the sun and fire as it was extremely cold in Tibet. All the trees and animals mentioned in the Rig Veda were found in Tibet.

South-East European Theory

The theory generally accepted these days is that the original home of the Aryan was in south-east Europe. According to Macdonell the common trees like the oak, the birch and the willow and the common animals like the horse and the cow with which the ancestors of the Aryans were familiar could in those days be found only in southern Europe.

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