Myth of Aryan Invasion of India - Dr. David Frawley.

The Post-Colonial World

The Aryan Invasion Theory

Basis of the Aryan Invasion Theory

Aryan as Race or Language

The Development of the Aryan Invasion Idea

Mechanics of the Aryan Invasion

Harappan Civilization

Migration Rather than Invasion

The Rediscovery of the Sarasvati River

The Vedic Image of the Ocean

Horses, Chariots and Iron

Destroyers of Cities

Vedic and Indus Religions

The So-called Racial War in the Vedas

Vedic Peoples

The Aryan/Dravidian Divide

Vedic Kings and Empires

Vedic Astronomical Lore

Painted Grey Ware

Aryans in the Ancient Middle East

Indus Writing


Indian Civilization, an Indigenous Development

The New Model

Ancient History Revised

Political and Social Ramifications


The Vedic Image of the Ocean

The Rig Veda itself contains nearly a hundred references to ocean (samudra), as well as dozens of references to ships, and to rivers flowing into the sea. The main Vedic ancestor figures like Manu, Turvasha, Yadu and Bhujyu are flood figures, saved from across the sea. The Vedic God of the sea, Varuna, is the father of many Vedic seers like Vasishta, the most famous of the seers, and the BhRigu seers, the second most important seer family. Indeed the basic Vedic myth is of the God Indra who wins the seven rivers to flow into the sea? How could such a myth arise in the desert of Central Asia?(*14)

To preserve the Aryan invasion idea it was assumed that the Vedic (and later Sanskrit) term for ocean, samudra, originally did not mean the ocean but any large body of water, especially the Indus river in the Punjab. Here the clear meaning of a term in the Rig Veda and later times - verified by rivers like Sarasvati mentioned by name as flowing into the sea - was altered to make the Aryan invasion theory fit. Yet if we look at the index to translation of the Rig Veda by Griffith for example, who held to this idea that samudra did not really mean the ocean, we find over seventy references to ocean or sea.(*15) If samudra does not mean ocean why was it still translated as such? It is therefore without any basis to locate Vedic kings in Central Asia far from any ocean or from the massive Sarasvati river, which form the background of their land and the symbolism of their hymns.

Again the absence of archeological data and the non-existence of any real Sarasvati river was used to justify this change of the meaning of terms. Now that the Sarasvati sites have been found as mentioned in the Veda, and ships and maritime trade in the Indus/Sarasvati culture, we should reexamine the Vedic references to samudra or ocean, and take them seriously.

As an interesting sidelight, it is now known that Aryan migrations to Sri Lanka from Gujarat began before 500 BC, if not much earlier, and Brahmi inscriptions have been found in Indonesia to about 300 BC, thus making the nomadic Aryans strangely and quickly turn into sea-faring traders and migrants. Yet such travel makes perfect sense if the Vedic people were familiar with the ocean at an early period. Meanwhile the Phoenicians were trading with the port of Ophir (Sopara, Surpakara) north of Bombay during the time of King Solomon, circa. 975 BC. This also shows the Vedic people engaging in a maritime trade from central India at a period much too early for the Aryan invasion of 1500-1000 BC.