Destroyers of Cities
The Rig Veda describes its Gods as "destroyers or conquerors of cities." This
was used to regard the Vedic as a primitive nomadic culture that destroys cities and is
opposed to urban civilization. However, there are many verses in the Rig Veda that speak
of the Aryans as having a cities of their own and being protected by cities up to a
hundred in number. Aryan Gods like Indra, Agni, Sarasvati and the Adityas are praised like
a city.(*21) Many ancient kings, including those of Egypt and
Mesopotamia, had titles like destroyer or conqueror of cities (which latter may be the
real meaning of such terms, not reducing the cities to rubble but merely winning them). So
does the great Hindu God Shiva who is called the destroyer of the three cities,
Tripurahara. This does not turn them into nomads. Destruction of cities happens in modern
wars; this does not make those who do this nomads either. Hence the idea of the Vedic
culture as destroying but not building cities is based upon ignoring what the Vedas
actually say. In fact the cities destroyed or conquered are often in the Rig Veda
identified as those of other Vedic peoples, like the seven cities destroyed by Sudas whose
enemies were mainly Vedic people (note section on Vedic peoples below).
However since recent evidence shows that the Indus cities were abandoned and not
destroyed, the idea of the Veda Aryans as destroyers of cities has also vanished from the
interpretations of those who still hold to an Aryan invasion or migration.
The Vedic struggle was between groups in the same cultural context who had horses, ayas
(probably copper), barley and cities. It cannot refer to any battle between the invading
Aryans and indigenous Harappans but appears to reflect indigenous conflicts of Harappan or
pre-Harappan era, which must have existed in India then as in other ancient civilizations.