Memory of Dissapearance of River Dṛśadvatī

Where the rivers of Rg veda rain fed?

Most of the researchers are stuck with the timing of Rg veda. The common consensus of 99% of researchers is that Rg veda happened around 1900 BCE to maximum 3102 BCE.

  1. Why 1900 BCE, I have never understood, probably due to the mature Harappan phase with metallurgy, but why 3102 BC, because this is the timeframe, we have been fed, with Kaliyuga beginning.
  2. For that matter MBH also must have happened in the vicinity of 3102 BC and for that matter Rg veda continued till these times due to the presence of MBH king Devapi — Sāṃtanu in Rg veda. No one goes beyond this time frame as they compare the AIT and OIT during this time frame with the reference to the word Arya present in Rg veda and accordingly go towards the studies of genetics to resolve them, finally saying that there was no invasion in India. Apparently they miss the big picture of what Rg veda, Ramayana and MBH is trying to say. Daśarājña war does say that their was a type of invasion by our own expelled people. Casualties were very low since the population then was very less and thus would not reflect much via genetics in the history. It was not that catastophic like MBH war where the population proportion Male vs Female dropped to 1:16 during 5000–6000 BCE. Some have argued that even African population had the similar dip, for that matter I would say even those tribes participated, had to participate, since the trade with IVC was in full fledge with the (north and middle) Africans as well from beyond Sumerians. Some of the names of the tribes present in MBH are so obscure thus lost into antiquity as to who they were, probably belong to Africans.
  3. They forget to create the holistic picture of Rg veda, w.r.t geology, river morphology, geo-tectonic conditions of Himalayas, vegetation taxa present during those times, study of geographical names, onomastic studies of river and geographical land names ( for example Nābhā, Pṛthvi, Ilāyāspada, etc. ) and their association with the people of different dynastic tribes, and especially with the wars.

Today, I note down a very short note that why I believe Rg veda stopped during or before LGM times.

According to Giosan, the Chautang is a rain-fed river, and the Yamuna changed its course towards east some 50,000 to 10,000 years ago, and didn’t pour any water into it for the last 10,000 years. Hansi Branch of Western Yamuna Canal is palaeochannel of this river. Dṛśadvatī river itself was a tributary of the Ghaggar-Hakra River.

benefit in these holy centres viz — Sarasvatī, Vinaśana, Plakṣaprasravaṇa, Vyāsatīrtha on the Dṛṣadvatī, Triplakṣa. — Chapter 13, The Brahmanda Purana

Triplakṣa (त्रिप्लक्ष): — [=tri-plakṣa] [from tri] m. [plural] ‘the 3 fig-trees’, a place near the Yamunā where the Dṛṣad-vatī disappears, [Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa xxv, 13; Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra xiii] — Lexicon

Vedic index of Names and Subject

Now what do we conclude here? Brāhmaṇas are the branches of Rg veda, Sūtras are further embodiment of exact timings of the rituals. They continued to record whatever they visualized for their ritualistic purposes. They even recorded the places where the Rivers disappeared, appeared for as Tīrthas to be venerated and remembered. Purāṇās note the events from Rg veda till Brāhmaṇas and Shrauta times. It is said that to undersatand the Rg veda one need to square the events from Brāhmaṇas, Purāṇās etc.

They did record that Dṛṣadvatī disappears at Triplakṣa, a lost site today. Can we conclude in any way that the Rivers of Rg veda were rain fed? For me it is impossible to think. What do you think?



Architect and Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Indic studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, MA, USA

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Rupa Bhaty

Architect and Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Indic studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, MA, USA