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The Saraswati Flows On: The Continuity of Indian Culture

by B. B. Lal

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This book deals with two major controversies relating to India's past. First, It has been asserted by many scholars, both Indian and foreign, that the Sarasvati mentioned in the Rigveda is the Helmand of Afghanistan. The author examines the entire Rigvedic evidence and demonstrates that it goes counter to aforesaid assumption.

On the other hand, there are compelling geographical data in the Rigveda itself which unambiguously show that the Rigvedic Sarasvati is none other than the present-day Sarasvati-Ghaggar combine which flows through Haryana and Panjab. Though now it dries up near Sirsa, the dry bed, sometimes as much as 8 kilometers in width as picked up with Landsat imagery, shows that anciently it continued all the way down to the Rann of Kachchha.

Second. It has no less vociferously been orchestrated that the Aryans "invaded" India, as result of which the Harappan Civilization became "extinct'. The author shows that there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest any invasion, much less by the Aryans. On the contrary, there is ample evidence to demonstrate that many of the present-day cultural traits are rooted in the Harappan Civilization.

Thus, you should not feel surprised if you travelled 4500 years back in time to a Harappan settlement and found a lady busy applying sindura (vermilion) to her manga (line of partition of the hair on the head), or a farmer ploughing his field in the same criss-cross pattern as do the Haryanavis or Rajasthanis today. If you wanted to place an 'order' for tanduri rotis, you could very well do so with a Kalibanganite 4800 years ago. Yogic asanas, which have new-found lovers even in the west, were as much a pride of the Harappans. Or, should you feel like being greeted with a namaste, a Harappan would be only too glad to oblige you.





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Title: The Saraswati Flows On: The Continuity of Indian Culture
Author(s): B. B. Lal
Language: English
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