Editor’s Note: In the following, portions in italics are questions and quotes from a member of the Yahoo theos-talk discussion group. Portions in regular font are replies by Bhakti Ananda Goswami.
Even if the Vedas are 7000 years old as you say, which would make them about contemporaneous with the earliest manuscripts of the I CHING, what do you make of the fact that the human race is believed to have originated at least 50,000 years ago according to some reckonings, and as many as 2 million years ago by others? If Vishnu is real, why did he wait so long to reveal himself?
The 7000 is someone’s speculation; I generally don’t like fixing earliest dates for a particular version of something when there is so little evidence. Here is my opinion.
The Vedas are the Rig, Sama, Atharva and Yajur Veda. Together, these 4 Vedas, or books of knowledge (OIDA in Biblical Greek! and YEDA in Hebrew!) are the testimony of an ancient ‘high’ civilization. They evidence the existence of people who had a complex theo-centric sacramental social order, a monotheistic religious faith expressed in devotion to God and His Shakti / Prakriti through a multiplicity of emanations, theophanies and incarnations, a beautiful and sophisticated ‘sacred’ language (Vedic Sanskrit), agriculture, time keeping, travel and trade, and all the other things that make-up a ‘high’ civilization. Such a civilization does not really just appear overnight. However, in the geological / archeological record the sudden ‘dawn’ of high civilizations is one of the most perplexing facts. However one is inclined to assign dates to an ancient text like the Rig Veda, the ‘oldest’ of the Vedas, one must always keep in mind that whatever is existing in the text is much older than the text itself. There are over 1000 hymns in the Rig Veda! Many consider, based on linguistic and / or astronomical evidence that some of these hymns are 5000 or more years old. The oldest hymn, based on current speculation of many scholars is the Purusha Sukta. This hymn clearly describes that the cosmic manifestation, including all the Devas, Aryan Civilization and the Vedas Themselves, have all been born from the Self-Sacrificed Body of God as Purusha Yupa Dhvaja.
Now there are two questions. The first, confining our inquiry to the Sanskrit Text at hand, is why are we trying to date the civilization by dating an extant text? Which leads to the second question. Granted that the civilization existed long before the preserved text that we have, should we not look for evidence of things IN THE TEXT outside of the text, to date the civilization? The interdisciplinary way that I inquire is to look at the text in the context of what is known about the society that produced and preserved it. Then I look at that society in the context of the natural world and other societies. Nothing can really be excised out and studied separately without losing significant meaning. Everything must be approached in its context as much as possible, and studied in an interdisciplinary manner to get the Whole, Big Picture as much as possible. So for example, what we can know from the separated study of the Vedas and I CHING is magnified many times over by a comparative study of these ancient source works. When we analyze the earliest Chinese and Vedic evidence of high civilization we find very many striking parallels. These are at the religio-cultural roots of both civilizations. If we think of the Aryans as one race or language group, then we are faced with the problem of the same religio-cultural factors appearing in two ‘different’ racial and linguistic groups in the same time period. This forces us to postulate that one group ‘got it’ from the other at some earlier time. While there are many clear histories of innovation and diffusion in the human adventure, the universalism of certain features of ancient civilizations should raise some questions for us regarding ANY racist or ethno-centric assumptions about ‘who had it first.’ The farther back we go, the farther back the connections go. This is where we come to your excellent question:
…what do you make of the fact that the human race is believed to have originated at least 50,000 years ago according to some reckonings, and as many as 2m years ago by others? If Vishnu is real, why did he wait so long to reveal himself?
I have shown elsewhere that the worship of Vishnu as Purusha, the primal Deity of the Rig Vedic Civilization, was the social-organizing impetus of that civilization. For example, high civilization in Egypt developed out of the alliances of HERU-ASU worshiping Temple Communities, which grew into city-state Nomes which were allied by their common faith. Whether we believe in God as a Transcendent Being or some peoples’ invention, we can use the same scientific methodology when we are trying to determine what someone else’s beliefs and experiences were, and what these beliefs and experiences impelled and compelled them to do or refrain from doing. So, taking a scientific approach to the study of religion at the heart of civilizations, let us consider whether God (or the Gods of various peoples) did ‘wait’ until the recording of the extant Rig Veda or other roughly ‘datable’ ancient texts to reveal Himself.
‘Super Linguistics’ or linguistic archeology, physical archeology, genetic studies, astronomy, even the study of diseases, zoology, climate and botany, etc. can contribute to our understanding of the global experience of humankind, and humanity’s relationship to the Divine (however defined). For the simplest way to grasp what I am saying about the worship of Purusha and Prakriti at the heart of human civilization, let us just consider two facts. I have previously shown, and the new field of Super Linguistics is demonstrating more every day, that there are some word roots that are found in language families previously thought to have been unrelated. What makes these in-common word roots important is that they are not late borrowings between the major linguistic groups, but are at the very ancient-most heart of the different language families! Fact one is that this common linguistic heritage MUST go back to before the geographical isolation THAT CREATED THE SEPARATED LINGUISTIC FAMILIES! Fact two is that the evidence of these common roots parallels recent findings in genetic research. Thus the diffusion of our ONE human race is attested to by both genetics, and these few in-common word roots. Genetics tells the story of our spread, archeology tells the story of our daily life, accomplishments and setbacks over time, and comparative linguistics tells the story of what we were thinking about before and after we ‘put it in writing.’
Where my unique contribution comes into this emerging picture is that in the 1960s while studying the Names of God Ess in the Bible and related regional traditions, I observed that some of these in-common BIJA (Sanskrit for ’seed’) Names of God Ess (Hebrew ISHISH = ISIS) were quite obviously there in the earliest EXTANT Afro-Egyptian sources, The Bible and West Semitic sources, and in the European sources. Studying the etymology of Greek, Latin and other European Deity Names and words, I understood the relationship of these to the ancient Vedic Sanskrit. Thus from the start of my studies, I was particularly interested in the connections between the Afro-Egyptian, Sumero-Semitic and Indo-European language families. At the core of these connections was MONOTHEISM, and it was quite obviously the SAME MONOTHEISM!
In the current correlation of peoples and languages, ‘genetic distance’ is spoken of, and in the science of Linguistic Superfamilies, linguistic changes are traced over long periods of time in tiny increments of change, analogous to the tiny increments of adaptive change in the genetic record. Glottochronology projects linguistic changes back into prehistory. For example, in the following: http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/vajda/ling201/test3materials/BeforeBabel.htm, Proto-Nostratic is theorized as having been spoken about 15,000 years ago. However, the Nostratic Superfamily does NOT include the African NIGER-KORDOFANIAN or NILO-SAHARAN language families, which my research shows Nostratic connections to. The Niger-Kordofanian language group covers most of Central Africa. It includes the Bantu group, which Swahili, Zulu and Tswana are members of, and Niger-Congo, of which Yoruba is a member. My own independent research has shown connections between the Supreme Deity’s Names in these two major African Language Families, and those of the Afro-Asiatic Superfamily. Since the Afro-Asiatic Language Family is part of the postulated Nostratic Superfamily, when I am proven correct in the connections I have been describing since the 1960s, we will then be admittedly confronted with a primal tongue of humanity. Fortunately I do not have to fight the battle to establish my own 1960’s discoveries as fact. The whole field of Super Linguistics is gradually creating the context for acceptance of ‘my’ discoveries. So it does not really matter in one sense that I am unpublished and few people know about my work. What I have been saying from the 1960s is being independently discovered more and more by others every day, and it is just a matter of time until the Whole Big Picture emerges with or without my input about Monotheism.
IN TERMS OF TIME-DEPTH, IF THE POSTULATED SUPER LINGUISTIC ‘MOTHER TONGUE’ INCLUDES ANY OF THE PRIMARY NAMES OF PURUSHA-PRAKRITI, WE ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE FACT THAT THIS ORIGINAL FATHER-MOTHER GOD ESS DID NOT ‘WAIT’ TO REVEAL HIM-HER SELF TO HUMANITY. How far back does Super Linguistics trace the diffusion and changes of language ? Well, the genetic studies are paralleling the Super Linguistics studies, so whenever the genetic time-distance indicates, that is where we can look for related linguistic evidence. The fact is that wherever we find communities of humans, and whatever we think about the time frame of their presence in an area, both the gross physical and linguistic evidence shows that they were religious beings with a social order inspired by religious sentiments. The evidence shows that these ancient humans had a sense of origins and ancestry. They cared for their living AND THEIR DEAD. As a FATHER-MOTHER GOD ESS MONOTHEISM is and was common in African Tribal traditions, it was also common in these other ancient civilizations. The genealogy of the Monotheism of the Adi (Former, Original) Purusha and Prakriti therefore is as old as humankind itself.
Clearly Vishnu and Shakti did not wait until the Rig Veda to reveal Themselves to Their children. They have been with their children all along. Thus the Supreme Father God of the Niger-Kordofanian Language Family is OLU, Who is clearly the Predynastic Egyptian Supreme Deity HERU, Who is none-other than the Semite’s ELI, the Indo-Europeans HELI / SOLE / SURA or HARI and the Sumerians ILU.