Punjab and Aryavarta

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Wed May 26 12:56:27 UTC 1999

>From yavass Wed May 26 16:21:42 MSD 1999
The process of alienation of the North-west began in the Vedic period (after
the Rgveda). There is a chant in the Atharvaveda (5.22) which invites malary
(takman) to go to the outlying (and probably Non-Vedic, Non-orthodox) regions:
Anga and Magadha in the East, the countries of the gandhAras, mahAvRSas,
munjavantas and bAlhIkas - in the North-West (bAlhIkas/bAhlIkas of the Punjab;
connection with Balkh in Bactria - first suggested by Lassen - is impossible
because *Balkh* is the late [Middle Iranian] development of *Baxthri).
BaudhAyAna dharma sUtra  (about 5th century BCE) discouraged travels in the
land of the AraTTas (Punjab) and recommended to perform prayazcitta on
the return from this "unclean" country. So the alienation began before the
coming of the Greeks, Scythians and other Western mlecchas. It was due
probably to the Iranian influence in the region and to the revival of the
Late Harappan cultural heritage.  The classical description of the barbaric
customs of AraTTas/bAhlIkas and other peoples of the Punjab, including madras
and sindhu-sauvIras, see in the MahAbhArata, VIII.30.
        Best regards,
                                                Yaroslav Vassilkov

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