River Sarasvati: Atomic scientists reconfirm location

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Mar 9 13:47:56 UTC 2000

Vidyasankar Sundaresan :
>My statement seems to have provoked a flurry of responses:
>>Vedic Sarasvati--Evolutionary History of a Lost River of Northwestern
>>India, eds. B.P.Radhakrishna and S.S.Merh,
>Do these contributors place Vedic Sarasvati exactly through Punjab and
>Rajasthan, or do they place it exactly further west, in modern Afghanistan,
>or exactly somewhere else?

Most of them in  in Haryana-Rajasthan-Cholistan --> Cutch.
R.Kochhar, however, draws attention to the name sake in Afghani Arachosia
(Haraxvaiti = Sarasvati).

I cannot agree with this:
>As of now, only those who believe in the
>indigenous origin of Vedic culture are willing to talk to the scientists.

Simply not correct. e.g., our Indologist colleague K.Mylius has 2 PhD
degrees, one in Indology and one in Geography.
Or, to give -- for which I beg indulgence  -- a few personal examples. I
remember to have read, already as a student, a lot on the historical
climate and geography  of Central Asia and India, worked and talked with
natural scientists of all stripes at our research institute in Kathmandu
(learning about the geological background of the mythical Kathmandu lake
cleared by Visnu, about bird song - East Asia and Europe overlap there-- ,
looking at Terai mastodon fossile heads, learning a few things about
Hepatitis A/B, taking a wonderful flight over the Himalayas with a Japanese
glacierologist team, etc. etc. etc.)
And of course we read nat.sc. items or talk to our nat.sc. colleagues. Or,
archaeologists from metal preservationists to  geneticists (one such vol.,
ed. by  M.Kenoyer, on the Indus civ.,  is coming out this year).

I often discuss these matters with Indian scientist friends teaching
elsewhere in the US...
They, as scientists,  have for long given up on items such as the Aryan
invasion or the Sarasvati discussions... and hope for better times, a
change in the weather.

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138

ph. 617-496 2990 (also messages)
home page:     www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies:         www1.shore.net/~india/ejvs

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list