Brute violence, Religious war, Plunder, deceit, ignorance and poverty have been the summary and memory of Afghanistan for the last 1000 years. No one peeps into the History of Afghanistan what it was before these 1000 years.

It was a Peaceful, Progressive, Tolerant society which instituted one of the greatest university of academia and higher learning. It was a land of Ved, Panani who wrote Sanskrit Grammar “Asthaaydhayi“ and Bamiyaan Stupas of Lord Buddha.

And trust me no Afghani would believe this. The great Vedic civilization of ancient Afgani and their bloody struggle for Identity with Arab/Turk had been systematically purged and concealed. We are bringing this story to you in a Series of three parts.

Origin: The word Afghanistan itself has a Sanskrit origin. In Sanskrit the word “Ashwa” means Horse. If it is suffixed with “Ghan” which means tribe or group, it completes into a word called Ashwaghan. The meaning of this is “who are Keeper of Horses”. The word “Stan” means place or land. Thus, the original word “Ashwaghanistan” means the Land of the Horse Keepers. Gradually it got abridged over a period of time and turned out to be Afghanistan.

In Vedic times Afghanistan was indeed a land which provided Horses for the Pan-Indian world. Ved was practiced throughout this land.

Religion: – In Afghanistan, Vedic belief gradually coexisted with Buddhism in Eastern and Central Afghanistan. In the pocket of northern Afghanistan, a belief related to nature worship known as Zoroastrians emerged and spread towards Persia which is modern Iran.

By early medieval, before the advent of Islam in Afghanistan, the Afghan people adhered to multiple religions Hinduism (Kabul valley & Logar), Buddhism (in the southeast), Zoroastrianism (in the northeast), Paganism (south and east) and others.

The Hindu Shahis of Kabul were devotees of Lord Shiva and they built some of the majestic temples in the territory of Peshwar, Kabul and Khoransan. Many ruins still survive in this region.  Nearly the entire Afghanistan during Hindu Shahi were either Hindus or Buddhist. The medieval Muslims could not destroy the two Bamiyan Buddhas statues as the technology was too weak to destroy those colossal Buddhas in the medieval period. Decade’s back it was finally destroyed by the Taliban and the world witnessed the glimpse of medieval hatred once again. Unfortunately all literature and historical records of this era had been systematically destroyed by Arabs/Turks after converting the faith of Afghani.

Language:-The inscriptions of Hindu Shahi were in Sanskrit language, though not many are available today.  At around 500 B.C. the great Sanskrit Grammarian, Panini recorded his treatise on the banks of the Kabul River. Sanskrit, the sacred language of Ved evolved here only into a classical linguistic.

Ancestors:-Story of Land of Gandhari, Taxila, Panini the famous Sanskrit grammarian and Five Pandava (who is still recalled in folklore having named the Panch Sher Valley) is incomplete without the Gallant story of Hindu Shahi (Kabul Shahi) Kings. They ruled Afghanistan, their Hind Shahi Kingdom from many a cities and those cities were named in Sanskrit as like Nangarhar (originally Nagarhara), Loghar, Kabul (Kapisi), Kamoz desh (Kambhoj Desh), Kunduz (Kambhoja), Zabul, Lalpur, Dehpora. These all are referred in Puranic Scripture.

It is a fascinating story of Brave Hindus of Afghanistan (The ancestor of today’s Pathan) who battled hard against Invading Arab and Turk to protect their life and identity for nearly 200 years. Yes Hindu Shahis fought against treacherous Turks and Arabs.

Legacy: – Yet Afghanistan doesn’t know that about Kallur the man who United Afghanistan against Arabs. No one knows Zunbils of Zabulistan who expelled Arab and reinforced the rule in Zabul. The Zunbils are said to have ruled south of the Hindu Kush. Lowik the Hindu Vassal of Hindu Shahi who expelled Saffarid ruler from Gazni. And Great Bhimdeva an Afgani Hindu who repulsed Arab, Persian and Turk at distance away from Gazni and kept Buddhist and Hindu Tradition of Afgani alive for nearly five decades. He led one of the most violent military expeditions and went on to subjugate Bukhara of Uzbekistan. And No one knows Bhimpala (Nidar/Fearless Bhim) the last of Hiindu Shahi king who formed a confederacy and led the last noticeable battle against Turk.

The Hindu Shahi Dynasty of Kabul

Kallar843 AD –  850 ADFounder as per Al Baruni
Vakkadeva850 AD –  895 ADLalliya of Kabul
Kamalavarman895 AD –  921 ADAlso referred as Kamaluka
Bhimdeva921 AD –  964 ADMost expansionist & vicious
Jayapala964 AD –   1001 ADAdopted King of Hindu Shahi
AnandPal1001 AD – 1010 ADConfronted Mahmud.
Trilochanpala1010 AD – 1021 ADDied by Mutinous troop.
Bhimpala1022 AD – 1026 ADLast king who valiantly.

A historical fact, In Between 712 to 1193 for nearly 500 years India remained free from any Arab or Turkish invasion. The heroic effort of Bappa Rawal of Mewar Nagbhatta of Pratihaar and Kakatiya from Kashmir is unparalleled. They hunted down the Arabs and Turks up to Caspian Sea while crossing Baghdad on many occasions. Thereafter, the northern boundary was ably defended by Hindu Shahi of Afghanistan for all these years.

Ghandhar called as Khandhar and Ghazni had become the new battle ground between invading Arab/Turk and Hindu King.  Ghandhar under the Hindu Shahi Dynasty had a bloody history of 200 years, where not less than 18 times, these battle entailed into killing, plunder, conversion and slavery in the most gruesome manner. But such was the resilience and resolve of Khorasan, Gazni and Kabul that they reinstated their Sanatani Hindu belief. They restored their power on as many occasions. This story reminds us today about Afghanistan’s historical struggle with Turk & Arab to protect their identity until they were finally converted into Islam. The conversion into Islam was extremely violent. No one knows how many were enslaved, exiled or slaughtered.

And then emerged another savage stream of Islamic rule in the name of Pathan and Afghan who were none but converted Afghani Buddhist and Hindu.

Afghans will learn these facts gradually. The traces of most of the records have been systematically purged. Monuments have been destroyed. Temples were desecrated. And nearly for 10 generations, they have been tutored to belief in desert history and desert ancestors. Identity has been rewritten. Yet walk into the street of Kabul and you listen to folklore of true ancient Afghanistan which has been preserved and transferred to posterity innocently. Coins and Persian literature had been the major source of information about the Afghanistan struggle.

As of date the Islam is a dominant and powerful in the World polity. And hence there is a natural human tendency to identify oneself with the powerful and privileged. However once the prosperity and political power of Islam will decline, the Afghans will rush to claim their Hindu past. Pride and self-esteem would urge them to trace their ancestry and origin. However till then they would prefer to shy away from identifying themselves with Hindus and Buddhist.

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