The Vedas are not only some of the oldest scriptures ever known to us but their antiquity has raised profound questions. How old are they in fact? Many erudite researchers, and thinkers have gone on to express their thoughts like Lokamanya Tilak and others. The current writeup is based on paleo hydrology or based on the rivers mentioned in the Vedas.
So let’s begin…
An approximate timeline of the Vedas can be deduced based on the description of the River Saraswati in the Vedas as follows: the normally accepted River Saraswati is the Ghaggar – Hakra paleo channel. The river was a perennial one during 80-20k years before present as has been established through Marine Isotope studies!
The fluvial history of the river as derived from such studies indicates that the river was initially fed by both the Sutlej and the Yamuna. But then the Yamuna abandoned the Ghaggar channel during 49-10k years before present.
Since the Vedas mention the Saraswati as the “greatest of rivers” this could have been before the Saraswati abandoned the Ghaggar channel. So the Vedas are at least as old as 10k years before present if not older.
Even after the Yamuna had abandoned the Ghaggar channel, the Sutlej kept feeding the same and remained a perennial stream until ~4.5k years before present. Post that period, there was a break in the Sutlej-Ghaggar connection, turning it into a temporary stream.
Sindhu-Saraswati or Harappan civilization start coincides with the rejuvenation phase of the Ghaggar (9-4.5k years before present). The civilization was abandoned gradually as the Ghaggar channel turned ephemeral.
Western Indologists puzzling over the identity of the River Saraswati is natural. If they accept the Ghaggar-Hakra paleo channel as the River Saraswati, then the origin of the Vedas shall be pushed back at least to 10k years before present, which is unacceptable to them. After all, all pseudo-Indologists from the West (following Max Mueller) can’t accept anything in the civilized World (or uncivilized Orient ) to be older than the Tower of Babylon!
So the antiquity of the Vedas can be pre 49k years before present or at least 10k years before present. Even a mean interim period shall place it 22-29k years before present.
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