Was the Aryan-Dravidian Conflict Actually an Aryan-Persian Conflict?
Namaste Everyone,

As you may know, Western accounts of Indian history state that around 1500 BCE, the Indian subcontinent was invaded by light-skinned speakers of Indo-European languages who referred to themselves as "Aryans".

Recently, I came across evidence indicating that the enemies of the Vedic Aryans were actually Persians, and not Dravidians:

The Rig Veda states that the Aryans were fighting a tribe called the Dasas. They were also known by the names "Dasyu" and "Pani". Book 7, Hymn 6 of the Rig Veda explicitly states where the Dasas went after they were defeated:

Quote:1. PRAISE of the Asura, high imperial Ruler, the Manly One in whom the folk shall triumph- I laud his deeds who is as strong as Indra, and lauding celebrate the Fort-destroyer.
2 Sage, Sing, Food, Light,—they bring him from the mountain, the blessed Sovran of the earth and heaven. I decorate with songs the mighty actions which Agni, Fort-destroyer, did aforetime.
3 The foolish, faithless, rudely-speaking niggards, without belief or sacrifice or worship,— Far far sway hath Agni chased those Dasytis, and, in the cast, hath turned the godless westward.

If you look at the names of the various Dravidian tribes of the Indian subcontinent, you will find that none of the refer to themselves as "Dasas". However, you WILL find Persian tribes that refer to themselves as "Dahae". The Wikipedia article has some references on this.

Before the Islamic invasions, the majority religion of Iran was Zoroastrianism. In this religion, the demons are referred to as "Devas" and the gods are referred to as "Ahuras".
The chief deity is referred to as "Ahura Mazda", and he bears striking similarities to the Vedic deity Varuna. For example, both Varuna and Ahura Mazda are associated with the deity Mithra:

Quote:2 O Asuras, O Varuṇa and Mitra, this hymn to you, like food, anew I offer. (Rig Veda 7.36)
1. Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathustra, saying: 'Verily, when I created Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, O Spitama! I created him as worthy of sacrifice, as worthy of prayer as myself, Ahura Mazda. (Zend Avesta, Mihir Yast, Part 1)

The similarities between Zoroastrianism and the Vedic religion indicates that one religion must have split off from the other at some point in ancient history. Interestingly enough, Zoroastrian scriptures state that the Persians came from a place called "Airyanem Vaejah".
Ethnocentrism is what bothers critics the most about the Vedas, and clarifications (even if true and of anthropological interest) about which particular race was at the receiving end of this scripture-sanctioned ethnocentrism will do little to assuage critics.

Who the Dasyus were may well be an open question, but on the question of whether the Dasyus whoever they were deserve the dehumanization allotted to them by the Vedas, there can be no rethink on the critics answer of a resounding 'Never again!'
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