By Milind Arolkar
New Delhi, August 1: Denouncing any references in Indian mythology under the pressure of Communist ideologues for years, the Government now seems to realize that the Hindu mythology is actually a factual documentation of a well-cultured human civilization.
Answering in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, The Minister of State V. Narayanasamy told the Indian lawmakers that the Indian government has made efforts to trace the origin of the Vedic Saraswati river and has also constituted a committee for this purpose. The Minister even told that the Indian Space Research Organization [ISRO] has studied the palaeochannels in North West India and related them to the channels of River Saraswati. ISRO has not constituted any committee for this purpose, said the Minister.
Narayansamy told the House in March that an integrated palaeochannel map of River Saraswati has been prepared from the origin in Himalayas to Rann of Kutchch. The origin of the mapped course of the River Saraswati palaeochannel in North West India was linked to Himalayan perennial source through Sutlej and Yamuna Rivers.
He further said that the work on delineation of the entire course of river ‘Saraswati’ in North West India was carried out using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite data along with digital elevation model. Satellite images are multi-spectral, multi-temporal and have the advantages of synoptic view, which are useful to detect palaeochannels. The palaeochannels are validated using historical maps, archaeological sites, hydro-geological and drilling data. It was observed that major Harappan sites of Kalibangan [Rajasthan], Banawali and Rakhigarhi [Haryana], Dholavira and Lothal [Gujarat] lie along the River Saraswati.
Existence of the mightiest Saraswati river
The Saraswati civilization is evidenced by over 2,000 archaeological sites out of a total of 2,600 sites of the so-called Indus Valley Civilization, making it appropriate to call it Saraswati Civilization.
The geological and glaciological evidences say that a stream of Sarasvati was supposed to have originated in Bandapunch located in current Uttarakhand. Descending through Adibadri, Bhavanipur and Balchapur in the foothills to the plains, the river took roughly a southwesterly course, passing through the plains of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and finally marching out into the Arabian Sea at Prabhas Pattan covering the Great Rann of Kuchchh.
Geologists say that at one time it had at least 3 tributaries, Shatadru originating from Mt Kailas, Drishadvati from Shiwalik Hills and the old Yamuna. They flowed together along a channel, presently known as Ghaggar in Punjab, Hakra and Nara. Research reports by geologists have revealed that the drainage systems/ paleochannels of this area came into existence more than 8000 years back as is indicated by the age of waters trapped beneath the desert in Jaisalmer of west Rajasthan.
Then descending through Adibadri, Bhavanipur and Balchapur in the foothills to the plains, the river took roughly a southwesterly course, passing through the plains of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and finally it is believed to have marched out into the ancient Arabian Sea at the Great Rann of Kutch near Prabhas Pattan.
Such huge database prompted the Indian Space Research Organization to locate the stream of the Saraswati river. In its publication “Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Series and Applications: A Saga of 25 years” ISRO says – “Remote Sensing data in association with GIS has also provided a non-destructive technique in recognizing historical settlements or archaeological sites. Locating and identifying the ancient site of Dwaraka, settlement sites along the Saraswati river basin using IRS data have been studied in detail [Thakker, 2001].”
Expeditions and efforts to revive the ‘lost’ river
On 19 November 1985, when the “Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti” initiated the ‘Vedic Saraswati River Search Expedition”, some eyebrows raised against it. But the revelations about Saraswati river placed with the scientific facts stunned the suspicious minds. The success of this expedition was for the first time ever cleared the confusion in Indian minds about its roots and knowledge centric civilization of thousand years.
In 1985, a rigorous and minute survey expedition exercised by the eminent historian Dr. Vishnu S. Wakankar and senior RSS pracharak late Moropant Pingale, came out with some splendid facts and Findings.
The ‘Vedic Saraswati River Search Expedition’ stated that the Vedic Saraswati river rises in the Himalayas and appears in the 6 to 8 km wide horizontal plateau of ‘Aadibadri’. Approximately 10 thousand years ago the mainstream of the Saraswati river was disrupted because of the lift of the Himalayas due to some tectonic activities. Saraswat region was populous region and the Saraswati valley was known for agriculture and pre – Hadappa settlements existed there. Primeval human 'Ramapithikas' was born in the Shivalik ranges in Saraswat valley. The renowned Mahabharata war fought on the banks of Saraswati. Gradually the flow of the river Saraswati started drying and the flow got disappeared. The Vedic society flourished on the banks of Saraswati but spread throughout the world after its extinction.
A wide network of scholars has proven the authenticity of the ancient Saraswati river. The satellite images of ancient water streams, geological surveys and ground - surveys of water have demonstrated the extinct streams to confirm the authenticity of the mighty Vedic river.
BARC unearth the underground Saraswati
In 1997, the nuclear scientists of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre [BARC] interpreted Landsat-imagery of the western part of Rajasthan which revealed buried courses of the river running between the two ends of north-east to south-west. This was stated in the January 1997 issue of "Current Science" journal. The BARC study confirmed that the buried course has links with the dry bed of the Ghaggar river in the northeast [ShriGanganagar district, Rajasthan] while in the south-west it met or cut across surviving courses of the Hakra and Nara rivers in Pakistan.
The BARC findings of potable water 30 to 60 m. below the ground, through ground morphological studies. After the Pokharan blasts on 11 May 1998, the Isotope Division of the BARC led by Dr. S.L. Rao took water samples from 800 deep wells within a radius of 250 kms. of Pokharan. Their findings showed there was no nuclear contamination of the ground-waters.
BARC came out with some remarkable findings. BARC found that the waters tested were potable. The waters were derived from Himalayan glaciers and importantly they were between 8000 to 14000 years old. And lastly as a unintended fallout of the Pokhran tests, BARC found that the waters were being slowly recharged through aquifers from somewhere in the north despite the fact that there was a record of very scanty rainfall in the semi-arid region of Marusthali.
Even former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has expressed interest in the revival of this heritage river.
Sole efforts by Govt
In 2002, in the NDA government led by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Culture Minister Jagmohan announced excavation to trace the ancient course of the Saraswati and set up a team of four experts. “Marxist historians have fed us on a certain kind of history. One should not close options,” Jagmohan had commented. Later, Baldeo Sahai of ISRO, Ahmedabad, archaeologist S Kalyanraman, glaciaologist Y. K. Puri, and water consultant Madhav Chitle were teamed up to carry out the first phase of excavation from Adi Badri to Bhagwanpura in Haryana followed in second phase from Bhagwanpura to Kalibangan on Rajasthan border.
Will the Saraswati flow again?
Based on the evidence gathered through excavations, the archaeologists have concluded that between 7000 BC to 2500 BC an advanced civilization, Vedic in nature, was flourishing along Sarasvati and Indus rivers. When Sarasvati started drying up, the civilization moved towards west beyond Sindhu, east beyond Ganges and south beyond Godavari.
Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, director of the ‘Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalp’ and author of a seven-volume encyclopedic study of the mighty Vedic river [in a journal of the Geological Society of India No.42, 1'999 PP 25-33] says that it was possible to travel on the Sarasvati river from the gulf of Khambat to Mathura via Lothal, Dholavira, Granweriwala, Kalibangan, Banawali, Paonta-Doon, Rakhigarhi and Indraprastha. Kalyanaraman is confident that the age old mythological river will flow again.
Similarly, Serious efforts are made to constitute a ‘Saraswati Development Authority’ for revival of the river Saraswati. The ‘Saraswati Nadi Shodh Sansthan’ is taking massive efforts to wake the governments and make the river Sarasvati to start flowing again, a reality.
In the Nadi-sukta , a hymn of praise of rivers, described in Rig veda refers ten rivers of India and identify the Saraswati river as the most important. In addition to the Rig Veda, the YajurVeda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, the Valmiki Ramayan, the Mahabharata, Puranas, the Brahmana texts, the Manusmrti, the Meghadootam and the Avesta texts consist references of the Saraswati river.
The existence of the mightiest Saraswati river and ancient Indian Vedic texts which were always negated by a sect of historians predominantly Communist and the Congress governments which were always relying on their judgments. The situation was and is that such scholars and all the Congress led Governments have always nullified the historical documentation elaborated in the ancient Hindu scriptures and texts.
Now that this Central government has come out of the shell of Communist historians and started to accept the pre- Jesus historic civilization on Earth; it is an promising sign for the nationhood persisting in India on the foundation of a very rich and ancient heritage of the Vedic Saraswat civilization.