Question (Q): what made you study the Indo-European language and write a book about it?
Dr Nicholas Kazanas (Dr NK): It’s not quite right that I have studied the Indo-European languages. What I have studied are English and Sanskrit. So, the Indo-European languages came much later and only in connection to Sanskrit. This was necessary to study comparative linguistics to realize the truths of Sanskrit, and by Sanskrit, I mean, old Indic or Vedic as well; the old language and its history.
I accepted for a very long time the current Aryan invasion or immigration theory, and when I started looking for the evidence for all this, I found that there was no evidence whatsoever. Consequently, I started studying the Indo-European languages in the ancient history of India thoroughly. And I discovered that all the evidence are pointed to the fact that from at least 3500 BCE Indians were in India. They did not come to India in about 2000 or there about as the current theory has it.
I wrote several papers on that and I had a lot of professors, including my own at the School of Oriental Studies, who refused to even look at the evidence. Unfortunately, this is the case with most of the supporters of the Aryan Invasion theory. They don’t look at the evidence or they look at it very partially and continue as if there is no evidence.
Archaeologists for instance say that there is no evidence of any intrusion before 600 BCE, but they refuse to take it into account. But why do they do this? Why do they take linguistic evidence which means absolutely nothing? Because linguistic evidence can give you no dates. Anthropology and archaeology can give you dates. And they say nothing before 600. They refuse to look at this and go on and on about linguistic evidence, which gives no dates.
So, I started studying linguistics and went into Indo-European linguistics which is a mess. It isn’t true, it isn’t pragmatic. They have, for instance, a law that says phonemes, which is a specific sounds, in the same given phonetic background will change in the same way. This is not true. The cerebral vowel Ra, Re or Ro as you pronounce it in India, doesn’t change in the same way in the same phonetic background.
This is very evident in a western language. In the old Persian language, it changes into er, aar, ir, and so on. The same happens to many other phonemes. I have given many such examples in my book but they don’t look at it. They continue to repeat their pet theories and they think by repetition their pet theories will be right. Well, of course, this is not the case.
This book is a collection of different studies, specific Vedic studies and studies of Indo-European aspects, that show we need a different approach for Indo-European studies and procedures. The old paradigm isn’t right, it doesn’t work.
Let me give you another example; I collected 400 common cognitions in the Indo-European languages Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Russian, all the other Slavic languages, Baltic languages and so on. Sanskrit does not have out of these only about 50, the next one does not have about 145 and then 200 and 250.
Sanskrit retains many more than any other Indo-European language. Consequently, you cannot approach Indo-European linguistics in a socialistic manner, saying that all languages are more or equal and we must find a middle term or middle way. Sanskrit is much closer to the old Proto-Indo-European, if ever there was a Proto-Indo-European, than any other language. Consequently one must give more credit to Sanskrit than any other language. Well, these are some of the aspects that I examine in all the articles published in this book
Q: There are papers and people who say that the comparative approach to understanding two different languages is the gold standard but you refute that, why so?
Dr NK: Well, I refute it for the reasons I have given already because they give laws that don’t apply. They apply in certain cases but not in all cases. That is one thing, the other thing is that a lot of scholars write a lot of things doesn’t mean that what they write is correct and that one has to take it as the absolute truth.
Indo-European comparative linguistics have got some insights that are very valuable, but these are valuable because there is documentation. Where there is documentation we have verified work, where there is no documentation we have conjectures that may or may not be true, it’s not evident. For these reasons, I refuse to take them for granted and accept their findings.
Anyway, many of their findings are proven wrong and are being revised. I mean that is a process that has been going on for 220 years now. It began in the early nineteenth century and they started with considering Sanskrit as a primary factor but then in the middle of the nineteenth century they changed and turned over to Greek. They thought Greek is more representative of the Proto-Indo-European language but there is no evidence for this.
This is just the idea of some scholars and then other scholars followed and repeated the same idea and they go on repeating it. For the 400 cognate words that I examined, Greek lacked 145. It is behind Germanic. Greek is not representative of the old Proto-Indo-European language. Consequently, I don’t accept these findings.
They even invented laryngeals. Laryngeals are sounds that do not exist in most Indo-European languages. But in order to explain certain phenomena that don’t tally with their pet theories, they introduced a laryngeal here and there. They used to have ten but have now dropped down to three. When you examine the laryngeal, you see that they aren’t really necessary.
Q: How do coherence and preservation in Sanskrit lead us to it being the closest language to Proto-Indo-European languages?
Dr NK: Sanskrit is not perfect, it has many holes. It has developed from the old Indic Vedic language in which the entire Rigveda is written. Complete Vedas, all the mandalas, and all the hymns of the Rigveda are written in it. Now that is an older language and there are many changes coming into Sanskrit. But if you examine the vocabulary you find that there are some words in Sanskrit that aren’t derived from Dhatus.
There are over 800 Dhatus which give nouns, adjectives and other verbs. There are many words in Sanskrit that are not derived from Dhatus. So where did they come from? We don’t know. Panini wrote his excellent grammar Ashtadhyayi but we don’t know exactly when. There are conjectures again that equals 500, whether it was 300 or 800 but there is no actual evidence.
He wrote the grammar in order to fix the language so that it would not deteriorate as it was happening at his time. So we have a language that is now regulated by the rules of grammar of Panini. In fact, there are many new usages in Sanskrit after Panini but by large the grammar that he postulated still holds and that is the grammar we all learn.
Sanskrit is not perfect, it is a most powerful language and the most beautiful language but it is not perfect. There are many lapses, there are many things missing. There are many irregularities that cannot be explained.
For instance, the Sanskrit word father – Pitr, Pita is supposed to come from Dhatu Pa which means to protect he was the protector of the family. Fine but how did the R change into A? It doesn’t happen elsewhere. So this is one of the things that substracts from the perfection of Sanskrit. There are many other examples like that. There are many irregularities that are not explainable by the rules of grammar of Panini.
Q: What are the proofs you found in Rig Veda to show that Vedic culture is closer to Proto-Indo-European culture and languages and contrary to Western belief that Vedic culture originated from the Iranian language?
Dr NK: I have a long article in this book is called Vedic and Avesta. It is 40 pages long and I give all the reasons why Vedic is much older than Avesta. It would be difficult for the laypeople to go into detail because they wouldn’t have the linguistic tools that I shall use to argue, show, and explain what happens.
There are certain things that appear in Rigveda in later books. Rigveda has early, middle, and late books. Certain vocabulary appears in Rigveda in late books. This vocabulary appears more or less in the same form in Avesta. There are certain phrases, they are called collocations, two or three words make a phrase or idiom. Now, these appear in Avesta but the early collocations of the Rigveda do not appear in the Avesta.
There is nothing in the Avesta that is not in the Rig Veda and the Rigveda has much more than Avesta. Avesta only has the late Rig Veda which means Avesta moved away with the late development, not the early ones. There are names, phrases, and meters of poetry and there are late developments like later Sanskrit which do not appear in the Avesta which shows the Avesta moved away some time and didn’t stay long enough to have those changes as well.
I argue in great detail in these 40 pages why Iranians moved away from old Sapta Sindhu and its larger area which included Bactria and moved into Iran. The geography in the older parts of Avesta begins in the south of what is today Persia or Iran. Newer books of Avesta show a movement to the northwest which means Iranians were moving from south to north westwards.
They actually say they passed from the Hindu land. They mention various places to which they had been in the Avesta and the very first place was the Hindu land. Hindu stands by itself in the Avesta and there is no other word connected to it in Avestan.
But in Sanskrit in Sindhi, Hind, and Sindhu have many other words connected to it. There is River Sindhu and other words which mean salt, horse etc. So Avestan took the word Sindh and converted it into Hind like they converted the word Roma into Homa. It is a regular change, Sanskrit S becomes H in Avestan. Avestan has certain constructs that appear only in late Vedic and not early Vedic.
(Featured Image Source: The Eastern Report)