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Indus Valley Script Decipherment

Indus Valley Script

Vedic Basis of Indus Culture

Symbolism of Brahmanas and Upanishdas in Indus Valley Script

Critical view of decipherment of Indus script



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General Editor:

Dr. Narayan Singh Bhati


Historical Lecture Series -2




Dr. Fatah Singh


Published by

Rajasthani Shodh Sansthan








We are glad to put before our readers the present publication regarding the Indus   Civilization in Rajasthan, arranged under the “Historical Lectures Series” of this Institute. These lectures were delivered by Dr. Fatah Singh, Director, Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur on the 15th and 16th of March 1969.


Dr. Singh is Vedic Scholar of great repute. His approach towards the decipherment of the Indus script has already gained a place in the world of scholarship. He has taken infinite pains in collecting his material and has presented it with considerable skill and balance. His views are clear and evaluation quite dispassionate. The reader is invited to go through these lectures with profit. These lectures were delivered with several illustrations, most of which were published in the December, 68 issue of the ‘Swaha’, a research quarterly of the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur. My thanks are due to the authorities of the Institute for permitting me the use of two blocks.


I am extremely grateful to Prof. Dashratha Sharma, Head of the Department of History, and University of Jodhpur for presiding over these lectures. His presence was a source of great inspiration for all of us.


I conclude, with my sincere thanks both to Dr. Singh and Prof. Sharma for sparing their valuable time for a topic, which has, of late, assumed national importance.


                                                                                               Narayan Singh Bhati



                                                Presidential Address


It has been a pleasure listening to Dr. Fatah Singh’s learned talk on the script of Mohenjodaro. So far many attempts have been made to tackle the issue, both by Indians and foreigners; but none has been successful because the very first premises with which they start is faulty. They look out for Dravidian, pre-Dravidian, Sumerian, or even Egyptian influences, forgetting that it is an Arya area, the banks of the Sindhu, Vitasta and the Sarasvati where the Script has been discovered. We welcome Dr. Fatah Singh’s attempt to solve the riddle because he is an accomplished Vedic Scholar, not only with the necessary learning but also the necessary patience to interpret the numerous inscriptions that have come to light so far. Some links of the chain of his arguments, no doubt, require strengthening. But the same will have to be said about every attempt to read this script, because, so far we suffer from the double difficulty of our ignorance not only of the script but also the language in which the inscriptions have been written. But some day there is bound to be a break through. May be it is provided by Dr. Fatah Singh’s ‘Brahmana and Upanishad symbolism in the Indus Valley Script’. We wish his views the widest publicity and the fullest consideration on the basis not of any predilections but their own merit.


                                                                                              –Dasharatha Sharma.




Page                     Line                                 

6                            fn 1                                   Read Eugenics for Evgenies

8                            22                                      Read Proto-Elamitic for Proto-Elite

10                          Last Line                         Read progenitorship for procreation

10                          fn 2                                   Read No. 2 p 19 for No. 1, pp 8-13

11                          8                                        Read tables for tables

11                          28                                      Read tacitly for tactly


















Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,

I am highly thankful to Dr. Narain Singh Bhati, the Director of Rajasthani Shodh Sansthan for his kind invitation to deliver these lectures of Indus Culture in Rajasthan. Indus Culture may be said to have become a burning topic of the day in as much as Newspapers have, during this month, reported two attempts at the decipherment of Indus Script–one by Parpola brothers of Finland declaring Indus Culture to be Dravidian Culture, and the other by Mr. M. V.N. Krishna Rao of the Archaeological Survey of India, calling it any Aryan Culture. Earlier the Newspapers, particularly Hindi dailies had published the reports of my humble contribution to the decipherment of this ancient script and of an endeavour to unravel the mystery of this great Culture is the work of the one and indivisible Indian nation and should not be studied in terms of racial prejudices which modern scholars have introduced in Ideological writings. While the 2000 inscriptions which I have so far deciphered have convinced me that the language of Indus people was  Vedic Sanskrit, I would not call it Aryan or Dravidian for the simple reason that language has no race, and that there is nothing like Aryan or Dravidian race on the earth.

For the first time, the excavation of Harappa and Mohenjodaro situated in the Indus Valley revealed the relics of this ancient culture of India . Although the post-independence period had brought to light several new sites of this culture extending as far as Alamgirpur in Ganga-Jamuna Valley in the East, this culture continues to bear the old name of the 'Indus' or harappan Culture after the name of the place where it was first noticed. Dr. H. D. Sankalia[1] thinks that several sites of Baluchistan explored by Fairservis and Beatrice de Vardi belonging to 2500 or 3500 B.C. are also Harappan and that in the south, "The Indus civilization has come to the frontiers of Bombay and it is quite possible that, with further explorations we may be able to go along the coast still further southwards."[2] Even if this prophecy does not come to be true, the area of this prehistoric culture can definitely be stated to extend from Punjab to Saurastra, and from Baluchistan to Ganga-Jamuna Valley . The central place in this area of Indus Culture may now be given to Rajasthan where a number of Harappan sites have been located along the valley of river Ghaggar (now extinct) which the scholars identify as the rivers Saraswati of Ŗgveda. The importance of Rajasthan in regard to Indus Culture has been emphasized by the eminent Archaeologist in these words—"Thus every year, more and more information is being obtained about the Indus Civilization. But the time has not yet come, when we can say something definite about  it, and I am sure that unless a very well planned attempt is made to get such information, we shall have to remain content with these tit-bits. What is required is a planned exploration of Bikaner followed by a large scale excavation, and then alone we shall be able to solve the problem of the relationship between the Indus Civilization and the later Chalcolithic cultures of the Gangetic Valley, Rajputana, Saurastra and Central India."[3]  

Happily Kalibanga, one of the several Harappan sites of the Ghaggar Valley of Rajasthan, has received attention of the Government and the excavation work has been on, for several seasons. Although the detailed report of these excavations is yet to come out, I have had an opportunity to visit this site, in February last when the work of excavation was still gong on. There I saw several remarkable things which point out to the Vedic origin of this culture, but before I proceed to discuss Kalibanga in the light of my researches on Indus script, it will be worth while to know the background in which I laboured and came to certain conclusions about the Script and Culture.


The quest into the hoary antiquity of Indus Valley Civilization may be said to have been started by the modern man in the last part of the 19th Century, when the mounds at Harappa were visited by Masson in 1826, by Burnes five yeas later and by Cunningham in 1853 and 1856. Although the circuit of these ruins said to be about 12,500 feet could not receive the attention of the excavator till 1920-21, Sir Alexander Cunningham had, in his annual report for 1875, published an account of the site, some specimen seals and other antiquities which he found on his visit to Harappa . The period of early twenties was indeed the most important for the quest into the Indus Valley ; for it was in this period that Dr. R. D. Banerjee discovered the mounds of Mohenjodaro where the first excavation was carried out from 1922 to 1927

[1] . Indian Archeology To-day, pp 71-72

[2]  lbid, p.67.

[3] ibid, p.70.


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