30 years ago, a German Tantric Guru mentioned something serious in his book that he had figured out what language the people of the Indus Valley Civilization spoke.
Interestingly, he said that he discovered this through meditation.
From the Indus Valley site, we have found more than 4000 items which people have been trying to decode for many years.
This is one of the biggest mysteries of our time.
What Language did the Harappans Speak? Mystery of Harappan Civilization’s Script
According to the German Guru, there is a connection between the Indus Valley Civilization script and Rig Veda.
This book was controversial.
Many people were angry at the fact that the Guru made this discovery through meditation.
Others were delighted.
They believed this proved that Hinduism is a very ancient religion.
The Indus Valley Civilization, also known as Harappan Civilization, is 4000-year-old.
So why would people want to know what a 4000-year-old language was like?
Before the discovery of Harappa or Indus Valley Civilization, it was believed that the oldest Indians were born between 1500 BC and 500 BC.
They were the ones who wrote the Vedas which led to the foundation of Hinduism.
If we can prove that the people of Harappa spoke Sanskrit, then we might be able to prove two things.
First, Hinduism is a very ancient religion.
Second, India has been a Hindu country for many years.
If we can prove that the language was not Sanskrit, then we can prove that there existed a culture before the Vedas which had no relation with Hinduism.
So, the language these people used to speak can have a significant impact on our culture, politics, and religion.
In this video, I’d like to tell you the story behind this mystery.
Take a look at this.
How big do you think this thing is?
Originally, it was this big.
This is a seal that was excavated from Harappa.
In 1872, Alexander Cunningham, an archaeologist, was roaming in the ruins in Punjab.
The locals called these ruins Harappa.
Twenty years earlier, railway engineers working on the railway tracks of Multan-Lahore, had discovered these ruins.
The engineers found some stones in these ruins which they used to make the railway tracks.
They weren’t aware that these stones belonged to an ancient civilization.
Cunningham wasn’t aware of the importance of these ruins either.
But since he was an archaeologist, he had a vague idea of the importance of the site.
So, he and his team started investigating these ruins.
They found many tools made from stones and clay pots.
But they found something very unique
— a stone tablet or seal.
In his report, Cunningham wrote that the stone featured interesting inscriptions which he couldn’t decipher.
Forty years after this incident, a 21-year-old officer who worked for the Archaeological Survey of India, Rakhaldas Banerjee, went out for research in a place near Harappa.
He came across a Buddhist stupa and speculated that it was hiding something underneath it.
He told his boss John Marshall that they should dig up the place.
What they discovered was probably the biggest discovery for India in the 20th century.
Under the Buddha stupa, they found a whole city.
The name of that city was Mohanjo-Daro.
It means the mound of the dead.
They found many stamps, clay pots, brick houses, and water drainage systems.
They found many things that Cunningham had excavated in Harappa 40 years ago.
After the discovery of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, in 1924, the Archaeological Survey of India said that they had found probably the oldest civilization in Indian history.
When pictures of such stone tablets were published, it was found that similar tablets had been discovered in Iraq as well, which used to be a part of the Mesopotamian civilization.
That’s why historians claim that Mohanjo-Daro and Harappan civilizations are more than 4000 years old.
As these civilizations were situated near the Indus river, they were called the Indus Valley Civilization.
Some historians suggest that the Indus Valley Civilization is way older than it’s presumed to be.
But there’s no doubt that this civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations in the world.
But the Indus Valley Civilization was different from Egypt and Mesopotamia.
The civilization wasn’t dominated by powerful religious leaders.
There are no traces of temples or remnants of depictions of kings or gods.
What was found was a variety of artefacts.
4000 of these artefacts contain inscriptions, featuring 400-700 symbols.
Many people have tried to decipher the meaning of these symbols.
But they’ve failed.
Why is it so difficult to decipher the language?
There are two reasons.
The first is that historians haven’t found the Rosetta Stone.
What does this mean?
Look at this script.
This is the writing system used in ancient Egypt.
While the Indus script contains 700 symbols, the Egyptian script is composed of more than 1000 symbols.
So how did historians decode the Egyptian script?
Because of the Rosetta Stone.
In 1799, Napoleon’s French soldiers were fighting the Ottoman army.
During the battle, they found a big stone while breaking a wall.
Today, this stone is one of the most popular items in the British Museum.
This stone contains an inscription about an Egyptian king who used to rule Egypt in 204 BC.
We haven’t found the Rosetta Stone.
This stone contains the inscription about an Egyptian king in three languages
- –two of them are Egyptian scripts and one is ancient Greek script.
As historians have already decoded ancient Greek,
they compared the language with the Egyptian script to decipher the meaning of each symbol.
This is how they decoded the Egyptian script.
In the case of the Indus Valley Civilisation, unfortunately, we have no such stone.
So we have no ground to compare the Indus-valley script with any other language.
Now, this is the first problem.
The second problem is that the stones found in the Indus Valley were quite strange.
The problem is that these stones are tiny.
So whatever inscriptions we’ve found might not be of much significance.
Apart from these stones, the inscriptions found on copper tablets, clay pots, and a signboard found in the ancient city of Dholaviraare so small that it’s pretty difficult to decode them.
While this Rosetta Stone contains a complete announcement about the king, these stones might not even contain a full sentence.
We might’ve failed to decipher the language, but we’ve learned a lot about its nature.
Mainly, two things.
For instance, take a look at these seals.
Notice that on the left side there’s not much space left for the text.
One of the symbols has been written below the original line.
It looks as if the person ran out of space.
This often happens to us as well.
We might run out of space while writing on paper.
That’s why many experts have concluded that perhaps the direction of writing used to be from right to left like in Urdu.
Now, we know the direction of the writing.
But do we have a way of knowing that these symbols constituted a language?
In 2004, scientists from Harvard made a serious claim.
They said that the inscriptions found from the Indus Valley don’t constitute long sentences,
meaning it’s not a language.
They claim that these symbols are just logos for politics and religion.
This was an important claim as historians used to believe that the inscriptions were part of a language.
The scientists at Harvard conducted an analysis.
They said that the inscriptions contained no more than 5 characters and no character is repeated anywhere.
So how can these symbols constitute a language?
But later, it was proved that this script was indeed a language.
Let me tell you how.
Every script is made up of a combination of symbols.
Every language follows a pattern.
For example, in English, the letter Q in any word is followed by U.
The third letter can be either I, like in Quick,
or E, like Queen, or A, like in Quantum.
But the letter Q will never be followed by B, C, L, or M in English.
Every language has a pattern that is neither very strict nor very flexible.
This doesn’t mean that you can form a language just by combining a few symbols.
In our daily lives, we use several scripts that can’t be used for normal communication.
For example, computer code is very strict whereas musical notation or a DNA sequence is very flexible.
That’s why experts believe that if we can prove that the symbols used in the Indus script are neither very strict nor very flexible,
then we can prove that these symbols constitute a language.
And this is precisely what computer scientist and historian Rajesh Rao did.
Along with his team from the University of Washington, he created an AI program to study the pattern of these symbols.
He found that these symbols follow a pattern.
For example, this diamond symbol is followed by this symbol most of the time.
And these two symbols are usually followed by a fish-like symbol but never these symbols.
The more data Rajesh Rao and his team used in the computer program, the closer they came to discover that these symbols use a semi-flexible pattern.
A pattern that is neither very strict nor very flexible.
In this graph, the DNA sequence and music are very random and the computer code is very strict, but the Indus script falls in the middle.
This way Rajesh Rao and his team proved that the Indus script is a language.
Artificial intelligence played a crucial role in proving this.
Nowadays, AI and machine learning are used in everything.
From transportation and manufacturing to cybersecurity.
YouTube is recommending you this video through AI.
Almost everything in our lives is influenced by AI.
There are two controversial theories about this language.
One theory suggests that the Indus Valley language shares similarities with Sanskrit.
The other theory suggests that it resembles the Davidian language like Tamil.
Some people assert that the Indus Valley language is similar to Vedic Sanskrit.
Because both Vedic Sanskrit and Indus Valley Civilization are 3000 years old and advanced.
That’s why many people believe that Vedic Sanskrit and Indus Valley Civilization were created by the same people.
But experts have not found any solid evidence backing this.
Instead, they found that this argument is wrong.
For example, a study analyzed the DNA of ancient Indians.
It found that the people who spoke Sanskrit came to India when Indus Valley Civilization collapsed.
Thus the chances of Sanskrit being the primary language of the Indus Valley Civilisation are fairly low.
Whereas, other scholars have shown that the Indus Valley language is similar to the Davidian language.
How do we know this?
Rajesh Rao states that in India, there has been a long tradition of naming people based on their Rashis (Moon Signs).
If we assume that the people of the Indus Valley followed this tradition, then we can prove that the Indus and Davidian languages have a link.
Take a look at this seal.
It consists of 6 lines and a fish-like symbol.
The seal might be referring to six fishes.
In the ancient Davidian languages, 6 is called Aru and the fish is called Meen.
So, it’s called Aru-Meen.
In the Dravidian languages, Aru-Meen means a constellation called Kritika.
Can we say that the people of the Indus Valley used to speak the Davidian language?
Because we made two assumptions before.
First, the seals feature the names of the people.
Second, people are named after their Rashi (Moon Signs).
We don’t know for sure if that used to be the case.
So, it’s hard to conclude that the Indus Valley language resembled any of these languages.
If we prove that the people of Harappa or Indus Valley used to speak the ancient Davidian languages, it would mean that the Davidian languages existed in India before Vedic Sanskrit.
Vedic Sanskrit is the same language that was used to compose the Vedas.
If we prove that the language was like Sanskrit, then we can prove that Hinduism is an older religion than presumed.
And that Sanskrit was created by the people who lived in India and not by outsiders.
So, the question is, the way Rajesh Rao uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to prove that this script is a language, can we use AI and machine learning to prove that this script is related to Sanskrit or the Davidian languages?
Hopefully, this can happen.
But unfortunately, there are many challenges.
First, AI works only when we have enough data.
But the inscriptions containing the Indus Valley language are too small and thus our data is insufficient.
Second, AI functions on high-quality data that can be processed by a machine.
But the stones on which the Indus Valley language is inscribed are either damaged or incomplete.
The perfect solution would be to chance upon a Rosetta stone like in the case Egyptian language.
This will help us know what the language is trying to speak and where it originates from.
If you have AI and machine learning skills then maybe you can solve this mystery.