words associated with forestClassical Languages

Chinese civilization and those it influences has a unique relationship to its Classicallanguage. The modern spoken languages, although quite different, nevertheless use most of the ancientcharacters, thekanjiin Japanese, which means that reading knowledge of Mandarin or Cantonese gives one very nearly all that is needed to begin reading the Classical language. Consequently, Chinese language departments often present Classical Chinese as a subsidiary study to something like Mandarin. Some people are left under the impression that the Chinese of Confucius is an artificial language that has been abbreviated from something that was already much more like Mandarin. The interesting case is then, historically, when Koreans, Japanese, or Vietnamese read and wrote Classical Chinese without ever learning or speaking the contemporary spoken versions of Chinese. Some Chinese scholars find this incomprehensible, improper, or offensive. Yet that is the history, and it also means that much of East Asian civilization, in all the areasaround China, has been expressed through, and influenced by, Classical Chinese literature. By abandoning Chinese characters, Korean and Vietnamese have lost their connection to the ancient language; but it is still a living presence in Chinese, in all its separate modernspoken languages, and Japanese. As with Arabic and Sanskrit, Classical Chinese is simply not a dead language.

Even more mysterious than any of these are various megalithic structures, such as Stonehenge in Britain or onMalta. No clue remains who built these things or exactly when or how. The notion that theDruidswere responsible for Stonehenge appears to be anachronistic and without historical or archaeological foundation. Some other megalithic sites exist around the world, but sometimes it is a matter of dispute whether their origin is geological or by human or extraterrestrial design. They are explained or described by historical accounts no more than Stonehenge. Since that allows speculation to run wild, they exercise a public appeal that may exceed the more pedestrial charms of actual ual history, archaeology, and epigraphy.

These numbers are fromThe World Almanac and Book of Facts [Funk Wagnalls, , pp. ] andThe World Almanac and Book of Facts [World Almanac Education Group, Readers Digest, , pp. ]. The edition reports data from , and the edition data from .

The third reason for the neglect of Classical languages is the influence of an attitude in linguistics exemplified by John McWhorter himself. This is the belief that spoken language, because it came first by many millennia, is real language and that written language is a derivative phenomenon that is both unreal in relation to spoken languages andimproperin the sense that thedynamicof written language worksagainstthe dynamic of spoken language. Since the dynamic of spoken language is change, but written language inhibits change, written language has a negative and corrupting influence.

The speculation now is that that the Peoples of the Sea, and the Philistines, were actually Mycenaean Greeks, who had been pushed off by what the Greeks themselves thought of as the invasion of the Dorian Greeks into the South of Greece. The speculative element of this is large, and some scholars seem to reject the whole business as fictional, but there is no doubt that in historic times Dorians occupied the areas that had been Mycenaean or Minoan, except for the isolated area ofArcadia, and its evident outlier on Cyprus. There is also no doubt that the archaeology of Mycenaean cities shows damage and abandonment, which significantly attends the loss of literacy except, again, on the outlier of Cyprus. With the eclipse of records, Greece entered its Dark Age, until the language was again expressed with the adoption of the Phoenician alphabet. That violence and disorder attended this is not an unreasonable inference.

All these issues are now explored in an introductory bookThe Indusby Andrew Robinson [Reaktion Books, London, , ]. Robinsons conclusions are generally modest, and he disposes of most of the Hindu nationalistic claims and mythology, although without as much detail about the languages as would be helpful. But there are some pecularities in Robinsons treatment that may reflect a reluctance to allow too much credit to the rya as invaders and conquerors.

. The fourth is what is without an element, what cannot be dealt with or spoken of, the cessation of the phenomenal world, auspicious, nondual. ThusOmis the very Self. He enters the Self with the Self he who knows this.

We also might note a bit of Protestantizing anticlericalism here. The scheming priests, the Brahmins, want to restrict knowledge of the Vedic scriptures to their own caste. Actually, knowledge of the Vedas isnotrestricted to theBrahmin caste. It belongs to all the Twice Born, whom it is the duty of the Brahmins to teach. So, with a lsehood, Robinson is really off on the wrong foot here. Otherwise, the trope of malicious priests, willing to destroy the entire economy of a civilization just to impose their own oral preference, is a bias so transparently and ridiculously anticlerical that it is hard to beleive it exists in modern scholarship. Yet I have already described it at some length elsewhere, where popular books, with scholarly credentials, argue that selfish Catholic priests destroyed an enlightened i.e. naturalistic, nonist, democraticGnosticismin the interest of their own power and authority. Perhaps that legitimized the use of the idea for India.

The Sumerians themselves did not last long, and are no longer distinguishable as a people after the end of theIII Dynasty of Ur, around BC. Their language has no known affinities, though theCaucasusis still home to similarly isolated and unique language groups, three of them. A chain of ancient nonIndoEuropean and nonSemitic languages of Elam, the Kassites, the Hurrians, and Urartu stretched from Sumer to the Caucasus, but too little is known of these languages, or of the early forms of the Caucasian ones, for certain connections to be drawn. Sumerian civilization, however, did not die, since most of its elements, and the cuneiform writing system itself, were adapted to writing aSemiticlanguage, Akkadian, whose daughters,Babylonian and Assyrian, bore the literature of subsequent Mesopotamian civilization, even while lovingly preserving knowledge of Sumerian. The last cuneiform is from AD, and so this is taken as marking the end of Sumerian civilization, even if the end of the Sumerians themselves long antedates it.

Note The Sma Veda contains eight Brhman.as, including the Pacavim.sha Brhman.a, the S.ad.vim.sha Brhman.a, and the Praud.ha Brhman.a.

Languages with more than ,, Speakers as of , Note;

A system similar to that of Persian was used in the original edition ofTeach Yourself Urdu, by T. Grahame Bailey, J.R. Firth, and A.H. Harley [David McKay Company, New York, English Universities Press, , , ], and in the edition ofTeach Yourself Punjabi, by C. Shackle [Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd., David McKay Company, , ]. There, the short a is pronounced and written with the shwa,, an indefinite reduced vowel, like the a at the end of English so. The short i, pronounced as in English, is written y. And the short u, like English again, is written w. Y can be a vowel in English, but not w; but there will be no confusion for Urdu, Hindi, or Punjabi if we dont get combinations like yy for yi or ww for wu. Apparently we dont.

Burmese and ThaiLao and as was Javanese before the advent of

A curious thing about the European Union is that all of its official languages are used equally in all of its publications, and the in each of the languages is equally authoritative for all purposes. This really is asking for trouble when it comes to the laws and regulations of the EU, since there is no governing that can be authoritatively cited. The highest court in the EU must try and determine the original intent of each law and regulation, using particular s only as clues. The deliberations of the court, curiously, are themselves in French, but with judges representing each of the official languages, issuing each decision in their own language. This is where Latin would have been a lot of help, since the authoritative of any law or regulation could be put in Latin, whose suiility for legal s consists in the tradition of Roman Law common to all of Francia and Romania. On the other hand, since Greece and Bulgaria are linguistically distinct from Latinate Europe, one might even propose that Koin Greek be made the authoritative deult language of the EU with Latin legal terminology already translated into Greek byJustinian. The Greeks would certainly love that; and since Classical Greek is taught in Greek schools, we could even say that the Koin is more of a living langauge than Latin although this survives, to an extent, in theVatican. Somehow, I think that the EU would rather struggle with its current Babel than appeal to either Latin or Greek, although nonEUSwitzerland, with four official languages German, French, Italian, and Romansh, is officially the

Genetic Distance and Language Affinities Between Autochthonous Human Populations

In India, Sanskrit is foundational for theautochthonous civilization and for all the religions Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism in particular with an Indian origin. A vast literature in Sanskrit begins with theVedasand continues nearly to the present. The language is still actively taught and used, although I am not aware of much original literature now being produced in it. Nevertheless, its influence continues on the modern languages, like Hindi, that place themselves deliberately in the tradition of Sanskrit civilization and consequently use it as a source of borrowings and neologisms, as European languages do with Greek and Latin. Thesacredcharacter of Sanskrit is more marked than with the likes of Greek or Latin, and it is hard to imagine Hinduism giving up the Sanskrit formulae of the Vedas for vernacular translations as Christian churches have generally done in Europe. As with Arabic for Islam, or Hebrew for Judaism, the language itself is essential to the religion, its meaning, and its power the Qurn, as with the Vedas, is believed to exist eternally in its original language.

The Indus, by Andrew Robinson


A striking geographical feature of the early civilizations is that they were all in river valleys, and not only that, butdesert, or at least desicated, river valleys. That circumstance might be overlooked in the Middle East, where the climate is uniformly dry, but is conspicuous in India and China, where the rivers in deserts the Indus, or at least relatively dry areas the Huang He, are matched by rivers that are in areas of heavy rainll the Ganges Yangtze. In China, an old saying has it that in the north Huang He valley you go by horse, and in the south Yangtze valley you go by boat . That life and agriculture likely waseasierin rainy areas may have been just the problem. The irrigation systems that were necessary for reliable agriculture in the desert climates imply a level of organization and technological development, let alone records, which are just what we find in the earliest days of Sumer, Egypt, and the Indus valley. In these terms, it should not be surprising that civilization in India began on the Indus rather than the Ganges, and in China on the Huang He rather than the Yangtze. This even made a difference in the Chinese diet, since rice, which we think of as the Chinese staple, would only grow in the wet south. In the north, it was wheat that was grown, and the staple diet was based on something else which is still conspicuous in Chinesecooking, noodles early examples of which were recently discovered by archaeologists.


A legend arose in Europe in the Middle Ages that there was a lost Christian kingdom, ruled by the saintly Prester John, somewhere in Africa or Asia. Although it is hard to know if there was any ctual basis for this legend at the time there may have been rumors ofNestorianrulers ofBlack Cathay, when the Portuguese arrived in the Indian Ocean, they soon discovered that there was indeed just such a Christian kingdom in Africa. The Portuguese then helped the Ethiopians fight off attacks from Islamic allies of theOttoman Turks, who had advanced down to Yemen. Later, the French arms helped Ethiopia fight off theItaliansin ; but then no one helped when the Italians returned in .

Claims are also now made, perhaps not coincidentally starting with Indian scholars, that the rya originated in India, that the Vedic language is closely related to the Dravidian languages and the source of all other IndoEuropean languages, and that the hitherto undeciphered Indus Valley script is actually the basis of both the much later or years Brahmi alphabet in India and even the Phoenican/Canaanite alphabet of the Middle East. These are inherently suspect and improbable claims, examined in some detailelsewhere. Otherwise, the binary or hexadecimal system of weights that is discernible in the Indus culture may well have survived as late as thecoinageof British India.nameindus>

Does this verse go with verse , and so with deep sleep, or with verse , and so with thetman?shvarais traditionally interpreted to mean God in a personal sense, which in would be merely part ofMya, Illusion, as in monistic AdvaitaVednta or in would be identical withBrahmanas in theistic schools of Vednta. Verse sytlistically does seem to go with verse , butshvaramay not be used here in the loaded sense of meaning a personal God the difference may not be conceived as clearly in this Upanis.ad as it would be in later Vednta, and we might regard the causal principle in the third state as no more than the causal body.

c , , , , , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

. The dreaming state, inwardly cognitive, having seven limbs, having nineteen mouths, enjoying the exquisite, the brilliant taijasa, is the second quarter.

As it happens, McWhorter himselfisalarmed about a closely related issue. In hisDoing Our Own Thing, The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care[Gotham Books, ], McWhorter laments the loss of the elevated oratorial and rhetorical tradition of spoken language which derives from the written medium. He sees the virtually illiterate modes of spoken language alone coming to dominate public speech, literature, poetry, and also even music, to the great loss of art, intellect, and sophisticated communication. I dont think that McWhorter appreciates, however, the degree to which his own dismissal of Classical languages and prescriptive grammar contributes to this degradation, as he calls it himself, of language. After all, as he admits, the whole tradition of oratory and rhetoric goes back to Classical models. Famous speakers of the past, such as Edward Evertt, whom he considers at the beginning of his book, had certainly been educated with a Classical and grammatical emphasis that McWhorter otherwise decries or dismisses. I dont think he appreciates that the loss or degradation of one part of the tradition marches in step with the general loss of literate sophistication and the consequent loss of the past that he targets. We can certainly benefit from abetterunderstanding of questions about grammar, and I would thus agree with McWhorter that educational reforms about language were in order, with respect to many attitudes of the th century or earlier; but I do think he has missed an essential part of what has happened, and of which he has therefore himself been a part of the negative and degrading tendency.

c , , , , , , , , , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

In both of them, e and o which occur in Modern Arabic derive from the diphthongs ay and aw e.g. Arabic


Furthermore, Robinson and Kenoyer manifestly reverse the causality here. Literacy was not lost because the Brahmins decided to lose it. No. The Brahmins are illiterate because literacy had already been lost, and the Brahmins belonged to people who never had it. Homer did not decide to abandon Linear B and stick to memory. It was already lost. The Jutes, Angles, and Saxons did not decide to abandon writing. They had never had it. It would be an extraordinary revolution for literate Brahmins todecideto be illiterate, just because they unaccounly came to privilege memory over writing, and simultaneously had the unlikely power to force everyone else in society to become illiterate also, devastating the means of business and trade.

In the history of Christianity, there have been similar cases, where languages like Syriac, Coptic, or Armenianare at once national languages, religious languages, and foundational languages for particular traditions of ancient culture and religion, sometimes with larger implications such as the Syriac translations of Greek philosophy that mediated its ultimate translation into Arabic. But usually these languages did not rise to larger significance and were not learned outside their nations except by specialist scholars.

The basic meaning ofcivilizationis the presence of cities, and the basic meaning ofhistoryis the presence of written records. There can be civilization without writing theIncas, and perhaps writing without much in the way of cities runes, but the creation of writing gives to the earliest historical civilizations a role that prior urban culture as at Jericho could not match. The four earliest centers of historical civilization stretch diagonally across south Asia into Africa. They are defined by their writing systems. The earliest is in Sumer or Sumeria, where we now have evidence of a long prehistory of writing. After early pictograms, the writing system that emerged,cuneiform, is named after the wedge shapes that were made by reed pens on clay lets. This was a cumbersome and messy medium for writing but possesses the virtue from our point of view that burned lets can become as durable as bricks.


language that they wrote. Or, even if it wasnt, even if there were spoken, vernacular languages that were written and read in daily usage, the Classical language was the doorway, if not to the only learning of the civilization, but to the fundamental, formative, and defining learning and knowledge of the civilization.

Instead, the conceit is that Classical learning, into which the Classical languages were windows, is as obsolete and superseded as Classical physics. This is a pretence of deep folly. The Olympian level of wisdom that produced the United States Constitution, for instance, is almost wholly lacking from recent American politics. American politicians literally do not have the same education; and the result is that they do not understand, and certainly do not believe in, the Constitution they all take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend. But, after the miserable offerings of moderneducation, it is not as though most other people know better.

Even some of the silliest cases of prescriptive grammar may represent something important. McWhorter himself admits that double negatives, which are common in other languages and in many varieties of English, or sentences like, Billy and me went to the store, actually sound wrong to him, even though he knows that in some cases the usage goes back to before prescriptive grammars were written for English. And I bet he thinks that the use of aint sounds substandard, even though he would know that it is a very old form and even turns up in the speech of King George III. Curiously, I have yet to see McWhorter discuss this expression, although perhaps I am not miliar enough with his work. But in disparaging the correct perscriptive usage, and clearly not using aint in his own speech, McWhorter commits a key sin in terms of his own discipline. Correctness in linguistics derives from usage; and usage is known from the spontaneous reactions of native speakers. Therefore, if Billy and me sounds wrong to John McWhorter, as it does to me, then itiswrong. It does not matter if the usage has been influenced by the concoctions of some th or th century grammatical martinets. Theysucceededin eslishing a standard of usage that is now indicative ofeducationand anelevatedlevel of language. There is indeed really nothing wrong with the contraction aint, which has been around for centuries and had long been used in polite society. But now it is not characteristic of educated speech. This is not mean that it should never beused, but it does mean that those who use it should be aware that they are speaking in a particular cultural, regional, or ethnic dialect. Beingeducatedmeans that they areableto speak an elevated or standard English if they wish to, or if the circumstances call for it. McWhorters own usage reflects his own education; and when it comes to the substandard forms that he discusses, he rarely uses the worst of them. No aints that I can find in his books or lectures.

.with regard to the syllableOm, with regard to the elements the quarters are the elements and the elements are the quarters the lettera, the letteru, the letterm.

This verse is about the first state of thejva, or the inidual phenomenal self. The physical body accompanies the waking state. The nineteen mouths are the five senses sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, five organs of action speech, hands, feet, genitals, anus, five vital principles prn.a,apna,samna,udna,vyna, and the sensorium manas reason buddhi ego ahamkra and apperception citta. Gross issthla, thick, bulky, big, large, stout, massive; coarse, gross; dull, stupid; material, tangible phil…. The worldly, where here characterizes the waking state, means belonging to all men; universal, dwelling or worshipped everywhere, generally nsisting of all men…intellect conditioned by the aggregate Vednta phil….

Note The only Brhman.a of the Atharva Veda is the Gopatha Brhman.a. I am not aware of the Branch to which it is supposed to belong.

William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

Even now, it is hard to know just how to classify the place. The Mediterranean world of Rome, to which Ethiopia was connected, is long gone, but it doesnt sound even remotely correct to then include Ethiopia in the European civilization that is Romes successor. So Ethiopia remains an anomaly, economically one of the poorest countries in the world, but historically and culturally ancient, unique, and extraordinary in its mountain stness. It is also where coffee comes from.

in origin, were in the ancient cultural sphere of influence of

N.M. Gwynne says, in his popularGwynnes Grammar[Knopf, ], Shakespeare can be followed nearly as easily as if the plays and sonnets were written today [p.xxi]. I think this is quite lse, as the dense footnotes on any of a Shakespearean play can testify. Ive sat through performances of unmiliar plays and have come away with only the vaguest notion of what was being said or what was going on. McWhorter says that he has sat throughThe Tempestno less than three times and still doesnt know what it is about. I think that the problem with Gwynne is that he hasalreadystudied Shakespeare and has forgotten what all he needed to learn to be able to understand it. Gwynne also quotes approvingly the statement of J.M.D. Meiklejohn in , Any Englishman of ordinary education can read a book belonging to the latter part of the fifteenth or sixteenth century without difficulty [from hisEnglish Language Its Grammar, History, and Literature, cited by Gwynne, p.xxii]. I think that this is nonsense. English becomes generally intelligible to us only in the th century. The irony is that the argument of Gwynne would bestrengthenedif he admitted that the neglect of the received language, in grammar and vocabulary, is the reason for the loss of our ability to understand the earlier language.

Note Unusally positioned with samhits instead of with ran.yakas.

.Taijasathe brilliant is the dreaming state, the letteru, the second element, either fromutkars.aexaltation or fromubhayatvaintermediateness. Verily, he exalts the stream of knowledge and becomes equalminded; no one ignorant ofBrahmanis born in the mily of him who knows this.

While contact between Sumeria, Egypt, and the Indus occurred early, the fourth center of civilization, in China, remained relatively isolated and emerged considerably later, with theShang Dynasty, about the time that India has paing temporarily out of history. Of all the early systems of writing,Chinese Characters, the direct descendants of Shang pictographs, are the only one still in use today. The Indian system, of course, ended with the Indus civilization. Cuneiform and hieroglyphics were replaced by alphabetic scripts that developed, perhaps under Egyptian influence, in Phoenicia and Canaan.

I found that one of the most permanent cultural traits in the written cultures of Eurasia including the Northern part of Africa and Ethiopia is precisely the phenomenon I am callinghieroglossia. By this I mean the sum of relations that develop between a language perceived as a central or founding element in a given culture area this language being thehierogloss and the language or languages that are perceived as being dependent, not historically or linguistically, but ontologically or theologically, on that hierogloss. Within a hieroglossic relationship, the language perceived as dependent, often called the vulgar tongue or vernacular or, as I will call it, laogloss, is clearly considered not to be selfsufficient.

Only two SubSaharan African languages Hausa and Swahili appear on the list. This reflects the circumstance that a large number of languages are spoken in Africa, and many areas are not densely populated. The most populous country in Africa, Nigeria, with over ,, people, contains many languages. Of its principal languages, Hausa, Ibo or Igbo, Yoruba, and Fulani or Fula, only Hausa makes the list. As of , Ibo had million speakers, Yoruba , and Fulani many of them outside Nigeria. The Almanac gives only million speakers for Hausa, for Ibo, for Yoruba, and skips, in the peculiar way of its treatment, Fulani altogether million is given by Kenneth Katzner, in the book cited below. Hausa evidently is widely used as a second language, which may account for the drop of over million in speakers from one list to the other. Katzner gives an estimate of a total of million Hausa speakers.

The semiofficial languages are obviously linguistic minorities in particular countries, in particular the UK and Spain. The possibility of Scotland or Catalonia breaking away from their existing countries means that Gaelic and Catalan could become, with EU membership, new official languages.

, which is somewhat anomalous in that it was never part of Mediaeval Romania, its language, Romanian, it is actually derived from Latin, like Italian or French, and it has progressively Latinized the language with the adoption of the Latin alphabet after originally being written in Cyrillic and programs to purge nonLatinate vocabulary. If the EU expands to the Ukraine, this will pull in a state from historic Russia; but this now seems less likely with Vladimir Putins conquest of Ukrainian territory and the appeasement policy of the Western powers. Other states from Mediaeval Romania, like Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia, may be more likely EU members. Although Turkey once looked like a likely EU member, the erosion of democracy and increasing Islamicization, the opposite of Atatrks inspiration, have compromised its promise.

. This is the lord shvara of all; this is the knower of all; this is the inner controller; this is the source of all, indeed the origin as well as the end of all beings.


This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.

One isnationalism. National pride may not be able to countence the implication that an ancient language, a literature, and a civilization transcend and outweigh that of any particular modern nation.

, sacred hymn or verse; liturgial manual of the

India is where the eastern branch of IndoAryan steppe invaders, the rya,, or ryajana,i.e. Aryan race/kind/people in meaning and usejana,, is much like thePersianzdeh,, imposed themselves and, erasing whatever eslishment or vestiges were in place of the older Indus Valley Civilization known to the Sumerians asMelua, laid the foundation of a new civilization with their own language and gods.A subsequent Iranian people, theSakas, later also invaded India. The Sakas had been dislodged, as the most distant IndoEuropean occupants of the Steppe, known as theYeh ChihPinyinYuezhi, the Moon Tribe to the Chinese, were thrown back into the Tarim Basin the Lesser Yeh Chih and Transoxania the Greater Yeh Chih. The Greater Yeh Chih, organized as the kingdom of theKushans, later continued the tradition by invading India themselves.

With all Classical languages, other languages within their sphere of influence tend to borrow vocabulary, and sometimes even grammar, extensively from the defining language of the civilization. Along with that come references to particular items of literature, history, and religion. Thus, Arabic words frequently occur in Persian, Turkish, HindiUrdu, Malay, Swahili, etc., even as Greek and Latin words are regularly and easily found in English, or Chinese words in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Educated Europeans can be expected to know aboutThermopylae, while educated Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese would be expected to know about theThree Kingdoms, and Muslims about the Bloody Shirt ofUthmn.

Arabic, Persian, Malay, Javanese, Turkish, Swahili, Hausa not to mention Urdu, already counted in India, were in the ancient cultural sphere of


By some estimates, up to a billion people could have some competence in English. But even the figure for Mandarin shrinks when we leave out other Chinese perhaps a hundred million who have learned Mandarin as a second language. Some languages, like Swahili,, and Malay,, started out as trade languages which soon wereessentiallysecond languages. They continue to have a r smaller number of speakers as first languages than as second. Malay is the first language of less than million people. But as a trade language which has become a national language of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore called Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, and Bahasa Melayu respectively, Malay, aMalayoPolynesianlanguage, is one of the major languages of the world. One would not know this from the data.

Perhaps only someone who is not a historian could think such things. But it is also not right for a linguist. Language, by entering a new medium, takes on a life of its own and becomes a different phenomenon. Most importantly, it becomesdurable, and this means that it preserves the past, both as a record of the past and as a medium for the transmission of the literature of the past, which previously had to hazard the imperfections and misadventures of an oral tradition. But there is more. Language functions differently in writing. All the clever dialogue of great plays and novels is something we rarely to never hear in real conversation, where even great wits may contribute no more than a fewbons mots. Similarly, long, majesterial sentences, in literature, history, or philosophy, are only possible in writing. Nor should we think that long sentences are bad form. Great literature in Greek, Arabic, French, and German has extremely long sentences. McWhorter knows all this, but he does not recognize or embrace the truth it reveals, that written language represents a life and adimensionapart from spoken language. Classical languages are the ultimate expression of that life and that transcendent dimension [note].

Arabic also receives odd treatment in the edition, since it is broken up by dialect of them for various Arabic speaking states. In general, these are not separate languages, although North African Arabic,Maghrib, is rather different from the Middle Eastern dialects. Nevertheless, this overlooks the written language the dialects are explicitly identified as spoken, which is the much more unified language of literary Arabic. Since Arabic is the language of Islm, Moslems around the world, as r afield as Indonesia which is over Moslem, learn it it for religious reasons as a second language which is not reflected in the data.The treatment of Arabic in the Almanac means that, while it was given on a short list as one of the principle languages of the world in , Arabicdisappearsfrom the corresponding short list of languages spoken by the most people. Certainly, speakers of any dialect of Arabic would find this development annoying, misrepresentative, ahistorical, and perhaps insulting.

The Vedas are traditionally taught by a Brahmin teacher guru orally to a student brahmacrin in sequences called branches of associated samhits, brhman.as, ran.yakas, and upanis.ads. For example

. The waking state, outwardly cognitive, having seven limbs, having nineteen mouths, enjoying the gross, the worldly vaishvnara, is the first quarter.

I have been featuring s above of the letters introduced into the Arabic alphabet to write sounds in Persian that do not occur in Arabic, and of the Persian prounciation of several letters from Arabic that have sounds foreign to Persian phonology. Urdu inherits these letters from Persian, with their Persian pronunciation. It is then necessary, as ed at right, to introduce some new letters to write sounds in HindiUrdu, namely the retroflexes, that do not exist in Persian or Arabic with their Devanagari equivalents.

While it is good form in Urdu to give the sounds from Persian their proper pronunciation, and this is specified even in dictionaries of Hindi, several of the sounds from Persian are actually foreign to HindiUrdu phonology and are not always pronounced properly in ordinary usage. The diagram at left s this complicated situation. Arabic letters are shown with their Arabic pronunciations in green. Devanagari letters are shown with their Sanskrit pronunciation in red which is the deult pronunciation for purely Indian phonology. The dot under the Devanagari letters shows that in Hindi they may be used with their Urdu/Persian pronunciation, which is given at right in purple. Or the dot may merely indicate that the word is of Arabic origin, with a letter that has already lost a distinctive pronunciation through its assimilation into Persian. The, theta th as in English thin,, khi kh as in GermanNacht, and, gamma gh, have theirModern Greekpronunciation as this is used in various international pronunciation alphabets. The, eth dh as in English then, fromOld English, is the voiced equivalent of the theta, in the same usage. Theta and eth occur in Classical Arabic, but not in Persian. In many transcriptions these fricatives are written in digraphs, e.g. th for theta, that makes them look like aspirates, which they are not although older sources, out of linguistic t or ignorance, may call them that. Sanskrit and HindiUrdu have the true aspirates. Urdu writes its aspirates with digraphs using a form of Arabic h.

Winston Churchill, variously quoted, provenance uncertain.

The Mn.d.kya Upanis.adtranslation substantially that of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Charles A. Moore and Thomas E. Wood with modifications

Note The only Brhman.a of the Black Yajur Veda.

Much of modern education is hostile to the whole idea of elevated levels of speech and discourse. It is elitist promoted by people who usually represent a privileged elite of comforlebureaucrats. Thus, grammar and spelling are r down the list of what is considered important in theories of pedagogy and schools of education. If we then ask what the results of this have been, whether the modern student has now broken free of the shackles of the past and has entered a Nirvana of voluminous and enlightened learning, the sober truth is that little less than a dark night of ignorance has descended instead. The modern student may know little about anything. And not just in the United States. The British psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple [Life at the Bottom, The Worldview That Makes the Underclass, Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago, ], found that his young patients, after years of education in British schools, often had no idea when the World Wars had been fought, why, or by whom. American students dont know who Lee and Grant were. But they may have been well indoctrinated, on the other hand, with all the shibboleths of importance to politically correct opinion. Which perhaps gives away the game. Ignorance serves a purpose. I think that John McWhorter sometimes suspects this himself.

The Upanis.ads are basically about two things Brahman,, and tman,. Brahman is ultimate reality in the external world, the tman the ultimate reality in the internal world and hence the Self. TheBuddhistdoctrine isantmanor no self. The fundamental ision inVednta,, which is the interpretation of the Upanis.ads, is whether Brahman and the tman are identical or different. If they are identical, we have a school of, Advaita or nondual Vednta. A nondual doctrine can also be called Monism, that there is only one thing. If Brahman and the tman are different, we have a school of, Dvaita or dualistic Vednta. The Dvaita Vednta of Madhva AD is a Theistic doctrine of a personal God, with the five differences that Brahman is different from tmans, Brahman is different from matter, tmans are different from each other, tmans are different from matter, and pieces of matter are different from each other. Thus, it is a pluralistic metaphysics, not just dualistic. In the qualified Advaita Vednta of Ramanuja AD, Brahman is a personal God, who nevertheless contains all reality, including multiple selves and the world. This may be called a Pantheism and is comparable to the metaphysics ofBaruch Spinoza. The God of both Madhva and Ramanuja is identified as the devotionalistic deityVis.n.u.

Note Some attribute the Kt.ha Upanis.ad to the Atharva Veda or the Sma Veda.

The Contrast between Classical and Modern Chinese

The age was also one of religious innovation. In India, where religion and philosophy remain closely related, Buddhism, Jainism, and Upanishadic Hinduism straddle the distinction. In China, schools that are pretty purely philosophical, Confucianism and Taosim, eventually attract religious elements and grow, with Buddhism, into the three religious Ways of Chinese civilization. Greek religion, of course, was doomed to extinction, replaced by Prophetic Judaism and its daughter religions, Christianity and Islm. Meanwhile, of course, the Jewish tradition had been profoundly influenced by Greek philosophy, so that when Christianity was adopted by Rome, it could be said to repesent a synthesis of Athens and Jerusalem. The place in this of the religious revolution in Irn, Zoroastrianism, is more obscure. The moral rigor of Zoroaster, in separating all evil from God, may actually be the source of similar reforms in both Judaism and in Greek philosophy, but there is little in the way of direct evidence of this.

, translated by E.R.A. Sewter [Penguin Classics, , p.]. Contemporary of the EmpressMaria, the Alan.

Of the languages listed below, no less than are spoken in

Shukla White Yajur Veda, Vjasaneyi Samhit

Another convention at this website is to use the standard form of written Arabic, thenaskhornaskh,, for all uses of the Arabic alphabet. This contrasts with the commonly used for writing Persian and Urdu, thenastalq,, short fornaskh talq,, hangingnaskh. Thenastalqis an oblique, sloping, ornate version of the alphabet, which I find difficult to read.


The Spread of IndoEuropean and Turkish Peoples off the Steppe

, was culturally isolated, in the Philippines, until the arrival of the Spanish. The white spaces on the map, mainly in Africa, simply mean that the local languages, like Tagalog, are not classified in the cultural spheres of


This Self isBrahman,,Ayam tm brahma, is the,mahvakya, great sentence, of theAtharva Veda. The four great sentences, one from eachVeda, express the fundamental teaching of the Upanis.ads. The other three are,tat tvam asi, thou art that,,aham brahmsmi, I am Brahman, and,sarvam khalu idam brahma, all this indeed is Brahman. The latter looks like it is also included in this verse but, sorry folks, only one great sentence per Veda. The four quarters of the Self are going to be the four levels of consciousness.Tat tvam asi,, thou art that, is the most mous of these propositions and the only one commonly quoted in Sanskrit.

.Vaishvnarathe worldly is the waking state, the lettera, the first element, either fromptiobtaining or fromdimattvabeing first. Verily, he obtains pnoti all desires and becomes first di he who knows this.

This verse is about the second state of thejva, dreaming. The dreaming or astral body accompanies the dreaming state calling it the astral body is borrowed fromNeoplatonism. Much has been made recently of astral projection, where real journeys can supposedly be made in the separated astral body though the ultimate would be teleportation, where an astral project ends with thephysical bodyappearing where the astral body traveled.

Kaus.taki Shnkhnaya Brhman.a []

People did speak it. People read it. And people wrote in it. Again, it might be the

With parallel events in India, especially the loss of literacy that motivates the use of Dark Age there also, we must wonder why a parallel explanation is not in order. With the return of literacy, all of Northern India is covered with IndoEuropean languages, except for isolates and outliers of the Southern Daravidian languages that Robinson discusses in some detail [pp.]. The formative event of the loss of literacy, when is all but diagnostic for the history of Greece, India, and Dark AgeBritain, occasions one of the strangest passages in Robinsons book

as the Classical language. Historically, that region can be distinguished asFrancia. It can also be called simply Latin Europe, although some might think that this would only apply to areas with languages, like French and Spanish, that are actual descendants of Latin. Latin Europe, however, would mean everywhere that Latin was used as the language of religion or scholarship. That would include Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, and Eastern European states like Poland and Hungary.

, house. The Persian e and o, however, are the modern pronunciation of the short i and u from Arabic.

The youngest civilization and cultural area would be that of Islm, whose language,Classical Arabic, represents a large body of secular and religious literature from the Middle Ages down to the present.

John McWhorter is a fine scholar in linguistics and an engaging and attractive teacher of the subject. However, for someone who agonizes over the loss of even one of the living spoken languages in the world, despite many languages with very few speakers and no literature, his attitude seems curiously inconsistent when it comes to dead languages likeLatin, as we see in the quote above. Presumably, if the language of the Seneca Indians died out, then it would be of no interest to him and he would express a similar level of contempt. Somehow I doubt that would be the case. Do weneedthe Tonkawa language, which used to be spoken in central Texas? For certain purposes, yes, scientific, aesthetic, and historical. But, apart from linguistics, there is not much else to do with Tonkawa. With Latin there is much to do, because there is much to read. We learn of people, events, and ideas over a span of many centuries.

Note Oldest upanis.ad, appended to the Shatapatha Brhman.a, contains the teaching of the Unknown Knower and themahvakya, great sentence, for the Yajur Veda,aham brahmsmi, I am brahman.


A good example would be correcting people who answer Thats me rather than It is I. The former uses a pronoun in the accusative case as a predicate nominative, where it should be in the nominative. The latter corrects this error. Unfortunately, no one says It is I in genuine, colloquial speech. Also, one wonders if the same criticism would be applied to Louis XIV for sayingLtat cest moi, which by the same grammatical principle should be*Ltat cest je. The latter, however, truly is bad French; butmoiseems to be neither nominative je nor accusative me. Modern English, which is strongly influenced by French, uses me for both the accusative case and for this sort of topical use ofmoi. Latin doesnt have anything quite like that. Thats me or Its me are perfectly grammatical, just not obviously in terms of Latin grammatical cases.

John H. McWhorter,The Power of Babel[Perennial, , p.]

The following map adjusts the of the areas of the earth to their population. We see why so many of the languages of India and China belong to the languages with over million speakers. I have adapted this from theFontana Pocket Atlas[Fontana Books, William Collins Sons Co. Ltd., , p.]. Since I bought the book in inBeirut, of all places, the proportions may not be entirely up to date it looks like the population of Africa has doubled in the meantime. The book completely overlooked the Philippines, whose population now is about four times that of Taiwan Luzon has about twice the population of Taiwan. So I have tried to produce a likely estimate. The languages in the le above are identified on the map either by language Swahili or by country Nigeria for Hausa. Some places are identified for interest or clarity Cyprus, Bali.

The ran.yakas verge into philosophical writing but often are indistinguishable from the brhman.as; they may be regarded as philosophical s written by or for forest dwelling hermits or as brhman.a ritual s written for forest dwellers who cannot practice the ordinary household rituals described in the brhman.as proper.

. Not inwardly cognitive, not outwardly cognitive, not cognitive both ways, not pure cognition, neither cognitive nor noncognitive, unseen, beyond speech, ungraspable, without any distinctive marks, unthinkable, undesignale, the essence of the knowledge of the one Self, the cessation of the phenomenal world, quiescent, auspicious, nondual advaita [such] they think, is the fourth. He is the Self. He is to be known.

.Om this syllable is all this. A further exposition of it is what was, what is, and what will be all is onlyOm. And whatever else is beyond the three times, that also is onlyOm.

The New World civilizations ofMesoAmerica and theAndes involve some anomalies in comparison to the Old World civilizations. Most conspicuously, they do not originate or continue in river valleys. The Maya, for instance, relied on rain, cisterns, and ground water. Long droughts may have been what wiped out the Classical civilization. The absence of rivers not only rendered agriculture dependent on rain, but it eliminated avenues of intercourse and trade. At the same time, the Andean cultures, culminating in the Incas, did not possess writing. Given the Cyclopean building of the Incas, it is hard not to think of them as abona fidecivilization, but they were limited to oral history and accounting, which give us a real sense of the history only of the latest culture, the Incas. Despite the sophistication of the Mayan system of writing, later Mexican cultures did not adopt it in any kind of complete shion. Thus, while we can read what the Maya inscribed about their history, for Mexico, like Peru, we only know about the latest events, among the Aztecs. Despite developing much later than the Old World centers, both the MesoAmerican and Andean civilizations were actually at a Neolithic level of technology, with no metal work beyond the use of gold and silver. Altogether, such deficiencies would seem to be the result of their isolation, not only in relation to the Old World, but even in relation to other areas in the Americas. The highways of commerce, communication, and conquest in the Old World, like the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, or theSteppe, did not exist in the New.

Note The Mn.d.kya Upanis.ad is found embedded in the Krik gama, not attached to a Brhman.a or ran.yaka.

c , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

A similar and related issue also arises overprescriptive grammar, i.e. teaching people that certain usages are wrong e.g. between you and I because of a rule that was generalized for an earlier, written, and more prestigious stage of the language, or was generalized from amisconceivednotion of an earlier, written, and more prestigious state of the language. John McWhorter doesnt have much use for this kind of thing either. He values the living, changing, spoken language, where usage steadily changes and grammar and vocabulary evolve over time. Dealing with this is simplydescriptivegrammar, not prescriptive. Of course, it turns out that some examples of prescriptive grammar are things thatnever werefeatures of usage like the evils of the split infinitive or ending a sentence with a preposition, about which we seeWinston Churchillsmous response above but that were made up out of whole cloth by grammarians, who had their own aesthetic preferences and then believed that others should agree with them. There was also the problem of getting right the grammar that actually applies to a language like English, rather than to Latin.

Note The only Brhman.a of the White Yajur Veda.

The neglect of the Classical languages of Europe, Greek and Latin, today is the consequence of the vernacular languages, not only becoming written languages themselves, not only containing their own extensive literature, but actually replacing the culture and literature of the Classical languages as the proper representatives of their civilization, rendering the Classics dead through a sense of irrelevance. I think there are three main reasons for this

This argument is absurd. Robinson doesnt mention and perhaps has forgotten that the expression Sea Peoples was actuallyusedby the Egyptians to refer to the people that they actually fought. Thus, the invasion by the Sea Peoples is a historically documented event, celebrated byRamesses IIIin graphic detail, not a largely speculative construction such as we are thrown back upon for India. Theidentityof the Sea Peoples is thus in ct irrelevant to the issue. Robinson acts like, because we cant identify the invaders, therefore there was no invasion. What doesnt wash is that Robinson misses the difference between an explanation, which is an inference or a speculation, and historically attested cts. And while he does carefully say in New Kingdom Egypt, which may make a difference, we are nevertheless left with the impression that Bronze Age civilizationcollapsedin Egypt, which it clearly did not certainly not in comparison to that of Mycenae, Ugarit, or the Hitties, who were all erased from history by, well,something…

The Mn.d.kya Upanis.ad, Note

The process by which a writer like Shakespeare ceases to be easily understood by speakers of the recent language is one that John McWhorter seems quite happy to see speeding along. As with his disdain forClassicallanguages, the result is the same the loss of the past. Through most of human history, this would have been viewed with alarm. The loss of sacred languages Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic would even have been viewed with horror and fear. It is only now that people assert or affect no interest in the past, seeing it as a weight and a shackle to the new and better. As discussed above, this is an attitude of great folly, and not just as a matter of intellectual curiosity. John McWhorter certainly should know better, but his is a common attitude in linguistics we also see it inSteven Pinker. The practice of science is usually to study rather than use. Linguistics ironically studies dead languages as much as living ones, but it then sees use only in terms of people speaking, not in terms of reading the words of those long dead people whose minds nevertheless still live through their writings. That is the miracle of the written language, through which Socrates, Dante, and Confucius come to life, and without which Linguistics as a science as well as books by John McWhorter would be impossible.

Note Early Upanis.ad, between and BC.

The sentiment that Bombay should not be used just because it is not the name in the local language is a notion immediately forgotten when people say Rome in English or French, orRomin German. They apparently do not reflect that the city has beenRomain the local language, Latin and Italian, for more than two thousand years. Are they not now insulting Italians by using some mangled version of the name in foreign languages? Of course, one point about foreign languages is that it may be impossible to pronounce the local name in the local manner. We see this asBeijing,, has replaced Peking, where not only is the word commonly pronounced as though it were French rather than Chinese, people who do not speak Chinese have little chance of pronouncing it within shouting distance of actualMandarin phonology. People who give the name a French pronunciation often seem positively unaware that this mangles the phonology to a considerably greater extent than Rome does Roma. Traditional English versions of foreign place names are usually due to the unavoidable challenges of pronunciation and spelling, which persist despite any level of cultural sensitivity or antiimperialist sentiment. We also get curious grammatical scrs, such as over the use of the article in English with the name of theUkraine.

An interesting case in such controversies is the Kingdom ofNavarrain Spain. Navarra its name in Spanish. However,heiressesof Navarra repeatedly married French Royality or Nobility, namely King Philip IV of France by Juana/Jeanne I, Philip Count of Evreux by Juana/Jeanne II, Gaston IV Count of Foix by Leonora, John dAlbret by Catherine, and Anthony Duke of Vendme by Juana/Jeanne III. Anthony became the heir of Boubon, and his son, by Jeanne III, Henry III of Navarre, was then Duke of Bourbon and finally King of France, as Henry Henri IV of Bourbon. Navarra in French is Navarre. Thus, it cannot be decided without a great deal of casuistry whether Navarra or Navarre are the correct names for the Kingdom at given time for a given person. The heiresses I have introduced first as Juana are almost never known by that Spanish name, since they lived with their French husbands in France. They are figures mainly of French history. On the other hand, Navarra was ethnically and linguistically a domain of the Basques, who have their own language, in which the name of the Kingdom is Narroa Juana or Jeanne in Basque is Jone all names one really never sees used in historical literature. So, as with most of thesecontroversies, the disputes seem foolish and pointless, and behind them one usually finds somepolitical axebeing ground.

Hard on the heels of Sumer came Egypt, with evidence of Sumerian influence, where a new writing system,hieroglyphics, developed now with some evidence emerging of its antecedents in Egypt. Of the durable systems of writing, hieroglyphics alone retained its pictographic character, though the Egyptians developed cursive and abbreviated forms for more practical purposes. The Egyptians also developed a more practical medium for writing, papyrus scrolls, though these have the drawback, from our point of view, of easily burning and decaying. An intact Egyptian papyrus is a prize, though these are more common in the dry climate of Egypt than similarly volatile media would be in the damp Ganges Valley of India. The Egyptians themselves, and their writing, were somewhat more durable than Sumer. The last hieroglyphic inscription was carved in AD, and the last cursive Demotic papyrus is from AD. That, even then, the Egyptian language survived, as Coptic, written in the Greek alphabet, is discussedelsewhere.

However, there is one possibility. Sundanese, which is spoken on Java by the Sunda Strait, was reported with million speakers in and million in , but Kenneth Katzner see below gives the population of speakers at million. So I add an entry for this just in case.

The grassland across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, theSteppe, is one of the great highways of world history. Equipped with horses and cattle, people could live easily on the Steppe and move freely across it, all the way from Mongolia to Hungary. From the Second Millennium BC until well into the Middle Ages, movements back and forth across the Steppe, and especially off of it at the periphery, profoundly influenced the history of the surrounding lands in Europe and Asia, particularly Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, and China. The most dramatic example of this in Ancient times was the descent of the Iranians into the Middle East and India.Introducing horses and chariots for the first time into these areas of earlier civilization, the Iranian invaders not only revolutionized ware, but were the ones to reap the first advantages from the innovation. The occupation of the Iranian plateau eslished their permanent presence there, with the great successor kingdoms of the Medes and the Persians. An Iranian elite, at least, imposed themselves on the Hurrians and the Kassites of the Middle East. With the Hurrians, the kingdom of theMitannithen became one of the great second millennium powers of Eastern Syria, while with the Kassites, an ascendancy was eslished overBabylonia. In a th century treaty with the Hittites, the Mitanni listed their gods, which are evidently the same gods as in contemporary Iran and in Vedic India.

Maitri MaitryaniBrhman.a Upanis.ad []

, knowledge part, of the Vedas, studied by the

Mitican also be translated measuring the translation prefered by those who seeshvaraas a creative God to be identified with the fourth state. A third state which erects the world does not require that kind of function in the fourth. However, the theistic interpretations of the are up against another problem. The theistic Dvaita Vednta view is that the third state is a state ofunconsciousnessandignorance; but this is contradicted by the verynameof the third state,Prja, which means intelligent, wise, clever fromja,know. This is not ignorance. But what erects the world doesnt have to be God even in the third state. It can bekarma.

Outside of Europe, there is greater simplicity to the foundational Classical languages of the other great centers of world civilization. In Islam,Arabic is the surpreme and defining Classical language, with an unmatched religious preeminence but also with many centuries of secular literature, much of which made its way into Europe in the Middle Ages, although its place in the modern world is less cosmopolitan.Nevertheless, spoken dialects of Arabic still compete with an elevated, literary Arabic, approaching the Classical language, as the dominant written language in Arab countries. Since the literary standard is little removed from the Arabic of the Qurn, disparaging remarks about the Classical language might, in this day and age, attract death threats. Historically, Persian has often competed with Arabic as a literary and secular language, and other modern languages of Islam, from Swahili to Urdu or Malay, now have their own literature; but no language of an Islamic culture will ever escape the shadow of Arabic. And all serious Muslims will learn Arabic to some degree in order to read the Qurn.

The treatment of the languages is awkwardly different in the two editions. In , the languages were listed alphabetically and all speakers were given for each language. In , however, the languages are listed by country and only numbers for those who speak them asfirstlanguages are given. This results in some dramatic changes in the numbers. Languages widely spoken as second languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, Malay, French, and Swahili, thus seem to have lost millions of speakers by .

And that is the point. It used to be the case thateducationmeant learning the Classical language of ones civilization. This was not just an exercise in memorization to show off. There was stuff to read. Early on, there was originallynothing elseto read, because the Classical language might be the only written language in the culture, and its literature the only literature. You read that or nothing else.

c , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

Apart from the silly idiosyncrasies of grammarians, confusions about getting the grammar right, and inherent logical problems in grammar, the issue is still a serious one in another respect. As language changes, new languages emerge, which are as different and foreign from the parent language as many unrelated languages. This means you can no longer read the literature. Old English AngloSaxon is as foreign to Modern English as German, while Middle English Chaucer is barely more intelligible than Dutch. Jane Austin is recognizably Modern English, with some curiosities.The stream of Time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth and plunges them into utter darkness, both deeds of no account and deeds which are mighty and worthy of commemoration; as the playwright [Sophocles] says, it brings to light that which was unseen and shrouds from us that which was manifest. Nevertheless, the science of History is a great bulwark against the stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the suce and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of Oblivion.

Mandarin Chinese has been expanding against the other Chineselanguagesbecause of its political, cultural, and demographic dominance and the peculiar relationship of these languages to each other they are written with the same Classical Chinese characters. In India no language has a status comparable to Mandarin in China. Indian states have their own official languages, recognized by the Constitution; but the plan to make Hindi, which is common in the North, the only official national language, eliminating English, actually set off riots. Various Indian languages are certain to continue and thrive, while English continues for purposes of neutral national communication with the interesting feature that it is the English version of laws that is authoritative, while the Supreme Court of India deliberates in English. The list of languages in the Almanac overlooked Bihari in India and Hunan in China, so I had to use numbers from other sources. The Almanac, on the other hand, has a rather full list of Chinese and Indian languages.

The languages with the largest number of speakers in South Africa, Zulu and Xhosa, have about million and million speakers, respectively and in the data. Both Hausa and Swahili are identified as part of the culture area of Islam, because Hausa is predominately spoken by Muslims and because Swahili, although an African language spoken by many nonMuslims, grew up as a trade language under Islamic influence. Thus, the name Swahili itself is Arabic,,Sawh.il, from,sh.il, coast, and,sawh.il, coasts in Arabic a broken or irregular plural. The Swahili word for book,kiu, is Arabic ,kitb; but since many nouns in Swahili begin withkiand form their plurals by changing that tovi, books isviu, which is not at all like Arabic, where the plural is the irregular or broken plural,ktb.


General information about world languages may be found inThe Languages of the World, by Kenneth Katzner [Routledge Kegan Paul, revised , Third Edition, , , ] andThe Worlds Major Languages, edited by Bernard Comrie [Oxford University Press, ]. There is a lot of uncertainty about the populations for Chinese dialects. The separate discussion forChinese dialectsshould be consulted. Thorough treatments of Chinese may be found inThe Chinese Language, Fact and Fantasy, by John DeFrancis University of Hawaii Press, andThe Languages of China, by S. Robert Ramsey Princeton University Press, .

Languages with more than ,, Speakers as of

, the fire priest, not originally associated with Vedic sacrifice, later added as

Another issue would be the inherent ambiguity of certain grammatical rules. The Bible says, For the wages of sin is death [Romans ]. There is something odd and archaic about that sentence, probably because the plural number of the subject wages does not agree with the singular number of the verb is. The verb actually is agreeing with the number of the predicate nominative death. There is in truth a dilemma here that is not easily resolved. Where the number of the subject and the predicate nominative do not agree, there is going to be a sense of inconsistency whichever number the verb is in. Where today we may expect the verb to agree with the subject, come what may, the translators working for King James apparently saw the matter otherwise. Whichever way we go, there is clearly an arbitrary element, which is something that grammatical martinets seem reluctant to allow.

Modifications of the Arabic Alphabet for Malay

charged with ritual preparations, practical work.

Greek, Sanskrit, and Closely Related Languages

Jaiminya Talavakra Upanis.ad Brhman.a []

Most European Union members with of the official languages are from the area of Mediaeval Francia and would have once used Latin as their deult literary and legal language. But Latin isnt even one of the offical languages of the EU. Three EU members are from Mediaeval

Index of Mesopotamian and Ancient Middle Eastern HistoryKings of Sumer and AkkadThe IsinLarsa and Old Babylonian PeriodsKings of BabyloniaKings of AssyriaAnatoliaKings of the HittitesKings of Urart.uKings of PhrygiaKings of LydiaThe LevantKings of MitanniKings of Israel and JudahArabia Felix, YemenEthiopiaIranKings of the MedesGreat Kings of Persia, AchaemenidsIndex of Egyptian HistoryEmperors of IndiaKings of Cambodia, th century ADpresentKings of BurmaThe Himalayan Realms, Nepal, Bhutan, SikkimKings of Tibet and the Dalai LamasEmperors of ChinaEmperors, Shoguns, Regents of JapanKings of KoreaKings and Emperors of VietnamKings of ThailandKings of LaosMesoAmericaThe Maya and the Kings of TikalAztecTlatoaniThe AndesThe IncasHistorical Background to Greek PhilosophyRome and RomaniaFranciaThe Periphery of FranciaRussiaIslam, ADpresent

While Hindi and Urdu are widely spoken in the North of India,regional languagesdominate elsewhere, and linguistic politics can rise to serious levels of conflict. Thus, the English name of the city of Bombay has become a casualty, as people have come to insist that the real name of the city be used. It has become a mark of sophistication, or political correctness, to shun Bombay. However, most people outside India usingMumbaimay be at a loss to identify thelanguageto which this name belongs. Hindi might be a good guess, but that would be wrong. Bombay in Hindi isBambai,an anomalous spelling in terms of Sanskrit, since Hindi is missing a vowel that Sanskrit would pronounce we might expect,,, etc.. This is phonetically not much different from the name in English. Instead, the Indian State ofMaharashtra, whereMarathiis the official language, decided, in a surge of nationalism, to officially stop using Bombay. Maharashtra, unlike several other Indian States, does not have English as an additional official language. When we consider that English is the only politically and religiously neutral language in India, the change reflects, not so much an antipathy towards English or the British although the change is sometimes expressed in those terms but towards other Indians. Thus, where the politically correct American may think that the change from Bombay is some sort of statement about imperialism, it is instead part of the fierce and often hostile internal politics of India, in this case on behalf of the Marathi language. Nevertheless, although many residents of the very city themselves still say Bombay, we now find Mumbai,, used even in Hindi.

Greek, Sanskrit, and Closely Related Languages


Otherwise, we have the limited but striking works ofGreat Zimbabwein Africa and ofEaster Island. The former was built starting in the th century but, again, in the absence of writing, what it and similar smaller sites in the area were originally all about has been lost. They certainly were engaged in the Indian Ocean trade that involved the Arabs and even the Chinese in the Middle Ages, and memory remains of successor states, but why the sites were abandoned and the stone architecture not continued remains mysterious. On the other hand, the monumental sculptures onEaster Islandare more understandable in terms of the rest of Polynesian culture, which otherwise would have used wood for such things, and Easter Islanders themselves continue to live on the island. But details of the construction and movement of the figures have remained matters of uncertainty and controversy, and it has only recently been argued that the statues were actually still being made when Europeans arrived in . The thesis that the work was done by the Incas seems to have gone the way of the idea that Great Zimbabwe was built by the Queen ofSheba.

This meant that even a Classical language that was the first language ofno person, and was learned by no one in the cradle, nevertheless was a living language in most senses that we could possibly attribute to it.

Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, are in the cultural sphere of influence of

Translations of Upanis.ads,, range from the classic Sacred Books of the East versions byF. Max Mllerin two volumes, originally published in and reissued by Dover in , to a recent new translation byPatrick OlivelleUpanis.ads, Oxford, . Olivelle should be consulted for the most recent thinking and scholarship.Mircea Eliadesays that only the Upanis.ads listed here, out of more than , are considered to beshruti. At the same time, Ive seen claims that the Upanis.ads are not even part of the Vedas. Olivelle says that these his collection does not include the Maitri Upanis.ad are in ct the whole of the original Upanis.adic literature indeed, that the Br.hadran.yaka and Chndogya together constitute about twothirds of the corpus of ancient Upanis.adic documents p. . Subsequently, however, numerous, oftenSectarian, documents were produced, as late as the th century, which were regarded as Upanis.ads by different people p. . Collections of Upanis.ads varied by region. Olivelle mentions a northern collection of and a southern collection of p. . The only modern publication of the additional Upanis.ads Ive seen is K. Narayanasvami AiyarsThirty Minor Upans.adsParimal Publications, Delhi, , although I have not been keeping up with the literature. The late Upanis.ads are not part of the Brhman.a literature and tend to be ascribed to the Atharva Veda. This is already true of some of the Upanis.ads listed here.

In , the new Constitution of theRepublic of Indiaanticipated that the Government of India would stop using English in , relying only on Hindi as the national language. This development was forestalled by the Official Language Act of , which allowed for the continued use of English. However, in , proposals were made to phase out English, and this resulted in actual riots in States were Hindi was not used, especially those whose Dravidian languages were unrelated to Hindi, but also including Maharashtra. The Official Language Act was amended in so that English could not be replaced without the consent of every single State where Hindi was not an official language. Meanwhile, the authoritative of all National statutes and enactments is the English version of the same, and the deliberations of the Supreme Court of India are in English. At the same time, citizens of India are entitled to address the Government in any language native to India, even if it is not an official language anywhere.

Lost in the vast extent of the World Civilizations is a culture with a claim to be a civilization in its own right. That isEthiopia.As a Christian nation, Ethiopia shares in a subRoman civilization, but it is otherwise related to the language, alphabet,and culture ofSouth Arabia. South Arabia itself, of course, became part of Oecumene of Islm, which spread around Ethiopia and cut it off from most contact with the outer world even while its suriving connection, through theCoptic Patriarchatein Egypt which appointed the Primate of Ethiopia until , was compromised by the difficulties of travel, the alienation of the Coptic Church from Greek and Latin Orthodoxy, and, of course, the Arab Conquest and occupation of Egypt. This left Ethiopia as its own kind ofIsland Universein world history. It even possesses its own Classical Language,Ethiopic or Geez. But the major modern descendant of Ethiopic, Amharic, is only spoken by million people so it did not make the cut for the le above.

We might call into question Robinsons judgment in such matters when he comments on a unrelated case

Note Contains the,mahvakya, great sentence, for the Sma Vedatat tvam asi,, thou art that.


, with Old Church Slavonic in the , and Modern

The cultural spheres of influence ofIndia,China,Europe, andIslmare founded on theWorld Civilizationsof their central or foundational regions, which may be defined by religion or culture but most precisely by the possession of an ancientClassical languageattended by a large literature in that language. In India this language isSanskrit,, which is first of all the sacred language of Hinduism but otherwise contains extensive secular literature and occurs as a principal language of Buddhism also. In China,Classical Chinesenot only possesses literature back to theSpring and Autumn Period, but it was extensively used until even the modern period by educated writers in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam people who otherwise did not evenspeakChinese.

First is,sat, which is existence. This is the same root as,satya, truth, which turns up in theSatygraha,, or Truth Force ofMahtm Gandhi. Second is,cit, which is consciousness. This erges from the characterization of Being by Parmenides, who left the existence of both consciousness and the world unexplained. Here, the world, even as illusion, can exist as a representation within the consciousness of Brahman. Third and finally there is,nanda, which is bliss. nanda was also the name of the Buddhas personal attendant, who figures in many stories about the Buddha. Brahman is existence, consciousness, and bliss. The ultimate Self within each of us, the tman, is this also. So we do exist, and our consciousness is the consciousness of Brahman.

The most spectacular and rapid movement of conquest across the Steppe, through the Middle East, and into Europe and China, was that of theMongolsin the th Century. Although several significant and a few durable kingdoms resulted from this conquest, little remains by way of permanent Mongol ethnic presence. The Kalmyks on the lower Volga are the onlyMongolianspeaking group left in Europe, Buddhist in religion and evidently associated with theKhanate of Astrakhan. The Mongols thus repeated the earlier, and less well documented, career of the Huns, who also left few durable marks of their presence like the name Hungary. Subsequently, the conquest of the Steppe came fromoffof the Steppe, especially as theRussians, who had moved across Asianorthof the Steppe, in the forest land of theTaiga, occupied much of the central portion of it from the north in the th Century.The advent of gunpowder removed the advantage that the horse and thecomposite reflex bowhad given nomadic Steppe dwellers for so long.

Guide and Index of World History, Dynasties and Lists of Rulers

Argument continues over the role of the rya invaders in the end of the Indus Valley Civilization one of whose mous articts is shown at left with the evidentrima pudendithat is unusual in world art but that is conspicuous in India later, both in art and actualdress. This culture is now usually said to have been in decline and to have come to an end through its own decadence cf.The Oxford Companion to Archaeology[Oxford University Press, ], Indus Civilization, pp. or natural disasters cf. Indus Civilization, Clues to an Ancient Puzzle,National Geographic Magazine, Vol., No., June , pp.. Civilizations, indeed, have their ups and downs. Egypt during its Intermediate Periods, or China after the ll of theHan, are good examples. However, they rarelydisappearas the result of such low points. Even Mayan Civilization, which essentially did collapse, still left the Mayan people, speaking their own language, behind. It is thus hard to imaginenoconnection between the invasion and the disappearance, even as the probable language of the Indus Valley, a Dravidian language, was erased from most of the north of India. Egypt had a tough enough time shaking off theHyksos.

Indeed, the edition does not list Swahiliat all a very grave and strange oversight, especially when the list claims to include all languages with at least million speakers. Swahili, which has a large Arabic component, may have ten million or fewer speakers as a first language; but it is a national language in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo and is even used by the United Nations. It has the reputation among some of being the common language of all of Africa, but it is actually not spoken in the West or South.

I remembered hearing about the riots in but was long under the lse impression that they were over Hindi beingmadethe official language of India. I was latter puzzled to learn that it wasalreadythe national language. So, as it happens, the complaint was over English beingremoved, not over Hindi being instituted. Knowledge of English is widespread enough in India that Americans often have the experience of their customer service calls to American companies being answered by people in India. And Indian immigrants to the United States have the advantage of already speaking the language. This may be a ctor in people of Indian derivation being the most economically successful ethnic group identified by the United States Census. My first clue about the success of people from India was finding an Indian run motel in remote Artesia, New Mexico, in. Later, a hotelier told me the saying, Hotel, Motel, Patel.

The only Classical language that all European civilization has in common is Greek. Next comes Latin, which was current withinFranciathrough which once ran the writ of thePopes, until the Reformation. Behind Greek and Latin, however, there isHebrew, which also counts as a Classical language for Christendom as well as for Judaism because an essential item of religious literature, the Hebrew Bible, is in that language and some Aramaic.

Ritual TextsThe brhman.as, using much mythic material, are commentaries on and explanations of the hymns and ritual practices.III. ran.yakas

The European Union has official languages and semiofficial ones shown in parentheses below.RomaniaGreek


Europa est omnis isa in partes tres, quarum unam Romaniam, aliam Franciam, tertiam Russiam.

Apart from Malay and Swahili, some languages on the list drop below million in the data for reasons that are less obvious. Thus, Tagalog, Bihari, Hausa, and Hakka all lose millions of speakers from to . With Tagalog this may reflect its use as a national language of the Philippines and so as a second language for many speakers of other Philippine languages. Hakka, as a language of traders, and with a geographical distribution that is very scattered, also may have a significant population who use it as a trade language. With Bihari the problem may have been the unreliability of census data perhaps a problem with other Indian and Chinese languages. Other languages on the list probably have lost numbers because of an actual shrinkage in the number of speakers, as with Japanese, German, Polish, and Ukrainian, where populations have been aging without a replacement level of births. It does surprise me some thatno newlanguages have grown to have more than millions speakers between and .LanguageSpeakersLanguage

So why these distortions about the Indus Valley Civilization? Why these oversights, perverse inferences, and misrepresentations? Well, what is obviously out of vor is the idea that the rya invaders overthrew the Indus Valley civilization. Robinson even transfers this paradigm to the end of the Bronze Age in the West, fictionalizing the historically attested Sea Peoples just so he can draw the parallel ofothernonexistent invaders. The existence of those invaders, however, is starkly evident. That we have less information about India does not motivate the levels of agnositicism that now exist in the scholarship. After all, theHittiteswere manifestly routed out of their homeland, by people whose identity, at the time, is invisible. Some NeoHittites survived in Syria, while the Phrygians and Cappadocians are subsequently found occupying old Hittite territory. While arguments are made that the Indus declined for internal or environmental reasons, no such explanations are going to wash for the eclipse of the Hittites, whose late politics and culture betray nothing unusual and whose environment was unchanged.

The astral body and the causal body, in contrast to thegrossphysical body, are subtle bodies. This works clearly and simply in the Mn.d.kya Upanis.ad. There is a tendency, however, mainly outside of India, to add more subtle bodies. In thediagram we see the addition of a particular subtle body, the etheric body, in different systems. The various heading shows the etheric body inserted between the physical and the astral bodies. I have found this in two different books about astral projection and even in a book about massage where the subtle bodies are described asauratending beyond the physical body. The astral projection books disagree about what the etheric body is supposed to be. In one, it is part of the astral body left behind in the physical body during astral projection; in the other, it is comparable to the astral body in that it projects, but it travels tophysicallocations, while the full astral body travels to locations on theastralplane. The other cases are from Theosophy and Eckankar whose main project used to be teaching astral projection but now apparently places emphasis on meditation. In the former, the etheric body, as the lower mental body, is added between the causal and the astral body, while in the latter it is added, as the mental body,abovethe causal body. These various and conflicting interpretations of the etheric body perhaps attest to its late introduction.

This argument is, once again, absurd. The explanation has to be nothing of the sort. First of all, we know from the devlopment of Sumerian writing that its origin is in commercial and financial records. Since Robinson himself recounts the evidence of the presence of Indus merchants inAkkad, there can be no doubt that Indus merchants kept records.But none of these survive in India, which must mean they were kept, as in Egypt, on perishable media. What survives are the seals, which, in parallel with Sumer, would have been used for identification, authentication, and signatures. Thus, whatever the Brahmins wanted to do with the Vedas, this cannot explain the general disappearance of writing. That can only happen with the disapparance of merchants, business, and trade, a phenomenon that otherwise only happens anywhere when illiterate nomads, who live off of theft rather than trade, snuf out an urban, literate, and mercantile culture. Not to admit and recognize the evidence for this in India is no less than perverse.


. In a large and dominant subision of Europe, we also find

TheMn.d.kya Upanis.ad,, is one of the shortest Upanis.ads, only twelve verses long, and it is very late, conventionally associated with theAtharva Veda; but it is also one of the most important Upanis.ads, with commentaries by great Indian philosophers, likeShnkara. Different schools of philosophy interpret the according to their own doctrine. Quoted definitions are dictionary citations from Arthur MacDonell,A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary[Oxford, ].

This verse is about the fourth state, which leaves thejvabehind and now is the pure Self, thetman. Note that the term nondual advaita is actually used in the . Auspicious in Sanskrit isShiva, which is the name of adevotionalistic Godin Hinduism, but important theistic interpretations of theMn.d.kyatend to be Vaishnavite rather than Shaivite.

I have given Turkish, meaning the Osmanli language of Turkey, with other languages, Azeri and Turkmen, which are so closely related as to sometimes be considered one language Oghuz Turkish, in the mily ofAltaic languages. However, both Almanacs, and most other sources, list them all separately, mostly for political, nationalistic reasons. Similarly, I have given Persian and Tajiki together because the latter really is a dialect of Persian though I notice some sources confuse it with the nearby Turkic languages.

I have not seen this elegant system used for Urdu or Punjabi beyond these particular stead, the sources tend in Urdu to follow the transcription conventions for Arabic, as Hindi and Punjabi do for Sanskrit. Indeed, this is what is done in the new edition ofTeach Yourself Urdu[David Matthew and Mohamed Kasim Dalvi, Hodder Education, McGrawHill, , , ]. I have not yet examined more recent editions ofTeach Yourself Punjabi. Such an approach has also been something one sees a lot with Persian, despite its unsuiility. For Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi this is a shame, since the student will be startled to find how some miliar names, likeTj Mahal, are actually pronounced as they would be written in the oldTeach Yourself UrduTaj Mhl. I have used some forms above from these olderTeach Youselfbooks but have followed the other, Arabic/Sanskrit conventions elsewhere at this website.

The disappearance of writing at the end of the Indus tradition in the north can possibly be correlated to an increase in the dominance of the Vedic ritual elites, Brahmins, notes [Jonathan Mark] Kenoyer [Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley, ]. The explanation for the disappearancehas to bethat these Brahmins revered the power of memory, rather than writing, because it enabled them to restrict knowledge of the Vedic scriptures to their own caste. Their sacred literature was entirely oral and was written down only much later in the Hindu tradition. Even today, Brahmin priests take pride in reciting thescripturesfrom memory rather than reading from manuscript sources. [pp., boldce added]

Languages die when others take their place we dontneedLatin or any dead language, because weve got languages of our own.


The Earliest Civilizations considered above, and the Four World Civilizations discussed at thetopof this , are part of the larger pattern of the development of civilization on the planet. The civilization ofSumer and Akkad , the earliest of all, quickly came into contact, and may have substantively influenced, the nearby centers ofEgypt andIndia . This forms a pattern in the area, both for the subMesopotamian civilizations of the Levant, Anatolia, Iran, and even the easily forgotten Yemen, but for the more independent and more dominant civilizations that developed later, namelyEurope , by way of Greece and Rome, andIslam , which cannot have developed as they did without their antecedents. Separated by mountains and deserts from the older civilizations of Asia,China developed in relative independence but then was directly influenced by India and entered into exchanges of varying and uncertain content by way of the Steppe.

In the unqualified Advaita Vednta of Shnkara c. AD, Brahman is the only thing that exists, and the world and inidual selves are part of illusion,Mya,which is not illusion, but the creative power of God, for Theistic or other realistic versions of Vedanta. Since the tman, identical to Brahman, is not an inidual self or soul, iniduality over time and from life to life must be carried by the subtle bodies that are examined in the followingMn.d.kya Upanis.ad. Brahman is left without much in the way of positive characteristics, much like the One of Being inParmenides. But there are three essential attributes of Brahman that are expressed in the formula,,Saccidnanda.

c , , , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

Grasslands at the corresponding latitudes elsewhere in the world did not have the same impact on world history as the Steppe. ThePampasof South American and theVeldtof South Africa were r too small to provide a highway between different cultural regions. ThePrairieof North America, although extensive, was still not as extensive as the Steppe and lacked the key ingredient A domesticated animal for riding. Although the horse had actually evolved in North America, it died out there and historically is only found in Asia and Africa Zebras.The reintroduction of the horse into the New World by the Spanish set off the development of a romantic Plains culture among American Indian tribes who adopted the horse; but this did not involve the historic transmission of cultures around the periphery, nor did it last very long only a century and a half, at most. What these grasslands could mean in modern life was as appropriate ranges to grow a domesticated grass, wheat, and similar agricultural staples. The steppe and similar provinces thus have gone from being highways of history to being breadbaskets of the world.

Since the early Iranian peoples were illiterate, much of their movement and activities remain concealed from history. With the spread of literate civilization, however, much more can be discerned when the entire process of spreading across the Steppe was repeated all over again in the Middle Ages by the Turks.Moving from east to west, the Turks came as r west as the Iranians on the Steppe itself. The remaining Turkish presence in Europe looks at least in part associated with the later Mongol invasions. Thus Kazan, which was the capital of the MongolKhanate of Kazan, is now the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, where the Turkish language ofTataris spoken. Ajacent to Tatarstan we find the closely related languages of Chuvash and Bashkir now in Bashkortostan. Other Tartar speakers remain in Central Asia. The Crimean Tatars, surviving from the MongolKhanate of the Crimea, were deported to Central Asia by Stalin in for supposedly collaborating with the Germans. Recently some have been returning although now perhaps leaving again asVladimir Putinhas annexed the Crimea.

The Vedas and all their parts areshruti,, revelation. The sectarian teachings, Vais.n.avite the sect of Vis.n.u, Shaivite the sect of Shiva, Shkta Tantric, sect of Shakti, may regard their s, thegamas, asshrutialso. The pious view is that the Vedas are eternal and uncreated and exist essentially as sound. More conventional, but still pious, scholarship may still exaggerate the antiquity of the Vedas, sometimes claiming they go back to , BC or earlier. Now, however, it looks like even the oldest parts of the R.g Veda do not antedate the arrival of the Arya in India,circa BC, although the gods and elements of the stories are older, since they are attested withIranianpeoples and theMitanni, with parallels in Greek and Latin mythology. The word veda,, is from the rootvid, to know, for other derivates likevidya,, knowledge, andavidya,, ignorance. Thevidroot iscognatetoidainGreek,videoin Latin, andwitin English. Claims can be found on the Internet that the Arya and their gods wereautochthonousto India; but the linguistic, archeological, and epigraphic evidence is overwhelming in vor of their arrival from theSteppe, like the Turks and Mongols centuries later, and of their origin elsewhere.

This verse is about the third state of thejva, deep sleep. The causal body kran.asharra or karmic body krman.asharra accompanies the third state [note]. For the Jains this simply consists of oneskarmaand is responsible for the existence and circumstances of life in the phenomenal world. Pure cognition which is neither inner nor outer seems to be cognition without an object altogether. This is what we call unconsciousness, but there is no unconsciousness intmanorBrahman. TheBr.hadran.yaka Upanis.adhad asked the question what the Knower without the Known would be. Since the Known, and any object of consciousness, would be part of illusion,Mya, the Knower without the Known would be the subject without an object. So pure cognition looks like what to us, and also to Dvaita Vednta and others, would be unconsciousness. SinceBrahmanis defined assaccidnanda,, existence, consciousness, bliss, made of bliss strongly suggests that deep sleep is closer toBrahmanthan the previous two states, a hierarchy rejected by those opposed to the Monistic interpretation of Vednta see comment on verse . The cognitional,prjaan intensifying prefix onja, one of theknowingroots in Sanskrit, is intelligence associated with iniduality phil.; Intensely Conscious Being or Conscious Intensity. Interpretations of the third state as a state of ignorance,avidya,, ofunconsiousness, will have some difficulty why it would be calledprja.

. Where one, asleep, does not desire any desire whatever, sees no dream whatever, this is deep sleep. The sleeping state, which has become one, just pure cognition, made of bliss nanda, verily an enjoyer of bliss, whose mouth is thought, the cognitional prja, is the third quarter.

The transcription of Hindi today tends to follow the conventions of writingSanskrit, with long and short vowels, e.g. a and . However, the modern vowels actually contrastqualityrather thanquantityin pronunciation, like long and short vowels in English. InPersian, which is written using the long and short vowels of Arabic, but also has modern contrasts of quality rather than quantity, the differences in quality are easily rendered. The Old English ligature of a and e, , can be used for the short a, a sound that is like the a in Modern English bad. As luck would have it, both Sanskrit and Arabic use the basic vowels a, i, and u.Sanskrit

In the Ukraine, earlier Turkic peoples like the Khazars, Patzinaks, and Cumans have disappeared. The Bulgars, originally Turkic, were absorbed by their Slavic subjects. Nor did the Turks settle nearly as much of the Middle East. However, the whole area around the Aral Sea became permanently Turkish, now dignified as Turkestan, while the defeat of the Romanian/Byzantine EmperorRomanus IVat the battle of Manzikert by the Seljuk Turk Great SultnAlp Arslanin opened up Asia Minor, which Iranians had never penetrated despite thePersianconquest, to permanent Turkish occupation and settlement. The presence ofTurkeyamidst and upon older IndoEuropean peoples, the Greeks and theArmenians, and overlapping an Iranian people, the Kurds, has not made for forgiveness or forgetfulness of their recent advent i.e. almost years ago. Although a Turkish ethnic presence was never eslished in India, Turkish princes in Afghanistan profoundly influenced Indian history, first by the invasion ofMahmd of Ghaznain , when Islm was first solidly planted in Indian civilization, and by the later invasion of Babur, the first of theMoghuls, in .

No, when writing is available to priests, it is the sacredwritingsthat become privileged, which is nowhere more obvious than in the history of Bible, and even the Qurn both arising in areas with long histories of literacy. The belief about these tends to be theeternityof the scriptures scripturae, which means, by the way, what is written. Where in India, exceptionally, it is the eternity of thespoken wordthat is affirmed, the origin of this in anilliterateculture is almost too obvious even to dispute. Yet Robinson neither acknowledges nor discusses these circumstances.

Progress means that the civilization, and its language and literature, are always new. Whether science should be taken as a paradigm in other areas of life, however, is open to serious question. History, philosophy, and ethics are not necessarily understood better by more recent historians, philosophers, and moralists than by ancient ones, although, to be sure, this is open to debate. But it is not as though translations of Thucydides are being read in English or Italian as diligently as University students were once expected to read him in Greek. Greek and Roman literature now tend to be neglected nearly as much as their original languages. So the debate doesnt even start.

Recent scholarship has begun to discount to role of the Iranian invaders in the introduction of the horse and in dominating the Hurrians and Kassites,since horses appear before their arrival and the evidence of the Iranian element among the Hurrians and Kassites is thin. However, the Iranian movement was certainly more that of a migration than the invasion of organized armies. As such, its influences were somewhat more in the way of diffusion than of conquest. Horses arrive before an Iranian population does because they were traded ahead of the migrants.Someonebrought them horses and chariots did not simply suddenly wander across the Central Asian deserts into the Middle East and India. There is no doubt that horses didnotexist in the rd millennium BC in Egypt or Sumeria. When horses do arrive, they are adopted as quickly as possible. Horses clearly arrived in Egypt with an invasion, that of theHyksos, but there is no evidence that the Hyksos were Iranians. Whether or not the Hurrians were ever dominated by Iranians, there is undoubted Iranian influence there, with the names of the gods. The gods can have diffused along with the horses. That the Iranians are near is incontesle they are soon revealed on the Iranian plateau, and in India, and their languages have been in those places ever since. Consquently, it doesnt make much sense tocompletelydiscount the traditional notions of the role and influence of the Iranians.

Note Contains themahvakya, great sentence, for the Atharva Veda,ayam tm brahma, this self is brahman.

Omwas originally pronouncedaum; and this is remembered here, whereOmis analyzed into three parts, with an intangible fourth part.

Greek and Latin are not quite dead languages either, but a great deal of effort is being put into them so. Having inspired this attitude, science itself gets tossed away equally in the general shambles and militant ignorance into which Westerneducationis being steadily reduced. So impressive is what civilization has done in the present, the lse lesson is thatjust anything, and especially any selfindulgence, will be just as good as whatever was in the past the fruit of the long discredited but nevertheless continuing selfesteem movement. This is an approach whose payoff is selfdestructive and suicidal. One wonders if it is also behind theselfhatredthat is found in much educated opinion in the West. The enlightened no longer have anything rational or substantive to believe in and actually develop a rage, like an abandoned child, for the disappointing and absent parent. The orphans of Western civilization are neither wise or happy people.

Another curious, but unexplained, feature of these civilizations is that the delay in the develoment of China, and the hiatus in the development of India, end up producing aphilosophicalculture simultaneously with the development of Greek philosophy, while the independent Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations were r gone in decline. The multiple points of similarity between the thought of the Greece, India, and China, evident in the st terms in their respective treatment of the physicalelements, cannot be accounted for by mutual influence, which does not seem to have existed at the earliest period. The undoubted transfer of ideas between Greece and India in theHellenistic Period, and the export of Buddhism from India to China beginning in theHan Dynasty, provides us points of comparison with what, the uninfluenced traditions, came before. The time whenParmenides,Confucius, and theBuddhaall lived, the end of the th century BC, has been called the axial age; but it remains mysterious that such simultaneous and sometimes parallel development should have occurred.

Apart from the centers of civilization, we also see the occasional great work that bespeaks a potential, at least, for a more sophisticated culture. The most impressive of these is with theAnasaziof the American Southwest. Adjacent to the Colorado River, which flows through a desert, we might think this would have the geographical potential for a substantial civilization. That the river largely runs through narrow canyons and deep gorges shut off this possibility, and we see the principle structures of the Anasazi built along tributaries of the Colorado. The greatest center and work of stone buildings, at Chaco Canyon, also was mysteriously abandoned. Without writing, it was long a matter of controversy whether the subsequent Pueblo culture, which gravitated towards the Rio Grande Valley, was derived from the Anasazi or not. It probably was, and the pueblos, now of adobe, survive as often impressive structures often with adjacent casinos, principally inNew Mexico.

c , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

What underlies the peculiarities of Robinsons analysis may befear fear of the ryajana,. Not that the rya will ride in as conquering hordes but that the very idea of the rya invokes the misuse of the name byFriedrich Nietzsche, theNazis, and others who historically have promotedracistideas. Merely entertaining the idea that the rya overthrew the Indus Valley Civilization, the way that the Dorians overthrew Myceanae or theGoths and Vandals overthrew theRoman Empirein the West, may be enough to get a scholar associated with the racists as a racist himself. There will be a stampede away from this by worried historians. But denying or ignoring obvious cts or inferences about India, which have nothing to do with someone elses ideas about the Aryans, is pointless. That Andrew Robinson offers at least two arguments that are no less than absurd should be a caution that fearful reasoning quickly leads to loss of reason. Indeed, asleftistideology becomes more irrational in terms of ct and logic its tolerance for rational disagreement declines, as is now evident at American universities.

Thus, Robinson features a photograph of skeletons sprawled on an excavated street of Mohenjodaro. It is hard to look at this without concluding, as the original excavators did, that these iniduals have beens struck down with weapons while in flight, with their bodies left to lie where they have llen. However, Robinson labels the photograph, and otherwise refers to it, as involving the very neutral description unburied skeletons [pp.]. All he allows himself to say is that the excavators concluded that these cities had been abandoned. Well, if the enemy who left the skeletons in the street didnt bury them, and no one did, then the city probably was abandoned as the result of invaders who, having wiped out and/or driven out the inhabitants, had no interest in occupying an urban environment. Further on, Robinson features a photograph of skeletons tossed in a pit. He labels it, Victims of a massacre, or of disease? [p.]. Since forensic examination now concludes that these were plague victims, Robinson seems to conclude that massacres, in general, therefore did not happen, ignoring the evidence of the skeletons from a few s earlier. Also, the plague victims have been tossed haphazardly in the mass grave, which bespeaks a certain level of confusion, disorder, and haste. That calls for some comment, which we do not get. Also, the skeletons in the street and in the pit could certainly be dated. Why dont we hear about that?


In Christendom, however, there really is no other Hebrew literature, since Biblical scholarship and religious writing has been conducted either in Greek, Latin, or later languages. Until the modern revival of Hebrew, even Jewish literature in Hebrew was almost exclusively religious in character. Something similar may be found in Old Church Slavonic, which was adopted, instead of Greek, as the liturgical language of the Orthdox Churches of Slavic and a couple nonSlavic peoples. I dont believe it was ever used for secular purposes or has any modern literature.

TheMn.d.kya Upanis.adsays it is about the syllableOm. This is a sacred syllable that can be used as amantrafor meditation or written on things for good luck. I have an Indian cookbook whose author says that her mother wroteOmon her tongue in butter when she was born. The different ways to write the word are discussed atGreek, Sanskrit, and Closely Related Languages. An abbreviated writing is given at the top of this . Nevertheless, nothing is really said aboutOmhere. It is used as a device to symbolize what theMn.d.kyais really talking about, which is consciousness.

.Prjathe cognitional is the sleeping state, the letterm, the third element, either frommitierecting or fromaptimerging. Verily, he erects minoti this all and he becomes its merging he who knows this.

. All this, indeed, isBrahman. This Self isBrahman. This Self itself has four quarters.

Note The R.g Veda contains only the two Brhman.as listed.

Hindi and Urdu are really the same language HindiUrdu or Hindustani, with Hindi spoken by Hindus and Urdu spoken by Moslems. On the literary level these languages now erge in vocabulary, with Hindi borrowing from Sanskrit [Sskr.ta,] and Urdu borrowing from Arabic and Persian. HindiUrdu, however, because it grew up under the MoslemMoghul Emperors, had a Persian and Arabic component from the beginning, which survives even in Hindi. Hindi [Hyndi,or with the n written as a nasalization] itself is from ArabicHind[], though that is ultimately from Sanskritsindhu[], meaning a river, the Indus River, or the Sindh region of India. Urdu [Wrdu,] is from Persianordu, meaning a camp, or Turkishordu, meaning an army. Both are derived from Mongolianordawhich had both meanings, as does the English word horde, which came through the Polish rendering,horda. The name Urdu commemorates the circumstance that the language developed in the army camps of the Moghul Emperors, where the originally Turkish and Afghani forces of the Moghuls interacted with the locals. As such, Hindustani was written in the Arabic alphabet; and it is an innovation that Hindi is now written in Devanagari. Both Hindi and Urdu have borrowed from English and other modern languages [note].

A friend of mine started taking Arabic at theAmerican University of Beirutwhen we were there in . The class began with learning the alphabet and how to write it. There were someIraniansin the class, who of course already knew the alphabet. When called to the blackboard, they wrote the letters in their accustomed shion. Professor Ghoul,yes, the word ghoul in English, and the star Algol,, turned to the class and announced that this was the Persian Hand and that it would not be tolerated in his class. The Iranians would need to learn the proper way to write Arabic. Thenaskhdoes seem more natural to me for the printed .

Note Eight out of ten chapters are the upanis.ad.

c , , , , , , , , Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.AllRightsReserved

Once upon a time, I was hoping to consult the Greek and follow its usage. However, what we get at Romans is,t gr opsnia ts hamartas thnatos, The for wages ofthe ofsin [is] death. There is no verb here. It is anominalsentence. So Greek doesnt need to worry about whether to match the number of the verb with the plural subject or the singular predicate nominative!

JeanNol Robert, Hieroglossia,Nanzan Institute for Religion Culture, Bulletin , p.


John Locke is also Modern, but with more curiosities, most of which can be recognized from con e.g. where without can mean outside within and inside still have identical meanings, though the former has an archaic ring to it. A century before Locke, however, William Shakespeare uses language that to me is often completely unintelligible McWhorter admits that he has problems with Shakespeare also. Nevertheless, Shakespeare is closely studied by many and his language recovered. People learn that wherefore simply meant why. But this is not an entirely easy process.

Where we get more actual discussion is when Robinson turns to the account in the Rig Veda of fighting against the Dasas, i.e.dsa,, foe, demon, infidel, slave, servant dsajana,, slave, servant . The circular forts of the Dasa are described in the Veda, and forts of precisely such design have been found in the NorthWest, in Bactria and elsewhere [pp.]. Since these designs are not found down in the cities of the Indus Valley, Robinson seems to conclude that the rya of the Rig Veda therefore are not to be considered as invaders there. However, having begun calling their enemies Dasa, it would not be surprising if the rya took this to mean everyone they subsequently encountered they would not be careful ethnographers, and, as noted,dsadoes come to have a quite general meaning which Robinson doesnt mention and their oral tradition is not liable to be scrupulous in recording the architecture of every enemy encountered. The account of the Dasa forts filled the buffer of oral memory, and they probably made more of an impression than the generally unfortified cities of the plains.

Like the much betterdocumented collapse around BC of the Bronze Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean including the cultures based at Knossos, Mycenae, Troy and Ugarit and in New Kingdom Egypt, the disappearnace of the Indus civilization remains puzzling. In the Mediterranean, it used to be thought that unknown Sea Peoples were responsible. No one, however, has been able to identify them satisctorily for the scholarly community, and so an invasion by the Sea Peoples no longer washes an an explanation of the collapse of civilization in the eastern Mediterranean. [pp.]


Note Upanis.ads of the middle period, between and BC.


That Classical civilization should be despised by modernity contains its own bitter irony, when American education now is nearly as deficient in mathematics and science as it is in the Classics. The modern intelligentsia affects a nihilism whose contempt and ignorance ll equally on Greek, Latin, science, and even progress itself. The result is evidently supposed to be some kind of liberation from the shackles of the past and of arbitrary authority. The effect, however, is merely the autism and stupection of a dumb and selfreferential twilight existence, in an isolated present. The particular, the subjective, and the irrational become the inspirations for conflicts in which even common humanity is dismissed.

However, where is the Bliss? I may have the existence and the consciousness, but the bliss is missing. That is where we are damaged byMya. To be free of illusion and to achieve Bliss in Brahman is Salvation or Liberation, the goal of religious and meditative practice, the Yogas,.

The Indus Valley of India is where the next civilization emerges, again with evidence of Sumerian influence. TheInduspictographic script is not well attested and remains undeciphered. Nor, unlike hieroglyphics and cuneiform, are there any bilingual s to aid in decipherment. So we dont even know what the people of the Indus Valley called themselves or their place perhaps the closest we can get is that the Sumerians called the placeMelua,. The problem is that the Indus Valley civilization did not survive, flourishing only from around to or even just from to . The examples of Indus writing are brief and fragmentary. Just what happened is still mysterious. The advent of IndoEuropeansteppe peopleswith horses and chariots undoubtedly had the kind of effect that is also evident in the Middle East, where small numbers of such people eslished regimes in Babylonia theKassiteDynasty andMitanni, and the technology made a foreign regime possible inEgypt. The Indus cities, however, now seem already declining, vulnerable, and perhaps even abandoned, perhaps because of climatic and hydrological changes. There is little real evidence of violent conquest, though a similar absence is also noteworthy with respect to the Kassite regime in Babylon, the Mitanni, or the Hyksos in Egypt. In any case, India passed into a Dark Age and emerged contemporaneous with the beginning of Classical civilization in Greece, circa BC. Further discussion of this can be found under the treatment of thesteppe peoples.

In Europe, there is only one Classical language common to the whole area, and that is

Since I posted the original essay above, my wife has drawn my attention to the article Hieroglossia, by JeanNol Robert [Nanzan Institute for Religion Culture, Bulletin , ], which echoes in some detail many of the points and sentiments presented here, complete with a critique of attitudes like McWhorters in modern lingusitics, using examples as disparate as Syriac, Armenian, Persian, and the use of Chinese in Japanese literature. I have added an epigraph from Roberts article at the top ofthis section. Otherwise, I warmly recommend the full original, which is availableon line. While I would prefer not to call Classical languages in which literature is actively generated dead languages, as Robert does, he does supply a useful term for classical languages that are used only for liturgy, like Old Church Slavonic or Coptic, and so are approaching truly dead status passive heiroglossic languages. To Roberts excellent discussion of the Arabic element in Modern Persian, I would like to add my discussion of the Arabic and Persian elements inOttoman Turkish.

Another reason is the precedent of science. It does not matter that Issac Newton wrote thePrincipia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalisin Latin. No physicist needs to read thePrincipiain Latin, or even at all, to do physics. Physics has changed so much, and even the practice of Newtonian mechanics is now so different, that the original itself is superseded and superfluous. It is unlikely that one becomes a better physicist by understanding Newton in the original.

The Spread of IndoEuropean and Turkish Peoples off the Steppe,words associated with forestClassical Languages