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In Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India Hardcover – October 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With this work, the authors, all three renowned Yoga and Vedic scholars with multiple publications to their names, set out to challenge the generally held theory that advanced culture began in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Relying on a reexamination of redated Vedic literature and denying that an "Aryan invasion" from the north ever took place, which allegedly would have introduced advanced culture into India at a relatively late date, they claim instead that advanced culture already existed in the Indus valley?before the flourishing of Sumer. The work is broad in scope, well documented, and extensively illustrated. Although this book is written for the lay reader, the authors hope that it will stir the scholarly world as well. Public and academic libraries will want to have this title.?Ria Koopmans-de Bruijn, C.V. Starr East Asian Lib., Columbia Univ.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

For decades, schoolbooks have taught that Sumer was the cradle of civilization. conventional scholarship has also held that Aryan civilization came to India by way of invasions from the north. In Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India is a ground-breaking book wherein three renowned scholars show that there was no "Aryan invasion", and that India, not Sumer, was the cradle of civilized humanity. Through exploring the rich symbols, metaphors, and myths of the Vedas, we can examine the wealth of India's spirituality and discover its relevance for today's world. -- Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; Quest ed edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835607208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835607209
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Everyone interested in knowing the true history of India MUST read this book!
Ani
To understand their imperialist motives of establishing the "Western superiority", read Ronald Inden's "Imagining India".
Pyne
Modern research has sufficient evidence to, in fact, suggest an opposite direction of transmission!
Pyne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 113 people found the following review helpful By tepi on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
George Feuerstein is an excellent writer who is always lively and has many fine books to his credit. In the present book he and his two collaborators - Sanskritist Subhash Kak and Vedic scholar David Frawley - have set out to bring us up to speed on the true nature of Ancient India and the profound importance and continuing significance of Indian thought for world civilization.

By fully taking into account the mass of evidence which has been accumulating over the past century, evidence from archaeology, satellite surveys, linguistic studies, etc., which a Eurocentric and reactionary 'educational' establishment continues to ignore, the authors have written an exciting and revolutionary book which pretty well renders obsolete all previous studies of Ancient India. In other words, it is a book which clearly demonstrates that much of what we have been taught about Ancient India (and which our highly paid academics continue to teach) is complete nonsense. But perhaps this will surprise no-one.

The book falls into two parts. In the first we learn that there was no such thing as an 'Aryan invasion' of India. It is a myth based upon a few idle conjectures of Max Muller along with a couple of scraps of misinterpreted evidence, an ideology masquerading as historical 'fact' (as is so much else today) because it fitted in so well with the Imperialist ambitions and racialism of the West.

India has always been multi-racial and multi-cultural, and the 'Aryans' were there all along. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro were abandoned, not because of any supposed 'Aryan invasion,' but for the simple reason that the vast and sustaining Sarasvati river dried up c.1900 B.C.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David Oldacre on December 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I decided that it was time to extend my studies of the antiquity beyond that of the Middle East into India, I looked at the reviews of several books on Indian history, and the title of this book captured my attention because the current focus of my studies is on the development of the earliest civilizations. Having read only a few of the reviews, I did not realize that I had acquired a book on a rather controversial subject.
In retrospect perhaps, I should have been more careful as my knowledge of Indian history was somewhat sparse. Because the thesis of this is primarily based upon a reconciliation of the archaeological record with the Vedic scriptures, I now realize that it is important to read it with a more complete knowledge of Ancient India than I had. That is not to criticize the book in any way, because it contains a plethora of information about which I was almost completely ignorant. I think it was also helpful to my understanding that the book is separated into two parts, with Part One focussing on the analysis of the archaeological findings, and Part Two focussing on cultural and spiritual legacy of Ancient India.
Part One includes an overview of Vedic writings themselves, a detailed discussion on the 19th century theory of the Aryan invasion, the cities of the Indus valley, the reconstruction after the catastrophic drying up of the Sarasvati River at around 1900BC, and what the Vedic scriptures have to say about "The Land of the Seven Rivers". The later chapters on the Indus Sarasvati script, and the Neolithic town of Merhgarh is rounded out by a final chapter giving seventeen arguments about why the Aryan invasion never happened.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "bluejay54" on December 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a student of yoga and lover of Indian culture, I am interested in Indian history and Vedic spirituality. The main point of this book is that Harappan (Indus/Saraswati) civilization is the first human civilization, preceding even Sumer, and led directly to classical Indian culture. There is little genuine "sifting through the latest archaeological, geological and linguistic evidence" [back cover blurb]. Instead, the authors present an unbalanced review, with conclusions apparently selected to conform to prior beliefs and the standards of evidence occasionally changed to do so. For example, although professional historians cannot be trusted because their fear of losing tenure prevents them from challenging widely-held views [3], we later we learn that the Rg Veda is in a state of "near-perfect preservation" [201] because scholarly consensus says so. Likewise, a "growing number of geologists converge" [91] on the view that the Saraswati dried up ~1900 BCE and forced the Harappan peoples eastward toward the Ganges. Believing something to be both true and not-true at the same time may be very Eastern, but cheap play upon American anti-intellectualism is a two-edged sword. The book is badly uninformed about science: scientists "observe cause-and-effect relationships" [217]-imagine Hume and Kant rolling in their graves over that one! And they decry the "ever popular archaeological preoccupation with pottery shards [98]"-well, it bored me it graduate school too, but like it or not, the major data of archaeologists is pot shards. Regarding Indo-Aryan origins, Map 2 [52] depicts the "recently proposed homelands" of 10 scholars-only 2 of which are cited in their "Select Bibliography." (Select is right!Read more ›
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