Below is a reproduction and storification of set of tweets by @Janamejayan on the distortion of Indian history by the British. Full tweets can be read here As you will see, the British could not accept their subjects possessing a history much pre-dated by Christianity i.e before 2000 BC. They also wanted their subjects i.e Indians, to have an inferior view of their own history, become aspirational Englishmen and involve themselves in looking and speaking like the British. Added to this was the British conspiracy of binding Indians in petty jobs on the back of British money. The effect of Macaulay’s “Brown Sahibs” is evident till date – Indians prefer learning English over Hindi, dress as westerners, aspire to migrate abroad, work for MNC’s – a small example is the Software Engineers who write code for English software but don’t create software in vernacular languages.
This is how the British distorted Indian history: In 1784 AD Governor General Warren Hastings appointed Sir William Jones of the East India Company stationed in Kashmir for learning Sanskrit and formulating Indian history. William Jones had collected some historical papers known as Dabristan Documents. Warren Hastings appointed William Jones as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and ordained him to write Indian History. William Jones immediately founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal and on its behalf, embarked on the task of writing Indian History But the history of India was contained in the Puranas, one of the five elements of the Puranas being History. The 5 elements are, Evolution of Earth, Creation, Eras of Manu, Genealogy of Dynasties, & Histories of the kings in various dynasties. William Jones, therefore, had to know what was contained in the Puranas. For this purpose he took the assistance of one, Radhakant Pandit, a learned Sanskrit scholar. Radhakant Pandit apprised him of the great antiquity of Indian History going back to millions of years. Antiquity of Indian History comprised many Mahayugas and Yugas (ages) and that, the current, Kaliyuga, commenced in 3101 BC. Having heard this, Sir Jones was flabbergasted! He knew from Dabristan Documents, that about 153 Indian Kings ruled Bactria for about 6000 yrs before Alexander’s invasion of India. But millions of years was a bit too much for Sir Jones’s consumption. Jones, therefore, at once concluded that – the 1st 3 ages – Krita, Treta & Dwapara Yugas – were chiefly mythological. He contended their mythology was founded on the dark enigmas of their astronomers, or the heroic fictions of their poets. And the 4th, viz. Kaliyuga or ‘ historical age’, Jones decided, cannot be carried back further than 2000 years before Christ. Jones however did not initially dispute the date of the commencement of Kaliyuga. Jones published the following chronology on the basis of the information given to him by Pandit Radhakant, as Chronology – I Sir Jones gave the names and periods of kings in each dynasty:
- Dynasty Period No. of Kings No. of Years
- Barhadradhas 3101 BC to 2100 BC 20 1000
- Pradyotas 2100 BC to 1962 BC 5 138
- Sirunagas 1962 BC to 1602 BC 10 360
- Nandas 1602 BC to 1502 BC 1 (should be 9 kings) 100
- Mauryas 1502 BC to 1365 BC 10 137
- Sungas 1365 BC to 1253 BC 10 112
- Kanvas 1253 BC to 908 BC 4 345
- Balin (Andhra) 908 BC to 452 BC 32 (names of 21 given) 456
- “After the death of the last Andhra King Chandra Bija, which happened according to the Hindus 396 years before Vikramaditya, or 452 BC, we hear no more about Magadha as an independent kingdom.”
- (pages 35 to 40, of the “Chronology of the Hindus”, written in January, 1788)
However Jones took into account Buddha’s birth, determined by another British Scholar M. Dr. Guinness as 1027 BC. So Jones stated that, according to Bhagavata Mitra, Buddha’s appearance was 2 years after Pradyota. Thus Jones formulated another chronology of Magadha Kings as Chronology – II, as under:
- Abhimanyu, son of Arjun 2029 BC
- Pradyota 1029 BC
- Buddha 1027 BC
- Nanda 699 BC
- Balin (Andhra) 149 BC
- Vikramaditya 56 BC
- Devapala, King of Gaur 23 BC
This absurd and arbitrary fixation of chronology was not based merely on conjectures. It had a deep-rooted conspiracy behind it. The Old Testament of the Bible, through the Mosaic Revelation, decreed that the world was born 4000 years before Christ. To the western mind there was nothing anterior to the biblical creation of 4000 years before Christ. In 1642 AD some British Scholars, notably Prof. Light, announced that Biblical date was a mistaken idea and that the world was millions of years old. This contesting of Biblical date angered the Archbishops who considered it a sacrilege. They therefore held a meeting under the chairmanship of Rev. Usher, Archbishop of Ireland. They declared that the world was born in the year 4004 BC on October the 23rd at 9 a.m. And they proclaimed that anyone contradicting it would be treated as a heretic. The Christians, therefore, would not accept any history or culture earlier to this date. It was therefore necessary for William Jones to shorten the millions of years’ antiquity of Indian culture to 4000 years before Christ. Just an egoistic approach that the culture of the subjects should not be either anterior or superior to that of the rulers. The authenticity of the Puranas was established also by astronomical calculations such as the movements of the planets, the stars, etc. Without any knowledge of the systems of Indian Astronomy and with a narrowed view to condense the Indian History to limit it within the “Mosaic” history (Mosaic Revelation), William Jones ventured to start questioning whether the Indian Chronology was not the same as the Christian Chronology ( … but embellished and obsessed by the fancy of their poets and the riddles of their astronomers … ) Jones thus gave the following chronological table according to his hypothesis : (page 47 ibid)
- Christian Hindu Antiquity
- (as in 1788) Year in Christian Era
- Calculated according to previous column
- Adam I Manu Age I (Krita Yuga) 5794 yrs Mosaic 4004+1790 AD
- Noah II Manu Age II (Treta Yuga) 4737 yrs 2949 BC
- Deluge — 4138 yrs 2350 BC
- Nimrod Hiranya Kasipu (Treta Yuga) 4006 yrs 2218 BC
- Bel Bali (Treta Yuga) 3892 yrs 2104 BC
- Rama Rama – Age III (Dwapara) 3817 yrs 2029 BC
- Noah’s death — 3787 yrs 1999 BC
- Pradyota 2817 yrs 1029 BC
- Buddha (Age IV) (Kali) 2815 yrs 1027 BC
- Nanda 2487 yrs 699 BC
- Balin (Andhra) 1937 yrs 149 BC
- Vikramaditya 1844 yrs 56 BC
- Devapala 1811 yrs 23 BC
- Christ — 1787 yrs —
- Narayanapala 1721 yrs 67 AD
- Saka 1709 yrs 81 AD
- Walid — 1080 yrs 708 AD
- Mahmud — 786 yrs 1002 AD
- Chengiz — 548 yrs 1240 AD
- Timur — 391 yrs 1397 AD
- Babur — 276 yrs 1512 AD
- Nadir Shah — 49 yrs 1739 AD
It is a pity that Jones condescends to decry the Indian Poets & astronomers without knowing anything about them or about astronomy. On the other hand, the Western astronomers, who acquainted themselves with Indian Astronomy, were full of praise for Indian Astronomy.
Some of those who praised Indian astronomy are given below: a. Prof. Wilson – Mills History of India – Vol. II. Page 106 “The science of astronomy at present exhibits many proofs of accurate observation and deduction, highly creditable to the science of Hindu astronomers.” b. R.A.S. of Great Britain and Ireland – Vol. II, P. 138, 139 “The Brahmin obtains his result with wonderful certainty and expedition in astronomy.” c. Prof. Bailley – Famous French astronomer “The Hindu systems of astronomy are by far the oldest and from them, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and even the Jews derived their knowledge.” d. W.W. Hunter – Brief History of Indian People – Page 53 “The Brahmins had advanced far in Astronomy before the Greeks arrived in India in 327 BC… The fame of the Brahmin astronomers spread westwards and their works were translated by the Arabs about 800 AD and so reached Europe.” e. Monier Williams – Indian Wisdom – Page 189 “A very strange theory of planetary motion is expounded at the commencement of Surya Siddhanta, Chapter II, which is unknown outside India.” f. Weber’s Indian Literature – Page 255 “During the eighth and ninth centuries, the Arabs were the disciples of Hindus.” g. C.B. Clarke F.G.S. – Geographical Reader “Till of late years we do not know with extreme exactness the longitudes of distant places.” h. Har Bilas Sarda – Hindu Superiority – Page 296, foot-note 1 “The ancient Hindu method of finding longitude by first finding out the Desantara Ghatika, with the aid of observation made at the time of lunar eclipse, is not only scientific but also infallible.” i. W.W. Hunter – Brief History of the Indian People – Page 55 “An Indian Astronomer, the Raja Jai Simha was able to correct the list of Stars published by the celebrated French astronomer De-Le-Hire in 1702 AD.” And many more…
William cast aside those that did not suit his liking and accepting where they suited him. Yet Jones was not quite satisfied at his own arbitrariness at having brushed aside Puranas. Jones tried to find whether he could gather some information from the Greek records. He therefore went through the Greek Classical Accounts. Jones found that at the time of Alexander’s invasion, the then king of Magadha, Xandrimus, had a very strong Army. It consisted of 4000 elephants, 2000 chariots, 20,000 horses and 2,00,000 men. Jones found out that Xandrimus’s successors were, Sandrocottus and Sandrocyptus. Jones also came to know from the Bhagavata Purana that Chandragupta Maurya killed Mahapadma Nanda and usurped his throne. Jones therefore linked both the events and because of the sheer resemblance of the word Sandrocottus to Chandragupta, concluded that Sandrocottus was Chandragupta Maurya. Notwithstanding the dissimilarity of Xandrimus 2 former King Mahapadma Nanda and that of Sandrocyptus to Chandragupta’s son Bindusara. William Jones, very well knew the names of Mahapadma Nanda and Bindusara vide the chronology published by himself, but he was faced with such a situation that he had to identify Sandrocottus of 327-323 BC with Chandragupta Maurya of 1502 BC This was because of his own Chronology! He, apparently in consultation with the then Governor General Warren Hastings, changed the date of coronation of Chandragupta Maurya, patently dishonestly, to 324 BC blanking 1200 years of Indian History, the full details of which are available in Puranas. In the year 1807 AD, a military officer of the East India Company, Col. Joseph Bodin, donated all his earnings amounting to £ 25,000/- after his retirement from Service, to the Oxford University for establishing a Sanskrit professorship seat. The prerequisite for this fund was to make the British scholars well versed in Sanskrit. The plot behind this generosity was, with this knowledge of Sanskrit, deride and discredit the scriptures of the Hindus by misinterpreting them and destroy the faith placed in them by the educated Hindus so as to convert them to Christianity. The idea obviously was that religious slavery would expedite and intensify political slavery. Professors who passed out of that faculty were known as “Bodin Professors.” It was these professors that were entrusted with the work of writing Indian History. Their intention clearly was, to misrepresent scriptures and Puranas, and spread Christianity – not to trace the correct history of India. Max Meuller, known for his love for Sanskrit, was also an applicant for the professorship, claiming that owing to his translations, many an educated Hindu had converted to Christianity, but he was not selected, losing out to the British, Monier Williams. The Greek Classical Accounts upon which Williams Jones placed his faith on finding the name of Sandrocottus which resembled Chandragupta were actually exploits of Alexander, described by 4 chroniclers who accompanied him during his expeditions. They were lost even a couple of centuries later. However, Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador to the Magadha Emperor, wrote a book by name “Raicoca” (Indica), relating to the social life of the Indians during his stay in India which was around 300 BC. Even this book was lost, but a few sheets here and there became available. On the basis of those sheets Arrian, an Italian chronicler, and a few others also, such as Diodorus, Curtins etc. Strabo in 1st century had expressed that “Generally speaking, men who have hitherto written on the affairs of India, are a set of liars”. Nevertheless, a German historian Schewenbeck, gleaned as much as he could, from the available sources, added his own impressions, and wrote a book “Indica”, published in the year 1846 AD. On the basis of these scrappy notes, a British historian J. W. McCrindle wrote two books, one in 1877 and the other in 1893 under the title “Ancient Indian History as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian”. These baseless Greek Classical Accounts were taken as the foundation by the Bodin Scholars and other British historians to write the history of India, ignoring the vivid history already contained in Puranas which were in Sanskrit. The following are some of the details about what Megasthenes had to say in regard to India at the time of his stay:
- At the time of Alexander’s invasion the king of Magadha was Xandrimus whom Sandrocottus killed and usurped the Kingdom.
- Pataliputra was the capital of Magadha.
- Xandrimus had a large Army of 4000 elephants, 2000 chariots, 20,000 horses and 2,00,000 infantry.
- The kings had a title tagged to their names.
- Seleucus had sent ‘Megasthenes’ there, as his ambassador, and ‘Demoeos’ to his son Sandrocyptus at Pataliputra, etc.
- Sandrocyptus conquered the whole of Bharat and also up to Oxus River.
- Seleucus married his daughter to Chandragupta
Of these, only 1 – that he killed the previous king & usurped the throne, would apply if Sandrocottus is taken as Chandragupta Maurya. He did not have a large army, nor conquered the whole of Bharat, but came to the throne owing to the political prowess of Chanakya. Neither he, nor any of the kings in the Mauryan dynasty Mahapadmananda’s dynasty whose name bore no resemblance to Xandrimus. The son of Chandragupta was Bindusara, whose name, again, bore no resemblance to Sandrocyptus. On the other hand, as for Puranas, Mahapadmananda was anointed to the throne 150 years after Parikshit’s birth which was in 3138 BC. Samudragupta was also very strong and had the command of the entire army with which he defeated the armies of Seleucus. The second wife was from Licchavi Kshatriya family. Her son Ghatotkacha was the favourite of Chandragupta. Chandragupta planned to install Ghatotkacha on the throne. Having come to know this, Samudragupta revolted. With the entire army he commanded & help from his grandfather, Gunakama Deva Varma, the King of Nepal, Samudragupta slew Ghatotkacha. Samudragupta killed own father Chandragupta and the minor Pulomavi, and crowned himself to the throne of Magadha. With his mighty army, Samudragupta then conquered the entire Bharatavarsha. Samudragupta then on conquered from the Oxus River (then part of Greece) to the southern end of Bharata, then ruled by the Vakatakas. The Greek historians also wrote that Sandrocottus, leading a large army, revolted against and killed his father. This applies to Samudragupta and not to Chandragupta Maurya. He was thus the Sandrocyptus of Megasthenes. By identifying Chandragupta of Maurya Dynasty with Sandrocottus, William Jones and later historians wilfully and dishonestly curtailed the history of India by 1200 years on this count alone. In his foreword to Mudra Rakshasam, Prof. H. H. Wilson remarked that William Jones was imperfectly acquainted with his authorities as he quoted a poem of Somadeva, which was not relevant. However Col. Wilford supported Jones on the ground that there was evidence in Mudra Rakshasam itself. This was again contradicted by Prof. Wilson, who wrote – “it does not appear that Col. Wilford had investigated the drama himself… as he continues to quote Mudra Rakshasam for various matters it does not contain”. (Sistla Lakshmipati Sastry) Prof. M. Troyer raised objection to identifying Chandragupta Maurya with Sandrocottus, on the basis of Rajatarangini. Rajatarangini was the history of the Kings of Kashmir from 3450 BC to the date of its writing by Kalhana in 1148 AD. In 1859 AD. V. A. Smith described Rajatarangini as “The Sanskrit book which comes nearest to the European notion of a regular history. It is unfortunate that, despite objections raised by some of the western ‘orientalists’ and many Indians, Max Meuller chose to confirm the theory of William Jones, branding the writings of the Indian historians as vague. Troyer had even sent a personal letter to Max Meuller, but did not get any reply from him. Max Meuller, knowing the power he wielded among the credulous ‘orientalists’, declared the identification of Chandragupta Maurya as the King of Magadha during Alexander’s invasion in 327-322 BC, as the Sheet Anchor of Indian history.
- E. J. Rapson, in his Ancient India (Cambridge History of India, 1922 – Pages 469, 470) had categorically stated that ‘Chandramas’ in Sanskrit corresponds to the Greek apparition ‘Xandrimus’. Dr. Fleet wrote, “We should not be able to deduce the age of Asoka from the Puranas or objected to Max Meuller’s ‘Sheet Anchor’ of Indian History. The ancient Indian history in its entirety has been constructed on the basis of this sheet anchor!
- But we should find ‘Rajatarangini’ would place him somewhere about 1260 B.C… And then we should set about arranging the succession of the Kings of India itself, from the Puranas, with 1260 BC for the approximate date of succession of Asoka, as our starting point”. (Ashoka being his grandson, Chandragupta Maurya’s age must be even earlier.)
- H. H. Wilson (in his introduction to Vishnu Purana) writes: “After the date of great war, the Vishnu Purana, in common with other Puranas which contain similar lists, specifies kings and dynasties with greater precision and offers political and chronological particulars, to which, on the score of probability, there is nothing to object.”
- Justice Telang wrote: “It appears to me that in these days there has set in a powerful tendency in Europe to set down individual and classes of works of our ancient Sanskrit literature to as late a date as possible… I cannot leave this topic without entering an emphatic protest against the perfectly arbitrary method of fixing dates”.
- A Somayajulu (Dates in Ancient History of India) wrote: “The history now taught in Indian schools is simply a heap of such misrepresentations and baseless conjectures”.
- Many other India and foreign scholars (Col. Tad, M. A. Stein, Prof. B. Keith, Prof. T. S. Narayana Sastry, Kuppiah etc.) pointed out the inaccuracies of the arbitrary assignment of dates to Indian dynasties and Indian literature.
Dr. Kota Venkatachalam threw a “challenge” to the believers in the current false history of India, to come out with their authorities and arguments in support of their views and submit their report in writing to the judgement of any tribunal competent to deal with the matter; but it evoked no response. Dr. Sri Ram Sathe wrote to Dr. Mujumdar of the Archeological Society of India, reminding him of the challenge thrown by Dr. Kota Venkatachalam. He observed that the attitude of the Archeological Society in not responding to the ‘challenge’, issued after a fifty year research in ancient Indian History, is an insult to historians. Even then, only a lukewarm acknowledgement was received from there, evading the issue. The arbitrary imposition of their views on ancient Indian history by western scholars had their effect on a number of other events. Even though Vikramaditya was included in the chronology of William Jones, the subsequent British historians branded him as a fictitious figure. They ignored his great grandson Salivahana also but recognised only one king, Bhojaraja in the Paramara dynasty. The Vikram Saka (57 BC) founded by Vikramaditya was ignored. The Salivahana Saka founded by Salivahana in 78 AD was attributed by some to ‘Kanishka’ (who actually reigned from 1294 – 1234 BC) and by some to an Andhra Satavahana king Hala Satakarmi (who ruled from 489 to 484 BC). The year of Buddha was brought down to 483 BC, whereas the same was shown in different dates between 2000 BC and 800 BC in other countries of Buddhism, such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan etc. The period of Adi Sankara was brought down from 509 BC to 8th century AD. The dynasty of Satavahanas was brought down to 289 years after Christ, but actually they ruled for 506 years from 833 to 327 BC, when their last king Chandrabija (Xandrimus of Megasthenes) was killed. Many more such inaccuracies have been wantonly and maliciously brought into the Ancient Indian history, which our children are being taught for the last century or so. Granting for a moment that there is a possibility of Puranas and Indian scholars being wrong, and that the British Scholars were right, we may proceed to examine what the European scholars have themselves stated in this context:
- Max Meuller : “India – What It Can Teach Us in page 63 “During the last twenty years, I had the excellent opportunities of watching a number of native scholars under circumstances where it is not difficult to detect a man’s character, I mean in literary work, and more particularly in literary controversy. I have watched them carrying on such controversy, both, among themselves and with certain European scholars, and I feel bound to say that, with hardly one exception they have displayed a far greater respect for truth, and a far more manly and generous spirit than we are accustomed to even in Europe or America. They have shown strength, but no rudeness; nay, I know that nothing has surprised them as much as the coarse invective to which certain Sanskrit scholars have condescended, rudeness of speech being, according to their view of human nature, a safe sign of not only bad breeding but of want of knowledge. There have been, with few exceptions, no quibbling, no special pleading, no untruthfulness on their part; certainly none of that low cunning of the scholar who writes down and publishes what he knows perfectly well to be false and snaps his fingers at those who still value truth and self-respect more highly than victory of applause at any price. Let me add that I have been repeatedly told by English merchants that Commercial honour stands higher in India that in any other country and that a dishonoured bill is hardly known there.”
- W.W. Hunter: The History of Indian people – (1881 AD) “What the Greek Ambassador Magasthenes learned to his great surprise was that there was no Indian who spoke untruth.”
- Strabo : “Indians are so truthful that they do not lock their doors. No written documents are necessary for their agreements.”
- Arrian : “No Indian is know to have spoken untruth.”
- Idrisi :”Indians by their very nature are just.” etc. etc.
More than the sin committed by William Jones, the Bodin Professors & other British historians with jaundiced eyes are… Blunder, bordering on sacrilege is being committed by our own historians and archaeologists whose blood is saturated with slavish culture of the west and the distorted history injected into them by the ilk of Bodin professors, whose main objective was to destroy the faith of the educated Hindus in their scriptures. “For this purpose, they should erase Sanskrit and superimpose English, by whatever means – rewarding only those with administrative authority, who are proficient in English, bestowing respectability only to those who adopt western habits and manners, reducing Sanskrit scholars to abject poverty, converting vulnerable Hindus to Christianity either by force or by bribing them with petty jobs, creating and encouraging a hiatus in the social structure of Hindus and disuniting it, et al, for which large sums of monies are being pumped from the West.” While it is understandable that the Imperial Colonial masters impose such measures to ensure absolute superiority over their subjects, it is deplorable that after 67 years of independence we continue to be mentally their slaves, just as Macaulay intended. “Indian education should produce a class of people, who merely dress and eat like Indians but think like the British, to serve the interests of the alien rulers”. Their attitude is “dream what you desire, and believe in your dream.” Sistla Lakshmipati Sastry gives the main reasons for this aberration and they are:
- The cancerous worm that had penetrated into the brains of our scholars, and in particular the ‘foreign – educated’ scholars, that whatever is foreign is great and whatever Indian, inferior. Whatever has been taught in foreign Universities and by scholars passing out from these is the acme of knowledge; and that any superstructure by way of research may be built on it only on the walls of those Alma Maters. It is like running after a distant mirage for water, crossing a river of cool fresh water.
- The second and more important, being that none of such scholars who perpetrate the distorted history can read or understand Sanskrit, the language in which our past history, Puranas, has been recorded – nor do they have a will to do some research into them. Is it not the same age-old story of seven blind men investigating an elephant?
- Successive Governments since the advent of Independence have done nothing to change the Macaulayian system of education and infuse a national outlook. On the other hand, with political ambition of catching ‘minority votes’, some individuals and institutions did their best to “de-Indianise” and “de-nationalise” education, laying stress on ‘convent’ education, making children totally blind to their culture.
- The unbecoming laziness on part of the professors and concerned persons and the inclination to let the sleeping dogs lie. They get their pay all right, why bother?
- Commitment to un-Indian ideological theories such as Capitalism, Communism etc.
History of a country should be based on facts recorded by the people of that country, and verified through archaeological and numismatic evidences such as inscriptions, coins etc. If the latter are not available, particularly for a period hundreds of years old, it cannot be said that the fact does not exist. History should not be based solely on broken pot pieces and worn out coins. It sure sounds illogical and stupid that since the clothes of one’s grandparents do not exist now, therefore, logically, one’s grandparents also never existed! To set the matters right is a Herculean task – but this must be done, the sooner the better. This (restoring our real history) cannot be done by individuals. Attempts in the past by certain individuals by correspondence with the Archaeological Department, or through books published by them went unheeded and uncared for. The Government on its own, or through historical research units in different states should undertake research and establish the truth. Sistla Lakshmipati Sastry wrote: Some tend to question – “What is the earthly use of reviving the past history? How will it benefit the country?” The answer is simple. Do you not like to revive the past glory of your family if a couple of your predecessors in the family lost it for whatever reason? Revival of the past is the rejuvenation of the present. When it is so for a family, how about the history and culture which belongs to the oldest civilisation of the world? Do you like to be called History-less (charitraheen) in spite of the glorious past? The culture of the past inspires the culture of the future. There are also some persons who say, “Why upsurge now? Why not be liberal?” Yes, why independence? Why not be liberal and request Britain (as in the past) or America or Italy, to rule our country? This is where patriotism comes in. Eschewing our past culture is like disowning the mother. It is like disowning our own country, our own soul. Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land ? Aum Tat Sat