Shri Talageri’s work is indeed provides the first major model of Aryan
origins within an OIT framework. Importantly Talageri destroys the
scholars with a consistently flippant attitude towards the vedas. He
decimates Michael Witzel, D. Kosambi the buddo-communist and the Arya
samaj brand of scholars. The result is a very solid work on R^ivedic
history many points of which are likely to hold good for a time to
come. The Iranian connection of the kANva angirasas is quite
undeniable given the names like medhathiti, priyamedha and medhya.
This gives us a critical direction to understand the milleu within
which Zoroasterianism, i.e Mazda worship arose- it was within the
fold of the Anu. Thus the origins of Iranian were within Indo-Aryan
and not as an equal level sister group of it. Furthermore Talageri,
quite convincingly demonstrates the association of the R^igveda with
the pUru mainstream. The good part of his research is that unlike many
OITists he argues within a linguistic frame work. Many OITists
persistantly make a fool of themselves by rejecting the monophyly of
IndoEuropean languages and some times even lingusitics itself. He
rightly maintains that Linguistics is a very solid historical science
unlike what some people imagine. He also does not labor under the false
notion that nothing can be ‘proved’ by lingusitics. However, a
careful analysis of his work reveals some problems. I shall detail
these over time.
I do not intend to negatively criticize or attack Shri Talageri’s
research, i am just raising issues that need to be addressed.
Who was divodAsa of the R^igveda?
One of the prominent rulers of the R^igvedic horizon was divodAsa and
Talageri rightly identifies him as associated with the bharadvAjas.
Talageri calls him a pUru. This is supported by the observation hymn
RV I.130.7 by parushcchepa daivodAsi that identifies him as a pUru.
Yet when one looks at the Aryan regnal genealogies we get:
divodAsa as the 49th king in the pUru lineage- successor of bhArata in
the ajAmiDHa line. Talageri identifies divodAsa as an early period
3 generations after him we get sudAsa, sahadeva and somaka in
succession identified by Talageri as belong to Middle an Late period.
So is the entire R^ig compressed into this little window with no other
king’s names surviving in the list?
Now if we look at the kAshirAja dynasty that emerges from nAhusha but
not yayAti and pUru we get the kings:divodAsa and pratardana some way
down this dynasty about 7-8 generations from nahusha. Thus this pair
of divodAsa and pratardana are the most likely ones mentioned in the
R^igveda. Formally they are not pUrus but nAhushas. None of the
correspondng pUru rAjas of that period mentioned in the R^ig
suggesting that main activity of the early R^ig composers occured in
the patronage of the kAshi dynasty.
Similarly if we correctly trace the descent of vishvAmitra from
pururavA through amAvasu and jAhnu we get him to be contemporary of
jamadagni that matches the corresponding generations in the bhArgava
tree. Furthermore we also get him as a contemporary of trishanku of
the ikshvAkus with whom he is traditionally associated. Hence the
original vishvAmitra of the RV maNdala III is not a bona fide pUru as
stated by Talageri. There is one corrupt genealogy in the mahabhArata
that supports Talageri’s claim but it is an anachronism in every other