James comments on Danielou perspective (update: 2018: James could be right. Our point is really about ‘whoever…’: To speak about Dravidians or Tamil can be incorrect pushed back so far. There are any number of possibilities but our basic point stands: the indian tradition predates the aryans. Note that modern tamil would be as far from its source as hindi from proto-sanskrit)
Commment on Danielou post
03.09.09 at 3:22 pm ·
I think the Dravidian hypothesis is just as problematic (if not more so) as the Aryan. For one, the earliest attestations of Tamil show a very heavy influence from IA (in contrast, the impact of Dravidian on IA has been extremely minor). Also, the evidence indicates that the Dravidians hadn’t developed an urban culture before contact with North India became commonplace. The idea that the Harrapans were not Dravidians is actually starting to become the consensus opinion even among mainstream academics.
And my comment in reply:
03.09.09 at 3:40 pm ·
To me the issue is not the Indus civilization, about which I can’t draw any conclusions, but the overall context of the history of India, given the relatively late appearance of the Indo-Europeans, and the outstanding presence of Shaivism going back many centuries if not millennia.
Also, the Dravidians have been underestimated: we cannot ascribe the religious tradition we see later to the Aryan literature.
Further, as Danielou points out, much of the later Sanskrit literature is transposed from earlier pre-Sanskrit sources. ‘
Many of the Puranas are translations. Finally, of course, the Jains surely long precede the Aryan entry.
I fail to see how we can deny the Aryan migration thesis, whatever the dates.