Manu’s flood, widely believed to be a mythological phenomenon, was real, while the mythical river Saraswati actually existed and had nurtured human settlements of the Harappan civilisation, according to Indian experts.
In Hindu mythology, Manu was the Earth’s first king and the ancestor of all the kings of India. A famous tales about him is of a great flood that destroyed everything on Earth.
BB Lal, former director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) known for his works on Ayodhya, presented a research paper on Manu’s flood at a seminar organised by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) on Monday.
Lal arrived at the findings by linking the flood to the disappearance of the Saraswati river through archaeological evidence.
“Archaeologically, the deluge of the Saraswati took place round 2,000-1,900 Before Common Era (BCE) or broadly, in the first quarter of the second millennium BCE. This was exactly the time of Manu’s flood, which occurred after the Rigveda, but before the beginning of the second millennium BCE. Should we still call Manu’s Flood a myth,” the abstract of Lal’s paper read.
Professor KS Valdiya, former vice-chancellor of Kumaon university, said the mythical Saraswati river had nurtured human settlements of Harappan civilization, and tectonic upheaval and related geological developments had resulted in the river being “reduced to a misfit river in which only flood waters flow”.
“The Saraswati was a victim of river piracy, not once but twice.”
“The Rigveda and the Puranas describe and eulogise this river as the greatest and the finest of all rivers of Bharatvarsh, and the old British time government revenue records show it as the Saraswati or Sarsuti,” reads the abstract of the paper by Valdiya.
The three-day seminar on ‘Antiquity, Continuity and Development of Civilisation and Culture in Bharat (India) up to 1st Millennium BC’ was slated to be inaugurated by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar. He, however, could not make it to the event.
Lal, is also working on a book on the same subject. His book ‘Rama, His Historicity, Mandir and Setu: Evidence of Literature, Archaeology and Other Sciences’ had created an uproar as it talked about the possible presence of a Hindu temple structure beneath the Babri Masjid.
ICHR chairman Sudarshan Rao said the seminar aimed to find a connection among the various civilisations that spanned between 4th millennium BC and 1st millennium BC.
Rao claimed that the ancient civilisations between 4th millennium BC and 1st millennium BC were correlated and added that the seminar will seek to delve into this connection.
ICHR is a flagship research-based institution under the ministry of human resource development.
Twenty-six research papers would be presented during the seminar, which marks the 45th anniversary of the ICHR which was founded on March 27, 1972.
David Frawley, the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in the US, is also taking part in the seminar, along with other noted scholars.