Karpasa in Prehistoric India-A Chronological and Cultural Clue (An Old and Rare Book)

Karpasa in Prehistoric India-A Chronological and Cultural Clue (An Old and Rare Book)

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAL174
Author: K. D. Sethna And H. D. Sankalia
Publisher: Biblia Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 1981
Pages: 214
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 360 gm

Book Description

About The Book

Moves towards a general revision of ancient Indian History Taking the aid of archaeological discovery, documentary material and linguistic study, it seeks to bring about a radical change in (1) comparative chronology, (2) the sequence of cultures and (3) the cultural character of cultures several phases of India's career in antiquity.

By a close investigation of the term karpasa for cotton in Sanskrit literature and by an alignment of its first occurrence with the first ascertained cultivator of the cotton-plant in our country, the body of Indian writing called Sotras is shown to be in its early stage contemporary with the Harappa Culture, the Indus Valley Civilization, of c. 2500-1500 B.C. The natural consequences are a new date for the Rigveda which is commonly held to have started in c. 1500 B.C. a thousand years before the Sotras, and a new understanding of the Indus Valley Civilization as at once a derivative, a development and a deviation from the Rigveda a millennium after this scripture's beginning.

However, the argument from karpasa does not stand alone. Its import is buttressed from several other directions. Pointers from India are rendered sharper by significant suggestions caught from the Mesopotamian region with which the Indus Valley Civilization had commercial and cultural contacts. In agreement with several scholars but with an eye to more particulars, a name for this Civilization is discerned in the Sumerian records. It is then matched again with a closer scrutiny than given before by like-minded scholars with a name applied from more inland India to people of the Indus Valley for the first time in the Satapatha Brahmana which just precedes the earliest Sutras and would thus synchronize by the new chronology most appropriately with the initial development of the Harappa Culture.

The riddle of the Indus script is also confronted and a fairly long debate held on the claims of Proto-Tamil and Proto-Prakrit for the language embodied in it. The latter is adjudged more likely to be the base though other elements as part of the superstructure are not brushed aside.

At the end, as a key-insight, the vocable karpasa itself is disclosed as functioning under a transparent veil in several lists of SumeroAkkadian words which are connected with the trade between the Harappa Culture and Sumer.

The above summary hints at only a few aspects of the manifold research pursued along new lines with a sustained thoroughness. Here is a book opening up vista on novel vista for the Indologist without sacrificing any of the scientific rigour with which honest investigation of the past is to be carried on.

About the Author

is a prize-man of Bombay University in English and Logic and holds the BA degree in Philosophy Honours. He has published a good number of literary and philosophical books. Research in Indian History has been an important side-line of his and he has written articles on several subjects connected with it in periodicals, one of which he has himself edited for the last thirty-two years: Mother India, Monthly Review of Culture, published from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

In his historical studies he has sought to work under the conditions imposed by all the disciplines a modern professional writer in this field accepts Although many of his conclusions accord with old Indian traditional views, he is very far from being a fanatic traditionalist ready to ignore the vision which modern historians have carefully built up of India's past. He pays full attention to it before pointing out its subtle weaknesses, for ultimately it is by convincing trained minds like the builders of this vision that he hopes to win the right judgment on his own labours.

Karpasa in Prehistoric India is his second work of book-length addressed to such specialists as well as to the great mass of general readers interested in historical problems.


This book owes its publication to the enthusiasm and enter prize of a veteran student of Indian historical themes, who was hardly known to the author before he received a letter showing the interest of the correspondent in the author's first venture the historical field, The Problem of Aryan Origins.

When the interested party was sent a copy, he was very pleased by what he discovered in it; and when the present thesis, which meant to corroborate and amplify the earlier one by a different line of investigation, reached his hands, he expressed extreme appreciation, declaring that he would like to get it printed at once.

Such dynamism added to so much receptiveness and gen erosity is indeed a rara avis in the world known to academic researchers. It is to be hoped that the "insight" discerned by this rare bird of a patron-Shri Sita Ram Goel of Delhi-from his uninhibited aerie will communicate itself to the bulk of scholars looking out for fresh disclosures in the vast terrain of India's antiquity.


Not only the man in the street but even scholars would never suspect that such common things of every-day use as cotton and Bajra (pearl millet) could have played a really momentous role in the history of civilization. However, two scholars in India have recently shown this to be so. Dr. Gregory L. Pos schl of the United States, working in India for the last several years, has postulated that Bajra, which is suitable for dry farming, was responsible for the spread of a new Culture in Saurashtra, after the gradual disappearance of the Harappa or Indus Civilization. While this study is confined to Saurashtra at present, Shri K. D. Sethna of Pondicherry has written a very stimulating book apropos of Karpata (cotton) with a wider range.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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