Vedic-puranic proto-Sanskrit : as deciphered in the Indus script / Sambhu Nath Mondal

Published: 22nd February 2011
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The exciting discoveries of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in the 1920s established, incontrovertibly, the existence of a highly developed civilization – the Indus Valley civilization, during the 4th and 3rd millennium before Christ’s birth. Yet, sadly, there is no recorded history of the subcontinent, nor does there exist any authentic account of specific timelines of the ruling kings/dynasties before the Buddha’s times (576-496 BC). The chief reason, seen for this discrepancy, being the enigmatic Indus script. The baffling script, with its several variants, has been found to exist on clay tablets, ivory plaques, steatite and metallic seals, potsherds, copper plates, or punch-marked metallic coins all over the Indian subcontinent and beyond. Despite these myriad examples of the perplexing script, its decipherment has remained a challenge!

Vedic-Puranic Proto-Sanskrit as Deciphered in the Indus Script is yet another effort in the direction. The author: a leading scriptologist, with varied interests in Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Brahmi, Indus-Brahmi and several other languages, here tries to decode the hitherto undeciphered, ever-challenging Indus Script on purely syllabo-alphabetic basis reading, from left to right as in Brahmi and Devanagari Script, after segregation of the proto-Indic inscriptions, starting from the early Indian indigenous bi-scriptal (Indus and Brahmi) and uni-scriptal (Indus only) coins. The language of the Indus Script or proto-Indus Script, says Sambhu Nath Mondal, is found to be a variant of Paishachee Prakrit, blended with a few Sanskrit or near-Sanskrit words everywhere and even in the famous Gayatri hymn of the Rigveda was composed on a steatite seal in Paishachee Prakrit – thereby indicating the origin of Sanskrit (refined) from Prakrit (original) through Pali.

Sambhu Nath Mondal: ex-Deputy Controller of Legal Metrology under the State Government of West Bengal in India, is an internationally renowned metrologist recognized by BIPM, France, PTB, Germany, and Russian Academy of Sciences for his published works.

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