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Read the Indus Write सिंधुलिपि: पाठ:

R V Muraleedharan आर वि मुरलीधर:

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Indus Script deciphered! सिंधुलिपि: पठित

I have deciphered, for the first time, several Indus script writings convincingly in the Sanskrit language! Assigning logical phonetic values to the Indus Script symbols in Sanskrit and reading the script yielded spectacularly successful decipherments that conclusively prove that the language of the ancient Indus Valley was Sanskrit. Though the ancient Indus Valley script is known to the world for more than a century, there is not even a single acceptable decipherment of the Indus script to date in spite of the existence of written documents, unearthed in archaeological excavations, numbering more than 4000. My Sanskrit decipherment yielded messages that matched with the various scenarios portrayed on the Indus Valley seals. Moreover, the deciphered messages are easily understandable for even a layman without any special knowledge in Sanskrit. The writing style is a classic example of logographic rebus writing; but the Harappan authors were highly ingenious in selecting efficient logographs that could accomplish quite an eloquent communication!

Deciphered Indus Seals पठिता: सिंधुमुद्रा:

I. Magic in the Sanskrit Number 4

Shown below are two Indus Valley seals. The first seal depicts an animal with a tail that is not usually found in nature. A natural animal tail is rather longish and not usually found erected perpendicular to the body, as shown in the picture. The tail of the animal in the other picture has natural size and form, except for the horizontal cut-marks. This second animal is part of a composite figure consisting of a man spotting a long hair seemingly wrapped up. The man’s posterior is grafted with the shoulders of a striped animal. The weird appearances of these figures become understandable if only we could read the captions of these figures written in the Indus scripts! That is exactly what we are about to do now!

 

jatavara

 

Luckily 4 lines appear in both the seals and these could be universally taken to represent the number 4.

Now just uttering the number 4 in Sanskrit unravels the mystery like a mantra! 

4 is  chatvAra  चत्वार in Sanskrit.

chatvAra ---> jatvAra ---> jata vAra

चत्वार ---->     जत्वार--à जटा वार

jaTA जटा = branch, hair; vAra वार in Vedic Sanskrit is tail; this was slightly changed into  vAla वाल in Classic Sanskrit. In addition, vAra वार also means covering or enclosing.

We will first decipher the writing on the first picture on the left.

1) Sanskrit Reading: jaTA vAra जटा वार

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (jaTA जटा = branch; vAra वार = tail)

English Translation: A branch-tail.

Meaning: The animal is shown with a tail in the form of a branch of a tree.

 2) Sanskrit Reading: jaTA vAra जटा वार

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (jaTA जटा = hair; vAra वार = covering)

English Translation: Covered with hair.

Meaning: The animal’s neck is covered with long hair.

Now we will turn the attention onto the second picture.

1) Sanskrit Reading: jaTA vAra जटा वार

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (jaTA जटा = hair; vAra वार = covering, enclosing)

English Translation: Covering the hair.

Meaning: The man in the second figure is shown with long hair enclosed in a cover.

2) Sanskrit Reading: jantu avara जन्तु अवर

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (jantu जन्तु = an animal; avara अवर = posterior)

English Translation: The posterior of an animal.

Meaning: This reading explains two features of the composite figure. Only the posterior of the animal is shown without the head; and the animal is attached to the posterior of the man!

3) Sanskrit Reading: cheda vAra छेद वार

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (cheda छेद = cut-off, slit; vAra वार = tail)

English Translation: A slit tail.

Meaning: The tail of the animal is shown as slashed.

4) Sanskrit Reading: cheda vAra छेद वार

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (cheda छेद = cut-off, slit; vAra वार = covering)

English Translation: A slit skin( covering).

Meaning: The animal is portrayed with slit marks on the body.

 5) Sanskrit Reading: jantu vara जन्तु वर

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (jantu जन्तु = an animal; vara वर = the best)

English Translation: The best of the animals!

Meaning: This animal is unmistakably a tiger with stripes in the form of slashed narks and the typically curved tail; and of course, the tiger is the best of the animals!  In Mahabharata, kings are often described as nara shArdUla नरशार्दूल, meaning the tiger among men (nara नर = men; shArdUla शार्दूल = tiger).

The statistical probability of the term for the number 4 in any language accidentally describing the very odd features that are deliberately portrayed by the author of the above epigraphs can definitely be considered to be zero, and therefore, this decipherment simply and spectacularly proves that the language of the Indus script is indeed Sanskrit!

Note: The trail of the above Sanskrit words are still retained in some of the European languages.

‘oura’ is the word for tail in the Greek language, which prima facie appear to be a cognate of the Vedic Sanskrit term for tail vAra वार. vAra वार in Vedas also refers to hair; therefore ‘hAr’ for hair in the Danish language and the English word ‘hair’ are possibly derived from the same Vedic Sanskrit term. The Classic term vAla वाल for tail too has its cognate in ‘hale’, the word for tail  in the Norwegian and Danish languages. The Sanskrit word jaTA जटा for hair, deciphered above, has a cognate in the Latin language, ‘saeta’, which means hair, bristle or brush.

II. Deciphering the bullock in number 3
The harappan seals are resplendent with majestic looking humped bulls with formidable dewlaps. But I could find only one portrayal of the lacklustre mundane looking bullock. This is the seal from a rather new Indus Valley archaeological site, Birhana, in India.

dhurandhara

The vertical three lines indeed represent the number 3. tra is number three in Sanskrit. The term is phonetically composed of two letters ‘th’  त् and ‘ra’ . Its homophone dhur धुर् means a yoke in Sanskrit. Another homophone dhara धर means bearing. Therefore, the repetition of the three lines in the above seal is read as

 three                   +             three

 tra (‘th’+ ‘ra’) +  tra (‘th’+ ‘ra’)  

त्र (त्+           +                त्र (त्+)

1) Sanskrit Reading: dhur dhara धुर् धर

Meaning of Sanskrit words: dhur धुर् = yoke; dhara धर = bearing

English Translation of the reading: The yoke bearer; a bullock.

2) Sanskrit Reading: dhara dara धर दर

Meaning of Sanskrit words: dhara धर = the earth; dara दर = rending, tearing

English Translation of the reading: rending the earth

Explanation of the reading: The bullock, the yoke bearer rends or ploughs the earth.

Note: The bull is also called dhurya धुर्य in Sanskrit in the sense that the animal is fit to be harnessed by a yoke (dhur धुर्). This term is the cognate of the latin ‘trio’ for ox or bullock. The earth, dhara धर, as deciphered above, too has a cognate in the Latin language, ‘terra’, which means earth.

The Sanskrit word dara दर for rending or tearing, deciphered above, has a cognate in the English language, ‘tear’.

Therefore, this decipherment, in theory, could be extended to the English language as three + three = tear(rending)  terra(the earth), which means ploughing. 

III. Evident Sanskrit rebus writing in Indus seals

I have selected a seal that was unearthed from the Indus Valley site of Kalibangan in the state of Rajasthan in India to demonstrate the power of Indus Valley logographic writing in Sanskrit. The seal is mostly engraved with symbols of numerals in the form of row of lines that could be identified uncontroversially as representing numerals. 

 

 

These two numbers are 3 and 7 in the above figure.

There is only an additional figure in the above script- that of a man supporting a load on his shoulders with both of his hands. We will read the above seal with the numerals only.

The combination of symbols, 3 + 7, in Sanskrit is:

thra (‘th’+ ‘ra’)+ sapta   

त्र (त्+)         +   सप्त 

 (thra त्र = 3; sapta सप्त = 7)

1) Sanskrit Reading: udara sambAdha उदर संबाध

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (udara उदर = belly; sambAdha संबाध = constricted)

English Translation:  Constricted belly.

Explanation of the reading: Note that the man sitting with crossed legs has an unusually narrow stomach.

2) Sanskrit Reading: thAra asya pAda तार अस्य पाद

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (thAra तार = to cross over; asya अस्य = his; pAda पाद = feet)

English Translation:  his feet are crossing over.

Explanation of the reading: the man is sitting in the peculiar posture of crossed legs.

3) Sanskrit Reading: dhara asya pAde धर अस्य पादे

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (dhara धर = supporting, carrying; asya अस्य = his; pAde पादे = on the feet)

English Translation:  supported on his feet.

Explanation of the reading: The man is sitting supported only by his two feet.

4) Sanskrit Reading: dhara Amse baddha धर आंसे बद्द

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (dhara धर = carries; Amse आंसे = on the shoulder; baddha बद्द = attached)

English Translation: carries attached on his shoulder.

Explanation of the reading: the human figure on the left in the script carries a load attached on his shoulder.

5) Sanskrit Reading: tharo sambandha तरो संबन्ध

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (tharo तरो = on a tree; sambandha संबन्ध = attached)

English Translation: Attached on a tree

6) Sanskrit Reading: tharo Asya pAde तरो आस्य पादे

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (tharo तरो = on the tree; Asya आस्य = seated; pAde पादे = on the feet)

English Translation:  seated on the feet on a tree.

Explanation of the reading: the cross-legged man is sitting attached to the top of a tree.

 

All the above readings visually describes the portrayal of the man on the seal. It should be emphasised here that we read the peculiar make-up of the man in the picture just by combining the two numbers 3 and 7 phonetically in the Sanskrit language! It is now as clear as crystal that the underlying language of the Indus script is indeed Sanskrit! 

Note that the logogram for the number 7 saptha सप्त undergoes several rebus transformations to similar sounding homophones that have different meanings.

saptha सप्त meaning 7

sambandha संबन्ध meaning attached

sambAdha संबाध  = constricted.

asya pAda अस्य पाद  = his feet

 Asya pAde आस्य पादे = seated on the feet

Amse badha आंसे बद्द = attached on the shoulder

The Sanskrit word thAra तार = to cross over, deciphered above, has a cognate in the Latin language, ’trans’ that means the same.

The Sanskrit word asya अस्य = his, deciphered above, has a cognate in the Latin language, ’eius’ that means the same.

The Sanskrit word pAda पाद = foot, has a cognate in the Latin language, ‘pede’, which means foot.

Therefore, this decipherment, in theory, could be extended to the Latin language as tres(3) + septa (7) = ‘trans eius pede’, crossing over his foot. 

Now only one symbol is left to be read on the above seal - the weight-lifting man. This symbol takes a more definite form in another Indus seal given below. The load that the man carries is portrayed as a balance in the seal below.

 

 

 

The images of a balance-lifting man, a tree and three lines are present in both the seals. The human figure on both the seals lifts up one of his palms. The tree in both the seals is pictured with long and slender leaves, like that of the palm trees. As in English, the palm tree is named after the palm of the hand. ‘tAla’ ताल, denotes both the palm tree and palm of the hand in Sanskrit. A balance or a weight is termed by the word tulA तुला, rhyming with tAla ताल, the palm. Another homophonous term tOla तोल means ‘lifting up’. The prefix ud उद्, in Sanskrit, denotes motion upwards. Adding this to the noun tAla ताल, the term uttAla उत्ताल means lifting up the palm. A balance or a weight is termed by the word tulA तुला, rhyming with tAla ताल, the palm. Following similar arguments, uttulA उत्तुला, denotes lifting up a balance or a weight as the human figure is depicted to be doing. All these terms describe the palm tree and the lifting man in both the pictures. 

The composite symbol is deciphered as

Balance + Man 

tulA   +  marthya

तुला  + मर्त्य  

This symbol, in addition to describing the above-mentioned actions of the human figure, brings forth other features depicted in the seals.

The Sanskrit word ‘uttAlaha marthyaha उत्ताल: मर्त्य:’ means a very strong man. The man with the narrow waist is portrayed as a very strong man. A homophonous utterance uttAla mUrtha उत्ताल मूर्त (uttAla उत्ताल = monstrous; mUrtha मूर्त = shaped) means monstrously shaped. The animal is portrayed as a mythical animal of monstrous proportions! We will now decipher a general statement engraved on the seal.

The combination of symbols in Sanskrit is:

    three              +  seven +  man +   balance

thra (‘th’+ ‘ra)+ sapta + marthya + tulA   

   त्र (त्+)      +  सप्त  + मर्त्य    + तुला

(thra त्र = 3; sapta सप्त = 7; marthya मर्त्य = man; tulA तुला = balance)

7) Sanskrit Reading: udara sambAdha marthyaha uttAlaha  उदर संबाध मर्त्य: उत्ताल:

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (udara उदर = belly; sambAdha संबाध = constricted; marthyaha मर्त्य:= a man; uttAlaha उत्ताल:)

English Translation:  Man with  constricted belly is very strong!

 

IV. Tiger and the fallen man 

 

The key to the decipherment of the other seal lies in understanding the posture of the man. The man is attempting to rise from a fall on the ground, propping up on the knee and the foot to stand up erect!

 

 

The symbol on the extreme right looks like an intersection of two paths. Path is termed the same in Sanskrit; patha. A homophone of patha, pata means ‘fall’ in Sanskrit. The symbol combination is:

Path + 3 + balance + man

The Sanskrit word combination becomes:

patha+ thra (‘th’+ ‘ra’) +  tula + marthya

पथ    त्र (त्+र)   +    तुला  +    मर्त्य

(patha  पथ  = path; thra त्र = 3; tula तुला = balance; marthya मर्त्य = man)

1) Sanskrit Reading: pata dhara tale marthya पत धर तले मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pata  पत  = fall; dhara  धर  = the earth; tale  तले  = on the surface; marthya  मर्त्य  = a man)

English Translation of the reading: Man who has fallen on the surface of the earth (man fallen on the ground).

The tree found in the vicinity suggests the man’s fall from its top.

2) Sanskrit Reading: pata tharO tale marthya पत तरो तले मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pata पत  = fall; tharO  तरो  = from the tree; tale  तले  = on the surface; marthya  मर्त्य  = a man)

English Translation of the reading: Man who has fallen down on the ground from the tree.

3) Sanskrit Reading: pata dhare tola marthya पत धरे तोल मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pata  पत  = fall; dhare  धरे  = on the Earth; tola  तोल  = lifting up; marthya  मर्त्य  = a man)

English Translation of the reading: Man, fallen down on the ground, lifting up.

A scrutiny of the three strokes in the picture reveals that the first line is noticeably inclined to the other two lines. Is it a slip of the epigraphist or was it intended by design? We will now examine the possibility of deciphering the script taking this too into consideration.

Path + 1 + 2 + balance + man

The Sanskrit combination becomes:

patha + eka + dve + tula + marthya

पथ + ऐक द्वे + तुला  + मर्त्य

(patha पथ = path; eka ऐक = 1; dve द्वे = 2; tulA तुला = balance; marthya  मर्त्य = man)

A homophone of eka ऐक, aga अग , means tree in Sanskrit.

5) Sanskrit Reading: pata agAt tale marthya पत अगात् तले मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pata पत = fall; agAt अगात् = from a tree; tale तले = on the surface; marthya मर्त्य = a man)

English Translation of the reading: Man who has fallen from a tree on the ground.

6) Sanskrit Reading: pata AghAta dala marthya पत आघात दल मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pata पत = fall; AghAta आघात = impact; dala दल = breaking, shattering; marthya मर्त्य = a man)

English Translation of the reading: a man shattered by the impact of the fall.

But what is the tiger doing in the above picture? The tiger is shown as pouncing on the man. In fact, we will read exactly the same message from the seal! We will first decipher the word tiger in plain English from the engraved logographs! Remember, the scientific name of the Indian tiger is panthera tigris.

The 2 symbols

path + tree = panther, tiger in English.

patha +  thra (‘th’+ ‘ra’) = pundara पुण्डर, tiger in Sanskrit. Most likely, this word for tiger got

पथ    + त्र (त्+)

transformed to Latin panthera and to English panther. Even after more than 4 millennia this seal could be deciphered not only in the language of Sanskrit – which is no more a language of communication today -in which it is written, but also in the most popular language of the Indo-European family.

7) Sanskrit Reading: pundara dala marthya पुण्डर दल मर्त्य

Meaning of Sanskrit words: (pundara पुण्डर = tiger; dala दल = tearing, breaking; marthya मर्त्य = a man)

English Translation of the reading: Tiger tears up the man.

V. A Scientific Decipherment and its precise verification

As I have mentioned earlier, the decipherment of an unknown writing is possible if the phonetic values of the symbols used in the script are derived by identifying objects represented by the symbols. The correct identification is possible only when the symbol in the script evokes in the mind of the decipherer the same image that was in the mind of the author of the script thousands of years ago! For this to happen the symbols should reasonably resemble the objects they represent since the decipherer has to rely on the same logic to identify the symbol as its author had to, in times immemorial!

Shown below are two Indus Valley seals. Each seal has an elaborate animal motif and two symbols of the Indus script. The elaborately caricatured animal has similar appearance in both the seals. Seals with similar animal motifs are found rarely in the Indus Valley.  

 

Kataka-combined

 

 

The seals differ from each other by a single Indus symbol. It is a reasonable guess that the script is a pointer to the description of the strange animal engraved on the seal. Since the characterization of the animal and the elaborate embellishments found on it on both the seals are identical, it is natural to conclude that the message of the written script is the same. Further, if we exclude the possibility of synonymic representation in logographic writing, it is logical to assume that the two seals were meant to convey the same phonetic reading. This assumption leads to the inference that the differing symbols on the seals have the same phonetic value in the underlying language, In other words, expressing with a new coined phrase, they are synographs.

 

kataka12

 

The symbol of three touching circles shown above is easier to be indentified than the somewhat strange figure depicted to the right. As I have noted earlier, this should be considered as representing circles formed as links in a chain. The appropriate term is kataka कटक, which means a link in a chain: it also denotes a circle. How can this term for a chain-link reconcile with the somewhat strange figure shown on the right. For this we have to examine the figure in detail. The figure consists of three parts: a head, a middle body and a tail. The body has four legs. Legs are prominently higher than the slender body that suggests the portrayed creature crawls with its four legs. We will assume the crawler to be a lizard. The house-lizard is called godhika गोधिक in Sanskrit. godhika गोधिक is homophonous with kataka कटक, a link or a circle. In the seal given below the symbol of the creature is repeated twice. 

 

 

h742a

 

Note that the last symbol in the above seal is the symbol of the lizard without legs.

 

ghotika2

 

The decipherment of the combination of the two symbols of the lizard will explain the reason why the lizard is portrayed without its limbs.

The word combination is  lizard + lizard.

In Sanskrit,

godhika  + godhika

गोधिक     +      गोधिक

(godhika  गोधिक = lizard)

1) Sanskrit Reading: ghAta anga godhika घात अंग गोधिक 

Meaning of Sanskrit words: ghAta घात = destroyed; anga अंग  = limb; godhika गोधिक  = lizard;

English Translation of the reading: A lizard with destroyed limb.

2) Sanskrit Reading: gata anga godhika गत अंग गोधिक

Meaning of Sanskrit words: gata गत  = gone, departed; anga  अंग = limb; godhika गोधिक  = lizard;

English Translation of the reading: A lizard with deprived limb.

3) Sanskrit Reading: agataka godhika अगतक गोधिक

Meaning of Sanskrit words: agataka अगतक  = motionless; godhika गोधिक  = lizard;

English Translation of the reading: A motionless lizard

Another seal is given below in which this creature is portrayed often with incomplete limbs.

  

kataka3

 

crocodile

 

The above Indus epigraph depicts an alligator swallowing a fish. The alligator too is called godhika गोधिक in Sanskrit. The modern Hindi word for the alligator, ‘ghadial’ घडियल, is a corrupt form of this. Note that ‘gator’ in alligator and the ‘codile’ in crocodile too have resonances of the Sanskrit term godhika गोधिक. The alligator is portrayed with an injured leg for the purpose of prompting the reader to identify the correct term for this symbol, which homophonously stands for ghAta anga घात अंग (injured limb) and gata anga गत अंग (deprived limb). Remember, ghAta घात means injured in Sanskrit.

In order to decipher the above Indus seal, we have to use a suitable term for the fish symbol. The fish symbol is the most talked about symbol in the Harappan writing. This symbol is the favourite one for the scholars who believe that the Indus language belongs to the Dravidian family of languages. Their starting point – and nearly the ending too – is the fact that fish is identically termed in the four main Dravidian languages by the word ‘meen’ and this term also denotes the shining stars. Because of the wide circulation this hypothesis enjoyed, there is a prevailing misconception that this term is really a Dravidian one. In fact ‘meen’ is  also a term used in the Sanskrit language as meenaha मीन: for fish.

Though this author does not subscribe to this decipherment, I will use this term for the purpose of demonstrating the decipherment of the above script.

Fish + alligator

In Sanskrit, the word combination is

meenaha + godhika

  मीन:       +     गोधिक

1) Sanskrit Reading: meenaha ghAtaka मीन:घातक

Meaning of Sanskrit words: meenaha मीन:= fish; ghAtaka घातक = killer;

English Translation of the reading: A fish killer

2) Sanskrit Reading: meenaha khAtaka मीन:खातक

Meaning of Sanskrit words: meenaha मीन:= fish; khAtaka खातक = eater;

English Translation of the reading: A fish eater

   

The above decipherments are from my e-book

read more decipherments from the book

 

 

Sanskrit Eloquent Indus Seals

 

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