The fall of civilizations

The reason I am proud to be an Indian.

The past 2500 years of human history have been very agitative. Many civilizations have disbanded in the wake of revolutionary waves that originated from some semi-barbaric cultures of the medieval period. Here, we will have a superficial look at how the world has completely transformed in the past 2000 years and how India has responded to the shattering forces of the world.

I have provided a very brief documentation of the major civilizations that have existed so far, at the end of the article. One may have a cursory look at it.

From the documentation given below, it is clear that there are some common reasons for the fall of civilizations.(A civilization is identified by its culture and not by the ethnicity of its people.)

Major reasons for decline of a civilization
1) Invasion by other civilizations
2) Self-degenaration

We see that most of the civilizations of the antiquity don’t survive today. (The documentation only provides a list of major civilizations, but there were numerous other minor civilizations that have got extinct.) The major theme in the history of humanity for the past 3000 years has been the invasion and destruction of one civilization by the other. And only the most resilient or the most brutal have survived to this day. We have seen so many civilizations that flourished in the history but terminated by one brutal attack of the barbarians.

The great civilizations that the world has LOST
The magnificent Egypt was terminated by one attack form the persians, Hittite was terminated by one attack from Babylonia, the mighty Greeks fell by one attack from the Romans, Persians and Romans could not defend themselves from the motivated Arab tribes with an agenda, the Mayans and the Incas could not survive the brutal Spanish assault, the Australian aborigines and the American Red Indians could not escape the brunt of  European aggression. Such cultural intolerance has prevailed in the world in the last 2000 years that it completely wiped out some of the most majestic civilizations ever built.

An Indus Valley seal showing a yogi.

India’s Response to these forces
Even the eternal Indic civilization(India) could not escape these powerful cultural disturbances. Every major invasive tribe that the world has produced, has poured blood over India but none could succeed in subjugating the spirit of India. We find seals in the Indus Vally civilization(IVC) depicting a yogi performing Yoga, and today more than 10 crore people do Yoga regularly. We find the seals with the symbol Swastika printed on them from the IVC, even today during festivals, the people of India have Swastika printed in their houses denoting prosperity. The seals of IVC depict a Shiva like yogi in various Yogic poses, even today we find people in India revering Lord Shiva. The seals of IVC depict bulls and cows printed on them, even today many Indians respect cows as they respect their ancestors.

Indus Valley Swastika Seals

In spite of all the parasitic and intolerant barbarians and looters invading India, ranging from Greeks, Huns, Turks, Arabs, Mongols(Mughals) to French, British, Dutch, Portuguese, we have not lost India. Every barbaric conquerer in the world has conquered the mighty and ancient Indic Civilization, but none succeeded in conquering the spirit of India. The attacks on the Indic civilization are not over yet. Today the western culture is trying hard to erode this mighty culture indigenous to the Indian sub-continent and the one way globalization is trying hard to ruin this oldest continuous civilization of the world. India has survived the barbarians, religious converters and the European looters, but to this day, the divided😦 India  is identified by its native culture. No other country could perform this feat. No nation in the history has survived the Arabic Revolution of 600AD, the Industrial Revolution and Westernization(one way Globalization) other than India(and China). Out of the 9 major  civilizations mentioned below that existed in the BCs, only India and China survive today. I am proud to be a part of this eternal civilization.

As Allama Iqbal (1873-1938), an Indian thinker and poet, puts it

यूनान-ओ-मिस्र रुमा सब मिट गए जहाँ से, अब तक मगर है बाकी नाम-ओ-निशाँ हमारा |
कुछ तो बात है की हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी, सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौर-ए-ज़मन हमारा |

Map showing the provinces in the kingdom of the mighty king Bharat, after whom India got its name, Bharat. Kauravas and pandavas of MahaBharat were descendants of the same king Bharat. Hence, the epic was named after him as MahaBharat.

Though our Bharat has survived such hardships, today it does not remain that powerful ancient nation which extended from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east and Baltistan in the North to Lanka in the South. 1100 years of slavery, under a series of invaders, has wiped out from our minds the way our ancestors used to perceive the world. This long slavery has transformed a peaceful, ahinsaka and spiritual nation, into a nation full of corruption and communial violence, a nation that has lost pride over its glorious past, a nation where we are still mental slaves of foreign imperialism. We believe that speaking in Hindi or Kannada is associated with illiteracy and speaking in English is associated with Science. We believe that all the Maths and Science has evolved in Europe and forget our great Scientists and Mathematicians  like VarahaMihira,  Bhaskaracharya,  Baudhayana,  Bharadwaj who worked in fields ranging from Algebra to Calculus and Chemistry to Aeronautics. We assume that computing has originated in Europe/America but forget that Panini was the first person in the world to write (Sanskrit) grammar in the form of an algorithmic program. (By the way, the grammar of modern programming languages is based on Backus-Naur form, which was used for the first time by Maharshi Panini in his work.)

When we talk of Economics, we think of Adam Smith and Karl Marx but conveniently forget about the amazing economics theory of Maharshi Chanakya. When we think of a multi-talented personality, we instantly recall Leonardo Da Vince but forget Maharshi Patanjali.(By the way, this is the same Patanjali after whom Swami Ramdev has named the huge Patanjali YogaPeeth.) Once, people from all parts of the world used to come to Nalanda and Takshashila for higher studies and today we opt for Harvard, Princeton, London Business School and MIT for higher studies. Today, our nation is in total distress and we all Indians aka Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Budshists need to come together to pave way for that glorious ancient Bharat that was once the center of learning in the world. India needs to rise above petty religion and caste politics and keep the nation at the foremost priority so that all of us can prosper simultaneously. (While we should have a strong national view, we should have a strong humanitarian view as well, so that we feel the pain of poor not only in India, but of every human and even animals.) At the same time, we should not turn atheists as an atheistic society is more prone to instability than a spiritual one.

Sri Krishna says to Arjun, just before the war of mahAbhArata,

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ॥
Don’t act like a eunuch, O Arjuna, this does not suit you. Throw away the feeble weakness of heart and rise up (to fight).

I would give this same advice to my fellow Indians today(including myself).
Don’t get carried away with you luxurious life. See the pitiful condition of your motherland and rise up, to eliminate this corruption, communal violence and make your Bharat a world leader, like it was in ancient times.

As Dr. Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975) the great British historian, predicts
At the close of this century, the world would be dominated by the West, but that in the 21st century “India will conquer her conquerors.” I can see that the transformation being mentioned by Toynbee has started and everyone will notice it within 5 years, if my analysis carries any substance.

वन्दे मातरम् ॥

(We will analyse in a later article, what feature of it makes the Indic civilization so resilient to the invaders that in spite of such tremendous invasions, the Indian culture is still firmly grounded in the hearts of most of the Indians!)

A brief documentation of the major civilizations

The info below summarizes what the world looked like in the antiquity and what major civilizations have existed so far. This info has been taken solely form Wikipedia. The numbers are approximate.

The Hittite Civilization
Location: Anatolia(Modern Turkey)
Origin:  1800 BC
Decline: 1100 BC
Duration: 700 years
Reason(s) for decline:  Rise of the Assyrian Empire(Predecessor of the Babylonian Civilization). The Hittite civilization got engulfed in the Assyria.

The Babylonian Civilization
Location: Mesopotamia(Modern Iraq)
Origin: 1600BC
Decline:  500BC
Duration:1100 years
Reason(s) for decline: Conquered and absorbed by the Persian Empire in 539BC.

The Egyptian Civilization
Introduction: The Egyptian civilization was one of the most advanced of its time.
Location: Modern Egypt
Origin: 3100BC
Decline: 500BC
Duration: 2600 years
Reason(s) for decline: Conquered by the Persians in 500BC, then by the Greeks in 300BC, then by Romans in 30BC and finally by the Arabs in 639AD. This series of continual attacks completely destroyed the spirit of Egypt and the world lost a  great civilization. Today that genius Egyptic Civilization which created the massive civil engineering structures much ahead of its time is dominated by the Arabic culture.

The Greek Civilization
Introduction: The Greeks were one of the most powerful and influential people in the world history. Their vast kingdom extended from Modern Turkey and Egypt in the west to Afghanistan in the east. Alexander was the most powerful king of his time and was the major force which established the hegemony of the Greeks over many other cultures.
Location: This map below shows the huge expanses of land under the Greek leadership.
Origin: 800 to 600BC
Decline: 146BC
Duration: Approx. 700 years
Reason(s) for decline: Conquered by the Romans in 146BC, though the Greek culture itself did not end in 146BC. Greeks had already influenced the Romans so much that the roman culture had borrowed many elements from the Greeks.

The Greek Empire

The Roman Civilization
Introduction: The Romans, like Greeks, were the most powerful people of their time. They had ruled over the  complete southern Europe and the northern Africa. They became so powerful that they were able to conquer even the Greeks.
Location: This map below shows the extent of the Roman influence at its zenith.
Origin: 800BC
Decline: 400AD to 700AD
Duration: approx. 1300 years
Reasons for decline: The civilization itself got degenerated, coupled with the rising power of the Arabs who captured much of the Roman land. The Roman land that was conquered by the Arabs is till today strongly bound by the Arabic Imperialism.

The Roman Empire

The Persian Civilization
Introduction: The Persian civilization is the culture that is indigenous to the ancient Iran. The specialty of Persia has been its resilience towards invaders. It was invaded and ruled by the Greeks for a 100 years but once the Greek influence ended, Persia rose again.
Location: Modern Iran
Origin: 650BC
Decline: 637AD
Duration: 1200 years
Reason(s) for decline: Arabs with their explosive expansion, invaded Persia and this time Persia was not resilient enough to rise again. Today Persia aka Iran is dominated by the Arabic culture just as Egypt is.

The Mayan Civilization
Introduction: The Mayans were a mysterious people in the panama region of the Americas before the European conquest of the Americas. They built several civil engineering structures like the ancient Egyptians. They were a powerful people and the Spanish had to fight a continual war for 170 years to subjugate them.
Location: Modern Mexico
Origin: 2000BC
Decline: 1500AD
Duration: 3500 years
Reason(s) for decline:  The Spanish conquest of the 15th century. Today Mexico is dominated by the Western Civilization.

The Inca Civilization
Introduction: The Inca civilization was a vast and wealthy civilization in the South America before the Europeans attacked the Americas
Location: Modern Peru
Origin: 1200AD
Decline: 1533AD
Duration: 333 years
Reason(s) for decline: Invasion by the Spanish people. The Spanish attacked the Incas for the huge amount of gold, this wealthy civilization owned. Today Peru is dominated by the Western culture.

The Chinese Civilization
The Chinese are a powerful people who have constantly put up new empires since 2000BC till 1911AD after which the Modern Republic of China was formed. But the chinese culture is still going strong and China is one of the powerful countries in the world today. One fact that has favored China is that it has not been invaded by any serious invaders.
Location: China
Origin: 2000BC
Decline: still continuing strong
Duration: 4000 years and continuing

The Arabic Civilization
Origin:  Little is known about ancient Arabia. The first known kingdom belongs to 700BC. There are possibilities of civilization older than this as well.
Decline: The ancient nomadic Arab culture no longer exists in its original form as it has been transformed  by the Islamic revolution.
Duration:  Ancient arabia: 700BC to 630AD. The Islamic Arabia: 630AD to present.

The Western Civilization
Introduction: The western civilization is the way of life that emerged in the 15th cenruty Europe due to the Industrial revolution. Capitalism and Consumerism are the major themes it is built upon.
Origin: 1500AD(The European Renaissance)
Decline: still continuing strong

The Indic Civilization
Location: Indian Sub-continent
Origin: The oldest archeological sites date back to 7000BC(Indians used to record their history in the form of texts called “Puranas” (purANa = old, in Sanskrit). According to puranas, the Indian history dates back to millenia before 7000BC.
Decline: still continuing
Duration: 9000 years

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17 Responses to The fall of civilizations

  1. Sumit Garg says:

    Gaurav Bhai, baki sab to thik hai, but ek jagah me bhi aapko correct karna chahta hoon,
    you wrote : “The Indic Civilization, duration 9000 yrs”
    Indian philosophy and civilization samay ko yug me divide karti hai, aur utni hi purani hamari sabhyata hai, yadi exact jaankari hame nahi bhi hai, to bhi, ab se 5000 yrs (approx) pehle, Mahabharat war hua tha, usme kafi destruction hua tha, at least hum tab se to exactly count kar hi sakte hain,
    Baki usse pehle shri Ram ji treta yug ke ant me aaye the, aur Shree Krishn Dwapar yug ke ant me, Shree Ram ji aur Shree Krishn ke beech me keval 2000 yrs ka gap nahi ho sakta.

  2. YYew says:

    No offense, but I would like to correct your mistake “Chinese never faced serious invasion”
    304-316 AD, after a series of civil war, there were many nomad tribes like Huns and etc. invaded china, and built 16 countries over china, the population of Chinese were seriously reduced. Then Mongol, Mongolian conquered and occupied china for 95 years, you don’t know how many Chinese the Mongolian has massacred. Manchurian also as a nomad race, they invaded and conquered china while the Chinese were busy in the civil war. They also had killed tones of Chinese and they even try to destroy Chinese culture. Then Japan, Japanese invasion is a threat of “extinction” literally, they use gun, sword, fire, and biochemical weapons to wipe out Chinese. I would suggest you to be more careful before you make judgement like that. Chinese survived those serious invasion from Huns, Turks, Mongols, manchurian, and imperial japan. The reason is not because those invasion were not serious. You don’t know the blood they have paid to manage to survive all those enemies

  3. Malini says:

    Hi

    I love your writing!

    You are amazing!

    It’s so nice to see the truth ‘coming out’ after so many attempts to crush it, hide it, destroy it!

    Yay!!!!!

    And this is a history that the whole of humanity should be proud of. It is our common history, wonder of wonders and a great joy!

    Could you please contact me by email? I would like to reference some of your information, but I need to know the author’s name.

  4. Raj says:

    Excellent and well written too. Bahut accha prayas hai ye hamare bharta aur sanskriti ko phir se jagane ka.

    Jai Bharat

  5. C.S.Rajan says:

    The Aryan invasion is depicted interestingly in “From Volga to Ganges” by Rahul Sankityayana. But that is a novel like. Your reasoning carries more logic. Thanks . C.s.,rajan.

  6. a well written outlook however i would beg to differ with you when you speak that invasions actually destroys civilizations. an invasion might kill people but invasions have been the background for growth and development. what we see today is an evolved form form of customs that have taken centuries to take shape.

    consider the hindu religion. at around 500 AD there was a time when there were more people following buddha rather than hindu (consult the book “saskriti ke char adhyay” by dinkar ) in other words Hinduism was threatened by Buddhism. But hindu culture didnot die. it evolved. later many of us converted back to hinduism under shankaracharya and you can see the whole belt of UP and bihar which constitutes such hindus (the “bhumihars”). I do not consider this to be a cultural degradation. Bhuddha was a idea (you may call him invader because hinduism was threatened by him). but we have evolved.

    i think our main aim in life should be how much more we can learn rather than how better we are because such attitude may make us feel superior (even though we have been maltreated lately). But is not our culture all about brother hood and satya ka aagrahaa.

    also i would like to point out that the first indian civilisation was indus which started around 7000BC and decayed due to shifting of rivers. the bull is the symbol of the indus cities.
    later the aryans from central asian travelled from central asia with their horses into afganistan and drank the som drink in afganistan and wrote the vedas in sanskrit.(point to be noted sanskrit came with them into india). thus came the day of vedas and as the aryans settled along the plains of ganges we get the famous kingdoms around 1500 BC.

    RSS is our texbook made this grand mistake of pointing out that indus valley people were actually aryans only and the bull was a distorted horse (the argumentative india). So is not india in this way a true river where everything falls.

    This is a proven fact that sanskrit was brought to india by the aryans because indus people had a separate language and sanskrit was simultaneously taken to europe and all over the world.

    So why do you not disagree with this invasion of sanskrit into India?

    • gshah says:

      Seems that you have not read the article properly. However, let me reply to the comment.

      “This is a proven fact that sanskrit was brought to india by the aryans because indus people had a separate language and sanskrit was simultaneously taken to europe and all over the world.”

      This is not a proven fact. That is a mere speculation based on the fact that many European, Iranian and Indian Languages have similarities. This does not prove some invasion or migration. Invasion and migration is only a possibility, not a fact. We have not even deciphered the language of the indus peeple. Then how can we be sure that Sanskrit was not the language of the Indus people. Possibly it was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_script#Attempts_at_decipherment

      Genetically, nothing like some particular Aryan race has ever been found. Genetically all Indians (both north and south indians and even pakistanis and bangladeshis) seem to come from a common pool of genes. This Aryan race can very well be imaginary and one in a series of attempts by British to divide India in accordance with their “Divide and Rule policy”. Aryan invasion is only a possibility, not a fact. The truth is, we cant be sure what actually happened, whether some people called aryans ever migrated or not, we cant be sure. Unfortunately our education system which was made by British still teaches this theory as a fact and not as a possibility.

      Moreover, we dont even know the time of composition of vedas. The date proposed by the British viz. 1500BC is a mere speculation to fit with the Aryan Invasion theory which itself has no solid evidence. Possibly vedas were composed by the people of the Indus civilization. We do not know. But it seems quite plausible that Vedas are much older than 1500BC.

      “Bhuddha was a idea (you may call him invader because hinduism was threatened by him).”
      Core Buddhist philosophy is similar to that of Vedas and I consider him a great philosopher and not an invader. The term “hinduism” itself is not well defined. so there is no meaning of saying that hinduism was threatened by Buddha. You seem to perceive that the above article is about religions. No, it is about civilizations. And I have shown clearly what I mean by Indian civilization.

      One should always have a feeling of one’s greatness, but at the same time not consider others as inferior. If we dont consider ourselves great, there is an easy chance that we may get dominated by others as has happened today. We should have a strong nationalistic view but also a humanitarian view. We are not less than others but others are also not inferior. Yes our culture is about brotherhood, but we should not tolerate others maltreating us. Yes, our culture is about satya ka aagraha, but that does not mean we should believe in some theory with such a week base. Strong arguments can be given supporting the aryan invasion theory and denying the theory. Taking any one particular position may be wrong.

      Finally, there are many things to discuss but such complicated topics are not debatable on a blog. They require direct face to face debates. I can write another article on your comment and then you can make further comments regarding that article, so no point in discussing further.

      Anyways, thanks for putting your views forward.

    • gshah says:

      One more point worth mentioning. If you do some research, you will find that there is a strong continuity between the culture of Indus valley civilization and today’s hinduism, jainism and even buddhism. If there were some aryans who migrated and brought Sanskrit with them, why was Sanskrit which was the language of the migrating aryans used to document the native culture of Indus ?? Where is the culture of those aryans and if they came from somewhere near caspian sea, then why do we not find any remains of their previous settlement near the caspian sea. This aryan invasion theory creates many such contradictions. So instead of assuming something which cannot be proved, we should concentrate more on the welfare of the nation and humanity and strive for our collectively upliftment instead of exploiting the differences among north and south indian languages to drive some unproved theory.

      Unfortunately, the media and the intellectual discourses today are either controlled by the west or inspired by the west because of which we see only that perspective which is popular in the west. We are not shown other perspectives, resulting in we losing pride in our nation and getting dominated by others.

  7. Aditya says:

    i suggest u have a study on shri dharampals research too he is the guruji of shri rajiv bhai (rajiv dixit) u wel get a gateway to documentary evidences in his writings to further probe indian culture and civilization with lot more accuracy this person along with shri rajiv bhai took enormous pains to collect document proofs thru the briish library house of commons, and many other archives in india; this study is the reason for swami ramdevji’s revolution gaining voluminous strength…this study is its base…..hope it wil help u…and thank u fr keeping up the spirit of india…🙂

  8. liked … it..
    i wanna see more posts like this……..:)

  9. Sunil says:

    I have read a book ‘Vastav Ramayana’ written by Shri P. V. Vartak in which the period of the Ramayan & other historical events are calculated by means of astronomy. If we use & mention such a findings, it will be definitely proud for us.

  10. K N NARIN says:

    its really worth spending time to read your blog and i appreciate your work done on this hope you come up with this kind of many other researches and make the history live for many more years keep it up bro
    Narin

  11. kshitij says:

    Very detailed and well written
    Truly a wonderful piece to read
    It would have been nice if you could have given the names of all ancient civilisations. I think they number more than 40. Out of them only Chinese and Indian have stood the test of time.
    Eagerly awaiting the next one…

  12. Akshay Gopan says:

    A nice summarization. I think now you should start working on the Indian scenario? I hope you remember the mail and would pick a topic. I have many links available already.

  13. Great Article.. Thank you very much friend..

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