Zoroaster and Gotama in a Non-Jonesean Framework

Ranajit Pal 

The blunder of Palibothra by Sir William Jones and the forgery of Lumbini by Dr. A. Fuhrer[1] have not only wrecked Indology but also sullied world history with heaps of untruth. Bilge trickling from Jones’ false theory has inundated even the history of Jesus Christ whose link with Seistan remains unnoticed. Another casualty was Zoroaster who is such a key figure that Persian history cannot be grasped without solving the numerous problems centred around the accounts of his life. W. B. Henning writes,

 …there is scarcely a point on which there is unanimity; Zoroaster’s time and place, the religion he inherited from his forefathers, the message he brought, his aim, his community, the development of his church, the history of the Avesta - each scholar will dissent from his fellows on one point or another".[2]

Long before Henning, the great Orientalist M. Rostovtzeff of Yale, wrote in 1922,

 “We know but little of the history and archaeology of Central Asia and of the Iranian world.”[3], 

and even after 80 years, this remains essentially true in regard to history, if not archaeology. R. N. Frye candidly admits failure[4],

Zarathustra, or Zoroaster as the Greeks called him, presents many problems, and it is discouraging that after so many years of research we do not know when or where he lived or even precisely his teachings.

However, the learned Harvard scholar is unaware that a British forgery lies at the root of the malady and that sanity cannot be brought back to Iranian history without noting that India and Iran were once interlinked geographically. A similar reform is needed in Indology[5]. D. Chakrabarti of Cambridge has written about some failings of colonial Indology[6] but is unaware that the most damaging legacy from the colonial era, that affects the histories of both India and Iran, is Sir William Jones’ false identification of Palibothra. A study of the Iranian and Indian texts including the Jataka Tales in a non-Jonesian framework merges the histories of Zoroaster and Gotama and points at the existence of an ancient holy land in Seistan. 

An India within Iran

        Vedic scholars like Hillerbrandt and Brunnhofer realised that in regard to the ancient era, the term Indo-Iranian is often preferable to ‘Indian’ or ‘Iranian’, but a similar awareness is lacking vis-à-vis the Avesta. Iranian researchers have justly rejoiced the stunning archaeological finds at Jiroft[7] but seem to be unaware that Alexander the Great had found Indians in this area and defeated them. The common heritage of the Indians and Iranians goes back to their nomadic past[8] but it is important to note that even in the 4th century BC, during Alexander's expedition southeast Iran was called India. This India within Iran was known to Herodotus who wrote that there were Indians in the Gedrosia area. Eminent scholars like Arnold Toynbee and Sir Charles Eliot were also aware of the geographical overlap. Eliot wrote [9],

Our geographical and political phraseology about India and Persia obscures the fact that in many periods the frontier between the two countries was uncertain or not drawn as now. 

Toynbee was a historian of the world and noted the shifting nature of India’s boundary;

... and we can already see the beginnings of this progressive extension of the name ‘Indian’ in Herodotus’ usage.

That Gedrosia and Carmania were within greater India was stressed by Vincent Smith. Eliot clearly saw a role of Iran in early Buddhism. He boldly suggested that the Buddhist paradise Sukhavati may be linked to the Avestan land of Saukavastan. G. Gnoli reckons that the oldest areas known to the Iranians were Afghanistan and areas to its east[10] which can only be partly true in view of the great antiquity of Jiroft. Like Frye, Gnoli misses that India and Iran were once interlinked. A corollary of Gnoli’s claim is that the Avesta is related to not only the RigVeda but also the Buddhist texts. G. Azarpay of Berkeley has described a Sasanian silver plate depicting a Jataka Tale. The Jatakas are a common cultural heritage of both the Indian and Iranians. Dr. D. B. Spooner’s statement that Gotama and Chandragupta were from Iran[11] created a sensation in 1915 but this was rejected by uninformed Jonesian writers. In this context it is crucial to note that the linking of Gotama with eastern India was a forgery that has no archaeological basis. Once Gotama, whose title was Sakya, is de-linked from the east, he turns out to be the same as Gaumata[12] of Sakyavati (Sikayavatish) mentioned in the Behistun record.

Fuhrer's Fraud in the Epigraphy and Archaeology of India and Nepal

In any sober history it is crucial to eliminate falsification by ancient authors, misjudgment of historians, loss of artefacts due to earthquakes and floods, and most importantly, archaeological fraud. Prof. Kyle McCarter, an eminent paleographer of Johns Hopkins University, warns of a “forgery hysteria” that has gripped archaeology circles of Israel[13] but the problem is far more serious in Indian and Nepalese archaeology[14]. Here even artefacts 'unearthed' in professional excavations a century ago need scrutiny [15]. Alarmingly A. Fuhrer, an editor of the Epigraphia Indica went on rampage with numerous archaeological frauds which have destroyed the very basis of Indian archaeology. Recently, the British scholar T. A. Phelps [16] has boldly exposed Fuhrer's crimes linked to his so-called discovery of Lumbini.

In his official Progress Report as Archaeological Surveyor in that year, Fuhrer copied large slabs of text from a report by Buhler on Sanchi inscriptions, transposing both text and inscriptions, almost verbatim, into the report on his own excavations at a completely different site. Astonishingly, this wholesale and extensive plagiarism appears to have passed completely unnoticed during this period (including, apparently, by Buhler himself, with whom Fuhrer was soon afterwards in correspondence). He also - and more ominously, perhaps, in the light of later events - fraudulently incised a Brahmi inscription on to a stone statue in the Lucknow Museum at this time, an event which also passed unnoticed.

Phelps rightly suspects that Fuhrer's crimes were exploited by the British Imperialists for subverting history. Many other artifacts may have been moved to other places to create false history. D. Chakrabarti, author of a book on the history of Indian Archaeology, focusses on some failures colonial Indology but attempts to whitewash the crimes of Fuhrer. He blames the ‘text-based past’ handed down by ‘western colonial Indology[17] but ironically offers only text based past in case of Chandragupta and the Nandas. He refers to the profusion of second century BC texts but suppresses that not a single text or relic of this great hero of Indo-Iranian history can be identified in Jonesian Indology. Another Cambridge archaeologist, F. R. Allchin, also ignores Fuhrer's forgery and in his book on the archaeology of  South Asia, unceremoniously omits Chandragupta. His suggestion for further digging at Patna is likely to be an exercise in futility. R. Thapar of the School of African and Oriental Studies of London is alarmed by the absence of Asoka’s Edicts at Patna but refrains from stating that not a single relic of Asoka or any other Maurya or Nanda is known from Patna, Asoka’s capital according to Jones. On the other hand the eminent archaeologist A. Ghosh categorically stated that Jones' idea has no archaeological basis. Prof. N. G. L. Hammond, discoverer of Vergina, was aware of the dominance of the North-West in the early era and stated that ‘Patna is too far east’ to be a Palibothra. The extent of the colonial disfigurement of Indian history is clear from G. Fussman's remark,

… history of northern India from the death of Asoka to the first inroads of the Moslem armies is still imperfectly known. About its social history we can only state that new peoples kept coming from Iran and Central Asia and were, in course of time, integrated into an Indian social organization about which we have very little incontrovertible data… The political history of northern India still consists of bare list of names, with an often unsure relative chronology and a still more unsure absolute chronology.

This is the abysmal legacy of British Indology which has not only turned the history of India into an abominable mess but also greatly falsified world history. Unfortunately Jonesian writers like Chakrabarti, Allchin and Thapar endorse the mutilation of Indian history by the British Colonists and turn great heroes of Indian and world history like Rama and Manu into tribal figures. 

 The location of Kapilavastu, the birth-place of Gotama is of great historical importance yet it remains a breeding ground of controversy after more than a century of sustained research. Robin Coningham's recent identification of Tilaurakot in Nepal as Kapilavastu is an effort to cover up the fraudulent background of Nepalese archaeology and reminds one of Vincent Smith's warning,

...the mystery of Kapilavastu will continue for many years to be the sport of unverified conjecture.

There can be no doubt that the linking of Gotama with eastern India or Nepal has no archaeological basis and is totally false.  

Spread of Early Buddhism - Into Iran or Out of it?

Owing to Jonesian delusions and Fuhrer’s skulduggery, it has remained unknown that Buddhism came of age in India but was born and reared in the chrysalis of Persia. Although persecuted by kings, it once flourished in Iran. That the cultural history of Nepal offers nothing that can be seen as a prelude to Buddhism is not surprising in view of the numerous forgeries that underlie Nepalese archaeology. On the other hand the age-old cultural and artistic ties between India and Iran were known to eminent art historians like Coomaraswamy [18] and Foucher. The polymath Al-beruni, a stalwart of the 11th century AD, stated that Zoroaster drove the Buddhists to the east; 

In former times, Khurasan, Persis, Irak, Mosul, the country up to the frontier of Syria, was Buddhistic, but then Zarathustra went forth from Adharbaijan and preached Magism in Balkh (Baktra). His doctrine came into favour with king Gushtasp, and his son Isfendiyad spread the new faith both in East and West, both by force and by treaties. He founded fire-temples through his whole Empire, from the frontiers of China to those of the Greek Empire. The succeeding kings made their religion (i.e. Zoroastrianism) the obligatory state-religion for Persis and Irak. In consequence the Buddhists were banished from these countries, and had to emigrate to the countries east of Balkh.[19]

This categorical remark not only confirms the presence of Buddhists in Iran in the 6th century BC but literally opens the floodgates of reform in Iranian history, yet its true significance has been lost on contemporary scholars. R. E. Emmerick, one of the editors of the Encyclopedia Iranica, writes in a confident tone[20],

How far west Buddhism spread in Iran we do not know. On the basis of archaeology it seems possible to infer that it never flourished west of the line joining Balkh to Qandahar, the so-called Foucher line. The Russian discovery of a Buddhist stupa at Gyaur Kala near Bairam ‘Ali more than four hundred kilometers west of Balkh in the Merv oasis is hardly sufficient evidence to induce us to consider that Buddhism was ever very prominent further west. The common adage often applied to the spread of Buddhism to the east is relevant to the west: one swallow does not make a summer.

Emmerick turns a blind eye to ground reality which hints that Buddhism spread from Iran not vice versa. In fact this ignorance about the true nature of Iranian Buddhism is backed up the false and fraudulent history of Indian Buddhism which literally bristles with inconsistencies. A more discerning scholar, E. Conze writes,

To the modern historian, Buddhism is a phenomenon which must exasperate him at every point and we can only say in extenuation that this religion was not founded for the benefit of the historians. Not only is there an almost complete absence of hard facts about its history in India; not only is the date, authorship and geographical provenance of the overwhelming majority of the documents almost entirely unknown ,.’.

Niharranjan Ray succinctly sums up the situation,

The fact remains therefore that we have no examples extant of either sculpture or architecture that can definitely be labelled chronologically as pre-Mauryan or perhaps even as pre-Asokan.  

In fact Indian Buddhist art is Greco-Indian art of the 4th century BC or later. There is nothing in Buddhist art of eastern India that matches the grandeur of Gandhara art. Much debate has centred on the origin of the Buddha icon but there can be little doubt that it was Gandhara that has an earlier history, not Mathura[21]. Buddhist Art west of the Foucher Line[22] cannot be studied by relying solely on Indian Buddhist Art forms, which belong to a later date.[23] The void of two centuries in Indian Buddhist Art can only be filled up by focusing on the north-west and Iran.

        Hsuan Tsang reported that the Persian dominion of Lang kie (ka)-lo, had more than 100 monasteries and more than 6000 brethren. Sir Charles Eliot also visualized contact between Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Where did Mani encounter the Buddhists? Emmerick suggests Balkh as a meeting ground but another answer is India within Iran, i.e. southeast Iran.

        The legacy of Buddhism in Iran is clearly visible in early Buddhist art and has added much to its sublime and timeless character. The eminent art historian, Pratapaditya Pal, also notes the strong Iranian influence in the superb Buddhist paintings at Alchi in Ladakh (11-13th cent. AD) on the bank of the Indus[24] but like Emmerick, is unable to explain it from the Jonesian viewpoint. Clearly new paradigms are needed here. The Imperial majesty of Persepolis is unparalleled in world architecture but in poignancy and humanism the Buddhist art at Ajanta, Sanchi, and Bharhut remains unmatched. Madeline Hallade writes[25],

 

Symbolic and decorative motifs adopted directly from the Iranian world, or transmitted through its agency, enriched the repertory of Indian art from its first inception; indeed its versatility is early attested by the Buddhist monuments of the 2nd century B.C. (balustrades at Sanchi and Bharhut).

This influence of Iranian motifs on Buddhist Art 'from its first inception' cannot be explained without considering the role of Iran in early Buddhism. However, once the stumbling blocks set up by Jones are removed, it becomes clear that Buddhist art flowered on Indian soil and articulates a truly Indian idiom yet there are artistic pinings that go back to an unfractured Indo-Iranian fraternity. Vincent Smith’s remarks about Iranian influence on Ajanta irked Indian writers but it contains more than a grain of truth. In Vihara I at Ajanta is a picture of an Iranian king and his queen, which harks back to the unbroken Indo-Iranian fraternity. The Sasanids usually opposed Buddhism but this is not the full story. In the 7th century AD king Khusrau sent an embassy to the Chalukya king of Deccan. The Chalukyas may be related to the Kalakeyas who are termed Asuras. They patronised Ajanta art which is akin to the Ghandhara-like art of Kuh-i Khwaja near Karkoya in Seistan. The great Iranologist E. Herzfeld suggested that the three Magi went to Palestine from Kuh-i Khwaja in Seistan which was then a part of greater India.  

The Cherubic Figure of Gaumata who was Gotama

Gaumata, who was a victim of the tirades of Darius-I, hangs like a ghost in Persian history. His tussle with Darius-I as recorded in stone at Behistun is one of the greatest stories and scandals of history yet little is known about the nature or cause of his revolt. P. Briant gives an account of Gaumata in the Encyclopedia Iranica which is devoid of any insight but scholars like Olmstead, Toynbee [26] and Dandamaev have suspected  Darius’ veracity and concluded that Gaumata was not an imposter [27]. This is also noted by T. C. Young Jr.[28] and by Chester Starr[29] and W. Culican [30]. This has been criticized by Frye and others who fail to see the overlap with Indian history. Gaumata was a namesake of Gotama. Gut-ama in Sumerian means ‘one whose mother is a cow’ which agrees with the meaning of Gau-mata in Sanskrit and old Persian. Gaumata was an immensely popular figure. The Greeks backed him and Herodotus wrote that the whole of Asia rose in revolt in his support. Furthermore,

1) He was a contemporary[31] and namesake[32] of Gotama. 

2) The Persepolis Fortification tablets mention Sedda-Saramana who is Sedda-arta or Siddharta.

3) There are many references in the tablets to Suddayauda-Saramana who is Suddhodana

4) He had his residence at Sikayavati (vati=house) and Gotama’s title was Sakya,

5) He was a great benefactor who abolished taxes and freed slaves;

6) No primary relic of Gotama was found from the East;

7) Dandamaev states (p. 113) that Gaumata redistributed the wealth of the nobility.

8) Gaumata was a Maga and in the Indian texts the Magas are associated with Seistan.

 

Furthermore Gaumata was also a religious leader. T. C. Young Jr. writes with rare insight[33],  

 

Finally, it should be remarked that Darius hurls the epithet ‘Magian’, ‘priest’, at Gaumata almost as though this were the worst possible thing he could say about the rebel in order to discredit his enemy and to support his own cause in the eyes of his followers, if not in those of the populace.

Young goes a step further and boldly surmises that Gomata may have preached a new religion, 

He then tell us that,’ As before, so I made the sanctuaries which Gaumata the Magian destroyed.’ Clearly Darius and Gaumata had a difference of opinion about sanctuaries, and, therefore, we may assume about religion or, at least, about ritual forms of religious expression. The details of this disagreement escapes us. Indeed, we are not even sure who was the innovator; the Achaemenians may have introduced forms of religion which adherents of an older faith reacted against under Gaumata’s leadership; or the Magian could have been attempting to introduce a new religion which offended the establishment. What is critical in the present context is that the story of Darius’ overthrow of Gaumata probably contains evidence of a religious as well as dynastic, social/economic and political struggle.   

This religion is clearly Buddhism. Bardiya and Gomata correspond to Bhaddiya and his cousin Gotama of the Buddhist texts. Al-beruni stated that the Zoroastrians drove the Buddhists eastward. In the highly authentic Ajanta caves child Siddhartha is shown dressed as a foreigner. Many scholars suspected that Gaumata’s coup was due to religious strife between the Medes and the Persians. The usurpation was a reflection of the resistance of the Median priesthood against Zoroastrianism. Gaumata wanted the gods not to be imprisoned within four walls, a sentiment echoed later by Chengiz Khan. Darius was considered to be a pupil of Zoroaster who rebuilt the temples which the Magus Gaumata had destroyed. Significantly, in the Jataka stories there are references to the clashes between Gotama and fire-worshippers.

Frye's Conjecture on the Daivas

In his famous trilingual inscription found inscribed on stone tablets at Persepolis, Xerexes boasts over his destruction of the Daivas,

Among these countries (that submitted to him) was (one) where previously daivas were worshipped. Then, by the favour of Ahura Mazda, I destroyed that daiva place, and I had proclaimed, the daivas shall not be worshipped. Where previously the daivas were worshipped, there I worshipped Ahura Mazda properly with the Law(arta). 

Who were the daivas? The question of the true identity of the Daivas and their location remains an intriguing problem of Iranian history. Frye writes with great insight,

It is generally agreed that the daiva worshippers were not Babylonians or Egyptians but rather Iranians, or at least Aryans.One may ask whether the Indians living within the Achaemenid empire, who worshipped the old gods, may have been regarded as daiva worshippers.

It has to be noted that Gotama is often called a Deva in the Buddhist texts which seems to correspond to the Daeva in the Zoroastrian texts.

 Devadatta of the Pali Texts and Damidadda of PF1752 Was Zoroaster  

        Estimates of Zoroaster’s date vary widely. Ctesias makes him a contemporary of the mythical Semiramis and Mary Boyce's Zoroaster is a starry Prophet of 1400 B. C.. The Greek evidence seems to suggest that Zoroaster was a title or designation rather than the name of a single person.  This idea of many Zoroasters parallels Buddhist history, as there were many Buddhas before Gotama whose lives are described in the Jatakas[37]. Just as Gotama was the last of the Buddhas, the youngest Zoroaster seems to have been the most influential [38]. Al-beruni, probably quoting the Bundahishn, (7th - 8th cent. AD) gave a precise date, 258 years before Alexander the Great, which leads to a date of 588 BC. Anquetil du Perron also gave a later date, 589 BC-512 BC. Nyberg’s fifth century date (458 BC) has been discounted by scholars.

        Herzfeld’s[39] date was 570-550BC, which approximately matches that of Gotama (563 to 483 BC). He suggested that Gaumata can be Grehma, the Karapan priest of the Daevas who was the hated enemy of Zoroaster. Significantly, in the Indian Buddhist literature Gotama's hated adversary was Devadatta which clearly hints that the latter was Zoroaster. Gaumata proscribed Zarathustra just as Gotama banished Devadatta. In fact, Damidadda of the Persepolis Fortification tablets (PF 1752) may be Zoroaster who corresponds to Devadatta of the Pali texts. Despite a huge literature on the subject, the problem of Zoroaster’s homeland still remains unresolved due to faulty geography. It has even been alleged that he was no historical figure, his name being conjured up to match other prophets, but this is untrue. A  birth-story, Zarthust-Namah (9th century?) is available, but it is not supposed to be authentic. Politically Zoroaster's Persia was not exactly modern Iran. Southeast Iran, Seistan and Baluchistan[34], where Zoroaster was active, were within Greater India. The overlap between India and Iran is clearly indicated by Herodotus (1, 125) who named the Persian tribes Pentathelai, Sagarti, etc which are in fact the Indian tribes of the Epic Mahabharata. V. Elisseeff writes that archaeologically Eastern Iran was closer to India[35]. This can also be seen from the fact that Alexander the Great celebrated his victory over the Indians in southeast Iran. This India within Iran shows that Zoroaster’s life cannot be reconstructed from the Persian and Greek sources alone but has to include the Buddhist evidence as well. Also some sections of the Pahlavi texts are late and coloured by a sectarian bias and need special care while interpreting. Lastly it has to be realized that the Greek reports are valuable yet are not primary sources due to the barriers of language, culture and distance. The religious positions[36] of Zoroaster and Gotama are similar. The Avesta refers to Gotama and Herzfeld wrote that Gaumata was the arch-rival of Zoroaster. Kapilavastu was Kuh-i Khwaja in Seistan. It is significant that Diakonoff and Gnoli have located Zoroaster's homeland in Seistan which was also the abode of Gotama.

Despite the silence of the Buddhist texts, that the schism of Devadatta had a considerable following is clear. He was the son of Suppabuddha according to the chronicles, and hence both cousin and brother-in-law of Gotama, but according to the Sanskrit accounts he was the son of Amritodana, another uncle of the Buddha. Devadatta seems to be older than Gotama. He is said to have attempted to kill Gotama. When the young Gotama was going to display his skill in the arts, a white elephant was being brought for him, and Devadatta killed it out of envy. There is yet another story of Gotama rescuing a fowl which Devadatta had injured. The Pali texts make it clear that Devadatta's grudge against Gotama was due to the fact that he was not allowed to take the place of the leader of the Sangha.

Kapilavastu was Prophthasia, the Abode of Prophets

 

Seistan has almost vanished from the horizon of the so-called new-archaeology. Sadly, nothing remains in the culture of modern Seistan that can remind one of that Alexander the Great called it the land of Prophets. It is now often described only as the homeland of ancient Persian tradition but this is only partly true. The large number of Brahui speakers point to a link with India. R. N. Frye writes.

To the south the Persians and other Iranian invaders found the land occupied by Elamites and related non-Indo-European speakers. Further east were probably Dravidian peoples in Makran, Seistan and Sind, represented today by their descendants, the Brahuis.

The Dravidian peoples are clearly related to India. Unfortunately, Frye stresses only the linguistic diversity of Indo-Iranians, but misses their common heritage. Tate, an early writer on Seistan, wrote about the Jats and Aiyars of Seistan which also elucidates the link. The French savant H. Darmesteter stressed the Hindu heritage of Seistan and Kabul and even in Christian literature, the king of Seistan is called Indian. In the Encyclopedia of World Art (Asiatic Pre-history), Vadim Elliseef remarks with striking clarity that from the archeological standpoint eastern Iran was closer to India. Klaus Fisher writes,

Many explorers, MacMohan and Curzon, for example, agree that Seistan offers a special phenomenon which puzzles students of comparative geography and archaeology. The shallow lakes alternately swell, recede and disappear, and the rivers are constantly shifting their beds. Consequently settlements were created and abandoned in short periods. While the country owes to the abundant alluvium its wealth and fertility, it also contains more ruined cities and habitations than are perhaps to be found within a similar space of ground anywhere in the world.

 Some of the great early veterans like Herzfeld, Rostovtzeff and Sir Aurel Stein also did not miss its great antiquity. Stein identified Kuh-i Khwaja in Iranian Seistan as a Buddhist shrine, which was later termed Parthian by Herzfeld whose dating has been questioned by others. According to Ghirshman the murals of Kuh-i Khwaja are the earliest examples of Gandhara art which indicates a eastward dissemination. Kuh-i Khwaja was in Seistan or Sakastan which agrees with the name Sakyavati. Kuh-i Khwaja was Kapilavastu.

        

D. Schlumberger On the Origin of Greco-Buddhist Art

 

 The origin and evolution of the Buddha image has been debated for nearly a century yet there remains considerable disagreement among scholars. D. Schlumberger, who succeeded Foucher wrote with uncommon boldness that Greco- Buddhist art was the Indian descendant of Greco-Iranian art. Scholars like Pratapaditya Pal have missed that this profound statement is absurd in the Jonesian scenario but becomes natural once Gaumata is equated with Gotama. Contradicting the east-to-west dissemination theory, Rostovtzeff wrote about Parthian influence on Buddhist Art. Foucher did not recognise Gaumata yet wrote with unfailing insight that the Mahayana was inspired by Iranian Mazdaism. Sylvain Levy also noted the strong foreign influence on Mahayana.

 Gaumata, Diodotus-I and Gandhara Art

Art history is independent of textual history though it often supplements it. While the textual historian listens to the voice of letters, the art historian or the archaeologist looks for the message in symbols. Even where the political historian may misjudge chronology or geography, the art historian is less liable to distortions. In many respects the Buddhist Art of Gandahra is unique in world history but its interpretation has been hampered due to Jonesian misconceptions. Much has been written about the debt of Gandhara to Classical Roman Art but the beginnings of the Gandhara phenomenon must be traced to Alexander who was the first patron of Buddhism. Asoka's call for homonoia was in fact a continuation of Alexander's dream. The lions of Asoka cannot but remind one of the fact that Alexander always carried a golden lion. To understand Gandhara Art one must remember that after about a century after ALexander's voyage the Gandhara area was witness to momentous events that altered human destiny. 

        Notwithstanding Jones’ error Alfred Foucher, the founder of the Delegation Archeologique Francaise en Afghanistan, boldly wrote that the Mauryan empire must have extended to Seistan. This implies that some Indo-Greek kings of Seistan were Mauryans. Indeed, in order to meaningfully analyse Gandhara Art it has to be noted that the most famous Indo-Greek king Diodotus-I, was Asoka himself [40],. This throws new light on many mysteries of Gandhara art and the Greek icon of the Buddha.


[1] T. A. Phelps has discussed the forgery of Dr. A. A. Fuhrer in Indology. See  http://www.lumkap.org/ .

[2] W. B. Henning, Zoroaster, Politician or Witch Doctor?, Oxford, 1951.

[3] M. Rostovtzeff, Iranians and Greeks in South Russia (Oxford, 1922), p. viii.

[4] R. N. Frye, ‘The Heritage of Persia’, London, p.27.

[5] Colonial Indologists like A.B. Keith audaciously stated that some aspects of Indian history 'Must remain unknown' and this maxim is buttressed by modern neo-colonial scholars. Of the countless blunders of Indology only a few can be listed:

1. The date of Kanishka: Despite a sea of literature on the subject and two London conferences, the dates of Kanishka still elude us. This has effectively crippled Indology.

2. The date of Gotama: H. Bechert and others have given very strong arguments in favour of a much later date of Gotama which become meaningless in the Non-Jonesian framework.

3. The date of Kalidasa: Although earlier scholars placed Kalidasa in the 2nd century BC the S.O.A.S scholars has advocated for a date in the Gupta era which is absurd.

4. It is a shame that the scholars like Thapar and Chakrabarti endorse the banishment of Chandragupta and the Nandas from Indian archaeology.  The Indus Lands described by A. D. H. Bivar in the Cambridge Ancient History (vol IV, 1988) pertains to a much later age, not 5th-6th cent. BC. His statement that the Persepolis fortification tablets do not shed any light on the geography of India is heedless and empty. 

 5. Rama, the great hero of the Indian Epic Ramayana, is likened to a tribal hero. J. L. Brockington has described Ramayana as the greatest Epic of world history which once influenced even far-away Japan. Rama can be identified with Ram-Sin of Larsa who ruled Sumer, Elam and also the Indus cities. See Ranajit Pal, Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander, New Delhi, 2002. Ram-Sin (Rim-Sin) was from the Magan area.

6. Manu, the first sacrificer of the RigVeda, has been relegated to the gutter of world history. Manu was clearly Mannu of Magan who was defeated by Naram-Sin. Magan was ancient Magadha. Writers like D. Chakrabarti and R. Thapar are totally unaware that the Sisunagas and the Kakvarnas were kings of Magan which was the early Magadha.

7. Date of the Bhagavadgita: Although most modern scholars place the Gita around 2nd century BC or earlier, the S.O.A.S scholars suggest a date around the Gupta age.

8. That the famous Mehrauli iron pillar inscription is ascribed to such diverse names as Chandragupta-II, Chandravarman, Samudragupta and Kaneshko, only shows the poverty of Jonesian Indology.

[6] Dilip K. Chakrabarti, ‘Colonial Indology and identity’, Antiquity, 74(2000): 667-71. See also N. Lahiri, ‘Archaeology and identity in colonial India’, Antiquity, 74(2000): 687-92.

[7] A. Lawler, ‘Jiroft Discovery Stuns Archaeologists’, Science 2003 302: 973-974. The present writer emphasised the importance of this area before Madjidzadeh and others.

[8] This commonality is evident in later periods and goes beyond religion or linguistics. The pacifism of the Mahabharata is in unison with the tone of conciliation of the Shahnama. Buddhist syncretism mirrors the call for harmony of the Sufis who are mainly from southeast Iran. The ethos of  Jalaluddin Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Saadi, Hafeez, Attar and others can also be labelled Indian. Ranajit Pal, Op cit. p. 31.

[9] C. Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism,, part III, p. 449. Eliot, Rostofftzeff, Herzfeld, Olmstead, Tarn, Macdonald and Toynbee were scholars of a bygone era who have few peers. Toynbee wrote that the Achaemenian universal state belonged also to the Hinduis, the Pathavis etc. - the Indian Kurus and Kambojas were linked with Achaemenian history - Kurush( Cyrus) was a Kuru. Op cit., p.652& 654. Frye also admits that the names Kurush and Cambyses (Kambujiya) are non-Iranian.A. Toynbee, ‘A Study of History’, vol..7

[10] G. Gnoli, Zoroaster’s Time and Homeland, 1980.

[11] J.R.A.S., 1915, p. 63-89, p. 405-455.

[12] The relocation of Gotama’s homeland in Seistan has important bearings in the history of Alexander. See Ranajit Pal, ‘An Altar of Alexander now standing near Delhi’, Scholia, vol. xiv. See also R. Pal, Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander, p.190.

[13] See www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.html . Leading paleographers of Israel agree with McCarter.  

[14] Mention may be made of the recent forgery of Dr. Gupta in Himalayan prehistory. In 1989, Talent, an Australian paleontologist, showed that many fossils which according to Dr. Gupta originated in India, were stolen from Morocco. See Nature 1993. 

[15] Like the art collector who often finds the forger breathing down his neck, the historian also has to differentiate between true and fake inscriptions and artefacts and forged ones. A. T. Olmstead, A. Toynbee, M. Dandamaev and others held that even history written on the basis of ancient texts is not always genuine. Darius-I had lied in the Behistun inscription.

[16] T.A. Phelps, Op. cit. See also H. Luders, J.R.A.S, 1912, fn., p. 167.

[17] D. Chakrabarti, ‘Colonial Indology and Identity, Antiquity v.74(285). A fake 8-foot terra-cotta was removed from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York after being on display for forty years but false history has seeped so deep through Indian identity that it may be difficult to get rid of Fuhrer’s ‘gifts’ after a century of the fraud.

[18] History of Indian and Indonesian Art.

[19] Sachau, Alberuni’s India, vol. 1, p.21. See also H.C Raychaudhuri, Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta, 1971, p. 541.

[20] “Buddhism Among Iranian Peoples”, in Cambridge History of Iran, p. 957.

[24] Pratapaditya Pal, 'A Buddhist Paradise - The Murals of Alchi', 1982, p.35.  Pratapaditya Pal writes that the paintings of Alchi, though not so widely known as those at Ajanta or Dunhuang, are of unique artistic and historical value.

[21] Foucher's view that the Buddha icon originated at Gandhara was denied by Coomaraswamy who opted for Mathura. 

[22] There seems to be at least one 4th century BC relic, the Delhi-Topra Asokan pillar, which appears to be a re-inscribed altar of Alexander the Great. See Ranajit Pal, An Altar of Alexander Now Standing Near Delhi, Scholia, vol. xiv.

[23] The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha by the illiterate Taliban shocked the world but the problem is more widespread. Before 1949 there were more than 250,000 Buddhist temples in China but only about a hundred have survived Mao’s cultural onslaught. The Sassanid king Shapur destroyed many religious shrines of the Manichaeans and Buddhists. This tradition continues today. The Ashahi Shimbun newspaper reported several Buddhist finds from the Jiroft area but this was promptly denied.

[25] Encyclopedia of Art. See under Indo-Iranian Art

[26] ‘A Study of History’, vol..7,p   . Toynbee realized that the Achaemenian universal state belonged also to the Hinduis, the Pathavis etc. and the Indian Kurus and Kambojas were linked with Achaemenian history. Kurush( Cyrus) was a Kuru. Op. cit., p.652 and 654. Frye also admits that the names Kurush and Cambyses (Kambujiya) are non-Iranian.

[27] M.A. Dandamaev, ‘A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire’, E. J. Brill, 1989.

[28] Encyclopedia Britannica (1979), see under `Iran'. See also R. Pal ,’Gotama Buddha in West Asia’, ABORI, vol. 77. Cambyses was a great reformer who inspired Gaumata and whose history has been misrepresented. His name Kan-bu-zia may have been adopted by Confucius.

[29] Chester G. Starr, 'Early Man', Oxford University Press',1973. p181.

[30] William Culican, 'The Medes and the Persians', Thames and Hudson,London,1965, p65.

[31] Despite Bechert’s view, there is no good reason to doubt Gotama’s date (563 to 483 BC). Darius-I acceded to the throne in 522.

[32] The name Gotama has no sensible meaning in Sanskrit or Dravidian. The word Gut in Sumerian means Cow/Bull  and Ama means mother. The name Gau-mata in Sanskrit and Old Persian has a very transparent meaning, ‘one whose mother is a cow’. In Sumerian language this corresponds to Gut-ama, which resembles Gotama. Kinnier Wilson has held that there is a substratum of Sumerian in the Indus seals. Thus a Sumerian etymology of the name of Gotama is not unreasonable. The term Buddha means a wise man which corresponds to the word Bad-da in Sumerian which has the same meaning.

[33] Cambridge Ancient History,

[34] Traditionally ancient Persia is taken to be the high plateau east of Mesopotamia and south of the Caspian and corresponds to Iran (including west Baluchistan) and Seistan.

[35] “The Iranian region, with its affinity for the Orient, permitted the development of two different cultural areas: the northwestern one, more properly Iranian, with the localities of Tepe Giyan, Tepe Sialk, Tepe Hissar, and Anau; and the south-eastern one, which can be considered Indian, of Baluchistan and the centers of the valley of the Zhob and of Quetta and Amri”. Encyclopedia of World Art, See under Asiatic Prehistory.

[36] Both opposed the old rituals of the Veda and Avesta. Sir Charles Eliot, Op cit., part 1, p. 63.  See also D. P. Mishra, Studies In The Proto-History of India, Orient Longman, 1971, p38.

[37] There can be little doubt that many Jataka stories pertain to Gotama himself.

[38] This is certainly true about the name Buddha and may even be valid in case of the name Darius, which may be Dvara-Uksha, the guardian bull of the temple gate. The explanation of the name as darayat vahus,  ‘having wealth’ appears to be of limited validity.

[39]  Zoroaster and his World, Princeton, 1947

[40] Ranajit Pal, 'An Altar of Alexander Now Standing Near Delhi', Scholia, vol. XIV.