In any field it is important to take into account all the evidence, especially evidence of a fundamental nature. This can be illustrated with the help of what we now know about the Vedic river known as the Sarasvati. The Rigveda describes the Sarasvati as the greatest and the holiest of rivers — as ambitame, naditame, devitame (best of mothers, best of rivers, best goddess). Satellite photographs as well as field explorations by archaeologists, notably the great expedition led by the late V.S. Wakankar, have shown that a great river answering to the description of the Sarasvati in the Rigveda (flowing `from the mountains to the sea') did indeed exist thousands of years ago. After many vicissitudes due to tectonic and other changes, it dried up completely by 1900 BC. This raises a fundamental question: how could the Aryans who are supposed to have arrived in India only in 1500 BC, and composed their Vedic hymns c. 1200 BC, have described and extolled a river that had disappeared five hundred years earlier? In addition, numerous Harappan sites have been found along the course of the now dry Sarasvati, which further strengthens the Vedic-Harappan connection. As a result, the Indus (or Harappan) Civilisation is more properly called the Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation.
The basic point of all this: we cannot construct a theory focusing on a few relatively minor details like the spoke-wheel while ignoring important, even monumental evidence like the Sarasvati river and the oceanic symbolism that dominates the Rigveda. (This shows that the Vedic people could not have come from a land-locked region like Afghanistan or Central Asia). A historical theory, no less than a scientific theory, must take into account all available evidence. No less important, a man-made theory cannot take the place of primary evidence like the Sarasvati river or the oceanic descriptions in the Rigveda. This brings us back to Einstein — "A theory must not contradict empirical facts." Nor can it ignore primary evidence.
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