Talk:Brahmi script

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Earliest Evidence for the Brahmi Script[edit]

According to this paper by Deraniyagala The word Anuradha in the Brahmi script was found on fragment of a burial urn found in an excavation Pomparippu.

"The Early Iron Age of Sri Lanka, at ca. 1000-500 BC, is referred to as protohistoric since there is no evidence of writing in this period. At ca. 600-500 BC, the first appearance of writing (in Brahmi almost identical to the Asokan script some 200 years later) heralds the commencement of the Early Historic period (Deraniyagala 1992: 739-50). This writing, radiocarbon dated on charcoal and checked by thermoluminescence dating, is inscribed on potsherds signifying ownership. Among the names was Anuradha, which, coincidentally or otherwise, is stated in the ancient chronicles to have been the name of a minister of prince Vijaya, the purported 'founder' leader of the Sinhalese, at ca. 500 BC." ...Deraniyagala

See full text of paper below..

http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/dera1.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 158.230.100.102 (talk) 15:19, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Earliest Evidence for the Brahmi Script[edit]

Has somebody counter-checked that single reference for the supposed finds of Brahmi writing as early as the 6th century? Because there is

a) no mention of them in three of the four below quoted sources, namely Norman, von Hinueber and Fussman. b) I can't find further evidence in the internet c) there is no mention neither in the French nor the German Wiki article on the Brahmi script d) such a find would mean a TREMENDOUS scientific sensation as it would push the earliest datable hard evidence fully 3 centuries back, making obsolete thus an scholarly consensus which has endured now for over a century.

I propose to bring up more references or otherwise significantly weaken the proposition of such an early origin of the Brahmi script. Right now, it looks like a dubious, unbacked insertion.


"A glance at the oldest Brāhmī inscriptions shows striking parallels with contemporary Aramaic for a few of the phonemes that are equivalent between the two languages, especially if the letters are flipped to reflect the change in writing direction."

I was comparing the two but could not identify any. Although I did find some characters between Phoenician & Brahmi that matched. Also, I was curious about why, if Brahmi descended from Aramaic, it is not written right to left.

The illustration shows several parallels. One problem is that the illustrations we have of Aramaic are not the closest in place and time to the origin of Brahmi. As for direction, it is rather common for scripts to change direction. There are several examples of Brahmi written from right to left, but unfortunately these are not dated. kwami (talk) 08:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Brahmi developed from Aramaic/Phonecian??!?[edit]

This is another example of the gross bias of the editors of Wikipedia and the Eurocentric so-called "scholars" in the west. How on earth can Brahmi be derived from Aramaic and or Phonecian? If the Brahmi numeral system (Hindu numerals) went FROM INDIA to the middle east, how can the language/script of Brahmi be derived from the Middle east? It is rather illogical to suggest that although the numeral system went FROM India westward, the script/language came eastward from the Middle East! The fact that the numerals traveled westward is ample evidence that Brahmi influenced the Semitic languages and even the Phonecian script. Despite the blatant bias and eurocentricity of the article, this scenario should at least be mentioned. Perhaps something like this: "Although the majority of the scholars today suggest that Brahmi was derived from Phonecian and consequently Aramaic, a few contend that the Brahmi script, along with its family of languages influenced the Semitic languages as well as Phoneician, suggesting a westward travel of information analogous to the Brahmi numerals from India."

Blaming Hindutva/Hindu Nationalism isn't going to help here. It's purely and simply logical to suggest that 'as the Brahmi numeral system traveled westward from India, so did the script and/or subset of languages'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.180.39.64 (talk) 19:05, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The Indian/Hindu numeral system is not a specifically "Brahmi" numeral system, and it was transmitted westwards by the Arabs from India many centuries after the appearance of the Semitic Aramaic/Phoenecian scripts. The Semitic scripts, on the other hand, were developed centuries before Brahmi, just as Indian/Hindu numerals appeared centuries before modern Arabic/Western numerals did. If we can conclude that Indian/Hindu numerals are the ancestors of the Arabic/Western numerals based on the latter phenomenon, we sure as hell can conclude (especially when supported by evidence of cross-linguistic adaptation, like those mentioned in the article) that the Semitic scripts are the ancestors of Brahmi based on the former phenomenon. You can't have your cake and eat it too. --SohanDsouza (talk) 08:41, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
When we find an example of Brahmi script dated to perhaps 1800 BC, then perhaps we can suggest the East-to-West direction. Otherwise, evidence clearly indicates that the Imperial Aramiac alphabet directly influenced the creation of Brahmi, probably around 600 BC or so. Washi (talk) 23:09, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

And where is your evidence to support an Aramiac origin. The article gives no references to support this theory and so it should be removed until evidence is provided. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.181.206.125 (talk) 00:55, 21 February 2010 (UTC) Great Information. I would be obliged if some one could tell me whether ancient alphabet tables of Aramaic, Brahami, Bengali , Devangri and Telgu languages were have any sign to represent "F" ? Would it not be a good logical way to trace family of languages through the availablity or unavailability of different soundsZarin144 (talk) 12:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Gratuitous Mention of Hindu Nationalism[edit]

I think to mention Hindu nationalism while speaking of theories of origin of Brahmi is not only gratuitous but in bad taste. It is not only some Indian scholars who are convinced that there is preponderant evidence for an indigenous origin of Brahmi, but also prominent Western scholars such as Raymond Allchin (quoted in Jack Goody's The Interface Between the Written and the Oral (C, 1987, pp. 301-302) and G.R. Hunter. And if they are good scholars, I am sure Hindu nationalism is not what has made them reach their position. MarcAurel 04:05, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Marc. Blaming Hindu nationalism is quite fashionable these days! deeptrivia (talk) 04:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
You should read that paper by Kak that was referenced as evidence for the increasing acceptance of the indigenous origin theory. http://www.ece.lsu.edu/kak/writ.pdf Kak doesn't even acknowledge that the Aramaic/Semitic theory exists. That's not scholarship, that's pure and simple nationalistic propaganda. You couldn't get away with that in an undergrad term paper in the US. There's nothing gratuitous about mentioning a significant controversial issue in the field, and I have added a discussion of it, with references that actually support the text they're attached to.
One paragraph, which I've largely removed said:

Even though there is little intervening evidence for writing during the millennium and a half between the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization c. 1900 BCE and the first appearance of Brahmi in the mid-4th century BCE, the Indus hypothesis is slowly gaining momentum because of the sheer differences between how Semitic alphabets work and how Brahmi works for an Indo-Aryan language.[1][2] [3]

I actually looked up 2 of those references. Salomon's cited paper does not accept the theory (though he discusses it, as he should), nor does it say that it is "slowly gaining ground." Kak obviously accepts it, but he does not discuss "sheer differences between how Semitic alphabets work". He only mentions Aramaic long enough to concede that Karosthi derives from it. There is no comparison of Brahmi with Semitic alphabets at all, and as I said Kak is clearly not a reliable source if he doesn't even mention a theory that has dominated the field for over a century. I didn't read the 3rd reference, but since the first two were bogus, I have to assume the 3rd probably doesn't say what the author of this text claims either. This is an obvious and rather feeble attempt to gin up support for this claim. I don't know what you think the motive was for doing that if it wasn't Indian nationalism. Tarchon (talk) 18:10, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Brahmi the herb[edit]

Isn't Brahmi a herb too - Bacopa Monniera

Yes, I was looking for the herb, too. I added a disambiguation link because of the popularity of the herb. ॐ Priyanath 23:09, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Brahmi is a herb which is described in Ayurveda as one which improves your mind power & memory. Brahma ( not Brahmaa - one of trinity deva ) is the ultimate power in Hinduism ( see in Hinduism for the proper meaning ). You come near to this Brahma if you eat this herb. That's why the name given to it is Brahmi. Since Branhmi - the herb - improves mind & memory power, then only one can be more receptive to the higher knowledge of this universe.

Technically, it reduces Pitta in the body and cools mind & body.So, mind & memory power increases by this brahmi - the herb.

But why the same is given to a script in India ? Because, previously Sanskrit verses were preserved for centuries by only Oral tradition. But, by writing method one can preserve the knowledge more properly and become knowledgable easily. And, hence the script is also given the name Bramhi - one brings mankind nearer the ultimate Bramha.

Isn't it interesting to know this ? WIN 13:14, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

According to MW, brahmī is a name of Macrognathus pancalus, while brāhmī is a name of Clerodendrum siphonantus, Ruta graveolens, Enhydra hingcha and other plants, and other unrelated things (constellations, ants, fish). They apparently just called stuff brahmi on a whim because it sounded nice. dab () 13:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
That is interesting to know the source of the word. Maybe it's worth putting in the article? Gotu Kola, aka Asiatic pennywort, or Centella asiatica, is also sometimes referred to as Brahmi. It gets very confusing in Ayurveda. Bacopa monnieri is the most commonly named 'Brahmi' in Ayurveda, but there's still alot of confusion on websites and articles between the different Brahmis. ॐ Priyanath 14:22, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so the herb's name is brahmī while the script's name is Brāhmī. I always whether they were pronounced the same of different. GizzaChat © 06:31, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Why is Brahmi listed under Aramaic?[edit]

Since the article itself points to various inconsistencies between Brahmi and Aramaic, why is it still listed under Aramaic on the chart? Since it is a point of contention, this should be put under the Indian language tree, since that is the most visibly connected family. Tu160m 23:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

+1, Can someone point to a study that justifies this placement ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.225.48.118 (talk) 06:44, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
yea Indians are other so called so lost tribes described in Christian literature. Everyone came from Middle east according to christian science, Losers and scoundrels killing reality. Now they attacking on Civilizations and their history with new instruments- pseudo science and pseudo history. This is making its way with its right-wing fanatic agenda — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.89.157.10 (talk) 01:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

the earliest examples of Brahmi writing[edit]

the earliest examples of Brahmi writing, but recent archeological evidence in Sri Lanka[4][5] and Tamil Nadu, India suggest the dates for the earliest use of Brāhmī to be around the 6th century BC, dated using radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dating methods.

The references do not describe the finding. Who know something more ? It will be good to describe it. Or if this is false remove the secondary or tertiary references. 24.13.244.169 06:26, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 17:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia assignment collaboration[edit]

Hey Jessica! It seems like this page is pretty compresensive to cover most of the topics related to Brahmi script. Some further expansion may include the following topics: how adaptable it is to use by other languages what medium it is most often used in Thanks.

Lunabunny (talk) 07:12, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Hey thank you for editing my writing. I've considered your comment and tried to include what you've suggested in my writing. However I realized that my writing is on "Basic Grammar" so writing about how other languages were based on the Brahmi script would kind of deviate from the topic. But I think the writing systems that descended from the original Brahmi script sum up what you've told me to consider. Some other users have already written about the descendant writing systems. Therefore, I don't think I would be able to include it in my writing. Anyways, thank you again for your suggestions! --Frandis (talk) 07:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Its great that you can add extra information to an article which already have quite a bit of information. It seems that this article has covered most if not all of the topics available. Just as a suggestion, I would elaborate more upon the vocabulary you used. what is pillar edicts? What is the difference between basic and secondary vowels? What is trianglewise? Jcc349 (talk) 19:50, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Hey thank you for your suggestions. I initially thought the vocabs that you pointed out were kind of self-explanatory. However, I decided to take your suggestion and added the definition of pillar edicts. For "trianglewise" I thought it would be better just to refer it to the chart. Also, for basic and secondary vowels, I put an internal link to "vowels." Hopefully, this will clear up some vague vocabs. Thank you for pointing that out!--Frandis (talk) 07:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


WHY THERE IS NO MENTION OF NORTH SEMITIC AND SOUTH SEMITIC DERIVATIVE? THE ARTICLE OVEREMPHASIZES ON ARAMAIC DERIVATION WHICH IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AS ANOTHER INDIAN SCRIPT KHAROSTHI IS TOO DERIVED FROM ARAMAIC. TWO DIFFERENT SCRIPTS DERIVED FROM SAME SOURCE IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY. Avantika

Uhm, what? It's well-documented that many different scripts arose from Aramaic. In point of fact, virtually all major scripts based on the alphabetic principle (i.e. abjads, abugidas, and true alphabets) are in fact derived from a single script developed from Egyptian hieroglyphs among Semitic miners (read: slaves) in the Sinai. The Ge'ez script directly developed from this script (via the intermediary of South Arabian, while the remainder of the family traces back to Phoenician. A western group descends from Greek (e.g. Latin and Cyrillic), while an eastern group descends from Aramaic. The modern Arabic and Syriac alphabets both unquestionably descend from Aramaic; why can't Brahmi, too? And now back to our regular programming.... Lockesdonkey (talk) 17:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


No thats not the exact crticism. Two different scripts may be derived from a same script, but in the same region? And these are not my words. Richard Saloman has pointed it out in his book,"Indian epigraphy: a guide to the study of inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the other Indo-Aryan languages", 1998 OUP, pp 28 where by the way he also dicusses various other origins and also difficulties in accepting them. There is no doubt about Kharosthi being derived from aramaic. In fact we can derive entire Kharosthi letter by letter, by adding few diacritics. But Bramhi it is difficult and Buhler's attempt, though admirable is not perfect. Avantika


You keep saying there is evidence. What you provide is not evidence but similarities. Why can't there be an East to West influence. This article is so POV its unbelievable. The section is getting removed unless someone wants to provide citations and references to support any foreign origin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.185.203.15 (talk) 21:22, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

um, the evidence is in Bühler (1895). We do not construct arguments ourselves, we figure out which are the arguments used in mainstream scholarship and then report on them. If you are interested in the evidence, read Bühler's book. If you have references that offer constructive criticism of the evidence, let's see them. --dab (𒁳) 14:03, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Buhler's attempt is only one such attempt.

Obviously, Glagolitic and Cyrillic are perfect counterexamples to the claim that "TWO DIFFERENT SCRIPTS DERIVED FROM SAME SOURCE IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY." Both are contemporary and well known to be derived from Greek, but Glagolitic has a lot more originality to it. They originated in the same period and coexisted for a long time until the Cyrillic alphabet won out. Cyrillic probably derives some glyphs from Glagolitic; essentially Cyrillic is Greek in which (mostly) only the glyphs that represent exclusively Slavic sounds are taken from Glagolitic, while all the more familiar Greek sounds use their Greek equivalents. I could see an argument that something similar happened with Brahmi and Karosthi, but in that case the more nativized alternative eventually predominated. Tarchon (talk) 18:56, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Or hiragana and katakana - same source script, and they've been in parallel use for, what, over 1000 years now? Tarchon (talk) 19:03, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Classification as Abugida[edit]

In George Cardona's "The Indo-Aryan Languages" (2003) he states that the Brahmic scripts, though sharing features of abugidas like the Ethiopic ones, have far too many uniquely Indian features to merit being classified in the same group as them and suggests the alternate term "akshara script". As this is the opinion of an expert on the subject, I think it merits at least a mention here. Thoughts? GSMR (talk) 23:02, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

The Brahmic scripts are the prototype for the term "abugida", so it seems odd to say they aren't abugida enough. And there are certainly subtypes within Brahmic abugidas (presence or absence of a halanta, consonant digraphs, diacritics for coda consonants, omission of coda consonants altogether, a null-consonant letter, use of y, w for vowels, etc.), just as there are within abjads and alphabets, but if we start saying that Brahmic scripts are Brahmic-like scripts, and that Arabic is an Arabic-like script, we're no longer conveying any useful information.
The various subtypes are discussed in the Brahmic article. I think Cardona's opinion would be better off there. kwami (talk) 23:19, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Why do you say Brahmic scripts are the prototype for the term "abugida"? In Daniels's article coining the term Ethiopic is cited before Sanskrit, and the word itself is from Ethiopic. --JWB (talk) 15:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Annoyance[edit]

This is getting quite ridiculous. The Aramaic hypothesis as is stated is only a hypothesis. As such I don't think anyone has the right to start editing this or similar articles justifying the Brahmic Script under the Aramaic one. This article is litters with POV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.163.15.180 (talk) 00:08, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

It's the dominant hypothesis. We can add question marks to show it isn't certain, but not delete any ancestors as if Brahmi were a separate invention. Also, you left Karoshthi as a sister script, which would only be possible if Brahmi derived from Aramaic. You also deleted the classification of Brahmi as an abugida, which is rather ridiculous. — kwami (talk) 00:23, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

It is true that the article needs better references, particularly tertiary ones. I have added a quote from EB. There it is clearly stated that the Aramaic hypothesis is the mainstream opinion. There is a minority view, which (a) emerged only a decade ago, and (b) remains limited to "some Indian scholars". It was also the view of "some early [pre-Bühler] European scholars". This is a fringe view which can be duly mentioned, but not more. On the face of it this is just as in the Out of India theory, some patriotic Indian scholars reviving a theory that has been seriously considered and rejected as implausible more than a 100 years ago. If there is any reason for reviving this theory other than idle patriotism, it would be the burden of the supporters to make the case. --dab (𒁳) 14:00, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Sorry about removing it as an abugida. It was actually an accident. Thanks for the help and improvements to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.164.140.95 (talk) 00:33, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The discussion of the scholarly consensus (as of the latest definitive discussion of the issue in Richard Salomon's 1996 "On the origin of the early Indian scripts") was removed on 27 March with the purported justification "doesn't need to go in the origins section because it is just a theory". This, of course, betrays a basic misunderstanding of the function of theories in scientific investigation and deprives readers of an understanding of the literature. It is important that this (and a discussion of other origins hypotheses) remain in the article so that the reader will be able to follow up the references him- or herself and decide from there whether further research is justified.

I have restored the deleted section and added short references to the South Arabian hypothesis and the general lack of sufficient evidence for any of the existing hypotheses.

(Editorial note: My own research has revealed very strong evidence, far more systematic than that available for any of the previous proposals, for an origin in Old North Arabian scripts, specifically Safaitic with two extra borrowings from Thamudic. This is based on new discoveries in ONA palaeography in the past century and makes a case no less strong than the origins of Greek script in Phoenician. I have not yet published this, so it will be a year or two before it becomes part of the scholarly literature; naturally, Wikipedia is not the place for me to add my original research.

Obviously, I clearly disagree with all previous hypotheses on the origins of Brahmi, whaether borrowed from the West or an indigenous developement of the Indus Valley symbols (whose status as a linguistic script has been seriously cast into doubt by the work of Farmer, Sproat et al.). This said, my disagreement with these hypotheses would be no justification for me to delete anything in the article that refers to them: that would be censorship on my part. What has become part of the scholarly discussion on any issue must remain for readers to inform themselves on the history of the question, no matter how strongly anybody might disagree with such hypotheses or theories. No person should take upon him- or herself a right to censor the history of scholarly debate on any question. The Western origin hypotheses should remain in the article, along with the discussion of the far less plausible indigenous origin hypothesis.

I also agree with Kwamikagami about the editing of the related scripts sidebar that incongruously left Kharoshthi – clearly descended from Aramaic – in place as a "sister" script.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiwehtin (talkcontribs) 20:36, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Brahmi script and Jain Legend[edit]

The name Brahmi is said to have come from a jain legend and this is included in the article page. The source is given which is in Kannada. That Kannada text is given below for reference:

"ಆದಿ ತೀರ್ಥಂಕರ ವೃಷಭ ದೇವನು ತನ್ನ ಕುಮಾರಿಯಾದ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮೀ ಸೌಂದರಿಯರಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡ ಆಂಕಾಕ್ಷರ ಗಳನ್ನು ವಿವರಿಸಿದ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದಾಗಿ ಈ ಅಕ್ಷರ ಲಿಪಿಗೆ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮೀಲಿಪಿ ಎಂದು ಅಂಕ ಲಿಪಿಗೆ ಸೌಂದರಿ ಲಿಪಿ ಎಂದು ಹೆಸರಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಖಚಿತವಾದ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಯನ್ನು ಸಿರಿ ಭೂ ವಲಯವು ಬಹಳ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿದೆ ಎಂದರು."

Anyone who can get the Source link in English can edit and enter it. Regards. Sunder. 27.61.191.141 (talk) 09:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC).


Hey Sundar . I am interested in English text where to get it. I am doing some research work on the origin of Hindoism and Jainism and would be obliged if we can share information in this regards. I am of opinion the most of our history has been reproduced by copy and paste type writers without doing any research and today a lot of books leads us to only one sources which might be correct or incorrect . We need to anaylse and ready to accept truth.

Zarin144 (talk) 12:55, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

remove section[edit]

I'm taking out this from the lede:

It was innovative in its presentation, with the alphabet arranged in a grid (varga) according to phonetic principles. [ref: Frits Staal, "The science of language", Chapter 16 in Gavin Flood, The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Blackwell Publishing, 2003, 599 pages ISBN 0631215352. "Like Mendelejev's Periodic system of elements, the varga system was the result of centuries of analysis. In the course of that development, the basic concepts of phonology were discovered and defined." p.352.]

Do we know that the varga dates back to Brahmi? The ref suggests not.

Jainism
According to Jain belief, Brahmi, one of two daughters of the first Tirthankar Lord Rishabdev (Lord Aadinatha), composed the first text known to human-kind, and its script was called Brahmi in respect to her name. Several Sutras of Jain scriptures, particularly in temples in Tamil Nadu, were found written in the Brahmi script.

No citations, and dubious: Since 'Brahmi' is a modern name, where does this idea come from? — kwami (talk) 01:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

About Pre-Ashokan epigraphy section.[edit]

I propose to change this sentence: "....This might be explained by the cultural importance at the time (and indeed to some extent today) of oral literature for history and Hindu scripture." in this form: "...This might be explained by the religious importance of oral transmission for Hindu tradition and history..." Literature requires writing. It is not possible "oral transmission of literature and Hindu scripture".

--Andriolo (talk) 12:16, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

I think your wording is an improvement, but your reasoning is false: oral literature is a common-enough term. — kwami (talk) 13:21, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Good scientific writing (as it should be that of an encyclopedia) must avoid the oxymoron that it is typical of colloquial or poetical language. "..... oral transmission of literature and ... scripture....." it is too much poetical or colloquial. In the place of "scripture" or "literature" it is possible to use the words "composition", "epic", "tradition", the meaning does not change but the form becomes scientific. It is possible use the word "scripture" for example for an sacred oral composition from the moment since it becomes crystallized in the writing. --Andriolo (talk) 22:16, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Are you agree to change these sentences ?--Andriolo (talk) 22:52, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Andriolo:

It seems to me that your objection to "literature" in conjunction with "oral" has to do with a narrow interpretation of the word that would restrict it to texts that are written down. However, the various fields of study that deal with literature have accepted a broader interpretation of the word for many years now, where literature is not necessarily something written down but can be oral or (in sign languages) signed. This is a useful metonymic expansion of the term because it expresses the various kinds of structural parallels and commonalities between written, spoken and signed literature. If you object to the broadened use of the term, you would really need to address your objections to scholars in the field of literary analysis.

Since this broad sense is so widely accepted, it is appropriate to use it in Wikipedia.

Kiwehtin (talk) 17:12, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


It is not so widely accepted, those who have used that oximoron have been forced to write a chapter of introduction to explain why they use oral'-'literature. However they are antropologists and none literary or filology scholars. In the place, the Frenchs who are finkies about the meaning of the words, use a neologism “Orature”. In Germany and Italy about rich oral tradition of Alps and German Myths for example, it is used “oral narrative tradition” and “sacred oral tradition”; “tradition” because there isn’t an author.

In philosophy and filology the language follows mathematical rules so it need use the etimology indeed if we change the meaning of words giving wide or narrow interpretation, everything becomes incomprehensible.

However, it is well known that the language of the pub with time, becomes the language of culture ..... especially when the culture is tyrannized by time and the business.

--Andriolo (talk) 22:16, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Kanheri Caves Image[edit]

I'd bet money that the image of writing from the Kanheri Caves is not Brāhmī but a later derivative - it's hard to tell as the image isn't very clear, but it looks more like Gupta script to me. mahaabaala (talk) 20:33, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

right to left?[edit]

From the article: "Aramaic is written from right to left, as was Brāhmī originally, whereas Brāhmī later came to be written left to right." Says who? I've just been reading some of Asoka's edicts in Brāhmī script and didn't find any that were right to left. This needs a source! mahaabaala (talk) 16:58, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Good point. I hadn't noticed this. I believe Richard Salomon addresses this — there are some coins with right to left Brahmi — and discounts it as an unusual characteristic of coin inscriptions. I will have to check which of his publications is the one where he talks about this. I think it's in Indian Palaeography. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiwehtin (talkcontribs) 15:04, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Megasthenes[edit]

S.o. restored the Megasthenes quote saying the have a ref, but d n supply it. Bright (1990) discusses it in Language variation in South Asia, p. 138 ff. — kwami (talk) 08:51, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I just put in the references, including Bright, but thank you. Allens (talk) 09:07, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Keep Indus Origin[edit]

I have been in conflict on keeping the Indus Script origin hypothesis with User:Kwamikagami .

I have given the enough evidences of relevance, importance, notability of Indus Script hypothesis. Both Indus Script origin and Aramaic hypothesis are controversial.

It is part of Aryan-Dravidian politics of India because of this good scholar work haven't been easy.

But now, both of them are equally important so both of them should have a rightful place here. So let's discuss to solve this problem.


List of great Scholars who supports this Indus theory, to name few(As I can name many many many more):

  1. V. S. Wakankar - Leading reseacher of Saraswati Sodh Sansthan which thoroughly surveyed the now dried Saraswati river. In 1958 Wakankar discovered the Bhimbetka rock caves. In 1970 UNESCO inscribed the Bhimbetka rock caves as a World Heritage Site. The Bhimbetka rock caves exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. He is considered as the father of rock art in India and established the Wakankar Indological/ Cultural Research Trust in Ujjain, India. In 1975, he was awarded the Padmashree award, one of India's highest civilian honors.
  2. David Frawley- David Frawley (or Vāmadeva Śāstrī वामदेव शास्त्री) is an American Hindu author, publishing on topics such as Hinduism, Yoga and Ayurveda. He is the founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and Hindu astrology. He is also a professor of Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda at the Hindu University of America at Orlando, Florida. He is a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor), and a Jyotishi (astrologer). In publications such as In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (1995), Frawley has also defended theories of historical revisionism advocating the "Indigenous Aryans" ideology popular in Hindu nationalism.
  3. N. S. Rajaram- Indian Mathematician and former NASA scientist, worked with many great scientists at NASA. Did the scientific analysis of Vedanta. With Natwar Jha, made the best Indus Script decipherment attempt( of what I know up of ). He analized the late Vedic Sulb-sutras (mathematical text) and showed how they are related to the Harrapan architecture and hence showed how Vedic Age fall with Indus Civilization and shift of post Vedic Hindu civilization towards Ganges plain.
  4. S. R. Rao - He is an famous Historian and an Indian archeologist who led teams credited with the discovery of a number of Harappan sites including the famous port city of Lothal in Gujarat. He also discovered the ancient city of Dwarka and Indus seal there. Dwarka was an important Vedic city. He tried to decipher Indus script and compared it with Semitic script and gave phonetic value to the Indus symbols and got a Sanskritic reading! He notices that by time Indus script become more and more cursive and then, it developed into other scripts of India and middle east. So Brahmi and Phonician are sister scripts. Similarity between Aramaic and Brahmi is because of common ancestor.
  5. Koenraad Elst - He is a Belgian writer and orientalist (without institutional affiliation). He was an editor of the New Right Flemish nationalist journal Teksten, Kommentaren en Studies from 1992 to 1995, focusing on criticism of Islam, various other conservative and Flemish separatist publications such as Nucleus, 't Pallieterke, Secessie and The Brussels Journal. Having authored fifteen English language books on topics related to Indian politics and communalism, Elst is one of the most well-known western writers (along with François Gautier) to actively defend the Hindutva ideology. His writings are frequently featured in right-wing publications. He have written great works on the Uheimat of Aryans and un masked the pseudo-scientific linguistic basis of Dravidianism.
  6. Natwar Jha- The main person behind the best decipherment attempt of Indus Script. Studied the Indus script for 20 years. He is a great Sanskrit Scholars and matched the Indus seals with the Vedic Glossary.
  7. Dattopant Thengadi - He built the largest trade union in India, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh. Formed in 1955 it over took INTUC, the largest trade union, in just three decades. In 1989, the strength of BMS was 31 lakhs and more. That was more than the combined strength of CITU and AITUC - monopolists of the trade union movement. Today its membership is over 83 lakhs, more than the collective number of most other trade unions. Yes, he built the most powerful trade union. Yet, he was not a Communist. He actually opposed the Communists, stormed their citadel and captured it. Never a Socialist, but, he defeated them in their own territory. He waged an open war, an ideological war, against them, and defeated them in a straight war, not in guerilla warfare. Also he never used his strength, never called for a bandh, the normal weapon of large trade unions, and never brought any city to a standstill. He is also a great scholar, with books authored by him on most topics of scholar's importance, from History to Economics to Politics.


Besides, it's integral part of Hindu Nationalism. Hindu Nationalist organisations are largest non government affiliated organisations in the world with millions of Hindu Nationalists. It's de facto believed by all. Top RSS leaders like Dattopant Thengadi (who is also a scholar) have highly criticized the Dravidianism and claimed that there is only one civlization in India and so called Dravidians and Indus people are also Aryans (if North Indians are called Aryans).

This theory is very strong theory. Many late Harrapan symbols 100% resembles Brahmi. And Many many many more Middle Harrapan symbols are very much close to Brahmi(Much closer than Aramaic). Any researcher who is expert in Brahmi and have knowledge of Indus Script know it, if he is really an honest scholars. I am a Brahmi expert. Use it in my day to day life. Mainly personal in nature like diary. I have been researching on Indus Script for 2 years and on Vedic civilization for 6 years.

Rejection of putting Indus Script Hypothesis at it's rightful place in wikipedia with it's rightful respect by an admin( not naming him/her) is nothing other than either ideologically motivated or because it is against what he/she learnt first. And is an attempt to shake the Indian self respect by not allowing the neutral knowledge about here culture to known.

But again and again removing it, given that I have provided sources of one of the greatest scholars of our time is nothing other than vandalism.

--User:Leodescal (talk)

We're an encyclopedia. Politics has no place in our articles. You are making your hypothesis primary, which violates WP:WEIGHT. The nearest thing to consensus in this regard is the Semitic hypothesis. You claim that WEIGHT does not apply because you have WP:TRUTH – please read those policies. And allow some discussion here rather than edit warring. If sources support your edits, they will get the exposure they deserve.
But I notice you have not given a single WP:reliable source for your edits. — kwami (talk) 20:26, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell (i.e. in all the sources I have read), the Semitic hypothesis is by far the most accepted regarding the origin of the Brahmi script. The only real discussions I've ever seen documented are whether Brahmi dates from the time of Ashoka (derived from Aramaic) or an earlier period (derived directly from Phoenician)....either way the proposed ancestor would be Semitic. That Brahmi developed indigenously from the Indus Valley Script, after a silent gap of over a millennium is at best a fringe theory only championed by those with a political, nationalist agenda, which you freely admit above: "Besides, it's integral part of Hindu Nationalism."(sic). Please read and understand WP:COI, WP:UNDUE, WP:NOTRELIABLE (regarding sources with a conflict of interest) WP:FRINGE, and WP:RS.--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 05:31, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

@William: Indians didn't do public writings. They mainly did personal writings and wrote trade contracts. We learnt Vedas by rote. Vedas are the best example. They are written quite recently. And it should be noted that when Aramaic hypothesis was born when India was not independent. It wasn't even under British Crown. But under Company rule. And Company did everything to destroy the self pride of Indians(I have it's sources, if you want.) And, Indus Valley Civilization was also found much later. Much after independence some scholars tried to find out correct history of India. And Aramaic hypothesis isn't near to be a consensus. consensus is consensus. Either something is consensus or it is not a consensus. Aramaic hypothesis because of being old enjoys greater votes.

Can you answer me these questions:

  1. Why late Harrapan Script have many signs exactly as Brahmi symbols?
  2. Why other late Harrapan Script symbols are 85% or more like Brahmi symbols when Aramaic symbols are more than 65%(most of them) as Brahmi symbols?
  3. Why S. R. Rao got Sanskritic reading of Indus script when he gave it Indus symbols values acc. to the Semitic script?
  4. Why so many key scholars(whom I named above) supports Indus hypothesis.

@kwami: I have used Koenraad Elyst's article and N. S. Rajaram's article as main source. So, articles of these scholars aren't reliable?

Also, I have evidences that Vedic Indians were literate when Vedas were composed. If you want I would show. --Leodescal(Harshvardhan) (talk) 09:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Justification or proof of an hypothesis is not in the scope of WP; what we shall do is that, if something is academically accepted or considered or somewhat notable we can scribe them in. If "Indus origin hypothesis" has notable coverage, which Leodescal claims to be, then it shall be in the article. Indus hypothesis may not be true, not even the Aramaic Hypothesis be - that is why they are called hypotheses; but even if only a considerable amount of Indians do support "Indus theory" we shall place it in the article along with its criticisms, supporting grounds and falsifying grounds. Same shall be for Aramaic hypothesis.
<personal POV>Apart from this, as Leodescal asked about "Harappa Script - Brahmi similarities", let me share some personal thought, Harappa script might also come from Aramaic or even from earlier Phoenician. And as Indo-European language family binds all Indian languages to the same root as other Semitic and European members of the family (consensus), it is obvious assumption that, their script also came from a common root </personal POV> » nafSadh did say 15:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Any theory of the origin of Brahmi should explain the strong similarity between Brahmi and Karoshthi. One cannot accept that this similarity is a coincidence. Since Karoshthi seems to have appeared somewhat earlier than Brahmi, the thought is near that Brahmi is derived from Karoshthi. This is possibility that is mentioned in Henry Rogers Book "Writing systems, a linguistic approach" (Blackwell Publishing) in section 11.3.3.4. User: Malo Hautus

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.163.111.205 (talk) 15:46, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Kharoṣṭhī, as also noted in current version of relevant WP article, is already been identified as Sister of Brahmi, where both Brahmi and Kharoshthi are considered to be descendants of Aramaic alphabet. » nafSadh did say 16:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

@Leodescal 1) Regarding the questions you posed, those are beside the point, this isn't the place for editors to argue their beliefs. I need to echo kwami's sentiment from above: this is an encyclopedia. Please see WP:NOT and specifically WP:FORUM. Please keep your discussion limited to the quality of the sources as that is all that is relevant. 2) Regarding your "sources", you say "I have used Koenraad Elyst's article and N. S. Rajaram's article as main source. So, articles of these scholars aren't reliable?" to answer bluntly, no they are not reliable sources. Please see WP:RS and WP:OR for Wikipedia's definition of what is, and is not, a reliable source. Neither Elyst's nor Rajaram's "articles" regarding this topic appear in peer reviewed journals. Neither Elyst's nor Rajaram's main field of study is linguistics (or even history of writing systems), their opinions on the matter are incidental to their main areas of activity. In fact, when experts in the field do mention Elyst or Rjaram, their "articles" are always described as pseudoscience and propaganda.

I have provided you many links to Wikipedia policy and guideline pages. The community has spent a lot of time producing these policy pages. I do hope you take full advantage of them by reading and understanding them. These pages are what we have to base our discussions on here, not our own personal beliefs or agendas.

@nafSadh The "Indus Valley hypothesis" is currently covered in the article according to the weight of its "sources".--William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 18:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

@WilliamThweatt: I ain't taking a side. Yes I see a coverage there. I don't see enough evidence on Indus thing anyway, but they are duly covered here. With current sources in hand, I think Leodescal might understand the consensus on closing the debate :P » nafSadh did say 20:09, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


@William: You said Koenraad Elyst is not a Linguist. But actually he is. See this article- http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/indo-european-urheimat-elst.html The kind of work presented by him is excellent. It's totally based on linguistics. About Rajaram. I agree he is more of a historian than a linguist but he have considerable knwoledge of Vedic Sanskrit which Mortimer Wheeler lacked. When V. D. Wakankar said that it's written in Vedic literature that Sambhars are from mountains not from plains(what he said). When he showed him Vedic grammar he said he don't know it and isn't interested in it!
And it should also be noted that both schools call it's counterpart pseudoscience. It's a fact. And it's not possible that Harrapan script was derived from Phonecian. It's way older than that. Thousands of years. What can be questioned is, if Harrapan have independent origin or it was derived or at least influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphs or even Cuneiform script. It might be true was Indus people were widely travel people. But I think it's not the topic of discussion here....
What I am saying is that Indus Script hypothesis have overwhelming support in North India, good support in south(by scholars mostly) and it's supported by millions. This is for notability. I have given name of S. R. Rao too. He discovered the ancient city of Dwarka and many major Harrapan civilization sites including Lothal. He was the first one to give a hypothesis that gradually Indus script was becoming cursive, changing. He is also celebrated at secular spheres. The problem is when I gave the sources they were very big! Koenraad Elyst's articles had given information about which all scholars support S.R. rao's hypothesis, etc. etc. Now I'll point exactly where it is said.
No I'll go back, collect all the facts, sources, etc. and show them here. And then we can together work at giving final work to Brahmi article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leodescal (talkcontribs) 05:12, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Before you go to all that work, please read WP:reliable sources. The scholars you cite need to be authorities in this field. It won't do any good to find people whose expertise lies elsewhere. For example, if you found a famous physicist who supports the Indus hypothesis, we wouldn't accept it, because there'd be no reason to believe he understands anything about the evolution of writing systems. Also, the work you cite needs to be peer reviewed in a reputable journal or other publication, again, in this field. — kwami (talk) 07:24, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, we still get Elst/Rajaram/Kak style "Voice of India" type trolling about Indigenous Aryans, in the year 2012? This is just so 2006. Leodescal, we have been there. People have tried this. Nothing came of it. So please don't bother, you are six years late. --dab (𒁳) 12:13, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Time would prove who's is trolling... I'm currently busy, after 12th I'll show all the proves. And it isn't 2006 idea. British did conspiracy against Indians. Truth always win. Since India got independence, there is struggle for real history. Saraswati river's discovery is a great set back to the anti Indian politicians. Truth would have the final victory. I have read most important scholars of Aryan and Dravidian hypothesis. Max Muller is a fool. It's reason behind saying that Vedic Indians were illiterate and age of vedas to be 1500 B.C. is ridicules. More and more scholars are now supporting the indigenous aryan hypothesis. One day it would be proved that India is the cradle of Aryan civilization and eternal light of civilizational knowledge to all. -Leodescal — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.212.20.116 (talk) 10:55, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

You were born two generations too late, weren't you. Back in 1952 you would have been a hero for bashing the evil colonialists for hiding the truth about Vedic UFOs.

The point is that Brahmi appears just in time to be derived from Semitic-derived scripts. Darius goes to India in 519 BC and, bam, in 518 BC the Indians suddenly remember that they have this old indigenous script that has been lying around unused since 1900 BC, no connection? Please try to separate indigenist patriotic wishful thinking from rational thinking aware of Occam's razor.

The real discussion is how Brahmi was inspired by Aramaic-derived "Scythian" scripts. It wasn't straightforward. It's a bit like the origin of hangul, or hiragana, scripts clearly inspired by Chinese writing, but still local innovations. --dab (𒁳) 08:32, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Brahmi and Indus aren't different things. Brahmi was just the evolution of Indus Script, as shown by SR Rao how Indus script was evolving. Indus wrote all that time, but writing material didn't survive. --Rawal of Jaisalmer (talk) 17:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


There is an great, important, exceptional, wonderful, democratically accredited scholar who argues that Brahmi come from Mars with a Vimana. Why isn’t he included in the article ??!! Undoubtedly there is a colonialist plot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.222.73.50 (talk) 12:09, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

"Why late Harrapan Script have many signs exactly as Brahmi symbols?"

There are only so many basic geometric forms in the world. If you study writing systems other than Brahmi and the Indus script, you'll see the same basic glyph forms over and over again. You can really only relate the simple ones if they have something else connecting them, like the same phonetic value or the same position in the collation order. You can find many completely random glyphs that are identical between Ogham and Brahmi - that doesn't mean they're related. Until someone actually deciphers the Indus script, there's simply no good reason to say that they're related just because they both have, say, a circle with a line through it. So do about 100 other scripts. This basic fallacy is the source of most of the flocks of amateur decipherment claims flying around in the ether. Tarchon (talk) 06:58, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Origin of Brahmi : New paper[edit]

i am pleased to announce the publication of my fifth research paper in a peer-reviewed journal

this deals with the origin of Brahmi . this is a logical and self-explanatory paper and is written using a multi-disciplinary approach. it is written in such a way that anybody can cross-verify the conclusions.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/127306265/Sujay-Post-Harappan-Literacy-Final-Final-Final

sujay rao mandavilli — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.196.176.66 (talk) 09:15, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

What kind of peer review process would let you casually say "Some scholars, such as F. Raymond Allchin, John Marshall, Alexander Cunningham and the Assyriologist Professor S. Langdon have considered Brahmi as an indigenous development, with the Bronze Age Indus script as its predecessor. Other Indian scholars such as S.R Rao have also supported this hypothesis." and not call out the references? As it happens, Cunningham, for instance, later backed off from that position, as Buehler took pains to point out. You are also misrepresenting Allchin's position, which was not so much to hold that it was certainly an original indigenous development but to consider it a plausible theory. When you say "so and so said such and such" YOU MUST REFERENCE THE SOURCE so the reader can judge the veracity of your assertion. This is not optional by ANY standard of modern scholarship. Tarchon (talk) 07:29, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Literacy in Pre-Buddhist India[edit]

Literacy in pre-Buddhist India (before 600 BC)

Please find my collection of papers on literacy in Pre-Buddhist India

Before mature phase of Indus valley civilization (before 2600 BC)

- There are some potters marks but none qualify as full writing

Indus valley civilization (2600 BC to 1900 BC)

1. The reconfirmation and reinforcement of the Indus script thesis (very logical and self explanatory paper)


http://www.scribd.com/doc/46387240/Sujay-Indus-Script-Final-Version-Final-Final

2. The reintroduction of the lost manuscript hypothesis (the case for this thesis has obviously become much stronger in the recent past)


http://www.scribd.com/doc/111707419/Sujay-Indus-Reintroducing-Lost-Manuscript-Hypothesis

Post-Harappan India (1600 BC to 600 BC)

1. Literacy in post-Harappan india (obviously literacy in post-Harappan India existed in certain pockets & were limited to very small sections of society- alphabetic scripts were brought from West Asia and the Indus script also continued – this a very logical and self-explanatory paper and anyone can cross-verify the conclusions)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/127306265/Sujay-Post-Harappan-Literacy-and-origin-of-Brahmi

Sujay Rao Mandavilli 182.72.239.115 (talk) 09:09, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Please replace this absurd image[edit]

Government of Aryavart? What the hell on earth is it? Ministry of cultural affairs? What else bullshits are in store? The link provided is "Just another WordPress site" as it says. I checked their facebook page and it says they wanna overthrow secular govt. of India. What these craps are all about? Please replace this image with any of the inscriptions of Ashoka. -PrinceMathew (talk) 08:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia, tell me which rule of wikipedia bans getting images because of politics? Ashoka's example was good but old and not very readable. I got fonts from those guys via request on there facebook page. Then I had to make some designs and submit to them and they allowed publication under favorable licenses. Let's not bring politics in wikipedia... Let those political leaders fight each other. Donating that images to them which ultimately they released under favorable license is great help to me as now I have font with unlimited license to make more good works in Brahmi Script :) Don't take it as there work, as I really worked on it for hours to make stuffs in my fav script :) Rawal of Jaisalmer (talk) 14:09, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

No politics in wiki. Image is good so let's keep it.--FPSTurkey (talk) 14:41, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

origins[edit]

universally accepted concept is that Proto-Sinaitic is earliest known true writing system

(thus excluding Egyptian hieroglyphs; news to me.) If so, can't one legitimately say that the earliest true writing system is descended from an earlier almost writing system? —Tamfang (talk) 00:46, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes we can. We can even go back to cave arts for the hierarchy. It doesn't make any sense. For Brahmi, we can find strikingly close resemblance with Aramaic alphabet. Probably Brahmi evolved from it, or (seemingly more probable) Brahmi was modeled based on Aramaic alphabet; but we are not certain - hence is the (?) in the hierarchy. It is obvious that Proto-Sinatic (PS) was closely related to Egyptian hieroglyphs (EH); they even co-existed. But, we can not tell for certain, whether PS was evolved from EH or was developed in parallel. Also, note that EH included both alphabetic elements and logographic elements, while PS is alphabetic.
It is just convenient, to consider PS as the root of this tree. It is like saying, all alphabets has its root in PS, while PS has its own long story. – nafSadh did say 02:15, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Salomon_1998 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Subhash Kak, The evolution of early writing in India. Indian Journal of History of Science, vol. 28, pp. 375-388, 1994.
    • ^ P.G. Patel, Pramod Pandey, Dilip Rajgor, The Indic Scripts: Palaeographic and Linguistic Perspectives. D.K. Printworld, 2007.
    • ^ Deraniyagala on the Anuradhapura finds International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, Proceedings of the XIII International Congress of the Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences. 1996.
    • ^ *Coningham, Robin, University of Bradford Anuradhapura Project