Who were the Vedic Aryans? The majority of Indian scholars nowadays considers them as Indians of higher caste (Aryan = noble). However, Jats from Northern India do not agree with this view. Just like some of the western scholars of the last century, they insist that the pale skin of Northern Indians (compared to the South) comes from their Scythian and Massagetic origins.
One thing is certain – the common Indo-European heritage in terms of language, religion, and culture in general, cannot be denied. Today, the territory of these ancient nomadic tribes is populated by Mongolian, Turkic and Slavic nations. Was the situation very different a few thousand years ago?
In some of the previous articles, we have already discussed numerous linguistic and religious parallels between Slavs and India. Now we will try to pinpoint some of the possible tribes.
Rigvedic Krivi – Slavic Krivichs
Rigveda mentions the tribe Krivi on more than one occasion. However, very little is known on their identity. Even their name is a bit of a mystery.
Interestingly, one of the most important Slavic tribes of the 6th century had the same name – Krivich or (Kryvich). Their confederation had a strong influence on the creation of the first Russian state, the Kievan Rus. Today, in Latvian, the word “Krievs” means Russians, and the word “Krievija” – Russia.
The etymology of the Slavic name is also not known. The usual explanation is that it comes from the word “crooked”, which indeed sound similar in all Slavic languages. However, there is no logical explanation of why would any nation choose such a name for themselves.
I would like to propose another theory, that the origin of this word could lie in the Slavic word for blood, which in proto-Slavic was “Kry” Therefore, the meaning would be “of one blood”, “blood-related” people.
Rigvedic Rudra and Yakshi
Another tribe mentioned by Rigveda is the Rudra. Rudra was also a deity, probably related to the Orion constellation. But this Sanskrit word also has the meaning of “blood”. Therefore the Krivi and Rudra may have been different terms for the same group of people.
Yakshis, on the other hand, were named after the spirits of the forest. I find it interesting that one of the popular surnames in the Balkans is Jakshic, as in Djura Jakshic, the famous artist. The meaning of this surname is that the first person in the dynasty was Jaksha, (or a tribe of Yakshi)
The identity of the famous Kambojas is slightly better known. They were the pale-skinned horsemen of Indo-Iranian origin, also known as Sakas, and the country of Cambodia is named after them.
According to Wikipedia, the etymology of Kamboja comes from the mountainous highlands of Kum, or Kam. Ptolemy calls them Komedes.
The name “Kam” for the mountainous highlands is interesting, as the Slavic words for stone are “kam”, “kamak”, “kamen”. Also, the unexplained word Bhoj or Boja, sounds almost exactly like the name of the Boii tribe, which gave the name to the Modern Bohemia, Czech Republic.
Danavas were the sons of Danu, the goddess of the primeval waters. As a word for “rain” or “liquid”, dānu is compared to Avestan dānu, “river”, and further to river names like Don, Danube, Dneiper, Dniestr, etc.
In fact, the Slavic name for Danube – Dunav, is probably the closest sounding one. It replaced the older one which was Ister.
If this migration from India really happened, it probably happened during the Bronze age with the great migrations of people from the East to the regions of Balkans and the Mediterranean sea. In this case, it would be possible to make a connection not only by the same sounding river names as in the example above.
The tribe of Danavas could be the Denyen of the Sea Peoples, (Greek Danaoi) that later became the Tribe of Dan in Jewish scriptures. Furthermore, they could also be related to Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish folklore, who according to the legend came from Egypt. And ultimately, the country of Denmark could have been named after them.
The fact is that the great Epic of Mahabharata speaks of a great war. The main protagonists from one side are the Pandavas, whose name means “pale”.
The loss of this war, paired with the extreme climate changes, could have been the main reason for the great migrations of the Bronze age. Herodotus also mentions an episode in which Scythians attacked Babylon, only to return and realize that their slaves had rebelled. Interestingly, some of the Serbian medieval poetry mentions India as Old Serbia and speaks precisely about this war. For example:
The Serbs fought, my Koledo, my Bozhole, my Bozic, my Svarozhic (the names of Slavic gods)
In the land of Serbia, in this cursed India
They fought for a long time
For a hundered thousand long summers
And two hundered thousand short ones
They fought the battle with many harms
And Borich Bor got angry
When Hindush attacked him
It was a long battle, long war
With many enemies
Koled left his land,
And came above Bosnia
For Serbs it was a new dawn..
*My free translation of a poem "Jak-Car" from Bosnia, published in "Obredne Pjesme Drevnih Srba iz Indije" by A.B. Arsenovic
I am well aware that the ideas represented in this article are not inlined with the mainstream scholarly view. To those not familiar with the subject I would recommend to read my other related articles listed below. The similarities are too numerous to be ignored.