Difference between revisions of "Aryan"

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The Sanskrit word ''ārya'' is the self-designation used by the Vedic Indic people who migrated into the Indian subcontinent around 1500 BCE. This term has a cognate in the Iranian word ''arya'', which is also a self-designation, connected to the source of the country-name "Iran," from a phrase meaning "Kingdom of the Aryans."<ref>''Ancient History Encyclopedia.'' Published on 06 April 2018 by Cristian Violatti at https://www.ancient.eu/Aryan</ref>
 
The Sanskrit word ''ārya'' is the self-designation used by the Vedic Indic people who migrated into the Indian subcontinent around 1500 BCE. This term has a cognate in the Iranian word ''arya'', which is also a self-designation, connected to the source of the country-name "Iran," from a phrase meaning "Kingdom of the Aryans."<ref>''Ancient History Encyclopedia.'' Published on 06 April 2018 by Cristian Violatti at https://www.ancient.eu/Aryan</ref>
  
After the misuse of this word in Nazism, present-day academia prefers the terms "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" to "Aryan." The latter is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan," to represent speakers of North, West and Central Indian languages.
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During the 19th century, it was proposed that the term Aryan was not only the Indo-Iranian tribal self-designation, but also the self-designation used by the ancestors of all Indo-Europeans (a theory no longer accepted.) Aryans included most modern inhabitants of Australasia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Siberia, South Asia, Southern Africa, and West Asia.
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Some time later, it was wrongly proposed that the ancestors of the Indo-European people had their homeland located in northern Europe, implying that Indo-Europeans were originally of a Nordic racial type.<ref>''Ancient History Encyclopedia.'' Published on 06 April 2018 by Cristian Violatti at https://www.ancient.eu/Aryan</ref> Thus, the term "Aryan" developed the false meaning that Nazis seized upon in the 20th century.
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After the crimes perpetrated by Nazism relying on this erroneous view, present-day academia prefers the terms "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" to "Aryan." The latter is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan," to represent speakers of North, West and Central Indian languages.
  
 
== Theosophical usage ==
 
== Theosophical usage ==
  
During the 19th century it was proposed that the term Aryan was not only the Indo-Iranian tribal self-designation, but also the self-designation used by the ancestors of all Indo-Europeans (a theory no longer accepted.) [[H. P. Blavatsky]] protested about this interpretation at the time:
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[[H. P. Blavatsky]] protested against the erroneous use of the word "Aryan" by the scholars of her time (19th century) to denominate all Indo-European peoples. She argued that this term was traditionally used by the Indian Rishis and the Hindu Brahmins:
  
 
<blockquote>Ârya (Sk.) Lit., “the holy”; originally the title of Rishis, those who had mastered the “Âryasatyâni” (q.v.) and entered the Âryanimârga path to Nirvâna or Moksha, the great “four-fold” path. But now the name has become the epithet of a race, and our Orientalists, depriving the Hindu Brahmans of their birth-right, have made Aryans of all Europeans.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Theosophical Glossary'' (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 32.</ref></blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Ârya (Sk.) Lit., “the holy”; originally the title of Rishis, those who had mastered the “Âryasatyâni” (q.v.) and entered the Âryanimârga path to Nirvâna or Moksha, the great “four-fold” path. But now the name has become the epithet of a race, and our Orientalists, depriving the Hindu Brahmans of their birth-right, have made Aryans of all Europeans.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Theosophical Glossary'' (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 32.</ref></blockquote>
  
However, Blavatsky followed the usage of academics of her time and reluctantly denominated the fifth [[Root-Race]] as "Aryan."
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Ultimately, Blavatsky accepted the academic use of "Aryan" to denominate the Indo-European stock that constituted the fifth [[Root-Race]]. That she did this reluctantly can be seen in her statement, "the Fifth Root-Race [is] generally, though hardly correctly, called the Aryan race."<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Secret Doctrine'' vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 434.</ref> In describing the variety of ethnicities included in this Root-Race, she wrote:
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<blockquote>The Aryan races, for instance, now varying from dark brown, almost black, red-brown-yellow, down to the whitest creamy colour, are yet all of one and the same stock—the Fifth Root-Race.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Secret Doctrine'' vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 434.</ref></blockquote>
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==

Revision as of 21:39, 9 January 2020

Aryan is an English word derived from the Sanskrit ārya (meaning "noble" or "distinguished") used by the ancient Indo-Iranian tribes to refer to themselves. In Theosophical literature this term is used to designate the fifth Root-Race.

General definition

The Sanskrit word ārya is the self-designation used by the Vedic Indic people who migrated into the Indian subcontinent around 1500 BCE. This term has a cognate in the Iranian word arya, which is also a self-designation, connected to the source of the country-name "Iran," from a phrase meaning "Kingdom of the Aryans."[1]

During the 19th century, it was proposed that the term Aryan was not only the Indo-Iranian tribal self-designation, but also the self-designation used by the ancestors of all Indo-Europeans (a theory no longer accepted.) Aryans included most modern inhabitants of Australasia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Siberia, South Asia, Southern Africa, and West Asia.

Some time later, it was wrongly proposed that the ancestors of the Indo-European people had their homeland located in northern Europe, implying that Indo-Europeans were originally of a Nordic racial type.[2] Thus, the term "Aryan" developed the false meaning that Nazis seized upon in the 20th century.

After the crimes perpetrated by Nazism relying on this erroneous view, present-day academia prefers the terms "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" to "Aryan." The latter is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan," to represent speakers of North, West and Central Indian languages.

Theosophical usage

H. P. Blavatsky protested against the erroneous use of the word "Aryan" by the scholars of her time (19th century) to denominate all Indo-European peoples. She argued that this term was traditionally used by the Indian Rishis and the Hindu Brahmins:

Ârya (Sk.) Lit., “the holy”; originally the title of Rishis, those who had mastered the “Âryasatyâni” (q.v.) and entered the Âryanimârga path to Nirvâna or Moksha, the great “four-fold” path. But now the name has become the epithet of a race, and our Orientalists, depriving the Hindu Brahmans of their birth-right, have made Aryans of all Europeans.[3]

Ultimately, Blavatsky accepted the academic use of "Aryan" to denominate the Indo-European stock that constituted the fifth Root-Race. That she did this reluctantly can be seen in her statement, "the Fifth Root-Race [is] generally, though hardly correctly, called the Aryan race."[4] In describing the variety of ethnicities included in this Root-Race, she wrote:

The Aryan races, for instance, now varying from dark brown, almost black, red-brown-yellow, down to the whitest creamy colour, are yet all of one and the same stock—the Fifth Root-Race.[5]

Notes

  1. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Published on 06 April 2018 by Cristian Violatti at https://www.ancient.eu/Aryan
  2. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Published on 06 April 2018 by Cristian Violatti at https://www.ancient.eu/Aryan
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 32.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 434.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 434.