This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Dating of the Veda

As one should expect, the Hindu scriptures have been subject to the ‘criticism’ of experts much in the same way that ‘biblical criticism’ has been at work in the West, with much the same results, sometimes undermining and sometimes pointless. The obsession is to ‘date’ the authorship of the Vedas, which is impossible for reasons we’ve already mentioned. First, the idea of an individual author for these texts is absurd, and could only be the result of a collectivity. If the collectivity could be identified, it would also be necessary to ascertain when they committed these works to writing, which itself probably took place over a period of centuries. And there is also the question or oral transmission, which in these cases always precedes the production of written scriptures, and it is impossible to tell how long this oral transmission took place before it was deemed necessary to write things down. This is indicated in some texts by what is called the vansha or traditional filiation. Oral transmission, contrary to what is imagined today, is actually still held in high esteem in India, and there are men living who can recite the Bhagavad Gita in its entirety. Much of this has to do with the cosmological primacy of the sense of hearing, but that will be addressed in its time. It is common to date civilizations by their connection to the Phoenician alphabet, from which it is assumed by some that all other alphabets are derived. Even among specialists, however, there is no consensus on this point, and Sanskrit characters resemble the Phoenician in neither shape nor arrangement, and so the connection here is unlikely. Lastly, to refer again to name Vyasa, which as we already said denotes a collectivity and not an individual author, we can say that the work of this Vyasa was nothing more than an act of codifying pre-existing texts. This means that discussion attempting to date the work of Vyasa are of historical interest, but nothing more, and certainly get us no closer to identifying a date for the supposed authorship of the Vedas.

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