The Mahabharata, states, “The able Panch (पञ्च) setting out to invade the Earth, brought the whole world under their sway”. – Book 1, ch.94, shloka 3738

The able ‘Panch’ have been interpreted by some western philologist, foremost among them British researcher Laurence Waddell (1854-1938), as the ancestors of the people who later came to be known as ‘Britons’, Anyone who has read the Mahabharata knows that the ‘Panch’ are the ‘five’ Pandava’ brothers.

The word ‘Panch’ appears in the names of many Mahabharata tribes – one such tribe was the ‘Panchal’ (पञ्चाल) – the tribe to which Draupadi belonged. The first five tribes of the Vedic-Kshatriyas were known as Pancha-janya (पाञ्चजन्य) or ‘Five People’. In Vedic literature the ‘Pancha-janya’ are described as the ‘five major races’ of the Mahabharata. The Maha-Bharata is the chronicle of the Bharata dynasty. Bharat was a legendary emperor of India, the son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala, and his empire is known to have extended way beyond even what is referred to as greater India. 

Laurence Waddell traces the origins of the Britons to the descendants of King Bharata, via the Phoenicians. Waddell quotes the following verse from the Mahabharata – “And King Bharat gave his name to the Dynastic Race of which he was the founder; and so it is from him that the fame of that Dynastic People hath spread so wide.

From the research work of Laurence Waddell –
The inscribed stones of Partolon – King of the Scots, dated to 400 BC. In the inscription, Parto-lon who derives his name from ‘Bharat’ calls himself ‘Briton’. The Phoenicians, who were the descendants of King Bharat of Ramayana gradually migrated to Britain. The patronym changed from Bharat, to Barat and finally to Briton.

Waddell says that the descendants of King Bharata included the branch that later came to be known as Phoenicians. The ‘later Phoenicians’ also gave themselves the title ‘Barat’ which they spelled as ‘Parat’, ‘Prat’ or ‘Prydi’. However, to align his theory to the now defunct Aryan Invasion Theory, Waddell called the early Phoenicians as ‘Vedic Aryans’. 

To set the record straight once again, no Indian text mentions a tribe or a race by the name ‘Arya’. The word ‘arya’ (आर्य) appears many times in ancient Hindu texts- for example Goddess Sita addresses Sri Rama as ‘arya’ which simply means ‘the noble one’ or even ‘aryaputra’ which means ‘the descendant of the noble one’. In fact everyone would address ‘the respected ones’ as ‘arya’. It is ridiculous to interpret the word ‘arya’ as a race – imagine interpreting the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Sire’ as the name of a race. 

In his Bengali essay, ‘The Rig Veda – A History Showing how the Phoenicians had their earliest home in India’, Rajeshwar Gupta wrote in 1902 that the origins of the earliest Phoenicians can be traced to India and Afghanistan from where they were driven away westward. They moved from India to Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and finally to Britain. Though of a vastly superior culture, the Phoenicians over centuries mixed with the natives and gradually lost their supremacy as they moved westward.

Suggested Links:

1. The RigVeda, A History Showing how the Phoenicians had their home in India
2. The Phonecian origion of Britons


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