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Abstract of the article:

It is likely that Indus seals were Kind of tokens of evidence

prepared to show the god of death that blood sacrifice had been made so that the
dead soul can pass through the trial and accepted in heaven. The idea is similar to
the religious ideas of ancient Egypt. Inscriptions on seals gives details about
animal sacrifice and nature of ceremony. There were different kinds of
ceremonies; some were for pleasing the god of Weighing of the heart ceremony
others were for pleasing The gate keeper god and for Pithru karma ceremony.

The earliest Indus archaeologists made the fundamental mistake of

identifying these excavation sites as a "Megapolises", whereas in reality they were
"Necropolises". This fundamental mistake had made it difficult to identify and
recognize the role of seals and its inscriptions. The first symbol identified by me
was "fish" symbol ( ) (Matsya), which stood for "Ma" sound as well indicated
the dead mans soul. The second symbol identified was ( ), which stood for the
idea of Kavu (Sacrifice).

The final conclusion is that Indus scripts are written mainly in Ideogram
way and few inscriptions are written in Logo syllabic way of writing and all the
Indus inscriptions are based on Sanskrit Language

Key words: Indus scripts, Indus Valley civilization, Indus script deciphered,
Sanskrit base, and Pithru Karma ceremony.

Indus script was based on Sanskrit language

Indus script had remained un-deciphered for a long time. There are
some valid reasons for that. The Indus valley civilization flourished quite a long
time back, approximately 4000 years back. The time gap is really large and the
modern day man is not able to visualize the context in which these seals were
prepared and what is written over those seals. The earliest Indus archaeologists
made the fundamental mistake of identifying these excavation sites as a
"Megapolises", whereas in reality they were "Necropolises". This fundamental
mistake had made it difficult to identify and recognize the role of seals and its
inscriptions. (Jeyakumar(Necropolis-Theory), 2014)

The Indus seals show characteristics of the priestly way of writing.

The purpose of the seals seems to be magic, mysticism and animal sacrifice. The
words are written in such a way that common man will not understand but other
priest could read the inscription. This way of writing could have given
extraordinary powers to priests and priest could have claimed that the words
written were magical and had power.

Absence of Rosetta stone

There are many decipherments of Indus seal inscriptions, some are

based on Dravidian language and others are based on Aryan language. But, none
of the decipherer is able to prove anything convincingly because there is no
reference point. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics code was broken using the tri-
lingual inscription made on Rosetta stone. Whereas no such bilingual record are
available in the case of Indus scripts so far. That doesn't mean this Indus script
had to remain un-deciphered. There are other methods to decipher such

Lack of a bilingual text is not an insurmountable obstacle. Some

scripts have been deciphered without them. Ugarit script writings were found in
Syria (in 1929). Several of the words were only a single letter long, suggesting
Ugarit script used a consonantal alphabet written without vowels (as was the case
with other early Semitic alphabets such as Hebrew). Applying letter frequency

analysis to the problem, Hans Bauer tentatively assigned values to two Ugarit
script letters, which were commonly used. Bauer then used the assignments to
search the texts for the expected Semitic word for "king. Proceeding along these
lines, he found the words for "son" and the name of the god "Baal", and so
eventually determined the values of several other letters. My experience with
Indus script is also on similar lines. (, 2014)

Commonly used symbols identified

The first symbol to be identified was "fish" symbol ( ) (Matsya),

which stood for "Ma" sound as well as the concept of soul of dead man
(Pithru/Manes/ancestor) (Jeyakumar(Fish-symbolism), 2015). The second symbol identified was (
), which stood for the idea of Sacrifice. (Jeyakumar(Kavu-symbol), 2014) These two
symbols were the most frequently used symbols in Indus Script inscriptions.
Identifying these two symbols gave a breakthrough. The experience is much
similar to that of Hans Bauer.

Direction of reading the inscriptions

Another major problem in reading the Indus inscriptions is that the

direction from which the inscription should be read. There are many ways of
writing like left to right, right to left and boustrophedon way of writing. While
reading the Indus inscription, the reading should start from the side, which the
animal is facing. This was the principle used by the Egyptian hieroglyphic writers,
the same had been followed meticulously by Indus scribes, and this feature shows
the cultural influence of ancient Egyptian civilization on Indus civilization.

Indus inscriptions are written in Ideogram (Idea) way

Logograms are visual symbols representing words rather than the

sounds or phonemes that make up the word, it is relatively easier to remember or
guess the meaning of logograms, while it might be relatively harder to remember
or guess the sound of alphabetic written words. Modern examples for logogram

include the pictorial representation of toilets of "Ladies and "Gents" by simply

showing the picture of "Woman" or "Man" in Air Port or Public places. The idea
of "Gents Toilet" or "Ladies Toilet" is expressed through pictures instead of
written letters, which is more convenient and useful in a multi lingual situation.
(wikipedia, 2014)

However, it turned out that Indus inscriptions are written mainly in

Ideogram way, however in few cases logo-syllabic way of writing also exists.
Best example is the word Mams-astaka, which is frequently used in Indus
inscriptions. This word is written in ideogramic way as well as logo-syllabic
way. The ideographic way of writing was first propounded by Iravatham
Mahadevan in the year 2014. (Mahadevan.I, 2014). However, the context in
which the ideograms are being explained by him are debatable.

Sacrifice to satisfy souls of Pithrus (Ancestors)

Figure 1: Inscription showing words Pithru karma

Seal courtesy book of (Sullivan, 2011)

Majority of the seals are oriented towards the Pithru

Karma ceremony. This finding substantiates my earlier theory that Indus
excavation sites are burial grounds and not megapolises as popularly imagined so

/ Indus

symbol Ancestors Upraised hands-- symbol full stop Mountain Man with club
Identified (This symbol looks like symbol with
an old man walking fish symbol inside
with stick) (composite symbol)

Sanskrit Pithru Ka -with Matsya Full stop Meru Gate keeper

name inside with Gadin.

meaning Pithru Ka+ma = Karma Full stop Indicates Gate keeper god
mountain with club as his
god. weapon
Mountain symbol indicates the mountain god, most probably God Shiva, who had
controlling power over Yama. This ceremony is done to stop frequent deaths in a
family. (jeyakumar(mountain-symbol), 2015). The final outcome of the analysis is that the
inscription reads as Pithru-Karma mountain god gate keeper. It looks like that
the ceremony was carried out to please the mountain god (Shiva) as well as the
Gate Keeper God. (jeyakumar(Gate-keeper-god), 2015)

Pithru Karma (, 2014) means the annual death

ceremony (Thithi) in which rituals are carried out with Yajna. Modern days "Fire
sacrifice" is with vegetarian sacrificial materials. But, it looks like that in olden
days animal sacrifice was the main item of "Yajna" ceremony. It is relevant to
note here that the upraised symbol indicates the Ka (soul) of the dead person.
With fish symbol inside the ka symbol, it becomes a composite symbol with
syllable sound of Karma. (Or) It could be indicating Ka ceremony with
Mams-astaka ceremony. Anyway, the meaning conveyed is the same in both
instances. (Jeyakumar.R(2), 2015)

Ritual recorded in the seal - Karkidaka Vavu

Karkida, the last month of Malayalam calendar which falls in July-

August has some religious significance for Hindus. Karkidaka Vavu Bali, also
called Bali, is the sacrificial ritual performed in memory of the departed souls of
ancestors. On the day of vavu or Amavasya (no moon day) people belonging to
the Hindu religion gather on the riverbanks and beaches to offer bali. Varkala
Papanasam beach is also one of the major religious destinations on the day.
People believe that the departed souls attain `moksha (liberation) if the ritualistic
homage is performed on Karkidaka vavu. (, 2014)

Thousands of people throng the beach on that day offering ritual

poojas with darbha (a type of grass), pavithram the ring made of sacred grass,
sesame, and herbs like cheroola. Other ingredients of the pooja cooked rice,
water, etc. will also be placed on a banana leaf before commencing the ritual.
Priests from the ancient Janardhana temple help people perform the ritual. Men,
women and children offer Bali to the ancestors. Men wear only a dhoti during the
ritual and the offerings done on the banana leaf will be finally immersed in the
waters of the sea. (, 2014)

Importance of Karkidaka Vavu Bali

Hindu customs and rituals give much importance to the rituals that
are to be performed after the death. In Malayalam these rituals are commonly
denoted as shesha kriya (shesham means after and kriya denotes rituals).
According to the Hindu custom, if a member in the family dies, the younger ones
in the family have to perform Bali (also called Pithru Tharpanam) to liberate the
soul from the shackles of this worldly life and to help the soul achieve eternal
peace. The Bali carried out on Karkidaka Vavu (Karkidaka Vavu) day is called
Vavu Bali which is of great importance.

The regular custom is to perform the ritual on the basis of the

calculations on the star of the day the family member has died. However,
Karkidaka Vavu bali is performed regardless of these calculations. The rites are
conducted as per the Hindu custom and performed in beaches and waterways.
Hindus in Kerala never fail to perform this ritual on the day of Karkida Vavu.
(, 2014)

Pazu - Karkida - Dvikavu

Figure 2: M-304

Picture courtesy - (Sullivan, Indus Script Dictionary)

Figure 3: M-1186.

Picture courtesy - (Sullivan, Indus Script Dictionary)

These two seals are similar in one way. Even though the pictures
depicted are different, the inscription is the same. These inscriptions may look
different, but if it is properly analysed, it can be seen that both inscriptions are
variations of the same. Only difference between these two inscriptions is that the
logo of "Man' is appearing in the end of inscription in the and the same
logo of "Man" is appearing in the beginning of inscription in the The
conclusion is that, the subject matter of inscriptions are the same in both seals and
the positional change of logo of "Man" does not change the meaning of

In this analysis process, one more information has been gathered.

The third logo in the figure-3 is not clearly visible. But, considering the repetition
of same logos and sequence of logos, it can be assumed that the missing logo is

dvi-Kavu ( ). It looks like that the logo of the "Man" indicates a person, who
was sacrificed. The sacrificial animal as well as man were called as "Pazu". If the
word "Pazu" is adapted for the logo "Man". Then it makes sense. Adding this
word "Pazu" in the beginning of the sentence as well the end of the sentence does
not make any difference to the meaning of the sentence.

Analysis table for figure no.2:


Identification man crab crab Kavu fish Kavu-

of symbols symbol with symbol
number two
inserted in
Sanskrit Manushya Karkida Karkida dvi-Kavu matsya Kavu
name (Pazu) month/ (Tamil)
meaning Man Both these Both these dvi-Kavu Means the sacrifice
sacrificed crab crab Pithru.
symbols symbols (Jeyakumar(Fish-
should be should be symbolism),
read read 2015)
together as together as
Karkida Karkida
ritual ritual

Resulting sentence is "Pazu-Karkida-dvikavu-Pithru-sacrifice". This

word could be indicating ceremony similar to "Karkida Vavu" of Kerala described
above. This ceremony is specifically devoted to please "Pithrus"(ancestors). The
conclusion is that the ceremony mentioned in the above given Indus seal is the
same as those "Pithru Ceremonies" followed all over India. However, the specific
name of the ceremony is still being used only in Kerala.

Analysis table for figure no-3

Identification crab Crab symbol Kavu- fish Kavu man


of symbols with stick symbol

Sanskrit Karkida Karkida Kavu Matsya Kavu Manushya
words for The stick (Tamil) (Pazu)
objects symbol
identified gives the
da sound
meaning Karkida Karkida Kavu may Fish symbol Kavu Man
ritual. ritual. be single means sacrificed
Both these Both these Kavu (Or) Pithru/manes/
symbols symbols double ancestor here.
(symbols- (symbols- Kavu (Jeyakumar(Fish-
1&2) should 1&2) should symbolism),
be read be read 2015)
together as together as
Karkida Karkida.

It could be read as Karkida kavu Pithru--kavu pazu. This word karkida could
be indicating the ritual similar to Karkida Vavu of Kerala, which is devoted to
please Pithrus(ancestors).The first two graphemes should be read together as
Karkida indicating Karkida ritual. Finally, the meaning is the same as in above
given figure-2. The only difference is that the Danda (Stick) symbol has been
introduced in this inscription. The stick symbol clarifies the word as Karkida.
This is another example to show that the Sanskrit language was in use in the Indus
Valley period itself. The word Karkida Kavu has been transformed into Karkida
Vavu in present day Kerala. This transformation might have happened mainly
after introduction of Buddhist concept of Non-violence and general apathy
towards animal sacrifice. It looks like that Hindu priests had stopped the animal
sacrifice but continued with the ritual to please Pithrus (ancestors).
Mams means mamsastaka:

The best example for logo-syllabic writing and evidence of Sanskrit word in
Indus inscription come from the word Mams Astaka. This word is frequently
used in many Indus inscriptions and also used in various permutations and
combinations. The word mams does not merely indicate meat; it indicates a
ceremony called mAMsASTakA. (, 2014) This word
mAMsASTakA means the fore noon of the 8th day in the dark half of the month

Mgha, on which meat or flesh is offered to deceased ancestors. (Jeyakumar.R(4),


Figure 4: Indus inscription showing the word 'Mams - Astaka'.

Picture courtesy Sue Sullivan (Sullivan, Indus Script Dictionary)


Identification Grahpathya Full stop crab fish fish Astaka Kavu

of symbols ceremony.( symbol symbol symbol
Sanskrit Grahpathya Full stop Karkida Matsya Matsya Astaka - Kavu
word Yajna means
in Tamil
Meaning house Full stop Karkida Ma Ms Astaka Sacrifice
holders month These two These two eighth day of a bull
ceremony ritual/sacrifice columns columns of Magha was done
should be should be month
read read
together together
as Mams as Mams
The inscription reads as,Grahpathya- Yajna Karkida month- mams Astaka-
Kavu. The meaning of the sentence is, House holders ceremony Karkida
month Mams Astaka ceremony sacrifice. The figure of bull in the seal
shows a bull was sacrificed on that occasion. Both these fish symbols should be
read together as Mams. The word Mams (meat) has been written in a logo-
syllabic way here.

The above given seal inscription shows the Astaka [ ] symbol in a better way.
Read the inscription from right to left, the fifth symbol is the best example
conveying the idea of Astaka. Astaka means eight, i.e. eighth day of month of
Magha (dark side). Note that there are eight squares and eight dots within the
pipal leaf symbol. Of course the number of squares and dots are not exactly
eight, we have to assume that the intention of the priest is to depict eight square
thereby indicating the word eight and the eighth day of the month thereby. Two
consecutive symbols of fish stands for the Sanskrit word Mams (Meat) (The
spear symbol is omitted here). This is another example, which supports the
Sanskrit theory.

Leaf-messenger symbolism

The above-given figure indicates a god or man carrying a stick and in walking
style position. He is also in a leaf shape. It could be a god or ordinary man. All the
Indus seal inscription symbols can be easily interpreted with Vedic rituals
mentioned in Grihya-Sutra. Reading of Grihya-sutra indicates that indeed such a
messenger was used by the Vedic people to convey their sacrifice either to gods or
Pithrus (Manes). This above given leaf-messenger symbolism re-enforces the idea
of Astaka symbol. Astaka symbol is pipal leaf with eight dots and the leaf
messenger symbol is pipal leaf with stick symbol. Both these symbols convey the
same idea.

Agnioma / Jyotistoma Yajna -- for uplifting the dead mans soul to heaven

These above given two graphemes are very peculiar and difficult to explain. At
least the symbol of ladder is very easy to identify, however the second symbol is
very difficult to ascertain. Fortunately the more difficult is a grapheme to interpret
the best and precise information comes out of such grapheme. Both these
graphemes indicate the idea of raising the dead mans soul to heaven. The
ladder symbolizes the ascending path way to heaven. Where ever such
ideogram appears in Indus inscriptions, such ideogram gives a meaning of
Jyotistoma Yajna. (Jeyakumar.R(3), 2015). This Yajna performed for uplifting
of soul is typical of Vedic civilization. This idea expressed in Indus seal
inscriptions is an additional evidence to the Sanskrit language base of Indus
Valley civilization.


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