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 “Pani” defined

The word Pani is mentioned no less than 36 times in the Rig Veda. The word Pani forms as it were the backbone of the Rig Veda: it is the key that unfolds the meaning of the sacred book, Not only do the stories of Sarama and Pani, but also good many riks depend for their proper interpretation upon the correct meaning of the word Pani itself.

The expression “Revata Panina” shows that the Panis were rich. The expression “Paner maneeshan” shows that the Panis were wise. “Abasam Panim” would show that the Panis were given to introspection. Further Rig-Veda tells us that the Panis did not perform any Yajnas or sacrifices; were talkative, arrogant or haughty; had no respect for Yajnas and were Dasyus i.e., idlers or robbers. According to Sayana they were usurers also. The word Pani is used for traders. It is therefore clear that the Panis were a trading people and sold things for their value. Rig-Veda also depicts the Panis as gluttons. For their voracious eating they were regarded as monsters. The word is also explained to mean illiterate traders. (Gupta, 1902)


            They were indeed a nation of traders without sacrifices, selfish, illiterate and usurious. A nation of traders of those ancient days recalls the Phoenicians of old, for they were the only trading people then. In those days the Phoenicians were known as the Panis. The Indo Europeans spoke of them as the Panih and the Romans as the Punic. Gupta further stretches his theory and concludes that the origin of Phoenicians lie in Afghanistan. Thereby comes to the conclusion that panis of Afghanistan are the earliest people and further it is to be construed that the Vedic people are from central Asia, because both of them exist side by side. It looks like that Gupta is supporter of “India centric, Indo–European theory”

             In the process of developing “Indo-centric theory”, Gupta narrates out various other informations. He explains the possibility that Vedic people and panis could be from central Asia and Afghanistan and were living in nearby areas. This important information coincides with the fact that Anatolia and Phoenicia are nearby lands and both were centres of ancient civilisations. This view supports the theory proposed in this book that “Vedic People” are from Anatolia. B.G.Sidharth is also emphatic that the “Vedic people” are from Anatolian region. (Sidharth.B.G, 1999)

            While dealing with any information or story in Vedas, it should be always remembered that many of them are allegorical expression and not mere facts. In this way of interpretation, this expression of “panis” also has two meanings, one “heavenly” meaning and the other “earthly” meaning. The earthly expression meant the traders of Phoenicia, while the heavenly expression meant the “Dark evil forces of heaven, the Ashuras, who block the rains”. The factual meaning of this word “panis” seems to be indicating the earlier dark coloured inhabitants of Indus valley area, who were descendents of the earlier immigrants, i.e. the people with genetic marker M-130 and M-20.

              This theory is further supported by the observation of H.G.Wundderlich(page.no266), who states that the basis of Egyptian calendar is a cycle of Sirius that takes 1460 years. Sirius is the dog constellation and perfectly fits the role of Sarama and the narration mentioned in Rigveda. It is further supported by postulation of B.G.Siddharth that many of the narrations in Rig Veda are allegorical and pertains to earliest astronomy. (Sidharth.B.G, 1999)